Greedy Goblin

Saturday, March 21, 2009


It started with a 1 line comment. Than I thought it deserve a post.

"Drama" is a pointless problem by definition. When someone makes a scene because of no rational point. In the mentioned post a child always wrote an insulting message next to the name of the author.

WoWInsider have a full topic dedicated to these things. You can read it. You can laugh on it. Then one day it knocks at your door. People agree that there is no way you can avoid it. I disagree.

The social people, despite drunken ones and criminals can behave themselves in most situations. They don't make a scene in the mall or the street. I've never-ever in my life got into a drama situation with the random people I met on the bus, in shops or offices. People tend to behave rationally in these situations.

While your connection is Mr Smith - Mr Jones, things are drama free, unless one makes something outrageous. Even if one makes something nasty, the other responds with only an uneasy smile. However when you spend enough time with them (Frank - Bob relation) they start to expect you more than respect the roles of the situation (shopkeeper - customer) and to not be outrageously offensive. They start to demand to show respect for their person, show that you value them, that you like them.

The problem is that most of the people are by definition mediocre. While they are not despicable or lowly, they are also not respectable or especially valuable. They are just another guys. But as long as there are social connections with him (or he perceives so), "just another guy" aka "Mr Jones" is not good enough for them. They expect you to show that you see them special - though they are not.

When you miss to act like they were special, valuable and lovable, they feel insulted. The funny thing is that - except people with high sense of empathy - no one notices that any wrong was done. Rolling for loot against them. Benching them. Not asking for their opinion before a decision (nor the other 24). Not promoting them. Not "noticing" their "exceptional" effort for the guild.

People tend to call such behavior "childish" or "immature", because it's more common among kids. However it's far from being non-existent among adults. Practically every social people have a threshold of positive impulses and if you go below it, drama comes. For mature people it's higher and they also less likely to perceive your connection closer than it is. Kids usually think of their groupmates immediately as friends. Mature people not, but after some time they also think that way.

So you always have to live with childish drama.

Except not. I did not have any drama in WoW since I've left the last guild. I raided. I traded. I crafted. And I was always selfish, critical to others and not helpful at all. Yet there was no drama. Why? Because I kept these people in the "Mr Smith - Mr Jones" distance.

You can do it too. Simple trick: your guilded raiding character should only be there for raids. You log in before raid, you do your job and you log off. Do everything else with an unguilded alt. Keep this alt to your friends (I mean real ones, not every guy you met). During the raid make no jokes, small talk or anything not raid-related on open channels. You can chat with friends of course.

This way those who are not your friends will not see you enough and don't get enough impulses from you to have a "social connection" feeling. They will always see you as "Mr Jones" and there is no drama with "Mr Jones".


Shalkis said...

On the other hand, there's the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. Why not treat people like dirt if you never have to face the consequences? M & S abuse this to the fullest in PuGs. As long as people respond with an uneasy smile they can keep doing it.

Anonymous said...

Something I think you're neglecting is that having a raid full of friends, or even people who just think you're their friend because you talk in vent most of the time, gives you many many more "something for nothing" chances than you would have if all you did was show up, look good on the meters, and leave. You might call it a "social" or "M&S" viewpoint, but you really don't have to be either of those things to appreciate getting the same reward and more for half the effort just because people like you.

Phoenixboy said...

You really underestimate human stupidity Gevlon, people dont need even knowing someone in the game for behaving like tools. Look General and Trade chat as a shining example. Yes it doesnt affect me and i can shut it down, but the fact that i need to shut it down should speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

So.... your advice on avoiding drama boils down to avoiding people. Be a hermit, stay by yourself, be closed, minimize the number of people you know.

Wow... you are a freaking genius.

Yaggle said...

I pretty much have gone by your advice, except I skip the 'having a raid character' part completely. My feeling is everybody in Wow is Mr. Jones and Mr. or Mrs. Smith. I started with EQ 11 years ago and learned already that most MMO players are emotionally dysfunctional. I get my real friends in RL and Mr. Jones and Smith are there to buy my Micah's Botanical bags and Honed Cobalt Cleavers. I'll see what Naxx is like after 2 expansions when I am level 95 and can do it without the "drama".

Neil said...

I have to say, Gevlon, I thought you could do better. This is like saying "If you don't want to lose money, stay out of business" rather than saying "Here is the way to maximize your profit and minimize your losses while doing business".

Or perhaps saying "If you don't want to get in car accidents, don't drive" rather than offering tips on safe driving.

Why not have a post on how to tune your social interactions so that you can have friends but also minimize drama?

Sydera said...

@all the commenters: I'm really surprised when people try to convince Gevlon not to be such a misanthrope. It's his gimmick. I've just given up on him. He's never going to see the world the way most people do, and I'm sure he's really enjoying getting a rise out of everyone.

Notmyrealname said...

Getting angry about what idiots say or do is irrational and pointless as long as they don't get in the way of your goals. I just ignore them and go about my business. Its your own fault if you let an idiot get under your skin.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Shalkis: I don't believe in the GIFT, as you talk about it, these people are GIFTed in RL too.

@Neil: He's not saying to avoid people, he's saying don't be friends with them if you're not. I've never raided with my guild, we're a social guild, but I have enough connections through previous runs that I can usually raid with someone else's guild. At no point am I "nice". I do my job, I don't talk in vent, and I only speak when they're "strategy session" goes completely off the wall.

@Yaggle: I'm much like you. I almost feel a connection .... wait, it was gas.... nvm, back to AH.

Anonymous said...

A winters day
In a deep and dark december;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
Ive built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Yaggle said...

@Pangoria -
Your comment was a perfect example of what I was saying. Very classy and mature.

Gevlon said...

@Shalkis: you can kick them from PuGs. The M&S does not play here as I assume they are kept out of the guild (if not, you shall /gquit now). The article is about handling the social non-M&S.

@Anonymous: yes, if you are "assertive", you can abuse them. However I found that this action has really low profit/investment ratio. You have to spend LOT of time managing your little sheep. You could get more resources in the same time.

@Phoneixboy: The trade chat is NOT drama, just nonsense. Drama is always emotionally involved and targeted to a direct person or group. The troll who annoys random people is NOT having drama feelings. He is just stupid.

@Anonymous: NO! I advice to lock out those who you don't WANT to be friend with. I never said to lock everyone out.

@Neil: there is not much to gain here. While you can abuse them to help you, they are usually much more poor than you, so fooling them to take their last coppers is simply ineffective.

@Sydera: you are wise!

@Notmyrealname: if they are in the guild, they CAN get into your way. That's what drama is about. The mentioned advice is to make sure that the drama goes elsewhere, not to you.

@Anonymous: what is a poet? A guy with no job and no income! :-)

Rotenn said...

I think you take this way too profesionnaly, i mean 50% of this game lies in social interaction, if one doesnt want social interaction in a game then go play an rpg instead, its about having fun with people, althought i think ur definition of fun is way different from mine, say, being richer, better than others make you happy, whereas being with friends and messing around is more of my taste (doesnt mean we suck at the game tho). And regarding the social aspect, you are gonna always get drama with people close to you no matter what, no matter who, it can be your mom, your best rl/online friend, etc. it jsut happens, so if u say ''to avoid drama: avoid social interaction'' then you are a very lonely person

Notmyrealname said...

@"if they are in the guild, they CAN get into your way. That's what drama is about. The mentioned advice is to make sure that the drama goes elsewhere, not to you."

I disagree. Assholes can put text on your screen. They cannot interfere with the primary purpose of a guild: to keep people who can't move out of the fire out of your raids. If the text they put on your screen makes you feel differently then you otherwise would, you're participating in their drama and being as irrational as anyone who attaches soft, fuzzy feelings to their in-game dealings with others.

Phoenixboy said...

Ok, its not drama but perhaps is because i dont get that involved with other people in game just joking around a little, strategy, celebration when you kill a boss.

Besides that, i dont try to get "frienldy and social". IMHO the people that came to an MMO that isnt Second Life searching social connections...well theres date sites. Go to date sites and let people play the damn game.

Gevlon said...

@Notmyrealname: they can do MORE than littering my screen. They can litter other people's screen too. While I simply ignore them, the others (including GL, officers and loot council members) care. They can do REAL (as far as the game go) things to avoid drama, like giving loot to him to shut him up, or simply kick me, if they perceive that I'm "responsible" for the drama.

Or: if the drama guy gets no support from authorities and I ignore him, he gets really pissed and /gquit: there goes a good player from the raid.

Anonymous said...

Just a note: The guy who wrote the song posted by the 'poet' Anonymous was Paul Simon - he has made millions of dollars for writing the song that was posted. Does this change your opinion of that comment?

Barrista said...

"Simple trick: your guilded raiding character should only be there for raids. You log in before raid, you do your job and you log off. "

My niece is in a guild where they are good raiders, but there's a lot of immaturity and drama. She does your simple trick. I don't see how this is misanthropic. This is a person who is in a guild with pretty good players who they don't get along with on a personal level. She could either leave and hope to find another guild or find her own way to enjoy her raids. She chooses to enjoy her raids.

Regarding the post Gevlon referenced, when I go to work I know that I will have to interact with people, but I understand that I don't have to like them. I also understand I shouldn't post nasty comments about them on the company bulletin board.

Sydera said...

@Anonymous: The Simon & Garfunkel song that was quoted is based on a sermon by John Donne, a poet, who was poor as hell and had about 13 kids to raise by himself. The famous line is, of course, "no man is an island." He never mentioned Goblins.

Carra said...

*This way those who are not your friends will not see you enough and don't get enough impulses from you to have a "social connection" feeling.*

Neither will you make friends this way. Nor will you avoid drama. Other people will make drama in the guild anyway, it's unavoidable.

csdx said...

See the issue I have with the stance is that griefing exists. Clearly the two characters are unrelated in any way. Yet someone corpse camping is trying to get a rise out of you as surely as a potential guild drama queen might be. Drama doesn't just happen between people who know each other well, check out the entirety of the WoW Forums, especially the realms sections to find people who barely know each other causing drama (and countless more egging them on).

Secondly, if you actually read the Guildwatch posts on WoW Insider, quite a majority of them tend to involve pugs in one way or another. Whether from ninja looting, or just plain treating a pugged member poorly, many issues are caused by people who don't have this 'connection' with each other. Sometimes the issue is exactly because of that lack of connection.

Also while it may seem that there's drama everywhere, keep in mind the sheer number of players in WoW. Sure there may be a car crash every day, but that doesn't mean a majority of drivers die on their way to work every day.

RyanC said...

Oh Great Goblin, it's like you have a Twitter feed into my Wow account!

I recently posted that I can't stand my main's raiding guild (still true) and for a moment I thought about lighting out of there and saying my peace on the way out.

Then the wheels in my head and the pragmatist in me started to think rationally.

"True, they're annoying and late to raids, but they run Naxx 25 each week (albeit late) and they're generally pretty good at that (no wipes). Their priests understand how to tank Raz, and someone other than me provides Fish Feasts constantly. The downside to raiding with them are the comments in Vent (which are not really a distraction since I watch Hulu when I raid now; if you've been to Naxx you'll understand. If you haven't, you won't. If you're a M&S this will be nothing new.) The upside, is that they've been raiding since November (and why they're still raiding is beyond me), and are mostly geared up. Any drops will most likely go to ME!"

So as I sit on 4/5 Valorous, I have to proclaim my strategy a success. And like the goblin says, I follow a few simple rules.

1. I do not type anything in gchat. First off, I would rather chop off my mouse-hand than type "Ding!"; I guess I got hugged enough as a child and do not need to whore for attention. Plus, the game does a wonderful job of recognizing true levelling achievements, by announcing it to the guild in 10s...Level 20, 30, 40...80! (Truthfully, even then, I don't care or say a peep.)
2. I stay off guild vent. Really, I don't need to talk to these people. I've already established they're very immature. They will not enrich my life, horizons, or depth of knowledge one iota. In fact, I run the risk of becoming dumber by talking on Vent with them, so it's a no-brainer. Literally.
3. I do not invite them onto my Arena teams, nor will I Arena with them. Arena is not the place for hugging, just as a sports team is not the place for hugging. You need to be critical of your own play, and your partners play, and when you're totally honest you get better. Since I already dislike them so, I'm sure my constructive criticism would be less than constructive.
4. I do not put any items in the guild bank NOR DO I TAKE ANY OUT. I'm not going to be a hypocrite and rely on them for enchants/gem cuts/etc. First off, I levelled a 450 enchanter (whom they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT), so that's less of a worry. But since I always have 10k liquid, I never have to worry about being able to afford gems/mats/etc. I do not use the guild bank for repair money, nor have I dropped a copper into it. This is being fair. If I took and didn't give back, then I would be a douchenozzle.
5. I do not say hello when logging on. I do not say good night when logging off. I do not say good night when other people log off. I'm not tucking you in either. I come and go as I please, when I please.
6. I know my fights. So as to minimize interaction with them, I know the ins and outs of every fight. I know what I'm doing, what they're doing, and as long as everyone else does their job, I do mine. I'm not interested in being a slacker, just a solid contributor.

And it works! I run on my 80-Lock Alt (the aforementioned Enchanter...more on this in a minute) when I'm not with what was until yesterday a social guild.

I am very much like the Goblin in that I pug, but I don't pay for runs and I keep detailed notes on everyone I play with. I am never at a loss for a healer or tank, because they rememember the Enchanting lock who DE's shards, does not hoard them, and is a positive contributor to the party.

When Wintergrasp happens, I switch to the main, kick some butt, return to Dalaran and log off.

This is why I have two 25-man Ulduar worthy characters with Epic flying, when most people struggle with their one.

And whatever you do, do NOT compromise the identity of your alt...but then my Social guild decided they wanted to be a raiding guild. DISASTER!

Their plan: To run people through the low level instances (and BC ones! Rememeber Slave Pens? I don't, and I want it to stay that way!) to help them "understand" how to run through instances.

Why is it that GM's feel people are one chromosome short of a set, and need hand-holding. As if aggro is a complicated idea. Even funnier, is a guild that doesn't have the manpower to run H-UP, running Naxx.

I told them that it was a stupid plan, after all I'm an officer in said social guild. They didn't like my assessment, and told me that they "saw promise in me" and that they could demote me at any time.

I am the only member of this "social guild" btw that has downed Kel'Thuzad. Just saying.

So I have people who are less geared/experienced than me, telling me of their craptastic plan to run the slackers through irrelevant content. When it was clear that these idiots had every intention of being everything I detest, I /gquit without a moment's hesitation. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to infringe on my enjoyment of the game for even a moment.

So the female GM goes on Trade Chat to say I was trying to run the guild. I explain to /2 the GM's plan, how crappy it was, and how batshit crazy she is by announcing this to the world on Trade Chat.

The women, predictably, disagreed. But if you think about it, when was the last time you saw a male GM over the age of 15 who created drama over someone else quitting. Moral: When a woman asks your opinion of her stupid idea, she's looking for you to say "It's brilliant" and anything other than that is 'taking over the guild'.

So my lock is now going to be Goblinesque! I'm going to Pug to my heart's content, and prove it can entirely be done without a guild of morons and slackers.

I don't need electronic friends; I actually enjoy my real life, and my best friend plays and yes, we like to laugh at some of the people we run with. (One girl couldn't tell left from right...Imagine how Thaddius went!)

So no, if you're part of the top 5% of players who know how to thrive and succeed on your own, you do not need a guild.

If you are like the middle 80% of people who are mediocre, then you probably will.

-Goblin 4 Life!

Bristal said...

I have to admit Gevlon (with Pangorias explanatory response to Neil) has a real point. I loved this game when I played strictly solo. If I got bored, I logged off and found something else to do.

Now that I raid w/ a guild and follow guild chat, I sometimes notice the tendency to compete for attention with the drama-llamas.

If I don't get a response to some pithy thing I say, I feel left out. Is it ridiculous to expect some kind of "connected" feeling from an online game where none of uses our real names?

And where there are connections, social hierarchy will develop and drama will always follow.

Hatch said...

Gevlon, you were so right in your analysis at first (most people are average/mediocre, everyone thinks they are special, if you gain social connections they expect you to treat them like they are special), but then you're only considering that aspect, and not all of the other things that influence what happens to you in a complex social multiplayer game like wow.

Yes, you can avoid owing people your attention by not being around. That's an advantage. But it's not win/win like you imply. You're actually making a trade.

What do you lose?

Pragmatically, you're giving away preferred chance at raid spots, loot, etc. I know from experience that in a guild, those who are around the most and have the most social contacts are the ones who get into the most raids and get the most benefits. If you just log on for raid time, you won't be treated as preferentially.

As another poster mentioned, the John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory comes into play as well. If you just pug, you put yourself at more risk of being screwed over than if you had social connections that allowed you to hold others accountable.

RL example: my girlfriend and I lead a tight-knit guild of friends. We always get a raid spot, people want to give us the best loot, people listen to us and want to play with us, and we want to play with them. It's fun. The downside is that we risk drama. Haven't had any yet, but I'm sure there will be some.

Sometimes, my girlfriend plays another character on another server. She constantly has bad experiences in raids. PuG raid leaders screwing her out of loot she won, raids are failures, the other players are annoying, etc. She gains many pragmatic benefits from those social ties, not to mention the social benefits of enjoying the company of friends (which I realize will not sway a Greedy Goblin, but do sway many of us humans).

So be aware you are making a trade. You can play the way you want, but you're going to end up in situations where you are treated as a second-class citizen and find yourself getting screwed. And beyond that, your overall experience will be less enjoyable than it could be if you just found the right kind of guild.

Ink said...


Your post was making all kinds of sense, until you start off on that mini-rant at the end about women.

No, "women" aren't like that. Some PEOPLE are like that, and 51% of people are female. Her ovaries didn't make her stupid.

By blaming her femaleness for why she acted stupid, you're letting her off the hook. You're putting the plame on "women" when you actually had a problem with A PERSON who you should deride and mock.