Guild Master woes…

I’m the GM of a few guilds. I’m also the sole member of many of those guilds (my bank guilds on various servers).

However, I’ve just recently been given the reins of the guild that my Alliance main is in (All for One, simply referred to as “AFO”). I’ve also got the reins of its Horde off-shoot (One for All). The Horde guild was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke. Basically, a way for guildies who decided the “/g” banter needs to be taken up a notch, into a PVP style of dropping the gauntlet. Yes, we created the faction divide to allow guildies to fight to the death, rather than simply dueling.

The Horde guild just is. It doesn’t need any care or tending. That’s also not where my Hordie main is. My Hordie main is safely ensconced in a guild as a “nobody of consequence” that raids a bit and dungeons a bit, but otherwise makes no waves and brings very little notice to himself. A bull of the land, so to speak.

I digress.

On the Horde side of the faction divide, I’ve no cares in the world. I do my thing when I want and do the group participation thing when the option is available and the mood hits me.

On the Alliance side. I’m very conflicted.

A good many years ago, I was a WoW n00b (betcha can’t guess what I rolled…betcha’d never guess it was a night elf hunter). I had no idea what I was looking for in a guild. So I blindly sent a “Looking for guild” request in trade chat. The fates decided that I would send that request in during the time that Emp (GM of AFO) happened to be in a city and was recruiting and she was the first one to send me an invite. I spent a majority of the first several weeks silently learning the ways of AFO. After a time, I realized that hanging out with the guild was almost identical to hanging out with my friends and family. So it wasn’t long before I was being just as obnoxious as the other beloved members.  Emp was very near and dear to me (even though she lived on the opposite corner of the US, eventually moving to the opposite side of the world, and we never got the opportunity to chat face to face). What really connected us, and endeared me to her, was her open-mindedness and her zero-tolerance policy in regards to hatred and bigotry in the guild. I wish more people in this world thought like her. She passed away in December 2012. Before she did, she asked one of our regulars to take over the GM position. She also asked a number of us help the new GM out and keep AFO true to the core values that Emp established for us as a guild.

AFO WAS a guild that was great for a number of things.

  • Familial-style banter in guild chat: We all were one big dysfunctional family. We’d poke fun at each other, brag about our kids and spouses, share our experiences about our vacations. You know, we gave a shit about each other.
  • Quest assitance: Many of us had acquired a number of alts over the years and had seen just about every quest that existed in the game at some point. So invariably, someone new to the game would ask a question about (or ask for assistance on) a quest that one of us remembered. Some one would answer, or fly out and help the guildie out. That’s what guildies/families do.
  • Dungeon zergs: Lets face it, DPS dungeon queue times suck. So queuing up was a sizable time investment for folks that are not at the level cap. Plus, the first time a person runs a dungeon, it’s worth a ton of experience. Especially with the Cataclysm redesign of putting all dungeon quests inside of the instance. So we’d run folks through dungeons for xp, or for the achievement, or for just being able to go into the dungeon and explore without getting killed, or even for a particular piece of gear or xmog (Wailing Caverns leather set, I’m looking at you).
  • Mount runs: Back when mounts were per-character, we’d line up our toons on a schedule. Every week, we’d run OS3D for the guaranteed drop. We’d run Onyxia and Malygos for a chance for a main toon to get the drop. We’d simply put it on the schedule and people would show up (even if it wasn’t their night to get the drop). When we reached the point that we had enough toons to run the instances, we’d run multiples for more opportunities for the non-guaranteed mount drops.
  • Achievement runs: Both personal and guild achievements. We liked running the content. Even if it was old content, it was something to do as a group. Invariably, it would turn into banter in raid chat.
  • Heroic dungeon runs: As people got geared up, we’d do carry-runs where several of us that out-geared the dungeons would help the under-geared to get the gear to do other things in game (and to get justice/valor points for even more gear or materials).

Basically, if there was something we could do to help out guild members, somebody did it.

Mid-Cataclysm, we decided to step foot into raiding. We’d make a little progress, then folks would burn out. MoP comes out and we tried MSV, got part way and burned out. Shortly after the marrying of realms, we wound up with a sibling-guild on the sibling-realm. This happened real close to SoO and flex-raiding. So we’d step into SoO and then we’d burn out before completing wing 1.

As is prone to happen, people change, priorities change, situations change, etc. A lot of the regulars stopped logging in as often as they used to (some even un-subscribing). Then Warlords of Da-chores drops on us. Suddenly, everyone is so busy with their daily house chores, that guild chat goes quiet. This lack of interaction causes a couple of good team-oriented guildies to leave. It had reached the point where I was contemplating leaving AFO too. One of the good folks that left has been trying to get me to start up a guild. I told her, point blank, “I wouldn’t make a good guild master.” Yet, here I am. I think of Riddick on the throne after the defeat of the High Marshall. Lost and overwhelmed with the knowledge that he is no longer a free agent.

Riddick. Ruler of the Necromongers
Riddick. Ruler of the Necromongers

I don’t want the guild that Emp nurtured to wither away and die. I need buy-in from the other officers. I need a couple of folks to get over some drama that doesn’t really exist. I need some idea of what the guildies want from the guild. I need to find out if the guild that Emp handed over to us even exists anymore. I need to figure out if I’m still one of the people that Emp would want running her guild.

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