I feel strongly that the guild cooldown policy creates a burdensome and toxic community environment, and needs to be revisited. In order to illustrate why, I’ll share my personal experience.
A friend and I started a guild that is now L13, mostly for our friends and their alts. It’s comprised of about 10 active players, all of whom play at varying times and have different ilevels, so it was difficult for us to get some of the competitive guild content done or create a static raid group.
As such, we ventured out to look for a guild that accepted mains as an end to participating in some of the competitive guild content, as well as have a more dependable bench of players who would like to raid. Six of us left our home guild and went to a guild that claimed that they were raiding regularly and achieving ranks in GvG/GvE stuff. Once we got there, it turned out not to be so true.
The deputy of this guild was particularly toxic, and any suggestions to try to fix participation problems were met with derision, e.g. “we did that already”, or “all of these people are liars nothing works”, and so forth. He was pretty much locked in to his leadership position because he was the guild leader’s cousin.
During a Valtan raid, one of the people who migrated with me made a joke in voice chat, which admittedly was a little edgy but intended to be humorous, it was poking at the deputy after he went off on a rant. The deputy player responded by kicking that player from the guild. “How fucking funny is it now, bitch?” he said.
Then my friend is on a 3 day cooldown, and we were put in a position of also having to leave if we want to keep playing with our friend. We decided to do that, because the guild leadership was ultimately unstable and could not be trusted to avoid rash decisions. It had a lot of other decent folks, but this one person made it tough to be there.
One of our group knew of another guild that he had played with for a while, and was in Discord with for some time, who were described as “chill”. He recruited us, and we joined that guild.
Once we got in there, we found the guild leader to be fairly toxic. He’d make racist comments at times, often had conflicts with other guilds or well known members on our server, but was otherwise fairly helpful and ran content with a lot of people. When he scheduled a GVG event, no one showed up apart from myself and one other guildie. I pointed out that I thought we had to get better organized and offered my help, but he reacted badly to what he perceived to be unwarranted criticism and began harassing me and others over the next few days. He would not talk to me about it, though I wanted to resolve it. I left that guild in response, and the guild leader reacted further by kicking my other friends out of the guild. Now we are all on an 8 day cooldown.
Another guild that we had been talking with who wanted to recruit us got in touch, and they were willing to wait the 8 days. We were forthcoming about our experience, and we wanted to join their Discord just to make sure it was a good fit, but that was a non-starter because they keep their GvG strategies close to the chest. I understand that, but it could be another situation where we go in with good intentions and some bad apple creates a shit storm or makes our time in game miserable. I mean, I don’t think so, but I also didn’t think so with the other two guilds because we had done some homework before we joined. We talked in discord with these people before we joined. We asked a lot of questions. We were fed misinformation that ultimately encouraged us to join these guilds.
I mean, exactly how much front-end loading do we have to do before we can join a guild without worrying about the damn cooldown? I mean, this process should be simple – if you join a group and that group is not a good fit for you, you should be able to find another. These cooldowns and 3 day guildmate wait times are incredibly punishing to anyone who ends up in a bad situation because of an abusive guild mate, or worse, toxic leadership. I’ve basically lost 2 weeks of guild mats and event participation due to circumstances that were unavoidable and out of my control. I don’t think that is fair to me and my friends.
I know Smilegate does not want guild hopping, because that creates opportunities for player and bot exploitation. However, the solution to that problem is creating this other problem, which has been detrimental to my personal enjoyment and finding a like-minded and fun community in which to become active.
Isn’t there another way that the exploitation issue can be mitigated without putting us all at the mercy of potentially toxic individuals who run some of these guilds? I know that there is a good group of folks out there, but on the first two tries, we failed to find them. Why are you making us pay such a high price for that when the ability for us to detect future guild mayhem is impossible as a practical matter?
Please find a way to fix it. Please pass this on to whoever makes these decisions.