I had an opportunity today to work through my RSS reader and I spotted this post from Herding Cats. It was about how to quit your guild. The first part of this post contains a story. The second part contains a breakdown of what happened during the departure process that I liked.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to share an example of a gquit. There was a Warlock in my guild who is a top quality player in my books. We rewarded him well and he repaid us in kind by performing well. He was instrumental throughout many of our raiding first kills.
It was a quiet Sunday night. I was at my desk curled up with my copy of Watchmen. My character was logged in flying from one side of the world to the other. It was an estimated time of seven minutes. My speakers were piping in random music from iTunes. I think it was JessieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Girl by Rick Springfield. I heard a distinctive beep. I glanced up and realized I had an ingame instant message from one of my Warlocks.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, can we talk?Ã¢â‚¬Â
My hands turned cold. And it had nothing to do with the fact that I live in Canada. Something I learned very quickly on the job here as a GM is that whenever someone asks for your permission to talk to you, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s generally bad news.
The song ended and another one started.
*Tiffany Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Think WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re Alone Now starts playing*
I sat up and placed a bookmark. Laurie just called up Dan for dinner with the permission of Dr. Manhattan. I took off my glasses and sat up straight and reached for the keyboard.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yeah, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s up?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m leaving the guild.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Seeing those words no longer phase me anymore. I used to feel a twinge of sadness. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve grown accustomed to seeing people come and go. Yeah theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re people. Yeah IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve played with them. But I never really knew them. I never took the time to appreciate what their other interests were. What kind of drink do they prefer? How do they like their coffee? Is their toilet paper dispensed over or under the roll? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s as if IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve set up up a subconscious defensive mechanism where I keep everyone at arms length to reduce any pain that might happen. The less I know and the less close I get, the easier I can shrug it off and move on.
Ex girlfriends are a good lesson.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Okay. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to suck without you. Good luck. Anything I can do to change your mind?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No. The raiding schedule just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fit anymore. I know you plan on ramping the raid days to four. I can no longer commit to that and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rather take the time now to look around to find myself a guild that I can.Ã¢â‚¬Â
*The Rolling Stones Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Paint it Black starts playing*
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I understand. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know you have a few alts. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re more than welcome to keep a couple around to hang out with us from time to time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thanks. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take you up on that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Exit strategy. Two words that came to mind. I watched OceanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 13 earlier that day. With every heist, there is an exit strategy. How do you plan to leave? It can be done via stealth. Slip away when no oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s looking around. Alternatively, you could hide in broad day light and in plain sight when everyone is present. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one thing to break into the vault. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a whole new ball game entirely when trying to break out.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like you to at least leave a message. The others will want to know about your departure. How and when you want to leave is entirely up to you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I should leave now. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to cause a big commotion. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll put up a forum post.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And with that, he is Conquest no longer. The first thing that comes to mind is that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to have to go look for another Warlock. It seems cold, doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like misplacing your favourite pen and looking for another one right away without giving any thought or care to what happened to your favourite pen.
*Young MC Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Bust a Move*
Minimizing drama requires the understanding of both parties. This is a textbook example of a player leaving and a GM not escalating. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why:
An acceptable reason was provided. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter if a player is getting married or if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on vacation to Cancun (which I hear is nice this time of year). The fact that he provided an answer to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why?Ã¢â‚¬Â question is always a plus. I know most GMs can accept and move on if a player leaves suddenly out of the blue. But deep inside, we all want to know why. We want to know what went wrong and if it was preventable. The first thing that comes to mind is that it was our fault.
He came to me at a non-peak hour. No raids were scheduled that night. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t doing much of anything else. I was idle. As opposed to talking to me during a raid or during an important event like a team huddle with my healers, he came to me at an acceptable time when I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t otherwise engaged with anything else.
He left quietly and decisively. There was no hesitation or second thoughts or doubts. The quiet part doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bother me as much. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind it so much if someone leaves during the middle of the day when thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot of players on. I personally donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dramatic. I know some GMs prefer otherwise. It really depends on the player in question and how they conduct themselves when they leave.
No hard feelings. Strictly business. It was nothing personal. Events become dramatic only if a party escalates it to such a level. You keep dramatic events to a minimum by keeping a cool head and staying calm. Drama only happens if players let it happen. Even then, some people would still consider this a dramatic event. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a difference of opinion.
The door was not completely closed. He was a valued member of the team. I allowed his alts to remain if he so wished so he could still hang out with some of the friends during his off time. If his situation changes, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s welcome to apply again.
Image courtesy of Spiralz