For a great many people, a guild can be a very (if not the most) important part of their gameplay. What good is a MMORPG if you don’t have people to play with? Yes, there are features that help with this like the random dungeon finder, trade chat, official forums, and so on – but there is nothing like a close-knit group of people who spend most of their gaming time together.
A guild should do a number of things for the player, both in-game and out. Even though the reason that it exists in the first place is to facilitate gaming activities, many stories are out there that show how a well-managed guild can be support people in their real life world. Think of it like a workplace: if you’re going to spend a great deal of time with a group of people, getting along with them can be an important step.
Like a workplace, people don’t always get along. The kindest person might rub someone the wrong way unintentionally, and conflict is born. Depending on how this conflict might be handled could make or break a guild’s leadership. Reacting either too soft or heavy could make an officer or guild master lose any sort of respect that they might have.
This is why I personally enjoy a medium-sized guild. At the most through my WoW career, the guild has had a maximum of around 30-50 active members at any point in time. On an average night, there could be anywhere between 10-30 people online, but I knew each one of them. I’ve never been in a larger guild, so I don’t have the experience when it comes to large-scale management.
The guild master and officers should be respected members of the group, and able to handle the responsibility of leadership. Like anyone who is looked upon for guidance and direction, they must have thick skin and be able to be accountable. Someone in power who thinks they are above the law is a bad idea.
Members also have their own responsibilities. Most guilds have their rules and regulations posted in plain sight, so when someone joins a guild they agree to abide by those rules – there’s no pleading ignorance if something happens that goes against them. Members must respect the leadership of the guild, and follow the established protocol for conflict resolution, as I mentioned earlier. If there’s a raid signup, if someone signs up, they had better be there for that raid. Planning raid composition and people who may have to sit out is a tough job, and then if someone is a no-show you have people who miss out for no reason.
A guild is made up of every single member working together. People should have respect for one another, working with the established code of conduct, and being responsible for their position within that guild.