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?

Podcast Topic: Cataclysm Healing Class Balance

Each week on Matticast we will be featuring a topic driven by our audience. You can submit your comments on this post, or e-mail us with your thoughts. You can even send us an audio clip (mp3 format please). This is your chance to have your say on what we discuss on World of Matticus. Also don’t forget, if you have general questions you’d like answered on the show, you can send them our way!

This week we are looking for your opinion on class balance amongst healers in Cataclysm. A debate was sparked by Paragon’s Xaar on the EU forums over how useful Druid and Shamans are in high end raiding. What are your thoughts? Are you avoiding taking Druids and Shamans on your raids? Are Paladins and Priests that much better? What healer makeup does your guild prefer to take?

5 Rejected WoW Blog Ideas

5 Rejected WoW Blog Ideas

rejected

Image courtesy of alifarid

A lot of WoW Bloggers I know of suffer from Altitus wherein they have so many alts and appear to have a hard time trying to focus on one. While I do have multiple healer alts myself, I’ve maximized my time accordingly and powered them individually so that they are all fairly high level characters. All of them (sans the Druid) are capable of healing Black Temple and Mount Hyjal on their own.
But this post isn’t about Altitus. I suffer from a unique ailment.

I’m afflicted with Blogitus.

There are more WoW blogs out there than Netherweave on the auction house. All it takes is a really killer idea in a niche to set it apart from the rest (so that we don’t end up with another hunter or another druid blog. Not that they’re bad or anything). I quickly examined Blog Azeroth and my reader to try and find out what already existed. Class blogs were out of the question so it boiled down to what I thought people might be interested before mentally shooting it down.

Herez Pilton

What it could’ve been: It’s a play on words off of two different things. The celebrity gossip website Perez Hilton and the in game character Haris Pilton.
Why it got rejected: How much effort and how much entertainment would all that drama actually be? Perez spends 18 hours a day chasing down leads and photos. For this to really work, I’d have to spend copious amounts of time on the WoW Realm forums daily. I don’t have that kind of time to offer, unfortunately.

Prohealer.com

What it could’ve been: A site with numerous healer bloggers culd go and contribute. Would have featured multiple authors and guest posts from favourite names in the community.
Why it got rejected: Difficult to micromanage. Don’t have the resources or the time to invest in it as much as I’d want. Would have to score major cooperation from other writers. Although, I might actually explore this idea later in the future. I’m a chronic project starter.

RaiderRant

What it could’ve been: Nothing more than a rant blog about bad raids and bad guilds. Diary style. Similar to Waiter Rant. It would’ve been day-to-day entries from a raider and 5 minute windows of their raid life. Probably would’ve been updated once or twice a week to help avoid stagnation.
Why it got rejected: My Guild isn’t at the point where I want to rant about them on a weekly basis. A blog like this needs to have some diversity. Readers would tire quickly about stories about the Mage that can’t tank Gruul’s or the idiot hunter who can’t seem to click cubes. Has to be some randomness and the writer has to be able to captivate the audience.

Consuma-blog

What it could’ve been: An extremely narrow focused blog about consumables, items, gear, and such. Would’ve talked about gear guides, where to get them, combinations, criticisms and so forth.
Why it got rejected: Almost as exciting as watching a Holy Paladin and a Resto Druid duel.

The Battle Standard

What it could’ve been done: All PvP talk, all the time, with news, opinion, highlight reel finishers and so forth about Arenas, BGs, and world PvP.
Why it got rejected: I have to actually PvP. I have enough time to either PvP or raid. I can’t do one or the other really well. I also need to have some credibility and having a low arena rating doesn’t do much to inspire justice (although ~1550 in BG9 actually isn’t that bad).

Now that’s not to say that any of these ideas are bad. I merely listed why they were bad for me (at least for now). I think a cunning and motivated blogger could take any of these ideas and make it work really well.

With this in mind, what types of unorthodox WoW blogs can you think of?