Rhii wrote recently that she was looking at joining a raiding guild that has lately lost four officers and she is understandably concerned that perhaps joining that particular guild isn’t the right move. I don’t blame her… even though that guild is my own.
At the same time, there is information that has been put forth in bits and pieces that, once it makes a cohesive whole, might perhaps explain why four officers have been lost and why, as GM, I am not in the least concerned that this will have very much of an impact on my guild. We are far from folding, or at least, I am far from giving up on the notion of leading a successful 10 man raiding guild, although I do admit it might be under a different tag.
Before I get into details, I have been considering that all of these officers who left waited until after a significant event occurred. In the interests of being open and honest about my dealings with these poor and beleaguered souls, I am going to tell you what this event was. It’s pretty heinous so hold tight:
I gave them all specific jobs with measurable goals.
I know. I KNOW. It’s a wonder I can sleep at night. Asking officers to do something other than sit around pretending to be important? The. Horror.
Okay, now it’s really time to hold tight because this is a long one and I’m not interested in pulling any punches. Names will be named. Fingers will be pointed. Drama has occurred and may ensue again.
The first officer I lost, I lost because I adhered to the rules that were set in place. Holly essentially rage quit, leaving with a message of (and I quote) “fuck you very much” because I didn’t make special allowances for her husband. She was the one asking for them and he never gave any indication that he even wanted them, but talk about an attempt at abusing one’s position.
The second officer I lost, I never believed had true loyalty to anyone or anything other than himself. He left over authenticators, or at least that’s the reason I was given.
The latest officers I’ve lost are a married couple. Of everyone that left, this was perhaps the one I didn’t see coming. At brought Nox into the guild and the game years ago and Nox eventually brought in Jinx.
At and I – and this guild – have been there pretty much every step of the way with both of them. With Nox, we became raiders together, learning how to work as a raiding team. With Jinx, well, she is a Wrath baby and still to this day has no idea what raiding used to be like. Nor yet heroics that are actually difficult. It took a few years, but we finally had her pulling her own weight in a raid and not sucking up the bottom of the DPS charts although she was still the chief culprit of standing in the bad. Only as we worked on Arthas did she actually come into her own.
Then Holly quit in a fit of rage and instead of being able to shrug it off and move on, Jinx has been wallowing in how hard it is when friends leave.* We talked about it and I said at one point or another that after several months of being used as a target by Holly and three years of putting up with some downright shitty tanking (with sides of piss-poor heals and huntardy dps from her SO) I wasn’t all that sad to see her go. Quite the opposite, I was relieved. They couldn’t hold us back any more even as they deluded themselves that they were carrying us through content.
Of course, if you’re a GM you don’t have the right to say what you really think without dealing with the repercussions. In this case, the repercussions are that Jinx, all the while claiming to be an officer and acting in the best interests of the guild, waited until I would be out of the game for some time and then went on her rounds, talking shit to a list of undisclosed persons. She outright told me this herself, standing right in front of me at my desk.
We had words. Her side of which was essentially: “You’re a horrible person because you had this core designation in place and it’s ruined the guild and everyone else thinks so. PS, we all hate Zel.”
My side of the conversation went something like: “I just want to raid seriously and I have done everything I can to make sure that happens in a casual guild. PS, you don’t beat end game content by sitting around talking about sunshine and roses. You do it by being focused and working at it.”
I wish I had added, “Also, how dare you of all people complain about the core when firstly, you were only in it because Nox refused to play without you and secondly, it was that and not your ‘skill’ that kept you in our raids all the way to the end?”
*I admit I used to be devastated when people gquit and this was well before we ever tried our hand at raiding. I have since realized that I barely remember who most of the people who left were and none of them were worth the devastation I felt at the time. Playing this game and dealing with a community of people who are largely out for themselves has made me grow more immune to these events. I expect people to act in their own best interests and I am not going to waste a lot of pointless emotion on anyone who has stepped outside of my sphere.
The core is the debbil!
Now, the core deserves its own bit of explanation. In late spring, a whole lot of people were talking about coming back to the game and wanting to raid. Meanwhile, several people had been around all along and had been working on content. The idea of having to stop, go back, gear up and juggle several more people into a raiding rotation was not one I was particularly down for. We had only recently managed to recover a steady forward motion and ICC awaited.
If these people did come back and were willing to put in some effort towards getting themselves ready, I would have loved to have them. But I knew their behavior from before and if we didn’t have a clear rule in place about raid spots, they would assume that because they were there and wanted to go they would automatically be given spots. They weren’t shy about pitching fits if they didn’t get their way, so clearly something was needed.
So the core group designation was formed, with the full agreement of all the officers. Basically it was the people who had never wandered off for months at a time would have priority for spots over people just coming back. There were only six or seven “core” people so there was space for others to have their turns.
A raider or two ended up wandering off to a different guild and it was at this time that Zel and Gnoble decided to come and check us out. Being a healer and us being short on heals, Zel never had to sit out. Gnoble did his share of sitting on the sidelines and there were no complaints from them. They knew what they were getting into. But as time went on, Zel and Gnoble, in signing up and then showing up without fail, became dependable and I was soon confirming both of them for every raid. Other raiders weren’t signing up often, but I made every attempt to bring them in where and when I could.
Towards the end of the expansion, I was having more and more difficulty in balancing raid teams within the confines of the core group. There had been enough complaints about the core group from most quarters that I assumed no one would object to it going away. It had done what I needed it to do, including keeping summer raiding going fairly strong since people were motivated to come so they could keep their core spots. I had already mentioned getting rid of the core with the new xpac coming and no objections were raised at that time.
In the last few weeks of Wrath, I announced that I was going to abolish the core to give a little more flexibility to my own ability to create balanced raid teams. As soon as I did that, the officers mostly freaked out because “OMG MY SPOT YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE ME NOT HAVE MY SPOT AND WE NEEEED THE COOOOORE OR I WON’T BE ABLE TO GOOOOO BECAUSE YOU AREN’T GOING TO BRING NOOOOBS.”
I thought that was particularly telling, that perhaps the loudest of these shouters knew they weren’t raiding to their full potential and knew that the getting rid of their guaranteed spot might mean that they would have to stop being so lazy.
Nevertheless, I abolished the core designation and we killed the Lich King a whole two times and Cataclysm arrived, both in game and in my real life. Announcements about not having the core in place moving forward were made and I thought that things would sail smoothly enough that I could deal with the details of packing and moving. Silly me.
Pro Tip to Jinx since I know you will read this: Don’t tell someone you “have your officer hat on” and then share that you are going around stirring up shit over something that doesn’t even fucking exist any more. It makes you look really stupid.
Fallout (wherein I embrace sarcasm)
So far, there has not been much fallout, though I suspect a few more people might leave (especially if and when they read this post and realize that they believe Holly’s and Jinx’s version of events more than mine). Jinx is attempting to poach while saying “But I am not poaching! I am just providing a haven for the refuges!”
Because, you know, with the way I have tolerated and tried to work around all this selfish and lazy behavior, I am clearly a tyrant bent on making those people who are, uh, trapped in my guild suffer. Someone get the WoW version of the UN after me! Free the refugees from my borders! They can’t leave on their own if they are unhappy with something, nor can they bring their concerns to leadership. It’s unpossible, I tell you.
I learn a little bit more every day about how far my former officers have undermined things in the guild. I am torn right now between wanting to tear everything down and start over (now that I have only some more sensible thinking types remaining in their leadership positions) or just torching it all, knowing that those who understand what I am after in game and who have similar goals will more than likely follow me.