I strongly believe that your fun should stop when it starts to infringe upon the fun of another. However, the behavior of funsuckers is not something we can control. Sure, we can report the blatant offenders to Blizzard. Yes, we can put them on ignore. But no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to make them change their ways. The question is: Does it hurt to try?
Dear Drama Mamas,
Recently, I've taken a more active role in trying to combat the rampant immorality and indecency that has taken hold on the WoW community. I used to be content with ignoring it, and I even left trade chat in an attempt to isolate myself from the more concentrated locations. However, I couldn't just sit by while the problem gets worse each day. It's gotten so bad on my realm that people are actually cheering at people who ninja, troll or gank. I have been brought up right: instilled with values by my parents to make moral choices in my life. I had hoped to reach out and bring some of this awareness to others, but so far it's only lost in the flood or so bashed that people simply laugh at my efforts now.
I know there are people out there who agree with me, but they are content with ignoring it and are afraid to stand up for fear of being singled out by the same people I am under attack by. I am by no means being deterred by these people; I've developed a pretty thick skin over the years, but I just feel like my efforts are falling on deaf ears. These immoral people continue to defend their right to inflict harm on the community, and I am just unable to find a way to reach them. I can try to be their conscience, but I feel like the talking cricket in Pinocchio, crushed by a hammer and only able to whisper in the wind to the people with hollow wooden heads. And to be clear, this is not the Disney story, but the book version. The situation, I feel, is much too serious for a Disney film.
There is also the question of whether it's even right for me to try to force my beliefs on others. I get bombarded with "it's just a game, bro" constantly -- and part of me wonders, if the community as a whole is doomed to be condemned by these people, do I even have the right to interfere? Maybe I really should stop doing randoms, visiting the forums, and leave/block all public channels. For me, that would ruin the game, but is it right for me to try to ruin the game for others, even if their fun is derived from harming others? I can only do so much to balance the PH in the cesspool that the community is becoming. I long for a day when there is accountability and consequences, but if even Blizzard is unwilling or unable to take any action, how do I have any chance at it?
Drama Mama Robin: Integrity, it isn't your job to be the morality police, and more importantly, it doesn't sound like your attempts have been fun for you. Now, if you were the type of person who enjoyed verbally sparring with the trade chat trolls, well, I would still suggest you take it to tells. As we've said before, arguing in public chat makes you part of the problem -- it doesn't matter how right you are.
Not feeding the trolls is always the right thing to do. But playing the game like a single-player game, turning off all chat and never participating in any group activities is not your only option here. There are many things you can do to make your time in Azeroth more pleasant and less likely to feel like a crushed cricket.
- Change servers. I have to say that your current realm seems to be a bit seedier than the ones I hang out on. Trade chat varies in heinousness from server to server, as does ninja tolerance and other questionable behavior. What seems to be lauded on your realm is vilified on many others. Shop around, looking at RP servers first -- you don't have to RP to be on one -- and look for a realm with a more polite atmosphere.
- Join a guild whose members behave the way you think they should. Ethical, responsible, mature guilds are actually very common. They're just quiet, too busy playing the game, and don't have trade chat turned on for the same reason you shouldn't. Look in server forums for guilds that are compatible. Make sure you find one that has players with similar schedules to yours, so you can random with a couple of friends.
- Stop instructing. Forcing your beliefs on others is another form of griefing. More pragmatically speaking, good people who believe the same way you do will be turned off by it.
- Lead by example. This works in the physical world too. If you act according to your beliefs at all times while still being a good guy to group or chat with, your actions will speak volumes that your words could never do.
- Group with people you like whenever possible. Rather than going solo through the world or getting your dungeons done only via random, try to hang out with online players that you like.
Drama Mama Lisa: You can lead by example until the cows come home -- and that's what I always encourage players to do, Integrity First -- but in this case, I have to point you to one of the first pieces of advice ever dispensed by the Drama Mamas: You can't change other people. At a certain point, you have to adapt to the realities of the online environment you've chosen, choose a new one or leave altogether.
I do understand where you're coming from, Integrity; however, WoW is equally a refuge for players who actively choose to act like churlish boors raised in caves by wolves. Alas, if that's the choice the players on your realm have made, then there's not much you can do but respect (such as it is) their choice. The World of Warcraft is filled with not dozens, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions (12 million, to be exact) of other players who are nothing like you. You may find their behavior offensive -- yet at the same time, they may find your "overly prissy" behavior equally annoying. While you are wrinkling your nose in disgust at their immaturity, they're probably making jokes about diamonds forming in places where the sun don't shine, if you catch my drift ... Yet nobody's really right or wrong here; this is about people being people. Welcome to the big, wide world.
So let's cut to the chase: You want to play with others, but you dislike the others you're currently rubbing elbows with. Simple solution: Upgrade the others. You'll never meet like-minded players by retreating from social life altogether, so get out there and find a new guild or a realm with a different take on public community life. The last moments here before the expansion are the perfect time for a transition to a new game home or playstyle. Make the most of it and you'll find yourself looking forward to a refreshing, energizing virtual home that you look forward to joining every evening. Safe travels and happy landings!
Drama buster of the week
Keep it positive, whenever possible. Sure, we all whine and complain in guild chat every once in a while. But for the most part, try to keep the balance tilted firmly toward positive things said publicly. Complaining brings people down and we're all in the game to de-stress, not re-stress. If you are bumming people out on a regular basis, people will avoid you or complain about you ... Drama ensues. If you remain mostly positive, people will want to hang with you ... Drama avoided. Bonus Tip: This works well on forums, Twitter and Facebook, too.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. 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@wow.com.