I’ve been UD’s GM for the better part of the past five years—and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it. Hiero’s /played reads just under one full waking year out of the 80 some years I expect to spend on this planet—and the vast majority of that time played has been as GM. At times, the job has been challenging and rather stressful: I remember spending sleepless nights, starting at the ceiling in bed, trying to solve some of the guild’s more difficult developmental problems (*cough* 40-man loot system *cough*). At other times, the job has been filled with excitement and accomplishment: I’ll never forget the wild furbolg reverie through Stormwind and Ironforge after UD first killed Ragnaros. On the whole, the experience has been a deeply rewarding one for me.
As you know, there have been periods of time when I’ve spent pretty much all my waking hours online, and during which (I believe) I’ve done a pretty decent job of leading the guild. There have also been periods during which I haven’t had as much time and energy to invest in leadership as I would have liked. The past few months have been such a period: I’ve been unable to provide the guild with the leadership that it deserves.
UD means a hell of a lot to me. By that I mean you, the people in UD, mean a hell of a lot to me. You deserve a more active, more energetic GM to lead the guild forward into this expansion.
We’ve discussed succession planning in past at officer meetings. There’s a reason why politicians have term limits and corporate directors have mandatory retirement ages: it’s good for organizations to bring in new leaders from time to time. New leaders bring new ideas, new perspectives, new enthusiasm, and new direction. Fresh leadership can represent an enormous step forward for an organization.
And so, the time has come for me to pass the torch.
Ben (Resj) will be United Defense’s next Guild Leader. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone with whom I’d feel more comfortable entrusting UD. He’s been my confidant and friend. He’s been an active officer for a very, very long time. He knows everyone in the guild—most of us on a first-name basis—and we know him. He understands UD’s core values and philosophy. He has a great deal of experience leading the guild through raids and other events. In short, he’s both competent and willing to take on the weighty responsibility that leadership entails--and I know he’ll be an excellent trustee for our guild and the United Defense name.
I believe the leadership transition will be fairly seamless. Ideal succession involves a time period in which the former leader’s powers and responsibilities diminish and the new leader’s powers and responsibilities increase… only then should the actual transfer of title take place. This has occurred somewhat organically over the past months: Ben has arrived at a point where he is operating as a sort of de facto guild leader. Accordingly, I expect that the transfer of leadership won’t be a jarring threshold, but will rather prove to be more of a smooth continuation of the guild’s current state.
As for the actual passing of the metaphorical torch, that will happen next Monday, March 14th. At 7pm on that day, there will be an informal party in Stormwind. We’ll meet up at the Blue Recluse and throw back a few drinks. I’ll pass GM on… and Ben will take it from there!
So what’s gonna happen to Hiero afterward? I’m not going anywhere. If Ben thinks I’d be of use as an officer emeritus going forward, I’d be happy to serve in that capacity. If such an arrangement doesn’t fit his guild leadership vision, then I’ll be more than happy as a member. In fact, I intend to remain a part of United Defense for as long as Daggerspine’s cooling fans continue to whir away… and perhaps even longer if the guild continues to live on in some other form! Though I may not be able to be online 16 hours a day, 7 days a week like I once was, I WILL be around.
Thank you, Ben, for offering to lead United Defense forward. You know how much this transition means to me, as a person—how much of myself I have invested in this guild. And I know for certain that UD will be in good hands.
Above all, thank YOU, my fellow members, for all of the time, energy, dedication, and devotion that you have given to the guild over the years. UD may be, taken in a literal sense, just a collection of bits on a server in a lifeless, air-conditioned room somewhere; but to me it means infinitely more. UD is a collection of very real people—people whom I’ve come to call friends. It is these friendships and shared experiences that make United Defense worthwhile and such a meaningful element in my life. I know that I’m not alone in these sentiments.
It’s truly been an honor serving as your GM. Thank you all for your trust, faith, patience, and support. And above all, thank you for your friendships. I have no doubt that, many years from now, when World of Warcraft has long since faded into an antique video game, I will still remember all of the good times and all of you who’ve made the UD journey with me.
In the mean time, I look forward to watching the guild grow and evolve, to sharing life’s daily twists and turns via green text, and to perpetrating evenings of drunken, late-night, furbolg-ridden shenanigans with you in the days yet to come!