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Drama Mamas: Are guild perks worth putting up with a bad guild leader?

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We've edited the following letter for language and length, but I think we've successfully preserved the passion and relevant details.
Several days ago our guild pretty much fell apart. Our guild leader, as far as we could tell, had been getting into an online relationship with one of our guildies, which by itself was bad enough. Online relationships don't often lead to good results, and this one was near-scandalous; our leader was easily in his 40s and the girl in question always dodged any question regarding her age; but we've heard her speak, and we suspect she was probably underage.

Back to the issue. He was starting to drift away from the guild more and more over the past few months. He never responded to anyone's inquiries, procrastinated from actually addressing any problems that cropped up, and never gave anyone officership, even from active members such as myself who wanted to help contribute more to the guild. Near the end, many of our regulars had quit he game due to his lackluster leadership (some of which were his personal friends) and the entire guild was being run by the only two officers he had left.
So the other night there was a huge fallout over gear drops (which I unfortunately was not on to witness, but from what I understand was entirely from his end) and, long story short, he emptied our ENTIRE guild bank of ALL it's contents, took EVERY last gold piece we had been saving (near 50,000 gold), and handed the guild over to a total pundit who never contributed anything to the guild (and, incidentally, refuses to hand control over to anyone who actually wants to help it recover.) He then jumped server, but not before he and his girlfriend / partner-in-crime claimed WE were the ones who stole everything. [...]

I've talked with the GMs about it, and they said it was something we "had to resolve as a Guild.", which is, unfortunately in this scenario, a euphemism for "Looks like you guys are screwed." I understand that the GMs' hands are tied when it comes to player-to-player interaction such as this, but this one guy, this ONE idiot, completely undermined ALL our hard work [...]. He reacted to get back at a few and ended up hurting everyone in the guild (including the vast majority that had absolutely no say in the guild politics) and ruining our game experience. Most of our main members (myself included) were forced to leave and start up an entirely new guild so we could continue making any progress at all with raids and whatnot, but we were forced to leave behind a fully functioning Lv18 guild [...], with all its achievements, awards and perks that ALL of us as a guild of us had rightfully earned. [...]

I know it's probably just thoughts of vengeance running through my head, but I feel like this HAS to be a breach of SOMETHING in the EULA. There has to be some way of nailing this guy. It's not right that this jackass can pull this kind of thing and get away with it. I'm not the kind of guy who holds grudges, but to me this is entirely unforgivable. It's personal to me, because I value my time rather highly; I only have so much of it. And I feel he just robbed ME of four months of my time and efforts. Four months I'm not likely to get back. And I just feel lost as to what to do about it. I know all I can do is move forward and help make our new guild better than the last, but I'm still having trouble moving on.

What are your thoughts on this?

--Grim Prospects
Drama Mama Robin: Grim Prospects sounds like an excellent guild name -- one based in the Undercity, maybe. Anyway ... Before Cataclysm, leaving a guild wasn't quite so big of a deal. Sure, there was the guild bank and whatever you contributed to it, as well as any loot system, but the introduction of guild perks has made a guild a real investment. I hear tales of guilds that did mass invites only to jettison most of the members after the guilds hit level 25. These tales remind me of the Backyardigans episode where the bad guy steals everyone's ping-pong paddles -- only to discover that if no one else has a paddle, there is no one to play ping-pong with.

Grim, let go of your anger. Do not give in to the dark side. Revenge is not the way of the happy player. You and your fellow exiles should make use of the new guild finder to try to find a new home on your realm. You all seem to have marketable raiding skills that an established guild with perks would probably welcome. Yes, you'll have to spend time building up guild rep, but at least you wouldn't have to start from scratch as you are now.

I can't let your comment pass about the hopefully-not-minor girlfriend. My voice is sometimes mistaken for a child's by telemarketers, and I'm definitely more gnomish-sounding than tauren. I am hoping this girl has the same issue. If you have more evidence than her voice, however, our previous column on romance and minors may help.

Regardless, you and your guildies are much better off without your old guild leader and cohort. Here are a few of the warning signs to look for in future guilds, so that you get out before the drama happens. These are quotes from you (that may or may not have made it into the edited letter above):
  • He was starting to drift away from the guild more and more over the past few months ...
  • He never responded to anyone's inquiries ...
  • ... procrastinated from actually addressing any problems that cropped up ...
  • ... never gave anyone officership ...
  • Many of our regulars had quit the game due to his lackluster leadership ...
  • ... entire guild was being run by the only two officers he had left ...
I know you don't have a time machine, and hindsight is 20/20. But even though you've put the time and effort into building up a guild's perks, if your leadership is acting the way you described, it's time to move on. So make sure you choose or build your new guild with these things in mind. Good luck!

Drama Mama Lisa: Moving on stinks. All that baggage, all those nailed-up crates full of resentment and anger ... Still, you know you gotta do it -- and we're glad to offer so many shoulders for you to pour your heart out to and clear the air. Let it all out, Grim. We're here for you!

As far as moving forward, I don't know that I would suggest trying to join another guild, as Robin suggests. You've got so much emotional investment here! If you're still having trouble getting control of the guild back to your officers, though, I suspect you might enjoy taking on herding a new guild of your own. It'll definitely sting to abandon the old group with all those ranks and perks, but think of it as an opportunity to do things right from the ground up. Then do exactly that. Robin offers a great reminder of danger signs to watch out for; I think experience will most definitely be your guide.

Let us know how it goes!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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