What can appear to be precipitous can be the result of a lot of thought and consideration. I started my guild with a very clear set of goals, many people derided those goals, dismissed them and said that a guild like the one I described could never work. Often when I was recruiting during the eighteen months the guild was running. They were only partly right.

No one wants to read this…surely?

I found there was a market for a guild that didn’t focus too heavily on raiding, but when it did raid everyone in the guild was welcome. Many people passed through the guild telling me as they passed that I was doing it wrong and I needed to be more raid focused and in part this meant selective. Selective about who was allowed to raid. See the comments on the last blog to sample some of the abuse I got for not wanting to do that. The message was simple and always the same: most other guilds work the way you want, go join one of them, please don’t try to change this one into another iteration of them.

Is that rude? Or is it rude to join a guild as an individual or a group and try to change the guild to suit you? The last 7 months, since I started my new job, I’ve been motivated less and less to play World of Warcraft. Even less to raid. The mean reason for this is Patrick. Patrick is moody and childish, he resented the fact that anyone, least of all me, could want to take a break from Warcraft mid-expansion, or more importantly mid tier when the raid team would struggle some weeks to put up a viable raid. We cleared normal which is the objective of the guild and Patrick persisted with offering Heroic level runs to anyone who was interested. His petty juvenile anger and frustration was levelled most at World of Warcraft Classic which he blamed for drawing many guildies, like myself, away from the new Battle for Azeroth (BfA) retail expansion.

After Jonas left the guild Patrick got more and more prickly. He didn’t understand why Jonas and I didn’t want a raid leader or why I was so disinterested in raiding with him. When his only alt left my guild and popped up in another I knew what he was up to. I knew that he’d spent the best part of four or more months undermining me and if the guild roster was anything to judge by he had all the officers in his pocket and probably a good few core raiders if he chose to withdraw his group.

I was already considering my options which I’d reduced to four. 1) Kick Patrick and begin the domino effect of people leaving with him and rebuild. 2) Hand the guild over to someone I trusted who could take the guild forward as I had planned it and built it. 3) 1 & 2. 4) Disband the guild.

1) The most attractive option, give the guild an enema then rebuild it with whoever wanted to remain loyal to the ethos of the guild. If I trusted any of the officers and didn’t believe they were all Patrick’s this might’ve been a better option, but building pretty much completely from scratch was unattractive. 2) No more attractive because I had no one I could trust to a) not simply gift Patrick the guild and b) not take it in a direction of their choice and c) relinquish it if and when I decided to return to Warcraft fully and properly.

In the end the choice was simple. I would give Patrick an opportunity to make a play for my guild and stage his ‘chicken coup’. I would resist him and watch to see who he took with him and what they had to say for themselves. Do some housekeeping, flush out the guild, hang up the closed sign and turn the lights out as I left.

This may be the end of my World of Warcraft journey (completely or for the medium to long term) but it isn’t the end of my time in MMOs. The community in Final Fantasy XIV Online is far less toxic and tryhard than WoW. I don’t have to roll it myself to find a Free Company with all the principles and ethos of my WoW Guild. The best thing is that my real life friend is an officer and she’s been pressing me to do more in FFXIV recently, so she got more than she bargained for, me punting WoW, disbanding my guild, server transferring to Cerberus and joining the guild she’s helping run.

I’m not sure how much drama and bathos the new game will offer. I’m sure there’ll be one or two people who take playing a game too seriously and this is after all what this blog is all about. Having to disband my guild was depressing for a couple of days, but it’s only gaming and nothing (online) lasts.

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