Getting your own 15 Minutes of Fame is not a bad thing – except when it's for all the wrong reasons. Leave the drama, Dear Reader, to the denizens of GuildWatch. Introducing WoW.com's Drama Mamas, here to help you stay out of the wrong kind of spotlight. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server.
What to do, what to say? Let the Drama Mamas guide you:
- The polite way to share quest monsters
- When someone "accidentally" ninjas your loot
- When you accidentally ninja someone else's loot
- Handling the (nice but annoying) pest
- When your friend's significant other is an awful player
And now, on to the matters at hand ...
This week, the Drama Mamas lend their wisdom to two younger players wrestling with the age-old problem of ... well, age.
Drama Mama Lisa: Oh, boy (and "boy" is definitely the operative word) ... Not a Baby Boy, the problem isn't how old you are – it's how old you're not. The guilds you keep applying to are looking for dudes who are in the same general place in life as they are. It's not just things like someone whose mom won't make him stop raiding to go to bed on an exam night (although that's important, too). They're looking for someone who can relate to all the things they do outside of WoW. They want to talk about the campus parties, their jobs, dating, the social scene ... things you haven't had much of a shot at yet, at 16.
They're also looking for a place to cut loose. Vent can be a place where they can indulge, both literally and figuratively – and you're not legal age yet. Are those things part of WoW? No. Should they be important in WoW? Maybe ... But they definitely are important to your potential guildies, if they enjoy talking about that stuff in game.
It may sound backwards, but it may work in your favor to look for a guild of even older players. Players who are well past the college and early 20s years, who have busy careers and families of their own, are generally looking for a less raucous atmosphere with more of a focus on getting things done in a reasonable amount of time. And even if they do think you're a "baby boy" – well, they're parents, too. They can relate.
Drama Mama Robin: Many serious raiding guilds would appreciate your skills but probably have an age restriction due to experiences with other young players. There is a perception that younger players constantly use leetspeak, throw temper tantrums when things don't go their way and (as Drama Mama Lisa said) are beholden to a higher/parental authority.
Your job is to prove to them that they won't be able to tell how old you are:
- Fill out their guild app completely and honestly, using correct spelling and grammar. Be honest about your age, but ask for a chance to run with them to prove age will not be an issue.
- Continue using your language skills in all chat. Presenting yourself as an educated adult will make people forget you aren't.
- Respect all loot rules and decisions. All apps and new guildies are lowest on the totem pole - and this reflects real life. You aren't going to get the phat raiding lewt until you have proven yourself a valuable teammate.
- Don't commit to a raid unless you have the time and parental permission. Mom aggro sucks for everyone.
Dear Drama Mamas: My mom says it's ok to play WoW, but then she keeps not letting me play! Every time I get in a group, she wants me to do something. I'm afraid to even try to raid. She just doesn't get it. School's out! I wanna play! Help me explain that I can't just leave the game any time she wants me to or else it's just not worth playing. Signed, Sad in the Summertime
Drama Mama Robin: Sad, I can understand your frustration. My 3-year-old doesn't get it either - but unlike her, you have some options for reasoning with your mother. Scheduling is the key here. Sit down and work out two schedules with your mom: a chore schedule and a WoW schedule. If you trade her some uninterrupted chore time, my guess is that she will respect your play sessions.
Drama Mama Lisa: What your mom needs is the ol' bowling league analogy. Explain to her that playing WoW is like bowling: you can wander down to the alley and sling a few balls down the lane on your own, but it's much more fun with a group. Once you've committed to a group, your groupmates – just like the members of a bowling team – rely on you to hold up your end of the bargain.
Give your mom an idea of how long common WoW activities run: "A five-man dungeon usually takes about an hour, but it could go twice that if our group is having a hard time. I can zip through all my dailies (the chores my character uses to make money and maintain her stuff) in about X minutes. A raid is more like a bowling tournament; I need to be available the entire afternoon or evening." Then don't leave the rest to chance – talk to her in advance about which activities might match up best with the time slots when she thinks you could (and should) be playing.
Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.