It seems that Darkside of Whimsical is having a bit of an identity crisis. What, exactly, do we do? What’s the point of being a member here? Now that the guild is level 25 and can level no further, one unifying direction has passed, and we are looking for a common goal.
Lately it seems the guild has been doing a large number of high level, end content raids. Certainly, my own inability to participate bothered me. It seemed I couldn’t do anything with others because my item level was simply too low, and that made things lonely. But then, it occurred to me that it wasn’t so easy a problem to solve. I want to be included – but I want as many people as possible to be included. I want people to chat and talk and have fun with each other. A guild should promote the interests of its members, but in a guild of almost 300 characters (many of them alts), it is impossible for everyone to be at this end game stage. In fact, we accept new members of all levels. To my mind, the 85 only, 350+ item level raid invites on the calendar indicated a focus on high level raiding that was unavailable or out of reach for lower leveled partipants or casual players.
I know I’m biased: I am a casual player with an extreme social focus. Given my past MMORPG background, I define a guild as a group for the purpose of building friendships through shared experiences and events. It’s about keeping each other company through the grind, the dailies and the sheer stupidity of other players. I have years of experience in attempting foolhardy things on low level characters (i.e., “I will fight in this maxed out high level PvP battle as a noob character!” “I will run naked through this tunnel full of monsters and see how far I get! Anyone want to race me?”), invariably accompanied by a higher level friend or two who seemed determined to keep me alive no matter what I ran into. Did they succeed? Hell no, this is me we’re talking about. Was there any material benefit to them when we did these random, pointless things? Nope. Was there material benefit to me? Sometimes, but not always. Was it a time waster? In practical terms, absolutely! It was about having fun, getting to know people, doing different things and enjoying the game world. By that, I mean not just the leveling or the mechanics of fights, but the very setting itself. I actually liked sitting in some city or random field, chatting away.
Suffice it to say I’m accustomed to people of all levels hanging out, sometimes for no apparent purpose.
If I am not soloing quests, I much prefer playing with friends and guildmates. I prefer this to a point where I will not bother with the dungeon/raid finder unless I really, really, really want to level or change up my routine. The gear I get via quests suits me just fine for more of those quests, after all. Honestly, who loves random heroics (or any dungeon for that matter) when the tank has a hissy fit and drops the party, the healer hates your guts because you’re squishy (and then pulls mobs and dumps the party, killing everyone), people go AFK, you don’t know what you’re doing/your DPS sucks therefore you suck, etc. etc. etc.? I don’t.
I’ve been trying to communicate this perspective to my fellow guildmates. My vague, general idea is “let’s do different stuff together.” It’s great to have high level raids, sure, as we have high level members. But why not some Lich King dungeons for the achieves and/or the storyline? How about a night of running lowbies through low level instances? Why not have an “Alt Night” where we get midlevel alts together just for the hell of it and do crap? If we accept people of all levels, we ought to do stuff involving people of all levels.
As a result, it was somewhat dismaying to hear others voicing the opinion that there is no point in doing low level dungeons or raids.
- You don’t get good gear, unless you’re transmogging (but transmogging isn’t important enough to cover for the sheer hassle involved for the non-transmogger).
- Lowbies wouldn’t get any items or EXP. (My experience argues otherwise on this.)
- You don’t get experience useful for end game (since you can do stupid sheeyit and still live)
- It’s a “waste of time” for higher level players/boring as hell since they’ve done it before (they have how many alts, after all?)
- Isn’t that what the dungeon/raid finder is for?
- It sucks putting together regular high level raids since you can’t count on people to show up. Trying to organize additional low level events would only add to the suck, since you can’t count on them to show up either.
- We do things “spontaneously.” (Why isn’t that good enough?)
These can all be true. And yet, I still find myself hoping that we can figure out a way to involve the people who have crappy gear, who are level 40, or who just started and/or returned to WoW. Does a focus on end game content automatically prevent working with lower level users? Is my concept of a guild irrelevant or useless in WoW? Is a player putting an event on the guild calendar contributing to guild focus? What if that person is an officer? Does a consistent set of events started by an officer speak to the guild’s goals?
In short, we’re level 25, yay! Now what the hell do we do?