Gquitting: NOOOES UR DOING IT RONG

As readers know, I recently stepped down as GM of War Within A Breath in order to start a new guild on the same server.

I thought I did everything right. I had someone solid to pass the GM title to, I refrained from pillaging the guild bank, I announced in Vent that I was leaving and gave my reasons why and I left a similar message on the guild forums.

Apparently, I can’t do shit right.

Sorry. History Lesson.

To recap just a little about what led up my deciding to leave, a former officer informed me that the more casual elements of WWAB were upset over a variety of things, most of them told in confidence (because the best way to resolve a problem is to not take it to leadership but rather to let it fester). The one thing that did come to my attention as being viewed as an issue, was the core. Which, as I have said before, had long since been abolished.

I said then that I should have quit back in November, when I was seriously considering walking away from all the bullshit that was going on.

A few days later, without giving any reasons or even trying to resolve any of her mysterious issues, this former officer quit. Her husband followed, of course.

I was left in the position of having about half of the people in the guild wanting to raid and raid seriously, with the other half being solidly entrenched in the idea that WWAB was a casual guild but apparently up in arms about something, and possibly thinking that they should be able to raid without putting in any of their own effort. I won’t lie. I lost sleep thinking about this, wondering who the malcontents were and debating on whether or not I should try to call them out on it so that we could at least establish a dialogue and try to move ahead with everyone on the same page.

With that in mind, I scheduled a guild meeting. I had intended to talk about raiding moving forward, reiterate that the core was a thing of the past and that in order to raid, all anyone had to do was get themselves raid ready and then sign up.

But I was still wrestling with the questions. WWAB had started out as a casual guild and there was this history in place that would be difficult to overcome in the minds of the long term members. As I realized a month before, I had changed. And was it really fair of me to try to force that change in goals on the guild? I didn’t think so, but what were my options?

  1. I could run the guild as a hard-core raiding guild, alienating the casuals or perhaps just kicking them out
  2. I could create a sub-group (core) which nobody wanted or liked and which had already failed once
  3. I could give up on your own goals of raiding and have a “casual” guild. Let the harder-core raiders move on when they get tired of babysitting the scrubs
  4. Or I could leave

And one morning, I woke up resolved. I poked at that resolve all day long and for the next three days after that. It didn’t falter. I was going to leave the only guild I’d ever known. I was going to let WWAB be a casual guild, since the dichotomy between having the people who didn’t actually give a rat’s ass about progression wanting to raid and the people who did care about progression not wanting to be held back by having to carry people who weren’t even putting in a minimum effort was the source of a lot of tension and drama.

So instead of having a guild meeting about the future of raiding in WWAB, I announced instead that I was leaving to start a serious raiding guild. I outlined that Cristus would be the GM and he would be working with whoever remained to determine what the direction of WWAB would be. I informed them that all the things At and I handled with our own money (vent, forums) would now be their responsibility if they wanted to have both or either. I expressed that I was willing to take anyone who shared the same goals but that I wanted people to think about it and make their own decisions because I was not going to try to poach. I wanted WWAB to succeed as whatever it wanted to be. I hoped we could still be friends and would love to still be able to ask them to raid with us if we needed people.

It was a difficult conversation, but I thought people understood. I was wrong.

Then I posted my farewell message on the forums and unlike anyone else who had ever, in the whole history of the guild, left for whatever reason, I did not receive many wishes of good luck and hoping to see me around. Which is okay, but what I did get was not:

I honestly feel pretty shitty about the circumstances by which you decided to pull up stakes. Mostly on the fact that if you hadn’t noticed, there isn’t a whole lot of us left. So if you felt the need to make a new guild, my question is why? If you want a raiding core, or wanted to make a separation, why not just define it that way? I always thought the question of the progression raiding core was more one of setting boundaries than it was one of needing an entirely new guild. So in the end result, those of us left in your wake are left feeling like we just weren’t good enough to be included.

I’m know that this is supposed to be a game, and there are those who espouse the idea that drama in games is needless since this is supposed to be fun. And on the grounds that we all pay our monthly to do what we like, I can’t blame you. But we have all spend days and in some cases literally years(!) doing this together. In light of that, I have to say this could have been handled better and I’m disappointed.

And:

I’ve been trying to find a way to say just that exact same thing.. I’m really rather (for lack of a better term at this hour of the morning) pissed off by how everything was handled and feel exactly like you put it.. Not good enough.

For the short version, this is basically the story so far:

  1. Alas sucks because of the core and omg how dare she try to raid seriously in a casual guild?
  2. Alas leaves and says, “I want to raid seriously. I’mma do that over here instead. Wish you all the best and hope we can still be friends even though we have different goals.”
  3. Alas sucks because omg how dare she go start a new guild when she could have just had a core?

I replied to the post in as diplomatic a fashion as I could muster, but what I wanted to say was more along the lines of: “This sort of logic fail is the sort of thing that has made me crazy. Thanks for years of being completely self-centered assholes who have done nothing but whine and piss and bitch about everything without ever once lifting a finger to help the guild with anything. So you know, your constant blaming me for everything you don’t like and your nailing me to the wall no matter what I do is why I left. Nothing is ever good enough for you people and I frankly hope that you, in your infinite wisdom, try leading a guild some time and I hope you have people around to make it every bit of a fucking miserable experience for you as it has been for me.”

But wait, there’s more!

Over here in this neck of the woods, Elfi wrote about how my leaving made her feel. Now, Elfi and I have talked about things here and there and I am not linking so that everyone can go over there and tell Elfi she had no right to feel the way she did. She said it was knee-jerk reaction and if she had waited a few hours, she wouldn’t have even felt the same way. But because she’s not a coward, she’s letting it stand and I respect it.

The thing that got to me was this anonymously-posted comment:

It’s good to read you are feeling the same way as I am, kinda. I read into it more apparently. I took it as a “Yeah, we’re leaving… and by the way you aren’t good enough to be asked to come along but as a consolation prize we might ask you to come along if we have a spot open so we don’t have to PUG it.” But, I do have a tendency to read more into it than what’s there. It’s true, I’m pissed that there was so much needless gquitting if the GM had apparent plans to leave and start something new anyway. On the other side though I’m thankful WWAB didn’t get “Bend to my will or be banished!”I haven’t decided if I’m going to stay in WWAB or not. I want to raid, and there are plenty of decent guilds that don’t have a Friday/Saturday night raid schedule.

Emphasis mine because do you see the idiotic and offensive assumption this fine, anonymous commenter made? That I am, in fact, the sort of person who would sit around and plot how to drive people out of the guild before leaving myself? And this commenter can believe that of me even though I didn’t stick around to try to force WWAB to change?

Fuck. That.

Bitterness, I has it

In closing, I find myself feeling extremely bitter towards the people who I know made some of these comments. After being used by them as a target for years, I don’t know why I expected anything different from them when I left. But I did. Perhaps not well wishes, but even apathy would have been better than these ignorant and self-centered people judging even my exit as being “not good enough” and “wrong”.

The sad thing is, these people are never going to change. Whoever ends up being their GM or their boss or anyone else with authority over them will undergo this same treatment. They are so used to blaming someone else for anything they don’t like, that they will never, ever stand up and take personal responsibility for their unhappiness. They will sit there and passively blame anyone in the vicinity when it is they themselves that did not ever have the balls to address their own problems or the willingness to stand up and say that they would put in whatever effort it takes to make their environment one they are happy with and want to be a part of.

I keep telling myself that I need to let go of WWAB entirely. And I really do think it’s past time for that to happen. Excuse me while I go gquit on the alt I left over there.

Comments

Gquitting: NOOOES UR DOING IT RONG — 22 Comments

  1. It really is better to let go entirely–I ended up taking Lyrandre out of BoO when all was said and done, despite my original intentions.

    Deep breaths, Alas! Deep breaths!

    And if that doesn’t work there’s always voodoo dolls.

  2. What it comes down to is this: there’s no “good” way to leave a guild you’re invested in. Whether you’re GM or not, when emotions are involved, it’s going to suck, but when you’re GM, it’s going to suck more.

    Players get this weird connections with their GMs. You’ve pointed it out before when you wrote about your guildies coming to you with all their problems, even ones that had nothing to do with the guild. They’ll deny it until they’re blue in the face, but your guildies looked up to you and trusted you.

    Obviously you had to leave and you picked the fairest course of action. But people unavoidably feel betrayed. Don’t let it get you down, if anything, it’s a compliment.

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  4. Wow, this is so similar to the history our own raidguild was founded on – it’s startling how the same thing can happen to other players in such similar ways. the ‘trying to integrate casual and more serious raiders in one guild’-thing simply never works. ever. always ends in tears. it’s a lesson I learned very early on and seen repeated in several guilds. and even in your own one, you have to be so so ever watchful or it will catch up with you again at some point.

    “And this commenter can believe that of me even though I didn’t stick around to try to force WWAB to change?”

    so much this. but you see, the eternal truth is that some people whine, no matter what you do and your motives don’t interest them. they didn’t move a finger to make the guild succeed you busted your ass to lead, but the moment you dare to leave, no matter for what reasons, you’re a traitor and let-down. they’re so used to getting served everything on a platter that their sense of self-entitlement knows no limit. one more reason to leave them behind.

    as much as it sucks to see so much ungratefulness after so much effort, in the end you’re he only one that can give yourself affirmation. you know what your motives were, you know how much you put into the guilds you’ve lead. you know who you are – let that be enough for you.

    And if its any consolation, splitting off an unhappy alliance like that was the best thing we ever did, no matter how unpleasant at the time. our guild is still here after such a long time, still raiding regularly with a die-hard core and innumerable longterm members. it’s become the first real home for me in WoW. it was all worth the trouble. :)

  5. As a longtime GM, you get to be more of a big brother or sister to your members then you do a fellow player. When you cut off that relationship, it is always going to be expected there will be some backlash. But you needed to do what was best for you and your goals in the game. You have to know that in time, almost all of your former members will understand that.

    The one thing I always hate when people leave(speaking of your officer not you) is the nebulous “Other issues” That they are told in confidence. Almost all of the time, those are their issues. They just don’t want to let you know that. I am willing to bet most of your gulidies were happy, but that one officers comment cemented the fact in your mind that there was a undercurrent of dissatisfaction and unrest that likely only existed between your ears :)

    It is tough leaving. It’s even harder to feel you let down people who you once considered friends. But if your goals were not being met, and people were not willing to change to help meet those goals, you really had little choice in the matter.

  6. I still feel a knot form inside me when I think of the strangely similar and yet somewhat opposite guild drama that I experienced last year. I wish I had had the guts to really write about it, but I was afraid to get stomped on in a blog war. Instead, it colored my posts with bitterness and left me completely frustrated. I’m glad you’re brave enough to get all this out.

    It sucks realizing that people you thought were your friends really didn’t care enough about you to want you to be happy. It’s definitely time to cut them out of your life.

    The tensions between raiders and non-raiders and those that want to raid without trying give me a headache. I wish you luck in your new guild – it sounds like a fantastic place with a clear direction based on common goals between members.

  7. What it comes down to is that no matter how you rip off the band-aid…slow or quick, there will be some pain. You cannot please everyone and there will be flack for any action, staying or going. Your decision was well thought out and NOT knee-jerk. Hugs.

  8. Being the GM is viewed as being the Entertainment Director on a cruise ship. You are the ONE PERSON who is supposed to make sure that the masses of people on that cruise are having fun all the time. Whether it’s snorkling, guided tours, shopping, horseback riding, wine tasting, rock climbing, or underwater basket weaving people expect you to be able to make sure that everyone is having fun doing any number of things possible.

    What they refuse to grok is that being that person is a thankless job that ruins YOUR fun.

    People who don’t want to lead won’t get where you’re coming from and are likely more pissed that they lost their Entertainment Director and have to be responsible for their own fun than anything else.

  9. I 100% understand what you mean, having gone through more or less the exact same thing myself. What I can tell you about it is this: the longer you’re away from it, the better you’ll start to feel.

    People will pester you less, although in my experience, your old guildies – even the ones who’re mad at you now —
    will ALWAYS try to talk to you if you walk by them in Stormwind. I’ve changed servers, and some of them still talk to me. It makes me pretty uncomfortable at times, because even though we haven’t been guilded together for a year, they still think I’m their heal-bitch sometimes.

    The last thing is, I was there at your meeting and as someone who was at the time looking in from the outside, without that emotional investment, I think you handled it calmly, fairly, and quite considerately. I know it always looks different from the inside, and you’re probably kicking yourself over things you should have said differently, but from my perspective it was handled very well.

    And if people insist on bringing it up again (not Elfi, whose response I respected quite a lot) I think next time you should consider telling them how you really feel. >_< It's not like the bridges haven't been burned already from the other end.

  10. I can really relate to this post. I started a guild awhile back and worked hard to get it growing and successful. Finally, through many trials and tribulations and nearly two years, I finally had to walk away from it. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in this game.

    Judging by your posts leading up to this one, and the events that you’ve described, it sounds like you haven’t been having a lot of fun in the game due to all of these events. As much as we all wish things could be treated more maturely or calmly, guild drama has a way of growing out of control. The best thing to do when it gets like that is to make a clean break and just walk away. Wish them luck, but pursue your own enjoyment.

    I know it’s hard. It sounds like you’re like me in the sense that you feel a certain amount of responsibility to these people. But, ultimately, it’s more important that you are happy. They may not realize it, but they’ll probably end up happier, as well.

    Keep your chin up! This too will pass and things will get better. :)

  11. The problem is you are dealing with people’s raw emotions here and when raw emotions surface they are rarely logical or well thought out – they’re a response to the ‘me’ and the ‘I want’ and the ‘how I feel’. They’re never a response to find out how you felt or question where they let you down as guild leader. I think that’s kind of improtant, as much as you may have a responsibility to lead and make those difficult decisions that no-one else wants to make, being a loyal guildie doesn’t mean just logging in everyday just to talk and socialise in Gchat and vent. As much as they feel you let them down they need to sit and realise that they have let you down, hard. But like I say this is raw emotion here, it rarely involves looking at how other people feel. Not everyone is going to be as reasonable as Elfindale – devastated but understands the reasons why.

    I’m not on my guild’s raid team anymore, but by Harry I fill up the gbank with Goblin BBQs for raid, I try to organise some BGs for those who were benched for the evening or I help boost people’s alts just to take some pressure off the guild leadership. I do this because I am totally loyal to my guild, whether I’m on the raid team or not, I want to help and I want to be a constructive member of a team. Unfortunately (and this isn’t to bad mouth people I don’t know it’s just the perception I get here) the people is that you had people who were fond of the guild purely because they didn’t have to do anything. That’s not loyalty, that’s just plain laziness. You only need look at Mana Obscura’s ‘Casual is not a dirty word’ and Murloc Parliament’s ‘Part time does not mean half arsed’ (I’m sure you have) for clear definitions between the loyal and the spongers who stayed cos it was easier than trying to work out what they had to do themselves.

    oooo that was actually a little bit feisty for me, but people like that get my dander right up. I think I shall have to stiff cup of tea and some battenburg to calm my nerves.

  12. Just give them the David Gahan response:

    People are people so why should it be
    You and I should get along so awfully
    People are people so why should it be
    You and I should get along so awfully

    So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds
    And different people have different needs
    It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong
    I’ve never even met you so what could I have done

    I can’t understand
    What makes a man
    Hate another man
    Help me understand

    Now you’re punching and you’re kicking and you’re shouting at me
    I’m relying on your common decency
    So far it hasn’t surfaced but I’m sure it exists
    It just takes a while to travel from your head to your fists

    I can’t understand
    What makes a man
    Hate another man
    Help me understand

  13. Did none of your problem guildies ever read your blog? I very much doubt you kept it secret that you have this blog. So they must have read posts where you were basically begging for help, confessing your stress – and still not only not helped, but also continued contributing to that environment.

    There is only one person who you have any duty at all to try to keep happy and that’s your husband; everyone else in your guild, old or new, is responsible for their own mental state.

  14. I feel for you, but as everyone has already said you did the right thing in the end – and you know that. It’s just difficult at first.

    Some people will never be happy, and no matter what you do (whether you’d stayed or left) there will always be *someone* who didn’t like the outcome. In the end, you had to do what worked best for you and really what you thought would work best for everyone (one casual guild, one not casual).

    Of course then you get people who complain, but it’s always the same story. No matter what you do someone will complain. Look at the state of Heroics.. People yelling nerf them! When they are people are yelling OMG don’t nerf them! Quite possibly NOT the same people – but there’s always people complaining.

    Ok will stop rambling now, cause I think I stopped making sense around the third use of the word “people”.

  15. Must . . . Resist . . . Obvious . . . Comparison . . . To . . . Certain . . . Voters . . .

    Whew! Man, I can’t stand people like that. Better to make the clean break.

  16. @Ophelie, as the reply button doesn’t seem to be working for me in Chrome…

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for an awful lot of officer and especially GM-related angst. Officers and GMs make decisions; if you’ve got them, that’s what they’re for. In a cohesive guild, they’re mostly rubberstamping the consensus or dealing with the administrivia that comes with organising group events (raids, bgs, pvp etc) and the consequences of that (loot, guildbank, funds) but they’re also there to break the deadlock if there’s no obvious path, and hopefully to prevent the tyranny of the majority.

    It’s much the same with senior relatives, senior colleagues, supportive friends. Because they can help with so many things, because they give advice, make decisions, its very easy to assume they can give advice on any subject, make any decision. And that they’ll always be available to do that, or to decide in your favour.

    When they’re not, or when the decision doesn’t go your way, it’s easy to take it badly, I think. The trick is being able to spot when you’ve done just that, and apologies afterward :)

  17. Ugh, can I just say that I am SO VERY HAPPY that you’ve gotten away from that guild? I’ve been agonizing over it (well, agonizing might be a bit strong, but it did gnaw at me) for a few months now, each time you posted I felt like I should be scooping you up and running away with you – like an intervention of sorts. It was so clear to me that the whole situation was toxic and not likely to improve – but then, I was on the outside, and I didn’t actually KNOW these people, so… *shrug*

    That said, I think EtI is a much better place – for you, for those of us who were in WWAB, just in general. I know I, for one, would be happy to help in whatever way I can, once I’m not a little lv 35 nubcake. ;)

  18. You’ll never please everyone (or actually…. most people) as a GM. If you hadn’t quit either you would have stayed in a guild you weren’t happy in and gradually lost the will to game, or gradually changed the way the guild worked. Either you would have been horribly unhappy or a large part of the guild would have been and for a protracted period of time. At least this way the hurt and drama will be done and over with sooner rather than later and both guilds can move on.

    That being said, and I’m sure you know this already, but you also have to take responsibility for that decision. People WILL be hurt, feel left-out, shocked or angry, by you leaving the guild to form a new one, no matter if the ideals of your new guild are in opposition to your old. I’ve felt it as a GM when someone I trusted and thought of as a friend left to join another guild with no forewarning. ‘What’s wrong with ME??! Why do they HATE ME?!’ Oh it shames me to think of the ridiculous way I thought about it….

    It’s just the way people work and as you described with your ex-guildmate Elfi, they are likely to have immediate emotional reactions to stressful events that probably mellow and change in just hours. I’m surprised that you’re…. surprised. If that makes sense. I mean, you can’t do anything about it – and probably shouldn’t – but it’s bound to happen.

  19. Meh.

    It’s difficult to really comment on what happened being so far removed as a reader but to my mind: You were overly diplomatic and let them walk all over you. You had meetings to decide what you all wanted to be. Why? It’s easier to pick a vision and if they don’t like it then they’re free to leave.

    I left a guild I ran once and got a number of similar responses on our forums. However my immediate response was along the lines of “piss off you ungrateful wanker. This is entirely the reason I’m leaving”.

    In the end I put my own enjoyment first and have no regrets. Sure some people were annoyed and to be fair I didn’t realise the core of our kara team would try to join me but it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to gut the guild.

    My point is that the very people whining about you leaving are the same that don’t have the self awareness to see that really they are responsible for you moving on.

    You may wish them luck but chances are if all they know you as is the person who did stuff for them then they’re now pissed off they have nobody to babysit them. Either that or they don’t understand properly and it’s just all barking.

  20. Reading this made me remember a lot of things that happened in the past… I can’t say things have been exactly the same but I’ve had similar experiences.

    I feel for you… really