Dealing with drama as a Guild Leader

As humans, we love to gossip, spread rumors and tell secrets.  It creates a social bond that we enjoy belonging to a group and the endorphin rush from being included.  Of course there is a negative side to gossiping, especially when you are a group that spends a lot of time together.  A guild is just like any other social group where drama can be a real rock in the shoe.  Sometimes you gotta take off your shoe and get rid of that pesky rock.

Magz was a tank, which was an important role to fill in our guild.  There are usually only 2 tanks in a group of 30 people.  Normally a chill guy, one night Magz had a change in attitude.  I can only speculate what caused the change.  Maybe something traumatic happen in his life that we didn’t know about?  Did he get bored and start picking fights with people to spice up his day?  Whatever was going on, he was pissing people off.  If I have one rule in my guild, it is you can’t make everyone hate you.  Several members of the guild began to come to me with stories complaining about him.

It hasn’t happened very often where a longtime member was causing issues.  I’m very direct and to the point when I need to communicate an expectation.  I talked to him and told him how it was going to be.  He had to get along or move along.

The next raid he began to give me sass when I gave him normal raid instructions.  He seemed to think that he was too important to lose and that I would just suck it up and put up with his crap.  I held me temper through the rest of the raid, so I wouldn’t disrupt our planned group play.  Through the 4 hour raid I simmered below the surface and by the end of the night I had reached full boil.

After that raid ended I spoke to him in voice chat, “Magz, your behavior tonight was unacceptable and you don’t seem to care about making things right with the players that have been having disagreements with you.”  He seemed to be indignant, indifferent and perhaps a little irritable.  We talked and when it was clear that I was going to get no where with him and his poor attitude I gave him the boot  “I guess you will no longer be playing with us.”

If you want to continue to play with the group, you can’t make everyone hate you.  Had I chosen to keep him in our guild it would have effected moral and I would have lost some great friends and raiders in the process.  The guy was complaining all the time, being disrespectful towards the leadership (including me) and didn’t seem to want to be there.

I’ve seen players deteriorate into non-productive members and have found that they usually have some warning signs:

  1. They become less responsive to communications.
  2. They start acting weird – acting out or starting fights.
  3. They do something immoral such as scamming a guild member, stealing guild resources or doing other things to harm the guild.
  4. They start having poor attendance.

Of course poor attendance by itself isn’t cause for the boot.  They could have legitimate reasons for missing your scheduled play time, but when a member exhibits the above warnings signs and then has a family emergency of some sort that takes them away from the game for a week – I consider them gone, and I’m usually right.  I’ll make the call every once in a while “That guy is going to quit soon”  I’ll say to my officers.  If I were a gambling woman I would make some serious money with how often I’m right.

If your guild is participating in organized group play, try to always have a contingency plan.  Whether it is someone else in your guild that can fill the role or if you have a potential recruit in the pipeline.  I try to always be prepared.  This way if someone starts causing problems with other guildies, I don’t have to suck it up and deal with the drama.  I always give people the benefit of a doubt and communicate expectations.  To this date I’ve only had to kick a handful of people.  Its not the part of the job that I like, but I need to keep the wheels turning, the bosses dying, and my members happy.

I do love a good gaming drama story.  Anyone have a good one to share?

5 thoughts on “Dealing with drama as a Guild Leader

  1. We had a guy who would begin raid by announcing that he would be drinking an “adult beverage”. As raid night progressed, he’d get toasted. Often it was hard to tell but by the end of the night he was increasingly obnoxious, which we kinda tolerated. But then he began poking and egging on and being sly to the girls on the team — and that ended it. Not a great story but after he was kicked, he’d stand by the summon stone on raid nights and trash our guild in general chat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man that is the worst. I don’t care if my players partake in alcohol or whatever during a raid but I have gotten into arguments with some inebriated players that probably would have never happened if they were sober. Alcohol in raiding is more like a magnifying glass on some people, where it highlights some terrible qualities that people already have. He may have been a jerk sober but “toasted” he just became a louder jerk.

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  2. My guild has had its fair share of drama over the years (some of which I was in the center of >.>). This story reminds me of the current off-tank in my raid team. He’s incredibly disrespectful towards me personally and has told others he doesn’t like me. I try to take it in stride and not react but sometimes it’s very difficult. He also gets butthurt very easily and whines a lot. Another member of the team, a healer, will take NO criticism. If someone so much as questions one of his talent choices he will ninja quit. I find these types of people very difficult to deal with. The worst part is my GM completely enables them. T_T I like most of my raid team, but some of them I just cannot stand.

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    1. Yikes. That sounds like a nightmare. I’m super big on people taking feedback on the chin and acting like adults when they get called out. I’d like to say that I’ve dealt with all of these type of situations with a /kick but honestly I’ve probably let some people stay on much longer than they should have. Running a raid is hard when you have to gauge whether people are going to be here week to week and if you can replace a problem player with someone better and equally as reliable. It’s such a complicated balancing game.

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