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Drama Mamas: Elitists and exits


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the 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.

This Drama Mama is in a bit of a pre-BlizzCon frenzy, what with preparations and announcements. But drama waits for no mama and we have two more questions to answer this week. First, we hear from a player who is frustrated with condescending guildies and seeks help in dealing with them. Next, a player who is paranoid about joining guilds after a bad exit wants to know a better way to leave.

But enough with the introductions! Let's get to the drama.

Pride and prejudice
Dearest Mamas of Da Drama: I've recently come back to WoW after taking a few months off. I came back to a new guild with most of the people I was friends with from my previous few years in-game and played a lot of classes to 20ish level to see what I really liked. The new guild was described as a 'Hard Core Raiding Guild' but a few of us were friends and are just there questing, leveling and PvPing.

There's a palpable taste of 'only raiders are real players' from some of the officers, though the leaders tend to temper the rhetoric when it comes up. I've gotten to the point where I'm tanking Heroics with my DK, but I'm still feeling like a 2nd class citizen, even though I contribute on the forums and have answers quick at hand when people ask for advice in guild chat (I've now leveled 4 toons to 80 and have done all of the roles).

Do I just need to ignore the elitist jerks who think that because they dedicate every night to raiding and have uber gear that they're better than someone that knows a little bit about most parts of the game and is ready to help when asked?
Signed, Frustrated with Raiders

Drama Mama Robin: Dear Frustrated, I have to deal with this attitude on a constant basis because The Spousal Unit is one of those elitist jerks. His definition of fun is very different from mine and he believes his is "better". Mmhmm. Sure, I know a lot about the game as a whole and am hip to the latest news, but I'm still a "bad" player because my gear isn't leet and I don't raid. He also has the attitude that I am one of the few who enjoy leveling, questing and playing the game casually. He says that most players only enjoy playing the endgame: never satisfied with their gear and running the same raids over and over and over. (I may have slanted my paraphrasing a bit.) There are a few things I've learned from these arguments:
  • The elitists won't change. They can't be convinced. They think casual players are only rationalizing when we say we're having fun, so we have no credibility with them.
  • Sticks and stones. Their words can only hurt us if we let them.
  • They aren't apples. A few bad ones won't necessarily spoil the bunch. If you are having a good time with the rest of your guild (as I do in the raiding guild I belong to with The Spousal Unit), then it's those people who matter.
I don't even know why I continue to argue with him every time he equates "casual" with "bad". I shouldn't and neither should you. Let's make a pact to mock them if we feel up to a friendly battle of words and ignore them if we don't, but never, ever let them suck our fun.

Drama Mama Lisa: Frustrated With Raiders, it's not the raiders you should be frustrated with – it's your choice of guilds. You said it yourself: this group is now a hardcore raiding guild, and you're not a hardcore raider. If you want to move into raiding, this may be a good guild home for you to grow into. However, if "growing into it" isn't what you have in mind, then you're simply in the wrong place. You need to look for a more compatible guild where you can meet and play with people who enjoy the game the way you do. Real friends will group up with you no matter where you tag yourself. But a guild home that offers nothing in the way of compatible groupmates, activities, support or conversation ... Wait, what are you there for again?


Fireproofing your bridges
Dear Drama Mamas: When I first started playing WoW, I hooked up with this gang of guys that was running around in Tarren Mill. When I decided I wanted a more serious guild and left, though, the guild leader hit me with all these ugly whispers and other members essentially turned their backs on me. Now I'm paranoid about joining another guild. What if I don't like it and want to leave? Does that mean another round of this drama? Signed, No Hard Feelings

Drama Mama Lisa: While it could have been your timing or something you said, we suspect that the hard feelings arose over what you didn't say. Leaving a guild with no notice and without a word is a slap in the face, no matter how innocent your intentions. Even if you're unhappy with the guild, avoid burning bridges. Situations (and players' attitudes) change, and the guildmate you tussled with in guildchat every night in your 20s may be the one who invites you to the perfect raiding group once you're 80.

So be polite. The smart way to pull out is to speak with the GM (Guild Master, or Guild Leader) or an officer first. Be brief but honest ("I've decided to move to another guild where I'll be playing with a good friend. Take care and thanks for having me!"). If you're uncomfortable saying something in person, you can send an in-game note or private message on the guild forums first. Timing your departure for a time when fewer members will be online to take notice helps minimize awkwardness.

Don't be afraid to leave a guild that's not the right fit. It's not necessarily anyone's fault if things don't click. But do consider your next guild choice carefully, whether you're looking for a leveling guild or applying to a raiding guild.

Oh, and hey – the same general principles go for leaving groups, too. Dropping groups early will earn you the "That Guy" label faster than you can log out. If you really do need to leave (whether your playtime has been unavoidably interrupted or you simply can't stand the group) – again, don't burn any bridges. Inform the group that you're sorry but you have to leave. Brownie points if you offer to stay five minutes or until they find a replacement.

Whatever you do, don't be a spineless jellyfish and simply disconnect. That leaves the entire group wondering if you're going to log back in or not. They'll suspect the truth and be furious when they realize you've wasted their time, remembering you wrathfully as "That Guy Who Stranded Us." Have the guts to execute a straightforward departure, and even groups gone bad will think kindly of you next time around.

Drama Mama Robin: I want to mildly disagree with one (and only one) aspect of Drama Mama Lisa's advice: honesty is not necessarily the way to go in either exit situation. In almost all things, honesty is the best policy, but tact and white lies will help you keep relations friendly with your ex-guildies or groupmates. Telling the guild you are leaving that you "want a more serious guild" is insulting to them and they will take offense. Lisa's "playing with a good friend" excuse is a much better one. When leaving a terrible group experience, a "minor pet emergency" or "unexpected guest" excuse is much better than "I'll be back when you L2Play." And don't publicly badmouth the groups/guilds you leave. Classy is as classy does.

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, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

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