Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 27, 2009
 
Depressing guild drama

I feel really depressed now, having inadvertedly caused a guild drama. I had noticed that there were many more level 80 characters in my guild than we get raiders together. So I thought that maybe if I ask around why these people aren't raiding, I can find out whether it's the raid time, or something else that keeps them from raiding. And maybe we could find a solution, like organizing an inofficial raid for alts and people who can't come at our usual raid times.

But then somebody posts a very emotional answer how he doesn't raid because WotLK raiding is too easy and isn't worth it. And of course he gets a reply from people who do raid, who don't like being told their raiding is worthless. Plus some rather insulting remarks about the state of the guild, of the "if raiding is so easy, then why do we still wipe?" kind. Then everyone starts shouting at each other, and in the end several people who have been in the guild for a long time end up /gquitting, while others post that they are taking a break from WoW. And me, I'm standing helplessly in the middle, stuttering "but, but, but ... I only wanted to help!"

I raid because I like to hang out with the people in my guild. They are very nice people, and usually quite reasonable. But the guild never really resolved an underlying conflict between hardcore and casual raiders, and now some people are reacting quite badly to the changes that Wrath of the Lich King brought to raiding. Personally I have trouble understanding why some people take raiding so damn seriously. Isn't it more important to do something together with people you like than to conform to some completely arbitrary performance criteria? Isn't it great if there is a place where you can take even those guild members that aren't world class raiders, and still have some success? I certainly wouldn't want to be in a guild where people are judged by how much damage they can do per second, or by some other performance measure. I don't select my real life friends by how many horsepower their car has, or by how high their annual salary is, why should I select my online friends by numerical stats? Especially in Wrath of the Lich King, what is the point of ditching friendly people for strangers with better raid performance to advance raiding faster? There is nowhere to advance to! Even when raiding was a lot harder, raid progression was at best a hollow goal. But it seems that when this hollow goal is taken away, some people simply don't know what to do with their virtual lives. What ever happened to "lets get the boys together and have some fun tonight kicking ass!"?
Comments:
LOL, sorry to hear about your misfortune, Tobold, but that's the problem with being a grown-up in an MMORPG. Guild drama is very often directly due to the age and patience/tolerance level of the people involved. It's shitty, but that's life in any kind of large organization. The thing is that in guilds, it's much easier to just /gquit than if you're at the office and your boss or another co-worker does something to piss you off, heh. Sucks, but it's something you have to cope with in MMOs on a regular basis, unfortunately. Happens to the best of us.
 
First off, it's really not your fault. I do hope, and think that you really realize that. It would probably have happened anyway, just at a somewhat later point. It has probably been boiling for some time already.

What ever happened to "lets get the boys together and have some fun tonight kicking ass!"?

This is my personal view, but I really think that in the end not much good socially comes out of the kind of progression gaming that WoW is built around. It promotes a selfish gaming style and splits the community into several grades between casual and hardcore. It is by design not built for having some fun with the boys. It is built for having fun with the people within your particular grade of casual-hardcore. If you are playing with people outside of that grade there will be tensions and incompatibilites and will lead to guild drama if you don't just quit. Maybe I'm just a bit bitter with WoW that way but that's how I see it.
 
Of course it's not your fault. This conflict was growing beneath the surface and it would have eaten the guild from within, like a cancer. It's good to bring those issues up to daylight.

I wonder if it could have been prevented if the guild management had worked more on group thinking, motivation, group dynamics and so on, not just "letting thigs pass"?
 
Wow is just a race for many and the success you reach there only depends on the time spent ingame. Now when Blizzard greatly reduced the time needed to achieve things those who used to be the elite feel offended because their time spent ingame feels worthless now. To be a raider was a hardcore thing and suddenly its for everyone.

This is the kind of behaviour that made me form a guild for older folks and without any guild activities. If there are no epics involved only the social aspects keep our members in the guild. Yeah we dont raid but who cares :) I like healing in dungeons as well.
 
Wow... that sucks. What people don't seem to understand though, is that without this "easy mode" raiding, how else are they going to gear up for the later raids that get patched in and are supposed to be more difficult?
 
Larísa is right about it wasn't your fault.

But about: "Isn't it great if there is a place where you can take even those guild members that aren't world class raiders, and still have some success? I certainly wouldn't want to be in a guild where people are judged by how much damage they can do per second, or by some other performance measure."

No, it is no great, it is terrible. It means that we don't have standards, don't have aims, just hang out like some drunken losers. For me, this simulated environment is a place to enhance real life meta-skills like adaptation, improvisation, background research, management, understanding and manipulating social dynamics, and above all: doing, sharing, reading numerical research. While the problem we are solving is simulated (kill a pixel-boss), the skills we use are real. And no, dear Tobold, I don't want to play with people who are so dumb or so lazy that they cannot do 3.5K on Patchwerk, just like I don't hang out with welfare leeches in real life.
 
And no, dear Tobold, I don't want to play with people who are so dumb or so lazy that they cannot do 3.5K on Patchwerk, just like I don't hang out with welfare leeches in real life.

I am pretty certain that there is some success criteria in life which you don't reach. So how would it make you feel if somebody told you what a dumb and lazy loser you are because you don't earn $100,000 a year?

I agree that it is important to have standards and aims, but the best efforts of one person or one group of persons doesn't necessarily result in the same numerical result as those of another person or group of persons. Age, reaction time, hand-eye-coordination, time spent practicing all all important parameters which can affect how much dps you do, or whatever other numerical parameter of success you choose.

But ultimately this is just a fucking video game. Whether you can down Sartharion with 3 drakes up, or whether you wipe at Patchwerk, has zero effect on your quality of life. It doesn't make you any richer or teaches you any skills that are useful for real life. But the social skills you disdain so much *ARE* things that are going to affect your life. The ability to log into a game after a hard days of work and relax and have fun with friends is something that is going to affect how you perform at work the next day. The skills you'd need to motivate an underperforming raid group, instead of just kicking the weakest guys out, are skills which would be useful if you ever got into a management position at work. Being able to get along with people has a value, 3.5K dps on Patchwerk hasn't.
 
Tobold it's really not your fault. Your question was only the trigger that set off something that had obviously been everyones mind for a while. People do tend to hold their emotions in check, often wondering if anyone else feels the way they do. When they see that others do, or feel that others are criticizing them it opens the ol' floodgates.

It's possible that your question actually saved the guild acting as a relief valve. If the issues were left much longer, the resulting turmoil could have seen the destruction of the guild.

Even if that's not the case, something would have set them off sooner or later.
 
I vote for Tobold to create a new Guild called "Tobold's Blogspot"! Then everyone with the same ethos on raiding as Tobold can join and have some fun :)
 
There's a fine line between not being gifted at a game (just performing subpar) and holding back progression for a whole guild. I am in such a guild, where we have extreme hardcoe people and pretty much pure casuals in a sense of their grasp of the game. They do spent a lot of time with the game, but you could never expect them to "get it". We just recently lost the Loatheb achievement, cause somebody did not knew about all the details of his/her class and thus blew the achievement. And i admit, 10 years ago in EQ, i would have left such a raid, 10 years later i don't.

This is a raid (mixed from many guilds) were people overlook flaws of players cause the overall chemistry just works. When you have someone in Teamspeak taking a break, cause their child is crying, you value players a lot different than within a dense overachiever's setting. I don't care if my guildmates, who raid with other people, link their Sarth3D achievements, cause i know they will look for another raid in a couple of weeks, when some 14 year old blew the raid for not getting his purple new toys.

Your particular drama sounds like your guilds/raids leadership was slacking. We also encounter a similar situation, where people start to lose focus and motivation, but the leadership is working hard to prevent drama. So far they do a very fine job.

One more question. What are your lvl 80s doing if not raiding? It's not like this game has anything else to offer, wich isn't a bad thing.
 
One more question. What are your lvl 80s doing if not raiding? It's not like this game has anything else to offer, wich isn't a bad thing.

I do raid, I'm just not taking it so seriously. I'm doing my best, coming prepared, trying to stay focused. I'm even proud when like recently half the raid gets killed at Heigan and me, our tank, and one healer, keep doing the dance for several more minutes. But I just laugh when we wipe at Thaddius because our MT misses the jump and falls into the goo, and accept his apology that he has problems with his PC in 25-man raids. The fun is being there, hanging out, having fun together. If sometimes we don't succeed, so what? It isn't as if there was anywhere we'd need to advance to in a hurry.
 
Harsh how your good intentions started such a shit storm - then again something was bound to bring the problems to a head.

Don't forget new expansions and the tension it causes can lead to this kind of issue - people leveling faster than others and wanting to raid constantly and the more casual wanting to take their time and enjoy it. My old guild completely disintegrated when Burning crusade changed the raiding dynamic to 25 and also meant alot of people were leveling instead of raiding.

When they reformed Wrath meant new guild drama as people wanted to go Nax as soon as possible and the people still leveling got left behind.
 
wow guilds have the habit of getting drama like women have their PMS.
It's uncanny you can almost set the clock when a drama is gonna happen.
 
I have to agree with the "it's not tobold's fault" people, it does sound like he accidentally stepped on a disagreement, and that the other people in the guild handled the disagreement quite poorly. It sounds like the guild members handled the disagreement in a way you'd expect on some game forums, rather than as a group of people trying to organize events where they work together.
 
I'm sorry to hear what happened Tobold.

The you don't gain Real Life skills comment though is I think a bit shortsighted.

In my time as a guild leader and raid leader - I've really improved my people management skills, remote management skills, improved my bullshit sensors, and expanded my views into other people's ways of life so I can make better decisions which affect 'their' relaxation time. Many of these 'skills' I've turned around and used more here in the office. There was an article in Wired I think a year ago which talked about the leadership skills that one is exposed to in these virtual environments.

Sure being able to hit 1,1,1,2,3,1,1,6 is not going to help anyone in real life. Being able to describe not only why you need to hit it in that order, what you will accomplish as a team, and keep a group motivated through disappointments (wiping on Patchwerk) are skills which you can apply to real life.
 
Socialisers/Fighters and Achievers/Explorers dont mix :p
 
I would agree too, this isn't your fault. Just happens your comment was the catayst that sparked everyone to express their bottled up feelings about raiding. I would add that I do include people less geared than me on raids and will run them through heroics to get geared. But the truth of the matter is if you want to down Patches you will need "X" dps and healing to do it. They may not be ready this week or next week, but can come along when they are geared. Would you take 25 fresh 80s to OS 25 with one drake up? You could but you'll just wipe on the first boss. But I think it's the guild's responsibility to help people get to that level. And I do think you pick your friends according to their "success" in life. You pick people to be your friend that are on the same "level" as you in RL. Do you befriend the bum on the street and hang out with him? Do you befriend the CEO of the company you work for and hang out with him/her?
 
omfg DRAMA
 
I feel the same way Tobold. Sorry that your guild is going nuts over nothing substantial.
 
I don't select my friends by how well they perform at a specific skill. But if I played on a sports team, I would certainly select my teammates that way. You can play WoW as a purely social game, spending your time chatting and questing. But if you want to do better in a performance environment like raiding or PvP, then it's no longer "lets get the boys together and have some fun tonight kicking ass!"

My time is valuable. If I leave work early to make a raid, I am not going to be patient and understanding with people who are unprepared or wipe the raid. Likewise, I am only average in ability, and I don't want to be the guy who is holding back a group of highly-skilled raiders.

There is a balance between fun and progression, and the ideal guild will have a tight distribution of its members on that scale. The most hardcore and progressed guild on my server raids 5x/week and downed Sarth3D back in December. My own raiding guild raids twice a week and has yet to finish KT on Naxx25. But we still post WWS reports and analyze what we did wrong. We wouldn't use a MT who was having PC issues and couldn't make the jump on Thaddius. Finally, I have an alt in an uber-casual non-raiding guild. We recently went to visit AQ40 with 20+ people, ranging from level 62-80, and couldn't get past Twin Emps.
 
The problem is between people who play WoW for fun...as a game - and the people who use WoW as a substitute for something missing in their life.

If you log onto WoW in order to have fun and do something you enjoy, you probably think the content being "easier" is fine, although you may, like many others, wish there was more of it.

If you log onto WoW in order to be an elite raider and do things that other people cannot do, most likely your real life is devoid of any real challenges. Someone who plays WoW 30+ hours a week and has a job that requires menial work that doesn't require a lot from them, will most likely 'have something to prove' in game.

In this case, I can understand some people choosing not to raid because it's too easy. They most likely already do something, such as work, school, or unemployment, that is relatively easy and non-challenging. Why log onto a game for more easy-mode activities that don't act to show your value? You do it all day long in Real Life, you might as well go watch television.

I'm not saying it's the case for everyone. I'm sure there are people who have extremely challenging lives outside of WoW, whether at work, school, or elsewhere, and log onto WoW to be a high-end raider. But at the same time, "casuals" (not going to define that term) likely log onto WoW to burn some time and have a little fun, because their day was probably filled with stress...why choose to stress out in a game?

Whatever tension was there before you started asking around was bound to erupt sooner or later. Ulduar may have brought it up, whether or not it is going to satisfy the hardcore for a challenging raid environment. If Ulduar is released and is as 'easy' as Naxx is now, the same people would likely complain then. All you did was bring up the tension on accident. Like getting in a car accident and discovering from medical treatment that you have something else internally wrong with you.

You just stuck your guild members into a CAT scan machine to check for broken bones, and found leukemia.
 
Feel for you - my old guild was a bunch of people who raided for fun - if we wiped we took the 'mickey' out of the people who caused it - we all insulted each other & at the end of the night whether we got the boss down or not, we ALL had a great time. We wanted to progress but we played for FUN.

Sadly, the GM quit WOW for personal reasons and the guild died a 'death of a thousand cuts'. Eventually i left to join a Guild who were more focused in their raiding, with rules etc & I did enjoy it for a while but ultimately I wasnt enjoying the game, which is the reason I play WoW. I decided to try multiboxing (yes one of the much discussed & dare I say maligned) & refound my love of the game. I now play these 5 toons all the time, keep in touch with my old guild mates, help them by making full partys with my team, running instances for friends & just having fun. Guilds do come & go & it wont be your question that caused it - what I am trying to say is.............play WOW for you - if you enjoy it then you are oing something right :)
 
Problem is, there *are* people who only hang out with people of a certain salary. People who make decisions based on that kind of criteria often don't understand friendship... or are in it for something entirely different.
 
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