One of the common questions asked by new GMs or new raid leaders is what are the key differences or similarities between the two positions. In smaller guilds, the raid leader is the guild leader. In larger guilds, it’s often beneficial to separate the two roles especially if there is more than one raid team. If you’re looking to build your own guild, then it’s advantageous for you to separate those two positions and divide up the responsibility.

The Guild Leader

Role: More into the big picture and long game with regards to the guild. Dictates guild policy. Oversees and handles personnel. Works with other aspects of the guild not exclusively related to raiding. She’s a people person. Manages to be the public figurehead or face of the organization. Sets the standard of conduct among members. You’re a role model.

Recruiting: More concerned with how a player fits into the group. Interested in questions relevant to their last guild and what made them decide to leave. Wants to know how their commitment level is like. Is their computer going to choke when they raid? Will there be conflicts with the rest of the group?

Rewards: Wants to ensure any loot or drops go to the players who deserve them.

Motivation: Doesn’t have dreams. Has goals. Knows exactly what she wants. Eyes are always on the prize. Every addition, subtraction, or move is designed to get her closer to that goal.

Conflict resolution: The buck stops here. There is no one else to escalate problems to. Ideally, any conflicts are resolved between individuals first before it gets moved up to an officer. If the officer can’t find a solution, then it goes up to the GM. Guaranteed the GM’s going to be annoyed about that and will find a quick yet final solution.

Ultimately, while players may not have to get along with each other or even like each other’s presence, they absolutely must get along with you. The relationship won’t last long at all if they disrespect or despise your way of handling things. You’re better off telling them to take a hike if that ends up being the case. All the rules and regulations in the guild charter mean absolutely zero if the guild leader doesn’t like a player. They don’t need to justify themselves in why they want someone removed from the guild. They can just do it without really answering to anyone specific. There may or may not be consequences depending on how or why someone’s removed but it’s their power to use (or abuse).

Be prepared to make the tough decisions. It won’t be easy and talking about guild problems to players within the guild might not be the best course of action, either. Accidentally igniting drama is never a good idea. Patience and listening to all sides of an issue is a must. Exploring all options is a requirement. Laying down a decision and subsequently acting on it is essential.

Planning events should never entirely be on their shoulders but they should be able to provide free reign and empowerment to the players who wish to do it. Encourage players to use the voice server if they wish to establish their own PvP nights or activities with alts. Join in on a few of them. It’s a way to get to know other players and their habits.

The Raid Leader

Role: Heavily involved with raid strategy. Decides group composition. Has to know encounters inside and out. Usually on test realms participating in testing encounters or reviews video footage to see what other groups are doing. Ultimately decides what the best raid strategy for the guild is. Doesn’t have to be the raid’s best player but definitely needs to be one of the top, consistent performers and setting the standard for everyone raiding under them.

Recruiting: Wants to know what skills a player brings to the table. Concerned about overall raiding experience. Is the player a class that is highly sought after by the guild? Can they perform at a level consistent with the guild?

Rewards: Wants to ensure any loot or drops go to the overall betterment of the raid group.

Motivation: Cares about progression. Will do almost anything to find ways to get the job done even if it means class stacking or unorthodox and unheard of raid strategies.

Conflict resolution: Their priority is ensuring the raid continues to run. Anyone that causes anything is either reprimanded immediately or removed so as to not disrupt the rest of the night. They understand and value player time.

Even though much of their time is going to be spent in the strategy room, raid leaders still need to make time to be out and about socializing with other players. Be careful though, get too close to individuals and it might become harder to cut them loose in the event they underperform. It happens all too often that a player is determined to to be a liability to the raid. The GM knows it. Other players have observed it and felt the same way. But the raid leader believes that they can still improve. To be fair, this is a fallacy that could happen to any officer and they’ll fight to keep a player in the raid instead of acknowledging the fact that they need more work or aren’t up to par with the rest of the raid.

Like the GM, being decisive is a huge trait for raid leaders especially when they’re working on new bosses. Sometimes a new strategy isn’t quite working the way it is. A new approach has to be quickly devised, explained, and then implemented. They can’t take their time polling the raid about what to do or perusing the rest of the internet quickly.

In raiding guilds, both positions are important. Both individuals must be patient. It’s certainly possible to be both the guild leader and raid leader but it tends to result in burnout and leaving the game fairly quickly before the guild even gets off the ground.

Good luck!