Greedy Goblin

Monday, April 6, 2009

Burn those bridges!

Several posts were written recently about problems in guilds or leaving guilds.

Tobold wrote about skipping hard content with his guild because they are too weak. He choose to be silent and abandon progress (he claims that only Malygos will be skipped, but if Ulduar will be harder than Naxx, he'll have to skip that too). Most of his commenters suggested gquit, of course quietly and without buring bridges.

Liore wrote about gquitting, directly suggesting "you’ll probably be coming back at some point, so don’t burn any bridges!" and "your guild leader wants this process to go as smoothly as possible".

Matticus wrote about a textbook gquit. It was "perfect" since the quitter did it "at non-peak hour" and "he left quietly".

Obviously I mostly disaggree. At first there are two points to be listed when I agree with being quiet:
  • If you seriously cut back gaming altogether. The guild or its leadership has nothing to do about you getting married, got a new job, or Blizzard messed the game up too much for you. Although I'm not really sure why you leave the guild, since you can just log on less, but if you don't want to hang around them after you choose not to raid with them it's OK. Say goodbye and leave.
  • If you are leaving because of social reasons. You can't stand another player, you have some friends calling you somewhere else. ("Friends" here means people you really like opposed to some random guy you use to raid with.) This is a typical "it's not you, it's me" case, the other guildmembers are neither responsible for, nor can do anything about your choice.
The third reason for gquit is "guild does not progress fast enough", meaning "M&S is pulling me back". This case I suggest you to fight for your progress. You will mostly lose and have to leave. However I suggest that if the M&S make you leave, give them hell before you do! The reasons:
  • I assume the guild is not an M&S ghetto (the fact that you are still there suggest that). I guess Tobold's guild is good example: can clear Naxx, can't clear Maly. There must be some good players, several average guys pulling their own weight and some M&S. You are not the only one who want progress here! However they are social, meaning "won't speak up if it can cause confrontation". But if you speak up, they will join. So if you start openly speak about X or Y underperforming in the raid, several will support you. (Always target certain M&S, blurry comments offend those who are not targeted and ignored by the targets.) Result: most probably several gquits on the M&S part or you being kicked.
  • People overvalue their groupmembers and the group. There are masses of scientific research proving it. So if you quit quietly, you'll be the "bad one" while the group will be the "victim of treachery". They will most probably think that you were a loot whore or a lazy prick who did not want to work for the group. No one can claim that if you are kicked after attacking an M&S named X or forced to leave by everyone supporting him (he does 700DPS because he is just ilvl200, needs more gear). Everyone will know that you wanted progress and blamed not the whole group just one-two bad eggs.
  • The grass is not always greener on the other side. The other guild you join may be just as bad as the old one. Or worse. You will have thoughts that "after all they were not all that bad". And you crawl back, keep on boosting M&S and lose all right to speak up. After all you knew exactly what kind of guild it was and came back. If you burn every bridges leading back to such guilds you will have to move forward and finally will reach a proper place.
  • Even if you lose, you made an example that speaking up against the M&S is possible. Most social people believe that criticizing others is simply evil and the whole world will hate them. They will see that you are not hated by the whole world, just by the M&S themselves and by their close buddies. Maybe they will not follow you instantly. But when they see you as Twilight Vanquisher while they are still wiping at Thaddeus, they will remember that it all started when you told: "I won't suffer these M&S anymore!"
PS: Don't bother to go to the officers. They are there, they could see the obvious with their own eyes if they wanted to. The pure existence of M&S in the guild is an unquestionable sign of their failure. They are either M&S themselves or socials who rather boost M&S than risk confrontation.They will most probably claim that the M&S is just ungeared (note: I wrote this before Tobold claimed exactly that).


Darksmiler said...

I'm sure it's been asked before but what does M$S stand for?

Here in England it's Marks and Spencer a popular high street retail purveyor of clothes, food and other household goods.

Gevlon said...

M&S is still morons and slackers.

Unknown said...

There is one more excuse that can be used: That the guild helped you get that gear, but you're not willing to return the favor by helping the "poor" ilvl 200 player out.

Anonymous said...

I don`t think it`s a regular member`s job to complain about who he think is an M&S or not. If he is annoyed by certain people he should speak to an officer because they notice people that play bad anyway and probably even think of kicking them, if some more reasons are provided.
I`m an officer and I`d be annoyed if a member would start acting like the DPS police in the guild, it`s not his job or his place to do that, that`s why we have officers, a raid leader, DPS meters, etc.
We know the ones who slack, the ones who tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again etc.

DarkKnight said...

@thcgirl: Yes, that's what officers are for. BUT, if said officers fail themselves then it gets a bit more complicated.
For example my alt guild is in the position where there are just too many M&S (even among officers) to progress to for example Sarth2D. Problem is that there are some very eager and relatively good (I refrain from boosting anyones ego ;)) players that are now getting held back bigtime by the M&S. I am amazed that they still haven't left the guild actually, although a couple have but with not enough impact to really cause a shift. Which is of course due to the fact that some of those failing are officers.
Now, I hear everyone wondering: "Why are you still in that guild then if you think they suck?"
Reason is very simple: I don't need them for progress, that's what I have my main guild for. And even better, I 'LOVE' the drama that happens in the altguild now and then. Plus the fact that I have a couple good friends in it, makes it just worth it for me to endure the crap raids.
Oh, and yes, I have been trying to throw in some tips and hints etc etc (okay, maybe my critics weren't always nice), which in turn made about half of the officers wanting to get rid of me /flex ;).

Anonymous said...

Dominique : then this falls into the "know your place" category. you said it yourself, it`s an alt guild, sarth+2d is a hard fight, needs coordination, both officers and members are M&S, so probably the guild is not meant to raid that content and the good players (mains) are wasting their time if they want more. Like it was in BC, we raided Black Temple (then Sunwell) while others were recruiting for Kara and ZA and just maybe...Gruul. It seems unrealistic to me that a guild that`s at Kara level is frustrated coz they can`t raid even SSC or TK, for example.
You are an exception, since you are there for fun and raid serious content on your main.

Gevlon said...

@thcgirl: answer included to post.

@Hirvox: you are either a troll, or a very naive person. "The guild" don't get you gear. Performing players get gear. If you contributed on those raids, you deserved it and have no debt for them. If they "helped" you get the gear, you are the M&S who is making the problem.

Unknown said...

@Hirvox: you are either a troll, or a very naive person.
Or you just missed the "excuse" part. Just because I link to something it doesn't mean that I agree with it.

Carra said...

Leaving your guild for a better one might be the best thing you ever did in WoW too though.

Leaving a mediocre guild for a top guild on my server was at the time the right thing to do. Suddenly everyone was a good player. Raids were better organized. A stopping hour was a stopping hour: no more raids untill 1 AM. And we actually made progress.

It might not be fun to leave your guild. But sometimes, it's the right thing to do. And other, good people from your old guild might follow. Of course, the grass isn't always greener. And the new guild will also have problems. But they might be small considered to your old problems :)

Anonymous said...

Posted by Thunderhorns

We're having the same trouble in our guild right now with M $ S holding the guild back from becoming a very solid raiding guild. We've had one clear of Naxx 25 and can do Maly 10, but we can't get the players committed to consistently clearing Naxx 25 or even attempting Malygos 25.

What I've found is that the Guild Leader sets the standards for the guild. The entire guild's success will be based on the values and standards set by the guild leader.

If the guild leader sets no standards, runs a loose, casual raiding environment, and doesn't take the game very seriously, this will be felt from the top down and the officers will either go crazy trying to make things better or just give up.

As it is right now, our guild leader refuses to enforce specs, to make people define mains, do top dps, or require attendance, and our guild is hitting the wall in terms of what we can accomplish on our own.

So if you're guild isn't doing well, 99% of the time, it is the guild leaders fault. They have created an environment that fosters values that don't lead to success.

As has been mentioned on here, people who can't deal with conflict are poor leaders because they are unwilling to do what is needed to improve. Thus a guild leader of that nature will rarely if ever build a successful raiding guild.

So if you're doing badly, blame your guild leader for creating a bad environment that includes promoting officers unwilling to push for improvement either because they don't know how or their unwillingness to conflict with players to push them improve.

Either way, you're screwed in a guild like that. If you want to find a good guild, then get to know the guild leader. If the guild leader is on all the time, pushing raids, pushing people to be good, and sets high standards for himself and the players in the guild, that guild will have a higher chance of success.

Ink said...

If you're going for the scorched-earth departure from your guild, I would strongly recommend running WWS or similar programs for one or two raids before you leave. Then, post links to those parses along with a detailed explanation of who the M&S are and why they are failing.

phoenixboy said...

Surprinsigly many of those guilds fail for a lack of good leadership, aka somebody who can say "you just dont cut it". Most of the time nobody wants to assume leadership exept right in the front of the boss when theres no other choice.

Can be for shyness or for "dont want to occasionate any trouble". In many cases, if you are willing to assume true leadership, INCLUDING knowing how and what to delegate, people will follow, as long you are clear and dont curse to others.

Theres also the point of "management" thats basically explaining people talent specs, the stats for said talent specs and pointing sites like WoWInsider or WoWWiki (most people just see those sites for drama and news).

You can try to truly revolutionate your guild, if you arent followed or if the officers get bitchy, well you can quit. But at least you tried.

Anonymous said...


You have rediscovered one of the best ways to cause guild problems, months of drama and a good way to kill the guild.

The raider/casual divide is larger and eternal. Unless the leadership is strongly committed to going the raiding path, only tears follow your advice.

The likely follow from a committed raid leadership too, but you are likely to get something for your tears.

If you like your guild, look for a good raiding alliance--particularly if there is an open raiding alliance on your server.

Leftovers is the best thing that has happened to MMOGs since the invention of the raid.

Yaggle said...

I would quietly leave the guild unless you have a strong feeling that many others in your guild are not happy with progression. Unfortunately in this type of situation, others may feel the same as you but are too cowardly to take any heat and are waiting for you to do it for them. Only speak up and try to change things if you feel very strongly that others will be behind you.
Otherwise get the hell out of there and let them drown in their own pool of piss.

Syd said...

I've left a decent guild for a better one before. I did so quietly, and I didn't burn my bridges. I did change servers, so that made the move quite permanent.

However, what would it have served to point out poor performance in the former guild when I left? I had been an officer, and my fellow officers all knew that I wanted us to perform better. In fact, they took some of my suggestions (almost all, in fact) after I left, and are now a better guild than they used to be. However, after telling the other officers the guild was playing badly for months, I myself wasn't welcome any more. At that point I pulled up stakes and moved guilds. I'm sure the regular members never really knew why, but what would I have gained out of blasting them on their forums? Nothing. However, by keeping quiet, I maintained my dignity and clear conscience as I went to my new guild. I didn't want my old guild to fail, break up, or have drama--I just wanted to leave. You have to think about who can learn or benefit before you start drama.

William said...

@darksmiler I had the same question, since I just started reading this blog, and hadn't really seen that acronym in other blogs I read. I chose in my mind the more poetic "miscreants and scum" :) though, so apparently I was close, but not really. But thanks for clearing that up for us Gevlon.

Gevlon said...

@yuripup, Sydera: if nothing else can be reached, the drama itself is worthy. If it's loud enough, the guild will be destroyed, the good players will apply to a good guild, the M&S is left to rot. Drama can be very constructive.

Willowbear said...

What Ink said without the finger pointing can be quite constructive. There is no need to state who is slacking. The WWS report will do that for you. Reviewing a WWS report can be enlightening and can improve performance. At a minimum it sheds public light on low performance and maybe the embarrassment from that alone can motivate a person to change. Some folks may be under performing because they aren't aware of how they are doing.

If after a few weeks of posting WWS reports no change is seen then people who are top performers in their class could take a look and identify the problem (spec, gear, attack/spell rotation).

At this point if folks refuse to change or make an effort then they have proven themselves to be true M&S and the officers can act accordingly by excluding them from the raids.

Gevlon said...

Willowbear: if you think that the M&S will even care to look at a WWS, you are daydreaming. The only effect is on the few good players as they are forced to recognize, that the M&S has terrible shot rotation and no gearing will help that.

But I'm afraid they already know that, just don't dare to speak up.

Syd said...

I think Gevlon and I disagree. Drama is not constructive, so I don't start it. Rather, I vote with my feet, as the expression goes. If I don't like a guild, and I can't change it, I leave. That means I don't suffer, but I don't cause suffering.

Why would I want my old guild to break up? Some people enjoy raiding in a relaxed, judgment-free manner. I happen to prefer a performance-oriented approach. I'm happy to let them continue that without interference from me. One thing I learned from being an officer in a guild that didn't share my expectations was that it was better to leave than to try to force other people to share my perspective. Believe me, they're a lot happier without me complaining about their failures, and I'm a lot happier raiding with a group that criticizes and corrects player error.

Unknown said...

The problem is, some people won't tell the truth to save their life. I could probably go to a raid and do nothing for the entire night, and some guilds would be so terrified of offending me that they wouldn't say a thing about it.

Helping teams achieve success requires holding people accountable for excellence. You can't be terrified of confrontation if you're going to do that. Unfortunately, some people think ANY confrontation is bad. It isn't. You can't get better unless you know what you're doing wrong.

Ink said...

Like the Goblin, I doubt that M&S are remotely interested in reading a WWS. If they could or would do so, they wouldn't suck.

I'd post the WWS for the people who are enabling the M&S. There are some people in this game who are happy to keep "boosting" lousy players, but in my experience there's even more people who simply don't notice how much boosting they are doing until you point it out to them.

A lot of people just notice whether or not the boss died, and if the boss died then they aren't going to bother checking on anybody's performance.

Which becomes very funny when all of a sudden the bosses aren't dying, and people start wondering what has gone wrong all of a sudden. Nothing has changed at all, it's just that their raid group has finally encountered the threshold for how far the few good players are able to carry the lousy players. The lousy players were playing lousy long before this threshold but everybody was content with that as long as the good players were able to carry the raid anyhow.