Guilds, Moves, Loyalties, and Ethics

I said I’d have another topic. A reason why I had to spend part of Sunday away from leveling. I think I have to give some background information first, though.

“My” guild, Disciples of Marr on Antonia Bayle, was something I ended up being in by sheer chance. I know, it’s often like that when you start out. And I had just come back to EQ2 in May after a 5-year hiatus (or, to be more fair, I had tried out the game early on, never made it off the starter isle, and went off playing WoW for the next years).  So I browsed the list of guilds looking for members, and after a small chat with one of their recruiters, which gave me the impression they’d take pretty much everybody and work from there, I joined.

Things started pretty rocky. Just two days after I joined, I logged in to a guild hall in disarray. Explanation that I somehow coaxed out of people was that there had been strife among the officers. Two of them moved stuff around erratically, and then took off with some bits from the bank. Ugh. Oh well, can happen, I guess?

What I did notice over time was that most of the officers never were around. The guild pretty much ran on cruise control. Which was fine for me, because I didn’t play that much anyway, and as I already said in the last post, I was mainly looking for a crash pad and a crafting area. The guild felt pretty dead at times, with barely any people around, and nobody talking. There was only one officer who was constantly around (let’s call her X for reference), and while I found her a bit hyperactive at times, at least she did some stuff.

Then the possibility of a merger was announced. Then the merger was blown off because somebody didn’t like the idea. Then… I slowly started to get worried about where this guild was heading, or rather, whether it actually was heading anywhere, or going in circles with people fighting over the helm. Then, a week ago, I logged in to a T1 guild hall (previously there had been a T3 guild hall). Reason given (by X) was that the T3 was too expensive. No idea how much a guild hall costs, but I guess there’s a point there, especially since I had never seen anything going on in the hall except in the crafting room, so all the space felt wasted. I assume that didn’t sit too well with some leaders though, because the next day, one of them (let’s call him Y), who had barely been around the last months, went and demoted everyone except for him and his wife from leadership positions. Ugh twice. This was getting a bit silly. X, who was demoted, decided now was the time to actually go through with aforementioned merger.

Loyalties and Ethics

I had to make a decision: stay with the guild, or leave? As it were, that decision was made for me. Y’s wife logged in, and asking about what was to happen next, immediately “had to leave because the boys were making a big mess in the living room”. One member pointed out it had been the same a couple of hours earlier. So much for credible excuses. X decided she had had it, and promoted the people who were around at that time to the highest level she could. That meant access to the guild bank and to all furniture in the hall. Then the looting started. Quickly, I realized that staying in the guild was pointless from my point of view, because there would be nothing left.

Now there was a different decision that I had to make. I still feel torn about in hindsight. To loot or not to loot? I pondered my choices. Which side should I pick? Seeing how I at least could talk to X, and Y’s side had refused to explain themselves, I threw my lot with X. I decided I had to go somewhere, and with everybody leaving, the remaining goods in the harvesting box and bank would go to waste anyway. Besides, I was a swashbuckler, right? So looting felt ok. So I duly filled my bags, and later on, dropped everything into the new guild’s reserves.

Me filling my bags.

X laid out all the furniture of unknown origin in the guild hall for taking. (Stuff that was lent via the in-game mechanics was returned to the rightful owners). It looked like a crazy garage sale.

In the end, all that remained were the amenity NPCs. The never had had a name, so I played around with my new rights to leave a message to people who might have missed the whole thing.

I already said, I feel torn about how I behaved there. I’m generally not the type for that. If there’s strife, I don’t pick a side, but lay low. I’m also not sure it was very ethical to just take that stuff before I walked out the door. There’s still a slight chance that the old guild might recover. Plainly said, it might qualify as stealing (not in the legal sense, but still), even if none of that stuff is hard to replace. I got a bit carried away in group dynamics there. Here’s your newly granted rights to take what you want, now go and loot away! It’s ok, we’re all doing it! I guess identifying with my in-game character (a swashbuckler’s a rogue, after all) helped ease the idea.

Now I’m in a new guild, with most people from the old one. Some left over the whole fallout, not rejoining the new one. I wonder whether it was the right decision, too. At least yesterday, the new guild felt filled with a lot of hyperactive people spamming guild chat like crazy. Let’s see how it works out over the week. If it doesn’t… I realize this is probably the worst application post ever, but anybody out there interested in a player with an erratic schedule, new to the game, but generally willing to explore things, to learn fast, and who overall is low-maintenance and easy to get along with?

I’d be interested to hear your opinion. I tried to be as neutral as possible in presenting the whole thing. What do you think? And have you been in a similar situation before, doing something in-game that you later were not sure was the right thing to do?

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