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Drama Mamas: Taking guild drama to Facebook

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.

Drama is as drama does.
Dear Drama Mamas,

This is something I thought you'd be interested in. WoW being a social community and Facebook being the king of social connectivity right now, I'd like to share recent activities in my guild involving Facebook.

To start from the beginning, about a year ago I quit my first guild with a large group to go form a raiding guild. The guild we left was a very large rp guild on an rp server. I was reluctant to leave the guild, as I had a lot of friends there, including the GM and it was my first guild ever. Needless to say, the way the group presented our leaving did not sit well with the gm of the guild we left. Toons were kicked, we were black listed, harassed, snubbed, etc.
Recently I transferred back to this server and rejoined the same guild that I originally left. Things seemed to be the same as always. However the officers seemed to be more tyrannical than ever. The way people were being treated that weren't part of the officers favorites, the mandatory meetings (attendance being taken, toons being kicked for not attending). Two of the officers were good friends of mine. Even after I left the server, we kept in touch and I had them both on Facebook. One of them received his promotion after I left. Both of us had hunter mains and would talk about hunters constantly. Since I transferred back, I came with some raiding friends of mine, some of which were in the guild along time ago. The raid teams the guild had broke up, but we pulled from the roster and got the guild achievement for the cata raids and the phoenix mount. My officer friend with the hunter actually quit playing his hunter and wouldn't even talk to me. (Yes, I am the best geared hunter in the guild and 7th on my server). We were heroes for 5 minutes. My officer friend was there to heal the Nef fight when we got the achievement. Then the back stabbing, side talk and animosity started. My friends all left the guild, but I stayed. The other two that stayed with me started feeling the hatred pouring out of guild chat at us.

Recently, with Brewfest dungeon running going on, there was a call out in guild chat for a healer. I asked if they wanted me to switch from my hunter to heals to help out. After a few minutes, and asking again I got a response. So I stopped what I was doing to go heal it for them. Our tank was in ret pvp gear. I commented on it and he said he was building his tank set (with no tank gear equipped). The hunter that was in the group, after the loot dropped, announced he'd be healing the next runs, dropped party, logged into his healer and announced in guild chat he was ready for an invite. Needless to say, I felt very put out by this.
It's commonly taken for granted in this guild that this behavior is acceptable because we are all one big happy family, and because it's guildies, this is ok. Now here's the good part.

I was pissed. I logged into my Facebook page, stating that if this ever happened again I was leaving. The group I was with was very rude, didn't even thank me for going, and they made me feel extremely unwelcome. Well, the officer that that I talked about earlier saw this on my Facebook page. Instead of talking to me about it, he told our GM what I had written. This past weekend, I was kicked for posting slander against my guild on Facebook. Keep in mind, no names were mentioned, I didn't say I was quitting just that that hat been my breaking point, and I did pull out 2 low level toons that I made into bankers (I'm not an alt player and they know that: almost 3 yrs of playing and I have 2 level 85's). The other officer that I was friends with, when she saw my post immediately contacted me about what happened, trying to offer advise on the best course of action. The GM was the one who kicked me, with no explanation, no letter, nothing, just the boot. He and I had been friends before, and were actually getting close again. What really happened I don't know. But my concerns are, when is a game a game, and where do you separate real life from the guild. My feelings were hurt that a supposed friend used my post against me, either because of jealously or just plain spite. Where does it stop?

Victim of Social Networking

Drama Mama Robin: Victim, you're no victim in this. Sorry, but I'm going to have to be bit hard on you. Your letter is a list of what not to do if you want to avoid drama.
  • Don't burn bridges. Your group originally left your RP guild in such a way as to cause bad feelings. It seems that the bridge was burned on both sides. When leaving a guild (or a job or a bowling league or whatever), you should always try to do so in such a way that you could go back if you need or want to -- or so that you can count on these people for references for future endeavors.
  • Don't return to a known drama-filled situation. You burned the bridge and then found that people aren't treating you well. That is completely to be expected.
  • Do leave if the guild atmosphere is hostile. You describe your guild as "tyrannical" and that it has "hatred pouring out of guild chat." Eject, eject, eject!
  • Guilds without rules -- where anything goes because you're all friends -- are disasters waiting to happen. "It's commonly taken for granted in this guild that this behavior is acceptable because we are all one big, happy family, and because it's guildies, this is OK." /shudder Just like the "it's only a game" excuse, this is used to allow bad behavior.
  • Don't issue public ultimatums. Avoiding ultimatums at all is generally best, but taking it public is going to cause this kind of a mess every time.

And that last point is the real crux of the matter. You're not the victim here because you perpetrated the big drama yourself. I'm going to paraphrase the wisdom of a very wise but NSFW post by Joe the Peacock:

Don't post things you don't want people to find out about on the internet.

If you don't want your work, teacher, husband or guild to find out about it, don't put it on Facebook. Also, don't put it in an email that can be forwarded to interested parties. And don't say it in chat where it can be screenshot. If you have something to say, say it privately to the appropriate party. Do it calmly, rationally, and with facts. Venting behind backs only damages the situation whether you are in Azeroth or on Earth.

The lessons of real life should be applied to WoW and vice versa. I hope you learn from all this nasty drama and are able to find a more comfortable raiding guild that is suited to your tastes.

Drama Mama Lisa: Victim of Social Networking, your closing lines sum up your entire problem: "But my concerns are, when is a game a game, and where do you separate real life from the guild." Where do you separate all of that?

The truth: You don't.

Welcome to real life, Victim. All these people you're playing World of Warcraft with? They're real people. World of Warcraft happens in the real world, and all those guildmates you're playing with have real feelings. What you do in game matters just as much as what you do anywhere else. Facebook is no different -- say something there, and it's been said. Period. You haven't said it conditionally; you've said it publicly, and in fact, you've committed it to the public record.

What you do in World of Warcraft is real. What you post on Facebook is real. You don't get to discount any of it because it's "just a game." Is that horse dead yet? I hope so. This mistaken idea that you can artificially separate your behavior in different arenas because anything online is not "real life" leads to nothing but trouble.

Unfortunately, artificially separating online behavior is only half the problem here. You also seem to been blundering blithely through WoW without a second thought for the effect your actions have on others. Why did you push your way back into your original guild after leaving on such bad terms? Did you ask anyone about forming a new raid group before the night you did so? What did you think was going to happen when you created an independent group to tackle content the guild hadn't yet done? Bottom line: You barged into a group where you weren't really welcome and then proceeded to pee all over their progression curve. Talk about awkward ...

But enough of that. Let's break this down to send you forward with some kind of game plan:
  1. It's long past time to go. There's nothing but drama and hard feelings left in this situation. It's time to leave -- all your characters, every last alt. Don't make any big announcements on the forums, in guildchat or on Facebook, either. Send a whisper to your GM telling him you've decided to move on, thank him for having you, give him a chance to say anything he has to say, then leave. Preferably at a quiet time of the day or late night (but not without informing your GM first).
  2. Get ready for rules. Having rules is not "tyrannical" -- it's what keeps guilds from tumbling into drama-drenched chaos. If you want a guild that treats players fairly, you want a guild that both has rules and enforces them.
  3. Join a group that does what you want to do. Twice now, you've had problems fitting into this guild because the things they do don't fit what you want to do. Find a group that's raiding at your level, not a roleplaying guild or a guild whose players raid at much lower gear and progression levels.
  4. Make your way under your own power. Give yourself a chance to meet other players and find a guild based on your own merits, rather than your current or past relationships. Make it about how you play the game, not how you want the people you are with to play the game.
I hope a fresh start will get you in a better position to spend more time playing the game you enjoy and less time trying to line up with other people who just aren't in the same place. Best wishes, and dare I say ... keep it real.

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, Guilds, Drama Mamas

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