These are suggested ways to minimize conflict and tension between guilds and players.
1) Always type TWICE in guild and Alliance chat.
There is a bug in chat that has been around since day 1 that prevents some players from seeing your message (sometimes) while others are able to see it. If you send it, then immediately press the up arrow on your DPAD and send again, you will almost always be seen at least once. If a message happens to come in between your first and second, try sending a third time.
If you don't send twice, sooner or later, somebody is going to miss seeing a message form you and somebody is going to have hurt feelings. A little courtesy and a couple of extra taps on your controller will avoid problems in ways you will not often appreciate.
This is something that officers and guild leaders should make a point of emphasizing to their players!
2) When you're recruiting a group in Alliance chat, it is first come first serve.
As long you have room in your group for that class and the character's item level is high enough to get in the door, they're entitled to the spot - all alliance players are equal.
3) Don't ask for item level. Don't ask for "high dps" or "super tank" or "Godly DC" or "melt group."
Alliance chat is for Alliance players. If you want speed runs or melt groups, that's awesome - go to Protector's Enclave, SOMI, River District or where ever you like and use Looking For Group or Zone chat to build your group. The Alliance is about building each other up.
Whatever the popular slang is to keep the "scrubs" out of a group, don't use it.
4) Don't boot players from a group, don't vote kick - only applies to players in our Alliance.
There is absolutely no good reason to get in the habit of vote kicking. If a player's behavior is so rude, so vile, so intolerable that you want to vote kick, leave group and reform.
If you try a boss fight or a difficult spot in combat a couple of times, don't look for players to kick. Say "hey, let's give this one more try, then I need to go somewhere else."
I know it is 45 seconds faster to kick and replace, but it isn't worth the cost in camaraderie. No speed run is worth the knowledge that all the players in your guild and your alliance have the same courtesy and respect for you that you have for them.
If you're not having any success, get an officer or a group recruiter to help you put together a group. Odds are, they know tanks and DCs who are more than happy to hop in and help newer players out.
There are too many possible reasons why a PUG player might cause a problem, so if you need to kick them, kick them, but try to be polite first and ask them to be cooperative - it will help our reputation in the community.
5) If nobody is recruiting a group for what you want to run, try to start your own.
Instead of hopping into chat and saying "CW looking for MSVA" (or what ever it is you want to run), try to grab a couple of your friends and start a group, then ask for what you need.
Odds are, there's no mysterious group waiting in the shadows for you to hop on and announce you're looking to fill the last spot in their group. Instead, they're already running. Put your group together. If you're not good at that, look for an officer or a recruiter to help you out!
6) Help your tanks and clerics do their dailies.
Every Monday, I love to watch my weekly show - groups of 6 or 7 DPS sitting around, waiting for tanks and clerics to magically fill their groups so they can run their weekly MSVA. You see them, too.
I've got a guardian fighter, a tank paladin, and an AC DC. Doing the dailies to unlock FBI and SVA are not fun. Running dailies in IWD and Dwarven Valley are not fun. They are hard, drudging, and very time consuming on support. DPS players who help support players do dailies don't sit around in groups on Monday, waiting for the magical players to appear. They already have friends who will give them a hand with anything because they know the DPS players have their backs.
Attitude is everything.
7) Talk to other players about builds and EXPERIMENT.
Don't assume that the 1 star MMOMinds build you're running is the bomb. Your home made build probably isn't, either, though props for trying - hit the target dummies and check your combat logs! But also, talk to experienced players and listen.
I promise you, they're not going to take the time to type a novel for you, just to lead you down the wrong path. Get lots of opinions, there's more than one way to skin a cat :)
8) If you have a conflict with another player:
Be the better person - don't argue if you can help it.
Try to explain that something upsets you
Block them if they don't get the message
Take screen shots of abusive situations in chat - this lets officers and guild leaders see what's happened and help resolve your issue
9) Use the available tools to connect with other players!
Use Alliance chat - if you can get an inexpensive USB keyboard to plug into your XBOX, then guild and alliance chat will become MUCH easier.
Use Slack - ask your guild leader for an invite (you will need to provide a valid email). Officers and guild leaders for across the Alliance will be there, along with many of the most experienced and strongest players. It is a priceless tool for sharing knowledge, meeting others, and arranging for dungeons and other content!
Have fun on the Facebook page - even if you can't use Slack or get on XBOX for part of the day, you can connect to players in your Alliance there. The more you connect with other players, the farther you will go and the better your game experience will be.
10) No exploits in alliance chat
If you need to run them, that's your business, but we want to avoid getting our members banned. You never know when a moderator or game admin is in a party chat or has a character in a guild.
Also, you should never discriminate against a player who refuses to exploit or try to force the player to do so.
For Guild Leaders and Officers:
These bits of advice are drawn from direct experience as a rank 6 in Guardians of the Whispering Eye and for getting close to two years as founder and leader of Poison Clan. I hope they are useful to you!
1) The Naughty Step
I strongly recommend that you set up the first rank in your guild so that it has no chat rights. When a new player comes in the guild, promote them to rank 2. This lets you use rank 1 as a "cool down," where a player who is angry can calm down.
Before I added this in Poison Clan, I had a few instances where players blew up and lost it as their issue (and their anger) intensified. In every case, I lost the player, as they either quit or I had to remove them for their conduct.
Since then, I learned a lot about recruiting and take more time up front, but I also have "The Naughty Step," where an officer can quickly demote a player, keep them from blowing up in chat, and then I can talk to the player before things escalate too far. We've only needed to use it once (again, better recruiting), but it saved the player.
At the end of the day, having happy players is what makes your guild a success.
2) Take an extra few minutes now to avoid problems later
When you're recruiting players, take the time to chat with them, by text or voice, to let them know what your guild is about and what your expectations are. Let them know what the culture is about - it is a lot easier for a player to adjust when they know what to expect on the way in. When they don't get an "orientation," they will eventually get embarrassed over something that is common in other guilds and Alliances but not friendly here.
3) Watch chat to avoid issues
People are going to have friction sometimes. Just because two people are arguing, it doesn't mean that one of them is right and one is wrong. Both can be wrong, both can be right. What matters isn't who wins a confrontation, what matters is which players are happily adjusted and get along after a disagreement.
If an argument breaks out between two players in your guild, shut them down. If it is your player and another guild's player, try to get your player out of the argument and contact an officer form the other guild. Slack will be a huge help for that, getting in touch with officers or leaders who may not be online but can be shortly.
4) Be prepared in advance - we're going to have conflicts
Some players are hot headed. They either work it out and become part of our community or else they go along to a group more suited to them - by choice or with a little help.
When you have to remove a player, it is not a failure on your part. You've got to do what is best for most of your players and letting someone ruin the bonds you have fostered is never in the best interest of your guild.
5) Schedule Events
See the Resources section regarding the calendar.
If we use a joint calendar and the guild leaders take the time to check it, we'll never step on each other's events.
As the Helm, Poison Clan will mostly run content events - like eDemo, FBI, SVA, Gambit, and so on. We will occasionally do others, like an Alliance-wide DF or whatever.
Individual guilds should talk about when they want to do an event and work out a time. Nobody "owns" a time slot - if more than one guild wants to use it, we can take turns. We're a family.
When a scheduling issue comes up, the answer will always be "take turns," though we can hopefully work out long term regular scheduling events that we don't have to argue over. Players thrive when they can plan their game time around events that help them progress! Guilds do, too.
We should have multiple guilds offering to run T3s at different parts of the day, running DF on different days, whatever.
6) Encourage players to talk in Alliance chat and Slack
The difference for players who use Slack and who are talkative in Alliance chat is amazing. There is no comparison between the two in game experiences because it builds a real sense of community. Poison Clan players will try to keep alliance chat busy, but it will take an effort from everyone to really make it last.
There are two kinds of recruiting - guild member recuriting, done by guild leaders and/or officers. Then their is the player who recruits groups to run content. You need to identify these players and encourage them because they make or break the experience of new or shy players. Your content recruiters are your best friends. If they've got the temperament for it, I suggest making them officers.
We'll set up an Alliance Facebook page and give all guild leaders the ability to invite their players to our Slack channel. We'll even dedicate private sub channels for individual guilds. Communication is what makes a guild or an Alliance work and is what forges strong relationships between gamers. We're a transient community, so the more we do to bring long term players together, the better.
I'll share build sheets with everyone. They're fairly simple - you put in positive numbers in the coffer row (the values from your coffer) and negative values for each resource type for the structures you have in your current target list. This gives you the means to plan ahead several stages and make smart decisions on which structures you build in which order. Even with our amazing players, we couldn't have gotten to 20 without requirements if we hadn't planned ahead using our build sheet!
I'll provide everyone with access to a shared Google calendar - which, by coincidence, imports events right into Slack - weekly and daily summaries of upcoming events, with a notification 15 minutes before an event starts.