What’s in a guild?

A few members of my Final Fantasy XIV Free Company, Knights of Shadow.
Source: A friendly neighbourhood FC member, Iolet.

I still remember sitting in front of my PC at home one evening, wondering what went wrong. Had I not been active enough? Had I not organised enough events? Was I taking things too personally? I didn’t really know the answer at that time, but as I read the hatemail in my character’s inbox, I felt kind of dismayed. I like to think of myself as a pretty nice, open, friendly person. To think that someone felt the need to send me hatemail over guild drama appalled me.

I was a leader of a legion in Aion. I had just decided one day that I’d led some casual guilds in the past with friends and it had worked out, so why not try creating one in this new game, and meeting new people? I planned to run gathering parties where we’d all band together to pick flowers, fun PvP raids, and dungeon runs. I wanted to help newer players and welcome them to our group of friends. I was truly excited. I created it with my fiancé and our mutual friend, Andy, and we ran it together. It went well! Until we got a request from one guy asking if he and his 10 friends could join. I thought this was fantastic. He seemed friendly and eager to help a small guild grow, so we welcomed them with open arms. For the first few weeks, everything went really well. Until it didn’t any more.

A really close family member was ill, and they were in and out of the hospital every now and then. I didn’t really feel like playing. I made the announcement that I’d be gone for a little while but I’d be in and out when I could. While I was gone, the cruddiness started. The group of 10 friends started making sexist comments and offending other guild members. When I asked them to stop, they called me a dictator. While I was gone for a more extended few days, the first guy I spoke to from their group tried to convince Andy to get leadership off me and kick me from the guild, under the guise of “helping” me while I was on hiatus. We laughed about it, but the officer panel decided that the best course of action was to ask the guy to leave as he’d caused a lot of issues. We told the rest of their group they were welcome to stay or leave as they chose, and explained our stance. The guy we eventually kicked continued talking to me privately and was really understanding. Unfortunately, his friends weren’t.

They all left, and his brother started sending me vicious private messages. I asked him to leave me alone, politely, and he started sending extremely abusive messages until my fiancé stepped in and sent him a message telling him to back off. The guy then accused me of pretending to be my own boyfriend, that I was really just one person, and that the only reason Andy was friends with me was because I manipulated him and he just wanted in my pants etc. I blocked him, and he just created new characters to send me extremely detailed and horrid messages. Even reporting him didn’t help. Eventually, I believe he was banned for harassing someone else.

What went wrong? I wondered if I could’ve done something better to make their experience enjoyable. I wondered if I really had been too absent for a guild leader, and if I should’ve just swallowed my pride and given up leadership to someone more active. That situation made me lose my confidence in my ability to lead, and I have shied away ever since.

I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the infamous “guild drama” before that, and even after that. But honestly, I’ve shied away from guilds because of what happened. My real life got in my way of the game, and apparently that was a crime. I was upset. Since then, I genuinely haven’t found a home in a game. Until recently, when I found Knights of Shadow on Odin in FFXIV. Unfortunately, it seems that not everything was sunshine and butterflies like I thought, and a few nights ago I received the bad news that our leader had left without so much as a word on the forums, and taken a chunk of people with him. I don’t really know the history there so I won’t comment on that, but I, like many other members, were somewhat offended that people we had come to know and respect, and even like a lot, had just abandoned us without an explanation, and moved on to another guild.

Honestly, my sadness was brief, because the people I had grown closest to, the people I had messed around on TeamSpeak (albeit briefly) with and felt perfectly comfortable joking around with, had decided to stay. They wanted to stick with me no matter where we ended up. And that made me really happy. It may mean we end up in another Free Company, but we’ll end up there together. Over the last few days I’ve learned that a guild is only worth as much as the people in it, and if you can learn to trust those people, you’ll be really well rewarded. I look forward to logging in and hanging out with these guys, and that’s more than I’ve had in many years of MMO gaming.

What’s in a guild for you?
Let me know in the comments!

  • I’ve been in good guilds and bad guilds and reformed guilds. I’ve been begged to join guilds and kicked out of guilds.

    There has been drama and tears and then sometimes the feeling I am running with the best people in the world.

    Mostly I like a guild that feels like family. They understand if I am having a bad day. They also have to be active and have good sense of humor.

    • Sometimes it’s hard to avoid being upset about guild issues, especially when you’ve become attached. I agree though, having a family-like guild can be the best feeling in the world. 🙂

  • Agagor

    Very well written, as always 😉

    It’s always sad, when such things happen, and so unnecessary -.-

    I hope you find a new “home” with your friends, and everything
    gets better there 😉 …

    It’s not really easy to find the right place …
    I’m currently looking for that right place for when Wildstar will
    be released …
    And none of my friends are currently willing to let go of WoW -.-

    • Thank you! <3

      I feel like we're going to build a home, which is really nice. It's difficult finding the right place, but I feel like I have, and that's awesome.

      Most of my friends are still in WoW, and for the longest time I missed it but I realised I just wanted the same connection with the community that they had.

  • J.

    Definitely the people are the most important part of a guild for me. I don’t care if there are a ton of people in the guild, if it doesn’t have a good community it’s not really worth it. To be honest it’s one of the main reasons I stuck with WoW so long and crave to be back. I had an AWESOME guild when I first started playing as a mom friend introduced me to it. It was a really small guild but very active at the time. We all had lives outside of gaming and a lot of us had kids so we understood that sometimes life gets serious. But slowly our lives got more busy and the guild just sort of fell apart, as well as some personal drama between the guild leaders. It was kind of sad things ended how they did because that was the only guild in any game I’ve ever felt 100% comfortable in. There was another when I was in High School playing Maple Story (don’t judge me here lmao) and I was close to them and enjoyed it to an extent.

    Now it’s hard for me to find that same comfort level. A lot of these people don’t really understand my lifestyle and that I don’t have a whole lot of time to devote so I usually end up getting kicked. My current guild in GW2 I’m on the fence about. They all seem like they enjoy each other but the day I joined they asked me to run a path of CoF with them that I had never done, one was in a rush and no one really explained the path to me so it was slower than they wanted. Sometime in the middle of everything one of the members started getting frustrated or something and eventually told me to “kill myself”. After we were done he quickly logged off but everyone else apologized on his behalf and he apologized the next time he was on but at the same time it left me not really wanting to do anything else with them or even socialize for the most part. To be quite honest I’m not even sure why I’m still in the guild. Probably because it’s hard finding a guild as active as this one in GW2 idk.

    Guilds can be so frustrating at times but when you find that one guild it can be amazing! I miss the guild that Laughter first started up in GW2 at launch but everyone seemed to move onto other games so it kind of died. The people were still great though! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! <3

      This is what I always wish for in an MMO; I feel like for the longest time I've been lacking something and when I hear about my friends having such a good time in WoW, it makes me want to play WoW again. Then I realise it's not even just the game, but the people. That's what I'm lacking. I'm sorry to hear your guild that you loved ended up finishing like that. 🙁

      I feel that a lack of understanding of lifestyles is a huge problem. For you, people don't understand that you're a mum and you have your family to focus on. For me, I work long hours and want to spend some time with my fiancé...and that means even if I'm playing I don't always want to be on a voice channel. Plus, damn it, I'm shy! I don't believe someone had the audacity to tell you to kill yourself because the run went slower than they expected. That absolutely disgusts me. I wouldn’t make an effort with people like that again either.

      I came in a bit too late to Laughter’s guild so I missed most of the good times, then the forum community closed down. I was sad to see it go!

  • kristerrr86

    Hey =)

    Nice blog, well written.

    FFXIV is my 1st mmo, and i was shocked too 🙂 but look at the great place we ended up 🙂
    The way things turned out is great i enjoy the game more now than before because of the constant positive vibe from everyone 😀

    Bookmarked your blog

    • I’m really glad we ended up where we did! <3 Thanks so much for coming by and visiting! ^^

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