Guild swapping and the emotional wake


Guilds are the crucial backbone of the social side of MMOs, yet they can also be the source of a lot of stress, drama, and anxiety for players. I always want to be part of an active, friendly guild when I’m spending any good amount of time in a game, yet sometimes it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. Dealing with that can be oh-so-tricky at times, especially when you don’t want to come off looking like a callous jerk.

This past week I switched guilds in my two main games right now, The Secret World and FFXIV. I didn’t have any compunction leaving my old cabal in TSW with my leveling character, as people barely talked in it and I hadn’t made any strong connections. Weakness pointed me to a really great multi-faction cabal, Hive Pro, and I’ve been pretty happy with them since joining up.

The FFXIV switch was trickier. When I first got into the game last December, one of the big selling points was that there was a guild with several bloggers that I knew in it. That is a no-brainer for me — after all, you want to be with people you’ve known for a while — and for a while it was a good fit. Friendly folk with lots of helpful advice, and every once in a while I’d see a familiar face.

But over the last month or so I’ve had increasing thoughts about leaving, which left me feeling torn. Maybe I put too much stock in this, but when people take time to help you get a leg up in a game, run some content with you, and whatnot, it’s like they’ve invested in you a bit. To leave after that feels a bit ungrateful. However, I wasn’t getting what I want out of a guild there, which was a more steady stream of chatter and stronger connections (not to mention that my play time never seemed to overlap with the other bloggers). It wasn’t a bad guild, per se, just somewhat small and quiet.

A while back I saw a guild recruit ad in general chat that caught my eye, so I friended the guild leader and kept that in my back pocket. After reading a generally helpful post on MOP about how to leave your guild, I took the leap a few days ago and left the old one (after saying a short, positive goodbye) and entered into a new community.

The switch has been quite good for me. The new guild seems to have the right amount of players — enough to foster a lot of talk but not too many that nobody seems to know anybody else. It’s definitely boosted my interest in logging in every day, not just to play the game but to see the people as well.

And I didn’t burn my bridges with my old guild, either. I kept a few people on my friends list and assured the guild leader that it wasn’t any specific drama or failing on her part that caused me to leave. I know all too well in real life how personal one can take that when someone leaves, even if it’s for the best. Minimizing hurt feelings is important.

It’s also important to not be so afraid of rocking the boat that you refuse to take steps to find the right guild fit for you, too. If you’re not happy with your guild, you’ve lost a huge ally in keeping you bonded to a game. I’d rather deal with the social awkwardness of moving into different groups than stick it out with an imperfect fit.

Of course, this whole ball of awkwardness could be minimized if more MMOs instituted the multi-guild system of GW2 or the circles of WildStar. Sure, lots of them can create custom chat channels, but it’s not as intuitive as it should be, sometimes. Give us ways to stay in touch with all of the social groups we want, and I guarantee that your community will flourish for it.


8 thoughts on “Guild swapping and the emotional wake

  1. malakhikivah March 21, 2016 / 9:35 am

    *raises hand* as said gl in ffxiv, how you handled your switch was absolutely spot on! I am VERY pro-“do what makes you happy”, and if a different community fits your needs better, that is exactly what you should do. Same with playing a class, joining a static, or making friends. And because of how you handled it, you are more than welcome to join us with whatever content we do in the future, and if ever you need/want anything, be it an imp wing or a tank queue, all you have to do is send me a tell. Enjoy Eorzea!

  2. bhagpuss March 21, 2016 / 9:38 am

    I’d had my fill of guild drama by sometime around 2005-6. Since then I mainly run a small guild for myself, Mrs Bhagpuss and a couple of occasional online friends when their game of choice happens to co-incide with ours. If, as happens, we meet people in-game who we get on with then sometimes those guilds expand a little but we never expect anyone to stay around if they need a more active or a larger guild.

    It’s only with GW2’s excellent multiple guild membership that I’ve slipped back into being a member of a larger guild run by someone else. I’ve been fortunate enough to join a couple, one focused on WvW and the other a purely social guild, both of which are relaxed, easy-going and dram-free. I do think the ability not to have all your guild eggs in one basket encourages people not to take the whole thing so ridiculously seriously and I definitely wish it could become the norm for MMOs from now on.

  3. Aywren March 21, 2016 / 10:24 am

    Hope the guild switch will be a good one for you! I wish I could be more active in the blogger Cactaur FC, but the truth is, my main characters were rolled a long, long time before I knew that FC existed, and on another server.

    I ended up leading a FC on Midgardsormr (which I never wanted to do), but the folks we’ve gathered over the past years are the kind of like-minded people I want to play with. We’re not looking for drama, and we create a welcoming atmosphere for players of all skills/levels. I’m pretty happy with how our FC has developed over time, so I just can’t see myself splitting my attention between two servers, and had to make a decision. I may have inherited the FC through chance, but I’ve dedicated myself to make it the best I can by choice.

    Anyhow, a good FC changes everything about how the game feels. It took me a few tries before I found a home, and believe it’s worth it to shop around if you need to. Good luck! 🙂

  4. pkudude99 March 21, 2016 / 10:40 am

    That explains why I haven’t seen you online in the guild roster the past few days. Guess I’ll have to actually send you a friend request instead 😉

    And if the new FC is working out for you, more power to you.

  5. tithian March 21, 2016 / 11:20 am

    About your muti-guild point: Isn’t why there are Linkshells in the game? You have you guild as your main community and then the various linkshells for activities: groups, RP, whatever.

  6. Belghast March 21, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    Heavensward took its toll on our guild, with a bunch of us going from happily playing every single night… and raiding multiple times a week to not playing at all. Totally understand your desire for a more active guild 🙂

  7. ironweakness March 21, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Glad to hear you’ve joined HivePro! I’ve had lots of good experiences with them so far, definitely active in doing content together; dungeons, completing challenges, etc.

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