I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the world’s best guild leader. In fact, I was never sure I really wanted to be one other than my friends and I needed a place to play and wanted a /guild channel to hang out on to make chatting with each other easier.
The guild Crits and Giggles formed with the usual suspects, mostly just our alts and some people we snagged and paid 10 gold to sign our charter. But we picked up some of the greatest people I’ve ever met in the game. Lagalot and Repgrind for starters. The guild was founded on the idea that we wanted a casual, family friendly guild where people could play their toons the way they wanted, without criticism; they could do achievements until their eyes popped; or otherwise just roll a million alts, like yours truly. The guild did some light raiding starting with Naxx last September. It was very fun and casual. The guild started to grow and the emphasis on raiding increased, while still trying to maintain all that “fun and casualness” of before.
But like all good things, they don’t last. I am fully aware that while you can take some people in for Crits and Giggles on raids, you can’t do all raids without some level of gear, skill, and committment. The guild started to fracture along the lines of raiding as those that were hitting it more hardcore started in on latest content, while others who never raided before were struggling trying to figure out what to do to get there. It at times was very successful, but also at times was very stressful and I’d log in after a few days out-of-town, or having company, only to find that so and so left because of this raid thing or that raid thing.
I’m not a raider myself. I don’t do much beyond the classic raid night that I host to get people the achievements that they want form the old level 60 and 70 raids. It’s amazing actually. So being removed from the raid scene myself didn’t help the situation.
I went through a terrible break-up in October and work dropped a huge bomb on me in November, and before I knew it I was away too much as a GM and the guild kinda started to fall apart. We lost some of our best players, and I was basically logging in to drama all the time. In an attempt to regain the structure of the guild, I held a meeting with the guilds key players and worked on ways we can improve on the situation, specifically raiding. It was clear that there were many different ideas on raiding and we were going to have to take a little time to figure this all out. But while I was away for the weekend, everything kinda blew up and we lost a handful of players and our raid leader.
I had been told just a few days prior, from someone who I used to do dungeons with and who I raided with on Elgar long before Crits raided, that Crits was not as Crits had been before. Even as an outsider, he could observe the changes and see that people who were calling the shots even before our current raid leader, were not people we really wanted to call the shots. He said he’d seen this many other times in guilds and said that he really liked what Crits and Giggles represented on the server back when it was the fun guild for everyone to be a part of. It was kinda mind-blowing to hear that from someone outside the guild completely. His advice to me on how to get that back? Cut the raiders. Not cut all the raiders completely, but cut the group of hardcore progression raiders from the guild and let them have their own guild or go elsewhere to raid. I pondered this. I would dwell over it. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea, though I didn’t really want to do that as there were great people who enjoyed those raids. But the truth was, we had already lost some of the best raiders to other guilds and our raid scene was…well, lets’ say it left lots to be desired. I started to worry that if I didn’t do something I might stand to lose some of those excellent people who were here from the very beginning.
There had been moments too where I thought, maybe I should just surrender over the guild and go on my own way. But I couldn’t do that, because of the name, because of the name Crits and Giggles, I couldn’t surrender it, because every time I’d see it from then on out, it would break my heart. That and I respected so many members of my guild that I couldn’t imagine just tossing them into the breeze like that.
As it was the latest raid situation cause an explosion and as a result we lost a half-dozen of our raiders, essentially the core group. It seemed that the situation I was trying to figure out worked itself out. I was very sad to see some of them leave, but it seemed that this might have been the best solution for everyone.
Crits and Giggles remains strong and will continue on with its happy go lucky musings and other shenanigans. We probably will never be hardcore raiders, but our guild is called Crits and Giggles, not ICC Boss Downers.
I’ve made a promise to myself to work on being a little more active in organizing things in my own guild. Something that I should have done awhile back. I won’t let guild leading become a full-time job. But I do want to get back to the place where if I take a day or week off from the game for vacation or whatever, the guild will still be there, steady as it goes without a huge /gquit during my absence.