Social drama -- sticky, sticky stuff. The problem with drama in a multiplayer game is that even acknowledging its existence usually engenders more. That's why so many guilds prohibit airing drama as well as any potentially controversial topic in public chat channels. Smart gamers don't manage social drama -- they dodge it.
The first line of defense against drama for most players is membership in an effective guild. Savvy guilds provide a drama-free zone by offering clear, explicit guidelines and rules on common bones of contention such as loot, raid attendance, and player behavior. Debate and controversy are handled in private chat channels or forums. Not at all an attempt to squash freedom of expression, a no-drama edict is designed to free players from being forced to bear witness to an outbreak of drama, allowing guild officers to clean up the mess quickly and effectively behind the scenes. (Learn more about the structure and habits of highly effective guilds in WoW Insider's weekly Officers' Quarters.)
But no guild can protect every player from the ravages of social drama. Where there are people, there will be drama. Fights with your mom or your spouse over game time, finding a guild whose definition of PG chat matches yours, handling an inappropriate player crush ... Let the Drama Mamas show you how to prevent most drama and dodge the rest.
Welcome to the Drama Mamas Drama-Buster Guide! We're updating and building on topics from our past columns to create an easy-to-use reference to dodging gaming drama. Turn here for a growing list of solutions to the sticky social situations of MMO gaming. If you don't see it here yet, stay tuned as we continue building this guide.
Table of contents
Dealing with other people
Getting your game on
Choosing a guild that's right for you
Dealing with other people
In a massively multiplayer online game like WoW, you'll encounter a massive multiplicity of players to deal with online. We'll steer you through common online social situations, cue you in to contemporary netiquette, and show you how to extricate yourself from touchy people drama.
How to live happily ever after with a non-gaming partner You don't have to quit your hobby simply because your other half doesn't share your enthusiasm. We'll show you how to keep grouping in Azeroth from ungrouping you in life.
The Drama Mamas guide to basic WoW etiquette Your mother was right -– manners are grease in the wheels of the social machine. Let's get this thing off to a smooth start, shall we?
The Drama Mamas guide to communicating with others Much of MMO socializing comes down to simple good manners, but new players can find themselves stumped by gaming lingo or stymied by unspoken social expectations and commonly understood conventions of group behavior. Need a refresher course? Let's talk.
The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment First rule of dealing with harassment: You can't change other people. Managing harassment, then, is not about how to "fix" your harasser but how to extricate yourself from the situation so you can get on with playing your game.
The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity It's the last straw: After a long day toiling in the salt mines, you come home to settle in for some stress-relieving World of Warcraft, only to find yourself transported back to The Barrens –- not Battlefield Barrens, but the trollish Barrens-style general chat you've come to loathe.
8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends We never recommend sticking with the game solely to stay in touch with or please other players. If you need to take a break from World of Warcraft but you don't want to lose touch with the people here who've brightened your life, you can keep in touch so many other ways.
When you need some breathing room in game Isn't there a nice way to tell someone to buzz off without hurting their feelings? There absolutely is -- so let's head off the drama before it happens with these techniques for friendly disengagement.
So you're headed to BlizzCon With something in the neighborhood of 30,000 fans expected to attend, BlizzCon is most assuredly a social event. You'll be interacting with a great many people in close quarters, some of whom will be eager to meet you and some who won't. Here's how to handle the face-to-face experience.
Getting your game on
The Drama Mamas guide to getting your groove back What if you've been shaken by one too many encounter with trollish players who tear other players down in order to build themselves up? Here's what to do if you're reluctant to tackle group content after being dragged through the dirt one too many times.
Coordinating playing with different groups and partners Sometimes having so many appealing playstyles to choose from makes deciding how to settle in to play WoW more difficult, not less -- guild raiding twice a week, leveling and exploring with a significant other, and battling the enemy in battlegrounds now and again with a crew of longstanding gaming friends. Is it even possible to connect all those threads into an enjoyable gaming week without blowing every last minute of free time?
The Drama Mamas guide to finding gaming buddies While joining a friendly guild can often be a great way to meet people, simply coexisting in an online space with a common chat channel somewhere on your screen won't build the kind of friendships you're hungry for. Let the Drama Mamas show you a few tricks of the trade for finding players you might click with on a more personal basis.
How to help a friend or family member join you in WoW How can you help a non-playing friend or family member get into WoW in way that's enjoyable for both of you?
Bottom-line expectations for raiders in WoW It's OK to head into a raid with no raiding experience, but you may find yourself dropped or mocked if you blunder in completely unprepared. Comport yourself with aplomb with these bottom-line expectations for anyone who wants to raid in World of Warcraft.
The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK Life happens; we all get that. But should your life be happening to the 24 other people in your raid group? We (and your 24 raidmates) think not. After all, if you're here to play World of Warcraft, why do you keep going AFK?
Voice communications for MMO players Headsets and voice communications have become ubiquitous to group play in MMOs today. But speaking up in a channel full of strangers can be one of the more intimidating and awkward experiences in your group play experience. Get your settings and etiquette down with confidence.
Those hopeless, choked nights when you fear there is no possible way to hack your way into the thicket of tasks waiting to tear you to shreds come dawn are no reason to cut off your game subscription entirely. We'll show you why, and we'll follow up with tips and resources that help you keep all the plates spinning at once -- including some well-deserved game time.
The video gamer's guide to time management Figuring out how to fit gaming into a busy schedule builds an important life skill: self-discipline. We'll help you find the right guild, take control of your schedule, and manage your time in this wide-ranging guide.
The parent's guide to video gaming for kids If there's one thing concerned parents of young video gamers need to know, it's how important it is to acknowledge and support kids' love of games. We're not suggesting you plunk down to dutifully monitor your child's every mouse click. Frankly, your kids don't want or need a hall monitor. But they do need your boundaries, your guidance, your feedback, your enthusiasm, and your support -- all the same things you'd bring to their karate competitions or their band concerts.
The student's guide to balancing real life, good grades, and video gaming Playing an MMO like World of Warcraft as a student drops you into a minefield of inflexible teachers and schedules, disapproving parents, unaccommodating raid schedules, and blithely tempting guildmates. Whether you're an independent college student or still working out your schedule with Mom and Dad, we'll show you how to set and stay on course while heading off the most common school/life/play issues before they strike.
Choosing a guild that's right for you
Player and guild drama becomes inevitable when members end up unhappily guilded in a group that doesn't truly fit. We'll look at the signs you might be in the wrong guild, how to leave without burning bridges, and how to target and join the kind of guild that's right for you.
20 signs it's time to leave your guild People naturally feel trepidation about leaving a known environment, even when it's the very thing making them unhappy. We cling to the familiar, losing sight of the fact that if we change nothing, nothing changes. Sometimes, though, the best thing to do is to calmly pick up, dust off, and move on.
How to leave your guild without drama or burning bridges A poorly executed /guildquit is the kind of toxic drama bomb that can poison your online game experience forever. Even if you're fleeing drama, guild chaos, or interpersonal strife, wrecking shop on the way out the door does more harm than good. You may never want to play with or hear from those people again -- but chances are, you'll cross paths at some point in a group, another guild, a chat channel, or a forum.
Guide to choosing the right style of guild What are you looking for in a guild? What sort of group will help you enjoy playing World of Warcraft? Let's figure it out -- and if you're looking for a particularly specialized type of guild, we've included a few niche group suggestions to kickstart your research.
How to find a World of Warcraft guild If you're ready to find a new guild right now, we'll show you the best ways to connect with a quality organization.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with advice 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 email@example.com.