Times They Are a-Changin’

A couple weeks ago my GM in Apotheosis announced that she would no longer be raiding, or likely playing at all, in Mists of Pandaria. It’s kind of hard to think of Apotheosis without Kurn, since she created the guild (twice!), and it is very much her baby. I’m really grateful that she gave us so much advance warning – she’s going to contin raiding with us until we’re done with Cataclysm, and stick around through early Mists to help make sure we’re ready to hit the ground running. But, it’s still going to be a big change. Kurn isn’t much of a delegator, so she handles most of the day to day guild stuff – She’s the GM, responds to all guild-related concerns, handles most of the recruitment process, is the raid leader, plans all the strats, roster and does log dives after raids when it’s needed, she handles the bank. And not only are we losing Kurn, our caster lead, Majik, is also not planning to raid in Mists. That leaves 3 officers who are going to continue to raid in Mists, and a lot of responsibilities that need to be divided. Obviously, we’re looking for a few new officers.

When a guild loses a GM, especially one who takes on so much of the work, it’s obviously a time of much change. And with change comes a lot of apprehension. The paranoid, negative part of me worries that everyone will leave and the guild will collapse. Then I’d have to go through the whole guild search process and likely end up raiding in a place without all my Apotheosis friends that I really enjoy playing with. And that, frankly, would suck. The slightly more rational, positive part of me knows that the guild is strong enough to survive this. Apoth has a really great guild atmosphere. Our raids have their stumbling blocks, but are generally a lot of fun. We’ve been quite successful in Cataclysm, and have gotten better every tier. The people in the guild like each other and have fun outside of raids too – we do RBGs and other pvp together, we do old achievements. We also have a lot of real life connections in the guild. I personally have met 10 of the people I currently raid with and there are 4 of them who I hang out with on a regular basis and consider really good friends. I know a lot of other people in the guild feel the same – they want to raid with Apotheosis. They don’t want to look elsewhere and they’re willing to work to ensure the guild’s continued success. There’s only one person (as far as I know) who has expressed doubt that they want to stay in the guild with Kurn gone (and I really hope they can be persuaded to stay).

Though I have no doubts that Apotheosis will continue to be a great place to raid and a great guild to call home in Mists, I have concerns. First, it’s really difficult to choose a new GM and Raid Leader who will make everyone happy. In fact, it’s probably impossible. I just hope that everyone will be a little bit patient and give the the people who take those roles a chance. Change is hard, but it can be a good thing. Second, I worry about communication. People don’t always say what they mean, or they say it, but not to the right people. It’s easier to sit and brood or make snarky remarks to your friends when you don’t agree with something, but it doesn’t make anything better. I want everyone in the guild to be happy as possible with the way things are run and have a good time. I hope that everyone in the guild will share their honest feelings (in a tactful way) about the way the guild is moving forward so that issues can be solved and improvements can be made. The last thing I’m concerned about is also about communication. When people do have something to say, they go to Kurn 96% of the time. I’ve been an officer (healing lead) in Apoth for a few months now, and people have only come to me about guild-related things a handful of times. Perhaps the healers are just really low maintenance, but it does make me worry a bit. Kurn gets dozens of PMs every week and does weekly office hours where people can come talk to her on Mumble about anything guild-related. I’m worried about how long it will take for people to get comfortable bringing their concerns to someone else.

So, it’s a bit of a stressful time, but we’re going strong. We’re working on filling out our officer core, deciding who will be taking on which roles and working on transitioning all of Kurn’s guild work to other people. And we’re still clearing heroic DS every week (though this week we were struck by the “everyone going on vacation at the same time” boss), kicking ass in RBGs and recruiting to fill in any gaps for Mists.

6 responses to “Times They Are a-Changin’

  1. Well, if it makes you feel better, I have spent the better part of the expansion thinking “well, just one mistake and the whole guild will gquit”, so that kind of paranoia is normal, so long as it’s tempered by the more rational side of you. ;)

    Also, yes, the healers are fairly low-maintenance. :)

    I promise to do all I can to direct people to the appropriate people (once we have them in place), along with a backup choice, so that people feel comfortable even without me there.

    That said, I’m really so very glad to see from you that you feel people are really, genuinely pleased to be raiding with Apotheosis. Every time I hear that or read that, it makes me really proud to have been part of this crazy guild. :)
    Kurn recently posted..Bugs in Dragon Soul

    • Well, it has been a great guild to be a part of, and most people feel that way, from what I’ve heard them say. You did good :p

      I hope the transition over the next couple months goes smoothly.

  2. I think your guild will survive, and even thrive. Although Kurn is a central part of your raiding/management team, she’s also left plenty of time for rumbles and permutations to trickle through the guild. Although it’s more likely to be scheduled for Mists, when the right person is found, having them take over the position ASAP so that people can adjust while Kurn is still around will likely help as well.

    Anxiety is normal, but y’all have such a great and dedicated group, I’m optimistic!
    Windsoar recently posted..Gameworlds and Demographics

    • Yes, I’d like to get the people taking over new roles integrated sooner rather than later. I think letting people see that things will still go well with other people in charge before Kurn actually stops playing is key.

      Thanks for the encouragement :)

  3. From what I see of your guild on twitter, in your guildies blogs, I think your guild has a really strong foundation and a solution will present itself. It’s a hard step – I am trying to imagine my own guild doing the same thing and it IS a hard step – and with the commitment you all show to your guild, and to each other IRL as well, I can’t imagine anything except Apotheosis forging on ahead to new things, with Kurn still hanging around to give advice here and there :) After all, she’s only a tweet away, even if she wasn’t in game.
    Navimie recently posted..Wednesday Raiding – Ulduar 10 man non meta achievements

  4. I guess the danger of such a protracted exit by Kurn means that not until she actually finishes will people truly start to find the new normal. I would argue that her sticking around till early first tier (though well intentioned) might even be detrimental to your group. Sounds like you have a very solid group that are quite capable of working out a new structure – it should be what suits the new officers and not necessarily those that are leaving. I know that when we lost our raid leader suddenly in mid T12 it seemed like the sky was falling, but we never did manage to find a new one that all 25 accepted, and our GL reluctantly took over quite capably and it all worked out. Good luck in MoP.