standing at the back in my sissy robe

June 26, 2009

Guild Woes & posts that made me go hmmmm

Filed under: Hemo,World Beyond My Naval — Tamarind @ 11:38 am

This post comes in 2 parts: the first is me wailing and asking for help, the second is cool things from the blosphere.  Take yer pick.

Guild Woes

Firstly, I have killed yet another guild just by joining it.  Gah!  Okay, that’s not a piece of fairy cake, the universe does not revolve around me, but I have such a tortured guild history that I’m starting to think I might be carrying some kind of relapsing-remitting case of Guilditus and spreading it unwittingly around Emerald Dream.  I suppose I have only myself to blame.  Irresponsibly joining lots of guilds without proper protection…  Off to Leather Lane for a dip in mercury for me.

I’m actually a co-dependent player in that I never play by myself.  I think I’d go mad with loneliness, mining nodes alone in Desolace as the sun sets, weeping softly about how nobody loves me.  So I don’t per se need a guild, but I’d like one.  WoW is, after all, a social space.  And it would be nice if I could PUG less.  Of course, I’m frivolous and not level 80 so that rules out most of the more structured and serious guilds from the get go.

So I joined my first guild at around level 40 just to see what it was like – I basically took a punt on a random recruitment.  But the recruiter seemed nice and, as it turned out, she was nice (she still whispers me occasionally).  Unfortunately she turned out to be the only nice person in a guild that was otherwise comprised of wankers and idiots.  I went through a stage of trying to be quite active, arranging instance runs, helping people out when they needed it, and so and so on forth.  But then I discovered that, in some ways, running instances with guildies is far more dangerous than PUGing.  If you meet a bad player in a PUG, you can easily and happily never see them again, unless by sheer chance you happen to walk past them one day when they have the misfortune to be on fire and then you can ostentatiously neglect to piss on them.  But if people in your guild are objectionable in some way, you’re stuck with them. Forever.  In guild chat.  Until /gquit do you part.

So, feeling increasingly dissatisfied, my eye took to wandering, my head to turning.   And all it took was a chance PUG with a really rather lovely guy (a hunter who was not a huntard – our ancestors be praised!) to induce me to try a new guild.  And for a while, the future looked bright.  I had friends again, guild chat was lively and entertaining.  Although, gradually it got quieter … and quieter … and quieter … and then, for reasons still not entirely clear to me, there was a schism.  Dum dum duuhhhh!  The guild split asunder: into one guild for characters below level 60 and one for characters above level 60. I was recruited to the latter and it was really fucking boring.  We were all having exactly the same experience of the game, the level 80s were running heroics and grinding tradeskills, we were all spread out between 60, with the majority clustered at 80, so there was no point trying to organise any instances.  And I was under a lot of pressure to get to 80 because I was, at that point, their only healer.  It was crap, crap and crap.

So I left.

Third (or is it fourth?) time lucky, I thought to myself.  I shall do research.  On the internet.   So I found a guild that seemed nice, reasonably literate and had a quite explicit anti-boosting policy (yay).  I applied, joined … and less than a week after, for reasons I still don’t fully understand on account of being guild clueless, the guild combusted.  I think it was partially due to tension between the inner circle, all of whom had reached 80 at about the same time and succumbed to endgame ambition, and the rest of the guild who felt excluded and bored by all the endgame talk.   Lots of people left, the guild leadership changed, there was angst, woe and politics and, presumably, sex, lies and videotape by the bucketload.  And the dust is still settling. Ho hum.

I haven’t left yet, more out of apathy than loyalty.

Oh blogsphere, I can has advice, please?  I know the Be In A Guild Theory (be nice, do things for your guild, be active) but the actual practice of it seems well nigh impossible.

I don’t intend to leave as I’m sure finding another guild would be just as traumatic and tedious, and I’d rather be, err, part of the solution than part of the problem.  So, how can I, as a guild member, help this guild become functional again – how do I actually engage with it at all?

I’ve never felt particularly involved, to be honest, but I’ve only been in it a month, and all relationships take time.  When I first arrived, guild chat was dominated by the inner circle and they were very much preoccupied with end game content; I thought perhaps I’d have more to offer when I hit 80 (which again, kind of defeated the point of joining the guild in the first place). Also everyone has a lot of alts, and the assumption is that everyone knows everyone anyway, so it’s relatively hard for me to keep track.  I’m not quite sure how to deal with his, other than making a spreadsheet and pinning it my wall.  This is a step too far.

I’m polite when I arrive and I’m polite when I leave, and people are polite back, but that’s about as far as it goes.  I have a generic impression of a few people being “nice”.  I contribute to conversations when I feel I have something to say which, to be honest, isn’t very often – I don’t think I’m quite ready to traumatise these people with, y’know, me.  I’m not a naturally sweet or bubbly person.  As this blog attests, I’m sardonic, mean and slightly pretentious, although I try not to let it come across.

If people ask for help, I give it.  I’ve some engineering for low level guildies, I’ve healed one of the people I conceive of as being “nice” through a couple of quests.  “Nice” is so damning.  It’s a word you use fo rsomeone when you can’t think of any other way to describe them, but don’t have ny reason to dislike them.  I’ve tried to offer help (Tam is actually a pretty decent enchanter these days) but nobody particularly needs or wants it.   Oh, and I sent somebody some arcane dust.  Go me.

There aren’t any events I could attend. Well, there’s a retro Kara run this weekend which would be awesome but I’ve never been in a raid in my life so I’d probably be a liability.  And, of course, it’s a bunch of 80s, and we know how I feel about polishing my nails behind level 80 characters.  I very nearly made it to an RFC run (on an alt, obviously) the other night but between me offering the services of m’self and M’Pocket Tank, and them saying yes to both, and us unpacking out our alts, they’d gone and filled up one of the spaces so there was only room for me.  I could have told M’Pocket Tank to bog off again – and I suspect, being a friend, she would have obliged – but that would have involved being rude to someone I actually care about for the sake of people I might potentially care about in the future.

I suppose I should get off my arse and actually try to do something on my own account – organise an instance run, perhaps.  But I can’t quite shake the feeling something is going wrong somewhere.  Help?

Posts that made me go hmmmm

Anyway, I’ve talked about myself for long enough.  Here is some coolness from the blogsphere this week:

Awesome on toast from Frost is the New Black in this post on  shedding labels. It’s one of those “what they said” posts, where you point at it and nod a lot.

From a while ago now, the Hardcore Scale from Artisan Level.  Like everyone else, I’m getting a little tired of the endlessly raging hardcore/casual debate now but I like the idea that hardcore is not just a thing you either get or don’t have, but a continuum of of play.

Another wonderfully sensible post from Falling Leaves and Wings (I link her so often, I think I’m officially some kind of treedruid fanboy) on Learning to Say No.  Not actually being active in a guild (see above – alas!) means that I have far fewer problems with this kind of thing than others but I am still, to an extent, The Healer Who Can’t Say No.  All it takes a personal whisper from a passing random and I’ll be there, sissy robe at the ready, often when I don’t want to be and there is on the other side of the world.  It’s something I find especially difficult to deal with it when I’m playing a healer.  I suppose it’s partly because healers are reasonably difficult to find so you’re aware that saying no might just kill the run wholesale and partly because the act of healing is, arguably, a kind of “giving” anyway but I do find it almost impossible to turn down a request for healing.  You’d think I’d taken the bloody Hypocratic Oath or something.

I found this post on The Well-Bred PUG over at Wild Growth a very interesting read, I think because it’s very balanced and also, astonishingly generous.  The standard reaction to a PUG is, of course, zomg!disaster and, although her experience was obviously far inferior to the guild runs to which she was accustomed, she does a really good job of analysing the differences and the problems without condemning them.

Finally,  your Friday dose of sheer nepotism.  Here is Temi on why she’s not impressed by the Argent Tournament.




  1. Tam, my suggestion would be to perhaps look for a true casual, friends/family type of guild. We have at least one on my server hordeside that is fantastic called Iron Circle. They’ve been together since server day one. They hang out, everyone I know in that guild has about 10 alts that they level regularly, and as far as I understand it, the guild is just there to support each other and have fun…no pressures.

    It would seem to me that this type of guild would be the pod to your pea =)

    I think that this type of guild is probably difficult to find. They don’t ever advertise for recruitment, in large part because they aren’t looking to “fill” positions for anything! If you can sniff out a guild like this on your server, I think that would probably be your best bet! Just be sure to check their guild’s “mission statement” as it were. I would look for a guild that specifically states that their main focus is to be a casual family guild. This should help avoid any of that “I want a bigger, better guild” phenomena that you are experiencing right now =)

    Comment by Beruthiel — June 26, 2009 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

    • I did actually find a Guild like that – and I was very much “I love you guys!” and they were very much “we love you too but we’re Swedish” and I was very much “alas” and they were very much “alas.” It was a tragic story, rather like Romeo and Juliet, except with less stabbing and more Swedish.

      Basically if you encounter somebody fantastic on ED, they’re probably Scandanvian. Playing WoW makes me embarrassed to be English some time, we’re truly a race of dickheads sometimes.

      So i’m probably doomed to be a podless pea.

      I’m actually putting a fair amount of energy into my guild at the moment – they are a moderately nice bunch of people, they’re organised, intelligent and casual, so they strike me as worth making an effort me.

      Otherwise I guess I’ll roll around on the floor of the supermarket getting dusty and smooshed by passing trolleys.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  2. Sardonic? Mean? Slightly pretentious? PERFECT!!
    You sound just like my guild master and 95% of the officers.
    Roll an alliance DK alt on Elune and email me. You’ll love my guild!
    Do be warned, we have our share of asshats, but we work with them to
    make them better players/be more pleasant to be around.
    We love helping our guildies level and get gear, but we’re very casual.
    More than happy to run a guildie thru an instance or form a group to complete
    a quest.
    And, all the other selling points of a guild; vent, 4 vault tabs, tabard, blah, blah, blah…
    Seriously, come check it out. I’ll be waiting for an email!

    Comment by Ren — June 27, 2009 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

    • Wow, you really take recruitment seriously don’t you? 🙂 I’m so impressed and almost tempted. But the idea starting again, without access to all my resources and my WoW fortune, makes me quail a little inside. Also my heart is very much invested in the Horde. I will, however, give it serious consideration. Thank you for the invitation 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 10:50 am | Reply

      • This is something I wish Blizzard would someday implement. changing faction in conjunction with Xrealms transfers…
        Wanna change your faction then you must leave your current server BUT if you wanna leave your server you don’t have to change your faction.

        I regret rolling alliance altho in my defense I did roll an orc warrior first… unfortunately I had no idea that 4 outta 5 toons on Khadgar are Alliance… was kinda hard finding groups 😦

        Had I known now what I knew then.. erm… uhm… yeah

        so carrying on knowledge is power and absolute knowledge corrupts absolutly…

        I come from the Orcs. We eat with spoons and forks… oh is my street rep ruined

        Comment by Salvà — June 29, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  3. Hmm well you seem to have advice from the casual side, so ill offer my two cents from raiding guild relationships. The first and biggest difference is the use of vent, and once you make friends who you can literally talk to then you’ll see how much closer you can get to people. Text talk is all very well but its just so much easier to make connections through speech, since you have all those nuances and tools at your disposal to help you communicate sucessfully with everyone else, and that can make a world of difference. Personally, ive found i’m a lot closer to my vent friends than i ever have been with my text friends.

    However, vent can also make things much worse because now you have to hear the bastards talk every five minutes, which can get really annoying really fast.

    The other side is that if you’re raiding with a guild then you have a regular meet up time at least once or twice a week, so you end up spending a lot of time with them. I’d imagine similar things could be accomplished from a casual guild which organises events.

    Comment by uke — July 4, 2009 @ 2:48 am | Reply

    • Thanks for the thoughts. After I wrote this slightly whiny post I decided to put more effort into my guild so I spend a weekend being organised and chatty and trying to motivate stuff … and then I got exhausted and gave up. After all, if I’m going to go to all that trouble, I might as well found my own bloody guild =P Actually, one of my alts is in a fabulous guild – it’s called the Beautiful Wastrels and it consists of exactly 2 (count ’em) very vain blood elves. The things I do when I’m bored 🙂

      Yes, talking on vent must make a big difference to WoW-relationships. Of, course the downside is that people would have to hear my voice, and I’m (surprisingly) a little shy.

      Hmmm.. it looks like the solution to my WoW social problems is to become a hardcore raider 😉

      Comment by Tamarind — July 7, 2009 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  4. Finding a guild where you feel comfortable, is truely the hardest quest ever implemented in WoW. I’ve had my share of “WTF am I doing here?!”-guilds, but on the other hand, then I’ve had quite a few “Holy shit, this place is awesome”-guilds too.

    My first real guild was a guild called Lost Souls on Twisting Nether EU, where I fitted right in with my danish sense of humor and where everyone helped each other. This lasted untill the middle of TBC where the guild disbanded because of inacitivity during the summer. That always happens to my guilds it seems ):

    Next up was Nosco on Stormreaver EU. A serious and hardocre raiding guild, who climbed up to be in the top 5 on horde side by doing Sunwell and 15man BT-runs. The atmosphere there were absolutely gorgeous. Materials were sent back and forth without fees, help was offered everywhere and jokes about each others homeland was made on vent with fancy “your mom”-remarks as the only reactions. Nosco is now transformed into a 10man hardmode guild called Nex, which seems to be disbanding soon, so I’m currently looking for yet another guild where I can be myself without holding back.

    And back to the subject. You seem to have found some of the “gwah”-guilds on your server. There’s 2 things you can do. Put all you have into making your current guild what it should be. This is by creating events, take the first steps on the forums by talking about whatever you think people are interested in, help others with their alts or make sure they’re busy doing lvl 80 instances so they dont have time to level their alts (^_^), talk in guild chat like a maniac. and as uke said, use vent. Vent is perfect for bonding. Or you could; investigate the guilds on your server, spent a little time talking to people about their guilds and their goals, the atmosphere in the chat, vent, during raids and normally. It’ll take some time, but this way you’ll be sure to find a guild that suits your needs.

    Just my 5 cents (:

    Comment by wildbloomtehcow — July 6, 2009 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

    • Many thanks for your 5 cents, very helpful and illuminating 🙂

      The thing is, I don’t so much feel “wtf am i doing here” about my guild as “meh.” If I was *more* wtf, I’d feel motivated to leave but, as it is, it would just feel rude and slightly pointless. They do, after all, say “hello Tam” when I log -on =P

      Your advice is very sensible – I did, believe it not, research this guild pretty damn thoroughly when I joined. It’s just the publicity material didn’t say “Two day after you join, we will disssolve into a massive drama fest that will result in the entire central core of the guild leaving, leadership changing hands and, generally, the whole business going horribly wrong.”

      I have been trying to, err, grind guild rep and organise things. I wouldn’t mind but it’s a *lot* of effort.

      Good luck with your own guild quest.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 7, 2009 @ 10:19 am | Reply

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