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Calling It Quits?

Against better judgement I’m writing this post anyway. There are at least two officers in my guild that I believe read my blog and as such this could present issues for me, but it’ll be brought up soon anyway. To them I ask that they keep it to themselves for now as partly this is a rant and partly just a way to sort my thoughts.

The Setup

Every guild has issues, drama, problems, etc. No guild is spared these problems. As long as you have imperfect people you will have imperfect guilds.

<ICESTORM> is an amazing guild with amazing people! I love this guild. I have emotional attachment to it as I’ve been an instrumental part in making it happen. It’s been a lot of hard work full of stress, but full of rewards as well.

But is it time to move on?

The Problem

Over the past few months I’ve considered quitting as the stress of the guild approached the unbearable point. The last month or so has seen us lose a lot of the drama queens (officers and members alike). For the first time in months, I actually like logging on to Vent because I can actually talk to the members and not just the drama queens.

So why would I even think about /gquitting?

This last weekend we had an officer basically say he was going to /gquit if certain things didn’t happen which fortunately they did happen and we had a pretty good weekend as a guild. But that comment hit me pretty hard and hasn’t sat well with me since. Perhaps I’m not being fair, since I recently had a discussion with some officers regarding my own feelings of quitting, so I am feeling somewhat hypocritical.

I’ve had two main reasons for not quitting this guild and this particular officer is one of them. We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but I’ve always defended him.

stress02I think what ended up bothering me the most about the comment about /gquitting was the enormous pressure I suddenly felt to make things work. Whenever someone complains to me about something, I immediately begin trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Maybe that’s why I work in construction? Anyway it felt extremely unfair to me and I wondered about whether or not I had put the same pressure on others when I expressed my displeasure. If I did, I apologize to them.

To add salt to the wound, I pulled major wife-aggro on Saturday. To be fair, I was on almost all day long from about 7am to 11pm. I admit that I do spend an enormous amount of time playing and not enough time with my wife and kids. That’s something I’ve tried to correct by letting others sub for me on raids, working hard at getting raids to start on time, etc. and my wife has agreed I’ve gotten better, but Saturday was evidently upsetting. I seriously have to make more of an effort to be with my family and spend less time on trying to fix and run the guild.

Then last night I made the decision that I wouldn’t be raiding to spend time with the family. So I screwed around doing a few dailies and farming while waiting for dinner at which point I was going to log off. A discussion in Officer chat began about going back to finish up our 25 man Naxx. So it was announced in Guild Chat and it was asked who wanted to go.  About 6 people responded positively and the others didn’t respond. The response from one officer went something close to this:

    [Guild] [Officer]: just another $#@%ed up week for raiding

Perhaps I’m not being fair, but I sorta lost it at this point. I whispered a friend and said something about the stress of keeping this officer happy is too much. I’m at the point where the server transfer is looking better every day. To which he responded that it’s an off night and it’s no big deal so no one should be upset about it.

Later on the discussion came up again in Officer chat about going, to which they were surprised that the 15 or so level 80 players that were on weren’t jumping at the chance to go to 25 man Naxx. Remember that we had a lot of help from some “elite” players and getting through this was almost guaranteed so I can see their point.

I couldn’t take it anymore however. I responded in Officer chat something to the effect of “we complain constantly of people not signing up for raids and yet there’s no raid posted…”, whispered my friend that I can’t take this anymore, and logged.

I’ve said it before that I shouldn’t go to any raid that isn’t posted out of principle, but I’ve always caved since I want to go, I want the guild to progress, and I feel this huge obligation to the others. On off nights I need to be able to leave at a moment’s notice for my family and if I end up in a raid I feel obligated to them over my family. That’s a pretty screwed up priority list!

The Dilemma

questionguyHere’s where I’m not sure what to do. I play this game for progress. I want to raid.

I’m not really into leveling a ton of alts, although I have one of every class and race. I would like to level each class to 80 for fun someday, but my main priority is to raid. To me alts are for fun, additional professions, filling in raiding holes periodically, but generally for screwing around with. I’m a firm believer that 99% of all players with alts are Jacks- and Jills-of-all-Trades, Masters-of-None. To the other 1% I say, “You lucky bastards!” 🙂

I enjoy running a guild. I like being a part of the decision making and trying to ensure that everything stays fair and things work for the guild. I have often turned down spots for raids when I really wanted to go because we had 3 other healers on at the time and I felt they needed a turn. I have 2 years to see this content before the next expansion and I can usually raid any day of the week.

So I’m in this guild because:

  • I want to raid.
  • I have friends here.
  • I take pride in having been a part of starting this guild and in being a part of running it.

The way I see it, I have five choices:

  • Continue as is, just letting them know that my time is more limited than usual, and begin stepping back from some of the day-to-day responsibilities that I’ve appointed myself (i.e. spam recruiting, as I did all weekend). Problem is can I really let go and let others’ frustrations run off like water on a duck’s back?
  • Ask to be demoted to Raid Member and no longer shoulder the responsibilities of running the guild. Again, can I let it go? There’s a part of me that constantly wants to help, which is where the stress begins.
  • Leave the guild and look for another. Not sure this is a real option for several reasons. Although joining another guild would alleviate the issue of constantly wanting to help fix things. I’m pretty sure I’d be stress free for some time.
  • Look for another server. I’m on the East Coast on a Pacific Coast server (3 hours ahead makes for late raids). One of the reasons why finding another guild on this server isn’t ideal.
  • Quit WoW. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen.  Worst case scenario I just play alts up to 80 and pug raids whenever I can, but I do really want to be part of a raiding guild.

I guess I don’t know the point of this post other than to get stuff off my chest. Makes me feel a little better to write it down. But at this point and at this frustration level, the server transfer is looking the most promising. I logged out last night to sleep on it and I’ll probably give it another night or two before making a final decision.

As it stands, if staying isn’t an option, then server transfer is most likely it. As such, I am curious about anyone’s experiences with server transfers and how they went about it though. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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16 Responses

  1. In my opinion , the server transfer is also not a option. Do you really think that it would be better if you transfer to another server ?
    May be, for a short time. But after that time i suppose you will again try to organize things and so on.
    May be you must reorganize your responsibilities. Give some to other people. You cannot be the Jack of all Trades.

  2. As they say, there are all types of members within a guild. The bully, the mom, the banker, the lawyer, etc.

    You’re the ultimate organizer or fixer-upper. It’s who you are. That wont change regardless of server or guild.

    However, I know of the three hour time zone…we’re there hours ahead of our own server. Raiding there isn’t currently an option for us. I’d like to see Naxx at some point and that might mean a 1am start time for that particular raid (for me).

    The thing is, you should transfer, knowing that you might meet with the same stress and same “types” of people. However, the timing on these such raids and occurences might be better for your family – which is more important.

    All-in-all, it’s entirely up to you. Good luck, no matter what you choose, I just hope you get some de-stressing out of it.

  3. I fight constantly trying to balance raiding and real life family comittments. I’ve made an agreement with my family not to raid more than 2 nights a week. And joined a guild raiding three nights a week, but not requiring you to attend more than 2 nights. This works decently well for me. This thing that you seem to want to be available for raiding any night seems a bit unrealistic and must surely put a lot of stress on you. I don’t think you’re doomed to be an organizer. I think it’s possible to change a little of your attitude towards the game and have a not so leading role as a normal raider. But you definitly need to change guild. Your guild has become spoiled and used to you behaving a certain way – I think it’s hard for you to find another role there. It’s possible that changing servers may make it easier to change your playing habits. I did a server transfer when my guild ceased to raid and function the way I wanted to. It felt a bit odd going to somewhere where I had a totally empty friends list. But now I’ve been here 10 months, this is my home and I’ve never looked back. I definitly think it’s doable.
    Whatever happens – good luck. And please don’t hesitate to share a bit of your burdens via your blog.
    /hugs

  4. I can’t give you any solution on the server transfer due to the 6 hour ahead difference here plus the fact that we raid in Spanish so…

    I see your point. Really glad that you realized yourself about the family priority, took me sometime too when my girlfriend moved in but after a year and a half I can say you get used to the balance.

    Now getting to something productive, let me say that I felt in a similar situation last summer, and the best solution is delegation. I’m 100% sure, knowing how much you know your guild that there are 2-3 people with medium-high rank that would fit perfectly leading the raiding part of the guild. Most of them with less familiar &/or occupational charges than you. Choose wisely and you won’t regret it. Afterward you can enjoy the unique administrative tasks of a GM. ^^

    Cheers from Spain
    Hashi

  5. I’ve transferred servers and it worked out to be hugely beneficial to me. Not that I was having an overly bad time on my original server, but I just decided it was time for a change to freshen the game up a little.

    The way to go about it, to maximise your chance of transferring someplace nice, is to do your research on any number of forums – the more the better.

    But for me it sounds like you should consider quitting the game altogether. Pulling ‘major wife aggro’ isn’t something that I’d recommend doing too often. 😉

    I think you’d be suprised at how little you’ll miss wow, and I’m fairly sure your family would enjoy spending the extra time with you. 🙂

    If that’s a step too far then I’d suggest standing down as an officer and just playing the game for yourself. Your natural tendancies to want to help others can still win out without having the additional pressure of having to organise something. If you find it too hard to stop getting involved then step away from the guild and find another where people won’t expect you to be leading things.

  6. I think Larisa has it right, your guild has become too accustomed to your current generosity and availability.

    Just start by being a little stricter with yourself, and them, and scale back your responsibilities and time investment. Family has to come first.

    Give that a try for a while and see how it goes. You’ve got options, but it’s not a “one or the other” situation necessarily.

    Try one option, if it doesn’t work move on to another option until you’ve done all you can. Then, you can call it quits knowing that at least you tried to make it work.

  7. Transfer to us, transfer to us! We’re only 2 hours off, not 3 (CT). And at least here you’d not be the only fixer-upper type. You’d share that role with me, the “Guild Mom”. Or maybe I’m more the “Guild Goofy Older Sister”, I don’t know.

    …but more seriously…

    I transferred. It was a little different because I knew some of the folk we were going to IRL, but it was still an otherwise cold jump from an RP-PvE server to a PvP server.

    I was an officer in the raiding guild I left. Hell, I was one of the oldest members, there in the days when it raided MC and part of the core that refounded it after it broke up. It was hard to leave, but we were clashing with some of the other officers, struggling with recruitment (I’ve recruited more folk in a week for BoO than I ever did for Unified), lack of progress, and other not-fun issues. The pull of RL friends was also strong.

    The new server is a shock in some ways-good and bad. There is, of course, adjusting to a PvP server. But there’s also amazement at how easy it is to pug 25 mans, and the activity of the server in general. There’s adjustments to make, but…my old guild is doing well even in my absence. I enjoy several aspects of my new server. I enjoy the lowered stress-same ‘job’ but different people, makes a difference! It was hard but I don’t regret it.

  8. Why So Serious?????

  9. It can be really hard to let go of something you feel invested in and responsible for. Can you take a step back, and watch the guild struggle and possibly fail without feeling obligated to step in and fix things? I don’t know you, of course … but from what I’ve read, it seems like this would be just as difficult for you as it would be for me in the same situation. I would need a clean break in order to “let go,” so a server transfer would be my choice once I felt I had exhausted all other options.

    If you aren’t quite at this point yet, then a compromise could be to set rules for yourself, and share them with your fellow officers. You could even lean on the community you’ve built through your blog to help you remain accountable to them. 🙂

    The paladin officer in my guild does this, and it seems to work really well for him. He promised his wife that he would only raid two nights a week, and always signs up for those raids a week in advance (so she, and we, know when to expect him and when to find a substitute for his spot). He also makes a point of running heroics only after the baby has been put to bed, so he never has to choose between disappointing his family by not being there for them, or disappointing his guildmembers by dropping out in the middle of a run. The boundaries he’s set for himself and communicated to the guild help him to balance real life and WoW, as well as to reinforce to the guild (which can be very demanding of an officer’s time) where his priorities lie.

  10. @ Everyone – I’m a little surprised at the quick comments that I’ve received on this post. I don’t get that many to begin with and I appreciate the support. Thank you.

    @ Talarion – No, I’m not naive enough to think a server transfer fixes the problem. It does however present a more reasonable chance at raiding times.

    @ Cait – Yeah family needs to be first and I need set raid nights (or at least 24-48 hours advanced notice) which is something this guild keeps talking about, but never does.

    @ Larisa – thank you 🙂 I am thinking that a change in servers will change my habits. Even changing guilds on this server I’m sure would, as I wouldn’t feel obligated to “help out”.

    @ Hashishin – the delegating thing would probably help and maybe I’m part of the problem because I just take it upon myself when we come across issues like recruiting.

    @ Cassini – LOL! Yeah, my wife just wants more time for family, fortunately she doesn’t expect me to quit altogether. I don’t think she could handle me that long. 🙂

    @ AC – Good idea! Now if I can just force myself to scale back…

    @ Ambrosyne – Let me say I’d already thought about it. 🙂 I’ve been reading a couple of different blogs and wondered what their guilds are like.

    @ Xorr – not sure what you mean by that comment, but the reason is because the game is quickly becoming a drag and I love this game. I want it to be fun again.

    @ Elleiras – I’ll be spending one more night thinking about whether I’ve exhausted my options.

  11. I don’t think that moving to a new server would solve your stress issues. Based on your writeup, I don’t think any of your five proposed choices will resolve the two root causes:
    1. You do not have an appropriate game/family balance
    2. You are driven to attempt to solve problems that you should not.

    Establishing a more healthy game/family balance is the simpler of the two, because there exist mechanisms to help you. A quick fix is at the “parental control” section of the Account Management page. You can set it up to prohibit you from gaming at all, no logging in for dailies or chatting, on certain nights or weekends. Or you could give your family permission to switch off the power strip if you’re ignoring them. Get an login authenticator, and hand it to your wife. Not only would this make your account safer, it would require that you fulfill her real-life needs before attempting to fulfill the needs of online people.

    You’re considering /gquitting. Your wife may be considering /divorcing.

    Resolving the second stress source will be much harder, because it will require that you change a part of your personality. It is important that you come to an awareness that it is not your role in life to make everyone happy and resolve all conflict. And in particular, it is not your unpaid job to keep everyone in the guild happy. If you check with your fellow guild officers, you’ll find that they do not consider it your responsibility as an officer.

    My guess is that you have a lot of “should” in your life. You should do this, you ought to do that. When you say “the stress of keeping this officer happy is too much”, it’s a sign that you’re unclear of the boundary between what it is possible for you to do, and what you cannot do. This is why your friend said, “it’s an off night and it’s no big deal so no one should be upset about it.”

    Changing servers would cause a short-term decrease in the stress caused by dealing with your particular guild members. But if you don’t change the way you relate to your family, and don’t change the way you feel obligated to solve everyone else’s problems, you would just end up joining another guild and falling into the same trap.

  12. I am the GM of a raiding guild on Echo Isles. The server is a PST server, but we raid at EST times (8:30-11:30 EST) I can relate to the struggles you are having because I have dealt with many of them myself. The wanting to fix everything? The drama? The spousal aggro? The stress that comes along with it? OH YEAH! BEEN THERE! lol I won’t tell you which of your options is the best one. Why? Because no one else CAN tell you which is best. You are the only one that knows what is best for you. I can offer a little input though. 🙂

    Should you decide that a server transfer is what you are looking for, you should probably check out our guild website. We have quite a few members that have transfered from other servers to join us and have been members for quite some time. Recently, I ran across a holy priest on PlusHeal that was lamenting about not being able to find a guild that was the right fit for her. I contacted her and we started chit-chatting. After our conversation and her visit to the guild website, she immediately put in for a transfer. So far, she has nothing but good things to say and is having a blast raiding on our team. She has become a strong member of our healing corps.

    I post that, because under certain circumstances, server transfers are a good idea. Starting fresh with a group of like minded individuals can be just what the doctor ordered.

    Decide what you really want from your game play time. If you are interested in just raiding and not having to deal with all the headaches that come along with trying to make a raid happen, starting fresh – either with a new guild on your server or with a new guild on a new server may be the way to go. If you want to stay where you are, you should cut back. Appoint a recruiting officer, delegate! Don’t feel like you have to do EVERYTHING. That was the smartest thing that I did.

  13. Hey Ky 🙂 I am one of those officers who read your blog.. I have to say I am not surprised.. I know you have been frustrated for quite some time. I just wanted to let you know that I back you up in whatever you decide. I have to say though I would miss you, I consider you a good friend and one of the reasons I am even in this guild to begin with. If you decide that transferring servers, leaving the guild or even leaving the game is what is best for you and your family, then by all means you should do it. I am selfish in that I dont want to see you go, but I understand you have to do what is best for you in the long run.

  14. I applaud your dedication to your guild and can empathize with your struggles, both as a player who wishes to make his guild a success, and a person who has responsibilities in RL that constantly fight for attention with WoW.

    The good news is that there are definitely guilds out there who see the game as you do and set their expectations appropriately; you do not have to raid 6 hours a night 5 nights a week in order to progress (certainly not pre-wotlk and absolutely not now).

    For us, I set up a rigid schedule for our guild, based upon the fact that the majority of players had RL responsibilities outside of the game: Work, families, etc. The progression raids are twice weekly, once Friday night, and once Sunday afternoon, in four hour blocks. That schedule alone got us from Gruul’s Lair all the way through to seeing Illidan die, pre-3.0 patch/nerf.

    I can only imagine how stressful it must be to have to be an administrative part of a guild where the upper management is dysfunctional enough that ‘ultimatums’ need to be thrown down in order for change to occur. I have a zero tolerance policy for that kind of behavior; after four years of running the same guild, I don’t have any patience for it any more. An officer like the one you described would be kicked to the curb in an instant. Change doesn’t come from whining about why others succeed; it comes from finding a solution, and implementing.

    It also helps to have all of the management on the same page. Structure is a good thing; it becomes the backbone your guild can rely on. I don’t cut my officers much slack, but I also don’t expect too much of them:

    1. Make sure your class is accounted for when raids start, and assist with recruitment.
    2. Know your class.
    3. Mediate issues in-game and on-forum.

    I reward them with extended access to the vault, free repairs, respec costs, etc. If you sow the correct seeds of community expectation, you’ll reap the rewards of a guild that has balance and understands why the seniority is hierarchically structured as such.

    All of which is done by a Father/Husband of two, one child of which is special-needs. I have time to do homework with my kids each night (I trade off with my wife), read them a story, and can sleep easy knowing that when I log in, the guild is a finely oiled machine.

    PS: Proper expectations *outside* of WoW are an issue to be managed as well. I too know well the art of Wife-Aggro, and my wife is not tauntable; additionally she has a stacking debuff that removes my armor, so I don’t deal with her appropriately…well, I’ll be wiping. Make certain you put in your fair share. WoW is great…but so is your wife, and your kid(s). I can do it, and I’m already 9th in the guild for achievement whoring…and I re-rolled a DK!

  15. @ Notelrac – Fortunately it isn’t as far as divorce, it’s more of a situation where she’s irritated with me for spending so much time with the game instead of the family. She wants direct attention for her and the kids instead of the distracted attention they get while I play.

    And I believe the server transfer is only a solution in that it gets me into a better time zone, not that there’s better guilds out there. A change in guild would help alleviate my “need” to fix things because going into an established guild I already know that they do things their way and I’m accepting that going in.

    @ Kyra – thanks! It’s a tough decision and one I keep sleeping on. The grass is always greener…

    @Hanzo – thanks man! You’re right. The one thing I’ve kept trying to instill in the others is that we have to be consistent for our members to trust us and I think that’s been one of our weaknesses in the past.

    As for family, I’ve already not participated in any raids this week, partially due to this dilemma of trying to figure out where I am and partially because it’s been a hell of a lot more fun just hanging out with my kids.

  16. “[Guild] [Officer]: just another $#@%ed up week for raiding”

    I think you absolutly must have a schedual for raiding. Not something just announced in guild.
    Something people can plan on. Something people can depend on.
    We all need some structure in some areas. This sounds like a big issue to me that wasn’t addressed.

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