There are a lot of interesting things I think about when I look back to the start of this expansion.
There are people that were playing then that are no longer playing that I definitely miss, and many of us in my guild will reminisce for hours about funny conversations we had with various people back in the day. Most of the people I’m referring to left the game to either concentrate on school, work, and/or have a family, and though all of us knew we would miss them when they left, we all knew it was the best thing for them and we wished them well. Some of those people had been playing with the guild for literally years, so it’s hard to see them “hang it up”. Even though they stay in contact it’s different then logging into the game and vent with them on a near-nightly basis and just talking about the game, or their day, or something funny that happened.
There are also stories of people that still play, that I dare say none of us miss. These are people that were gone from the guild nearly as quickly as they came, and for the most part have hopped to probably a half dozen other guilds since ours. Most of those people were interested in joining our guild to try and “get” things out of us rather then all try and have fun as a group and work together for common goals. Usually these people can’t see the big picture stuff, like being generous with guild members will come back to you ten-fold, or that passing on a contested piece of loot this time will be remembered by everyone else you always roll against. Luckily we have very smart people in the guild and they can generally pick out people that are there just for themselves. There are still stories about recruits that would AFK in battlegrounds night after night for honor, or people raiding with us that we suspected of two-boxing and them claiming they were playing with their significant other.
I guess when I really look back at it I think our guild really came into it’s own with this expansion compared to the last one. We just started really raiding toward the latter half of Burning Crusade, and even then we were just getting started with Kara, then a second Kara group. Only at the very end of last expansion did we really get into raiding 25 man content, and even when we started raiding things like Serpent Shrine Cavern, Hyjal and Tempest Keep we still often were running short people and had to take what we could get from elsewhere. Sometimes this worked out great and we’d not only do well but meet new people, other times it would be disastrous. We were also obviously very late starting, so while other guilds were in Black Temple and Sunwell, we were still trying to kill bosses in SSC.
This expansion we started fresh with everyone else. While we are by no means a hard-core guild, we have been and do raid current content, and while we won’t be the first to clear everything or even run 25 man hard modes, we make good progress and have always been working on current raids. When a new raid would be released we would not only have learned from the previous raid fights, but we would be geared enough to walk into it on the day it released.
Last expansion I was also doing quite a bit of everything as a co-leader/guild leader. I was recruiting, filling raids, running raids, handling squabbles, you name it. I had help for sections of it but there were quite a few times I was on my own. That was something that burned me out badly and was something that is now definitely fixed. Our guild now has officers that all handle different specific tasks, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. If one of us has something else going on someone else can help pick up their job without missing a beat, and things run much more smoothly then they ever did (I think anyway).
Another thing that has changed since the beginning of this expansion is recruiting. Last expansion I remember it was like pulling teeth trying to find people to fill roles in raids, be it a healer (most of the time), a tank (occasionally), or a DPS (rarely). Now-a-days I couldn’t tell you the last time we had to recruit. I think we’ve turned away 3-4 people in the last couple of weeks interested in joining, not because we are snobs or they are not good people, but simply because we don’t have room in raids for them. We aren’t amazingly great, I think we get interest because at this point we’ve been raiding a while and people see the name and know we’re a pretty stable guild.
All things considered, this expansion has been a great one for our guild, and we’ve definitely learned a lot about working together and had a ton of fun along the way. I hope the the rest of this expansion and the next one bring more positive changes like that.
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