When I took my hiatus from World of Warcraft late last year, I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one who needed a break from the game. It seemed several other members of my main’s guild had sought greener pastures and moved on to other MMOs, or curtailed their WoW time due to real life obligations. For example, our guild leader, an architect by trade, has been extremely busy in the last year helping to build a new casino. Others have dropped their names from the raiding roster, citing burnout or busy schedules.
We’ve always been this small but closely-knit guild. Even before this we’d had troubles filling out a full raid group, which is why we were also a part of several raiding co-ops on our server. It was a good way to keep a relatively stable roster by teaming up with other modest guilds in similar situations. And recently, all the other co-op guilds were also running into the problem of low raider turnouts.
Anyway, we’ve had a longstanding relationship with one of these great guilds. A lot of our members were already on a first name basis with many of theirs, so I wasn’t surprised to hear rumors of a potential guild merger with them not long after I returned.
Now, I’ve never been part of a guild merger before this. One guild I was in a long time ago came close, but it was a disaster and the idea never really took off. In fact, I would say that things kinda blew up in the hangar. I’ve also heard a lot of horror stories about guild mergers, and so I admit I was a little concerned when I heard the news that we were going to go forward with ours. Then a couple nights ago, it happened.
In the end, my worries were unfounded as our guild merger was undoubtedly a success. Everything was carried out smoothly and painlessly, and here’s why:
1. Our guilds have a long history of cooperation.
That’s a huge advantage, one not afforded to a lot of guilds involved in mergers. We already knew we were compatible based on past experiences in our raiding co-ops. Many months of grouping together in raids and five-mans have shown both sides that we shared the same values and goals.
2. Everything is business as usual.
No one in either guild took this opportunity to further their own agendas, and everyone was informed about the merging process. No drastically new or different rules were implemented, except for one condition regarding guild bank permissions — the tabs with the most valuable items can only be accessed by people who have an authenticator. Both guilds have been burned in the past by bank thefts via hacked accounts, so I can understand this precaution. People without authenticators can still obtain items in those bank tabs, but only through someone who has one, so start parading those core hound pups!
3, Officer assignments are fair.
By fair, I mean equal representation from both sides. Understandably, their guild leader took on the role of GM because ours has been unavailable as of late due to real-life demands and his online presence will continue to be sparse, at least for the foreseeable future. One of our members, however, became the new XO. Four other officer positions were added, and each guild chose two members to fill those roles.
4. IT IS A TRUE MERGER!
The majority of guild mergers aren’t true mergers, but I would argue that ours is genuine. For one thing, it is not simply just the absorption of one guild by another. A new guild was formed out of the partnership, and even a new website is under way as I type this. A new name was chosen by consensus: Emergence.
So, I learned something from this — not all guild mergers end up being overblown, drama-filled affairs. The key is communication. Our guild already had this established relationship with the other guild before merging with them, which helped us a lot. Convenient, I know…but it just goes to show the importance of at least taking the time to find things in common with the guild in question before jumping headfirst into negotiations.
As far as I know, we haven’t lost anyone to this merger, at least not when it comes to our side of things. I can only assume the other guild is taking these changes equally well, just based on how relatively stress-free this whole process has been. I used to raid with their members a lot, and they truly are great people. I look forward to re-connecting with old friends, as well as making new ones.