On April 1, I left my LotRO kinship. No, it was no April Fools Joke. I was an officer but I decided to leave. So did another officer and the former second-in-command. No hard feelings about the kinship on our side.
It had all begun dawning on us that it’s time to leave when a discussion started in the officer forum about what to do now with radiance gone. Mind you, only a handful of people even raid. Not many more are interested. Being an officer, I had been told that I should join the ocassional raid which I only nodded to. They knew I didn’t want to raid but I also knew that once in a while, they did a fun raid. I could join those.
One other officer wrote down a list of what he wanted instead of radiance. It sounded like something I expected from a WoW raid… including checking if the character had earned specific titles. Very… weird (it’s a casual/social kinship with raids as a side dish – but they’re done in collaboration with another kinship).
When LotRO went f2p in Europe, we also started recruiting more. I usually sent off our message in the OOC-chat channel in the game but left out the part that said people interested could whisper me. I’ve had enough “Can I join, plx???????”. Thank you, but no thank you. So I just sent them off to our forum. Not surprisingly, nobody ever used the forum to get into the kinship. Our leader had hoped that by inviting more people, he’d also get more for raiding. And maybe he will. But that whole discussion about what to do with radiance gone now made me realise that I hadn’t felt comfortable in the kinship for a very long time. On the one hand, we have the leadership plus officers that hang out in TS (which I don’t like doing. I live together with my boyfriend, aka bookahnerk, and find it weird to be talking and listening to people on TS all evening long while basically ignoring him because I can’t listen to several people at once. So that’s one reason out of several ones why I don’t like hanging out in TS channels) and on the other hand, we have a squidzillion people in the kin that I don’t know and that I don’t really feel like getting to know better.
I felt weird saying all that because none of that felt like a good reason to leave. Somehow, in my mind, people always leave because of drama or other important reasons. In my case, I left because I prefer a social climate with a smaller amount of people around (I have no idea how many we were in the end. I tried to count them but with the weird kinship memberlist in game, it’s kind of hard. I’d guess more than 40? But that’d be pure speculation!).
So far, there’s also no drama at all. We told them why we’re leaving and we made sure they know that it’s not personal. It’s just because we prefer a different climate in the kinship and we can’t possibly force them to change their kin just so we like it. That’s not the way it goes!
We founded our own kinship and since then, I have barely been able to shut up in kinship chat. I’ve also been online every single evening just doing silly and maybe even useless stuff. Nothing that brought me closer to any goal (except last night where I cursed my way through Moria in order to try to get the epic questline done because I want that legendary trait for my warden!).
Before, I always felt obligated to get better gear, get my virtues up etc. to 1) set a good example being an officer and all that and 2) for not being laughed at when/if I joined a raid. Which resulted in me not logging one for weeks sometimes. Just for a minute or two in the evenings, so it looked like I was still active.
When I play an MMO, I want to play it the way I like. I don’t want to be forced or feel obligated to do anything (the latter happened in my former kinship). Of course, having crappy gear also means that I would never even dream of asking people to take me on a raid with them! I’m not stupid, after all, and I don’t want to spoil somebody else’s fun by being a hinderance. ;)
Now I know that my perfect kinship isn’t the perfect kinship for a lot of other people. So far, our kinship consists of 4 members. We will be looking to add a few more because maybe there are other people who feel the same way on our server. Players who want a kinship that’s “social” because we like talking/writing to each other. We don’t need any games or special kinship events or instance/questing nights. We’re not opposed to it either. But LotRO should be a place we go to relax. It should never be a place where we need to “work on our gear” or “try hard to meet other people’s expectations and never make any mistakes”. It should just be a place where I feel comfortable and hopefully, others will feel the same way.