What is Worth Fighting For?
So I’ve put off writing about my guild situation for a week now. A lot has developed, and I’ve been pretty unhappy about most of it, but I also wanted to be as fair and objective as possible when I finally wrote about it.
Two weeks ago:
You may remember, dear reader, that two Tuesdays ago we had a situation where half of the “guild” LFR group dropped to pursue their own course. That overt act was up is followed by a 4 hour conversation with an officer, where, I suspect, the “other” side made its case counter-argument-free. What I’ve heard is that they argued that “They’re doing it to improve themselves so they can go on guild raids and carry harder.”
Even objectively, I see two problems with this argument. One, it’s inherently elitist. That doesn’t necessarily make it incorrect, mind you, but if the spirit of this guild is one of inclusion, then that’s a dangerous precedent to set. Secondly, several of the raiders who were at that time going to the (let’s call them) “insider” raids weren’t going to guild raids. Admittedly, I have been provided data and argument to explain that , and over the past few nights when I haven’t been going (more on that later), they have, so perhaps that second argument is resolving itself. We’ll see. Regardless, on any particular raid night, they’re unlikely to be truly carrying more than 10% of the participants (for normal, the officers are generally pretty careful, and for flex, there’s just not that many people to carry compared to acceptable raiders), so the argument seems a bit spurious at best.
That Wednesday, we spoke to the officers again and were told that the “insider” group would be dealt with. The flex went down as normal and we finished wing 1 to much accolades.
That Thursday, I suspected we’d be doing wing 2 of flex and as a result turned down other offers to do it. Instead, though we had 20 people show up, the guild did a normal. 6 of the 10 players in the normal were people from the “insider” group. I lost my cool a little at one of the officers, for which I’ve since apologized, but since 2 of those 6 were dps and I, who showed up, turned down other offers, and wasn’t doing things secretly or overtly on my own got sat. Reflectively, they had to take 4 of the “insider” group, as those were the tanks and healers. The other two, though, the dps, still rankle me a little.
Friday I spoke to a different officer at length about the above situation, but was mostly just placated. To be clear, it’s not that the officer was consciously placating me; there’s just not much that can be said to satisfy the situation without some metaphorical heads on spikes. However, if they have to choose between me being upset – 1 person, who’s new at that – and that whole group, it makes sense to guarantee working things out with the group and just do their best to work with me. Here’s where I really began to suspect that the 4 hour conversation (which this officer was not a part of but I assume was told what was said) had turned the tide somehow.
During this conversation, I pointed out how often I was sat and was promised a spot for Monday night’s raid. I appreciated the gesture, but the fact is that I don’t want to have to pitch a fit every time I want to go to a normal raid. I was also told that Monday some consequences would come out, but not publicly. These “consequences” seem only to be being sat for a raid, which isn’t really a consequence because people get sat all the time solely because there’s too many dps.
The second problem with this discipline is the distance between the act and the punishment; more than week would have gone by that point. Plenty of educational and parenting data shows that for any punishment to be effective, it needs to be immediate and directly linked to the act. This furthers my suspicion that the 4 hour talk has essentially remedied everything without half of us knowing exactly what was said or being able to rebut.
Saturday there was another flex raid which was apparently discussed in mumble but not posted in guild chat, so while I had heard about it, it wasn’t really publicized. Still, it wasn’t in secret, so that is an improvement, but only sort of. Regardless, it means that anything we don’t get done on Weds in flex isn’t getting done. When I spoke to an an officer, he indicated that this had publicly been announced as the plan, which may be true; I honestly don’t remember it, though.
Sunday there was almost a raid, but not enough tanks showed up, so it didn’t happen. No real change there. I did notice that the Message of the Day in guild was recording our normal kills, which are, logically, less than our flex kills. I pointed this out to an officer, asking why flex, which we were told by the GM before his hiatus was progression weren’t being lauded, since we were further. To his credit – and this is the fellow who I griped about being a loudmouth before, so since then there’s been a lot of nice-making and general character improvement (which matches what I was told about him when I asked around) – his first, immediate response was that we should be noting both. That’s likely the best answer I’ve gotten from anyone during this whole process.
Monday we had to do normal since flex was used up. A few people got sat, when, if we’d done flex, they wouldn’t have. I spoke again to an officer after to explain my concern that the weekend raids were both indirectly (through getting raiding out of the system) and directly (because the flex lockouts were ruined) affecting the actual guild raids as well as my concern that people who were showing up when they’re supposed to are getting sat because we can’t do flex. I was again mostly placated, though again I want to stress that it wasn’t the officer’s goal to do that; in fact, the officer looked up some data (which I dismissed due to the fact it’s only from post 5.4, but that isn’t his fault) and acknowledged that a lot of his answers sounded dismissive. I’m just tough to please, I guess.
Tuesday night the “guild” LFR (as the previous Tuesday when this whole thing kicked off) was basically cancelled because one of the other group decided he wanted to do flex wing 3 (he’s too good for LFR now based on his gear score, and has repeatedly said as much; in fact, tonight he said he didn’t want to do flex, either. More on that later), so the guild LFR was put off. I said something about it in guild, and was told by this member that the officers had okayed it and in fact a couple were going. This made me unhappy because I hadn’t even seen wing 2, since I didn’t go on the weekend raids, and here we were going into wing 3 instead of doing a more accessible guild run. But the officers were okay with it, it seemed, so I’m apparently the outsider now.
A guild LFR did start up later; I don’t know if the flex didn’t happen or what because by this point I was so fed up by guild activities being directly influenced by individual players that I said the hell with it and went and did flex with someone else who knows a lot of quality players and actually wants me to raid with him. We did wings 1 and 2 without a single wipe. It was refreshing, and I pulled my weight with my dps, so it felt good.
This Wednesday I skipped the guild flex, committing the very sin that I’m upset at others about, I know, but I’m tired of being good and unheard, and I’m frankly distancing myself a little for perspective, but when I logged on later, I was further guilted into doing the same flex 1 and 2 with the same fellow (I say guilted because he attempted to recruit a college-age girl to flatter me about my job and blog, and while I assume it was all done tongue-in-cheek, it’s important to note that I’m immune to that sort of thing since I have college-age girls trying to use their wiles on me all the time about grades. It just bounces off at this point). Still, he helped me out the night before, so I returned the favor.
We eventually ended up doing the third wing as well, so it worked out quite well for me in the end. We only had 2 wipes the whole night, and both were simply adjustments to the new wing 3 fights. That night, I did not carry my weight (overall, I mean, I did just as well) as there were more people from this buddy’s guild who were obliterating the dps meters. I think I set a “record win” time for every boss in DBM.
Thursday I logged on at raid time, but there were a lot of people, but not enough for flex, I guess, so I stepped out. I’d had my turn Monday, was kind of naughty on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I figured I’d give my spot up to someone who could use it. Since the “too good for LFR and flex” guy was going to get sat, I let him have my spot; perhaps that will reduce the bellyaching. Perhaps.
So, to be frank, I’m not sure about the long term. I know I either have to just get over it and stay, don’t get over it and stay but raid w/ others (which is likely not to be looked kindly upon), or don’t get over it and leave. I’m very undecided on the matter. I’ve been careful in my recent dealings; I’ve not taken any gear from anyone who could use it (of course that’s since we were doing ToT, so it’s sort of moot by now), I’ve returned any guild mats I’ve used (a few gems to a gemcutter), and I didn’t take a spot that a more “devoted” member could use. If I decide to leave, there should be no bad blood. Regardless, for now, I’m undecided.
But the larger issue is that this is precisely what I wanted to avoid this time around, and I didn’t. Again, I’m mired in guild nonsense that’s ruining the fun of the game. The most fun I’ve had was the spite raid I did without my guild, which is a pretty unhealthy situation.
So what’s worth fighting for? The guild? Some semblance of unity? Or even WoW itself? I don’t know if any of them are, any more.
I do know this, though. A lot of more casual guilds tout their friendly atmosphere as a big selling point for their mediocre raiding. It struck me after doing the two flex raids with two different guilds (one my buddy had friends in and my buddy’s guild) that there’s friendly people everywhere. The people in those raids were funny, understanding, and accepting. Good people in guilds aren’t in short supply; competent players and unity are. That’s perhaps what I need to be looking for, if I decide to move.
Stubborn (and taking a weekend to decide)