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?