Guild drama, guild problems, no applications, people quit, it happens to all guilds and it’s not always easy to survive it.
I joined Ash in 2010. They were struggling on Sindragosa in Icecrown Citadel, but we got her down and went on to Lich King heroic which I had already killed on 10 man, but it was much harder on 25 man. I don’t remember everything but I’m pretty sure the defile was the biggest problem. That’s when I experienced the first “down” in Ash. After spending weeks trying the same boss with almost no progress, people grew tired of it, they gave up, wanted to leave and some wanted to quit the game. I had already then started to care a lot about the guild and my fellow guild mates, especially some who I had known for a few years and played with earlier. We lost many good players in the end of Wrath of the Lich King, and it wasn’t easy to find new ones.
Cataclysm was released but we were still missing people and didn’t always have enough players for 25 man raiding. We did everything we could to find new recruits. That was again a time when some people wanted to leave because it seemed impossible to find new recruits and because we did some 10 man runs and people got bored with never getting to raid. I understand them. But it got better. When Firelands was released we had finally got together a team of 25 players and we cleared all bosses on heroic except Ragnaros, but we had some good tries on him but decided to prioritize Dragon Soul when it was released. We entered Dragon Soul and it went very well. I think we ranked 6th in 25 man on the realm in both Firelands and Dragon Soul which we thought was pretty good. I guess there were some small downs in Cataclysm, nothing major.
Mists of Pandaria was released and we were a bit slow on leveling and gearing, so we went into Mogu’shan Vaults newly dinged with greens and blues and it took us way too long to down the first boss. It was a bump in the road when some of our core raiders decided to quit the game, so we started looking for new recruits and we were lucky enough to find some fast enough to keep up with other guilds’ progress and we managed to get rank 7th on the realm on most bosses.
But we’ve had two big bumps in the road recently. First when we were progressing on Dark Animus heroic six of our best players decided to leave us for a 13/13 heroic guild with a more hardcore raiding schedule, they had already showed signs of being unhappy with our progress and the way things were done in the guild so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. They informed us about it and most people understood them and thought it was ok but some were really disappointed and got a bit angry, because the timing of their leave was very unfortunate. One thing I didn’t agree with them on was that they claimed that our progress had been really bad for weeks and that we had been stuck on Dark Animus for weeks without any progress. But we had progress, we were close to a kill when they left, but some of them were kind enough to stay for one more raid and that’s when we killed the boss.
Then they left and we stood there missing six good players. We had to mass recruit again, and as we needed players fast we had to lower our requirements. We got a few recruits but they were undergeared and with almost no experience with in Throne of Thunder heroic. We spent a few weeks gearing them up but still trying to clear as many bosses as possible in one night so we could get at least one night on Lei Shen heroic. At first Lei Shen seemed very hard, it took a while to learn, but we had some good tries when we finally found the tactic which best suited us. Then summer came. People started missing raids for exams, then holidays, travels, sunny weather and barbecue. Some people started to complain because of many signs offs and not good enough setup for progress, but most of us knew it was only because of the summer holidays and it would become better in a while. Most people came back from their holidays and we could finally progress on Lei Shen again and for the first time we decided it was time to extend the lockout. That’s when it happened again: the second bump. First three tryouts left which was sad because I really liked them and they left without any warning, but we thought we could survive it. But.. It’s like domino, or when the ball starts to roll or whatever you might call it, and one of our best healers decided to leave as well, and with him followed almost all of his buddies, which he had asked to apply and join the guild, because they didn’t want to be here without him. So that was a total of ten players just gone, and more might leave because some have said they’re thinking about it.
They never told us why they’re leaving, but I’d like to know if it’s something we could work out and become better at, we deserve to know. It’s not like our progress has been that bad just because we’re stuck on the hardest boss in this tier, we’re not really stuck either because we’ve had progress, and with all these bumps it’s not too bad. I wish people knew that summer can be a guild killer, we might not get enough people for a 25 man raid, at least not a progress raid, we might not get a raid up at all, maybe we’ll take a break until summer is over, it has happened before, so why are some so surprised. I think this summer went pretty well, not bad at all.. I do agree that we should expect raiders to keep a better attendance overall, especially now when summer is over, and officers are trying to keep better track of it. We should also expect players to perform better and learn of their fails because we can’t afford to have the same people fail over and over again on a boss which is on farm status, but what should we say to them?
It feels like we’ve had so many different players in the guild that I can’t even remember half of them. It’s strange how so many people join the guild, become raiders, seem happy and satisfied then they suddenly just leave or quit without any warning, it happens to so many. Like they suddenly realise that they don’t have time for games anymore or they want to raid more hardcore, do more PvP or whatever. There are very few members who have been here for many years, only a few of those who were in the guild when I joined are still here, and even less who have been in the guild since the start in early Wrath of the Lich King when Ash was reformed, or earlier than that when it first was created which I think was in the Burning Crusade or maybe even in Vanilla… Only a fraction stays, we lose so many along the way, I wish more would have stayed.
What I’ve learned from all this is that we should never close recruitment, never say no to a good apply from a player with gear and experience. I’d rather we have a bit too many players and be standby once in a while than too few and not getting to raid at all. It might be a good idea to invite a group of players but if they suddenly leave, you’re most likely doomed. Well, maybe not doomed but it might be hard to find new ones fast and other players might react to why so many leave at once and it might trigger some drama.
We got some new officers recently who bring some new ideas to the guild, hopefully we’ve or they’ve learned from what has happened now and before, and are able to figure out a solution which might help us find new players, keep them and solve problems that might occur. Right now we’re on the way up, or at least I hope so, we got a few applications the last week and we’re doing what we can with recruitment posts and macros. Our last raid didn’t go that well because we didn’t have the setup to extend the raid and go for Lei Shen heroic, but I hope we’ll do it next week. 5.4 is close and it’s hard to find players with gear and experience enough to continue to progress with us until 5.4 is released even though it’s our goal it might be hard to achieve and we might be better of just recruiting for 5.4 and lower our requirements a bit. It’s also quite a challenge to find new recruits sometimes as we’re a Scandinavian guild and only accept people who speak and understand the Scandinavian languages because those are the languages we use to communicate.
I’ve always just been a member of Ash, never officer, but I’ve still put a lot of time into the guild. I’ve always wanted the best for the guild and always wanted to help and you don’t need to be an officer to help out your guild. I’ll continue to do what I can to help out because I’m not giving up yet and hopefully everything will become better after a while.
If you have experience with problems like this in your guild or have any tips on what we should do to get more applications, please comment below.