Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Are Not Alone!

One of the hardest things I think in managing a guild is balancing what the guild wants to do with what the guild is capable of doing. As of late in MAS, a lot of members wanted to start raiding. I was fine with this. We appointed a raid coordinator who was met with a lot of resistance when trying to organize raids. He fought through this and we were starting to have moderate success at the end of the Burning Crusade. Along comes Wrath, and with it all new dungeons and raids. Several members raced to level eighty and began gearing for raiding, which is great.

Along the way there were some set backs. The biggest to me has been the problems our raid leader has had in his personal life which has kept him offline. Hopefully that will change in the near future and he will be back to take control of our raids. In the meantime a few officers have stepped in and tried to assist with maintaining some semblance of raiding. This has met with little to no success. The issues have been for different reasons that we will not go into. It has however, caused several members to leave. This is fine, I understand when people want to do something and they do not feel they can accomplish it with MAS.

The thing that had me down somewhat was that a couple members were respected in the guild and with their leaving, I believe created a sense of insecurity which led to other members leaving. I also can respect that. It is not the first time since the founding of MAS that members have left and others became concerned and left as well. I think most guild leaders have dealt with this. The thing that concerns me is that all of the members who have left have gone to the same guild. It seems somewhat suspicious. I have heard rumors of other members being recruited, although they have not yet left. (I truly hope the do not leave, but in the end there is nothing I can do to prevent this.)

The thing I do not respect is the members who sneak away and do not say one thing to anyone. To me that is wrong. I am a firm believer that if there is a problem, it is my duty (and yours) to approach whomever is in charge and explain to them what the issues are. This will allow them to think about what you say, but also allow you to see the other side of the picture. In my guild, the underlying tone is that we do not raid enough. I will concede that we are not running Naxx at this moment. We have made two attempts with dismal results. The issues of not being successful in those attempts are a broad range of issues which include group composition, people not being prepared, and people thinking they are better than they truly are. These are all easily overcome, but they require time, which it now blatantly appears to me that very few people are willing to give.

In the end it has caused me to do some reevaluations of the guild, the officers, and the individuals within the guild. In the past I have shared that I am leveling a Priest to step in and take on raid healing. I would pose the question as to what others are doing to help the situation. I have heard all sorts of things from guild members ranging from let me know what to do all the way to people need to work to get their gear. All of these are valid opinions, but then it goes back to the old saying of you cannot have your cake and eat it too. So what then is the answer?

There is no answer. People are going to do what they want to do. Some people will use an individual or a guild as a stepping stone, all the while professing how dedicated they are to the person or guild. Others will pour everything they have into the guild and take each person who leaves as a crushing blow. Pragmatics like myself will hold the middle ground, understanding the desire to see the content and understanding the issues that each person leaving creates. In the end it is a cycle. A vicious cycle, but one that is overcome. I truly believe that there are a handful of individuals that will stay and work through the growing pains. To those who leave I wish I could say the best of luck, but honestly I am somewhat bitter and truly do not care what happens.

The best part of my personality is the ability to not give a _____ (fill in your own word there, mine is too strong for children who may read the blog.) Some people have often said that it is a character flaw, but I disagree. I think this is the best way for a guild leader to be. It allows me look at things objectively and start making new plans on how to best accomplish the goals that the guild members have indicated that they want. While, I am not always able to maintain as stern an attitude, and sometimes I do feel down, I quickly recover when I come across things such as Altoholic's Are Us recent post, which indicates they have been experiencing similar types of discontent from their members, yet they are progressing and moving ahead in spite of it all.

Perhaps there is even a good thing that come from situations like these. What if the individuals who leave, however nice they may be, are rotten apples so to say? They give off the impression, whether directly or indirectly, that they are better or have no desire to help the guild, then to have them decide to move on could actually help the guild. While reading Blessings of Kings I cam across a post that had nothing to do with guild issues, yet a commentor had encountered some and this is what Gibbiex had to say:

"This is absolutely true. One of our most geared players (a ret paly) said recently that "I'm going to let other people take my spot in Naxx, since they need the gear more than me". Which is basically saying "I'm tired of running naxx because I don't need any gear from it". Then a few weeks later it was "I'm leaving the guild to find a more progressed guild". This is fine, we are not a progressive raiding guild. But the attitude that somehow we'd be better off without his 3.5k dps is just, wow. With him, we can get away with brining a bunch of guildies who are not geared and make up for their bad dps. With him, we could get away with a few people dying on dps dependant fights. Anyway, he left, a bunch of others left, our raiding team collapsed. Oh well. We're rebuilding.
In the meantime we've been doing alot more social stuff which the members enjoy much more than the "we're going to naxx tonight' type stuff that we've done."
Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying that people who leave are horrible people, but in the end, I think that if you become so miserable because you cannot run the content you want to run, then leaving may be an option. The game is simply that, a game. It should be about having fun. I find fun in PVP, so if I grow bored, you can probably find me in a battleground somewhere. It does not matter win or lose (although it does frustrate me), the fun is in playing the game the way that you want to.

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