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Drama Mamas: The etiquette of loot runs for cash

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.

The whole point of a lullaby is to lull the child to sleep, something Mr. Ricky Gervais loses sight of in the above video. The whole point in building up the guild bank funds is to support guild raids -- but isn't that also the whole point of proper gear distribution? Does the guild in this week's letter miss the point, or did they just improperly handle the situation?
Dear Drama Mamas,

I am a core raider in a comfortable semi-hardcore 25 raiding guild and I am quite frankly, shocked. Recently our guild has progressed deeply into Hard modes territory here in Cataclysm content, our first Heroic kill being Halfus (and our longest heroic boss on farm). I am grateful that we are finally getting somewhere after going through some rough obstacles, our hard work has rewarded us nicely. However the issue we face now is how much gold our guild bank has, currently we have quite a bit saved up for repairs, flasks, and feasts. The thing that worries me is that our officers are going a little crazy over this. This past week we sold some heroic chest pieces and rotting non-set pieces which drop off Heroic Halfus that people already had. I am OK with this because I am one of those people who gotten their heroic chest and happen to be on a rotting token already.
We killed Halfus, and the Raid Leader was exchanging the rot loot for gold and I find out that some not rotting loot was getting sold as well to the buyers we brought with us. I really can't imagine what was going through their minds when they were willing to sell loot some our main core raiders still needed, I did what I thought was right and pointed out calmly in a tell that I understood that we need gold to fund our hard modes and that I don't think I should forfeit to someone who is paying a ridiculous amount of gold for something that I have yet to receive my self. Suffice to say I got a bad guilt trip after getting the epic that I wanted and I've been feeling pretty crappy about it since it happened not to mention all the snark from other people, more importantly I feel like a complete lootwhore. Was I right to fight for something I wanted (and rightfully earned)? Should I have let them sell off something I didn't have so they could make more money for the bank? How should I even treat this incident? Please help!

Sincerely,

Shocked
Drama Mama Robin: In order to avoid loot drama, the leaders of the loot run (whatever its nature) must be explicit at the outset what the rules are. If your raid leader had made it clear before the run that all loot would be sold to the wealthy buyers, then you could have decided beforehand if you were willing to spend your time for just gold rather than loot and gold. Making it a nebulous "some" or "at our discretion" isn't fair to either the buyers or the guildies.

Did the RL in fact inform you beforehand that there was a chance of something you needed being sold? If so, then your guildies have every right to be annoyed at your behavior. But that does not seem to have been the case.

Unfortunately, while the leaders are to blame for being unclear, placing blame is not going to improve your relationship with your guild. Here's what I recommend:
  • Suggest some gold-only runs be done for wealthy buyers. State that you will be happy to attend with the idea that everyone goes in knowing that no loot will go to anyone but the buyers.
  • Set up a gear wishlist forum thread on your guild's site, with your officers' permission. Request that all of the raiders list what specific gear they are looking for to complete their raiding sets, along with where it drops. If it's clear what the holes are in your guild's raiding gear, the leaders can make appropriate decisions as to what things to sell in combo loot/gold runs ahead of time.
  • Volunteer to help some lesser-geared guildies in heroics.
Excuse the cliché, but actions speak louder than words. Actually showing that you aren't just out for yourself will go a long way in repairing your reputation with your guild.

Drama Mama Lisa: What I'm wondering is if the officers were planning to leapfrog over the drops they were selling and snag hard mode loot for guild members. Perhaps they were planning to prioritize those of you who didn't have certain drops with hard mode versions. It's hard to say exactly how well thought-out their plans were -- but whatever was in the works, of course, it should have been crystal clear to every single guild member first.

At this point, if I were you, I think I would keep an eagle eye out for loot irregularities. Have the guild policies been clarified since this incident? What about the rules for the pickup raids? More importantly, do you feel confident that the rules are transparent and that guild members are being treated fairly? There's nothing remotely inappropriate about being curious and asking for details about the loot process in your own guild. If you sense you're treading on uncomfortable territory, you may want to ask why it's so touchy.

As long as loot distribution seems to be going off without a hitch, though, you can chalk things up to an oversight or misunderstanding and turn your attention back to the social fallout from this little incident. Let's hope that a good portion of the snark you're getting is merely a little rib-poking fun. Still, it has to feel awkward to have been the one to blow the whistle -- and Robin's right, you've definitely got some public image polishing ahead. As long as you're obviously doing your part in guild raids and following whatever loot rules are in place, though, it's just a matter of time until your epics are no longer the hot topic of conversation.

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 robin@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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