The officers of my guild were very interested when Blizzard originally announced the upcoming Guild Transfer Services. At the time, we were feeling beaten down and unappreciated and most importantly, burned out. There had been a bit of guild drama (I hate guild drama), people had left and we were having a very difficult time getting our raiding feet under us again.
First, I should give you a history about my guild. Some of us (most of the original members) started out playing around the same time. (Except for me.) The core of our group were 5 real life friends that included myself, my husband and our 3 best friends. We all leveled up to level 70 together, doing all the dungeons at level and learning our classes (we had a warrior, a druid, 2 shaman and a mage). We didn't all level in the same places, but we were careful not to 'out level' the rest so we could continue to do dungeons together.
When they all started playing, I was in a guild with friends of my brother in laws. I got all my newbie friends to join and after a while, we were a big part of the guild. I mean, there was five of us and then some of our other friends started to play and we got them invited to the guild as well. I think there were 10 of 'us' playing at one time. (The other friends were people we met on a MUD we had played as well as my best friend's sister and her brother-in-law (her husband's brother).)
Eventually, more people joined the guild and personalities started to conflict. The guild I'd brought them all too wasn't really a raiding guild, but because we had 10 people to raid, we did. The GM drug her feet a bit but she pretty much let us take over and do the raiding. Then, our warrior friend had a fight with the GM and left the guild. He went to a raiding guild, I followed him and the group I was supposed to be raiding with all /gquit the next day, including my warrior friend. They formed a new raiding guild (we'll call them HKL), I went to another raiding guild because I felt burned by them and it wasn't long before the rest of our friends followed our warrior friend (except my husband, he was determined to stay put).
Now it's almost the end of BC, the husband decides he wants to raid with his friends and his wife. He leaves to join HKL, I leave my current guild because (like my husband) I want to join my friends. And then all hell breaks loose. The husband noticed that the GM had transferred off the server with one of the main tanks and gave GM to his alt. The main tank and GM said they wanted to go progress and raid at a higher level. Much shit went down and when the dust settled, the guild had splintered. We didn't want to have the guild tag that had brought us so much drama so we decided to go off and start our own guild. "How hard could it be?" we thought.
So, the October before Wrath dropped, we started Ascension. In the beginning it was my 5 real life friends that live within 10 minutes of me, another 2 or 3 of our friends/family, and a handful of people from HKL (like my favorite shadow priest). We had the goal of raiding 25's. However, when we started raiding, we had 8 people that we would take into Naxx 10 man. Over time, we gathered more people, absorbed a couple of other guilds and had a reputation of a drama free, quiet guild. I loved it.
We had our hard times. People stopped playing, most notably our GM and one of our main tanks (our RL warrior friend). Our RL mage friend took over his position. At the beginning, our officers were myself, my RL warrior friend (as GM), my RL mage friend and a pally we had picked up from HKL (whom my husband disagreed with regularly). We picked up other officers as people left. My husband started doing raid leading shortly before our warrior GM left and we forced him into an officer role shortly after Ulduar came out.
If you read between the lines here, you can see that a lot of our activities and things were planned by a group of RL friends. When people didn't get 'chosen' to go, there were a lot of accusations of us being a clique. We fought that label hard, but when you have a group that love each other like a family, it's hard to fight that. Especially when, after a bad night of raiding, the 5 core people (both tanks and 2 of the healers, plus one of the best dps) head to the local all night diner to hash out what went wrong.
During this time, we started showing signs of burning out. But we refused to give up. All of us took breaks in one way or the other. My husband got so mad at the attitudes of certain guild members that he actually broke a headset and his hand (from punching a wall wrong). I was having anxiety attacks just thinking of logging on. My best friend and her husband started fighting about the game and had to take a break for a couple weeks. But we always came back.
We kept adding people and people kept leaving, either they'd stop playing completely or they'd ninja transfer off the server. We felt like we were the 'gearing up guild'. (I know of at least 1 person who was only looking for 1 upgrade before they planned on leaving the server for a better guild.) Interest in raiding was waning, it got to the point we couldn't fill our 25's at all, we were taking people who could NOT understand the mechanics (if I had a screenshot of the Andes mountains that someone caused by moving the ice block that Sindragosa shoots at people, this would be where I would post it). So we gave up our 25's and ran with 2 10's.
By this time, we'd absorbed another guild who my RL friends and I had been in guild with years before. They were part of our original guild. We also had a officer who was rather controversial. He was nice sometimes but at other times he was very cruel. The new arrivals had huge issues with him and we eventually ended up asking him to step down. And then a lot of drama happened, both in game and out. Needless to say, there were arguments both with members of the guild and between my RL friends about this.
Slowly, people lost interest in running 2 10's and we ended up combining them and running 1. And then we started having problems getting people to even sign up for that 1. We stopped running raids sometime the summer before Cata came out. However, some of us went outside the guild to a PUG (which is something that my server doesn't know how to do well) and got our ICC 10 man drakes before 4.0 dropped. (This is something I'm really proud of.)
So, we head into Cata, at this time, the only officers are the 4 RL friends (myself, my husband, my best friend and her husband) who started the guild. The expansion hasn't even dropped yet and already we're tired and burned out. We start looking at our guild and we decide that this time, we'll just be a 10 man guild. We set a date of sometime in January to start raiding and we barely scrap together the people.
Time goes on and each week we barely scrape together the people. Our raid leader (my husband) is getting frustrated that people don't seem to care. More time goes on. A guild meeting ends up turning into a fight. We stop raiding and people start to /gquit. Eventually, we give up and accept that things aren't going to be the way we want them to be. We put together a new raid group. We start raiding again with 9 people and we start pugging our extras. We down Nef, after the nerf with 9 guildies and 1 pug. We then go and down Cho'gall with 10 guildies (because the pug has left his guild and joined ours). We head into Throne of the Four Winds and clear that with 8 or 9 guildies and a pug (or 2) who used to be in our guild.
We head into Firelands with 8 guildies and cleared up through Rhyolith with 2 pugs who used to be in our guild. However, we're now clearing Firelands content with 10 members of our own guild. And that makes my insides warm.
So, these guild transfer services really interest us. Before our raid team stabilized, we were entertaining the thought of transfering off server to greener pastures. The server we are on right now has a small recruitment pool. Really small. And who would want to transfer there? However, we didn't want to leave our guild that we've worked so hard on. We got everything we want there. And honestly, after being in charge and doing it our way for so long, how can we go back to doing it someone else's way?
I'm honestly happier about the guild transfer news then the Pokemon stuff coming up in the new expansion!!
Solstice Challenge: Day 6
15 hours ago