I have a confession to make: I have a Secret Identity.
No, it's not like Ferraro's Secret Identity (identities?), or the Secret Identity that Sarah Townsend didn't even know she had. Mine is an in-game Secret Identity.
It's a Warlock.
My Secret Warlock is and is known only to a handful of my guildies: my wife (of course); my GM and his wife; and three or four others. Ironically, my GM has his own Secret Warlock; we've done some quests together and we chat pretty extensively when we're both online at the same time. Our Secret Warlocks are secret: they are not in the guild.
When I created my Secret Warlock I had every intention of bringing him into the guild, but I figured I'd have some fun with it. I envisioned a 'Find My Alt' contest, with Fabulous Cash Prizes for the lucky guildie who was able to find me through clever clues posted on the website or by my wife in-game. The contest never materialized, however; I could never quite figure out how I wanted to do it, but I think the real reason it didn't happen was because....
It was quiet. And I liked it.
I love my guild. I really do.They’re a great bunch of people, and there’s always something happening in guild chat – frequently entertaining, often enlightening, never boring. Yet I found the peace and quiet refreshing. It was nice to be able to kill worgen in Duskwood without watching the constantly-streaming lines of green chat flowing by, or stopping to see what I missed while siccing my Voidwalker on Stalvan Mistmantle. I didn’t have to feel guilty for not dropping what I was doing to heal a heroic, or worry that I wasn’t being nice for not giving someone that run-through of Scarlet Monastery. So, I enjoyed the silence.
And then I got lonely.
Now, being a Warlock means you’re never really alone, but minions are generally poor company. They’re not much for conversation, they just grumble and complain, or slap their butts. I was looking for more than that. So, when someone asked if I could sign a guild charter for them, I thought 'Why not? It will be nice to have some company'. I also thought it might not be a bad idea to experience being in a different guild, with different people, so that I could be exposed to different ways of thinking and organization.
So I joined the new guild. And I hated it.
Here is a typical conversation in the new guild (actually, both of the ones my Secret Warlock has been in):
[Myalt] has come online
[Myalt] Good evening, all
[Myalt] What's everyone up to tonight?
I find it interesting that as much as I liked the Sounds of Silence when I was unguilded, I hated it more when I was in a guild. If I’m in a social organization then I want to socialize. I’m not looking for run-throughs, or handouts, or a spiffy guild tabard. I don’t have to spend every minute of every session grouped up with you for no purpose; I don’t need an extensive detailing of your personal life – but I DO want more than ‘sup’ and ‘yo’. In short, I’m looking for more from my gaming experience and my guild, and I think I know what to do.
So, if you'll excuse me, I have a contest to design.