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Drama Mamas: When a guild splits in two

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.

Dig those groovy threads, man. Being caught in the middle of a feud between the raid leader and guild leader does not require you to wear baby blue bell bottoms, but it may help.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I find myself at a loss for words about recent events in the guild I belong to. Since I can not figure out if I am being unreasonable I've decided to seek outside help.

Recently a Raid Leader and our Guild Master had a fight. The Raid Leader and his Raid Team quit the guild we belong to and settled into a level 1 guild together. They were the only people raiding in our guild and the raid leader was instrumental in helping each of them gear and I understand why they followed them. They did not have an issue with the fight between the GM and RL, they just followed the person who had helped them the most and who would see them through their raids. Our guild has a lot of followers and very few leaders so I am not surprised. This was a loss for our guild, but since drama always seemed to follow that Raid Leader its probably for the best.
Here is my issue. Some of the raiders pulled every one of their toons out of our guild. I wished them luck and hope everything works out. Most were good people and I hope they find what they are looking for. Others only put their raiding toon in the RL's new guild, but left their alts in our guild because they like the guild and only moved a toon to raid. When our GM found out, she freaked and each alt was demoted to the lowest rank. She feels betrayed by those who left, even if it was only one toon because she sees it as a selfish choice they made that prevents our guild from raiding now. Most are people with a trusted history with the guild. She sees her choice as an appropriate punishment for those she feels hurt the guild.

Is our GM being reasonable in her actions? Have I just gotten so desensitized to raiders leaving guilds over the years that I can't see this scenario with the outrage that I should be? Since I really like most of my guildies, I don't want to quit the guild that I am in, but I also don't want to follow someone who makes decisions based on how hurt she is that day, instead of making them based on what is good for the guild in the long run.

Cheers,

Caught in the middle
Drama Mama Lisa ImageDrama Mama Lisa: So let's turn the spotlight away from all these supposed hurt feelings and toward what the demoted alts are actually losing, shall we? If being demoted is a slap on the wrist in name only, then I'd agree that your GM has created an awkward, uncomfortable situation. But maybe the loss in guild rank actually protects something we don't see mentioned in your letter -- bank tabs, areas of the forum, something that your guild has worked hard to build up and that your GM doesn't feel these members should be enjoying in good faith at this point. We can't make a judgment because we simply don't know what she could be protecting.

What needs to happen right now is that the guild as a whole needs to agree on whether guild membership should be considered by the player or by the character. If membership is based on players, on the people behind the characters, then leaving the guild with one character normally means leaving the guild with all. If membership is based on characters, though, then folks should be free to tag whatever characters they feel are a good fit for the guild. If the latter is the case, why punish a huge portion of your member base for choosing to stay you, a group they very obviously enjoy? These people want to be your guildmates! That's a good thing! Unless your GM is protecting raid-specific or earned assets, I can't see how demoting them will build camaraderie.

Where are the other officers in all of this controversy? Until you invoke their presence and opinions, this situation will remain mired in various interpretations of your GM's feelings and actions. The best way for you to help smooth over this situation would be to facilitate the appropriate involvement of the other leaders in your guild. No officers in sight? You seem to be pretty fond of this little group of players -- maybe it's time to step up and help work out a path that will let everyone who's left play together on comfortable, even terms.

Drama Mama Robin ImageDrama Mama Robin: I wish we knew more about what caused the guild schism. The RL has drama issues and the GM has emotional issues. But it seems to me that there must have been some huge disagreement about raiding in order for all the raiders to leave and create their own guild, rather than joining an established raiding guild.

Does your ex-raid leader have an "It's my way or the highway!" attitude? Or is he just trying to protect a good raiding group from the interference of someone who doesn't have the knowledge to be of any use? I think some insight into the argument that started it all would be helpful.

Regardless, your GM may be reacting emotionally rather than rationally, and she may be overreacting. But I don't think she went overboard. Now, if she had gkicked all of the alts, that would have been a much bigger problem. Demoting the alts at least allows the possibility of discourse. She may even calm down and relent after some friendly interactions with the alts.

I disagree with the GM's usage of the word selfish in this particular instance. If the new guild needs most of the raiders from the old guild to join, not coming over to the new guild leaves the raid team in a lurch. The players have to choose sides to help out according to how they want to spend their leisure time. Yes, the players who left are taking self-interest into account -- as they should -- but choosing the raid team that needs them over the guild that also needs them is not a decision that is only best for themselves. It seems your GM is being selfish by requiring all guildies to not raid with the other team so that she can be happier. /frown

Your reaction is a good one. You want everyone to be happy and if that means two guilds where there were one, so be it. Your GM should have a better attitude as well, and instead of punishing the people who like the guild well enough to leave alts behind, she should be working on organizing a new raid group.

That's your solution. Keep your level head and try to help your GM focus on rebuilding raiding in her guild rather than all of this unproductive behavior.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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