Can’t Teach an Old Casual New Tricks

I debated for awhile whether or not I was going to post this, but then I realized, it really doesn’t matter.  If nothing else, it’ll help me cope with the fact that I got hung out to dry without a chance to defend myself or address any of the issues that guild leadership allowed to boil over.  If folks are angry with me for writing what I think, well, it’s not like I’ll never know, since they never told me about the issues they had with me in the first place.  Rather than deal with the ACTUAL problem – the misunderstandings that were allowed to fester – they elected to get rid of the perceived source of the problem – me.  Easier, yes.  The right thing to do?  Depends on who you talk to.  When I tried to talk to an officer, I was ultimately redirected to the guild master, who just wanted to get it over with.  It didn’t sound like folks who were willing to change the way they see me.

In the end, though, this is fine.  Now that I know how the guild handles interpersonal issues, it clearly wasn’t the place for me, no matter how much I loved hanging out with everyone, or how funny and smart I thought everyone was.  I need things out in the open, because I’m tired of no one telling me TO MY FACE there’s an issue.  I’m tired of people being surprised and insulted when I fail to magically realize and correct my apparently bad behavior.

I also think raiding had a lot to do with it, so I’m done with raiding too.

I have a dominant, energetic personality on and offline.  When I’m in a guild, I ALWAYS become a larger than life character – people either love me or they hate me, and few people have the balls to ‘fess up to the latter.  I know that I will never, ever be able to make friends with everybody, because some folks will simply find me too obnoxious to tolerate, no matter what they say in public.  That’s life.  Still, I typically try to keep the peace.  I don’t like or want drama in my life.

In two guilds running now, I had more friends than enemies before I joined the raid team.  After I joined the raid team in each, shit hit the fan in a matter of months.  So I’m done.  I am now a strict casual with absolutely zero raiding aspirations.  Screw that whole trying to expand my horizons business.  Forget trying new stuff with guildmates, because it is NOT WORTH IT.  This is twice in a row that my DPS, my gearscore, my reforging or some other esoteric game feature (GEMMING!  ENCHANTING!  UPGRADING!  Blah blah blah) that might incrementally increase my PERCEIVED competence and thus improve my PERCEIVED contributions has become an unresolved issue that fed into incorrect assumptions already being made about my personal character.

You know what?  I’m tired of being considered the lazy, inconsiderate, careless, guild-dividing problematic asshole when I’m nothing like that.  I honest to God try to do my damned best.  When I give my word, I show up.  I am there, on time, every damn time.  I honest to God try to work with everybody whether I like them or not.  I honest to God try to be understanding and like them even if I don’t see eye to eye.  I try to be a goddamn nice person and give every guildmate the benefit of the doubt that LFD never sees.

But whatever I am or try to do, I am not and will not be a mind reader.  If I had not been on the raid team, I may have only delayed the inevitable – but being on the raid team sure helped the situation blow up spectacularly.  If somebody thinks I dislike them but nobody ever says a word TO ME about it, I will probably not figure it out.  If I’ve reforged but it’s not quite right, I’m probably not going to realize it’s a titanic, raid-breaking issue unless somebody says something.  If I reforge and think I’ve solved the problem, I’m not going to realize that it’s STILL a problem unless someone says something TO ME, NOT through an intermediary.  If speaking my piece in chat is a respect issue – I will not know until somebody TELLS ME that they feel they’ve been disrespected.  This is NOT being needy – this is NOT the same as a child requiring constant reminding – this is being HUMAN, with a different way of communicating.

When people can no longer see that I sign up for guild events because I enjoy hanging out with the guild – NOT because I might conceivably profit via transmog items for myself – then there is no hope they will ever understand who I am or how I play.  When the fact that I only put transmog runs on the calendar (while other folks put nothing at all) is considered an example of how little I contribute to the guild, then reality is out of whack.  When I am accused of running off in cliques when I’m playing with friends – WITH GUILDMATES – how the hell can I possibly hope to get others to straighten out their point of view long enough to see me for who I truly am?  When people accuse me of abusing Guild Repair without ever ONCE telling me that I am only to use it after guild events and at no other time – then this shit has gotten downright stupid as hell.  It shows how I am in the wrong because of who I am thought to be, not because I used Guild Repair.  Using Guild Repair out of line just goes to cement the impression that I’m taking more than I give.

I’m so tired of this.

I don’t like raiding.  I didn’t know it when I signed up for the raid team with a new guild.  I assumed that it probably wasn’t fun with the first guild because of the silent treatment I wound up getting, and that it would be better with a different group, one that I thought I got along great with.  But now I know that it can go wildly wrong there too.  If I’m not going to get the silent treatment, I’m going to get kicked from the guild without warning, and that’s not fun either.  (It was the decision of the guild master and three other officers, in a meeting long after I left for the night.  I apparently pissed them off one time too many.  Ironically, I was once an officer too, but not once two of the other officers started having problems with me.  It was nice of them to kick ALL of my characters when I was offline.  The suitably vague letter declaring the will of the officers and professing no “ill will” towards me was all the information I was intended to get until I started causing a fuss.)

Before raiding, when everybody’s getting their stuff together and showing up/summoning/whatever?  That’s fun, because people aren’t stressed out, focusing on problems or trying to find the reason everything is failing hard.  After we finally beat something, that’s fun, because people aren’t stressed out, focusing on problems or trying to find the reason everything is failing hard.  The raiding part itself?  Not so much.

If it’s not the wipes or getting myself in trouble for speaking my mind when a general question is asked in the public raid chat, it’s the sense that no matter what the eff I do, I will never be good enough for the game or for fellow raiders.  Not doing enough damage?  Well, you’re not carrying your weight and you’re letting the team down, so get new gear.  Get new gear?  Well, you didn’t reforge/enchant it/gem it it exactly to Ask Mr. Robot standards, so you are @#^%ing over the team.  We sent you one letter once about it, so why are you still &*$!ing over the team?  We shouldn’t have to remind you, it’s your responsibility and everyone does it.  This is all obviously because you’re a selfish, contrary-for-the-sake-of-being-contrary, pain-in-the-ass, happens-to-be-casual player who doesn’t understand, doesn’t try hard enough and is just a damaging drain on guild morale.

Every damn time there has been drama in my game life, it’s been the result of raid stresses causing minor interpersonal disagreements to take on a life of their own and explode.  No more.  I am going to do my damn casual thing.  I am going to quest.  I am going to transmog.  If I get invited to an old school raid, great, but hell if you’ll see me in another raid from this tier, let alone the new ones in 5.2.

I am fundamentally a good person, and I want to be seen that way.  I firmly believe that all of this shit could have been worked out if the other participants WANTED it to be – when I know there’s a problem, I try to solve that damn problem.  They wanted me to figure it out on my own, and every time I failed to do so, I only looked worse and worse in their eyes.  It’s too late now.  They made their move, and I profoundly disagree (obviously) with it.  I’ve made a new guild for my alts and the alts of friends (do you know how weird it is to not have Mass Resurrection?), and I’m chilling there until I feel like finding a new guild for Thermalix.  Looks like I finally got the bank for all the transmog gear I accumulate – just in a way I never, ever wanted.


16 thoughts on “Can’t Teach an Old Casual New Tricks

  1. tomeoftheancient

    The few guilds I was in long ago didn’t agree with me and then I realized I don’t like hierarchical organizations irl why in the world put up with it in my virtual one. I’m there to be happy and dammit happy I’m going to be.

    I hope you find a perfect place to enjoy playing the way you want. If you’re ever on Fenris I know a small Horde guild where you’d be welcome.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      The way this situation was handled is immensely frustrating, because despite its veneer of politeness, it was nothing more than a series of passive aggressive power plays.

      I should have known something was up one day when I tried to talk in Officer chat but was unable to. They had added a few ranks and I thought they were just fiddling with the options, so it would all be back to normal. In hindsight, they removed me from the officers at that time without actually telling me.

      It shouldn’t have been a surprise that, in a fit of anger, people who were predisposed to dislike me would feed off each other and come to the conclusion that I was the problem. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that people who would not directly address the issues would wait until I was offline to do the kicking and then send me a nice message about it.

      But it was.

      And what kills me the most is that people I honestly had no issue with and who I thought to be my friends actually did not care for me at all. They disliked me – perhaps even hated me – to the point of forcing my complete removal from the guild, down to the last level 8 alt. They never said a word, never hinted at how they really felt, until it was too late. Knowing that every time we were chatting or joking, they actually couldn’t stand me … that’s what really gets me. I didn’t suspect it and I wasn’t looking for it, so I didn’t see it.

      Thanks. At this point, I’ll likely stay on WRA if only because the cost of server changing all my alts would be mind boggling. O_O

  2. kamaliaetalia

    ((hug)) I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been treated so poorly.

    I know I’ve been happier this expansion doing my own thing in my little guild of me and all my alts. I hope you figure out something that’s just right for you.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author


      When I was first learning the depths of all this, I had a number of reactions ranging from thinking I should server change all my characters or faction change them. I settled on making a little guild because a friend and I from the first guild had talked about doing that some months ago (before I joined this one), because at least I would feel like I had a bit of a group, and hell, there’s my transmog bank.

      At this point, having my own little guild of alts is fine, because there’s a part of me that’s still wounded. I’m not at the point where I want to work on making new friends in a new guild, because I honest to God thought I was friends with these people, and that turned out to be a “friendship” based on my ignorance and their inability to “man up,” (as they’d say) and either be honest or at least have the logic to realize that disliking a person and seeing that same person disagreeing does not make that person a guild problem. My heart feels betrayed and I’m not yet willing to risk dealing with that kind of bullshit again.

      It’s probably only a matter of time though. I need to talk to people. I need to have chatty people to bounce ideas off of, to toss jokes around with and to quest around with.

  3. Leit

    And here I was thinking your guild was casual.

    Been there, done that. I don’t know why gear is such an issue… our best healer is a paladin who refuses point blank to level any professions, and we regularly have alts in prog runs who have green/ungemmed/unenchanted gear. Hell, we’ve had raid nights before where people only realised they were using fishing poles once they saw the screenshots.

    What I’m saying is as long as the team is co-ordinated and motivated – that second one being our tripping point this tier – you’ll get kills. Gear is a motivator and builds confidence, but the best raids revolve around good leadership and people properly executing their part in the strat, not whether they’re reforged 4% over the haste breakpoint and forgot to prepot.

    You need a guild like ours where the hunter will randomly MD adds to the healers on prog runs just to make people laugh and relax a little. Or stand on Feng with Resonance so all the folks running in to check loot get horribly killed. Or… well… have a sense of humour. Then raids are awesome. 😀

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      So was I.

      Focusing on gear/enchanting/reforging is easy. When you’re faced with lots of wipes, especially the kind where you’ve got the boss under 10%, you want something that you can FIX to make that last 10% happen. You can’t control for luck, for the tank getting Jasper Chained to the healer but everybody’s fairly petrified and can’t move fast enough, etc. etc. etc. But you CAN reforge.

      And in my case, they didn’t really have a whole lot of actual evidence to base their dislike and their theories that I was attempting to break up the guild on. They went with my imperfect reforging, my disagreeing when asked in public channels, using guild repair, etc., because there was nothing else they could point at to prove how I was being a difficult pain in the ass that was clearly, obviously, detrimental to the guild/raid progress and health. If haters wanna hate, they’ll make reality fit that SOMEHOW.

      In their minds, there could be no humor for someone like me.

      1. Leit

        Ah, the old gun control argument. Gotta do something, even if it’s useless… although that said, at least reforging has a demonstrable positive impact. 😛

        Eh, if they want an echo chamber then let ’em rot in it. There’s enough good folks around that you’ll find something.

        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          I think that it also became a respect issue. They did not see me reforging as they expected or when they expected, and my failure to do so indicated a lack of respect to them.

  4. Anoukisse

    Sorry you had to experience that. Are you sure the people you were actually having fun with were part of the problem? I mean, if the officers/gm took the decision, and the things you mentioned above were raid-related, are you sure your real friends in that guild were being hypocrits? Or was it said that they actually made complaints about you behind your back?

    Every guild has drama at some point.

    Recently, our guild lost a raider who decided to quit WoW. The reasons were unclear as to why he chose to go, but I am convinced it’s because people were questioning his DPS in raids. I feel it’s somehow my fault because I once asked him if he needed any enchants (I was looking at our raiders’ ilvl on Mr Robot because I was trying to assemble the “core raiders” and backup list, and saw his gear wasn’t enchanted) because I am the guild’s main enchanter, and we keep mats in the bank for core raiders. But then others started looking at the WoL logs I post for our team’s stats, and they all independantly started whispering him with advice. YIKES! I feel terrible because he was fun, and funny, and mostly relaxed and drama free. 😦

    Or, at the beginning of this expac we re-did the guild ranks and one officer was forgotten. He took that wrong, but didn’t say anything. And then when raid time came (in December/January), he felt that people didn’t like him anymore, or that something was happening behind his back, and ended up leaving with his main to a different guild. He and I speak enough, and he trusts me to tell him what’s really up. And though I reassured him that it was a misunderstanding, the seed had been planted. His alts all stayed in our guild though, and I think we are all working at repairing the trust. But it’s kind of sad that despite the fact we’re all grown-ups, things tend to get misinterpreted, especially when stress levels and expectations are high, and things get blown way out of proportion.

    Bleh. I feel like I’m writing a novel. The reason I was saying all that is to maybe help you see differently about those you “thought” were/are your friends. Tone is everything, and often, when we type, things get interpreted differently. This is not to say that those officers/gm were in any way right.

    I hope you can find your zen again in your new little guild, but I also hope you can find a group who “gets” you. I love to read your blog, you have such talent with words. You’ve also got a great imagination, and to have that you must be passionate and open-minded. Both wonderful qualities! Good luck!! 🙂

    P.S. Sorry to have talked your eyes off.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      “Sorry you had to experience that. Are you sure the people you were actually having fun with were part of the problem? I mean, if the officers/gm took the decision, and the things you mentioned above were raid-related, are you sure your real friends in that guild were being hypocrits? Or was it said that they actually made complaints about you behind your back?”

      Here’s the thing – I honestly, actually like them, and I still do. I think they are, at heart, good people. At the same time, I think the way this was handled was just one big flustercluck. So I wouldn’t call any of them hypocrites, but I WOULD say they’re conflict-adverse. They honestly believe that I am manipulative and detrimental, but they also chose not to address it until it became too much to handle. Even at that point, their preference was to wait until I was offline and THEN remove me, avoiding immediate conflict. The origins of the drama aren’t raid-related, but the pressures involved with raiding cemented my fate by giving them more fuel for the fire.

      The guild leader wrote me an additional letter yesterday, which provided more illumination into the core of the situation. Boiled down, it’s good impulses and misunderstandings mixed together. Let me speak of one situation in general terms:

      The three officers and one guild master are all good friends. When I joined the guild around October, I was initially welcomed and I seemed to fit in well. At this time, I became buddies with Officer 1 (who I am still friends with). Officer 1 and I were inseperable for a period of months. We ran a LOT of stuff together for different reasons – at first, before his healer dinged 85, I dragged him through Forge of Souls > Pit of Saron > Halls of Reflection some times for gear and a bit of EXP. I liked hanging out with him, so that turned into transmog runs for myself, for him, or for both of us. I could have soloed these places, but I regularly asked him to accompany me because I honestly enjoyed his company.

      It got to a point where the other officers teased us about being an item, which denied with a laugh and promptly thought no more of it. Towards the end of this period of time, I cooked up my Project Platekini idea, but I hadn’t decided whether or not I was going to create an alt specifically for that purpose.

      A few months in, I met another individual who is now a good friend as well. It just so happened that Friend mentioned wanting to make a blood elf warlock, and since paladin was the only platewearing class I wanted to roll for Project Platekini, it seemed like a great opportunity to start one up. Unfortunately, Officer 1 did not have an open slot for a new alt or an alt already in that range. As a consequence, when I became focused on leveling that alt, we spent less time together. Friend wound up rolling a monk and since he likes healing, he went Mistweaver. Friend and I subsequently grouped together a lot because we liked each other’s company, felt the other was competent in their role and tank+healer = instaqueue.

      To my mind, Officer 1 and I were still as good friends as ever; just because we weren’t running BC dungeons or Kara for transmog all the time didn’t seem evidence of things being otherwise. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it looked to the other officers or guild master. They saw me as using Officer 1 for my own purposes and then dumping him once Friend came along – in essence, collecting “dungeon buddies” and tossing them aside once they were no longer of use to me. I wonder sometimes if the “manipulation” came in to explain why they were willing to group up with me.

      I didn’t think that way at the time, but in hindsight, I can definitely see how it looked like that from their point of view. So much of their anger and dislike stems from the fact that they wanted to PROTECT Officer 1 from me, and I can understand that. He’s a great guy with a good heart, and you WANT to defend him against people who would hurt or harm him! To my mind, wanting to protect him is proof of their personal integrity. I know that when it came down to it, Officer 1 stood up for me, which is likewise proof of his personal integrity. I can only guess as to why they don’t trust or put weight in Officer 1’s opinion of me – possibly because he was “manipulated,” or possibly because he was outnumbered – in this small group, more people disliked me than liked me.

      Again, I really don’t think they’re bad people. I don’t hate them. I honestly still like them, which is part of why I feel so conflicted about the whole thing. I can’t stop myself from wondering things like: if I had realized their perceptions earlier, would I have been able to change all of this? If they had talked to me about what they saw, would I have been able to stop this from occurring? Would I have been able to explain while there was still a chance to change their minds?

      “Or, at the beginning of this expac we re-did the guild ranks and one officer was forgotten. He took that wrong, but didn’t say anything. And then when raid time came (in December/January), he felt that people didn’t like him anymore, or that something was happening behind his back, and ended up leaving with his main to a different guild.”

      While I’m afraid that it being just a mistake sounds too good to be true in my case, I’m willing to set aside that doubt and believe that it was just that – a mistake. I did mention it in passing to Officer 1, but because I hadn’t used Officer Chat a lot in the first place and I was unaware of the troubles brewing beneath the surface, I did not make a point at that time of finding out what was going on. That one is on me.

      Other than that, I unfortunately have evidence of the other things I mention. When I last spoke with the guild master, she did give me a list of six points which include the items mentioned above (my intransigence when it came to reforging, my unwarranted use of guild repair, being contrary for the sake of being contrary, creating divisions within the guild leadership, running off with cliques instead of participating in the guild, officers concluding that it would be better to remove me than risk larger conflict later). There is also the letter she sent me last night that I mentioned earlier. I no longer have the letter about reforging specifically, but I may have a screenshot of that.

      “The reason I was saying all that is to maybe help you see differently about those you “thought” were/are your friends. Tone is everything, and often, when we type, things get interpreted differently.”

      Absolutely, understanding is key, and it becomes so much harder when a variety of visual and auditory cues are missing. It also becomes harder when you are predisposed to view someone in a negative light, which is what I believe happened. The more misunderstandings occurred, the more I seemed to confirm the bad things they suspected about me in the first place. I feel like it got to a point where I could do no right no matter what I did. Even this post itself worked into that “Beth is bad” narrative. By writing it, I manipulated everyone by casting myself in a positive light as a martyr; simultaneously I proved my manipulation and undermined my own credibility by not including screenshots documenting full, specific conversations.

      My intentions were much less devious – namely, just to get it off my chest, because it was a blow that hurt. I really CAN see how they came to think of me as such a person. But simply believing that their conclusions are based on misunderstandings and disagreeing with their conclusion does not mean I intentionally cast myself as a hapless, blameless victim for the purpose of exonerating myself while blaming them for being Bad People. And regardless of whether I am an awful person or not, I still think the way it ultimately got handled was terrible.

      “P.S. Sorry to have talked your eyes off.”

      Dude, have you seen how long some of my posts are!?

  5. Anoukisse

    LoL. “Dude, have you seen how long some of my posts are!?”

    Well. I’m really sorry that all that happened. 😦 I’d say 85% of the reason I still play WoW is because of my “people”. The social aspect of things. I completely understand when you say “Even this post itself worked into that “Beth is bad” narrative.” Sometimes I feel that as I try to break things down and explain, I imagine that some people probably think that I’m trying to talk my way out of things, or be “manipulative”. Counterproductive. Unfortunate. 😦

    Hope you can get this off your mind quickly, forget about people who don’t “get you” and that you can find your WoW mojo again! /flowers

  6. dreddicus

    It’s okay, i’m still your buddy. It was completely silly what they did. Even though I got shafted, I regret nothing. I’d rather be around people that are happy and funny (Such as yourself), than be around people that blame people for their own misery.


  7. Bytes

    [Beware; wall of comment!] == I never really ‘connect’ well with peeps online … I think. Actually I am not sure because I am a bit eccentric off line and I feel my personality online is bland in comparison to RL – but maybe some of it carries over into the guild, peeps do seem to know who I am but that’s probably due to officering, not due to me personally. I tend to do a lot of wow content on my own and although I am an ‘organizer’ personality I rarely organize much in game as the raiding life eats up three nights of my time. I rely heavily on other people doing the connecting part of the online relationship for me – if it’s going to happen at all. So despite the drama you have suffered I have to say I think it’s wonderful you are able to build the online relationships. They sound like a lot of fun and it is a pity it caused such a tangle. I totally get the ‘please talk straight to me aspect’ as I am never able to gage properly if people think I am seeking some sort of deep personal thingy with them when I finally do respond affectionately to them online. Once I get to know peeps I kinda treat them like family/close friends – I either am or am not with people… so perhaps my boundaries are bad? I mean I fake a good social intelligence but I really am new to people and interpersonal subtleties can pass me by. Heck sometimes I think this weird arsed assumption I am seeking male companionship or behaving inappropriately is just another symptom of being a ‘singe female’ player /sigh – I mean I like cats right? So when I would see this cat druid who raids with us I would squee a little at him in raids every now and then (not even often to my opinion)… and next thing my guild leader (sweetheart she is) is trying to set me up, or informing me of his romantic interest, or asking if he and I have “it going on”. It’s odd because I had to explain that in fact we barely do more than exchange hellos outside of raids really… and that I am an honest to god happy single peep who intends to stay this way (forever… there might be some slight commitment phobia in that but hey), anyway awkward! – happily he finally marries some lass he must have met online – whom I suspect I was being mixed up with. Pffft miscommunication is the mother of the drama-lama.

  8. Bytes

    My guild leader really is a sweet heart by-the-by – no sacrasm intended. If you ever feel like going alliance you should come play, we could use a transmog event runner 🙂

  9. Birdie Golden

    Thermy – fuq em! I’ve gone through my share of guilds, and it all comes down to the people leading it and whether they choose to be totalitarian, dictators, or democratically run guilds. If they choose to ignore their members and “off with their heads” on a whim, it’s probably not going to be worth your time!

    I used to be a lot like you describe of yourself – bubble, louder, talkative, – and while I absolutely enjoy people like you, because you bring life to an otherwise boring guild chat – there are definitely people out there who simply feel threatened by that person’s likeability because if people like you, that easily transforms into political sway over others.

    You are absolutely awesome darlin – you were my favorite guildy (aside Houney of course ^.~) and I’ve been around since Vanilla!


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