That's a tough question to answer. Why does anyone do anything if they can expect to never be thanked or be made to feel appreciated. Well I know why I do it? I like to believe that I am a sane and rational person and I do it because I like providing a service to the people in the guild. Of course I also like to believe that one day Baron Geddon will drop the Left Bindings of the Windseeker for my pally. Clearly neither of these things are true. I lead because while I can be a follower, I prefer to do my own thing and the best way to do that for me was to start my own guild and along the way other people who enjoyed the way I ran things joined me on my quest to hang out and have a good time.
I had written those last two paragraphs about 3 weeks ago and had let them sit there while I figured out what else I wanted to say when I remembered something. One of my newer guildees had emailed me a guest post back in October for me to post while I was away getting married/on my honeymoon and I had forgotten to post it. I went back and read it and I remembered one the most rewarding things about being a guild master in WoW. Here is the post for you all to read and afterward I'll explain what that rewarding thing is(my edits will be in italic):
A while back my awesome, cool, now MARRIED (congrats you two love birds) guildmaster posted a blog about why he continues to play WoW after 6 long years of badassery. So I figured hey, I should share why I love WoW after just a few months of playing…and against my better judgment I decided that I would let other people read something that I wrote.
Besides the amazing visualizations, the years and years of in depth actually INTERESTING storyline, the sheer volume of add ons, extras, perks, world events, mounts, achievements, professions, blah blah blah. Or besides the fact that Warcraft allows you to run around facing demons, monsters, rock giants, or my favorite murlocs as a night elf with a green Mohawk and a panther as a sidekick; the game is still at its core very much like many other games I have played before it.
So what brings me, the awesome JuJu(our guild nickname for him) into a game that allows you to see how much life you have spent into something (/played for all you naive folks)? Easy! It’s the friends you make. I have played Diablo, COD, Starcraft, Halo…I could go on forever… but you won’t find a better group of people to play with than in the AoA guild.
Consider this, macrame a connoisseur of google images, a motherly red head who will gladly trash talk everyone to shame on your behalf(my wife), a robot alien healer(a priest who's computer made her sound like a robot on vent), a druid whose nickname is based off of the best snack of all time(PBNJ), and a handful of other awesome guildies who answer all of your mind numbing questions without ridicule and you find yourself in the best four hours of gaming any fellow nerd can ever ask for. I honestly look forward to playing with such a great group of friends even when my day job is flying planes. So in short, you all make my day. I love you, and if you ever want a romantic plane ride over Florida or just a buddy to drink with and make fun of, I am your man. You make my life great and complete. So in short, it is the amazing people I play with that makes this game and not the game itself that makes me come back hour after hour…please continue to make the gaming world great all of you.
So while for me it is obvious why I play this game after already spent 14 days of my life on one character, I wanted to share it with everyone so they can realize that, holy shit we are playing with the nicest most interesting and awkwardly hilarious ragtag group of people you could ever find. It isn’t an amazing fantasy world where everyone is a hero, but rather a real life link to people who are truly amazing.
After reading that I realized that the most rewarding thing about being the guild master of my guild wasn't getting thanked by people for anything I did, it was that every now and than I got to participate in someones journey of WoW discovery. Hearing the pure joy that they experience when they run their first instance and down a boss or listening to them describe how the handled a quest by themselves. It's like watching your children grow up and experiencing the world. Sometimes you get a thank you out of it, sometimes you don't but it doesn't matter.
While my guildee above did thank me and my scatter brained self forgot about his post until recently, I would have posted this eventually because it illustrates that our guild is the type of place where people can have fun and enjoy themselves. That's all I wanted when I made the guild so long ago and I am glad that it is still true today. I will say this for everyone who is in a guild and not a guild leader, the next time they log on, you should tell them that you appreciate what they do. You can also tell them thank you. Or give them gifts...nice and shiny gifts like gold or mounts or pets! At the very least you can give them a nice hug.
Being a GM is very tiring work and sometimes even the best of us could use a nice compliment. Now that Operation Hug A GM has been initiated, I leave you all with this oh so funny classic WoW Machinima.
/Hug to all my fellow Guild Masters