Friday, July 25, 2008

In Which Pike Deviates From Her Usual Positive Outlook...

Okay guys, I know this is super out-of-character for me, but it's gnawing at my mind and chewing a pit in my stomach and I'm hoping that by sharing it with you guys, maybe I'll feel a little better.

My guild is dying. And I don't know what to do.

Some of you may remember all the past victories of our guild, because I wrote about them so proudly. How we gained so many members, so fast. How we did so many heroics and eventually these turned into weekly Karazhan runs. We were progressing. We were < Entelechy > dangit. We were many. We were legion.

Then the boyfriend got busy with life-stuff and gave the guild to me. And at that exact same time my job decided to schedule me mostly afternoons/evenings from here on out. And at that exact same time, a bunch of the guild regulars... the people who had been there forever... started to slowly drift away. They left for bigger guilds. Or they left to play alts on other servers. Or they simply went on WoW hiatus.

And here we are today; this once mighty guild is hemorrhaging members. Karazhan runs? Unheard of. That was something we used to do. These days we're lucky if we can scrape together five or six people once a month or so to get in there with PuGs to fill us out, and we get stuck at Opera. Opera. This is not the < Entelechy > I once knew. This is not the scrappy group of friends that fought our way tenaciously through Medivh's tower, on our own, without the help of bigger guilds. This is not "THUNDERCATS HO" before Shade of Aran. This is not people affectionately calling me "Tawtaw" and cheeking with me, "I don't care if it's immune to traps, trap it anyway." This is not "FIVE SECONDS TO EVOCATE!!"

Not anymore. What went wrong? I don't know.

On the rare days that I can bring myself to log in to Silver Hand, I deal with more people who are leaving or contemplating leaving, because it is very clear that the guild is dying, or at least changing drastically. It hurts. I don't blame them for leaving, not at all. But you think about how before you become GM, there would be 15 people all online, all doing stuff and chatting up a storm in Ventrilo, and now you're GM and you're lucky if there's five people on... and nothing is going on, and the atmosphere is gloomy... and it makes you think. What am I doing wrong? Did I do anything wrong, or was it simply bad timing?

I'd give the guild away because I clearly do not have the time or energy to be GM, and maybe somebody else can salvage it... but there's hardly anybody left to give the guild to.

/gdisband? I've thought about it. Yep, I'm confessing it: I've thought about it. Perhaps it is necessary, like putting down a dying creature. But I don't know if I could ever bring myself to do that. Not this group of friends. Not this family. That was what we called ourselves, back in the day. We weren't just a guild. We were family. Combine that with the vague hope in the back of my mind that maybe it's just a rough patch we're going through, maybe we'll come back with a vengeance in Wrath of the Lich King... I don't know if I could bring myself to type out the command.

But in the meantime I have to put up with a heavy heart everytime I log in and see more people leaving or confiding with me that they are thinking about leaving, and see more half-hearted Karazhan runs getting canceled for lack of interest. It's painful, this hole in my heart is. And no Heavy Netherweave Bandage is gonna fix it anytime soon.

Though admittedly, writing it all down has made me feel better. The wounds are still there, yeah... but I don't feel quite so alone.

(Note to any guildies/ex-guildies that may possibly be reading: I <3 you all and I am not in anyway upset with anybody, or laying the blame on anybody. Too much happened at the wrong time, I think. I hope. If it was somehow my fault... I apologize.)


Awlbiste said...

aw :( /hug

Itspaladintime said...

My guild went through a similar issue at the start of BC. Just don't lose hope, is the only advice I can give. I was sure that my guild would die back then, it was everything like what you're describing. But we recruited and we grew again and reclaimed status as a good example of horde progression. Stay positive - you never know how things will turn out. And if it does die, just accept it as a natural thing. Lots of guilds have come and gone on my server. People just move on, they make new friends or maybe hook up with old ones someplace new. And I hope you feel better. <3

Itsnoteasy said...

/cast Feed Hunter
/use Delicious Chocolate Cake

It sounds like it was just an unlucky confluence of factors. The looming shadow of WotLK probably isn't helping, either; most people seem to either want to gear up as fast as they can or not do anything at all.

I've never run a guild before, but if I were in your position, I think I'd keep the guild running in hopes that when WotLK comes back, I could entice former members back to the guild for levelling. In the mean time, did your former members go to any particular guild? Maybe you could talk to them and set up an alliance that will allow your remaining guildies to get into runs without having to PuG.

Hang in there, Pike. And if you need a pick-me-up, there's always LOLCATS and the Python boys.

Ratshag said...

I's real sorry, Pike, and sympathetics. Went through the same thing last on a smaller scale last fall. Weren't my fault then, and this ain't yer fault now. It just happens sometimes.

Fer me, it ended up that new doors opened, just when things seemed blackest. I will hold hopes what something good comes along soon fer you as well. And you knows where ta find me, if ya ever wants ta unload on a sympathetic ear.


Tchann said...

My guild is going through the same thing right now, and unfortunately, I'm not the leader or any sort of officer, so no one listens when I complain. :(

Before the summer started, we had Zul'jin down to 30%, and I knew we were maybe one or two tries away from having him down. Our raid synergy was great, we all knew how to work with each other, and raiding was fun. Then people started drifting away, losing interest, and this guild that had 10 core raiders dwindled down to having maybe four people sign up for a Kara run.

I wish I had some advice for you, but I really don't. But I pray things work out, that you don't lose this family you obviously care for so much. And that hopefully, if you find a way to save it, you share the secret with the rest of us.

Bikutanda of Nazgrel said...

Hang in there, I say!
I believe attendance in most guilds is falling, whether its a raiding guild or not.
A progression raiding guild will most probably still have content to deal with. Those guilds that just do the smaller instances, the casual guilds and such will more than likely be experiencing a slump.
One can do so many dailies before it becomes a chore.
Sadly, I believe Blizzard mistimed the launch of the Wrath expansion.

Hang in there!

Gothyelk said...

Pike, I really know what you are going through right now and the emotions you are feeling. Recently the guild I grew up loving and knowing began crumbling to the point that we couldn't even get a 5-man group together. It mad me so sad.

I had to make a difficult decision at the time. Walk away and keep the memories or try to save the guild somehow. Either way I knew that myself and others needed a place to be happy in the game.

I decided to save the guild and the only way I knew how was to merge with another similar guild. Sure, we lost the guild in name and we even lost some important members along the way but we kept our spirit and our friends together and even made some new ones. We are flourishing and happy now. It was the best decision I ever made even though at the time it was tearing me apart.

A merger may also allow you to step down to "second in command" for awhile and allow the other guilds GM to lead while you guide.

No matter what you do I wish you all the best.

~ Gothyelk

Dechion said...

I feel your pain on this one Pike. I have been through the death of guilds as well. Some as a grunt, some as an officer.

Fact is, it sucks. It hurts.

And I doubt it's Your Fault.

Trust that things will get better, weather the guild survives till wrath or not, things will get better.


Jezrael said...

I don't know that I have any useful advice except to say that it seems to be that time... pre xpac blues, summer etc.. so don't feel like you are in any way at fault! *hug*

Sade said...

I've been members of guilds that are bleeding members more times than I care to remember, and let me say this (listen carefully):

Big Guild Problems Are Almost Never The Guild Master's Fault.


End of story. Goodbye.


No, really though. I think that you're underestimating the effect that a looming expansion can have on people. They start to lose focus; begin to lose sight of what they're doing. Their attitude becomes "what's the point of this when it's all gonna be outdated in a couple of months when Wrath hits?" It's a totally natural step in the life cycle of both guilds and massively multiplayer games, and it is Not Your Fault. Unfortunately, though, some guilds survive these painful times and some guilds don't. If Entelechy doesn't survive - and, as the GM, it's your responsibility to be real about this and accept that the guild may not survive - then that's okay. If it doesn't survive it will have died of natural causes and lived a happy life. If it does survive, and I personally think that it will, things will be happier than they ever were after Wrath hits.

Maybe it really is time to consider rolling up on Silver Hand. Hmmm.

Wosname said...

As a new member of Entelechy, let me just say that the family feeling is still very much there! I have too many alts, in too many guilds, but this one really feels like home /shrug

Daniel said...

It's a hard situation to be in, no doubt. And there are a couple ways to look at it and handle it.

There might be a few people who just don't want to leave. They could be fine not running Kara, as long as there are a few people they enjoy talking to. And perhaps you can look to recruit some new players who are looking for a friendly environment who will enjoy the place you've created.

Alternatively, there might be some people who haven't left because they feel guilty abandoning the guild but really do want to jump ship. It's hard to say, but you know your members and can probably make a guess.

I am sure whatever you decide will work out fine because you care enough to be genuinely concerned. Good luck!

Maevet said...

Been there twice. pretty much it's a death knell for the guild. I've only seen one guild recover from a bleed out.

my last guild rather than kill off the 2nd oldest Ali guild, we mothballed her in cryogenic in hopes of a future resurection. and we didn't want to waste the guild tabs us few worked hard for.

You can try active recruiting, which is a 50/50. It may obnly server to prolong fate, but still worth a shot

MW said...

I think a lot of people are probably trying to get into high-end raids or run alts up to 70 before the expansion. It seems like a lot of guilds are having trouble with recruiting and keeping members on a few servers.

If you can hold out until the expansion, you might be able to get some new members — heck, from other guilds going through the same thing that disband, maybe even. Or you might get returns from people who went off to play AOC or whatever.

Either way, I doubt it's your fault.

wow power leveing said...

I's real sorry, Pike, and sympathetics. Went through the same thing last on a smaller scale last fall. Weren't my fault then, and this ain't yer fault now. It just happens sometimes.

Katie said...

My guild (also on Silver Hand) is going through the exact same thing right now. With summer vacations, beta testing, and the expansion coming, people are not around, or are freaking out about being able to see Illidan before the end of BC. It sucks, but I have faith it'll get better, for everyone. *hug*

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

Wow... A powerleveler COPIES ratshag's comment as his own...

Anyway, my guild is going throught he same thing right now All the people I joined the guild to play with are gone. And while we can still run the 10 mans, it's just not the same. Heck. I didn't even log in last night. I haven't missed a night in weeks, but it just wasn't worth the effort last night...Might be the same tonight...