Discuss: How transparent should a guild be?

Discuss: How transparent should a guild be?

We’re now 11/12! One more kill will seal out the normal mode tier and allow us to start putting in work on the heroic modes of Throne of Thunder. Some of the players were curious as to what our goals after should be. Do we spend a little more time farming out the normal modes or do we immediately push into heroics? At first, I wanted to spend some time to farm out the week and try to get more weapons, trinkets, and 4-pieces completed. I felt that we could use a little more beefing up. But a player brought up an excellent point that you won’t actually know how much DPS you need until your raid starts hitting enrage timers of a boss. If that happens consistently, then it’s time to downshift and get the gear to help beat that timer.

The good

In that sense, it’s a good idea to share your vision for where you want to the guild (even if it’s just the short term). It seems that almost everyone has something that they want to contribute. In a 10 man, I bet that the feedback’s a little more manageable. But in a 25 man guild with a 30+ roster, it can get a little overwhelming when everyone has their own ideas. But nothing’s wrong with transparency when it comes to guild goals or even philosophy. At the very least, those who disagree with it know ahead of time what they’ve gotten themselves into. They can either embrace your style or move on and find another organization that best suits them

  • Goals
  • Values
  • Upcoming plans

The bad

Now what happens when transparency revolves around disciplinary action taken on a guild member by an officer? They may have been forced to sit out a night or become demoted because they were deliberately offensive to someone else or exceptionally poor raid play. I’m against sharing with other players why someone was punished. Frankly, I don’t think that’s their business. In my past experience, when an officer mentions in passing why someone was disciplined, people start talking about it and then sides start being taken which turns into a massive mess of a headache.

It’s not that big of a deal. The guy screwed up once and now they have to face the music. It’s not exactly something that’s up for debate. Having disciplinary action up for debate just causes more trouble than it’s worth. There’s no point in publically mentioning it either because then it turns into a point of public shaming (which could further exacerbate the issue and even cause them to leave). GMs have to periodically release players from their roster and there are good reasons to do it but it doesn’t have to be shared and not everyone needs to know.

I remember a really long time ago when one of my players came to me and said that they wouldn’t be able to raid that night (or for the next few raid nights). I asked if everything was okay, and she said no, she had been sexually assaulted. Immediately, I told her to take as much time as she needed, we’d still be here. Naturally, when a veteran who regularly appears in a raid stops showing up for a few nights, people notice. I started getting questions and out of respect, I had to deflect it. Even this information was withheld from my own officers because I didn’t know at the time if it was something that they needed to know. True, she never said “I’d like to keep it private”, but I felt I should’ve erred on the side of caution anyway. This is definitely one of the cases where one doesn’t have to be as transparent.

  • Private player matters
  • Disciplinary action

In the end, it’s beneficial to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. But recognize that GMs will occasionally be put into a really tough position. I’d wager most GMs are loyal to their guild first and will do just about anything to preserve it – even if it means slight deception.

I’m going to throw this topic out to you guys. One of the factors most prized about guilds (from applicants) is that of transparency. They don’t want to be left out in the dark. But exactly how much do you really want to know? Is there anything that can be left off the table?

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

4 comments
wowbeta
wowbeta

Sexual assault should definitely be left for the victim to decide  who to tell it to. You did good.