It's a big world. On planet Earth there are billions and billions of people, each with their own dramas, their own way of living their lives and so forth.
Then there are the millions upon millions who play in online worlds. Ok, I'm torn on what kind of individuals gravitate towards online worlds, whether they be ones based on puzzles, like Uru, or combat, like WoW or just a social outlet, such as Second Life or any number of brand-new social worlds that are just based on hanging out with people and being virtual consumers.
Every single online world out there is a social world, but I've found that in solely social online worlds, i.e. Second Life, they are usually filled with lonely people or ones with some sort of emotional retardation. The social retards make up the majority, but while the ones who suck the life out of you and/or cause you to lose IQ points are there in great abundance, I have remarkably found one group of friends that has lasted through 2 online worlds that are not emotionally retarded in the least. They just hang out in social worlds for fun and contact with friends far away. I have no issue with them, but as in all circles of friends, we do have those one or two emotional retards that gravitate toward us. When it comes to those folks, I run every time they get near me, and when I get an e-mail from them, I immediately feel violated or contaminated in some way. So rather than get sucked into their melodramatic lives, I don't hesitate, I immediately delete any type of correspondence they send my way. I'm on a drama-free diet. You don't like it? Tough.
In my adventures in Online worlds, my least favorite people are the needy ones. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty, but when I see on Facebook a "woe is me" entry from someone I added as a friend just out of courtesy to my close friends, I just shudder. Ok, if I've said it once, I'll say it again, "Desperation is the world's WORST cologne", if you put it out there that you're desperate for attention, you'll drive people away in droves. I'm sorry but I refuse to be a guest at their personal pity party. I've got a life that's not always easy (who's is?), and I'm not my own guest of honor at my own personal pity party, so I sure as hell am not going to partake in theirs.
Some people just can't quite come to grips with the fact that their problems are not ours, nor do we want them to be, but still they lay it on thick with their woes and problems and expect us to fix it for them. My friends know, if you have a problem and I can help fix it, I'm all-hands-on-deck, but when it's something no one can possibly do anything to affect any sort of change in the situation, that gets annoying really fast. It's not because I'm being elitist or anything like that, it's because those people are so desperate for attention that they cling. No one likes a clinger, especially me. Tell me your good news and move on, otherwise, please remember I have a life and it's not all wine and roses, but when it's not, I don't hang it around other people's necks. I communicate with my close friends, let them know what's going on, then just leave it be, they don't need to know the details, if they ask, I tell, but I don't make it my life's mission to make sure everyone hurts with me, or worse, pities me. If something annoys me or is something I find conversation worthy, I post it in my blog. If you want to read it, do, if you want to skip over the drama, move on. It's easier that way. But one thing you will never find me doing is sending out a "woe is me" wah-wah Facebook entry. It's bullshit when people do that. It sucks the life out of people. You want good? Send out good vibes, you'll get them in return.
Now when you're in a team activity, such as raiding in World of Warcraft, social and emotional retardation become magnified. There is no two ways about it. From general and trade chat on down to guild chat, there are not a whole lot of people with common sense to pee on or even have the slightest notion of common courtesy. When you have a 25-person raid and only 18 show up, that's 7 people who have screwed 18 others over. I don't care what the raid leader is like or what the guild policies are, if you say you're going to show up, you show up! If you're going to blow it off, hit "tentative" on your invitation to the event, don't just say that you'll be there, then screw over the people that are counting on you to be there by blowing it off. That's rude.
Now, I'd rather step on my fingers than say something bad about any of my guildies, I love them all. But, we've got a few people who think it's ok to come to the raid without flasks or reagents, go away from keyboard before a pull, and decide that during our raid time, where we've taken time out to make sure they could go with us, they ultimately believe that their life and time is more precious than the rest of ours. If you think your time is more valuable than the rest of ours, think again. You don't see me getting up and farting around my house, phasing out or any other sort of dipshit thing before a pull or directly after a wipe or a boss falling. NO. When I sit down to raid, I'm on time. As a matter of fact, I'm early most of the time. I go to the bathroom, get my drink and get all of my other pre-raid rituals out of the way before we get underway. I am very aware that the other people inside the raid are counting on me to do my job, not lag behind, not go afk and most certainly they expect me (as I expect from them) to give a shit about what we're doing.
One of my dearest friends who I love more than anyone in the world is one of my guildies. I've watched them play with great heart and know-how, but it's seasoned with a lot of horrible and inconsiderate raid habits. I've gone to bat multiple times with the raid leader and guild master to get my friend an invitation for the 25-man raid because they've stopped inviting them because their raid habits so are inconsiderate (to put it kindly). When the person I've stepped up for time and time again decides to go afk, fart around or phase out, they make me look like shit and since I've gone out on a limb for them and begged for their invite, it really ticks me off that they've used my good graces to get in then treat it as if it was nothing. As Guild Mom, that makes me look terrible and throws my judgment into question and that's one thing I don't appreciate in the least. Then they complain to me that they don't have a 'raider' rank like I do.
Ok, now I'm going to get in the dirt because I'm sick and tired of dealing with it. Why do I have a 'raider' rank? Because, I bring a whole hell of a lot of nutritional value to the raid. When it comes to being solid as a player and as a part of the raid, I'm as solid as it gets. I was dual-spec before there was even dual-spec capability. I spent 4000 gold (for you non-WoWer's, that's in-world currency that you earn by doing in world activities such as quests) over six months making sure I could do my dailies every day and still be able to raid at night before there was even the notion of dual-spec. It was countless trips to Moonglade at 50 gold a pop per respec for six months without question or hesitation to make sure I was doing my part for the raid. Lucky for me, dual-spec came along when it did...now when they ask me to switch specs I switch, change flasks and food, re-buff, and in a matter of seconds, I'm ready to do any job they ask me to. I bring fish feasts and I've laid them out time and time again, even months on end with customized macros. I did thousands of handwritten questions for Pre-Raid Trivia so people could learn their strats. I've shown up for almost every single raid night for almost the last two years (only being late a handful of times, but never by much and only missing a total of 10 raid nights), when I can't make a raid night, the raid leader and guild master know at least 24-48 hours in advance. I always accept my invites on the calendar, when I sit down to raid, I do my job and know my strats. I don't AFK and I most certainly don't "phase out". I don't horseshit around. I show up to do my part for the team. I don't sit there and "I" this and "I" that, it's about the team goddamn it. There is no "I" in T-E-A-M. Either you're a team player or you're not. It's just that simple.
I take care of my guildies. I was voted the Heart of my guild for 2009 and I sure as hell hope I can win my title again for 2010 because I not only look after myself, but I'm taking care of 50 other people. Making flasks, glyphs, armor kits, cutting gems, you name it, and I've always done it. When people have a problem, who do they come see? Mama Rel (a.k.a. ME). Who has bailed people out, gone to bat for them time and time again? I've bandaged skinned knees, put ice on wounded prides and kept track of a list of guildie's babies, birthdays, favorite foods and so forth. I make sure every single person in our guild feels special and valued, but then I'm expected to not be insulted because you don't give a shit about a team I'm trying to help build and have nothing but ill things to say about how my efforts will or won't do? That people don't give a shit? Well people give a shit when they have a reason to. When Mama Rel has bailed them out or taken care of them, don't you think there is a modicum of guilt that goes on if they feel they've let me down? You better believe it pal. That's the power of believing in and supporting people. When they know that there is someone who's going to care about how they are doing and encourage their good habits and help them do better in guild life, they're more apt to take part and become more committed to the goals of the team.
Night after night I show up. I do my rounds, I check on people, I take care of my daily quests and fit in my battlegrounds, arenas and other fun activities because WoW is my hobby. BUT, I'm also a part of a team that raids end-game content. I'm a team player and it wears me down when I have to deal with the bullshit I do just because people just don't 'get it' about how their actions directly affect not only one person, but an entire guild full of people.
It wears me down when I have to put up with it. I'm the morale lady for my guild and it's not easy doing it day in and day out. There are days I want to shoot people in the butt with my hunter's bow or give them a sharp claw straight in the behind. But, what do I do? I just let it go and I have fun because I love taking care of my guildies. It's what I view as doing my part for the guild. A contribution of time and energy to make being in our guild a fun and rewarding experience.
Yeah, all guilds have their drama and bullshit. It's a team activity. When you have more than just you around, there's going to be differences of opinion and all sorts of whathaveyou. It's life! It's family! We all hurt and/or annoy our family members and people we're closest to the most. When you're in a guild, you're a part of a team, whether it raids end-game or not. When people aren't aware of the fact that their actions affect others inside the green lines of guild chat or over Ventrillo, they're the ones who ruin hobby and play time for others. That's what makes me sad. That a close friend is driving me up the wall, that's even worse.
But then, it's not all about just one or two or seven guildies ruining it for others...sometimes, you just have people who you think are going to be good players in your guild, but just end up eating up game time by becoming a big, fat lemon and you keep thinking the day they /gquit will be the day the entire guild wins epics all at the same time.
One of our guildies posted a great video the other day...one that the WoW'ers out there will enjoy:
The one y'all will recognize from me is the "Good gear bad player" scenario...it only gets about 10 seconds worth of time in the video, but, I did cover the hot points in my Dante's Inferno post a couple of months ago. Here's what I told my guildies:
"The Good Geared Bad Player". That's been a major rantfest topic for me for a while now.
Here's a rare rant from Mama Rel:
I really hate the whole "gear score" phenomenon. I think it helps people lie about their skill and holds good groups back from being great. Every day, what do we see in trade chat, "LF X, Y & Z for ICC 10, please give GS and Achievements." Every time I see that, I wish to the gods that someone would come up with a Lemon Law for WoW. Nothing is worse than finding out you've brought a lemon into your group. A Lemon is a player with a great gear score but no freaking idea what to do with their toon, because ooh, it might be really shiny and pretty from the outside, but look out, it's what's under the hood that counts...and lemons, whether they are cars or players, no matter their appearance, just run like shit.
The ultimate thing not to do in front of me is have tremendous gear then play like crap. I am already banging my head against my own play issues trying to improve. I know there are things I can do to improve and I'm busting my butt trying to be better and play smarter. At least I know I'm trying...to see some lemon have gear that's great then do nothing with it...oh you could probably hear my teeth grind over vent because I've got one hell of a sour look on my face.
I've shared quite a few conversations with people that have asked me, "Rel, why do some individuals who are fantastically geared play like crap, then have the nerve to expect invites or believe they are entitled to one just because of their gear score?" I don't have an answer for them because I'd like to know the answer to that question myself. Nothing is worse than seeing a 3k+ gear scored lemon absolutely make sure to be the first to die by pulling aggro, standing in fire or some other noob move, then have the audacity to wonder why they died or blame a healer for their death. What's worse is those same people brag about their gear score, then do less damage than the tanks and wonder why they're not being invited. I'm sorry, but even under intense training with [my great class leader], no matter how hard I try, I just can't heal stupid. It's the one mechanic no healer can ever hope to heal through.
I loved the part at the end..."Try learning how to play your class, nub." Oh yes! They can buy mounts until the cows come home, have their umpteenth motorcycle built with the mountains of gold they have through playing the auction house, but heaven forbid taking that precious gold farming time and reallocating it to read a blog or go through forums to try to learn their class.
I know people in 245 gear that can shame people in 264. It's like what [our raid leader] once said, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit." but I'll elaborate a bit more and say your gear score doesn't mean jack shit if you don't have the skill and know-how to go along with it.
If I've said it once, I've said it a MILLION times...
Gear doesn't define the player.
It's the player that defines the gear.
But also, it's the players that define the guild.
We pay a whole lot of money for our hobby. I just wish some people would stop ruining it for others. They can rectify the situation just by cleaning up their bad raid habits and their bad attitudes. It's not easy being the Guild Mom, but I love it every single day because the people in my guild who are great players and great people, well, they make it all worth while.