Thursday, October 8, 2009

Is it OK to apply to another guild while you’re still guilded?

Some players are lucky enough to find their permanent home in WoW right from the beginning. Love at first sight. A family to belong to until it’s time to say goodbye to the game. Good for them.

However, most of us will change guilds a couple of times during our wanderings through Azeroth. It isn’t always out of our own choice. Our guild may disband, transfer to another server or die off, going turning, dead and inactive and leaving us alone and abandoned. Time to move on.

But sometimes we’re initiating the change by ourselves. The guild that we joined once upon a time doesn’t correspond to what we’re looking for in the game. Maybe the guild has changed. Maybe we have changed. Maybe both. Whatever reason there is, we want to quit the relation and terminate the social contract.

The question is how to do it. Is it OK to send in applications to other guilds while you’re still guilded? Or should you leave your current guild before even thinking about contacting others?

Guild philosophy
There are different opinions about this, and I think they’re based on guild philosophy. Some people see the guild as an employer, who has hired us to do a certain task – tanking, healing, dpsing bosses, paying us with loot? Others think about it as a brethren, like the adventurers in LOTR, united by a mission, with sworn loyalty to each other and the good cause. There are guilds where the internal relations are so cold and impersonal that the guildmates could as well be NPC:s. And there are guilds where the members are closer each other than they are to their real life family and friends.

How you look upon applying to other guilds while still guilded depends on what kind of guild you are. The important thing is that the policy is clear to everyone. If you think that guild applying people are showing disloyalty and disrespect, and you’d rather kick them from the guild if you’d find out – you should make this clear from the beginning. Transparency is always a good start to prevent dissonances in the guild.

For my own part I’ve always looked upon the guilds I’ve been into as “brethren” rather than as "businesses". All guilds have been on different points on the scale of seriousness and progression, but my feelings towards them have been the same. While I wouldn’t hesitate a second to throw in applications for other jobs while still employed in real life – I’ve done it several times myself – I would never do the same in WoW.

When I left my former guild and joined my current last year, I didn’t apply before I was guildless. It’s a matter of honesty. Guild shopping while still in a guild would feel like posting pictures of me at a dating website, regardless of the fact that I’m married, just to see if I could find myself a better husband.

Doing it the right way
I can’t help wondering a bit about what makes people apply to other guilds behind the back of their current one. While there is a good reason to hang on to your current job in real life – it’s easier to get a job if you already have one, unemployment is frowned upon by many employers – I’ve never seen that attitude in WoW. On the contrary. If someone applied to my guild, being guildless, and could give good reasons why they’d left their old guild to look for something else, they would get my respect for it.

The only reason I can think of is character progression and gearing. As long as the guild gives you access to more upgrades than pugging would, you may be better off hanging around, keeping improving your character and your chances to get the spot in the guild of your dreams. But it’s definitely not the way I would do it.

So, from my point of view, is it ever appropriate to apply to other guilds while guilded? Yes, it is, provided that you’ve agreed with your guild to have an “open relationship”. It could be stated in the guild policy, but it could also be the outcome of a discussion with the management. If you’re unhappy with the current situation, the first natural step should be to talk with the officers about it. If you still think you’d be better off moving on to another guild, you shouldn’t count on that this will render you an instant guildkick. It could be a win-win situation where you could stay in the guild, helping it to progress and giving it some more time to find a replacement, until you’ve found your new home. If you handle it like this, you’re likely to leave with good references and the blessing of your former guild.

And isn’t that just SO much better than sneaking out through the backdoor?


Klepsacovic said...

Personally, I don't think so. That's only because of my priorities. I see a guild as a social organization. If I was less social, I might view it as a business one, a means to an end (raiding). In that case, why would I have the downtime of being unguiled (and likely raiding less) when I could stay until I find what I want?

Mister K said...

This seems like a very timely post to me since I left my guild yesterday to try looking for a new one. If my guild was still raiding I may not have done that but if they were still raiding then I probably wouldn't be looking for a new guild

candy said...

Having left a few guilds in my time, I have always left before applying to a new guild. Admittedly, my jump to my vanilla WoW raiding guild was after filling in the holes on their 20-man raids over the course of a few months, but I never applied until I realized I was more at home there than in my friends and family guild.

It would feel like cheating on my guild to be actively applying elsewhere behind their backs. And inevitably, people talk, and it gets back to your guild in my experience with seeing apps to my guilds who have done that.

Thistlefizz said...

If you are going to stay in a guild while applying to another I'm of the opinion you need to be open and honest about it and make sure you are still contributing in some way, especially if you still want to go on runs, collect loot, or have access to the guild bank. Otherwise it just feels like you are siphoning off resources before ditching to some other guild.

Barricade said...

Excellent post! I was saving up material for a similar post from an officer point of view, but your post accelerated my progress somewhat :)

Keep up the good work, this is one of the better blogs out there!

Ngita said...

I my case I let the guild know I was activily looking and quit my rank as a officer. Once i actually found a guild I liked and applied I gquit.

Not quiting would have felt like I was not actually committed to finding another guild, having said that I did leave alts in that guild and even now 2 year later still have 3 alts

Elnia said...

Personally, I think you're final point is naive. This may be a cultural thing. But here in America I can't think of a single case where an employee has announced they were looking for a new job where management hasn't shunted that person aside. True, I never seen a person fired. The better term is simply "frozen out". That person is not given much work and there opinions and efforts sre ignored.

I would never dare tell a superior I was looking for another job and I would never advise anyone to do it. True, a /gkick does not typically have the same import as getting fired; the situations aren't parallel. Nevertheless I think it's rare to find a business or a guild that is truly willing to have an "open" relationship.

Stabs said...

Gosh, you do ask some good questions, Larisa.

I have to answer Yes although it makes me feel a little grubby to do so.

To qualify it though I think that each guild has its own unique character and culture and how you would behave in one guild is not necessarily how you would behave in another.

For example I joined a friends corp in Eve. I tagged along with the corp leader helping him do some missions. He was annoyingly afk throughout, disappearing for several minutes repeatedly and always leaving us to do clean-up after the mobs were dead. At the end he pocketed the payout, tipped me and another guy a small amount for helping.

I left the next day without saying a word.

I have no ethical qualms about that.

On the other hand I've been in great guilds that were destroyed by a key person leaving. In Vanilla WoW we lost 3 main tanks in about 3 months, back in the days when it was a guild effort lasting months to gear up your tank (and they got loot prio) and it took the guild months to rep up your tank with the Thorium Brotherhood (loot the dogs!).

I think even then they were entitled to leave. We didn't own them.

My copout solution these days is not to play such a pivotal role. Earlier this year I was officer, raid leader and one of the two main tanks and it really burned me out. I'm sure it hit the guild hard when I stopped playing.

My latest character will be generic dps so if I don't turn up or gquit it won't hurt my guild. Less ego-tastic but a better reflection of the level of commitment I want to make

Copra said...

As a matter of fact, the applying for another guild while in a guild will become the norm, as the new guild experience system kicks in. Why? Because if the guilds grant you benefits which help and ease your gaming, you are bound to keep them coming as long as possible. And the option of being without the benefits is unthinkable because we humans are lazy, comfort seeking and self-centered egoists after all.

The benefits of seeking a new guild while in another overweight the burden of being without the guild benefits.

But that's then. To this question now, it seems that the norm would be not to apply, or at least leave the old guild silently, saving your own dignity.

C out

Silk said...

Interesting point of view :)

The reason why I didn't leave my previous guild before applying to a new one was simple. I was, and still am, quite good friends with the people in the old guild. I helped to found the guild, I was the raid leader. I wasn't easily replaceable.

I just didn't agree with the new direction of the guilds, particularly with respect to raiding. My in game goals became incompatible with my position in guild. That doesn't mean I wanted to cease to hang around with these people if I couldn't find a more compatible raid.

While I can certainly see your perspective I think there are plenty of reasons not to leave first.

Lance said...

Very interesting subject. I have had two guilds in my life. The first was a guild of friends. I left it only after it collapsed and several members were afk. I applied to another guild before leaving the 1st. In fact I never gquited. Just changed realms once I was accepted.

I am not sure though what is the politically correct think to do. Guilds often appreciate loyalty and honesty. I.e. do not apply to others but if you do, do tell us in advance. Although that is not perfect it is something I am willing to leave by. Like giving your employer notice of a period to replace you.

Tessy said...

It doesn't have to be either-or.

You can find yourself looking for another guild for various reasons without wanting to terminate the relationship with your current one.

If you see WoW like any other social/competitive activity like for example soccer, playing soccer with your friends and family on a lovely weekend day does not have to exclude playing regularly with other like-minded people in a more serious regional league.

Sure, you will miss out on some family outings because you have a game match that day, but you can be there and shoot some hoops with them another day.

But I think regardless of your reasons for applying to other guilds it is important to be open about what you are doing and why, both in your current guild and the one you are applying to.

Stumps said...

I'm GM of Adrenaline, the place Larisa likes to call home and I know why this has come forth.

@Elnia; one company is not always the same as another. I am well aware that people move about in Warcraft for various reasons. We can't stop this. What we do appreciate, while putting a shedtonne of time into running and managing a guild in our free time, is some honesty and openness. I have never guild kicked anyone who came to me beforehand and let me know that they felt they were wanting to move on from Adrenaline. First step would be to establish any motives to see if there was any way to rectify the situation. Beyond that, once clear that a person is resolved they get to move on when it's time with blessings and best wishes and always a decent reference when new prospective GM's come asking about their new applicant(and they do, often!).

Applying behind the backs of the guild, that is different. Especially while professing to officers that you love the guild and couldn't possibly envisage moving on. It's underhand and devious and leaves a very nasty aftertaste.

In short, I never ask for undying loyalty or contracts written in blood never to be broken....just a little honesty is all.

Remember the GM's and officers by and large do this in their own time, with no remuneration. It becomes an infinitely more emotional investment for a lot of us in those positions simply because we put so much of ourselves into it.

Is a little transparency and decency really THAT much to ask?

scrusi said...

From my guild management point of view, the answer is pretty clear, but not a simple yes or no.
We've had various cases of people applying to other guilds while still in our guild and there are three possible ways this can play out:

If the person didn't notify us, a guildkick is almost guaranteed. Unlike Elnia, I don't see notifying the leadership of your decision is naive at all. Yes it may (will) have negative consequences, but the consequences of not doing it are much worse. Your guild leadership puts a lot of time and effort into making your guild experience and enjoyable one - don't be surprised if the react harshly when you betray them.

If the person does notify us, there are still two ways this can play out. We will determine in a talk why that player intends to leave us and why she wants to stay in a guild with us until then. Depending on those reasons we either let them stay in the guild as raiders (rarely) or as friends.

Obviously we don't like gearing someone in raids that we know will leave us soon, so most of the time those potential leavers get demoted to friend status which still gives them a home until they find a new one. Some people don't accept that decision - but if they want to keep stealing our loot while looking for greener pastures there's no room for them in the guild anyway.

As for the opposite case - somebody applying to us while still guilded - we don't care. We do look at guild histories closely but it doesn't matter whether the applicant has left her guild beforehand or not. We don't know how their guild handles occasions like these so we leave it purely to them.

Gevlon said...

I'm afraid your final point is naive, except for high-end guilds. I'll write about it why.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand why there is the idea in WoW guilds that someone has to be unguilded in order to apply to a new guild. You don't know how long it will take you to find a guild that you like and that likes you and so you are supposed to sit around on your lonesome until it happens? Seems silly to me.

When it comes to how you choose to leave a guild to go to another one, I vote openness.

A couple of months ago one of our officers and key DPS-ers posted on our forums to say that he was feeling that he was not entirely satisfied with our raiding. We were then a 10-man guild working through Ulduar with Vezax on notice. He wanted to do hard-modes, while the guild was more focused on getting more bosses cleared. We discussed it and the majority of the guild were more interested in getting new bosses down than doing hard-modes on old ones. So he went looking for a new guild while still being with us and making up spaces in raids if needed. He was completely open about what he wanted and since it was something we as a guild could not give him we were happy for him when he found a more hard-mode focussed 25-man guild. We offered to give him a reference if any guild wanted one. That to me is how it should be.

I don't mind if people want something different out of the game and so feel that the guild is no longer a fit for them, just be open about it from the start. And particularly if you are an officer make sure to speak to the other officers about how to hand over any responsibilities.

We have had people not only ninja-quitting without saying a word and I have no respect for people like that.

When it comes to work, then yes I can absolutely see that you do not want to say that you are looking for another job unless you have a very good relationship with your boss. So I guess I can see the parallell that if people view their guild membership purely as a business arrangement they will feel no compunction about telling people in advance.

At the end of the day, there will always be some bad apples unfortunately. We had someone that we thought was a friend AFK on us mid-raid (so we had to kick him from group and wait until he despawned to get someone else in) and a couple of nights later when he left without a word we found out he'd been tabbed out writing his application to another guild. In it he'd said stuff about how he'd been teaching us how to raid seeing as we were only a poor 10-man guild, don't you know. This from someone who had amazing 25-man gear and still did poorer DPS then our 10-man geared people. And this was someone many of us had met with several times IRL for guild drinks, it boggles the mind it really does.

River said...

I did it only once. All the other times I have been guildless. I was in a social/casual raiding guild that really had some issues. I told them up front I was looking around at more hard core raiding guilds.

I stayed until I found a guild I wanted to get into and help the guild and my friends out as much as possible until I found that guild.

Turns out the reason finally left wasn't to go raiding, but to change factions.

I miss those guys and gals, they were great people.

Gnome of Zurich said...

Wow, I amazed that so many people feel the kind of allegiance to their guild that they do to a lover.

To me, a guild is not much different than any other group put together for a parciular purpose.

For example, I sing in a very good amateur choir that rehearses every week, and puts on big concerts 3-4 times a year. If I wanted to join a different choir, I don't feel like I have to announce the fact in my current one, before I even start looking.

I do feel a responsibility to not dropout right before a concert, and maybe even to give an explanation for the move, if and when I make it, but I certainly don't need their blessing, and they don't need to know that I'm looking.

I implicitly promised my choir by joining that I would come prepared to rehearsals and concerts, not be life partners. Similarly, I implicitly promised my wow guild that I would do raids and other in-game stuff with them. To the extent that I've committed to raids or other guild activities, I should follow through (IMO), beyond that, I don't owe anybody anything.

G-Rebel said...

If we're comparing guilds to RL employers, then my point of view is quite jaded. Employers show NO loyalty to anyone, so applying for other jobs without telling your current employer is the ONLY way to go.

I think that guild behavior can be dealt with the same way, you should be able to freely search for another guild without /gqutting first if it will help you achieve whatever goals you have in the game. Maybe the only exception should be if your guild are RL friends, then you should talk to them about it, otherwise search all you want.

In my experience loyalty goes one way, my way. And if you're not going my way I'll find somebody who is.

Elnia said...


The answer to your question is no, honesty is not too much to ask. I think it's awesome that you take the approach you do. But I would say that in my own personal experience your approach is a rarity. Maybe I'm too jaded. But after seeing so many people burned, it's only natural to become wary. It would be great if we lived in a "rah rah" universe where everyone truly wanted the best for everyone else. Where is this universe?

Adgamorix said...

I've led guilds, quit guilds, and straight up destroyed guilds. I have always had a position that if I found a guild mate had applied outside the guild, it was an instant gkick. Obviously if you're applying, you aren't happy here - so let me help you be less unhappy by showing you to the door.

If I get an application from someone who is guilded, I have no qualms about finding their GM and asking about that person.

Obviously if you're the type of person to shop for greener grass while still eating someone's hay - you'll probably do it to me in the future.

Of course now I just do 10 man raids with RL friends - we don't recruit, and I don't see anyone leaving any time soon.

Rhii said...

If I felt badly used by my guild, or mistreated by them, I would absolutely guild hunt behind their back.

A guild is a reciprocal relationship and what I get out of it should be somewhat fair in relation of what I put in. Granted, it won't always be equal, and I'm aware of that and ok with it. But if I'm putting in LOTS and getting NOTHING in return, I'm going to absolutely take what I can before I go, whether that's milking the last bit out of my current guild while applying, or whatever.

If I'm not in that sort of a situation, then I would consider it the respectful thing to quit my current guild first before actively applying elsewhere. It's only courteous. I've done a few guild changes this way, not for raiding, of course, since I don't do that, but in at least one case it was fairly devastating to my old guild to have us go. We couldn't stay, it wasn't possible at the time (GM was filled with drama and it was intolerable), but at least we left openly and gave the guild as much as we could before we left, since we'd received a lot from them.

I guess you just have to strike a balance, like in everything else.

Hinenuitepo said...

I've been in a few guilds over the past 4 years, and never gquit before finding a new one, except for my most recent guild.

G1) joined the RL friends who got me into the game. They were unhappy (not me) and formed their own. My loyalty to my RL friends was greater than to the guild, so I went with the friends. Probably the messiest of all my /gquits.

G2) My whole guild realized we weren't 'big enough' to start raiding seriously, so we started guild-shopping together.

G3) Guild had few talented and serious raiders (ppl showing up late, no gems, no enchants, etc); told leadership I'd stay with them until I found a serious raid guild.

G4) Guild was good fit raiding and 'personality' wise, but raid times sucked. Guild 'blessed' me as I looked for a better time. Server transferred to...

G5) Hard core raiding was what I was looking for and expected. Eventually, told guild I was moving across the world and getting out of the military, so hung out in non-raider status until transferring back to original server to my RL buds I started with, now a 'hard core casual guild.' Eventually raided with them once back in the US, but raid times again interfered with RL family and life stuff. This guild I eventually left when I 'retired' and had no intention of playing again.

G6) I joined from an unguilded status when I returned from several months off to find a guild that matched available times. Hopefully my last! Good so far. Still good friends with G5 folks on forums etc.

In any case, just a few examples of what I felt were 'legit' reasons to not gquit first. I think gquitting from a bad guild situation is often the right thing to do before guild shopping as you suggest, but not always for people in other circumstances. Often (as was my experience) personal reasons for leaving don't necessitate a messy, or sneaky, departure.

SSB Jezi said...

First off I have to say I LOVE your posts.

Guilds should be like family-I personally have only left guilds because of guild disbanment, not raiding or personal issues- Last year I left my fiance becasue of his behavior; we played in the same guild. I was as open and honest as I could be with my guild officers without putting my ex in a bad spot; as I knew WoW was his life and he would still want to raid. (he made this very clear that WoW was more important to me- as he picked to have no days off so he could raid every raid night.. where he could have over picking to have one night off with me and missing one raid a week...) So being the bigger person I transfered servers to be with some rl friends. But told my guild that I was leaving the other and moving out and that it was a 'bad break up' and did not want any contact with him- so therefore unfortunately unable to raid with them. Which was extremly hard becaue they where a great group of players and very good progression.

I reallly frown on the ninja guilding- I totally agree that it is like a stab in the back. I personally would boot their arse if I would happen to see an app on another guild's site and they said nothing.

Eaten by a Grue said...

SSB Jezi,

So what you are saying is that is ONLY acceptable to leave your guild if you are breaking up with a fiance because he plays too much WoW, since staying in said guild with said ex fiance would result in an awkward situation?

Leah said...

I've always been picky about guilds I joined. like you, I view them as friendships as well as partnerships, so with the exception of early days of wow and getting my feet wet, I would much rather stay unguilded then stay or join a guild that doesn't make me happy, for some ephemeral goal of "progression"

becasue of that - I will either leave a guild before looking for another, or will be honest about looking for something that my current guild cannot provide. unlike jobs, guilds are not a requirement in this game. they will not make or break you (even though they can definitely enhance your game experience, or make it miserable) and becasue there's so much you can do without having to have a tag under your name - the rules from real life and jobs do not apply here IMO.

Larísa said...

I think that even with a more businesslike approach to the guild, there may be a reason not to apply while still guilded. It all depends on what the contract states. Don’t forget that you might want to cooperate with those players at some point in the future. In this constellation or another. Why take the risk and burn your ships?

@Mister K: Good luck on your guild hunt!

@Candy: Oh yes. People talk. It’s somewhat naïve imo to apply to another guild and expect them not to find out.

@Thistlefizz: yeah, that’s my opinion too. I guess that if your guild has treated you extremely badly somehow, you might not hesitate about taking advantage of them. But on the other hand, why would you stay a single second longer than you need in such a guild? Loot can’t compensate for it.

@Barricade: thanks! I liked your take on this too.

@Ngita: It sounds like a fair way to go. And you could keep your alts there without any bad feelings from either side. Well done.

@Elnia: I don’t argue against you when it comes to real life jobs. That’s exactly what I wrote in the post. But a guild is a different situation. I don’t regard my guild as my employer. They’re my team and family. Not only social guilds are social! Serious raiding guilds are too.

@Stabs: Of course those tanks were entitled to leave! That’s not what I’m talking about. No one should be a slave to a guild. But their guild mates were entitled to some honesty. They could leave, but they should tell that they were looking for something else, not taking everyone by surprise.

@Copra: Ouch. Yeah, you may be right about that. The incentives to be guilded will increase in the expansion. But it’s kind of sad if it will be at the cost of the – as you put it so well – dignity.

@Silk: I don’t quite understand. You didn’t agree with the direction. You were hard to replace. They were your friends. Why couldn’t you inform them about your plans so they would have some time to either replace you or to rethink about the direction of the guild? Can’t really see why your reasons justify going behind the back of your friends.

@Lance: Well… I’m not a friend of the term ”politically correct”. It implies that you’re saying something just to please the masses, but it’s just polished crap anyway. To me being decent to your guild isn’t about being politically correct. It’s about being able to see yourself in the mirror without feeling ashamed.

@Tessy: exactly my point! You CAN apply to other guilds while guilded, but only as long as you’re honest about it.

@Stumps: no, it isn’t too much to ask for. We invest a lot in our guilds. Hours, gold, effort, emotions, our energy. To ask for honesty in return is definitely not naïve. It’s very well justified.

Larísa said...

I think very few would say no to an app from someone already guilded. I wouldn’t either. But actually it could be worth paying some attention to it at least. If they treat their current guild like that now, can you really expect loyalty from them in the future?

@Gevlon: “You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one….”
I’m looking forward to read it.

@Tufva: The way your officer/key DPS-er acted and how you handled it is exactly how it should be.
And the other story… what a horror. I can definitely understand that you felt betrayed.

@River: you were honest about it, that’s what is important.

@Gnome of Zurich: I know a choir singer too, and she’s definitely more loyal to her choir than you are. When she once left one choir for another one, she was very careful not to go behind anyones backs.
I guess it is as I say in the post: the views you have on this are very much based on how you view your guild – how much emotions you put into your relation with it.

“Loyalty goes one way, my way.”
What has the world done to you to become that cynical?

@Adgamorix: Good idea to contact the GM of their guild! I wonder how many of those sneaky applicants realize that this might happen.

@Rhii: yeah, if the relation is severely damaged already I can see why it happens. But on the other hand – why then stay another minute in the guild?

@Hinenuitepo: in most of those cases you were honest about the situation. I particularly liked when you went guild-shopping together! That’s awesome!

@SSB Jezi: Thank you!
That story about your breakup sounded so sad. For you and for him.

@Eaten by a Grue: I don’t think that was what she was trying to say.

@Leah: yeah, there’s definitely a lot you can do in the game without a guild tag. And provided that you’re a decent player with decent gear, I think not having a guild tag can be an advantage if you’re looking for a guild. Pug around and it probably won’t take long before you’ll be asked if you’re interested to become guilded.

scrusi said...

@Larísa: Thing is, I don't know whether the applicant informed her guild leadership about the application or not. I find nothing wrong with staying in your guild for camaraderie's sake until you find a new home - provided that you are open about it.
If you wanted to sort applicants that way, you'd have to talk to the leadership of that guild and see what they have to say about it. (And sometimes we do that.)

Our application form contains a section on guild history and the reason for leaving your last guild. Most of the time we can spot the black sheep from that section alone (even if they try to lie.)

Carra said...

If I want to leave a guild it's because I am not happy in the guild. Not to go "to a better guild". Although of course the fact that a better guild might fit me better might make me unhappy with my guild.

That being said, I'd probably start looking for a guild while guilded. Maybe inform if they need someone of your class. But I'd only start applying when I quit the guild.

G-Rebel said...

@ Larisa: A lot, you'd be surprised! But I don't look after myself at the expense of others, if I don't agree with the direction of a guild I'm not going to be a ninja or discredit any of the guildies in any way. I may be extremely cynical, but it doesn't mean that I have to be inconsiderate.

I don't think either approach (guilded or unguilded) is wrong, I would simply suggest that one does not do harm to their current guild if looking for another while guilded. My cynicism actually drives me to try to be a more considerate person and gamer.

Rem said...

[...]like the adventurers in LOTR, united by a mission, with sworn loyalty to each other and the good cause.

Actually ... not quite.

"This is my last word," [Elrond] said in a low voice. "The Ring-bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. [...] The others go with him as free companions, to help him on his way. [...]; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road."
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens," said Gimli.
"Maybe," said Elrond, "but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall."
"Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart," said Gimli.
"Or break it," said Elrond.

Do not swear loyalty. Loyalty comes from the heart, not from the mouth. And if your heart just isn't beating in a certain way any more, your mouth won't convince it to.

The Fellowship of the Ring succeeded, because they were, at their hearts, loyal to the cause, to the extent of ultimate self-sacrifice. Gollum's loyalty was sworn, and then he /gquit and tried to ninja the loot.

Vigorless fragmentary said...

easy answer for me: depends on how the guild treated you in the first place. loyalty is reciprocal. if the guild was a 'home' where u got treated with decency, then be decent and don't screw them over.
if the guild let you down bigtime you don't owe them honesty imo.

Larísa said...

@Rem: you're absolutely right. I should have known, since I'm an LOTR addict, re-reading it every 3 years or so. I was a bit careless when I made that comparsion.

Silk said...

Thanks for the response Larisa - just to clarify, I did tell them (though not before I'd put in the app) I just didn't leave before applying.

I didn't want to tell them until I'd made the decision I guess. I certainly didn't want to give them a chance to talk me out of it, having made the decision I wanted to stick with it.