I’ve always believed that if you see something wrong in the way a guild is run, whether you’re an officer or a member who joined up a week ago, you should speak up.  Talk to your guild leader, talk to an officer, ask why things are done they way that they are. Sometimes things will change – sometimes they won’t, but you’ll never know unless you try.

When I was a guild leader, there was nothing more frustrating to me than people who would just randomly /gquit or server transfer, never to be heard from again.  It made me crazy. Was it something I did? Was it something I didn’t do? Could I have made that member happy if I’d tried harder? I wish more people had come to me when they saw a problem, even if – for whatever reason – that problem wasn’t something I could fix overnight.

That’s a big part of the reason I don’t want to be an officer in someone else’s guild. Unless you’re in a guild that’s run by committee, officers rarely have any power to effect change, but you bet they hear complaints and suggestions constantly. Heck, I hear a lot of it now as someone who everyone knows has absolutely NO power to effect change, and I like being someone that people feel like they can talk to.  However, if were in an officer position? I wouldn’t be able to be that sounding board. I’d have to repeat the “official” line – whatever that may be – whether I agreed with it or not.

In my opinion, one of the most important qualities in an officer is the ability to be a part of a united front. To be politic and diffuse challenging situations without going against guild policies. Even if said officer is arguing with the rest of the guild management against a policy he doesn’t agree with? He presents to the general membership his full support until a time comes when it gets changed.

I know I can’t do that.

I cannot pretend to support policies – or lack of policies – that I think are unfair, or that I think give preferential treatment to people who have not earned it.  I cannot toe the party line. I don’t want to sabotage the efforts of the people in charge, but I don’t want to be part of what I see as a disservice to the general membership. I don’t want to be the next officer who is saying “I really don’t like it either, but I don’t have the power to do anything about it”.

We left our last guild on Bronzebeard because of a guild management situation gone bad. We had stepped up to help out with a guild that was struggling while the guild leader dealt with some things in his real life that kept him away from the game. When he – and his girlfriend – were back to playing regularly, they decided that they wanted to completely change the focus of the guild. We didn’t want that – as members or officers, and we tried to advocate for the other members who felt the same way we did. We were consistently shut down. In the end, the only thing we could do was leave – it was no longer the guild we joined, it wasn’t a guild we wanted to be in, and as such, we were unhappy members and really terrible officers (although we were still performing our “officer” duties). That’s not a situation I want to put myself in again.

For some people, becoming an officer in a guild is a status symbol.   For me, it’s a job, and one I wouldn’t take lightly.

As someone who doesn’t particularly like 25 man raids, I have no business being in an officer position in a 25 man raiding guild. Ever. But I don’t think that makes my thoughts an opinions as a guild member invalid, and unworthy of expressing. I know there are people in my guild who can balance the need to publicly show support for the guild as it is, and then advocate for improvements behind closed doors.

I know that I am not one of those people, and pretending I could be would be a disservice to myself, to our two GMs and to all the other officers who are selected.