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Drama Mamas: The curious case of That Guy vs. the Spineless Jellyfish GM


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.

Once upon a time, there was a guild member called That Guy. That Guy was typical of his kind -- abrasive in guild chat, incompetent in raids, seemingly without redeeming value ... Except that the guild always seemed to need him in order to scrape together a full raid group. His GM, the usual enemy of all That Guys in their natural habitat, turned out to be a subspecies that posed no threat to That Guy at all: the Spineless Jellyfish GM. To the horror of guild members, not only did Jelly-Belly do nothing to solve the chaos created by That Guy, but he actually wrapped his tentacles around That Guy and laughed in glee as the guild spun more and more rapidly into a vortex that threatened to suck them all into the briny depths ...
Dear Drama Mamas,

I am in a 25-man raiding guild on a server. We are a decent group of raiders. We have every raiding stereotype you can imagine: the yelling raid leader, the cool-as-a-cucumber DPS, and the always-has-a-strat guy, just to name a few. So as you can see, we are a typical group trying to climb to the top of the server ranking. I have been in this guild since a month after Ulduar released and I have gotten into the flow of people leaving, joining and quitting the game. It felt homey until 5 months ago, when problems started to arise. I have been having drama with one person -- not run-of-the-mill drama, either. Recurring drama.

We will call him Mr. Green.

Mr. Green has been in the guild for a while. He joined when ToC was new. His raiding status has been off and on since then, depending on how many raiders we have. This is mainly due to the fact he is what experts call an "idiot." His raid awareness is that of a sloth and he never comes prepared, may that be with raid goods or knowledge about the encounter. For a while, he seemed to be filler for our raids when we are short-handed, but now I notice he is getting in raids over competent people. To illustrate how idiotic he can be, here is a fun example:

Mr. Green was in with us on a Putricide attempt. We had gotten down the green ooze (which he did not bother to attack) and were on the other side waiting for the orange to come down. Lo and behold, Mr. Green is on the wrong side. The raid leader gently told him to move, but when no response was received, raid leader began to channel his mean side. Alas, it was too late, and Mr. Green wiped the raid when the ooze targeted him and blew up. Everyone makes mistakes, I know this -- but Mr. Green decided to say he didn't see it or any warning, despite having DBM and all our raid leaders having DBM on announce.

Wiping due to trivial things is a usual scene in our raids with Mr. Green, and one day it became too much for me and I lost my cool. I have become famous for losing my cool on Mr. Green, and people treat it as a game. Since then, our healer channel has become a place to bash him -- and from what I have heard, there are other class channels that have turned into the same thing.

I have tried talking to my GM about Mr. Green, but since my GM is very passive-aggressive, he told me that he enjoyed when I exploded on Mr. Green and he would rather have me cut him down until he leaves, rather than kick him. This puts me in an odd position. I don't like cutting down people, but it seems everything he does rubs me the wrong way. Whether it's calling me male on every occorrence (I talk regularly in Vent and am very much female), biting me instead of a DPS on BQL, Ice Blocking me because he was in the wrong place during Sindragosa, or just being moronic in guild chat. I have become a gigantic rage monster and whenever I have a "rage moment," my friend spams /yell with RAWR.

I don't know what to do about Mr. Green. I have him muted in Vent, but that doesn't make him invisible. I am a core healer so I can't even skip out on raiding when he is in the raid. We are short-handed, so not having him in the raid would have us under-manned for our 25-mans. I have stated to officers that we would almost be better off without him. Oh, it might be noteworthy to add I am not the only person to have a seething dislike for Mr. Green. Please, please help me!

Drama Mama Lisa: Oh, boy. RAWR, you're not going to like hearing this at all, but the person who's causing all the trouble isn't Mr. Green -- it's your jellyfish of a guild leader. Ignoring problems in hopes they'll go away? Encouraging a poisonous atmosphere where members go off on one another and cause drama? What a toxic, spineless dolt!

Let's play this one by the numbers:

  1. There's a better way to react than blowing your stack at Mr. Green -- so don't. Everything about your letter tells me you already know this, too. Don't let an immature GM and guild officers egg you into behavior you clearly feel bad about afterwards. This is your "fun" time, RAWR; don't pee in your own nest.
  2. Give your guild leadership a wakeup call. Tell your GM in no uncertain terms that you and other members are fed up with their lack of action. Either they need to handle this situation, or you and the other members who feel the same way will be forced to consider moving on to another guild.
  3. In the meantime, cushion yourself from interacting with Mr. Green. It's possible to be firm yet polite with someone who needs to tune up his game and social skills.
  4. Try helping the poor guy out. We've talked before about ways to help problem players improve their game. If you think you have the patience for it, continue to implement the cushioning maneuvers during raids and then try some of our suggestions when the pressure's off.
  5. Help recruit more guild members. If your guild weren't stretched so thin, there'd be more flexibility for working around low-performance members like Mr. Green. Do some pugging and find some new blood.

Unfortunately, any lasting solution is most likely going to come down to your incompetent GM and officers. Your guild is likely to continue to weather problems of all sorts until you can find leaders who are both willing and capable of actually leading this group. Good luck.

Drama Mama Robin: RAWR, I completely agree with Lisa on this. It's not Mr. Green, it's whoever is putting him in raids over competent people as well as your drama-mongering GM. He should have been kicked from the raid team ages ago. But since it's the GM and raid leader who are the ones causing the problem, I don't think bringing others in to suffer along with you is a good solution.

I think you should go with number 2 ... maybe ... if you really want to stay and put up with a future Ms. Chartreuse or Mr. Puce, that is. Otherwise, you and the people who are also fed up should find another home. There are so many guilds out there who are having trouble putting together full raids due to pre-expansion apathy. I bet you could find a decent fit with a guild on your own server.

Just make sure you don't burn any bridges. There are bound to be people you want to hang out with who don't want to leave. And the guild may get a new GM or be reformed into something better for Cataclysm. Who knows?

Our leisure time is too short to put up with funsuckers and their enablers. Good luck and let us know what happens, please!

Drama buster of the week

Eyeing the possibility of joining up with a fast-paced guild that's biting into hard modes, instead of your well-meaning but straggling guild of friends?
  • Make the leap. Join up. See how you like a more focused pace. You may love it ... You may lose interest after the initial adrenaline rush ... Or you may not find the schedule or the guild such a good fit after all. You'll never know unless you try.
  • Don't burn any bridges with your casual friends. "I'd like to try more raiding, and I've got this window to try things out before I get back into school" is different than "You all suck Cracked Eggs and I never want to hear from you again."

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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