The background: Leveling my most recent lowbie through her 20s and 30s in AB was absolutely, utterly glorious. My teammates were relaxed, and my opponents didn't spend more time emoting /kek or /spit or making strange gestures at me than they did focusing fire on me (yeah, the healer ... ouch). The 40s flashed by, too, albeit with a little more arguing among my teammates over strategy. But once the 50s hit, the losers (in multiple senses of the word) came out in full force. As soon as a single player declared we might be too far behind to pull off a win, half the team would crumple into an orgy of chat despair. Players would stand dead in the graveyards in order to continue textually bemoaning their fate.
When your team gives up, what should happen next? Is it time to launch a rallying cry? Decry a lack of sportsmanship? Call out culprits? Ignore the whole thing and let the downward spiral continue?
Drama Mama Lisa: Giving up in a battleground fills my rage bar -- and I don't even have a rage bar. I don't subscribe to the notion that good sportsmanship is unnecessary and shouldn't be expected or even hoped for in an online setting. So when I see half my team collapsing into a public whinefest, I want to speak up. I want to rally the troops, call for a sporting fight, or even shame the whiners off the field.
Only as you and I both know, that's utterly the wrong thing to do.
Long-time readers may remember one of the Drama Mamas' very first questions from a guy who'd been criticized for trying to teach chat trolls a lesson. My reply: "Put simply ... it is wrong to wanna teach some punks a lesson. As you've already discovered (but maybe not yet realized) from personal experience, as soon as you take it upon yourself to police the chat channels, you become part of the problem.
"Your 'teaching people a lesson' is as much an inappropriate nuisance in public channels as the boorish behavior of the original offenders. It makes perfect sense for other players to put you on ignore and remember your name in a bad light -- after all, every time there's BS floating around in chat, your name is attached! In this case, if you try to beat 'em, you join 'em."
As my 12-year-old aptly observed from over my shoulder the last time I was busily "joining them" in a losing BG one evening, "Mom, I just suggest a new flag to work on, or I tell them where I'm headed and ask if anyone will come along. Then they get busy again." Oh, the wisdom of children.
And then oh, I found more wisdom on Twitter via well-known wise guy Cutaia.
@LisaPoisso ~ I think that becomes incredibly difficult to do by yourself. It tends to only be curbed when a few reasonable people speak up.- (cutaia) (@cutaia_net) December 3, 2013
@LisaPoisso ~ So, my best advice is to at least not remain silent if you see someone else trying to stop this thing from happening.- (cutaia) (@cutaia_net) December 3, 2013
@LisaPoisso ~ Otherwise, just speak up with positivity and rationality and hope it works. At least you'll have tried.- (cutaia) (@cutaia_net) December 3, 2013
Cutaia's right. I shall take both his advice and my own -- and maybe swap to another character still in her 20s for future Arathi Basin action.
Drama Mama Robin: "Fight at the objectives!" " Call out INCs!" I should set up macros for the stuff I shout out in BGs. But I usually have plenty of time to type my instructions since they always leave the healer alone at the graveyard, flag, etc. (/sigh) I've tried to get cutesy: "Cool people don't fight on the road!" but that's just troll bait.
Once upon a time, I took the wrong graveyard in Isle of Conquest. I got told publicly that I was an idiot. The fact is that I didn't know the proper graveyard strategy in IoC. The Spousal Unit explained it to me. I then whispered the guy who insulted me that I was just told why not to take that graveyard. I told him to instruct next time, not insult.
I agree that engaging the trolls is no good. I also know how frustrating it can be when people keep doing the wrong things. But yelling at the offenders isn't the answer and neither is silence. I've learned the strategies I know in battlegrounds from people shouting out instructions and then seeing what works. That's how many other people learn too. You can be the person who spreads good strategies instead of feeding the trolls.
If you'd like to read some basic guides for each battleground, we have them listed in our Upcoming Events calendar, located on the right hand side of the page. (You may need to scroll up or down to see it.) The Call to Arms dates for each BG are listed and if you click on the battleground name, it will take you to a guide for that battleground.
Remember: Instruct. Don't insult.
Dodge the drama and become the player everyone wants in their group with advice from The Drama Mamas Drama-Buster Guide. Got a personal question for the Drama Mamas? Email Robin and Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.