Updated Thu, Oct 17, 2013 by Mem
Being part of a guild is an important thing in World of Warcraft. While you can certainly play the game solo, there are many things that require a group and let's face it, the game is just better when you play it with others. Once you find that guild that is exactly right for you, they become your friends, confidants, and perhaps even something like family. So when a guild falls apart, it can be pretty devastating (my wife cried when our original guild finally collapsed) and leave us searching for answers.
While we can't pinpoint the exact reason every guild falls apart, if you look hard enough at the stories of dissolved guilds, there are some pretty common patterns. Below you will find five of the top guild killers in World of Warcraft. Some are more preventable than others, however, all can be deadly to a guild.
In an ideal world, drama would be something we left back in high school. Unfortunately, that simply isn't the case. No matter if it is drama over loot, who got in a run, or if one player is being treated better than another, drama often rears it's ugly head when you put players together in a guild. Drama can be caused by one bad apple or by a combined group and no matter who the perpetrator is, it can be deadly for your guild. While it may seem easy to shrug it off and let drama run rampant, it really needs to be nipped in the bud. If not taken care of promptly, drama can breed and spread until you find your guild falling apart around you.
We join guilds for various reasons, however, in the case of many, we join guilds for PvE progression. This means joining up with a group of people and getting out there, killing that super hard boss, and collecting the loot. Sounds easy right? Wrong! While it is not as common today as it was in times past, the term “guild killer” applied to a boss is something many of us can recall with a shudder. Prime examples of these types of bosses are C'Thun and Yogg-Saron. Both difficult encounters that made many a guild base their heads against the wall so many times they totally fell apart.
Both the bosses in the examples above are pretty notorious for their abilities to dissolve players to tears. However, no matter what boss or achievement you are stuck on, a lack of progression can cause tensions to run high. People get angry, frustrated, and start to wonder if they should be looking for a spot in another guild. While the flames can be subdued for awhile, if progression isn't made, these feelings of animosity will quickly spread and overwhelm your guild, burning it to the ground.
Every single person in a guild is an important player. However, someone needs to be in charge. Just like a company, without some kind of leadership, nothing is going to get done. Officers should be fair, unbiased, people-friendly, drama-free, and ready to devote a good portion of their time to managing the guild.
Many players want the title of officer just have it. They aren't ready for and don't really want to take on any of the work it really involves. Others start out as good officers and then slowly lose their passion for one reason or the other, except they don't give up their officer position. Then there are those who get put into this position and we never can quite figure out why.
A prime example of this was seen in one of my old guilds., There was an officer who was nasty, lazy, and downright abrasive. One of his worst stunts was to take money from players to earn them a guild spot. The second he got their money and invited them to the guild he would automatically kick them again. It was embarrassing for the rest of the guild members, gave us a rotten reputation, and I believe by not removing this toxic officer, a direct cause of the downfall of this guild. Without a doubt, having a strong, good, and long-lasting guild requires the right kind of leaders running the show.
There comes a time in nearly every players life when they realize that they are no longer enjoying the game they love as much as they used to. Things aren't exciting anymore and just logging in is a chore. This of course is common in WoW players who have been playing the game for years. Even if your guild is healthy otherwise, it stands to reason that after awhile at least some of your members may experience some burn out.
Burn out typically results in players taking a break which range from days, to weeks, to even years. Sometimes when one player takes this break, it sparks other players to realize that they are also feel like the game doesn't hold the same appeal for them. If enough players, or ones that are essential to the function of the guild vanish, keeping the guild alive can become a struggle. It is not uncommon for a player who took an extended break to come back and discover the guild is no longer raiding or even disbanded totally. Unfortunately, there is little one can do to prevent cases of burn out and the exodus of players who experience it.
Real life is the mortal foe of every gamer and is often a prime guild killer in World of Warcraft. Unlike in game events, when real life events occur, we just can't ignore them. This of course means players are pulled away from the game and if this occurs often or in just the right sequence guilds can fold in on themselves quite quickly.
I experienced a great example of this when in a previous guild two officers were a married couple. They got pregnant, found out they were having twins and when the babies came they found themselves without time to play. At the same time other players changed jobs, moved, or had other important life events come up. The guild dissolved and there was no one to blame, we all wanted to play together, life just had made it impossible. Real life is a sneaky foe that cannot really be fought when it comes to the downfall of guilds.
That concludes our list of the top 5 guild killers in World of Warcraft. What are some things that have caused the fall of guilds you have been in? What do you do to prevent those situations from happening again? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!