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Officers' Quarters: A clash over Battlegrounds

Scott Andrews
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

It's not often that I get questions from PvP guilds. Your questions are usually quite different from those of raiding guilds, so I'm intrigued whenever I hear from you. This week's issue, however, may be all too familiar to those who raid.

Hi Scott -

I'm really struggling right now with a Guild member who wants to be included as a member of our Rated Battleground group, but seems to be unwilling to put in the necessary time and effort to become a good PvP'er.

Some background...two in-game friends and I run a small, casual PvP Guild on a medium population server. The Guild consists mainly of working adults who PvP for fun. We're a friendly group, not elitists, and are happy to accept people into the Guild who are new PvP'ers, or who choose not to PvP at all.

A few months ago a long-term WoW player with almost no PvP experience joined the Guild and decided to start gearing up for PvP. She thought the idea of Rated BG's sounded fun, so we were happy to explain the concepts of acquiring Honor and Conquest Points to her... As soon as she acquired the Resilience minimum, we added her to our twice-weekly RBG sign-up roster. Also, a few of our members took her under her their wings and began helping her do Arenas for points.

The Arena sessions didn't go too well, and a few days later I get a whisper from one of my co-GM's that the new player had complained about one of the people trying to help her, saying that he was "impatient" and "pushing her too hard." I knew the player in question and sincerely doubted that this was true.

I'm a female gamer, as are several others in my Guild who are dedicated PvP'ers, and my impression was that this new Guildmate was playing the "female" card and trying to elicit sympathy from the highest ranking male member in the Guild. The strategy worked, and my friend began helping her in Arenas, losing match after match after match. I mentioned to him that she was missing seven enchants, three gems, and two major Glyphs... After she'd done several RBG's with us, I asked her nicely to get the deficiencies taken care of, telling her to let us know if she needed help with that. In the meantime, she quit doing Arenas because they were just too hard.

Fast forward.... The player in question isn't performing well in RBG's. I realize that I never see her running any Battlegrounds. I don't see any love for PvP, or desire to better her skills, coming from this player.

Two nights ago I mention in Guild Chat to the member, who's on an alt, that since she's still so new to PvP, I'd be happy to run some of the maps used in Rateds with her so that she can get some practice in. The response I got was "Huh?" Whoosh. I asked again if she would like to do some Battlegrounds, going into some of the smaller maps since, again, she was new to PvP. The response I got this time was "Yup, lol, I'm a PvP noob," and she proceeded to pop into a dungeon on her alt.

By this point I've had it. I go to the Calendar and cut her from the next night's Rated's, and put her on stand-by for the weekend. It's clear she has no interest in PvP'ing and just wants to do Rated's to be part of the group. This results in a tearful mail from her the next day stating that she's done everything we asked - gotten Resilience, maxed her gear. She just doesn't understand why she's being treated this way!

Scott, we have a nice group of people in our Guild which, up to now, has been drama-free. I guess my question to you is - is it time to cut this woman before she goes on an angry rampage behind the scenes? Or do I cross my fingers and hope she's gotten the message that, if she wants to be a PvP'er, she actually needs to, well, PvP?

Thanks so much for your help!

I'm sorry to say I don't foresee a happy ending to this story. She seems like the type of player who wants to be carried. That never works out in a team environment, whether you're fighting the Horde in a Battleground or Deathwing's lava-hands at the Maelstrom.

The vowel that's not in team

It's an attitude that raises red flags -- I need you to help me, but I won't help myself. That behavior just won't fly. It goes beyond gaming and extends to any situation where you have to work with others.

Your priest sounds like someone who doesn't understand that. She'd rather blame others instead of looking at what she could do to help the team and herself. Until she gets over that attitude, she'll never be able to contribute. And she'll likely drag everyone else down if you let her.

Put it on paper

It's exactly for these types of situations that guilds should put their policies in writing -- policies that all new members should understand and agree to. I realize it's annoying to formulate these guidelines and type them all out. For a casual PvP guild, it probably never seemed necessary. However, it really does help prevent drama.

All it would take with your problem priest is a policy stating, "Players who show a lack of teamwork, preparation, class knowledge, or motivation to improve may be placed on the standby list or banned from future RBGs." Then when someone like her comes along, you point to that statement -- and they have no ground to stand on.

Hopefully, you won't have to invoke this clause very often. You can also make it clear, in plain English, that your guild is willing to help players, but only if they are willing to learn.

Stating consequences

Putting this player on standby was the right move. However, in the future, I'd recommend stating consequences before you act. Allow the player to make a decision. By reacting the way that you did, you caught her off-guard. Thus, her reaction was more heated than it might have been otherwise.

It would have been kinder and easier on you if you had told her up front if she doesn't practice in BGs with you that week, you're going to put her on standby. That way, she has a choice, and she can't complain when her choice has precisely the consequences that you told her.

She hasn't done anything to warrant an outright gkick that I can see, but keep her on a short leash. If she starts throwing tantrums in guild chat, that would be high time to ask her to leave the guild.

Until then, my advice is to extend an invitation to help her improve. Keep her benched till she accepts that help and shows that she's motivated to learn. One way or another, the situation will work itself out.


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

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