Love letters…You’ve Got Mail!

So I got a love letter in-game this weekend!!! I kicked a few people out of the guild, and a somewhat expected response was a love letter. It was exactly what you could imagine, “You suck, you are the problem, its all your fault, everyone hates you, no one likes you, no one thinks you are good, you need to leave, quit, get out, get away.” Yadda yadda yadda. So, the letter was from an unguilded toon that was never a member of my guild. I am assuming its an alt of someone who was in fact kicked by me. So a quick look at the 3 I kicked…

  1. Young new member (yes young in age). He was chatty, very very very VERY chatty. I found him annoying, but tolerable. He was not insulting or anything, and I think was more guilty of trying too hard to make people like him more than anything else. However, I was getting tells constantly, “I can’t stand this kid!” “Please remove him!” “Hey, just an fyi, he blows. He can’t play for squat.” Well, I felt bad in a way, but if you have an overwhelming number of folks wanting him gone, your hand is played for you. /gkick
  2. Buddy who I have not seen on before (joined within the last week or so) starts asking how long server transfers take. I ask why he wants to know? He won’t answer insisting someone just tell him how long it takes. I suggest to him that since none of us work at Blizz doing server transfers, it might be prudent to go onto the WoW website and look for FAQs regarding transfers and I bet his answer will be there from the experts. He recoils and says to effect “Just tell me how long! I want to move a toon here from another server” Yeah, right…I almost believe that. Within a few more pokes and prods he admits he is transferring as soon as he can and wants it to go through right away to get off our server. /gkick
  3. Now the same fool who my previous post was in regards to jumps into gchat with all he wanted to do was get information! I respond with, “Says the same guy that told his guild how he hates the server and can’t wait to transfer.” He of course insists the Server and Guild are not the same…so even with a few days of some level of reflection he still does not get it. You can’t say you hate all dogs, but love German Shepherds. You can’t tell me you hate the entire server but love us…we are a part of the server!!! /gkick

I asked folks in guild if they new the toon name…no one did. I did some research and found their guild history and matched additional names that corresponded and narrowed it down to a reasonable conclusion. Numerous people defended me in g-chat, so I felt a little bit of love from folks which was nice.

Here’s the point: Disagreeing on the direction, tact, tone, rules, etc that your RL, GM, officers put forth is fine; however, ensure you are doing the mature thing to have a conversation regarding said disagreement. In other words, get together and discuss it. No screaming & yelling. DISCUSSION!

Hey, I don’t like the way you speak to us, can you maybe turn it down a notch!
Oh, I didn’t realize that; I certainly can!

We aren’t making any progress, what the heck is going on?
We’re analyzing the raids and trying to figure it out now. Do you have some suggestions on what we can change?
Yes actually, let’s start with this…

I am not even going to get into the obvious things like speak civilly, use your main to speak (not some alt that no one knows), and be sure to give some practical information and constructive criticism not just “we hate you”. Everyone wants to get better, and no one has all the right answers in their back pocket. Collaboration is the key. Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly, “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” The strongest and best foundation is and will always be that of solidarity. Sappy? Perhaps. But very true.

Work together toward one common goal and you will have success. Continue to fight amongst yourselves casting blame, taking credit, and disparaging character; you will assuredly fail. I told my new raid team who may not be the best players, but are for the most part good people who I am beginning to enjoy playing along side…”TRUST! Simply trust us that we are guiding our raid team to a point of success. If you have suggestions or see things that need correcting, let us know. Myself and the co-raid leader Tank are here to help everyone have success. Trust us!” Trust is the hardest thing to establish, but the most powerful tool in building a cohesive team.

Sappy? Perhaps. But very true.

Q

How do you NOT take it personally?

So, there you are…you are playing a dps class, or tank, or healer – whatever. You are knowledgeable about your class. You have the right BiS items, enchants, gems, etc. You are specced appropriately for your particular style/brand (i.e. you play Marksman and are specced correctly as a marksman – like you don’t have points in pathfinding or some stupid asinine move like that). You do alright dps, maybe its not the greatest the world has ever seen, but its comparable to others who are similarly specced/geared. You heal perfectly well. No one thinks you are a bad tank. You get compliments that you are good, that you don’t screw up, that you are fun to play alongside.

So, you put your app into <We are the greatest ever guild> and you wait. You get contacted. You set up some time to talk. Everything seems ok, all the right things are said, check marks in the right spots. Then you hear it…

“Yeah, I don’t know if this will work out.” – Then the app is declined.

Now, you are thinking, “Ok, its alright. They found someone better. They filled the spot. No big deal. Other opportunities will come, I’m not the greatest ever anyway, so if they got someone better, then awesome for them.”

LFDps for raid group. App to <We are the greatest ever guild>

Wait…WHAT?!? So you now have to read something into this…and really there is only one thing to read into it…NO DPS is better than MY DPS.

Let’s face it, we have all had this type of scenario happen in the Real World. We apply for a job/role and get one of the following: No response, We are pursuing other candidates at this time, the position is filled, or if you are fortunate an interview of some kind and THEN the “this position has been filled.”

But that’s RL, not a game. RL has to be far pickier, far more choosey in who they bring in, after all real money is involved. And once someone is in the door, its sometimes very difficult to remove them, HR nightmare anyone?

But in the game…well, its easy. /GKICK! And you can tell rather quickly when someone gels with your raid group or not. Was the log dps a little low, perhaps. Bring them in and see what they do real time. Maybe everyone around them is that bad, maybe there was RNG effecting the data, maybe they just had an off night. Perhaps everything else they do is a boon to the guild as a whole? You really don’t know until you give them a shot.

The point is, its not difficult to give someone a shot inside the digital world, yet we are more particular and demanding, scrutinizing in far more detail our fellow players than a prospective employer does in the real world?! If a player joins your guild, and he causes the break up of your guild…I am willing to bet there were other issues than said player. If you bring a new associate into your company and they bring an assault rifle to work the first day…well, kind of a bigger problem to face. Why are we all so judgmental and finicky about a VIDEO GAME?!? Its meant to be fun, leisure, entertainment? And yet we treat it as if real life hangs in the balance.

Regardless…there it is…you are rejected. Judged on your dps, tank, healing skills without ever actually showing what you can do; and the worst part is, they are still looking. They have told you flat out, “We would rather raid with 9/24, than take you along.”

How else do you take that? How is that NOT personal?

Current State of Mind….

I am so tired right now – and yes, Cata is to blame.

The game mechanics are not harder than before. It’s really a question of the same basic principles – don’t stand in bad stuff, do stand in good stuff, move when you have to, watch threat and aggro, use CDs at the right time, ensure survivability. What makes the game play harder is the newness of some of the encounters. There is always a learning curve. My 10 man had a relatively long learning curve for Valonia and Therelion….extremely short one for Maloriak. And of course gear plays a huge role in anything being face-roll or a wipe-fest.

So, why is this harder? People. Simply put, it’s the people. 10 man progression has become the desired choice…as a result, anyone and everyone wants to make a guild of their own and do their 10 mans. Problem is, it takes more than 10…really it takes 13-15 for a 10 man (need back ups and alternates for various mechanics or RL conflicts). But, no one wants to ride the pine, so if you are 11-15 on a number of nights, you are probably going to seek an open spot elsewhere. But there is a reason you were on the bench, performance, gear, unreliability, not a team player…could be any of a number of issues you can affect or have no control over. Now add in guild rep, some are reluctant to guild swap and move elsewhere thereby losing their perks. They may not be much individually, but collectively they are sweet “make my WoW life easier” bonuses!

So the relative few seeking new guilds…probably closer to the buyer beware side.

The people you want…they aren’t moving from their comfy home, even if they don’t like the neighborhood anymore.

Where does that leave a GM, RL, or veteran raider….screwed.

I have spoken often to folks on my server on how guilds are cannibalizing one another. I want my 10 man with my core people. He wants his 10 man with his core, and She wants hers. Problem is, we all are fielding 1-2 great players, 4-5 good players, 1-2 average players, and then the “rest” of the warm bodies who fill out your roster. You’d be stronger together. But no one wants to blink. Guild mergers, once very common in Vanilla and even in BC though they did trickle off in Wrath, are a thing of the past – Cata has almost killed the practice completely. In fact, we are now seeing more guild splits than ever before. Have a good 40-50 player roster, but only doing a 10 man, or maybe 2? A group is most likely going to splinter off and form their own guild…which does what? That’s right, weakens ALL of them.

Again, what does one do?

What can one do…to be honest!!! How can you control the actions of someone sitting at another keyboard? Its their $15 a month – they need to do what they feel is best.

BE OPEN – Communicate to everyone what issues you are seeing and be sure to convey your empathy. You are not unaffected by the same issues as they, so share in this struggle. It may actually bring everyone closer together in a wagon rallying manner.

BE FAIR – If someone is considering leaving, say your peace. Make your case. But don’t hold a grudge, and don’t force them to do something they are reluctant to do. And do this for ALL members of the guild. We are all quick to jettison someone who is a headache, and wanting to hold on for dear life to the cream of the crop; but treat them fairly and equally.

DUE DILIGENCE – use the recruiting methods at hand, and ALWAYS constantly be on the lookout for new people.

TWO WAY STREET – This is also a lesson for those seeking new homes!!! You want to go raid with a new group, be willing and open to listen to them. If your new RL or Officers have suggestions, take them under advisement with earnest…don’t dismiss them outright. I have been playing a Hunter since Release. I have done high-end PvP, end game PvE, run guilds, raids, been a good soldier, the new kid, the best raider in group, and the worst. We can always learn from others and accept that we do not know it all. I am always actively listening to other players and filtering for the little gold nuggets. Things I can put in my back pocket and pull out when I need them. It works, try it. Show up for the new raids, and be prepared – you are trying to make a good impression on your new guild mates and raid team…put your BEST foot forward, not your worst.

LEARN2RAID – this one bears repeating…LEARN 2 RAID!!!! This means be prepared to wipe. This means have the best available flasks, potions, food, etc on you. This means show up on time. This means need minimal breaks. This means be focused and give it your all. This means if you have RL issues, tell someone in charge and don’t be upset or angry when you get asked to sit….deal with your conflicts, come back when ready to roll. And above all else…do your best on each and every pull from the first to the last.

I know, I know….its self explanatory stuff. But trust me…we all need reminders of the simple stuff. And if people practiced the above more often than not – well, there would be a lot less drama and a lot more dead dragons all around Azeroth.

-Q