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