A big reason I love writing for this Web site is you, the readers. Whenever I write a column and ask you for feedback, you always provide some insightful comments. And whenever I fail to mention an important point, you guys always manage to catch it and comment on it. It's a supportive and intelligent community here, and it certainly makes my job easier!
Last week, I wrote about the "right stuff" to look for in a good officer candidate. I mentioned five traits to value in a candidate: maturity, generosity, good communication skills, emotional intelligence, and game knowledge. Necessarily, that means someone who is immature, greedy, barely literate, emotionally stunted, and a total noob would have the "wrong stuff." But, as several readers pointed out, there are other warning signs that someone will make a bad officer.
Several of you pointed out that, since the person asking the question last week actively wanted to be an officer in his guild, that should raise a red flag for his guild leader. There were many great comments about this, but Shumina summed it up best:
Being an officer is a big pain in the keister. If someone's actively seeking the position, one of two things is happening:
1) The guild is in disrepair and someone wants to do something about it in an official capacity. This means he/she is looking to overhaul the system somehow. Look for many changes or at least a push for such changes.
2) The person is looking for more esteemed position/power. This is the problem officer that will eventually splinter off to lead a competing guild and take every member as possible with him/her.
Either way, it's not a good thing when you hear about someone asking to become an officer. The other responses are correct. Look for a member that's already doing the officer job(s) and reward him/her with the official title. And then pity them. The game just became another job.
There are of course exceptions, but for the most part Shumina is correct. That's our first red-flag candidate: The Player Who Really, Really Wants to Be an Officer.
The second one I'll mention is this: The Player Who Plays for Unhealthy Amounts of Time. An "unhealthy amount" is hard to quantify, since it depends on how much free time a person actually has. But when 99% of their free time is spent in Azeroth, it should raise a red flag when you're thinking about promoting them.
Most guilds have a few of these people. In many cases, they tend to be the workhorses of the guild. They're always on and always willing to run a dungeon, a battleground, a raid, or whatever. So in that sense, they would be handy to have as an officer.
But some of them, because their entire lives revolve around the game, tend to take everything a step too far and get much too invested in what happens online. They are usually the ones who treat Arena matches as if they were truly life-and-death contests. Or who flip out in a Heroic run because someone died due to a resisted Freezing Trap. They don't do much outside of WoW, so they don't have a good perspective on what's important and what's not. A good officer has to look at the big picture sometimes, and sometimes he or she has to stop and smell the Peacebloom, too. The Player Who Plays for Unhealthy Amounts of Time can't do those things.
Our third red-flag candidate is The Player Who Shares Way Too Much Personal Information. You might have come across someone like this: Every time they're online, they start chatting in /g about some pretty personal stuff, whether it's about how they're depressed about their parents' divorce or who they're currently sleeping with. Those discussions are okay in a private setting, but when they're telling it to two dozen people (most of whom they've never met before) something is wrong. It's one thing to feel comfortable enough with your guild to share that kind of info -- it's another thing to actually go through with it and make everyone else uncomfortable.
The Player Who Shares Way Too Much Personal Information is usually someone who is out for attention, and that kind of person usually wants to be an officer for the same reason.
Finally, we have The Player Who Never Plays Sober. It can be amusing at first, but eventually that guy who shows up to every raid hammered -- and does nothing but talk about what they're drinking -- gets on everybody's nerves. They might be able to tank any boss or top the DPS charts in that state, but you really wouldn't want them negotiating a guild alliance or handling a delicate loot situation with three sheets to the wind.
Until next week, fellow officers, be wary of those who seek power!
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!