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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Avoiding The Drama Llama

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

We recently had a guild meeting updating and reiterating <ICESTORM>’s guild policies. One of the things we addressed was “drama”! Ooooh! Scary!!

But in all seriousness, drama is a big thing for raiding guilds. Ever seen a raiding guild fall apart because they decided they’d done it all and what’s the point continuing? No!

After our meeting it was whispered to me that several people didn’t speak up during the meeting and haven’t spoken up for some time because they are afraid of being labeled a drama queen. I guess I took it for granted that my version of drama was understood by all. As my father always says, “That’s what you get for doing your own thinking.”

What is Drama?

Merriam-Webster has one definition of drama as “a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces “. I think we can all agree that’s a pretty succinct definition of what happens in WoW. 🙂

Where Does Drama Come From?

llama xingSo where does the drama come from? What causes it? Why can’t we seem to avoid it? I haven’t found one person that will admit they play the game for drama, so why is it there?

People play for different reasons, but all play because they get some kind of fulfillment from the game. With all of those people comes hundreds of different personalities and expectations so a few are bound to clash at times. There are those that like to level, raiders, looters, pvp’ers, achievement junkies (yours truly :)), businessmen/women, questers, social players, non-social players, and yes even wackos!

A couple of months ago I experienced my own drama from a stalker that wouldn’t leave me alone. I think it was a 12 year old kid (but he could have been a 40 year old for all I know) that apparently I had quested with way back when and somehow had given him the impression that I was his best friend. When I refused to help him level to 55 so he could create a Death Knight, he freaked out on me accusing me of being a horrible friend, etc. I finally put him on ignore, told him I’m sorry, but I have my own things to do with the expansion, and that I didn’t even remember who he was. For two weeks he created and deleted alts to whisper me as I put them on ignore. Finally his sister intervened and explained that he just wanted to apologize, which I said apology accepted, but I didn’t want the grief anymore and didn’t even know who the kid was. Thankfully, I haven’t heard from him since.

Fortunately, few of us experience the weird kind of drama. (Yes, I’m looking at you my friend*! :)) But as raiders we often encounter raiding related drama.

There are three basic types of raiding drama:

  • Raid invites
  • Performance
  • Loot

Raid Invite Drama

There are three types of people that generally get invited to raids.

  • The Good Raider – based on gear and/or performance
  • The Friend – whether s/he sucks or not
  • Others – based on lacking gear, lacking performance, or just not part of the “in” group

Drama from this situation arises when someone falls in the latter category.

Performance Drama

Performance is perhaps the second largest drama problem I see in raiding guilds and it stems from two sources: Raid Leaders and Raiders.

Raid Leaders often get frustrated on bad nights when people are going AFK, underperforming, not paying attention, etc. They can get verbally abusive and rude. Some are just that way all the time. Think Drill Sergeant. I will not condone disrepectful treatment of raiders in a raid no matter how bad it is getting. People can be called out for their actions in a respectful manner. There’s no need to cuss people out, call them names, etc. Nor is there reason that any raider should put up with it. The choice is yours.

Raiders often get frustrated for the same reasons and either jump on the bandwagon of calling people out when they aren’t part of that group or become defensive when they are. I have yet to find the one person who truly believes they suck at playing this game. Everyone’s skill is different. Some people can learn quickly, others more slowly. Some have fast reflexes and some have the reflexes of a body in rigor mortis.

Loot Drama

The topic you’ve all waited for and the reason I left it last. Had to figure out a way to make you read all of this. 😉

Loot rules are set up for a reason and every person thinks their reason is better. Whatever the loot rules are for your guild you accepted them the minute you joined the guild. If you don’t like it, you can always leave. Don’t start something by trying to get them to change the rules in the middle of a raid.

The biggest problem I see with raiders is they always want loot and they want it now! Keep in mind that raiding guilds for some reason always want to go back and redo the raid every week. I’m still trying to figure out why they’d want to do something they’ve already done, but they always do. Maybe it’s an addiction or a disease. 🙂

Remember, you’ll get your chance to get the item. Just keep at it. Have patience.

Avoiding the Drama Llama

dramallamaThe first thing you need to do is accept the fact that you can’t avoid the drama llama. Once you accept that simple fact, life gets a little bit easier. However, you can take steps to minimize the number of encounters with the llama and you can definitely control how you react.

Whenever the Llama rears itself ready to stomp someone’s head into the ground, begin asking these questions:

  • Is this the best time to bring up my complaint? If a raid is being set up or it’s actually raid time, then now is probably not the best time. A quick whisper along the lines of “Hey, I’d like to talk about this later” is appropriate, but unless an officer wishes to discuss it now, then hold off on giving details.
  • Have I taken the time to think about my complaint? This might seem an odd point, but the way in which you register your complaint often affects the outcome. If you direct a question in such a way that it places the onus on yourself as opposed to on someone else, the one you complain to will be more receptive. For example, I don’t get invited to a raid. I send a whisper, “Hey, I didn’t get invited to the raid again this week. When you have time later I’d like to talk to you about what I need to do. Thx.” Comments like this first address the issue (i.e. not getting invited). Then it relieves the recipient from having to address the issue now and acknowledges that s/he is busy right now. It also then acknowledges (whether right or wrong) that you’re willing to do something to get in rather than sending the message that you deserve the right to get in. More often than not I see responses like “Why didn’t I get invited to raid? You guys just don’t want to gear me!”
  • Does this situation affect me directly? If no, then butt out! It never ceases to amaze me how many people often give their two cents at the worst possible moment. You may think you’re helping out, but chances are you’re fanning the flames.
  • Am I in a position of authority and need to address this? If so, then address it. Find the proper avenue and time. Sometimes that means a swift /gkick and sometimes just arranging a private meeting for later on. As a raider, understand this and accept quick decisions from officers as appropriate.

Remember when something doesn’t go your way, no one’s saying you shouldn’t be disappointed. No one’s saying you shouldn’t get upset because this is the 10th time in three weeks you haven’t gotten invited to a raid. No one’s saying you shouldn’t be considering finding another guild. What they are asking is please don’t cause drama. They all know you want in. They know dozens of others that want in as well. They’re doing their best to accomodate everyone.

It’s like having people ask me for heals. I have raid frames. I know who’s taking damage. I know who’s my priority. I know you need a heal. BACK OFF!!! 🙂 Seriously though, raid leaders know everyone wants in. Good guilds will try to accomodate as many as possible, but they do have their priorities whether it be performance, rank/seniority, gear, or whatever else.

Complaining isn’t drama. How you complain can be.

*I have a friend in guild that had a stalker of her own that “fell in love” with her. I finally had to /gkick him.

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2 Responses

  1. I know that I wrote a guide to dealing with the Drama Llama (http://oriniwen.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/saddling-the-drama-llama/ if you’re interested) some time ago, but I like this idea of preventative maintenance. It really is best if we all try and not get to the “ZOMGDRAMAZ!!!!11oneone” stage.

    I wish your guild all the very best, it sounds like you have some good leadership

  2. Thank you!

    And I didn’t recall it, but I had read your post last year. That’s probably where I heard “drama llama”…

    /thinking hard and starting to hurt

    Anyway, great post yourself and I wish we’d all follow the advice, even myself. 🙂

    BTW, I just noticed I haven’t linked you on my blog. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I keep clicking it through other blogs and just noticed I haven’t updated mine. Correcting now.

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