When is Enough…Enough?   13 comments

Niniel over at Swiftmend posted the other day about his guild master leaving his guild behind and moving on to a more progressed raiding guild.  My heart went out Niniel, and his story, and I truly felt for him.  But, I also felt for someone else in the story: His Guild Master.

Nin had stated that his former GM posted his goodbye, and from what Nin provided to us, it seems a large part of the GM’s decision to leave rested in that fact he wanted to focus more as a raider and less on guild management.  This is something that I can 100% empathize with.  It is also something that has been an ongoing thought in my mind for some time now.

I know that a lot of people in Nin’s guild were upset and disappointed in his GM’s decision to move on, but I can assure them that it was likely an extremely difficult decision for him to make.  How can I be so sure?  Because it’s been a decision that I’ve been struggling with finding an answer to for a few months.  I have put more thought into trying to come to the “right” answer on this than I did when I bought a new car two years back and was looking at houses.

Sure, when you make a commitment to run a guild it is exactly that, a commitment.  But at what point is it OK to say “I am no longer having fun because of this commitment” and move on?  For the past couple of months the game has felt a lot more like “work” to me than “fun”.  The constant recruiting, raid strategy research, theory crafting, dealing with drama (and our guild really has a minimal amount compared to most).  When is it ok for me to decide that I’d like for the game to be fun again?  Is it ever ok to do that?

Let me give an example:

I lead 100% of our main raids (10s & 25s).  I have repeatedly encouraged people to start up groups for 10s if they really wanted to do them.  I don’t want to have to lead everything.  Very few, if any, take me up on that offer and it remains the preference for me to organize and lead something.  Which is fine…except when I don’t want to do it on an off night but other people want me to.  I get constant tells asking me “when are we going to do this” or “can we do this”.

This past weekend one of our newer members organized an Ulduar 10 man raid to finish out her last, single remaining hard mode, Yogg.  She had been trying to go with other groups that have always fallen apart, and with some encouragement from a friend with a partially clear instance, she took the reigns and organized a group.  She asked me if I would put it in the GMOTD for her, which is something I’ve done for anyone that asks, and I did.  She sought out people to see if they could come in and help her…some even at the very last minute (we used our arms warrior to tank large portions of the instance).

I was asked to go on this raid.  Whoa!  The opportunity to raid where all I had to do was show up and play?  No responsibility, no making sure everything was put together?  inconceivable!

I was hesitant at first because people had been asking me to organize an Ulduar 10 Hard Mode raid, and I’ve not been up to it so have been putting it off.  But Brade told me,” if you want to go, go.  It’s your off night, you should do what you want”.  So I went.  And I had a blast.  It was so fun and relaxing to be able to just raid.  I finally finished out Firefighter and Yogg 1 and Vezax, which we’d not done before.  Not because we couldn’t, but because I had gotten burned out on raiding Ulduar 6 nights a week before we got to them.  We had only seen 10% phase 4 wipes on firefighter before.

And then it was ruined.  One of the members of my guild, a guy that I had always had respect for before, told me I was “fucking worthless” because I went on this raid.  Refused to believe that I didn’t organize it (insinuating that I was lying).  And after it was explained to him how the raid came about he had the audacity to say that I should have said “no” when I was asked for help because he wasn’t the person asking for assistance.  “I have been asking you for three weeks to lead an Ulduar raid, and you wouldn’t do it”.  Well…therein lies the difference doesn’t it?  You expected ME to do all the work.  To organize it, run it, and be responsible for it.  If you want me to do everything, then you can wait until I’m ready to do everything.  If you don’t want to wait, you can take the initiative and form your own raid.  I encourage it!  Nobody will stop you!  You have been told this before!

I was given the opportunity to be everyone else in the guild during a raid…and it was wonderful.  I do not regret giving help when I was asked.  I do not regret being given the opportunity to be a passenger rather than a driver.  In fact I relished it.  It was probably the most fun that I have had in a raid in months.  And instead of being happy that I got some nifty achievements done, and got to enjoy a raid I didn’t have to lead, I had a member of my guild bitch at me for helping when I was asked.

This has pushed me even closer to wondering if it wouldn’t be more fun to just be one of the raiders.  If it wouldn’t be more enjoyable to get out of guild management.  It is actions like the one above than can drive the movers and shakers of a guild to give up…I wonder if people realize that when they behave in such a fashion or if they are just thinking about themselves?

One of the things that I’ve come to realize about guild management is that it is rarely about “me”.  Very few people are concerned about “me”, but rather more concerned about what they want and how they can use “me” to get it for them.  So, as I sit here struggling to come to some sort of decision, I can’t help but ask myself “if it feels more like work, than fun, why am I still doing it?”.  And while I generally continue to struggle with this question, I can say that the events this past weekend were not the straw to break my back, they did come very, very close to pushing me over an edge I’ve been teetering on for quite a while.

So, that brings me to my question:  When is enough, enough?  Is it ever OK to say that you just want to ride the bus instead of drive it?  How do you weigh disappointed people who you’ve considered your friends for so long, with your own misery?  No easy question, is it?

Posted September 22, 2009 by Beruthiel in Guild leadership, Guild Management, Raid Leadership

13 responses to “When is Enough…Enough?

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  1. Guild leading SUCKS, I’ve never had any doubt of that, being an officer in my own guild. A great deal of my time is spent being a sounding board for our guild leader just so she can vent frustration. Regarding your jerk guildie in the example, I would have said to him EXACTLY what you wrote there! Maybe he will finally get a clue if he’s struck repeatedly with the clue-by-four.

    I would have also been publicly very positive towards your member who did take the initiative to organize the 10. A little praise in guild chat towards this person who DID it just might have the effect of urging others in that direction. Even post a thank-you to her for doing it on your guild boards, saying what a relief it is to just be a raider for a change, and close it by encouraging others to do the same thing. Others will read that and perhaps even think, “Hm, she liked it, maybe we could do this other thing sometime.”

    • I did thank her in vent, and again in tells for leading the instance. I didn’t think about perhaps a thank you in our forums, which is something that perhaps I might consider :)

      I said what I posted above, and more, trying to get him to understand where I was coming from. Unfortuntately, he was so obstinate, I’m not sure he ever got the point. I did throw out a few rude explicitives in my frustration as I was getting berated before I finally decided that it wasn’t worth it and just left the channel and logged out for the evening.

      He did apologize for losing his temper to me on the following day, but still refused to see that I did nothing wrong by attending the raid. So, who knows. I did ultimately accept his apology, however, he was advised that if he treated anyone in Monolith, be it me or someone else, with the amount of disrespect that I had received the previous evening he would no longer have the option of being part of Monolith.

  2. Yes, I fervently believe it is okay to step down if you feel that leading the guild is having a negative impact on you. It’s never okay to be expected to deal with–for a personal example, panic attacks–for the enjoyment of the other raiders. If the leader doesn’t think the guild will let them just “step down” and swap with another leader gracefully, then unfortunately, they have to find a new home somewhere else.

    I am extremely disappointed to hear you had a guildie bash at you for going on that U10 run. Hear Kae growl @ meanie guildie. Grrrr. It’s as if he thought you only refused to lead it because you just didn’t want to go into Ulduar, and he couldn’t separate “leadership” from any other role. Leading’s not easy. You have to watch ten zillion things at once, and I’m honestly not sure how you are able to handle it as a resto druid with all the things resto druids have to watch for themselves, with insta-cast abilities and reduced GCDs!

    • I has been on my mind more and more lately. I’ve been having a lot of communication to Brade about it as well.

      As I said to him last night, I don’t know if I want to leave (as I’m such a control freak in this environment I wouldn’t be able to just step down, I already tried that once during TBC), I just want somethings to change. But after having done them one way for five years, how resistant will people be to changes? I’ve had such a huge hand, and worked so hard in building what we are today, I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to it just yet.

      One thing that I am going to start doing for the 10 mans is place sign ups and raid lists for those that I am running on the forums. I’m going to start making it clear that I will *not* be leading them as much going forward, and see if we have some people that want to come in as “RLIT” (Raid leader in training…you know, like CITs!) I will start by helping organize them, attending them and back seat driving as needed. But eventually I want my pressence in them to fade out so it’s nice if I’m there, but not mandatory.

      As for the guildmate, I was extremely disapointed :( I had a lot of respect for him and most of it was destroyed in that 30 minutes. Which is a shame.

      • Most guilds/communities will be quite resistant to a major change after it has been one way for several years, especially if it’s on a matter of guild playstyle: that was my difficulty with my alliance guild, and my own husband served as GM there. If it’s something like having more raid leaders around, though, I can’t see it causing too much drama. Maybe even make a new rank for raid leaders/RLITs and let them see o-chat, so that they can feel involved and have that “officer” backing if necessary.

        Ironically, some would-be raid leaders may take it badly if they have an officer/other raid leader giving them back-seat directions, but that’s a judgment to be made on a per-person basis. Others will be very glad of the advice and pointers.

        The offnight stuff should all be content that they know their roles for, however, and should be relatively easy to run compared to progression!

  3. I am not 100% sure of your situation but there are a few things you can do to alleviate the stress of being a gm/officer:

    1. Make sure you have enough active officers to equally share the responsibilities of running a guild. Promote and demote often if necessary. From the example in your post it is not a good thing if people are constantly singling you out to start a raid.

    2. Don’t spread yourself too thin. That is why you have other officers.

    3. Write down and post as many guild rules/guidelines as you can (make them general). Base most of the guild decisions on these guidelines. This helps eliminate the blame game.

    Guild leadership can be fun and rewarding.. but also stressful if too much responsibility is placed solely on you.

  4. Back in vanilla, my boyfriend was our GM and it was hellish. Despite having a core of officers, no one else wanted to lead raids or organise anything. Instead of actually playing WoW it felt like we were running a kindergarten 24/7. Nights when you just wanted to chill out, ended up running through BRD/ UBRS on yet another attunement run (I seriously think I attuned 95 percent of our 40 man raiding guild to Onyxia and BWL). In the end, all the whining and bitching and the feeling that people felt a sense of ownership towards us or at least our time just got us down.

    A close friend left for the top raiding guild on the server and mentioned our unhappiness to their new GM who promptly asked if we would consider moving guild. Whilst it wasn’t easy to decision to make, we realised if we stayed where we were, we were probably going to end up quitting the game.

    Since then, despite having been officers in raiding guilds, I’m always wary and stick to the rules that I learnt the “hard way”. Multiple people can and do raid lead. Anyone can organise 10 mans and are encouraged to do so. All bank requests/orbs etc are dealt with through the forums.

    Although after 5 years, I think I would try getting others to organise 10 mans/take a larger slice of responsibility first. The 10 man itself was a success so there is no reason why others wouldnt be too. You never know, sometimes fallout like that, whilst horribly unpleasant can help change things for the better as sometimes it makes others take stock of their behaviour.

    • Man…just the words “jail break” make me want to vomit ;)

      I am going to hope to have some of everyone’s dependance on me for 10 mans weaned a bit by the time Ice Crown hits.

      We are also going to go back to how we did 10 mans for mains before 3.1, which is we took focus groups in for achievements/hard mode work. We got some grousing about that when we did it, but it worked out a lot better than the way we’ve done Ulduar, which was “who wants to go” and getting god only knows what for a group make up. I think I’d rather go in with a focused strike team and just get stuff done so that I’m not in there for 6 months again on my off nights.

      I’ve been fairly upfront with people about how worn out I’m getting. So hopefully they will realise that something needs to change.

  5. As one who got completely fed up with people’s BS when they weren’t happy with something in the guild , the amount of time my husband was investing into the guild with little return (for the guild even, not just him), and then for the CRAP we got when we told people we needed to not be officers/GM because it was infringing on our marriage – I would completely support and understand any decision you make. Because despite all that, I was also living through it once and trying to help my baby even if it hated me.

    I have ZERO regrets for leaving my guild, other than I have nothing to blog about. I have ZERO regrets from taking a break from WoW since all it was was work and emotional stress. HOWEVER, I do plan to go back and play someday when I think I can actually PLAY the freaking game.

    Feel free to send me an e-mail or look me up on G-chat or the chat thing on my blog if you ever want to talk. /treehugs

    • I guess what gets to me the most is how entitled people feel, as if I “owe” them something. Not everyone is like that, but there are certainly those that are. I am intending to lie down some ground rules for the 10 mans going forward to see if it will help alleviate some of my stress. One of which is going to be “Don’t repeatedly hound me. If I’m not doing it fast enough for you, do it yourself”, or some such thing.

      As for having nothing to blog about…

      I was actually quite horrible at chemistry (I had to get a tutor and everything). I never did understand that thingie where you could move the thingies from one side of the “=” to the other. I’m always up for learning something new! (I must get it from my dad, who used to read my textbooks for “fun”). I could certainly use a refresher course ;)

  6. Beru, I can absolutely relate. I was so happy to step away from all of the responsibility of being just an officer in a raiding guild, and I was not the GM OR the raid leader. It’s been so nice to be a cog in the machine and not have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I wish you all good luck with your decision and support you no matter what, amiga!

    • You’ve done nothing wrong of course. How fun being involved in guild management is probably depends a lot on the maturity of the guild members. It sounds like you have a very selfish and whiny member and you shouldn’t let him affect you.

      Nobody got angry with our GM, everyone understood and respected his decision and we all wished him well. We’ve formed a Facebook group and a custom channel on the realm to stay in touch and there’s still activity on our old forum so people are pretty nostalgic about it all :) It all worked out well in our case. If you’re not having fun then you shouldn’t do it.
      /hug

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