I'd been OOCly approached last evening by Moriay with an idea for a bake sale, the proceeds of which are meant to benefit Stormwind University, as a show of investing in the furthering of education throughout the Eastern Kingdoms and beyond!
We later had a brief, ten minute (real-time) IC meeting where Moria expressed this, (so that we could be official! lol) also, dropped off a box of exotic teas as an act of goodwill and neighborly respect! (It seems that EBC has recently chosen the Town Hall building next door to us as their off-time HQ!)
Dean Crowelley responded with an open reception to Moria's proposition, however, offered that she would need to discuss this further with her Administrative Council and the general Faculty. Amara had also strongly expressed that SWU doesn't have any current financial difficulties, nor any such problems with procuring funding. Dean Crowelley further added that if the Eastern Blade Consortium intends to altruistically and sincerely raise funds to donate to the University, she sees no issue with it presently, but nothing solid should be concretely planned prior to her conferring with the rest of the University first. There was also brief follow-up discussion regarding the enrollment of Moria's two young daughters at the University! (She NPC's them, to the best of my knowledge.)
My impression of this is that it'll be an EBC-run event, for those curious, but I guess we (Stormwind University) will be the listed cause? I want to make sure that it's known to the WrA community that SWU isn't in any kind of IC dire straits, however, because we aren't. :P (We're also clearly not in any OOC dire straits either, but that's hardly germane.) Moria plans to offer baked goods, sweets and various other snack-type refreshments for this fundraiser event, and intends to generate GHI items to this end. (For those who are interested or already have GHI downloaded!)
Sometime after Melisandrë's induction, the Main Offices were visited by Lady Ilidremae DeLesandre. Moria has delegated her as the Consortium's ambassador to Stormwind University, in this matter and presumably all others pertaining to our organizations' potential future relations. (Although Amara and Moria are good friends, and Dean Crowelley could have her ear anytime she likes, if a situation ever warranted such.)
Lady DeLesandre seemed pleasant enough and stated not only her own, but her family's (House DeLesandre) keen interest in the furthering of education and the continued development of minds - young and old - to prepare them for the times ahead. She'd also offered a tour of her family's noble homestead and free perusal of their personal libraries, should any of our esteemed faculty be interested. All she asked in exchange is for some small advance notice to prepare. :) On mention of the House DeLesandre personal libraries, Dean Crowelley took the opportunity to mention Professor Alandi Manablossom, her position as Department Head of Library and University Resources, and offered that Prof. Manablossom would very likely enjoy providing a tour of her own Library for Lady DeLesandre (and any others interested) sometime!
Maggie was quite admirably committed to her IC disdain for nobles and their Houses the entire time, though she wasn't obnoxious or overt about it. I add this because I found it deeply entertaining and I just wanted to applaud her openly here for the strong and compelling commitment to the role! <3 <3 <3 Furthermore, she and Wong, who had such impeccable timing in this situation, mostly spent the time cleaning the Office and working on some of that pesky paperwork!
Melisandre ICly jumped in with both feet fantastically, not feeling at all too shy or cowed to converse with Lady Ilidremae herself, and offer a fresh perspective on her mere hours of time as a full-fledged faculty member of Stormwind University! I love this level of involvement straight off the bat! :)
So, there's the update on the situation! I'm eager to hear feedback, in support of or against what transpired here. (Please keep it constructive! And I do ask kindly for open minds to new RP opportunities.) I happen to feel that this couldn't hurt, particularly since the onus is really on them, as we were the ones who were approached! If we're not satisfied with this, or any other IC inter-guild collaborations to come, we simply go back to what we've been doing all along and keeping us successful and well-reputed on WrA! The Stormwind University way! :D
Oh, also... Lady DeLesandre ICly provided a box of complimentary [Minty Bars] samples for the entire faculty to enjoy, in case that strikes anyone's RP fancy to express it as an IC detail. Think "Girl Scouts Thin Mints" for the taste of the [Minty Bars]! And of course, there's the box of teas that Moria had gifted the University with!
Thank you all for reading, and thank you in advance for any feedback that comes my way on this!
~^~ Amara ~^~
I'm not sure who else has really read this post, aside from Mac and Maggie, but I think the silence is resounding.
Just as an FYI, I never intended any of this to be a "have to do" sort of thing, but I thought in the spirit of being a proper OOC GM, I'd share a synopsis of an RP that occurred, which could present future RP opportunities for us. I thought I'd be completely open about things, and show all of you - my beloved friends and guildies - that I'm completely on the level and straight up with everyone in my daily oversight of this guild. (As per my duties, that is, I certainly don't do all of this alone!) I am absolutely IN FAVOR OF the happiness and well-being of this guild and its members, under any and all circumstances. I apologize if I've ever seemed too bold or insistent in steering this proverbial ship through the waters of WrA RP, particularly in this endeavor.
Stormwind University has always been a guild (OOCly) that has managed to gain an impeccably positive reputation on WrA and maintain a high standard of excellence in every aspect that we can personally manage. We've done this through our perpetually open RPs throughout not only Stormwind City, but the open world as well. We've accomplished this while remaining - for the most part - completely insular, in that we've never really needed another guild or organization to prop us up or support us in anything. We've furthermore managed this by a stringent but significant application and interviewing process, which has brought nothing short of the best PEOPLE, this realm has to offer! We're a real do-it-yourself guild, wholly self-sufficient, and I'm endlessly proud of that. It's not at all an easy accomplishment, as we've all seen, I'm sure. I am also proud of all of you, members both new and old. Dear friends, both new and old. You all give me reason to carry on as GM OOCly and the Dean ICly. Each day that I'm able to log onto WoW and see you all there, is another day that I can set all of the RL aside for a few hours and truly enjoy myself among what I consider my "second family".
Having said all of this, the following are several bulletpoints to make a few other things clear to all of you, with regard to my thought processes as GM, of late:
- Yes, I realize that we are a busy guild all on our own.
- Yes, I realize that we've got plenty of both in-house and community SWU hosted events to either plan, execute soon, or both.
- Yes, I also realize that I've been in a bit of a creative funk these last couple of months, and I haven't been cranking out the events, stories and RPs like I used to.
- Yes, I will do better at the above, and very soon!
- Yes, I've also heard some of you loud and clear, and realize that we'd far rather plan and attend big SWU events, instead of attending others' all the time lately. (Specifically, EBC's.)
- Yes, I fully realize that this guild - as it's always been - is a total group effort, and as such, I appreciate each and every one of you, and the creativity that you bring!
- Yes, my door is quite literally always open! When I say that I encourage feedback and want to know your opinions, I really do! Even if they run counter to my own!
- Yes, I do seek to foster plenty of interguild relations and collaborations, but NEVER at the cost of our own business and in-house affairs. SWU is ALWAYS my priority.
- Yes, I will continue to post community events - from all sources! - on the in-game guild calendar. These postings DO NOT signify any SWU related obligation to attend, however!
- Yes, I am fully and 110% committed to Stormwind University and its continued activity, good standing and reputation, and prosperity for a very long time to come.
And last, but certainly not least...
- Yes, this guild is ALL of YOUR guild, just as much as it's mine!
That's about all that I felt needed saying right now, and in truth, there isn't really any particularly major reason why I've said it here. Well, aside from the fact that the silence this thread had received in response called to mind a certain awareness that maybe no one really agreed with any of what I'd proposed and discussed in the OP. I clearly don't have any issues with EBC, Moriay or anything that they ask to include us in, but maybe the rest of you feel differently. The thing is, I don't know, because no one stepped up to tell me. Let's please be honest and open from here on out, folks, okay? I'm not going to bite anyone's head off here. I do, however, ask for some kind of reasonable suggestion or solution where possible, if there's an objection. I don't think that's too much to ask for, really. I welcome feedback; good, bad or indifferent, especially when it comes to this guild and my leadership of it. :)
Well.. That's my straight talk, I've yammered on for more than long enough by now.
Love you all...
~^~ Amara ~^~
Personally, "no news is good news" in this case. I like the idea, and I do relish inter-guild activities as it grows stronger bonds in the community and opens the door to new and fresh RP down the road for all involved.
I only didn't reply as it sounded fine but had no date, and therefore I had no idea whether or not I'd be able to assist/attend.
I know I'm with you, and I'll even bet most of the guildies agree with me here. Sorry we weren't as vocal as we normally are.
Amara, I'm so sorry I didn't respond sooner to this! I agree with everything mentioned above. I must confess that I did one of those things that I'm sure we've all done when texting or Facebook messaging our friends—read the post, and replied in my head something along the lines of, "Sweet! Sounds great!" without actually leaving any outward indication of my inward reply, haha.
To your original post: I'm 100% in favor. I see no reason not to be. Personally, I've never had a memorably bad experience with the Eastern Blade Consortium, and I'm in agreement that interguild events are a great way to build our reputation as a friendly, active, and quality guild both in and out of character. As far as our own events are concerned, in my book, roleplay is roleplay. Building the guild as a community is a wonderful and necessary thing, but we can still bond with each other while we bond with other guilds as well!
So, OOCly, you have my official endorsement :)
I still stand by my well-thought out and long-considered opinions on why we should use much caution in any dealings with EBC in light of events. I am not saying NO interaction, I am suggesting HEAVY caution. I will be happy to post my reasoning again for all the new people who may be unaware of the past issues with EBC and their approach to events (that doesn't at all match with our time-tested and exemplary procedures).
Also, I have never said we must NOT interact with other guilds. It's just that we are not an "anything goes" guild-- we have a specific niche and purpose that needs a to keep it's focus, lest we become one just one of the zillion run of the mill guilds on the server. Think about it in realistic purposes: why would university make formal ties with criminal guilds? Is that an image a university needs? House guilds-- are we to be ruled by any idiot who decides they are noble and now they seek to order us about or use our good name to further their own ends?
I am all about GOOD RP-- not wish-fulfillment or random socialising or stories that have been done to death by amateur RPers over and over. We are here to be part of a larger collective story-telling venture, and as such, we need to maintain our focus. Most of all- I am 100% about Storrmwind University. Why try to please and all and sundry simply to play popularity games? Quality over quantity-- that's the hallmark of SU!
There are workable compromises to be had-- but we must use CAUTION. This goes with any and all guilds courting us... and there is more than EBC doing this.
Maggie, I'd love to hear your reasoning behind why we should proceed with caution when dealing with EBC—as you've mentioned, I'm one of those unaware of past experiences this guild has had with them. However, I must say that every issue you've raised from an IC standpoint also makes sense to me. Admittedly, I'm a bit out of touch with most guilds on this server and who believes in what, etc. I had no idea that EBC bills themselves as a criminal guild.
As far as nobles and house guilds go, well, I'm not a fan of them either. ICly, I think it would make sense to partner with one though, depending on how SWU receives funding: are we a private university, largely dependent on tuition and generous donations from wealthy patrons and alliances? Or a "state" university (as it were), funded by the crown?
Oh yes! SU is a "state" university, but the house of nobles (the actual in-game, lore based mob, not the bozos playing such on Tumblr and calling themselves such in game via guilds) fund us slightly-- they were part of the fel arts storyline that we are ending, they wanted to shut us down if we started such a program. That threat is not yet over... but that's an OOC note. ICly all seems well. Sort of. ;) We also subsist on funding from altruistic guilds, regular citizenry and the like, and some funding from certain key IC patrons... I'll let those donors make themselves known. *wink*
And sorry-- I didn't mean to imply EBC is a criminal guild. I don't know them to be so as their guild purpose... but they do have a vested interests in certain activities, IC and OOCly, that are... of concern. :) Frankly, they need us far more than we need them. That's fine... but reciprocity! With logic! That's all I ask.
I'll post my reasons again on why we must proceed with caution with EBC-- with anyone. I wanted to do so this morning but the 502 bad fairy kept me off the site. D'oh! I'll try to get to it tonight, after Conclave and all. It's more of a post to clarify our standards... but I use EBC as a prime example of how events are often done half-assedly, and for OOC ulterior motives. Done wrong, and it makes SU look... tawdry. We are anything but! :) GO GRYPHONS! SU FOREVER! RAH RAH RAH!
I don't have anything against EBC on a personal level. However, the general census among guildies seems to be that their RP isn't all that enjoyable for most of us, and there is a sense that they are mostly only teaming up for their own convenience. Obviously I haven't RPed much since joining (almost to 1000 Tol'vir solves now!), but even when I did move about Stormwind or hop through the city, I rarely see them out, which says to me several things.
Mostly, my general thoughts are that EBC, despite being a "trading company," largely play their team along the same lines as guild that play Noble houses. My few interactions with them at invitational events seems to be that of characters who are more interested in standing about Stormwind looking down upon others (ICly, of course) than actually, well, playing the game. Some people enjoy that, and there's nothing wrong with it, but a University with several research departments doesn't have to play nobles. Ghaoithe, both me and her character, is a raider, and with that comes a desire of "Go get thing, grab the thing!, escape with the thing" towards events. Roll events, stories that have us getting out into the world, actual baddies, etc. The Black Hills events by Mac, though I haven't been able to attend lately, are a great example of fun guild-oriented stories.
No one plays Dungeons and Dragons to spend all their sessions arguing with the king; people play it to go slay a bunch of kobolds, even if the characters have different motivations for doing so. A few dances or date auctions here or there are fine, but they seem to be the prime objectives for "events" held by EBC, often with our members putting in the hard work or using our name to get the word out on WrA.
Events that bring the community together can be fun. The Conclave's anniversary faire last year is a prime example of a well-done and thoughtful event. We do the same with our lectures and weekly Literary Conclave. If we feel we can do more, we should, but that does not mean we should have to assist other guilds with every opportunity they bring up simply because they are nice to us OOCly. Plus, we're a university, not a high school marching band. There are lots of cool campus events (the L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC, for example), but I can't remember a major university with millions in endowments holding a bake sale of all things.
An event here and there with them is fine, but we shouldn't be jumping at every offer they give us especially when it seems their RP style clashes with the style of so many of our own. I rarely hear positive things about EBC when their events are mentioned in chat.
I'll go along with whatever, to be honest. Once I start RPing again, I typically don't turn down many happenings. But, since few seem to post on the forums for things like this, I figured I'd share my thoughts and what I've noticed among rumblings. If we wish to continue with EBC, that's fine and I can roll with it. But, it seems that many have reasons not to wish for that from what I've heard.
I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to finally respond, but I've been deeply considering all of the responses that have been posted here since my last one. :)
Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone for their vocalized support! No, it's not necessary to post here all the time, particularly when we all read something and agree with it, with nothing much further to add. But in this particular case, I'd pointed out the long silence only because I'm fully aware that there is something of a division line in the way other folks (and not just us, in Stormwind University, but others as well!) perceive Moriay, EBC and their cavalcade of "community events" that they seem insistent upon running every odd week or so. In truth, part of my impetus behind posting this thread in the first place was to gauge some sort of reaction from the rest of us! I figured it'd be a way to test the waters and not have to ask everyone individually what their thoughts were. xD
Anyway... I'd like to clear the air on a few things, purely based on my personal standpoint and what I know, regarding this entire situation:
OOCly, I consider Moriay a friend and she's on my btag. We're not the "talk every day and night, messaging back and forth" sort of friends, but we keep contact here and there. I had originally become acquainted, both OOCly and - through Amara - ICly, with Moriay back when she was still a member of The Northern Confederacy. Moriay approached me in whispers one day to invite us (SWU) to a large-scale ball that TNC was hosting. She mentioned that SWU has a great reputation on the realm, offered a great deal of praise about us and our strong community presence, etc., and frankly... It was encouraging. I didn't know her from Eve at that point, so to get this level of positive feedback and praise completely unsolicited felt pretty amazing.
For reasons unknown to me, nor do I care to know, TNC broke up and soon after Moriay and Levv had gone on to form Eastern Blade Consortium. To the best of my knowledge, EBC is a purely mercantile and trade organization, with no known criminal ties or backgrounds. HOWEVER... They do - whether knowingly or not, ICly - associate with known criminal RP guilds such as The Coldwall Collective. It's my understanding that they also associate with some House guilds, such as House Stygian, and on a practical level I do have to agree with what everyone else has posted above. Nowadays, EBC has chosen the Town Hall building next to our IC offices as their HQ, for when they're not doing guild events or missions, and basically in their off-time. No, they aren't as community-oriented as we are - not even close - with the exception of the events that I'm always receiving calendar invites for.
Here's where my personal mindset, and the things I've personally discussed with Moriay and expressed to her recently comes into play:
This past Friday, I went to host the second Bachelor Auction for EBC, purely because I'd previously agreed to it and I'm not the type to shirk my obligations that I make to people. I did end up having a good time, but admittedly, that was purely because I had carte blanche to do whatever the hell I wanted to, and I chose to entertain people the entire time with jokes and banter both during and in-between auctions. (I'd been sent whispers and raid chat compliments in abundance to that effect, but that's hardly relevant!)
There was no real IC reason why Amara, the Dean of an esteemed University, would be hosting a Bachelor Auction, particularly for another organization's benefit. (Although, the proceeds WERE meant for charities, so I suppose that's ONE good reason she'd do it!) I agreed to the hosting duties for more of an OOC reason, because a friend had asked me to. I didn't set it as a calendar event because I really didn't think that the auction really interested anyone. The last time, one of the biggest complaints I'd gotten (from both SWU members and non-SWU friends in other guilds) was that it was boring and there was very little room for actual RP or interaction of any kind. I can't disagree, really. But again, this wasn't my event nor was it being sponsored by SWU. As far as I was concerned, I wasn't the "boss" there, I didn't call the shots.
Except, it seems that I do...?
Hours before the Bachelor Auction on Friday, Moriay whispered me while I was leveling and asked if I didn't mind coming by the venue location to get all of the event details nailed down and out of the way. I arrive, Moriay is there with a couple of her EBC people. I ask what the plan is, tell her that I retained my notes from the last auction, and is there anything that I need to update. I'm getting half-assed, non-committal answers or "I don't know, what do you think?" and I'm really becoming more and more irritated, as this wasn't what I'd anticipated for a "planning session". Then, her EBC buddies that are hanging around keep distracting her and they're all jumping around and I'm sitting there, incredulous, with proverbial pen in hand and waiting for some kind of direction.
So finally I said, "Look, you called me out here to get things set up and ready for later, and you're all dicking about. Let me know when we're done fucking around, and I'll come back later." This of course stops everyone in their tracks. Good. It should have. I reminded Moriay that this is her event, and EBC's, and not mine or SWU's. Which then calls to mind my next question to Moriay: "Where ARE your other guildies? Isn't anyone else helping you with this?" A fair question, I think, considering for as many of these EBC events I've attended and/or directly helped with, I rarely if ever see any actual EBC members helping out. She tells me that her guildies would much rather participate in the events, than actually help run them. This number includes the two EBC members who were distracting her just moments before.
...Cue detailed rant on how anyone could possibly run "guild events" without actual guild assistance.
I tell her that she needs to rein her guild members in, and suggest that she probably shouldn't be running any more guild events until she's got things well in hand. Sure, it's appropriate to ask for outside assistance from other guilds from time to time, particularly in the face of an emergency or if someone loses connection, etc. (It's how I ended up being asked - on Amara - to preside over her marriage to Levv! >_>; ) Or if it's an event where you NEED your guildies freed up for something! But when their response is: "I want to attend, but not do anything else." then that's just piss-poor and lazy. So... I facepalm and proceed to take over completely, making all of the necessary changes and adjustments to my event notes, then log off to go do my nightly stuff before the auction was set to begin. Again, I did have a good time and it seemed to me like others had as well. But, not to toot my own horn here, I shudder to think what it might've been like had I left and not bothered to return that night.
If I painted Moriay or EBC in any kind of negative light, it really isn't my intention. (In truth, outside of Moriay and a select few others, I don't even know most of the members of the guild.) The point of all of this, is that I am well-aware of the notions that others have and I've even experienced them firsthand. Since the Bachelor Auction, I've decided to take an indefinite leave from hosting or running any further EBC events for them. Maybe Moriay will take much of my advice into consideration, maybe not. It's her guild, she's the GM. Admittedly, I'd agreed to do much of the hosting and garnering our SWUnies to attend these events as I've been, mainly to continue inter-guild AND community-wide relations. But I've since come to realize that the effort spent there could be far better spent on our guild from here on out. After all, we have plenty of events upcoming and we're on the precipice of being super-active as a guild once again! :D (We're always active, but you know what I mean!)
I am not, however, suggesting any kind of ban on RP with EBC members!
This viewpoint speaks purely to running their events for them from here on out. I know that they've been visiting our offices and attempting to start some interactions here and there; That, I have no issues with! On the record, I continue to feel that ongoing interactions with other guilds can potentially strengthen our good name and reputation out there in the WrA community. My position on that hasn't changed one bit, despite all that's been said here, and EBC is included in that.
I'm really sorry for the long-winded post! I just felt I needed to offer some kind of reasonable response to all of this, particularly from my unique point of view as the person running their stuff lately. :P Thank you all for reading.
~^~ Amara ~^~
Thank you for the feedback, Amara :) It helps, as a newer member, to hear about the varying interactions people have had with other RP guilds on the server. The scene has changed a bit since I was last active in RP (early last summer), so it's nice to be updated a bit on who's who, what they do, etc.
I also recall that TNC Ball, was my second or so event with you SWUnies. . . . actually . .. here . . .
(no Mocking my HUD or Hotkeys, or if you have questions, PM me, also don't look at my mini-map icons, I know )
They were a fun group to interact with, and I rather enjoy them being our neighbors, gives life to the area.
Nice to hear some clarification from Den-Mother-Amara on what happened, and if they wish to continue to attend our events, splendid, we shall run them and they will hopefully have fun. I would not mind attending some of their events should we continue to be invited, the only reason I dont attend more inter-guild activities is RL conflicts+guild dedication, but I LOVE attending the Ship-In-A-Bottle (whadup Bottleneckers!), as well as stalking the Terenas Foundation for bags for my lowbies (Shout-out Katgrinis Jr!) and hope to expand our extra-guild presence to as diversity is educational and build stronger communities/better RP and more cohesive practices which make for smoother RP.
Odd thought, I believe there are SOME guilds that might be a great boon to Moriay's guildies who just want to jump into events, I believe Yielding Veil, Stormwind City & Stormwind Patrol, might be able to assist with crafting events & scenarios for them, at least that's the inclination I've gotten from those guilds, don't know for sure.
I've considered doing just such things myself on occasional flights of fancy, but haven't gotten anything solid enough for it to contact those groups. Hell. I know I wouldn't mind running such a thing, creating is so much easier when someone else gives you a prompt, well, usually. RAMBLING, sorry.
We agree Boss-Lady, and I am glad we have friends in the community we can be honest with and move forward, makes us awesome, and them awesome as well, we can only help each other grow in such relationships, and I look forward to that.