The Gray Place

The guild is dead. Long live the guild!

Posted in WoW by mrfenris on April 27, 2010

I was talking to a real life friend and a guildie the other day when he made a comment that surprised me.

“Our guild is all about raiding now and less about hanging out.”  Paraphrased.

For the record I agree.  I enjoy my little guild, but I am a little sad that this is true.  So now I’m sitting here thinking on how this came to pass and all I can come up with is the fact that we became successful.

It started with 4 players.  Two of them were married, there was my friend mentioned above, and the sexual Tyrannosaurus that is me.  Three of us had just come from a series of sucktastic “social” guilds where the inbred guildies all sit around and marvel at the epeen on the one decent player who just happens to be the GM.

We four were adults, had the real life thing going on, and mildly successful people and could spot bullshit when we saw it.  So we decided to guild hop and try to find a better place when one of us (and I curse you to this day) piped up and said we should form our own guild.

Right away I knew we were screwed.  So we stupidly bought a tabard, then we stupidly bought a guild bank (they were new at the time.  Secret:  I still think guild banks are a huge waste of money) with some money we had scraped up.   Our guild was composed of two Hunters and two Warlocks.  I kid you not.

And we played our ass off.  For those of you who don’t play WoW we had no healers, no beefy fighter types, just two casters and two archers.  We would run instances over and over and over, using crowd control, pets to tank, and scrape by with the skin of our teeth.  It was an absolute freaking blast.  People would join our group during a run and be amazed at what we did or get scared and leave.

It was a riot and we were as thick as thieves.  Soon we got another member, then I started working on a tank since we didn’t have one, then we got another tank whose wife was a healer and slowly we started growing.

Now.  Keep in mind we were still super tight.  We stuck together, if one of us was PvPing we all were PvPing even if it meant we were gonna get our asses kicked.  If someone ganked a guildie, everyone showed up to fight.  (Although to be honest we still do that to this day).  We slowly gained members and started to bypass or outlast other “bigger and better” guilds as we went.

We got into raiding even though we were told (and thought) we wouldn’t be very good at it.  We learned the hard way and lead with our faces.  If we only had 8 or 9 raiders we didn’t pug out their spots we just went in with a chip on our shoulder.  We laughed and joked, and told funny stories as we progressed through TBC and into Wrath.

As each new raid came out we got better.  I give a lot of credit to former player who we parted ways with.  He was a solid tank and raid leader who got us through Kara, ZA, and into Naxx.  We’ve always had a pretty low drama rate (Secret:  It’s largely a result of us not mass recruiting.) but some stuff went down and he parted ways.  (Our guild and his guild are still friendly to this day)

After that I took up the raid officer position unofficially and we banged through Naxx, Uld, blew apart ToC, and are now 9/12 in Icecrown (We are not a raid guild.  We don’t pretend to be).  Somewhere along the way I asked for the raid officer position formally because I was tired of seeing other people limp dick through raid leads and making some bad calls in regards to our raiding schedule and attitude.

Somewhere along in Wrath is when we transformed from our super, ultra, ribbed for her pleasure, tight-knit group into a group more focused on raiding.  And I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few things…

1.  We became successful.  We recruited good people.  We became better players.  We developed a focused and direct approach to raid content.

2.  Wrath design.  Ten man raiding became easier than ever.  You geared up in Heroics, badge gear, and you can jump right into raiding.  Once everyone is an 80 and has gear, what is there really left to do in the game?  What’s left to chase but raids?

3.  The looking for group feature.  I remember in the old days we’d want to run something but we’d only have one tank on or one healer on so we used to take turns in running five mans.  Now people log in and if they don’t feel like waiting then can just hop in the LFG feature.  (Secret:  I think the LFG is the BEST and WORST thing to happen to WoW.   If they ever make a raid version it will destroy guilds).

Our entire attitude is different now.  Before everyone had to play their assess off so we could scrape by.  We had a handful of good players and you prayed that they signed up for every raid.  Now you can’t throw a rock without hitting a solid player in our guild and we have 12-15 people who sign up for ten man raids. We don’t have to work as hard as we did.

So now I’m sitting here wondering how this is all going to play out.

I know personally I plan on cutting way back or quitting WoW this September.  In the meantime we’ve got summer creeping in which leads to a slow down of players and playing time.  I *know* once we kill the Lich King some folks will drop down in visibility for a bit.  It feels like there’s just too much time between ICC and Cataclysm.  I don’t think the Ruby Sanctum sounds all that interesting so I don’t know exactly what this summer bodes for our guild.

However, I’m not spreading doom and gloom about my guild’s future.  We’ve got some great people who are ton of fun to be around.  People are organizing old world raids, achievement nights, and I myself have been kicking around scheduling PvP nights.  I think there’s still life left in the old girl.

But what I’m left wondering,  perhaps if we older members time isn’t over.  Maybe we’re like unaware parents, who fondly remember the way things were, how tough we had it, and all of a sudden we just realized our kids have grown up and surpassed us.

Hrm.  Dunno.

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