Taking a Page from the Vulcans

Matt’s Note: Technically not WoW related. Just a post about my futile attempts at fixing a bad situation. Might have some. But not entirely. Mark as read and move on if you like. Could be fairly lengthy.

Logic and reason. Decision making of any sort should consist of those key elements. We had a pretty bad raid last night. We got shut out by Felmyst. It was a bad game for most players throughout the night, myself included. That’s not what I’m here for, however. There was an incident that occurred post raid. I don’t know the specifics or the details. No other officers were online. I was grabbing a meal and trying to downshift myself from the ubertense zone I was in that raiders frequently experience. My friend alerted me that something was happening in Guild chat. I logged on quickly to take a look. I discovered a non-raider status Guildie had departed.

From what I gathered from witnesses and the like, the player was bitter. He wanted to use gold from the guild bank to repair his gear. A guild that he joined allowed him to do that while our guild did not offer the right here. As such, he labelled us a “newb” guild. One of our active raiders took offense and a verbal sparring ensued.

I’m now left with a raider who is questioning her desire to play this game. The player who left felt that him and his brother weren’t getting the recognition they deserved. For whatever reason, he decided to start openly challenging players to duels for 500G. I quickly took him up on the offer. I’m a PvE specced Priest with near full T6. He’s an S3 geared Warlock.

It was no contest. But I had no intention of winning. Clearly the player was aggravated and the only option I could think of was for him to take his frustrations out on me instead of the other raiders. It took all of my power to prevent myself from yelling. I thought perhaps I could try and defuse him without involving anyone else.

Why weren’t we giving his brother the respect he deserved?

We do. His brother’s the chief MA and a ranking DPS player in the Guild. Apparently by respect he meant why don’t we fund his repairs. I calmly explained to him that it’s not just him. No one in the guild is allowed to use gold for repairs because we can’t sustain that sort of income. We don’t sell epics or instances or anything like that. It’s the guild’s policy. Take it or leave it.

My brother’s way better and more important than anyone else!

Yes, your brother is a key asset to the guild. But he is no less important than the other 24 players. Without our resident Warlock tank, Illidan would have stoned us. Without our healers, we wouldn’t survive.

Why don’t I get a raiding spot?

You didn’t apply. Everyone goes through the application process, no ifs, ands or buts. I went through it myself. If you want to get promoted to a raider status, you put in an app on the forum. I don’t care if you’re his brother. Everyone goes through the same thing.

I tried to be as logical and reasonable as I could. Personally, I didn’t care if he left. He’s not a raider or a sub. If he wants to leave, I wish him all the best. He said his brother was going to leave with him. I said that’s up to his brother to decide. I won’t try to stop him from leaving. But, his services will be missed.

You see, my personal take on WoW is that players should do whatever it is that makes them happy. If it means leaving the guild and parting company, I’ll be disappointed but understanding. No one is under any obligation to stay in this guild. There are no player contracts to be honored or enforced. I will do my best to work with players and their needs to come to an acceptable consensus. I can’t do more than that. I might end up losing two players over this as well. Wrath is almost here. I can’t wait.

My trial period as an officer is coming up fast. I doubt I’ll remain in this position any longer after this. I’m not suited nor cut out to handle these situations on top of my other responsibilities. It’s not often players are a part of a stable organization that has been around since the server opened. The stability here makes it extremely attractive for me.

Other things:

* I’ve been extremely on edge recently. This doesn’t help.
* Missed Sunday’s WoW Insider post. It’s at home on my desktop. It’ll be up later today. Sorry Mike, Dan, Liz. I’m not exactly the most punctual.
* Car broke down this morning. Dad helped me jump start it. Weak battery. Friend wanted a hockey chest pad back when he gave it to me 6 years ago. Had no idea where it was. Found it though. Don’t ever lend things to people that you want back. If I knew he did want it back, I would’ve never taken it off his hands. He wants it for a Halloween costume. The guy is large and in his Mid 20s. The chest pad is junior sized.
* Punching concrete is bad.
* Posting is going to slow down a lot over the next week or 2. I have a paper, presentation and assorted midterms to deal with. I’m also going to suspend myself from WI writing for the same time period. I need my weekends free.
* Essay will be on the Columbine shooting. Have to explain it with 2 Crim related theories. Pick one or the other, compare/contrast, and explain. Have to give policy implications. 8 pages. Can’t use first person.

Things I want to do

* A lot of people visit the Plusheal forums then leave after a few times. I want to hook them back. I’m thinking about starting a Newsletter. Send out a combination of a few healing tips, topic highlights and posts from various healing bloggers. Anna says I’m trying to do too much. She’s right. It’s in the idea stage at the moment.
* I want to expand the world. I have an awesome Resto druid on staff right now. Would love to partner up with a Resto Shaman and a Paladin blogger.

Ambition.

I have it.

Last thought. When I was standing there on the side of the road on a side street with the hood of the car up, cars and people were going by me.

Not a single person stopped or asked if everything was okay.

Think about that.

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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.

Comments

  1. People who make demands of a raid group or guild against clear policy are a cancer. Excise it.

    My guild is going on three years, is deep into Sunwell, and simply gkicks players who do not behave intelligently, whine about loot, or otherwise reflect poorly on the gentlemanly/womanly image of the guild.

    I attribute the strength of our guild to having no qualms about removing the human refuse. Guilds who tolerate malicious, egocentric or dramatic players are guilds who are destined for failure.

    Spats happen. It’s easy to overlook and resolve the small ones, but habitual drama and players who disrespect the guild’s principles need to go.

    Robert Hallocks last blog post..Prime’s mini-gaming roundup for 10/28

  2. I was all ready to write a response and come to find out, Robert already wrote it for me.. hehe..

    ^^what he said^^

  3. Loyal blog reader, sometime plusheal reader (my bad, not enough hours in the day). Just wanted to send you a /hug. If I had driven past I would have stopped. As a woman, I wouldn’t have gotten out of my car, but I would have offered either a boost or my cell to call CAA.

  4. I think a guild bank brings NOTHING but trouble. Everyone has their ideas on how the gold should be spent and rarely do two people agree. I get itchy when people repair with bank funds. Others get itchy when I take jewels, cut them, sell them, and put the profit back. Having a strong guild policy is best.

    I was a guild officer in my casual raiding guild for about 3 months. I couldn’t do it longer than that. Mostly because I was tired of trying to enforce the guild bank policy. I felt like an IRS auditor!

    Hope your week gets better and that “edge” that you’re on softens a bit.

    Kimberlys last blog post..Grim Grinning Ghosts

  5. My last guild had a lot of issues around folks leaving over not getting raiding spots. However, in that case, it was a situation the guild policies created. The guild did not have a raider rank. And no core raiding team was defined. the raid teams were built, from scratch, at the start time each night. The guild I was in previously to that had zero drama around raid spots, despite having a lot more folks being sat from raids. Why? Because everyone knew, a few days in advance, from their class leader, if they were confirmed or on the wait list.

    It sounds to me that your guild does have raider and backup designations…so if he was not actively working towards becoming that status, he really should not have been upset about not being invited to raids. But many folks expect that their friends and family status will somehow morph into a raid spot someday.

    Gl to you with your busy schedule!

  6. Hey Matticus, I love Plus Heal. But I think newsletters are a bad idea. Any time I get a newsletter from a board I joined I mark it as spam.

  7. “Last thought. When I was standing there on the side of the road on a side street with the hood of the car up, cars and people were going by me.

    Not a single person stopped or asked if everything was okay. ”

    Having talked about this before…

    I think cellphones are the big reason. Some vast majority of people in North America have cellphones and so can call for help if there are any problems. Because of that, (presumably) a large percentage of people who do bother to stop at random cars stuck on the road are told ‘It’s fine, we’ve already called the police/AAA/towing company/whatever’ and just waste time. Factor that in with many people being too busy or non-helpful to bother in the first place and you have a recipe for no people stopping.

  8. Prima Donnas…who needs em anyway? Healing for Band of Thorns on horde-side Vek has been a pleasure when I watch some of our leader guilds crash and burn on gdrama. Our officer corps takes great pride in being the longest-running horde guild here, and it’s all down to maintaining clear rules for our guildies. Kudos for keeping your spine straight.

  9. Hey boss,

    I understand the frustrations of officership only too well. It comes with quite a few emotional lows and nail-biting days when there’s drama. My advice though, is let him leave, and reassure your other guildies that the guy is an anomaly. Your guild is doing the best it can–not all guilds can pay for repairs. A raiding guild can’t unless they have a bank officer actively using boe raid drops to turn a profit.

    Feel confident that you are in the right, and that the dude who left is a bozo.

    Sometimes nice people leave, though, and you can’t stop them. Try to remember that one person’s leaving doesn’t invalidate the whole guild, even if he or she is a great player.

  10. Friends and Family type members are a real complication for raiding guilds. Particularly younger siblings who think that they are special because their brother is the MT or something.

    In a serious raiding guild only raiders have status. Others can hang out and be treated with dignity but they don’t have rights, they don’t contribute to progression and almost certainly don’t contribute to the guild bank. They get to wear a respectable tag above their heads that will usually open some doors.

  11. I do indeed blame cellphones for a lot of things in life…people not stopping when someone has car trouble…people no longer being punctual since they can always call off an appointment 10 minutes before the appointment was about to happen…people getting more heartattacks because they are ‘on call’…

    Anyway I should not go rant towards cellphones, I wanted to post something else after all 🙂

    While it might sound like a good idea to add a pallie and shammie writer to this place, I’m not sure how good it will turn out. You might be able to serve to a larger audience, but probably a part of your existing crowd will phase out because they feel it’s no longer ‘their special place’.

    I would most likely be one of them, not because I don’t want to read stuffs anymore, but because as a priest, other classes just don’t have my full attention, so I go looking for a spot that does focus more on priests. Not sure if that makes sense, I’m not trying to threaten with leaving this place (you all probably couldn’t care less) just trying to express the feeling I had itching in the back of my head 🙂

  12. @Shyraia: No worries. I’m just running out of Priest things. That’s why I’ve expanded gradually throughout the last year. Anyways, just because I want to do those things doesn’t mean I will. It’s all a matter of resources. I can only stretch school, WI, raiding and blogging only so far. Something would have to give way. I just hate it when I can’t put something out every day :(.

  13. Is it real? I mean you didn’t make this story up to create a background to the important point you wanted to make?

    I mean it’s pretty hard for me to understand how could someone:
    * need money for repairs. I’d understand if he wanted compensation for a full set of flame tanking gear or such but how can a repair bill be a problem for anyone?
    * expect others to pay his repair bill. The money doesn’t flow into the guild bank, someone must work for it and he wished to take this money for himself
    * leave an SWP raiding guild for this nonsense reason

    A bit provocative question, but from the host of the “build your own guild” series one can expect an answer: if the story is true, how on Earth this moron bypassed the recruiting/initiation process?

  14. > I’m thinking about starting a Newsletter… Anna says I’m trying to do too much.

    Delegate 🙂

    I’d like to give a counter to Niomi’s response. I think the contents of the newsletter will determine whether people treat it as spam or not. A well rounded and well written newsletter can only draw back people to plusheal. Personally I haven’t gone back there after a single visit (for a variety of reasons) so I would welcome something which would draw me back.
    You don’t even have to start big, something short (on the order of a single short article or blog post) can be a good start. Or perhaps a short summary of the 5 most active/recent threads on plusheal.

    Solidstates last blog post..Zerging Zul’Gurub

  15. @Gevion

    Hi, author of the Build Your Own Guild Series here.

    This kind of crap happens all the time to the top guilds on the server. Raiding guilds usually have two types of members. Members who raid, and casual members. The usual perk for Raiders is that they can invite RL friends and family to the guild to participate in the organization’s social life and open events. Collateral Damage has seen this same thing happen. Either raiders abuse their friends and family privilege, recommending people for invites who are in-game only acquaintances, or some of these RL friends and family really do want to raid.

    That’s the big problem. A raiding guild has only so many raiding spots, and they only recruit for those spots. Problems happen when social members of the guild want to join the party. In many cases, they are not prepared to do so, and sometimes they don’t want to make the kind of commitment that regular raiding takes. Sometimes they are great players who could go raid anywhere if they were willing to be in a different guild than their significant other/brother/friend/whatever. The simple fact is that raiding guilds see their current raiders as their first priority and first commitment. No matter how good a player is, if he or she came into the guild as a social member, raiding guilds won’t bump a raider off the roster for that person. The only way for these people to break into raiding is by applying for it–and even then, the guild will probably not give them priority over stronger applicants just because they’re already wearing the guild tag.

    All raiding guilds go through this trouble. I’ve seen a lot of drama threads with similar stories. It just must suck to be a casual player in a guild that raids content you can only dream of! I think if I personally were the friends and family member, I’d seek out another guild where I could be a raider. But that’s me–I love to raid, and I have the time to do it. Not everyone is the same or has the same amount of free time.

  16. And one more thing: on the repairs question.

    Many guilds actually do turn on guild bank repairs for raiding. Maybe the casual player had heard of this practice and expected it from a top guild. However, as I said in my first comment, in order to have money, a bank officer needs to constantly be selling gems, patterns, void crystals, etc on the AH.

    My guild turns on guild bank repairs only for progression bosses. That seems to keep us in the black, but we do in fact have someone who works really really hard (thanks Slapshot) to keep the bank making money.

  17. If I could make a suggestion about PlusHeal (because I’ve just recently done the thing where I go there a few times, then leave): perhaps one of the reasons people leave is that they’re new like me.

    I went to PlusHeal the other day because, as I told a few people in BA Chat, I’ve got a priest coming up towards 70 (probably in a week or two more) who I know I want to make into a healer, but I know next-to-nothing about which spells I should be using when (or how to decide that), talents, heck – even which gear to focus on.

    I sort of expected maybe PlusHeal would have a Nublet Healer forum, but no matter how much I poked around, I could never find that “learn2heal” place – it seems to be exclusively for healers who want to learn to heal better, not nonhealers looking to get started.

    Newsletters are a bad idea. On top of giving you MORE things to write (seriously, Matt, come on), a lot of people would probably consider it spammy.

    Stops last blog post..Growing the family tree, 50 whelps at a time

  18. Stop: The way it’s formatted is for players of an individual class to go ahead and poke around in their own class forum. There is no centralized library. That’s what Healipedia was going to be for. Haven’t exactly gone to it.

    The main goal of forums is a place where players can discuss and interact with each other.

    If you want your questions answered, you gotta ask. I’ve seen a lot of new Priests wander into the Priest forums and ask about simple things like gem enchants and specs and they’d get an answer within 60 minutes.

    But I will give some more thought to the way the structure and layout works. I’ll see if I can at least duplicate or move select introductory related threads into their own area. Because some of them are getting buried in pages and pages.

  19. Robert nailed it.

    Also, keep in mind that most people do not have the guild’s best interests at heart when making unreasonable requests. A great many people simply do not ever focus beyond their own immediate needs. In this person’s point of view, what they want for themselves is right, and things which prevent what they want from happening are wrong.

    Officers are frequently in the position of being this kind of wrong. Someone’s got to say no and protect the social system you have. I don’t know of a way around this.

    Good luck, Matt. I’d like to hear how this works out.

    GoWs last blog post..Game Terms Overcome

  20. I just want to say I love PlusHeal. It wasn’t around (or I hadn’t found it) when i was a completely new healer. I found lots of great information here at the world and on Dwarfpriest.com.

    Now, at plusheal, it is a once stop shop. I can ask my completely newb questions (like after my first fail at kara), and I can read some of the really in-depth info put up by people more knowledgeable than I am. I have learned quite a bit, and come far from my newbness using the forums there. I even have enough knowledge and confidence to *gasp* disagree with my gm, who is the only other person in my small guild with a healing priest, and even more *gasps* back it up with real info.

    Stop, come on by and ask your questions. But, ask a bunch, I have found, that with very general new posts, often details are not passed on, as there is just so much info, you need to know what people want. I know, even I would have some answers for your questions, and there are some very very knowledgeable healers there.

  21. Missmedic says:

    That jerk in the guild – you masterfully dealt with the situation. Calm and cool is the way to go. We defuse many potential violent situations were I work just by never ever loosing our composure. Kudos! your skill will come in handy in the field your training in.

    Your car – Get BCAA. They have saved my butt when I died in the Massey tunnel. (scary) and on Oak street rush hour. And my multiple flats…..

    Plusheal – I really like plusheal.The quality of the answers that people respond are fabulous. Everyone is very nice. Newsletters don’t interest myself. But what I enjoy the most and keep me coming back after my basic healer questions are the funny ones in general. The ones about mistaken gender were hillarious and when the subject came about our children playing. More of those posts would be great. One forum I visit the moderators are always “fabricating” questions that to keep up the visits also. For example with plusheal: What was your biggest faux pas in an instance? Gosh I was so embarrassed with my healing when I …… What’s the biggest lie you told to a guildie?

  22. Our guild has a member rank for raiders, the other rank is social. It is set in rules how to become a member (and stay it) and what the social rank involves. This way it is clear to all what to do when you want to raid and you can still be part of the guild when you do not want , or are not able, to raid alot. We are not 100% sure if it will work out as we want, but sofar the majority is positive.

    And on Plusheal, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, once expansion is out more discussion will be up and if more people are like me.. they are at work and quick copy/paste a post in Word to look like they working)

  23. Boondockst says:

    Matt, take the time you need for school. That is THE number 1 priority over everything else. We will still be here waiting for you after midterms. School wont be so forgiving. As an example, I have my account set up to cancel 2 weeks before finals every semester so I have time to finish my papers and put the final touches on my editing (I’m a Mass Media major).

    As for the guildie – there is no excuse for him to need the guild to supply his repair bill. As you said, its not like hes a raider or sub, he’s just a guildie. And with the state that the game is in atm, he should spend 45 min doing dailies and cover his 15g repair bill (I mean its PVP cloth, how expensive can it be???)
    My guild has it set up so that the gold in the bank is there for the raid tanks. And even then, we dont cover the entire repair bill, only about 10% of it, and only on raid nights. Its just something the guild does for us tanks (I am the guild’s primary tank as well as main healer when I’m not needed to tank) as a thank you for hefting the large bills 90% of the time.

    As for the issue with being broke down on the side of the road, I guess its all about where you live. I live in South Georgia, and I always stop to check on people who are on the side of the road, unless they look really sketch (enter the redneck dressed in faded camo that looks like he’s packing a K-bar on his body)

    Final note – dont over-stretch yourself. It would be awesome to add paladins and shamans to this community, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be. Having Syd around to talk about druid healing is nice, but only because we use alot of the same mechanics/gear as them (druids). No other class prioritizes spirit like trees and priests. If we (your loyal readers) want to learn about shaman and/or paladin healing, then we should go to the official forums and read the stickies there. There are also other blogs for us to visit (Plusheal maybe? I dunno, never heard of it before today).
    If someone (pally/shaman) approaches you and asks to be included in this awesome blog, then feel free to look into it, but dont feel like you should go out of the way to find one.

    GL one the paper man, take it easy, and stop punching concrete.

  24. Regarding PlusHeal, if you could just occasionally highlight interesting topics on this blog that might help a bit. I usually stop by here a few times a week but I only head to PlusHeal when there is something I am trying to figure out.

  25. Stupid Mage says:

    Worry about school, don’t worry about Plusheal.

    I think the deal is that there is nothing quite new yet. When Wrath hits I’m sure the new instances and raids will have people wanting to know about them and how to deal with the problems therein.

    Supposedly things are pretty easy right now – raid bosses with -30% health and such. Times are good all around. When stuff gets hard, when times are bad, that is when people go looking for answers. That’s when I expect traffic to increase.

  26. 1) School > WoW/blog/etc. I should know 🙂 Responsibilities come first, and you’ll feel very confident in your decision if you do those first.

    2) Speaking as an officer, it’s truly a pain in the arse sometimes. People are pains. They won’t ever see reason when they’re angry unless it’s what they want to hear. However, I think that you were fine in what you did. Stand your ground, try to talk with them, but don’t put yourself out too much. I’m sure you’re doing fine, but if it’s too much (and let’s be honest, blog + RL + raid + officer = difficult) then don’t worry about it. You can still help out without having a stupid title in the guild tab – don’t forget that.

    3) About PlusHeal: I think the biggest “issue” is that it’s new, and it hasn’t opened a niche yet. For instance, being a major EJ troller + contributer, I’ll always go there first. EJ is -the- place for great WoW conversation and theorycrafting (and it focuses solely on endgame, with heavy forum moderation that makes sure that every single post is a gem of information). So it has that side of WoW covered. SPriest.com has a niche in the spriest community, especially with havign topic after topic devoted to the spec and tons of theorycrafting. BlogAzeroth is, of course, devotied to blogging. Currently, PlusHeal is still just a board about healing, but not with the theorycrafting and large respect base of EJ, and not with a specific niche of spriest.com or anything else. In my opinion, while a “healing board” is great, you need to focus on what you want it to be: if you want it to be for all healing like it is, then keep going, but realize that a lot of people will still just go check their EJ boards and may end up forgetting about the “baby board” of PlusHeal, which I’m guessing is probably a lot of what’s happening.

    The biggest thing that boards like EJ have going for them too is that everything is backed up with math and numbers to -prove- that it’s the best. They spent a long time fostering the discussion of theorycrafting, and overall that’s why people keep going back: they know they’ll find up-to-date and correct information on what they should be doing. A lot of smaller boards simply state people’s opinion, or just link back to EJ. I’m not saying you want to be EJ, of course, but it’s just food for thought: what do you want to bring to the community that hasn’t been brought with other boards? I also think that highlighting great topics on your blog would help generate interest.

    In short, I think it’s just like a blog. You want to foster great conversation, but you want to be sure that there’s something memorable to keep people coming back – whether that be in the depth of discussion, the topics, the moderation, whatever. I think choosing things to focus on and develop that will set you apart from being “just another board” will help.

    However, you should definitely think about this AFTER your midterms. Hopefully I helped!

  27. Hey boss,

    Here’s the counterpoint to what Tulani said about EJ. As a long time EJ user–though not a frequent poster–I can identify several areas in which plusheal has an advantage.

    1. More readable forums. Yay! I have to bring out my glasses to handle EJ’s color scheme.

    2. Smaller topics. I hate poring through threads with hundreds of pages of stuff I don’t want to get to the one detail I actually do.

    3. Different community vibe. It’s definitely a more comfortable place to ask questions. If I had to characterize the druid posters, well, I’d say they’re all really nice people and on their best behavior so to speak. There’s not much number-crunching going on, to be sure, but that may say more about who the active posters are than anything else. I’m interested in theorycrafting, but only from a reading someone else’s analysis perspective. Mathematical models were never my strong suit.

    I think what we’re seeing is a community that has the possibility of developing–not exactly like EJ, but as its own thing. What we do need is more moderator input. Sometimes there’s discussions I’d like to start. In fact, I think there should be a topic every time a blue post goes up. I don’t do it myself, though, because…well, I’ve used up my writing juice on the blog.

  28. As for who should be starting the topics? Get your moderators more involved.

  29. Syd:

    I wasn’t particularly saying that Plusheal needs to be an EJ, rather just using EJ as a well-known example to point out how boards like that have carved out their own “niches” in the community, and you know what they can give you that you won’t really find anywhere else. I agree completely that PlusHeal is definitely a more comfortable place, but what I was meaning is that it could still use more “direction” if you will, something that people will know that they can only get there; be it a great atmosphere to ask any question, etc etc. I also agree that what it needs is more input from moderators of course 😀

    Hopefully this made a little more sense in clearing up what I was saying!

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