Mar 2, 2012

Posted by in United We Stand | 5 Comments

United We Stand: Drop Everything and Start It All Over, Remember More Than You’d Like to Forget

Don’t quit. That’s the thesis of this post. If you are a guild officer, don’t do it, don’t give up. Don’t quit your guild, don’t ask to step down, and absolutely do not just disappear. Burnout has always been a danger for leaders everywhere, not just in gaming guilds but in every volunteer leadership position. I know that you might feel tired of the responsibilities, but honestly: just keep playing, just keep logging on. You’ll thank me later.

I am an optimist, I believe in the best in everything. Every problem has a bright side, and no matter how bad things might get one should always remember all the good things that one takes for granted. I will always remember the smiling faces around me as we downed our first boss, cleared our first operation, or got our first piece of Rakata. I remember the energy that I felt at every new member and every small achievement. I remind myself of all the time and energy that we put into building a great guild and no matter how tired I might get, I’ll always rather have this than nothing at all. I just keep playing, and I just keep logging in.

I play Star Wars: The Old Republic not because I get to jump around with a lightsaber and pretend to be a Jedi (admittedly, that is a big part of it), but because of all the people that this game has brought me to meet. Guilds start out with just four people and grow into ten times that. That’s not including a friends list, or simply names that one recognizes in the warzone. Keep logging in because of the people that you have built relationships with.

This is because this is not a game. Sure, the actual gameplay is a game, but the very moment that you start talking to another player is the moment that it is no longer a game. Instead, it’s an interaction between two people doing something they enjoy. Because your characters are the medium of this communication, they become real and everything associated with that character becomes real. This is even more acute as a guild officer, for that is the most real of all. Having a position of authority and responsibility becomes so real that it invades your everyday life because it requires time and energy outside of the game and simply logging out of the game does not make the responsibilities stop. That’s why people burnout, because there is too much to do and it has become far more than they signed up for.

If you drop everything and start it all over, you’ll remember more than you’d like to forget. I’ve abandoned officership before, and there is nothing at all like the feeling of emptiness once you have done it and realize that there is no way that you can get back. To realize that you abandoned friends and comrades simply because you were tired strikes one so low it’s hard to get back up and try to do something like it again, in any game. You’ll wish to go back, see to their smiling faces again, to be able to help them and yourself enjoy the game more at the cost of a little bit more of your time and energy.

Just keep playing, you got friends to make.

TwinHits is an officer for the guild Unity on the server Dreshdae Cantina. Leave comments or tweet @TwinHits with your thoughts, ideas, and stories about guilds, communities, and leadership in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

  1. Two things.

    Sometimes stepping back from things or temporarily reducing your activity can be beneficial to your health and reduce burnout, without letting other people down.

    If the game and your responsibilities as an officer are negatively affecting your fleshspace life, your job/friends/family, it’s time to step back and evaluate things. Whether that means reducing as above or quitting, don’t let the game define you.

  2. Darth Todd says:

    Have to agree with Tria here. Taking a break from the game completely can often see you coming back with renewed fervor later. I quit playing for almost 3 weeks because I’d gotten bored and frustrated with trying to find that right character for me. I came back and leveled a Vanguard 1-50 with no alt playing in between. Now I’m about to break again because I’m frustrated and bored with being 50…

  3. The reason why officers, and eventually leaders, quit playing is because they start off with ‘x’ number of enthusiastic members and everything seems great. Usually by two months, and definitely by three, however, the wheels start to fall off. People get bored with the game and just walk off. Officers and Leaders who have put their blood, sweat and tears into a guild take this two ways. Some push on, and try and make what they can of whoever stays. Others, however, get so depressed that something they put so much effort into could be treated so shabbily by people they thought were friends, that they give up. And honestly, I don’t blame them.

    • Lady Republic says:

      Mm, yes and no. Sometimes it’s the weight of carrying all the problems of a group – because with many problems, even if you delegate, you still bear the burden as well. (AKA it’s hard *not* to care.) Sometimes, time and stress take their toll. And sometimes – it may have nothing to do with the game at all, but the arrival of a new family member, getting married, or some other life altering circumstance that means the time you once had for the game? Not what it once was.

      Burnout’s a very difficult thing, with no easy answer. I know what TH is trying to say, not to just – pack up shop and leave, maybe. But sticking around when you don’t want can lead to resentment issues, too – which never ends well. I think the key is managing your burnout, and also knowing how to delegate effectively when it rears its head.

  4. RKramden says:

    Terrible advice. The worst thing you can do if you’re feeling tired is to continue doing whatever is draining you.

    Loyalty to one’s friends and guild is fine, but not at the expense of your enjoyment.

    Perhaps the point of the article should have been to not only find some friends, but to find friends who understand that we all need to take a break every now and then. Even officers.

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