Quitting a guild that you've been with for a long time is usually a difficult experience, but it's much worse if you happen to be an officer. An officer giving up and leaving can be one of the most demoralizing events that a guild must endure. In many cases, it sends a message to the members that the leadership is fractured or impotent, and it's only going to get worse. Hence, the opportunities for drama are legion. This week, one reader shares her experience and asks how you can quit as an officer without stirring up too much trouble.
I read WoW Insider all the time, and never thought I'd actually send in anything, because I was so happy with my guild. We were a wonderful nice little social guild. We helped each other with instances, some of our higher up members (myself included) would run lower toons through instances when we weren't doing anything else. We were even starting to attempt to break into raiding.
I was excited to say the least. I was an officer, and I loved my guild quite a bit. I still love the members. I think they're all very smart, wonderful players. We had a raid set up. Simple, practice raid. Nothing to fancy schmancy. Zul'Gurub. On a Monday we'd all gotten together, and decided that it would be Saturday at 1pm. We're all looking forward to it. We are all excited about it. Then Saturday comes.
Some of us get on early. Some of us actually rescheduled things (simple things, not like our brother's wedding or anything) so that we could be there for a big guild milestone. [. . .]
Well, 2pm server time comes and goes, and still nothing. No notice, no message, nothing. [. . .] Not a big deal in and of itself, but I asked around a bit to figure out why it was postponed. Nobody knew. I couldn't believe that our guild leader had changed things at the last minute . . . again. This had happened so many times. He'd say to meet on X day at X time, and then when we'd show up - they were already running around and in the middle of whatever it was we were supposed to be doing, as a group. It made people feel left out, excluded, and a bit annoyed. [. . .]
Anyways, I ended up leaving the guild. I couldn't fathom how we would get into raiding if our guild leader was always changing things at the last minute. If this had been an isolated incident, it probably wouldn't have mattered as much. But as an officer of that guild, it really bothered me. I worked hard to recruit, and help people get higher up so that we *could* do these things as a guild. But things kept changing, and there was absolutely no predictability. So it was incredibly frustrating.
I suppose to condense this extremely long rant/email . . . I wonder if there is an easy way for an officer to leave the guild. I left and it was a very dramatic day. Full of whispers telling me how the guild leader was feeling "so guilty" and went into "emo-mode" and thought about disbanding, because he was such an "awful guild leader." Even getting whispers saying that I should come back -because- the guild leader was having a sobfest over me leaving. I didn't stealth /gquit. I made sure a good majority of people were online, and I let everybody know what was happening, and why I left the guild ("I want to get more into raiding, and I just don't foresee that as a possibility with this guild."). I tried very hard to make it as undramatic as possible, and yet there was still drama. And there's still hard feelings.
So is there any way for an officer to leave a guild they've been a big part of, without the unnecessary drama? Or are all officer's doomed to leave dramatically? [. . .]
(Brudena on Argent Dawn)
I've never had to quit a guild before. This is only my second MMO, and I run the guild I'm in, so if I ever do quit the guild I'll have no one to blame but myself. Consequently, I have zero personal experience with this situation. However, in my three years as GL I've had plenty of members -- and a few officers -- move on to other pastures, so I can share with you some tips for which ways caused the most drama and which caused the least.
Obviously, a lot depends on your situation. There are certainly cases (like this one) where slipping away as quietly as possible may be the best thing you can do. But there are plenty of others where you can quit with class and still maintain a good relationship with those you are leaving behind. Just keep in mind that, while no amount of effort on your part can make this event 100% drama-free, you can get out without causing a massive uproar.
Drama Central: How not to /gquit
1) Quit in the middle of a raid. It's the worst possible time. No matter how angry you are, you owe it to the other people in the raid who aren't jerks to quit later when it won't be a huge distraction for the run. Leave the raid and log off if you have to, but keep your toons in the guild for now.
2) Ninja some bank items or raid loot. This is just childish and spiteful.
3) Hold a debate in /g about whether you should quit, weighing the pros and cons for everyone to hear. If you are starved for attention and feed on drama like a vampire, this is the style for you.
4) Post a huge rant on your guild's Web site, complete with ASCII drawings of obscene gestures. You might feel better in the short run, but you'll probably regret at least some of what you said later on after you've had a chance to cool down.
5) Encourage others to quit also. If you really want some of your former guildmates to follow you, contact them privately -- don't set off a powder keg by posting recruiting notices for your new guild on your old guild's site.
6) Transfer off the server and never contact anyone in the guild again. You'll be saving yourself some drama, but the unanswered questions will haunt your former guildmates for weeks.
Remember that an officer quitting the guild is a pretty big deal for all of a guild's members. Don't make it any worse than you have to.
Stay Classy, San Diego: Do it the right way
1) Forewarn your fellow officers. Give them a day or two of warning so it doesn't come as a sudden shock and they have time to recover before they have to go into full-time damage control.
2) Be honest with the other officers about your reasons for leaving (unless they involve some sort of sensitive personal issue). An officer quitting is a good time to begin a dialog about the guild's problems and to find solutions. Don't rob them of that opportunity by giving some vague justification such as, "The guild just wasn't living up to my expectations." Try to assess the situation accurately and not to embellish or exaggerate it so they know exactly what has driven you out.
3) Post a farewell on your guild's site. Many members have looked up to you and depended on you for help and advice. When someone leaves a guild, it can be like losing a friend. Be sensitive to that, and give everyone a chance to say goodbye. Your public reasons may differ from your private reasons, but if you don't post some reason, you're going to get a hail of whispers and private messages asking you why you left.
4) Make reparations for the gear and recipes you're taking with you. Since officers typically have some of the best-geared characters in the guild, one of the biggest blows when an officer quits is the void left behind in raids and/or arena teams. If possible, offer to participate in guild events for a week or two until the guild finds a replacement. They might not want you along, but at least you've given them the option. You could also continue to serve as their class leader or tutor someone to take over your slot.
Officers sometimes get first dibs on hard-to-obtain recipe drops, since they are far less likely to /gquit than a typical member. So let your former guild know that you'll be happy to continue making that rare gem cut or providing that high-level enchant for them. If you're leaving the server, give them a day to gather up a bunch of raw materials so you can do what you can before you transfer.
5) Stay humble. Even if the new hardcore raiding guild you jumped ship for outfits you in full T5 within a week, don't let it go to your head and start acting like you're better than the people you left behind. Don't rub your newfound endgame experience in their faces by bragging about the bosses you've downed or the loot you've won. If they really want to know what you're wearing, they can look it up on the armory.
6) Keep in touch, at least for a little while. Stop by your old guild's forums and say hi, run a heroic with the old crew, or invite them to your Arathi Basin premade. Nothing says "no hard feelings" better than going out of your way to let them know you miss them.
Following these steps may be doing more than your old guild deserves. But always remember that guilds are about people, not gear. As an officer, it's virtually impossible to make a clean break, even if you're leaving the server. Your ties to the old guild run too deep. So don't think of this as a severance, but as a process of transition. One day, if your new guild implodes, it may pay off to have a home to go back to.
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at email@example.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!