Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How Much Would You Sacrifice for Guild?

Every single player that has ever raided or PvPed or did anything that is based on a schedule in game has sacrificed for their guild.  Sure it might not seem like it when you are home on a tuesday night anyway so what is the big deal to log in to raid, you were going to be there anyway.  But do not let it fool you, at some point, even if you only raid when you really had nothing to do otherwise, you are still sacrificing something for the betterment of your guild.  Your time.

Have you ever been tired and did not feel like playing but because it was raid night you played anyway?  Ever not been feeling well but still stepped it up for your arena team?  Ever wanted to watch something on TV but figured you would just watch it later so you could make a guild event?

Think back, I am sure if you are a good team player there are times you have sacrificed for your guild.  Where would you draw the line however?

Even something as seemingly simple as a guild treasurer sacrifices a lot for their guild.  Even if they are the type of person that likes to play the auction house and they enjoy doing so, when they are doing it for the guild cycling things out of the guild bank they are not doing it for themselves.  Every minute they spend making money for the guild is a minute they are not making money for themselves.  Do you ever give your guild treasurer the thanks he/she deserves for keeping the bank clean and keeping the gold flowing in?  Well, you should, because they are sacrificing their time and using their skills for you and everyone else in your guild.

I've often said here, more so it seems at the beginning of each expansion, I sacrifice for my guild.  I tank or I heal when I would rather be there on my hunter with fluffy at my side but if I am needed to tank, I tank.  I make sure to have a tank geared as best as I can for an alt just so if I am needed I can help the guild.  Do I enjoy playing it, sure, but that does not mean I am not sacrificing for the betterment of the guild when I would rather be there on my hunter.

I am not a huge PvP fan, I think I have said that before, but I have ran with players in guild because they needed a partner.  I spun it in my own mind as I can use this as a chance to get better at it and while that might hold true it is more a case of doing it to keep a guild member happy, and more importantly, in the guild and happy.  This is a case a little further down the line of how much one might sacrifice of themselves by doing something that they are not really completely into doing.

My guild has always been a helpful guild and we think nothing of it.  Someone new comes in and needs help and there is always someone that is willing to step up and help them with their class and spec.  To help them with the gems and enchants if they can not afford them on their own, often at their own cost using their own materials.  I've even seen guild members go to the auction house and buy stuff for people just so they would be ready and not ask for a single thing in return.  Most might just think of it as people being helpful but it is sacrificing a little for the guild even if it does not seem that way.

Recently being things have been a little blah with recruiting myself and a few others have been pugging some heroics so we can get more experience figuring that with some additional heroic experience it will make recruiting easier.  It would definitely be easier to recruit when the core team is further along, and while we are still missing tanks, it is not going to happen in guild at the moment.  Not to mention pugging make us stronger so we can carry newer people through the content on normal to gear them up so they can catch up that much easier. 

This is not sacrifice you might say because you are getting something out of it in terms of further progression, but have you ever pugged heroics?  Hit and miss usually, but even when you grab a hit where you walk in and one shot bosses you still need to deal with the gay remarks, racist remarks, and over all poor behavior that peoples mothers should have taught them better than to talk about in mixed company.  It might not be something you feel is insulting to you or that you are sacrificing of yourself subjecting yourself to that, but to sit there and have to read this or listen to this is a great self sacrifice to me but I do it for the betterment of the guild.

When SoO first came out and in the weeks and months that followed I reached my limit for self sacrifice.  We started running two flex runs a week, the 25 man, the main 10 man two nights a week and another 10 man weekend run that sometimes went two nights as well.  When the third 10 man popped up that meant I was raiding 7 nights a week on most weeks when really all I wanted to do was two nights for the main 10 man and maybe a flex night for alts.  But the guild needed me, if I was not on to lead the group, or not on to fill in because we needed a tank or a healer or another damage dealer, the run did not happen and then guild morale would fall.  So I had not choice, I could not take a night off, like it or not, I had to be on and I had to be willing to run the group if the person I had put in charge of it were not there.

It started to make me burnt out.  Even if we only raided 2 hours a night that was a lot more raiding for me, I had never run with a schedule like that before.  It was not the 2 hours a night that got me, but the 7 days a week that did.  Sure I might pop on and play at least a little every day, but there is a difference between that and having enough raid ready characters for that many groups and to lead them and their variously skilled players and getting all my characters ready for it because I never knew which one I would need.

Sometimes you just have to say enough is enough.  I was, still am, completely burnt out.  In some strange sort of way on the inside I was glad when things started to fall apart and we decided to scrap the 25.  I was glad when the majority of players that were raiding said they did not really feel like doing the flex runs any longer.  I was somewhat glad when the second and occasional third 10 man fell apart.  I could go back to raiding one or two nights a week.  A nice and easy casual schedule.

That was what I call my height of sacrificing self for the guild.  I gave all my time, even if I did not want to, to help the guild expand but in the end it took too much of my own time from me.  I could no longer play the game.  Every free second in the game was about raiding, getting ready for it, helping people get ready for it, working with new recruits, balancing teams and who would run what night.

I play a lot, but I do not play that much.  I could not do it and I reached the point where as much as I wanted to do it, it was sacrificing too much.  Too much of my time, too much of myself.

I know it is a hard question to answer because many people do not even notice all the things they do for their guild.  I never think anything of helping someone with knowledge, or gems or enchants, at my own expense, but that is all sacrifice.  For me however, the ultimate sacrifice, the one that became too much for me, was the sacrifice of my time to where I never had any time to play for myself any longer.  I learn something new each expansion and this expansion taught me my limits on how much of myself I could give.

How much would you sacrifice for your guild?


  1. That's interesting. IRL I work for an NPO, and in one of the trainings I did, they were suggesting that we should treat volunteers like employees; giving them real responsibilities and expecting them to have get them done. I don't think this is appropriate with all volunteers, because a lot just come to appease their guilt, and don't actually want to do anything. But there definitely are some people who come who thrive on having real work to do, and it gets them really invested in the organization and the community.

    I've had similar experiences in guilds, since really we are all volunteers in most guilds. I, at least, need "work" to make me feel like I'm part of the guild. Like keeping herbs stocked, or keeping gems/enchants stocked, etc... but if I were responsible for keeping all of the gems and pots and flasks and chants stocked, then I'd feel like I was being used and it would back fire. It's a fine line, for you guild masters.

    Within the specifics of a raid team (at least for larger rosters) I think it's equally true. In our semi-casual 25 player team, we have about 15-18 real raiders. the other 10 or so aren't completely being carried every fight, but it's definitely more work for those who are really heroic ready raiders. So we get to this fine line again of often those players enjoy the challenge, and it feels good that they're contributions matter, but at the same time not over working them and making them feel like they're progressing too slowly having to carry too many people.

    For me that's especially true. Even, using the rubric you've stated a few times here, if the raid could complete the fight if everyone played as well as I did, even if that's the case, if I'm not close to the top of the damage meters, and close to the bottom of the damage taken meters, I feel like I'm being carried. It feels like they could replace me with any random schmuck, so my contributions don't matter. But, (sorry if this seems cocky) it also gets tiring being one of the better dd'ers in most guilds I've been in. I really enjoy helping out young hunters, going over logs and things like that, but I've always wanted a sort of hunter mentor of my own, which is probably why I spend so much time lurking on yours and frostheim's sites.

    Anyhow, this has gotten way longer than I meant it to be; the point is, I agree, some sacrifice is necessary to feeling like part of a group, and too much is, well, too much.

    1. The line for too much is often up to the person doing it. I met my line and crossed it this expansion and I feel it has made me more than a little bitter at the game and the players who play it.

      So I know how you feel. The other week we brought in some newer people, just to get things done, and I was tanking. We cleared up to klaxxi and some of the players who were on alts needed to switch to their mains to get thok, blackfuse and klaxxi down because the fill ins just could not cut it.

      I felt bad for the core people who wanted to gear alts for having to switch to their mains just to down stuff because people in all 560 gear could not even muster 120K.

      Each week I take someone aside, each week I work with them, each week I explain what they can do better, and each week they still play poorly.

      I used to take this with a grain of salt and would keep trying to help because I "wanted" to but lately if I want to raid it I feel like I "have" to. Just like I "have" to tank or I "have" to be around to start the second group.

      It is what you mentioned, once something changes into feeling like a job, it is pushing it too far.

  2. My line was when scheduled obligations lost their schedule.

    When my guild started trying to raid we agreed to 2 nights on the weekend starting at 6pm. The first week we held to that start time, the next we finally had the group filled around 6:30, the next we might have been filled at 7. Sliding an hour is bad, especially when I had to start running things and had no patience for that kind of BS. To compensate, we moved the start time to 7, which meant we were finally ready to zone in at 8. I started calling raids if we didn't have enough 30 minutes past start time. Then an hour later somebody would log on, they would try to get the raid started, and wait to fill up for another hour.

    Even worse than the time "flexibility" was the fact that whenever more than 7 90's were on at once, that late-raid-former would try to get a raid tossed together. When we had previously agreed to do raids Sat/Sun, he would try forming for the raid on Wed/Thurs/Fri/Mon if "enough" people were on. I wasn't about to start raiding 6 nights a week, so I distanced myself from the raid attempts. Getting into another guild's regularly scheduled raids helped me keep my sanity.

    1. I some times like those in guild pick up groups but they can be really dangerous if they happen to much. Like you said, it can burn people out.

      I sometimes do some older raids and invite people if they want to come along. It works for stuff like that, but current tier or even current expansion, that stuff should be scheduled and people should show up on time.

      I think one of the downfalls of the new flexible format for normal (flex) and heroic (normal) next expansion is going to make it worse for casual guilds like mine because it will make people feel like they can come and go as they please "because it is flexible" and that will only hurt the guild and guild progression in the long run.

  3. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    A lot of that information you wrote on above are the reasons for the former in my introductory salutation. The more responsibility taken on, the more the pressure to perform becomes...or at least it does if the player is any sort of moral being at all. Promises made are promises that must be kept, and taking on a leadership role in a guild is nothing but a promise to work harder and longer than others so all might have some fun inside and with the guild.

    I have been worried over your burning out since midway through Cata, worried enough that on more than one occasion I bought it up with you. LOL, probably more often than you enjoyed grumbling about it...

    The very first thing I did when logging into the guild every time was check the guild log to see who had joined, who had quit and to find out the back story on each to the best of my ability. Then I would run over the other information provided by the guild window in WoW, run to the guild bank to inspect it (all 6, then 7, then 8 tabs), including the log for each tab. Somewhere in between I was saying hello in guild chat, and usually in officer chat as well. During the day, I was almost always visiting the guild website for any postings that were new or to add postings of my own. Sometime after I logged in, usually a half hour later (more or less) I was finally taking my first daily on, but I had been a busy fellow for the time preceding that first daily. One of the great joys to not being the guild leader anymore was the removal of all the add-ons I used to help do the job right.

    Still there is joy in being the leader also, of getting things done and done correctly. I know I had failings as a guild leader, but one of my successes was picking good officers by and large. And then quietly following up on each and every one of them to make sure they were doing their job well. I have taken unaffiliated characters of mine through an interview with our recruiting officer, unbeknownst to her at the time. I have sat quiet in vent listening to raids. I have checked and rechecked the guild bank so much that I could recognize a single item being out of place. I have even PvPed despite my dislike of it to try to help our PvP officer get others involved (with little to no success).

    And after all was said and done, there came a point where I simply could not bring myself to do it anymore. I knew well before then that I was heading toward a burnout and spent the better part of a season picking out my successor. Was my choice perfect? Probably not but I still think she was the best choice from all that were available. See, I could have picked you for the role and I am certain if I had presented it in the right way, you would have taken up the responsibility. But why in the world would I want to make someone who I knew was on the point of burnout anyway take on a job that would only ensure a faster, more spectacular flame-out.

    So while I appreciate the fact that burnout for you is a reality, think how much sooner that burnout could have come. And if you wish, consider that the current downtime before WoD is a chance to replenish your joy in playing for the sake of playing.

    1. I think I am one of those people that just liked doing things. I never wanted to raid lead, I just wanted to raid, and if I needed to lead to make sure I did that, I lead.

      So while I did things for the guild I also did them for myself. It is only when I stop wanting to do things that they start feeling like work. When you are enjoying what you are doing it never feels that way, but when you stop enjoying it and it become work is when you can truly say that burn out has hit.

      It is where I stand once again and I will most likely fight through it. Some day, some day soon I hope, I can find someone I believe is capable of being a replacement for me and pass the torch I have held for some years now. Maybe then I can get back to just playing again. It might be nice.

      One problem with me, and you have seen it. Even if someone else is in charge I always end up leading. It is not like I want to. It is just who I am. But at least if that happens, it would be a choice. Just like I do not tank the LFR. Refuse to. But one day a week ago after zoning in and needing a tank. I switched specs, I tanked, I had no issues, but I did it because I wanted to do it. Doing what you want to do is really want it is all about. And at what point do you reach that point where doing what you do for your guild is no longer something you "want" to do but something you feel you "have" to do.