So basically I've got myself into a bit of a situation where I'm not happy and I'm not sure I can solve that without making someone else unhappy.
Before Mists dropped, I was convinced by a real-world friend and classmate, to transfer to Alleria, because her (absolutely wonderful) horde guild that I am also a part of, had made an Alliance version of the guild and I play primarily Alliance. I paid to transfer my main over (and eventually one of my other favourite characters) and was promptly part of a guild with no one in it. My classmate rarely plays due to real life time constraints, and not a single one of the members of the horde guild actually play the characters they brought into the guild.
I've been trucking along, entirely alone for the majority of Mists. When it became clear that I was the most active player, they handed me the title of GM and vanished. I tried recruiting but no one stuck around for long, and I had a few friends join, but they also rarely have the opportunity to play. I've now single-handedly raised the guild to level 19, filled up the guild bank with mats that will never be used, and gotten several guild achievements on my own. That's super satisfying, knowing how hard I worked to bring it where it is today, but if I'm still all alone, what's the point?
WoW Insider talks fairly regularly about a guild called Spectacular Death, and they seem like wonderful people, I want to join them. They are not on my server. My issue is that I've already paid $50 to transfer to an empty server with an empty guild where I have no friends to play with. Since I did that, I got 3 more characters on that server to level 90, and several to 80. It would cost over $150 to transfer all of the characters that I would like to continue playing. More than that, I have no idea how my friend or the horde guild will react if I leave them/the server. (though to be clear, I plan on sticking with them horde-side)
I want to have fun, I want to play with other people, but I can't afford the switch, and I'm not sure that there's even a chance the two servers would be connected. And I don't want to abandon a friend, even if she doesn't play with me very often. I applied to Spectacular Death anyway, and will roll an alt over there if I'm accepted to see if it's really where I want to make my home, but I'm not sure what to do after that.
A lonely GM
Drama Mama Lisa: You seem to be working exceptionally hard to find solutions in the most difficult places, Lonely GM. If your friend is never around in the Alliance guild to play with you anyway, why does it matter if you stay or not? Especially if she's in the Horde guild that's still active? If it's not the realm itself that's the problem, why are you considering transferring your Alliance characters off-realm before you've even had a look around?
You owe it to yourself to get out of that ghost town of an Alliance guild. Go find a group that's recruiting. Explore the options right there on your home realm -- and do it seriously, with real focus on finding another group of players that share your outlook, playstyle and sense of what's fun.
Of course, the first step in finding a new Alliance home is leaving your old one. Follow our advice on leaving a guild without burning bridges. The right thing to do is to tell your friend what's happening. Couch the discussion as one about how she would like to handle the change, rather than whether or not you should leave to play with a more active group.
This is your game and your decision; the guild, however, will once again be hers. Say something like, "Since we already play together Horde-side, I need to transfer the leadership tags so I can join an active raiding group with these characters I've worked so hard on. Would you prefer I move the guild leader tag back to you, or is there someone else you'd prefer?"
Alternatively, you have the opportunity to make the guild you currently GM into the very picture of your ideal guild. It's a hard row to hoe, as you've already discovered; still, it's a viable possibility if you're too proud of the solo work you've already put in to want to let go. If you do decide to build the guild, I strongly recommend the seasoned advice of Scott Andrews in Officers' Quarters.
As for the realm transfer possibility ... If you fall in love with Spectacular Death with an alt, why worry about transferring your other characters at all? You'll miss them for a while, but if SD is truly a good fit and you're having yourself a blast, you'll have a new team of 90s there before you can likely even budget the cash to contemplate the transfers.
Drama Mama Robin: I think it's a waste of time to try to build up your Alliance guild any farther. You describe your server as empty as well as your guild, and you've had issues with keeping recruits as it is. Sure, your server is likely to get connected with some other empty servers and that will help, but who knows how long that will take. You want to have fun now. You've been waiting patiently long enough.
I agree with Lisa that you should attempt to transfer the guild back to your friend. But if she won't take it, don't feel guilty about being an absent GM, considering everyone else has been so very absent. In fact, I don't see how your Horde friends could be at all upset about your abandoning the guild none of them spend time in. They're probably wondering why you've stuck with it so long.
I also agree that trying to find a guild on your current server (or cluster of servers) is your best bet. That way you get to keep your favorite characters. Otherwise, Spectacular Death with new alts is the logical next step. Lisa is right that you will likely get a new stable of 90s very easily, in this day and age of being able to mail heirlooms across server.
So go forth and be happy without guilt or expense. Good luck and let us know what happens.
Dodge the drama and become the player everyone wants in their group with advice from The Drama Mamas Drama-Buster Guide. Got a personal question for the Drama Mamas? Email Robin and Lisa at email@example.com.