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Epic Slant Press is a small publishing company based in North Carolina that currently focuses on books and games. Positivity is the driving force that guides each and every project that the company takes on. The team strongly believes that with a positive outlook anyone can achieve great things. Epic Slant Press strives to support small and local businesses, aid fellow entrepreneurs, and donate a portion of all profits to charities and good causes.


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Think of a time when you went back to a store or restaurant and an employee there remembered your name. That simple act probably gave you warm feelings (and might help retain your business!). How about a day when all of your customers were angry or just apathetic, and then you had that one customer that was cheerful and grateful for your help? Positive encounters like these make lasting impressions and it is our mission to better serve the community by creating as many of them as possible.

Pre-Expansion Slumps

AnzelIt is not uncommon for a guild to start on a downward slope when an expansion draws to an end. With new content looming people start to be less keen on repeating the old encounters over and over again. Many might wonder what the point is when in a few months something new will come along and brush the old aside. Guild’s get a little something that I call the “End of Expansion Blues.” Iniquity is going through it right now and we’re certainly not the only guild.

The sky is falling

One of the first things you’ll see as a guild leader is a reduction in raid attendance. In smaller guilds like Iniquity force reduction can be pretty devastating. Each body that isn’t there means a huge loss for us. In larger guilds it means using your second string players. In either event your success rate will decline and people will question whether you can continue on. Each failure seems to snow ball and before you know it everyone is calling gloom and doom. This is where the guild’s management needs to step in and right the house. This is not something new. In fact it happens all the time.

The first step is to be honest and upfront with your players. Acknowledge the problem and accept that it exists. People get tired of doing the same old encounters over and over again. There is no shame in that. We play MMORPGs to enjoy ourselves and support our friends. If we’re really hating the game we can’t support our friends as well. Explain to your members what the issue is and try to meet them half way. Perhaps cut raid days back or only focus on what they want to do. It is better to do that than nothing at all.

Once you’ve acknowledged the problem you need to accept that it isn’t personal. When guild members take breaks it is not a reflection on you or the guild. It is a reflection on the game itself. Everyone assumes that a “loyal member” will never break ranks and that is just rubbish. We wear out. We need a battery replacement. Be kind to everyone that goes on break. When they say “quit” you say “break.” Tell them you’ll see them later. Trust me, chances are you will. New expansions bring people out of the woodwork unless they feel there is no bridge home. Give them that bridge.

Soothe the others

Ensure that the guild members that remain during the slump period know it is temporary. Instill them with the confidence that when the new content is released the guild will pick up again. Players will return and they need to believe that. Let them know that everything isn’t as dark as it seems and that they’ll be fine. You can even address certain temporary situations. For instance, I’m in Germany and unable to play. That means that Iniquity is a healer and officer short. That isn’t permanent. I’ll be back. Use that knowledge to give confidence! People just want to be in the loop.

Always remember that a guild full of friends is strong. People come and go temporarily but they always know the way home. Don’t give up on them, keep a positive attitude, and adjust your play style to meet the slump. After all, it is better to go into a new expansion hungry than worn out and ready for a break.

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2 Responses to Pre-Expansion Slumps

  1. Starseeker says:

    Thank you for posting this. Every guild I’ve went through goes through this, and the summertime/holiday slump. With eq2 releasing their expansion in Feb, its a double wammy since you get not only the holidays, but pre-expansion slumps. Last year, my guild had a hard time recovering from people breaking for the holidays and then loosing interest when they returned. Eventually they did come back, but it was a long recovery (month or 2 after the xpack released) before we were able to even get into the new content that a lot of us were ready to do. Patience is a virtue.

  2. Lomax says:

    The “giving them the bridge home” struck a chord with me as I think I’ve experienced bad leadership where this wasn’t followed.

    Before I found EQ2 I used to play a lot of WoW, there we got fairly hardcore with raiding, to the point of organising raids myself.

    However I burned out on the game, and worse still lost interest in the expansion then and the direction the game was going in, I keep in touch with friends there via vent and we have met up in real life a few times since.

    So in the past year I’ve paid a month and fired the account back up, but despite being a founding member of the guild, never causing any drama and I’d like to think always being helpful I found months later all my characters demoted to just a member. A friend spoke to the guild leader to get me reinstated to a raid leader, but apparently I hadn’t been on long enough to show that sort of commitment, no raid leader=no ability to use the calender to organise raids, chicken and egg anyone?

    Of course there are a ton of officers who are absent but have not been demoted for over a year, I have a suspicion that my interest in another game (EQ2) was the real cause for this since some of the players are hardcore fans of the game so another game is perceived as a threat?

    Its not a road block stopping me from playing the game since if the game alone was good enough to motivate me I could join up elsewhere, its not going to happen though as the problems with the games direction that caused me to leave have gotten worse since I left (and graphically its now making my eyes bleed ;) But seriously even back when I first started playing it after guildwars the graphics were never a plus).

    The friends there are the big draw to coming back to the game, but without a bridge back the decision is easy.

    A great post by the way, I think serious guild leaders should read this to get a different perspective on things, especially when as fans of a game I know myself how hard it is to be subjective/constructive at times.

    As for my EQ2 guild, we are too casual for this sort of drama to effect things, but despite that I’m keen to get new and returning players fired back up into the guild, especially when I see people in need of something to do.

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