How to approach making a change
So last post we talked about finding yourself at the top of a mountain of drama that you helped make. Did you deserve it? Perhaps not. But you certainly (in that example) didn’t do your best to avoid it. Its akin to walking alone in a a bad area known for trouble while waving a huge stack of $100 bills over your head and then wondering why you had the misfortune to have been robbed. You didn’t make the best decisions and certainly didn’t set yourself up for success, now did you.
So with MoP fast approaching in about 3 weeks, there will be a whole crop of folks seeking new guilds. Whether it be coming back from a hiatus, new players starting fresh, or perhaps veterans simply seeking a fresh start elsewhere; one should follow a few simple guidelines to seeking a new in game home.
Must Haves vs Nice to haves
This is a big deal. You should really separate out into 2 columns what are absolute inflexible NEEDS versus the things that would be nice, but not truly necessary stipulations.
If you truly NEED to be in a ranked guild, then perhaps you should also know you will need to worry about min/maxing your toon and being graded and judged on your performance.
If you NEED a casual environment, then know you cannot stir up drama by whining and complaining that no one cares about heroics.
If your socio-political views are so important to you that you wear them on your sleeve, then do not join a socially diverse guild where odds are opinions will vary along with mileage.
This last one is an important factor to consider. There is nothing wrong with being a Republican, Democrat, Atheist, Feminist, Born Again Christian, etc etc. Any label you choose to wear proudly on your sleeve is not something to cast shame or derision towards; however, perhaps you should bear that in mind when seeking a new guild.
Would it be wise for the card carrying Atheist to join a guild of born again Southern Baptists? Should the dyed in the wool right wing Tea Partier consider being in the liberal guild of left wingers a wise decision? If the guild is comprised primarily of 20 something males, will the feminist be made to feel at home? To all these things, no. Choose wisely.
Do your homework
Read up on the guild you are seeking to join. Gain access to their guild forums. Learn the names of some of the players. Search on the WoW forums, MMO Champion, WoW Insider. See if any of those folks post there. Read what they have to say. Real ID friend one or two of them, use the new battletag feature to your advantage. Run some dungeons. See what they are like. Research them. Roll a toon on that server and look at trade chat, see if they post there a lot. Do they have a reputation. After a week or two, broach a sticky topic. Discuss something political or perhaps hot-button. No, do not start an argument, or blurt out “<Insert name here> is an ass! discuss!” Have a relevant conversation and dialogue and see what comes of it. Better yet, make it about something you know could be controversial but you have no real vested interest in…listen to what your prospective guild mates have to say. Get a feel for their opinions and ascertain whether or not you can acclimate yourself to this group of people and if they can acclimate to you!
If you are seeking a top ranked guild, then chances are none of this matters. An end-game hard core player is more interested in the end goal, not the social aspect of the game. This is not to say they don’t care at all about it, its just the social part becomes the nice to have, not the must have. For the majority of the player base however, that social interaction is more important. Even when they say it isn’t and try to ignore it; it is. It should be. It has a way of making itself most important.
This is not easy. There will always be personality clashes and folks will rub one another the wrong way. Your challenge is to be honest with yourself as to what you are seeking. If you want to raid, have fun, and have some modicum of success in the game whether that be 7/7 normal or 7/7 heroic, you will be best served and set yourself up for best success by seeking out like individuals. Similarly minded and focused players who may not agree on all the details, but do agree on the general picture.
Remember its just a game
If you find those clashes do your best to avoid that one person or two. If you find its a majority of the crowd that is rubbing you the wrong way, bow out gracefully. Don’t blow up or stir up drama just leave quietly and start your search process over again. Remember it is just a game. Its supposed to be fun, if it isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong. Note I am not suggesting you have any inward reflection and seek to change your ways….although, maybe you should? Ask yourself, is this the first time you found yourself here? The second? If its just a couple of isolated incidents over your playing time, I wouldn’t worry about it. However, if you realize its the 10th time you face this, then perhaps it is you? Are you waving the stack of $100′s? Are you simply not seeking out the right mix of people? If you have found yourself in this scenario more than a handful of times, perhaps some self-reflection will help. Re-evaluate your priorities and list. It certainly cannot hurt.
In conclusion….Well duh, thank you Captain Obvious!
I know I know. This all seems like common sense, but how many times have you found yourself in this mess? How many guilds have you seen go through this? Relationship issues, personality conflicts, power struggles, tyrannical GM despots with delusions of grandeur, many of us have seen it all before and more than once. If its such common sense, then why does it happen at all? Well, because it may make sense, but that doesn’t mean its common. Determine your needs. Find similar minded folks. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Now, I must remember to take my own advice.