Social Cost of Leading

Mistborn trilogy came in the mail. Thank you everyone that made the recommendation, I can’t wait to dive into it.

Today I want to address any would be or wannabe GMs out there. On this blog, we’ve mentioned the different aspects to consider if you plan on going for the job. Yeah there’s some cool perks and being able to set a direction and manage your own team is cool. But there’s something I like to call the social cost that seemingly saps the strength and will out of you.

It’s hard to keep friends.

Is it possible for a manager to be friends with a subordinate without showing any signs of favouritism? I don’t know, it seems like a fine line to walk. Maybe one of you management types can field that one. You know, you work so hard to be fair when it comes to all matters of policy and loot.

There’s times where you have to make that call that ends up going against the interests of your buddy. A good instance here is handling a loot dispute. Objectively, you can’t side with them because you know an item will be in far more capable hands. When you do render that decision, they’re not going to like you very much for it.

One could argue that if they really were friends with you, they’d  understand the tough spot and respect whatever outcomes you decide.

In the past, I’ve killed friendships.

Regrets? Oh yeah, you bet. But to stifle the whispers and the locker room talk, something needs to be done. It sucks because now you’re letting other players “dictate” who you’re friends with. Friends with the opposite sex? Man, that’s another can of tuna entirely. Being accused of doling out loot for BJs is quite a laughable stretch (the guys and girls in the guild would burst out laughing just thinking that, “Matt? No way!”)

In almost 5 years helming the guild, I have not once been prepositioned (propositioned?) with “favours” for loot. It’s one of the few things remaining on my GM checklist, actually (being propositioned, but not actually accepting). But, I digress.

Back to my main point, it’s difficult to be friends with everyone when you’re not able to side with them all the time. Not going to say impossible because I’ve bumped fists and (attempted to) get my drink on. Friends expect you to have their back, even if they’re wrong and it’s hard to consistently do that unless you can say with certainty that they’re never wrong.

Just keep in mind what you’re getting into if you still plan on doing it this upcoming expansion. Be prepared to live with any regrets. Best anyone can do is learn and move forward.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. That was why when I was a GM I had a set of loot rules and tried to stick to the rules as often as possible. It dropped the drama of being accused of playing favorites with loot when the system was so well defined and rewarded people who showed up and contributed over anything else, including guild rank.

  2. mataoka says:

    Why is it the short posts that sometimes generate the most thought? It is a tough call, isn’t it? Deciding to have “every boat float” with rolls of the dice, or sitting in analysis and judgment of resource distribution is  something a GM should set forth a framework or protocol prior to the construction of a team, perhaps? And yes, you will make folks unhappy, because the “game” isn’t always fair. You try to be equal, but being fair is nearly impossible with the RNGs fingers muddying up the paint.

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