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Drama Mamas: Loot drama redux

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.

Recipe for smelly loot drama: Have clear rules that are only followed at the whim of the raid leader.

Eww.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I just wanted to get your thoughts about some drama that has recently unfolded in the guild. We have been raiding Firelands for a couple months now but have been having some disagreements about loot. The guild leader and her boyfriend lead the raid and I assist as the main tank, my wife is also in the raid. A couple of weeks ago a ring dropped and the guild leader's boyfriend won the roll. The following week the item dropped again and he rolled and won again. I was confused so I inquired about it, he had given it to his girlfriend.
Now we have a rule if a BoE drops and you need it for main spec you need to equip it to make sure you don't sell it. I explain my concerns and they ended up giving the item to my wife who had the second highest roll.

That week I also got some 378 tanking shoulders, not the best for me but I took them because the other tank had better. This week my shoulder token dropped and I won the roll for them. The guild leaders boyfriend also wanted the token but lost the roll. They complained I already had 378 shoulder but explained I got my four piece set, so it was an upgrade and was the piece I was hoping for (he has 359 shoulders).

Soon afterwards I receive a message in my mailbox that my wife and I are not invited to next weeks raid and that she is re-evaluating the raid team. I have been with the guild from the start and am in an officer position, and she would tell other how good of a tank I am. I am concerned that the next notice I receive will be a /gkick . I would love to get a third party's opinion on this. Was I in the wrong or is she over reacting? I know you are busy but would love a response as I often read the drama mama articles.

Thanks,

Zach

RobinDrama Mama Robin: Loot drama is so gross. When unscrupulous couples lead the raid and adjust the loot rules to their own desires, it's even grosser. ... More gross? Grosstastic? Grosserific!

It seems to me that they are upset that you called them on a little behind-the-scenes fudging of the rules, and now they are seeking revenge. I wouldn't worry about receiving a gkick. I'd go find another raiding guild that is run a bit less shadily, and take your tanking skills there (along with your wife). I feel very strongly about this. You should start guild shopping right now.

But if you're still reading, I think that what you did with the shoulders is a bit of a gray area. If you have a close-knit raiding guild that believes in progression over collecting shinies, the fact that your shoulders were superior to The Royal Boyfriend's shoulders should have been taken into account before allowing you to roll on the token. Better gear for all regular raiders means easier progression, after all.

I can see where it might have been better for everyone if you had offered to forego rolling on the token since you just upgraded the week before. I can also see where Her Royal Highness might have asked you not to roll on the token for the same reason, without expecting any resistance from you. This discussion did not occur before the roll, however, and according to strict adherence to your guild rules (as I understand them), you were entitled to roll on the shoulder token. And if you were allowed to roll on the token, you were of course entitled to take the token if you won the roll. The Royal Couple shouldn't have let you roll on the token in the first place if they were going to react so strongly about an unfavorable outcome.

All around, The Royal Couple are handling the loot situation poorly and reacting strongly when things don't go their way. This will not be the last of the loot drama, even if they permit you to rejoin the raid. So again, you need to rid yourself of this guild as soon as possible. Make sure that the new guild has clearly stated loot rules and that you agree with them before applying.

Warning: As we've seen before, the bad feelings may follow you to your new guild. Make sure you are completely honest in your application about why you left your guild. Be as classy as possible. Bad-mouthing your previous guild leader will not go over well with your prospective guild. Phrases like "misunderstanding" work well to diffuse the blame. One example you could try is:
A misunderstanding about loot rules in a couple of situations caused bad feelings that are not likely to heal. I don't wish to say bad things about my former guild leader, but I'm afraid that she might not return the favor since the incident was so recent. I hope that you will understand that I agree to your loot rules and will adhere to them faithfully if you accept me into your guild.
I am guessing our readers have other suggestions about how to sell yourself to your new guild without badmouthing your old one.

LisaDrama Mama Lisa: Robin's got this situation covered. That leaves me with a big, fat opening to squeeze some more juice out of the topic of officer involvement. (It's like the big, red pimple everyone wants to keep caking more concealer on, which of course only makes it crustier and more obvious. Hey, Robin started it off talking about loot drama being "gross" -- I'm just following the theme.)

It's particularly discouraging to me to read letters about guild troubles that meekly add at some point, "... and I'm an officer ..." Let's go over this again, for both officers and non-officers alike: Being an officer is not an honorary position awarded based on longevity or friendship. The position exists not only to handle specific tasks but to facilitate open communication at every level of the guild.

If there's drama in any nook or cranny of a guild, the officers should be on the scene. Officers communicate constantly with one another, the GM, and guild members in chat channels, whispers, private officer forums, Vent ... While every officer may not be actively, routinely involved in looting, they certainly should be in conversation whenever a questionable judgment comes along. And it's absolutely appalling that the GM should unilaterally declare any sort of "re-evaluation of the raid team" without the knowledge and participation of the guild officers.

... and you say you're an officer here!

Readers, if you are a guild officer, don't let yourself be strapped to the guild's prow as some sort of figurehead. Walk the decks. Be curious. Ask questions, probe policies, research how other guilds do things, chat up your members. Make yourself a strong link in an active chain of communication. Help keep guild operations and decisions transparent -- or if your guild is more of a benevolent dictatorship, quietly serve as the leadership's check-and-balance system by doing all of these things on a more discreet level.

If you are serving as an officer in name only, you are part of the problem that causes the inevitable "Man overboard!" If you are a GM and you don't allow your officers to share the load, you're guilty as well. While this may be the first time on deck for many players, there are plenty of resources out there to help guild leadership teams develop sound policies and practices. We recommend Officers' Quarters here at WoW Insider or The Guild Counsel at our sister site Massively.

Now go forth, guild officers, and officiate!

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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