7 Ways to Instill Life into Your Guild’s Forums

7 Ways to Instill Life into Your Guild’s Forums

Are you suffering from an SAG?

That’s short for “Socially Awkward Guild”.

Most guilds have a site or some place to talk about stuff outside of the game. Forums are a great way to foster ongoing communication between your guild members outside of the game. For Conquest, the forums house information from strategy and feedback to guild sanctioned meetups. It’s difficult to get people to start using forums at the beginning especially if they’re not used to it or they’ve never been in a guild with active forums to begin with. Forum activity is one of those aspects of a guild website that takes a little time to grow and where success requires participation from other guild members.

The ideas you see below are common in guilds of all types. Don’t wait for someone else to start a topic. Seize the initiative and be social! I guarantee you that your GM will be thankful (or at least, grateful for the attempt).

Raid Attendance threads

Some raiding guilds prefer using a signup system while others stand by the sign out system. No matter which one you choose, it involves your guild indicating their availability for an upcoming raid. A signup system sounds a little tedious but can be managed with a group that doesn’t raid as often. Imagine raiding three times a week and being required to post a reply saying that you’re able and willing to come! It gets really draining fast. What happens if you forget and your spot gets forfeited? In contrast, a sign out system only requires you to post when you’re missing a raid due to an event that you can’t miss. I’ve had players sign out because of typical things like exams or overtime. In one case, I had a player put up pictures of raging wild fires near their house and indicated that they wouldn’t be able to make it!

Guild picture thread

We all want to know what the player behind the character looks like. The person who you envision when you hear them might not actually match up with what they look like. Mind you, this is all up to the discretion of the individual guild members and how they feel about putting their face out there on the internet. Also, as a word to the wise, there’s bound to be someone who’ll try to troll the rest of the team by putting a picture that isn’t actually them.

nph“I swear guys, I really am Neil Patrick Harris!”

Strategies thread

This is meant for raiding and PvP guilds. It’s great to consolidate all resources into one area. Members can share tips for struggling players or little nuances to squeeze out extra DPS. After every raid, I try to add any new modifications so that the players who weren’t involved in the recent attempts can stay up to speed on the changes. To keep things relatively clean and on topic, create a new thread for each boss that you’re working on.

What’s your job title thread

This one’s always at the discretion of the player and some people will choose to be as vague or as specific as possible. In the history of Conquest, I think we’ve had several Professors. We’ve had a police officer. A firefighter. Lots of IT and finance folks. Many players in science related professions as well. It’s a good way to break the ice especially a newer guild that’s just formed. Good way to find interests with other players outside of the game as well.

Post your system specs thread

In a WoW guild, chances are there’s enough tech geeks who would gobble all that stuff up. Some of the less technically minded might chime in asking for suggestions on upgrades or advice on how to get their system to run efficiently. Depending on how intense it goes, you might have to reign it in lest you end up inadvertently starting an nVidia vs ATI war.

Patch discussion thread

A thread like this will usually end up with a few people complaining dejectedly about the nerfs their class received. But it’s a good place for players to collectively spitball new ideas or discuss the new changes coming to the game. Bonus: Everyone enjoys a good “HA HA YOU GOT NERFED” fest.

Embedded chat room

With Enjin’s guild tools, I’ve added a little chat module at the very top of the guild forums. This is another way to bring people together as not only does the guild defeat virtual dragons as one unit but it functions as a place to to help people get through their day. Everyone loves to complain about something (in fact, I’m probably responsible for 25% of the whining on our chat about the most mundane things while my guild silently rolls their eyes at me).

This is just a start. The sign of an active and healthy forum correlates to an active and healthy guild.

What other forum topics have been successful in generating meaningful discussion? Have you incorporated any other cool addons or widgets to keep interest flowing?

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

The Conquest Gaming website received a much needed facelift a few weeks ago. A special thanks to Altered Innovations for the design work that went into it. You’ll see many guild sites aiming for predominantly dark colours. I wanted to go with a different approach and go in a brighter direction instead.  Functionality aside, today we’ll be talking about pure aesthetics.

The looks.

The feel.

The sex appeal.

Why do you need a good looking website?

One of my raiders suggested adding more Comic Sans to help make it a little more “fun”. I shot that down without zero hesitation.

“What’s wrong with Comic Sans? Why do we need such a good looking site? Why does it have to be professional? I mean, we’re not getting paid or anything like that.”

Those are all excellent questions. You don’t actually need a polished, quality site. But attracting players is like trying to pickup women: First impressions matter! You can aim for something that’s clean. Or go for something more bold. Or have a little fun with it! No matter what, there’s something to be said for good design.  Rules and other information should be easy to find. The “apply” page should be in an obvious location.

I’m not trying to be shallow or anything. I’m not saying that the quality of your guild depends entirely on the look of your site. Your guild should have a little substance to it. Your guild is defined by the players, the culture, and the activities. At the same time though, your guild site should showcase those aspects. For progression raiders, it’s all about how many bosses that guild has taken down and when. With potential recruits visiting, a good looking site determines whether or not they’ll leave within the first second.

Just like in real life, adding a little more care to appearances goes a long way.

A few of the other raiders echoed those sentiments. If the site had an old school Geocities or Fortune City look, they wouldnt’ve given it a second glance. That brings back memories of scrolling or flashing text (depending on Netscape or Internet Explorer — My how times have changed). Don’t forget the embedded Real Player.

Or frames.

I digress.

When I’m browsing around other guild sites and I see one that catches my eye, I can’t help but be impressed. Because there’s a guild master who gets it. It’s another way for that GM to express their dedication for their guild. If a GM didn’t care, why bother investing the time or the money in creating a unique site of their own? If you’re a recruit, you can think of that as a positive indicator when you’re shopping for a new guild.

Not every guild has access to the tools or designers for sites. I suspect this is true of smaller guilds. But their activities and communications are coordinated around Facebook groups or Google+. That’s okay too, but I’ve found it harder to find information about them. Then again, most of those groups tend to be invite only.

if you actually are looking for a custom layout with spoilers and rims, I recommend looking into Altered Innovations (check out the portfolio). If you’re already on Enjin, then it’s a bigger bonus as he does specialize with Enjin sites (and that’s what allows the rates to be reasonable). Most of the coding is already built into the Enjin infrastructure which saves time on development.

Besides, these guys actually do  get paid. It’s stipulated in the contract. One drink at BlizzCon*. They just need to be there to redeem it!

* Redeemable for active raiders only or at GM’s discretion.

For GMs –  Enjin 2 year anniversary means 40% off for you

For GMs – Enjin 2 year anniversary means 40% off for you

enjin-logo-birth

Our premiere partners at Enjin are celebrating their second birthday! (Disclaimer: I do advise them when it comes to their services from a GM perspective and the actual links are affiliate links).

From one guild master to another, I can’t recommend their services enough. In the past, I’d use my own combination of forum software, blog software, and EqDKP hacks to manage my guild’s online presence. On of top of that, I had to stress over the looks, too.

Now I don’t know about you but as a guild master, I’d rather spend my time actually playing the game with my guild instead of having to fret over the technical stuff.

I don’t have to worry about loot tracking. They do it for me.

Attendance? That’s taken care of.

My guildies can keep track of each others blogs.

The best part? An actual recruiting form for applicants. In the past, we had a separate forum where users had to copy and paste an existing application template into a new thread. It was archaic! But with their modules, all we had to do is come up with the questions.

Their promotion started a few days ago. But it ends tomorrow! If your guild’s web contracts are coming up for renewal, consider using Enjin to power your guild instead.

Enjin offers three plans. Here’s the scoop on their current deals:

  • SAVE 40% when you prepay for 1 year on any plan!
  • SAVE 40% on all themes and headers!
  • SAVE 30% when you prepay for 6 months on any plan!
  • SAVE 20% when you prepay for 3 months on any plan!

Their Ultimate plan is the best value if you opt in for a year. With the 40% discount, that’s $17.97 a month. For smaller guilds, Premium might be the better option for you. For a year on the same promotion, that’s a $5.37 a month.

That’s approximately three dollars a month without having to fret about technical issues, upgrades, or other problems.

But hey, if you’re still sceptical about their services, you can always move your entire guild and try out their premium plan for a month first. See how your guild likes it.

Hurry! You only have a day left before the deal expires!

Sign up now!