Having a guild is much like sitting on top of an active volcano; it's going to erupt, and you're just going to have to sweep up all the ash when it does.
What I'd like to be doing is manifold. I have a mountain of work to do, and I'm dipping my toes into Fiverr. A friend of a friend has commissioned a painting, and I'm still working on some art for myself. Likewise, there's another 16gb of RAM just waiting to go into my computer, but I haven't had a spare moment to turn it off!
So of course there's a ton of guild stuff that I've had to do instead, or in addition to all that. Someone left one of our swtor teams so there's been some tracking work trying to find a replacement. We're still in WoW startup mode, so we're dealing with the repercussions of having fewer people, less stuff, and more need to delegate. Running a guild that spans MMOs is not as easy as taking the old SWTOR workload and dividing it in three sections, unfortunately. A lot of the 'reward' of being an established, large guild in SWTOR came from its solidarity. So we've plunged our SWTOR guild back a few tiers while trying to invest in other games. I'm trying to delegate as much as I can, and intelligently to boot, but I just feel like I'm doomed to fail at some level because there's so much work to be done.
All the while, I'd much rather be debating the important matters: should my GW2 heavy armor be dyed silvery white or gold?
We're an old guild, but new to GW2 and WoW, at least as a collective.
What does that mean for us?
Basically, it means that our resources are zero, but our hearts are full, and our eyes are greedy. We'd like to have a developed guild yesterday to reflect that guild we were in SWTOR, but, at the same time, we aren't that guild anywhere else.
In WoW last night, a group of somewhat-scrubs took my total scrub Death Knight through a raid last night. I'm such a noob that I don't even know what raid it was, which I'm telling you honestly here because it epitomizes our state as a guild. Sure, we're still in SWTOR, but most of our loyal membership has one foot, maybe both feet, out the door. Others walked out a long time ago but have come back or further into the guild now that we're not defining ourselves based on a game. From a GM standpoint, there's been a ton of little executive decisions that make a huge impact, such as:
Of course, I'm still also responsible for supporting the people who want to continue playing SWTOR. So I have a lot of work to do as we make the jump, but at least I have enough knowledge and resources built up in SWTOR that I can do enough in that regard.
So, unlike other people, I have an entire agenda of things to do in videogames that are hard deadlines, because, without them, we can't continue building up Aisthesis. However, I'm not alone in this; I have a dedicated group of friends who want to help, whether it's shouldering some of the burden of knowledge and resource-building in one game, continuing to play and support in another, or just providing moral support as we figure out how to move forward. I'm grateful for those people all the time, because without them, there's no way I would be trying this in the first place.
Many of you know that I play Star Wars: the Old Republic, a Star Wars MMO. I've been playing since the launch of the game in December 2011, and I've been leading a guild (an online community of people) since August 2012 (officially, at least). During that time, we have been competitive on the PVE scene and, also, a tight-knit community of friends with two in-person meetups and countless get-togethers, lots of fun online and in-person memories, and a thriving membership.
People that I've met through the guild helped me volunteer in Cambodia last year and in Uganda this year. They've become, I hope, lifelong friends, business contacts, and ardent supporters. The problem isn't the community; it's the game.
The developers have been completely schizophrenic, directionless, and tight-lipped for years. They've made a series of wrong decisions that has killed the entire PVE community. There are still aspects of the game that I enjoy, but not enough to keep me--and our remaining 80 qualifying accounts--satisfied. Our schedule had nine raid teams before the holidays, with around 60 people participating on those teams. Now, as some of the last holdouts, the schedule will have two or maybe three teams on it, some people who are on more than one team, because people are unsubscribing en masse. I don't blame them. I probably would unsubscribe if I wasn't the guild leader.
At this forced crossroads, the officers and I had two choices: we could continue being a swtor guild and bleed out members while doing content that we had already done, or we could branch out, play new games, and stay together. We'd already played some games casually besides swtor, but this was moving MMOs. Nothing is as soulcrushing as starting again from level one with zero money and zero resources--but we were all willing to do it to keep playing together. So we've subbed to World of Warcraft, bought Guild Wars 2, and are also considering some other games with co-op play such as Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm (which many of us were already playing). Anyone who is reading this is welcome to join us as we embark on this new chapter together.
It's my hope that one day, we'll be able to play swtor, the game we all love, together again in the way that we used to. It sucks that the game hasn't gone away completely, but has rather become a shell of what it was. It hurts. So it's a new year for me, and all the members of <Aisthesis>. I'll be talking honestly about the challenges that we're facing going forward, and the joys of doing something new, in between other types of posts, of course.
Ajantis-Durotan <Aisthesis> (A)
Aotor-Ysera <Katabasis> (H)
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