The Guild Life: Generations

Soon after toppling over the old Lich King, in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the guild took a break, and eventually half the team broke away to continue raiding with other guilds. It didn’t sadden me so much at the departure, but it was the end of an era in the guild’s history. We actually managed to band together and accomplish our goal in the last major raid of that expansion. But enough about history, Deathwing launched soon after engulfing the world of Azeroth in flame.

With the latest expansion, Cataclysm, came a sweeping series of changes to both content and gameplay. While it did seem overwhelming to begin with, most players settled into the new way of doing ‘things’ shortly thereafter. The team came together once again as we strove to the common goal of end-game raiding. The problems, unfortunately, did not arise until the last moment. Having gone through all the new content, the level capping and the gearing dance we we’re finally ready. That is till the day arrived and one of our tanks was a no-show. A ‘tank’, for those unfamiliar with the term, in online gaming is someone who will do their level best to focus all enemy attention and indeed fire, fury and damage onto themself. Quite a critical role in a raid team, as is all roles in the end, and to be without a constant tank was quite a challenge. We could fulfil the role easily enough, but it would more or less be a new tank every week. A temporary tank as it were, can be quite bad when trying to make any progress in a new encounter. Your not just dealing with a static character, there are personality and gameplay issues that can arise and can be tougher to smooth over without consistency. Having the spot not properly filled causes other problems of course, like  a chain reaction. Days and weeks of raids taking longer then scheduled to both begin and end can put pressure on both the raider and raid leader. Fast forward to a point where the bulk of the team are fed up turning up to a half-filled raid and a big question mark on whether we raid or not at all.

Yes, please!

Now, having recently returned to the guild in a larger capacity I find the challenge of recruiting new players into our guild quite daunting, but necessary. I keep thinking back to the point when the tank in our team hadn’t shown up and if they had, and if our game time would be different now. Do I bother recruiting again only to be met with a similar outcome? There are times when the guild is running smooth, with little upkeep in terms of management. But there are times that the guild is not and really does need a strong manager. It’s a problem and a role that I am trying to step away from without disbanding the guild. Personally, I just don’t have the time to be concerned with the guild as much anymore (I wish I could, but life presents further responsibilities as you move along) and little ‘hiccups’ like the one mentioned can trigger off an avalanche of problems and quickly knock a guild on it’s ass and back to the Guild Recruitment channel. While I’d like step into a more casual role, the folks that are still with the guild are good people and it remains the sole reason I stay in the game.

I wonder to myself, how many other guilds have faced this problem and how many guilds have not. But the idea of moving forward and recruiting a potential new team is as exciting as it is daunting. I know I will come across personalities that clash with the rest of the team and I know that I will come across perfect ‘fits’ that will mysteriously vanish at some point down the line. But I also know that amongst all that there will be one or two that are perfect for the guild and the reward of having that person in our team outweighs the negatives. It does, however change the dynamic and way in which the guild interacts with the game. An evolution of sorts. I’ve seen the guild in many forms, but none so strong as in 2010. It was a fun and rewarding year in terms of raiding and I can only hope that the next generation can bring about the same feeling.

How often has your guild faced this problem, if at all? Was it overcome? Has the guild evolved over the months or years? I find it interesting to look into the history of the guilds that exist in these online games as I am sure that amongst them all there would fascinating tales to be told.

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.