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.
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:
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.