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3-31-2008 @ 12:33PM
When I started my guild, Grannys Hoarded Cookies, back in April of 07, I had a policy where I would never delete you for being 'AFK'.I was tired of the guilds that forced people to log on often and say high, and just wanted a casual social atmosphere.Over time I had to reaccess that policy as members just started to fade out.I myself took two months off from WoW after some serious frustration from level 40-58 on a troll shaman before 2.3...When I came back, naturally, a lot of people had left, and about half the ranks hadn't logged into WoW in over 4 months.I had to do some serious thinking. I almost typed in /gdisband. But after spending two weeks of never seeing more than one or two of my old members online, a couple of them popped in with similar tales - they'd taken breaks from the game and wanted to get going again.Now we had a new purpose.And I started by changing that old policy. I flushed the toilet on the bottom of the guild. Removing everyone who hadn't logged in for over 3 months took us from about 90 to 20 members, though I did it in stages. I first dropped the 5 monthers, then I started recruiting until I had half that number back, then the four monthers, and then the three monthers. So by the end of it all, we now have 100 members, but most of them are new faces.So...I've had to tackle this issue in a serious, major way.I had to consider:1. If I purge all these people, how will that impact recruiting if we suddenly look like a micro-sized guild.2. If I do not purge all these people, isn't it dishonest to claim I have a guild of size X when really only x/4 are actual people who still have WoW accounts?3. What if they come back? I myself took two months off, and my now most active officers are people who had done likewise. Yet at the same time many of them never came back - I've kept a list and I've checked for them on places like warcraftrealms, and they are just gone.It really came down to judgment calls, and to waiting as long as I felt I could before removing them. I wanted to avoid problem 1 above, but I also wanted to not wait so long that I was stepping into problem 2. That's just a juggling act.One major saving grace for us was frankly, that free transfers set our realm as a destination realm, and my guild had and still has a very good reputation for its 'guild culture' - which somehow stayed intact even after the losses. When I came back, my guild was almost dead, but the server, Quel'Dorai, was even deader... The transfers in saved both of us, and made it easier to make the calls over when to delist AFK members.Without that influx of new people, it would have been a lot harder to make the decisions.Its all been good in the end, now we're one of the guilds speeding through Kara - outpacing others who entered raiding around the same time as us, yet doing it with less time actually spent raiding - largely as a result of keeping the casual friendly mindset.And if some of those people did return to WoW someday, I'd reguild them in a second.
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