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Drama Mamas: Wake-up call to guild officers

The Drama Mamas 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. How to handle that sticky situation? Ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas@wow.com.

That's it! I've had it. There's a nasty little problem gnawing its way through guilds across Azeroth, and the people who can fix the situation aren't even listening. One simple change would solve probably half of the questions the Drama Mamas receive every week. Even worse, we've covered this matter multiple times before, but certain people (ahem) don't seem to have their listening caps on.

So allow me apologize in advance to our letter-writer this week, because I'm not going to answer his question. (And let me apologize to Robin in advance, too, since she'll be left picking up the actual question.) Instead, I'm going to lay out the underlying situation clearly enough that perhaps a few of the guilty parties will wake up and take notice.

Guild officers: listen up.

Hey Mamas: With my current guild we've been hitting ICC-25 regularly since its release, but I've noticed we've been hitting a wall lately. Sadly, "the wall" isn't Putricide or Blood Queen or any of the bosses, for that matter. The wall is the guild itself. We've cleared all non-gated bosses up to Dreamwalker, but now all of a sudden people seem to have cold feet. Our healers are pretty crummy, except for one or two of them (if they show), which has meant that certain fights have been disproportionately harder than others. Festergut is one those. But our guild's failure on Blood Queen, due to the healers' inability to stay on top of the damage, is now preventing us from moving on to Dreamwalker. The rationale here is that if the Queen is impossible for us to get down, then we shouldn't even "waste" time on Dreamwalker.

This is crazy to me. We're no closer to killing the Professor or the Queen today than we were when they were first released, and yet we haven't even made a single attempt on Dreamwalker. It's the kind of attitude that really gets under my skin. So our healers aren't great, so what ... We're never going to attempt content that challenges our healers? When the same was true for DPS which is, oh let's see, every single fight when it's first released, we chipped away at it day after day until bosses died -- but now we won't even take a crack at it.

I don't know what to do. I've made my opinion known to various officers, in both tells and mails. I've posted on our forums and talked to other non-officers in game that feel the same way I do ... but nobody is willing to change anything. To add insult to injury, our management isn't even looking at recruiting new healers -- not that they should, strictly speaking, but you would expect some action to be taken. Instead, nothing.

What do I do? I like a lot of the people in this guild and I don't want to leave over such a stupid issue, but I want to see the Lich King die. Right now it's looking like my best bet is to start looking for a guild that is at least willing to attempt (and yes, wipe) on new bosses, because not trying isn't getting us anywhere. Many thanks, Anonymous

The real problem

Drama Mama Lisa: The problem in your guild isn't your healers at all. The problem is your guild officers. They're neglecting their duties. You see, even if they're ticking through some elaborate master plan to work through this situation, they've haven't let you in on it. Through their inaction or lack of communication (or both), they've stranded members like you with concerns that aren't yours to handle.

Let's keep this simple: Guild officers, your position is not an honorary title. Being an officer is not a reward for being an old-timer, a strong performer or even a "good guy." You have a job to do: shepherding your team and everyone who's in it. Even if your GM hasn't assigned you specific duties, it's your responsibility to keep things moving forward. Even if you're not the designated Animal Control Officer, you don't get to sit on your hands, ignoring the elekk in the room, until someone complains about the piles of elekk poop blocking the way. Quit waiting meekly from a commandment from the GM on high. Quit fiddle-faddling about until members quit in frustration. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

I'm not telling you to ride in half-cocked, guns blazing. You're part of a team of leaders, so work together. But when a sticky social situation is making everyone uncomfortable, it's your job to take action. If manpower or strategies need tweaking, it's your job to bring it up with your team and handle it. If That's Guy's obnoxious behavior is sapping guild morale, it's your job to turn down the dial. ... Are you catching the pattern?

If you're thinking that sounds like a lot of adds to keep up with, you're absolutely right. You're an officer. Many whelps. NOW. Handle it. (Just not like the guy in the infamous classic below, 'k?)

Not Safe For Work (NSFW)


Drama Mama Robin: Anonymous, I think there's an underlying issue here that you are fighting against: apathy. This is typical in the months before an expansion. Though Blizzard has tried to give us new content to tide us over, it is content that requires more effort than many people are willing to put in at this time. This leads to lackadaisical healing, in your case, and/or lolligagging leaders and/or poor attendance. We're restless. We want the new races and the new race/class combos and the new gear and the new everything -- and we want them now.

So what can you do? Lisa is right that it's the officers' job to rally the troops. But they aren't. And that doesn't mean you can't. Keep it positive. Use your guild forums as a starting point and issue a call to arms. State your goals and ask who is with you. Coordinate regular raids with the most enthusiastic people and fill in with friends from other guilds as necessary. There's also no reason why you can't do a little healer recruiting yourself.

There's no point in dragging people who really don't care anymore along on raids, so surround yourself with the people who still want to play. And don't be hard on the people who have been slacking. Some of them may be rejuvenated by your rallying cry. Yay! And others may just quit the game until Cataclysm. /shrug

If you can't get enough interest in your own guild to progress any farther (it's not you; it's them), then look into subbing with another guild who is getting through the content you want to experience. And remember, if you end up leaving your guild, that doesn't mean you can't hang out with your friends from your own guild, as long as you don't burn any bridges.

Good luck!

Drama buster of the week

We have a rather lengthy drama-buster this week, but we think that these replies to Blizzard forums posts from none other than Ghostcrawler himself do a great job of restating what the Drama Mamas try so hard to encourage each week.

Ghostcrawler
Forums poster: There is no law in this world that you can't make a point and be rude at the same time, and most people seem to embrace this.

Ghostcrawler: Nope, there is no law, but I will likely ignore it.

We're willing to take the risk that some amazing gem of design genius might be lost inside a ranting or whining post. If you want us to take your feedback seriously, communicate the way grown men and women communicate in civil society. We're not asking for something unreasonable here. :)

You seem to live in a 60's sitcom. You dont seem aware that the average person curses every 3 words in everyday life, and thats considered normal by most, not rude.

I make full use of the entirety of the English language myself. You should probably tone it down here since this is a relatively public place and profanity understandably offends some people. But really that's not what I meant.

The anonymity of the Internet has fostered a culture where being ridiculously over the top with your communication is pretty typical. We're just asking you not to do it here. If it helps, imagine you're in a meeting room with all of the WoW designers and you have 30 seconds to make your point. Are you going to waste it on whining, you-hate-my-class, you-don't-play-the-game stuff? Or are you going to try to make an intelligent point that the designers will actually listen to and hopefully take under advisement?

If you've ever seen a court of law or a government debate, those discussions can get pretty heated, but the participants generally try to maintain a modicum of respect for each other. They want to focus on the legal and / or logical strength of the argument and not the color of the delivery.

In writing, you are generally supposed to show restraint in your use of adjectives and adverbs. Yes, they are necessary in specific situations, but if you overuse them, you risk bloating, confusing or derailing the actual point you're trying to make. The same is true of a forum post. Don't dress it up with junk, which around these parts is typically QQ. Speak plainly. There was a recent thread whose thesis was "Blizzard lies and here's an idea I had for a spell." The mistake there sort of speaks for itself.





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, Guilds, Drama Mamas

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