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Officers' Quarters: Split decision

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

Just about every long-time WoW player has, at some point or another, found themselves at a crossroads, wishing they could split into multiple copies like a mage. Should you stay with the guild you joined and the friends you've made there, or should you go join that other guild so you can see more content? That's probably the most frequently asked question that I receive.

This week, a player faces a similarly difficult crossroads, but in this case, one of the guilds she has to choose between wants to make her the guild leader.
Hey,

I'm currently split between two guilds. On the one hand, I have Guild A, which has been my home for two years, and more or less died about two months ago (by died, I mean that the Guild Master has completely abandoned it, and the only officer that logs on more than once every three-four weeks is the one who's recently returned from a WoW break). The GM has been swapping which of his characters has the "big rank", and never logs on to actually play, let alone to give any explanation as to why he no longer cares for the guild. A few people still log on regularly, mostly, I believe, out of a hope that Guild A will return to its former glory.

On the other hand, I have Guild B, a serious but lighthearted and social raiding guild, which I joined on my main just over a month ago, when it was apparent that Guild A had been abandoned. I told myself that only my shaman would move over to B, but in the end, I preferred B's humorous banter and regular conversations over A's graveyard-like silence, and moved over all but two of my alts.
Yesterday, after the guild master of A refused to answer any of my messages asking what's going on with the guild, I got in touch with a GM. Proceedings are now moving forward to move the position of guild master over to the one active officer we have left – providing our current one does not log in before the 24th July. Our active officer has already moved me up to Officer Alt – the highest rank he can manage for now – and we have begun the work of cleaning up the guild as much as we can for now.

The thing is, our active officer has a baby girl, and cannot commit the time to actually running a guild – he has told me he is going to hand the mantle over to me, as I am the one that started proceedings to wrestle control of our guild away from those who simply don't care for it anymore.

I just don't know how to run a guild as it is, let alone continue with my raiding commitments in Guild B. I feel split between the two, and I desperately don't want to leave one or the other entirely. Nor am I quite sure how to split my time equally between my raiding guild, in whom I have already found friends, and the guild home of two years that I am desperate to save.

Any help?

Thanks,

Split.

Hi, Split.

My advice is to do one of two things:

1. Fully commit to building Guild A into a viable raiding guild again. Move your toons back, find more officers to help you, recruit players, and start raiding.

OR

2. Give up on Guild A and stay in B.

You can't do both. If you aren't fully committed to A, then you should not take over that guild. A guild without a committed leader simply can't survive -- and you've seen that firsthand already. You should not become the guild leader of A if you're still involved with B at all.

The drama factor

This is very much a personal decision. You have to weigh the security that Guild B provides and the fun you're having there against the potential you see in A and your desire to resurrect it. You could stay in B and help A if you want to. However, it's extremely difficult to be involved with two separate guilds without causing some kind of drama or backlash against you.

It's a sad fact, but jealousy is human nature. Your continued involvement with Guild A may annoy members of Guild B, and members of Guild A may already resent you for pulling out most of your toons. Straddling the line like that is basically a no-win situation for you. That's why I recommend choosing one or the other.

The more strenuous path

Since it doesn't sound like you have much experience leading a guild, I will warn you: Rebuilding Guild A will be no easy task. It's difficult in general to reboot a raiding guild in the middle of an expansion when that guild is not actively raiding. During this expansion, when so many active raiding guilds are short players, it will be doubly difficult.

Your best bet will probably be to reach out to former members and tell them about your plan, in the hope that they'll return. I don't mean to discourage you -- I'm just trying to prepare you for what you might face.

In fact, it might be wise to feel out some former members regarding their interest in rejoining before you choose between guilds. Having a better idea about the likelihood of rebuilding A could help you to make this decision.

Either way, it sounds like it will be a very tough choice, and I don't envy you the situation. Good luck.

/salute

Recently, Officers' Quarters has examined how strong new leadership can create a guild turnaround, the pitfalls of promising more than you can deliver, and lessons learned from Scott's own guild demise. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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