Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Delusions of Gondor


Oh, no! Not another World of Warcraft post!

Yeah. But actually I'm only posting about how current events in-game apply to real life. I will endeavor to make it tolerable.

So. Three of us (Darrell and Adrian and I) quit the Innkeepers guild we founded in order to join a guild running raids into high-level instances. Since making the switch, I think we have spent more time running around with our friends the current (loyal) Innkeepers.

But anyway. Saturday morning I ran around with the new guild. I helped them out with daily quests and (in turn and just out of niceness) they helped me unlock those quest so that I can do them as well. To a person, they were polite and helpful and fun. I logged off to install the media thing I blogged about on Monday.

Saturday night at around midnight I started my first run with the guild into Karazhan (one of the longest raid dungeons in the game -- like finishing at 5am long) with nine other people from the new guild, including my real life friend Adrian who plays (as is his custom) a Mage.

I thought we did okay, mostly. We'd try to kill a big bad guy and die and run back and try again. The others in this guild have apparently run through this dungeon a lot and know everything Adrian and I were still trying to figure out. About half the time we managed to drop the big bad guy on the first try.

Again, the people in the guild were very cool to me. I got new boots for my character I hadn't actually earned the right to get just because they were a lot better than my old boots.

This is where real life intercepts and I start to go into "efficient effective meeting mode".

Every time we'd all die, there was discussion, as there should be. Blame was directed at the new people and rudeness seemed to appear from nowhere. There was a lot of stress and angst and bitterness I had seen no indication of prior to these events. The whole thing made me a very sad panda.


I want to say again that everyone was really nice to me, but in a lot of ways that made the situation worse as I would generally be on the side of the new people just learning. Hell, I was a new person just learning.

Here is my thinking on effective meetings which applies to real-life and post massive character death in World of Warcraft:

People screw up. I've had jobs where stuff breaks and everyone sits around flinging blame. In the case of a real life deleted database or in-game failure, the person in charge should ask the group what happened. This is especially true if he already knows the answer. The guilty party should be given a chance to accept fault, since that makes everyone feel better. If they do not come forward, the situation should be addressed later, one on one, because in WoW as in life a lot of stuff can go wrong at once and everyone has only their own perception of events. Either way, the meeting should end before blame gets cranked out. In the case of a disaster, everyone in the meeting should have better things to do than accuse and berate. As often as not the person singled out by the group for blame is not truly at fault at all, but having been tried and convicted in the court of mob mentality justice doesn't contribute at all to feelings of team-building.

Now, I could quit the guild. I could find another pretty easily, even. But, by my thinking I have these nice new boots to pay off. Also, they haven't been really crappy in my direction yet. Or even sort of crappy, really.

I shouldn't have this much stress (or really any stress) from a game.


Thomas said...

Heh, if you think Kara was long, enjoy SSC. Or the revibed Naxxramas when the next expansion comes. Welcome to soul sucking hell my friend. I won't even go into the horror I recall from EQ's first plane raids. But I geekly digress.

10 points for the "meeting merely to point blame" comment though man. Since I did take over the roll as "boss" or "overlord" at your frequently reviled 2005-2006 "name withheld" company, I do have to say that meetings of this nature have the most appropriate name of "post mortem". Someone shall be "dead" at the end of the meeting due to mob comraderie.

Also, I like "quotes".

Lunch Thursday?

Garrick said...

Oh, I'm in!