The military is a lot like wow in a lot of ways. They both have an extremely vibrant social community, different people that fulfill different roles, no matter how much you do in a single day, there is always more to do the next; there is frequent training in both and the guilds (in game) and units (in the military) have distinct structures and often come together to complete specific objectives. Not to mention that they both use acronyms like they’re candy. There’s probably more, but that is all I can think of at the moment.
Anyways, the reason I bring this up is something known as mission creep. According to Wikipedia:
Mission creep is the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes. The term often implies a certain disapproval of newly adopted goals by the user of the term. Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs. The term was originally applied exclusively to military operations, but has recently been applied to many different fields, mainly the growth of bureaucracies.
What does that have to do with WoW?
As I mentioned above, there are many similarities between WoW and the military. So let’s do a little tweaking and look at the definition from a Warcraft perspective:
Guild mission creep (GMC) is the expansion of a guild beyond its original goals, often after initial successes. The term often implies a certain disapproval of newly adopted goals by the player using the term. Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious goals, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, guild implosion occurs. The term was originally applied exclusively to military operations, but has recently been applied to many different fields, mainly the growth of guild’s in Warcraft.
Enough, already! What the crap are you talking about?
By now I’m sure you’re sick of reading definitions and if you haven’t given up on this post yet, you’re wondering where I’m going with this. GMC is something I’ve noticed happen to guilds I’ve been in, as well as having read about on a few other WoW blogs. One of the best examples of this would be BBB’s former guild, and anyone who read about it would know the background behind it.
But that happened like forever ago, why are you talking about it now?
That’s not a valid question, and if you voices in my head don’t shut up, I’ll just go crazy, then where will ya be?
Thank you! Okay, so where was I? Right, GMC. In terms that even my Orc would understand, its simply that the original goals that a guild was founded for, whether it be RP, PvP, Raiding, or just hanging out for fun, has become something of the past, and for any number of reasons, the guild has decided to change its focus.
The example I talked about with BBB was that his guild began to raid more and more often, and its original focus (I can’t remember exactly what it is at the moment) was lost to more and more of the people in the guild wanting to raid. Obviously, not everyone did, and BBB decided after much consternation, on and off his blog I’d imagine, decided to leave his guild and move on to a guild of RL friends where he could go back to being much more casual. Now in that case, I don’t think his old guild imploded, but the change created an affect on the players within the guild and forced them to decide if that was what they wanted.
That still doesn’t answer the question of why you’re bringing this up now, a gabazillion years after it happened…
Well its my blog and I’ll do what I want. And don’t make me go get the [17 Pound Catfish]! That’s what I thought. Anyways, a while back, around the same time that I was reading about the GMC with BBB’s guild, Sylus, myself and some of our other friends had transferred our toons to the Cenarion Circle server and started to look for a guild that was doing Kara and Gruuls, which is at about the level we were ready for.
We joined Salvation, which lasted for a few weeks and saw us leave after the Drama Llama reared its ugly, Chimaera-like head. That had nothing to do with GMC. But, we and some others from that guild started a new guild that we planned to start doing Kara with and possibly teaming up with another Guild for Gruuls runs. That had been our original focus, our Guild Mission, if you will.
I will not!
Yes you will, damn you! Sorry, voices again. I think I’ve subdued them for the moment. Did you realize that you can do almost anything with the promise of cake? True story.
Anywho, we spent two to three months in this guild, doing Kara a number of times, but we never once had a full ‘guild’ run and quite often we would have to PUG four to five others to actually get a run started. And if you’ve ever PUG’d Kara, Dax’s rendition of Pugging Kara Blues hits home. The problem with this was that we hardly ever had more than 5 of the same people running together, which makes it extremely hard to build cohesion. When we would finish for the night, we’d have to try to re-PUG others the next night to try to finish, which often never happened.
But how is that the guild’s fault?
It’s not really, but at the same time it became GMC because when we started the guild we wanted to get into progression. That never happened and we basically got stuck in the mud. Ultimately, over another appearance of the Drama Llama we left again. This time, with the expansion looming closer each day, raiding seemed more and more like too much trouble for some and so we decided to start our own guild. I ended up as the Guild Leader, and we invited all of our alts. The purpose of the guild when we started was for levelling alts and hanging out with each other. Since most of us were friends before the previous guild, we all wanted to stay together. At the same time, we contacted another guild that was into Gruuls and Mags but was often short on players for their 25-mans. We agreed to put one or two of our 70s in that guild for those of us who wanted to raid could still do so.
Okay, so I still fail to see your grand vision of how this all makes sense…
Bah! /reportspam. So I guess the whole point of all of this was to keep in mind what you’re guild was started for. If you started out as a casual guild of friends that moved into raiding or a raiding guild that couldn’t make any progress, you’ll often find that the guild will fall apart or that some of the people in the guild will decide that its no longer for them.
If you notice that your guild is beginning to change its focus, or not achieving the goals which you wanted, the best way to avoid it turning into a problem is to talk to the people in the guild. If everyone wants to start doing something different together, than you can change the focus without a problem. But ultimately, if different people in the guild want to start doing different things, than it may be best to part ways amicably so that everyone can do what they find fun in the game.
SO SAY WE ALL.