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Drama Mamas: Letter-writers tell what happened next

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 the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Now that's drama. That part when Onyxia lays the smack down? Squee!

Anyway, here it is: the long-delayed (by me), greatly anticipated (also by me) results edition of Drama Mamas. Woohoo! We took the responses we've received from those we've given advice to over the recent months and compiled them here, with links to the appropriate columns.

There are other results from our advice that we know of but don't have permission to discuss in public here. For example, sometimes letter-writers will post in the comments with explanations, but they've chosen not to identify themselves -- so we're not outing them here.

But that doesn't mean we're hurting for responses. Join us after the break for results from some of the most controversial letters we've posted.

When a guildie does something abhorrent

Disturbed wrote in about an animal abandonment issue, causing a massive debate in the comments. Amazingly enough, this story has a happy ending.
Not much came of this at first; in fact, it felt much darker before the dawn.

I brought up the cat incident with the guild leader, but since the offending officer was a close gamer friend of his for years prior, he wasn't eager to "guild leader it up" and talk to him. A few weeks later, myself and another officer were accidentally given access to their "inner council forums" where there where multiple threads from "absent officers" (rank given for time put into the guild and past achievements, not actually doing anything to help keep the guild running currently) bitching about my SO and I.

I was called a number of names, most notably a "feminazi dyke," which is the de facto insult for any woman who stands up for herself, I think, and calling my SO a few ugly names as well. All of this seemed to spawn from the cat incident and another incident a week later where I asked the guild to "cool it" in regards to hitting on another girl in Ventrilo for the entirety of a bad raid.

He nor I were particularly happy about the forum posts, but long story short: He talked with the guild leader about the whole thing and we were begged not to leave the guild (I am one of the best-geared tanks, and he has a strong healer as well as one of the most competent warlocks). Some apologies came from the sexual harassment incident but nothing from "I abandoned my cat guy."

We stayed in the guild (reluctantly on my part), and things turned around almost immediately. The absent officers started showing more respect and less "we're better than new recruits" attitude toward non-officer guildies. These same officers started actually being nice to my SO and I and taking our suggestions seriously instead of assuming that everything we did was a form of usurping their "power." Raid attendance picked up tenfold, and we actually started progressing again.

Oddly enough, on Halloween night, the cat-abandoner said, in a weird, forced sort of way, that he took the cat back in. I didn't press for the whole story, but from what he offered -- awkwardly inserted into the conversation over Ventrilo about the holiday and its significance to us -- was that he found the cat, apparently victimized by local teens, and took him back into his house where he helped it recover and has "taken steps" (neuter?) to help him adjust into home life.

I'm still a little gun-shy with the guild, but things have turned out for the better so far. As angry and spiteful as I can be (gotta work on that), I don't want to punish the whole guild by removing my tank to prove a point. As long as the officers stay grounded and cat-guy keeps oddly inserting out-of-place positive comments about his animal, I'll be happy.

Transgender bullying

When Gender Reroller wrote in, I spent half the day doing nothing but monitoring the comments. I was very proud of the positive reaction both in the comments and in emails we received afterward that expressed support for Gender Reroller in private. Afterward, we heard back from a guild officer in the <Spreading Taint>.
I'm not someone whose advice you answered in the column, but I am an officer in the <Spreading Taint> on Proudmoore, the largest LGBT guild in WoW (and the second-largest guild overall on NA servers). I just wanted to let you know that as a result of your advice to the transgender gamer a few columns ago, we received a number of applications from trans players and other members of the LGBT community who were eager to find an LGBT-friendly WoW home. We have three transgender players in our officer corps and were very happy to have more trans players applying to our diverse and growing guild. Thanks very much for the shout-out!

We also heard from letter-writer Gender Reroller.

Hi,

I guess it hasn't been all that incredibly long since you answered my letter, but I'm already doing much better. I took what seemed to be the option most true to myself and my WoW needs and transferred to Proudmoore -- it turned out my old guild leader was a jerk who only cared about my raiding skills, not me. I've been in Taint for about a week now, and I'm hoping to apply for both a raid spot and a PvP spot with my blood elf warrior once she hits 85, and maybe one or more of my three pre-existing level 80s. I actually even linked to that Drama Mamas edition in my Taint application! I'm out and proud, apparently just like everybody else in the guild, so it seems like striking out for new horizons has given me the start of a happy ending.

The case of the friendly hermit

Overly introverted got back to the Drama Mamas with some inspiring results.
Hey, Drama Mamas,

I wrote a few months back asking what to do when I felt like playing alone and other players ignored my pleas for alone time. I was overwhelmed by the support of commenters and by your advice (and this time, in a good way!). I was very grateful to see all the understanding that was given. So thank you.

I have taken Robin's advice and created a character that is only known to my best friend. It's a relief to just be able to get away. This time (I'd made a priest character for this purpose before, but ended up revealing him to others -- bad idea), I haven't shared this toon with anyone else and I don't plan on it. It's great to just slip away sometimes. Lisa's macro idea has also come in handy. :)

Lisa also said that she saw a need to cocoon, something between the lines -- she'd be right. This is why:

I have social anxiety. (I'm in therapy, but that's mainly because of anxiety in general, though we do cover the social aspect occasionally.) I never had it online before until this year, when a friend of a friend (both of which I no longer talk to) I was unsure about decided to jump down my throat about something that my character said in roleplay. ... It was weeks before I could wake up in the morning without feeling a knot in my stomach. Even though on the surface I was able to see their toons around without feeling anxious a couple of months after the incident, I think some stuff just took root and didn't leave. I'm over the incident itself, now, but I guess I'm not over the fact that it happened at all.

After that incident -- which was in January or February, by the way -- I withdrew. I started feeling drained whenever people whispered me too much, where I used to thrive on it. My anxiety flares whenever I'm roleplaying with my best friend and someone new joins in, and for all these months, I have to talk myself through it, reminding myself it's just anxiety, and in spite of having wanted to, I haven't ever lashed out at someone who joined in. When people whispered me, I didn't feel anxious at all, just overwhelmed. I just wanted to retreat, and because of how cornered I felt, I was very close to snapping at them.

So -- thank you for answering my letter. That prevented that from happening. These days, people don't whisper me much. As sad as that is, I'm just glad I'm not overwhelmed anymore. For now, I'm tackling things like this in therapy, and maybe one day I'll be back to my chatty self online.

With much thanks,

Overly Introverted

Too many cooks in the kitchen

The answer from The Other Egg is not quite as happy.

Dear Drama Mamas,

My guild and I have since parted ways. It hurt me to leave so many good friends behind, but I've been lucky enough to keep in touch with the ones I was closest to. I never pugged with Rotten again, and his behavior never improved. It became apparent that nothing Rotten did would get him booted from the guild, as he is friends with the guild leader in real life. I didn't leave the guild over one rotten egg, though; I simply didn't have time to raid anymore. I'm happily enjoying the new expansion in my new more casual guild and have already made many new friends. I only wish the leadership in my old guild could have learned from this mistake, and I know I'm not the only person who was dissatisfied with the outcome.

Sincerest thanks for your help,

The Other Egg

Hacking a friend's account

Anonymous ended up with a far more happy ending than most of us expected. This is a good thing.
Hi, I recently sent in an email to the Drama Mamas, it was the "hacking a friend's account" one. Just sending this in to say thanks. He gave me a ring today; I manned up and answered it and probably wouldn't have done if not for you. We made up, both said sorry, and I gave him his password back.

And just to clarify some things, the stuff I gave him wasn't a "gift"; the money was a loan, and I gave him the ore so he could turn it into bars. But anyhow, that's all cleared up now.

Being excellent

And there you have it. There's more behind the scenes, of course. Support and validation from not only the Drama Mamas but you, the readers, tends to help many of our letter-writers take the steps they've known all along they should be taking. We've heard from couples who've split up after taking a long, hard look at the issues behind their in-game scrapping, and we've heard from those who've finally confronted their demons and drawn closer because of it. It's all about communication and treating fellow players like the living, breathing, feeling people they are.

Be excellent to each other, people. -- With much love from the Drama Mama.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. 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@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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