Interesting article by Scott Andrew’s in Officers Quarters on WoW Insider last night. The email he quotes raised some issues I’ve been seeing on the WoW Forums lately.

The first part of the article simply indicates that a lot of progression-oriented guilds seem to be hemorraging players that are losing interest in hardcore raiding right now.

I’ve seen the effects of this on the WoW Forums, guilds that are either breaking up entirely, or are starting to really ratchet up recruiting efforts to get back on track. 

It’s the summer. I think most players… and it’s an assumption based on my own experiences, it’s true, but I think most players are in the 16 to 24 age group. And at least for me, summertime during those years… I didn’t spend a whole lot of time indoors. Fall, Winter, early Spring, indoors, but Summer?

Summer during those years for me was the time to get out and play volleyball, go surfing, play rugby, do some solo me-vs-wall speed racquetball (a good way to go for a heart attack at my age, btw), go rock climbing or simply kick back with friends around a bonfire in the desert as dusk falls and have some beer and BBQ.

It’s Summer! Am I supposed to be surprised progression guilds, Hell ANY guild, are going to lose some players for a little while?

A discussion topic related to this would be, and was brought up in the article, “Are hardcore raiders losing heart now that level 80 raids are coming closer?”

It’s a good question… but one I’m not going to talk about. Something else caught my eye. 

The email Scott got was from the leader of an old, established casual fun guild that has had a bunch of former members abandon their hardcore progression guilds and want to come back and have fun in a friendly environment… and the guild leader is worried these guys are going to leave again just as soon as the expansion comes out.

These people started playing in his guild, got geared up and ready, and then left to join a new guild and play with different people. And now they are tired of raiding and want to come back.

I’m curious what Chick GM would think of this subject, from any angle, but I want to talk about my opinion from the point of view of the GM of a guild of players dedicated to fun, family, friends and horsing around…

What we have in our guild is a special, precious, and unique thing. We don’t take new members based on progression goals, and we don’t make people put all their toons in Sidhe Devils.

I want to say that again. We don’t try to make people put all their characters in Sidhe Devils. 

But if someone parks an alt in our guild and then never, ever plays it while they spend tons of time on their main in a raiding guild… we know where you want to be, and we’ll eventually remove the alt. It’ll take several months of ‘has not logged in since xxxx’ and total silence while we see you spending every night in SSC or The Eye in another guild, or just being gone on your main on another server, but sooner or later we’ll get around to it.

We only want people in Sidhe Devils that want to be there. We only want to play with friends. Otherwise, whats the point? 

Once you’ve chosen to move on… don’t be looking to come back. You made your choice. 

You are the one that decided that you would rather play with other people than with us. Well, following that awareness of where we all stand, we decided that we’d rather move on and forget you too.

Kinda sounds like a 20-something relationship, doesn’t it?

“It’s been fun but I’m too young to be tied down. I think we should see other people.”

‘Well, if you decide you want to play around, don’t expect me to welcome you back into my bed.”

Hehehe.

I’m not talking about taking a break for a while from the game, either. Real Life comes first, remember?

If a guildie came on our forums and said, “Hey, summers here guys, so I’m probably not going to be playing all that much for the next several months…” Well, heck… my response to that is, “Awesome, we’ll all miss you, but drop into the forums once and a while and let us know what hijinks you’re getting up to! Pics please! Have fun and get a tan! Look forward to seeing you again soon!”

No, I am specifically talking about a player who makes the decision that they would rather spend all their play time playing with other people in another guild, for whatever reason. Normally, it’s to seek out progression and new lootz.

Well, guess what? Once you get tired of raiding all the time, or of doing whatever… when you finally remember that you actually used to have fun playing with ‘that other guild’, we will have long ago made the decision that we would rather play with our friends, and not with you. 

A few other points were raised in Scott’s article, about “But what if he has high-end gear now, and experience in the more advanced content, and could help our guild?”

My counter-question is… help your guild in what way? He’s not a friend you can trust, so the only help he could provide would be to help you advance your progression. 

That changes things, doesn’t it? Because if he left your progression guild to go somewhere else that’s more hardcore and succeed, and now he wants to come back, is it because he REALLY wants to play with you? Or is it because he couldn’t take the stress of playing with the big boys or their schedule, and now wants to come back and be the big fish in a pond full of minnows?

Any time you consider accepting a new member based on what he or she can do for your guild’s progression rather than on their merits as a person and potential new friend of the guild, you’re making an interesting choice, aren’t you?

If you seriously consider taking someone into your guild that you don’t really WANT to play with, because of their gear or knowledge or skill or class, then stop calling yourself a fun, friendly, casual guild.

You’re a progression guild. You might ALSO be fun, friendly, and casual, you might not have enjoyed much success in progression yet, or have a heavy raiding schedule, but you’re making recruitment choices based on progression goals. End of story. 

It’s something I think that is critical for every GM and officer to think about.

How do you truly, in your heart, make your decisions when you invite someone into your guild?

That question, in my mind, holds the key to whether or not you take someone back.

But enough about me… what do you folks think?

For the raiders out there, does the thought that your old, casual guild might not want your T6 wearing butt back bother you? Did it ever even occur to you that a guild wouldn’t want to play with you no matter what gear you wear? Or did you think that you were so l33t that any guild would love to take you in on bended knee?

“OMIGAWD, he raids Black Temple and Sunwell! And he wants to join our guild? We got to take him! He is uber! He could totally carry us through SSC!”

Seriously, you KNOW it’s been said, or thought, by some GMs and players.

I’m really curious…. 

If you moved to a hardcore raiding guild from a casual one, have you stayed friends and continued to play with and have fun with your old guildies? 

Or did you move on, and never look back?

32 Responses to “Warm reception or the cold shoulder?”
  1. Bellwether says:

    All I want to know is what this means for Feralicious! /gasp

  2. Unglar says:

    Triple B,
    I have left a casual or levelling guild with my main to ‘raid’ with a Kara guild. I’m quite glad I did it, I enjoy the new content and I’ve made new friends. I was lucky in that it worked out for me. What I am even more pleased with is that both my old guild and my new guild are happy for my alts to stay where they are. If I spend 4 nights playing in a week, I’ll probably do 2 on my main and 2 on alts in my old guild. Every time they need a druid tank, I can come help them out with my main. It is possible to maintain the friendships you made in the first 60-odd levels even if you move on.
    Keep up the good work btw, I really enjoy reading you blog even if I don’t comment often.

  3. bigbearbutt says:

    What, break up the Bell Bell and Pali team?

    Nevah!

  4. Cynra says:

    For the raiders out there, does the thought that your old, casual guild might not want your T6 wearing butt back bother you? Did it ever even occur to you that a guild wouldn’t want to play with you no matter what gear you wear? Or did you think that you were so l33t that any guild would love to take you in on bended knee?

    That quote paints raiders in a rather poor light. I’m a raider, I’ve done the whole forty hour a week thing (back when I had the time and inclination, which I have neither now!), and I’m exploring Tier 6 content including Sunwell. If I were to turn around to a guild and ask to be invited back in, I’d hope that they’d want me because I was a good person, a helpful person, and because I’d contribute to the guild — and not because I was in end-game gear and “l33t”. The gear only reflects the fact that I’m accomplishing my goals: seeing new content and tackling the challenge of defeating it.

    We each play the game for different reasons. Some people revel in the social experience. Others enjoy exploring the world. Many people do enjoy raiding and seeing new content. The issue becomes balancing those desires, especially when they conflict with one another. If someone is a damned fine player and very interested in raiding but in a guild with friends for the social aspect, should he languish in that guild, frustrated by the lack of progression, but hanging out with friends? It’s hardly the optimal place for him and will most likely ultimately harm both him and the guild: frustrations can lead to illwill, which may have further negative repurcussions.

    If the guild member was given the opportunity to raid with others and see the content that he wants to see, is it good form for his friends in his current guild to think poorly of him? Shouldn’t they be happy that he’s doing what he wants in the game?

    If that same person left the guild on good terms, gave advance notice to his fellow guildies, and maintained a friendly, cordial, and supportive attitude throughout his time with the other raid guild, I’d probably think that inviting him back would be a good idea (assuming the majority of the guild agrees and there are no outstanding problems). Why should pursuing in-game what makes the game fun for him be grounds to terminate a friendship? It just seems, well, petty. Leaving a guild can be the result of relationship or personal issues, but it isn’t always. Holding a grudge against people who leave the fold seems odd.

    Just my two copper.

  5. Larísa says:

    I must admit that I agree with Cynra’s two coppers here. I find the “there’s no way to come back” attitude a bit too rigid. It’s all about circumstances. Thinking about real life – don’t you have some friends which you spend a lot of time with for a few years – who you then loose contact with for some years, since you’re leading quite different lives – due to work, family situation and other interests that pull you apart – and who you than once again activate your friendship with further on in life when you’re paths happens to cross again?

    There’s no need to put up laws written in stone. But I admit it’s a matter of trust of course. If the reason they come back is that they tried the hardcore way and then found out that they did a mistake and would be happier in the casual guild – well then hug them, forgive them, learn from their experiences and pick up where you were when they left. But if you suspect it’s just temporary and that they’ll leave at once when the expansion comes… then: good riddance.

    Just trust your instincts.

  6. Stix says:

    /disagree

    People that ninja quit.. or drama exit.. sure have a nice life and “peace sign with the index down”

    But then there’s the ones that have the respect to talk to you about conflicting schedules.. and that they are going to try and app guild x or y to see if they are a better fit.. 3 months later they have figured out that home is where your friends are and they want back in ..

    You cant turn friends away..

    I guess it depends on the individual really..

    I’ve let a few of the ones that left w/o drama come back in because they “never pissed me off”

    You gotta make sure everyone wants um back, and if no one objects.. you welcome them back with open arms and no hard feelings..

    1 person objects you tell the one person to work out their junk..

    2 or more people object you tell “comeback kid” to talk to them about it and if he can sway them then good to go.

    Unanimous hatred towards the “comeback kid”, you simply go “why do we hate them I forgot?” then get refreshed by the people that care about junk like that and go “oh yeah they did call my mom a whore that one day.. boooo”

    But in a FF guild that raids.. you gotta have some leeway.. i mean whats the saying about letting um go and when they come back you know its true??

    People that have come back tend to be the ones that weather the storms better in the future.

  7. Notmynormalname says:

    I disagree about never taking someone back … although it will depend on your members. We have a member who has a toon in our guild, and a toon in one of the elite guilds on our server. (We are 3/6 MH, 5/6 SSC, 3/4 TK, so not too shabby ourselves). It is a source of frustration for the people in our guild when progression night comes along and we see him off running with them because we now have to find another tank.

    The guild started out as a fun casual guild, who did some raiding .. it has been slowly inching it’s way faster and faster towards that progression raiding guild who will take anyone … We even had a guy who did some very dumb things, made us look bad, the GM kicked him, then let him come back to raid with us because he needed the class … It’s all about what you want I suppose, but you are right … at the point that you stop bringing in only the people that you want to play with and instead bring in anyone that can help progress, it takes away the casual fun guild tag.

    To your counter question … can you trust them? Chances are you aren’t trusting them with much. If they went off to that elite guild, and are now returning with their gear, chances are they don’t need gear from you. Which means all you are trusting them with is to show up when they said they would. The other guild who they “stole” gear from on the other hand … that is the guild that shouldn’t trust them. (That gear belongs to you and 24 other people, not you imo)

    The change in that comes when / if you progress past the point they were at and they start taking gear from your guild, that is when you might need to be concerned. It’s like a person that cheats in relationships … if they did it once, they will do it again.

  8. Doodle says:

    It all depends on how the person left. If it was a stealth /gquit or stealing the guild bank or someone steals someone else’s girlfriend and they both leave or if they say “YOU SUCK! YOU CAN’T KILL MAIDEN!” in their farewell forum post… of course I’d never let them back in.

    If, however, they said: “Guys, I really just want to see SSC and TK and Gruul and Mags and all this other stuff, and my cousin’s boss’s mother’s guild has need of a healer. I love it here, but I wanna go see!” well then I’d say “Go have fun, get your loots, and if you want to come back, we’re here for ya!”

    It depends 100% on the individual person involved.

  9. Verolia says:

    BBB, personally I haven’t but one my better friends that I raid with is in a situation like that. She has her main raiding toon in Voodoo but has the rest of her characters in another less progressed, more casual group, and she loves it there. She wants to experience some raiding and we will provide that to her. She is also the guild enchanter so I have her other toons names so that when someone needs something I can ask her. She usually does the enchants before the instances if they have the mats.

    Thinking about the difference, I realize that to be in a raiding guild I have to deal with people that I dont like at all. I hate their voice and I hate the way they talk down on everyone (And they aren’t leadership!!) but they know the bosses. While there is a common ground between us, the need to progress, your guild is better for a family/friend atmosphere because there is no common ground of raiding. If you dont like someone you can do something about it and not feel ‘hurt’ by their presence not being around.

    Your guild is something special. Am I jealous? Yes. But I want to progress and see end game content and have the feel of T6 on my Dark Priest body. Its a trade off. Apples and Oranges BBB. Raiding guilds and casual guilds are different and have a completely different attitude with it’s members.

  10. (this is not based on what others have said as I just wanted to get in my direct response to your blog post)

    I 100% it depends on each individual situation pertaining to that specific person. How did they leave the casual guild and enter the raiding guild? Were there hard feelings or well wishes? Did the person leave with the other guild members knowing that this kid/adult wanted to see T6 content more than anything in the world…and thus, would be welcomed back once his exploring days were over?

    Some people are genuine, kind and always eager to help. We can’t punish them for wanting to explore the more challenging aspects of the game. Let them join a crew of hardcores so they might see their dreams come true.

    Let’s say they’ve seen all they wanted to see, enjoyed the T6 content and all it offers and they’re ready to rejoin the ranks of the guild they loved dearly over a year ago. They were helpful. They got along with everyone. Do you say no because they “abandoned” the casual guild?

    I suppose it’s up to the Guild Leader. I’m a firm believer in a democracy versus a dictatorship. I would hope, under good circumstances that the person’s guild status would be spoke about with whomever should be involved. Does this person really deserve to be let back in to enjoy the end of days in WoW with a casual guild? Would they leave again during the expansion to rediscover new content with another hardcore guild?

    All things to discuss with that person. There will ALWAYS be the chance that they will leave again if they are the type to want a challenge, discover new things and see places that not everyone can see. You take that chance when you let them back in, regardless of whether or not they loved, helped and cherished your casual guild.

    The luck of the dice. The box of chocolates.

    You never know what you’ll get.

  11. By the way there are several spelling and grammatical errors in that response. Ignore them and blame it on the morning :P Thanks! heh

  12. Pike says:

    I am in sort of a similar situation as the GM of a “fun/casual/RP” guild that was also, for a while, seriously exploring Karazhan every week. Then summer came, half our raiders went on hiatus, and many of the other half (the ones that were never really part of the “core” group) left to join guilds that were still actually doing stuff. It’s been tough to watch the guild stagnate like this, I sort of feel like I’m doing something wrong (since the guild was only recently given to me.) But thanks for the reminder that it’s probably just a summer thing!

    As for the hardcore raiders wanting back in, it’s definitely an interesting situation. If I were in that situation, this is how I’d approach it: in my guild, there are definitely the people who have been members or what we call “honorary members” for months and months now. Honorary Members are defined as people who are not in the guild but have a long history of hanging out with us and doing heroics/raids with us, people who maybe pop in and out of the guild for valid reasons (i.e., helping a good friend’s guild), or the people who left because they wanted progression but don’t abandon us (they have active alts in the guild and still hang out with us on Vent.)

    If one of those “honorary members” wanted back in the guild, I’d let ‘em in in a heartbeat. People who we have a troubled history with or who never really seemed interested in actually hanging out… maybe not so much, but I’d take it on a case-by-case basis.

    Anyways… that’s my two cents. Hope it helped! =)

  13. Barrhona says:

    The Horde guild I am in tends to be casual. Pretty much everyone is an excellent player, and we pretty much have the “casual” guild stuff (Kara, ZA) nailed. But we really have no desire AS A GUILD to go to 25 man stuff. More effort than we are willing to devote to WoW (similar attitude to Sidhe Devils, actually – though a younger and less family demographic).

    So if someone wants to go raid, or PvP Grind to Warlord, or go even more casual and see some non-Heroic dungeons, then we bless them heading out and tell them to keep in touch. Heck, that is what I have done coming to the Sidhe Devils!

    We have a non-guild chat channel that everyone typically joins and shoots the brown stuff in, so we do keep in touch. Usually they leave an alt (or a Main) in the guild they log into now and then and chat everyone up. We lose a few, but we also have gained more than we lost when friendships found in their new locations want what our guild has.

    The exact same thing happened pre-BC when the guild rarely had anyone logged in while the “members” we doing other things in WoW. But we stayed in touch and when BC came out, the guild built back up better for the diverse experiences.

    As many above have said, it all depends on the people. It takes the right personality to make this work. But the ones who it will not work for have generally went their own way with little to no hard feelings.

  14. Heather says:

    I’ve done the “it’s situational” thing. I’ve been through this as a GL before, with BC. And in my experience, anyone who gquits for hardcore raiding, if they are allowed to come back…they’ll leave again. And I am not willing to put myself, or my guild, through that anymore.

    There are people who will remain friends, but I agree with you. If you have chosen not to spend your game time in my guild, you’ve made that choice, and my choice is that you will not be invited back.

  15. Ratshag says:

    “What, break up the Bell Bell and Pali team? Nevah!”

    Phew!

  16. ARA says:

    I’m in a similar position myself, trying to decide whether to leave my casual guild for one more hardcore. I think a lot will depend on the guild I move into – there are some great ones out there that are hardcore too – if I’m having fun in a hardcore environment, why would I ever want to move back? I dont believe I’ll “burn out” just because of playing intensely – I love to play intensely, thats my biggest thrill in the game. Only a couple of ppl in my guild share that passion, and tho they’re all great people, I just dont enjoy the casual vibe. Why spend 6 hours clearing kara, when I could clear it in 3, and spend 3 more in TK? I would have a lot more fun that way. I like to be on an edge when I’m with friends.

    I think burnout happens when you’re playing withb a bunch of unpleasant people. eg last night, I popped into a sunwell trash session and had to quit after 3 rounds, not just because it was boring + repetative but because the level of vent conversation was driving me insane. Lets just say I “burned out” in 15 mins, but it was the people and their rampant lust for gear and gold that I found so disgusting.

    I do believe their are people and guilds who are not like that – and when I find one, I’ll never want to go back anyway. Best of both worlds :)

  17. bigbearbutt says:

    I’m seeing some very good responses, I think.

    One thing I’m enjoying, is seeing what parts, exactly, people are responding to on this post.

    I was very, very careful to be clear that I was talking specifically about people that leave a guild they had been a part of to go somewhere else, without having anything to do with their old guild at all, no socialising, no hanging out or playing with alts or interaction at all. I was clear that I was talking about people that had been playing with friends, and then left to play with other people. Period. And then, after silence and absence, they come back wanting to rejoin the guild.

    It’s interesting that, with that being made so clear, so many people feel that you should be willing to take them back in.

    I’ll agree that people make mistakes, bad choices, etc… Sure. All the time, myself included.

    But if you’re friends with someone… is it really that hard to say hi, keep in touch, keep them on your friends list, and just send them a whisper every now and then to see how they’re doing? Like every month or so?

    It’s been quite a while since I left Legatum… and Gerolan is still on my friends list, and when I see he’s not in a raid zone, like in Barrens, I try and say hi, just to see how he’s doing. I also say hi if I see Joppers on, although that seems pretty rare lately.

    I’m not going back to Legatum, but he’s certainly still my friend.

    I think you know what I mean.

    I still get whispers from some of the other folks in Legatum, because those people are really nice folks. I may not be part of the guild, and we all moved on, but a friend is a friend.

    And other people, I never heard from again. Okay, I actually heard back that, from some people, a lot of trash talking got said. And that says a lot about people, too.

    I used to chat with Cartia from Divine Might when I saw her on, more than a year after I left that guild, although it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her around. She’s still on my friends list, simply because she’s an awesome person, and I hope she’s still out there somewhere having fun. She was my inspiration to switch to Engineering as a druid, back in the day.

    So yeah… you read an article, and you take away what resonates with you. And I find it very interesting how many people think that everyone deserves a second chance… no matter what.

  18. Breana says:

    It really depends on the person.

    As of today, we have had several people leave our guild for “greener pastures” and a few of them have tried to return to us. Most of them were told no, because of several reasons, mostly because they were very selfish when they were in our guild, constantly bragging and basically causing drama the moment they logged in. Allowing them back in would have caused more trouble then they were worth.

    On the flip side, when an old friend asked to come back from his raiding guild, we welcomed him back with open arms, no questions asked.

  19. 2ndNin says:

    I have an odd outlook on this, I have been in 3.1 guilds on my server (the .1 being a 3 day stint when I decided my head wasn’t in the right place to be in that guild), I left the first because they wouldn’t let me tank (starting Karazhan), I liked the people but we grew apart and rarely talk, I see them every so often and their gear level has barely altered, I find it odd because I would find stagnation bad.

    My 2nd guild I was in for 6 months (similar length to the first one), we went from a Gruul / Hydross guild to a Gruul / Maggie 4/6 3/4 guild, when problems crept up, whole bunch of stuff with people and me not feeling right, wanting to bash my head off hard content for a while, I left but still considered myself part of the guild, offering help and advice where I could and helping people out. The comments made when I left however made it pretty clear that despite 99% of the guild wanting me to come back, that some people saw my leaving as desertion and unworthy. At that point even though I probably would have considered coming back once I worked me out I decided I couldn’t go back, the attitude towards me and things like loot in general (and no I didn’t make off with loot, I had 2x 25 man drops, the rest is badge gear I farmed mostly through pugs), made it unviable to do so.

    My new guild doesn’t seem to have problems with loot, its fair, it makes sense and its open, they welcome me in the role I play and let me even play my alt occasionally. I don’t know how it will evolve, but each time I leave many people want me to come back, yet it becomes harder, there is always a small element that takes leaving badly and just goes and tries to kill the feelings you had for your guild. I know at least 5 people who left my last guild that all had said they love the guild but would like to raid, but might be willing to come back later once we “finish” the game. It was a community guild, not hardcore raiders, yet it raided a lot, it had a fairly hardcore of maybe 12-15 raiders and the rest of the slots were casual raiders or truly casual players, cancelling raids continually even if it is summer is bad for raiders. Raiders want to raid.

    Taking an example of my current guild, we ran Lurker, Vashj, Rage, Antheron, and Kaz’rogal with a stupid wipe on Azgalor trash so we called it for the night, a group of us then got together and pugged Gruul and Magtheridon, the raiders didn’t really want to stop, we just ran out of content to raid that night :P. People stay in guilds for different reasons, and sometimes you just need to go and scratch an itch for raiding, sometimes that means you have to leave a guild you really liked, other times it means you can stay and work it out. I don’t know if going back is ever going to work, but if someone wants to come back its often not a matter of trusting them, they have the loot they wanted or needed and they come back for something else, just be careful you didn’t slam the door on people on the way out, because many of use really did like our old guilds and want to see them succeed.

  20. Asara says:

    The first time I tried to post this I got an error. BBB hadn’t posted his response yet when I started typing. Here goes try #2…

    See, I think that some people are missing the part where BBB said (to paraphrase) the people that leave all of their alts in the “casual” guild, but never log them on, like ever. I believe the term was several months. This is not a casual, “psh, you dissed us, we’ll diss you back” thing. People who are genuinely concerned about keeping up with their friends will do just that. They’ll run 5-mans or log on their alts just to talk, or create the global chat channel in order to keep up the contact that they care about. If someone just drowns all of their time on their main, and never even bothers to drop a whisper to someone in their old guild to say hi, that’s someone who doesn’t really care about being friends, and it’s someone I wouldn’t let back into my guild either, if I had one… at least not without some serious discussion about what led them to leave in the first place, why they want to come back, and what they intend to do once the expansion comes out and they hit max level again. Then some more discussion with the people who are still in the guild, to see what they think, because it’s just as much about them as it is the person who left. There may be people who are still nursing hurt feelings that someone they thought of as a good friend would deem them “not good enough” because they’re not doing progression.

    As the good ‘ol Rolling Stones put it.. “You can’t always get what you want”.

  21. KhyBearStare says:

    I have to agree with BBB. If someone totally disconnects from your guild, regardless of their motivations, why would you want them back?

    They’ve been gone for x months and couldn’t even drop a /whisp to say “Yo!”…not exactly people I would want to invite back into my family.

  22. Eh, I still think it’s just a gamble, regardless. If Raider Hardcoreman leaves, doesn’t socialize, etc. and someday does want back in…seems sincere, there are a good many decent, loving folks that’d say ok sir, come on back to your family. Because, most people get so involved in the game that their guild…to some extent…is a family. And you know what they say, you can’t get rid of your blood. They are what they are. You accept them for this.

    Though, to me, that’s taking things a bit too far and out of the realm of a realistic nature. But, I’ve seen in happen. And, I’ve seen bad things happen because of it.

    I was a part of the raiding guild Fallen…long ago. I can’t tell you how many people left and came back repeatedly just because the guild leader was a “love everyone” type. There were no boundaries and no end to second chances.

    There is a line to draw and a choice to make. There’s a good chance that someday, every hardcore raider will want to breathe a little and can’t do that in his/her current guild. It happens.

    The anti-social, wont talk to you because you’re in a casual guild, raider…he will come back to you in HIS time of need. HE wants the break. HE wants to breathe. etc.

    Someone that completely disconnects from the guild during raiding may on some level feel guilty for being so “raid” intensive. Who knows.

    That doesn’t make it right. I agree.

    So, I do agree that in that situation – they should not be let back in…like I said though, I’ve seen it happen far too many times. Sometimes trying to understand their thought process on it all just creates a migraine.

    It’s not realistic or ideal for anyone in the guild.

  23. bigbearbutt says:

    I agree Caitlyn, and I like seeing the wamr heartedness from so many folks. It’s nice to know that what people are taking away from this and discussing is the ‘should people get a second chance’ part, and NOT the whole ‘oooh he’s got better gear what can he do for us’ part.

    I really like that you guys got right to the core issue about trust and whether bringing someone back that left may hurt the people already in the guild and cause drama, against whether it’s right NOT to let them back in and give them a second chance.

    It feels good chatting with folks that go right to how the people in the guild will feel, rather than issues about loot or progression. It really does.

  24. bigbearbutt says:

    oops, I mean I agree, One Among Many.

  25. Artorin says:

    Ya I read through the entire article and then was looking at the posts saying did these people actually read it? Simply put those with elitist attitudes are only going to leave again. I’ve seen it so many times people getting a character geared up and jumping to another guild and whats worse? They get the chance to do the same thing on an alt…

    There are those who are friends, friends from the start and will allways be friends. They should naturally be let back in. Everyone plays the game they way they like to otherwise you get burned out and I think most people go through phases. They want to try hardcore for awhile and then go back to casual or their schedule changes or whatever.

    The first guild I was in that I loved got turned inside out for the sake of progression to the point where it wasn’t any fun for anyone… even those pushing so hard to progress and it led to the guild being disbanded.

    So… I guess all this to say that I agree with you BBB on pretty much everything that you said. If I were a GM I would take the same stance. The guild I am in currently pretty much does the same.

  26. lol bbb you crack me up. Calling me Caitlin (heh, no y) is just fine! Dave calls me Cait, a lot of the people we play with have commented on my blog, calling me Cait.

    Or…we could go with “Her most leet-uber-awesomeness”…has a nice ring to it.

    =P

  27. yunk says:

    In an ideal world it would depend on the person, why they left.

    The unspoken truth here is so often when this happens we are glad they left, and that’s probably the type of person you meant. The loot whiners, drama queens, powergamers, that caused problems when in the guild. Maybe not lots of drama, but annoyed people enough that no one was all that unhappy when they left. Those people sure, they’re not wanted back. (I’ve seen these people get kicked from their raid guilds too for bad behavior).

    But there’s other instances of people who I was friends with who remained friends. They just wanted to do other things. They I would welcome back. Because I knew they are good people who just wanted to do something else. I eventually left my guild to raid after it was dead. Before that I raided in a coalition so I could remain in my guild.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the bitterness too. And it’s like “wow I thought I knew this person” and hurts. But then you get over it and are glad you don’t talk to them much anymore, if that’s how they are, they’re just toxic.

    Cause the truth is even in the rest of just life in general, even with adults, if you socialize less with a group and more with others, people from that group will be mad and think to themselves “you think you’re better than me?” and won’t want to be socialize with you at all. This happens even in your 30s (I’m not 40 yet but I’ll let you know if those things still happen :) ).

    And I guess maybe we should rise above that. Maybe you can be careful without being bitter. It’s hard to walk that line. I guess it’s about the golden rule. Forgive people many times over, but also don’t “cast your pearls before swine”.

  28. Saresa says:

    My first guild, Dying Breed is very much like Sidhe Devils in a lot of ways. They are very casual, very relaxed, and do pretty much no raiding. When I left, it was a tear ridden affair (probably all on my side of the equation!) and there were many fond “Come back whenever you are ready!” comments. Needless to say, I have really enjoyed my experiences with the Dying Breed, and I am hoping that they will let me come back for Wrath of the Lich King. While I have made friends with people in my new guild, the DB’ers are the very best friends I have ever had in the game.

    Of course, I would not have the audacity to ask to come back if it weren’t for one thing – I can almost guarantee that I will be sticking around. The main thing that convinces me of this? 10 man raiding (and the fact that as of next year I will be working in a job which makes incredible demands on my time). I know that I have been bitten by the raiding bug, which means I know that no matter how much I love the people in my guild, my desire to raid will eventually win out. It is in this that I am thankful there is 10man raiding (whatever the hardcore raiders say about it being EZ Mode… bah to them!)

    So, when looking at taking people back, what would you consider? Definitely the person, and the circumstances in which they left. I gave plenty of notice, and took no more loot from Kara based upon my leaving (in fact, I think I stopped even taking a spot), and farewelled everyone. I have kept in contact, and my alts are almost ALL in that guild. If they left under bad circumstances, and genuinely are sorry, then I would consider taking them back… but certainly without privileges, and on a very trial basis. It is tough to judge without seeing the person.

  29. Kikidas says:

    My main guild is Knights of Utopia, it’s a small, casual, family friendly guild that raids only on weekends.

    We accept people who 1: fit in with our guild, 2: have a sense of humor and 3: have decent knowledge of how to play (Note, not UBEROMG, but you aren’t a level 70 mage saying, “You can’t resheep something once it’s been sheeped once.” (real life moment, seriously. It happened.))

    I took my “main”, my ‘lock, out of KoU to have access to higher raid content. Every single other one of my characters is in KoU. I raid with KoU as well with my warlock. Other than not having access to the guild chat and having a different name under my lock, I’m still in KoU for all intents and purposes. All my other characters are in KoU not because I HAVE to be, but because I want to be.

    We have a hemorrhage of people leaving us to go to bigger better things… and then want to come back. It’s tough to figure out what to do. Some people, we let back in, depending on how they left and who they left in the guild and what they do with the guild even though they’re raiding with someone else. Other people, we politely hedge but deny membership.

    Is it a tough call? Yes. It is. And I’m not sure there’s one real solution out there. It’s a case by case basis, I think.

  30. Aurmith says:

    Wow. Just … wow. And I don’t mean World of Warcraft, though that fits, too.

    I just left a guild precisely because of this issue with friendly guild versus progression guild. I tried to explain to them why I left, and that they really /were/ a progression guild – but they wouldn’t listen. I didn’t put it nearly as well as you, of course, and probably couldn’t make myself understood.

    They had started recruiting and those recruited were wanted specifically for their talents, not for their personability or due to friendship. Once that started happening, well … I’d rather play with friends.

    Thank you for putting things so well.

  31. Auzara says:

    You called! BTW, most people tell me on my blog when they wanna see me write about something, not their blogs. However, you do tank with your face so I suppose exceptions are needed =P

    First I love this conversation! It’s great to hear different people’s takes on guild membership.
    Second I will take on your challenge. I’ve written returning players in a post titled “Second Chances” here; http://www.chickgm.com/second-chances I suppose it is time to take take on the topic of summer slump + expansion + Sunwell is hard.

  32. Raynmaker, Alevas (Uther) says:

    There are two situations for me that I’ve experienced and both were very difficult for me and for the guild.
    The first is leaving a raiding guild to join a more experienced raiding guild. I was in a guild that was raiding SSC/TK. Our GM and Raid Leader moved and took a lot of raid nights off as well as seemed not interested in being a leader anymore for almost two months. Whenever he was on, he was constantly involved and doing things with his girlfriend (also in the guild) or the two AGMs exclusively. Raid attendance slipped, the two AGMs (brothers by the way) tried their best but they’d had no experience in management or being a leader (these two things aren’t necessarily the same). People were upset with how things were run. I made a post on the forums about one particular Gruul’s lair that went horrible with the AGM leading. I had a long discussion with the GM about what was going on, how people felt, and my desire to help. A month and a half went by after that discussion and there were no changes. I tried to help the AGMs, not calling them out in guild chat or raid chat, but in whispers and private conversations. I talked with some of the other members and tried to their take on it all and their feelings so I could improve the situation. It didn’t work and I wasn’t able to convince the AGMs and eventually the GM that they were headed down a path where the entire guild was 1 person and as soon as the GM showed a lack of interest, the guild was dead. I left the guild to tell the GM I wanted a break for a short bit and then I was coming back to apply to another guild. I was called many things by the officers of the guild – most involving swear words.

    I took two weeks off without playing the game at all, I went out and did things. At the end of the two weeks, I was ready to come back and “rested”. I should have realized at the time that the game should be rest, I shouldn’t need a vacation from my fun free time.
    I left the guild and went to a BT-clearing, Sunwell progression guild. I’ve met many people in the game, but really only one who I would consider a real-life friend – someone who knows things about me other than me in the game. I don’t mean where I’m from or where I live or my job, I mean… one person who KNOWS me, who I would consider a best friend. We’d been in the same guild as one another for almost a year, even transferred servers together at one point. Our friendship suffered a lot from my departure, they weren’t ready to make that step. They were as unhappy as I was with the management in the old guild but didn’t want to step up.

    After a few months of raiding BT/Sunwell, meeting new people, and losing old friendships, I realized what was happening to me and that the game isn’t about raiding and skill and progression. I was on a Sunday raid, not feeling well, realizing all of my friends were back in the old guild, and we had a huge rain storm. My internet disconnected on a power bump and I simply didn’t log back in. For a week, I didn’t play, I called friends I hadn’t talked to in a year, I went out for walks. I was a WoW addict. That was two months ago. I spent a month after I came back just playing my friend’s druid, farming them some herbs but mostly fishing. I played about an hour a day, but I spent most of my time writing with people, being a friend. I farmed the Crawdad box :) for my friend’s druid.

    Since then, I’ve been guildless. I still do 3 to 4 hour kara runs once a week with FRIENDS, no matter what guild they’re in, and in fact most of them are still in the guild I used to be in. I talk with people more now than I ever did, and I don’t play that often – mostly on the weekends. I have a full friends list of people I can talk with and enjoy being in their company.

    My friends in-game don’t begrudge for my move. They know that I’m unguilded now and there to spend time with them.

    Add to that the dying of the guild I was in because the GM got a new job and moved to a higher progression guild that raids at a later time, leaving the two AGMs with no leadership skills in charge.

    The full compliment of 10man raids in WotLK will really balance out those that want to be friends and play together, have fun with difficult content but laugh and have a good time. How many people can honestly say that they’ve been in a 25 man (gah, or even a 40 man) where they were friends with everyone in the raid? How many can say that about 10mans? I can honestly say that since I left hardcore raiding and run kara/ZA now strictly with friends, I lead the raids and pick my own people who I enjoy spending time with. Occassionally we have to pug a couple but it ends up being ok in the end and we have a great time.

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