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

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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’ve never really seen things happen that calmly. But then again. My guild is different. They’re the always on vent, and the late night crew always talks about their real lives.. and they’re friends and family. And it’s going to hurt when you leave. Because it’s more than losing a member of your raid roster. It’s like losing a friend. It’s like a real break up. Cause everyone says that “we’ll stay friends, right”? When they break up. But ‘friends’ means an occasional awkward hello in trade chat, or when you bump into them in a pug raid/heroic. At least usually.

  2. Had the similar account with one of the best and trustworthy players I had in our guild: our guild is strictly social and casual, and he wanted to enter the raiding. Our guild served the purpose I had put to it: be stable, warm and casual levelling platform. Because of the people, the player felt it his obligation to explain his leaving.

    He’s still in contact with the guildies and even helps us from time to time.

    It all comes down to individual. Really.

    Copras last blog post..Three and one again

  3. I’ve had it both ways.

    Most of the time when raiders leave it’s been on good terms, even if the situation was someone leaving to look for another guild due to differences of opinions.

    There are occasionally times when things get so bad, it’s always drama when someone leaves, but this is rare.

    Early on in my raiding days, I’ve had a guild where the officers of a BT guild felt rather unappreciated, raided the vault, and quit the guild and xfer to another server.

    Typically, the more experienced the raider, the less the drama. It isn’t always the case, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

  4. Leaving a guild on good terms is easy. But what to do, when you leave a guild on bad terms, when you quit because of the guild itself, not because the raiding schedule doesn’t fit any longer?

    The guild I left in the beginning of this year just didn’t feel right any longer. All people I had fun with, had left the guild for various reasons. There was no one around I really had contact with. And I wasn’t really ok with the way raids were handled/raid lineups were made.

    Yeah, and the way I then left the guild wasn’t the best one for sure, but I still can’t think of a better one.

    drugs last blog post..Addons: Resources

  5. In my experience majority of gquits in the guilds I’ve been in have been handled very nicely. No hard feelings and everyone could understand the reasons. That might be because I’ve only been in quite mature guilds where drama queens have been filtered out already.

    If I were a guild leader then I think one thing I would ask from a member who is about to leave is if (s)he has anything to criticize about the guild or it’s leadership. When people are still a regular member they might not want to say a few things in order not to stir up any tensions but if they are going to quit anyway it shouldn’t be so bad. Of course it absolutely requires that guild leader can take the criticism without ruining relations with that leaving member but it might prevent future problems that might happen when problems are not known to leaders and are not getting handled fast enough.

  6. Galoheart says:

    A great piece matt. Always great work and perspective.

    Galohearts last blog post..I Had A Good Day!

  7. With one guild I used to be in, I would have been more surprised if any gquits from it were _calm_. That guild was full of adults, and yet seemed to thrive on drama and tension. When you know the people involved, it becomes funny, rather than irritating and stupid, but still–drama was pervasive. I’m actually surprised I lasted as long as I did there.

    There was one person who did everything *with* the guild yet maintained a guild full of herself and her alts and her S.O.’s alts because “she simply couldn’t take being in ‘ex guild’ because it was just too much.” This went on for about a year.

    Later on she came back in and became Co-GM… Go figure.

    This is doubly amusing just because of the time frames involved… how often do things like that go on for so long in WoW guilds? How many WoW guilds even manage to pass the year and a half mark themselves, much less have any drama associated with them for that long…

    AShadowPriests last blog post..Malygos = STILL ALIVE WTF

  8. This post reminds me that it’s been a while since I’ve seen a really painful gquit. I don’t know if I ever will again really. We lose the people I’m close to do quitting the game, but I can’t remember the time there was a guild member leave that I didn’t react just like you.

    “What do I do now?”

    To those wondering how it could go so well like that. It can by treating your people with respect, but by also being somewhat distant of them. It’s a difficult, but necessary balance.

    Veneretios last blog post..Do we have Infinite Rage or No Rage?

  9. Arduanne says:

    TP always goes over, so you can fold the corners hotel style when company comes 🙂

    I really liked this story Matt, now if you could do one on how to ask someone to leave the guild with the least amount of drama possible, I think a lot of guild leaders have more problems with that.

    • Arduanne: That’s something that’s hard to ask players to do. It’s going to require effort and calm on the part of everyone in the guild. It’s only dramatic if players allow it to be dramatic.

  10. I do have a question about this:

    A lot of guilds have an “us and them” mentality, where if someone leaves, the general membership villifies the person in some way – generally to make themselves feel better at being “left behind”.

    How do you work with your guild members so they don’t go and badmouth the ones who decide to leave – especially ones who have been there for a long time and were an integral part of many of the initial successes?

    Personally, I don’t join in on the bad mouthing, and I know that we as humans cannot control other humans and make them behave the way we want them to, but I’m just curious, as you’re in a position I’m not in at this point.

    Valdesta
    My Player Blog

    Valdestas last blog post..How Children’s Week Can Help Get You A Stinker

    • Valdesta: You have to remind them firmly that the player did nothing wrong. Speak loudly and openly if they continue to defame the player. Say that if it wasn’t for the efforts of this player, the guild might not be where it is now. I generally make raid announcements when a player leaves at the beginning of a raid. I brief the guild on anything important such as departures, new members, loot council, etc. I’ll say something quick like “This player has decided to part ways with us yesterday because he wanted something different with his WoW experience. He helped us out immensely while we were raiding. It’s going to be sad to see him go.”

      The first step starts with you not turning them into a villain. If you can manage that, the rest will usually follow.

  11. Boondockst says:

    Since Wrath, I have been in several guilds, and I personally have been through 2 g-quits.
    My first was a simple no drama, I am leaving b/c I want to raid and I’m tired of holding everyone’s hand (the day I quit, I answered the same question about every 6 minutes about plate DPS gear…. apparently DK’s benefit from spell power and int cloth gear and I didnt know what I was talking about.) It was simple, Sorry guys, I’m leaving to raid and experience the content. GL, let me know if you need help with something.
    Everyone understood and most were surprised I stayed as long as I did.

    The second was filled with a bit of drama. The story was I had joined this guild essentially decked out in raid tanking gear, and had passed numerous times on gear (I actually had never gotten any mainspec gear from this guild) in order for others to get what they needed. I had helped gear out all the healers by farming the 5-mans they needed to get w/e item or badge or rep level it was they needed. I had even gone so far as to write down the list of items I wanted from the raids so it was known by all what pieces I wanted (bracers, helm, shield, axe).

    We get into a 25 man raid one night, and they tell me that one of my OT’s was a pally; brand new to tanking, just ding’d the day before, it was his first raid EVER, and that he was good for tanking trash, but not bosses. We speed cleared spider wing like we always do, and each boss dropped a tanking item: ring, gloves, bracers (in that order). As we were clearing the trash, the loot was being discussed in vent about who was expressing interest in what item, and who would more than likely get it. Once the wing was clear, the loot master goes back to the bosses to start distributing it all out, and the loot council entered their vent channel to decide on who is getting what. Both guild chat and raid chat was filled with “grats Bull (me) your bracers you have been praying for finally dropped!” All of a sudden, the bracers are master looted to the pally, the gloves are master looted to the pally, and the DK (3rd tank) gets the ring. Everyone is confused: the pally and I have the same bracers, so why did he get them over me, especially when he was already going to get the gloves as well (I already had BIS as did the DK). The loot council claims ignorance: “didnt know you needed them, sorry, we understand you had been raiding naxx for those bracers for 7 weeks to only see them drop this one time, maybe next time”.

    The next raid, similar situation happens. I express interest in the item, I got ignored by the council, and they gave it as offspec to someone else, who turns out didnt even really want it b/c it was a side-grade of an item.

    The next day, I wasnt feeling good and told an officer I didnt want to run a timed Culling of Strat, just doing my dailies and then logging off. I got demoted instantly.

    So I waited a day or two, spoke with the GM about how I was being treated, and left after politely announcing that I was leaving for a friendlier raid time (we started rather late in the evening). Everyone was cool about it, they understood, and no drama was being raised. I log onto my priest (who also entered the guild fully geared) to pull him out to find out that the GM forgot about this toon, and was bad mouthing me. I make a comment in Gchat that if he wanted to bad mouth me, he should have made sure that all my toons were out of the guild first. I was removed before I could say anything else, and by the end of the day, the guild had disbanded due to the GM’s attitude about me leaving.

  12. A word of thought that hit me when the guild leaving lock told his reason:
    Why not just raid on the 3 days of 4 and still have 75% attendance which is somewhat decent, knowing you don’t have to teach him the rules, how to move out of slime/fire/lava/snow and that stuff and you know he’s a very decent player?

  13. So how does one go about quitting their guild if they are an officer (basically the GM as I am in charge of everything). I am raid leader, I set up every raid and run two 10-man groups every week (one on my alt which I basically just help gear people lol). I have been to a raid where the guild leader took over (on my week off). He is a terrible raid leader. Not only that he decided it was a good idea instead of having a set raid time (i.e. midnight) that since he had a week of vacation they would just keep pugging the classes that they lost and raid until like 6 am server time. This basically screwed 8 members out of their Naxx 10 run that week. And I know it is only Naxx 10 but when all you do is 10-man content that is kind of a lot lol (especially when quite a few of those 8 members would benefit from not only the loot but the badges, gold and experience as well). I guess I am just worried about how everyone is going to perceive me quitting. I know that sounds kind of stupid but I don’t know its some weird personal issue I have.

    Basically, just for a little background; about 2 months ago several friends and I had decided (due to some drama as well as just wanting to raid) that it was time to move on from our friends and family/ leveling guild and form our own guild. A friend of a friend was leaving his guild as well and forming one of his own so we decided to get in on that. First 3 days we cleared all of the 10-man content (except Malygos). I was like alright finally a guild that will raid 10-man content and be serious but casual (i.e. 3 raid days a week, no loot drama, focus in raids, be prepared). Well after those 3 days…The honeymoon was over. Over the course of the next few weeks the situation deteriorated rather rapidly. All the sudden a friend and I were the only ones prepared for a raid (proper enchants and gems, consumables, fully repaired, showed up on time and were at the meeting stone a little early etc.). So I fought through it, took a week long break, and decided to stick with it and try and fix things. This was about 2 weeks ago. Things have not changed. The actual guild leader is now of the mindset, “Well I have all my gear from Naxx 10 so I don’t think I will go anymore.” People never come prepared but always want the reward (i.e. everyone wants us to do the 20 min spider wing achievement but no one is willing to spend money on flasks, time on knowing the fight, skipping loot till the end, etc.). So needless to say this is where I am at now. I want to gquit. I am not sure I really want to keep playing the game (though I am for sure an addict). I am just kind of frustrated beyond the point of having fun and I really don’t want to be in this position anymore.

  14. Lagniappe says:

    You can thank all of us later for recommending Watchmen by the way.

  15. @ Matticus
    Kind of off-topic a bit, but I’m curious about your opinion on something:
    I have two characters, an affliction warlock and a ele/enh/resto shaman (lol I feel that it’d be a waste to play a shaman and not play all 3 specs)
    I’m in a semi-casual 25 man raiding guild. Casual as in, vent and gchat aren’t strictly policed but serious when we hit raiding time. Anyways, loot is distributed by a simple dkp system where you are awarded for boss kills, on-times, and x minutes spent in raid, etc.
    My problem is, they are hard-on about keeping DKP character-bound. Seeing as how my warlock and shaman are considerably geared and I’m pretty damn good at both (if i don’t say so myself XD), I raid on both characters depending on what the raid needs and if one isn’t specfically needed, I’ll usually just pick whichever I’m in the mood to play.
    Because of this my dkp is much lower than those who show up for raids even though I have like a 95% attendence due to it being scattered between my two characters. I only really need weapons off KT (25), as do most people in my guild. In order for me to get them with character-bound dkp, I would have to be 3rd-4th in line even though I earned just as much, if not more than the person who is going to get it first.
    They’re response to me asking for account-bound dkp is that its unfair, and they won’t really elaborate much after that. I’m top dps on both toons consistently and top healing/bottom overheal on my shaman when healing, is it too much to ask for account-bound dkp?
    And finally, as the GM of conquest, how would you rule in a case like this?

    – Rithak <3
    Undead Warlock
    Chrommagus (PVP)

  16. @Rithak: That’s an interesting situation. There are going to be benefits and disadvantages for both you and the guild going character DKP vs account based DKP.

    I’ll have to expand this on a post. Very intriguing. Involved in DKP guilds before, I’ve been in both types. As a GM though, I would most likely rule account based DKP. I’ll write my thoughts on this subject and explain further. But it has to do with time invested as a player.

  17. I run a guild and loot is distributed by a dkp system also but we are account bound and I hear the same exact complaints from the players. If you gear up 2 toons you still are on the low scale of the dkp even with 100% attendance. Also if you are gearing for 2 specs it’s the same thing. It’s gotten so bad that some ppl have accused others of hording for Ulduar. I for one never even thought about “hording” for Ulduar but when you have gotten all the gear you need from the content now it does tend to pile up.

  18. Boondockst says:

    @ Matticus I’m glad I’m not the only one with that line of thought.

    Perhaps, what Rithak can do is talk to some of the other raiders privately and get their opinions, and then bring it up again with the officers, with some back up from the other raiders (assuming they all support him).

    Another option, granted its very drastic, is to choose one toon (I would go with the Lock due to lack of utility – shaman can be healing/ranged/melee w/ BL/Heroism and the plethora of totems) and if they ask him to swap basically say “No, I would like to gear this toon out first since I cant work off of an account based DKP system.” The drawback to this system is that you have the potential to alienate yourself from the guild a little because you are being stubborn.

    A final option is to see if there can be a penalty for working on account based (if they are still uber hardcore against account based). I’m not familiar with DKP, but assume that each boss awards 100 points to the normal raider, you would get 75 points for the account, so that way you are not “hoarding” and making it more attractive to the whinier people.

    Something else I’m interested in knowing is how Conquest is going to handle dual spec and gear/loot? Everyone’s favorite crab (I think thats who said it) mentioned that there is going to be ~800 pieces of loot, but how will the loot be handled?

    I look forward to Matt’s opinions.

  19. @Boondockst: Here’s a quick link that details some of my thoughts regarding dual spec – http://www.worldofmatticus.com/2009/02/16/your-guilds-dual-spec-policy-what-will-it-be/

    Don’t forget that dual speccing has always been in the game. It just costs players 50G everytime they wish to do it. Players have their main raiding spec. They were recruited specifically because of their role and their ability. As such, loot will be decided based on the assumption that it is for raiding. Remember that as a raiding guild, my concern is to waste as little of the gear as possible. Whoever can use an item effectively will get a first crack at it. If multiple people will get similar benefits, then there is no wrong answer for loot council. It becomes a question of who gets what when instead of who gets what. It doesn’t matter to me what their 2nd spec is.

  20. @Arduanne “TP always goes over, so you can fold the corners hotel style when company comes :)”

    Nope, goes under so cats/toddlers can’t roll out the entire contents of the roll by spinning it.

    Kattrinsaas last blog post..Two down, 48 to go

  21. My previous guild used DKP per tier, per character. Worked very well. No drama, no fuss. It was kinda hard to remember how much you had (its posted on the site), and at the end i got accused of taking too much stuff. I never went below zero dkp though. Nice guild, but too hardcore for me. I decided i wanted my life back rather than clearing ulduar on day two.

    Guilds are so easy to find, but good ones are hard. Kinda like friends i guess. Honestly if you think the guild is being really difficult, just leave. There are better out there. If its not suiting your play style, just leave.

    I’m co-GM of a big guild who really isn’t into raiding too much. We do naxx but aren’t all that good or focused on it. We had many, many playaers level up, gear up, then take off, some with the lamest of excuses. The fact is, we didn’t want those players anyway; those who are all into raiding and constantly pushing us to do more raids and 25mans and all of that. So…i’m happy those people left. Now its true its very hard for us to get naxx going but that’s fine with me. I’ve seen it many times and i’m burned out of raiding.

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