I realised that I should probably say a few words about what's been happening to my guild since my last post about it. It still feels odd to talk about my guild like that at all. For one and a half years I didn't have much of a need to talk about it simply because it was working so smoothly. Sure, we had our occasional argument or loot drama, but nothing that really endangered the guild's integrity as a whole.
Also, I think part of me doesn't actually like talking about my guild's problems too much. As soon as you mention any people involved in anything less than a glowingly positive way (even without naming them), there's the risk that someone will view it as "airing dirty laundry" or something and start a fight about it.
Still, in this case I do think it's worth mentioning that about two weeks ago our inactive guild leader finally agreed to hand guild leadership over to the remaining active officer, whose first act in his new position was to promote me and another very active guildie to officer status so we could help him breathe some life back into the guild. I think that we've been quite successful at this task so far, getting both "fun" and ten-man progression raids going each week and giving our somewhat outdated guild website a much-needed overhaul. Guild chat also seems more alive again in the evenings. This is good.
Nonetheless I remain cautious. I have to admit that the idea of officially downsizing to being a ten-man guild leaves me feeling a little insecure. There's strength in numbers. In a twenty-five-man raid, a single person is unlikely to make or break a raid, but if you're only running ten-mans and, say, one of your healers stops playing, you'll be in some trouble, even if you have more than ten raiders to allow for a little rotation. Two or three people leaving at once could be disastrous! With a roster of thirty-odd people to cover our twenty-five man raids we had a much bigger buffer for that kind of thing.
I also got word of former members who left to join Another GuildTM about two months ago to continue twenty-five-man raiding bombarding people that remained with us with whispers to leave us and join their new guild instead. This kind of thing is exactly why claims about wanting to stay on good terms with the guild just before you leave often sound so hollow. If you want to stay on good terms you don't go and undermine the place two months later!
I used to be pretty laid back about "poaching" attempts like that because it takes two to tango and you can't convince people if they don't really want to leave anyway, but I have to admit that after putting in the work trying to get the guild back on its feet I can understand why our old officers would often become so outraged when stuff like that happened. If you put personal effort into making the guild what it is and then people whom you thought were your friends go around telling others that your guild sucks and that people should join theirs instead - yeah, that is bloody personal. Fortunately I think that the ones that remain in the guild right now are not easily impressed by the allure of more hardcore raiding, easy achievements and better epics.
For now I'm cautiously optimistic until the end of this expansion at least; and I don't see much point in worrying about what Cataclysm will bring because so many things will change that it's hard to make any reliable predictions about our future guild size, raiding habits and what not anyway.