Light & Leafy

When Guildies Say "Goodbye"

Posted on: December 7, 2009

Eight people are gone. A third of our raid team left, either because they felt like whatever drama was going down in the guild wasn’t going to be resolved, or because the raid team wasn’t handled to their liking.

I guess a little explanation is needed. When we came to Terenas, we decided to create a raid team based not on the best players, but on the players with the best attitude.  We were ok with taking the little bit of extra time to nurture our “average” players into extraordinary players because in the end, their heart would be in it for the team’s success, not their personal success. Apparently, some people didn’t get the memo though. People were unhappy with us not requiring our raiders to run 10 mans outside of our normal raiding hours (heck, because of work schedules, not even all the officers could do that). And they were unhappy with raiders they felt were under-performing when there were substitutes who would totally be able to handle the content.

So they’re gone. They left, most without even saying so much as goodbye in guild chat. It’s heartbreaking to see people you considered friends leave; its even more heartbreaking to know they didn’t have faith in the raid team you strive so hard to create, or faith in you as an officer to address any complaints they may have had.

A few of them seem to regret their decision. One even suggested a co-op for 25 mans between the new guild and the remaining guild, though I’m leery about trying.

If you left BECAUSE YOU DISAGREED WITH HOW THE RAID TEAM SHOULD BE RUN, why are you suggesting to continue to do 25 mans together? Is it because now that you’re autonomous you’ll be on the same power level as your former guild leaders? If we’re at a fundamental disagreement about who should be included (heart vs. performance), how are we going to come to an agreement about who to bring? And why did you leave in the first place if we never jeopardized your 10 man team?

Right, now that you know where I’m coming from with all this, here are

Eda’s Suggestions for Leaving a Guild Peacefully

1. Say Goodbye. Maybe you think that it will cause more drama if you say something. Maybe you’re afraid it will hurt more if you do. You’re wrong on both counts. If you leave without saying goodbye, people will immediately start questioning why you left; and possibly come up with the idea that you don’t like them even enough to warrant a farewell. It helps with your guildies’ grieving process as well as your own.

2. Let the Officers Know Your Grievances.  Take time to talk to one of your former guild’s officers, that way they can understand the reason you’ve decided to leave, and decide if it’s something needed to be fixed within the guild.

3. If You’re Having a Problem, Talk to Someone BEFORE You Leave. Contrary to popular belief, guild officers are not omnipotent. If something is happening in our offline hours, we probably won’t know about it unless you tell us. Or if something is happening DURING the hours we’re online that you have a problem with, you need to let us know. We can’t assume everyone is going to be bothered by the same thing. Most officers who want their guild to truly prosper will set aside a time to talk to you when they won’t be interrupted by other things (raids, family duties, etc.).

4. Give Us Time to Fix the Problems You’ve Presented. We try to handle everything fairly. Which may mean that if you came to us with a problem, we might not be equipped to handle it that very second. We might need to consult with other officers or figure out if your suggestion is the way we want to lead our guild. But just because we want 24 hours to deal with it doesn’t mean we don’t care about your complaint.

5. Give Your Former Guildies Time to Get Over It. Even in the most peaceful of exits, there might be some resentment, especially in guildies who don’t know the entire situation. They may be angry for a few days, and they may make remarks out of sadness or anger. Responding to angry forum posts in kind and hopping on vent to exonerate yourself may feel like the proper way to respond, but unless these conversations are civil, they’re only likely to drive a deeper wedge between you and your former guild. Indicate that you would love to continue to be friends and then let them come to you when they’re ready to renew the relationship, if you’re planning on having a relationship at all.

6. Wait.  Don’t /gquit the moment something upsets you. Take time to cool down, and assess whether or not there is anything that can be salvaged or worth salvaging. If you find yourself in a guild that absolutely doesn’t match your personality and ideals, it’s ok to leave to move on to a guild that you feel more at home with. But, if you mostly like the guild with an exception or two, really think about whether or not those exceptions are enough to make you want to leave. It’s harder to re-enter a guild where you’ve hurt feelings by a messy exit than it is to remain in the guild 24 hours longer while really thinking over your decision.

And for all of you out there dealing with someone who recently gquit….

Eda’s Suggestions for Dealing with A Lost Guildie

1. It’s okay to be upset; it’s not okay to completely go ballistic. You’ve just lost a friend. You probably feel some sense of hurt and confusion, maybe some anger and maybe abandoned. No matter how you feel, screaming at someone is not likely to make you feel better. Our lives are not static, and maybe something major is happening in Mr. Ex-Guildie’s life that precipitated this smaller change. He also probably feels just as bad as (if not worse than) you do about his decision; there’s no need to make him feel worse.

2. Just because he’s not being mature doesn’t give you an excuse to be rude. We’ve all been there. Someone leaves in a huff, and we over-react. We call them every nasty name in the book, and we respond to every goading taunt with a like minded insult. Stop. What good is arguing with someone REALLY going to do for you? Do you think someone spamming insults in Trade Channel is really going to be taken seriously? Now is the time to cut your losses and move on, not to stoop down to his level and continue to dredge up past issues that aren’t affecting your playing right now (except maybe the extra time you spend trolling trade chat to hurl insults or defend your honor from a bitter ex-guildie; you’re paying $15 a month to have fun, not to be miserable).

3. If you value that person as a friend, keep in contact with them! So they don’t share your guild tag anymore. That doesn’t mean you can’t remain close to them. Maybe they wanted to progress further or have a guild with more people active the times they play. Whatever their reason, the only thing standing in the way of continuing your friendship are the two of you! (oh, and maybe a faction/realm change).

4. Don’t Spread Rumors. Yeah, you’re hurting right now. But making up stories about the person who just left won’t make you feel better. It might, in the beginning, help you feel better about being without them, but in the long run even you might forget what was the truth and what was a lie, making it harder to reconcile with someone you once had fun playing with.

5. Be Honest with Them. If you’re in pain, and are afraid to have a full conversation with them because you don’t know what will shoot out of your mouth, tell them so. Admit that maybe right now isn’t the best time to discuss their reasons for leaving, and admit that you’re still processing. There’s no shame in needing some time to digest everything.

6. Don’t loose faith in the rest of your guild. A person leaving may jade you, especially if you felt that person was a reliable guild mate. But just because one person decides to leave doesn’t mean the guild is falling down all around you.

For most of us, WoW is an incredibly social game. Part of our enjoyment comes from making new friends and overcoming challenges together as a team. Sometimes we need reminders that we’re playing with real people, not just computer generated teammates. Maybe it’s time to call me a free-love, world peace hoping hippy, but all I want is to remind others that you’re dealing with flesh and blood human beings with real feelings behind the monitors and keyboards. You won’t get a long with everyone and you won’t agree with every idea, but there’s no reason not to respect them. There’s no reason not to love them (even [especially?] when you don’t think they deserve love [and I want you answer honestly who doesn’t deserve love?] or they don’t love you back).


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