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Tahru

Serrated - Maximizing the Crowfall Experience EU/RU/NA [Now Accepting Members]

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As mentioned by my esteemed guild-brother-in-arms Anaraion! We have been receiving a nice strong steady flow of new applicants the newest of which I'd like to announce to all Aghar & Hunter1, Welcome to Serrated! Glad you to have you on-board...


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   Follow Us On Twitter ~ @SerratedGuild

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Hi!

 

Tahru said it would be ok to drop by and give everyone a heads up that we are doing a regular series covering various topics for the FLA and looking for feed back.

 

This is an open discussion for all members (and anyone else that happens to drop by lol) to share their thoughts and feelings.

 

Discussion thread can be found here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/10704-fla-town-crier-pvp-pve-rp/

 

Thx,

 

-Keaggan

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Edit: this reply originally started with a couple of questions. But I realize now there also some constructive criticism here. I hope you guys take it well.
 
I come from a Star Citizen perspective here where many (but not all) of the medium (200) to large sized (5000+) organisations there have built themselves crippling hierarchies. From the outside it looks very cool but in practice it is highly inefficient.
 
From my long-term observation I could only conclude they did this as a sort of meta-game. The over-excitement of anticipation and a desire for preparedness leading to a lot of theory in terms of organisation.
 
While effective in the real world where you would rarely see someone be part of a recon unit AND fly an F-16... How do you handle such compartmentalization in a video game where people could feel like "playing tank" one week and "healer" another? Where people throughout various levels of hierarchy might not log in on critical days when it matters? Where priorities can change 14 times a week?
 
You guys have put a lot of thought into your structure. And I want to see it succeed. I think you guys have a cool image, good intentions and your members seem very embracing of the larger community of Crowfall and welcoming towards new Crows. As a staple among current Crowfall guilds, I have a lot of respect for you.
 
But form follows function.
 
I'm not sure if they've been asked but how would you answer the following questions?
 
  • Do you foresee both US / NA enlist to the same campaigns?
    • Or would they act as islands on their own, focusing on separate campaigns and objectives, with separate hierarchies?
    • Can it happen that I as a European will report to someone in Pacific timezone? Making it virtually impossible for me to build a report with that person?
  • How is the culture of leadership? Do you have "open door" policies where I can discuss my work and how it should be done with the number one leader? Or do you have to follow a chain-of-command in terms of issues, questions and concerns?
     
  • Do you want your members to have a singular focus in the hierarchy?
    • For example: someone who is a cartographer III: can they also be special agent II and a Guild Recruiter?
      Or are the ranks more of an ornamental way to distinguish members for their past contributions?
       
    • If I report to a recon commander as a cartographer. And I also report to a chief special agent as an operative, who among the two of them determines what I should do has a higher priority?
       
    • If I report to a chief special agent, but I spend the next three days crafting... can I get sacked? Who will move me around in the hierarchy?
  • Has your guild leadership ever implemented a similar hierarchy in another MMO?
 
Whatever structure you implement, its intend is to ensure smooth decision making. They're based on "Who decides what", rather than "Who is allowed to do what in the game".
 
I recommend you read about Strategic, tactical and operational planning.
When implementing a hierarchy, always ask yourself where in the STRAT, TAC, OP tiers those positions belong.
 
Example:
 
STRAT: Leader + Lieutenants:
Q: What's the focus for next week?
A: We should capture that fortress in the south because reasons
 
TAC: Lieutenants + Officers
Q: How are we going to capture that fortress?
A: Mon, tuesday, wednesday we're going to do resource caravans. We're going to need 50 people for each.
Meanwhile we go all-in on crafting siege equipment and weapons + armor.
Friday we raid the fortress while fully decked out. We will need 100 people and we will use XYZ plan.
 
OP: Officers 
The operational level is the leadership in the execution of the resource caravans and the eventual assault on the fortress. I would keep this very open ended. People that are there monday might not be there friday. Let this be based on experience.
 
People who are very good tactical leaders might be "poorly made socks" operational leaders and vica versa.
 
Allow the people able to wear multiple hats if they can.
 
Allow people to "Step-up" on the operational level in the absence of usual leadership.
 
 

Cheers guys. And good luck!

I look forward to sharing these forums with you for the next foreseeable future until we get this game of our dreams... and then some.

Edited by whiplash174

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The US and NA arms of the various branches have leaders from those areas.  As to how we will deploy that is not something we will probably share:)

 

I would say the doors are very open.  As with anything there is a process or procedure.  Anyone can go up the chain to discuss issues.  But for the majority of things it can be handled by an immediate supervisor.  And we have a wide base for discussion of issues.  But a small base for discussions of direction.

 

As to your question about positions.  We let people chose where they want to be placed.  And that is their primary position.  They can take on more roles.  But whatever they have decided as their own primary is where they will answer the call when it comes.  Many positions are part time or one time and do not really require a full time person doing them.  Many jobs are part time, but repeating or able to be done while fulfilling a primary position.  As with any position in a guild communication is key.  If you know you are not going to be filling your primary position because you are crafting or whatever.  Let your leaders know and the next man up will take over to fill the void.  Depth is paramount in a game like CF.

 

As to the 4 tier system. I think we are going to be very happy with how we have things set up and how they operate.

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Edit: this reply originally started with a couple of questions. But I realize now there also some constructive criticism here. I hope you guys take it well.
 
---snipped for brevity

 

 

 

Hey whiplash thanks for the input.  i don't ever see input as bad.  If we have good ideas they hold up.  if we do not have things done well the input helps make it better.  As I could care less how I look but care a great deal how we, SR8D, functions :).

 

So again I always welcome input.  

 

As Giz mentioned we are not discussing our NA/EU plans here, but trust me this is not ad hoc but based on long term MMO and rl military exp.  Now I am sure the plan will not go perfect but trust me there is a plan and it will be modified as the execution actually happens and is warranted.

 

Chain of a command is always a fluid thing.  During ops, the leaders word is law.  When chilling on voip you can talk to whoever.  We would hope you could talk to your immediate supervisor because you asked to be in that unit as well as common courtesy.

 

We ask everyone have one single main task so when out citadel in the CW is under siege and we put out a "To Arms" Call everyone has one primary duty to fulfill.  Obviously on normal days you will bounce to what suits you, but come Ragnarok, we  want you to have a focus to help the guild to victory.  Bottom line is your choose that higher calling and work out the secondary roles with those other leaders.

 

Between our leaders we have lead numerous guilds in numerous MMOs.  In addition as Giz mentioned we have numerous rl current and ex military leaders.  This guild is intended to be the culmination of what we have learned and implemented.

 

As for your Strategic, Tactical and Operational breakdown again all I can say is we have many real life military officers on our rolls (for example one command and staff meeting for 6/16 Cav I was the S-1, S-2 and S-4 all by myself. Trust me I get the different roles and needed coverage.).  In addition we have all those guild leaders and officers from other MMOs as well.  We understand not all officers do every job well and we need coverage.  I can promise you we have thought of this and have started giving out roles to those who have show an aptitude for that skill set.  We expect adjustments to be made as different people will find their grove as the game gets more play time.

 

 

 

So bottom line thanks for the interest and input.  I greatly appreciate the chance to talk shop and hope you see that we are well positioned.  In the end though this is a game and not work so we need people to have fun.  Yes we need things done, but we want to have people doing what they want and doing it often and well because they like being with us and they are having fun.  

 

We plan to dominate all with a great big grin :) .


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I think the biggest thing I am getting from the post, is that it will be edited every time I come back:)

 

No worries. I was editing the post while you replied to it. I had assumed you guys hadn't read it and I wouldn't have edited it if I thought you did.

I added the "edit:" part on top and I fleshed out the example to be applicable more to the theory I referenced.

 

Arnaion's reply is to the current version. And I'd say your reply is still very valid because the context which you address didn't change.

 

All good?

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No worries at all Whiplash.

 

Did the explanations make sense or do you have any more input?

 

Always willing to take a look at practices in the effort to achieve best practices :) .


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No worries at all Whiplash.

 

Did the explanations make sense or do you have any more input?

 

Always willing to take a look at practices in the effort to achieve best practices :) .

 

They did. Thanks guys.

 

In terms of input... you said you like talking shop so here goes  :) These aren't as much questions as they are a way to bump your post, talk shop and share some of my views on the things you've said. I really took my time so I don't have to edit it. I think Gizmaul hates that like he hates poorly made socks.

 

My biggest take-away was the perception you gave me that you guys are willing to make changes to your hierarchy when eventually implemented and put to the test. "No plan survives first contact with implementation" as they say.

"As I could care less how I look but care a great deal how we, SR8D, functions"

 

As long as you have people at the top of the pyramid, like you, able to be critical and evaluate then at least you're not in danger of a "crippling hierarchy" as I put it in my post. It's easier said than done. I refer to the Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing principle. It takes time and hardship. It takes a little healthy controversy, friction and knowledge of self. When done wrong you run the risk of disenfranchising whole chunks of your community.

 

As you say, having leaders who know and have lived the theory is also a plus.

 

I just hope you mean people with actual successful guild experience and not the guys who had a WOW leveling guild with 400 members but 12 active players  :D

 

In the same sense there's also more business owners that went bankrupt or lead a mediocre business rather than thriving ones.

 

Which brings me to...

 

You mentioned you have people with experience in military leadership. But I think its a logical fallacy to say this means sound guild leadership.

 

Community management theory is a bit of a hobby of mine. (There's some great resources online).

It can only be learned the hard way in my opinion. With the right attitude and introspection and written theory you will learn more about yourself and fellow humans running an active online community than you would being a spectator in one. I found it a very fulfilling and humbling experience but prone to burnout.

 

I also run a small business. Five employees.

 

So there's "leadership" there in business. And "leadership" there in guilds. But the hat you need to wear for one is not the same as the hat you need to wear for the other.

 

People come to work and expect to be paid. In return they will do what you ask and only question you to a point within the bounds of their responsibility. A good leader will take feedback but is able to press his instincts and have his people execute it. For better or worse. I assume its even more so in the military where following orders is a really big deal. 

 

Guilds and online communities however are a complete opt-in. You don't always realize this, but you rely on influence and respect more than on titles. If you don't have influence and respect, people will go elsewhere to spend their time. Good guild leadership understands the nuance of this and has a natural sensitivity to this.

 

Example:

 

I might have no rank. But I'm very active, always online. People have a good time when they're with me and I spend a lot of time with people in charge. Over time I end up building a good rapport with many others, including leaders.

 

Turns out, some of the things I say really make sense. Unconsciously I build up influence over time. I still have no rank, but I report to someone with absolutely no influence and no idea about the sensitivities of this invisible currency. I'd ask you to consider who has more power.

 

This "currency of influence" is ever changing. As people become active, make others have a good time, contribute to the organisation and become inactive again, people will build-up and lose influence over time.

 

You can have any hierarchy on paper you want... but this stuff is what really makes a guild tick.

 

Whenever you hear a story of 50 people leaving a guild all at once... its because of this.

 

The expectation for "orders to be carried out" during a raid or a battle is normal. Having a commanding presence in that context also helps.

 

But then there's always those clowns who lead a squad in the marines, or a platoon, or a division... or those big-shot business owners who talk more than they listen... And they're put in charge of a guild or a group of people on-line with no sensitivities to the change in context. And the result is always catastrophic.

 

These are the sort of views that make me weary of "crippling" hierarchies as it were.

It's why I'm an advocate for finding a balance between hierarchy and influence and defining nomenclature well.

 

For example... I'm making this stuff up:

 

A Position - deals with current responsibilities and/or authority in the guild. Unlike a role, you can hold a position for a varied length of time, like a job.

 

Role - which deals with the task performed during a "call-to-arms". In traditional MMO terms. Your role might be “healer”, or “tank”, which can vary between raids and the people available for the raid.

 

You see how the context between the two changes everything in terms of nomenclature?

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

I apologize guys. This'll be my last post I'll hijack this topic with. Anaraion's invitation was too tempting and there's not many opportunities out there for me to have this exchange =)

 

Take care guys!

Whip

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Hey Whip,

 

Some great points :).

 

 

Quick aside to start so you have a better perspective of my past exp, I have been an officer in the US Army and worked for W L Gore and associates (the makers of Gore-Tex). The one is possibly the largest organization in the free world with the biggest hierarchy while the others is a very successful private company with almost no hierarchy. It is my exp that the structure has far less to do with success than the leaders. Good leaders take their people along for success regardless of structure. Just my two cents.

 

You are correct that a guild is very different than work. We will not be paying guildies so we need them to enjoy playing so they come back. We want them to form bonds with both the other members of the guild and their roles within the guild. That is no easy task, but the more bonds created the more "complete opt-in" we have.

 

This is why we have the guildies selecting their tasks for starters. They go work and do what calls them. Over time they can adjust as they see fit but with this ability to move we are hoping they find a group they bond with. Again they need to have fun to keep coming back and we hope they feel a bond with both their task and their peers..

 

As for respect this is an area I love to discuss. I like your examples, and allow me to label them. There is formal respect and informal respect.

 

Formal Respect- for example I am a teacher. Every teacher in the building is mandated the exact same official authority and respect. We are allowed to keep kids late, write them up, tell them to stand in the hall, whatever. Think back on your High School days. Did the students remotely treat all the teachers the same? Not a chance. Some teachers are lionized while others are despised. The difference is in their actions.

 

Informal respect- People judge you by how you act and this is the true measure of a person. The complete saying is a person is judged not by what they think or feel, but by how they act. Well respected people can have any rank or position. Others respect them not for their titles but by how they deal with the situation and others. As you point out well respected people have influence and that is a very valuable currency in a guild. Leaders jobs are to channel those who are respected into positive productive roles to help guide the guild.

 

Obviously if that were easy many more companies and guilds would be successful. In addition what one person sees as awesome is not what the next sees as good practice. As a result this is all very challenging keeping a large group together happily plugging away every day. Thus here is what I fall back on...

 

Expectations- Leaders have to make the expectations clear. It can be challenging as plans can change: stay the course sometimes and make adjustments at others.

 

Trust and Transparency- This is needed to navigate the above. People need to see the process and have a stake. Remember we need the complete opt-in and these two "T's" help that tremendously.

 

Ownership- Again a tricky two way street. We need the guild to follow the plan, but we need them to feel comfortable giving input and seeing good ideas implemented so they want to follow the plan. The two "T's" is critical giving them enough comfort to take part and also faith to follow the guild.

 

Effort- I hate leaders who feel that their position some how grants them liberties. Rank require more responsibility and going back to my army days I would literally not eat some days so my men could. I hope all the guildies here feel that while everything is not perfect, their are people busting their a$$ to try and make things as perfect as possible and are always willing to listen.

 

Bottom line is I feel I am here to serve the guild and I know my fellow senior officers feel the same. I feel blessed to have been chosen to have the role I do in this guild and I will work as hard as I can to uphold the trust given me and earn my guildies respect. I say this knowing others have worked far harder than I and have far more respect from me than vice a versa.

 

Bottom line for me is that despite years of MMOs I finally have the guild I always wanted.

Edited by Anaraion

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Effort - I hate leaders who feel that their position some how grants them liberties.  Rank require more responsibility and going back to my army days I would literally not eat some days so my men could. 

 

I don't know whose quote it is but I once read "The best King is a slave to his people". It resonated with me because in terms of guild leadership I always felt that says a lot about trust, transparency, ownership and effort. A value system you and I seem to share.

 

 

Obviously if that were easy many more companies and guilds would be successful.

 

I would raise my glass to that one if it weren't morning so I'll raise my cup of coffee and I don't really drink anyway.

 

What you have listed is a series of challenges and your value system in how you intend to overcome them. To me that indicates a mindset towards conflict resolution rather than conflict avoidance. An active approach rather than a reactive approach. Which I always felt is key for guilds and online communities. Now add a dash of luck and success could follow.

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This Super Bowl isn't nearly as big as Americans like to think...

 

Still a bit American-centric but fairly good list is here.

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1247928-ranking-the-biggest-events-in-sports/page/26

 

If you are talking TVs worldwide, the Super Bowl might not even make it at least according to...

 

http://whatculture.com/gallery/10-most-watched-sporting-events-in-tv-history/11

 

Although to be fair more than a few of these are multi day events... You decide :) .

Edited by Anaraion

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Greetings Crows! It's testing time once again with 3 scheduled days left and just in time we have 2 new members joining us so without further ado I'd like to announce Chorsac & Candesious...Welcome to Serrated, Glad to have you both join us!


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   Follow Us On Twitter ~ @SerratedGuild

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