The dumb mistake raid wipe
Raid wipes are part of the process of progression, but there are some wipes that really take the cake. I always loved the rogue pets in EverQuest, which would suddenly take off after a mob because their owners forgot to set them to passive. Another of my favorites are the DPSers who can't resist hitting that AoE damage ability, no matter how many times you beg them not to attack the mezzed mobs. And then there are the healers who don't pay attention, mistarget, and chain heal some random person who is actually full health. But the best mistake of all has to be accidentally porting or evac'ing your entire party out of the raid zone. There's nothing better than suddenly seeing a chunk of your raid go missing in the middle of the fight, followed by the sheepish apologies from the guilty player. It's such a whopper that it's hard to even get angry about it, although it can be a bit of a pain to have to wait for the group to run back from some distant land and rejoin the raid. Talk about a walk of shame!
Mistype the guild remove command
Guild departures can sometimes be nasty, drama-filled, emotional meltdowns, and for the person leaving, it's that last chance to really stick it to the guild and burn some bridges. In those types of break-ups, that last word is crucial, and it's almost always something vicious and provocative. But if you're going to go out that way, you really should do your homework and find out what the command is to leave the guild because there's nothing better than seeing that last nasty remark get followed up with "remove." It's sort of like a woman breaking up with a guy, tossing out one last flippant remark, and then getting her pocketbook caught in the door after she slams it.
Pretend you're someone you're not
I'm not talking about roleplaying here; I'm talking about someone misleading guildmates and painting a false background of his real life. The most common one, of course, is the dude playing a female character in order to sweet talk some loot and favors from tempted guildies. But there are plenty of other reasons why people make up false biographies that go beyond pixelated progression, and it's unfortunate because it makes it harder for people to trust each other as they game together. The best approach is to assume that someday, somehow, you'll have to explain to everyone who you really are because whether it's at a convention or over voice chat or a result of someone being smart enough to do a little google snooping, your guildies will eventually figure it out anyway. This is actually one embarrassing moment that usually doesn't end in laughter -- or at least shouldn't.
I'm embarrassed to say that I did my first mistell well before the term had even been invented. (And why are mistells always the really embarrassing tells and not the innocuous "Hello" tells?!) I had bumped into a new player in East Commonlands who was lost, and I had offered to help him out. He was a newb in the truest sense and typed as slow as you'd expect a newb to type, so I was getting a little irritated and regretted my offer. As I was sending him instructions, I got a tell from a friend who wanted to group up and hunt spiders at the West Commonlands zone wall (because that was the uber thing to do back then), so I replied that I would join up as soon as I finished helping this tool get to Freeport. Of course, the "tool" had slipped in a tell to me, so my reply went to him instead of the friend. I was truly embarrassed and couldn't wait to get him to town so I could run away.
Raiding in your crafting/vanity clothes
It always begins the same way: The main tank dropped like a shot, and the healers are all looking at each other wondering who went AFK to make popcorn. After the third or fourth time, though, the fingers begin to turn toward the tank, and sure enough, the guy was raiding in his crafting smock instead of his uber breastplate of uberness. I'm not sure what's funnier: discovering that the tank had forgotten to change his gear or learning that he was wearing it because he was busy crafting teapots and berry pies the night before.
Raid leader senility
There's a lot that a raid leader is responsible for, and one of the most overlooked duties is actually knowing where the raid zone is and what's required to actually get in. It's amazing how many times I've had to click a certain thing, pull a certain lever a particular way, search for a hidden entrance, or even say a correct password before summoning a raid mob or opening access to a raid zone. At my age, these little details get harder and harder to keep track of, and I'll admit that I've had more than one memory lapse when raiding. I feel like Gandalf, standing in front of the gate of Moria, trying to remember how to get in while the rest of the party stands around awkwardly waiting. As we raid leaders enter our golden years, I implore developers to keep the complicated stuff limited to the raid encounter itself. Trying to recall color coded dials or secret locations is getting as difficult as the actual fight!
It's easy to do something embarrassing in game, but it actually takes skill and effort to accomplish some of these feats. If you've ever been guilty of making a mistake that left you humiliated, take heart in knowing that you're in good company, and hopefully, players will end up laughing with (and not at) you. In the meantime, I'll be busy trying to remember the color pattern to open the way to Druushk. Something about green and red...
Do you have a guild problem that you just can't seem to resolve? Have a guild issue that you'd like to discuss? Every week, Karen Bryan takes on reader questions about guild management right here in The Guild Counsel column. She'll offer advice, give practical tips, and even provide a shoulder to lean on for those who are taking up the challenging task of running a guild.