How many times have you seen someone you know to be an adult, acting in a way you’d expect from a 5 year old? I’m willing to bet it’s at least a few. I had an all too brief holiday last week and returned, relaxed and
generally optimistic, to a hail o
f whispers from friends and fellow guild leaders ranting about the various dramas since I’d been away. A couple of weeks ago most of this drama would have seemed commonplace, but with the clarity of time away I came to realise that the way people act in this game often makes literally no sense at all.
Case 1: Loot drama
We’ve all been there. Someone beats someone else on a roll, or gets an item loot counciled in their favour, or whatever. However it happens, player A gets loot that player B wanted. And then it begins. Sometimes there’s “dissing” behind player A’s back, sometimes it’s made more public on the realm or guild forums. Sometimes people will even /gquit over this stuff. Now we all know that sometimes disputes about loot are warranted, but let’s face it more often they’re not.
Why does it matter?
If you’re passed over for, or unlucky rolling for, loot, why does it matter? Now I know there are instinctive reactions to this question like “it’s a big upgrade” or “I’ve wanted it for ages and now I shall cry” but I’m asking you to think about it properly. How will your life be affected by this? Will your guild disown you for having 9 spellpower less than the next guy? Will your wife leave you when she finds out your rolls aren’t up to scratch? No, all that happens is that you’re a bit disappointed and then you move on and most likely get whatever it was further down the line anyway.
So how do people deal with this?
The responses can vary, but they’re almost always ridiculous. I’ve heard them all, from refusing to raid until you get the item given to you, to hassling player A on Facebook or ninjaing the guild bank and switching server. Is congratulating the lucky recipient and quietly swearing to have your revenge (in this life or the next) really that difficult, really?
Case 2: Unfairness/Favouritism
It can happen in guilds, in pug raids, wherever, but the most common situation I’ve seen involves couples playing in the same guild. Yes I’ve known (and been part of) plenty of couples who play fair, but there are always those who don’t. It can mean “undeserving” players getting raid spots or epix, or simply a case of only offering each other help in guild chat while refusing to help anyone else, but these situations will always be with us. The question is how you deal with them.
If you’re being accused of favouritism, do try not to have an instant hissy fit without actually thinking about the accusation first. There are any number of idiotic knee-jerk reactions you could have to being criticised, somewhat similar to the techniques often employed to feel better about losing out on loot. Try skipping those for once and wondering why you’ve been accused in the first place. “Because they’re out to get me” is rarely a good reason.
Perhaps you’ve been subconsciously awarding all of the healing loot to that priest who promised to show you her boobs, or giving your significant other a guaranteed spot in all the guild raids, but whatever it is there’s no doubt an actual reason people are seeing you in a bad light.
Speaking to the accused privately, or taking it to a guild or raid leader. It depends on the situation, but whatever is going on the following can probably be avoided.
Guild quitting without telling anyone there’s a problem. Posting whatever is bugging you on the realm forum, complete with details and names. Talking about it in trade. Issuing an ultimatum (you stop doing that, or I’ll gquit!). Whinging about it on Facebook, the site isn’t even WoW-related you morons.
There are obviously an infinite number of ways that players act like small children on a daily basis, but things like anal spam in trade and begging for Stockade boosts in SW are expected, so we learn to deal with them (pro tip: turn off trade). The surprises often come from people we’d previously thought were nice normal people, and those are the ones who really need to look at how they deal with situations and why it always seem to be them coming out on the losing end.