Are you coming or going – make up your damn mind!

No, its not about me departing my guild. Well, not entirely. Most of us ponder whether or not our current homes are always the best fit. Is the progression not right? The chemistry off? Have too many friends moved on? – All valid questions or scenarios, leading to you questioning your particular situation.

But that’s not what the title is referencing! We all know them….the fair weather players! They come, they go. They quit the game in rage and anger over some fool thing, only to return again in short order. As with most things, I tend to generalize and categorize these things into buckets. Helps me to organize everything into nice neat stereo-types, as Ryan Bingham says in Up In the Air, “I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.”

P2P Player –These are the folks that come and go simply because they live paycheck to paycheck. So they’re subscription follows the same formula – paycheck to paycheck. Its not that they like this, it just happens, and if money is tight all around, leisurely expenses like WoW are normally the first casualties in that war of attrition.

Seasonal Player– Seasonal players tend to be kids or college students (most often). They play during the school year, especially during the winter months when indoor time is more extensive.

RAGE-GRRRR-QUIT Player– These folks are tough. They hate Blizzard and WoW one month, love it the next. They can’t stand the drama or grind of some form of play, but miss it terribly so, they come back intermittently only to be struck down once more by the same issues that they somehow thought had disappeared entirely on their own.

The RL Blues Player– These guys are really the rest of us. Its more situational and based solely on the normative factors: I took on a new job, had a baby, got married, got religion, busier class load this semester, opted to play another game, lost my job, etc etc.

Large categories to be sure, and mostly everyone who leaves and comes back fits into one of the big buckets. The issue is that they all can carry the same basic problem: DISRUPTION!

There is a direct correlation between the level of disruption a player creates and the obliviousness they have as to how the game and its players move on without them! Yes, we continued moving forward without you…BLASPHEMY I KNOW! Just because you walked away for what ever reason you had did not mean we sat here waiting for you to return! More importantly….just because you have returned it DOES NOT mean you get to walk in and run things as you once did.

Respect is never given, it is earned. Repeat this…over and over and over again. Make it a mantra! Do not walk through that damn door and start barking orders and belittling people for not doing things your way or up to some standard to which you have decided everyone must adhere!

My advice: if you leave and return. Do so with humility and quiet. Do not stomp off like a petulant child, and do not attempt to kick down the door upon coming back. No one is concerned with the size of your ePeen or the “HEY LOOK AT ME I’M BACK” spotlight you so desperately want to cast upon yourself. In short, our in-game lives didn’t end when you left, they won’t be turned upside down upon your return. Act as if it’s a new guild. Sort things out, lay low, figure out the lay of the land and who or what is going on.

For GMs and Officers: Be very very careful when a returning member wants their officer status back. Others more than likely moved in to fill those roles. Allow them to continue to do the job for which they stepped up. Any good former players worth their salt will have no issues sitting in the back of the bus and blending in, contributing when asked. Simply put, if they come back making demands and enforcing their will…RED FLAGS abound!

Anyone else see the same things I’ve seen over and over again the last 7 years? I admit…I have never taken a break to date 🙂

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