*Disclaimer: the following post is not an attempt to solicit any explanations, apologies or etc. It’s just me clearing my mind.
Have you ever stated with certainty that you feel a specific way about a subject and then later, after drama unfolds an unexpected change, you realize maybe you don’t feel that way anymore? Well it just happened to me. My last post here, less than 1 week ago, was all about how WoW was just a game for me and how the recent issues in my guild weren’t stressing me out. I even stated that as a game it should never be a source of stress for me on a personal level and if it does ever cause stress or I become upset about in-game relationships then it would be time to quit playing. Well guess what… I’m stressed out and upset about in-game relationships. And no, I’m not going to quit playing the game. So, I was wrong. It can be more than a game.
My guild has recently gone through some major shit and it has finally taken its toll on me. I’m not going to get into what happened with great detail. Everything I said in my last post about not choosing sides and not believing one story over another is still true. The initial situation I was referring to then (which was a chunk of people leaving) is not even what’s bothering me. What is bothering me is that chunk of people left because of their personal issues with my GM. My GM stood her ground and accepted the fact that she was losing all of these people because they didn’t agree with her about whatever. It was a shock and a bit of a loss to the guild, but nothing we couldn’t recover from easily enough (numbers wise). Because of blog posts and bitter comments and the like, things did get a bit nasty over the past 2 weeks but I continued to stay out of the fire and remained friendly with both Side A (people who left) and Side B (GM and several others).
I was pretty sure things had finally gotten as bad as they were going to be and a sort of healing process could begin. I don’t yet have any desire to be a guild officer, but I did tell my GM that I would be more than happy to take over guild bank organization as a way of helping out while we were short-handed. And this week my plans were to devote some time and gold into stocking the bank with a good number of flasks and potions everyone could use for raiding. Through all of this, I have been there for both sides. People from Side A have chatted with me about their feelings and I have listened patiently and gently without ever trying to defend Side B or telling Side B that I’ve even spoken to anyone on Side A. I’ve also talked with Side B and listened to whoever needed to vent about anything without ever trying to defend Side A or telling Side A I have heard things about them. But the bottom line was – I wanted to remain loyal to my guild (which consequently meant my GM).
I talked in my last post about how my guild was just a natural part of the game to me and I couldn’t imagine playing without being in it. I didn’t really clarify this, but that wasn’t as much about having the guild name attached to my character as it was about associating the game with 3 specific people. It would be 4 people, but my brother (who introduced me to the game and the guild) no longer plays. So, 3 people. My irl buddy David, my GM and my GM’s husband (who was originally the GM when I joined). These 3 were the main people who guided me, encouraged me, and helped teach me how to play. They may not even realize how important they were to me, but I’ve had them each on a pedestal this entire time. My GM’s husband cheerfully loaned me 80 gold when I hit level 60 and couldn’t afford an Epic Mount. He was the GM at the time and I couldn’t even fathom how much money 80 gold was. It might as well have been a million dollars to me then. I stressed over paying him back as quickly as possible. I farmed herbs relentlessly. Little did I know 80 gold meant nothing to him. It was such a big deal to me. He was always such a happy, helpful GM and then just player. My friend David is one of the biggest WoW nerds I know, so he was very helpful and inspiring at every turn. He doesn’t play as often currently as he used to, but man he used to. The guy keeps spreadsheets of gears and enchants and can rattle off all that mathematical shit about spirit regen and blah, blah, blah. He is such an asset to have around. I have picked his brain for lots of things. As for the current GM, she’s just a pretty cool person. She is extremely knowledgeable about the game. She knows enough about each class that she can recommend who needs what loot, when I raid with her she knows every fight and can explain them well; she is well organized and not afraid to take charge. I always knew if I had her approval in what I was doing, I was doing alright. I follow her blog and her twitter account because I like the way she writes. We even love a lot of the same music/bands.
So here’s the unexpected change that happened last night and prompted this post. My GM, her husband, a co-gm and several core raiders (along with who else, I just don’t know yet) left the guild last night and created a new one on our server. It devastated me. I understood their reasons. But it devastated me. Let me try to explain the two emotions I went through. First, I felt hurt and left out that this was obviously something that took a bit of planning and I wasn’t asked if I was interested in joining them. I know I’m welcome to join them. They expressed that last night and I believe it. But that’s not the same as being included. When my GM was thinking of who she really wanted in her new guild, she didn’t think of me. Now maybe that’s because she started this new guild to be dedicated to progression raiding on Friday & Saturday nights and because she knows me, she knows I won’t give up every Friday & Saturday night to raid. No sense asking someone if they would like a peanut if you know they’re allergic to peanuts, right? But if you google the name of her new guild, you can find their forums and the first posts are from around Dec. 21, 2010. Which means they didn’t just decide to do this in the past 3 days, there’s been some thought and planning put into it. And I didn’t know until yesterday. So, yes my feelings are hurt. It doesn’t mean I’m mad at her or even that I don’t understand why. It certainly doesn’t mean I would have followed her (though I probably would have, hard to say now). It doesn’t mean I am going to give her the cold shoulder. Why? Because we’re friends. And I’m cool like that. I will get over the disappointment in no time. Life goes on.
The second emotion I have is anger. Not directed at my GM on a personal level, but directed at my GM in a business sense. Here’s where the line gets fuzzy. Try to think of it as related to a work environment. If a good friend of yours is your supervisor at work, there will likely come a time when what they have to tell you at work will piss you off; but when you go out for drinks that night, you shouldn’t be mad at your good friend. This is what I’m talking about. She had to do what she needed to do and I understand that. But from a guild point of view, it’s hard to understand how she let all of the people who are now known as Side A leave the guild (resulting in shit being stirred and drama being had) because they had issue with her when she probably knew she wasn’t going to be in the guild much longer anyway. Because now we have a Side C. The people left behind. And it seems like somehow that could have been avoided.
Thankfully, my friend David is still in my guild. Although without the GM and her husband, it hardly feels like my guild. I know it wasn’t easy for her to hold a guild meeting last night and make the announcement. I have much respect for her because she did that in person and was willing to discuss it afterwards. I certainly don’t think they are over in their new guild laughing at us or throwing crazy celebration parties. I do sincerely hope she feels relieved and I hope that means she can now look forward to logging in again and enjoy the game like I know she used to. I will continue on with my guild although I have no idea what lies ahead of us. I will continue talking to my friends, regardless of what guild they are now in. And yes, that includes my GM (because I know you’re reading this). My devastation, my hurt, my anger… it’s just a result of the shock of everything. I will be fine. I may be a bit quiet for a day or two because I need to process everything and try to figure out the next step for me, or my guild, or Kim (you know she idolizes me). But I’m still cool.
It’s been an interesting ride recently. I’ve gone from being excited and anxious about helping my guild achieve great things, to remaining neutral and friendly during a guild split, to feeling like a homeless reject who isn’t going to have a chance to do any raiding. Quite a rollercoaster. Luckily, I’ve got a level 20 worgen who has never been in any guild and I can always log in there to just enjoy playing for a while and take a break from all the sad stuff. And who knows, maybe that worgen (feral druid, btw) will one day soon get the chance to join an amazing guild.