A good tank is a precious resource to a raid team. Few players want the responsibility and the pressure. Those who not only want it, but thrive in it, are rare indeed. This week's email asks, what do you do as a guild leader when your tank goes off the deep end?
Im a long time reader and I have implemented a lot of your suggestions in my own guild and it has helped sort out many of the issues, but I once again find my self at a crossroad and I have many doubts on which road to pick.
In many of your blogs, you talk about the behaviour of one member within a guild, that is having a very negative effect on the guild as a whole, and Im sorry to say, that my problem concerns one such individual. [...]
This guy is our guilds main tank, and he does suffer from the old: "I'm a tank, so therefor I AM GOD!" complex, but we can deal with that, since it has been contained to his tanking and not spread to the rest of the guild.
That was untill a few months ago, when things suddently took a turn for the worse.
I dont know what has happened and neither does my officers or his GF (who is a dps in our raid team as well), but his attitude, which has always been negative, is now down right destructive. He questions everything that the officers say or do and it he does so in front of the entire guild.
I have had my officers back almost every time and they have not wanted for support and I have shut him down every time (as it states in our written rules, complaints MUST be voiced in private with the officers and/or GM), which he has respected, since, as he himself has stated, has an enourmous amount of respect for me.
Yesterday though, it all culminated during our raid. [...] People were making stupid mistakes and generally playing with their respective heads up their respective asses! Now, one of our main healers was working and we asked the guy in question here to heal instead, which he did fine.
Through out the fight, he made snide comments to the healers (which he almost always does), and where he normally kept it in raid and/or whisper, where I as GM could shut it down quickly, he did it on Vent this time!
I know my healers well and they are GOOD at what they do and his critique was unfounded, which I explained several times, while asking him to keep quiet (I had several times told him to voice his concerns to me in private).
Finally, he went off on the raid and me, after I announced that since people couldnt play at the level needed, we would stop for the night after the next attempt.
His rage at this, led to me completely losing my temper ( I have a VERY bad temper) and I tore him a new one on vent, as well as the raid group, who I felt was wasting my time.
His behaviour hasnt changed today either and its gotten to a point, where the officers want him out and I agree, but Im not sure.
See the things he voice are often correct and usefull to me and I suffer from the same bad temper as he does, so I can't really fault him for it, but that being said, he has repeatedly been warned about where and how he voices his concerns and he just hasnt improved...
Now he's starting to try and turn the members against me and I say try, since he, so far, has failed at it.
I enjoy a massive amount of respect from my members, which I think, I have earned through hard work and dedication, which has led almost every member he's whispered, to contact me and inform me.
My question, after a long post, is this: Shall I cut my losses and be rid of him and the 2-3 people that might follow him (1 being a close friend of his and his GF). Can I work towards improving his behaviour and attitude or is this just too much from a member?
The Desperate Mender
Hi, TDM. What concerns me most isn't just your tank's behavior, but how his behavior affects you. Losing your temper is natural and sometimes it can't be helped. Sometimes it can even motivate a raid to do better, if you aren't losing it every single raid night. But in most cases it's a negative experience that burns your raiders out and makes the game less fun.
I would urge you to refrain from doing this too often. If the tank is someone who triggers your temper with his behavior, then he is doubly bad for the guild.
What's even worse is that he tried to turn people in the guild against you. You keep mentioning that he respects you, but this is the ultimate act of disrespect. He's trying to undo all the hard work that you've put into the guild.
It's a big deal. He's gone way beyond simply disrupting raids and criticizing people -- now he is encouraging drama and sowing discord.
This is poison for a community. And to answer your question, yes, it is too much. I strongly suggest you ask him to leave at this point. Your officers already support this course of action. In my opinion, it is your best long-term solution here.
If you are not ready to take that step and you are determined to turn him around, then you need to have a very frank and serious talk with this guy. You need to be completely straight with him about just how bad this situation has become.
I suggest a conversation where you tell him something like this: "Your behavior is having a major negative affect on the guild and we can't continue on in this fashion. Here are the things that you can't do anymore, and if you do any single one of them exactly one time you will no longer be welcome in this guild." Then list out for him everything that you mention in your email. Make sure he understands this is not an idle threat, and that you already have the support of the officers if he pushes you to take that step. At the end of the day, however, it's his choice whether or not he still wants to be part of this team. His future behavior has to reflect that choice.
It seems to me that this is the only thing that will get through, if anything ever will. He needs to know that even though he is a good tank, he is not irreplaceable. The drawbacks of keeping him around far outweigh the benefits here.
A force for good
If you say he's usually right, then he does have the chance to be a force for "good" in the guild. He could help your raiders to improve instead of tearing them down. If he can and does get back on the straight and narrow, ask him to help your raiders in the right way, with constructive criticism and friendly support rather than insults and rage.
No matter what, I suggest you keep your eyes open for a tank. You've been very proactive about the whole thing, so you shouldn't blame yourself. You've given him every chance.
Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.