As I mentioned in a previous post, the guild I was in was suffering some serious problems in the absence of it's guild master. You'll note the use of the past tense there. I was raiding with my friend's guild during Gunned Down in Reno's hiatus. In short order, I had main tanked their first Naxx 25 clear, and tanked their first down of Sarth 10 + 1 drake. After some begging, I decided to do the trendy thing, and took Dammer to Mean Machine, the guild I was progressing with, and left my alt in GDiR to keep tabs on things. Ironically, the day after I left, GDiR's guild master came back. I tried to keep a low profile, as I still had some friends who hadn't left the guild, including the one who got me into WoW to begin with. I had kinda slipped out in the middle of the night, and was kind of hoping to blend in with the rest of the exodus, so as not to attract the ire of my former guildies. I know that sometimes that can be an issue. I don't know how GDiR's gonna go forward, but I just can't see them replenishing their losses and getting back into 25 man raid shape for at least a month. They hadn't managed to clear naxx 25 before the disruption, and now, with 3.1 bringing Ulduar sooner rather than later, GDiR will find themselves well behind the progression curve. GDiR, over the course of one month, went from a 25 man raiding guild on pace for progression, to a borderline social/alt guild that's stagnating. It hurts to see that, they will always be my first guild, and I wish them all the success in the world.
The problem that I think led to the collapse of GDiR is the makeup of the guild. It was essentially a cult of personality. The GM is a great person, great guild leader, great raid leader, and one of the best protection warriors I've ever seen. However, the remainder of the officer's corps was nearly nonexistent. When the GM took her sabbatical, raids ground to a halt, and there were stretches of a week at a time where we had no news of what was going on with regards to the guild. The rank and file raiders had little linking them to each other. Once the GM was no longer there, micromanaging the guild, it went directly to anarchy.
I'm not exactly sure how my new guild, Mean Machine, would handle a similar situation. The GM of MM is very similar. She's hands on, with both raids and guild affairs. The difference that I see is a much more visible officer corps. One of those officers is a friend of mine, so even in the event of a similar information blackout, I could still go outside the game to find out what's going on. Looking at how things have been going the last few raid periods, I think MM would handle an extended absence by the GM much better than GDiR did. I certainly hope I don't get to test that theory though.