Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
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Philosophy

September 8, 2010

Where Your Loyalty Lies

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Written by: Vixsin
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I wanted to take a break from Shaman topics today to talk about a subject which equally fascinates and frustrates me, and which I have been struggling with since Day 1 of my raiding WoW career—guild loyalty. (I’m seldom the type of person to respond to other bloggers by way of my own blog, but after reading a recent topic posed for discussion at QQ Pew Pew, I felt compelled to share my relevant experiences.) I consider myself a loyal person by nature, but I guess in my definition that corresponds to being non-confrontational as well. “Stubborn” and “dedicated”, I’ve discovered, are two sides of the same coin. Historically, and as many of my ex’s would attest, I will stick with someone or something through blind faith and the strong belief that if I work hard enough, everything will turn out for the best. As you can imagine, it’s a strategy that doesn’t always yield favorable results.

Unlike some high end raiders, who would have you believe they sprung onto the game fully decked out in epics and leading meters by a mile, I’ve not shied away from mentioning my humble and noobish beginnings. While I’ve grown as a player and a person since the days of forgetting how to talk in party chat and having EVERYTHING on my bars, (and brace yourself I’m going to go into full cheesy philosophical here), my journey has shaped who I am and how I view the World (of Warcraft). I’ve been in 8 guilds over the past 4+ years, and my journey has been one about loyalty, of all kinds.

 

Starting at the beginning

My first real guild for my then-main, a mage, was a large “friends-and-family-that-also-raids” affair. It was a collective of 70+ players with 300+ toons and helmed by a tenacious yet endearing figurehead of a woman. There wasn’t a person in guild that she didn’t know and didn’t want to help, and she and her husband (an officer) were the glue that held everyone together. They were the type of people who would volunteer to run you through a heroic 50 times just so you could get the one trinket you thought you needed; they ran Karas for mains, for alts, for secondary alts, and for third alts that you never played. When I joined them, I found instant family among the membership and a safe place to develop as a player and as a raider.

When I was promoted to mage class officer after about 9 months, I gladly wore the title. I took over some management and recruiting duties, and helmed the implementation of the guild’s dkp system (which was a HUGE deal considering this was a semi-casual guild). I wasn’t universally liked, because I always thought we could do better and had no problem speaking up about it, but I was mostly respected for my consistent presence and ability to deliver top performance every raid, despite my relative newness to the game. Making friends with the other “hardcore” players only helped insulate my standing.

Somewhere along the way, whether it was simply because I was a great salesperson or because they actually believed it, the other officers started to sing the same chorus of “we can be better than we are”. And so after much strategizing and planning, we started to try to morph ourselves into something new, a casual guild with a dedicated raiding arm, a collaborative that spanned the spectrum of what players might want in a guild. We started to be fiercer, we upped our raiding schedule, we held LONG officer meetings to discuss management practices and boss strats, and we pushed our raiders hard. I was so proud when we started seriously working on Vashj, because I knew the skill that our team had and I was confident that we could be up there with the big guns if we simply put our minds to it.

But after several months, raiding 5+ nights a week, we discovered that willpower alone isn’t enough to make “friends-and-family-that-also-raids” into something more dedicated and, dare I say it, cutthroat. Frustration started ramping up for all people, and soon the guild leader and officers were neck deep in raiders who had lost the spark that had inspired such hope. After a couple of devout and long-standing officers called it quits, claiming burnout and needing “family time”, we let up a bit on the reigns and decidedly to try to regain what we had had before.

But the damage had been done. Not to the guild, maybe not to the guild leader (who was happier to be everyone’s friend rather than the dreaded Raid Leader), but the damage was done to me. Having tasted something more competitive, more driven, I knew I wanted more. To the handful of hardcore-but-retired players in our ranks, it was more than obvious that I had been bitten. But in my desire to show my appreciation for the players and guild leader who had fostered me from a nublet into a somewhat capable raider, I made a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my days on this earth—I stayed silent. I didn’t mention my frustration to anyone, and I went along doing what I had always done before. But frustration is like an open wound, and before long, it was all I could do to keep my composure together during a 4-hour raid. The jovial nature, the we-may-or-may-not raid attitude, the underperformance, all of it drove me to absolute distraction. For maybe 3 or 4 months, I raided that way—frustrated, angry, guilty, ashamed and distressed.

And then the devil showed me an opportunity where none had been before. A new guild was developing on server, helmed by the same guild leader who, before his brief retirement, had propelled several server members into infamy, and he needed dps. And not just any kind of dps, my kind of dps. They would be powering through BT and MHJ and into Sunwell, and they would be doing it with the “more” I knew I craved. And after speaking with the guild leader at great length after he popped into vent to chat with one of our “old hardcore raiders gone casual”, I knew he was someone that I’d enjoy playing for.

So I stalled and debated, hoping that the opportunity would pass me by, like the candy bar in the office fridge that you hope gets eaten before, in a moment of weakness, you decide that chocolate would be better than the apple you brought in for an afternoon snack. But he was persistent, and after 4 weeks of putting him off, I caved. As most players would put it, I made a decision about where I wanted to be with my $15 a month. At that point, I had been in my starter guild for almost 2 years, and so it was with a heaping amount of guilt and shame that I pulled the guild leader into the officer vent channel to tell her my decision. The conversation wasn’t easy, it wasn’t short, and it was everything the opposite of light-hearted and up-beat. And despite all of my good intentions of hiding my frustration, the GL could not get over the fact that I, one of her inner circle, had been lying to her for the past month, pretending that everything was okay. I argued that I didn’t think it would have been right to ask her to shoulder my inner turmoil; she argued that I should have trusted her more.

And then, after 3+ hours awash with emotion, it was over. I gquit on my main, branded a traitor, a deceiver who had chosen selfishness over family.

I remained on the server and joined the new guild, who as promised, quickly rushed through MHJ and BT. But wearing the guild tag felt like wearing a Scarlet Letter emblazoned on my character, and chance interactions between myself and former guildmates had all the awkwardness of bitter divorcees pretending to be friends “for the sake of the kids”. And so when my shiny progression guild collapsed mid-way during Sunwell (the amazing GL had a mild stroke one night after a night of wipes), I took the opportunity to shake off my guilt and the mantle of disloyalty and transfer to a new server.

 

A Second Chance

Being me, I did my homework and selected a server which (at the time) was one of the most progressed out there in terms of PVE and PVP. Not that the latter was important to me, but I figured that the more skilled the player base, the better chance I had of finding somewhere more tuned to the qualities I was looking for. It was at that point that I also chose to make my Shaman my main, having been equally fueled and maddened by the constant epeen wars that waged at the top of the dps meters. (In other words: I was dammed if I did [top meters], and I was dammed if I didn’t [top meters].) Even more, I saw from my former guild that healers held so much more control over the outcome of a fight; I couldn’t resist the calling.

When I transferred Vixsin to her new server, she came only with some Kara and ZA gear to her name. A short while after her arrival, I joined a newly-formed guild, hoping to exercise my healing chops. It was a group of people not unlike those I had left on my previous server—friendly, supportive, rowdy, and generally good-natured. But I made it clear from the onset (since this was only several months before the 3.0 nerf hit BC), that I was only looking for a home for the remainder of the xpac. Thankfully, the GL was (and is) one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met, and had no issue bringing me along for the ride. So, like in my former guild, I showed up every night, gave it my all, and eventually helped the guild down Council before 3.0 hit. Sure they weren’t the level of my mage’s shiny progression guild, but there were perks to being known as someone who could put out 50% of the healing in a boss fight. For my efforts, on the guild’s first Illidan kill, the GL gave me a healer’s pre-Sunwell wet dream—my very own Crystal Spire of Karabor. And he did it despite the fact that he knew I was going to leave come WotLK, because, as he said, I had earned it.

Wrath launched a short while later, and true to my word, I qguit the guild, Crystal Spire in hand. There were no ill words, no animosity, no drive-by rage whispers from the GL—just the encouragement that I should take my skills and aim high when looking for a new place to call home.

 

The Wrath Experience

As it happened, I didn’t saddle up to one of the top guilds on server (many of whom disbanded/dissolved/server transferred during Ulduar) but rather joined a medium-progressed guild who had managed to kill KJ after the 3.0 buff. I had done several PuG raids with their members, including their very ferocious Canadian MT, the most leapy tree I’ve ever met and the guy who will always hold a special place as my shaman yoda. On a competitive server, they weren’t the cream of the crop, but they were my entrée into competitive raiding.

After only a couple months in guild, it became apparent that not everything was what it seemed. Raids were led by the ferocious Canadian and the leapy tree, with the GL taking a silent role in almost every operation. He was absent more than he was present, unless there was loot he needed and then you could be sure he was the one leading the charge. But I didn’t pay the situation much mind, happy to be raiding on my shaman with a group of mostly like-minded individuals. When it came time to put in serious work on Sarth 10 3D, I was the stand-in for the holy pally we didn’t have. And when we lost our DK tank, we made a tanking blueberry work, so that we could get Plagued Protos for every guild member who wanted one. And when we needed to do Undying achievements, I signed up for every one (I did 8 of them, total).

And then, as if to compensate for the guild’s successes and with no apparent provocation, the GL decided to turn us all upside down. In the middle of the night one evening, he logged on and proceeded to manually gkick every last toon in guild (there were around 250). Like all of our main raiders, I logged on the next day to no guild tag and a piece of hate mail in my Inbox—a rotten egg (yes, the actual item) accompanied by a slew of insults. A gbank full of materials and about 200k worth of gold was unrecoverable, and more so, our guild tag had been retained by someone with no intent of giving it back.

And so we did what any group of stubborn and scorned raiders would do—we formed a new guild and set about recreating what had been destroyed. I take full credit for the guild name, which unfortunately also could be shortened to an abbreviation for erectile dysfunction, but fortunately only lost a handful of inactive players during the transition (due to the bad name choice or attrition, I’m not sure). For my efforts, and for the second time in my career (but not the last), I was offered an officer position. But I declined, the burns from my first guild still very much in evidence.

New guild tag equipped, we finished out the first raid instances, actually managed to grab The Immortal and 5 min Maly to round out our Black Proto Drakes, and readied ourselves for Ulduar. We did PTR raids, and upon launch, were out of the gate in 25s. And when our main raid ended on the first night of release, myself and a select group of players (read: those willing) set about the task of clearing 10man. We raided straight through and took only one 5-hour sleep break. We spent 10+ hours on Vezax alone, and in the wee hours of the morning on April 18st, our scruffy little group managed to snag US#1 Secrets of Ulduar (10man). As I’ve said countless times before, it was the most thrilling experience of my WoW career to date.

If I could have only raided with those 10 people for the rest of the expansion, I would have been a happy camper. But a few months into Ulduar, our de facto leader and MT, the ferocious Canadian, made the choice to cut back his raiding hours due to family issues. Two of our main dps elected to quit to accommodate growing workloads, and my own shaman yoda hung up his spurs. Still we recruited and shouldered on, working our way into hard modes, albeit a tad behind much of the competitive raiding population. We were struggling to hold it together and I feared that we’d find our end in Ulduar’s later hard modes.

Now if we’re talking about seminal events in my guild history, and tests of guild loyalty, then there’s one important discussion that I’ve not yet touched upon—the Ulduar healer legendary. It was a big debate for most guilds, but ours was left in the hands of one very decent man—our leapy tree RL. So, given that I was the only other healer with a viable claim on the item, prior to the release of Ulduar, the RL broached the idea with me that due to the lack of “ideal druid stats”, the legendary should be mine. While I think my heart skipped a beat reading those words, the debate that ensued was something akin to a “you should have it”, battle-of-the-selfless argument. In the end, as I so like to do, I changed his mind and he acquiesced to start collecting shards. But nowhere in that discussion did I mention one of my motivations for not taking the legendary—if I left the guild, I didn’t want to take their hard work with me (or said differently, I didn’t want to be tied to the guild by guilt). Looking back, I oftentimes wish that I would have been more selfish, would have replied “Yes, I’ll take that legendary!” and felt like all the time and effort I put in would have balanced out the effects if I had dipset with all those shards. I still wonder, does doing the “right” thing for the guild count if you do it for some of the “wrong” reasons?

I did eventually leave the guild, when the shard count was around 35, I believe. After having been with them for around 9 months, seeing the members that I appreciated playing with flake away and after a serious chat with the RL and officers about diligent progression (which they weren’t interested in pursuing), I once again had that dreaded conversation. But this time, it went differently—the GL told me that he was happy to have had me for as long as they did, and that he knew I would find my way to the top. Even the RL, who had borne much more than his fair share of my frustration, sent me off with glowing praise and his best wishes.

 

The end of an xpac

And so, over a year past, and 3 guilds later, I find myself still wondering about this concept of “guild loyalty”. The two guilds between Ulduar and my current home on BDF collapsed under their own weight, victims of two guild leaders making “it’s my $15” decisions about where they wanted to spend the rest of their days (hint: it wasn’t at the helm of a progression guild). And both times it happened, I felt betrayed by these people I hardly knew, who in my mind, had some sort of implied commitment to the guild that they had created and that they had kept going all those years. Loyalty, I’d argue, is all about perspective.

We all have our demons, experiences in our past which don’t conjure the best of memories, which make us cringe slightly and wonder if at some point we’ll be judged on those situations alone. The demon that rides my back is the one that whispers in my ear about the collapse of my first raiding guild, the one I naively tried to make into something greater. After I left, the guild stopped raiding almost entirely, and ~ 6 months later it collapsed. Since that guild, over 2+ years of raiding, I’ve maintained 100% attendance in every raiding guild I’ve been a part of, and the number of times I’ve been late to a raid can be counted on one hand. I’ve honored every commitment that I’ve made and helped 50 or so people get Ulduar and ICC mounts, long after I’d earned my own. I’ve farmed rep, items, mats, instances, and played as Elemental, because that’s what’s been needed. I’ve worked my ass off the entire way, desperate to prove that I am worthy of being where I am.

And yet, that demon sits, perched on my shoulder, ready to nod in agreement with anyone who should suggest that I am not the paragon I try to be. Because he knows, behind it all, I am … disloyal.






25 Comments


  1. That was a fantastic post, read from start to finish. It’s amazing the unique journeys everyone has as they play WoW. Be it a casual journey or one that happens to be raiding-centric.
    Drotara´s last post ..That was unexpected


  2. “And both times it happened, I felt betrayed by these people I hardly knew, who in my mind, had some sort of implied commitment to the guild that they had created and that they had kept going all those years. Loyalty, I’d argue, is all about perspective.”

    You have several points in this where I think you hit the nail on the head, but this is, I think, where you did it best.

    To those of us that were not in that guild, you did the only thing you could by leaving. You absolutely chose where and how to spend your $15 a month. To the people you had spent time and energy building into a force to be reckoned with… you were abandoning them.

    IMHO, though, you were not being disloyal to them, you were being true to yourself. If you were not happy, you were not doing any favors to yourself or your guild by trying to make it work, and continuing in that path would only have harmed them and yourself more. In truth, they were being selfish, wanting you to dedicate all your time and energy to make it work when none of them were willing to do the same. If any were, someone (or multiple someones) would have stepped up to fill the void when you left, and it would not have collapsed. That is not your fault, in any way, shape or form and you should stop beating yourself up about it.

    Perhaps the parting could have been handled better, but that’s no reason to let it haunt you and we’re not all social gurus that know how to handle every situation.
    Kaethir´s last post ..The Alt Club


    • You’re absolutely correct, we may not always make the right decisions, but at least we (and I) can make a considered one. Thus, keeping the devil on my shoulder is less a form of self-flagellation and more a way to make sure I continue to see guilds and my guildmates as people, not tools for self-advancement. ^_^


  3. AmIBroken

    Thanks, that was an awesome read, all too familiar sometimes.


  4. Vnko

    It is important to consider that loyalty truly runs both ways. You define loyalty exclusively as a commitment to the collective entity that is a particular guild. However, in many cases guilds depart from their original (or at least originally perceived) intention. To a certain extent, guilds suffer from the Ship of Theseus paradox. Theseus owns a ship which he intends on sailing, but over time finds different pieces of the ship deficient or in need of replacement. As he slowly replaces each piece of the ship, he manages to find himself still with a ship, but none of the original components. The question then remains, though the ship bears the original name, is it even the ship that Theseus first owned?
    At this point, if your guilds have morphed entirely under you into something with which you simply are uninterested in participating, they have been disloyal to your desires and interests. Just as you feel an obligation to an organization that you have put time into, so too do members of that organization have an obligation to either accommodate your needs and wants just as you do them. This is in effect mutual disloyalty, suggesting perhaps that you have done no more wrong than has already been done to you. If you feel that your guilds have not wronged you, then you should feel that you, in turn, have not wronged them.
    To the point on you not vocalizing your discontent with your family-and-friends guild, I do not know that that was an incorrect decision. Speaking anecdotally, in many cases the agitated raider in these guilds elicits several responses. Either the guild says “Yeah, yeah, we’ll get to it, it will be fine,” a promise which is (in the spirit of disloyalty) never kept, alternatively the guild responds negatively to the idea and proceeds to demonize the concept of progression raiding. Simply put, you were in a nearly impossible situation.


    • Amazingly appropriate reference, Vnko! And it brings up an interesting consideration–there was a point where all of the conditions my first guild met when I first joined them, had been replaced with new conditions, as a product of my evolution as a raider. During my time there, they did in essence, return to the guild that they had been when I joined, despite my push to make them into something more. In the end it wasn’t the guild that had changed from its original design, it was me.


  5. Gronthe

    Guild Loyalty. I’ve heard it defined in as many ways as there have been guild members in my playing days. Despite there being a sure definition of the word loyal, the variable unseen are the standards each individual sets in defining loyalty…and each are different.

    At what point does a guild member reach the level of faithfulness required to secure his loyalty? Is it based on a fixed number of raids attended? Is it determined by random emotions? I believe that the only true definition of loyalty lies in the honest mind of the person, that is you in this case. Whatever standards you have set up, from life experience, moral compass, belief in law or tradition or whatever the source, those are the standards that you should hold yourself to.

    Personally, if I felt that I had been disloyal to someone, no argument could sway me away from that belief because I would know that your standards of faithfulness or fidelity differ, for whatever reason, from mine. For you, all I could say is that if you feel disloyal then you were. Is it possible that your guild was as well? Maybe, but I really don’t believe it within my ability to guess at that. I feel sorry for you if you still consider yourself disloyal, in any degree, because those feelings are accompanied with conflicting emotions, mainly self-fullfillment and enjoyment, which are not wrong things to feel.

    One thing is absolute, unless specifically prescribed there are no legally binding contracts to join any guild and swear fidelity to said guild that I am aware of in the world. Those would be a forced fidelity, a binding loyalty, clearly defined but potentially hollow. We live in no such guilds as these and therefore can only be bound by our own internal beliefs as to what is loyal and what isn’t. There is some sense of guilt in your writing, but also a belief that you did what was right at the time. May THAT second feeling be what continues to drive you to more success, and another guild in the future, if necessary.


  6. Hope

    I still can’t believe you’re a troll!


    • Such a poignant topic and you have to bring race into it. :-P

      I guess this is where I make some quip about how LT playing a sandy belf is equally appropriate? ::snicker::


  7. Yes, he ship example above is an important way of looking at a guild through a GMs eyes. But it holds true for any raider who stays in a guild for a long period of time.

    What is it they say about religion? A church isn’t a building, it’s a group of people.

    I find that my loyalty to my guild is most tested as more and more of my most valued teammates (the people who were there every night when i first joined) leave the guild/game. After a while it doesn’t feel like the same guild at all.

    Also I wish we had raiders who looked at Legendaries like you do. Our Holy Paladin when I joined back in Ulduar (rock solid healer, 100% attendance, long history with the guild) won his legendary and attended the very first ToC raid… and then disappeared without a word. Our DK who was chosen to receive the first Shadowmourne (excellent player, 100% attendance, long history as a former Resto Shaman believe it or no!) gquit about a week later and was instantly snapped up a guild a bit higher up on the progression ladder. Our Fury Warrior who won the 2nd Shadowmourne (good player, long history) has dropped his attendance down to about 1 night in 4 that he’s in attendance.

    I’m starting to think that these players only stay with the guild to gather their shards. And perhaps would have left sooner if they weren’t tied to the guild by the promise of a legendary.

    Did they earn it? Did they deserve the weapon for 1 year of service (or whatever 2 years etc)? I don’t know. But I’m fairly certain that in each case all three players must have already had that desire to move on.

    I’m still mad at myself for arguing the case that our DK got to keep all the quest items that accompany Shadowmourne to himself (the argument was that some should go to the guild for guild use).
    Cassandri´s last post ..Getting Our Balance


    • Legendaries definitely do strange things to attendance, in guilds across the board. With some exceptions (like Thori’dal) they’re a huge investment of the guild’s time and energy. They’re also interesting in that the decision to award them is almost always based on past performance (which would lead someone to believe that they had already earned the award as of that point in time). But tack on the expectation of future performance as well, and you have a situation where you set yourself up to get burned.


  8. […] Vixsin offered a great thought provoking piece on Guild Loyalty, and different ways to look at it. […]


  9. Sekul

    Very good article.

    I’d like to touch on a couple of points in your article as well as in some of the replies.

    Having been an Officer in every guild I’ve been in and being what I consider to be a loyal guildie, I don’t define guild loyalty as having anything to do with someone staying or leaving.

    It’s important to keep in mind that ultimately it’s a game that people participate in to have fun and what constitutes “fun” varies greatly from player to player. So, if someone isn’t happy in our guild and they wish to leave, I don’t fault them or think them disloyal.

    So, how do I define loyalty or more to the point, disloyalty? I define loyalty/disloyalty as conduct while in the guild. If someone locks their main to a raid and then is unable to run the guild scheduled raid consequently hurting that raids chance of success, I find that disloyal. Obviously, anyone badmouthing the guild to others and things like that are disloyal. I also think it’s disloyal to guild shop while active in a guild. If you aren’t happy just say that and leave on good terms then find a guild that better suits you. Do not start guild shopping while you continue to raid and take loot then suddenly leave when you get accepted to another guild.

    However, loyalty runs both ways. If you expect your players to be loyal to the guild then the guild needs to be loyal to them. Bringing in a friend from another guild to fill one of your 10 man ICC groups while a guildie has to pug is being disloyal to that guildie. Not being honest and up front with your members is disloyal. If you have a problem with someones raid performance, let them know and help them try to fix it, if they are unable to fix it then let them know up front that you’ll have to replace them in the raid. Do not just let them unknowingly continue to raid an suddenly spring it on them that they’ve been replaced. You not only tell that person, but every member of your guild that you don’t care about them beyond what they can do for you.

    My main point is I define loyalty by the actions of the guild toward it’s members and it’s members toward the guild while they are members of the guild. Leaving a guild doesn’t necessarily mean you’re disloyal, it just means that they aren’t providing what you want from a guild. Now, the method in which you leave that guild may be considered disloyal, but the act of leaving itself, I believe, has little to do with loyalty.


  10. Fascinating read!

    As a member of the stubbornly loyal (loyally stubborn?) fraternity myself, although without the raiding experience, I definitely get what you’re saying about commitment to a group of people you’ve never actually met – and expectations of their commitment to that group. My reasoning has always been that even though I’ve never met them in real life, there are still people behind those avatars (hopefully!) and therefore much the same rules of commitment and loyalty apply as in physical groups, but of course that isn’t always true. Certainly it’s neither fair nor realistic to expect people to look on a guild as something they have a long term commitment to, but I tend to do it anyway…

    That said, while it might be disloyalty in the strictest sense to leave a guild for your own reasons, the fun factor as well as real life concerns still have to play their part ;)
    Sionel´s last post ..Walk- Don’t Run


  11. Your posts, Vixen, are brilliance incarnate. I love reading through your blog mate, keep up the great work!

    Guild loyalty is something I’ve been considering a lot throughout my WoW career. It’s one of the Virtues I respect and try to pursue. I’m not going into a long debate here – of what is and what isn’t guild loyalty – but suffice to say that I can relate to a whole lot you say here and it reaches out to me, it really does.

    Another post I’ll copy-paste on our guild forum.


  12. Nehaluasca

    It’s amazing how I recognise myself in here and in you Vix. I’m at the point of gquit my guild because I want something new and something I expect since I play Wow : Hardcore gaming. I spend a several weeks to plan something serious for the guild. What I have reached ? People in late, selfishness, self-recommandation, blaming. Very good things too but not satisfying me.

    I was surprised of you, really, post such an article. Your experience touch everyone I guess. In my case you help me a bit… I will make the good decision. Sorry for my English, I am a French native speaker.

    Thanks also for your blog which is very abounding for souls and bodies ( shamanisticly speaking).

    Nehaluasca


  13. Leliana

    Well… As much as I’dhate to admit it, I was kicked from my first guild, I was in there for a long while, and me and a few friends were fed up with being underappreciated (at the time, I was in the top 10 for gear/dps for the guild, this was also on my mage), in the end, we came to the decision to leave, and one of the officers must have gotten wind of it (alot of us thought we were being recorded in vent, an issue of trust maybe?), we were trying to be peaceful about it, biding our time, because maybe they could change in the time it took us to find somewhere to go? But no, the GM got a, well… Mutated version of the story. Which, one night, took a turn for the worse. The story he got was that we were planning a mass /gquit, which was planned by a good friend of mine (and remains a good friend to this day), one raid, our GM/RL (Same guy) was being a jerk to us three, which resulted in us saying “We won’t raid tonight” and logging some alts (opposite faction so they couldn’t talk to us while we were cooling off). Anyways, after we had cooled off a bit, we decided to log onto our mains, to find out that two out of three of us had been kicked (Our theory was that he decided to keep the least geared of us three, we actually found it was because, in his words, “[She] couldn’t find a guild on her own”, she wasn’t happy about that either).
    The whole thing caused me to reroll as a shammy, I was going to be ele, but I did alot of restoration while levelling and fell in love with it.
    And recently, I had to leave a guild that some RL friends started with me. I explained that they lacked the motivation I had, and I needed to move onto a more serious guild. Though I’m still raiding with them on my mage, and they didn’t seem too fussed about it (although I got a whole “I’m dissapointed” speech from one of my guidlies… the one who was least motivated too)


  14. Dyre42

    Very thoughtful and well written post.

    Being a GM I’m fiercely loyal to both my guild and to my guildies. And my view to member loyalty errs on the side of fun meaning that if my guild isn’t providing you fun I can’t fault you for going elsewhere.


  15. Feel

    Fantastic post. I noticed a lot of similarities with my own experience of raiding guilds (only been the past year for me). I was noticing a move towards casual play (the way I put it in a very spirited vent conversation with the GM and his g/f), which in turn was ending up being not raiding. It was a 10 man guild who had a friendly atmosphere but was “progression based.” I had always been very intrigued by 25 man raiding and unfortunately for my schedule situation this was the only outlet I had to raid. And with this being my first raid guild I was still honing my skills (but I had the moment where I felt like I was rapidly improving and was capable of wonderful things as a Resto Shaman. That was a FUN revelation =D) But his g/f told me I valued raiding over friendship. (something to note about these two: they always had to be right, so because I saw the inevitable coming (they stopped raiding shortly after I left) and they did also they had to say something to make me feel like a traitor. On top of all that it was a drama heavy guild (led by 2 drama llamas) so I was fed up, and left.

    And like you said loyalty is fully perspective based. I think that in your situations you were ‘betrayed’ in the sense so for people to think that you were the traitor is kind of absurd if you ask me. After I left my first true raid guild I was met with a few “aww” type whispers, but the people who I talked to all gave me good wishes and one of my friendsfrom that guild taht I still talk to, was one of the first to tell me that he was happy for me because he knew that I was truly happy in my new guild, because I felt like I could finally showcase my talents in my new guild.

    Anyway, I was very interested and involved in your story. I found it extremely fascinating. (btw first time reader of your site. It’s quite fantastic keep it up. I’d love to theorycraft with you sometime (my main is a Resto Shaman), you seem like the type of person who thinks like me and is a fantastic player.)

    Keep up the good work. You’ve gained yourself a new reader. =P


    • Thanks for sharing your story–it’s always struck me as a delightful contradiction when someone says/implies that “valuing raiding over friendship” is a bad thing, because what sort of friend wants their friends to be unhappy? How is staying in a miserable situation the right choice?

      But, I digress … It’s always wonderful to know that someone enjoyed my ramblings and might come back for more. :-)


  16. Cade

    That was an amazing story, you answered a question that have been on my mind for many years. What is loyalty in general? What is loyalty in a game? I believe that most of us are loyal to a guild because of the loot, glory and titles we will be able to attain. While that may sound evil, it’s important that what you do is for yourself even when you’re helping someone else out.


  17. Charion

    Heya Vix,

    OMG! I can’t get enough of your blog. When I read your words I feel like I’m hearing my own voice. You have such a passionate writing style it really makes me excited to play my shaman and be proud to be in Group 5 as well. So keep up the great work!

    In regards to your discussion on loyalty vs. disloyalty it really comes down to you the player. There are so many factors that are factors regarding players and their guilds. Guild politics, personal time, families, player personalities, work schedules and many others things are all reasons to cause epic guild fails both in raiding and in membership.

    I’ve played WoW since vanilla and was hooked when I first leaped down the long, dark shaft into BFD. It was my first dungeon experience with four other players that took us about 4 hours to complete because we we’re clueless about everything. I loved the rush and excitement. It was like a high dose of adrenaline pumped in with each pull. Since then I’ve run a whole gambit of emotions and experiencs from the various guilds to even being a GM of a large raiding guild before I stepped down due to my new workload IRL.

    If there are several things that seem to remain constant for me. I know I would enjoy the game if I was just out soloing, but to be honest, other players make the game for me…it’s their acceptance, their approval and their friendship.

    The game makes everyone greedy to some degree. New items, new mounts, new gear, new accomplishments etc., It is an electronic Skinner’s Box that keeps us, the rats, paying $15 per month and always keeps us wanting more.

    Players are always striving to get that “first time high” that made them fall in love with the game over and over again. For me, it’s the thrill of downing a tough boss with seconds between it’s death or a group wipe.

    You probably heard the old addage, “It’s not personal it’s just business”. Well, for most this is not the case. It is personal to them and this is why people get so upset. The trick is to find those who feel the same way as you in how you like to play. That’s the magic. That’s the glue that keeps good guilds and raid teams going and progressing.

    People are going to leave eventually and good guilds can fall apart. The tough choice is deciding how you want to continue those relationships once they have failed. Oh, I could go on and on about the great guilds and experiences I’ve had and I could write even more about the horrible ones as well. Such is life my friend. Good, bad, up and down and all around on the rollercoaster of life.

    In WoW I’ve seen selfless acts and I’ve seen heartless ones. I’ve seen the smart, the dumb, the heroic, the villanous, the fools, the comedians, the smart-alecs, the know-it-alls and the snobs. Watch /trade chat for 5 mins and all of these personalities will show themselves in many different forms.

    But if you follow your own moral compass you will sleep at night no matter what the outcome of what path you took. You will have done the right thing for yourself and that’s the best you can ever do.

    I look forward to your future posts!

    My Best,

    Charion


    • Thanks for the awesome compliment and for sharing your perspective. I agree, in the end it does come down to your own moral compass. I just wish mine wasn’t such a stick-in-the-mud sometimes. :-P



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