Dear Drama Mamas,
Starting things off; I'm a Moonguard player. Hear that sound? I know you do, because the mere word Moonguard invokes it in so many players now; words like "obscene" or "immature" or "inappropriate" jump to mind. And it drives me absolutely crazy.
Let's get the obvious out of the way; Moonguard has a bad reputation because of Goldshire. And Silvermoon City. Okay, fine, yes, we get the point. But every single time I get into a group, every single time I enter a Battleground, or an Arena, the moment I even say anything (or sometimes when I haven't said anything yet), it begins. The more polite chuckleheads spew it into the public chat, every possible Moonguard joke and comment they can think of, and a couple of personal attacks against anyone who would dare to touch the place with a ten foot pole.
The less polite ones start whispering, telling you to get out of the group, or to disconnect, to stop being a child or stop being a freak of nature. Heaven help you if ANYONE in that dungeon group turns out to be bad, because it can and will get blamed on you. If your team ends up down 0/2 and you mention it's because so-and-so is dancing on the roof not attacking or defending, you could be in the enemy flag room, with the flag, having downed half of the other team solo, and it's your fault because you're a filthy Moonguard player (this is also about the time you get the wonderful suggestion that you should kill yourself).
Drama Mama Lisa: I'm hoping that simply printing your letter, Frustrated Crabhammer, will clue in certain players that their tired old Moonguard jokes aren't very funny to players from Moonguard. I know, I know, we all like to bond over community in-jokes -- and discovering what those crazy Moonguard players have been up to in Elwynn Forest certainly provides ample fodder.
I realize that participating in a Dungeon Finder group or Battleground is an optional choice, but is the only answer really to just exile myself from ever doing anything off of this server with my characters? Why does the entire server end up having to deal with abuse and ridicule and outright hostility, without provocation, because our version of Goldshire became the vacation spot for every other server in the game?
There has to be some way to deal with this. I shouldn't have to be ashamed of my server. And I'm tired of hearing "just go play on another server" (abandoning my characters and work, or dropping $30 apiece), or "well then just quit the game baby" (because that's just stupid) as answers.
So, yeah. Old joke is old.
But the real problem here is bullying -- and no, I'm not being overly dramatic or oversensitive. When you use something like the realm a player is from as an excuse for all sorts of baseless accusations and implications, you start looking like one of the lunatic fringe still slinging invectives and clawing at the headlines long after the elections have concluded.
You're spreading hate. And we, the WoW community, won't stand for it.
At this point, I think we ought to revisit the article on hate that we ran way back in 2010. You can read my advice in its original context, or see it below helping put this whole Moonguard-ery into context.
Inappropriate language comes in several flavors. There's good old-fashioned rough language ("The @#%@ing piece of @#@! cast on me before I could engage!"). There's flavor-of-the-moment douchebaggery (in fact, the term "douchebaggery" comes to mind). And then there's the truly offensive, inappropriate messages ("Filthy Moonguard player, you should just kill yourself!").
There's arguing for your "freedom" to let your proverbial hair down and use mature language when you play -- and there's respecting the fact that you're interacting with other people in a shared social space.
There's railing against the knee-jerk demand that we all march in perfect, politically correct formation -- and there's being an insensitive jerk.
There's indulging in a little loose-and-free humor -- and there's using language that causes others to feel uncomfortable, offended ... or worse.
The WoW community is truly done with bullying. Before you open your mouth, consider where your behavior falls in comparison to the examples above. Are you being funny and hip -- or are you just behaving like a low-rent, disrespectful, tactless boor? And if you're actually suggesting to other players that they should kill themselves, well, you've completely crossed the line.
If you're uncertain, zip your lip. Your groupmates will thank you for it.
Drama Mama Robin: Bullies bully. They bully everyone. But when someone stands out as more easily bullied, then they focus on that person. Geeks in school are very familiar with this phenomenon. Your description of Warsong Gulch harassment? I've gotten it more than once when I've been doing well too. We all get bullied in BGs and dungeons, but players from RP realms get it more than others. And yours, well obviously it has the toughest time.
I am highly amused that Moonguard's Goldshire is now a decadent vacation spot for other servers. It's the visitors perpetuating the naughtiness then. They know because they've been participating. It's like Tijuana or spring break or Vegas -- you go there specifically to be naughty, if you don't already live there. I bet some of the guys harassing you have vacationed there.
Dee: Where'd you go? We were supposed to run Heroics.
Dum: I decided to hang out with the pervs for a bit.
Dee: Ur mom?
Dum: No yours. Seriously, I was in Moonguard. Goldshire.
Dee: Is it as bad as they say?
Dum: Worse. Pervs everywhere. I hung out in the inn and just listened. These guys are freaks.
Dum: Yeah, gotta be all guys.
Dum: I cybered with this chick playing a night elf though ...
Dee: How'd you know she was a chick?
Dum: She sounded really hot.
Dum: NO U
You don't have to avoid BGs and randoms. You just need to limit your exposure to the trolls and spend a little extra time trying to thin their ranks.
Like Lisa, I'm going to steal some advice from our "We hate hate" column.
If you're in a dungeon, follow these steps when being harassed:
- Write down the troll's name and server, being careful to include special characters and notice odd spellings.
- State in party chat that the harasser's behavior is unacceptable and, if he doesn't apologize, call for a votekick. These bullies tend to have sidekicks and since kicks have to be unanimous, this will rarely work. But I think it's worth a try.
- /ignore name-server -- This will not only ignore him but make it impossible for him to be in your future random PUGs.
- If the votekick did not work, drop out of the group.
- Report the troll.
Reporting is the most important thing you can do. If the harassers are reported by enough people, their temporary bans will become permanent. If the harassed do nothing, then they continue without repercussions.
Good luck and remember, you're not alone.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with advice 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.