When Raiders Only Partially Depart a Guild

When you've decided a guild's progression in raiding is not to your liking, or there are fundamental conflicts between the guild's raiding style and how you'd like things to be done, that's typically a good reason for a gquit. My horde guild has seen a few such gquits over the past few months, and I have to say, it was a good decision for the folks who did so, even tho I was personally bummed to see the folks go. 

What's been interesting to me over the years is seeing how many folks choose to leave their alts in their departed raiding team's guild, and still clock in on the guild forums each day. Because whenever I've left one raiding guild for another, I haven't felt the urge to keep a toe in where I was leaving, because I've never left on a whim — it's always been due to some sort on intractable issue or incompatibility.

In most cases, I've done a full-scale move into a new guild. But on one occasion, I only moved my main out of my friends and family guild so she could raid, leaving all my alts behind. The alts' guild has not been raiding this expansion, so it wasn't any sort of an issue for folks that I'd done that. In fact, several members had done likewise once it was clear our scrappy little raiding team wasn't going to head into Naxx when the bulk of us hit 80. 

Former Raiders and the Guild Forums: Not a Match Made in Heaven

In the case of my first time in this position, our guild forums were not especially active, so my moving one character out and still spending a ton of time on my alts didn't cause even a ripple of drama. I wish I could say the same for other folks in that position in guilds that had a more active forums culture. In most cases, it became a source of ongoing drama in the guild until the person either voluntarily moved on, or had the gkick door hit them in the ass to show them the way out.

The primary issues that can flare up are pretty consistent:

  • Bragging about their new guild's progress. Guess what? The guild you left probably has had to struggle some as a result. They aren't really interested in hearing about your successes. And if they are, people will ask you directly.
  • Bagging on their old guild's policies/strategies. You chose to take your ball and go home by taking your raiding toon out of a guild. To me, that also means by choosing to be part of the problem, and not part of the solution to the issues that made you leave, you should also give up your right to lecture/ harangue/ complain/ berate others about said issues.
  • Providing unsolicited advice. The fact that your new guild flawlessly executed on a fight your old guild has been struggling on is not an open invitation for you to school them on how to do the fight. You forget you were right back here with the rest of us, struggling, not so long ago. I assure you, if folks want your advice and tips, they will most certainly ask for them. If you find yourself incapable of keeping unsolicited advice to yourself, go play on the WoW Forums or start a blog!
  • Continuing to fight old fights. You've gone on to greener pastures. Get over those old grudges. bury those old hatchets. Move on. Don't camp the forums and pick fights with the same people with whom you have been picking fights with for months.
  • No one cares at all about the new gear you've obtained. Your momma doesn't even care. Don't link it to us in chat. Or post about it on the forums. Seriously, no one cares. At best, it makes others think your primary motivation is lewt. And no one wants to be that guy.

Having been on both sides of the fence with this quandary, I have to say it's incredibly difficult in most cases to have someone move their raiding main to a new guild and maintain a collegial relationship with the guild they left their alts behind in. Even if you aren't engaged in any of the above guild forum faux pas, the folks you've left behind may perceive a hidden agenda in anything you say after you've left. And honestly, you've taken your ball and gone home. You can't expect others to not feel a little bitter about that.

That said, you may be in the position of having had a personality conflict with a guild leader that drove you out. Or some other big ticket issue that you tried really hard to resolve to your liking before finally going out the door. Your leaving on your main did not resolve that conflict. it is still there. And in some cases, it escalates the conflict. I suppose if you are someone who thrives on drama and conflict and loves to argue, this is a dream scenario. But I know for myself personally, it's neither fun to watch nor to participate in.

So What's a Guild to Do?

There are a few ways to minimize the conflict that can result when a main raider leaves the guild and wants to still participate on their alts.

The guild leadership can:

  1. Consider creating a special level of forums access that somewhat restricts the discussions in which these persons can participate. Give those left behind a place where they can talk about raiding challenges amongst the team — without feedback from those whoa re no longer participating as part of the raiding team.
  2. Restrict moderation and special forums access only to those with mains participating in raids/the guild.
  3. Continue to check-in with guildies to see how they are feeling about their former raiding peers' interactions with them on the forums. If the scale tips too far into the bad, you risk losing currently active members over those who've already left you once.

The guild member can:

  1. Consider the issues described above and try to participate in a respectful manner on the forums.
  2. If you had a conflict with a specific guild leader, put them on ignore. You can make your friends swear to tell you if they are talking crap about you. Ignoring them doesn't make the conflict disappear, but it keeps your blood pressure down and can keep drama from flaring up.
  3. Make sure you are remaining in the guild on your alts for the right reason, i.e. because you really love playing with the members. The wrong reasons include because you want a safety net in case your new guild doesn't work out, or because you want to show everyone else how awesome you are and they aren't.
  4. Check in with yourself often to make sure it's still working out for you to continue your dual life. It's hard to maintain friendships — or even get to know new members — when your primary play time sink is outside of the guild. Knowing when to say goodbye and leave on good terms can be hard. Which is why it is important to periodically self-evaluate how things are going.

How does your guild handle this sort of a situation?

8 thoughts on “When Raiders Only Partially Depart a Guild”

  1. Quoting a few parts:
    “…by choosing to be part of the problem, and not part of the solution to the issues that made you leave…”
    Two times in past guilds I chose to actively try to work towards solving the issue, as a GM and as a regular player. The result while positive, imposed too high a toll on me, I had to do what others refused to, even though they knew what to do, I had to become that guy everyone hates because I called ppl out for poor performance, take tanks out of raiding teams for poor tanking, swapping dps, healers. Berating people for long AFKs, been late without notice, etc. Actually my paladin was created so I could escape from all that crap, every time I was sick of crap, I leveled the paladin; it’s creepy how fast I reached 80… you can guess why.
    I considered doing it again while in SHP, it has one of the nicest people I’ve met in WOW. So I made a few suggestions in the forums, engaged in some though debates, but even though I encountered lot of guildies that shared my vision, there was not enough will to pursue it. So I decided I would not take over my shoulders to be the asshole, not again.
    “…the folks you’ve left behind may perceive a hidden agenda in anything you say after you’ve left” I’m curious: have my trolling your forums had a negative impact? raised eyebrows?
    “You can’t expect others to not feel a little bitter about that” Was anyone on my leaving?

  2. I think you have done a good job of being thoughtful about your post-member interactions with the guild. When you have been asked by a member, such as Naie, you have helped folks out with theorycrafting around Disc priesting, and weighed in lightly on things to think about. I haven’t felt that you have posted in our forums in a malicious manner, such as to pick a fight or show off. And that is much appreciated!
    I think the situations in which I have seen bitterness over folks leaving raiding teams I’ve been in, it has usually been due to that person having either been a linchpin (best healer, most OP DPS, MT, raid scheduler) or due to a perception they milked the loot cow dry then moved on.

  3. I am so glad that you thought to address this. This has been an issue, not necessarily a problem, but an issue, in my current guild and my most recent guild before that.
    An issue that comes up a lot is that someone takes one toon out of the guild and leaves 1-2 raid capable toons in the guild. At that point, do you treat the alts that are still guilded on equal footing with other guildies’ mains?
    On the one hand, they are ALTS, and the main is getting the fruits of another guild.
    On the other hand, what a person does with his free time is his business. He is spending Tues/Thurs, for example, raiding with another guild – but would you punish him for spending Tues/Thurs with his bowling league? Or being on a toon that you don’t know about on another server?
    It’s hard to draw the line on people being “dual guilded” without being overly controlling of what people choose to do when they’re not logged in to a character in your guild.

  4. “I think the situations in which I have seen bitterness over folks leaving raiding teams I’ve been in, it has usually been due to that person having either been a linchpin (best healer…”
    You hurt my pride there
    Call me conceited, but I still think I’m the best healer there is 😀

  5. I don’t think you were in the guild long enough to have them depend on you as like the best healer. Had you left during ICC there would probably be some bitterness…although I was a little disappointed that you left, but that was mainly because you’re my friend and I had hoped SHP would work out for you.

  6. Just because I’m trying a more hardcore- I guess it is the most widely accepted word- guild doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy doing stuff for fun. I still join TOC 10 or 25 runs with people outside guild.
    And I still pug heavily on my alts for ICC 10 and 25. Several times I’ve told you to join me on an 10 man alt run.
    Looking in retrospective, I never thought I would come to this point regarding raiding.

  7. I think Naie hit the nail on the head. You are definitely an *awesome* healer. But you were with us when we had overflow of healers, and had people upset about not getting in so when you left it didn’t torpedo things the way recent losses had the potential to do for 25s.

  8. It’s really hard to know what to do with the alts left behind, especially when they are raid ready, and you have a hole. On the one hand, you may need an experienced player, but on the other, you don’t want to reward someone taking their toys and going home with gearing up their alts either. We’ve been firm about not letting folks main swap and have thus decided this falls into that same camp. Tho if someone was dead set on switching to a healer alt as their new main right now, I think we might be swayed since it has been a struggle.
    Having been an Alliance raider moonlighting with my horde SP for several months before taking the plunge full time, I know I was the better for having had that outside experience. So again, it makes it a tough call.

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