Today I left my guild

Today I left my guild.

This decision has been months in the coming and yet, even now, I find myself struggling to type it out. There’s a mental block. A stubborn and insistent demand that maybe, if I don’t say anything about it, the issue will go away. But intellectually, I know this is not the case. I’ve been unhappy for months now, I cannot let fear of the unknown stop me. I am writing this out now, posting it for the whole wide internet to see not because I am angry and not because I want revenge, but because I need to get this off for my own sake. And I need to do it right.

Four years of faithful member and officership.

Over four years ago, I joined a brand new guild established on the idea of connecting the then WoW Insider, now Blizzard Watch fans. I was quickly made an officer, although back then, the guild didn’t have nearly as much structure as it does now. We were honestly more excited that the guild had even gotten off the ground than anything else.

The next year was a honeymoon period. The guild continued to grow and, with the help of the other officers (the corps was now being more established), I helped run social events and coordinate out of game communication. Everything was friendly and perfect and fun, and I know this is the image of the guild that is forever frozen in my mind. When the act of logging in could put an instant smile on my face.

An expansion came and went and eventually, our little guild decided to adventure into raiding. As is unavoidable, the switch from a purely social guild to a raiding social guild was a little bumpy and there was some hiccups along the path. But overall, the transition went incredibly smoothly and I finally got a chance to raid in an organized fashion for the first time. A bit later on and I found myself raid leading for the first time. Everything was fantastic.

Another expansion flew by, and our little guild started shifting again, this time in a direction I wasn’t so keen on. The leadership aspect, which I had always been a part of, started narrowing down to a few certain individuals calling the shots. Areas that used to fall under my responsibility were taken away from me, and I started hearing about big guild changes at the same time as the rest of the guild rather than ahead of time as seemed sensible for an officer.

When I brought up these frustrations, I was at first brushed off. Then, I was screamed at.

That should have been my warning.

But it wasn’t.

I told myself that I had so many other friends in the guild who made it worthwhile, so if I just played my cards right, everything would be ok. Tensions would smooth out. I would be able to talk to certain officers openly again. The honeymoon period would return.

In hindsight, I can see how ridiculous this all sounds, but at the time – and even a bit now – I was afraid of change. Afraid of leaving a guild full of all the people I knew in game. Afraid of the unknown world outside. Afraid of taking that leap. So, in my fear, I stayed, even as things worsened.

The trends which had bothered me before only increased. The size of our officer corps increased again, but the number of people making the decisions shrank. Social events, which used to be the bread and butter of our guild, fell off the wayside as I was the only officer making an effort to continue them. As a high school teenager with a life outside of the game, I just didn’t have time to run everything and no one else would step up. Instead, the focus became almost exclusively about raiding.

I do want to be clear here, I have no problems with hardcore raiding. If anything, the opposite is true, I loved the notion of going into Mythic and chasing that realm first. But what bothered me so much was how we were going about it. Our game plan was unclear and unrealistic. We wouldn’t do enough to proactively bring up low DPS or HPS numbers. And, the part that bothered me most, we were focusing on higher tiered progression raiding almost to the detriment of every other aspect of the guild.

As the weeks and then months went on, my concerns started to transform into something else: the inescapable feeling that I was not wanted. Whether this was perceived or real, I found I could not shake it. Slowly but surely, the game turned from an escape into something I would escape from. Chatting in guild became a chore. Keeping an upbeat attitude on voice chat became a challenge. And finally, raiding itself, one of my favorite parts about this game, became an absolute nightmare.

It got to the point where my guild-related stress was leaking into other aspects of my life, unrelated to video games. I got some pretty major awards recently, including being selected to be the speaker at my graduation, and I found I was so distracted by guild stuff that I couldn’t even enjoy that news. And this was something I’d been dreaming about since freshman year!

The final straw.

The final straw came Sunday evening. While in the middle of an Antorus raid, I happened to check my guild note. Rather than the cheerful ‘Fussypants!’ I had on almost all of my characters, I found something radically different.

‘Fussybitch’.

Someone had edited my note to say ‘Fussybitch’.

I do not know who changed it. I do not know why. But at that moment, I was shattered. In that instant, my guild had turned from a friendly, welcoming place, to one where I would spend the rest of my days wondering just who’d edited my guild note. Adding that onto my general stress and guild frustrations, it was too much. My guild was no longer home.

(I want to be clear here, throughout that time period where I was becoming more and more unhappy with my guild, I was very careful to remain as friendly and cheerful as I had ever been. Whenever I felt I was too upset or emotional to play, I would always log off and step away rather than bring that baggage into the guild as a whole. I am sure those who know me well probably could tell that I was upset, but I made sure to keep that out of the atmosphere. The note wasn’t inspired by that.)

For my own sanity, I can’t keep acting as if everything’s ok. I can’t keep ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away. I can’t keep making excuses, both for myself and others. I can’t keep this up.

So, for that reason, I left my guild today.

To those of you still in the guild who may be reading this, please don’t take this as me trying to get you to leave. What I wrote about here are entirely my own experiences, and they may well have nothing in common with yours. I am not trying to convince anyone other than myself that I made the right choice.

To those of you with whom I was a friend, I hope this is not the end. I truly, truly have enjoyed playing with you guys for these past couple of years, and it is because of you that I stayed around for so long. Please keep me on Battle.net, keep me on Twitter, keep me on Discord and don’t be afraid to reach out at any time. I understand if it is no longer feasible to stay friends but, regardless, I want you to know that I wish you the very best.

What comes now? Well, that, I’m not sure. This guild has been such a huge part of my World of Warcraft experience, that I’m having a hard time imagining the game without it. And additionally, with college coming up, I don’t know how much I will be able to play Warcraft. I want to keep playing, this game has been an enormous part of my life after all, but with this chapter ending, I do not know what the next one holds. I do intend to finish out this expansion strong, but after that, the future is unclear.

But one thing is clear. I am done being passive when I am hurt. I am done being silent when I am excluded. And I am done waiting for a better day to come tomorrow.

I am going to go find that day myself.

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19 thoughts on “Today I left my guild

  1. First and foremost:
    You’re always going to be my raid leader. Even though raid teams have changed, you’re still the one that I’ll remember as my favorite raid leader I’ve had over the years. You are also the one that got me connected with the awesome people that I’ve met through OtQ, You’re the reason I leveled a monk up on the Ness/Naz/Vek cluster to see if I wanted to move toons. Because of you, I moved all my “active” toons to that cluster. I do not regret those transfers. Worth every penny.

    Second:
    There’s so much positivity here for a reason. You attract amazing people because of how amazing you are. Keep being awesome. I’m proud to be able to call you my friend. Even though I’ve been afk due to life/work I still look up to you, you’re an inspiration. If ever you need anything, I’m just a b.net-whisper / discord-chat / email / wordpress-comment away.

    I just caught wind of the “public note fiasco” (as I’m not sure what else to call it) last night. When I found out you’d left the guild, I was devastated. Different drama, but was just as heart-wrenching as the last mass-exodus that caused us to lose to so many others from the guild. I got caught up on the guild website and then came here as Rhees made mention of it in the guild forum.

    I’m going to miss you in the green text, but I can always (and will) reach out through the pink or teal text.

    /target Fussypants
    /hug
    /salute

    • Side note/questions:

      1. I’m hoping to be going to BlizzCon this year with my girlfriend.

      2. Are you going to be going? Would love to be able to meet you IRL.

      3. Are you going to be making badges again this year?

  2. I am so sorry to hear that you felt the need to leave your guild, however, there are times when you need to change things for yourself. I know how hurt I was when I left a pretty big guild that I had been a part of for yeas and the atmosphere had changed to where I didn’t feel it was the place for me any longer.

    I started my own guild(s) and have been very happy that I did because it has given me the ability to do what I want to do in game without worrying about all of the other things. Sure, my guilds aren’t as active as my old one was but I don’t have to deal with the drama and the in-fighting that was going on with the old one. Now, my guild consists of family and friends that I have known forever and I enjoy the company – we’re not super active, however, we do get out and play the game as it should be played, imo, and we’ve never looked back.

    Good luck with your future endeavors and enjoy your time in college – it’s the last bastion before you start having to “adult” all of the time. Hang in there and know that you are liked and loved by a lot of people in the game.

  3. Fussybitch — that hurts just to read it from my chair. Sympathies and good luck in your next ventures. Yeah, you’ll have time while in college and there is a lot in WoW that doesn’t have to take up three hour raid nights!

  4. That really stinks! Being a WoW GM or Officer is one of the most thankless jobs there is. I think you have done a good job on reflecting the progression to this point. In the end, the final drop in that bucket is more of a reflection on the overall tone of the group now than it is on you. The fact that anyone with the “power” to change your note would find it not just appropriate but something that would be “fly.” says it all. The person that did it is almost not important, that the possible selected few now should have a mess to deal with is not either.

    Honestly, exciting times for you. Now you get to re-evaluate what you want to do in game with a brand new expansion in the horizon. Our little corner of WoW gave up on hard core raiding a long long time ago, we are fine clearing normal and sometimes heroic. Mythic is just not in the card for us. Drunken raids and silly banter is more our speed. Any guild that gets the honor to have you will get an amazing addition. If you ever need a place, just reach out and you can come hang out with a bunch of dirty casuals! 😉

  5. Firstly, congratulations on your real life achievements: the outstanding work you did that got you selected as speaker at the graduation. What an honor /salute 😀

    I’m going to be honest, I’ve seen Guilds come and go. Some withered by raiding, others by drama, a couple by plain stupidity, etc. I’ve never bothered with Guilds, because one way or the other they all seemed to either crash and burn, or become “Home” for just the select few.

    Both Marathal and Alunaria are more experienced than me and have been around for longer, so their words on this subject are something I have very little to add. Listen to their wise advice 😉

    What I could say would be more about people’s nature than Guilds (something that unfortunately my life experience so far has left me qualified for). But I won’t. And I’ll tell you why 🙂
    A few months ago I decided to build a WoW blog for Princess (my lovely girlfriend, and teammate on everything in life). I had all but given up on the wow community. I would see the poison on the forums, on reddit, on guilds, on instance chats… But still, I thought “I’ll make this, she’ll love it and if we can help one single player or make one person love a new aspect of WoW I’ll feel great about it”.
    I had no idea we would step into this amazing community. Different types of players, different ages, countries and backgrounds, all sharing their love for this game. We discuss topics, always being civil and kind. We cheer up each other on rainy days. We celebrate good news together. My faith in the WoW community was restored, I thought “There are A LOT of players like me and Princess. I was wrong. The community is not just the ocean of idiots I’m used to.”

    My point is, people will surprise you in a good way. So allow yourself to keep being surprised. You’ll come out of this experience stronger and wiser (you recognised the turning points and warning signs in hindsight, you are wiser already 🙂 ).
    Any Guild will be lucky to have you.
    There are plenty of places to find new ones, like The Fail Train (both the EU and the US) has a section for friendly guilds).

    I know how something upsetting on our Azerothian home can transpire to real life. But keep your chin up. Focus on your graduation speech 😀

    Also, for the person who changed this young Lady’s Guild Note from Fussypants to Fussybitch, if you ever read this: Please feel free to grow up, and get some balls, so next time you have a problem with someone you at least say it to their face.

    • Aw man, I thought I was done crying but now you’ve gotten me going all over again (happy tears though, I promise).

      After all of what has transpired today after posting, I genuinely and deeply agree with your point. There are some absolutely amazing people in this community and I am so lucky to know some of them. I was so worried before posting that I’d alienate all of the friends that I’d made in the guild and yet I’ve had so many people reach out. And most importantly, people reaching out not to ‘pick sides’ or ‘choose who was right’ but people who wanted to remain friends regardless of it all, as if it hadn’t even happened. I guess at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, but it’s the ability to see the humans behind the avatars and behind the decisions that makes for truly wonderful people.

      Thank you so much for reading my post, for reaching out, and for writing all of this. I know I’ve probably said it a lot today but all of the comments and messages that people have been leaving me really and truly mean the world. Thank you.

      • That’s the spirit! 🙂

        It took me years, but a few months ago I found an amazing Guild. An you know what, it truly was a dimension of WoW I was missing out on. It was heartwarming, feeling so welcome. Every single person I’ve talked there makes me feel like I belong in that incredible group.
        I started a character there from scratch and will be transferring one of my max lvl chars there. I even told Princess to make a new character there and after one hour on the Guild she was telling me she would use her 110 boost when she buys BfA on a new char in that realm.
        I allowed myself to be surprised, and I was 😀

        Keep your chin up, and don’t let anyone walk over you 😉

  6. Firstly as Alunari said, congrats on being a speaker at graduation. And well done on being a young person handling an officer role and organizing events, and all you accomplished. You have developed some skills that will take you far in life. Ok. Where to start.

    I have played WoW for over 9 years. Prior to that I was very involved with D&D miniatures, Magic the Gathering, and a hole bunch of other games played at a level where there were people in charge, and on many occasions found myself in support or leadership roles. And much as you have noticed, eventually someone gets a notion that more can be done, or a change of direction is needed. And it becomes something different, something you no longer enjoy being a part of. I will say you handled it very well.
    In my warcraft career, I joined a guild my wife was a part of. Being some of the few adults, we quickly found ourselves as officers. We ran it as a friendly casual guild for new players that wanted a home, someone to talk too, a group that would help if needed. The amount of kids, and I will partially group you into that because when your in your mid 40’s, all teenagers are kids. 😬. So a point came where most of the officers, except me, were all level 80 and wanted to raid, the GM was all for it. So they got 10 people and tried doing Naxx. After a few wipes, the GM would just log out without a word. It got to a point where it was obvious to them that to see and do more, they would need to join a raiding guild. We posted a letter to the GM and the guild on our web site, explaining that we were not abandoning the guild, but moving to a new guild in order raid, and we would be around to help with things if anyone needed us. We all left the next day. Two days later the GM read our letter to him, disbanded the entire guild, it was heartbreaking to get whispers from 10 & 12 year old kids wanting to know what did they do wrong, why did I kick them out of the guild. I found new guilds for as many as I could. It became a job for me for a month. Talking to kids, explaining that adults can be childish. Many just quit playing.

    So new guild, we all advanced up in ranks, and became officers again. I had an opportunity to join the #2 raiding guild on our server and joined them. After a few months they moved raid starts to much later in the evening, someone suggested I should join another guild. This one had its progression team 1, and the more casual team 2. I got on team 2, we had fun. Sure we wiped, but we laughed about it, probably the best time I ever had raiding. And one day the GM and his Wife said, this server sucks, we are moving to another server, and the guild was gone. I went back to those I started with, we built the guild up, we’re doing fairly well as a social guild, and it was fine for quite awhile. One day I had a whisper from someone I raided with. They were reforming the guild, getting a raid team together, and would be hitting Cataclysm content as soon as it dropped. A few of us left. And some things were said to some of those who came with us from those that stayed. There was even the impression that I should be running the guild.
    Sorry for rambling. In the end, that raiding guild folded, I changed factions, joined the guild I now run, and have not regretted the decision. Certainly in my current guild we have had times where people start looking to do more, start finding reasons to exclude people, and there are growing pains. All you can do is be yourself. Never lose your temper, never be afraid to tell yourself you need to step away. I have gone in this current guild from taking over with 14 people of which only 3-4 logged on, to running the largest guild on our combined server with over 425 people in it. Yes we still have problems, but I have tried my best to keep it friendly to all that wish to be a part of it.

    What I can tell you from years of experience on both sides of the problem. Raiding causes issues. Always has, always will. All you can do is never take what anyone says personally, and trust me, my public note has had some things written I will not repeat. Take this game as an experience in learning to interact with people, to build leadership skills, to make friends. You never know, in a few years you may be on a job interview and see some Warcraft item on the interviewers desk, and you will find yourself more relaxed because you know, they get it. WoW is not just a game, it is more personal. Unfortunately, some people take it too personal.

    Anyway, good luck with graduation, best of luck in college, keep writing, keep trying to learn people skills.

    • Thank you so very much for all that you have written! My WoW guild story is a lot shorter as the guild I just left was pretty much the first major guild I’ve been a part of (I was in a small friends and family guild before but we weren’t incredibly active). I suppose it’s part of the natural process of WoW as people and times change for guilds to change as well, but seeing it for the first time and being so caught up in the thick of it was a lot rougher than I could have expected. That’s really cool to hear that you found a guild home for all of those kids back in the day, I know if that was me, I’d be eternally grateful.

      I definitely agree with what you said about the learning aspect of WoW, outside of even the game. As much as this past experience ended on a negative note, I cannot deny that I learned a huge amount both about myself and about working with others. The communication skills I’ve picked up have helped me a huge amount in the world outside of Warcraft, and I’m forever grateful that I’ve gotten the chance to develop them in the relatively anonymous space that is the web.

      Once again, thank you so much! I will definitely keep blogging (and hopefully a bit more frequently) as I venture into this next phase of the great instance encounter that is life! ❤

      • Just remember. Real life before wow. Never let yourself fall victim to the addiction of putting life aside to keep up with the game.

        • Great advice you gave 🙂

          I would love to see some more stories like the one you’ve told, so much to learn there.
          Also, I tip my hat and raise my glass regarding you finding Guilds for all those younger players. That was seriously awesome.
          (Btw, I really think you should share that on r/wow. I bet you would find some of those players again :D)

            • I’ve seen a lot more heartwarming stories as of late. I’m only suggesting it because of that. (But yes, wow reddit is like a universe where a lot of people are like the bad guy in Lethal Weapon shooting around yelling “Diplomatic Immunity!” XD)
              I have seen players writing saying they are having a hard time and getting a massive wave of support, players without friends being given hundreds of bnet names to add.
              I’m just saying it because I think the community could use a lot more of these stories 😉

  7. Fussy-
    It was an honor and a pleasure to meet you and Yotaan at BlizzCon several years ago, and I am shocked and appalled to hear of this. Here, I only want to say that I wish you the best, and happiness in every endevour of your life.
    I do hope to see you in game in the future, and will remain, faithfully,
    Your friend,
    Sintra E’Drien

  8. I am very sorry to hear things turned out this way. As much as it is “just a game”, trouble in our guild can leave us so very upset and, as you experienced, it can creep into real life too, in ways.

    Leaving a guild is upsetting, no matter the cause. It’s our characters home. Now you must get solid ground under your feet and press on. You will, you are strong. Azeroth needs you too, now more than ever. 🙂 It might take a while before you open up to another guild, but all in good time. Time is what you need.

    Congratulations on being the speaker at your graduation, that’s amazing!

    • Thank you Alunaria, this really means a lot. For so long, I’ve been struggling to convince even myself that my feelings are legitimate so to hear you offer support gives me that solid ground to stand on.
      And I definitely agree, a guild can be like a second family and when stuff starts going south, it’s hard to escape it. I’m hoping that this whole ordeal blows over quickly and everything will return to normal, all the upheaval is rather stressful. Although, now that I’ve taken the plunge, I would much rather go through this now than continue the act from before.

      And thank you on the graduation speech thing, I’m slowly getting more excited (and more nervous) for it!

      • The decision is one of the hardest things, then comes the time after, where one has to adjust to no guild chat, a lot of whispers, etc. But then comes a more quiet time, where you discover which friends are there for you, and which friends are better left in memory.

        And then comes the time where you’ll find yourself surrounded by new friends in game and a new guild. Lots to look forward to 🙂

        Press on, hero 🙂

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