Guild Drama: When Good Friends /Gquit in a Huff

21 10 2008

  Yes, one of those moments – and on this one, I certainly have a bit more stake than most. A bit of background, and then the story.

  When I started playing WoW almost two years ago, I stayed unguilded for quite some time – on purpose. When I finally elected to join someone, the results were mixed. No high-level characters in the guild to assist, and then a GM who went on hiatus for several months unexpectedly. In this leaderless environment, some of us formed a new guild so that we could still operate, <Unrestricted Free Agent>. It grew into a sort of ‘friends and family’ thing until we started to get a bit bigger in the world, and our numbers were not big enough to effectively raid, or do much of anything else. What I did then, as Guild Leader, was to seek out a good environment that we could look to for a merger. I looked for a casual guild with numbers and stability that would allow us to grow and participate with them. What I found was <Mediocrity in Motion>, and shortly after we were approved to join them. This was February of 2008.

  There were about eight players in UFA at that moment. Two of them elected to stay on their own and did not want to join. Two of them, younger players, did come across but left soon after for whatever reason. Later, both of them asked to come back, but neither was approved a second time. As I would come to find out, management doesn’t like guild hoppers too much, and I can’t say that I blame them. Four of us that came over in that merger – my wife, myself, and 2 real-life friends – have stayed, up until yesterday. Yesterday, one of those friends walked.

  He was online asking for help with a Blades’ Edge Mountains quest. The character in question was a 70 Hunter with Kara / ZA gear, so this was not a case of levelling or even quest rewards. The particular quest was one of the ones from the Gronn chain; past the initial “Even Gronn Have Standards”, etc, but before the final Ogri’la event. As most people know, this is one of those quests that rots in your quest log forever. It’s a 5-man, PITA quest that nobody wants to do. To do it, you need a tank, a healer, and 2 DPS, if not 3. With a good enough tank, it’s a likely 3-man. The point is, this is not one of those quests where a single person in the area can pop in and assist to make it happen; it takes almost a perfect storm to luck into some people that want to do it. With the new achievements, there are likely enough people looking for BEM stuff that you’ll find it eventually, but it’s more of an exercise in patience. Which brings us to Sunday.

  He’s been logged in and playing for a bit, doing whatever it is that he’s doing, and asks at some point for help on this quest. A minute or two passes, no response. I’m actually in BEM at the moment, albeit with my 69 Pallytank who has no business doing this quest – so, barring a switch in characters, I’m not in a position to do this anyhow. Still, there are ~20 people online at the time. Eventually, he starts to complain, right there in /g. “the problem with guilds is, nobody wants to help anyone anymore.” Wait, what? “I’ve been asking forever for help on this, and nobody will help me.” This was followed with a few responses along the “wait what?” lines as well from a couple of officers (note: I’m not an officer), and I can presume that there were a few whispers between the player and officers as well before the predictable comes along and he types “gquit”, forgetting the slashie. I immediately responded with “/bad idea”. He responded to me, via whisper, that he was upset nobody helps him. I countered by reminding him that it’s not a small order to drop everything that one may be doing to run out for that particular quest, and tried to counsel him on what the guild had actually provided for him. As I may have expected, this went in one ear and out the other. “/gquit” followed soon after, and then he started logging on his other characters to do the same before the GM helped him out and just booted his alts. yay, drama.

  Here’s the qualifier on this, though. When he joined MiM, he was still learning the ropes on the game as a Prot Warrior. If memory serves, he was not yet 70, but close. In the time that he was in MiM, he hit 70 on that character and gathered a substantial amount of gear through raiding. The kicker is, in most of those raids, he was not a heavily contributing member, frequently DPSing as Prot. Even when he had a 4/5 T4 set and over 17000 armor, 15000+ unbuffed health, he never received the more cherry assignments because his skill with the class was not enough that he could be trusted in a MT role. Essentially, he filled a slot that could have been better served with a true DPS class, lowering the overall effectiveness of the raid, but accumulated loot from the raids like an all-star. I haven’t checked, but I believe that he had the lowest DKP in the guild at the time of his departure, a number which had *always* been a negative number. From the beginning, he’d never made up for the gear he got. Besides gear, major players in the guild had taken a lot of time with him to help him understand how to play his role and class better, and how to properly socket and enchant his gear – as well as what gear to actually target. Those around him had carried him, and made him a better player – and this was thanks.

  To me, quitting like this – and offending people (officers, no less) that had assisted him to grow as a player in the process – is missing the larger point. Guilds aren’t about helping you to finish out some SMV quest chain, though it’s nice if it happens. That’s what General Chat is for. Guilds are about what kind of an opportunity you get to grow, and raid. Before attendance went into the toilet server-wide, we were raiding something or other 5 or 6 nights a week. Qualifications were minimal, there was not a particularly stratified order for who’s in and who’s out, other than first come, first serve raid signups. In other words, opportunity. In MiM, he had a chance to go on any raid that he wanted to, so long as he signed up in advance.

  Now, he’s elected to go elsewhere, and I have to think that it will end poorly. He’s going to try one of two things: either go for more of a progression guild, or take the first /2 guild spam and run with it. If he goes the progression route, they’re going to quickly recognize that he has a steep learning curve for fights with a lot of mechanics to them and he’ll fall out of favor, and out of a serious raid rotation. If he joins some trade channel guild, he’ll be one of the big kids on the block for gear (for now), but likely surrounded by a bunch of undergeared (and underskilled) people who just want him to MT Kara every week. Eventually, the stagnation is going to get old, and he’ll get frustrated.

  Ironically, neither of these guilds is likely to offer him help with his BEM fools’ errand.

  Now, the real crux of the matter is, he may have burned bridges on leaving. Our guild officers are good and understanding people; what a lot of folks fail to realize is just how much of yourself you have to invest when you’re a GL, or Raid Leader. It’s substantial. The cool website, the raid reports, the vent server, the roster signups and management – someone has to do all of that to make it work, and you’d damn well better respect that. When you upset the apple cart on your way out the door, and leave those very people that have nurtured you from noobdom to some semblance of respectability, character-wise, you’re doing it wrong. It’s a short-sighted and immature action that may well bar the door for your future return, or at least do so without an extended period of repentance or probation. By failing to recognize and appreciate the time and effort that the officers put in, and failing to show the proper respect for that in words and actions, he’s likely killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

  From my standpoint, this person is a real-life friend whom I have known more than 15 years. Naturally, I get the whispers. “What happened?”. “Are you and Ness upset or leaving?”. Stuff I’d rather not deal with, but I must as *I* vouched for him when we first joined up, and I’ve defended him on more than one occasion when he has said or done something foolish or upsetting to some. Now, it reflects poorly on me, at least to a small degree. I’m not going to hold that against him, anything that may result by association as we’re all grown up enough to realize that he’s his own person and I am mine – but it sucks.

  So now, I’m left with a real life friend who has completely boned himself with the guild. I’m sure that I’ll be pressured by him to help him get back in at some point, and I’m not looking forward to it. It’s a bad situation to get thrust in the middle of, and I’d really rather not be involved. Still, by association, I’m going to be, for better or for worse.

  Fantastic.

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