Posted tagged ‘drama’

It’s that, um, yeah, you know : Bringing up (and keeping up) a delicate topic

October 29, 2009

I like to read guild management blogs (because as my guildies put it, I’m a weirdo) and I see a lot of “these are things you have to confront guildies about” guides. However, I don’t recall ever seeing advice that went beyond: “you need to address these issues for the good of the guild, it’ll be hard but you need to do it”.

As I’ve already pointed out, I’m a weirdo. I enjoy talking to people about delicate topics such as performance improvement or mild disciplinary issues (you know, the type that don’t warrant a /gkick, but need to be addressed with more than a “stop that”). Maybe its because I don’t view it as “being a jerk” or maybe its because these kinds of conversations create somewhat of a bond between myself and the person I’m speaking with. Regardless, I see too many people around me struggle with bringing up and discussing delicate subjects. So here’s one easy way to do it:

Life After Leadership: a Control Freak’s Nightmare

October 19, 2009

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a control freak. Ok, more than just a bit. Maybe two bits. Or three. It’s one of those things that I accept as part of my personality and heritage. My mother was a control freak, her mother was a control freak, her mother was kind of a control freak but it was ok because she was a single mom in WWII times and I bet her mother before that was a control freak too. To those who don’t know me well, I come across as organized so it’s rarely a problem. When is it a problem? When I decide to let go and not take charge.

A couple of posts back, I talked about my decision to resign as an officer in my guild. The current state of affairs is irrelevant and I’m sure no one cares anyway. Nor do I even know the current state of affairs because I managed to get through a few days without begging for news. You have to understand, not begging for news is a big deal for me. I’m very excited about my progress in that respect.

So at first I kind of felt bad for just walking out on everyone. Then I was relieved. Then I was immensely sad for about a day. Then things went back to normal, or almost.

Old habits die hard.

I don’t care what you say, no one does things as well as I do.
10 man raid person: There are signups.

You can’t take the bossy out of Miss Bossypally.
Random person X: Random person Y isn’t flasked/gemmed/enchanted/typing legibly
Me: I’ll fix that.
Me: Crap.

And I need to know the what, when, how, where, how much of everything.
Me: Why didn’t random person W get slotted and random person Z did?
Wise raid leader: *gives reasonable explanation*
Me: Yes but….
Wise raid leader: *gives more perfectly reasonable explanation*
Me: How about random person V?
Wise raid leader: Did you hear divine sacrifice is getting changed in 3.3?
Me: *falls for it every time*

One thing is going wonderfully: not setting pally buff assignments. I thought it would be the hardest habit to rid myself of since I claimed and jealously defended the “official buff person” title nearly two years ago. Boy, was I wrong. I can’t begin to describe the satisfaction I feel when someone complains about pally buffs. I just happily alt-tab out, purring “not my problem”.

What is excruciatingly difficult is being confronted to the very thing that causes a person to become a control freak: the fear of not being needed, of not mattering. While it is no laughing matter, sometimes it is expressed in strange ways.
Daily people: You were on a non-guild alt when we started.
Daily people: We did ask you when you were on your main half an hour ago and you said no.
Daily people: We’ll run it with you afterwards on our alts.

I’ll be terribly heartbroken, but not surprised if I log in one day to discover that my 80s are no longer guilded.

Alls fair in love and war(craft)

October 17, 2009
My prices aren't even that low

My prices aren't even that low!

I got my first auction house hate! I’m so excited! I must be doing it really well if I managed to piss someone off. Every week, I laugh reading Greedy Goblin’s Morons of Week posts. “People aren’t really like that, are they? I thought. No one on my server must get upset at others over silly AH stuff.” I get the impression that Gelvon‘s readers are mostly poking fun at suboptimal money making strategies, but what I find hilarious is seeing people get so worked up over auction house prices that they’re ready to pick a verbal fight over it. Horrible spelling and grammar is an added bonus. Nothing makes a verbal fight more entertaining than when the challenger has no actual verbal skills to fight with.

The frustration over pvp stuff – be it horde vs alliance killing or the more, um, sophisticated?, competition on the AH – puzzles me. In either situation, I will be choosing actions that will 1) make me win and 2) make others loose. I may cruelly MC and fear others with my shadow priest in the BGs as well. And, of course, I expect my rivals to do the same and I’m fine with that. Why? Because that’s the game.

There are rewards for winning: honor points, arena points, gold. There are penalties for losing, but they’re minor. A couple of lost gold pieces and delayed rewards, but that’s pretty much it. On a pvp server, there is the added frustration of being slowed in your questing while you’re getting ganked, but as I see it, the whole point of choosing a pvp server over a pve server is the extra thrill of being subjected to the whims of your enemy and they to yours. (Pvp server people must be kinky.) As a result, I don’t feel any remorse for using all the tools at my disposal in any forms of pvp and I don’t feel any resent when my opponents use theirs. We’re all after the rewards, we have little to lose and regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’re having fun along the way.

As for my little auction house provocation, I have to admit that I was pretty surprised about getting some hate. I don’t play the auction house seriously. My goals are really just to cover my raiding and goofing off expenses with minimal effort. I know many AH players claim to make 1-2k net profit a day. I don’t make nearly that much but I don’t really try either. I picked the glyph market because it’s fun. There are so many different styles of glyph sellers on Moonrunner that the market changes constantly. Glyphs that go for 1g one day will be priced at over 40g the next and vice versa. I’m no specialist on the mechanics of it all so I’m not even going to guess at whats going on, all I know is that the gambling side of it is terribly amusing, far, far more amusing than doing dailies. And even my nonchalant, half assed attempt at playing the AH is more than enough to support my raiding, my multispeccing and my army of alts. But I didn’t expect my nonchalant, half assed attempts to be enough to frustrate the other glyph sellers.

What stuck out is that the first whisper she (no, no I’m not being sexist, I’m familiar with the toon in question and I’m pretty positive the player is a woman. She’s fairly active on our server which is why I blocked out the name, I want to discuss an aspect of player interactions, not ruin someone’s reputation) sent me is “what did I do to annoy you”. Well, it wasn’t exactly what she said, but I’m assuming she was just really mad and couldn’t type properly. Why on earth would anyone assume that deeply undercutting was a personal attack? I deeply undercut because 40+g glyphs won’t sell before some farmer comes along and floods that market. It has nothing to do with her. It’s a game, like chess, she made her move, I made mine. Maybe I’ll win and she’ll lose, maybe we’ll both lose and some third person will win. Most likely, we’ll all win a little and we’ll all be able to afford a few more weeks a raiding and another epic mount.

To me, PVP is part of the game, part of the fun. There’s nothing personal about it. I don’t care if you teased me and made me cry back in first grade or if you’re my best friend in real life. If you’re on the opposing faction and I feel like killing your toon, I’ll do it. If you’re selling stuff on the AH and I want to make money, I’ll undercut you in a way to make the most profit. And I hope you do the same to me. For me, being forced to think and adjust my strategy is the ultimate reward in pvp. Don’t disappoint me.

Signed, your guild’s spoiled brat

July 14, 2009

This is going to be an unusual follow up to my positivity post…. Sometimes I wish my guildmates weren’t so mature. Yes, yes, not a thing you hear every day! See, I’m a big baby and I’m embarassed about it. In real life, nobody notices cause there are always louder, crankier babies around. But in my guild? It’s like I log on and I have about 24 daddies (and 3 mommies) to take care of me. So in hopes of poking fun at myself, or finding fellow spoiled brats who might relate, here are some situations that automatically turn me into a 3 year old stomping her foot:

– Not getting slotted for a raid
– Not getting slotted for a raid that I actually organised (although the fact that it even happens makes you wonder!)
– People asking for buffs while I’m still running back (OMG PATIENCE PEOPLE!)
– Not being assigned to tank X (unless I’m healing, when I’m healing I’m not interested in tanking X, just thought I should clarify)
– Someone asking for a heal (like I’m TOTALLY not watching your health bar)
– Not getting an immediate response to a question
– When something I say in chat is overlooked
– Being forgotten when summons are tossed out
– Being made fun of when trying to explain a fight for the first time

Oddly enough, loot issues (which seems to be a predominant culprit when it comes to hissy fits) rarely phase me. But for everyting else, heaven forbid the world doesn’t revolve around me!

I don’t know about other spoiled brats, but I’m thankful that people around me in game ignore my little spats or gently tease me about them. I suppose it could be insulting, but I find it reassuring when one of the guys says “you’re cute when you’re angry”. I see it as “Yes, we both know you’re getting upset about something you shouldn’t, but I’ll still talk to you after you calm down.” After raid where I’ve been more fragile than usual, say after a rough day at work (my job is pretty intense!) or during finals week, I always cringe. Did my childishness annoy everyone? Will I log on to find I’ve been demoted? What if they gkick me? It’s so comforting to log on and have everyone act like nothing happened.

When it comes down to it, I do wish I wasn’t the only big baby in the guild, but at the same time, I guess I’m kind of grateful that my guildmates are mature enough to let my storms pass through and are ready to play again when I am.

I don’t want to see your dirty laundry, but…

July 6, 2009

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

My guild does not believe in hidden forums. Anything good enough for the boards should be good enough for the world looking in – including potential applicants evaluting us.

This is rarely problematic as most of the posts are raid threads and contain nothing but lines akin to “I’ll be 5 minutes late” or “sorry I can’t make it, good luck in there!” or “here are the stats for the night”. Occasionally someone will post a funny link. Nothing embarassing, nothing incriminating.

Then, out of the blue, something less….dull…. will happen. A person will disagree with another. Or several people with several others. Discussions start, tempers get heated, the texttypers post something illegible and so on. Oh the horror!

Officer emails suddenly abound (the officers in my guild correspond by email) and the team devides itself into three groups :

Group 1 : OMG close the offending thread and bury it! Delete it if we can!

Group 2 : We can’t censor people or I really don’t care what the world sees

Group 3: What thread?

Are disagrements always bad and embarassing? I don’t think so.

Some types of conflict (read: drama) are better off hidden from the world. Heck, the guild itself doesn’t need to watch personal conflicts explode. Equally, threads containing “I worked so hard for you guys and in return you stab me in the back and now my life is ruined and you suck and I hate you all” or its modern cousin “i wrkd so hard 4 u giz n in rtrn u stab me in teh back n no my liefz rund n u sukc n i h8 u all” might not be helpful for recruitement. Just saying.

But what about something along the lines of “I’m not sure I agree with this rule for reasons X, Y and Z. I would like to propose changing it a bit to the following…”? Is that harmful? I mean, if a few people in the guild don’t like this rule, the guild must be awful and we should never apply or associate them. Obviously, in order for a group to have a good environnement, everyone must agree with all the rules all the time…. And anyone who thinks that way has yet to experience kindergarden. Or at least experience a group with a positive environnment.

As soon as you have a group of people, some will disagree on something at some time. Thats just how things work. Is that bad? Of course not! By disagreeing, you’re introducing a new perspective, you’re opening the lines of communication and you’re showing that you’re comfortable enough to take an emotional risk. Now, the frequency of disagreement, the topic of disagreement, the way the disagreement is expressed and the way the disagreement is received make all the difference.

I can’t say I shop for guilds on a daily basis. However, I do frequently have to choose to be around various groups of people, be it in a professional, acedemic or recreational setting. And yes, I like to know how often people argue, what they argue about, are they respectful and constructive in expressing their dissent and are dissents in turn accepted in a respect and constructive manner. In real life, we rarely get to see conflicts within a group until its too late. However, when browsing guild forums, we often do get that chance. And should your guild forums have the rare thread where people are constructively discussing in a grown-up, mature fashion varying points of vue on a perticular rule, I believe it may play in your advantage.

Besides, a guild composed of members and officers with good conflict resolution skills is nothing to be ashamed of!