In literally every guild I’ve been in, from the most casual that had multiple people who couldn’t ever jump on to Thaddeus’s platform to the most hard-core where we were downing heroic mode bosses every week, there’s been discussions about raiding culture. Invariably, someone thinks someone else needs to be better prepared, be trying harder, or be doing more research – or, of course, the opposite, that someone else needs to lighten up, understand it’s “just a game,” or understand “we’re not in a hard-core guild.”
I’ve read that the seriousness with which you approach raiding is a lot like how fast you drive a car: everyone faster is a lunatic, and everyone slower is a moron. I think that kind of perspective abounds due to the very common human fault of assuming others think like you do. We all do that, all the time, and as a result we can misjudge people or situations to ours or others’ detriment.
There was a very solid discussion in my guild mumble last night on this topic. Some of these people have never been in another guild, or haven’t been in a different guild in years and years, and it was very interesting how similarly I felt in that discussion as I do when talking to the academics at my college who’ve never taught anywhere else or had a job outside academia.
There’s a kind of surreal disconnect with reality that builds up when you’ve been in the same organization for a long time. Every point that was made was completely valid, and they were common complaints I’ve witnessed over and over: more officer transparency, fear that the raiding standards are being lost, fear of guild culture changing, and so forth. I did my best – as I usually try to – to keep things moderate and calm, trying to find common ground and so forth, but this time I added a bit of outsider perspective, too.
Some of the harder-core members aren’t happy that the guild’s become increasingly casual. Been there, done that, and have been on both sides of it. Here’s the thing – I’ve been in casual guilds. Those guilds are FAR more casual than this one and achieved FAR less than this one already has. I’ve also been in guilds where officer transparency was ZERO; remember that one of my previous GMs dealt with people passive-aggressively by simply blacklisting them from raids, secretly of course, and coming up with excuses each week why there wasn’t a spot for them. In other words, for the most part, these guildies – and the professors I work with – have NO IDEA how good they have it.
Of course, I didn’t blurt that out, but I kept trying to steer the conversation back to the good things that are happening instead of blame games and so forth. The funny thing is, the two people who apparently triggered this whole debate are both really nice guys, one of whom was simply fed up with guildies not having enchants and gems in their gear and the other who was simply tired of people being benched in the name of progress.
As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m a huge proponent of both inclusion and “casual doesn’t mean unprofessional,” after all, you can’t go into casual day at work naked. There’s limits even to what casual means, from my point of view. Gems and enchants have never been what bothered me, though, for me it’s been punctuality. You may remember, dear reader, that my previous guild had people routinely showing up 30 minutes late, wasting a half hour of nine other people’s time, with a laugh and a phony apology. That drove me nuts.
So take a moment today to think about whatever organizations you’re a part of – be it game organizations, work organizations, or other social organizations – and make a quick mental list of all the good things about them. Work to remember how good you truly have it wherever you are. Small problems can seem big when they’re out of context, so put them beside all the good, and I hope you find that you’re happier than you remembered.
Stubborn (and appreciative, for the moment)