I know that some people guild-hop, and to many their guild is simply a means to an end – a way of getting into weekly raids at their chosen difficulty level.
My guild is the social structure around which my whole WoW experience was built. I’ve been in this guild since I dinged level 55 in vanilla WoW, and I’ve been the guild leader since the Karazhan days of Burning Crusade. I can’t even imagine playing the game without it.
Sure, we’ve gone through ups and downs. We’ve seen slow periods when few players logged in. We’ve gone through entire raid tiers when we couldn’t field a raid team. This time feels different.
Patch 6.2 came out, and there was no spike in player logins. The same handful of people are logging in sporadically. There is no guild chat. No “grats” at achievements. No guild chat about Tanaan Jungle or guild groups being formed. Even our long-term most dedicated players have not come back with the new patch.
A bunch of our players who were at least logging in occasionally have left the guild. They went to another social guild. I’ve checked, and that guild doesn’t have significantly more activity. I think that social guilds are generally falling apart right now.
I’ve considered the idea of taking some of my alts out and going to a different guild to try and raid. At the moment, I don’t have the heart for it. I think I’d sooner quit WoW than leave my guild, even when it’s empty. Besides, that’s not necessary since the Group Finder has given me the ability to play without a guild structure.
I can’t see anything improving in the near future. I think the rest of this expansion will play out along this pattern. By the end I may be the only one (out of hundred of guildie account) who is logging in. Maybe Blizzcon will have some amazing announcement that will bring people back. Maybe not. Time will tell.
It’s unusual to feel lonely in an MMORPG with seven million players. But I do.