Guild Drama strikes home

One of the things I failed to mention in earlier guild drama posts is that sometimes things happen in multiples.  Scratch that – they almost always happen in multiples.  And when a major event happens, things lurking under the surface blow up.  And the end result is unsatisfying to everyone.

This past week my guild blew up.  No, not fair.  About two or three weeks ago the equanamity was cracked.  The guild leader quit.  Now there were excellent and important reasons for him to quit, but and it was actually necessary for him to do it pretty close to the way he did it.  But I can’t think of an uglier way to hit a guild.  He came on, without warning promoted another player to guild leader, and quit – guild, server, and game (for now).  We got really, really lucky – the person he promoted was one of the people that everyone loves.  You may have one in your guild – people at complete war will make peace at the table because it’s making that person uncomfortable.  If you do, bless them and thank them for they are priceless treasures.

Anyway, she took over and a LOT of major problems surfaced.  Actually, they’d been problems already, and had been dealt with somewhat roughly by the departing BM – and in a lot of ways were still unresolved.  Due to the nature of our temp GM, we were able to bring out and start resolution of these without the usual backbiting and blame – a number of rule changes were agreed upon, and some things were tabled for what was supposed to be a month or two – at least till after the holidays (yet another stress issue).

Unfortunately, that person is not a good choice for guild master most of the time.  Not due to incapability, but rather because by its nature the GM is rarely everyone’s friend.  Someone has to be told no.  The GM gets constant messages – which are quite different from the messages this sort of person usually gets and which are ON TOP of those messages.  It is, quite literally, a huge stress.  Add in some non-WoW issues and, once she thought we were past the heavy stress of the first impact, she bowed out of the position.  She did it at a guild meeting, with open discussion, and a new guild leader was selected.  Who instituted zero changes.  But…

But he’d made enemies in the past.  And there was at least one person who was equally qualified who some people wanted instead.  A truly ugly fact in this is that both of these people had stated they were being placeholders till a guild election could be held – and neither WANTED to be the guild master.  They, like me, had done it before.  In their cases they were old hands in the guild and had earned a lot more trust than me.  (I didn’t – don’t – want it.  I cannot give 20+ hours to this game every week with at least an hour most days.  And the way the guild is currently habituated that’s the minimum a GM must devote.)

Anyway, the acting GM suddenly received a lot of totally unexpected crap.  He may or may not have earned it in the past – I wasn’t part of the guild at the time.  But he got…  I’ve heard several sides of the issue and nobody looks good in this.  I am not sure there WAS a good solution after this part started.

Bluntly, there was a failure in trust.  Trust in the GM by some people, trust the GM had that other people would back him was proven wrong, trust …

So the 3d GM decided to take a different solution.  He announced he was leaving, gave the position to the other qualified person, and created his own guild.  And then the part that will leave bad blood for a long time even though there were actually really good reasons for it – he asked various members of the first guild to leave and join his.

I have a suggestion, here, if any of you are in this GM’s position.  Discuss it with your replacement ahead of time.  Tell the whole guild you’re leaving due to irreconcilable differences, announce that any are welcome to go along, and then you AND your replacement give a window of ‘no recriminations’ for separation.  As it is…

Those of us who leave are hated by the ones who stayed.  Those who stay are hated by those who left.  No, hatred is (for the most part) too strong a word.  Certainly viewed with distrust and some scorn, though.

The guild I left prior to this I left because it disintegrated.  Its members found themselves in three strong guilds.  I made friends in this guild – friends I like as much as the ones who found themselves in two other guilds.  Some of my friends left, and some stayed.  And due to the nature, regardless of what happens I’m going to find myself losing contact with people I like.

Needless to say, this has impacted my pleasure in playing, and it’s had an impact on my writing.  (I don’t really like lesson 5 on my writing macros – it’s a placeholder instead of advancement.)  And even if I choose to do nothing, I’ve chosen by default.

The point is – this is why you try to keep GD minimalized.  Not bury it, but lance it and clean it.  Because if it’s allowed to fester, you get explosions, and then everyone loses to some extent.

To my fellow Sunfury guildies, past and present, whether you choose to stay or move on – and regardless of how I choose – be well, have fun, and hopefully you’ll have minimal misery out of this.  If you’re needing a healer, give me a call.

~ by Kirk on December 10, 2007.

4 Responses to “Guild Drama strikes home”

  1. My sympathies. I’ve been through a situation much like this one. Best of luck as you move on.

    One thing that helped a bit was setting up a chat channel for those who want to keep in touch even if they’re in different guilds.

  2. What a crummy situation. Real sorry ya have to go through it. Lucks to you as you pick up the pieces and move forward.

  3. I’ve recently been through a guild implosion, and subsequent split. Neither guild was as strong as the original, but the new guild started from scratch and was able to eliminate alot of ‘dead weight’. By dead weight, I’m referring to people who have been in the guild forever, and are selfish, do nothing but complain, and start drama whenever the opportunity presents itself. I stayed with the old guild b/c of RL friends. The new guild is sucessful in 10 man content, but cant get the numbers of quality people to be able to run 25 mans. The old guild realized that recruiting wouldn’t fix their problems, so they absorbed/merged with another small guild. Things were great for a while, but the ‘dead weight’ people were resentful towards the new people. Things got ugly, raiding failed, people /gquit and started as much drama as they could to ‘go out with a bang’, and half of the core raiders left because they didn’t want to deal with all of the BS. I ended up leaving because the other officers refused to realize that they cant pull undergeared underqualified players through content that they had no business being in. 25 man raids cannot be expected to be successful when the strategy is ‘throw yourself at it enough times and eventually you’ll get lucky’. I joined a hardcore raiding guild that was where I felt the guild I left should have been with respect to progress (which was 5/6 SSC + 3/4 TK). Since joining the hardcore guild, I have had more fun playing WoW/raiding than I have had in months. On my second SSC raid, we downed Vashj! guild first :) Point being, sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side, Best of Luck and keep up the awesome posts!!

  4. Ouch. Maybe it was for the best if there really were so many problems beneath the surface, but it sounds like it could be rough for a while, especially as people have to make decisions about where their characters land. Choosing sides is never fun, but it’s even more painful when you’re forced into it.

    Hang in there.

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