Loyalty

I’d like to very briefly discuss the issue of loyalty to one’s guild and to one’s friends. This week, someone who I counted as one of my closest friends in game made the choice to leave my guild. The reason? Because he had gotten all the upgrades he could out of ICC-10 and, even though we will be taking on Sindragosa and Arthas this week and moving onto Hard Mode ICC-10 as soon as Arthas is down, he could not be bothered to wait even another week. Rather, he abandoned all who called him friend, everyone who looked up to him, respected him, and enjoyed his company, and took an offer from our server’s biggest raid guild. He sacrificed friendships, hurt people who trusted him, and possibly set back our progression not even for baubles, but for virtual items with a slightly higher item level.

Now, granted, if we were a guild that was failing at progression I would understand his point. However, we aren’t. We’re a very strong (even without him) 10-man progression guild with two solid 10-man teams and the intention to recruit to add a 25-man raid night to our schedule. The actions of this individual were of the most selfish sort, and it frankly disgusts me how much time and energy I’ve spent helping this supposed loyal friend through the many and varied rough spots of his real life.

So… loyalty. Here’s my plea to my readers. If you’re part of something that’s successful, and get an offer to abandon them, your friends, to be part of something even more advanced, do one thing for me. Tell this other guild who is trying to poach you that if you join, it will only be in T9 and Heroics gear, and they’ll need to help gear you back up to full 251/264 gear. Why? It’s simple. Your friends busted ass to help you get that gear. You owe that gear score that makes you oh so delectable to the other guild to your current guild and to your friends. If your new guild is unwilling to do the same for you, to help you become great again, then you’ve only been using your alleged friends as stepping stones if you take that offer.

Consider that. This is a social game. Guilds are social entities. They are not springboards to greater guilds. Nothing you have in game that comes from anything that you didn’t solo is yours and yours alone. It belongs at least in part to everyone who helped you achieve it, and you’re a selfish, short sighted individual if you can’t recognize that.

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~ by Udiyvli on 03/25/2010.

32 Responses to “Loyalty”

  1. Great summary of what loyalty means to a guild. The guild I run is a little larger, we already have a more casual oriented 25-man, but the major point of contention for us right now is our 10-man raids. Every week we form up 3 different groups, the composition is normally dynamic, but lately we’ve been stacking some of our better geared and more knowledgeable people who are interested in a progression group of sorts. So far so good, but now I’m hearing that some of them don’t want to come back and help the other groups that take on new comers from time to time. This post would be a good resource to point them towards if they start thinking about leaving. 🙂

    • The “I’ve gotten what I want and now I’m not signing up anymore” mentality is, sadly, not uncommon. Let’s take the guy who left my guild for example. The day he got his last upgrade form ICC-10, he suddenly had reasons he couldn’t raid with us. He’s claim school work, not feeling well, parental aggro, etc. Perhaps there was some truth to the claims, but he’s raided with us every raid day since Wrath launched with very few exceptions. Seems funny that this change would mesh up perfectly to his “I have nothing else to gain from ICC-10” rant in Ventrilo, doesn’t it?

      • The best one I’ve heard so far came from someone in our guild who sounds like a mirror copy of whom you are talking about. He pushed for progression group and became increasingly agitated by some of the newer people that would be in our 25-man raids. But as soon as the progression squad hit the wall, things started getting shaky. The most humorous excuse he gave to leave early was to lay in bed.

  2. Wow. That sucks. I’d be upset if someone in our guild left because of that. We’ve had people go to more hard core raiding guilds (we’re not, but we’re still working on progression), but a number have come back because we’re good company.

    • I hold out some hope he’ll come around, which is why I haven’t brutally kicked out the alts he’s left in guild. In six years of leading my guild, I’ve learned to not act in the heat of anger. Of course the rest of the guild is equally pissed off if not more so, since he said nothing to them as a whole. Not even a goodbye post on our forums. It’s doubtful he *can* come back to be honest, and I’ll likely feel pressure to remove his alts in the near future.

  3. Amen to that.

    I am in a not-much-raiding guild since nearly 2 years. Even if there is LOTS of possibilities for me to advance in term of gear / raiding, i won’t leave, because it just wouldn’t be the same friendlyness that i have in my current guild (OK maybe after a long time, but heh).

    I’ve seen a couple of guildmates who i thought that they’d never leave the guild. Yet, they left us without a word for a more ‘raiding’ guild, from whom they knew nobody. Fortunately, maybe half of them came back, after seeing the light 🙂

    • We’ve had very few people bail on us to join bigger raid guilds in our history, but yes, some of those who have have come back to us on good terms. Those people, however, communicated their departure with the guild as a whole and made sure there was no bad blood before jumping ship. This individual blindsided the entire guild except myself and Ailinea (my fiancee). He mentioned that he was considering an offer and we let him know how much that would suck for us, the guild, and how displeased we’d be with him as his friends and especially with us being at the end of ICC and him being our only T10 geared Holy Pally.

      When he did leave, he did so at a time when we were not even on. He left no message and said only to the guild “I’m about to do something unpopular” and then gquit and immediately joined the other guild. Ailinea and I got a flurry of text messages from guild members who were on asking “WTF” as out alert that he’d made his choice. While things may change, as of this moment, most of the guild is pissed at him and feeling betrayed. It’s entirely possible they wouldn’t welcome him back even if he did want to return, and it’s not just my word on such a thing. One person is not worth making a whole guild uncomfortable.

  4. If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.
    Kahlil Gibran

    I’m on both sides of the fence on this one, as I’ve had to make this decision before. If he’s really your friend you should respect his decision even if you don’t think it’s right.

    He may not have done it for all the right reasons, but sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone to keep the game fresh.

    I do understand it may have been a crap move, and one detrimental to your raiding guild, but don’t turn your back on him, he may as Sankto said “see the light” and realize he had more fun with you guys.

    Just talk to him and tell him how you feel.

    • While it’s a lovely sentiment, it’s not one I personally agree with.

      He knew what his departure would mean to the guild and to us as his friends. I made that very clear when he brought up the offer from the other guild. He knows how much his choice hurt me personally as someone who truly thought of him as a brother and he did it anyway.

      He places his desire for virtual rewards over the feelings, needs and desires of 20+ other guild members. This is a temptation I myself have been presented with multiple times in every MMO I’ve taken my guild to. It’s one I’ve never taken, and never *will* take. Placing slightly better gear in a virtual world over the flesh and blood people who rely on you is appalling, and that is all this is. He’s made this choice not to move from Naxx to ICC, but to move from ICC-10 full clears to ICC-25 full clears. His gain is minor, and yet he still placed it as more important than the hurt feelings that were the wage of his actions.

      Frankly, such acts of selfishness show me that he’s not the person I thought he was. He’s someone who I would have never counted as a friend in the first place had I know.

  5. Forsoothe, someone wants to shred hard mode 25 mans and not wait forever to do it? It’s a massive step up from the rest of the server. You can’t really blame people for wanting to move up in the world.

    • Actually, yes, I can. No in game content is worth screwing over people you call friends. We’re talking meaningless 1s and 0s versus the feelings of flesh and blood people. If you really think there’s any equality between the two, then you are seriously messed up.

  6. This, in its essence, has been the hardest aspect for me. I’ve been playing WoW for just over two years and I have only ever joined ONE guild. It was the guild of a friend’s brother-in-law. Small, 10-man only. We barely fronted a 10 man force, weekly. But we did it.

    The harshest moment came when the original Raid Leader (I took over, after he flipped his lid at us on Vent), took our main healer (his druid) and joined a bigger raiding guild. “I will still run the 10 man stuff with you guys!”

    I wasn’t able to get another 10-man off the ground in that guild again. (It was HIGHLY family oriented, so when bad feelings run, they ran really deep – and I wasn’t ‘family’.)

    But. …ahem. Rambling aside. The casual nature with which people treat the social aspect of WoW is just very harsh. I’ve watched people join guilds with “friends”, only to watch the whole mess implode, or explode, and true colors run rampant. People just don’t seem to feel any sense of commitment to their guilds, and in some cases, guilds don’t show any dedication to their members.

    Thus, I remain a homeless warlock. Scraping my way, one random heroic at a time, toward better gear…. in the hopes that one day, I will find a group that appreciates the player. Not just the “closets” and the “cookies” and the “dps”.

    I hope your paladin friend does some thinking. At the least (besides handling his departure with more grace), he could have tried for some kind of compromise, going on a few runs with the 25-man group before completely bailing on you guys.

  7. I’m not condoning what he did, and personally, I think it’s a crappy way to treat the people who helped you to get where you are, but you mentioned that he recently had “parent aggro”, which makes me think he’s still young enough to live at home, in which case, he’s probably not mature enough to know how to handle the situation he got himself into, and he may not understand the value of long-term relationships and the consequences of “burning your bridges”.

    As a high ranking officer in my guild, I frequently have conversations with members who wish to go on to “better” opportunities for raiding. Since we’re a casual guild, I tell them that I’ll miss them, but they need to do what they need to do for themselves, since we aren’t meeting their needs and it’s their $15/mo. I don’t like losing people because it usually happens as soon as we make some progress and that sets us back. I let them know that as well and leave the final decision to them. But in the end, it is their decision and I can’t expect them to have the same value set that I do.

    Frequently, I’ll maintain good relations with those people and they often come back to the guild with more / different experiences that can help us down the road. By being upfront about their needs, I give them more respect because they respected me enough to let me know. The ones that just /gquit, though, without discussing it or saying something to the guild are not likely to be welcomed back.

    I’ve been playing this game for over 4 years, and I started playing when I was an adult. However, I’ve seen a lot of kids grow up playing this game and it’s fascinating to see how they mature as the years go by, from young teens to college students to working stiffs. Maybe, in time, your friend will realize that what he did was wrong and apologize…or maybe not. I hope he does, though.

    • What makes this case special and particularly hard is that the person in question was, for most intent and purpose, my second in command. He was well respected in the guild and the only people who even mentioned his possible departure to were myself and my fiancee. He’s in college himself, early 20s, so it is possible he’s lacking social maturity and as you said doesn’t quite get the risk of burning your bridges. That’s a shame too, because by departing without explanation, he’s instantly alienated himself from pretty much the entirety of the guild’s membership. As of right now they range from “pissed” to “wouldn’t stop to piss in his ear if his brain was on fire” and I really can’t blame them. It was a painful blow to me even knowing it might happen. I can’t imagine what it felt like to those blindsided by it.

  8. I find these words hollow at best. Coming from the guy who used said individual to get his Glaives, the very ones that are inspiration to this blog, promised to help him then never did. Who is the one after pixels? You call him friend and maybe once he was and it’s those lingering feelings that keep him from telling you how he actually feels. I do not presume to speak for the person in question, but since you were successful why would he not stay with his friends? Is it possible there is another reason for it? In my opinion some introspection is in order first.

    I will refrain from throwing out insults, a courtesy not extended to me and mine, but I will say that when someone who is as close to you as can be via a virtual world decides to part ways, the finger should be pointed at ones self first.

    But despite our brief tumultuous past, I will continue to wish your guild and the antagonist of this blog success.

    • Wow, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Used him? It was agreed on before our first BT run that the first glaive drops were going to me and the second to him. That was agreed upon by all warriors and rogues in guild at the time.

      I set up subsequent BT runs for him with the promise of the glaives going to him if they dropped. He failed to show up even though he was in game, and when I asked him if he was going or not, said he’d show up for Illidan but nothing before. You think that’s OK behavior? Because I don’t. Not when we had two warriors in raid willingly helping to clear everything in the zone even knowing they had no chance at the Legendary drop.

      And hey, you’ve got a lot of nerve to talk about how to deal with relationships when *you* are the one who rage gquit from the guild rather than ever, even one time, come to me with any sort of complaint. Even your friends call you a hot head, and it was they who apologized for your behavior, not you. Take a bit of your own advice there and get on that introspection yourself.

      • Well if it makes you feel better to think I was huffing and puffing and upset and angry when I quit feel free. It was more like complete apathy.

        But why did I quit? Despite popular belief it wasn’t due to the gear system or us not getting any epgp. It was cause I could tell early on that you and I were not going to get along. You are entirely too much like my last GL.

        I find it amusing that it cling so desperately to your belief that that is the only reason he left. That there could be possibly no other reason at all LOL. It’s this attitude that prompted me to leave as well, or rather the implication that this attitude has.

        I did not rage quit because I wanted gear sir, I quit because I knew eventually I would fall victim to the hot hotheadedness that I am admittedly known for and cause far more drama than I did. But honestly believe what you like no skin off my nose. Twist it however you want to make it easier for you.

        Actually I give props to the person in question for making himself the bad guy on purpose so you can continue on without batting an eye.

      • Amazing that you presume to know anything about me when you never once talked to me as a human being. You assumed a lot… and you never bothered to check if you were right. It’s sad, really. Also, you really think I cling desperately to anything regarding you? That’s a laugh. Actually given that *you* came here to reply to *me*, it would seem you’re far more concerned with what I’ve been up to. I haven’t given your existence a second thought since you left till you showed up here. You are completely unimportant in my world view. If I were as equally unimportant to yours, you wouldn’t have bothered to comment here, so… I guess thanks for caring? 😉

  9. You must not have been a great friend either if you think social relations can’t cross guild tags. This is no different than applying for a higher paying job at a different company. You can still talk to friends even if they supposedly screwed everyone over.

    Also, poaching is such a cute term. While I can’t be certain since I don’t particularly keep up with our recruitment, have you ever considered that he put in an application purely on his own?

    • You know what’s funny? I went out of my way to not name names so that people who were not directly involved wouldn’t know who the departed was or who the poaching guild was. However, since you’ve now posted as the same name you use in game, anyone who Armories that name and notes from my personal information that I’m on Sentinels will know who did the poaching.

      Smooth.

      Also, for the record, he told us he was approached and offered a position. So either he’s lying and he’s making you guys look like poachers, or you’re lying and you are poachers. Do with that what you will.

  10. The thing about this that people who are not in the guild may not understand is that everything that is written in PA’s charter and membership is that PA is not just a progression guild. It is a guild that enjoys and respects its members and above all else is concerned with the people not the progression. Meaning that when one person who was carried and geared by the guild decides to leave for seemingly greener pastures at the expense of the those people is not an understandable act. It is a betrayal in the way that it was done. Like Udi said. Its not about the fact that PA couldn’t progress and end up doing 25 man hard modes (which we are working towards 25 man progression) its that he just had to have it now.

    You dont do something like that to people who are a pretty close knit community and expect to come crawling back. I say good riddance. Better now than when Cata comes out and we start the new content. Enjoy the slight upgrades and the “challenge”.

  11. PA is a family. PA is probably more of a family then some of us really have. This is like someone skipping Christmas and then saying “Sorry guys, gonna get better presents from this other family.”

  12. You missed the part where I said I don’t keep up with our recruitment. I’m also not the only one who used their primary character’s name, and I doubt either of us care. He took an opportunity that was presented to him, no different what I described in my previous post.

    Also, you enjoy the “challenge” too.

  13. This is very well said. I’m lucky to be in a guild which we’re almost family.

    We’ve been progressing our way up from pre heroic gear, all our way up to ICC gear, and only one or two have left, either due to IRL issues, or the fact that they were overgeared like crazy for the content we were doing.

    To be brutally honest, if he felt like the other guild’s offer was more tempting, he musn’t have felt that connected to the guild as a whole.

    Of course I may be just wrong and spouting crap. 😦

  14. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the administrator of the guild that is referenced here as the destination for your former member. While I appreciate your viewpoint and your understandable disappointment in the situation, I would like to address one or two of the issues you raised in your post and in the subsequent commentary.

    Let me first state that regardless of whether you credit my statement as fact or not, we do not actively pursue folk who’ve affiliation to other groups. Though this group has not been incorporated quite as long as has yours, we have been around for quite a while on the realm here, and our modest success as a group is often attractive to those who see the foliage as having a more verdant hue than that of their current demesnes. We rarely recruit actively for our raids, and nearly all of our membership found their way to us of their own accord. We learned long ago that success and reputation are the most potent recruiting tool available, and I will make no apologies for either our success or the attractiveness of membership here for those folks interested in progression raiding.

    Over the years, we have had members depart, both those who joined and soon after realized that we were not a good fit for them and those who had been with us for a long time. In some cases, those players have left for what they considered to be better opportunities to pursue their goals with folks who set a more brisk pace than our folk are willing to follow. The natural inclination is to label those folks as loot-seekers and selfish, as you do several times here. It is certainly easy to toss those labels and not have to deal with other possibilities. I have tended to take a different view. When folk leave the guild here, I ask for reasons and look for things we can make better. In many cases, that leads to improvements in how the guild serves its members. I would caution you against tossing all of the blame to your departing member in these cases–rarely is that the whole story, and you do yourself and your folk a disservice by taking that easy road.

    The theme of your original post is loyalty, and you provide a fair amount of detail on what that concept means to you within the context of a guild framework. Not everyone defines that concept for themselves the same way, unfortunately. Part of being a member of a guild is finding folks who share your goals, and in many cases, those goals change over time. Over four years playing this game, my own goals have at various times included learning my class and role, achieving a high rank in the pre-arena PvP system, creating and participating in long-running roleplaying storylines, mastering different classes and roles, learning how to be a member of a raid group, and lately administering an effective raid group. In my earlier days, I left guilds and realms reasonably often, joining new ones to pursue my new goals. Rarely do folks have static goals for long periods, and expecting them to never change is likely asking for disappointment. Loyalty in that context is different for each person–some choose to adjust their goals to their current group, others change groups to pursue different goals.

    The possibility certainly exists that this fellow and some of the other folk who have recently shifted banners from yours to ours are merely in it for the shiny loot. We have, over the years, become fairly skilled at finding those folks and sending them on their way. More often, folks join this group for opportunities to face challenges that most of the playerbase never sees. In that context, the loot is at once status symbol and a means to meet the next challenge. Most of the value this guild has to its members is the opportunity it provides to participate in and overcome difficult content. That support of their goals is what members have loyalty to, and if their goals shift, or if the guild ceases to support those goals, I expect people will move on. That is apparently an abhorrent prospect to you, but we have different groups of folk, and different ways of looking at things.

    There is a social aspect to any guild, and while it is again easy to attribute the stereotypical “hardcore guild” evils to any moderately-successful folk, we would not have lasted as long or been as successful as we have without a social environment that supported the guildfolk. Ours tends to be a more results-oriented social group than most, and certainly it would be disingenuous to suggest that everyone here is close friends with everyone else. The dynamic here is often compared to that of a weekend sports team, where folk come together to have a good time playing a game, and when the game ends, folks go their separate ways until the next game. Some folks on the team may not get along, but when the game starts, everyone sets aside their differences and plays to win. Over the years, this is the model that we have found works best for us.

    Your folk tend to be a bit more tight-knit, it seems, and that is certainly another valid approach. Many folk find that sort of environment counterproductive to their goals, however, and many of the comments we get from folk who join here indicate that they tend to prefer our more casual approach to guild relationships. One of the lessons we learned early on is how close relationships can be a detriment to the pursuit of the collective goals, and in our past, we have had issues with nepotism and the preference of folks based on who likes them rather than how they perform. I have no firsthand knowledge of your particular situation, but certainly the model of two 10s groups you reference is a very difficult one to avoid the “A-team, B-team” appearance with. Those few parses your folk have posted indicate that you may have one or two folks who aren’t performing well in the “A-team”, and that sort of thing breeds dissension among those who aren’t offered those opportunities. Part of our success has been our insistence on evaluating the performance, not the player, and it may be that some of your recent departures are owed to the way you approach offering opportunities to your guildfolk.

    Before I had much experience with raid activity, I was often critical of the way raiding guilds were managed and was unable to grasp why a raid of close-knit folks wouldn’t be more successful than what was essentially a bunch of mercenaries all in it for the loot. What I learned along the way is that you pay a price for managing a group of folks with a close-knit social dynamic in activities which depend on performance. Administering an effective group requires a certain amount of objectivity and the ability to be honest with yourself about what the group’s priorities are. When you apply a layer of tight relationships, it becomes very difficult to remain objective and make decisions that serve the guild well. For some folks, the benefits of raiding with folks they know well outweigh the costs involved, and for others, it is too steep a price.

    In this particular case, it does sound like the fellow was not as upfront and honest with your folk as he could have been. It certainly was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, however, as nearly a month passed between when the fellow first contacted me with interest and when he finally decided to change affiliations. I tend to think that your initial reaction and subsequent comments may be only one side of the story, but this is your forum, and you are free to portray events in any manner you wish. Your negative presentation aside, much of what you reference provides indications that the fellow considered himself to have outgrown the structure of your folk and was looking for expanded opportunities, which he felt were not forthcoming under your banner.

    Time will tell whether your former member will find a place here, though that determination will be based on performance and not popularity. No one here is carried through anything, and certainly our history is littered with folks who didn’t measure up. It is more common that folks who join here consider themselves more skilled and effective than the groups they departed, and are looking for an environment in which that performance is valued and they are playing with folks of similar skill and focus. Certainly that environment is not for everyone.

    Safe travels to you and your folk.

  15. Alright, it’s pretty easy to figure out who you’re talking about here, because the name of the guild was mentioned in an earlier comment. First order of business, The League does not generally approach people for recruitment beyond one of our members saying “Hey, you’re pretty good, you should apply.” No efforts are made to comb over the ranks of other guilds looking to fill class needs. As the leading Horde-side progression guild on Sentinels, we get a lot of applicants just responding to our recruitment thread on the realm forums without having to resort to poaching. The player in question approached us. It’s not my place to give you the player’s reasons for doing so, but among them was that they were looking to be part of 25-man progression, not 10-man. There are a few other reasons quoted in our recruitment thread, but those are his to offer if that’s what he chooses.

    As much as I want to avoid sounding arrogant, Raintola makes a valid point. He wanted to experience part of the game that your guild wasn’t capable of offering. I know it sucks to lose a capable raider (and believe me, we lose them all the time, often to server transfers), but that doesn’t mean you have to cut ties with them and be bitter enemies for all of eternity. You need to stop seeing it as a personal affront and start seeing it as a player trying to increase their enjoyment of a video game.

    We once had a warrior named Kog, who raided with us for a really long time. He transferred off Sentinels one day to go to a server with lower ping and higher progression. He still comes by to chill on vent sometimes and tell us how his new stuff is going. If you appreciate the game for the people, then stop sweating the little things. The people are still there.

  16. @ktokthrooks
    Your reply isn’t showing yet so I will leave it here.

    “You really think I cling desperately to anything regarding you? That’s a laugh. Actually given that *you* came here to reply to *me*, it would seem you’re far more concerned with what I’ve been up to. I haven’t given your existence a second thought since you left till you showed up here. You are completely unimportant in my world view. If I were as equally unimportant to yours, you wouldn’t have bothered to comment here, so… I guess thanks for caring? ;)”

    Regarding me?? Apparently your unbridled anger has impeded your ability to read. Read my post again then come back. Or don’t. Either way this will be my last post. Notice I didn’t come here and “defend” myself when I left, that is because I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.

    I am not even here to defend myself now. It has nothing to do with me, despite your efforts hehe. I am here only to offer my opinion on the subject of why he left and that it’s deeper than gear. In reality your inability to see that only strengthens my argument.

    In any case, no worries Udi, I won’t be back to bother you. Neither of us matter to other, that I believe so lets drop the charade of acting like we do (as in constantly replying to one another). Good day sir.

    • I did misread that one word, sorry for that. The rest of my reply stands though.

      And you are still speaking about matters you yourself do not know the extent of.

  17. I initially was going to post a reply last night, but in the best interest of everyone involved I deleted that reply. Trust me, my user icon is a mushroom cloud with “Ailinea was here” for a reason. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of Ktok’s post was fueled by the emotional investment in this person more than anything else. He’s human with human feelings and emotions and expressed them on his own blog…IMAGINE THAT!

    While I appreciate Peitho’s, Liathus’s, and yes, even Raintola’s comments, you have to understand some history to grasp where we’re coming from here. I lost a friend that I had since high school (a 15-year friendship) over a similar situation in EQ2. We were on the verge of raiding, and after gearing her up and teaching her how to play her class–hell, after helping her level alts while my main STILL was not at the level cap yet but was always in a main heal position (which was possible in EQ2)–she said she “Can’t help other people the way (we) do.” At that point, we were raiding with a raid alliance on the server (ironically named The League), and she decided that wasn’t enough for her. That’s fine, I understand if we weren’t able to provide for her what she wanted, she should look elsewhere.

    HOWEVER, we were *right there* in regards to raiding, and her bailing came at a craptastic time, setting us back. To make matters worse, she openly stated she knew she was being selfish, and that she just didn’t want to wait to help me finish getting to the level cap when I was 5 levels away…despite the ENTIRE reason I was behind was because I was always helping her and her clique of friends who wouldn’t lift a finger to help in return. It wasn’t even a matter of needing to reach the level cap AND get geared up, just from how EQ2’s mechanics worked. I had the gear on me or in my bank, and just needed a little bit of her time to help reach the cap. But Ktok and I would log on and be dragged away to help them with alts. And her way of saying she’d make it up to us? She would “still have alts to help us,” even though the only reason her alts were around was because *we* helped *her* in the first place.

    So we had similar goals, but she was not willing to help us ALL reach those goals. Since then we’ve learned a lesson from that situation where we should have said “No” and gotten my main leveled up first so we’d have our healer team filled for raiding. But we did what we did because we bent over backward for our “friends.”

    When you sit across from a person once a week during your work lunch breaks, and you tell that person “These are the ways that guildmates have been hurtful,” and she essentially uses that as a checklist to break away for selfish reasons…that’s not a reciprocated friendship. When you tell a person that the digital shinies mean nothing in the long run, and that the people are the important part, but they opt for the digital shinies instead…that’s not a reciprocated friendship. When you’re on the verge of attaining common goals together, but one person refuses to contribute to see that you both succeed…that’s not a reciprocated friendship!

    She said *we* put the game before a friendship. However, this person hosted a party at her house that was a baby shower and birthday party for four friends. We arrived, and she was at an in-game RP event while we sat in the living room making small talk and wondering if presents should be opened. By the time more people began to arrive, the hostess/former friend finally emerged from her computer room already drunk out of her mind. Another time, some guildies drove up for the local Ren Faire, and she said she planned to join us but never showed up. We learned she was in game all day instead. THAT is “putting a game before a friendship.” Other friends knew she had obsessive behavior and distanced themselves from her when she began talking about the game. I, myself, haven’t spoken to her since.

    Thing is, this present situation had many of the same signs. You have a friend with similar goals, who can show impatience regarding certain aspects of the game, and who you bend over backward to help but don’t always see the same response. You talk, and despite knowing the various ways certain actions are hurtful, he does them anyway irregardless of the consequences.

    When your trust is broken and loyalty betrayed, how do you react? I usually cut myself off from that person so they can’t do it again. Not always, but from experience it’s better than having the same person do it to you again. I’m not going to smile and say “it’s okay because we can still be friends.” Forgiveness should be earned, and I’m not the type to give it without a heartfelt apology. There are ways that he could have dealt with this situation that wouldn’t be as hurtful and friendship maintained with a blessing on whichever choice he made. It didn’t happen that way. What you see here is a result of that hurt.

    We have talked to the person in question today, and things have been somewhat smoothed over. There’s still work on both sides to be done to gain further understanding and bring things back to the way they were. But that is OUR path to walk.

    To anyone who has read this far: There’s a lot more to this multi-faceted story than what’s just presented here. To the League folks who feel offended that we don’t know you well enough regarding your recruitment practices, well…you don’t know us that well either. I hope maybe the history given above has shed some light on our reactions. We’ve had friends and guildies who have gone off to larger raid guilds with a blessing and maintaining friendship. It’s all about how it’s done, and in this case it occurred in a negative fashion. But we’re working it out with him and that’s what matters. To everyone else, if you value your friendships, then please reciprocate. They will be with you long after Blizz shuts down the servers. And if experience has proven anything else, sitting at a table in a restaurant after Blizzcon, drinking beers and talking about fantastic wipes you experienced together is far more rewarding than winning a digital shiny in a roll with people you don’t really know.

  18. […] a long time.  The first was  one about friendships in World of Warcraft and the other was about loyalty and what does that mean to your guild.  I’ve often said that WoW is just a microcosm of the […]

  19. Y’know, this will probably get totally buried in all the realm drama (good luck with all of that, eek.) but this was a rough post for me to read & so I want to leave a comment. I am one of five tanks in a guild only slightly larger than the references you make here to your own (casual 25 night is go, basically) and almost entirely geared with my sanctified 2pc & etc. But I am constantly driven crazy by the #1 hordeside guild’s recruitment thread on my realm forums… and they’re recruiting my ALT’s class. Crazy enough that I’d give up my main and all the effort I put into her is pretty crazy! Crazy enough to be tempted to rearrange my real life so that I can make the other guild’s raid times. And crazy enough that I’d leave my friends in my current guild, many of whom I recruited…

    And the temptation isn’t gear- there’s only like a 3k stamina difference between my main and their MTs, and I’ve generally resisted gearing my alt past my main. The difference is that my guild is /busy/. I get most of my social contact from wow, and when I see the other guild has 8 people on in the morning and we only have 1, then I know I’m missing out on having people to talk to. And we have to have short raid hours because people have to work in the morning- we only have 5 hours of 10s a week, which generally means clearing one wing, and working on the end of either of the other two till we have to go. The clear limit on our progression is time, which is reallllly frustrating, because I have the time!

    I almost applied to this other guild when I first transferred to my current server. I spend a lot of time kicking myself for not having the confidence to have done that back then before I wrapped this new guild around me. It’s really important to have a guild whose time commitment matches your own! But in the end, loyalty has kept me in my current guild. I owe them two Sanctified Tokens after all. I can deal with a little lonliness and frustration for that and the ability to miss a week on occasion… but every time I read the other guild’s recruitment thread and see them dorking around with each other and with the other progression guilds, it still drives me crazy. It would be so easy to give in, and move over…

  20. In TBC I was told my priest should use other guilds to gear up before a raiding guild would have me. The raiding guilds on Earthen Ring were putting this out in fact as the only way to advance enough to join them. I had many long arguments about how I couldnt do that and in the end it ment I raided Kara three or four times a week and got no further.

    but I had alot of fun and built some wonderful friendships with people I know to this day. Thats worth more than any passing loot.

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