“My guild won’t let me…”

January 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm 15 comments

As a guild leader and avid blog reader, I see this all the time. 

It has more forms than a Feral druid:

“My guild won’t let me raid on my brother’s character.”
“My guild won’t let me play my Warlock instead of my Paladin.”
“My guild won’t let me PuG Heroic Obsidian Sanctum.”

And my personal favorite (not to mention the one that inspired this particular rant):

“My guild won’t let me tank.”

First, the idea that your guild “won’t let you ______” is absurd.  You pay for your subscription, not your Guild Leader.  You control your characters, your playtime, your actions and your interactions in the game.  Your guild simply does not have the ability to prevent you from doing something that you want to do, nor does it have the power to force you to do anything that you don’t want to do against your will. 

What you really mean by “My guild won’t let me ______” is “My guild won’t let me ______ and still be a member of the guild.”

The difference is more than mere semantics.

“My guild won’t let me ______” suggests that your guild is some kind of totalitarian state that exerts absolute control over you and your actions. 

If joining a guild automatically e-mailed your password and secret question to the Guild Leader, and gave each of the guild’s officers the option to take control of your character and your interface at any time, and disabled the /gquit command line …  Well then.  You might have a case!

But unless my spam filters are re-directing a whole lot of e-mail from noreply@blizzard.com, it doesn’t quite work that way.

Sure, I can ask my members not to PuG heroic raid zones, but I can’t actually prevent them from doing so.  I simply don’t (and shouldn’t) have that kind of power.  The most I can do is penalize them for breaking the rules, either by barring them from future raids or removing them from the guild.

“My guild won’t let me ______ and still be a member of the guild,” on the other hand, is a fair statement.

Most guilds have rules.  Good guilds publish these rules and make them available, if not publicly, then at least to prospective applicants and current members. 

Generally speaking, when you join a guild, you agree to abide by the guild’s rules.  You also agree to be removed from the guild if you break those rules.  If these agreements aren’t explicit (and they often are), then they’re at least implicit. 

Either way, this doesn’t mean that the guild controls you, but that you’ve entered into an agreement with it: to abide by the guild’s rules in exchange for membership and whatever privileges that conveys — from access to /gchat, to help with group quests, to a raid spot and epic loot, depending upon the focus (and relative success) of the guild.

Semantics aside — I said it wasn’t “merely” about semantics, not that it wasn’t about semantics at all! — there is often a reason for the things your guild won’t let you do (and still be a member of the guild).


“My guild won’t let me raid on my brother’s character.”

This one came up last night, when our sole tree (one of only five healers in the raid) asked to play his brother’s mage instead of his druid, because his brother was called into work but still “needed” gear from several bosses in heroic Naxx. 

I denied the request for two reasons:

1.  First and foremost, we needed the heals!  Allowing the tree in question to play his brother’s mage would have forced one of our hybrids to respec (at the guild’s cost) or one of our DPS mains to switch over to a healing alt.  I’m not going to force someone into a spec or onto a character they don’t want to play to accomodate someone who isn’t even in the raid.

2.  The tree is a much more consistent raider than his brother.  It makes more sense from the guild’s perspective to gear the druid who seldom misses a raid over the mage who shows up for one in every three.  The guild is not interested in gearing individuals; it gears the raid, so that the entire raid can progress.  There was another mage, two warlocks and a shadow priest in the group who would have made better use of any cloth caster drops anyway. 


“My guild won’t let me play my Warlock instead of my Paladin.”

I read a post over at Greedy Goblin a few weeks ago that is at least partially responsible for this post.  Basically, Gevlon encouraged a friend not only to leave her guild because it “forced” her to play her paladin instead of her warlock, but to steal almost 24K gold from the guild bank to compensate her for the hours she spent raiding on her pally, as well.

I understand why she /gquit.  In her situation, I might have done the same thing — minus the theft, of course. 

What I don’t understand is the idea that the guild somehow deserved to be punished for “forcing” her to play her paladin.  Far from being forced, she agreed to level a healer and, in return, recieved help from the guild on the long grind from 1 to 70. 

Ultimately, she raided on her paladin, saw content, took gear … and, by Gevlon’s account, had fun doing it.

Now, ten levels later, because she thinks she would have had more fun playing her ‘lock, she feels entitled to 24K gold in bogus opportunity costs and the moral high road? 

Seriously, this has to be the stupidest thing I’ve read in the Blogosphere to date, and I’ve read all of Renoobed‘s Melvin stories …


“My guild won’t let me PuG Heroic Obsidian Sanctum.”

As easy as Sartharion is, Sartharion + 1, 2 and 3 drakes is still progression.

We attempted Sartharion +1 unsuccessfully in our last two Heroic OS raids.  As long as Malygos remains undefeated, the Sartharion achievements aren’t a priority for us, so we gave it three attempts each time — just to assess our progress — before killing Vesperson, downing Sarth in “easy-mode” and moving on for the night. 

Still, that’s three more wipes than you’re likely to endure in a halfway decent Sartharion -3 PuG, so I suppose I can understand why some guildmembers would prefer to PuG OS early in the week, /roll on “free” loot (i.e., gear with no GP cost attached) and pass on the weekend run. 

I understand it, but I don’t like it, and have made it very clear that anyone caught PuGing Heroic OS will be wait-listed from Heroic Naxx — a much longer instance that’s harder to PuG successfully.

For the most part, my guildmembers support the decision.  After all, they want to raid too, and can’t if a handful of members are saved to a PuG ID.  Still, there’s a small minority of players who feel the rule is too restrictive, including a certain Death Knight …

And that brings me to my last “My guild won’t let me ______”, and the one that inspired this post in the first place.


“My guild won’t let me tank.”

Shortly before WotLK shipped, my guild’s MT announced that he would be making his rogue his new main.  He felt that tanking was “too easy” in the post-3.0.1 world, and wanted to play something more challenging.  Even if rogue DPS was relatively simple to master, he hoped, then the opportunity to compete on the damage meters would at least keep things interesting.

We only had one raiding rogue at the time, and fury warrior who was more than capable of stepping up to tank, although it would have been as fourth tank in seniority rather than first.  (Even without our former MT, we had a solid tank corps consisting of a Feral druid, second Prot warrior and Prot paladin.)

Even though our MT’s spot was filled before the change became public knowledge, the moment it did, it seemed that everyone in the guild who had ever had aspirations of tanking spontaneously respecced or rerolled in an attempt to claim his spot.  >.<

I might be exaggerating.  A little.

The problem I’m running into now is that I have more would-be tanks than the raid can possibly support.  I am constantly asking the paladin to respec Holy, the Death Knight to respec Unholy, and the warriors to respec to … whatever it is warriors do for DPS.  None of them are thrilled about it, and I suspect they’ll be even less thrilled when I announce on the guild forum that I’m going to start enforcing Main Tank priority on loot — something I’ve never had to do before, because in TBC our tanks were such a  close-knit group that they made all of their own loot decisions, largely by consensus, with PR invoked as an occasional tie-breaker.

Now, the junior Prot paladin (who is usually given a choice between raiding as Holy and not raiding at all) is resentful of our Main Tankadin; our Death Knight complains about being asked to respec DPS every other raid (and attempts to organize a Heroic OS PuG week simply so he can MT it …); and the warrior we had initially tapped to replace our MT after he went rogue has bowed out of the competition and is raiding on his Frostfire mage.  To top it all off, our real tanks are alarmed by the fact that the wannabes are attempting to bid on tank gear …

If this sounds like a recipe for drama, it is!  

What frustrates me so much is the fact that none of these would-be tanks talked to me about their desire to tank — and the likelihood that they would recieve much-coveted tank spots in the guild raid — before they the invested time, effort and gold into their Frost, Feral or Protection gear.  I would have been happy to explain to them that our tanking spots were filled, and perhaps forestall this “My guild won’t let me tank” nonsense. 

Instead, I’m doing it retroactively, and with as much sympathy and support as I can muster (which, frankly, isn’t a lot). 

But, really, why would you assume that speccing tank and signing up for raids automatically makes you the MT of an established raiding guild?  Is there something I’m missing here?  Or do I simply have “Pushover” written on across my Undead forehead?

Entry filed under: WoW. Tags: , , .

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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. elfennau  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    “My guild won’t let me raid on my brother’s character.”

    Reason number three: It is against Blizzard’s ToS.

  • 2. Elleiras  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    “Reason number three: It is against Blizzard’s ToS.”

    Good reason!

  • 3. Asara  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Maybe it would be a good idea to ask them that. It happens in our guild too, people have problems with things, and don’t say anything to anyone, and suddenly it blows up into a crazy issue. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do, because odds are they’re already getting resentful, and possibly shopping for a guild that will let them play the way they want. I think you are being more than reasonable with your rules and what you’re asking of them. If they choose not to be reasonable in return, I don’t see much else to do other than say thank you for your time, but this is what the guild needs, and if you are not willing to provide that, we will have to look elsewhere to get it.

  • 4. pugnaciouspriest  |  January 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    The new raiding content has seen alot of changes in expectation on what character you play and in what spec. The ones who changed their mains on day one are the ones who got off easy. Whatever class got to 80 1st is your new main, I don’t think it fair of a guild to preplan what character you leveled first. I left a guild because I didn’t want to play holy – I felt at the time that the repecing constantly requests were not reasonable and impacted too highley on the enjoyment I have playing my class and Spec, my only advise to you for your wanna be tanks, is be honest and say that there is currently not room for them as that class and spec, but that if an opportunity came up later they would be considered – eg If they want to play the game their way then they need to reconsider their guild membership, if they are happy to wait, and gear up then there maybe other opportunitys later – but not right now.

  • 5. Elleiras  |  January 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    @ Asara – That’s good advice, thanks! 🙂

    I have been talking to our would-be tanks pretty openly about the situation, and they’re all -willing- to respec to heal or dps; they’re just not particularly -happy- about it. I think my real frustration stems from the fact that I feel I have a responsibility to help everyone in my guild play the game in a way that is both fun and stimulating for them.

    I don’t know how it is on other servers, but the higher end guilds on mine seem to treat membership like a privilege; the #2 Horde guild even charges its raiders fees!


    Personally, I’ve never bought into that mentality. I never expected my little leveling guild (which started as a refuge for me, my mom and a few friends) to take off the way it has, so I still feel at least a little humbled every time someone applies for membership.

    I don’t invite everyone, of course, and if I can’t accommodate someone’s preferences I’ll tell them outright, even overstating things so as not to set them up for disappointment. But once someone has committed to me, I can’t help but feel committed to them — and at least somewhat responsible for their enjoyment of the guild and game. That was relatively easy to do when the prot warrior was still a destruction warlock, the DK was an enhancement shaman and the prot pally was still leveling to 70 with a Friends & Family tag.

    Now, it’s just a little more complicated … =\

    Hence the /rant, which I’m still shocked anyone found and read, much less a super-star like Matticus!

  • 6. Veneretio  |  January 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    “My guild won’t let me ______ and still be a member of the guild.”

    That’s not necessarily the case. Depends what you do and what guild you burn. I know that if someone did something especially stupid, they might not only see themselves not a part of my guild, but also not being able to join numerous other high end raid guilds that we’re close with.

  • 7. Yakra  |  January 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The power you have over guild members is directly proportional to what you can offer them.

    If you’ve got a good setup going on, offer lots of content with a strong group of people, and a focus that aligns with the player – they stand to lose a ton if they leave, and their minor issues are suppressed.

  • 8. Elleiras  |  January 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    @ pugnaciouspriest – I recently subscribed to your blog, so I have an idea of where you’re coming from. I think your decision to leave a guild that couldn’t accomodate your desire raid as Shadow illustrates my point: a guild can’t actually control how you play the game. If nothing else, you always have the option to leave!

    Good luck with your new guild. I hope it turns out to be exactly what you were looking for. If not, take it from a guild leader who is also a Warlock struggling to eke 446 hit out T7 gear — there will always be someone out there looking for a dedicated hit trinket (i.e., Shadow Priest!) for 25-man raids. 😉

  • 9. Elleiras  |  January 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    @Veneretio – I wish that was the case here! The #2 (sometimes #1; they’re pushing hard) Horde guild on my server actually prides itself on its members’ bad behavior — and by “bad,” I don’t mean “starts drama in trade chat” bad, I mean “snipes raid ID’s (and brags about it on the realm forum)” bad, and “hosts PuGs to misloot everything to players who can’t equip it (and also brags about it on the realm forum)” bad.

    It doesn’t matter who /gkicks you, or why. For a few thousand gold in raid mats, the #2/#1 guild will sell you a F&F tag! Unfortunately, this type of attitude has trickled down to some of the lower-ranked raiding guilds, who compete with each other for progression and members — so much so that getting kicked from one could actually help you get into another.

    (Someone recently mentioned in a blogpost that the quality of players on Black Dragonflight has gone down recently. I’d have to check my feedreader to see who it was. IIRC, he was talking about PvP at the time, but the contentious macro-environment might have something to do with it. A significant PvP guild just went PvE to compete, and a number of good players are transferring away from the server to get away from the constant drama. If I weren’t so invested in my guild, I might be tempted to do the same.)

    @ Yakra – Good points, all of them. I think it has yet to fully sink in that people actually to be here, so I become overly enmeshed in those minor issues. I have a lot to learn about guild leading! Fortunately, there are some great resources out there. 🙂

  • 10. Freedom? Sure.. but it’s not free. | Healing With Hooves  |  January 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    […] Over on World of Matticus, a healer blog that I frequent, there’s a recent blog post that really caught my eye. Apparently, Matticus reads a warlock’s blog, where the following was posted. You pay for your subscription, not your Guild Leader.  You control your characters, your playtime, your actions and your interactions in the game.  Your guild simply does not have the ability to prevent you from doing something that you want to do, nor does it have the power to force you to do anything that you don?t want to do against your will. – Quoted from Ellerias […]

  • 11. Siha  |  January 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    As a fellow guild leader, I’m facing much the same kind of issues. We’ve always told ou guild members that we’ll never force someone to play a spec they don’t want to – but the corollary is that if they want to play a class or spec we don’t need, we’re under no obligation to accommodate them at the expense of raiders who’ve been there for the long haul. It’s infuriating; I don’t know why people expect me to thank them for respeccing/rerolling into a role that’s already overfilled.

  • 12. EPGP, dual specs and loot distribution « Fel Fire  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    […] what about those players who want both of their specs to be raid-viable?  Such as those tanks I was talking about earlier, who aspire to MT raid content but usually end up healing or DPSing?  Or that jack-of-all-trades […]

  • 13. gevlon  |  January 10, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Elleiras: what you seem to miss from my Warlock’s story is that the guild invited her knowing that she is a warlock. She could assume that they needed a warlock and (sooner or later) let her raid. It turned out that they actually invited her tank husband and just let her to tag along, but no one cared to tell her that she is considered a non-combat companion of the new tank. That’s why they deserve the loss of the money. After all they gave her right to withdraw money, so she did not steal, just had different “implicit” idea about the proper size of repair money 🙂

  • 14. 10 Ways Not to Fail as a Female Guild Leader « Fel Fire  |  April 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

    […] in which case I suggest you make liberal use of the /gkick or /gquit button.  As I wrote in the post that thrust me into the blogosphere in the first place, you control your experience.  It works […]

  • 15. You Have Freedom | World of Matticus  |  September 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    […] Have Freedom Have you read this post by Elleiras? All I know is that he’s a Warlock […]


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