So all your friends play WoW, but do you play WoW with all your friends? Even though you have this interest in common, you may find that in-game your ideas of fun vary drastically. You may all start out with the same plan, but after a while, you may find that your friends have changed their minds. Or maybe you have. What do you do if time, drama, game changes, etc. make you want to explore a different part of the game than your friends are ready for? Do you stick it out and remain loyal? This week, WantingMore tells us the story of him and his circle of gamer friends.
Dear Drama Mamas, I am part of a bunch of friends that has been steady for about 15 years. Owing to the distances we live from each other, we use WoW as a medium to meet up and play together. But things have happened and as a result, I have embarked upon a rather large guilt trip.
The five of us rolled characters with the goal of running heroics together: 1 tank, 3 dps and 1 healer. That is a prot warrior (me), a hunter, a mage, a rogue and a druid. We formed a private guild and that is the way we like it. We all agreed that when the time is right, we take our little cadre of 5 players into 10 and 25 man raids. But one of our band (the druid healer) is consistently dragging his feet. We all hit level 59 after several months of play and the healer wanted to start doing PvP. We acquiesced as a group and got tired of sitting at 59 for so long while he was grinding PvP rep (this was during Burning Crusade, mind, so we all had 11 levels to go before we were in the realms of being heroic ready). Finally we managed to get all of us to 70 but this guy decided he wanted to roll a new healer. He deleted the druid and rolled a shammy.
We helped him level up. Finally, he gets to 70 and we show him the reps and dailies he needs to grind to be 'heroic ready'. Again, he has dragged his feet. We attempt to keep him motivated and through more luck than skill we manage to get him some good pieces that dropped. Up until a month ago, we were actually confident of just hitting random dungeons and running whatever we were given. So just as everything is starting to come together was when he announces to us that his account was hacked and all the gear he did have is gone.
We told him that he then needed to:
a) Get an authenticator to stop this happening again.
b) Talk to Blizzard about getting his stuff back.
Instead he decided he needed to go on holidays for a month. He did not do anything prior to leaving.
He returned about 4 days ago and after I pleaded with him to talk to Blizzard, he tells me that Blizzard managed to restore a helmet and an old cloak, but that's it. He is complaining that Blizzard has done him wrong. I cannot help but see it as all that work and effort gone, gone, gone. The shammy suggested to us that one of the dps drop out while he himself converts to dps (elemental), we PuG a healer (as we had resigned ourselves to doing prior whilst initially waiting for him) and run his character naked through the easier Heroics, in order to get some good drops again.
We helped some and gave him advice again on how else to gear up, but with no gold, legs or a weapon he has thrown up his hands and claimed that it's too hard. I expected him to quit, but here's the thing: He is now asking me to roll new character to accompany him whilst he levels another new healer (a priest this time). Two of the DPSers have University starting later in the year, so their time on will become markedly reduced until their courses conclude.
I have been offered a position in a raiding guild by another friend; it is on a different server and is a different faction. I'd like to go but it means that I will leave behind my long-time friends and the group dynamic, such as it is. The other guys don't want to move, so I am not going to force them.
I'm feeling quite guilty because I am honestly tired: I am tired of having to wait for the healer to get up to speed, whichever course he takes. I am also tired of having our weekly meetup devolving once again into a 5-man PuG. That is not why I play. I play because we are supposed to be playing together. Since level 70, we simply aren't, and as I read back over this I realize now that I am not a casual player anymore.
Is it time to give up trying to keep the team together and do my own thing, or stay loyal? And before you all tell me that 'raids are a different game and I may not like them' I have raided before and can vouch that with any group that is focused upon the raid's successful completion, raids are a lot of fun. Signed, WantingMore
Drama Mama Robin: WantingMore, I edited down your email, but I still left it pretty long to show the longstanding drama you've endured. It's like you've been through a bad romance without any chance of a bittersweet booty call down the road. Your healer friend seems rather high maintenance and self-absorbed. This is one thing in a significant other -- where there are other benefits. But as friends go, he doesn't have much to recommend him. How he thinks it's ok to control the fun of his four friends all this time is beyond me. I am angry on your behalf. For example, he deleted his druid. Deleted it. So he couldn't play it with you while he was bringing up the shaman... to force you to wait for him and help him level his new healer. Grrrrrr.
Also, I am highly suspicious of this whole "hacked" thing. Sounds to me like he disenchanted/sold his gear and deleted his character. Blizzard will restore your character if you delete it, but they aren't going to get you your gear back unless you deleted it rather than disenchanting. Maybe. /suspicious
I just think you've spent too long on catering to this guy's whims. Your leisure time should be when you relax and enjoy yourself, in order to balance out with the stresses of the physical world. It is important to maintain that balance, rather than make WoW a job where Mr. Healerguy is your manager. So fly and be free! Be open to joining your long-time friends for a playdate every other week or so, but otherwise go raid. Be happy and guilt-free. You deserve it.
Drama Mama Lisa: I'm suspicious of your friend's motives, too -- but not for the same reasons as Robin. It sounds to me as if your friend is either bored with the game and wanting to weasel out of playing entirely, or he's intimidated by endgame game play and is trying to keep things on an easier, gentler scale. Either way, he doesn't sound too happy. I don't think I'd be too hard on him.
All feelings aside, your group agreed to an informal contract when you started playing: "The five of us rolled characters with the goal of running heroics together." Your friend has failed to keep up his end of the bargain. It's time to let him out of the deal. Let him do his thing and level up -- but there's no reason to feel obligated to go along for the ride.
When you talk to him about the situation, don't make your decision about him. Your decision is about you: "Awww, man, I'm just not up for another leveling grind. Let me hook you up with some bags and a few gold, though ... And give me a shout if you need help with an instance here or there." Then let him work out for himself whatever's really behind his issues, whether it's being hacked, feeling bored or suffering from confidence issues.
As for you, this leaves you free to run those heroics with your other friends or move on to another guild. Do so in good conscience. I hope that the next time we hear from you, it'll be because you're sharing the Random Acts of Uberness you've enjoyed while finally running your heroics!
Drama Buster of the Week
I don't care how excited you are about the new guild you are forming, it is rude to just slap a charter up in someone's face without asking first. This is particularly true if the person is at the AH, bank or mailbox because you kick them out of what they are doing. So please, send a polite whisper requesting help in forming your guild and wait for a positive reply before filling up the screen with your charter.
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.