Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rule #1

So.... I haven't blogged in a while... I really don't have much of an excuse for that fact, other than there simply hasn't been anything (imo) to blog about. The game hasn't changed much, anything Cataclysm-related is likely going to change a bazillion times before release, and there hasn't been anything earth-shattering to note.

Since the last time I posted something, our 10-player guild merged with a 25-player raiding guild that was floundering due to lack of raiders showing up for raids. We went into this with the impression that this guild we were merging with was a "Progression" guild, and that they wanted the same thing we did: To down bosses, and to see Heroic LK dead, and that they were willing to do what it takes to accomplish this goal... hence getting us in.

It has become pretty obvious since joining, that this simply was not the case. While I have no doubts in my mind that most of the folks in said guild *do* want to see heroic LK dead... they seem to have the mindset that they can accomplish this feat while half-assing it during raids. There are players who think it is ok to show up to Hard Mode fights without flasks, and who don't even take the 15 seconds before a pull to eat the provided fish feast to get a well-fed buff. This is just one example of a shared mindset amongst many of their raiders that you don't have to put forth any extra effort in order to do heroic raiding.

Well... you do.

There are other details that point to the fact that many of the players in this guild are not willing to do what it takes to make things happen... but I'm not going to go into them here, since this isn't what this post is meant to be about.

This guild we merged with seems to only have one rule, a rule in which their officers seem to almost religiously refer to as "Rule #1."

This rule, according to the post on the guild's forums is "Don't be a douchebag."

This rule, upon first reading it, may seem like a good idea for a rule of thumb to run your guild by... but after seeing it in multiple different guilds I've been in (one of which I was the GM), you start to see some major flaws with it. Flaws that make you wonder if this type of rule is a smart way to run your guild.

The first and biggest flaw with this line of thinking is... who determines what specifically, a "douchebag" is?

People within the guild may have different standards, expectations, and lines to cross before something becomes "douche-like" behavior.

For example... (and a very common one): Someone calling out another player for standing in the fire during a boss encounter. The player doing the calling, may feel they are doing the Player who was standing in the fire, a favor, and helping him/her become better at SA (situational awareness). The player being called out, on the other hand, may have paper-thin skin, and may think that the Player calling him/her out for messing up.... is acting like a "douchebag."

Another example... Raiders who bend their schedules around to make sure they make every raid they say they'll be at, may think that players who miss raids with no warning are acting like "douchebags," whereas the players who miss may not think it's a big deal.

A rule like this is completely relative to each and every player. I may hate tree-druids, and think that every time a druid spec's resto, they're acting like a douchebag.... but does that qualify as behavior that would break this "Rule #1"? Obviously not...

Another problem with a rule like this, and the fact that it is relative to each and every player, is when people start breaking it out simply because they may not like, or agree with something that is being said.

Does having a different opinion than someone else on a matter qualify as "acting like a douchebag" toward that person? Again... this is why a rule like this fails... and why I feel that it is incredibly unwise to base a guild on a rule like this with so much gray area, and room for individual interpretation and no set parameters.

I've seen this rule in action in different guilds... and maybe it can work in a casual/family-type atmosphere... but in progression raiding, it simply isn't going to work. You have to call people out if they are doing something wrong during a hard-mode encounter, or you will not succeed. If calling people out is being a "douchebag" and breaking the guild's paramount rule... then it is counter productive.

Sorry for not posting anything in a while... and I apologize for the rant.


  1. Sugar coated guild leadership is not progression oriented, and apparently neither are Cataclysm's core values anymore. The GM is one who came into progression raiding just a few short weeks ago and has the apparent mindset that everyone should be nudged along nicely, sadly enough this wont cut it in hard mode ICC because people still like to prove points in raids which hinder the other 24 people there.

    In closing, it is not a positive progression raiding environment, nor will it be one in the future.

  2. When did 'progression oriented' become synonymous with asshole? Not a single time was someone accused of being a douchebag for calling people out for bad performance or not using the proper consumables.

    Certainly douchebaggery is relative, but at the end of the day it comes down to how you want to spend your 12 hours a week and $15 a month. If you enjoy pissing people off, calling names, etc by all means go ahead, just don't expect every other group to share the same sentiments.

  3. @Anonymous #2 - actually, calling people out for being bad - or not using proper consumables, was one of the larger points in telling us we'd violated Rule #1. You're obviously from Cataclysm - so understand that it's not that we didn't like the players there, it's that we didn't agree with the management style.

    Oh, and posting Anonymously violates Rule #1 :)

  4. @Anonymous #2.

    Never in this post did I say that 'Progression Oriented' was synonymous with being an asshole. I've re-read my post a few times, and nowhere does it state that. If that's what you got out of the post, then it just proves my point that "douchebaggery" or "being an asshole" is relative. So is having a rule like "Rule #1."

    The point of this post was to point out a specific flaw that I have seen with guilds that use rules like "Don't be a douchebag" as their paramount rule. A rule like this is too open for abuse by the leadership, as well as members to get what they want without actually having to have any set parameters, or set-in-stone guidelines. This means that it is wide open for things like preferential treatment, because they might think that someone who does one thing is being a "douchebag" where someone else who does something very similar, is not.

    While I am extremely disappointed about what happened with Cataclysm (I personally enjoyed raiding there quite a bit, and there are some great folks in that guild), I will be completely honest in saying that it was the Guild Leadership's use (and application) of "Rule #1" and not having it apply to themselves that drove me (personally) away.

    Were some of the Parabola folks who joined Cataclysm assholes? You bet. The leadership in the guild, in my opinion, was absolutely no better... they were just assholes in different ways. Again, it's all relative... just like Rule #1.

    Also, I agree with Adgamorix, that anonymous posts violate said "Rule #1," so I've disabled anonymous posting for now.

    I have no problem with people agreeing, or disagreeing with the things I have to say, or them posting about it here... I just prefer to know who it is that I'm defending my posts from, or who I'm arguing with. Anonymous posts, and backdoor dealings are the way of Cataclysm, and I prefer a more transparent route.



  5. anon 1: this was my exact reason for leaving. without going into long boring details i felt cataclysm leadership (not all of them i know, but i can't say who argued for or against what so here they'll get lumped) was simply trying to run a family/casual guild. the people from parabola joined with the expressed intent of progression, and it's very obvious that many of the cata members wanted the same thing. in the end, rules and standards were applied by who you were instead of what you were bringing to the group.

    anon 2: as amath said above calling people out for being bad and not using consumables was specifically, and repeatedly brought up by the leadership.
    i'm going to assume that you are not an officer, if you were then you would have much more insight as to why we left. this fact in and of itself was one of the major rifts. the method of handling everything in secret then expecting everyone to blindly follow and do what they're told or face retaliation is completely unacceptable to me. if you don't believe that this is happening let me give you an example of major decisions being made without guild input.
    part of the agreement for parabola to join was that we had no trial membership, and from our first night we were eligible for loot to the extent of what our dkp could buy. if you search the forums there is an officer post made just a couple days before we joined that told the guild the exact opposite of this agreement. the issue came to light the very first week, and by the second raid terrible decisions by the leadership had already caused segregation in the guild that was never overcome.

    i don't want to make this too long so i'll end with that, but if you want more information from the other side of the story, feel free to ask me in game any time.