|...or in this case, wheelbarrow. You get the idea.|
When the game you play is described as an MMO, drama is never far away. After all, what makes multiplayer great is what also has the potential to make it pants. Yes, I’m looking at you, other people, with the drama and the moods and the ‘I don’t feel like this’ or ‘this raid all SUCK ST*U Nubcaeks!1!!’ Once upon a time if there was a choke point for issues it was LFG. Now we have 5 TIMES the potential with LFR, a whole twenty-four other reasons to be believe that Online Karma will come and get you if you leave before the rolls have been decided. My husband’s invented a macro for those people who decide to begin encounters without a full compliment of people, hoping the Failbot 9000 will make people stop and think about their actions. Last night I found myself wondering that perhaps it is time to start doing some actual scientific studies, to try and understand what it is that, when people believe they are anonymous and somehow without reproach on t’Internets, makes them feel that toy throwing is even acceptable behaviour.
The fact is, anonymity is the least of your worries.
In the many years I have been involved in a Guild, drama has never been far away. I like to think I can avoid it, I dare to hope that by listening to people and identifying flashpoints before they occur I can keep it to a minimum, but the fact remains that if someone logs ‘with a mood on’, there’s a better than average chance that’s going to create a problem. As content becomes progressively more accessible the chances of game-generated drama does reduce however: it becomes less and less about the mechanics ‘starting a fight.’ No more Lady Vashj-related guild breaking dramas with Tainted Cores: I read with disappointment it’s been nerfed too, the Cores no longer immobilise you anyway. Now, if only Blizzard could nerf the nobends who pull your boss or start your encounter when there’s only 21 of you and then leave, THERE would be progress. However as long as there is peoples there is OHNOESDRAMAZ, and unless this game becomes Single Player it’s never going to happen, so is it time to stop stressing and to Embrace the Fail…?
I read with satisfaction that the first LFR Loot ‘refinements’ will come into play with the next patch, meaning you can no longer roll on two of the same item and win. I’ve detailed elsewhere what I’d also like to see changed with the loot system but that’s never going to change the issues with the people. An account-wide Ignore would be a definite step in the right direction on that front however, and I’m genuinely encouraged to see that Blizzard understand it’s significance. If anything this would be a good way for Blizzard to identify problematic individuals if they (for instance) exceeded a certain number of Ignores across accounts. What else can be done to eliminate the disruptive elements? Community policing goes some way towards this, I realise. Take the case of the ‘Ninja Guild’ on our Server: I’m sure many people know of such groups, where either one or a number of players ‘exploit’ loot rules and scams and appear to get away scot free because Blizzard’s hands are tied: if there are no loot rules in your party, there is no way to expose fraud. LFR eliminates this issue of course but with only one raid covered everything else is is open to abuse: until we can PuG Baradin Hold or Firelands there’s still plenty of opportunity for your disruptive elements to wreak havoc.
It’s often the people you least expect in Guilds who are the biggest troublemakers: I can think of two examples from personal experience of people who you’d never expect to be able to generate Drama, but the moment they ended up in LFG/LFR they became something else entirely. ‘Perceived’ anonymity gives certain people the belief they are beyond reproach, and it’s only if those aggrieved take the time to report that anything ever stands a chance of changing. It’s often just simpler to put your problems down to bad luck or the time of day (or as happens more and more, school holidays) and never follow up your gripes. However if you feel that your you’ve had a toy thrown at you in malice or anger, reporting it might yet end up being the straw that bans the Camel that chucked it. (^^) If it matters enough for you to go back to your Guild or friends and complain about, it may merit a ticket. If it’s a person in your Guild giving you a hard time, your GM has a duty to listen and to try and solve the problem. We may complain, but people stay GM’s for a reason, and it’s often not simply about unrestricted access to the Bank.
The next time someone throws their toys about, stop and think why they’ve done it. If the problem is the way you’ve acted, maybe it’s time to do something about that too.
POSTSCRIPT: I think this works on a related note :D