It's been 12 days since the exiles left. At first, I was baffled and angry. I wasn't sure why they left, and to be honest, they were a big reason why I kept Legacy going as long as it has. I actually cancelled the next payment on my subscription, deciding that either the next three weeks would bring something that would convince me to stay, or I'd dismantle Legacy and leave Azeroth. I faced a decision to on how to handle things. I could either slam the door shut behind them, or leave access to me open, and pray that I could find the answers to my questions. I talked to some of my friends for guidance, and got a mixed bag of responses, from chalking it up to John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, to possibly pointing out to a misunderstanding like when our neurotic former officer holy paladin convinced our Resto Druid to quit the guild. I drew up a post the next day, laying out the facts, and my thoughts, to give myself a little more clarity, and see if possibly some members of the blogging community had any ideas on how to best handle the situation.
After a little thought, I realized that salting the earth was easy, I could do it anytime I wanted, but it is also, unfortunately often permanent. So I decided to leave their alts in the guild, and not ban them from our vent. Some of them have popped in from time to time. A couple have seemingly spent more time on the alts in Legacy than on their horde toons. I've found at that they left to go play with some of their friends who had left Legacy and Faction Transferred when going to the dark side first became an option. The Death Knight left to go form a 3s team, which is now 2k rated. The Hunter left because she wanted to raid with the DK, and the other three just kinda followed the crowd. It's nice to have them around, but it still stings. My gut instinct tells me that they're still decent people, but my heart still reminds me of the manner of their departure. The loss of trust that was created by their leaving still colors every interaction I have with them.
Even with the answers I got, there's still some nagging questions that elude me. These are the hard questions, the things that don't fit, and the questions that I fear that if I ask, would destroy whatever goodwill I have left for these people. Why, if the Hunter wanted to raid with the Death Knight, are they in different guilds? Why, if the Shaman could barely make any raids with us, did he think transferring to a guild with pretty much the same raiding schedule, and an attendance requirement would work? How long ago did they put in their applications to those guilds, and continued to assure me that I could count on them for the push to Icecrown? I don't know if I really want to know the answers.
I threw recruiting open the moment they left, and a Fury Warrior who joined us a few months ago and worked his way onto my ten man squad began tapping his resources. He gathered several of his friends, a Warlock, Mage, Rogue, Feral Druid, Resto Shaman, and Unholy Death Knight, who were looking to get back into raiding after an extended break. They were mostly Ex-Get of Fenris members who got sick of raiding when the guild transitioned to Awaken. Heavily undergeared, but extremely skilled. We can get them gear, though, that's not an issue. The losses suffered have been quickly replenished.
Last night, something interesting happened. For the last patch, Legacy was pretty much a semi casual 25 man raiding guild with a hardcore ten man team. We'd made some attempts in ToGC 25, but people lacked focus, and couldn't handle wiping. To be honest, I still had it scheduled only because not at least making the effort would pretty much lay that sham right out in the open. But last nights raid was different, after 5 wipes, people weren't whining and weren't leaving. Each attempt made incremental progress. Finally, after 15 attempts, and two and a half hours of wiping, we had a dead yeti on our hands.
After the raid time elapsed, I rebuilt my ten man team, having 3 of the 5 exiles on my ten man team left me unsure of how successful we could be, but we breezed through ToGC 10, and after an oddball wipe due to a burrower getting stuck on an unused patch of frost in phase three, allowing him to shadow strike, my new feral druid found himself earning Call of the Grand Crusade, Tribute to Skill, and Tribute to Mad Skill all in the same night.
I still don't know what my plan is going to be with the Exiles, but I do know this, I still have work to do. This morning I sent Blizzard the next payment for my subscription.