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Officers' Quarters: Divided loyalties

Scott Andrews
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

When guilds shatter, everyone involved has tough decisions to make. This week, a raider is forced to choose between the raid team he loves and the friend who invited him to the guild.

Just a few months ago, I decided to transfer my secondary character to alliance on my server, because the only friend I have left who plays had an active guild. I was hesitant to play alliance, but it has been working out fairly well so far. I originally wanted to join her raid team, but they couldn't fit me in. But I was approached by the leader of team two to join their team.

I gladly accepted, and we dove headfirst into ToT. Well, last Friday, after we cleared four bosses in SoO, I had to run to bed. After I left, they made the choice to leave the guild. Every single one of them. Now, I don't know the details, save for there had been plenty of behind the scenes drama.

My issue is that I love this team. They have accepted me, and helped me whenever I needed help. Even invited me to do challenge mode dungeons, which resulted in four realm best times. I want to continue raiding with them.

But now, the first raid team wants me to join them, my friend included. I'm not sure if I can handle two raid teams every week. I have an alt for it, but I don't know if I can handle that much raiding time. But I don't want to make my friend feel like I'm abandoning her either. Do you have any suggestions?

These guys really put you in a tough position here. I have some thoughts on it that may help steer you in the right direction.

Get answers first

Before you make a decision, I think you need to obtain some information. Why did the raid team leave? Who instigated the departure and what was his or her motive for it? Did someone in the original guild say or do something to spark the exodus? Was it a difference in policies?

The future also looks uncertain, and you should investigate that as well. Will the departing group stick to the same policies that you enjoyed previously, or will they start a new guild with new rules? Do they plan to continue raiding together? Is anyone who left having second thoughts about leaving? Is there any possibility that the team will rejoin the guild?

What about your friend's guild? Are they planning on making any changes in the wake of this event? Is there an officer or a member in the guild who caused this huge problem and drove your team away? Is the drama over or is it likely to continue?

As you can tell, an event like this raises many important questions. I recommend trying to answer as many as you can before you make a choice.

The good news

The good news is, you have two solid options here. You know you like the departing raid team and you know you like playing with your friend. The only unknown is if you'll get along with your friend's raid team. That is something you should talk to her about. Does she think you will fit in with that group?

Before you pull the trigger, you should raid with them at least once on your alt just to get a sense of what those raids are like. Even if she's well-intentioned, your friend is likely to downplay potential problems or friction, since she wants you to raid with her.

No amount of description can tell you exactly what it will be like to raid with her team. The best way to find out is to do it.

Avoid bridge-burning

Since I don't know the answers to any of the questions above, it's difficult for me to advise you either way here. Just keep in mind that choosing to stay with this other team doesn't have to mean cutting ties with your friend. I'm sure she'll understand if you're really enjoying the experience and you want to keep raiding with them. Finding a raid team that you really gel with is not something to throw away lightly.

At the same time, your fellow raiders are the ones who put you in this position, and they have to understand if you choose to stay with your friend.

Don't think of choosing one or the other as a permanent situation. As you've just discovered, guilds and raid teams can be fluid. So try not to burn any bridges here. Let the side you opt out of know that it wasn't an easy choice and you'd like to keep in touch with them.

Good luck!

Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to

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