Story of a Textbook Gquit

Story of a Textbook Gquit

goodbye

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.

I’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 Jessie’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.

“Hey, can we talk?”

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, it’s generally bad news.

The song ended and another one started.

*Tiffany – Think We’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.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“I’m leaving the guild.”

Seeing those words no longer phase me anymore. I used to feel a twinge of sadness. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing people come and go. Yeah they’re people. Yeah I’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? It’s as if I’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.

“Okay. It’s going to suck without you. Good luck. Anything I can do to change your mind?”

“No. The raiding schedule just doesn’t fit anymore. I know you plan on ramping the raid days to four. I can no longer commit to that and I’d rather take the time now to look around to find myself a guild that I can.”

*The Rolling Stones – Paint it Black starts playing*

“I understand. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know you have a few alts. You’re more than welcome to keep a couple around to hang out with us from time to time.”

“Thanks. I’ll take you up on that.”

Exit strategy. Two words that came to mind. I watched Ocean’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 one’s looking around. Alternatively, you could hide in broad day light and in plain sight when everyone is present. It’s one thing to break into the vault. It’s a whole new ball game entirely when trying to break out.

“I’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.”

“I should leave now. I don’t want to cause a big commotion. I’ll put up a forum post.”

And with that, he is Conquest no longer. The first thing that comes to mind is that I’m going to have to go look for another Warlock. It seems cold, doesn’t it? It’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 – 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. Here’s why:

An acceptable reason was provided. It doesn’t matter if a player is getting married or if he’s going on vacation to Cancun (which I hear is nice this time of year). The fact that he provided an answer to the “Why?” 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 wasn’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 wasn’t otherwise engaged with anything else.

He left quietly and decisively. There was no hesitation or second thoughts or doubts. The quiet part doesn’t bother me as much. I don’t mind it so much if someone leaves during the middle of the day when there’s a lot of players on. I personally don’t think that’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. That’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, he’s welcome to apply again.

Image courtesy of Spiralz

Is it Time to Quit Raiding? 16 Questions to Find the Answer

With the recent disbanding of Death and Taxes, it’s time for another moment of introspection.

When is the best time to retire? Or at least, go on a hiatus from raiding? While it may not be applicable for everyone and their guild. Here’s a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself before hanging up your armor and weapons for good.

  1. What are the goals I have for this game? Have I achieved what I set out to do?
  2. Am I even interested in raiding anymore?
  3. Am I getting personal satisfaction from raiding?
  4. How many raids have I attended in the last 60 days? How many mandatory raids have I missed?
  5. Do I have the time to dedicate myself to raiding so that I don’t hinder the progress that is being made by them?
  6. Am I satisfied with how raiding is being handled?
  7. Are my contributions being noted or appreciated?
  8. Did I give this guild’s raid groups enough time to stabilize and progress?
  9. Where does this Guild expect to be in raiding a month from now? 6 months from now? A year from now?
  10. Do I have conflicts with the leadership that cannot be resolved in a way I’m satisfied with?
  11. Will I still be raiding in 6 months or will real life activities take over? (School, work, etc.)
  12. Is this guild dying?
  13. Am I getting tired from raiding? Is it sapping my energy and cutting into my life responsibilities?
  14. Am I an asset to this Guild’s raid?
  15. Could I be doing anything else other than raiding right now?
  16. How will my departure affect the guild? Will they survive without my presence?

EDIT: I forgot to hit the save button. I wanted to add an extra note that this post was inspired by this post at Problogger. Don’t forget to attribute your posts if you borrowed the idea from someone. Stuff like not crediting the original source would’ve gotten me expelled.

GM’s: Do You Give Second Chances?

First, I hope you all enjoyed yesterdays semi-RP post. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at creative writing. Although after I finished writing that, I felt it was a bit unpolished like it had nails sticking out of a piece of wood work without any varnish or paint. I guess my writing’s a bit rusty. Will I write something like that again? You bet!

Several days ago, a former Guildie returned to the Guild. He was a central pillar to our healing corps and we felt his loss when he had left. At the time, he offered no explanation as to why he left or that he had even left at all. Now he has expressed genuine remorse and regret.

So the question I’d like to pose to you is would you allow a former Guildmate back into your Guild if he reapplies? Obviously the conditions will vary from case to case. But let’s assume it’s a scenario similar to this one in which a player ups and leaves without cause.

Arguments for

Everyone deserves a second chance, right? A friend of mine left this very same Guild and decided to reapply again knowing that the personnel now we have now are vastly different then the ones he had a year ago.

Everyone is familiar with the player and knows his habits and abilities. There’s no need to rebuild any chemistry. Old habits do die hard and chances are they’re as familiar with the fights that are being done now so it is not required to "train" them on how to do the same old fights.

Arguments against

If they did it once, they can do it again. Not long ago, a certain Warlock left our guild. This was the second time he did this. Once before when Carnage was in Black Wing Lair, this player went all in on a chest piece and promptly took off a few days later to a different guild on a different server. A few months later during the opening months of Burning Crusade, that player came back again expressing his desire to come back and raid again. When we killed Vashj, he took the chest piece again and took off to a different Guild on the same server.

It’s another get out of jail free card. A precedent like this means that a player can leave the Guild once after getting something they want, hop around onto another Guild, and come back knowing they’ll be accepted. It may not be with open arms, but they will still be accepted nonetheless.

What do you think?

It’s no secret I’m fairly conservative in my thinking. But what do you think? I’ve studied Criminology throughout my post secondary career and the one thing that has been taught to us is that there is no such thing as an ex ex-con. On the other hand, some people do turn a new leaf.

Leaving the Guild the Right Way

So relations have soured and you feel like you want to leave and start fresh. Several days ago, two of my most respected and trusted colleagues left with almost no word or reason why. It was a surprise to many people. One of them had done it before and to be quite honest and open, I had a feeling that person would leave again. The second was a real true surprise because I honestly had no idea.

Before you GQuit, I’m asking you do one really important thing.

Talk to your GM

As much as your feelings may be overtly obvious to you, it isn’t to anyone else. Not every GM is psychic. You cannot expect things to happen if there is no idea nor awareness. It’s unfair to expect your leadership to understand you inside and out. Pick a time and a date and talk to your GM about it.

Let your leadership know of your problem

Let me make clear that I have no problem with anyone leaving the Guild. You’re paying your 15 bucks a month to play this game. It’s your right. The fact is, you and your Guild got this far together. If you have a problem with someone or an issue with a system, let your leaders know. Speak up about it. If you don’t say or mention anything, then nothing will get changed.

It’s like people who complain about the Government and don’t vote. By not voting, you’ve forfeited your right to complain.

A month ago, another colleague of mine left. But he did it the right way. He expressed his misgivings and it was clear that the Guild progression rate was not enough to satisfy him. That’s okay. That can’t really be solved unless by some miracle. There are always going to be people like that in this game where everything isn’t going to be enough. At least he was mature enough to be kind and forward about it.

Don’t lie or deny

If it’s plainly obvious that you’re dissatisfied because you’ve been silently mentioning your problems to other people, then don’t deny it when your GM gets wind of it and asks you up front if everything is okay.

If you have an issue with the way loot is handled, then for cryin’ out loud speak up. I’ve BEEN an officer before. I’m a grunt right now. I like being a grunt because I don’t have to be the poor guy stuck dealing with brushfires week. I can tell you nothing is more frustrating then not knowing what the issue is.

“Avoiding Drama”

I’ve had issues and problems with people and systems before. In the past, I would have quit overnight too to “avoid drama”. Upon further reflection, I realized I was just sugarcoating the answer. I didn’t want to avoid drama. I wanted to avoid confrontation. I didn’t have the guts or the courage to speak up. That’s why I used the drama avoiding excuse to ease my conscience. I’m doing it for the “good of the Guild” right? Can’t they respect the fact that my leaving overnight will save the Guild trouble in the long run? No, they can’t because you left them hanging. You quit without saying why.

Ever since I was an officer in my past Guilds, I realized what a pain in the ass excuse that was. My heart goes out to every GM and officer on the planet who knows what I’m talking about. It’s a tough job to have such unrealistic expectations placed upon your shoulders and that makes this game less fun.

Do it the right way

So you finished speaking to your GM about it and have explored every possible solution. There’s nothing more anyone else can do. Be classy about it at least. You can leave your Guild the same way you entered it: with your pride and dignity intact.

Common and recommended excuses
  • Looking for a new direction:
    The goals of this Guild no longer coincide with my personal goals (IE, not moving fast enough, moving too fast, SEE YA)
  • Personal problems
    I’m having problems working with various aspects of the Guild and I’m no longer able to handle the stress along with school/work (IE, this guys a jackass)
  • Raid times
    I’m losing sleep over raiding and it’s screwing up my schedule so I’m going to leave to find a new Guild that can fit it (IE, can’t raid at midnight anymore)

How you do it is entirely up to you. When I left Angelic Advocates, I posted a long and lengthy explanation on the forums explaining my problem. I left that Guild because I could no longer commit to their raiding times. When I left Aurora, it was right after a raid on a monday before the reset. I went from vent channel to vent channel explaining that I was leaving. I was no longer satisfied with the direction the Guild was going in and I received a contract offer to sign with Carnage (an organization I am still a part of to this day).

In regards to the 2 that left, I’m not angry at them. It’s worse. I’m disappointed at them.