I’ve played WoW long enough (5 years almost, to be exact) that I’ve noticed certain things about the game:
- There is always drama. No guild is immune to said drama. It is in how a guild handles it that may change. There’s usually a ‘golden time’ of pure happiness and bliss when a guild is first created or you join a new guild. It’s all shiney and new and you’re happy to be there! And then the drama llama comes to visit, be it with a disgruntled guildie who feels they’re being left out of raids or the DKP system (or lack thereof) or issues carried over from the guild many of them were in before. I once had the guild I was in merge into another so we could more easily raid 25 man content (during Burning Crusade) and that didn’t turn out so well in the end. I think we were 2 separate guilds with their own ‘in jokes’ and way of doing things and got too big for our britches too fast, and it couldn’t be sustained overly long. The guild blew up when the GM had a hissy fit of some stripe while I was on vacation and we basically ended up back where we’d started, in our 2 separate guilds. In my current guild on ThoBro, I was shocked (in a good way) when after my first Ulduar raid, the raid lead said “Officers, let’s have a quick raid debrief” and off they went to another vent channel. I asked my RL friend, who’s an officer, what that was all about and she said it’s just where they discuss how the raid went, what went wrong (or right), what they learned, etc, etc. That seems to me a good thing to do in a raiding guild. Communication is key, and for all the officers to be on the same page can’t be a bad thing.
- Burnout happens. Either with one particular character or the game itself. There came a time in vanilla WoW when I’d hit 60 on my pally. I couldn’t raid due to my extreme work hours (I worked until 1 am), even though I wanted to. I had gotten all the Tier 0 gear and pretty much done all I reasonably could. I even got my Quel Serrar (a months long journey thanks to my work hours), at the time reasoning it was the only epic I stood a chance of realistically getting…ever. Then the small RP guild that was my first evar in WoW finally died and I was left asking what more I could do in the game aside from leveling another toon. More recently, I was just burnt out and dealing with drama and the whole game was just…not as appealing as it had been. Plus my computer sucked ass. Play a game, any game, long enough, and you could tire of it. Question is, do you want to find something to make the game new and exciting or decide to quit and find another game (or not)? At times I thought to myself “Yeah, I’m ready to quit” and other times I was all “I don’t want to quit, but what can I do to revitalize the game for me?”
- The realm forums on Worldofwarcraft.com are largely a hive of scum and villany. At least, in their hayday they were. Nowadays, it’s alot of “Blah guild is recruiting” or “Nostalgia thread #251.” But when I was a wee noob, a visit to my realms forums left me rather scarred. People were RUDE and needlessly MEAN and I wanted no part of it. Trolls ruled the boards and pounced upon the weak and unsuspecting who showed up, genuinely needing help. I vowed then and there to not post unless I just really felt moved to say something, which wasn’t often (I can count on 2 hands, maybe even one, how many times I posted on the realm forums.) Now they’re not as trafficked as they once were, but still… Thick skinned I am not. So I love to lurk and read up on what people are saying, but I’m not one for posting and have been glad when guilds I was in didn’t have anybody that posted in the forums regularly.
- There will always be ninjas, loot ho’s, assholes and elitist pricks who judge your skill and gear. Even the most well meaning individual can be percieved (rightly or wrongly) as greedy or mean or whatever. Just that. People are people, even in WoW. Text can’t convey emotion, which can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. People don’t always get along with other people, and even if they’re in the same guild, some folks can’t get along. There will be jerks (usually in those lovely PuG’s you find yourself in thanks to the new LFD system) who don’t understand you’re on an alt or are just coming back from the game and are still trying to figure out what your buttons do, they’ll just mock you for ‘sucking’. I just try and remind myself they don’t know me, they don’t know this is my alt, their opinion isn’t the one that matters to me, etc. And just like in the real world, people in game will steal, lie, cheat, assert their awesomeness over ‘noobs’, be innappropriate and make suggestive comments or say something another views as racist or offending their polical/religious/whatever views. Which can then lead to the drama I mentioned earlier.
- It’s just a game. I try to keep that in mind when I play. When people are mean or ninja something or make me cry (happened only twice in game and both times left a sour taste in my mouth), at the end of the day it’s just a game. Yes, I know…it’s more than that in alot of ways. If you play long enough, you can make some really good friends and make lots of awesome memories. I don’t mean to trivialize it, the good or the bad. Bullies should be stood up to and ninja’s brought to justice, but it’s a GAME. If it’s affecting your Real Life, you might need to take a step away. I’ve had things from in game weigh on my mind long after I’ve logged off. I don’t like when my RL is affected by something that happened in game (unless it put me in a really good mood, in which case, party on!). I try to keep a laid back attitude about things. Some people get all uppity when say, someone ninja’s an orb in an instance. Yes, it’s wrong. Report them if you feel moved to action. Move on. See an offensive name that goes too far? Report it, and go about your business. You don’t have to get all in their face in whispers or anything. Blizzard will judge if their name needs to be changed.
- Standing in the fire™ is bad, mmkay? Nuff said.
I’m sure there are more things out there that I’ve observed over the years, but those are the ones that came to mind. This is stuff that I’ve had on my chest for awhile and it’s nice to be able to get it out. I’m sure it’s nothing revolutionary or shocking to anyone. But sometimes even the obvious needs stating.
Coping with drama/stress/burnout
So what is your coping mechanism for when the game and things within it get to you, stress you out? Me? I usually turn to alts. Or I take a break from the game. I know that when I find myself avoiding my main toons and playing more on alts that aren’t as known (or aren’t known to certain people or a guild), something in the game is stressing me out.
Several times, the drama and general feeling of unpleasantness in my guild was so great that I just could NOT force myself to log into my guilded toons. I once got a blood elf paladin on a random server up to level 41 (and I don’t level terribly fast, usually, so….just sayin) because the drama was that bad. Another time I was seriously thisclose to leaving a guild because I was just so unhappy with all the sniping and fighting, but then the major contributors to the problem all left and created their own guild. And peace reigned once more, which told me alot right there.
The time after my first and small RP guild died and I was at a standstill as far as doing new things in the game, I just took a month away from WoW. It was a pleasant time, and I seriously could have walked away and not looked back. That feeling also was strong in my heart this past summer when I was suffering from a triple whammy of burnout/drama/finally-getting-tired-of-my-old-12 inch-laptop. I thought about quitting the game. I didn’t want to, but…what was I gonna do? Then I reconnected with an old friend, who was playing on another server and I transferred over there and that really revitalized WoW for me in a big way.
That, and I got a new computer with a 22 inch monitor. 🙂