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Drama Mamas: Too sexy for your group


NSFW warning: Video may be slightly NSFW (bikinis and shirtless guys).
Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- 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 realm.

Does Right Said Fred hold the answer to the latest WoW drama? This week, the Drama Mamas help a frustrated player who can't figure out why so many of her groupmates seem to feel they're simply too sexy for their groups.

To my dearest Drama Mamas,

In a random heroic I did earlier, I kept getting prompted to kick members of my party. I saw nothing wrong with the way these players were performing, and I always voted against it. After it happened again, I asked my party why there were so many random kick attempts. I was told by a hunter in my party that the tank, who was in a guild with the hunter, was being an ass and that it was funny, after which the tank sent a smiley face in party chat. I did not say anything further and continued healing, only to be kicked a minute later. Oh, did I mention we were in the middle of Falric?

Was I right to question why there were so many kick attempts? Is there anything I could have done to avoid this situation? It seems like kick abuse is happening more and more frequently. It is not uncommon for me to be in a party where a tank or DPS will start a vote simply because that player won a piece of gear they wanted; I have even been in groups where a member has started a vote to kick a player who is pumping out higher DPS.
Under what conditions is it acceptable to kick a player? I myself only start votes when a character is being obscene or offensive, or is just plain bad. I always give the player ample warning in the case of foul language before I vote to kick. With "bad" players, I only vote to kick if they affect the survivability of our group, and always with warning.

If you could clarify some of this for me, I would appreciate it.

Cordially yours,
Sick-of-vote-to-kick-abuse

Drama Mama Lisa: Sick, I share your pain. Despite efforts from Blizzard to control the vote-kick epidemic that's sweeping the dungeon finder, the option to "boot" groupmates has made it all too easy for players who are a little too big for their britches to domineer groups with their petty posturing.

As you may suspect, a lot of vote-kicking isn't at all about the player who gets kicked. Like Right Said Fred, vote-kickers are making a statement: "We're too sexy for this group -- but instead of heading for greener (and more elite) pastures, we're going to kick you instead." Vote-kicking has become a way for players to establish themselves as the cool kids on the block, the ones who are smarter, better, faster – and far, far too sexy to be slowed down by interacting with other players.

I don't think there's much of a question that kick abuse exists. What's made it such an aggravating situation are the complacent groupmates who agree to a vote-kick without a second thought. ("Well, somebody must have a problem with this guy, so whatever ...") The solution? What you might call the Grow Some Principles.

  • Stop the steamroller by sticking your neck out and asking for the reason behind a vote to kick. (Grow some.) If the subject does deserve a vote-kick, perhaps he'll learn something from the experience; if he doesn't, it'll expose who's being the real ass in this situation.
  • Don't go along with vote-kicking players who aren't actually disrupting your group. (Grow some.)
  • Make a distinction between "bad" players and "unacceptable" players. A player's playstyle or behavior may grate on your nerves, but unless it's actually sabotaging the group's success, handle it. (Grow some.)
  • Your line in the sand between what's "bad" and what's "unacceptable" may be different from that of your groupmates. Think it through, stand by your guns and don't be bullied into kicking someone who doesn't deserve it. (Grow some.)
  • Realize that a geared, skilled player has no more "right" to a group than a less-geared, less-skilled player. (I didn't say "unacceptably geared or skilled;" discernment, people, discernment.) Grouping isn't about coasting through on the backs of players whose play is so perfectly tuned that the group becomes seemingly effortless (although it's a nice treat when it happens, eh?); it's about adapting to and working with others to accomplish a common goal. If you can't hold up your end of the bargain, don't group. (Grow some.)

As one perceptive WoW.com commenter noted on another post, "If you vote to kick out of reflex or just to clear the box off your screen -- you are lowering your reputation AND your ability to kick in the future." Don't be a pushover. (Grow some.) Oh, and if you run into Right Said Fred trying to bully others from your group -- let him know he's the one who's simply too sexy for your group ... with a nice, sexy boot of his own.

Drama Mama Robin: Sick, you did and believe the right thing. If random or bullying vote-kicks are fun to your current group, then do you really want to extend your time with those people? Following Lisa's advice on the first vote would have most likely made you the next to go, and I think that's OK. It's not like it's hard to get another group these days. We aren't at the mercy of these wannabe cool guys anymore.

Be sure to keep your end of this interaction classy and calm. While I do think that you should speak up, ask why and explain your position on the matter, I don't think that telling Mr. Cool Guy that he's the problem is going to get you anywhere. Yes, stand up for what you believe in (briefly), but no, don't get into it with Mr. Epeen Comparer. You aren't going to convince him, and any debate is going to just waste everyone's time and energy. You know you're right. We know you're right. The people in your group who aren't part of the No-One-Wants-Me-in-Their-Real-Life-Clique-so-I-am-a-Bully-in-the-Virtual-World Gang know you're right, too. So why belabor the point?

There is a simple and speedy formula to follow when a vote-kick box pops up:
  • Do you not know why? Ask.
  • Do you agree? Vote yes.
  • Do you disagree? Vote no and explain why succinctly and as non-confrontationally as possible.

If things get nasty and you have to leave (voluntarily or not), don't dwell on it. Just re-queue when you can and move on with your fun. Also, put Mr. Elite Inhisownmind on ignore so you never have to group with him again.

Drama buster of the week

It's one of the Drama Mamas' main rules to play WoW by: You can't "fix" other players. If you can't beat 'em ... unjoin 'em. Don't be too stubborn to drop a group that's just no fun. Keep it simple, keep it classy -- and keep it fun.

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@wow.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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