With the news of Risen, a famous US high end guild disbanding in March this year and fairly recently another very famous US guild, Death and Taxes which also disbanded (in May), you start to wonder why this is happening. There's many obvious answers to this, but there's also several other reasons you might not think about. On the other hand, what is obvious to one person, might not be to someone else.
Now, a third famous high end guild just disbanded today, Forte Gaming (EU), they've been doing really well in the past and there's a lot of buzz around the net of their disband. Forte Gaming published a long statement as to why they've disbanded and what's going to happen next.
I think the cause is due to many different factors. One immediate reason would be that Blizzard take too long to release high end raiding content and people get bored. It's also summer time now, a lot of people simply don't want to farm old content over and over again when the sun is shining and the temptation of being outside is much bigger. However, there's so many more reasons that can be the reason of a well organized guild's disband.
Blizzard's response to taking their good time with releasing high end content and content in general is that they want to make sure they release high quality content. This is understandable and I respect it. However, on the other hand, you'd think with Blizzard's resources and money, they would be able to speed it up a bit more. Of course, this is speculation, there's many factors behind why things might take time, so saying they aren't doing their best would be unfair, I'd like to think they are releasing great content, albeit a bit too slow, which probably most people agree with.
Managing and leading a high end guild is a lot harder than many people realise. It's almost like managing a small to medium sized company, depending on what goals you have and general guidelines. Guilds such as Risen, Death and Taxes and Forte Gaming, their goal was to achieve world firsts and remain among the top guilds in the world. In order to achieve this, you need to play quite a bit when new content is released, and you have the constant pressure to compete with other guilds that have the same goal. This is a lot of fun, sure. But it takes a certain kind of player to be able to play at the level expected. We all have different reasons as to why we play World of Warcraft and MMO's in general, so the next issue I'm going to mention is recruitment. To find equal-minded players for a high end guild that have the goal to achieve as many first kills as possible of bosses can be very hard.
You need to find out the needs and desires of your members and identify problems of why some might be displeased and/or unhappy with certain things. Communication is key and listening is another key to good leadership and a well functioning guild. Resolving issues is important and finding solutions to problems within your loot system and other things is crucial. Just letting problems remain never solve anything, it goes for in any situation. Eventually it just grows too big and it might be too late to take action. Respect is another factor, if members start losing respect, it has to be regained quick or the guild wont last that long or at least lose core members. Maintaining neutrality is something else that a leadership should do, that way there won't be any jealousy and speculation that X and Y get special treatment. There's a risk that it can trigger a chain reaction otherwise.
How you recruit and guild new members is even more critical. If you get too much 'bad blood' (i.e troublemakers, whiners and bad players) the normal and good players would eventually not want to stick around..
People burn out if they have to raid too much, so fresh blood is direly needed. Finding it is a challenge. Especially with some of the requirements high end guilds deploy. This is one factor as to why a guild might decide to part ways and disband; losing too much of it's core and replacing it with too many new members. All of the sudden it does not feel like the guild it use to be, since the majority of the members that once were there have quit. There's also the thing with members that stick around and raid, even though they are burned out and have zero motivation. Sure, it's doable to defeat farm content with such players, but when it come to new content - you quickly realise this is bad and you need to do a lot of recruiting, which slows down the guild overall, lowers the morale and might cause people to leave to where the grass is greener. Sad but true.
More reasons for a guild to disband is when part of (or the whole) leadership have quit and the new leadership simply doesnt have the respect of the members or can handle it like the previous one did. People lose motivation and interest that way. One of the main reasons players stick around is because of friends, if their friends (or most of them) have quit the game or left the guild they're in, it's a lot easier to quit. Several core raiders might disagree with the leadership and decide to part ways, this would cause issues if you're currently actively trying to raid new content and need everyone available. Again, recruitment steps in and slows down the guild.
Sometimes it's just time to move on. Too many things change and you simply need something new to do. Variation is great. Too many factors and variables exist, I can't mention them all -- but it's quite amazing to see old school guilds that existed back in EverQuest way before World of Warcraft, and who still exist today, playing World of Warcraft, Age of Conan and what not. You bet there's been a high turnover rate in most of those guilds though, however there's also many of said guilds that have the majority of their core still in their guild due to having met in real-life often and still do. So called real-life guild meetings. It's quite amazing how well MMORPG's can connect people and turn it into reality.
As mentioned previously, Forte Gaming disbanded today and they have several notably achievements:
Era of Naxxramas
- Thaddius: EU first kill, Worldwide 2nd
- Gothik the Harvester: EU first kill, Worldwide 3rd
- Heigan the Unclean: EU first kill, Worldwide 3rd
- Loatheb: EU 1st kill
- Sapphiron: EU 2nd kill, Worldwide 5th
- Kel'thuzad: EU 2nd kill, Worldwide 5th
Era of The Burning Crusade
- High King Maulgar: EU 1st kill, Worldwide 3rd
- Magtheridon: EU 4th kill, Worldwide 5th (pre-nerf)
- Morogrim Tidewalker: EU 5th kill, Worldwide 7th
- Al'ar: Worldwide 2nd (pre-nerf)
- High Astromancer Solarian: EU 2nd kill, Worldwide 3rd (pre-nerf)
- Kael'thas Sunstrider: Worldwide 2nd kill
- Rage Winterchill: Worldwide 2nd kill
- Anetheron: World first
- Gurtogg Bloodboil: Worldwide 2nd kill
- Essence of Souls: Worldwide 3rd kill
- Archimonde: Worldwide 3rd kill
- Illidan Stormrage: Worldwide 3rd kill
Along with this, they also acquired the world's first Warglaive of Azzinoth
They also posted a statement with information as to why and what it's all about:
Many of you have probably wondered where Forte has been in terms of progress in PvE after patch 2.4. Well, here is the story of Forte in short and what has happened, yeah it's over.
Forte was created on the realm Daggerspine ~3 years ago and since then it has been a long journey for some and little shorter for others. The realm Daggerspine had its downside when it became mass populated and with that it brought the lag/crashes, this was during the AQ period. The choice was obvious to move to another realm and this time it was, Kazzak. Not only Forte migrated to Kazzak, the well known and very respected guild by everyone in Forte, Last Resort also joined Forte on Kazzak. On Kazzak, Forte managed to gather dedicated and good players which led Forte to a success in the Naxxramas instance with top 5 worldwide positions. The success was a fact but after sometime the bigger part of the guild left Forte to create a friend guild. With TBC at the doorstep Forte was left with only a few core players in the guild, with massive recruitment and filtering out the best players, Forte was finally back on track for TBC.
In TBC Forte continued doing good but it was still a unpolished diamond but overall the results from SSC, TK and all the other dungeons was good with top3 worldwide results on bosses (Kael'thas 2nd worldwide). I think everyone in Forte remember pre-nerf Al'ar (World 2nd) and how proud all the members were, even for some it is the best kill ever with Forte. The release of Black Temple and Mount Hyjal looked really good at start for Forte but due to only 25 people being able to attune to Mount Hyjal and to be able to do Black Temple it became very hard to compete alongside with Nihilum for the first kills and it started to look bad. Forte came back in Mount Hyjal with a world first kill on the boss Anetheron. Continued into Black Temple and took fast kills and managed to pass other guilds on the way and end up as the second guild world wide to clear all the content available (Illidan World 3rd, Archimonde World 3rd) and obtain TBCs first legendary item off Illidan. It was a big success this time and there was no other Alliance guild that managed to climb as high as Forte did at the time and holding the position as number 2 in the world.
For months after the great achievements Forte continued to farm the instances and gathered a total of 9 legendary warglaives from Illidan in Black Temple. The long farm did eventually draw the air out of Forte and many decided it was time to let go of World of Warcraft but with people still in the guild willing to continue strive against bigger and better achievements in the future, the motivation was still there. A choice was made to give Forte better raiding standards, it was time for another move and the destination this time was the realm Boulderfist. Together with the horde guild Last Resort from Kazzak, Forte moved to Boulderfist and left behind a very big scale of people on Kazzak, fans, friends and very successful guilds in PvE that made Kazzak a very respected realm. Boulderfist was an empty realm but that's all there is to say about it, it lacks much of what a rich realm has that is important. Recruiting was always a problem even as the best ranked Alliance guild, 9 of 10 were not Forte material but there was no choice to make, applications was always a problem.
There are many factors who did their part in the reason why Forte will now stop being a active high end raiding guild here in World of Warcraft. Recruitment, long delays between content, raid times pushed back more and more... You can't blame anyone in Forte because we as guild couldn't manage this, we tried even if it sometimes was very hard to notice. It has been painful in many ways and when 2.4 hit, much was expected of Forte and even more was expected of its members, it was number 1 or nothing. But it started at the first step in Sunwell, nothing was going anywhere near what we wanted, people being dumb, no recruits and the motivation and "go" spirit was just going away more and more. People have decided to quit or move on more and more and the final nail was this weekend. The power and energy in Forte came from the idea from the members to fight and compete amongst the best in PvE and now it looks like it ain't possible anymore, for many it has felt like a slowly sinking ship for sometime and now it's over. Forte did manage this kinda problem once before but it has been a rough period this time and people don't have the spirit to drag this sinking ship up again. For many its a relief, go on with lives outside the gaming world or just find another guild or game.
Everyone in Forte would like to say BIG thanks for all the support from fans, guilds and friends. Good luck to all the players that were in Forte who will most likely take on different paths. And thanks all of you who made Forte and those who helped Forte to become an awesome guild for a long time. If you read more there is a long list of players who were in/helped Forte over the years.
The guild Forte will be disbanded on Boulderfist but it remains on Kazzak with some old Forte people. Our movies are on Warcraftmovies.
Do you think this trend will continue in World of Warcraft or is it just isolated occurances and the majority of the famous guilds will remain? What do YOU think is the reason for more and more high end guilds disbanding? Like mentioned previously, it's totally impossible to give a straight answer to that, since there's many reasons a disband of this magnitude occur. Perhaps the trend of how these hardcore guilds play and raid will change a bit in order to remain and not burn out (being only one reason for disbanding). It's a shame to see well known guilds depart, and I wish Risen, Death and Taxes and Forte Gaming the best of luck in the future.
Playing with the same guild for a long time is more then just a simple PC game. You get many friends and it's a bit like a "family" disbanding (of course, depending on what type of guild you were, some high end guilds only care for world firsts and couldn't care less about socializing) this is also probably why the buzz spreads across the net like a wild fire when a famous guild disbands. It's certainly going to be interesting when Wrath of the Lich King is out, are we in for seeing many new guild names on the top this time? Time will tell.