Saturday, August 13, 2011

Please Don't Abuse Your Guildies

I don't have a great computer. It was pretty awesome about 3 or 4 years ago but now it is barely able to keep up. For WoW this means low FPS and long load times. I don't do 25 mans because the video lag is so bad. Hell, some 10 mans are unplayable.

Occasionally when I log on, as soon as the load screen disappears and I can see my character, I will notice other players attempting to interact with me. Might be a group invite, or a wsp, or some guild chat comment. 

Such was the case last Saturday afternoon when I logged my Warlock, Teimsar. He is a max Scribe/Tailor, and it was time to restock some Spellthread and bag options. 

So, as soon as I can see my player, there is a wsp directed at me. Went something like this:

Other player: Teimsar?!? You there?
Teimsar: sorry, just logged on. what's up?
Other Player: will you help me or not?

Apparently before my load screen disappeared this player had been requesting some help. I checked the player's name. I didn't recognize it, so shift+click on the name, and sure enough, it was a guildie. I had never talked with this guy. Maybe an alt? 

Teimsar: not sure, lol--what do you need?
Other Player: milling. i need you to mill some stuff for me--lots of herbs
Teimsar: sorry, i'm only on for a few--check mail, make some bags--then i have to log
Other Player: crap, thought guildies were supposed to help each other, nvm

I was a bit miffed. I don't know why--demanding rather than requesting help, the private tell instead of using guild chat, the urgency implied in the message, or maybe the disapproving tone at the end. Sure, guildies are supposed to help each other out, but not at the drop of a hat. 

When helping is inconvenient or otherwise unreasonable guildies should say so.

This request seemed to be both inconvenient and unreasonable. Milling takes longer than just about anything. Since it requires a single click per action you have to sit at the keyboard and spam a macro. No AFK milling like say, AFK ink production or bag crafting. 

I still didn't know how this player knew I was a Scribe. However, looking at the Guild Roster, I suddenly realized that he must have used the "Professions" tab. I did the same, looking at his profs. 

What do you know? He was a Scribe too.

Teimsar: Aren't you a Scribe? Can't you mill?
Other Player: yeah, but these herbs are too high level for me and i don't have time to level it

Let me get this straight: you are a Scribe but can't mill the herbs you have on hand. Rather than take the time to become self sufficient, you want to ask a guild mate to do your dirty work? Not only that, but you don't even ask--you assume that everyone in the guild is just sitting around waiting for you to need some help?

I really wanted to examine the scope of this Other Player's request. 

Teimsar: oh, maybe you should just level it up so you don't have to ask for help. What herbs do you have and how many?

72 stacks of Whiptail? Plus, apparently too many stacks of Cinderbloom to count??

He was nowhere near high enough to visit areas where this could be gathered. That meant it was either an alt or these herbs had been purchased. Either way the request really set me off. 

My reply basically went something like this:

Teimsar: dude, suck it up, level your profession and mill your own damn herbs. expecting a guildie to spend a shitload of time doing it for you is unreasonable. not only that, but you are fucking rude. learn how to ASK if someone will help you. idk if I would have helped if you had asked but at least i wouldn't be pissed off.

I didn't get a reply and logged soon after. I haven't heard anything from guild leadership but I did report this incident via in-game mail to the GM just to make sure he got my side of the story. Better safe than sorry I figured.

Readers might think "this was some isolated issue, you over-reacted". 

I don't think so. There is a lesson here.

First, there have been a ton of inappropriate guild requests lately. Players asking in guild chat for loans and even for gear. Our policy has always been to disallow begging in guild chat. Other guildies have told me that when an officer enforces the 'don't ask for gold' rule, the requests just go underground, straight into private tells.

I have had guildies ask for gem cuts--which I will do, no question. Send me the gem and I'll cut it and mail it back. We have instant mail for our guild level so its faster than trading. On more than a few occasions the guildie has said he doesn't have the raw gem--do I have any extras?

No, I'm not giving away free gems today.

Second, this guildie abuse has happened elsewhere, also with some frequency. My non-guildie friends have shared similar situations in their guilds. In fact, it was only after a robust discussion among 4 of us--all in different guilds--that I decided to post this at all. 

A friend told me about a guildie who sent him a bunch of cloth via mail with a note, please make me bags. I guess no need to really ASK for help in that instance, though I still think a note first would have been better--"hey, mind if I send you some cloth for bags? Whenever you get to it is fine." Or even, "sorry you are never on when I am. I really need bags. Here is some cloth, if you don't mind".

However, he wanted Frostweave bags. He sent enough cloth for 2 bags, but didn't include the Infinite Dust needed for the Imbued Frostweave. When my friend returned the mail and said "you need 24 Infinite Dust", he got the same cloth sent back with a note that said "thought you were an Enchanter? Don't you have any?"

Last, if your guild has a policy in place about guildies helping each other and/or guidelines on how they should ask, I'm interested in hearing from you. If you are a guild officer and don't have a set of rules for this, I strongly encourage you to draft a new set of guidelines.


  1. I don't think you overreacted at all. He treated you very impolitely even if he was a complete stranger with no ties to you. When you add in a guild affiliation there's an inherent sense of camaraderie that makes his behaviour even more abhorrent.

    The sad thing is that those who treat others in-game this way don't often see why they are in the wrong and more than likely act this way in everyday life as well. :(

    When leveling some alts on Hordeside I did need some assistance from some people in my guild there. I had no farmer so I hired someone to farm some ore for me at one point, and I have a guy who cuts gems for me to sell. (He knows full well I sell them.) My basic exchange once I've found someone who can do the cut/service I need:

    "Hey, sorry to bother you. I'm looking for x good or service and it looks like you may be able to provide it. It's no big deal if you're busy, but if you've got some time and would like to make y gold let me know, I would greatly appreciate it."

    I always offer a price I'd be willing to perform the service for myself and no hard feelings if they're not up for it. Guildies are people, not slaves. I hope your guild mate learns that soon.

    For what it's worth I stand by you 100%.

  2. Hey Faid, much shouted for the shout out here. Your approach to a guildy is exactly how I would want someone to ask me. I'd be inclined to help in a case like that.

    In a subsequent development the GM replied to my msg and sided with the other player--he's got a main that's a tank and is "too valuable to the raid team" to piss off. I actually got scolded for MY reply to level his own profs.

    /sigh. Time to find a new guild I think.

  3. Hi Kammler,
    Give and take in guilds is about give and take. Not take and take.

    I once spent a long time farming rep for a very rare pattern, I forget which. It was so rare that I was the only one selling the crafted item on my realm and finally seeing a return on the work I'd put in.

    A brand new trialist in the guild out of the blue asked, virtually ordered me, to make him SIX of them. Six? He could only use one himself. I knew exactly what his game was, get me to craft them for free then undercut me on the AH, maybe with an alt. grrr

    Every other time, if someone asks me to craft something, then of course I will, as soon as I'm nearby.

  4. Kammler,

    I’m sorry that you had to experience that. It seems like a lot of people this day and age do not have the common decency to ask for assistance or for something. They usually demand it which is rude and inconsiderate. I remember being in a dungeon on my mage and was demanded to make refreshments for a player who was too lazy to be prepared and get provisions him/herself before joining a pug. I wanted to tell this person off, but decided not to. I just shake my head in disgust.

    I teach my children basic manners and I know most (I hope) people were raised to say thank you and please. They just don’t practice these small but important principles in their adult life. I know karma’s a bitch and a cause has an effect. People need to know that their behaviors have a consequence.

  5. @ Gold Queen: it really is amazing how inconsiderate people can be. Your guild anecdote is similar to many I have heard from other players. I think the rudeness extends to other things like being late to a raid or guild meeting.

    Bigger guilds seem to have developed cliques that manage some of this behavior. Within a clique there seems to be some safety. Raid team 1 and raid team 2 get along great--but if you aren't on either team you might as well be invisible.

    TGQ, thank you very much for reading. Your comments are appreciated too.

    @ Anonymous: I was raised that way too. My kids (ages 20, 18, 14 and 12) were taught to ask "Please" and say "Thank you". They address adults as "Mr. X" or "Mrs. X" and they say "yes sir" and "yes mame". They hated it when they were growing up but now with two as adults they realize how important courtesy and manners are.

    I'm fortunate to see this behavior extend to games. My son plays WoW now and he is very polite in the game. He follows the "rules of the road". My oldest daughter waits tables during the summer between semesters. She regales us all with stories of rudeness from her customers.

    WoW is a community of players who can hide behind a pixilated image. Many players use this anonymity to act out their frustrations. I know most players follow the rules and are usually nice to be around, to play with. The exceptions make for good stories but thankfully I do think they are in the minority.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Hi Kammler, wow didn't know you had kids that played Warcraft too. My son is 11: just at the age between wishing he could play wow, and being allowed to play a little bit of warcraft.

    I very rarely hear yes sir in the uk, but it's a habit I've picked up from the RP community to address un-named ladies and men as sir and miss. (Madam for an older lady is oddly seen as being an insult, suggesting of pulling the social barriers down on the conversation). I say "thank you sir" to strangers, and I've never told my kids to say it, but they copy me about 80% of the time.

    Work ethic is another big social divide too, I could go on about it for hours, I'm such a bossy mother sometimes, heh. It's not so much that the younger generation don't want to work, but they don't see any benefit from it, only that it eats into their valuable leisure time. I'll stop ranting now and just be content with what my own great-grandmother taught me: "Do your best".

  7. /nod and /agreed w/ all above and you brother...

    recent events w/ casuals and casual caterers... hrmm... gives me a new post idea... thanks.. but great point and great post as always...

    You did the right thing IMO... Next step... I see a couple glaring options on forward steps

    /tell the GM where its at, and there are more tanks out there. Tanks are NOT that hard to find... it just takes work and effort at recruiting... Oh and time... NO ONE is THAT important or valuable IMO...

    /gquit... if they cater to casuals that only want to play at the "fun" parts of the game, and not work for thier own gold.. really what were they going to do? make glyphs and make gold or something? most likely... gold for what? mounts? pets? BOE gear? twinking alts?

    /stew... worst option IMO... this will be a skeleton in your closet and IMO is the basis for many stories that may similar, where something did not get addressed or confronted and stewed away to be the guild drama explosion of a later date when the guild disintigrated.

    Maybe not all that... but, I value nothing in this game that does not add to my enjoyment of the recreational time I invest in its pursuits.

    I think of it sorta like "live like you were dieing..." attitude. Play like you want to have fun, and no one else really matters unless they want to contribute to that experience in a meaningful and valuable way... If they detract from that... Now you get to try out your communication skills at lowering them into their place. Whats the worst that can happen.. GKICK? you can buy a guild... you can pay your way into almost any guild you want to affiliate yourself with... So they value the tank? Do they value YOU and if so.. WHAT FOR? are you okay with that relationship?

  8. @ Achieve: solid advice as usual. I let it slide a few days, see what would happen. Absolutely nothing from this incident but the raid team that tank was on did blow up. Some of the members /gquit and went together to a different guild, a couple are still in the guild and the tank /gquit and went somewhere else, not sure where.

    The implosion may have had nothing to do with the tank in question, or may have had everything to do with the tank in question but either way the guild survived and the raid team did not.

    The final resolution on this is still disappointing. I'm sure I will find a new guild when I have time. Right now, I don't play this toon very often so having him sit in this guild or unaffiliated makes little difference.

    IMO the GM had a chance to do the right thing and didn't. Maybe the reason the raid team blew up is another result of failed leadership from the GM?

    Anyway, I don't /gquit, or /stew or even /mope. I get over it and move on.

    Thanks for the comments, very insightful.

  9. I've been in a few social guilds and this has been an issue to an extent in all of them. If the officers and GM were late to correct bad behavior it almost always backfired sooner or later.

    Towards the end I got o fed up with the 'friendly but yet selfish atmosphere', so I felt more comfortable playing in a guild filled with strangers and goblins were, if we spoke it was related to something specific in-game. All transactions were done professionally; Set amount of items, set price, get it crafted, both sides satisfied and ready to move on. Some would chit chat, others would only stick to the script. Either way that was better since most people in the guild were self sufficient.