Thursday, October 15, 2009

How not to implode a guild (or what happens when everyone leaves)

My guild has been through troubled times of late. But not the most troubled it has ever been through.

I think the most awful time was when the guy I originally formed my guild with died unexpectedly. He was the Raid Leader and was very charismatic and had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand every raid. It was a massive blow to the leadership team and the guild in general, as about 4 of his family members were core raiders and part of the leadership team at the time. It also happened at Christmas/New year break. So, not only were people not around, but the leadership just went awol as they tried to deal with a tragic personal loss.

We turtled.

I decided that I was not going to let something my friend loved so much just stop happening because he wasn't there anymore. I got out there and I recruited, and I recruited hard. I spent a lot of time on the forums getting people involved. I put my soul into my guild from that point on. Yeah, I know... weird talking about it like that, and just thinking about it is making me choke up a little.

At this point in time I was not the guild leader. I had handed the job over to someone else, I was an officer though. This guild leader went awol at this time as well. So, not only had we lost our RL, but our GL was hiding (GL was unrelated to RL) and simply didn't log on for about a month. It got so desperate I petitioned a GM to get the GL handed over. Incidentally, you can get guild leadership transferred if the guild leader has not logged on in over a month. Unfortunately, the GL came back before I could get this completed. I say unfortunately because he didn't really want to be GL anymore, and there were a group of us who had worked hard to rebuild the guild and had an idea of direction which didn't gel with the GLs. Eventually, I demanded he hand over the reigns of GL to me and it has been history ever since. Yeah, I staged a coup!

How is this relevant to now? I guess it shows briefly what I am prepared to do to keep my guild running. So when you come up against 17 main geared raiders leaving within 3 weeks, you kinda have to take stock of what you have and turtle up.

So, recently, ToC burned out a whole bunch of my raiders. Some of them simply stopped playing, some went on a break and a significant number of them faction transferred. Some left because they thought our guild was going to collapse (given the story I just told above HA I say). The most difficult thing was that all my officers bar one (Hey Hairy!) either randomly quit with no warning or retired (with good warning). But that left a massive hole in the guild; a hole that may have killed most guilds.

I saw this as an opportunity. I advertised the positions to the guild - making it clear what the situation was. That we couldn't field a proper team anymore. I needed new enthusiastic people in the upper echelons of the leadership team. So, I took nominations and promoted a few new officers.

These officers were not the people you may have expected to be up there had you looked at the guild roster and come raiding with us. But the main attribute I was looking for was enthusiasm. And these guys were ENTHUSIASTIC. There was a hard core recruiting drive, and I think we have recruited about 15 people in the last 2 weeks, and we didn't accept EVERYONE either. Some people were accepted as part of our social structure and I am not counting them. We accepted 15 trial raiders.


So that has now meant that we have a bit of a fractured culture. A bunch of new people coming to raid but being told we are rebuilding.

I went out searching for a guild that we could do joint runs with, originally, with a view to a merger to save us both (that was until my new officers went apeshit crazy recruiting people). And I found one. And within 2 weeks we are smashing content and taking names.

Now we are in a strong position; we almost have the gear to go back into HToC on our own, but not quite. We have good progression with our alliance and will continue to do that for the next couple of weeks at least. In parallel to the alliance runs, we are setting up a HToC10man which would mean that we have approx 25 raiders running progression content every raid night now. Which is very close to getting back to where we were not 3 months ago; at the top of Alliance raiding on our server.

So after all that I have an almost entirely new guild to play with. We are going back into ulduar to do hardmodes as a team building exercise. And it is already paying off with trials and testers to see how their situational awareness is.

I guess I am proud of my guild, and it will take a LOT for my guild to really go under. It will also take a lot to get me to stop playing this damn time consuming game.


Steve said...

Great read. Makes me want to be a guild officer again ^_^

NonElitistRaider said...

It's crazy, but I find it really rewarding. You have to be prepared to tough it out. I was really surprised at who was staunchly staying by my side and who bailed at the first sign of trouble.

Seany said...

The proverbial Phoenix indeed ;)

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