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Thread: The GL's Lament

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    The GL's Lament

    Ahh... the trials and tribulations of holding that Rank-0 slot in your guild.

    My guild has been around since fall of '05 in Vanilla-WoW... I can hardly count the number of times we've gone through some sort of evolution in raiding. We started out in 40-man days as a coalition guild... we were determined to wrench every but of content, without becomming one of those over-populated guilds where you hardly know the person raiding next to you...

    Then in after TBC release, the original guild-Leader and his wife departed for greener pastures on another server, and disbanded the guild, all but my one (at the time) level 60, since I had 'named' the guild... and about 6-months later, with the help of another former officer and a couple others, we rebuilt, friends came back, we recruited, and one of the new officers took it upon himself to build out a 25-man raiding squad at the release of TotLK.

    now we are not like most guilds in that we cater specifically to older players. I can't say we didn't have ANY teens in the guild, but the ones we had were very mature, or were children of active raiding members, and you could almost count them on one-hand. Mostly we had a good mix of college kids who were constantly around to run things, and married-couples who wanted to raid together, as well as professional peeps with familes of their own who had limited time to play, etc... etc... We built in breaks at appropriate 'bed times' for folks to be able to tuck their munchkins into bed, or peeps to let their critters out, etc.. etc.. (I think that aspect is pretty common, though)

    We got on our server's progression list (even captured a 'server first' kill, which on our server is an honor dominated primarily by one guild). The applications were flying in. we were turning down folk, maybe not every day, but it seemed like 3 or 4 per week... -and our guild-application has questions on it like... "who shot first, Greedo? or Han solo" -you know, cuz we're looking for people that would remember those days. but anyway... yeah, so... wading through app's, to the point we decided to have a lose requirement of a personal reccommendation from a current member if the applicant hadn't specifally spoke with a guild-officer prior to submitting the application.

    These were the Salad days.

    Well, over time... people's job's changed... folk got married... were finishing school and needed to find work... started reproducing future raiders... or just grew weary of WoW as recreation and decided they needed a change. -this is normal. In fact... this is expected. We few Freaks who can stay committed to one game full time for multiple years are strangely in the minority... go figure.

    So over time, our core raiders rotated out, and were replaced by new folk. This is also expected, particularly in the few months leading up to a major expansion. Folk just get tired of the grind and start gravitating away from (if you can gravitate 'away') the life of the raider. -even for me... my own life went through a major upheaval and I had to take a back seat to raiding, hell, even playing the game, for months on end.

    Because our guild was a council run guild, we began to find that there were fewer and fewer active 'council members' and the running of the guild (and raid-support) fell to just a few. We tried to bring in more help, but over time, the influx of folk willing to put the time and effort into the managing aspect was unable to keep up with the outflux of folk spending less and less time playing. (again, I believe this to be a common characteristic of online gaming communities)

    Well, here's the lament.

    As it happens, with a new job and life situation, I am back in the game fulltime, but work prevents me from being able to log in between the hours of 2pm and 11pm (server time) -which pretty much knocks me out of almost all raiding. (yeah, second shift is the pits) -So, I'm finally at least in a stable enough situation to return to actively help the guild, after stepping down from the GM slot in December...

    and Co-incidentally, my successor (of whom i will always have undying respect and admiration for -partly why I chose him as my successor) made the personal decision to take his main out of the guild, faction swap & server-change, to join a high-world-ranked raiding guild. -now I totally respect his decision... in fact, I think it does well for our guild on Twisting Nether to be able to contribute such high caliber individuals to such high-ranked raiding guilds.

    H O W E V E R... about 60% of the general raid population, which, at this time week before last, was made up primarily of raiders who had joined since I stepped down... decided that this move of the former GL's to leave obviously meant that raiding in our guild was going down hill... and subsequently, in the span of 48 hours... we lost 25 raiders... with a few more departing a few days afterwards.

    Now I must also add that this past spring/late-winter we have had several of our most active and core raiders severely cut back on their game play. One couple got pregnant and decided to focus on their new family, another jr. officer decided to make a life-change by trading the time he spent online with time spent in a gym (I can respect that), another one of our core raiders actually joined up with the Tankspot crew (Hi Adiss!!!) you know, that's life... it's expected to lose a few.

    Sadly, it's left us in a horrible state... and I have been trying to stop the hemorrhaging of players, but MAN it is hard when other guilds on the server (who are also recruiting raiders and experiencing attendance issues) see the blood in the water and start the feeding frenzy.

    Just a run of bad luck, bad timing, and mis-conceptions has taken an otherwise fairly successful raiding guild and just pummelled it into the ground.

    Now I don't want to give the impression that everything was 100% perfect with us. we were having our own difficulties and struggles keeping things going, which, again, not uncommon imo.

    SO... here we stand... our guild is set up and ready to rock in 25-man raiding with systems in place, website filled with the knowledge-base and tools to manage, and *poof* 1/3 the people we need almost overnight.

    -i think the largest error on my part... or our collective part... was communication. I think the largest reason for folk leaving was lack of information, and lack of communication to the general population.
    Again... things had been tough on the leadership these past few months, perhaps there was writing on the wall that others saw that I didn't see? maybe that is indeed the case. /shrug.

    i guess it wouldn't really be a lament if everything went well, now would it.

    So... moving forward... As returning GL (considering how old the guild is, the remaining leadership decided there wasn't a suitable successor to the previous GL) I'm doing all the research I can to better manage online communities. Although I am not in a position to lead raids, or hardly even raid for that matter... I'm taking steps to re-organize the structure so that Raid-Leaders have better support from the officer-ship, and folk don't take on so much responsibility upon themselves.

    I don't know if our guild will recover or not, but we've been around too long and have bounced back before, so I don't see why we can't at leat give it one more shot.

    All that's left of the guild's leadership now, pretty much is me. Some of the previous officers have stuck around to help out as consultants, but none of them have volunteered to return as fulltime officer, which again, they have all put enough sweat and love into the guild that I respect their decision to not take part in the re-building process. They've certainly earned that many times over.

    So, there's my lament. And a genuine wall of text at that.

    If anyone has any suggestions or comments, or would like to commiserate... please, I welcome any and all input/advice/anecdotes or funny stories.

    Wel... the server is back up on this tuesday... I've put off long enough my dreaded daily click of that once button in the guild list "Show All Members" -and see what the current character population is today. Yesterday it was 137... two days ago it was 142... two weeks ago it was 250+


    Good hunting, everyone!

    <Wrath of Astranaar> [A] Twisting Nether Server

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Toronto, Ontario. (I understand I play an EU server.)
    "If anyone has any suggestions or comments, or would like to commiserate... please, I welcome any and all input/advice/anecdotes or funny stories."

    Suggestion: Grind through it.....push, push, push. That's if you want the guild to keep going. It will most likely grab its former glory.
    Comments: Interesting history, don't let it die.
    Input/Advice: The unfortunate part with having related members/parent-child relationships in your guild is that it can create several issues. I.e. If that certain family decides to cut back on their spending or change what they're doing, you are risking losing 2+ core members in one swift blow. ~~Birds of a feather....

    Hi from Europe's Twisting Nether. We're practically related! ^^.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Australia, NSW
    I get the general impression that this is more of a vent than a cry for assistance, but as stated before the only thing you can do is rebuild. I know how hard it is to rebuild guilds and I also know how hard it is to keep everyone happy. There are times when I personally have longed to apply to our server's top guild and hopefully simply become a tank or a DPS who shows up and performs well every week, however every time I consider the option i think of the long serving members and more importantly the social environment that myself and my officers have helped create and ask myself the questions "would I find this environment anywhere else?" For me the answer is no, if it is the same for you there is really only one option.... Rebuild.

    Most guilds have to rebuild at some point and while it may mean an acceptance of below par raiders in the short term, these people can be developed or replaced in the long haul.

    Bottom line is, if you have the heart to make it work, then it will. All you need to do is invest the effort to make it happen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Let Go!

    Accept that your guild has run its course and it's time for you to move on to another guild run by someone else. Let them do the hard work and be drained of their gaming life-force by the users and leeches who comprise the majority of guild members.

    All guilds die sooner or later. The internet is littered with the gravestones (abandoned websites) of guilds that proclaimed themselves to be online families full of special friends. The sad truth is there is no true guild loyalty for most players and the friendship professed for each other is seldom more than the shared delusions of co-dependent gaming addicts.

    Liberate yourself!
    Last edited by Cerdig; 04-30-2010 at 03:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Cerdig View Post
    Accept that your guild has run it's course and it's time for you to move on to another guild run by someone else. Let them do the hard work and be drained of their gaming life-force by the users and leeches who comprise the majority of guild members.

    All guilds die sooner or later. The internet is littered with the gravestones (abandoned websites) of guilds that proclaimed themselves to be online families full of special friends. The sad truth is there is no true guild loyalty for most players and the friendship proclaimed for each other is seldom more than the shared delusions of co-dependent gaming addicts.

    Liberate yourself!

    I especially liked, "is seldom more than the shared delusions of co-dependent gaming addicts." This is disturbingly accurate. But really, unless the guild is RL friends (which tend to be hard to recuit others into and generally don't progress well), isn't that a fair description of why we are all there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Cerdig View Post
    .... the friendship professed for each other is seldom more than the shared delusions of co-dependent gaming addicts.
    I'm sorry for you that you havent experienced good friendship. I've developed quite a few close friends while playing games and even though i've abandoned those games, i still keep them close, see them irl, communicate over skype/MSN if they're in another country. /pity

    As for the OP....We've gone through a similar crisis back at TBC launch. And my respect for the then-current GL disappeared the moment he took a unilateral decision to disband the guild. I'm totally ok with people getting bored & wanting to move on. I'm totally ok with your friend wanting to experience a high-end raiding atmosphere. But doing it without planning for succession is a show of extreme arrogance & contempt for everybody else and such people are never deserving of respect imho.

    What we did was (when the leader announced he was disbanding the guild in a week) is somebody asked for the GL and continued. Of course with the disbanding announcement, our roster dropped down to 4. Yes, four - we were unable to do even a guild dungeon run. We changed around the guild rules a little, made the rules & atmosphere a lot more casual and started recruiting. The guild is still up & kicking for 4 years and looks like it'll continue into Cataclysm. We've had a lot of big crises in our history - but after that initial almost-disbanding and the miraculous recovery, there's always been somebody to step up to carry on the name, especially among those 4 who survived the first shock.

    What can you do? 137 toons isnt little at all. If you want to continue there's a good enough base in there. The whole question comes down to - do you want to continue? Do you feel that the guild is worth saving? If your answer is yes, there's always somebody to help you out - you just need to find them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Gold Coast, Australia
    A quick (ok it got long) background. We have a co-gm situation and when my co-gm announced his depature date for an extended overseas trip I went through a couple of months of wondering if I wanted to keep the place rolling along by myself or shut up shop. After much guilt laden deliberation I made the decision to go casual and let everyone know I wouldn't be disbanding, but that we would cease raiding 25's for the forseeable future, and that everyone was welcome to look for new raiding homes with my blessing and referral, as I couldn't guarantee I'd want to come back at all and we didn't have anyone else wanting to step up & lead.

    We probably had enough left to make a 10 man run by the time the dust had settled. The ones that remained in the guild did so out of loyalty & love for the guild, most of them also taking a raiding break because they didn't feel they could find another home that would come anywhere near the environment we have in our guild. We've never had massive account numbers in the guild but it was quite sad to log on and see maybe 2 other people online, I logged on just in case I was needed for references & pretty much sat around Dalaran for the first couple of weeks before going off the game for a break.

    Almost a month after going casual I decided to reform. I missed my bear, the people that were in our guild and I needed something to do with my spare time! So out of the blue, I sent a couple of texts & updated the Guild MoTD to get the word out that we were going to attempt a reform.

    Much to my amazement, everyone came bolting back from the new homes they'd found - I had folk that had gquit & were waiting for me to log on to invite them before I'd even had a chance to let them know the news. We ended up losing maybe 6 raiders, mostly to extended WoW breaks, and a couple of others that we didn't want to invite back anyway.

    Here's my (sort of) points. You can rebuild, but it's going to take the support of your guild members to do it. It was one of the finer moments for me, seeing how much everyone loves this guild & had missed it so much - it makes all the crap you have to cop as a GM completely worthwhile. Guilds don't belong to GM's, they belong to the members of that guild. I'd suggest throwing the word out there & seeing what sort of response you get. We're not even a third as large as your guild was, but it only takes a good core group to rebuild. It also helps that our guild has so many friends & partners in it I guess, so perhaps we were incredibly lucky to survive a month off raiding. Other guilds certainly come knocking when they sniff any hint of new blood - luckily in my case I was working with a couple of well respected guilds to rehome our raiders together and it was late last year, pre ICC release so there were raid spots to be had.

    Either way, you need to decide what you want, because after all, games are supposed to be fun! I wish you all the best whatever you decide

    www.ordnance-guild.org - Ordnance is back!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I'd like to say thanks to everyone who contributed so far, My original intent of this post was to share my own experiences, in the hopes others who have experienced similar would know they are not alone, and perhaps also to find a little encouragement and inspiration to keep it going... Which I definitely have, thank you, everyone so far. I hope the stories and anecdotes don't stop!

    here's an *update* for yall who have contributed

    Latest count today was 120 toons in the guild list. -now there are a lot of people in the guild who have multiple alts, and also have gone inactive from the game, all in all, we have about 8-12 folk who can reasonably be classified as 'actively' playing the game still.

    We have placed raiding-25's on hold for the time being. We're partnering with another guild who's GL I know and who normally pugs out their empty 25-mans on a similar raid-days/times as our own previous 25-man sched, -He was having similar struggles keeping his guild going and was thinking of throwing in the towell with his guild, but I convinced him to stick it out a little longer, that we'd do what we could to support THEM if we could. -Having one of the oldest guilds on the server, we may be struggling, but our reputation for personal integrety of our members still runs fairly high with other long-time players on the server. -I got a little encouragement when someone from another guild mentioned in casual Dalaran-street-chat that it would be sad to see our guild fold up altogether, since it's almost as old as the server itself. -which was a very kind thing to have someone who's never been in your guild say.

    On the riad-front, we've got a few active military folk who have been transferred to Pacific Time Zone (WoA is generaly an Eastern-timezone guild) to run a Midninght-Madness 10-man ICC group, which at least will keep our 10-man progression alive, and we're otherwise keepin'-on, keepin'-on and hoping the summer will bring some former active-folk who have been away from the game, back, and are trying to do as much 'together' as a guild as we can.

    At the end of the day, <Wrath of Astranaar> is still a guild based on friendship, and that core group of part-time players that make that group up is still strong. We feel we've stood the test of time, surely this too shall pass.

    Thanks again, everyone for contributing thus far... Perhaps this thread in some small way will help someone else who is struggling to endeavor to persevere! - I knew we in 'Wrath' certainly will.

    cheers, everyone... and as always,


    <Wrath of Astranaar>
    [A] Twsting Nether Server
    <Wrath of Astranaar> [A] Twisting Nether Server

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