Last time I was telling you about how I left during a drama blowout between the more experienced EQ raiders and the newer players like myself. A lot of it was due to differing expectations between the two groups and I still believed that the best way to go about things was that guildies should always be helping each other, no matter what.
The road to heaven
I ended up re-rolling on Argent Dawn, with most of my RL friends and made a night elf rogue named Auray. This time around I wanted to try out smaller guilds so I started hunting for that magical guild that would both be helpful and full of good players so we could raid together. Like chasing a unicorn I couldn’t quite find said guild and I ended up switching guilds a lot as I leveled. I thought of myself as an expert player by then and only the best would do! Lord was I deluded…
I was questing in Tanaris when I was approached by a guild called Road to Heaven, ran by a couple who claimed they had raided before (lies but I’d learn that later) and wanted to get away from big impersonal guilds and to build an elite team for Molten Core and beyond. That seemed like my kind of guild and I joined up to give them a try.
At first, everything was wonderful. People were helpful while also being pretty good players. We were tearing through content and we had a great system of crafting so we’d all be ready for endgame. I ended up bringing my RL friends to the guild and finally got my first ever character to 60 after turning in one last quest in Silithus. It’s been years and I still remember that moment… crazy.
Soon enough we were doing UBRS multiple times a week and we were working on that fire resist gear so we’d be ready for the big times. All seemed perfect but WoW was about to teach me my first life lesson.
Time was passing and raiding was not happening. We were hovering around 30 members but recruitment was going at a snail pace and we were starting to lose our geared members to other guilds. I approached one of our co-leaders, Sicke, also a rogue about what was being done and he told me he wasn’t interested in discussing it with me.
That right there should have lighted a few alarms bells. There were other signs too that something was amiss like people being cut from runs so Sicke and his wife could get gear or bank access being suddenly restricted. As time passed though, I was starting to get anxious and I started more frequently questioning the leaders as to what was happening and why.
Then I made my biggest mistake, I began openly challenging Sicke and his wife. Something was obviously wrong by now but I still believed it was due to Sicke being lazy or just not being good enough and I took it upon myself to fix things.
Of course things went to hell fast enough. This is when the life lesson happened. Not only was I kicked out of the guild but I was made the scapegoat, big time. Sicke worked hard at making sure everyone thought it was me behind all the guild issues and he had been going at it for a while behind my back before kicking me. When it happened, I was already a pariah but I was too blind to realize. On top of that, he had worked two of my friends, a healer and a tank, extra hard because he needed them. When the blowout happened, one of them actually sided with Sicke.
So here’s how I saw things from my end. Here was this guild, for which I had spent countless hours farming, for which I had recruited my friend and other members, for which I was running countless runs with the lower levels to get them caught up and for which I just poured all my time into. This guild was now booting me. Not only that but they made me responsible for all the issues we had and to top it off they turned my friends against me.
I felt betrayed and I was furious. I remember picking up the phone that night and calling each of my supposed friends in turn and asking them point blank to take a side. Either they were with me or they were not and getting on my shit list that very instant. Now looking back I’m not proud of how I acted that day and what I said but it happened. My argument back then is that I had been screwed over by Sicke and co and that I expected friends to believe me over strangers.
I lost friends that day, people that even today I still don’t want to be associated with. Other supported me and a few made me understand later that they did not see the whole thing happen and that while they wanted to be supportive it was hard to do when you have a raging me swearing at the end of a phone.
I learned a life lesson thanks to these events about fair-weather friends and friends who won’t help you out if it inconveniences them. Those are not my friends anymore. I also learned a few important games lessons, namely about why the old raiders in Annarchy acted the way they did.
Helping out others in MMOs is fine to a point but in the end, you don’t know these people and you can get the shaft at any moment. That armor you spent 10 hours farming and gave away to Bob the warrior is great but Bob might be gone tomorrow. That guild you love can just die any moment. So spend your time in game wisely and don’t expect others to treat you the way you’d want them to.
Back when all of this happened I went into hiding by rolling a new undead rogue on a new server that I told no one about, not even my remaining friends but that will be for the next post. Someone who was in the guild at the time that I came across a few years later told me what followed.
Road to Heaven imploded soon after I left. The little game that Sicke had played with my friends only worked for a small part of the guild that had been there for a while. Most of my friends ended up leaving the guild to avoid drama as did most of the newer members coming up. Since I was one of the few helping them out daily, when I left they wondered what had happened and since the story of evil me didn’t fit with what they had seen, they suspected the bullshit and left. It then snowballed and geared veterans left for raiding guilds, recognizing a dead guild when they see one. With over half the guild gone Sicke left and the guild died.
To this day, I still wonder what exactly Sicke and wife were up to. The way they acted I suspect they might have been trying to gear themselves up, steal the bank and apply to a more advanced guild but I have no proof of this so I’ll never really know.
About being helpful
This post is running long but as I was writing this it struck me how much I changed my attitude when it comes to helping others in game. Experience has taught me multiples times that helping out in game is in no way a guaranteed two way street. Many will take advantage of you and your generosity. These days I’ll help out people I consider friends and guildies if time allows but I won’t go out of my way like I used to.
But in a way it’s sad that I became this jaded. That attitude back then of helping each other out with crafting and runs and god knows what did do a lot to move the guild forward, both in Road to Heaven and Annarchy. People would gear up at the speed of light, we’d be training the new members to be good players and everyone benifited. More than that, it created that senses of community like nothing else.
I miss that… with WoD looming over us, I wonder about trying to get some of that old attitude back. I might get burned but who knows, maybe it could be awesome too.