A Letter from a Level 25 Guild Leader

First, I just want to say to my Chicago readers that you should be extremely proud of your team. They’re going to be an awesome hockey franchise for years to come. And oh my god did they give me the biggest scare of my life.

Anyway…

I found this letter linked on Reddit the other day. It’s one of the side effects of the new guild leveling and perks system in WoW.

Dear Plebs,

If you’re here, and raging, it’s probably because you just realized you were gkicked. I’ve already deleted all your forum accounts, and removed all your boards. There’s nowhere you can post or vent so please, just read this.

For the most part this was an awkward experiment we never intended to go as far as it did. I jokingly recruited a few people out of trade chat, gave them ginvite power, and this thing for the most part grew itself. With it was the nice realization that our 10m raid crew could push levels faster and not have to farm heroics every day, so we let it ride. We figured it was a nice give and take, you guys got the best perks available and we got our XP cap every day. To be honest we mostly let it go because we thought cash flow was going to be awesome, but it turns out you guys were collectively pretty sh*tty at farming gold. (Over the last 5 months we’ve made about 14k off of a roster of 900+ people). But the XP was flowing, life was easy, and this was a nicely self-sustaining little eco-system that we just sat back and watched grow.

Unfortunately what accompanied this was an alarming number of less desirable members. Guild chat was basically useless, there were too many idiots to even try to manage, and for the most part nobody wanted to do anything. We gave you forums. We gave you vent. We gave you calendar events. We left GMOTD’s saying “come sign up on the forums for X event!” and 2-3 people would do it. We tried to coax some of the more promising members into leadership roles, we gave them an entire section of the forums with spelled out raid strats, pvp discussion, and more.

We tried. We really did try.

What we got was a whole lot of nothing but people bitching that we wouldn’t buy their epic flying, or pay their repair bills, or let them have potions out of the bank. People whining that we never carried them in our main raids, or that we didn’t run them through heroics or lower level dungeons. We got a million stupid questions a day about how to spec or what stats are good for X class. We got the few people we thought were worth keeping making a mess out of the little power we gave them. Promotions / Demotions were fucked around enormously, guild MOTD and notes were all ruined, and gchat just eventually became a giant sea from which all the idiots could troll.

When we hit 25 I kicked everyone that was inactive. I gave you all a few weeks after I cleaned out the roster to see if you would actually do anything other than occupy space in the guild pane and badger the bejesus out of us with stupid f*cking tells. I gave you your time to finish reps, buy heirlooms, get what you needed, and get out. The time has come, and now, the ride has come to an end.

That’s not to say you’re all bad, or useless, but let’s be honest; any of you worth a sh*t shouldn’t be in this guild anyway because the reality of it is that we’re never going to do anything but 10m raiding. We have no spots for you. We have no spots in an alt raid for you. We have nothing to offer you but a backup spot on a roster of people that don’t ever miss raids. It probably seems like a dick move to kick you, but in the long run we’re doing you a favor.

So, to all of you, thanks for what you did, we hope you enjoyed the perks while they lasted, but we’re ready to have our nice quiet, mellow guild chat back. Enjoy the heirlooms, enjoy the mounts, enjoy the recipes, and I hope you enjoyed the ride. I can definitely say it was at least, interesting, for me.

I sympathize with what the GM went through. The guy tried to help create a cohesive ecosystem  out of chaos but ultimately wasn’t able to pull it off. It virtually polluted the guild and he got frustrated with everything before dropping the reset button. It sucks putting time and effort in, just to get stomped on or disregarded.

At the same time, I can’t help but imagine if there were a few productive members in that pool. If the GM had been open from the start stating that they were going to be utilized in power leveling the guild to 25 and in exchange those members could purchase whatever rewards they wanted heirloom  wise, would that disclosure have made a difference? I can’t help but wonder if the situation could have been salvaged. What if incoming players were more thoroughly filtered? 

I still think the design of the guild leveling and perks system was a good decision for WoW.

There are always going to be guilds that will abuse the system and the players. That isn’t the fault of the system though. There is much more “power” to the GM’s position and that of the leadership. When there were no guild levels or perks, guilds were nothing more than organized geeks. But now, not only can a GM wipe away membership they can also remove a member’s access to powerful bonuses and items.

On a side note, we discussed player satisfaction and guild leaving in  Episode 16 of the Matticast. If you’re torn between leaving your guild for personal progressions, listen to our thoughts on the matter.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. I think this is an example in which the guild leader himself was part of the problem, not the solution. I have an inkling he has a bit of a controlling personality and made some bad assumptions. When I read the bit about promotions and demotions, part of me feels like he doesn’t communicate well with his appointed senior staff. Minus the guild leader, my guild is pretty much in the same boat, but we offer incentives for people to rise through the ranks if they take the initiative. So far, it’s worked pretty well, even if there are a few kinks here and there (such as the raid situation mentioned above).

  2. Anytime someone can use the word “plebs”, they get a thumbs-up from me. As for the rest of the content, this guy is weaksauce. Yes, I’m certain the problems are just as bad as he claims they are. However, you’re the GM; reach down, grab your sack and snuff out problems when they start. That’s what Bruce Bourdreau would say. (+5 forums for hockey reference?)

    He should have leveled from the start, and cut out the trouble makers as they made themselves more of a problem than they were worth. I’m sure out of 900 members, maybe only 50-75 were actual whiners.

  3. I guess that’s one way: fire up Invitatron, get big, level fast, then nuke it from orbit (just to be sure).

    The other way would be more diligent about gkicking the trolls and mouth breathers. Post a few hard rules (idle = gkick, gold begging = gkick) and at least help create a decent environment. Then, maybe, there might be some people left at the end happy to be there and help out.

    Either way, the GM prioritized level 25 over a lot of things. This should have been apparent to everyone. It’s his choice and nobody else has a reason to cry about it.

  4. The GM had my sympathies for his efforts right up until the point he said “any of you worth a sh*t shouldn’t be in this guild anyway because the reality of it is that we’re never going to do anything but 10m raiding. We have no spots for you. We have no spots in an alt raid for you.”

    If the guild was advertised and players recruited on the basis of leveling to 25 and getting the perks thereof, then this statement is moot. If however, players were invited under the auspices of a “raiding guild” then this statement is a simple attempt to justify the deceptive behavior.

    In the end, I think he got what it was he set out to get. A quickly-leveled rank 25 guild is not without its costs, and that fact that his “10m raid crew could push levels faster and not have to farm heroics every day” says to me that they were more interested in the final payoff than the path of getting there. If he didn’t want to put up with the annoyances, he should have kicked the players long before guild level 25.

  5. Am I missing something here? The guy got exactly what he expected/wanted out of it. A Level 25 Guild.

    Oh woop he gave them access to his forums (he already had), he gave them vent details (he already had).

    He end by saying “I hope you enjoyed the ride”, it is him who should enjoy the ride.

    I dont get it lol

  6. I don’t sympathize with this GM even one iota.

    He comes off as a typical internet bully. As long as his personal goals are being fulfilled, then it doesn’t matter how many people he pisses off along the way. The feelings of the people who were kicked are never considered, under the justification that there is no raid spot for them.

    An, yes. All those people he kicked had feelings. Its easy to pretend that they are electronic entities, or nothing other than sophisticated AI. But they are people and the anonymity doesn’t give anyone permission to treat them as anything less than that. If you wouldn’t treat people like that in real life, then the behavior in game should be no different.

    This is a rant, but people like that GM are the biggest plague on the WoW community, in my opinion. They make my blood boil.

  7. Without knowing what was said to whom when the first invites went out or perhaps when they realized they could get a lot of guild XP out of it, I don’t know how to feel about this. If people were honest about the symbiotic relationship that was formed here, more power to them. If they were dishonest or made promises that weren’t kept, then I’d think the guy was a jerk. If nothing was ever said, I’d say that clearer communication was necessary. All we see is the end here, so it’s a bit hard to judge.

    That said, when I was leveling my new toon on a new server, I just joined a leveling guild full of complete morons and stuck in it because it had and was getting a good amount of perks. I knew I was feeding the guild, and I was getting a benefit from the guild, and that was good enough for me. When gchat trolls happened, I turned off gchat and made private channels with my friends. When people in other guilds would tell me that my guild was a “fake guild” whose leader was just “trying to make money from the gbank off of you,” I responded that I was fine with that, because I got all the perks and it wasn’t money I would have gotten anyway.

    So I’m really not sure how to feel or what the big deal is, not unlike the Matt.

  8. I really can’t see that letter as anything except a GM trying to justify using other players. And it feels like both sides used each other; but then we’re only presented with one side. It’s to be expected given that the bonus from a good guild is very handy, and the cash flow from 900 morons is still better than nothing.

    Is the real question here – what about the players who honestly thought they were going to be in the 10 man team? The players who were not trolling and actually contributed.

  9. I really hope that the players had a good heads up about what was going on. If there were players in the guild who believed that they could stay in guild long term then this was wrong on many many levels. Imagine how you would feel if you were grinding guild rep for weeks to get all of the guild perks when suddenly you received this message and a g/kick. If this is what happened then the guild master has no right to complain about anything as all of the “problems” really seem to stem from his dishonesty towards the majority of his guild members.

    If, on the other hand, the guild members were aware that they were part of a guild leveling experience then it sounds like they gave it a nice shot and learned a few lessons along the way.

  10. It is easy to make this GM look like a villain, to use hindsight to speak righteously with all the “right” way to go about it. The reality is that no one has all the answers and no one can predict the future. He took what actions he knew worked for the people he was used to working with. His only real mistake was not setting expectations from the beginning but that wasn’t an option given it was a free-for-all with guild invites.

    It is unrealistic to have expected any other outcome once the snowball began. So the guy used a swear word or two and said people didn’t belong–he was speaking the truth, which does sometimes hurt. He tried something, it didn’t work out as he would have liked. I believe he tried and that he wanted it to work out because I’ve been in similar situations. At the end of the day, his guild wasn’t one to house the kids, trolls, and noobs of the game. If a guild member isn’t in line with the ethos and goals of a guild, they don’t belong.

    People probably shouldn’t have been used and acceptable intentions went wrong, but we can’t really blame the guy for a learning experience that at the end of day doesn’t cause any harm to anyone. The great thing about his learning experience is that we all can glean from it 🙂

  11. Excellent post, Matticus.

  12. Katherine says:

    It’s not like they can’t get into another high level guild pretty soon after leaving that one. Guild rep doesn’t buy you much anyway. Not knowing how people were invited (and we have no reason to think that people were deceived, most guild ads these days just post their level) there’s little more to say.

  13. Seaborn says:

    What an ass GM. People should have been told up front about the plan to just use them and loose them.

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