Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server.
No one wants to see a good friend move on. Gaming friends seem to come in two varieties: the kind who end up at your side in game after game, across the years ... and those who drift away as soon as your immediate goals diverge. Some of them end up on your Facebook page chatting about the kids, but most fade into obscurity so quickly you find yourself struggling to remember their names. Still, you can't force a good thing, as one Sad Panda discovers this week.
Hi Lisa & Robin, For the last few years I've been playing with a very close-knit group of friends, our play time with each other comes and goes as we go about our ever changing lives, (work, school, non-wow relationships), but we always keep in touch with email, and chat outside of the game. About a year or so ago we had the pleasure of including another person to our group. He's an all around great friend to have, and I think I can safely say for everyone that we've all enjoyed knowing and playing with him.
Now as you know we're in the pre-expansion dead zone right now. Either you're raiding to get to, or finish end game raids, farming for rep / skills / heroics / so on, or you shelve your main(s) and bust out a new toon to level up. I've chosen the latter, I have toons on both sides of the border and have been playing on the Alliance side for some time now and really felt like dusting off my Horde toons. So both my hubbie and I are stomping around with new toons, (and old), on the horde side and a few of our other friends have joined us.
Our new friend however has decided to keep playing with his Ali main and grind rep & emblems. He's said he doesn't like leveling new toons, and doesn't really feel the Horde, (brother needs to read some WoW lore if you ask me), anyways, that's all fine and dandy with us. We've told him to give us a holler if he wants us for anything. Randoms, quest help, pug raid, anything at all, and we'd be there in minutes... Our various IM clients are always open, we pop on our ali toons to check mail, grab BOA items, we're like "Right There" just like we've always been. And so as you can imagine, he's pretty much stopped talking to us. No longer IM's us and lately has even gone so far as to log off his main when we come on any Ali toon.
We've all tried talking to him, repeatedly saying we're available for anything, that we're leveling new toons to fill the gap and will be back on our mains come the Cataclysm, our hands have been out-stretched for weeks now and frankly my arm is getting tired. If we had decided to level new toons on the Ali side, (we already have several alts), I know you wouldn't be reading this wall of drama. But well.. there is it.
I know there's nothing more any of us can really do. I'm sure our new friend is feeling abandoned despite our best efforts to tell him other wise, and despite the fact that we see his name online on our IM clients every evening while we play. I hate to loose a good friend like this, but I'm out of ideas. Ladies, readers, any thoughts? -- Sad Panda on Zangarmarsh
Drama Mama Lisa: Sad Panda, I know you have the best intentions at heart -- but you're generating drama. Your friend isn't arguing with you. He's not begging for help, or sulking because you've all changed factions. In fact, I'd venture to say he's doing just fine. The only people who're becoming more and more agitated are you and the other Hordies.
Now, I'm not saying your friend wasn't probably a little miffed to be "abandoned;" that's really no secret at all, is it? But what you're failing to consider is that it's quite possible that he's perfectly content with the situation as it stands now.
Why isn't he taking your outstretched hands? Let's look at the possibilities:
- He's still pissed at being abandoned and doesn't want to have anything else to do with you.
- He's having a blast pursuing his own interests and feels awkward chatting now that you're not sharing mutual activities.
- He's having a blast pursuing his own interests and expects to reinvigorate the friendship if and when your play once again coincides.
- He's having a blast pursuing his own interests and is letting this relationship, which was based on shared activities, naturally fade.
What's important to realize, Sad Panda, is that no matter which of these is the case, reconnecting with you and the others right now simply isn't a priority for him. He knows you're there; he chooses not to reply. He doesn't need or want "help" in the game. Your insistence on prolonging these offers of assistance are creating drama where there is none. You're not smoothing things over -- in fact, you're doing just the opposite. You're stoking his feelings, whether those may be anger, awkwardness or even complete disinterest.
There's one more possibility we should cover. Your friend may in fact be a drama queen of the highest order and is holding out for you all to come crawling back, not only with arms and apologies outstretched but on bended knee, as well. I really can't cotton to coddling this type of numbskull. If your friend is this type of drama queen, your continued offers to help are fueling his righteous fire and setting the stage for an explosive drama-gasm when he feels it's finally time to castigate you for the sins of abandonment and accept your pleas for forgiveness. I don't recommend feeding that beast -- so again, even in this case, you've done and said enough already.
I do hope that you reconnect with this friend, Sad Panda. Some gaming friendships pass as quickly as the levels and the loot, while others persist across games and platforms. I know you're hoping for the latter. Until time shows which it will be, don't generate drama and awkwardness that will throw up walls between you. The ball's in his court.
Drama Mama Robin: First of all, Sad Panda, you started off by doing the right thing. You pursued your own fun and invited him to join. Kudos! For everything after that, Lisa is right. You opened the door. If he doesn't want to go through it, for good reasons or bad, then just let him be. And don't feel guilty either. Because you behaved correctly at the beginning, you should feel free to enjoy the game on your terms.
Also, try not to judge his choices. If playing Horde sucks his fun, then he shouldn't do it. That doesn't make his fun any less valid than yours. As I write this, The Spawn is having fun washing her tea set. Washing. Scrubbing. Drying. Doing it all again. I don't see the fun in this at all. (But I do take advantage of it by having her help me with the household chores whenever safe. I'm no dummy.) As long as there is no harm done (and only a bit of wet to clean up afterward), I just let her pursue this "game." Allow your friend to pursue his Alliance bias. To each his own.
When (if?) you go back to your mains in Cataclysm, let his behavior be your guide. If he continues to give you the cold shoulder, then you know to just let him go. However, if he welcomes you back to the fold, then just carry on as before. Well, it won't be exactly as before, but that's to be expected. The point is, if he has no hard feelings for you taking a walk on the Horde side, then don't carry any hard feelings back for him not joining you there.
Now if you'll excuse me, it seems I have to inspect a clean tea set for dryness. /afk
Drama buster of the week
Internet vets know that joining a new group (forum, list ... guild) means zipping your lip for a good week or more until you get a read on the culture of the place. Don't assume the blue humor your raid leader just let loose into Vent is acceptable or even excusable from a new member. Put your best foot forward and build a reputation you can be proud of before you decide to let your hair down -- by then, others will appreciate that you have a good head on your shoulders and laugh along with you.
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.