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.

15 Responses to “Is your guild your relationship?”
  1. Clana says:

    Hey, least i tried to help, only asked you twice to help :P could’ve said no… friggen guilt trips your having… o well… Hope you get back on your feet soon ready to kill the oppisition over in Kara there buddy…kinda need you once more

  2. BigBearButt says:

    OMIGOD, now he’s pursuing me offline! Halp!

    Chill Clana, you know I’m only screwing with you… if I didn’t really want to help my friends, I’d tell you to piss off… or I’d hide better. :)

  3. Dan O'Halloran says:

    Heya, BBB, I’m trying to get in contact with you, but I can’t get through on the e-mail listed under your Contact Me link.

    Shoot me an e-mail at dan dot ohalloran at weblogsinc dot com. Thanks!

  4. Michael TLH says:

    Well… maybe it’s how it is in any relationship: you sometimes just need space. My guild right now is going through a rough patch: we can’t seem to progress in Kara… we have two groups who have very flaky members and I’m seeing lots of people either /gquitting or rolling alts to “escape” the drama. When you need an escape from an escape, there’s larger issues, I think.

  5. Drashian says:

    As a fellow in-demand bear tank, I know exactly how you feel. I feel bad turning down any request for help, although I get somewhat less because I’m part of a 1-Kara raiding group.

    Some days I’ve had a stressful day at work and I just go on my rogue and group with people I don’t know, like michael said above, because I just need space. I stay in our comm channel so I’m always available for questions and socializing, but I felt somehow guilty when I joined a second Kara raid on my rogue (different nights, so no scheduling conflicts). Like it was somehow supposed to be monogamous.

    I also have to turn down guildies to play with my mate sometimes, though she is at least also in the guild (we’re a perfect pair – main tank and main healer).

  6. Lawgiver says:

    My guild went through a similar clique-related blow up a short while ago that saw the proverbial getting-hit-by-the-door-on-your-way-out of 8 raiding 70’s out of a core group of 17 raiding 70’s, including all of the officers. Needless to say, with our first run of Karazhan looming in 6 short days, we were not looking good. We were able to overcome the situation though as the remains of the raiding group were able to step up and take charge, pick up the pieces, and recruit quality players to fill the voids. Even though we were not able to take Attumen down on our first night in Kara, we considered it a success.

    On the other side of the coin, as far as asking for help, we have an unwritten rule about pressuring people into helping others out. We will, of course, throw out the general “Anyone need the 3rd cipher of damnation quest? Or able to help?” and if someone does indeed need to complete it, or in fact, are able to help, they will pipe up. And at the same time, we are pretty in tune with each other’s personalities as well – one likes to go solo questing, these two run quests together, this one farms for primals 24/7, this one is a hardcore pvp’er, these 5 run arenas on Mondays nights, etc. etc. I think it all comes down to respecting another person’s play time, and not pressuring them into something they really don’t want to do. Not to say there isn’t the occasional “We need a tank, Law, are u available?” And whether my answer be yes or no, that is that.

    Lawgiver
    Kul Tiras

  7. Argonaut says:

    BigBearButt – Writer of most entertaining blogs,

    Hey…..I have recently begun reading your blogs, and I must say you write some of the most interesting stuff. Enough to make me go through your archives. There isnt much that I can contribute to this post of yours, except saying that I have been through the same and understand the way you feel (tanks are in shortage everywhere). But this was more a call out to say that I appreciate the posts and the time you take to write em (even though you write em for yourself as you previously mentioned in one of your other posts), as they provide a much desired source of entertainment or simply a distraction from work, whenever I need one. Keep up the awesome work, and gratz on your Earthwarden, its been your colossal effort that has finally driven me to make the grind myself.

    Argonaut
    Shu’halo

  8. BigBearButt says:

    @Argonaut.. thank you… I’m glad you enjoy reading and visiting here.

    I consider it my sworn duty to provide at least SOME reason to stop by here every day and chill out. Not because I particularly care about pagehits, cause let’s face it, I don’t have any advertising. Nope, it’s because I enjoy knowing that I’m entertaining to some folks, and informative to others. Honestly, that makes me pretty happy.

    And I know that the websites I’m happiest with are the ones that I can count on to have something new for me to go see, or read, or learn, or do.

    http://www.girlgeniusonline.com is my favorite online comic… and I go there every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday… because I know for a fact that the new comic will be up. Or the website will have crashed from bandwidth, but that’s not their fault :)

    It’s also why I love wowinsider so much…. I can check back there several times a day, and they have new stuff. And it’s actually good new stuff. I used to browse the official wow forums general, class, profession and server specific pages every day, several times each, for news… now I can simply read wowinsider, the bluetracker site, and a few others like mmo-champion and not be exposed to the ick.

    I thank every single one of you that tolerates my crabbiness and rants for the sake of the occasional funny post.

    You guys are the best.

  9. James says:

    Since you have all that money…you can ship 2500 my way :P

    Just kidding.

    I know that I’ve faced the same issues. I just wish I had more time to play so that I could face them even more. hehe

  10. Melnayo says:

    You are allowed to feel guilty about refusing to help people at times, but you’re also allowed to do it, and you certainly deserve the chance to decline an invitation if you spend a lot of time helping others. I have tried to be quite helpful in the past, but lately other games (like half-life 2) are starting to catch my eye and i’m putting WoW on the back burner. I’m raiding, but i’m not going to be tanking for 5m’s or even soloing on my hunter in the near future.

    I have half-life 2, bioshock (if it’ll even run on my setup. i think i need a new video card at least. and drivers approximately 80 major versions newer than mine.), a bunch of PSP games, the sam & max PC games, and other stuff to play. No time for stupid primals and daily quests.

    At times like these, when i am playing other games, i start to question my sanity. Why would i log into WoW and do the same quests day after day? That’s not an enriching experience at all; it’s barely even an entertaining one, if that.

    /tangent

  11. Minmon says:

    I feel your pain BBB, there have been times where I logged on to WoW with the intention of just checking on my auctions before logging off to do other things.

    Five hours and 3 instance runs later … DANG.

    I love tanking for guildies, and I always feel guilty whenever I decline running a 5-man, and it’s made worse when pretty much all they need is a tank.

  12. Ferocious Bite says:

    Great article!

    I know I definatly have a huge committment of loyalty to my guild. But, it goes deaper than WoW. I’ve been with my guild since 1999 when my hubby and I hooked up with them in Asheron’s Call. Most of us have stayed together and migrated through various games (DAoC, AC2, City of Heros/Villians, whatever catches anyone’s eye, etc.). In fact, we have a ‘Gaming Community’ website along with a WoW website as we have guild mates who aren’t currently playing WoW but need a home base to stay in contact. Honestly, this is the only guild I’ve ever been in and will ever be in. However, I do have alts that are guildless and I don’t feel guilty about that. Since my husband and I are both officers, sometimes we want to just get on and play and when that time comes, we play our guildless alts. But, I would never dream of putting them in another guild unless is was an off shoot of our ‘gaming community’.

    I understand the pressures of saying no…I hate to say no and feel bad when I can’t help someone. But, I have learned a trick around that…if someone asks me to help and either I don’t have time, or don’t feel like it right then, I just tell them I can’t right now and then schedule a time with them to do it when it’s good for all of us. Sometimes they decline because they want to do it right then, but at least they know you care enough to set a committed time to help them even if they don’t take you up on it.

    And as far as spousal playing goes…my whole guild knows that I won’t play without my hubby. We’re a package deal and if they want one of us they get both of us. ;p

  13. cho says:

    Hey, I’ve been reading your blog for a while. And wow this post of yours is everything I’ve been feeling in the past month. I’ve been GM and Main Bear Tank (Main Tank period for a while -_-) for the past 2 months, and it’s been really getting stressful for me. Except I can’t hide cause I’m GM and feel like I always have to be around to take care of problems even. It’s been a dilemma and there were even times where I got internally angry at guild mates when they bothered me on alts they knew were for, I guess escape you would call it. I felt terrible and guilty, but hey I want to have fun too :( Luckily the officers have started picking up slack and we have plenty of tanks now so I’m not as needed, hopefully things will pan out for you too.

    Keep on writing and keep on dishing out the massive bear tankage. I’m pretty sure you have fans of both.

  14. Stephi says:

    Hey Bear, trust me when I say, I know exactly how you feel.

    When AC was still a fledgling guild, I was the only healer. Single. No other. So if guildies needed a run, guess who was healing? Keep in mind I didn’t mind it a lot of the time, I mean my guild is where my WoW friends are at, ya know? But yea, after a while, and after I made my own big bear butt’d tank, I sometimes felt … trapped? Obligated to help because I could? I dunno. But I have a few alts on other servers that I made just to unwind, and have my own me time. Hell, one of those alts is a 31 druid on a PvP server (main server’s PvE). That was a rough unwind… Oo

    Anywho, I do have the benefit of my husband being an insane Boomkin who can heal for me if I don’t want to heal, or tank if I don’t want to tank. I’m extremely lucky/fortunate for that. But year… this whole idea of it being a monogamous commitment… it’s very interesting. I’ll have to ponder it some more, come back with some thoughts ^.^

    ~<3 Cay, teh Squeakie

  15. Respy says:

    HAHA yeah I know exactly what you mean. And believe me no one would dare say a bad word about you, ‘cept, of course me LOL j/k. But the way i got around it was to roll a useless Toon a “Ret” Pally ROFLMAO u know who :) oh and i just havent signed up im not really just a lurker.

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