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Sphere of Jerkitude: That's it, I'm outta here

Allison Robert

One of our readers, Bowzer, wrote in the other night about dropping a group instantly on seeing a homophobic slur in party chat. As he observed, running across questionable-to-cruel comments in the Dungeon Finder is certainly nothing new, but he asked, "Am I wrong for being sick of the 'It's the internet, have a tough skin and get over it argument?' Is it so wrong to be a decent person?"

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't had similar thoughts. Thankfully, running into a genuine jerk is uncommon, but each one can ruin your day. I think what bothers me most is the sure knowledge that the offending player is not only entirely unrepentant, but may also be getting a kick out of making the group uncomfortable.

Worse still, there's no surefire way to deal with it. Try to address a nasty or bigoted comment in party chat? You're just giving them the opportunity to troll you further. Kick them? You may not have the votes. (If it's a guild group, you definitely won't.) Stay silent? Drop group? Submit a ticket? Or maybe just hope that the Loot God smites the offender at some point in the near future?

I suspect that Bowzer's insta-drop is the simplest way to deal with the issue, as it conveys both immediate disapproval while simultaneously placing you outside the jerk's sphere of jerkitude, but it's certainly inconvenient that you eat the dungeon cooldown while the jerk finishes his run. It's rare for me to leave groups -- I always tank or heal, and I don't like dumping three innocent people back in the queue just because of one jackass they've never met -- but there are definitely occasions where someone's appalling rudeness has made it the clear winner from an array of less-than-perfect choices.

So readers, what is your answer to Bowzer's question? Have you had any unpleasant run-ins with fellow players lately, and what's the best way to deal with them?

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