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What IS Wrong With The 3AM /Gquit?
Posted on Monday, March 30 2009 @ 02:14:21 Eastern

Whilst the anecdotes in this post are specific to World of Warcraft, the overall themes and discussion points can be applicable to any online game where people gather in guilds or clans to play.

This is a very relative topic to me. In WoW, I've recently quit a guild, and started my own. In the past, my own organisations have been highly successful and I hope my new project will follow a similar suit to its predecessors. Each guild I run seems to follow a similar model. A step-by-step programme, if you will:

1. Someone is interested in making a guild with me. This is either because they don't like their current one, want something new to do or simply have fond memories of my past ones. They wish to experience the kinda stuff we did before, again. Somehow, they convince me that taking on the stress and pressure of being a guild master is a good idea, and I go get a guild charter.

2. After spending four hours thinking up a decent name that doesn't include the words 'Of', 'Holy', 'Shadow', 'Darkness' or 'Light', I go out into the world to find willing people who will sign my charter. Despite my original ideas behind forming the guild, alongside the predicted plans for it, I can only get people under level 20 to sign the charter. Even then I have to give them money in return for signatures.

3. Guild is formed. I spend the next week recruiting around 100 members of all levels. Try to motivate them into attacking Horde/running old instances/cybersex orgies, each to varying degrees of success.

4. Three more weeks pass. I either get bored/run out of things to do/experience guild drama/something in real life comes up, and the guild disbands. Everyone accepts that it 'had a good run', and go their separate ways.

Currently my new guild, Prevailing Euphoria, is in the third stage. We're getting over twenty new members a day and I'm not even really trying to actively recruit people. So why is a person such as myself bothered about a few randomers quitting inconspicuously in the early hours of the morning?

Truth is, I'm not really bothered. Yes, it is rude to sneak out the backdoor, but so what? My guild relies on sheer numbers alone, so I do admit that losing people is always a problem, but I don't care. Aside from a few of the 'higher ups' and active, talkative members (that really participate in guild events), I have no real emotional attachment to the membership. I know that's an awful thing to say, but I think everyone understands that if you don't talk, don't come to my planned events and generally aren't part of the guild, then why should I care about you? /Gquit'ing slyly is better than going 'YOUR GUILD SUX, I H8 U' and stirring discontent amongst the remaining membership, surely?

Unfortunately, the forums don't really shine a light on this issue. Everyone there is obviously the type of person I'd naturally get along with, and only leave guilds if they're ****. However, one person (a leader), claims she likes to know because she's a leader and therefore needs to know if something is going wrong in her guild. This is a fair reason, but surely questioning a person who has just left your guild is not the best way to find out what's going wrong? They may be angry, and hard to deal with. If they've simply left for greener grass, then this may do nothing but frustrate yourself anyway, as your guild is 'sub-par' in comparison. Furthermore, if the flaws in your guild are not obvious to you or your officers, then reconsider your analytical skills.

Some people are simply bad at saying goodbye, or are at risk of being seen as 'weak' because they've chosen to quit. The consensus between guild masters is that people who leave without explanation are 'cowardly'. Perhaps they've leaving for a really shitty reason, or don't feel they need to explain themselves to a bunch of people they've never liked from the beginning? In an ideal world, people never quit because their emotional attachment to the guild is too strong. The benefits for staying should outweigh the factors that pull the member away. Heck, I stayed in the same guild (not my own) for three months because I simply didn't have anywhere better to go. A good and manipulative guild leader will realise that the best way to keep people reeled in is to both hold events to motivate them to stay, alongside painting a very ugly picture of the 'outside'.

No one person is constantly obligated to stay in a guild. If anything, a guild leader should be thankful that the leaver has chosen to quit in a discrete way, instead of actively burning bridges with the guild and its members. If you're really that curious as to why they've chosen to quit, then send them an in-game mail. Preferably with some gold for 'participating' in the guild, and to entice them back - it may be the first thing they've actually gotten out of your organisation.
Running after a member who has just left (especially if they've done it quietly) is a sure way to display your weaknesses and insecurity. Surely if you're that good of a leader, then you can just go recruit someone else similar, if not better?

I'd like to know what you guys think. Obviously due to my guild model, I'm not too attached to members. Obviously I care enough to hear what they think, but surely they can give criticism whilst being in the guild? Is quitting in the 'slow' periods of the day really that big of a faux pas, or are certain leaders just paranoid?
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