Great Debates: Your Love of Your Guild vs Your Love for Yourself

Ladies and gentlemen! Today is a very special day! World of Matticus is holding the ultimate debate! Your guest debaters are world renowned for their egos and have a combine experience of over 20 years and share over 200 levels of WoW playing!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today’s topic is a question that has confronted many WoW players, strained relationships, and has toppled many raiding Guilds.

"If given the opportunity, should I leave my Guild for one that is more progressively advanced?"

Before we go further, let us examine the backgrounds of our 2 speakers!

Matticus: He is a law student, a writer, and a competitive player who answers to but only one ethos: reason. He is guided by facts and evidence. From the information, he weighs the choices to decide is the better way to go. He shoots for the best possible outcome. He is willing to roll the dice and gamble because he is willing to take risks and come out ahead. Every movement, every action, every thought has a purpose behind it.

He will be arguing for the "Aye" side.

Mallet: He is one of the star quarterback healers for the Carnage organization. He logs enormous minutes trying to keep his friends and companions in play and alive. Mallet is fiercely loyal to his friends and to his companions. The choices made by him tend to reflect what is best for the group as he is a self sacrificing individual who will do what is asked of him in order to progress and get far. To describe in two words, Mallet would be considered a "team player".

He will be arguing for the "Nay" side.

The rules for this debate? There are none. Each side will present its points and then attempt to argue down their respective opponent.


Given the opportunity, you should. The fact that you’re even wrestling with and considering this question proves your internal and intrinsic desire to see more of the game. It’s also obvious your Guild doesn’t seem to have what it takes to elevate their play to the next level. Why should I stick around if all they’re going to do is run nothing but Kara, heroics, and Gruul all week long? It’s getting boring and stale. I’ve done this for so long. I deserve better then that.


But yer’ missin’ the poin’ here, laddie! Yeh’ve levelled ter 70 wi’ th’ same crew! Wan’t that the reason why ye stayed in yer guild fer so long? Who cares about yer progression and your "gettin’ ahead" game? Yeh’ve been playing this game for so long with tha same peeple that they’re practically family! Would ya dare tern ye’r back on them after so long? It’d be akin to slappin’ them across their face wit’ troll feces! Do yeh honestly think they’d take kindly to THAT now?


They don’t share the same dreams that I do. They no longer have the same goals that I do. Why should I stick around in an organization that no longer has the same ideals that I have? We’ll still be in the same server. I will still check in on them from time to time. The internet and this game provides anonymity. I will be forgotten the next day over, anyway. I’m being HELD back by my friends! They would have no problem picking up another player to replace me!


And thas’ where yer wrong, lad! You are the cornerstone of the guild. If ye leave now, it will fall apar’ and collapse! No one, Dwarf, Dranei, Human, or otherwise can completely replace anyone. Ye’r unique! Yer friends will feel betrayed if you leave them now! Do you really wan’ them to go through the pain of losing you, the jealousy? Don’ do that to them! You owe it to them to stay a bi’ longer! It’s what they’d wan’ yanno!


And what about what I want? Why do I always have to cater to them? I’ve worked long and hard to get this point. They stopped trying! I don’t want a Guild full of goddamn slackers. You think they really are friends? They’re more like business associates. Real friends wouldn’t make you feel guilty about staying behind. Real friends would encourage you to chase after your dreams and what you want to do! They wouldn’t feel envious or jealous. They might feel sad, I’m sure, but I know real friends would be proud of what I’d do!


*quietly* Even if tha’ means forsakin’ yer friends, then? Is’ a huge commitmen’ ye know. Ye realize that if ye’ go through with it, a lo’ of  things will change. Ye’ won’t be able to catch as much PvP time or hang out with them as much. Because yeh’d have a duty ter yer new guild. Yeh’d have more responsibilities. The expectations increase. The pressure goes up. Do yeh really think yeh’d want that? Ye won’ be able to see the same crew.


The only constant in the universe is change. If I lose friends because of something petty like this, then I’ll adapt and make new ones. For some reason, people have this stupid idea that changing Guilds is an absolute. If you join one, you’re absolutely forbidden from hanging out with the old. Assuming both guilds are on the same server, then it’s no problem. You can still hang out with them from time to time. No one says you can’t switch vents every now and again and hang out with them. Being in different Guilds doesn’t mean it has to be mutually exclusive.


And if ye were banished? Wha’ then?


I would be saddened, but I would understand. If they choose to expel me because I intend to go after what I want, then I can think of no better reason. Friends come and go on a daily basis. Think about the transition from high school to university. How many friends have you lost then? How many friends have you made since then? The ability to adapt is what allowed our species to survive to this day.


Ye don’ even know if this progression guild will even accept ye! Yeh be let in on a raid one day and kicked out tha next. No stability. Yeh’d have to relearn everything. Yer DKP would start at 0. Yeh’d be considered at the bottom of the food chain.


The fact that they made me an offer proves that they want me and my skills. They’ve given me the opportunity to show off what I can do. I’d be crazy not to take them on it.


Yeh’d leave a lot of good people behind and be lettin’ them down, ye realize.

This is the same argument that has replayed in my mind countless of times ever since I left my old Guild. Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened had I stayed. That same Guild collapsed a few weeks later before splintering off into two different Guilds while I watched from the sides. I can’t help but wonder if I was directly responsible. Maybe that Guild would be at the same progression point I’m at now if I stayed a bit longer. I’ll never know. 

But life is like a game of poker. You can only play the cards that you’ve been dealt resulting in winning big pots or losing your shirt.

29 thoughts on “Great Debates: Your Love of Your Guild vs Your Love for Yourself”

  1. Increasing the global evidence that males are more prone to schitzophrenia….

    One blog post at a time.

    Nice, Matt.

  2. You think that’s weird?! Just yesterday we had more people leave our tiny little guild after weeks of my searching for them. We can’t seem to get our act together and get everyone on the same page and I’m exhausted trying to make things work.

    I’m conflicted with desire to stay because of two friends I started this with and wanting to progress beyond Kara before the third expansion comes out.

  3. I don’t really want to make new friends. I have enough friends in WoW. Without them, the game means nothing to me. The WHOLE draw for me to WoW is the social interaction. Otherwise, I’d just go back to playing Sudoku and watching TV. Yes, I know my friends and I are not going to progress evenly. Some will be ready for things before I am, and I will be ready for things before some of them. While I don’t expect my friends to ‘wait’ for me, it’s nice to know that they care enough to be a little patient. There’s a lot to be said for loyalty. If that’s not important to you, by all means, do what it takes to meet your goals. My preference is not to step on people’s heads on my way up, but that’s just me.

  4. The problem with the “we’ll keep in touch with old guildies” thing is that, as in real life when you move, eventually it does cease, no matter how good intentions are.

  5. Please. Schizophrenia is fun. 😛

    In fact, a lot of people in the world would benefit from a healthy voice in their mind that they can converse and clash with. Most people are so air-headed and single-minded today. Reflection and self-inspection is a very good thing.

    Nice article, Matt. I left my family guild a while ago for raiding and I am quite happy with my decision. I still touch base with them from time to time, and we hold no grievances between each other.

  6. Communication is probably the way to go. Talk to the guild leaders and let them know you are frustrated. Don’t threaten them but make it clear what your goals are and that you aren’t seeing progress.

    For me, my goal is to do BT before the next expansion. My guild has the same goal and is progressing. I could guild hop and get there faster but I am also loyal.

    The question becomes at what point does frustration over rule loyalty. Everyone probably has a different threshhold.

  7. I think both sides are right, depending on the people involved. For me, I take the position of Mallet: I’d never willingly leave my guild to progress beyond what we can achieve.

    OTOH, we’ve had several tried and true folks move on to big-time raiding guilds, and they truly remain friends, although we don’t see them as often, quite naturally. In fact, we went to Kara last night with a former guildie who had moved on.

  8. That reminded me so much of the thoughts going through my mind when I was thinking of leaving my old guild… although it wasnt raiding that was the problem, just the general ‘feel’ of the guild had completely changed 🙁 *sigh*

  9. Well I’ll comment on 2 of your blog posts in 1 comment. 😛

    The other day you asked what “Epic” is? To me it is going into a boss fight with 24 other people who you have been with all along to get to that point, and then downing that boss for the first time together.

    I think that is what drives my commitment to my guild. But I will agree that at some point futility does overtake that loyalty and at that point (or maybe a little before), you have to make the hard choice. There’s no point in playing a game if you’re not enjoying it.

  10. Nicely put together post, Doesn’t everyone talk to themselves like this? My favorite arguments with myself are the ones that I lose…..

    On a serious note, I can see both staying out of loyalty and leaving when the guild no longer is doing what you consider to be fun. After all is said and done it’s a game and fun is why we play.

    I have seen people leave because the guild was not progressing fast enough.

    I have also seen people leave because the guild had progressed into content that required more of a commitment than they were willing or able to put forth.

    Like you said, play the cards you are dealt. Hopefully when it’s all said and done you will be able to look back on your time in wow with no regrets.

  11. Mallet is right, in a social networking game like WoW, it SHOULD be about playing with friends and it’s sad that people are forced to leave friends behind. But it’s also NOT your fault for being wrong and leaving.

    I see this as a design issue that Blizzard more or less thrust on unsuspecting guilds with bad gameplay decisions. I distinctly recall a couple of Kara runs when I first ran it with my current guild where almost EVERY random drop was a Hunter drop. We had one Hunter in the group and after two Kara runs, he had pretty much everything he needed out of it. Needless to say, he quickly became frustrated that HE was beyond Kara while the rest of us were not. He took the route you describe and left our guild (without whom he never would have gotten the gear) to move on to a more progressed guild. The lesson: Random drops suck and a more balanced distribution system might have prevented this from happening.

    Even guilds who get 10 people to all gear up together stumble at the challenge of moving from 10-man to 25-man. After all, you need 25 not 10. I’ve always thought it was ludicrous that you effectively need three 10-man teams to field one 25-man team. The math is just silly strange and it’s no wonder people end up being impatient and leaving or simply merging with other Guilds. One thing I’m looking forward to with WoTLK is that I’ll be able to find 9 other people that I actually LIKE and ENJOY playing with to explore 100% of the content. Maybe we’ll team up for some 25 mans with someone else, maybe not – but at least I won’t feel like I have to abandon people I like in order to play the game.

  12. sid67 makes a good point. One thing I like about being in a “casual raiding guild” (gasp…yes i said it :P), is when we get new mages in who are near the bottom of the meters in dps and watching them quickly climb up with few pointers on gearing and spec and rotations. The trade-off is, once they take the advice and realize their potential, they can quickly become frustrated with our progression and then take the gear and knowledge they got from us and put it to use for another guild (which is the process that ends-up hampering our progression the most). When I think of all the people who have left for better progression and think about where we might be as a guild had they stuck it out a bit longer, it is frustrating. I hold no animosity towards most of them and understand their decision though….you can only be patient and stick it out to a point. Some have more patience and/or resolve than others, but I have to admit…both of those things are running pretty thin even for me these days.

  13. Your both right – its easier to leave ‘virtual’ friends behind, but again liken this back to the real world – in the real world you network – why can’t you network in gaming. I lost all of the ‘friends’ that I had made in the one guild I felt was a true home, yet I’ve picked up along the way alot of people in other guilds/runs ect ect that I wasn’t as close to – but have proven better ‘friends’ and have lasted the distance.
    In theory As long as you aren’t booted or rage quit, then you should be able to good relations with the people that you know are good – or are just great people, and they you – Just from a networking point. A good friend won’t hold you back a better friend will still /w Hey! when you log in no matter what guild you are in.

  14. @sid67 I think Blizzard has realised this to some extent. It seems to me that the badge of justice system is in place to help counter the effects of not getting your random drops. If you run the instance enough times you can likey buy your way into a comparable peice of gear than the drop that never happened. Having lots more gear that is BOE is helping as well.
    They have also mentioned that all professions will be able to produce poweful and useful BOP items when they are updated in the expansion.
    I have seen lots of threads that are complaints about the relative ease of getting badge gear and how it is going to destroy raiding, I honestly think it will help keep guilds together.
    If the new 10/25 man raid format holds the way it was released this week, I believe it will help as well.
    Then again only time will tell.

  15. I was thinking more on this and my career moves come to mind. I’ve been somewhat loyal to each employer I have had but really I have moved up the career ladder by taking on bigger roles by changing jobs. Loyalty is nice but it doesn’t put the kids through college, the wife in a new car so she’ll quit whining, etc. If the guild isn’t moving fast enough to keep your enjoyment level of WoW at an acceptable amount, it would be time to move on. I still think it would be best to communicate your frustrations in a polite manner to the guild leaders and give them a chance to fix things a little. Why burn your bridges? Again, same thing in the workplace.

  16. I enjoyed the post thoroughly BUT I think you have to look at the specifics of a case. I am a recruiting officer in the business of getting people to leave their guilds for mine. There are good and bad reasons to jump ship for a more progressed guild.

    BAD (and if I know about these, the player won’t get a g-invite)
    1. The player is considering jumping only 2-3 bosses to get over a hurdle–like Vashj and Kael–because they are frustrated with the wipes that come with progression. I need raiders with patience.
    2. The player comes from a similarly-progressed guild and has taken a ton of loot for both on and offspec and the main advantage of leaving is resetting dkp to zero.
    3. The player wants to skip an entire tier, or go from a non-raiding guild straight into Hyjal.
    4. The old guild had “too much drama.” I’m always suspicious of this one until I hear the whole story, and if this is the reason stated on an app for leaving a guild, I’m going to try to get in touch with the applicant’s former guildies to make sure that the aforementioned drama was not caused by said applicant.

    GOOD reasons:
    1. The player is in a similar guild to mine or even more progressed, but they can’t make the raid times. D’oh!
    2. The player is in a good guild but their raid role is very competitive. My guild has an open spot.
    3. Something about the new guild’s culture suits the player better. For example, my guild has a lot of couples and we do our utmost to schedule them together or bench them together, and we also let people bring in their significant others as casual members if they like.
    4. The player has been out of raiding for a while and when they came back, their guild had passed them by. The player wants to raid the content they missed.
    5. AND most commonly: the player’s guild has simply stagnated, and the player has a desire to see more of the game. This seems to have been your case Matticus! In that case, you did the only thing you could have done. One person can’t remake a guild from the inside and give it motivation, and short of starting a raiding guild yourself, finding one is the only way to get what you want out of the game.

  17. I hopped from a guild that had a very consistant trend of inconsistancy that was 1/6 SSC and 1/4 TK that raided late to a guild that was 5/6 SSC and 3/4 TK with an earlier schedule.

    Did I regret leaving the friends from the old guild behind for new content? No, because I left on good terms and have maintained some of the friendships.

    Is the new guild better than the old? For my schedule and raiding, Absolutely! For everything else, thats debatable. Some of the people I just dont get along with, but that is true for everything in life. I do really enjoy that I am able to say that I have cleared Hyjal and BT!

    Overall, I’m glad that I moved. WoW is more fun for me now, and considering that its a game, thats the whole point!

  18. The title of this post says it all and speaks to the reason for one’s playing the game in the first place. Is it to advance your character and see new things (loving yourself) or to hang out with friends (loving your guild)? Neither is better than the other, they are simply the motivators behind our monthly $15.

  19. Wow – thank you for that. I have been struggling with this very issue for a long time now and still have not resolved it fully. It adds some unwanted stress to what I want to be my leisure time activity. I’ll work it out in the end like you and many others have.


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