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Drama Mamas: When the boot feels like Das Boot


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- 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. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Das Boot is the story of a U-boat crew: the adrenaline of battle and the tedium of the hunt. The film shows what IMDb calls "the claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror."

If the words "boredom, filth and sheer terror" bring to mind your most recent PUG raid, there's something wrong. And if even the act of getting into and then successfully staying in a PUG raid makes you feel more like a U-boat crewman than a PUG raider ... Well, we've got some drama to torpedo.

Dear Drama Mamas: Twice today I, or someone else, was dumped from a raid in its early stages so the raid leader could invite a personal friend. Both times resulted in wasted time with little or no explanation. I gave both leaders a piece of my mind, and both of them acted like it was nothing. Do you think this is acceptable behavior? Am I making too big a deal of this? Thanks, Steve

Drama Mama Lisa: Hi Steve -- I can see where some players might assume that PUG raiders are completely disposable. After all, PUGgers are a dime a dozen these days. Most nights find a PUG raid on every street corner, and guild membership no longer seems mandatory to access anything but bleeding edge content. Even brand new content gets PUGged frequently, vigorously and, more and more often, with skill and success.

Despite the proliferation of PUGs and PUGgers, booting a PUG player from your guild or PUG raid for the sake of replacing them with a latecomer guildie or friend just plain stinks.

  1. It's rude. Your mother didn't teach you to invite someone to your birthday sleepover and then uninvite them when your best friend's parents announced they weren't going to be out of town on that date after all, did she?
  2. Yeah, everyone else is doing it. It's still rude.
  3. Time wasted on raid kicks, invites and reconfiguring the raid wastes the entire raid's time. It quite probably impacts both their focus and the amount of time they have left to continue playing later.
  4. Booting members (unless it's for an irreparable problem) hamstrings any sort of group cohesion.
  5. Favoritism and constant reforming positions your raid group as a careless, flung-together proposition rather than a successful and possibly persistent team.
  6. Kicking someone who's already saved to the instance? That's positively slimy.
Officer's Quarters writer Scott Andrews did a magnificent job of addressing this issue back in May. "Most guilds (who filled a slot with a PUG raider), in my experience, wouldn't even blink," he wrote. "They'd drop those PUG players like a sack of potatoes and slot up their own members before you could even ask for the Vent info. And I'd have to say that most people would expect it. After all, PUG players are notorious for abandoning runs with no warning. Why should guilds show any consideration toward them?

"It's a cold world out there. But we as officers and raid leaders don't have to act that way. Our behavior serves as an example to others. We set the tone for our server. All of our decisions add up over the long run and they determine what is acceptable. Ultimately, we make our own etiquette. So my question to you is, what do you want the etiquette to be?"

I couldn't have said it better.

Drama Mama Robin: Steve, on the one hand, getting dropped without warning to make room for someone else is rude and shouldn't be done, just as Lisa says. You helped make the raid a success and begin faster by joining the PUG and were rewarded for your efforts by being dropped when a preferred person was able to join. This is definitely worth being upset about.

On the other hand, the practice of dropping PUG raiders for friends or guildies is so commonplace that it is almost to be expected when you join up without knowing anyone in the raid. And getting upset about something you can't control and happens a lot is a waste of time and energy. In a perfect world, all raid leaders would listen to Lisa and Scott's advice, and no one would go through this. Or people would just treat others the way they would like to be treated in all things ... Wouldn't that be nice? *wakes up from daydream*

Let's look at things from Rudy Raidleader's perspective for a moment. Rudy has a raid to fill. He's promised his buddy Larry Latenik a spot, but Larry's late. Now, Rudy could be honest and say "LF substitute raider to join us until my friend Larry shows up," but who is going to jump for that offer? So he fills the raid and gets it started, thinking it's better for everyone because the raid gets going more quickly than waiting for Mr. Latenik. When Larry shows up, he drops a person, still thinking that he's keeping his deal and keeping the raid together. Good for everyone except one person is still good, right?

So, yeah. It's not going to stop. Yes, inform Rudy that he is wrong. But try not to get your blood pressure up about it.

Also, try to network among the other PUG raid players a bit. Befriend the ones you think are good people. And when you find raid leaders you like, ask to be put on their list for future raiding consideration. You, too, should have lists -- two of them:

  1. Bad Raid Leaders Put Rudy and any other raid leaders whom you don't want to raid with again on this list.
  2. Good Raid Leaders Put all non-bad raid leaders here. Consider them good until proven otherwise.
Lastly, I would recommend not going to your realm forums with your issues or list of bad raid leaders. It will cause a lot of drama with no good results. Rudy's friends will back him up and/or call you a liar. Your friends will do the same. Other players will pick a side and exacerbate the problem. Eww.

Good luck, Steve.

Drama Buster of the Week

Drama-busting macros of the week:
  • /p Let's keep things simple and Need for everything (main spec, off-spec, and things we can all use or sell). If someone needs it more than whoever wins it, we can always trade later. This makes sure nothing someone will use gets disenchanted.
  • /p Needing for off-spec. If you need this for your main spec, let's talk before we leave the instance about a trade.

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 (at) WoW (dot) com.

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