Now that our new raiding tank's departure has had time to sink in, we're being introspective in officer chat (I can't get anyone on the same page for a forum to save my life) and asking good questions, such as "how do we fix this?"
The answer was probably not what anyone wanted to hear, and that was "make the guild what is isn't."
Well, that's change, for you.
The unspoken question was "how bad do you, as a guild, want this?"
Here's the thing. We're casual. Very casual. We have a hard time fielding 10-man raids because we have that few interested raiders. We don't enforce start times, consumable requirements, gear requirements, or anything of that nature. If we get 10 bodies willing and able, we go in and either die over and over or learn the fight, then move on to the next one.
Rather than being a "progression guild", we're a casual guild with progression on our minds. If we can, we can, but we don't do it at the expense of our "family".
This was one sore point with the departed tank. Three failraids (Ony, Emilon, EoE) in which nobody was kicked from raiding, no obvious adjustments made by the officer corp. He didn't "get" us. We told him up front we were casual, he was cool with it, but he changed his mind. Moving on.
So rather than toss the "tossers" as it were, we do our best to work around them. The warlock that always dies in a fire? We make sure we have DPS to compensate. The squishy tank that doesn't gear up right? Dedicated healer. The mage that keeps pulling aggro? Oh wait, that's the GM. Whatevs. And don't get me started on my own screwups or we'll be here all night (Show of hands of people that have pulled the entire room @ Moroes using only his pet. /raiseshand)! We're all huntards at one point or another, so we try to have fun as we go along. We have a guild-institutionalized Huntard Hat Award. How obvious do we have to make this?
Heck, we've had officers leave the guild over that - founders, even. But the GM holds to the principle that we're here to have fun, not have a second job.
Do I regret that I've never seen Black Temple or Hyjal or Sunwell with my guild? A little, I won't deny it. And I probably won't see much of Ulduar before Icecrown is out, either. I'm at peace with that. Those that are not, really should move on.
As our officer corp realized, changes to the guild would gut us morally and physically. It would betray our founding principles. One by one, voices died out as everyone realized this. We're going to have to find a better way to do this.
Our guild is Ordo Cuniculi Vorpali, the Order of the Vorpal Bunny. Our values and humor are right there for all to see. When someone sees something neat in the game for the first time, and comments in guild chat about it, there's always somebody that responds: "it's only a model." We get every single Monty Python joke in the game. It's in our DNA.
A sense of humor and being serious about raiding are not mutually exclusive, but the former at the expense of the latter is not on the table, not ever. Sure, that means that we don't cull out slow learners and underperformers. It also doesn't preclude us from informing people when they have room for improvement.
Games are for having fun. This is at the core of what we believe in, and I believe that it is right and proper. At the end of the day, the people that are there for each other are the true heart of the guild.
All else is transient.