Keeping it Going – The Woes of Losing Players

When folks talk about losing key players in their guild, they’re often talking about raiders or officers. Once in a while, they’re talking about that guy who has every character you could ever want, and is always willing to jump in a battleground or dungeon with whatever function it is you can’t seem to quite get enough of.

But in a tiny guild, that can be different. It can just be the guy who plays a lot and is always there. Y’know, the guy who happens to play the only healer in the guild at max level.

We had just started doing heroic 5-mans in our small group of players with level 85 toons. And only two tries into our first heroic, the physical world reared its ugly head. Our healer, and the official leader of those heroic runs, had work take him away from the game. That was six weeks ago. About the same time, our hunter became a daddy, and we haven’t seen much of him, either.

For a tiny guild, that essentially killed our runs. We struggle with the content because we’re only just barely geared enough for it (and, frankly, we have a very poor mix of dps with a rogue, ret paladin and hunter). We don’t want to be carried by overgeared players, or, frankly, annoy people who expect a nice easy run through their heroics. 

In the meantime, we’ve got two more level 85 players in the guild, and we could start back up again in normals, but it just hasn’t quite been meshing.

Of course, we struggle on, but at this stage, it’s nigh impossible for a level 10 guild to recruit and retain anyone. We don’t have much to offer; and we tend to actually be a fairly introverted and quiet guild. Periodically we’ll get chatter going in guild chat, but mostly it’s “hello”, “good night” and the achievement congratulations.   I generally try and chat with new recruits, but it often feels very one-sided; sometimes even met with dead silence; and I’m not the best at small talk, either, so…

I’d like to do more; but I struggle with the fact that I should be shilling for my guild to grow it; and that I want to play the game. I don’t sit around in cities doing “nothing” well; and I can’t stand having trade chat on when I’m not actually trying to sell or trade something!  I know, these things mean that I have reconciled myself to a tiny guild – at least until I’m lucky and can draw in an extrovert who loves talking to new peopole and wants to become my recruitment officer.

But, really, growing the guild is not the point of this article. It’s certainly one way to address the problem, to alleviate the need for a particular player to be able to play for the rest of us to get to do some of the things we want to do.  Instead, I have to figure out incentives to get people to play the game. I managed a good one very recently – the race between our newest level 85 toons: Gurdrid, Yawondergirl and Jackoby.

And it worked fantastically! Jackoby and Yawondergirl are still online very nearly every evening – up from the occasional visit other than Thursday night dwarf runs. There’s also the Thursday dwarf runs, but the dwarves are hitting that low period where they’re not going to be leveling through dungeons as fast.

I’ve thought of other things, like guild achievement parties, or transmog contests… but to be honest, we’re just not big enough for that to be something that actually works very well for an extended period of time.

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Posted on February 21, 2012, in Guild. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I know exactly how you feel. In a small guild, losing one person can be devastating, especially if you have JUST enough people do do anything meaningful together. I tried to get people together to recruit, but yes, most people don’t want to join a guild that’s not max level. This is where I think blizzard has truly screwed small guilds, new guilds or future guilds. It’s good to hear that you guys got more people, it’s always exciting for a small guild. You guys SHOULD do fun things together like acheiv parties and contests. It’s nice to get some guild moral and pride going especially in a small guild where everyone is friends. 🙂

    • For the record, we didn’t really get two new people. Jack and Yawonder have been around since the beginning, they just hadn’t been playing a lot. Now, they’re much more active. But it is very exciting when we get more activity, whether it’s from folks who haven’t been around much or new players.

      I’m beginning to think I might change the focus of our Sunday afternoon “85’s time” to be more globally inclusive in some way. Food for thought, for sure.

  2. You’ve touched a topic that very close to my heart right now. My guild had just gotten enough people to do 10 man raids, then Christmas and New Years came and we lost some players. I can tell our raid leader is losing it right now as it almost two months since New Years and we are not back on track. We still don’t know the causes of this MIAs, but I’m guessing burn out, work and SWTOR are the main reasons.

  3. We’ve only just managed to kill Deathwing due to lack of numbers and a hard time in recruiting. It can be very detrimental to morale for the leaders of a small Guild when you try so hard to bulk up your numbers and not have much to show for it after months of trying. We do have the option of asking people we know to help out with a raid but it would be nice to not have to worry about finding people every single raid/week. Last week we were delayed a whole hour before the raid actually started.

  4. I know what you mean. My guild is made up of adults in their mid twenties or older, and recently we’ve had quite a few people step back due to work commitments etc. It’s not just that we can’t always raid, but I really miss the company of some of them too.

    • Morrigu, that’s a big part of it for us, too. Our missing group member is a well-loved friend, and it’s sad to log on and not see him.

  5. Enjoyed reading this.

    My partner, my sister, and I spent five years in our own guild that we used just for chatting and extra storage. Then one day we decided to switch servers and make a guild for other people like us . . .people who don’t have the time to be hardcore raiders but who do want to do some end content . . .as much as we can. It has been a startling experience. We have members from age 11 to over age 60, and most of them wanted to have a social experience but were intimidated by bad experiences with more competitive guilds. I had no idea so many nice people were out there wishing they could do heroics and regular cata content without the driven nature of uber guilds. I hope you find some of these folks, too. I think there really are a lot of quieter players looking for a nice guild to be a part of . . .the trick seems to be finding one another.

    In the meantime, my guild is Cold Feats on Farstriders. If we meet in random heroics say hi!

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