*Forewarning, this gets heavy!*
I have been looking into the guild’s ranking structure for a couple of months now but I had been at a stalemate since the ranks I originally felt needed alteration seemed more important than I had given them credit for.
As with any big decisions while managing a community of this size, if you are not sure of the change you intend on making then it’s best to give it more time and consideration rather than being hasty with a change that ended up being wrongly implemented or badly planned. I usually prefer to wait and mull it over before being rash, certainly on overall guild management. Seemingly ‘rash’ decisions I do make from time to time to chastise a player for example are rarely unconsidered and are almost always intended to prove a point, I digress…
A chance chat with our favourite Illia brought to a head a real and tangible reason I could use to instigate a change in the rank system that I probably was going to take longer to decide upon. My initial issues surrounded the fact we have only 10 ranks, I don’t like ‘Air Raider’ rank and that I’m not sure ‘On Jankers’ applies these days in our guild.
Having taken time to think about these 2 ranks in particular, the more I thought about them the more I realised the guild needs the actual ranks. Jankers is important because it’s basically a timeout spot where an officer can send a player (or usually more than 1 player) who is disrupting the guild chat with unruly behaviour. It’s most often used as a threat and it usually works. I actually think there is an element of shame the rank brings and people who have been plopped there all too often are so incensed by the terrible injustice of it all, that they actually quit the guild in protest. I think there must be a rank there for that purpose so I’m happy I have managed to retain it.
Air Raider was fine except that the rank name totally sucks so what I have decided to do is basically move all the previous ranks up 1 to meet Air Raider and then filtered them back down, starting with Air Raider being renamed Chief Tech. That filtering alteration affects Sergeant predominantly and the promotion prospects of players in the rank of Corporal to Sergeant.
Generally speaking, the average Dambuster who joins the guild and plays the game sparingly, while proving their trustworthiness to the guild, will rank up quickly to Corporal and then to Sergeant after some time. Thereafter the only further adjustments possible are to become Chief Tech by appointment from the raid leadership, or by sealing promotion to an officer position.
Previously, I liked the steady progression of Corporal to Sergeant and then Chief Tech being the pinnacle of a standard, reliable Dambuster. It was actually a more convoluted process of promotions before I introduced Air Raider to the guild and nowadays, with guild bank repairs in danger of at least being reduced due to the removal of the guild’s ability to generate gold from our members’ solo activities in-game, I think it’s now the right time to further compact that standard rank progression.
Gone are the days of a steady, linear Dambusters career path up our ranks with time and good deeds. Our ranks have more purpose these days and in many ways that’s for the best.
The single biggest change I have just made however, will be the biggest change we have seen in this guild since the introduction of a raid team, or the 2-tier officer system. It’s a huge change from only a small physical alteration and it’s the demand that Illia made on me that forced it. He made the point that he is always having to log one of his pair of officer ranked characters to do something as simple as to invite a well-known Dambuster’s alt to the guild. I confirmed how frustrating that situation is with Gen who fully agreed with Illia’s concerns. To be fair, this gripe has been a mainstay for Dambusters’ officers for a very long time.
I logged offline and sat down with a piece of paper and wrote down the ranks:-
After a bit of shuffling, I pulled out Air Raider and moved Chief Tech up into the old Air Raider spot. I then moved Sergeant up to take the old Chief Tech’s allowance and permissions.
I then added Officer Alt and dragged it up after realising Illia (as Officer Alt) couldn’t demote anyone above himself on the list. At the time of creation, Officer Alt was above Dambuster Alt and below Corporal.
I moved it up to just behind a Flight Sergeant and gave it basically the same permissions. This means that officers have their main character (only 1 now) in the primary rank of Warrant Officer or Flight Sergeant while every alt assumes Officer Alt rank:-
Chief Tech (Raider)
This is a very simple shift but it makes for a profound change in how smoothly the guild will be able to operate. For a start, officer alts are able to invite players to join the guild. This means that a recruitment officer may now process an application from whichever character they happen to be playing at that moment. It also means that any officer may invite an alt character who is already in the guild. Massive quality of life change right there. They cannot promote but an officer who invites an alt must immediately update the character’s public note to inform the guild who’s alt they are. From there a Warrant Officer or myself will then be able to see who it is and promote them to Dambuster Alt.
*Told ya this gets heavy didn’t I*
The other additional quality of life change means that Shethehunter and her newly reinstated guild bank management partner Poca, will be able to manage the guild bank from any character. In addition, any officer on any character can help! They will also always be able to read and participate in officer chat which has been anything but the case until now.
One more benefit of this system is that guild members will immediately be able to see which officers are online by simply opening the in-game guild pane and checking ranks. All too often we see the question ‘any officers online?’ …and tbh that may very likely still happen lol, but I can guarantee it will be massively reduced and almost all but the dimmest of Dambusters will immediately be able to direct their need for guidance onto an officer of their choice who they can clearly see is online.
Only now having implemented these changes am I able to see the profound quality if life breakthrough it will have in my officer team. It’s never been on my mind because I have always been able to do all these little tasks since I insist on my alts being Warrant Officer so I may be able to promote/demote and carry out as many tasks as possible while I altoholic my way through the game. I’ve been blinkered and have forgotten that the officers don’t have those priveleges. Until now!