But He's Been Here Forever

In my guild, we have a long-time member, I'll call him Mark. He's a good and friendly person, but he's definitely not officer material. Passive-aggressive, flaky, self-centered. Mark's been pining for officership for years.

I haven't been in officership for a while (because I've been raiding more diapers than instances), but I was surprised to learn of Mark's recent promotion to officer.

An officer friend chatted me up:

"Hey, how you doing?"

"Good. So what happened with Mark?"

<pause>

"What do you mean?"

"I couldn't help but notice that he's an officer now."

"Yeah."

"So, what happened?"

<pause>

"Well, he's been here forever…"

Oh… crap. Continue reading But He's Been Here Forever

Guilds are not Businesses

Guilds in these online games are completely voluntary, at-will organizations of people. This creates a strange dynamic when it comes to leading.

When I was GM, a good friend of mine in the guild–we'll call him Angus–was excellent at leading groups and raids. He wasn't shy about grabbing a couple of our more passive guildmates and making good things happen like attunement requirements, gear upgrades, and all the rest. In real life, Angus is a confident leader who runs his own business, with employees. His company is successful! I thought, "Wow, he'd be a great officer, maybe even GM!" So he got the nod as officer, and while he was gruff at times, he proved a great asset to the guild.

Over time, I learned that Angus had really been eager to take a shot at leading the guild. We frequently had open conversations among the officers regarding whose turn to lead was coming. So eventually, Angus got the nod.

The problem–and it took months for us to learn this–is that his ability to lead a successful for-profit business involves a completely different skill set than leading a successful voluntary, at-will organization. Angus turned out to be a good boss, but not a great leader.

Continue reading Guilds are not Businesses

Raiding does not mean Skilled

(Related post: Max level does not mean Skilled.)

There's a class of player who feels that their status in the raiding game means that they're Right. They label other people noobs, and the silly thing is that people believe them. "I have this awesome item, you don't, therefore I know what I'm talking about and you don't." This frustrates me a great deal.

My guild recently brought in a new recruit. Her main is a holy priest, just like me! I'll call her Mary. She was very personable, online a lot. She had raided a lot in the original WoW, all the way through AQ40, which I've never seen. She had taken over a year off from the game, and in her return was looking for a more relaxed playtime requirement while still playing at a high level. A perfect fit!

Continue reading Raiding does not mean Skilled

Max level does not mean Skilled

(Related post: Raiding does not mean Skilled)

World of Warcraft, and every game like it, is really two different games. I first read this thought at Penny Arcade (can't find where because their search function is weak). Basically, you have the levelling game where you start at L1 and then play until max level (currently L70), and then the game that happens after the levelling game, which is filled with group activities of all sorts as you improve your max level character.

Continue reading Max level does not mean Skilled

Drama is Inevitable

Like most people, I learned the hard way about second chances at relationships–backsliding, regression relationships, whatever you want to call it. Namely that they don't work, despite the fact that regression sex might sound like just what you need after a series of terrible first dates. However, unless one of you has been in a coma or similarly life-changing event, inevitably the crazy in your ex or the behavior that brought out the crazy in you (or both) manifests again… and then you finally wake to find yourself stuck in a supremely depressing place: exactly the same kind of unhappy situation you were in before, except you're older and you have demonstrably not learned your lesson. You're connected again to this person who makes you unhappy.

Then you somehow break it off. Whether you've extricated yourself via your own force of will or via external causes, you're free of this person and you now have some ability to see this kind of situation coming again. When faced with future backsliding, eventually you either:

  1. Realize that the number of seconds you have on this planet is finite, and perhaps regression sex-and-crazy this isn't the best way to spend those seconds. You opt out from that person.
  2. Let them back into your guild.

Continue reading Drama is Inevitable