Saturday, March 26, 2011

Field Report - Between a rock and a hard place

I'm going to start this post with one of the most common blogger statements ever - alot has happened since last time. Although I don't mean since my last post, that was only yesterday. But since I did my last post about my raiding. No wait I did a post about that just a couple of days ago. Ok, nevermind! Alot has happened in the last couple of months anyway. Some of which I've spoken of and mentioned in passing by already. Considering these are issues that are affecting me rather deeply I thought I'd ellaborate more on it. Maybe get some advice on how I should proceed?

Just a week ago I did a post on pointers for succesful raiding. Back then I wrote;

"We're there again. The waypoint which all guilds seem to get to every now and then, where some people want to go one way and some people want to go another way. Everything was going just fine and suddenly you smash into a brick wall. Choices have to be made. Whom do you accomodate? Can you make everyone happy? Who decides which way to go?  (...) right now we are having trouble deciding where to go next. Boot the failures asap, or work with the team we've got? People have different ideas. (...) My current guild is nowhere near the situation my old guild was in, we still have plenty of time to adapt to the problem and actually do something about it."

Although the post was posted a week ago, it was written some week before that. And alot managed to happen during those two weeks. A couple of our best raiders weren't happy with the raiding. The reasons were many, in some part they didn't agree with how the raids were run, in a bigger part I think they were just sick of the 25man raiding system and wanted something more relaxing. Like I've mentioned before, people are more easily bored and stressed out with the current content because they need things to be perfect. These people decided to leave the guild and reform as a much smaller 10 man guild that would take on serious raiding in their own pace. That didn't have to be a big thing, if it wasn't that these people were 8 of our best raiders. It gets worse, at least for me. 4 of those 8 happen to be my boyfriend and my 3 irl friends, the only irl people I raid with, and have done for the last couple of years.

To most people it was probably a no brainer that I'd join them. Boyfriend and friends leave guild, I follow, right?

I didn't.

And this is where it becomes tricky.
4 of the most important people in my wow-gaming head in a new direction, but I decided not to join them. You might ask why? It's simple. I don't agree with their choice. I'll try to explain.

To me, my guild really turned out to be a savior. Leaving my old guild was no easy choice, and I didn't choose my current guild just because they happened to be at the right spot at the right time. I had high hopes for this guild, and I must say they've really delivered. I've really had a blast the last 7 months! My guild has offered me high quality raiding (with few exceptions) with an awesome bunch of people. I feel like leaving them as soon as things go a little rough is... just low. This is when I have to pitch in and try to make things work. Put on a happy smile and work it through, because there will be sunshine after the rain. There is little for me to gain in switching guild at the moment. I don't feel the need to do hardmodes, I'm happy with any pace my guild can offer. When I left my old guild it was in part because I felt that by staying there would I be left out of experiencing the new content that came in Cataclysm. This isn't the case with my current guild. Why leave a guild that I am perfectly happy with? I feel like the people who left didn't even try.

It's not really that simple of course. Love has explained to me very carefully why he's chosen to leave. He was made officer pretty soon after joining, and quickly noticed that more and more burden was put on his shoulders (and a few others). While I was just logging on and having a blast each raid, he had to do all the administrative business around it. Taking out raids, talking to people who weren't picked, get reserves when people didn't show up, make the epgp system work (we switched a couple of months ago because the old one wasn't updated properly). Alot of officers that should've helped out, just didn't and more and more work was put into his hands. Finally, raiding had become more work than fun for him. He tried to talk to the other officers, and he was far from the only driving spirit in the guild. But the few others just weren't enough. If they didn't get things going, nothing happened. This is one of the major pitfalls of a guild and should be avoided at all costs. All officers must know their role and chip in, otherwise all the work will be put on a few, and they will inevitably crumble under the weight. There are few things as frustrating as having the responsibility to lead the guild without the proper tools to do so. Poor Love, who is very scatter brained, tried to make everything work, but he got really stressed out from it. Also he really didn't enjoy the 25 man setting, because he felt that having to keep track of so many people made his own playing suffer. A feeling alot of the other ones who left shared with him. In 10 mans it was easier to just rely on your fellow gamer. For him, leaving the guild was the only option to be able to relax and enjoy raiding again.

Before they left, I suggested we'd do both 10 mans and 25 mans in the guild, to accommodate both kinds of players. But that didn't swing well with the guild idea of being a serious 25 man guild, which I understand. People were scared that if we split up into two different groups we'd be like two guilds in one, which probably is true.

I on the other hand, have had none of the issues Love has had. I have been blissfully ignorant of all and any problems (except the one I recently mentioned). I understand that having to take on a buttload of responsibility although you really didn't ask for it could make you tired and bored of raiding. But since I haven't had those issues I don't feel the same need to get away from anything like that, like he did.

Still, as much as I love my guild and still enjoy raiding with them, there is no denying the fact that the people I enjoy playing with the most are in another guild right now. Love says he's sorry for putting me in the position of having to choose between being the bad guy or the bad guy. The bad guy for choosing not to raid with my own boyfriend, or the bad guy for leaving a guild that really doesn't deserve it (in my opinion) and that needs me. *sigh*

Needless to say, this has put down my overall enthusiasm over raiding somewhat. I don't blame Love, or any of the ones who left. I do think they could've tried a little harder than they did because the majority of the leavers didn't have the same excuse as Love did, they just didn't like the raiding. On the other hand, if they honestly don't enjoy the 25 man raiding setting, they should move on. There is really nothing to gain in playing something that isn't fun. But I like 25 man raiding, and I like my guild. I did 10 man raiding for several years already. So, on one side I have my boyfriend and irl friends, on the other I have my guild, a raiding style I prefer at the moment and a bunch of nice players. Stuck between a rock and a hard place anyone?

Right now I am thinking about reducing my overall raiding attendance (which I must do anyway because of work). Another idea I have is to do one raid with my guild per week, and one raid with Loves guild (on an alt). Not sure if either guild thinks that is a great idea though. Two timing and all. Maybe I will just have to wait and see how things unfold, perhaps a solution will drop into my lap, which is usually the case in my life. Or maybe I will actually have to make a decision. Is not making a decision a decision?


  1. I see a lot of myself in Love... I've become the person who handles EPGP, masterlooting, logging, tech-support for mumble/vent/forums/whatever, the person to whisper when you have complaints. etc.

    I recently got a job (had been unemployed for years) and now I can see that my raiding is pretty much work... without enjoyment most of the time. 12 hrs a week!

    I don't want to abandon my friends who I have been with for years and I like to think that I might enjoy raiding if it was a bit more relaxed... but I don't know.

    I guess I'm just ranting/venting myself. :)

    Good luck with your situation, I'll see if I can handle mine. :)


  2. Uh tough one, really really tough one.
    I don't even know what I would do.

    My first thought went to the half and half setting, raiding with an alt with your irl friends, but my experience is, that often this works only as a temporary solution and eventually, the original choice demands to be dealt with again.

    Especially as a couple, raiding together is a joy, but apart it can be very suboptimal, especially when you're living together.

    I really don't know Zinn, you truly are between a rock and a hard place :(