Many moons ago, Blizzard announced their “connected realms”. Following a lot of research, we (myself and guild members) came to the conclusion that our realm would probably be one of those that, eventually, would be “connected”.
Not realising it would take quite so long, we got all excited and decided to create another guild on the same realm, but on the other faction, so that we could experience the other side of things. Most of us have a lot of alts and primarily play Horde, so were hoping that, when we got connected to another realm, we could create a bunch of Alliance alts on that realm, and still play together.
As I spend a lot of time looking after our Horde guild, I was looking for a volunteer out of those I trusted from our current guild, to run the Alliance one – initially just to keep things ticking over, but potentially to do the whole shebang – including online presence of website, facebook page, twitter, etc.
One of our well-respected high ranking Horde members volunteered to be that person – he regularly played, he was organised, he was level-headed and he already had high level alliance characters so knew the Alliance landscape. Various of us created alts, we created the alliance guild and we had a brief flurry of activity.
Unfortunately, as the weeks slipped into months and very little was mentioned about connected realms, and nothing about ours, less and less people logged into the alliance guild – I popped in from time to time, but was basically hoping to level after the realms got connected, so didn’t do much.
Two days ago, I logged in after some time away, to discover the guild was pretty much in storage … the roster showed that most people had not logged in for months. Including the GM. He’d also not been online in the Horde guild for ages, and had not contacted us at all. There was the odd character that had been on fairly recently, but I didn’t know them .. most characters had their “main” horde name in notes, but these didn’t.
I was a little concerned about this .. a guild member in our Horde guild had recently told us a tale of a previous guild they were in, where a similar thing had happened .. the GM had not logged in for months .. and then a random member from the guild had managed to take it over, demote or kick the other guild members and steal the contents of the guild vault.
Obviously I didn’t want this to happen .. not least because it had a link with our Horde guild and I didn’t want the Alliance “version” of our guild to get a bad reputation.
So this morning, when I logged in, I saw that the automatic dethroning process had kicked in, and immediately set about taking control. My character was in the middle of no-where .. I had no access to mail boxes or banks and had no idea where the closest ones were – and to be honest that was not my immediate concern. I simply wanted to ensure that the guild stayed linked to our other guild and in our control.
So I just clicked on the button to take control, changed the Message of the Day, posted a note on our website, our Facebook page and Twitter, letting people know, and assumed everything else would continue as normal. I didn’t see any point in changing anything until the guild got used regularly.
Within a very short period of time, I received a very terse message from the guy I had entrusted the guild to, basically complaining that I hadn’t tried to contact him before the “takeover”, saying good luck and goodbye.
I was gutted. I had acted immediately, in what I thought was for the best of intentions, yet here I was, my first contact for months from this guy, and he was basically accusing me of taking part in a hostile takeover.
Twitter isn’t the best place to go into any detail, although I tried to explain myself. I also apologised and said if he wanted it back, he could – that I’d just done what I had done, to safeguard the guild.
He sent a reply saying he just wanted his stuff back from the guild vault (he’d apparently been using one of the tabs as a private, personal storage area) and to be done with it. That he wasn’t planning on playing again until Warlords came out.
So I logged in, only to find that he’d removed his one alt from the guild, and sent me roughly the same message in-game (he wanted his stuff back) – but he wasn’t online. I logged into our main Horde guild to find that he had already been online and removed all of his characters from that guild too.
Now I feel awful. I feel really bad that this guy, who I’d always admired and liked, now views me as an untrustworthy guild-grabber. I’m wondering if I should have waited until I’d managed to contact him direct prior to acting – but then would I have left it too late?
I’m also feeling let down by him. I’m very proud of our Horde guild. I helped create it in early 2007 – I was an officer for a while, then when the GM gave up playing, he handed the reins to me. I’ve been running it since then, with the help of a few officers, but mostly (and I’m sure those officers won’t object to my saying this) on my own. I’ve organised the vault, the roster, raiding, raiding alliance, potential mergers, recruitment, websites, twitter and facebook virtually solo, simply leaning on the officers when things got too much.
When the opportunity came to create the Alliance guild, I wanted the same for the future of that guild, but just knew that I was unlikely to have time to do the same for that guild as I do for our main guild. When this particular guy stepped up and volunteered, I was relieved. It was in safe hands.
Yet I feel let down that, although the guild isn’t particularly busy at the moment, and requires little admin, the one thing that SHOULD have been done (the GM to turn up occasionally, to keep the guild safe), didn’t happen.
I spend hours and hours every week NOT playing WoW, because I’m looking after the Horde guild. Was it too much to ask, for someone to simply turn up occasionally on the alliance guild, to keep it safe for us? And now, I’M the one feeling like I should back down, apologise, that I’m in the wrong for doing just that?
I don’t know – it may be just that I’ve finally succumbed to the cold that my family has been infecting our house with, and my brain has gone all mushy – notwithstanding hindsight, what would you have done, especially bearing in mind the horror stories I’ve heard about other guild take-overs?