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Drama Mamas: Loot and leaving early


Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

As Oteo pointed out in the comments of last week's column, we are WoW.com's Agony Aunts. I actually only heard that phrase for the first time recently on a rerun of Cold Case, and I must admit that I almost wish we had named our column Agony Aunts instead of Drama Mamas... almost.

This week we get to see the other side of a ninja looting scandal. Sometimes there are human beings with extenuating circumstances behind what seems like a cut and dried case of loot nastiness. Also, we'll discuss the etiquette of handling PuGgers with time limits, as well as how to avoid being that guy who has to leave early. Let's get to the drama!

Note: The following question has been formatted to fit your screen edited for length.

Greetings Drama Mamas: One fateful night in June 2008, we killed 4 Horsemen. The server first (and only) Corrupted Ashbringer drops. Quite possibly the coolest sword in the game. We already had a paladin picked out to receive the sword way prior to this. Well sadly, chests during this time werent master-lootable. A rogue ninjas the sword, the Splinter of Atiesh, and the two T3 chestpieces. Raid falls apart.

I just happen to be a former guildie to the rogue. I tried to convince him to get a GM to transfer the sword to the paladin, he wouldn't (found out he was transferring servers in a week, he was going out in a "bang"). I convinced him to transfer the sword to me (we were friends), and then i would transfer it to the paladin. Sadly, my good deed backfires as the GMs wont allow a second transfer, unless the first transfer was a mistake on the GM's part.

Now, the paladin and his guild didn't believe me that the GMs wouldn't transfer the Corrupted Ashbringer twice. They spread the rumor that I hired the rogue to ninja the sword for me so i would avoid the blame. I've been kicked from groups because of this. I've been denied from guilds because of this. I've had loot taken from me that i should have won in pugs. I got daily hate whispers and insults because i was then considered the scum of the server. I changed my name, but, thanks to the wonders of the friends list, those who instigated my demise knew i got a change. Recently they announced to the populace who i was. I can feel the drama about to begin again. Can you please help me, give me some advice, on what to do? Signed, Good Intentions

Drama Mama Robin: Dear Good Intentions,

Oh my. Loot drama may be the Mother of All Dramas. Let's start by looking at things from the other side:
  • Fact 1: Your friend ninja'd the sword.
  • Fact 2: You are now in possession of the sword.
No matter how you slice it, it looks hinky. You have to see that people are going to have a hard time believing you. Hindsight is 20/20, but letting the paladin and/or raidleader take care of it and not getting involved at all was probably your best bet at the time. Telling the first GM the entire story and asking for his advice on a solution would probably have yielded better results as well. But we don't have a time machine to fix our mistakes -- no matter how much we may wish otherwise.

I am honestly surprised you stuck with the infamy this long. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince the victims of your innocence. You can either choose to stay with your friends on this server and deal with the ninja reputation or transfer to another realm and start anew (with a completely different name). Perhaps Drama Mama Lisa has a better solution, but the way I see it, there's no way to undo this drama. So sorry.

Drama Mama Lisa: Ugh. Drama Mama Robin is right, Good Intentions – all but your very closest friends have chosen their sides at this point in the game. It's conceivable, I suppose, that you could post a screenshot of the GM reply denying you a second transfer of the item on various forums, but you'll never reach the realm population at large. If you have enough friends on the server to make it worth putting up with continued awkward situations, you should find yourself insulated enough to have fun. If you rely on pickup groups and are still at a loss for a guild home, though, you're probably better off throwing in the towel and looking for a fresh start.

Dear Drama Mamas: I just logged out after 15 minutes of getting reamed in general chat by some jerk I dropped from our five-man PuG when he joined and then announced "GTG in 20 min." We weren't even full yet, but when I told him we'd rather look for someone who could run the whole thing, he flipped out (and then spent 15 of his 20 precious minutes slamming me in Dalaran). Are early drops and partial runs really something that most groups tolerate? Signed, Not On a Timer

Drama Mama Lisa: Timer, you're not out of sync. Common courtesy and common sense dictate that PuGgers should plan to go the distance. After all, this isn't the Maraudon or Shattered Halls of old we're talking about; today's Wrath-era instances are short and sweet.

If a player starts talking about leaving when you haven't even begun, talk it over with the rest of the group to see if they'd rather hold out for someone who can run the entire instance. If you're already under way when a bailout becomes imminent, it's not unreasonable to request that the player try to stay until you can get a replacement. For that matter, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the departing player share the responsibility of finding said replacement.

Bottom line: accepting a group invitation when you know you have to leave early is generally considered thoughtless and impolite. Don't commit to an instance when you know dinner's nearly ready or Mom is about to call or your baby will probably wake up or you're hoping that guild raid slot will open up. True emergencies and unexpected events aside, you should be there for the duration. PuGs are not fall-back or filler content – they're a social commitment, and you need to respect that your groupmates are expecting group play time.

If you need something to do during an "I'm not sure how long I'll be here" period, try dailies or questing or alts. Don't be greedy! Take care of your offline business – homework, diapers, TV time with the spouse, dinnertime, chores for Mom, whatever – before you sit down to play.

Drama Mama Robin: Chances are that GTG Joe was just impatient to get the group going and used the standard 20 minute deadline lie as a way to hurry everybody up. Whether he was telling the truth or no, he's obviously impatient and rude and not worth spending time with. I know it's hard not to take it personally, but you didn't do anything wrong here -- he did, as Drama Mama Lisa said. Put him on your personal Do Not Group list and the game's Ignore list. There are more GTG Joes out there, so if you PuG a lot, this won't be the last run-in with his brand of rudeness.

I've talked before about methods to find groups fast, which include creating a chat channel for good PuGgers with similar schedules -- though you'll still have to PuG while building up a good grouping pool. In the future, if someone threatens an early departure before you begin, just say something like "I'm sorry we couldn't group together this time. Thank you for the attempt!", kick him and fill his spot. If he behaves like GTG Joe, don't spend time raising your blood pressure by arguing with him in Trade/General/Whispers. Just ignore and move on with your fun. Life is too short to deal with funsuckers.

Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Drama Mamas

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