The transition from the Quel'dorei server to Zul'jin was eye-opening. I had never had any toons on a high population server, always choosing a medium pop server so that I would never have to deal with login queues. (In retrospect, this is a completely dumb reason to choose a low-med pop server.) I remember my first visit to Orgrimmar and being dumbfounded at the amount of players hanging out there.
This server change involved moving my main plus about two alts. My husband also made the transition with his main and I don't remember how many alts he had at the time. (This was a while ago and I'm old and my memory sucks.) The first order of business was to decide on a guild name and go through the process of starting a guild. We knew that, at the beginning, the purpose of the guild would be to use it as a way to support our leveling our alts. I didn't want to immediately begin inviting people to join. We had an empty bank and a very limited amount of gold. Who would join this guild and then stay once they saw that?
My vision for a guild was, and still is if I'm honest about it, idealistic. Let me bullet point it for you and you'll see what I mean.
My Must-Haves for a Guild
- Small community - no more than 150 players.
- People that behave like adults
- Limited to no drama
- Talkative, active, social, friendly players
- A guild bank that supports leveling up that people actually use
- Planned events that people actually want to attend
This is just what I wanted, in general, for a guild. This doesn't even being to cover raiding. So, the husband and I began stocking the guild bank. By this time, Cataclysm was out. We also worked on getting at least one toon each to max level. I figured, a GM should be at max level. Jump forward in time...
All through the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria expacs, we didn't put forth any real effort to start inviting people to the guild. Why? We made two cross country moves. We were both nearing the completion of our undergrad degrees so school work really ramped up. I had a snarly teenager on my hands. The husband deployed to Afghanistan. These, on paper, are all really good reasons to not have the time to devote to running a guild and putting together a raid team. I could get away with leaving it at that, but I'll be honest with you in the spirit of transparency. The ultimate reason was fear. I was afraid that I didn't have the follow through to make this successful. I didn't think I'd be able to find any other like-minded players out there that would want to join the guild. I go through times with the game where I don't login for a few weeks at a time. What would happen to the guild if I experienced one of those slumps? Yes. This is "just" a game, but in my mind, once you decide to become a GM, you have a certain responsibility to the players in your guild to be there and to make sure the guild is a place they want to be. If you don't believe that, what's the point of starting a guild at all?
Talking with other GMs didn't help. They confirmed that I had unrealistic expectations. Most happened to like my vision for a guild but all had no faith at all that I'd be able to make it happen. They all told me that running a guild is a lot of work with little positive feedback. They said that you put in hours of behind the scene work on a guild that, unless you are or have been a GM, players won't appreciate. Basically, being a GM is a thankless job that sucks the fun out of playing. What in the holy hell was I thinking???