A tale of two guild hoppers

Maybe it’s the hot summer nights, the end of exams, or the sheen wearing off Ulduar already after a mere 7 weeks in release, but people I know seem restless in Azeroth. In our raid, we’ve had a few people going on breaks or temporary summer vacations from the game. I’d noticed the rest of the server was busy attempting to recruit also so it seems to be a more universal trend.

Among the various guild switches are two friends of mine, one from in-game and one from iRL. And I thought it was interesting to see what happened, why they hopped guild, and how it worked out.

Don’t treat your trials like used tea-bags!

First up, a friend of mine who is also one of the keenest and friendliest raiders that I know in game. He was one of the mainstays of my earlier 10 man raids in Naxxramas, and it always improved my mood when I saw that he’d signed for the week’s raid.  He puts out awesome dps, always gives 100%, is friendly and enthusiastic, cheers people up on voice chat, is always up for a challenge and does whatever he can to help other people with advice as well.

So I was sad when I heard that he wanted to transfer to a PvP server to be with some friends in a more hardcore guild. But I figured that our loss was someone else’s gain, and could see why he might want to try raiding on a different level.

Later, we heard that it didn’t work out so well. His new guild only ever slotted him in for progression/wipe raids and wouldn’t give him a lookin at the raids where he might have been able to gear up. His friends were recruited to an even more hardcore raid guild. It was barely a month in and he was already planning to transfer back to our server, then he actually got a decent job offer for a summer job and decided to do that instead.

And all I could think was what muppets that raid guild had been. By not treating a trial member with respect, they just lost one of the best raiders they could have ever hoped to get. Clue: if someone has just paid to transfer to your server, the chances are they won’t be running off with loot any time soon. And first impressions count, especially when summer is coming up and people have lots of non-game related options to do with their time.

Being carried is great!

A friend of mine in real life raids on a different server. He’s also a very keen raider, and had been a stalwart member of a casual raid group that had some success in TBC. At some point he decided that he wanted to do more progression raiding and switched to a more hardcore guild on a different server to do so.

All was going well, I had thought, when he commented recently that he had switched guilds again recently. His old guild had stalled for two weeks on Mimiron and he had been getting frustrated … then spotted that one of the more progressed guilds on his server was looking for an enhancement shaman.

He posted up a picture of his character at a Yogg-Saron kill, noting, “I was bottom of all the dps on the meters, but damn it feels good to be carried!” I know he plans to stay and work on the hard modes with his new guild, and I’m sure he won’t stay bottom on the meters once he gets to gear up some more. At least until they get stuck on one for a couple of weeks :)

It was just that once he’d gotten into the progression mindset, there was no point staying with a guild that had hit a brick wall and being frustrated when there were other options.

This, by the way, is why recruitment is such an issue for progression-minded guilds. It doesn’t take very long for your more ambitious raiders to start feeling twitchy IF they know they have options. And when the playebase in general is restless, there will be other options. In fact, switching guilds whenever your current one seems to have reached its limit  is arguably the optimal way for an individual to behave if progression is their personal goal.

What do you think?

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12 thoughts on “A tale of two guild hoppers

  1. Guilds that lack ‘helpfull, firendly people’ to quote Gevlon, will only ever be about success and progression. If they can’t progress, then they will looking to replace ‘weak’ players with ‘leet’ ones; their only other option is to fall apart.
    The people behind the character don’t matter in such guilds, only their ‘skillz’.

    I’m currently in a casual guild, which means that we raid 2 – 3 times a week, and yes, we don’t expect to one-shot new bosses every week.
    We still have 9/15 in Ulduar 25 man, so we aren’t complete noobs.
    I am confident that we will beat every boss in the place, despite our lack of ‘hard-core’ attitude.
    Of course we don’t want idiots in our raids, but also, we don’t want people who are going to QQ simply because we have wipe nights.

    The people I raid with are just as important to me as our successes. Would I swap my current guild for one getting server firsts? No way.

  2. I suppose I do agree with this on some level. Once upon a time, I was in a guild with Terribads that couldn’t half clear Kara, and due to the non-existant standards and insane turnover, would never go anywhere.

    What I did do, was try to move to the closest progressed guild I could, that had momentum. Being around for progression is really a critical thing – It ingrains you with the guild, builds comradeship through shared struggles – and its fun!

  3. Yakra: I agree also, I’m not out to make moral judgements here. Both of these guys were very upfront about their goals and motivations, and in TBC I also switched raid communities because I was bored and wanted to see Hyjal, and wanted to switch alts.

    It’s just how the game is, I think. If your personal goal is progression than it’s very very likely that at some point you’ll have to decide if your current group/guild/raid is able to provide it or not.

    But equally, it’s silly to label someone as Bad just because they haven’t yet cleared the current raid instance of choice. It may be that they’re a decent player who decided that they’d live with slower progression because they wanted to hang with friends.

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  5. I have a hard time sympathizing with your friend in the second case study. Two weeks on Mimiron isn’t a “brick wall”; it’s a learning experience. If he doesn’t understand this, he isn’t hardcore material.

  6. Pingback: Guild Loyalty « A High Latency Life

  7. I hope that progression minded people move on from my guild, because their QQing about slow progress brings down the morale of the rest of the raid. Most of us know that we’ll down the boss eventually, and are willing to deal with wipe after wipe because we’re doing it with friends.

  8. Pingback: L2wipe: A Casual Raider’s Guide to Hardcore Wiping « Fel Fire

  9. I think the consumer producer paradigm is very noticeable here. Producer types who build up their guilds tend to be extremely loyal but to a consumer it makes perfect sense to shop around for an upgraded experience.

    One interesting phenomenon is the birth of the wipeless hardcore player.

    WoW end game progression is about wiping. Generally the more you wipe the further you get.

    However to people who started raiding in the late TBC or with Naxx the raids were so easy that some people could just gallop through them. Even first attempts could be one-shots. So their notion of a good raid team is one that never wipes and a bad raid team is one that wipes. I think a lot of those hopping to progressed guilds will find that they move from a guild that romps through Naxx and early U collecting purples to a guild that spends long hours wiping on a very hard boss. I also think many of them will not enjoy it, the hardcore game experience they seek is actually kinda, well, hardcore.

  10. Progressionist guilds are why I have grown to hate guilds over the years. Valuing advancement over the person behind the character is not a guild, it’s a stepping stone.

  11. It sounds from a lot of comments like finding the right guild is a tough thing to do. Lots of people who value friendship first ending up in a hardcore guild and hating it, and then people who want to progress getting stuck in friendly, social guilds and hating it. People would be a lot happier, I think, if the main thing that they looked for in a guild was whether it was socially-focused or progression-focused. IMO, both are equally valid, and everyone should be free to enjoy the one they prefer, or a guild that strikes a balance between them that they are happy with (like Vlad’s guild). I don’t think it’s fair to say that “guilds in wow suck” because you happen to be socially-focused but only joined progression guilds and were unhappy, nor is it fair to say that people with progression priorities are all disloyal jerks or people with social priorities are bad players or idiots.

    Of course, this isn’t just one person’s responsibility. If you join a social guild, but then a faction decides they want to progress or the GM starts inviting lots of progression-minded people through poor screening, than you can end up unhappy through no fault of your own. Same in the other direction (“progression guild” leader allowing any and all friends and family to get invites, forcing the raid to drag spouses and children through raids who have no interest in learning to play).

    I’ve been in all these situations: been the casual player feeling betrayed by the pragmatic choices of a hardcore guild he thought was a guild of friends, and later the progression-minded person fitting in badly with a casual guild, and even the guild recruiter and raid leader struggling to strike a balance that makes both the hardcore and the social in the guild happy. In the end, I made a small guild with just my friends who happen to be awesome raiders. That way I fulfill both impulses at once. The downside is that not all of my friends in-game get to be in the guild. That’s the trade off I’m willing to live with because I prioritize progression, but I also spend time with them outside of raids and in shared chat channels because I don’t want to be heartless about it, either.

  12. Pingback: L2wipe: A Casual Raider’s Guide to Hardcore Wiping « Altadin

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