Late last night, it occurred to me that I owe it to all the people I really care about who still play to draw the final line under the old part of my life. So, this is me, being honest as to why I had to leave a Guild I’ve been a part of since 2005 to finally move my Warcraft life onwards.
I realise, having had the opportunity to sit and reflect on what has passed, that a lot of the issues preventing me from playing were entirely subjective. However, when all is said and done, I ultimately felt unwelcome in the Guild I’d previously run. It was only down to a couple of people: we’d disagreed on lots of things over the years, but it was their reaction when trying to steer the Guild in a direction that I considered more positive that finally upset me, and destroyed a long-term friendship. When the same people took offence to a blog post I wrote earlier this year, I was heartbroken. Being told they’d been there for me during the most difficult period of my life and I’d been at fault not asking for help was me pretty much done.
The more painful truth, of course, is that everyone I still care about who was involved with years of playing has effectively stopped doing so full-time, for whatever reason. The people that used to be EU friends are still around, but no-one has desire to play in the way I now crave. In fact, as I logged in yesterday morning, I saw that a couple of long-term players had also left, presumably to go raid with other people. Everybody else is doing what they need to have a good time, except me. I’m the one hung up on choices made years ago.
The fatal mistake was thinking everybody cared about this adventure in the same manner I do. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that I will misunderstand the importance of Azeroth in other people’s lives. Now I have new friends who consider me first, before Warcraft, that makes what happens an awful lot easier overall. However, that still doesn’t give me what I want, which is closure. Leaving yesterday, taking all my characters out then returning them together in one place, becoming GM again is not some massive ego trip, or wish fulfilment back to the day I was in charge. It is finally the way I find peace in a game that has been ruined for me by my own actions.
The weight that removal released from a troubled mind is immense. I never wanted to hurt people, or upset those for whom the game matters in different ways. I need finally to walk away from the mistakes and accept that sometimes, it’s just up to you to move on. Forgiveness is great, love and understanding really matter, but reconciliation sometimes is not the answer.
Last night, I played for the evening, on my own, without having to worry about offending someone by not talking in Guild or getting hung up on being sociable. I cleared a ton of Quests and made a load of money, and was reminded that if you’re willing to take a chance with random players, the results can be fantastic. I know not all Guilds are bad places and if I really wanted to I could find one to simply hang with people… but I would not give them the time and attention they deserved, and that’s why I’m here.
What I want right now is friends away from Warcraft I can rely on to be giving and understanding, so I can do so in return. I need to know they’ll be there when it matters, and we won’t fall out over semantics. Most importantly, I really want to be able to play a game the way I want and not be judged for those choices by other people. Sadly however, as I have no control over the rest of the World, there may yet be consequences over my decisions. I’ve spoken to my now ex GM, who is brilliant and understands the reasons for leaving. I’ve explained to the one person who’s already asked why I’ve gone, and they’re cool about it too. I’ll take the consequences of everybody else, a person at a time, but find it hard to believe anyone else will really be that bothered.
Here is where I want to be. Last night’s gaming is the happiest I’ve experienced for a very long time. If I have to pay a price for that? So be it.
I am no longer afraid of dealing with the consequences of my actions.