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Officers' Quarters: A moral dilemma



Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Every once in a while I get an e-mail where I think, "This person has to be pulling my leg." At first, I thought the e-mail below was one of them. As I read on, however, the author's heartfelt anguish over the decision she has had to make convinced me that there really is a guild leader out there doing this. Judge for yourself:

Hello there,

I'd love your opinion along with your readers opinions on an issue going on in my current guild. I'm an officer of a Horde guild that is still relatively young (3 months) but very dedicated. We transferred from other servers in order to form an off-hours raiding guild. Things were going very well until several weeks ago when I looked at our guild forum and was shocked to find the GM posting character accounts for sale and urging other guild members to buy them! And if that wasn't bad enough a week or so later he decided to buy a current guild member's account for himself and his girlfriend (another officer and the purchased account's owner supposedly wanted to stop playing those characters).

I would have issues with this no matter who the person: buying other people's accounts is NOT allowed. The fact that it is the GM that is doing this makes it even worse for me. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only person in the guild with a problem over this. Pardon me for having morals, but I don't think I can stay in a guild like this.


What would you do? Quit the guild and be stuck on a new server with no way to raid (again, off-hours raiding), stay in the guild and shrug it off, or report the GM and girlfriend and now 2 other members who have purchased other people's characters. Or is there something else that can be done?

I definitely don't think I should stay an officer in the guild. To my way of thinking that is showing my support over the guild rules and actions.

Thank you,
Moralistic

Wow, Moralistic, this is certainly a first for me! A guild leader selling accounts to -- and buying accounts from -- his own guild members just blows my mind. What the GL is doing will earn him a permanent account ban sooner or later -- probably sooner because he's being so open about it. And when he does get banned, the accounts that he bought and sold will most likely also get banned in domino fashion.

In short, you've been placed into a terrible position. You could either stay with the guild, raiding with and gearing up all these characters on illicit accounts until one day half the guild is gone and you're starting from scratch. Or you could quit and continue on in your search for an off-hours raiding guild, possibly requiring another transfer. To me, however, the choice is pretty clear: I'd be out of there quicker than a murloc at 10% health.

Some people might not mind taking advantage of the situation and trying to earn some gear before bailing on the guild, but you clearly have strong feelings about it. Being an officer doesn't help either, since you have to interact with the GL and the other officers on a regular basis. What you will gain by staying is nothing compared to the stress you'll have to live with in the meantime. So my advice is to leave and do it quickly.

As for the manner in which you do so, and whether or not you report these violations, that's really up to you. Let's give this guy a huge benefit of the doubt for a moment and assume that he doesn't know what he's doing is against the Terms of Use. Maybe if you inform him about it, he'll stop what he's doing. That won't fix the damage that's already been done, but at least you can feel better about it as you take your leave. And it gives you an out if you feel weird about reporting him.

But that's probably not the case. And if you tell him why you're quitting, then report him, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to harassment since he'll know exactly who is responsible for the ban. So be very careful here. With the armory, he can eventually track you down on any server. Remember that you don't owe him any explanation for quitting. This is definitely one of those situations where it might be worth logging in late at night (or, since this is an off-hours guild, at what is a peak time for the rest of us) and quietly slipping away. You can be sure he'll confront you in whispers later, but the less public drama, the better.

As for finding a guild that raids at the times that are convenient for you, the best way to do that is to start your own! You can make it clear up front that buying and selling accounts won't be tolerated.

/salute

The Follow-Up


Since this was a somewhat urgent situation, I wrote a reply to Moralistic before publishing this column, so I already have a follow-up message from her:

Scott,

Thank you for the reply as well as your opinion. Interesting that your reply came today as this was the day that I finally decided that I couldn't stay in the guild any longer. Quite literally my email to the GM went out moments before your email arrived.

But, I do hope that my decision to leave the guild doesn't stop you from using my dilemma for your column. And if you see fit, I have no problems with an addendum stating my decision to leave. I'm finding out that there are at least a few others like me out there (that have issues with people breaking EULA) and maybe this will help them as well.

I appreciate the reply and look forward to reading more of your column,

Moralistic

I'm glad you came to this decision, Moralistic. I hope sharing your experience with the community can help other people in the same situation.

Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at scott.andrews@weblogsinc.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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