Drama Mamas: It's time to leave now

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Drama Mamas: It's time to leave now

The Drama Mamas are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. How to handle that sticky situation? Ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas@wow.com.

It's time to leave now. You know it. We know it. Your guildmates probably know it, too. But you just can't bring yourself to open that door. Leaving a guild is so uncomfortable, so guilt-inducing, so potentially dramatastic, so ... awkward. Is it any wonder that the best way to leave (disguised as "whether" to leave) a guild is one of the most popular questions to hit the Drama Mamas mailbox every week?

Dear Drama Mamas: I have recently decided that it may be time for me to make a change from one guild to another; however, because I am an officer in my current guild, I feel rather guilty in doing so at this time. The raid times have become enough of an issue that they became a noticeable problem in real life, and I recently informed my guild that I would no longer be raiding with them.

This past weekend, I ran into a former co-worker of mine who happen to be on the same server. One of them informed me that their guild is looking for my class, and their raid times coincide almost perfectly with my preferred playing times. Their guild is a bit more progressed than my current guild, which is rather appealing, as is the prospect of getting together with some real life-friends, but I feel like if I join their guild, I am bailing on my current guild. Do you have any suggestions on how to break the news to my current guild (or officers) that I am thinking about applying to another guild, or any suggestions on how to make a transition go smoothly? Thanks, Anonymous

Dear Drama Mamas: I joined a guild when I hit around 72 or so and they advertised themselves to be a social guild with aims of becoming a raiding guild. After I hit 80 and geared up through heroics and emblems, I started to look into raiding. The guild just doesn't seem to raid at all. There maybe one or two members who are up for a raid, but other than that, it seems that the guild as a whole doesn't seem to want to raid together. Do you think I should bring it up and risk causing upset, or should I politely quit the guild and join another? I'd feel bad leaving as they are very good people who have given me invaluable advice and help. On the other hand, trying to get a PUG together for a raid and then watch them all drop after a wipe is infuriating. Thanks, John

Hey Drama Mamas: I usually don't have much drama in my WoW, which is how I like it, but recently I've had to leave a guild and wanted to know if I did the right thing when I did so (and if not, what I should have done). My friends and I joined a much larger guild together back in January, and we've been showing up for raids every time they're scheduled. However, at the beginning of this month, it was becoming just us three who were actually showing up for raids that everyone was signed up for. I like the people in this guild, but I joined specifically for the raiding, and we gave them weeks of this problem before we decided to quit the guild.

We decided, since no one was on when we quit, to write a polite letter explaining the reasons why we quit the guild and that we had no sore feelings and would be willing to PUG with them if they ever do raid again. Is there anything else I could have/should have done here? I really don't want to leave anyone feeling hurt, but I also actually want to raid. Thanks for your time, Bryan

Dear Drama-Busting Mamas: I have reached a crossroads in my WoW career. I am the GM of a smallish social-oriented guild, where the main objective is to have fun and help others to level and get to 80. However, as it is with most games I play, I became attracted to the shinies that inevitably drop from the cutting-edge bosses. Recently, I started raiding with another guild on my server who have perfectly struck the balance between socialization and raiding. After raiding with them on my main for four weeks now, I got an invite to join their guild. After consulting with my officers in my guild, I transferred ownership to my recently 80 alt and joined the other guild.

Though I was essentially given my officer's blessing to make the move and do the leadership switch, I've been informed by a friend in the guild that there is a lot of unrest. My guild's constituency is rather unhappy, and the friend thinks it might break up altogether, mainly because my main character was such a central figure in the guild, not only as guild leader but as a person, too. Ever since I switched, I have been plagued by intermittent feelings of guilt, even though I'm having a good time not leading for once and my new guildmates are very helpful and friendly. I essentially have to choose between being with longtime friends and seeing the content. Please help! Sincerely, Vexed and Confused

Drama Mama Lisa: Whew! That was a lot of setup, but we wanted you to realize that anxiety over changing guilds is perfectly natural. You are not alone in agonizing over this decision. You can hear it in the voices of these readers -- they're ready to move on, they want to go, but they're afraid of the emotional fallout.

The good news: There's definitely a respectful, considerate way to make a guild move. The bad news: No matter what you do, those you leave behind may still become upset or even angry at your decision. The thing to remember is that you do deserve to play this game the way that you enjoy.
  • Don't fuel the rumor mill. There's no breaking the news gently here, and there's no talking it over to get a feel for things if you're still merely considering a move. Do not open the "I've been thinking ..." door. You'll open up a rat's nest of gossip, political maneuvering and guilt-inducing begging you to stay. This is your decision; make it on your own, and go public only when you're ready to make it happen.
  • Use official channels. Once you've decided a move is the right thing to do, go straight to your GM (guild master or guild leader) or a guild officer.
  • Be brief but honest. Example: "I've decided to move to another guild, where I'll be playing with a good friend. I've really enjoyed my time here and appreciate all the help and guidance you've given me along the way. Thanks for having me!"
  • If hard feelings erupt, don't burn bridges. "I have such limited time to play that I think I'd be a better fit with a guild on a more active raiding schedule" is better than "You lied to me about wanting to raid, your members suck Cracked Eggs and I can't wait to be outta here."
  • Fall back on a letter. If you're simply too uncomfortable to speak with your GM or an officer in person, send an in-game note or private message on the guild forums.
  • Be discreet. Timing your /gquit for a time of day when fewer members will be online to take notice helps minimize awkwardness.
  • No matter what, make contact somewhere. If none of the leadership is online and you need to /gquit right then and there in order to start activities with your new guild, make your brief but honest statement (see above) in guildchat, and follow up with a note (in game or on your guild forums) to the GM.
Don't be afraid to leave a guild that's not the right fit. It's not necessarily anyone's fault if things no longer click; games, guilds and players all evolve over time. But do consider your next guild choice carefully, whether you're looking for a leveling guild or applying for an endgame raiding guild. Then execute your exit with class. The rest is up to your former guildmates.

Drama Mama Robin: I agree with everything Lisa has said here, so I will just give additional tips for drama reduction.
  • If you are an officer in your current guild This makes it a bit tougher, because you theoretically have some say in the direction and guidance of your guild. However, asking everyone in your current guild to change their schedule or goals just for you is, of course, the wrong thing to do here. The solution is simple. Along with Lisa's suggestions, make sure you have someone to recommend as a replacement. In fact, it is almost always a good idea, in work or in play, to groom a replacement so that you can be promoted or move on when the opportunity arises.
  • If you are the guild leader Do not transfer leadership to your alt or to anyone else who is not active in your old guild. Vexed, it is no wonder your "constituents" are restless. Because you still have the leadership of the guild you no longer play with, it feels very much like a "let them eat cake" attitude. Your old guild needs a resident leader to thrive. Pick an active and capable successor, transfer leadership and move on with your fun.
  • If you are in a leveling guild that never quite made it to being an endgame guild This is a story that is so common, it is more of the rule than the exception. Every day in Trade chat and in newbie zones, you hear guilds recruiting with almost the same sales pitch: "<Insert Guildname Here> looking for all levels. We are a helpful guild and have a guild bank and a tabard. We will raid once we get enough people to 80. PST" And every day people level up, get some five-mans in and move on to an endgame guild. These friendly leveling guilds rarely get enough people together who want to raid in the time frame they originally hoped for. Leave an alt or two in this guild and help them out when you have time, but don't give up raiding for them.
  • This is your leisure time. You work hard for it (whether at work or school or taking care of the little ones at home), and you need it to balance out your life. As long as you aren't harming anyone else, you have the right to play the game as you want. Anyone who tells you that you need to think of their fun first is not your friend. On the other hand, there's no reason to be rude or judgmental before you go. Be concise, friendly, honest and move on. Save the long, emotional goodbyes -- no matter how sincere -- for the movies. They'll cause nothing but drama in Azeroth.
Drama-buster of the week

Poor behavior in the Dungeon Finder got put on notice this week. We'll be happy to see what comes of this monitoring once it makes it to the live realms. If you've been tempted to throw up your hands and go along with the group quitters and the vote kickers, take heart and hold your line. There's still hope for players who play well with others!

Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

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