Today I’d like to take a look at the concept of guild loyalty. I’ve been wondering about loyalty and how it’s seen by others, so what I am going to post are my assumptions, not based upon any fact or research, just my gut reactions which are most likely wrong.
Loyalty to a guild is something I feel pretty strongly about. I’d say that I’m a fairly loyal person. If I’ve joined a guild, I’m not going to turn tail and jump ship on a whim. I may wind up leaving, I’ve left a few, but I’ll not do so when I feel there’s still a core of guild members/officers to be loyal to.
I am fairly certain that I am in a minority in the WoW universe. As a reader of this blog, you’re probably in that minority too. Maybe not, but I’d tend to think that the people who read my blog are somewhat similar to me.
I’ve found that there are people who will just guild hop. At the first sign of trouble they’re off apping at a more progressed guild. If the guild wipes on PP a few too many times, you’ll see this person less and less, and soon they’re applying to all the other raiding guilds on the server.
I do not understand this person. A guild is a community. It’s a group of people working together towards a common goal. It seems that to these guild hoppers, the guild is a tool that they can use to get to more raids and acquire more gear. Actually, I think I do understand them. I just don’t agree with their views on what a guild is.
Thespius over at WOM made a post about a raider recently who was not a team player. That story reminds me of many guild hoppers I’ve met in the past. As an Officer in Raging Daisies I had to deal with them on an almost daily basis. Whether it was someone leaving over something silly, or if it was an applicant bolting from their old guild, I had guild hoppers on the radar almost daily. I know they exist. I’ve seen them in action, but I just can’t fathom how it is that they could decide to act this way.
When I join a guild, I want to have some sort of bond to the guild members around me. Even though I’m quiet and pretty much the least social person in Vent or Guild chat, I want to know that these are people who I belong with. I’ve never been the type to just look at a server’s gild progression list, toss a dart and apply randomly. I have chosen my guilds for pretty specific reasons based around personality, rather than ability to get me loot.
When I joined my first serious guild I quickly became friends with the people who made it up, most of whom were together for a while before I got there. A couple weeks after I joined, I was made an officer, and I spent 2 and a half years in that position. I rode through the ups and downs of the guild and actually felt like it was a part of me. Guild success was more important to me than personal success.
You hear that concept quite a bit from professional Athletes such as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. They will tell you that individual records pale in comparison to winning that trophy. They’ll tell you that it takes the whole team to win the big one. They tell you that no man is bigger than the team, even if he is. (See Joe Namath, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning) I agree with them. It’s the same concept in the guild. I’m a part of this guild for better or worse, and everything I do, whether it also helps me or not, is to aid the guilds goals.
The feeling of community and of being a part of something is pretty enjoyable. I’ve been lucky to find it in a few places along the way. First in RD, then when I left there to play with my Cousins and their friends in Kohrruption I found the same bonds. When that guild dissolved, I was lucky enough to find another through contacts in the blogosphere and that felt like a home. Sadly it dissolved with most of the members slowly breaking off the sinking ship when too many people had RL pop up and steal them from the game. I moved on and found yet another guild that felt like home, only to have it dissolve in front of me, yet again. It earned me the nickname “Maerdred: Destroyer of Guilds” within the Blog Azeroth chatroom. Once that guild was sufficiently dead, I applied with another guild I had found through the Blogosphere and I’ve been here ever since. I don’t plan on killing this one, so don’t worry. It feels like home, and I am sure every member feels the same way as I do.
I know other people like me. Once they join a guild they will find it to be like a home and not leave. I know people who have been in one guild their entire WoW career. I’m not lucky enough for that to have happened to me, but I know you people are out there. I envy you. To find a place to call home, and still be there three, four, five years later is a special thing.
I have been lucky enough to play this game with some very great people. The Bad eggs have been few and far between. Perhaps that’s why I find it so easy to be loyal. I keep finding guilds which meet my desires and needs perfectly. The Community aspect of the guild is far more important than the ability to one-shot Elevator Boss… but it’s not a bad trait to have.
What about you? Are you the type to jump from guild to guild, or are you going to find one and stick with it through all the drama and turmoil? Do you have any particular ideas about people who play it differently than you? Are the people who guild-hop all selfish jerks? Are the ones who stick it out due to loyalty just a bunch of sappy idiots? Let me know. I’m sure it would be an interesting read.