Fortunately, it seems that your guild has actually improved since you left, with more people willing to take on responsibility. That will decrease the workload on individual players and reduce the chances that someone will be overwhelmed by leadership duties, much like you were. Considering the sheer size of the guild, I doubt any single person could handle managing everything for very long. Thus, your decision has had a tangible benefit for the community. Hopefully that benefit will lessen any hard feelings other members may be harboring.
Even so, you did leave, and you can't expect to come back whenever you feel up to it and pick up exactly where you left off. Part of taking a long break from a leadership position is accepting the fact that your replacement may not decide to run things exactly the way you would have. If you return to the guild and start clamoring to put everything back the way it was, you're only going to stir up more resentment.
Don't be a Jay Leno
. Your guild and your place in it has changed, and you need to accept that for now. You created the guild and you were the biggest contributor to its initial success, but others have taken up the torch. You need to respect the effort that they put in to keep the community moving forward in your absence. If not for them, you'd be starting from scratch instead of returning to the guild you founded -- in any capacity.
You can't think of the guild as "your baby" anymore. Moreover, I actually think that this attitude is counterproductive for a guild leader. A guild leader may often call the shots, but a guild belongs to all its members. You lead only with their consent to be led by you.
Having said that, you could offer
to resume your old position as guild leader. If you want to avoid drama, you should not request
it. It's a fine line I'm drawing here, but it's an important distinction. By offering, you're sending the message that you are willing to take up the mantle again if the guild leader you appointed would rather step down -- but you are not expecting
him or her to do so. Not many players want the ultimate responsibility of guild leadership
, so you might be surprised at how quickly he or she hands over the reins. Just try not to let your disappointment show if he or she declines your offer.
If you request
the position, on the other hand, you're sending a different message entirely. You're saying that you want the position back regardless of other considerations, and you're going to be dissatisfied by remaining just an officer. If the current guild leader wants to keep the position, he or she is going to feel threatened by your request. This situation can lead to political maneuvering and a possible power struggle that could tear the guild apart. You don't want that.
As far as the policy and rules changes go, what's done is done. The officers who were in charge felt that the changes were necessary or desirable and the guild seems to be doing fairly well as a result. Now is not the time to question these decisions. If a situation comes up where you feel that the new rules are causing a problem, then you should point out the issue privately with the other officers so you can all discuss it. That would be the appropriate time to request a change. Otherwise, don't rock the boat when the sailing is smooth.
You say you had "special plans" for this guild. There's no reason you can't still achieve those goals while serving as an officer. Yes, you'll have to defer to the other officers more than you otherwise might. However, as long as you're all on a similar page, I'm sure they'll be happy that another person is working hard to improve the guild.
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!