Guildleader Chores - Are Romance and Raiding exclusive?

It's not something I have had to worry about in a while, but having couples is not all roses and chocolates like you would think it is.

I saw this Valentine card on Reddit. CUUUTE!
I was reading the blog of someone who started following me (Naerwen), and she had a post "Being Romantically Involved with your raid team" and her conclusion was that it was a bad idea.
Personally, I believe it has absolutely no place in a progression environment. Just as in a work-place, there is too much at risk for it to ever be a worthwhile investment.
- Naerwen 
I thought about what she said, and having raided with couples before, I can tell you that there can be a little bit of drama.

1. We want to raid together
I can understand that.  You play the game so you can play together.  However, sometimes you have one too many DPS or one too many healers and if you want to sit one out, you have to sit both out. OR you have to sit someone else because you have to keep both of them in the raid (because you only need to sit one out).  But geez, I wish that they would be independent players rather than a unit.

2. What happens when one leaves...
I have that situation now.  One half of a couple left the guild for better raiding opportunities, but their partner stayed here.  I was anxious because I thought that she would leave also, but she seems to want to stay so far - though I am not sure if it is because the guild that her partner went to had no room for her and she's just biding her time or because she really wants to stay.  Either way I am glad she is staying and it's good to have her around, but there is always that possibility that losing one means losing both.  In fact, even now, I'm still expecting her to drop the "leaving bomb" any time now.

3.When they're fighting, it affects the whole raid
I have had couples before arguing and then brought their shit to raid.  Or one of them logged off because they were shitty at the other and then the other was upset and played poorly.  People think it doesn't happen to them "because we're not like that, we're in love, we'll be fine!"  But believe me it does.  Naerwen said the same thing... but slightly more colourfully than me.

4. And after they break up...
Does one half of a couple really want to stay in the same guild or raid team as another after they've broken up?  It usually means one or both leaves the guild - especially if one of the finds another partner (and even worse if they find another partner IN the guild). Drama drama drama.  So that happened recently - one of our returning members was the ex of another guildie who brought her new guy into the guild BUT the drama was on her side, not his.  She ended up leaving because she found it too hard seeing him every day, and he ended up leaving anyway because he went to play with old friends.


For the most part, couples in the guild represent very little drama to me - that might be because of the members that we attract.  Jazz and Nath, for example are a strong solid couple who like to raid together, but they would be more interested in raiding NEW content together, whereas when we were swapping people in and out for gear, they were happy to have one or the other in raid for farm bosses. Luxy and Rav are in the guild but they don't raid together but that doesn't seem to bother her at all. Koda and Guns are another couple where Koda raids but Guns doesn't but whether he is in a raid or not doesn't seem to bother her.  Then there's Neri and Disco actually can't raid together since they have children to look after and when one raids, the other tends to be looking after kids.  Not that either of them are on much lately...

My husband has just come back to do social raiding, and I admit I tend to overlook his raiding oversights - such as unenchanted gear - because it is social raiding after all.  For main raiding, that would be unacceptable. However, he has had his on and off time and if he decided to quit the game I wouldn't stop playing, and if he quit the guild... well that would be awkward but certainly wouldn't be going anywhere (if anything it would have been something that I did as GM that would cause him to quit anyway).

There are heaps of examples of when couples work in raiding and when they don't. But in general, you are more likely to have problems when:

  • New romance
  • Skill level between the couple varies
  • More ego-centric attitudes (eg. I only want to raid if the other is on and if they're not then I won't raid, or loot focussed)
  • Friction between the couple (eg whose turn it is to do chores, gametime vs coupletime, being dragged into the game just to please the partner) or other history of relationship issues
  • Jealousy of any type in either couple
And most of the couples in the guild are not any of these things. Relationships of trust, independence and also of equal enjoyment (or at least, the understanding of having their own time in game) of the game mean that couples are not necessarily a focus of drama, but actually can bring a great feeling of balance and harmony to a guild. But I do keep an eye on every new romance that buds in the guild - because from experience, that has only led to trouble.


Comments

  1. I've encountered most of the variations on couples in raids/guilds. Lately the ones we have seem to be doing well though, and there's none of the having to raid together or other things to bring the raid down. Which I'm grateful for. We've definitely had that in the past.

    I'm actually involved with our GM. We met through the guild 7+ years ago, and have been a couple for 3,5 years. But no one in the guild knows this, except for a female friend of mine. I guess eventually we will have to tell them, especially since we're moving in together this summer *lol* It's just not necessarily been anything that we felt had to be shared, since it's our personal lives and doesn't really effect the raiding. (We're both the more individual type, and there's none of the having to raid together or anything. Which is good - since I still can't raid!)

    There are days when I feel guilty about not telling the guild about us, but by now it's been so long I'm not even sure how to *lol*

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    1. Firstly OMG that's awesome Saga - and interesting that you have kept it quiet for that long. You're right, it isn't anyone's business and the last thing you need is people wondering if you got to get into a raid because you guys were together (not that it would be that way since you're not raiding anyway!). Like you I've had issues with lots of different types of relationship drama affecting raids (including a few in the last few months), and right at this moment, I am kinda happy with how things are. Everyone thinks they are committed and it won't happen to them, but it's easier as a GM/raid leader/officer to assume the worst and hope for the best so that you never will be disappointed at the outcome.

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    2. Maybe it helps that I'm an officer, and was since before we became a couple. So we're used to discussing the guild an its problems between each other. I'll be honest, it does sometimes cause friction when we have different opinions - but so far we're managing to handle it quite well.

      I was always the first to offer to sit out during the days when raid sizes weren't flexible, so I don't think anyone could try to make it out to be that I'm favorised in any way *lol*

      We're a fairly casual guild too, which probably helps. A lot of our members have been there for years.

      And I'll be honest, despite being part of a couple myself - when I see couples applying to our guild, I worry about it still! Because you never know what kind of couple they will turn out to be...

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  2. I'd say that just like any other social endeavor where people take obligations seriously, throwing romance into the mix can make a situation combustible.

    In an MMO it becomes most pronounced in a high availability activity, such as progression raiding, but it is there in everything from intramural sports to pencil and paper RPG groups to sports fans who travel to games together. The one thing that MMOs have that complicates things is that there's a lack of true face to face time, where you can hang with people outside of a cyber environment. That corresponding lack of non-verbal connections makes group dynamics a bit more difficult to handle.

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    1. That's very true Redbeard. I guess you just need to clarify early whether the couple are a "unit" or separate independent entities. It's when you have confusion about which of the two they are that you run into more trouble.

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  3. So, I can definitely see all of Naer's points, but from my own personal experience, they're wrong. My guild has, and has had over the years, several couples in them. Only one has ever caused any kind of issue, but the majority of us are all long term couples. Hell, my GM and her s/o are getting married in a couple months. And Kia and myself met through twitter when she was looking for a guild in the first place. So she came to our guild and now we're married.

    I realize we are probably the exceptions more than the rule, but I still think it's healthy to have some occasional "NO, YOU'RE WRONG, AND HERE'S WHY!" on occasion. ;D

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    1. Yeah, so I don't know why this came up as being unknown, but yeah... it's me, Achloryn, who made this comment. Sigh.

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    2. Achloryn I knew it was you when you said "Kia and myself" :) But you beat me to the comment! And yes, not everyone is as cool as you and Kia and you are. For the most part I think couples bring a good balance, but every now and then there are some who end up causing all sorts of uproar.

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  4. Disco and I are still alive, promise! Just on a WoW break at the moment is all (Which reminds me, I need to log on to his account before it runs out and dump all the raiding goodies I mailed him into the guild bank!) :)

    Kaida and Urami are another wonderful example of a couple who enjoy the game together but understand that they're not a package deal.

    In all my time as GM, I can only think of one time having a couple caused problems. Douchebag boyfriend of one of our veterans had a little hissy fit and quit the guild over something trivial. Later on they split entirely (Thank goodness) and I never had to deal with douchebag again. It was a win/win! :P

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    1. D'oh too late his sub has expired :/

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    2. Oh well! Maybe he will resub one day...

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  5. Interesting post :) I think I would just echo what others have said that it just depends on the couple and probably the guild environment too. I guess I am lucky that we seem to have evolved into a guild with a fair few couples now however they are all people that stand alone as individuals rather than some couples that can feel like they are stuck together in stand alone fortress.
    In the past I have seen couples that have been pure poison in guilds so I can understand the sentiment behind the original post.
    Also I can understand the frustration at couples raiding as I do this and often complain to my partner since he will talk to me during raids about the fights in person whilst we are on teamspeak, and I am forever telling him to just say on ts so they rest are not just sitting in this silence gap. Luckily we are quite a relaxed guild whilst raiding so its now just the running joke that he is the grumpy one and I am the one left rolling my eyes

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    1. I find the opposite with couples - for example you THINK they'd tell the other one about the fight if one of them knew it - I rarely find that to be the case. That goes for siblings too! So I guess that I shouldn't take it for granted that they know the same things, I should just treat them all as individuals and assume they both don't know whatever it is you want to explain to them. I think the author isn't ANTI couples, but I think she was trying to say "treat with caution".

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