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The Guild Master's Handbook: The Best Voice Chat and Guild Communication Techniques for MMORPGs
Communication Tools: Part 1
Your guild has its own chat channel. This is an easy way to speak to your guild for short messages, updates and to answer quick questions. It also provides you with the message of the day. The message of the day can be changed by you and the officers you give permission to. It is a good place to mention upcoming events, your voice chat address, website address and other essentials. The abbreviation for this is MOD (Message of the Day).
It is not a good option for anything that takes time to explain, meetings, raids, or events. It does not work for gaming as your hands are occupied with the controls. And for this reason impossible to use in PvP or PvE.
You will need to use a voice chat application to speak and listen to members. It allows you to give direction and orders to many people simultaneously without using your hands. It allows you to focus on the event be it a raid or dungeon. It brings community to your guild and adds another dimension to the virtual reality world you inhabit.
You will need it for guild meetings, planning sessions and more in depth discussions about anything - it is very useful and without it you will have a very hard time managing a medium to large guild.
You will have a main raid channel for large PvP raids. Here, your members log in, be quiet and follow the directions of the chosen raid leader. It is important that they be quiet and listen. Likewise when running a dungeon or killing a world boss - everyone must listen for directions and remain silent. A good idea is to set up channels for people to chat casually, for specific dungeons, for your officers and also a private channel that only you as the GM can enter and allow people to enter. Everyone in your guild needs a user name and the guild's password to enter the chat client.
The most popular ones for large numbers of people are Ventrilo and Teamspeak. Mumbl is also popular as an Open Source option. All three work on MS, Mac and Linux platforms. They are hosted on a server. Guild Masters typically pay a small monthly fee for usage and the amount of people who can be online at the same time. Using Ventrilo (vent) for example, allows you to make different channels so that groups of people playing together can speak to one another undisturbed. Essentially the options are all similar with Teamspeak, Mumbl and Ventrilo.Finally, Raidcall is free and like Ventrilo. Many people are now using Raidcall as it does not require a server fee.
Skype can be used for small guilds with a 10 person maximum and it is free.
In game voice chat
Some games have their own integrated voice chat systems. They can be used for chatting and casual play but not for large scale PvP. You as the Guild Master have no control over who speaks and who does not either. Most of the time the integrated voice chat is used for PuGs (pick up groups) and it works fine here so long as the system functions well. In WoW there is a system like this. It is not a popular choice for serious guilds with community objectives. Another game, Neverwinter, a free to play MMORPG has one too. It works well for casual groups. Other games use these systems to the same effect. They are useless for the large coordination and communication of one or two people directing many. I use Ventrilo for this and it used to be the only available option. And you have complete control of the system.
Your Guild Website
A guild website is needed so you can have a place for people to read your guild charter, rules, guides and advice. It is also where you can have forums for all topics related to the guild and game. There are many free websites that host guilds for MMORPGs
Communication Tools: Part 2
In Game Mail
In every MMORPG there is a mailbox that one can use to send and receive typed messages. Guild Masters can use this to send messages to the entire guild in most games and also to individual members. I use it to thank people individually and to send them rewards for doing a great job and supporting the team. It is also a good a good way to prove you sent something that is worth a lot in the game as you can take screen shots.
Use Communications Officers
I suggest using officers for communication. Choose the most social, helpful and talkative type of people. Make sure that they are willing and able to take on the responsibility. They should know the game well and be a naturally helpful person with a charming disposition. People like this who join your guild are extremely important. Often they are liked by everyone and do not get stressed out from the game. A communication officer represents your guild and so they need to be wise, kind, patient and helpful. It is a hard position to do well and often overlooked. Using 2 or 3 people like this also drastically frees up your time as the leader of your guild to actually lead! You can send players to them or even tell them to send a message to them.
Private Chat - Tells - PMs - Whisper
In the game chat there is an option to speak to one person only. This can be used to talk with a person one to one. It should be used sparingly because if you have many people sending you messages you will be talking to all of them separately but at the same time. I prefer not to use this. You can not always be available to be interrupted while you are online. And remember you also need to play and have fun too. Remember to manage your online time carefully.
Poll: What is your favored voice chat application?
What application do you use for your guild?
More Advice and Guild Tips
For all of my posts from The Guild Master's Handbook please see the following link. And thanks for reading! I will continue to add more and more sections until the Handbook is complete.
- RandallJonas on HubPages
Here are all the present handbook articles to help you run your guild. Visit my profile and select the topic you wish to read. Happy gaming!
Please remember that I did not know how to run a legion when I started off in 2004, I learned some of what I know from playing in other guilds. And some it from the very best types of guilds. It was only after many years that I was able to make a name for myself online and I did not do this alone. I had many friends, officers, assistants and just great people who helped me.
And without all of these people and my own personal experiences of what I like about certain guilds and what I absolutely hated about others - I would never have come up with something I am happy about.
Thanks for reading!
©Randall Jonas 2014
© 2014 Randall Jonas