First, let me say that my last post came off as very despondent. Things are already looking up. The players who decided to stick with the guild are very positive (well, most of them, anyway).
Second, the woes of myself and the guild have no impact without some context. So, let me tell you a story. A story of how NOT to become a Guild Leader…
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Once upon a time there was a rogue named Dinaer. He traveled Azeroth with his hardy band of friends – a warlock, a hunter, a warrior, and a resto druid. This group of friends had been traveling the lands since they were young. They had no need for a guild – they had a balanced 5-man group that tackled every form of opposition. Being unguilded, they were often handed guild invites, but they turned each one down.
Once this group reached their early 50’s they saw that they had a limited future. In short time they would hit the level cap, and much of the rest of the game would be inaccessible to them. So, they became open to guild offers.
Soon thereafter, they were approached by a very wise paladin. He seemed reasonable and mature. He answered our questions about his guild honestly and without throwing unsolicited invites at us. We were convinced that this was the place for us. We joined The Dragons.
<aside>OK, its a cheesy name. I didn’t pick it</aside>
The Dragons was the ultimate casual guild. Lots of close friends. Lots of people helping each other. Almost zero instance runs. One day, the growing number of level 60’s decided that it was time for them to find a new challenge. They went and got attuned for Molten Core. They found a date when they could all be online. They amassed consumables in preparation. And then… Blizzard announced the release of Burning Crusade.
None of the 60’s wanted to run Molten Core, since their loot would quickly be rendered obsolete by the expansion. So, Dinaer and his band of friends never got to raid pre-BC.
Fast forward six months – The Dragons is still the ultimate casual guild. They run more instances in Outland than they used to in Azeroth, but are not really close to fielding a Karazhan team. Slowly, there starts to be a push toward entering BC raiding. A couple of toons get Kara keyed. Then a couple more. Excitement is building. But at the same time, higher level characters gradually leave the guild. The Dragons is becoming a farm team for bigger raiding guilds. We got the toons to 70, geared and keyed, and then they leave for the promise of faster progression.
When our main tank and top dps left, our Kara hopes were dashed. Shortly after that, our Guild Leader announced that he, too, wanted to find a quicker way into Karazhan. He arranged a guild merger where we would be absorbed into a larger raiding guild and possibly worked into their Kara rotation.
That suggestion went over like an adamantite balloon. Suddenly, our casual guild had a sense of pride! The Dragons would not cease to exist! We would stand firm! So, our guild leader and top officers left to the bigger raiding guild. In the leadership void, the guild membership clamored for new direction. By public acclimation, Dinaer was thrust into the role of Guild Leader (despite his utter lack of desire for the job).
Dinaer accepted the role because he knew that the guild would fall apart without a leader that was agreed upon by the membership. So he took over, not knowing the first thing about running a guild. He gently steered the guild toward heroic instances, and then to Karazhan. New recruits found the friendly atmosphere refreshing. When we had to use the LFG channel to fill holes in our runs, the guest instancers would invariably comment on how much fun we were having.
With support from outstanding officers, the guild made its first run into Karazhan in August, eight months after the release of Burning Crusade. With a total lack of raiding experience, this was a rude awakening. The guild would not defeat Attumen for another month, and then it took another two months after that to defeat Maiden and Moroes…
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To be continued…