Recently, one of my guilds in one of my main games had a major breakdown, and a large percentage of the endgame players jumped ship. The reasoning behind it was complex and unfortunate, but it started a chain reaction among the other guild-members, and membership rapidly declined even further over the following days. It left the original guild a gutted shell of its former self, with the rest of us holding the shredded, deflated bag.
Those of us who stayed saw a lot of variety in the way the defectors chose to leave the guild. For the most part, these departures were undramatic; people would just leave without saying anything, cycling through and pulling their alts from the roster one at a time. Some defectors, however, left a lasting impression. They went out with a resounding bang.Here, then, are some of the ways our ex-members used to weasel out. Please keep in mind that, as the recipient/victim of all of these exit strategies, I am not condoning this behavior in any way.
1. The Gentleman's Exit - Politely inform the guild that you are leaving, perhaps even offer a reason why, drop a note to your guild leader, wish everyone well, and part ways without any drama. A classy exit like this is, unfortunately, rather rare.
2. The Cartman - Cuss everyone out and bail. No reason needed or given - "Screw you guys, I'm going to 'Angles of the Apocilipse.'"
3. The Spartacus - Build up an army of core, clique-y players. When the tyrannical guild leader finally goes too far, stage a mass exodus and take the whole army with you. Ideally, this happens during a PvP match, and the exiting army kills the guild leadership. If the leader of the army shouts "FREEDOM!" during the exodus, this is called the Braveheart.
4. The Fifth Columnist - Act as a secret agent for the guild you wish to defect to, weakening the old guild from within. Sow the seeds of insurrection and discontent by questioning everything the guild's leadership says and does. Form a "secret society" of like-minded malcontents to spread the same propaganda. Bonus points for causing other members to defect to the same new guild, or for inspiring a coup d'etat. If the defector does not have a pro-new-guild agenda and is just doing these things because he's a miserable person, this strategy is called The Cancer.
5. The Heist - Raid the guild banks or vaults on your way out. Take anything of value, as much as you can carry (or as much as you are permitted to withdraw according to the permissions) and leave no trace that you were ever there. If you work with a team and you can all make your getaway in Mini Coopers, even better.
6. The Hulk - A more violent version of the Cartman, except with an explicitly-declared reason for quitting, usually heavily spiced with profanities and grievous insults. The ultimate rage-quit, where you almost feel bad afterwards about all the horrible things you said on your way out. Almost.
7. Order 66 - You must be a high-ranking officer in your guild to execute Order 66. Begin booting people from the guild, starting with the newest recruits (the younglings) and working your way up to higher-ranking officers. Works best if you are in a position to assume leadership of the guild due to an inactive leader, and it's also better if you get other loyal officers to commit the atrocities for you. But if you are not in a position to take control of the guild, it's one hell of a way to make an exit.
8. The Dramatist - Start demanding too much attention in guild chat, all the time. When people get sick of it and start ignoring you, threaten to leave the guild fifteen times or so. When you do finally leave, go out in a blaze of glory by calling everyone selfish, ignorant or otherwise awful in a dramatic farewell soliloquy. Bonus points if you can work in the phrase, "You just don't get it, do you?" If you follow this up by trashing your former guild in general chat in a series of psychotic rants, this is called the Charlie Sheen.
9. The Short Troll - Force the guild's leadership to give you the boot. You can accomplish this by flagrantly violating your guild's stated rules of conduct. Bust in with something super-offensive and jerky, call all of the guild's leaders morons. Rapid-fire policy abuse is sure to result in a swift boot.
10. The Long Troll - More of a long-term goal. Start being a complete jerkwad, but without actually violating any specific guild rules. Annoy your guild, but don't specifically harass anyone. Start pointless arguments, get offended often, take teasing too far, crack offensive jokes and then immediately apologize, etc. You want to bend the rules but not break them, and you want to push your guild-mates to the limits of their tolerance. If you have the patience, do this in waves - troll for a while, then stop as though you learned your lesson, then start again. Eventually, you will get kicked out. Unless the entire guild behaves in the same way, in which case you are better off with something more direct.
These are mostly all terrible ways to leave a guild, and you will be reviled for using them. Your reasons for ditching your crew can be simple or complex, personal or professional, but there is almost never a need to resort to base behavior and childishness. Don't take that baggage and hostility with you to your new guild. If you must leave, take the high road and show some class. Your new guild will thank you for it, and your old guild might not hate you quite so much.