Monthly Archives: January 2015
Ah, the happy camaraderie of being in a guild with like-minded people! The joy of gaming and grouping with people you genuinely like to be around! It’s such an amazing feeling, one that makes you want to log on just to be with your friends, even if you don’t feel like actually playing the game very much. But then something happens: drama. It might start with something said in gchat. Maybe it’s an officer who’s being heavy handed. The prima-donna who thinks they’re more “leet” than the guild. The list and variety of guild drama, and what causes it, are endless.
I’ve been in several guilds over the past 8 1/2 years, and I’ve seen some incredible things. One guildie used her friend to help her fake her own death. They knowingly let us be grief-stricken for about a week before she came back. Or not one, but two guilds I was in were run by couples in a committed relationship… until the relationship became not so committed. That was fun after the break-up, waiting in Ventrilo on raid night for “him” to show up, while “she” bad mouthed him and wondered who he was with that was making him late. Talk about awkward! Or the guilds where cliques form and only the “in crowd” talks to each other in gchat or forms groups, leaving others feel ignored or unwanted. Or the guild coup: where a group of people decide they don’t like the leaders anymore and either leave, taking a large number of guildies with them, or argue/pick on the leaders incessantly until the leaders decide they’re moving on. This behavior is destructive to guilds and to the morale of guild members, and despite good friendships, many will leave to avoid the drama.
If you find yourself in a nice, drama-free guild, regardless of size, here are some things to help keep it drama-free.
1. Read the rules on the guild membership forums, if there are any. If there aren’t, ask an officer or the GM what guidelines for behavior are expected within the guild. Don’t assume because you see people acting a certain way in guild chat that you know how things are supposed to go. People might be behaving improperly because they think there’s not an officer on to see what’s happening. You don’t have to contribute to that, because other people might be online who, just because they’re not speaking, are unhappy with what’s being said or done.
2. Don’t take it upon yourself to be the “guild police”. Are you an officer? No? Calling out someone in gchat about language, topic, or behavior could just start more drama. If you are so distressed about what’s happening, whisper to an officer. If no officer is present, you could try to whisper the person who is upsetting you, but be diplomatic, explain what is wrong, state your piece, and be done. Avoid starting an argument. If the person remains difficult, make note and talk to an officer as soon as one is present. Screenshot any behavior that you find particularly offensive.
3. One person’s definition of “guild-mate” is different from another’s. For example, some people feel that they cannot, in good faith, charge guildies for items, enchants, etc. Others don’t feel the need to be that selfless. Unless something is stated in the rules, no one is obligated to provide freebies for guild-mates. Just because that’s a standard you might hold yourself to, doesn’t mean that it’s a standard everyone must uphold. That’s on you, and you alone.
4. If a guild-mate is so out of hand that you cannot stand to read what they say, and you feel you must put them on ignore, then do so without making a public statement about it. If you want to whisper an officer about it, that’s fine. But the broadcast, “Well, I hate putting a guild-mate on ignore, but So-and-so is on my list now,” is unnecessary drama. The whole guild doesn’t need to hear about your ignore list, or your self-important comment. Same goes with a gquit. You might want to whisper a few people to say goodbyes, or let an officer know behind the scenes. But the dramatic exit announcement is unnecessary.
5. Unless you know that it’s ok otherwise, keep guild chat the way you would behave at work. Avoid hot button issues, such as politics and religion. Even sports talk can be fraught with danger unless guildies know how to keep partisanship and temper in check. The best rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t say it at work, don’t say it in gchat until you are comfortable with the situation and know your audience.
6. Don’t turn your guild into your own personal dating pool or need for attention. You know the types. Guys who hit on all the girls. Or, girls who are experiencing their first taste of the attention they get from all the gamer guys that they say provocative things to keep that attention going. Guilds are meant for friendship, camaraderie, and gameplay. Not Match.com. And if someone, anyone, asks you to stop flirting with or hitting on them, do so immediately, officer or not. No guildie should be made uncomfortable by explicit talk of a sexual nature, or unwanted advances, Again, if you wouldn’t do it at work, don’t do it in guild.
7. Interpersonal relationships within guilds can be cute when things are going well. They’re not so cute when things are going poorly. Please keep your couple-hood drama out of general guild conversation or gchat. It’s nobody’s business but your own, and you can bet that aside from being nosey, no one wants to hear about it.
8. If you are unhappy with guild leadership, please discuss what issues you’re having with officers, up to the GM if necessary. Staging an insurrection in gchat is not the way to handle things, even if you’re trying to garner support. Keep in mind that there may be members who are perfectly content and who might worry that their happy home is fractured. If you find a guild situation unbearable, just leave, quietly, without drama. Get battle tags of friends you want to keep in touch with so you don’t have to worry about losing touch when you join or form a new guild.
9. If you feel the level of gameplay by your guildies in a group or raid setting is not up to par with your own, there is no need to say so in gchat. No need to link meters, or publicly pine that there’s no progressions because “some people” are not playing well and holding the team back. That might be as much of a team that guild has to offer. Help them if you can, and if your desires are for a more “‘leet” gaming experience that they seem incapable of achieving, find a new guild that suits your needs. Again, leave quietly. There’s no need to make others feel bad. They’re probably doing the best they can.
10. Be careful how you characterize your guild on social media such as Facebook or Twitter if many of your guild-mates are connected there. Don’t tweet about how much better you are than the rest of your guild because they called your class OP and you’re always top dps. Don’t comment about what you hate about the rules, or the officers, or the lack of things to do. Don’t assume that your guildies will never see it. They often do. Social media drama turns into guild drama, and vice versa.
11. Officers, don’t be tyrants. Rules are rules, but be even and consistent with how you enforce them. No favoritism for friends. Responses should be in whispers unless it’s something that needs to be broadcast in gchat, which is very rare and should be done in a general nature, not calling anyone out specifically. Humiliating guildies publicly is never cool. Being an officer comes with some responsibility to not just the guild, but the very real people within it.
12. Remember, screenshots are forever. Watch what you say and do under a guild tag. Even if you think no one can see, it can still come back and bite you in the ass. Same goes for social media, forum posts, and emails. If it’s something you don’t want getting back to another person, don’t put it in writing.
I’m starting a new addition to my blog: a role playing series with my main character in WoW, Lilu the night elf druid that I’ve played since 2006. I’ve never written role plays before, but it seems like a great creative exercise and provides additional content for my blog besides a timely real life gaming post. I hope you all enjoy my first attempt at fan fiction!
An arrow whizzed by my ear with a hissing whine. “Well,” I thought grimly to myself, “not how I was expecting to start this day.”
Why I didn’t expect it, I couldn’t begin to tell you. Being in harm’s way had been a commonplace experience since I had left my homeland in virtual exile. Shaming your family and outraging your leaders doesn’t exactly buy an easy path through the rest of your life. A life, which, if I didn’t get moving quickly, might be over in a few seconds.
Shaking the sleep from my head, I heard another arrow hiss and strike home in a nearby tree. I cleared my mind, filling it with only a feline form. My skin rippled and changed, limbs lengthening, fangs and claws extending, a downy gray fur sprouting over my body. And, in an instant, I was a large panther-like cat, crouching low as I stealthed through the bushes, virtually invisible to all but the keenest eyes. I had to discover who was shooting, and, most importantly, if they were they shooting at me.
I crept silently through the undergrowth, my soft cat paws not even cracking a twig. I heard a voice call out, “Did you hit it?” The reply: “No, it disappeared, but I’m sure I saw it.” Was it me they were really after? Who were they? How did they see me, shadow-melded in the crook between two trees, in the gloom of the deep shade? Cursing myself for letting sleep take over so completely that they could even get that near me, I crept closer, trying to get a look at my assailants.
“There it is!” the first voice cries. And I hear the hiss of another arrow, this time heading away from me. What was going on here? I kept creeping along until I reached the edge of a clearing in the trees. Now, I could see who was doing the shooting. There were two human youths, perhaps about 16 to 17 of their years of age. One had a shoddy looking bow with a ragged string. The other had a hatchet of some type, looking more suitable for chopping wood than for fighting an adversary. They were now looking away from me, away from the area where I had been resting.
A flash of light on the other side of the clearing revealed their target. It was a large glow-fly, about four feet in length, but harmless. The first voice, belonging to the “bowman”, cried out in triumph at its appearance. “I told you! See it?” He raised an arrow to his bow for another try, and missed again. His companion laughed at him. Meanwhile, it occurred to me that shape-shifting into my flight form may not be the safest method of escape around these two youngsters. I prowled away from the clearing, past another thicket of trees, then shape-shifted into my speediest land form, that of a giant elk. I raced away, sweeping my eyes from side to side, looking for danger as I ran. I realized that I was far too close to human settlements and decided to keep running until neither sound nor scent of them could be detected. I didn’t stop until I met the bottom of a boulder strewn hillside, and hid myself in an overgrowth of bushes and vines.
Yes, I can shape-shift, for I am a druid. No, I am more than that. My name is Lilu. I am one of the Quel’dorei. A night elf of Darnassus. My mother, a night elf priestess, would have seen me join her with the Sisterhood of Elune in the Temple of the Moon. My father… Well, let’s just say that I took more after him. He had been a druid, as well. Had been. He was killed by the Horde in one of their dreadful cities, or so the word was brought to us by one of his companions who had escaped. Or fled.
I had been a mere elfling at the time. I loved roaming the forests, talking with the beasts and the birds, climbing the tall trees under light of moon and stars. I wanted to be like my father, nomadic and free, roaming all of Azeroth, fighting for the Alliance. My mother thought it wasn’t a fitting life for a pretty elf girl, especially considering my father’s tragic but, as she felt, inevitable end. She envisioned me in white robes, serving Tyrandre in the Temple. My propensity for healing seemed to make this the logical choice. I mended various wounded creatures I found out in the woods, even a bear. That bear. It wasn’t his fault, but in a way, he was my undoing.
You see, I had returned home, bits of leaves in my shiny, silver hair from climbing around through the forest, and excitedly told my mother about the bear, how its leg had appeared crushed from a hunter’s snare, but I freed the bear and healed him so that he could limp home to safety. The bear was all that filled my mind… and then suddenly, it happened. My body shuddered uncontrollably, my back rounding as I dropped to the floor on all fours. My skin rippled, my mouth gaping as I saw talons extending from my fingers. It all happened so fast. My mother screamed, and I saw, in her mirror, the bear standing there. No, it was me. I was the bear in the mirror.
There was no assuaging my mother’s anguish and rage. She was not about to lose her only child the way she lost my father. To be a druid was to be one with nature, to roam abroad in the wilderness. The other priestesses spoke with me, and declared that since I was a druid, there was no longer any hope for me to become a Sister of Elune. From that day forward, my mother and I rarely spoke another word. She could hardly stand to look at me. I started spending most of my time in the Cenarion enclave in Darnassus, trying to learn to control and use my gifts from the druids there, avoiding my mother’s thin-lipped disapproval when I returned home. When I finally got to be old enough, I asked to join the Sentinels of Feathermoon Stronghold, under Shandris Feathermoon. I had to get away from Darnassus, from my mother, and the broken dreams and expectations that lay with both.
My mind snaps back to the present. I am exhausted. I had gotten precious little rest as it was before I had been interrupted by those human oafs. Then to make an extended run at full speed… I needed to find a more secure place to sleep. Shifting again to cat form, I prowled invisibly amongst the scree and boulders at the bottom of the hillside. I finally found what I was looking for: a little “cave” formed between boulders a bit higher up the hill. I sniffed the interior. It seemed like it had been used as a den before, but the scents were old and faint. Hoping that the disappearance of the former occupant was not a bad sign, I curl up to go to sleep, still stealthed. I could think about what happened with the Sentinels, and all the horror that followed, another time.