Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My kid was crying what could I do?

Despite I advised everyone to keep away from rated BGs like the bubonic plague, on Monday evening we went in in the hope of some chillout after several Nefarian wipes. First we got another 1300 rating higher team who won 2 (two) points for beating us, but then we got something that we never got before: a team of similar strength. They had similar gear, and while they probably used voice chat, they had a dumbest strategy ever: their flag carrier turned back and pushed to our flag carrier at our flagroom. Kids: never do that at home! Since our dead could join the battle after 5 secs, and theirs only after 30 secs, the EFC died and we capped the flag.

After that they came to their senses and split their team to flag carrier and EFC pursuer, just like us. The battle seemed like a stalemate as we couldn't kill their EFC (protected by 2 healers) nor wipe their assault team (protected by another 2 healers), but they also couldn't kill anybody either. It seemed like the battle will be either decided by "who can burst the EFC when he becomes vulnerable?" or we'll simply win 1:0 when the time runs out. I was pretty excited as it was the first RGB where we can actually win (as opposed to just crash some pack of hopeless /2 noobs). But then people at the defense team started to die. The flag carrier was always low. We could hold but it did not look pretty. Finally, when the "flag carriers became vulnerable" arrived, they won fast. Just then one of our healers left the raid group. No, he did not DC or even ragequit. He was sitting in Ashenvale. I scrolled up but seen nothing from him.

What could I do? Called the battle, lost fast. After some log checking it turned out that the healer went AFK 5 minutes ago and was removed automatically after 5 mins. Poor other defense healer (who was pretty undergeared) kept the FC and the team since then.

I assumed machine crash (that leaves the player online for some time). It is pretty annoying and the guy was looking forward some "fix your damn computer and stop downloading crap while in a team" comments, but if you play a computer game, you should be prepared for this. I crashed in raids and BGs too, and for these I'm now on the market for a new PC that will finally get Win7 and a power supply unit that can keep it alive for 10-15 mins in power outage. So, I removed the "crashed" player from the team and asked in /g for a replacement.

The most unexpected thing happened: I got a whisper from him (or her). "Why did you kicked me?" Again: there wasn't a single piece of communication from him (her) since his disappearance, no "sorry emergency AFK" before leaving nor "sorry X happened, back" after. I can't remember what I wrote him, but it wasn't offensive at all, as I was rather surprised and lost than angry. I couldn't imagine what could cause such illogical behavior. It was something like "you went AFK 10 mins ago in the middle of a rated BG!". The answer came: "My kid was crying, what could I do?".

Now at that point I was angry. I stated that while I can't gkick him (as no rule is against AFK in RBG), he will definitely won't get an inv from me to any group activity. He (or she) left the guild without any further comment. While I think (s)he is totally unreliable and has no place around any guild, I'm sure that (s)he thinks I'm the worse jerk ever, after all, his kid was crying, nothing else mattered.

Let's get to the easier points, proper emergency AFK handling:
  • Even if you have a real emergency, you have time to write "emergency AFK" or at least press Alt-F4 to somehow notify us about your disappearance! That wouldn't save the match but at least would allow us finish it instantly instead of desperately trying to save the unsavable wondering why are we suddenly became terrible suckers.
  • If you are in a situation where emergency AFK is likely (like you are a firefighter playing from the station restroom), don't join into group activity or at least notify everyone beforehand that you can leave any time regardless ingame situation!
  • After your return, give an explanation and an apology!
But these are just practical stuff, and mostly common decency (which isn't common at all), but why is it a philosophy post? Because his/her kid was crying. OK, let's say, inexperienced parent at home alone, kid starts to cry, (s)he panics and runs forgetting everything. Reaching the kid takes 5-10 seconds. Checking for bleeding, fever, unhealthy color, filth in the diaper takes another 10-15. Returning to the computer with "false alarm sorry" is 10 more. So it's a reason for 30 secs AFK, not 5+ mins. How do I know it was false alarm? Because (s)he did not say "my kid had an accident" or "my kid had to be carried to the doctor" or even "had to switch diapers sorry". No. "my kid was crying". It is obvious that (s)he spent 5+ mins giving a hug to a totally OK child who just had a bad dream or was missing mum/dad.

Are you wondering why there are so much crying and whining on forums? Because people were conditioned in young age that their pointless crying is rewarded by attention, hugs, feeding, sweets, extra care. My great-grandmother had 7 children while handling the household (not in a flat but in a farmhouse with lot of animals) and making food for them, her husband and the household employees. I doubt if she had time giving out hugs. Yet all of her children grew up without becoming drug addicts, serial killers or suiciders. "Being responsive" to every "emotional need" of children is a new habit and good for two things:
  • changing children into spoiled little brats who demand everything for nothing and give a tantrum every time when the World doesn't bend to their arbitrary will
  • making small child mothers totally unwanted employees, to the point where the first question of a job interviewer is "when do you plan children?", meaning "when will you turn from a competent employee into a totally useless and unreliable person?"
So no, comforting a crying (but healthy) child is not an emergency. It's no better reason for AFK than "pizza arrived" or "Meg Fox was in the TV so I had to... visit the toilet". Doing important child-caring stuff like bathing, diapering, laying him down is different, but they are planned for a reason. You know when it's coming and you don't go to group activity in this timeframe. Of course there can be emergencies around kids, but whining is not such.


airheaet said...

As a father of 4 kids age ranging from 1 to 12 I agree with you about the whineing 100 percent and our kids know it. My wife and I both agree that if they are useing that tactic to try and something ie. A toy, attention, anything aaaaahhhhh not going to happen, and yes they still try.

But when it does come to an emergancy, and I have a sleep walker that has tried to get out side, I always warn my group, it happens so often that I have a macro for it. And I'm away for acouple mins then back to either say sorry I have to go or am back. But really no excuss for no warning and causing everyone to keep working there asses off.
Keep up the great blog. It is a daily read for me.

Yaggle said...

Maybe if you are watching over your children, and you join a rated BG, you should pay everybody babysitting fee beforehand to cover these sort of things.
Sorry to sound mean but the people at work do the same thing, and leave everybody else hanging with their problem.

Anonymous said...

"My great-grandmother had 7 children while handling the household (not in a flat but in a farmhouse with lot of animals) and making food for them, her husband and the household employees."

Gevlon, wow.

You're normally quite logical, but this is as informally fallacious as one gets. I was expecting some studies stating that emotional parent stonewalling is beneficial to psychological health of children, not "my great grandmother raised her children with no hugs and they turned out totally ok."

That's appeal to ignorance combined with non causa pro causa.

The first part of the post is ok. The second one descended in an opinionated rant with no logical or scientific basis.

You were just a jerk. And not a 'jerk' in the sense that you backed your point with scientific arguments. You were just mean because (s)he did not agree with your life philosophy.

I'm not defending sudden unnanounced AFKs. But that doesn't make poorly-thought argumentation ok.

Try better.

fractalthoughts said...

Lighten up a bit. So you lost a rated battleground; it's not the end of the world. Can a sad child be said to be "totally ok", even if not physically harmed or in danger? If he was yours, would you *really* leave him crying because you're playing a computer game? (If you're answering "yes" to both of these, that's just sad.)

I run a raiding guild on Aman'Thul; we expect people to turn up, be prepared, be polite and not go AFK for trivial reasons but a crying child is a perfectly good reason for no-warning AFK that I'd accept.

Incidentally, I don't know about Hungary but in most European countries it is illegal for an employer to ask women in a job interview "when are you planning to have children", precisely to restrain employers who are as inflexible in running their business as you are running your guild.

Anonymous said... are a jerk. The sad thing is that you are also right. Guess that's why I keep reading this blog even though I quit playing ages ago.

Sum said...

I completely agree with you that the parent in question should have told you when she went AFK and later apologised, and definetely warned you beforehand of the possibility that might happen. Not doing so was very inconsiderate and you were right to tell her off.

However - it's ridiculous to claim that giving a crying child more than 30 sec of attention is somehow spoiling them. This depends on the age of the kid, but under 3 year olds will have nightmares, waking up hysterical and leaving one to scream alone in panic while the parent is playing a game of all things would truly be just disgusting.

In this case, do you actually know the age of the child? If this was a baby, they do do often need to be calmed down for long periods of time, even hours in cases. Also, this was a mother who might have had to breastfeed a baby - that takes time. (This made me laugh: "filth in the diaper takes another 10-15" - I'd like to see the person who changes a diaper and washes the poopy bits in 10 sec...) Settling down a kid whose sleep has been disrupted might take a while, no surprise there.

I'm guessing maybe you're not a parent? A small child can have and often has stomach pains, aching legs and nightmares that will wake him up. He will be scared (as he can't yet tell what's real and what's imagination or dream) or in very real pain - going to comfort him is not useless and definetely not changing him to a spoiled little brat. It's letting him know he's safe and loved, a basis for a good self-esteem. Of course you can slowly get your child used to getting over these crisis times by himself, but it's a process that takes time - time that you will not have had when the child is very small. Or you can condition the child so that if you never respond to his crying he will not cry anymore. In the case of small children and babies, it's a known fact that not responding to their needs and lack of physical closeness (hugs) does in fact affect their mental abilities developing.

By the way, my grandmother had 8 kids and she was one of the most hug-loving people I know. I very much doubt she'd ever have said a hug to a child is "useless". And her kids grew up fine too.

Brian said...

The thing is, I don't think the person was suggesting "crying kid" WAS a better reason for leaving the game without warning for a long period of time in the middle of a group activity. After all, people regularly leave WoW group activities randomly, for long periods of time, for virtually any reason. And they tend to act very offended if you suggest that's not a very polite thing to do.

Online games just tend to make people act in unbelievably rude ways towards their fellow players. Probably because a lot of people don't make the logical leap that people online are no less real than those they interact with in real life.

Unknown said...

That UPS isn't going to do much good unless the network hardware is similarly protected. A cable modem or an ADSL is simple enough to protect, but if your building has a more complex setup there just might be a router or a switch in some wiring closet that's directly connected to the power grid.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha True.
Problem is in todays society asking 'When do you plan to have kids' is considered discriminatory and is a big nono!

My online friends all know that brb means something urgent came up - a warning that takes a fraction of a second to type before having to race off.

Elli @ Khaz'Goroth

Dalrian said...

I am a raid leader myself as well, in a PvP guild, so I'm quite familiar with leading Rated BGs. Something which happens a lot, is that people either "disconnect" (some more believable than others) or just go AFK whenever we seem to be losing a battle. However, that was about a month or more ago.

After I started to get a little bit fed up with all of this, I decided to just gkick anyone who went AFK or pretended to disconnect without sending any message.

Personally I think this AFKing is something you have to be tough on as a guild leader. The group won't like it if they end up with 9 players, and in the end less and less players will join, just because they dislike the losing so much.

So I think it would not actually be such a bad idea to put something in the rules about behaviour like this.

Secondly, a bit off-topic maybe, but just as some general advice: most teams chose to send either 3 or even 4 healers to the FC, because the dps can usually manage quite well on their own at the EFC. We are currently only at about 1900 rating, but I have also been following the higher rated teams a bit.

Thirdly, I don't it would be good to stop treating babies the way we do. If the child is already a bit older (3-4), then you probably shouldn't treat them like that anymore, but a child of about 0-1 years old should just be treated the way they are treated right now.

These kids are still in a developing phase, and they need the attention. You can't just let a baby alone when he's crying.

I also don't think it has much to do with the way some players behave on the forums. There might be a few who make useless posts about how they lost a duel, but there are also many players making constructive and useful posts, and I'm very sure they weren't all treated in a harsh way as a child.

finally, note that although I support the way young chldren are being treated, I surely don't support what this person did, and I fully agree with you that a person like that shouldn't be in the raid group ever again. Typing a message in /raid doesn't take that long

Anonymous said...

It is clearly as simple as that: if you have predictable random AFK event possibility in next 30 minutes, you just don't join a Rated BG!

Also leaving without a line like 'gtg emergency!' (like kid did a /facefloor and started to bleed) is actually not just a socially evil action. The damage is quite measurable: you waste N minutes for each of other team members, since they most likely do lose a possibly won match.

Yes, you can join a LFD pug even if you know that you'll have to leave in 10-20 minutes. You still get some exp/rep/JP. If you are a tank or healer you 'hurt' some randoms, since they have to wait few mins for replacement.

Anonymous said...

While personally I think you should always check your child if they are crying. While 30 seconds is like speed checking, 2 minutes doesn't seem unreasonable especially if you are a new parent. As for the my Great Grandmother had 7 children and they all turned out fine, it should be noted that the rate of infant deaths has decreased significantly since that time.

As for the cuddling and such there is a time when it normally stops. It's called the terrible two's. Generally discipline gets taught when your child has gained a much greater capability to understand what is going on.

However regardless of the situation 9 other people had 25minutes of their time wasted. You should at least be apologizing and try fix the situation as best as possible.

Time is money and if you waste mine you owe me something.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this is still a valid strategy for breaking a turtle but in wotlk you use to be able to double death grip a FC onto the balcony out of LoS of the healers if you brought 2 dks. You just needed an aoe fear or a knockback to get them out of the room.

Gevlon said...

@Sum: checking the diaper takes 10 secs, not changing them.

Also I never said to ignore childrens NEEDS. I said ignore their WANTS. I think the best would be keep the cradle or whatever holds the kid close to the computer so he sees mum/dad, keep talking to him to hear your voice (doesn't matter what, you can simply tell him about the current situation in the BG) but don't interrupt your activity for his whining. He will learn that mum/dad is there but not his slave.

@Fractalthoughts: (S)he shouldn't leave the child crying because of a computer game, but because this is good for the child in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I see it only took six posts for the "I'm assuming you have no kids" comment.

Most parents I know use their kids to justify their own selfish behavior and then hit you with this statement when you call them out on it.

Anonymous said...

The "I assume you have no kids" argument is kind of funny actually.

It belongs to the same class as "I assume you never have been president of a country, so you don't have any rights to criticize the actions of your president".

Buboe said...

I think you sort of went off on a tangent in those last couple of paragraphs.
Absolutely, there should have been a message.
Absolutely, someone who has childminding duties (or other possibly random responsibilities like fire-fighting or nuclear power station supervisions) shouldn't be doing group content.
But not comforting a child who wakes from sleep crying, particularly a crying infant is just a recipe for two hours of hell for everyone else in the house. Other children are woken up, neighbours are affected, etc.
Adam's comments and Gevlons' idea about keeping the crib near the computer are the sort of idea that makes sense only to someone who hasn't experienced the situation...although the guy from Bio Break has a cot set up in his games room. Wonder how he does it.

chewy said...

I tend to agree with the first anonymous in that your GreatGrandmother's experience doesn't prove anything. It is similar to stating that your GreatGrandmother smoked all her life and lived until 90 so smoking doesn't do you any harm.

You state that you were excited at the prospect of winning and became upset because you weren't warned that a player had gone AFK but the result would have been the same either way (with or without the warning).

Yes I have children, yes I would leave a game to tend to their needs, yes I would announce it first. He(she) didn't behave the way you would have done, it doesn't make it wrong except in a subjective and pointless way.

A rather controversial but entirely fallacious post I'm afraid.

Sum said...

at thenoisyrogue:

I never tried to justify the mother's behaviour, I find it unacceptable to AFK without warning or go to these activities without informing the leader you might have to AFK. Read the first paragraph in my post and don't attack me for a statement I never made.

I simply think claiming that this mother did not have a real reason to be AFK is wrong, that in fact parents of small children have that happen a lot. And it's not useless coddling. Luckily there are a lot of guilds where people accept parents knowing this will happen from time to time, mine is one such and was built to be like that from the start by myself. And we haven't suffered much because of it.

I just think the parenting advice coming from Gevlon is a little impractical and was a little curious as to whether this is actually something he has practical experience on and has done himself or if this is just something he thinks should work but is more or less theoretical. I find that people who don't have children can't really understand what life is like once you have one - no offense to anyone.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, let's just hope the situation didn't turn to be as dramatic as it did in the case below:

Camiel said...

I totally agree that someone who has to leave the keyboard for whatever reason should always have the decency to warn his fellow players. Especially if he expects to be back and to remain part of the team.

On the other hand it is all too easy to judge how other people should deal with their children when you don't have any yourself. I am to be a parent in about six weeks and I am already dreading all the uncertainty and stress of "will it be alright" and "am I doing it well as a parent"?

BTW what I also hate is people saying just "brb" in the middle of a dungeon without telling what it is they need to do and how long it will take. Sometimes it just means they need to get a drink and they're back in 30 seconds, but it may as well mean their mother just called and they stay on the phone for fifteen minutes.

Grim said...

Here's a clip from America's Funniest Videos, illustrating what happens if you spoil a child and exactly how serious much of the crying tends to be:

A reasonable adult is generally way better at figuring out if the child is ok, than the child himself. Sometimes ignoring the crying is the right thing to do.

Still, the problem described in the post is purely a problem in communication. The child might as well had split his forehead on something and the mother only said he was crying, because that is why she left the PC.
This might not sound very sensible, but obviously the person is not very good at communicating (the way I get it, she didn't even try to defend herself much) so she might not be able to figure out what her actions look like for someone who wasn't in the room.

Anonymous said...

Don't try to teach parenting, Gevlon. You are just making yourself look silly. Leaving a baby crying is NOT good in the long run, it is a terrible thing to do and can result in psychological and physiological damage. Furthermore, a quick and complete response (ensuring it calms down and sleeps) to a crying baby results in fewer crying episodes over time as the baby learns that it is safe and that there is nothing to fear.

Also, a child has to learn to sleep in his/her own room in his/her own bed. You can't move it's bed next to the computer. That would be much worse coddling than what you are arguing against.

Of course your guild member should have mentioned this possibility before joining the group and should have immediately informed the group when it happened. But you are completely wrong in arguing that the baby should be ignored or allowed to cry.

Imakulata said...

I'm not sure whether I misunderstood the sentences or was the only one to notice it but it seems the person was unable to inform the team he might go on extended AFKs in advance (I do not think he should have left his child alone, especially if the child is under 2-3 years), he was unable to say he needs an emergency AFK when the child started crying...

...but he was able to watch the screen and whisper Gevlon when he was kicked.

Gg said...

I agree that leaving without notice is always a problem, and if someone has children at home to take care of, he/she have to manage it, without hurting 4-9-24 people.
This is why I can't really participate raids: I have two children, they can start whining any time, I have to leave for some time, maybe 1, maybe for 10 minutes.

My old guild tolerated this, I always had a "substitude" player, someone who, for example, had better gear, no real interest on that raid, but able to join if I need to go (at the end I've never needed to use this possibility).
But still, I dont like the situation, so I better avoid it. It doesnt destroys my life, if I dont have epics.

One more thing: a crying baby can be much worse, then you think, Gevlon. If you have more then one child, he/she/they will wake up too (if you are slow or you let whine the other for minutes). And in my case they mostly waking up my wife too, who also needs the sleep after a long day with the children.
I better write an emergency AFK message, and leave for 1-3 minutes, before the situation escalates (then it takes 10-15 minutes).
Please dont judge too fast, if you dont know the parent/child situation (howmany children, sickness, flat size, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Learn to CC healers or kill them instead of trying to burst down DPS/flag tanks. You seem to have a rogue on your team from the other pictures, considering how ridiculously useful their smokebomb ability is to completely lockout the healers with the EFC it's sorta hilarious.

Bobbins said...

Just as you are protected from virtual bullets some people will always choose RL (or reality) over a game. Wouldn't it concern you more if someone ignored/chose a real life events for a virtual ones?

Azuriel said...

You don't allow raid leaders to skip over people who sign up on the calendar (except for performance), but you hand out a lifetime ban because he went AFK once? Any intelligent person would have /gquit in that situation too - getting blacklisted by the GM essentially amounts to the same thing as quitting.

Incidentally, "common decency" actually does include taking advantage of teachable moments. The intelligent thing to have done was charge him a Fail Fee (300g or whatever) like you do everywhere else, and make it clear when/how going AFK is acceptable or when it is not.

Squishalot said...

I agree with the first Anonymous.

1) "Your great grand mother" is anecdotal evidence. It's non-scientific, it's not even first-hand anecdotal, and for that matter, presents no evidence as to whether or not she gave out hugs to your grandparent and his/her 6 siblings. Therefore: useless argument.

2) "my kid was crying" doesn't say anything about why the kid was crying. Why should they tell you what was the reason for the crying? Would you even care? Would it change things? No. So there is no expectation that (s)he should have given you any more information about the reasons for the crying. It's not logical to conclude that 'my kid was crying' means that 'my kid had no diaper problems, was not hungry and is in general good health'. Therefore: useless argument.

3) Conditioning to whining and rewards - although I agree with the principle, you have not backed it up with either a) scientific studies; b) meaningful anecdotal evidence (see (1)); or c) a logical thought process that leads to this conclusion. Therefore: not an argument, but mere opinion.

4) "When do you plan children" is discrimination in most Western countries. Not sure what it's like in Hungary, but it would be penalised by government in places like Australia. That being said, the question is primarily aimed at people who will be taking a leave of absence from work to actually *have* the child, not because they end up abandoning their work responsibilities. Hence the reason it's primarily aimed at females, not males. Therefore: not relevant to many of your readers.

5) Diapering, feeding and several other forms of important child-caring stuff are not plannable. Therefore: useless argument.

Yes, the guild member should have let the team know that they were AFK'ing. No, you haven't provided sufficient evidence to say that the guild member was wrong to go AFK to look after their child, nor have you provided sufficient evidence to say that the nurturing approach to child-caring is less capable of producing intelligent, rational people than the ignore approach.

There are plenty of studies around letting a baby cry themselves to sleep or not. The least you could have done is linked one or two of those.

Squishalot said...

@ Imakulata - I read the process of events as:

1) Person goes AFK
2) 5 minutes later: Person leaves BG
3) Gevlon calls the BG and kicks person from group.
4) 5 minutes later: Person whispers Gevlon, and Gevlon tells him/her that he/she AFK'd 10 minutes ago.

chewy said...

@Jana & Adam (NoisyRogue)

Jana - It isn't the same type of comparison as becoming president. Very few people ever become president but a vast majority of people do become parents.

Adam - I agree that parenthood can be used as an excuse for being tardy, however, it is also a mind altering experience which genuinely does have to be experienced to realise the impact. I never would have believed just how much it can change ones attitudes and ideas. The problem is that it's difficult to distinguish between the tardy excuse makers and those who have had a genuinely life altering experience.

I have no idea what Gevlon's parental status is but his comments suggest he's speaking from a position of little experience.

Dzonatan said...

[i]"Just as you are protected from virtual bullets some people will always choose RL (or reality) over a game. Wouldn't it concern you more if someone ignored/chose a real life events for a virtual ones?"[/i]

[b]The problem is not RL vs Game[/b] but sudden abandoning your team-mates [b]without any kind of notice[/b]. Yeah babies cant wait, but if you know that you have a child to take care and if something like that is likely to occur [b]you should[/b] note this before you participate in any kind of activity where something like that can hinder the chances of success.

No group activity would be succesful if everyone could just drop off for sudden emergency no one knows except that given person

There are certain unwritten rules when your working in a group. That guild member has breached them.

Also we have zero confidence s/he was telling the truth.

Bobbins said...

'I stated that while I can't gkick him (as no rule is against AFK in RBG), '

How can you consider gkicking over this?
How many warnings did this character get because if it is the first warning the guild rules state :-
Anyone who violates the rules gets warning(s) and if does not fix his error, kicked

Anonymous said...

I know several people use the " kids are crying/fighting" excuse just to afk in a pug.

Unknown said...

The my kid is crying excuse is probably a fake, I have kids and when my little son was crying during a raid, I would say on vent (the raid could hear the baby) or type it out that I had to go afk, takes a few seconds to say something. I believe the 'kid crying' guy was just AFK while everyone else did the work.

Anonymous said...

@ Everyone calling me out on my comment:

Do I have kids? No.

Do I have two sisters who are each over twenty years younger than me? Yes.

Have I had to change nappys and go through all the traumatic episodes with them? You bet I have.

Have I taught both primary and high school and led children on adventure camps for over twenty years? Yes, I have.

But until you push one out on your own then you not only know nothing, but you are apparently unworthy of making any kind of comment regarding the subject at hand.

Most parents that I have met bring up their kids the same way that they drive; badly.

Gevlon said...

About "personal experience is necessary to say anything in parenting": the average personal experience in the game is that 5K DPS is decent, Grim Batol is hardcore, raiders have no life and pwning on the bridge is fun.

Ulsaki said...

In a real emergency it might not be prudent or practical to spare the time. If there's a fire in my house for example, then I'm going to be more concerned with dealing with the situation than writing "brb fire".

However, once the situation is resolved it's only fair to let those who were inconvenienced know of the what happened and apologise. And real emergencies where this is the case tend to be rare. Or, if you work in a field where this is the case like a fireman (as one of my ex guildmembers did) then they should let you know of this beforehand.

In the cases of a situation like a child crying, even if it's unexpected I would say the person could have spared a few seconds to say they had to go.

Lei said...

First of all, as a starting I'm a mother.
I thought I won't agree with Gevlon first, but I think he has right. You people all stopping reading the post at "emergency, crying, baby" parts. Emergency means someone will die if you don't run to help. A baby cries a lot. They ONLY cry in their first half/1 year, then they cry even more when they realize they have "power" with crying. It's not a big deal if they are not sick, every parent can do something to chill their kid. So kids can wait 3 SECONDS till the parent types in chat SORRY, AFK!, and with this, parent shows RESPECT towards the other people. We know that your kid is the first in your life, but 3 seconds to type that 2 word is not making you any worse parent...
If your kid is sick, you simply don't sit down playing the game "hard". I call playing hard when I can't hop up every minutes (instance, raid, even guild bg)
In this case, when I know I have to run away to check my son in any minute, I only check AH, do daily quest, anything that can be done solo, and can be interrupted without causing others any harm (time waste, money waste, any waste).
Gevlon's guild is not a social guild, but that doesn't mean you can be disrespectful towards the other guild mates, and disappear in the middle of a guild event.
And watch out for the spice of the story: parent came back, and he asked "why did you kick me".
This shows that the parent thought it's very okey to disappear without a word, and he expected "friendly" attitude from them in change. You get what you give...

Yaggle said...

The bottom line is that AFK is AFK; it doesn't matter what the reason is. Nobody can prove their reason(or should waste everybody's time trying to) anyways. All of these straw-man 'rational' arguments against what Gevlon said or did are superfluous. The only question is whether after some time, do you kick somebody who went AFK unannounced?

Anonymous said...

Gevlon says:

"Yet all of her children grew up without becoming drug addicts, serial killers or suiciders."

This isn't a glowing endorsement of your aunts and uncles. Think about it: the same is true of >99% of the people in LFD named Arthasdklol.

Caramael said...

Time for another rule Gevlon: during The PuG group activity we expect you to be completely locked away from the real world so only natural disasters can be the cause of any disturbances.
Because, good luck teaching people how to raise their kids. Seriously... /rolleyes

This, by the way, is the exact reason why I don't raid in WoW. Making 9/24 people wait because you've got RL stuff going on is something which makes me uncomfortable. And explaining to people in RL that I have to hurry hurry because 9/24 people are waiting for me inside a frigging game, is even more embarrassing.

chewy said...

Adam -

Most parents that I have met bring up their kids the same way that they drive; badly.

..and if someone was offering you advice on how to improve your driving when they didn't hold a license wouldn't you point out that they may not be in the best position to judge ? Even if their argument was that they'd been in lots of cars and met lots of other drivers.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon wrote:
"After your return, give an explanation and an apology!". And later also talks about "decency".

Honestly, your guild rules even forbid greetings when you come online, which most everybody considers absolutly basic decency when you enter a room of people you live/work with. And yet you expect something as social as an "apology"?

Annoucing you go AFK: yes.
If not that, explaining why you went AFK without notice: yes.
Apology: no.

Or call yourself a social.

Churrasco Jones said...

I think it is quite ridiculous, sure it sucked to lose, and someone dropped. But your reaction and your "crying kid is not an emergency" that is all a matter of priority, most people's priority is on their family.

So to tell say comforting a crying a child is not an emergency...well that is totally your opinion. Your priority was to win a bg that person's was to comfort their child. I agree they could have said something, even after, it would have been respectful to the people that were ditched in the middle of the bg.

Your attempt at justification is just your ignorance of parenting coupled with your arrogance. People's priorities are important to clearly disagree with anyone who doesn't share the same priorities as you.

Now to keep in perspective, I am not a family person, in fact, I hate families, marriage all that crap...but I am not going to penalize someone that feels differently, or reacts to a situation because of it.

So, no you are not a jerk, just a complete knucklehead.

Anonymous said...


To be clear - I am this AFKer.

1. I`ts true that i went afk with out any info - sorry for that one more time.

2. I`ts not true, that i did not apologize. I did it like 3 times when I back, on /ra channel. I still was in the raid but i get disconnect from BG. You was probably so angry that you did not read it.

3. You told me that i will never get invite to any raid or BG what is synonymous whit this that i don`t take invite for 90% of guild activity (next time you can gkick player like me - its the same thing). So I don`t see the reason to stay in this guild, and to be honest i don`t think that i need making excuses to you, why i leaving guild.

4.We lost this BG when i had 1490 raiting an rest of us had some thing like 260 raiting so it wasn`t so big deal for our rating. We could win few next BGs but you force me to leave guild - your choice.

Sorry for my poor english.

Andru said...


You have not approved my comment so I'lll ask it again in a little less non-inflamatory manner:

Why is it ok for you to commit informally fallacious arguments in your post ("my great-grandmother didn't hug kids"), but verbally slap other people over another equally fallacious argument: ("You don't have baby, so you don't know anything.")

Either recognize that both arguments are in the wrong, and remove them, or admit that both are right, and admit them.

You can't just selectively pick informal fallacies and present them as cogent argumentation.

Gevlon said...

@Andru: besides noblemen and Rotchilds every women worked hard and had lot of children since the dawn of mankind until the early XX. century. They simply couldn't have the time to care for "emotional needs". If you have 10 kids you can't hug one for hours even if you don't do housework (which you must). Still the mankind did not die out in hug deprivation.

Campitor said...

Anonymous said...

To be clear - I am this AFKer.

Everyone in your former guild should know Gevlon well enough by now to calculate what kind of response he would give in most situations. In many of his prior posts about BG's he often writes statements concerning "afkers". To be gone for 10 minutes, regardless the reason, and find yourself kicked from the BG, why did you think the best choice was to ask "why was I kicked?" to a person who is infamous for his contempt for slackers, morons, and people who go afk in battlegrounds? I raised 2 kids of my own so I'm sympathetic to the logic that family, and not a game, comes first. Logically you should have already deduced why you were kicked instead of asking the most avowed asocial for a reason.

Trelocke said...

Two healers with your tank? This is madness, no wonder you got destroyed. You should keep all four of the healers with the tank. This is to allow healers to rotate out to drink when necessary but also because it is absolutely required once the debuff hits. There is often an off-heal class with the offense (boomkin, priest, pally) to emergency heal, but it really isn't required.

I wish I could roll an EU account because I would love to come lead some RBGs for you guys. I find RBGs one of the most fun aspects in the game right now. In lieu of that here are some basic strats that should help you easily defeat those teams with 1300 players:

Group Composition: 4 healers, 1 tank that can switch to DD, 5 DD. You can sometimes manage with 3 healers but they really, really have to be good. If you go with 3 I'd recommend doing it with a well geared blood DK for a tank as well as making sure you have an off-heal DD stay with the defense to help wipe their offense so your healers aren't as pressured. Tank should always queue last in case it is Gilneas. That way he can switch to DD spec for that BG. Our guild reserves one of the DD spots for a rogue. Smoke Bomb is extremely crucial to taking down the FC if it is a good team. DD priest for mana burn is highly recommended as is a boomkin for solar beam (and hurricane for Gilneas). If you don't have a pally in the group for crusader aura you will probably just have forfeit Waterworks in Gilneas. Group comp is important but not essential unless you are really looking to build rating.

WSG/TP: Figure out who you think their FC is before the match starts and spearhead (attack them as they are crossing the field, not sure if the term is common outside of RBGs). Ideally you kill their tank and force them to use a DD to grab the flag but all you are really expecting to do is slow them down. Your healers (all of them) go with your tank and escort him across the field. Your healers should always try to stay ahead of your FC, dispelling slows and CCing their DD as much as possible.

Always attack their FC as a unit. If you get wiped trying to kill the tank on the initial cross, just group up midfield and help your FC get back to base. Then go as a unit to their FC to try and kill. You'll usually be able to tell pretty quick if you can kill the tank before debuff or not. If you can't, focus healers and force them to use cool downs. Hopefully they won't have enough when the debuff hits. If you can manage to kill a healer, hard switch to the tank and try him while they are short a healer. It is often times enough to kill just one healer. If you're not able to kill one of the healers, make sure you are constantly switching targets, focusing each one for 30 seconds or so. If the healers aren't very good this change up can be enough to kill one of the targets. This is where having an offensive leader is important. All other DD should have a /assist macro on this leader so they are always attacking the same target. Focusing your fire is key on offense.

Trelocke said...

(because I'm apparently very wordy: continued from last post)

Gilneas: Lots of different strats for this one but the basic one hasn't changed. Assign a healer and a good aoe class to the mines/LH and WW. Take Mines/LH with the two assigned there everyone else rush WW. If one team has crusader aura and the other team doesn't, crusader aura team should easily be able to cap WW. As alliance you want to have all but the two assigned to WW (who should be capping the flag) to CC/slow the horde coming across the river. Circle of Frost will force them to use trinkets at the very worst. If you manage to cap, wipe the other team and have the six unassigned people sitting between your two bases so they can support whichever one is being attacked.

If you do these things I think you'll find out real quick that the teams with 1300 players aren't very good at all and the teams with a few 2200+ players are teams you can hang with if not actually outright beat. I think if you have enough people that want to stick with it you'll find 2200 pretty easily attainable. I hit 1200 last night and am only about 10 games above .500 with less than 50 total RBGs played. 1300 really isn't that hard to reach.

Anonymous said...

1. Going afk without a 'gtg afk baby' comment is not excusable.
2. There is room for reasonable people to disagree on the amount of time spent on a baby afk.
In particular, for babies under 2, where crying typically reflects a real need (poop, et cetera), some people practice 'responsive' parenting (responding to every cry). Don't do this for toddlers.
For example, in my household, if the baby wakes, I'll be putting him back to sleep (5-10 min), and if he doesn't go back to sleep, I'll be logging off.
3. People with frequent afks should not be doing significant group activity unless their group members agree to current guild is 0/xx raid bosses and 1/xx heroics, but has a guildmistress who keeps on having kids...
4. I would suggest applying the same standard to baby afks that I would apply to machine afks...
If it happens once and you warn people, who cares...if it happens 3 times, I'm not calling you back. The typical effect on group members is the same, et cetera.

Sheldon said...

For starters, "not serial killers" and "not extinct" are rather low bars. I expect my children will be able to achieve somewhat more than this.

What you have left out in your "grandmother with 7 kids" example is that in agrarian and pre-agrarian societies, young children are in close proximity to at least one parent pretty much all day every day. Yes, the parent would be busy, but there would still be a multitude of opportunities for affection and emotional nurturing. It is in our modern society, where both parents are typically apart from their children for 8-10 hours a day, that there is less time.

Anonymous said...

You obviously have no time with small children. 30 seconds to calm them down? 5-10 minutes easily if a kid has a nightmare and the player should have said something and apologied on return, but your expectations place a video game over RL and you're angry about it? Yeah, you were an ass.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a holy priest with a 2 month old baby, it is totally possible to nurse the baby while getting guild first Cho'gall and Al'Akir kills. Slings/wraps are amazing for that.

Ihodael said...

Do I fully agree with all the post from Gevlon? No, I feel he is reacting too emotionally - but then it is logged under philosophy so he might just as well be discussing sex between angels and it is his blog. I feel he should have stopped right after the "I want to /gkick but couldn't".

"1) Person goes AFK
2) 5 minutes later: Person leaves BG
3) Gevlon calls the BG and kicks person from group.
4) 5 minutes later: Person whispers Gevlon, and Gevlon tells him/her that he/she AFK'd 10 minutes ago." from Squishalot.

This I think is the heart of the matter and probably the reason why Gevlon got so pissed off: he went AFK without warning. Gevlon kicks him from group (fine so far). He asks Gevlon "Why?" like nothing has happened. I would most likely be equally pissed (and I agree that he shouldn't be kicked from the guild but I would most likely look elsewhere before inviting him again).

My reasoning: something important did in fact happen and I had to go AFK suddenly. I get kick from the group - couldn't care less... something important happened in real life and I had to react, the group kick is irrelevant. I would still apologize on return (it is a matter of respect towards the time of others).

Something not so important happened and I went AFK suddenly without warning. I get kick... I deserve it. Apologize for it and move forward.

This individual person reaction was, in my humble opinion, equally childish (and I specifically state the reaction and not the person).

Wilson said...

@Anon with the 2-month old

Yes, I was able to write my masters thesis and take care of my newborn daughter while my wife worked. It was not at all difficult. By the time they are 6 months old, however, forget it. They're too big, too active, and too interested in hitting the keys on the keyboard for you to be productive for long while holding them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you up until the point where you state that "it's obvious that he was afk for 5+ minutes giving hugs to a totally OK child" - That is the point where it becomes obvious you have no clue what your're talking about.

I totally agree with the points - don't play group activities if you are likely to go afk suddenly or frequently, as well as let people know if/when you do. But how about you leave parenting advice to actual parents? :)

Wayne said...

@ Gevlon

"Still the mankind did not die out in hug deprivation."

But that does not mean that mankind would not be in a better position if another approach had been followed.

You are presenting the following theory as fact (I am aware I am simplifying):
Hugs lead to needy whiny kids who turn into needy whiny M&S

But someonelse could reach the opposite conclusion:
A lack of hugs leads to a deep need for affection and a less self confident adult who is more likely to be an M&S.

We would need to test each hypothesis to establish which is correct.

Some learned reader must be aware of some relevant research?

Anonymous said...

1. Going afk without a 'gtg afk baby' comment is not excusable.

I agree.

And while some might think you were a jerk about it. I'm not sure why anyone, especially in your guild, wouldn't expect to have to give a decent explanation to you.

I never had the guts to ask, but I used to raid with this couple and you could hear the baby screaming in the background. It seemed odd that they would even bother playing WoW during formative years.

I don't have kids so I'm probably off the mark.

Ðesolate said...

Communication it is always the main factor. At least beeing as fair as typing a 5 second piece of anything should be doable. If not, well I hope the hospital is near.

Don't forget 20 minutes waiting time + 15 minutes BG is 45 Minutes wasted. What would you say if a mother steps out of the car and blocks the whole highway to take care of her crying child? There id no difference if my time is wasted at home or on the way to anything.

Good night everyone.

Bristal said...

Agree with Anonymous above. Playing WoW when you are single parenting an infant/toddler is bad for kids, and it's bad for gaming:

Probably above is a lie, but it makes the point.

Anonymous said...

I have very mixed feelings about this (and am not alone, apparently). While it burns me up to no end when people with kids take unannounced afks, the reason is more that if they're playing responsible parent, then they shouldn't be playing WoW at all. It's like people who bring babies to movie theaters. It's going to be loud. The kid is going to cry. You must know you're going to inconvenience and/or upset a lot of other people. No one forced you to have a child, so you should face your responsibilities with maturity.

That said, my wife and I have no desire to have kids of our own (and we're old enough now that such a statement means something). We're both teachers and enjoy the interaction we get with kids old enough to reason with as well as the ability to go home without them.

I understand that people with children have every right to play the game (and go to movies), but one must be cognizant of the chance that you're going to be inconveniencing others because of a decision you made in the past that has nothing to do with them. This seems inconsiderate to me.

God knows how many people I've upset with this comment, and I apologize, but you had to know what you were getting into before you had children.

Katherine said...

I dunno, maybe they didn't think to give you every detail of what was wrong with their kid. I know as a childless person I don't want to know what the emergency with their kid was in any great detail unless they are a very close friend. I really don't know why they complained that they got removed from a BG when they went AFK though, even though it might be for a good reason to them.

Anonymous said...

I agree on notifying your group when you go afk. However, I disagree on your evaluation of responsiveness to small children. For infants, at least, it has been repeatedly shown that prolonged lack of physical contact and responsive caregiving is strongly associated with 'failure to thrive'. (couldn't find a direct citation because I'm lazy)
Translation: Babies that are fed, watered, and changed without physical contact and caregiver interaction don't grow and eventually die.
So, for younger children, if they cry for attention, it may be best to give it to them.
So, expecting a 30 sec afk with a baby is unrealistic.
Personally, babies require too much interaction to play raid-level content, but they do sleep occasionally. During those times, I sometimes pug heroics. Sometimes, the baby wakes...and I have to leave the group. Does this make me a jerk? Maybe.

Buboe said...

Short summary of your second comment:
"I have never had sole responsibility for a child, and am don't understand the difference."
In loco parentis is not the same as being a parent. teachers and big brothers get to give their kids back after school or camp or when their mum comes home. They don't have to take responsibility for their upbringing, health, happiness and 2am nappy changes.
They don't have to sit in hospital waiting rooms with a blood soaked teatowel, or clean the vomit from the carpet.

It doesn't mean you're unworthy of making a comment. It does mean that your comment comes from ignorance of the reality of parenthood. And the only thing that will change that is parenthood.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree there should have been apologies etc when they returned.

And you can get a message type if you have wife or phone agro.

However, if you think there is an *emergency* (let's say potential serious health or financial risk) and you take the time to type a message before leaving, especially an rBG which your GM has repeatedly belittled publicly , then you have very serious problems with priorities in your life.

Even a .1% of the child being hurt versus a 100% chance of a "don't join" rB failing is no contest (or else you shouldn't have children.)

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "They simply couldn't have the time to care for "emotional needs". If you have 10 kids you can't hug one for hours even if you don't do housework (which you must). Still the mankind did not die out in hug deprivation."

Gevlon, do you do housework or cook?

If you did, you would know it's not a job that requires you to a) expend all of your awake hours on; and b) be unavailable to the emotional needs of your children.

Unless you can provide some proof that your great grand mother had no time to care for the emotional cries of your grand parent, your argument is less than worthless. The majority of your readership base recognise this fallacy in your post. I'm surprised that you don't.

Mithfin said...

...if someone was offering you advice on how to improve your driving when they didn't hold a license wouldn't you point out that they may not be in the best position to judge?

No, it's more like "you are the school bus driver and don't even have your own car! you have no rights to judge mah driving!"

Anonymous said...

The one scientific thing you seem to have missed is that your own children are genetically tuned to you in terms of their crying. This is often why someone may find a child's crying annoying, but the parent is compelled to do something about it.

As a parent, (and if you had children yourself you would realise this) it becomes progressively more difficult to ignore your own child's crying. Further, there are different types of crying. As a parent, once again, you learn to distinguish between the various types of cries including distress, hunger, soiling themselves etc.

I agree that the person in question should have mentioned AFK, but your attitude towards them, in this case, is incorrect.

Me said...

You seem to be assuming that because the parent did not explain every detail of the childs crying, that it was unnecessary spoiling.
How the parent handles their child should not be your concern. You seem to always assume the worst of everyone you meet.

The parent did nothing wrong by seeing to the needs of their child over a video game. What they did wrong was get offended at being removed after going afk. I have raided with friends who had issues come up and understood that the group may want to go on with out them.

Dàchéng said...

Some actual scientific research, reported recently by many news outlets: (this one has a link to the original research)

The gist of it is that babies who cry a lot are more prone to behavioural problems in later life.

Anonymous said...

People take conditioning out of context.

Gevlon: "I think the best would be keep the cradle or whatever holds the kid close to the computer so he sees mum/dad, keep talking to him to hear your voice (doesn't matter what, you can simply tell him about the current situation in the BG) but don't interrupt your activity for his whining. He will learn that mum/dad is there but not his slave."

"Mental" comfort IS a physical need, but aside from that, keeping the kid nearby and keeping hir company is a good idea. Baby slings are awesome.

some Anon: "Leaving a baby crying is NOT good in the long run, it is a terrible thing to do and can result in psychological and physiological damage. Furthermore, a quick and complete response (ensuring it calms down and sleeps) to a crying baby results in fewer crying episodes over time as the baby learns that it is safe and that there is nothing to fear."

True. Look up what happens to children whose parents take the "tough love" advice of letting babies "cry themselves to sleep." And look what is happening in the baby's brain and blood during extended crying.

some Anon: "Also, a child has to learn to sleep in his/her own room in his/her own bed. You can't move it's bed next to the computer. That would be much worse coddling than what you are arguing against."

Why can't you? What do people blame on "coddling" anyway, and why do they think there's a bad connection? Co-sleeping is excellent, as is contact throughout the day, and ideally every parent would do this correctly. Let the child decide when and where to sleep.

Lei: "They ONLY cry in their first half/1 year, then they cry even more when they realize they have "power" with crying."

Children have different timelines, but this. Really, this. If you already trained your kids to cry "artificially," then learn to tell the difference. And untrain this.

The trick to avoid training your kids to cry when they otherwise wouldn't? Watch what you are reinforcing. Crying should be an expression, not a trained behavior or punished (eg by ignoring) and suppressed.

Take care of root causes of crying, no more. Teach independence as kids mature at their own pace. Basically, don't make crying the most "profitable" activity; keep it at the level of expression and communication.

For example if you want your child to use crying in power struggles, then you should have power struggles. Without power struggles, this is not an issue.

Another example, if you want your child to use crying to get attention, then you should deprive them of attention whenever they don't cry. Thus they learn that crying is the only way to stop being ignored and neglected.

Gevlon: "If you have 10 kids you can't hug one for hours even if you don't do housework (which you must)."

You pretty much can, while leaving your arms free. It's called a sling, which is making a return in modern society. In many cultures, it was standard to keep very young children on the parent, while leaving hands free to do other things.

Gevlon: "Still the mankind did not die out in hug deprivation."

I agree with Sheldon on that being a low bar. Still mankid did not die out from being flooded by Arthasdklols.

Wayne: "But someonelse could reach the opposite conclusion: A lack of hugs leads to a deep need for affection and a less self confident adult who is more likely to be an M&S ... Some learned reader must be aware of some relevant research?" ?

That one, by the way, is much closer to the truth. Who is more "needy" and frantic about constantly finding food--the one who grew up with an abundance of healthy food and learns about digestion and nutrition etc, or the one who is always starving and neglected?

Anonymous said...

People are acting like he's saying if your child is crying you should ignore her and continue playing... people's reading comprehension is in the toilet and it's really quite sad. It doesn't take two seconds to quickly tap out 'brb baby' and atleast warn your group, and I'm pretty sure nothing serious will happen to your child in those 2 seconds.