As I may have mentioned one or two million times before, I’m no longer the GM of Eff the Ineffable. Last Friday was the first time I spent any real amount of time in the game when other people in the guild were online and I had a few concerns going into it.
I haven’t been just a member in an MMO since about 4.5 years ago, so in many ways, I have no idea how to go about it. I recall being a wide-eyed noob in my first guild, feeling as though I had been spoken to by a minor deity when an officer chatted with me and offered At and me a run-through of ZF. Since then, I’ve learned that being in leadership can be just a title or it can be indicative of a person genuinely wanting to do something to make their guild a better place.
I also learned what I thought were really good traits to have in guild members and which annoyed me. So when I log in now, I log in wanting to be a valuable member, but also knowing that I’ve made a shift to not giving anywhere near the time my most valuable members gave me when I was a GM.
With that in mind, I fished up a storm a few days prior to the raids I had signed up for. I wanted to have two full stacks of feasts. I also ran a heroic, intending to wake up my muscle memory. I gave my gear a good, long look and fiddled with a few things to see if there was any room for improvement. And I studied up on the boss fights, even giving a cursory overview to the two I’d already killed before.
When raid time came around, I got my own damn self out to the instance and logged into Vent, where I sat quietly, waiting for the group to form. I sent a tell to the RL, offering to drop the fish feasts and cauldrons for the night.
A few minutes later, I was introduced to the new people in the raid. Some of them weren’t in the guild at all, but were a small group of people that the Effers have an alliance with, and it was about then that it sunk in just how bizarre the whole experience was to me. It may have also been when I started drinking. You can’t prove anything.
I more than willingly passed on leadership of the guild to someone that I believe will do a great job with it. She has been nothing but proactive and has given really clear communication. I then made a decision not to log in and not to raid and not to be a part of things for a month. Not in so many words, but no one forced me to take such a big step away. I wanted to. I don’t regret it.
But that doesn’t change that it was really fucking weird to be introduced to all these new people as “Alas, the former GM.”
I am the former GM, that’s indisputable. But dammit, it feels like my whole identity in WoW is summed up and dismissed in those few words. For the record, I don’t believe for a second that it was intended as a dismissive thing. It’s an accurate explanation. But it was also unnecessary. Why can’t I just be Alas? Or, if I require more description, Alas, arcane mage, slightly behind the curve on gearing?
But it was Alas, former GM.
And I’m not sure I can stay in a guild where I’m Alas, former GM.
It’s not an ego thing. I’m actually more shocked than anything that I had any sort of visceral reaction to those words.
The bigger piece of it is the more difficult one to to try to write about, because I think it will sound critical of people I don’t actually intend to criticize. The best way I can think to put it is that I am trying to be a model peon to people who aren’t anything like me and who very likely don’t have the same view of what a model peon even is. There’s just too much of a disconnect there for me to feel comfortable trying to be something that won’t be appreciated or understood.
Again, I’m not trying to pick on anyone here. It’s just a personality and preferences sort of difference, and I don’t know if I could be happy trying to be a valuable member to people who value different things than those which are the most important ones to me.
Obviously, I am working off of limited data here and I have no plans to just make a hasty decision to up and quit. It’s just that even though I went into Friday with some slight reservations, I didn’t expect a lot of the strain that was there to be there. And in true Alas fashion, I’ve thought about it all weekend and am now attempting a mind dump to see if it makes any more sense to me when I’ve written it all out.
So that leaves me with two questions for you guys:
1. Have you stepped down as a GM/Officer and been able to stay happily in your former guild?
2. Should I invest in a notebook so all my self-discovery sort of rambling isn’t inflicted on you?