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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:38 pm 
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It was recently brought to my attention that the GOG has been rather silent in this forum so I wanted to take the time to give a little advice and information about us. This is the final approved version of what I wrote. I had started with the information but got a bit verbose so decided to start with the advice instead.

What I see as necessary for the formation of a Guild.


Find a home

A place to call your own. The MO:UL forums are wonderful but there is no place that is exclusively yours. You will need an area where business can be conducted off line so that members from different parts of the world can get the same information. This could be a private area of an established site or a brand new place. In Game just won't do that since many things can disrupt it.

Set a Goal

Each Guild needs to have a reason for being. What is it that you will provide? Will it be strictly IC? Make the wording of your goal as clear as possible. You still will have those who interpret it differently so be prepared to explain. Do you plan to interact with other Guilds? How would you do so?

Create a Structure

Someone has to be a point of contact and take care of your home. Keep in mind that no one is likely to want to be in a guild that does not listen to its members. Each Guild will need to decide if it wants to have Ranks or not and what they entail.

Create a Process

How will members join? What will be required of them? What happens if they just don't measure up or disappear? Be as flexible as you can without compromising the Goals of your Guild.

Develop a Diplomatic Attitude

You will have critics no matter how well your guild is formed. Some criticism is acceptable and welcomed as it helps further your established goals. Some is just not needed. Learn to tell the difference and respond to it in a diplomatic way.

And the most important thing...Keep Having Fun!!!!

Now a bit about the GOG.

Quote:
Welcome to the Guild of Greeters
Written by Tijara
Thursday, 07 December 2006

The Guild of Greeters was established to assist new explorers to D'ni answering any questions they may have. Our mission is to ensure that a safe and fun time is had by all, and that someone will always be available to lend you a helping hand when you need it.

If you have any suggestions as to how we can further promote our greeting efforts, and ensure a welcoming atmosphere, please contact one of the Guild Masters or any member of the Guild.

We look forward to seeing you in the cavern or on our forum.


Source

For a history of the GOG please go here

Who are we?

We are just everyday explorers who volunteer our time to help new explorers get acclimated to the environment and controls of the game. Yes I mentioned 'game' since it would be nearly impossible to be IC and explain everything to someone new. Imagine how you would react if someone walked up to you right now, where ever you may be and asked, "How do I sit?"

Why do we do this?

We all enjoy MO:UL and its predecessors and want others to do so as well. Helping new explorers keeps things fresh for us and is our way of saying 'Thanks' to the Creators of this wonderful world.

We pay the same fee that any other explorer pays. We have a specific shirt but it is only so it is easier for new explorers to identify us. We do not get any special consideration or tools.

Where do Greeters Greet?

We Greet where ever we are. If you see someone in the Cavern and they are wearing a shirt with the Greeter "Helping Hands" logo, then they are "On Duty". Feel free to ask them for help if you need it or just say hi. Please keep in mind that they may be helping someone else using PM so it may take a minute to respond. We usually try to say hi to you as soon as we see you but sometimes that is just not possible. You can usually find a Greeter in the Guild of Greeters Bevin. We also try to cover the newest Bevins and the City whenever possible. Please keep in mind that we have never had enough Active Greeters to be everywhere at all times but we do what we can.

We also maintain a website, forum, calender and chat room where lots of information can be found.


Now a little about our structure.

In the Cavern we are all equal. We have no hierarchy but because we are a group, no single Greeter can speak for the entire Guild without consulting them first. We do this on our forums in that secret place that only Greeters have access to. We do not have any special area on MO:UL forums nor do we really need it. It is much easier to keep things all in one place.

Now, speaking of our forums, we do have a hierarchy of sorts there but that is so that we can maintain the forum and website and have specific people who can be contacted about an issue.

We have Guild Masters. They are the people who deal with the administration of our website and forums as well as PR and anything that no one else wants to deal with. They are the housekeepers of our home. That home has been generously provided by Grand Master Tij and her other half, Tech. Because of the time involved in maintaining a usable home, Guild Masters spend less time in the Cavern than they would like.


We have a wonderful group of Forum and Chat moderators. They keep things in the right places, often offer advice in the forums about the game as well as how to resolve technical difficulties. They maintain our forum rating of "E". This also takes away from their time in Cavern.

Then there is the Staff who provide content for our web pages. They are the ones who run out the minute new content is released and rush through it so we can not only keep our web site up to date, but provide solutions to other Greeters as soon as possible so we can answer questions. We do not get any more advanced notice than anyone else.

Then we have Greeters who are the backbone of our organization. They are the ones you are most likely to meet online. We would not exist without them. They are the ones who accomplish our goal. You can find the List of Greeters here.


We also have processes.

Not everyone should be a Greeter. Some just do not have the skill. Others just want that neat shirt and any other imagined perks available; there are no such perks. Because of this we have an application and a process of voting and interviewing. We have a dedicated group on the Membership Committee that makes these decisions. The Membership Committee is made up of all the forum groups but are primarily those who have been around for a long time and have shown their dedication. We often disagree with each other but eventually come to a mutually acceptable decision. A recommendation sent to the Membership Committee by a known Greeter helps a lot but is no guarantee of acceptance.

Once accepted, a New Greeter must be active on our forums. I don't mean that they have to post a lot but logging into the forums shows that they are still interested. This is also where we share Greeter stories and hints and what is going on. Greeters who have not logged into our Forums in over 180 days without contacting someone are demoted to explorer on the forum. Since Cyan (Thanks GreyDragon!) hands out the shirts, we have no way to remove them once they have been placed in a closet. This is the only gauge we have available so if you are a Greeter who is active in the Cavern but rarely go to the Greeters forum, please do so once in a while. We would hate to lose you.

New Greeters are also required to attend a training session and complete 16 hours in Cavern with an experienced Greeter who has volunteered as a mentor. This way we are able to correct some misconceptions a New Greeter may have and help them handle situations that might be stressful.

We have a feedback section on our forum as well as a form on our website. This allows us to get others' opinions and suggestions as well as handle any complaints. Please keep in mind that any complaint should be backed up with a chat log and/or reliable witnesses. We will listen to both sides and then take appropriate action. Usually, once a dialogue is opened and all are calm, a resolution can be found.


What we are NOT.

We are NOT an IC group. We can not do our jobs effectively if we need to remain In Character. It just does not work with our goals. That isn't to say that some of us, while "Off Duty" don't enjoy IC as much as others. The Guild as a whole would take direction from Cyan but not necessarily from the DRC.

We do NOT take sides in cavern politics. We are concerned with assisting with game mechanics and puzzle solving. None of this has anything to do with the storyline. We will respond to questions about the story with facts but not opinions. Any opinions would be those of an individual explorer but not the Guild of Greeters.

We are NOT cavern police. We can NOT stop someone from harassing you. What we can do is show you how to log the chat, how to put someone on ignore and how to contact a ResEng.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:20 am 
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If I ask a question- the GoG is now clearly going to be an IC entity. It's mentioned in Kirel, that's inescapable. So although it is impractical for Greeters to act entirely IC when helping people, are they happy to be an IC organisation?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:55 am 
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Ja'de,

That was really well written and I can see that a lot of time went into preparing that statement.

My only comment is close to Ushgarak's. It is possible to be both IC and OOC. That is what the DRC Restoration Engineers do. They will treat things as a game when necessary; they will explain to "type /sit" if asked how to sit, though they otherwise treat the Cavern as a real place.

But, I see that the IC/OOC issue need not be important for the GoG. I wouldn't expect Cyan to suddenly change the rules on you and require you to be IC. Being IC might also make staying out of politics a little more difficult. I think it is entirely workable that you may be referred to ICly even though your presence and work is conducted in an OOC manner.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:11 am 
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Thank you Marten. It is the work of all the Greeters and was posted with their permission. As to the Guild of Greeters being IC, I was under the impression that it was an option. I'm sure some minor aspects can be worked out with the DRC but primarily, we intend to stay as we are.

Maybe we can recruit a few Bahro as Greeters.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:29 am 
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Ja'de - thank you for taking the time to put together your advice to other guilds as well as a summary of the Greeters. This is invaluable during these initial months of the expansion of the Guild system.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:38 am 
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I echo the others' thanks. This wll prove invaluable as both a tool and as an object lesson.

Please don't hesitate to post again if you ever have more wisdom to impart.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Quote:
If I ask a question- the GoG is now clearly going to be an IC entity. It's mentioned in Kirel, that's inescapable. So although it is impractical for Greeters to act entirely IC when helping people, are they happy to be an IC organisation?


Perhaps I can help clear this up.

As an example, if you, an explorer, ask me, as a Greeter, "What's new?" I could answer you with "Nick White was fired" but that would be IC in my opinion. If you ask me why Nick was fired, I would then reply, "I do not know." I would not enter into the politics of why Nick was fired.

As to the offering of new ages, yes, definitely. It's part of the game.

There is a fine line drawn between IC/OOC. Greeters don't need to report the story line, even though it's part of the game. Greeters do not go into the politics or give opinions as to what they personally think about the story line.

Gee...wouldn't it be fun to greet next to a Bahro...is that IC or OOC?

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Last edited by Mareth on Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:58 pm 
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Thanks. I understand the idea of acting both IC and OOC at once, it's a line everyone in a Guild will have to straddle. I only asked because the OP so strongly stressed the non-IC nature of the Guild.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:04 pm 
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Most Greeters move back and forth across the IC/OOC line quite easily. Most of us don't even pay much attention to the boundary... except when it comes to making political statements or standing with a particular group.

Greeting is open to all. We serve everyone who asks, without regard to any group membership. By helping them we're neither agreeing nor disagreeing with their politics or beliefs. Sometimes players will try to drag us into things, but we're pretty good at remaining neutral.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:43 pm 
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Ushgarak wrote:
Thanks. I understand the idea of acting both IC and OOC at once, it's a line everyone in a Guild will have to straddle. I only asked because the OP so strongly stressed the non-IC nature of the Guild.

Lord Chaos wrote:
but we're pretty good at remaining neutral.

The official GoG stance on IC/OOC and one that we have held true to since our conception back in 2003 ... is that we remain IC/OOC neutral. We neither support, nor discourage those who want to play either way ... or both. As Greeter's we stick to one thing ... and that is helping an explorer ... whether new or seasoned ... with what ever question they may have regarding the game or game play.

Some Greeter's are better with story content, while others are not. Some are experts with puzzles, while some are not. You get the idea ... we work with each other and balance this out ... all for the greater good of helping the explorer in need.

Now for my PERSONAL FEELINGS ... not speaking as a or for Greeters.

Despite what Cate may say ... the Greeters have defined rules and guidelines that were drawn up over 4 years ago ... long before she ever came into the cavern. If she has plans and goals concerning the Guilds and Guild structure, then it would be in her best interest to contact the individual groups DIRECTLY instead of making blanket public statements and expecting everyone to jump and follow her command. I know that many ... myself included ... do not trust Cate and we still have no real idea of who she is or where she came from.

Historically, the GoG has never answered to DRC. As a matter of fact they (GoG) have never had any dealing with the DRC other than there occasional appearances in the GoG hood. Durings Prologue (2003/2004) the DRC were even requested and they abided by the decision to not come into the GoG hood as it was very disruptive to the primary goal of the GoG. The GoG originally answered to Ron Mieners (Ubisoft) and then to Cyan (via GD) during Until UrU and to present.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:21 pm 
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The only thing that I think that I can add to this i - that it is my hope that the other new guilds will learn a little from our experience and take our lead with regards to their formation.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:47 am 
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For me, as a new greeter, and looking at the guilds, one of the most important things is the application/approval process.

My personal view is that every one should be able to apply to join the Guild of their choice, but that the application process should ensure that only those best suited are able to join.

Lots of people will want to join the Guild of Writers, for example, but only those who can actually 'write' 'ages' (be that IC or OOC or some amalgam of both) should actually become members. After all, how could anyone have confidence in the Writers if a big chunk of their members can't actually produce ages.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Ged's comments are something I agree with, although I think that the guilds will need to be very careful in managing the expectations of those who are not admitted as members.

In today's society where failing students may be told they are "succeeding differently", and where cries of "elitism!" are shouted whenever a person is excluded from an organization, we need to draw a clear and distinct line between "elite" and "competent."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:10 am 
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Thanks for the wise and wonderful explanation! As an ex-Greeter from the first coming/going of URU Live (I was CountryEastern) I can say that I took both IC and OOC queries, hoping to put both into proper perspective. But being an non-IC explorer, I offered no opinion or encouragement concerning the current storyline, but instead referred explorers to the nearest expert, or the DRC website. I walked the line. Everyone enjoys the game on their own terms.

Back then, I also took a lot of people by the hand and journeyed with them, as Greeters do now. This was much more enlightening than trying to explain a character or story (and much less boring than sitting on the fountain with a wet tushie!)

I think all new Guilds can learn a lot from the GOG's success. But a Bahro in the hood in a turquoise T-shirt would be great!

:)

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