Our server’s top raiding guild since forever recently disbanded, and while this doesn’t affect me personally at all, it did get me thinking a lot about my past guild. Now I’m sure the story is one I’ve told millions of times, and as such I don’t want to recount the specifics in much detail here. However, I find it interesting that months later, the emotions are still there.
My current guild is one that is made up mostly of the “closest” of us from that particular old guild. So, I still have my best friends with me. In a way, the guild still lives on. But it’s different now. It’s small, it’s “casual”; it’s more of a “hangout in guild chat” type of place. There are (well, were) guild raids, but we had to look outside the guild and invite our “honorary guildies” in. Not saying that is bad at all, by the way. It is just a different modus operandi. Lots of times I log on and I’ll be the only one online.
Back in my old guild, there were always people online. At least five or six, often ten or more, and usually a good chunk hanging out on Ventrilo as well. People were clamoring to get into our weekly Karazhan run; we usually wound up short some role or other (tanks or healers most of the time, natch) but the other roles would be overflowing and we’d have people “on standby”.
There were “cliques”. There were the people that wanted to roleplay and there were the people who wanted to raid, and for whatever reason we had very little overlap. The result was groups within our guild that would stick with each other and not branch out very much. But we were friendly and very welcoming and brought in people from everywhere; the tired, the poor, the huddled masses so to speak, which may have been the root of the problem, but we couldn’t help it. That’s just how we were.
There was drama, oh there was drama. Some of it coined a phrase which turned into a little inside joke: “It’s not just epics, it’s T4!” due to the issues that ensued more than once when somebody– usually a guild newbie– would throw a fit after not getting that coveted token from Curator or Prince. I can’t remember whether or not this was our fault on just not making loot rules clear enough, but I do remember the drama that ensued.
There was burnout. Officers who felt overwhelmed by their duties. Active guild members who disappeared or went on hiatus. One of these “active members” disappeared relatively early on in the guild’s youth; when he finally came back towards its twilight weeks he looked around for a day or two and realized the guild was no longer the same guild, and quietly left. He was right, though.
Because somewhere along the way we had in fact turned into something different. Like an Oscar seeing a Needlefish from behind and assuming it’s a minnow (I have seen this happen at work by the way; don’t laugh at my analogy! >.>), we had bitten off more than we could chew. Tossed a snowball down a hill and found ourselves unable to stop it.
And so it was that the guild turned into sort of a big mess and my friends started leaving one by one and then the boyfriend (and guild leader) gave leadership to me in an attempt to see if I could salvage it, but it was really too far gone by that point. Plus, I didn’t like logging into the guild anymore since it now just seemed to be full of unfamiliar faces, so I spent the bulk of my time hiding on alts on other servers. Eventually I realized that this was just acerbating the problem so I passed guild leadership to a friend, hoping things would be fixed. Again, it didn’t happen. Most of my friends had already /gquit and not long after this my boyfriend did too, and while I hung on for a while I finally, late one night, quietly left myself– one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not long after that, the guild dissolved.
I spent a few weeks guildless as I pondered what to do before realizing that my friends were actually the main reason I enjoyed the game and so I joined most of my closer friends from that first guild in our new, small guild. I’m happy now. Guild chat is sparse, but friendly; we still have the same Ventrilo server, although it is quieter now; and the biggest job the officers have is to come up with the wittiest possible theme for guild ranks. Plus, I seem to have fallen into the aforementioned “honorary guildie” status with a few other guilds to allow me to get my raiding in. Life is good.
Still, there are times when I miss what we once were. Being a part of something huge and big and seemingly omnipresent. Feeling like I was helping to lead a well-oiled machine. The machine fell apart in those last months, which is why it all started to go downhill. But at our peak, we really were something.
It was a train wreck waiting to happen, but like your first love, you can never quite get over it anyway. So here’s to you, Entelechy, wherever you are in the nether of the past.