The Advantages of a Guild Meeting—MMO Buddies IRL
I’ve been leading a guild on World of Warcraft for the better part of four years now, rounding down. We’ve been around since the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion, and we’ve seen our share of ups and downs.
One night, however, as my guildies and I were hanging out on Discord, someone suggested that we should do a guild meeting. Now, we’d flirted with the idea of meeting up in real life before, but it was never the right time and I could never host people. That night, I’m unsure what devil came over me, but I said yes. Not just yes, I said I would host it.
Yeah? And how’d you do it?
The first thing that came to mind was how I was going to host this. That, and a mild panic over what I’d gotten myself into. And the first lesson I learned was just how well you can rely on your other guildies to fill in the gaps. I immediately had one of them offer his services as a cook, as well as supplier, provided we divided the expenses over everyone. The food in total was no more than 30 dollars a person for the whole week. That’s that covered!
Second challenge was how we were going to get everyone to Sweden, where the meeting would be held. What followed was an intense mapping session. We even sent a guildie who lived nearby to make sure all the transportation ran smoothly.
Then came the matter of rather strong personalities. In every community there’s always going to be people who don’t see eye-to-eye. Some of them straight up don’t get along, and if your purpose in the guild is different from, simply put, socialising, you will have a difficult session. So we’d have to make sure that no such personalities were going to erupt during the meeting.
And once there? We rented a car amidst ourselves to ferry people back and forth. All in all, that wasn’t too bad either.
Come the day of the meeting, people began arriving, slowly but surely trickling in throughout the day, and we ended up having 19 people arriving over the course of two days. These would be our company for the rest of the week. And… I have to say, my expectations were surpassed.
Here are some of the things we planned for the week we spent together. First… grills. There are few things as easy to bond over as the enjoyment of some fantastic meals together. So, getting some grilling done with a few drinks is one of the best ways to break the ice.
On the subject of drinking, it is a great way to break the ice, but be sure to always keep 3-4 people sober, depending on the size of the group, to make sure no one goes overboard. Even if we’re all adults, each person has a different notion of what they can and can’t handle. Being the first time we met one another, these boundaries are bound to be tested. In our particular instance, it was quite tranquil and we didn’t have troubles.
Magic tournaments! A few people brought in their Magic the Gathering cards that they’d collected over the years. Several thousand cards in a box, all common and uncommon, which we could choose from to make our own decks. This way we made sure everyone had an equal cap in expertise. We made our own decks on the spot and held our tournaments with lower tier cards. That alone took a few good evenings.
That was only some of it. There was hiking; there was also a couple of outings to the nearby beach as well!
So what’d I learn?
In the end, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had in the past couple of years. We had a lot of fun, held Magic the Gathering tournaments, cook-offs, grilling, and goodness did we have our fair amount of drinks. The new people were great and completely surpassed my expectations of them.
We spend a lot of our time online with people we barely even know, and life’s too short not to get invested. My advice to you is, if you’ve got the chance to take that leap of faith, do it. Maybe some of the people you meet online might just surprise you.
I know mine have.