[Guest Post] Cross Guild Raiding and Out-of-Hand Officers

17 November, 2010

Below is my first guest post…post by a guest…whatever. I thought that this would be an interesting read for those that follow me here and are always looking for insight on different guild-politic situations. Everyone knows that there is more to raiding and running a guild than logging on at 7pm to do some invites for a romp through the latest epic loot-filled, gloomy space.

Many officer dealings occur on forums, late at night on vent, and in officer chat at the worst times. In this post, a friend of mine from the Twitter-verse describes a situation that recently occurred in their guild. Here’s what happened and how it turned out. My comments on the situation follow the article.

So this is how the story goes:

Officer holds onto rage and turmoil from something that happened over a year ago that the GM thought was a dead issue.

Officer begins behaving very badly, eventually culminating in a post that basically says, “I’ve been behaving badly because I want to step down but I want it to look like someone else’s fault that I had to.” The target is, of course, the GM.

Everyone else, not being a participant in the struggle between the GM and the Officer, strokes the Officer’s ego, saying they are too hard on themselves and they should really reconsider and come back. Their ego assuaged, the Officer has a miraculous change of heart.

The Officer and GM have a discussion. The GM says the Officer needs to move forward and stop taking their anger out on other guild mates. And that the Officer needs to be more open about problems rather than stuffing them all down until they explode.

Time passes. All seems to be well. The Officer then begins a tawdry love affair with some other guild that they have been running raids with on their alt. The Officer pushes for an alliance and the GM, having been down that road and seeing no point to halting their own progress, declines. The Officer becomes somewhat hysterical, claiming that the GM doesn’t know these people and would want an alliance if only they were given a fair try.

The GM replies with logic – namely that it makes no sense to walk away from an 11/12, uncompleted 10-man raid to go start all over on 25 man so late in the expansion.

The Officer eventually takes an alt from the other faction and transfers it to be in the other guild. The GM does not like this development but has no stake in that character so keeps their mouth shut.

Shortly thereafter, the GM makes a change to guild policy that the Officer doesn’t like. The idea was presented and several officers gave some feedback but this particular Officer didn’t bother to reply to the thread at all.  The Officer makes a huge stink about the Officers deciding the policy should be different. The GM replies that the Officers can give opinions but they do not ultimately decide guild policy as that is something the GM does.

The Officer declares again that they want to be demoted. The Officer then changes their mind before any action can be taken. The Officer is now seconds away from being decapitated by the GM.

The Officer sends a note to the GM, saying that they, the Officer, no longer feel special or important. The GM replies that it is not their job to make anyone feel special or important and being an Officer is not about feeling special or important.

The Officer says nothing back.

The Officer then backs out of a raid that they signed up for because they were invited by the other guild to work on the LK. They take their alt, leaving their own guild with only 8/10 people signed up. The GM sees red. The GM asks whether it is at all wrong to see red. The GM comes to the conclusion that seeing red is a fine reaction.

As is removing the Officer from being an Officer. That is where this whole tale has been headed.

Of course, nothing is ever easy in a guild. Nothing is ever that clear-cut. The other Officers have to understand the reasoning or they will revolt. The GM is not sure this is a bad thing. There is a lot of dead weight in this Officer group.

The GM is tired of crap like this.

At the same time, the GM feels that they really should be more decisive. The first time that the Officer resigned should have been taken at face value and carried out immediately. A person can only try to be reasonable and understand for so long.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all, but at which point did the GM go most wrong and now that it’s time to reap the whirlwind, what should the GM do?


My Take

Since I don’t know the details of the situation as it relates to specific issues between GM and Officer, I’ll just relate it to how I’ve handled similar situations in the past. Raiding with another guild (especially on an alt) during main raid times is in the “unacceptable” category of guild incidents. Around the time when Tier 5 (SSC/TK) was the height of raiding, we removed two players from the guild that violated that policy. One was for raiding with another guild and the other was for refusing to leave a 5 man when we were short and ready to raid.

To me, leaving your guildmates out to dry on progression content is one of the highest forms of disrespect you can commit. Everyone raids for everyone. All row in one continuous motion, and in the same direction. Creating a culture where showing up to raids because you want to be there, not because you have to, should be priority one for every GM. Is there a full-proof way to prevent players from rowing in the opposite direction? No. Convincing them to come back in line or getting them off the team is the real task.

If someone is already harboring mixed feelings about being in an officer position, they should be removed from that position with as little collateral guild impact as possible. Explaining that a player has stepped down or left because they were raiding with another guild shouldn’t be a hard concept for others to understand.

Anyone else deal with a similar situation? Feel free to leave some comments!