There have been quite a few posts lately from bloggers I respect, but they have mostly been aimed at the intellectual side of the guild life. How to manage a guild, how to deal with discipline, or organize events, or recruit new people, or balance raids or loot or DKP issues. That sort of thing.
Well, I’d like to talk about some of the emotional issues of being in a guild.
I want to preface this by saying that I am fairly active in my mains’ guild. I have my main character and my main alt both in the same guild. All of my friends have their mains in the guild also. I run Karazhan fairly regularly, and I try to help out guildies whenever possible. As an example, I ran a heroic underbog last night, when I planned on doing very little, because the main tank for our OTHER Kara group wanted me to get a Nether so I could make him the epic tanking gun. And as far as I know, the other four guildies on the run were there for no other reason that so that I COULD get to the Nether to make that gun. Five guildies pulling together to run a heroic just because a tank needs a gun to manage Karazhan a little better. Guildies help other guildies, and we have fun doing it. And even when I’m on an alt that is not in the main guild, myself and many of my friends share a dedicated private chat channel so that no matter what the status of the character we happen to be on, main guild, alt guild or unguilded, we can still see each other log on and give with a “hello”. Even if I’m on an unguilded alt, if someone in the guild needs to get ahold of me, I can generally be gotten ahold of.
But this last weekend was pretty stressful. I had taken last week off of Group 2 Karazhan to try and regain some balance… and on what I laughably called my ‘week off’ I found myself getting tells fast and furious, usually within seconds of logging in to my main, from guildies needing a tank… either to fill in for one that bailed, or for someone that needed an attunement run, or a big group quest chain, or whatever.
As Napoleon once said, “Time! Time! Ask me for anything but Time!” I certainly know exactly what he meant. I’d rather get tells from guildies asking for 100g than a tell asking me to run Shadow Labs. I’ve GOT money, what I have precious little of is Time.
I’ll tell you, I’m not really gonna complain. It’s very nice to be wanted. But when you’re a big softy it’s also stressful to have a set plan in mind, a short amount of time budgeted to get stuff done, and then to log in quick to make some Daily Quest money and have multiple requests from guild members that all need help. I’m sure other people are able to say ‘no’ pretty easy, but it’s a struggle for me to disappoint people like that. So I unless I need to be somewhere to help someone I already agreed to help, I’ll typically say yes.
The stress of the weekend made me remember quite clearly the last big guild I had been in, the way it became engulfed with drama, and how I dealt with it.
I can remember the whole situation pretty well, although not what exactly started it. Drama flared high in the old guild, for whatever reason. I had been in that guild for a long time, and had a lot of pretty good friends there… but there were also many cliques within the guild, and tensions between them mounted. Some good friends ended up with hurt feelings, or leaving the guild altogether. Within a short period of time, it got so I didn’t want to log in on my main character at all, because I didn’t want to have to deal with the stress of people being mad, or grumpy, or having subjects that are taboo to bring up because ‘someone might get upset at what someone said or they THINK someone said’ and all the other wonderful stuff that goes into guild drama. Every one of you that has been in a guild when this crap flared up knows exactly what I mean.
When you have a lot of people you think you are friendly with in a guild, and drama breaks out, it is very hard not to be drawn in whether you want to or not.
So, I started hiding from my guildies. I’d make alts to play so I was still having fun in the game, but without anyone I knew from the guild seeing ‘me’ log on, so I could play without fear of drama or of possibly hurting anyones feelings.
Here’s the wierdest part; The whole thing felt insanely like I was cheating on the guild, skulking around behind their backs.
Honestly… isn’t that crazy? Are you supposed to have a ‘monogamous’ relationship with your guild? Are you supposed to be faithful to your guild, and not go cheating on them by joining other guilds with an alt? Even if your alt goes unguilded, and you’re just playing solo, aren’t you lying by omission to your guildmates by not logging in and checking with them to see if anyone needs anything?
Is it wrong to come to feel like a guild membership is a serious commitment, and that joining another guild or hiding from your guild would be breaking that commitment?
Lately I’ve been playing a couple alts that are in an old friend-only alt guild we created back when many of our mains were in monogamous guild relationships… but not in the same guild. We made a small guild just for our alts, so we could remain faithful to our ‘official’ guilds on our mains, but have a little ‘side action’ with our alts. This was before we began using the dedicated private chat channel.
Seriously, the whole idea seems absurd, doesn’t it?
But I’ve been thinking about the whole thing a lot lately, because my wife has begun playing, and like I said, I’ve been alternately helping her with my main on group quests, or playing with her on the alts that are closer to her level, alts that are in this alt guild.
And there have been a few times where my guild sees me on my main, asks for help, and I tell them that I can’t, because I’m busy playing with my wife… who isn’t in the guild.
How the hell do you get to the point where you feel like you are cheating on your guild to spend time with your WIFE?!?!?!
[pulls hair and cries---> breakdown imminent]
Anyway… all this stuff has been going around, making me think of old bad times as well as how wierd the whole damn thing feels, and it made me realize that I certainly can’t be the only one that ever hid from their guild by rolling an alt. OR the only person that feels that being a responsible member of a guild, even if you’re not an officer, can require as much of a personal commitment, if not more, as a real world relationship. And I can’t even imagine the level of insanity actually BEING an officer of a large active guild must be like.
What do you think?
Do you ever hide from your friends or guildmates by rolling an alt?
Have you ever hurt your spouse or significant others feelings because you were spending more time with your guild than with them?
And finally, god forbid… has anyone ever been accused by their loved one of WANTING to spend more time with their guild than with their significant other? Or of “liking your guild friends more than you do me!”[Thank god I haven't... but the horrible thought just occured to me that someone out there may have.]
Let’s face it though… the rest of the questions aside, the time may come when you need to excape the stress and the worries of day to day WoW life… when guild drama is running high… or you just Vant to be left alone…
ALTS – when you absolutely, positively want to hide from your guild.