I’ve been attacking this attendance problem that we’ve been having from multiple angles. The past several weeks we have been consistently short by about 3 or 4 people to do the super hard part of the game. I even spent a couple hours compiling a list of other guilds that we could possibly merge with based on their schedule and their progress in game. And so tonight I started going down the list reaching out to see if anyone would talk to me about possibly teaming up. I talked to a couple different guilds, some didn’t seem to be a good fit due to a difference in schedules and some had different goals in the game. Most felt that they couldn’t accommodate so many people and wanted to continue on their current path.
One guild that I talked to stuck out in my mind in a big way. It was a great example of harassment that we women players encounter from time to time. First impressions do matter and this one sucked. I started the conversation in chat and they asked me to hop on their voice chat server. I joined their channel which had 5 other guys and said “hello” with my distinctly female voice. I was responded to by a some sort of joke about male genitalia, for which I will not repeat followed by snickers and my silence. My first thought was ‘they’re guy gamers, whatever. I’m familiar with this type of talk.‘ What I should have done was said “oh sorry I got to go” or made up some other excuse and left. Instead, I talked logistics with this group, the guild leader who just tried to mess with me. In the moment I felt like I was in control of the situation but after setting up a time to play together this week and left the chat I had some serious regret for even continuing the conversation.
It took me all of 10 minutes to come to my senses. The more that I thought about it the more sketched out I became. The first words out of this guild leader’s mouth after he heard me speak was something sexist and gross. That stuff doesn’t usually bother me but I’m probably be putting myself in a bad position if I were to continue playing with the dirtbag. I quickly messaged the scummy guild leader and canceled the plans for our guild to play together. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t going to be a group that I would be happy playing with. I felt stupid for putting myself in a position like that with guys who took pleasure in pushing my buttons. I’ve dealt with people that don’t show me any sort of respect before and it’s not something I would want to willingly be a part of.
It’s taking time, but I’m adjusting my thinking about what types of behaviors are acceptable to me when I’m playing video games. I have, on occasion, used poor judgement and gotten myself into some uncomfortable situations. And this all is part of life and part of growing up and learning. I’m still educating myself and adjusting to a higher standard that I want for myself and those that I play with. Life’s too short to play games with people that treat you poorly.
I hadn’t been looking for a merger but one seemed to find me. Our guild was doing well making steady progress through the game, killing a few new bosses with each week that passed. My officer and I were hard at work tapping into a health pool of eager raiders. Since heroic raids both were cross-server and flexible in size. We were able to bring in player without too much investment. Many years ago a player could only play with a guild if they were all on the same server. This meant that in order to even get a shot at raiding you had to shell out $25 to move your character to a new server. Time have changed and the barriers that once kept us apart have evaporated…unless you want to do the hardest content. We are close to completing the heroic difficulty of Uldir which would mean we are ready to start those super hardcore mythic raids that only 1% of players experience. We want to get there but we have a logistics challenge – we need more players. Unlike the heroic version of Uldir which scales up and down between 10 and 30 players, the mythic raids are for 20 players and 20 players only. We are a bit short of the mark and my officer and I have been pounding the internet pavement looking for those perfect players for our guild.
When we started building up our roster I talked about how one way to get a big influx of players was to merge with another guild. Merging is a scary thing. You work hard to build up the type of community and culture that you want and if you look to combine forces with another group there are usually sacrifices that need to be made. One of the big questions that is usually at the forefront is “who will be the guild leader?” Back when my guild was struggling in Wildstar we looked to merge with another guild who wanted to retain absolute control and make me an officer. This was a deal breaker for us and something that the other guild was unwilling to compromise on so we ended up not merging.
We have in the past absorbed some struggling guilds and found these type of transactions benefit us greatly.
This merger was messy, as combining 2 groups usually is. There were some people pushed out and a few pushed up. The greatest circumstance that the leadership of the absorbed guild was that the day before we agreed to bring in the tank to trial, one of our current and I would consider him our “main” tank decided that he didn’t want to raid anymore. This left a vacuum in the tank positions that were then able to be filled by the two tanks from the merger.
Tanks are such a crucial position on a guild. Consider them the leaders in their own right. They control the big epic boss battles from start to finish. Ideally you want someone who can be there 100% of the time, can follow instructions and can communicate clearly both expected changes and changes that need to be made on the fly. There is a lot of coordination between tanks so having a pair that can work well together is also crucial. If you have two people that are forced to be partnered on a project and they dislike each other that will cause your guild nothing but problems.