Saturday, March 8, 2014

Guildleader chores - Reining in the mercenary part of me

I mentioned in a previous post that in the last fortnight, three heroic guilds with friends of mine in them had collapsed. Two of them were long standing guilds, as in, they had survived 2 expansions or more. It was Dragonray who alerted me to the collapse of Insidious, which is the guild my baby mage on Nagrand lives. She wrote about it, and so did Typhoon Andrew, and I felt sad - as I said before, had things been a little different, that could so easily be Frostwolves.

The other one, was the one that Gutsy, Falln and Souglyy went to on Jubei'thos.  I was surprised, really.  At one stage that guild had 7 raid teams!  And they lost one or two people in one of the raid teams and they called it quits?  I was definitely surprised to hear that.  I think a part of the collapse was that their leader, Bear, decided to stop playing WoW and he was the glue that held the guild together. After that, people couldn't be bothered to reform a raid team using the other members of the guild because they weren't good enough to be playing with them (which sounds a bit like what happened to Illidari Remnants, mind you) and that lead to tension and disbanding.  Perhaps Bear wasn't as cool as I remembered - we raided with them once and he seemed pleasant enough back then - Jinjersnaps had moved to that server to play with some friends and joined The Empire and she had found Bear unpleasant and only stayed in that guild for a few weeks before she moved on.  So it's hard to make judgements about things I don't know much about.

One of my workmates plays Alliance on Proudmoore and his guild had 3 members leave looking for greener pastures.  I was chatting to him today and I told him to come over to Horde side.  He had never played horde, and we had no rogues - though he wouldn't have a raid spot for a while.  I told him that maybe he should wait till WoD and then come over - if Roshii isn't back then I could always use a rogue.

At the end of expansion there are so many things that make or break guilds - and it usually has to do with raiding.  People get bored, there's no new content - so they stop playing WoW and stop raiding. Or they want to take a break from raiding or playing till the expansion comes out.  Then everyone left behind is trying to find a replacement and if they really want to raid, they'll go look somewhere else, snowballing the raiding deficiency, and poof - raid team is gone.  Then that's the end of the guild, if that's what the guild was about.  Of course, social guilds and guilds with strong social ties don't have that issue, because they just want to hang out together in WoW and it's not raiding that holds them together. I look at The Bushido Project - a guild with a raid level similar to ours on Saurfang - that looks like they have an amazing friendly guild. They all went to Japan together - apparently it was always on the guild agenda - and there are some amazing pics to see as well!  Now that is an awesome guild IMO.

So, back to where I start having the cloak of guilt weighing on my shoulders.  I feel terrible for my friends who have lost their guilds - if it was me, I would feel devastated at the loss of my own guild, and as a guild leader, I would feel like I had failed on a personal level.  I don't blame Triarchi for moving off server after what happened with Illidari Remnants, because I don't know if I could face the people who were left behind, seeing them in other places and thinking to myself that they thought I was a hopeless guild leader who couldn't keep it all together.  But one of the things I have to remember is that not everyone treats their guild like their second home or family. It might be like how people view changing jobs - as opportunity arises and you get a promotion or a pay rise, you happily jump ship and don't really care much about the place you were before except that it was a stepping stone to something greater.  I think my weakness is that I treat my guild like my family, so that whenever someone isn't happy, I feel it's my responsibility to make it a nicer place. I mentioned that before in my post about mixing skill mix and socials in a raiding guild, and I wondered if that mode of thinking is just a pathway to mental breakdown and stress!

At the same time though, the losses of those guilds makes me want to pick up some of their heroic raiders and use them to fill our ranks for Mythic when it comes.  But it's a really difficult choice - at the moment I can't offer any raiding to any new people because our ranks are full, and unless you're willing to wait your turn, I can't go around kicking people out of raid spots now for new people to share it all around.  Souglyy and Gutsy asked to come back to Frostwolves, but I had no raid spots for them, and I had a ton of subs as well.  I was frank with them, and they came back to Saurfang but joined another guild as raiding was their main goal.  I can understand that.

So I see all these heroic raiders floating around and a part of me is screaming "We need some of these people for our Mythic raid group!"  But I know that picking up a lot of these floaters is probably NOT going to be a great long term solution.  It's like being at the candy store and OMG chocolate is on sale.  You want to get it all before everyone else gets it, and so you end up getting too much, and then getting sick coz you had too much chocolate.  What I SHOULD do is wait till the candy store has my FAVOURITE chocolate in stock and buy that when I see it, whether it's on sale or not, and if it's sold before I got there, ok fine, I'll go without, but if I do manage to get it, I know I will savour it and enjoy it.  And that's what I should do with people I want to bring to the guild for raiding.  I want to KNOW that they're going to be something I would like and that they would like it here in Frostwolves.  Too much chocolate gives me diarrhoea (TMI!) and I don't really want to get the shits with the raiders I pick up who are like cheap chocolate.

Aza said to me a few weeks ago that I should be trying to snap up good people for mythic raiding.  I have been trying, but it's a hard process, trying to find the people that I think would benefit most from coming here.  But mythic raiding isn't here yet.  What's going to happen to those 25 man guilds that suddenly have to kick out 5 people to be subs?  Maybe some of those will be looking for homes - and maybe even some of those would fit with our Frostwolves pack.  Maybe some will be nice.  But it's hard to know, and it's hard to tell. I guess I'll just have to be patient, maybe the right ones will come along just when I need them to.

As an end note, I did have a happy moment on Thursday after raid.  Dragonray told me that she had decided on a new home, and I was really happy for her!  I said I hoped they would treat her well and she said to me "Well, you would kick them if they didn't right?" To which I replied "As long as I don't get reported!".  I mean, if people were mean to her and I made a level one toon on the server and whispered /kick in the groin to them every few minutes because they were meanies - that would probably be classed as harassment. I was wondering where she was going to go, and then she said she was faction changing.  I was bummed - why couldn't she come here if she was faction changing - but I hoped that it would work out.  And then it dawned on me when she said "That is, if you'll have me, right?"  OMG how could I be so stupid!  She and Lom were coming to Frostwolves!  Naturally I was THRILLED to pieces, and one by one her toons started to trickle over.  She had a warm welcome from everyone (LOL, she is already there, technically, on Prismatique) and now I look forward to being able to Flex with her tomorrow.  Damn, I hope we have people - Kyxyn is at a function so he'll be late, so I hope I can find enough tanks to raid with.  Fingers crossed!

6 comments:

  1. Always love reading your thoughts about raiding.
    The Bushido Project seems like such a fantastic bunch, wow! They really are more than just a guild! Loved reading about their Japan adventure. While such things might not be possible for everyone, I think it's inspiring to see players get together like that. We're not just pixels! And this is a perfect reminder! If everyone kept that in mind, perhaps there would be lots of nicer players out there!

    And it sounds like the Frostwolves are similar. They are very lucky to have you as a leader. While you do get things done raiding-wise, you also seem to value ALL your members equally. You don't just see them as a "disposable mean" to get things accomplished. I see so many guilds just tossing members aside since they don't play the "right" class --- basically showing that they really don't care about them as a person. Just makes me sad. Gonna be worse with 25M going the way of the dodo.

    I don't doubt you'll find people for Mythic raiding.
    You'll just have to look away from the chocolate for now --- don't let yourself be tempted!

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    1. I am trying NOT to look at all that chocolate. But it's DAMNED HARD!

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  2. Even though it's tricky with your full roster, I feel that this lull before an expansion is the perfect time to start recruiting: if you can maintain an active, healthy guild through the tough times (Like now) then how kick-ass are you going to be when the good times roll around again?! Of course, it's all about tact. The really good chocolate will come to you, but it's gotta know that you exist in the first place! You guys offer something that is a really hard balance to strike (Like your social post shows) and the right person would be happy to wait. Well, that's how it happened when Casa and I were running Concur, anyhow.

    Speaking of, I can definitely see where the other GM is coming from. While Concur didn't explode when I left -- far from it, actually -- I still didn't feel "right" about sticking around. It's very, very rare that I will log into Blackrock at all anymore, and when I do, the guild itself is not the guild I remember. There are just so many new faces I don't know! In the end, it was better to just move on.

    Dragonray made a good choice on Saurfang. While I still think you guys are way too shy around non-raiders like me (I don't bite, promise!) I've been enjoying myself when I log onto my Priest :)

    You have done a brilliant job of getting the guild to where it is today and I have no doubt you'll put together an amazing mythic team when the time comes! Just try not to be so hard on yourself :)

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    1. It's hard not to be hard on yourself - I read you blog and I know you know the dramas! I am thinking about what you said about people not knowing we're there, and wondering what I should say. <3 neri!!!

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  3. "I think my weakness is that I treat my guild like my family, so that whenever someone isn't happy, I feel it's my responsibility to make it a nicer place. "

    Yes Nav, that was always my approach as well. And yes, I have cried, I have felt like I've failed personally, and I do feel as though taking a small break meant the 'glue' fell apart in my absence. While it hurts to have our 6+ years of effort end like this, I do console myself slightly in the fact that we DID manage to keep going for so long, and I know it was due to my unerring efforts to try to keep people as happy as humanly possible. Sometimes that was to my own detriment, and it REALLY hurts when you realise some people you thought of as close friends value raiding over those friendships, but once my wounds heal I may take a different perspective. Thanks for all of your love and support - who knows, one day we may rise from the ashes, or even head over Frosty's way! :P

    Love you long time xxx

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    1. After reading your post about it, I was even MORE upset about what happened! Like, you find some small time to yourself away from WoW and then all that hard work you put it just turned into that ... poo-pile? It's like the guild had turned into a toddler with ADHD - you can't not look at it for ONE MINUTE because it's gonna get into mischief. I am so pleased you found a good guild home, because I was so tempted to go out and drag you to Frostwolves for adoption. And let you have some peace and quiet and rest and just enjoy WoW for what it is without all the shitty politics. <3 Gen!

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