09 February 2012

Unguilded by Circumstance... or by Choice?

I have to say that this week has not exactly gone according to plan insofar as the blog is concerned.  But that's life, just have to roll with the punches sometimes.  I will "warn" you at the outset that this post is going to be of a much more personal nature than most, perhaps even a bit "too" personal depending on your point of view.  However the issue has been weighing on me pretty heavily over the course of the past day or so.  Nothing more I can really do aside from addressing it.  The question being... why do I not belong to a guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic?

If you have been following this blog for more than the past week or so, then you know that my guildless status is something I have commented on before.  So why dedicate another entire post to the issue?  Because I have come to a rather enlightening conclusion as to WHY exactly I am without a guild.  Two comments that were made to me recently really hammered this revelation home.  The first was a comment here on the blog.  Liore asked, "Why don't you join a guild?"  And my initial reaction was one of annoyance.  I have been trying to join a guild, I thought to myself.  I have posted on forums, looked at ads, etc.  Heck I even dedicated whole posts on this blog to describing my characters and desires for a guild.  But the more I stopped and thought about the question, the more I had to ask myself... how much am I really trying?

Then a member of my family made another comment to me that really decided the question beyond all doubt.  What we were talking about had nothing to do with MMO's specifically, but we were discussing some of my past relationships and they made the comment to me that, "You have a lot of ghosts in your past."  And while their point was obviously directed at my real-world relationships, I could immediately draw the connection to my online ones, specifically many of them that were formed in the guilds I had belonged to in the past.  And that's when it all snapped into focus... I haven't really been trying to find a guild at all.  My efforts to do so have been half-hearted at best.  Why?  Because I don't want to add any more "ghosts" than I already have.

The unfortunate reality is that I am a personality type that cares too much and carries regrets very easily.  I remember many of the mistakes I have made in my past, from the silly to the significant, and I still mentally "kick" myself for them.  I remember many of the friends I have made, from the passing acquaintance to the best of friends, and from time to time I find myself "missing" them all.  This is obviously problematic enough in the real-world, but it creates complications for me as an MMO player as well.  I can relate to you stories of individuals and guilds that I have been a part of all the way back to my formative days playing Guild Wars.  I could tell you some of the times I shared with my best friends in those games.

For example, one person I met in World of Warcraft would just sit and talk with me while our characters sat on a tiny island off Azshara (back before it was Goblin-town.)  I ended up forming a guild with that guy, but our goals... didn't mesh well and he left shortly after, taking half the guild with him.  Another person who remained my friend for a very long time, would entertain each other by trading shots after wipes during our raids.  I can especially recall one night in Blackwing Lair when we were banging our heads against Vael.  After knowing each other several years, they eventually picked another guild over maintaining that friendship with me.  And I could list a dozen more stories, people, and guilds that all impacted me in my time playing MMO's.

All those have now become "ghosts."  As much as I wish they could all be pleasant memories, the sad reality is that they are not.  They are sources of sadness, of regret, of missed opportunities and miscommunications.  That is what is stopping me from fully pursuing another guild in SW:TOR.  I don't want to add to my list of ghosts.  I don't want to become part of another community, make new friends, have new experiences... only to eventually lose them all anyway.  And I already know what you are thinking, "Right now you have nothing, what's the difference?"  And you are correct.  I am obviously miserable being without a guild, so how could finding one possibly be worse?  I never claimed that this thinking was logical, but it is what is holding me back.

My hope now is that having come to this realization, I can move past it and put my full effort into finding my place in a larger community again. 


  1. "Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Doesn't really apply to MMOs, but you get the idea...

  2. It's a tough subject, and there are many of us in similar situations. I've been a part of five guilds over the course of my WoW career, and made amazing friends in each of them. The problem with the 'guild' structure in WoW is that it's too limiting. You can't have your social guild and your raiding guild, you have to pick one. Everyone has to make the decision at some point, and no guild will always be full of 100% like-minded players.

    I'd love to be able to join multiple guilds with their own chat channels and member lists, so I could always stay connected with friends who leave for a more hardcore raid guild or who leave to join a small guild with their real life friends and coworkers.


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