Breaking Up is Hard to do

Things change. This is one of the only true universal things that will remain constant. Every day you log into the game there is always something changing. Whether it is your gold totals, your gear or just what content is active at the time. Things change from an administration perspective as well.

These last few weeks I went through a large series of changes. It started with me stepping back from raiding for a bit due to personal reasons, and has culminated with me now leaving my former home on Zul’jin, Unpossible. That’s right folks, I am no longer a member of Unpossible, a place where I have done everything from dinging 60 and killing Ragnaros with all the way up to the current content. It was not an easy decision, in fact it was one that I dreaded and hemmed and hawed about. I’m not too ashamed to say I lost sleep over it. At the end of the day though I had to do what was right for me, and so I’ve moved Lodur to a new home.

Over time things will change in a guild. As people drop out of the game, or come back, or new people take charge as officers and old ones drop away. Over time the climate can change, and you may find yourself in a position where you don’t feel you fit 100% anymore. This is something we get contacted about quite a bit through email, about how you gracefully quit. Well, I recently have first hand knowledge of this and figured I would share my insight.

Take time making your decision

Before you make the decision to quit, be absolutely sure that this is the right decision. Weigh the pros and cons. Think about why you are considering leaving your current position and guild. Are you leaving to take up a position with another guild? If you consider the environment you’re about to join. Why are you considering them? Before making your final decision, see if you can maybe make an alt in the potential guild to see how everyone is. Maybe see if you can hang out on their vent or mumble servers.

The key here is to really not do anything brash. Take your time and evaluate all the angles before you hit that /gquit. The last thing you want to do is quit only to go somewhere else and realize that you didn’t want to quit in the first place. It’s never an easy decision, and honestly it shouldn’t be. It’s a big decision, especially now that there are other things to consider like guild level, perks and reputation.

You’ve decided to quit after all, now what?

Assuming you want to leave on good terms, give notice. A heads up, a forum post, even a notice to the officers or gm is nice.  It’s also good for you to get a goodbye post if your guild has forums. This gives you a chance to say goodbye to your friends, and also to make sure everyone knows what is up. Without notification, a guild quit can cause quite a stir, and one of the last things you want to do is cause a stir.

When contacting guild leadership about your pending gquit, there are a few things that you need to do.

1.) Be clear about when you are expecting to be gone by

2.) Be clear about why you are leaving. If there are things that need to be addressed or concerns that are causing you to leave, be sure to inform them. Even if it’s something as simple as a shift in playstyle and times. Management will usually be interested in why anyone is leaving so that they can fix any problems they come across.

3.)  Be respectful. Again if you want to leave on good terms, try to keep that in mind while you’re writing your resignation letter to the leadership and any farewell posts.

Sounds like leaving or resigning from a job right? Well, in many cases it is just like that. When you’re in a guild you tend to spend a lot of time with these people. If you’re a raider, it can be as many hours as a full time job. It may sound silly, but in the world of MMOs that’s something very true.

Personal note from Lodur

Leaving Unposssible was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. When I hit the send and submit buttons on my PMs  and forum posts it was honestly quite an emotional thing. Having spent the vast majority of my WoW career with this group of people, drinking with them, gaming with them, sharing personal support with one another, it was like leaving a family. My decision to leave was based entirely upon my own personal issues, and it was the best of a series of bad options available to me. My departure was in not the result of failure on the part of leadership or anything else like that. I still have the utmost respect for all my friends, former raiders and former officers from Unpossible, and I never had, nor will, have a bad thing to say about them. If you’re on Zul’jin looking for a home, look them up. So for anyone from Unpossible that I didn’t get to say goodbye to, I will still be around and you better not be strangers. We’ll cross paths again soon, you have my word on that.

So how about you folks? Have you ever had an emotional moment leaving a guild or stepping back from the game? How have you left guilds before if you’ve done so? Why did you leave?

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. If anything, the fact that it was an emotional moment for you is a good sign – leaving a guild after so long and not feeling anything would be weird. no matter how some people mock online ‘communities’ or friendships, they’re quite real and it hurts to move on and leave good times and people behind. I’ve always been emotionally invested and dedicated to the raidguilds I’ve been a part of (though using the plural is a little misleading here as it was only really 2 in 6 years and I’ve co-founded both of them). writing a goodbye post after so long is horribly tough and the feeling of sadness can linger on, even if it’s no doubt accompanied by relief too.

    Good luck on your future path! 🙂
    it seems an awful lot of players are re-thinking their wow goals and time right now, it’s happening anywhere I turn.

  2. Back in the fall my husband and I left our guild of 4 years; it was our home and the only raiding guild I had known. It was agonizing and heartbreaking. The decision was months in the making that lead to a week of PMs and Facebook messages and whispered conversations with officers. When we finally said good-bye and /gquit, it was both liberating and extremely sad.

    It was also the right decision. When we ran into our first patch of turbulence in our new guild (and the very real possibility we would be looking for a new one already), I still didn’t question or regret leaving. It just wasn’t where we needed to be anymore.

    I know exactly where you’re coming from with this; but all of your tips are spot on. If you’re going to leave a guild, leave it with class.

  3. Hmmm….So why did you leave at all then, Lodur ?

    • Short version: multiple personal reasons out of game. Playtime changing, as well as a shift in priorities in game based on real life influences.

  4. I know what you mean here. When I first started the game (back around patch 2.3 in BC) I was in a guild of all friends. My boyfriend and I wanted to raid when we finally hit 70, but our friends were all about PvP. We did end up leaving, which they understood, for a very casual raiding guild. They weren’t the best, but they were a lot of fun and helped teach us the ins and outs of raiding. When Wrath came out, though, we had just outgrown that guild. We wanted more raiding, and they couldn’t even down more than the Spider Wing in New Naxx :/ We did the same thing, hemmed and hawed and put it off, but eventually we changed servers and joined a new guild that was more our speed. I still love those guys though, and the GM, who was literally the nicest person I have ever had the good fortune to meet. It made me feel really guilty about leaving though – I was a tank, my boyfriend a healer, my brother on of the top dps, and the other tank ended up following us too. After we all left their raid group kind of fell apart :/

  5. I just left my 25 man guild that was doing hardmodes in ICC 12 hours of raiding a week and switched to a casual 10m guild that is 6/12 normals with 6 hours raiding a week.

    It was a very difficult decision for me because I felt like I had invested a lot into the old guild.

    But sometimes real life doesn’t allow for 12 hours a week primetime raiding.

    I still miss the epicness of 25 man raiding but now that I’m starting to form some friendships in the new guild it’s helping me to adjust.

  6. Thank you for sharing this, Lodur. Great perspective, greatly appreciated.

  7. I indeed have gone through that process and it was very emotional. At the time the guild was being subjected to a number of forces pulling it in different directions. I also felt I wanted to experience a higher level of content and to prove to myself that I could perform at that higher level.

    I am not sure if there is ever a good way to leave but looking back I’d say being up front and honest is probably the best path. Yes feelings still may be hurt but that usually gets better with time.

    I was gone for about a year and had a lot of in game success but that special something was missing. After the new guild started having serious issues I decided that if I was going to play this game it had to be with people I liked and respected.

    I had transfered servers so I created a toon on my old server and shyly asked the GM if they had a place for me and he responded “of course”. Needless to say I will never leave again but the experience was worth it. It made me a better player as well as taught me to value those I play with and that you can go home again.

  8. It gets easier. Sadly.
    The first time I thought I did the right things, and that everything was cool, but then it wasn’t and the people I thought were friends were no longer. Put what I considered friendships into a different perspective. But its not the same with everyone, and its the real people/friendships that matter so if the people are worth keeping will still be around.

  9. I recently quit a guild I had been in for a long time as well. While I didn’t have nearly the longevity that Lodur had with his guild, it had been about a year I’d been raiding, then raid leading, with them.

    I was quitting due to the fact that a friend of mine IRL was being stonewalled from tanking by the guild leader for no real reason, an opinion confirmed by other officers in the guild. When I left, I did all of the things you mentioned above, and the split was pretty easy. My tinfoil hat even suggests that the GL may have been happy to see me go since my friend was going with me, but that’s just paranoia (most likely).

    I also agre with Zahraah, it does get easier. This is my 3rd long-term guild breakup, and it went smoothly and had less effect than the past ones (both of which I stopped playing WoW and went to other MMOs for about 3 months). That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s something.

  10. I know as an officer and/or gm, that people leaving, especially those who you have put in time/effort and built a friendship with, can be a real kick to the groin. Reality is most gquits are knee jerk reactions to some seemingly unsolveable disagreement. Most of the time this is not even with the leadership group.

    Those times when someone has come to me directly, explained the situation and wished me luck, I have ALWAYS given them my blessing and defended them when others in guild would say negative things about them.

    We have to be reasonable at leadership that these things happen, but as a guild member you need to act in a mature and aware way to ensure a smooth transition for all 😀

    I hope you find what you need Lodur 🙂

    Upy

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