So I’m still in Aftermath, and I’ve gotta say I still love this guild. I think though, we’re about to hit a real trying patch in our guild’s existence. We’ve had a number of level 80 folks join the guild and a number of folks hit level 80. Now a lot of the guild’s focus is no longer strictly on getting the members of the guild to 80, but getting ready to raid.
Unfortunately I haven’t hit 80 yet. Several of the other guild members that re-rolled are in the same boat. With the guild changing focus, it’d be really easy for folks who’ve been leveling like crazy to lose focus and feel like the guild just doesn’t care if they get to 80.
I’ve been harbored in a raiding guild before. I’ve gotta say, leveling in a raiding guild is a lonely and frustrating experience. For the most part unless you’re really low level folks will run you through the first two or three really low level instances, but then you’re on your own. You don’t really have anyone to run with because even guild members leveling alts only run with those alts every once in a while, and chances are, they run with folks they know. You know, they run with the folks they raid with. Well if you aren’t level capped and a member of the raiding parties, no one gets to know you or anything about you. Even typing in guild chat for the most part you get ignored, and for the most part you’re just considered to be someone’s alt. Then you get to live vicariously as everyone posts gear links from last night’s raid in guild chat. Woo hoo.
Lately I’ve noticed that my desire to level has taken a total nosedive. Part of it is due to the fact that the ‘Night Crew’ dissolved. Two of the guys in the ‘Night Crew’ were already level 80 so it was sort of a driving force to get to 80 and sit at the big kid’s table so to speak. Those two members left the guild. The other remaining regular member is pretty much ready to hit Northrend, so hey yeah, not like I’ve got someone to run with in the evenings for the most part.
I’ve also noticed that folks aren’t logging into the guild as much. That’s not a good sign. So I started thinking, why were folks logging in to be a part of the guild. What made so awesome when it first started? Then it hit me! When we first started out not everyone had hit 80 yet and we didn’t have a lot of level 80 guildies. For the most part we had a few folks in the high 70’s but that’s about it. These higher level folks would stop and help out the folks as they were leveling, and let me tell you, that made a HUGE difference. I mean, how nice is it to be able to say ‘hey guys hate to ask this,’ and have a level seventy something say ‘Need help with Dead Mines huh?’ and then run out to give you a hand. We also had guild events organized, such as Lowbie Nights where high level guild members would run guildies through dungeons they haven’t been able to group for, a guild group into the Gurubashi Arena, and even a birthday suit run from Iron Forge to Stormwind!
These events took the edge off the grind. We got to know one another by spending a little time together. I mean in some ways, WoW can be a lot like a cafe. You see people coming and going all the time, and you might recognize some regulars if you go often enough, but you don’t really feel compelled to get to know anyone, you’re just there for a cup of coffee. Guilds can be like this sometimes. When we’re trying really hard to get loot or to get that next level, getting to know the folks in the guild around us doesn’t take precedence anymore. This is about when clicks form and people start to leave the guild.
So what I’m thinking is that it’s time to start bringing back the more social events and to bring back assistance to folks who are still working their way up. Yeah this is going to take time away from leveling my character, but what good will it be to get to level 80 and have no one to run with?
Since I have a Death Knight that’s just hanging about in the Outlands taking up a character slot, I figure, hey, why don’t I bring back ‘Lowbie Nights’ and see what I can do to try and get the guild kicking again. This also lets the folks ready for raiding get back to raiding. I’m actually excited about this! This will give me a chance to get to know some of the newer low level guild members. It’ll also give me a few karma points after getting so much help myself when I started out.
Yeah I know there’s a chance that folks will try to take advantage of the help, but I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve. So since I’m doing the runs as Teufeltanz my Death Knight, I can start to set the expectation that when I log on as that character, I’m here to help. On the flip side that means when I log on as Auslander, I’m there to get some serious leveling in. I think that’ll help a bunch. I’m also a big fan of saying no to folks who are obviously just trying to have the game handed to them. For folks that are seriously working hard at leveling, I really don’t mind running them through anything because I know they’re motivated and they’ve gotta be doing something right or they wouldn’t be completing the quests. I also know that folks looking to have the game handed to them now won’t change that perspective once they hit the level cap. That just has ‘drama’ written all over it and won’t help out the guild.
In the end what I’m really hoping to do is to breath life back into Aftermath. Since the guild started up over the holidays, we all had more time we could dedicate to the game. A lot of us were also all starting at the same time, and that helped out a bunch too. So now that the dust has settled and folks are back to the grind, we’re all starting to go our separate ways and we’re drifting apart as a guild. I think it’s time to get the band back together you know?