This week has been a somewhat draining week in terms of player attrition so I’m sure that some of you less used to this sort of situation might be unsure of what this means or where a guild ends up when it loses some core members.
Periods like this happen, they’ve happened before and will no doubt happen again if we get over the current one. In the past I have always pushed through with renewal and change and this has provided continuation but I won’t lie, it gets harder to find the motivation to do so as time goes by.
Problems in a guild are not new or unique to any guild and whilst I’d really love it if WW could be all things to all people, not all individual needs and expectations can be met as they are by their very nature often mutually exclusive.
As they say, you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time and eventually being somewhere which you struggle to make fit your needs or who you are ends up being progressively frustrating. Similarly, the temptation to hope that you can change others to see things from your point of view is strong and yet in reality unlikely to meet with success here.
It is said that nature abhors a vacuum and so as I step further back from making all the decisions I once made alone (both right and frequently wrong) then others do step forward and simply make the same right and wrong choices instead and when this is maybe several people with different ideas on the subject and different supporters and detractors then things get messy and distracting especially when the temptation to live inside our own bubbles of like-minded thinkers gets the better of us.
This is seldom an issue with lower difficulties as they’re basically less trying on both individuals and the group, but Mythic raiding isn’t something you can ‘wing’ very successfully and with the changing guild and human social demographic (instant gratification, echo-chamber thinking and low patience threshold are the default these days) it’s very hard to keep people happy and engaged in the game or guild when things get tough and the wipes add up and we all too predictably lose people that have replaced those stronger characters who 3 years ago gritted their teeth and wiped on Mythic Mannoroth 320 times before the kill finally came.
It’s a game/Mythic issue first and foremost, a social availability/priority issue second and then yes, how tight knit, friendly and cuddly a bunch we are to each other comes in after this as well. Admittedly it’s something I’ve increasingly had to learn to do without as long as people are civil to each other.
Personally I’m not sure what the alternative is as at the end of the day whilst yes some players and council members try to get by on the bare minimum (and even fail to meet this very low bar as well at times) there are others that try to do as much as they can to help out and keep things working only for others to not appreciate their effort and loyalty when there is a better class/performer to field on a given fight they then see that time and loyalty is worth much less than they thought.
This is one of the principle reasons why when I created the role of Council Member and whenever I ask someone to take on the role, I make it very clear that it isn’t a role for life, or recognition of friendship or sublime ability, but rather the willingness to do the work associated with this and carry the responsibility for your area of reference to help balance the inevitable difficulties in selling decisions and choices to people who just want to play the game in a decent environment and kill bosses.
Given the nature of the role, people’s real lives and the differences in characters and opinions amongst those you work with, being a Councillor isn’t the easiest role you can undertake let alone maintain indefinitely. This is especially true when you don’t fully align with the guild’s central mission or the decisions made by the council as a whole or myself as Guild Master. I have always been very clear with each and every councillor of the need to fulfil the duties of the role in a continuous and reliable manner or otherwise to accept that they should step aside and allow someone that will, the opportunity to do so. It’s not an officer club, it’s an administrative management structure where each part relies on the others doing their bit both inside but more importantly outside raid times.
Stepping aside is never an easy thing to do, but it has been done by at least 7 councillors over time with sometimes temporary and at other times lasting success. Former councillors include Danbear, Braggha, Ewlon and Samious all of whom have in one way or another continued to play a part in guild life and even raid after stepping down from a position of relative prestige and power rather than quit the guild. This is not however always workable as it depends on the individual’s ability to adjust to their new situation and this is more an issue of character than anything else. Indeed, in one case, Boo, this opportunity was denied him by me as I knew he would not be able to do so so preferred just to end it before it caused more issues.
As Zarfen was the one who initially asked to step down and return to being a Champion (he changed his mind later, but the reasons why it was the right choice for both of us had not changed) it was my hope he too would be able to join the first four rather than the last. In the end this was sadly not the case, but I respect his choice as right for him and the guild as I do suspect it would have been difficult for him to adjust or retain his already rather weak motivation and work ethic to play as just one of the guys let alone take direction from someone else.
So, in conclusion whilst I am sure that for some of you that have been with this guild for a while that this situation whilst sad, is nothing new. Others who have perhaps only lived through guild meltdowns and collapses or bailed at the first signs of change might worry at this collection of departures which at the end of the day, as much as we might like to find a common denominator for are for a mixture of different reasons, means more than it really does.
They don’t. Change will always happen when its time has come. Structures crumble, supports and walls fall, but they can be rebuilt and strengthened.
I decided long ago to set aside bonds of friendship as the primary motivating factor for my own participation in this game. I’m not saying they’re not nice to have, they are, but if we only play when our friends play with us then we will end up with a lot of breaks in our gaming subscriptions and I have none.
One thing that members of this rather old and venerable guild can be assured of is that I will continue to strive to make things work for as long as there are people who will die over and over for this game and this guild. People for whom leaving WW whilst they still play the game isn’t an option they entertain as they know that the solution for them isn’t actually out there but rather within themselves.
Thanks for reading.