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It’s Okay to have a Tiny Guild

Every once in a while, I have to remind myself of this. And then I read about other guild leaders and the problems they have with drama. And I think “Yay! I have no drama in my guild.”

Okay, so sometimes I want to have more than four active players in my guild. Or even more than a half dozen players with level 85 toons in my guild. But, I can count on my players to not cause stress in my game-play.  We plan to run 5-man guild achievements like a lot of guilds plan to run their raids. And some nights we have to PuG someone in or go do something else.

And we’re only a level 5 guild. But I know that I earned a part of each and every one of those levels. And I know it when one of my players goes on a tear to finish one of the guild achievements.

A couple of weeks ago, we had nearly completed Making History. I’d been plugging it on the guild boards and in the message of the day for a couple of weeks, and I’d steadily watched the numbers go down. Then one night, I got on, and we had 22 to go.  I headed out to do some archaeology in Outland, where I hadn’t done much. As I completed each of my finds, I watch the guild count tick up. And it made me smile. We got to 480, and I changed the guild message of the day to indicate that we needed 20. Another guildie got on. A little while later, when I completed another project, I noticed that it had incremented while I was busy chasing down my next find. He was also doing archaeology. A bit later, there were four of us on, and we got to 10. And I started counting them down in the guild message of the day as I watched them tick off.

We got to 5, and I changed the message. And the count rolled over to 4. So I changed the message again. And it rolled over to 3, then 2, then 1. And each time I changed the message. Then we had the achievement. One of the guys had been saving his completions for when we got close enough that he could complete them as I changed the message. And, apparently, two of them were hoping to be the one to complete the last one.

Stuff like that might happen in big guilds, but it happens so fast that there’s no sense of wonder as it occurs.   At one point, earlier in that very evening, the guy who chose to do the count down for me had suggested we all stop. My partner and co-guild leader pointed out that we were close enough that I would probably stay up all night by myself and finish it so I could see it happen if they did.

My level 5 guild, BTW, has always rolled over the level when I’m offline.  I get on one day to discover that we’ve gotten our level, frequently when I was hoping to see it the next day.  Once, one of my guildies saw we were so close that he stayed up until 2am to finish it off all by himself. He normally gets offline around 8pm.

And that’s why it’s okay to have a Tiny Guild. Tiny Guilds might take longer to do some of the things that bigger guilds get done, but when you’re in a tiny guild, you know your contribution counts.

A History of Altitis

When I first started playing WoW (in February of 2005), the friend who got me interested in the game suggested that I try to play several different classes before I settled on one. I took that a step farther. I started 10 characters – one for each class (yes, that meant that I had a Hordey out there, too, not just my Alliance toons.) The first toon I settle into a truly loving relationship was Shoryl. (yes, I know, Shoryl is my second paladin. Wait for it already!)
Shoryl was a human paladin. She was easy to play. She provided me with hours of enjoyment, and she had the name that had, in other circles, come to supplant my given name. The other toon that got a lot of my time was a druid named Caitlinn. My shaman got very little love, partially because she was horde, and I knew nobody who played horde-side, and partially because those totems were just way too confusing to me.

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I raided in vanilla, but before I resigned myself to healing, I tried valiantly to play retribution. Back then, I didn’t know much about the online resources available. Eventually, though, I gave in to healing, and got pretty darned good at it, if I must say. My 40-man group, which started out as a PuG, would go on to complete AQ-40, and nearly complete Naxxramus – though I stopped raiding while we were still getting confident about Blackwing Lair.

We’ll skip the drama that happened, but then I found myself on a new server, with an impending new expansion, and a level 60 paladin who’d gotten probably 80% of my WoW time. Caitlinn had been left on the old server, where she still languishes at level 50. I’d been playing a new toon, though, whose name was Unsocial. He was a night elf rogue, and I purposely made him look like a nice purple Wolverine. The name was intentional. I wanted him to be a solo toon. He didn’t even quest, because he didn’t like to be told what to do. (No, I do not RP, but my characters still end up with personalities.)

Once again, when BC launched, I took Shoryl right out and started the grind to 70. Unsocial would languish while I worked on getting my girl up and ready to raid, but raiding didn’t happen for me. For starters, I tried to go retribution again – and while it could have worked had I been dedicated enough and willing to PvP, it was a nightmare for itemization, and not something I really wanted to do. But I did go Shockadin during that time, and had a heckuva good time with it. I didn’t end up raiding much at all in BC, partially because of my poky leveling style, and partially because of personal things giving me less in-game time than my guild.

Enter my second attempt at a Shaman. I was sure that this time it would stick. My little Draenei, Peilla, would become an elemental shaman, since Shoryl couldn’t buck the healing gig and go ret. But alas, it wasn’t to be. I ditched her in the 50s. Unsocial made it to 70, and then I discovered I hated all the fussiness of playing a rogue. During this time, my sweetie leveled her first paladin. We did crazy stuff with our two pallies, like 5-man world quests, all by ourselves.
Then, it was time for Wrath of the Lich King to launch. We intended to level our pallies together, to keep the synergy going, but that would not come to happen. I went ahead and leveled Shoryl on my own – and yes, she was ret! Wrath was a huge alt-time for me. I didn’t care for Northrend much, so I spent all kinds of time on other toons, and ended up with several in their mid-40s.

During Wrath, we also talked my sweetie’s parents into playing. And somewhere near the end of Wrath, they decided to change servers from the one we were on. Since we weren’t having very good luck finding a guild we liked, we decided to go check out the server they had moved to. We created pallies: Shoryl and Sonaira. And as we leveled, and talked her folks into starting a guild, we decided we wanted to bring our 80s over to the new server as well. But I didn’t want to delete Shoryl. So, Shoryl (prime) had to get a new name. And her name is Taoiseach, which is gaelic for prime minister.
Eventually, as these things happen, I took over the guild that the folks had started (which we had encouraged them to do), and so now Shoryl is the leader of a tiny guild called Higher Authority.

I still have my alts. Taoiseach is also level 85 – my paladins are both retribution. I have a hunter at 85, a druid in the midst of gaining the Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms achievement (before heading to Outland), and my third attempt at a shaman – though she’s going to be a healer. And I don’t plan to raid this expansion.