The Rise and Fall of Guilds
Sometimes it is the inability for the guild leader to realize his own ineffectualness that leads to a guild dissolving. Oftentimes, these guild leaders see any disagreement as a threat to losing power, and would react in the wrong ways to certain situations.
Guilds can be extremely political and the officer/lead positions can mean a great deal to the people who hold them. I joined a guild as a newbie, in EQ, and was nominated to be an officer within a month of joining. I had no idea what an officer did, however I did accept the position. I learned quickly and over the next 6 months became comfortable with handling situations. Then, our guild leader had some personal problems and said she would not be playing for a few weeks, weeks turned into months and it became very difficult to keep the guild running without someone with the guildleader functions. She did come on once in a while, for a few minutes, just to say hello. But, she refused to turn the lead over to anyone else, even temporarily, and people began to leave the guild. Well, this went on for two months until we, the officers, approached a GM about having her removed as guild leader. She decided to come back then, and called a meeting to tell the members that she was back, but in her absence we all forgot how to behave like civilized people and with her help, we could all learn to play nice. We were baffled, we didn't understand where all of that came from, and frankly, we, the officers, were hurt by her words since we were the ones she left in charge. So, we began to talk amongst ourselves about what would be best for us now, and three of the officers decided to quit the current guild and begin their own. Many of the members from the old guild left to join the new. The stubborn leader turned the old guild over to her boyfriend and he deemed the guild as being 'unmanaged' from now on, and at that point, the old guild was pretty much finished. The new guild lives on, much stronger than the old, with old friends and new, a very happy ending to a very sad story. [EQ, F, 24]
In-guild politics has never really been an issue for me directly, as I tend to avoid officership (and thusly, headaches and responsibility) like the plague. However, I have experienced guild politics first hand. My old UO guild at one point in time had the oppurtunity to merge with a group of other guilds in order to form a united coalition against our enemies. I was among the supporters of the change, however our leadership saw it as a loss of their own personal power, whether or not it was for the greater good, and so they declined. Apparently leadership and many other factions also refused to give up power as well, so the coalition never formed. And of course, we continued to lose battles regularly without each others' support. [UO, M, 21]
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