I had a few emails from the guild leader for Shining Star Crusaders concerning the issues I brought up in a blog post about Dalra, at that time a member of their guild.

The first email was simply a request to remove any reference to Shining Star Crusaders from the blog post, the second email came 7 minutes later as follows;

Hello,

I have no idea who you are, nor do I care particularly. I do care that you have defamed my entire guild with your prattle regarding a player that is NO LONGER in this guild. This person was a member all of a big 4 days!

Talk about the individual player all you want, leave the guild out of it. But then it Is quite obvious you like the sound of your own words and don’t care about the honest and sincere and decent people in Shining Star Crusaders.

I would appreciate your removing the name of my guild from your blog.

Thank you,
Sharazam-Guild Master

Now, of course I understand the concern the guild leadership has over some moron writing a blog post talking about the behavior of one of their members in a public fashion. Especially one like me, that prattles on and on. It’s a fair cop.

I’ve checked, confirmed no player named Dalra is currently in the guild mentioned, and I have added an update to that effect on the blog post.

I’m even writing this separate blog post, and I’m making sure I let everyone know that the guild leader of Shining Star Crusaders says that Dalra is not now a member, and I am assuming that the implication is that Dalra’s behavior does not represent the type of community Shining Star Crusaders has formed.

Please, and I really mean this, please do not bother any member of Shining Star Crusaders about Dalra. It’s over, it’s done, none of the members of that guild had any part in what Dalra did. 

What I’m not going to do is edit the post to remove the name of the guild Dalra was a part of when the player acted as they did. They did what they did, in public, with the guild name shown that they were a part of, got busted in public, and that’s all there is to it.

It’s unfortunate that really good people may now feel that they as a guild are tarred with the same brush as an outright asshat. I still don’t know anything at all about the guild, except for Dalra and of course for the letter I’ve received, but I know how I would feel if someone who stood against everything MY guild stood for was portrayed as being representative of my guild. I’d be pissed off and hurt.

But I’m still not changing history or rewriting the blog post to pretend that Dalra was unaffiliated when they took the actions they did.

The reason I’m leaving the name in and bringing this up, is to ask a question I honestly want to know the answer to.

To what extent are guild officers responsible for the behavior of their members?

When I was a guild leader with Cassie, one of our worries was the behavior of guild members towards others while wearing the guild name. We as officers felt responsible, NOT for the actions of those wearing the guild name, but for the continued presence of those people within the guild after they had done something.

It happened a few times, and back then discussing it with other guild leaders it was clear no guild is immune to it. A member would do something in public, and it would be reported back. The way we handled it was investigate, apologize to those outside the guild who were affected, and then take apropriate action up to and including temination.

Every player acts as he or she deems fit. Whether angels or asshats, they do what they choose to do, and so long as they pays their money the same as everyone else, and abides by Blizzards’ Terms and Conditions, so be it.

What a guild leader does have control over is whether people who behave in certain ways are allowed to retain membership. Any guild has the right to refuse admittance on any grounds they so choose, including inappropriate behavior.

But that’s not fact. It’s not law. It’s just my own personal opinion on how things should be done and how I tried to do it, and damnit, maybe I’m wrong.

So I’m putting it to you, and I really do want to know.

Is it fair to name the guild a player is a member of, when that player is caught red-handed in the intentional griefing of others?

To name the guild is to associate the other members of that guild with the behavior of the player.

Maybe the guild did everything right. Application process, trial runs to see how the player acts and plays, discussion on vent to get a feel for who they are before invitation. In the guild group, where there are known consequences for bad behavior, namely getting booted and not getting to raid, maybe the player is on their best behavior. They make an effort to keep up appearances.

Then in what they thought was a totally anonymous situation, they cut loose with what I would call their true colors, and there were unintended consequences because there is no anonymity on the internet. Maybe it cost them a paid name change to regain that anonymity, maybe they revel in the notoriety, whatever.

Have the expectations of decent behavior in and out of a guild changed? Do guilds no longer worry or concern themselves with the actions of their members outside of guild activities? Do they not expect to be held accountable when their members act out?

I have always acted based on my own expectations. I expect that a guild leader should be held accountable for the behavior of their members, regardless of how long they were a member of the guild. If the guild leader offered the invitation, then they were bringing that person into the guild, and giving the right to wear that guild name and represent it to the server as a whole. If they have concerns, then they take steps to be careful who they offer admittance to, and take action when problems happen.

Things change, communities move on, guilds stop being family and start being businesses making videos and getting sponsorships and working toward world firsts (and trying to steal each others’ raid ID to get those world or realm firsts). Maybe it’s no longer about wanting members that really are nice, and now it’s just trying to protect an image that is worth gold in recruiting other good players to your ranks.

What do you think? 

I really want to know.

These days, I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band, I’m not a grand poobah. I am thinking maybe with cross-server LFR and LFD, it’s time I changed my attitude, and take the side of Sharazam. I think she’s right, and I was wrong, and it’s become impossible in this cross-server game to be held accountable for what your players do. They can be freaking nutso bughouse freaks out there in LFR land, and a guild leader may never hear about it on their own home server unless they are really lucky.

As always, I am keeping my mind open, and I’d love to hear your take on it from your own personal experiences.

76 Responses to “Who Should Be Held Accountable?”
  1. Manech says:

    As an officer on a guild on Icecrown I took special interest in the prior column and I made sure to put a post up on our forums linking back here to it. Thankfully none of my guild mates have done anything so glaringly wrong but a friendly reminder that hey you never know who you are being grouped with nor quite how they can publicly embarrass you if you act like an asshat when you Pug. FWIW I thoroughly enjoyed the post and shared it in Vent yesterday and we had quite a few laughs at Dalra’s expense.

    To your question at hand I would take any reports such as this seriously and have written it into our guild philosophy that individual actions do bear upon our guild’s reputation and something like this would likely result in action taken to ensure it does not re-occur.

  2. Peregrina says:

    Personally?

    I really don’t think it’s worth all the anguish on every side.

    I think guild leadership is responsible for creating and nurturing the guild environment that the guild in question wants.

    I think other people are free to hold whatever opinions they want.

    If a bunch of people have some sort of opinion about how people wearing the tag of the guild I’m in are all terrible people or whatever, I don’t really care. As a guild we’ve worked hard to create the kind of social environment that we like, and the opinions of people outside that fold are irrelevant to that. Their opinions could theoretically make things like finding people to craft items more difficult, but if that were to happen, that would be a price we’d happily play to keep the guild the way it is.

  3. Osi says:

    The fact that this “guild leader” basically called you a moron, means that this character effectively represents the guild, and the “guild leader” endorses the behavior. I mean, lets face it. Only fake “GL”s and little kids all other people names when they were caught doing something.

    I would say leave the character name/link and the guild name for all to see. After all, judging by the “GL”s email, that guild is full of aholes all the way up to the GL.

    • ellori says:

      ^ What I was thinking. That guild leader’s email is rude and boorish, and I would say it isn’t BB who is the moron of the two. Anyone knows you don’t rush in trying to throw your weight around or tossing out insults when you hold no leverage in the situation and all you can do is basically appeal to the other party to do something for you out of pity/ kindness/ whatever.

      Do leave that email up. Innocent people looking for a guild deserve a warning regarding the type of guild leadership they’d be in for if they joined the Shining Star Crusaders of Icecrown. I’m surprised Dalra left–seems like a nice fit.

    • Vaxas says:

      That struck me as particularly odd and immature as well. In essence, this person was asking Bear for a favor–one he didn’t have to comply with–and his approach is to be as passive-aggressive as possible about it? At best, it was a poor PR move; at worst, it demonstrates the poor leadership of a previously unknown guild and how accurate a representation the aforementioned troll actually was.

      Poorly done, Mr Guild Leader. Poorly done. Hopefully a lesson can be found in there somewhere.

  4. Greysmoke says:

    Dear lord, whatever else may be decided, that’s one snotty email you got. The tone is hostile and downright rude and to me says as much about the guild as the post about the player who was briefly in it.

    A simple request to remove reference to the guild’s name would have sufficed. Perhaps with a note that the offending player was a newbie to the guild. A thanks for bringing the incident to the GM’s attention would have been nice, but not necessary.

    Sheesh.

  5. Cid Phoenix says:

    One of the burdens of leadership has always, always been taking responsibility for the actions of those under your “command.” Bosses are held accountable for the work of their employees, captains are held accountable for the behavior of their crew. That’s just part and parcel of the job, and if the leader in question just unshoulders the burden with a shrug and a “Hey, what my guys do is their business,” well, he’s not much of a leader, is he?

    I could talk at some length about youth culture, the self-esteem movement, the trend towards abdication of personal responsibility and the continued delay of the onset of maturity, but this is your soapbox, not mine ;-) Suffice it to say that I agree with you: a guild leader, like any leader, is responsible for policing those who wear their guild’s tag. If a guild leader finds out that one of theirs is being naughty in LFR, that guild leader should take action as best they can. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you having called out the duffcap’s guild on a public forum: how, after all, would the guild leader have found out otherwise?

    Side note: I’m always amused by people who think it’s possible to “undo” something on the Internet. It amazes me that people still haven’t realized, after more than fifteen years, that the web is forever.

  6. Askevar says:

    Been trying to think how I would handle that email or the blog post. I have named and shamed before on my blog, but I’ve also been the guild leader having such things brought to you.

    I guess if a guildie of mine showed up on a blog such as this as having exhibited that kind of behavior, I’d get the story from the guildie and even if we chose to retain their membership, probably would have sent a note thanking you for bringing this to my attention and asking that you please consider adding a note to the post saying that the guild apologized for the behavior and that this person has been put on a probation/kicked as a result.

    If we chose to retain membership, they would also be expected to send an apology. I know most people would say to just blatantly kick, but whether it’s a newbie versus a veteran who’d never done anything such as that before does matter. Calling a guildie to task is not fun, but it’s part of being a guild leader.

    The only time I would get snippy would be in fact if how I chose to handle it is called into question [not that you would]. I’ve left some people dissatisfied because I didn’t make a public spectacle of whatever reprimand I choose – whether it’s being benched, rank loss, privilege loss, probation etc. The most anyone can do is bring it to a guild master’s attention. Repercussions are beyond you – and I’ve been the one going to GMs with this stuff before. Behavior has to be pretty low for me to go cross-server and do that, but I have. It’s resulted in at least one kick [of someone who was wracking up quite a record – I wasn’t the first one to complain] and a lot of unknowns. Though the fact that a GM/Officer will listen to your complaints and be patient is usually a good sign that the person that wronged you will get spoken to and may not repeat the behavior.

    One thing more, we often go cross-server to try and take care of wrongs – but if you have a really helpful player, consider giving their GM a note or a whisper. GMs always groan when they get cross-server whispers about guildies – getting a positive one once in a while can really make your day.

    Anyway, I’m just glad I don’t wear a GM hat anymore :P

  7. pryde says:

    Based on the email, I’m guessing Shining Star Crusaders is home to many a Dalra. Imagine how different that guild would look, if the email had simple stated that Dalra was no longer a member any more, and they were sorry for any negative actions taken while in their guild.

  8. xalorum says:

    BBB, would you have been more inclined to remove that guild information if the GL had attempted to, in a respectful manner, start a conversation that brought up his/her point of view, and then made a request (as opposed to a demand) that you remove it?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      No, the tone of the email had nothing to do with my response. In my opinion it’s one thing to ask that it be made clear that the person acted on their own, was only briefly a member of the guild, and to ask that it be underlined that the guild took fast action to remove the offending player. I appreciate that, and I did so the same morning I received the email (and confirmed via Armory).

      It’s another thing entirely to ask that I remove things I’ve already written because you don’t like the reality of what happened or don’t want to be reminded that you allowed the person into your guild.

      The reality is that Dalra was in the guild and did have that title when the offense occurred.

      And here is another question; We do not know the circumstances behind Dalra leaving the guild.

      Maybe the guild officers took action on their own, without any idea of what Dalra did or of my blog post, and removed them. THEN my post went live, and they saw my post, and were upset that I had named their guild when they had already removed Dalra. That would certainly piss ME off as a member of that guild. Took action, and still get blamed for it? That sucks.

      But when I published the post, I confirmed via Armory that Dalra was still a member. And was also still a member when that comment went live on the official WoW server forum. So it seems to me more likely that people let the guild know of Dalras actions after reading about them on my blog, and then seeing Dalra was an asshat, took action. I’d say in that case, even more kudos to the guild for taking swift action when finding out about an asshat in their ranks. But I don’t see where I would then redact the post. What happened happened, and there were consequences.

      We don’t really know that the guild officers were the ones that removed Dalra, either. All we know is Dalra was no longer a member. Maybe Dalra left on their own, before being booted. I know if I’d have booted that asshat, I’d have made that point plain as day. It indicates positive action.

      In the end, it doesn’t matter. But this whole discussion is changing my mind over how to view guilds, I keep forgetting about the power of a high-rank guild on recruitment and the draw such as guild has on people to want to join and hide their true nature to fit in and enjoy the benefits. It has to be harder than ever before for guild leadership to protect themselves from being infested with asshats.

      Honestly, my sympathies go with Shining Star Crusaders, this really sucks, because it could happen to anyone and any guild. But it did happen, and I’m not editing my article to change that.

      • xalorum says:

        “I keep forgetting about the power of a high-rank guild on recruitment and the draw such as guild has on people to want to join and hide their true nature to fit in and enjoy the benefits.”

        to illustrate this, Dalra is in another guild. another lvl 25 guild. Guessing the same thing will happen again….

      • Vaxas says:

        This is precisely why, even though the guild I’m the GL for is small, our application and interview process is fairly thorough. We have application questions that are designed specifically to give us an idea of the personality behind the character, we have fairly extensive discussions with each applicant about their responses, and then we set up a VoIP interview in Mumble before ever addressing the possibility of an invite.

        I’m fairly “old school”, and I still firmly believe that if you wear a guild tag, you should reasonably be considered a representation of the kind of person to be found in that guild. As such, I (and my officers) take great pains to make sure we’re recruiting the kind of people that would make good representations of the guild and its attitudes and that each new recruit is aware of our behavior policies, expectations and our vision of the guild.

        If one of my members was caught doing this, I would have expected to be called out for it, and I would expect that people would want both the guilty party and me to take responsibility for it. Frankly, it’s not so much the situation itself that reflects on the guild, but how it’s handled when it comes to light. I think that GL missed out on a big opportunity to get some good PR for that guild.

  9. Matt says:

    Wow… that’s a really bad response from a GM.
    If I was responding to that accusation I wouldn’t have been angry… I would have been profusely apologetic and explained that the idiot was new and was no longer in the guild… responding the way that GM did just shows that the guild is full of idiots.

    So yes. Calling out the guild is entirely appropriate.

  10. Feliz says:

    Can’t add much new opinion here, just going to increase the vote counter +1:

    The guild in general, and officers and leaders of a guild in particular are responsible for the actions of their members. They are responsible to take action on the accusation and to make an effort to prevent future, similar problems.

    It’s perfectly fine to name the guild on your blog, since the perp represents them up to the moment he gets kicked. A guild leader with a better choice of words might have been able to talk you into removing the reference to his guild, being replaced by something like “I used to name the guild here, but turns out they took care of the problem and it seems they are nice people overall.”

  11. luro says:

    I completely agree with your point of view. You have to be invited to a guild, so presumably, whoever invited you spelled out the rules and you agreed to them. About a year ago, I had the fun discussion with our guild officers about having to gkick our a RL friend of mine. He was in many small ways being an asshat in LFD, and no matter what I said to him he just didn’t get it…until the gkick. Any guild leader that cares about fostering a friendly, welcoming environment should care how their players act at all times in game or on the forums.

  12. Fireball says:

    What’s bothering me is how hostile the email above and their reply to the earlier story sound. I’m sorry but it sounds like this is a new guild with new players and new GMs. More experienced GMs would definitely have handled the situation better.

  13. Tazor says:

    The problem with wow and the internet is that you have no idea the age of the person. Sounds like in this case the guild leader is probably a teenager or less. Very difficult to explain to a child that the “player” represents the guild just as the “employee” represents the business. Simply firing the employee or kicking out the player from the guild is sufficient. The tone of the email says alot about “Shining Star Crusaders”.
    I am very happy that bigbearbutt took the initiative and called Dalra and the guild out in public. He and everyone else should continue to do so.
    We must teach the kiddies that actions have consequences on the internet too.

  14. Bristal says:

    I think you have some of the best prattle on the interwebs.

    What teenager would use the word “prattle”?

  15. Phelps says:

    It is fair. None of this happens in a vacuum. Dalra acted that way with that guild tag because the rest of the guild signaled, directly or indirectly, that it was ok. The guild leader’s response wasn’t that the guild was against that. It was just that this toon (whether it was the account or not) was out of the guild.

    It sounds, from the GMs response, that your call was right from the start.

  16. solitha says:

    With a lot of the others here. I’m co-GM of my guild. Behavior like you outlined would have resulted in a kick as soon as we substantiated it.

    We would definitely not have written such a condescending email to you about your post, either.

    The only thing I think you might have done differently would be to contact the GM more privately and see what they did about it. However, that’s annoying to do; I’ve actually done this myself recently, and had to not only roll a toon on that server but do a few quests before I could scrape up enough money to send an in-game mail.

    “Responsibility” is a tricky concept here. All you can really hold a guild responsible for is whether they continue to let an asshat wear their tag after the guild is made aware of said asshat. Someone mentioned employees; employees are vetted in person, IRL, often with background checks and stuff, and have a paycheck to compel their behavior. Guilds wield none of these carrots and sticks, but just have to do the best they can.

  17. Tsudrats says:

    Hard to say. My blog does not tend to touch on the same sorts of topics – you could argue it’s a tad egocentric instead – as yours and so I’d probably not have named the guild just as, well, the story would have been blogged differently. Had I blogged, I may have named the player and if their actions peeved me enough, I may have contacted the GM to let them know.

    I agree that as officers, we take on a responsibility to address the behaviour of our members and many guilds have rules in place to address this. The crux of this is that we also need to know about their behaviour in the first place. I’d probably be a bit … peeved … to discover the behaviour and association with my guild via a blog post rather than in game. I also, as an officer, would have spoken with the person raising the issue in game rather than writing two provocative emails that serve no purpose than to make my entire guild fair game in naming and shaming.

  18. Imalinata says:

    In all my guilds, everyone under our tag – GM or raider or social – was expected to behave in a manner befitting our tag. That meant different things to the different guilds, but everyone was held to that. That meant that sometimes we had to have discussions with members about there behavior and address the issue someone brought us. We knew that whether we addressed the concern or not that the individual was potentially damaging our guild reputation and, by reputation, every single person who wore that tag risked being tarred with the same brush. It’s called “guilt by association”; it doesn’t matter that you’re not an asshat, if your friends are, you are assumed to be.

    As someone who used to do recruitment for various guilds throughout the years, knowing the name, guild name, and server in a post like this was invaluable because I did checks to make sure they didn’t have a history of guild hopping and general asshattery. Sure, it was more difficult with name/server changes, but it was still possible. And the beauty about the guilds I was in was that half-assed applications were round filed so we had enough information to start doing the verification process and ask follow up questions if the searches didn’t pan out.

  19. Klepsacovic says:

    You’re really looking like the bad guy here after the GM took the high road there.

    • Erthshade says:

      If you’re serious, the only high road the GM here took is the one that’s so high it’s stinking. So much self-puffery… and with every third word he’s trying to belittle the Big Bear Butt, which is not going to be effective anytime soon.

      Regardless of where Dalra is now, she took those asshat actions under the aegis of that guild. Even if she was new to the guild — especially if she was new to the guild, come to think of it — it illustrates there’s a flaw with their application screening process. Note that the GM did not state how Dalra left. Was she kicked? Did she leave on her own? The answers say a lot about the state of the guild’s leadership.

    • The Ancient says:

      I was looking through comments to see if someone had already said what I was going to say but better, and here it is. What really bothers me though is the rapidity with which Dalra became guilded again.

  20. Katarnas says:

    The email you received from the GM of SSC is not particularly well written to be coming from a GM. When someone calls out your guild about a member in it, whether publicly or in a private message, you do not basically shout at them and have a go at them. After all, it was your guildie in the wrong.

    As a 2IC and then GM of a couple of guilds in the last 3 years, this is something we have always tried to avoid. When interviewing prospective members, myself and the other officers deliberately try and find out if the applicant has any serious underlying asshattery issues and usually it seemed to work (the exception being the lad I spoke about in my “offensive words” post recently). However, sometimes various niggling attitudes appeared and we were contacted about them. In those cases I apologised for the members behaviour, thanked the person for letting me know and then either explained that the offender was no longer part of the guild or that appropriate action would be taken. I would never suggest that the person calling my guild out was in the wrong, regardless of the format it took.

    I think that GMs and officers have a duty to ensure that all their members are as impeccable as possible, if that is the reputation they are striving for. If the guild doesn’t care then fair enough, but don’t complain if someone goes public with a story of bad attitude from your guild, and you certainly don’t reply in a negative way.

    I would say you are perfectly in the right in keep things how they are. Dalra was in SSC when you wrote about the incident. It may have been a one off, but you did still receive a negative email from the GM of SSC. You have issued an update and pointed out the facts as you are aware of them now but that doesn’t change the past.

  21. Dovius says:

    Ah, that wonderful point where the damage-control is so inept and condescending that it causes more problems than the original post.

    • Katarnas says:

      umm, how is BBB being inept and condescending? Do you mean the part where he says “I think she’s right and I was wrong?”

      • Beartankit says:

        I think Dovius may have been talking about the email from the GM of the guild. That makes more sense to me. If he WAS talking about BBB, then it really doesn’t make much sense.

      • Dovius says:

        I think there might be a misunderstanding here, I meant the damage control from SSC’s GM and the general reaction it has caused among the comments here.
        If I’d had to draw up a list of inept and condescending people, BB wouldn’t even make it on there.

  22. WoWMidas says:

    Great subject. And to me, timely!

    Act I

    Yesterday, I was clueless playing a rogue in a battleground when I get a tell from some toon I don’t know. Apparently, one of our guildies was begging in trade chat, and when someone tried to give them advice (“beg in your own guild first”), the guildie told them to f off. So this tell I got, the person was asking for an officer, and I happen to be one. I told the person I’d address it. Though I also added that they should probably just ignore someone who asks for money in trade chat. As it turns out, they weren’t personally asked for money, it was a one-time request for 3g.

    So I’m peeved but have to address the issue. First, I think begging is a bad sign. If you’re a teen and you’re begging, you probably don’t know better, and if you’re an adult and you’re begging, well, you’re defective. However, begging is part of the game – even NPCs do it it – and as long as someone isn’t spamming it (which this person was not – it was a one-time request), even adds some flavor to the game.

    In my book, begging one time for 3g isn’t nearly as bad as asking five times for a port for 10g. Both requests should be ignored 100% of the time.

    Act II

    I did confront the player in question – and their response was inappropriate and resulted in a consequence – and will likely end in guild expulsion, though I was not going to make that decision unilaterally.

    My problem was entirely with the verbal abuse that was reported, acknowledged, and which the player repeated when confronted. And our rule with in-guild begging is you get to ask politely, once. After that it’s /guildkick. We would have had a similar beef if the person was spamming in trade chat – and other officers may think differently – but a one time request for money to me is not sufficient grounds for getting kicked.

    Big picture musing ….now to address your question, BBB, as to whether anything has changed with guilds. In my experience, it has.

    For over five years, our guild was a close-knit guild of WoW-friends – we were always pretty small, numbers flared with expansions, but we never had enough to raid. We were a guild where many players spent lots of time, then moved on when they wanted to raid. But a handful of casual, frequent players stayed.

    Then guild perks (and guild finder) happened. Being a small guild, we were still back at level 10 or so when everyone else was hitting 25. Numbers were still thin. But then at some point, around 15-17, two things happened. One, we basically opened the door and had a near open invite policy. And we had gotten high enough that the perks were a draw to many toons looking for a home. Combine that with a relatively open door guildfinder policy and it meant we had a steady influx of new players, all of which were poorly vetted … and we’re ok with this.

    As a result, our evening play census is around 20 most nights now. And even as an officer, I know very few of these people personally, and don’t recognize many of them at all, not even the names.

    In the absence of locking the doors and sliding open a viewslat and interrogating everyone that asks for entrance (think of the door at Bree in Fellowship of the Ring), we just have to put up with the fact that we’re going to get some bad apples.

    • WoWMidas says:

      Hehe. Forgot to add my 2c to your specific situation.

      I think you did the right thing. No reason whatsoever to take down anything that’s been written.

      I would echo the sentiment here that the guild leader that sent you that message is an asshat. He wasn’t focused in results, just on insulting you.

      I could just as easily end up in his shoes, in that I have no certainty that we don’t have Dalras in our guild. But we’d guildkick, apologize, and move on.

  23. Oh come on, you’ve got to be kidding…

    That was the guild leaders response? Judging by the guild leaders email, they didn’t do a good job of making their guild look that great either.

    I’d actually appreciate it, if I learned about something that a guildie has done, Instead of getting nasty with the person that pointed it out, whether it’s via whisper, or online, I’d thank them and follow up with the member in question. I’m a guild officer, although I’m away for a few months, so this isn’t something I have to worry about at the moment, but I still check in with my buddies.

    I haven’t received the negative whispers, but have received a fair share of whispers complimenting out guild for kindness shown by some of our guildmates, we’re a friendly group.

  24. Malcolm S says:

    Been in and around this game since vanilla. Going so far back to the days when nothing was off server. This was the days before paid name changes and server transfers. Now my play time now is very limited, so I may not have the proper perspective anymore, but this is my take on the situation. I have never transferred off my original server, and during that time have only ever belonged to 3 guilds. One I helped create in Vanilla, one that I was lucky enough to be a member of, then officer of, and now finally in my current guild. I would like to think that during those years that if someone in those guilds with me had attacked in such a manner, provable as this one was, then the guild officers would have spoken with the person and let them know that this is not the image “WE”(the guild) wish to put forth. With that said I have been extremely lucky in not experiencing this type of behavior in game. Furthermore I have always believed that when one does something in public while representing whatever: company, product,team or this case a guild they are representing that larger group if they choose to identify themselves with it. Now the response from the GL could come off poorly, but I would assume, putting myself into their spot, that I might not have wrote the nicest e-mail. I may have felt that something I worked to create was being displayed negatively, and right or wrongly through no specific action I had taken. With that caveat, it appears that the GL did remove the player’s toon, who knows about the player, from their guild roster.

    So in closing who is responsible, I am a large proponent of personal responsibility the player in question was way out of bounds on many levels and got called on his behaviors leading apparently to his losing a guild slot. Again with the availability of all the new tools Blizzard have given the WoW community over the years this may mean nothing, but if I were the person who had lost a guild slot or slots I would lose the best part of this game to me which is the community of friendship that I have with my fellow guildmates hopefully past and present.

    Sorry for the wall o’ comment just my .48 cents

  25. […] I should weigh in on what my thoughts on the situation are. The post I’m talking about is his “Who Should Be Held Accountable” post. It was promulgated from the fallout of his “I Have Met the Asshat, and it is Dalra”. […]

  26. Beartankit says:

    This topic you brought up last night really got me thinking about a situation I put BoM in 2 years ago. I thought about it so much I decided to write a reply to your blog question on my own blog. So I posted it here.

    Basically, I believe you are within your every right to put the guild name in with the player. They as a group let Dalra play under their flag, so they should know that if something happens, they will also be held responsible. I had to be, and it only made sense since I was a representative of my guild, even if the group I was in had no other guildies in it.

  27. Aleitheia says:

    Once again, I see fit to respond to all the threads about my guild. While Dalra may have been a member of the guild, it is mostly a social guild and there is really not an interview or application because we are not a hardcore raiding guild on Icecrown Server. If we were more heavily into raiding, I’m sure there would be a more involved process. You all talk about how we should not respond in anger, but I would point out that writing an in depth blog about a random asshat and pointing fault at a guild is a bit ridiculous. How difficult would it have been for BBB to make a level one toon on Icecrown and tell the GM about Dalra’s behavior? Not very difficult in my opinion. You all start to call my guild leader childish for not wanting someone defaming our guild that is full of the nicest people I have met in WoW. If a person defames any of your guilds, with proof or without proof, I am betting that you would be severely pissed if you were not told about it personally before it went on the internet. People appear high and mighty behind a keyboard. Good for you. Now, take a moment to ponder, if you will, how you would react to this happening to you without being informed of it first. Anger is a powerful thing and some people lose control of their temper and fly off the handle. Get over it, World of Warcraft is just a game, it is not life.

    • Vaxas says:

      Bear didn’t place blame on the guild, he placed it on Dalra, and merely mentioned in passing what guild that player was a member of as a frame of reference. Bear also didn’t make any value statements regarding the guild, even after the guild leader responded as he/she did, which seemed inappropriate. Few people would have handled such a loaded email with as much poise as Bear did.

      What did happen was people who read the correspondence made their own judgments regarding the guild and whether or not they felt the situation was handled appropriately based on the words of the leader of the guild–not the actions of an individual who was no longer part of that guild.

      The fact that your guild leader (and now, apparently, officers) didn’t want to cop to some poor recruitment choices and the bad behavior of a player who, at the time, was a member of the guild is what is reflecting poorly on your guild, so attempting to shift the blame onto Bear and the commenters here who are merely discussing their interpretation of events only serves to make the bad impression people now have of your guild even worse.

      For future reference, all of this could have been avoided by your guild taking responsibility for someone who was a member at the time, and simply apologizing for the inconvenience that player caused and moving on, rather than trying to shift and/or avoid blame.

  28. Matty says:

    Well, huh.
    You pose an interesting question, but I ask you — do you already have your answer?
    Guilds come in all flavors. Most of my personal trouble has been met while in a larger guild, in real life and out.
    The thing is, “kids” know that their parents will be the ones who bail them out in the real world, so “telling” a guild master has no consequences in the virtual world or out. It’s very much like a family, functional or not. The culture of a guild is determined by the guild, the sum is greater than the parts, I guess?
    I wish the whole guild thing would change. I wish there were two types of guilds available – those who want to be hardcore, and those who want to be the little cottage guilds but still not have their entire time ruined because they don’t have mass rez or summons. This one-size-fits-all does not work. I am not devaluing the hard work that functional guilds, big and small, put into their guilds. But too often I hear of guild-masters shutting off the lights and locking the doors, spiriting away in the night like con artists, or the unsavory reputations some get.
    Here is my wish: when I play with someone else, it is not this ‘all or nothing’ thing. They get guild rep, and so do I. Think about it. There could be a function where you go in a pinch-hit a few innings with friends, and everyone gets some guild joy.
    But I wish for a lot of crazy things that make sense. Oh well.
    To expect to control players’ behavior though, through their guilds, however, is fairly unrealistic. But allowing guilds, big and small, to function without the asshats, would be delightful.

  29. Copey says:

    Was the email hostile? Yes. Did he call you a moron? No, not really. Did he question your care for others? Absolutely.

    I am looking at this as a Guild Leader with years of experience leading a raiding guild. I understand where he is coming from. This late in the expansion, especially with other options out there for raiding, it’s TREMENDOUSLY HARD to retain membership, and get new members in. And here you are, making it harder on him.

    Now, I realize that surely was not your intent. You were upset at the individual. You did however (if memory serves) take a bit of a shot at the guild. At the time I read it, I thought “Yeah, no GL would want somebody in there like that, how awful”.

    But herein lies the problem, which is why I feel for that guild leader now. Google the guild’s name. Front page, item #6, is this post. Sure it’s of the GM defending the honor of his guild. But at the same time, damn man, that sucks for him.

    I’m not saying you are out right wrong. But, as a former GL I would have been extremely upset. I would have asked you why before you publicly shammed my guild with dozens if not hundreds of innocent players, didn’t you find our guild website, and shoot me an email or message or something. (You certainly had the time, what with all the screenshots, and the big blog post and everything).

    If I responded to you “L2P NUBCAKES”, then blast the player and the guild all you want. If I respond “Oh man, that’s awful thank you so much for bringing this to my attention” perhaps you leave the guild name out and save me some heartache down the road.

    Because this surly will not make the hard road of retaining and getting new membership for that GL and his officers any easier. It could likely make it more difficult, and that could cause dramatic effects for a lot of people that never even knew that guy. If it stops two decent players from joining that guild in the near future…that could literally cause the guild to fold down the road. Membership retention and recruitment is the hardest part of leading a guild.

    My two cents.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Yep, completely agree with you. I think it would have been good to give the guild leader a private, personal email letting them know of my experience, and then leaving the guild name out of it if the guild chose to take action on their own.

      I see this as an example of my making a mistake, and I never claimed that I didn’t make them.

      I don’t remember taking a shot at the guild, but I trust you. And I’m too tired right now to go back over it. So if I took a shot at the guild without making it clear that I knew nothing, and really still know nothing, about the guild and basing what my assumptions would be purely on my one experience with the one member that i had met, then that’s also my mistake.

      But I’ve done what I’m willing to do. I’ve posted an update on the original post for those following a link, I’ve posted a new post where I stressed Dalra ain’t there no more, and I’ve aired the topic and I have not silenced a single voice or removed a single comment. No censorship. None. Free for all discussion on what i did, whether it was right, whatever someone wants to talk about.

      What I’m not going to do is edit anything to make it seem like I didn’t say what I said. If the guild leader wants to send me emails, if what I said shows that I can be a jackass, the point is it was written, and at this time I am not willing to go back and pretend otherwise. If I get people reading it and thinking, “Wow, what a douchebag, BBB is a shit”, then I’m going to own that I did that.

      And if people read it and think, “damn, that Dalra was an asshat, but that guild totally didn’t deserve that”, then that’s fine too.

      • Copey says:

        I’m not questioning your response, or what you are willing to do. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. You have done follow up, and showed the world that at the very least the guild leader stands up for his guild, and takes appropriate action when required. That’s good for him and the guild.

        I felt somebody should say something though, not even so much to you, just in conjunction to this topic. The guild should be held accountable for sure, but before condemning then in the court of public opinion, perhaps a private conversation has some merit.

        Tons of people look up to you as an example of great blogging, as they should, and I wouldn’t want a future or new blogger to do something with out thinking through all the repercussions that it could have on the innocent.

    • Vaxas says:

      I would disagree, to a point. Yes, this late in an expansion recruitment can be difficult. However, look at this a different way. Bear’s blog is fairly widely read and has long-standing credibility within the community. If the leadership of the guild in question had handled things differently, they could have easily turned this negative into a positive. If they had simply and respectfully taken responsibility for the situation and had more friendly discourse about the subject, how many readers here do you think would have had a completely different opinion about them? Had it been handled better, rather than thinking the guild is poorly led and full of immature leadership, people would have thought, “well, they obviously had one bad seed, but it was quickly and appropriately dealt with–clearly, their officers care about the guild and its public image; maybe it would be a good guild for me to join!”

      • Copey says:

        Vaxas, you bring up a fantastic point. There certainly could have been (and it’s still not out of the question) some positive spin on this story. I like your way of thinking. Perhaps the GM could request an “interview” with BBB, to claim responsibility, and show the world how he/she righted the wrongs, and give some positive light to the subject.

        Those are all possibilities. On the flip side though, as you say you are a guild master yourself, think of how possessive and protective you feel of your guild. Somebody calling my guild out on a public very widely read blog would be similar to some stranger coming up to my son in the super market and screaming at his face because he was being too loud. Not the same, but similar. A well thought out positive response to this may take a back seat to something else that springs to mind. Primarily rage. Even if it’s not the best response.

        Oh well, at least there are officers in the comments here standing up, and representing the guild well. That’s a strong selling point right there for that guild.

        • Vaxas says:

          I’ve mentioned this elsewhere in the comments here… if someone in my guild had behaved that way, I would fully have expected someone to read me the riot act about it. Common courtesy is something I’m very passionate about, and it’s something I’ve made very clear to every new recruit joining my guild that it’s a basic expectation. With that said, my reaction to having a guild member called out (publicly or privately) for this sort of behavior would certainly be anger… but at the offending player, not the person reporting it. I absolutely am protective of my guild and its reputation, it’s something I’ve worked extremely hard on, and so if I were confronted about something of this nature, I would be both angry and ashamed. What I would not do is send the offended party an angry email that amounted to “how dare you?!” as the guild leader of SSC did. Instead, I would apologize profusely for what obviously must have been a shitty experience for them that was directly caused by a member of my guild, I would explain what my guild is really about and our general policies, I would thank them for reporting the incident (that way I don’t end up with some rogue member running around being a d-bag without my knowledge), and then explain what steps I plan to take to fix the problem so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.

          I realize other people choose to handle things differently, but that doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with it. If your first instinct is to respond to such reports with outrage and incredulity, maybe being a guild leader isn’t the right job for you, or perhaps you just need to learn to take a step back and calm down before hitting “Send” so that you don’t respond in the heat of the moment–something that almost never ends well.

  30. Gameldar says:

    I’d have to agree with Copey on this – the best way would be to contact the guild first. That said – I think the guild is ultimately responsible. Outside of Blizzard intervening in every case, which in many cases would just feel like ‘big brother’ stamping their foot, there is no other form of accountability within WoW and even less so with the disintegration of server boundaries. Particularly with the introduction of the perks – guilds are a lot more longer lasting in general. Your reputation sticks.

    But you do really need to let people know that up front that they is the expectation. I set up a ‘rules’ post on our guild website when we were generally considering opening up recruiting – there are four simple rules with #3 being:

    3. Don’t be a jerk.
    As soon as you join the guild you represent it. MoC is a founding guild on Saurfang – it is long running and well respected guild. That means no trade trolling, forum trolling or being that jerk in LFD. We don’t kick people unless there is a reason. Be patient, be supportive.

    And I end it with:
    The rules are simple and if you just act like a mature and nice person then you’ll have no problems. If you push that boundary you will get a warning and a repeat offense will result in a gkick – any of the officers have the right to do it at their discretion.

    We don’t generally recruit as such (particularly since we don’t really do anything that is organised any more – we just run stuff together when we’re on) but its what I point people to that are interested in joining us. We’ve had one incident where I might have had to had say something to a new member (who I was already wary of because they were a typical ‘Topper’ from Dilbert and lied about what they had done through their back teeth – including trying to claim they had gear that you could only get from killing Nef and the armory doesn’t lie). But they left before anything really became of it.

  31. Chmur says:

    Heya,

    after reading your article I can only say that it’s sad world of warcraft we live in if such question should be asked. I came to understanding that in the current situation (Cataclysm and even more anonymous server merging for LFD and LFR) people are becoming bigger and bigger asshats and no one really cares. However that is just the surface and the first sight of things – I believe that majority of guild leaders / officers want to know if one of their members is doing things that can result in bad name for the guild.

    Our, even written, guild policy has always included something along the lines of as a member of the guild you are also our representative; making a fool of yourself on the realm forums, in trade, in instance groups, in battlegrounds or anywhere else may end up with a swift /gkick if it gives the guild a bad rep. And as has been said by others in comments, any reports by outsiders or spotting such behaviour online was dealt with swiftly. So yeah, in my opinion it is definitely guild being responsible for the way their members act.

    • Aleitheia says:

      I agree Chmur that a guild should be responsible if a particular member is griefing or being an asshat particular. While I am at the response of the threads for BBB, I will say that Dalra was only in our guild a whopping four days. They were rarely on, and they never wanted to run anything with any of the other members, perhaps because they did not wish to get in trouble with us. I am an officer of Shining Star Crusaders. If I had been in that run of LFR, or been told about it via an in game whisper or an email, I would have removed them swiftly myself. I would have faced questions later, but I would rather have questions coming from Sharazam and higher officers about why I gave them the /gkick, than having my guild’s name defamed because of one asshat.

  32. Suxxy says:

    I am in a casual raiding guild made up primarily from the same company, plus RL friends & relatives. We have an open policy on recruitment from within those 3 groups. One asshat that joined & didn’t fit in was told so by the 2IC, went apeshit in the whispered convo & was eventually /gkick’ed after being told many times to calm down; then went psycho on the company’s Online Gaming Folder with screenshots of the convo (yes, it’s a big company with many WoW guilds).
    The post he made must have seemed like it was all the guild’s fault (from his warped point of view), but regular people saw it as a whinge & totally valid /gkick following his inappropriate attack on the 2IC and the guild. That one post lead to our guild’s largest single influx of new toons wanting to be in a guild which actually dealt appropriately with douche-bags.
    It’s not that the asshat was in the guild, it mattered that we dealt with it.
    The GL of Shining Star Crusaders could have made a positive impression on all the readers here, but chose not to.

  33. TheGrumpyElf says:

    It is completely acceptable to mention the players guild. It is part of the way you identify a person. Name, title, race, class, sex and guild are all acceptable things to mention because they all tell who the person is.

    It is not acceptable, even in the slightest, to assume that the guild knew the person was acting that way or was supporting the way that person acted.

    If the guild in informed and takes no action, or actions that you disagree with, then you can say that the guild is as well at fault because a lack of action or reasonable punishment would mean that the guild did not take the offense to mean anything and thus supported it in a way.

    If the guild dismisses the offending member then in my opinion they did the right thing.

    Any person that has been an officer of a guild has been in that situation, we all had someone that did or said something we did not like and needed to dismiss them. You can’t blame a guild for a bad apple. You can only blame the guild if they refuse to do anything about that apple.

  34. Vaxas says:

    Adding my 2c to the pile.

    As a guild leader, if a member of my guild behaved the way Dalra did, I’d want to know about it. Certainly, I’d prefer to be notified privately, but I can’t (and don’t want to) control what people choose to post on their blogs, and if the behavior of one of my members made it into a blog post somewhere (for good or ill), so be it. In that case, I wouldn’t ask that mention of my guild be removed. Instead, I would ask to be given an opportunity to make my feelings on the subject known (which you allowed in this case), and I would apologize and explain the outcome of the situation and how it related to our guild’s policies regarding behavior.

    Compared to how things were done in Classic, there are so few avenues available for policing the behavior of players. People are no longer restricted to playing only with other members of their faction on their home server, which means even if you establish a reputation for poor behavior on your server, there’s nothing stopping you from blindly joining cross-realm groups and inflicting that same behavior on others. I like that the game is so widely accessible now, but it does tie our hands considerably when dealing with poor behavior. As such, it’s become more of a social responsibility than a mechanic of the machine, which in turn means that it’s up to players to say “Hey! You’re behaving like a jerk!” and hold others accountable rather than just hope the system will take care of it.

    If you or one of your guild members gets caught with your hand in the cookie jar, I say it’s fair to expect to be called out on it, publicly or privately, and the best response is just to cop to it, take the responsibility (however it comes), and do your best to improve and press on.

  35. SirFWALGMan says:

    I think the GM is a bit immature. He said your post was wrong and defaming of his guilds good name.. but everything you posted was fact. he could have asked you in a nice way to remove it as it reflects badly on his guild.. and who knows, you possibly might have if he took a nicer tact… either way it is the truth about that person and there is no reason to remove the post.

    • Aleitheia says:

      The whole point of writing a strongly worded email is not to be nice, or to be politically correct. The point of it is to let someone know that they may have gone at things a bit out of order. While I do not condone what Dalra did, has done, or will do in LFR; the point has to be made that since there was no one else from Shining Star Crusaders within that LFR group; seeing as Dalra never ran anything with the anyone in the guild. A proper response from anyone would have been to contact the GL of Shining Star Crusaders, or even an officer to discuss it/send any screen shots of the events. After that, it is within the rights of a GL to decide the punishment for the crime. I do not like how BBB went about posting up that this person must have been a long standing member of my guild without actually finding out first. More importantly, I will state again that World of Warcraft is a game, it is not life. If you are really getting so riled up that you need to write a public blog trashing a guild without knowing anything about the players within it, you might need to reconsider your priorities in life. Then, to add that, you expect a civil response from the leader of that guild to your trashing it without knowledge? That is foolish.

      • Vaxas says:

        What rules state the order things must be handled in? Basically what this argument amounts to was Bear didn’t handle things the way you wish he would have, because it made your guild look bad. One could just as easily turn that argument around on you and say that if your recruitment policies weren’t so lax, it wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place, and therefore once again the onus is on your guild.

        Bear took responsibility for the things he said and how he chose to handle the situation, but it seems that your guild doesn’t want to cop to the poor recruitment practices that allowed someone like Dalra to be associated with your guild in the first place. Bear didn’t make you invite that person to your guild, that was a decision you made on your own, and one that is publicly available for anyone to see and/or comment on as they choose (thanks to the Armory, guild rosters are not a secret)–one that turned out to be a poor decision, which is something you seem hell bent on sweeping under the rug and then complaining about how mean everyone on the internet is for expecting your guild’s leadership to behave with a modicum of respect, humility and a sense of responsibility about its members, past and present. Why should anyone here give your guild and its leadership the benefit of the doubt or a show of common courtesy when you’re incapable of the same?

        • Aleitheia says:

          What recruitment practices should a social guild have? I’m curious. You talk about my guild as if we are a hardcore raiding guild. So please, by all means give some advice on how one should screen for a strictly social guild that is just starting to raid with no intention of ever being a hardcore raiding guild. I welcome it. I am an officer, and I will take advice. I never mentioned anything about rules that BBB should have followed. I just suggested that perhaps he went about informing people out of order. Had our guild known about what he was doing, I will re-iterate that he would have been removed from the guild once I saw the proof of his actions.
          On another issue, how could we possibly know what Dalra was like in LFR or in LFD since they would not run with any of us? You say that anyone can comment on something on the internet, and that apparently my guild is trying to “sweep the incident under the rug.” Then I am here to say, that as you all have rights to talk about what you believe, I have every right to do so in return. As for respect, humility and a sense of responsibility about our members, past and present. We do have a responsibility to them. Why do you think that I would sit here and type out long responses if I didn’t care about the current members or past members? What courtesy have I withheld from anyone making a comment on this blog site? Have I demanded that something be taken down? I am not the leader of SSC, I am an officer. I do not like how someone will blatantly say that I’m trying to cover something up. I never made any effort to do so. The guild leader was not happy to find out about Dalra’s actions the way that they did, and I will bet all the gold that I have on Icecrown that you would probably react the same way if the matter wasn’t brought to your attention personally, first. By all means, defame my guild, and nothing will change within it. The people in SSC know how helpful, nice, and dedicated everyone within the guild is. Since you have not been in it, you have no idea of the true nature of our guild.

          • Vaxas says:

            Just because you don’t raid doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some semblance of standards for the people you invite to your guild, especially considering how obvious an impact they can have on your guild’s reputation. Even social guilds benefit from actually getting to know people before they’re invited–a simple VoIP interview would suffice to get an idea of a player’s personality. Furthermore, inviting someone to your guild and then realizing they don’t want to actually do anything with your guild… wouldn’t that have raised some red flags in itself?

          • Aleitheia says:

            Dalra was in the guild a total of four days, so how much time do you think we had to ask him along to events or dungeon runs? The total of the four days Dalra was in SSC, he was on a total of maybe 8 hours, but most likely less. My problem with interviewing someone about joining my guild is that a person can very easily lie via text, or even over ventrilo. People lie. Someone can just type or speak things that they believe others want to hear, and then do the complete opposite. I think his behavior reflected poorly on the guild, yes, and I do believe that Sharazam flew off the handle. Ultimately, things could have been done differently on both sides. As an officer in SSC, there is rarely a time when there is not an officer present online, and if someone in our guild is playing the fool and making us look bad; who wouldn’t want to be told about it personally? I would rather hear about it first hand, than hear about it from someone making claims that our whole guild must be like this. Moreover, I think a person being in a guild for only four days, and barely playing during that time is nothing we can control; not to mention the fact that even if I were new in a guild, I don’t reach out early in my membership and try and run things with everyone. Perhaps Vaxas has a point, and social guilds need to have an interview process. These are things that I will discuss with the leader of the guild today, so that something like this does not have to happen again.

  36. Linedan says:

    If that person is wearing your guild tag, they are a representative–fairly or unfairly–of your guild. You’d better be as sure as you can that you’re not going to let someone into your guild that will make you look bad with that tag on.

    We used to have a Horde guild on Feathermoon, years ago, called “Insurgency of Westfall.” Their main thing was swooping down on Alliance lowbie towns, killing all the NPCs, then fleeing whenever any sort of PvP response showed up. They had a few other people who griefed on world bosses and were abusive and obnoxious in Horde chat channels. Their assistant GM, who was their big defender on the forums when they’d kicked up some poopstorm (usually by classifying killing NPCs as “world PvP” when they actively *avoided* PvP combat), kept saying, “look, we can’t control what somebody does when wearing our tag.” Maybe not, but you can remove that tag if they don’t live up to whatever standards you enforce. The fact that people could stay in that guild for months while doing what they did meant that, as far as anyone could see, the IoW approved of what they did.

    That SSC guildmaster comes off looking like a tool in that email. I think you were perfectly fair toward them, especially in requesting people to lay off the guild since Darla’s no longer a member.

  37. Gus says:

    I wonder if the leader of death defiled Dalra’s current guild is aware of the reputation behind one of it’s newest members
    Wouldnt want that guild to be burned as well has Anyone wriitten to streetchie their current guild leader?

    • VictorBarnes says:

      They are aware as of last night and had no idea about any of this until it was mentioned.

  38. breadfan says:

    There’s no way that a guild’s management can be “responsible” for the behaviour of someone else. This is the internet. What they have is the option to decide if the behaviour of others is appropriate for a representative of their guild. Sometimes a guild may decide that someone is just not worth the trouble, and after hearing a complaint like yours, swiftly kick them out (if they haven’t already). Other times, they may decide that the behaviour you witnessed was an isolated incident, and their past experiences aren’t at all similar to your own.

    There’s a right and wrong way to handle this though. To simply accuse you of being defamatory instead of responding to say “Hey look, this guy was only around in our guild a few days, we pretty much saw that he wasn’t the type of member for us and we hope his actions don’t reflect on us”. As a blogger in this situation, I withdraw the name of that guild from my blog. Without that, well, what incentive do I have? It’s certainly not defamatory if you are recounting a true event.

  39. Gnomeaggedon says:

    What would I have done if I was Bear… probably the same.

    What would I have done if I was the GL… probably the same.

    As Bear: I would have been so pissed that you probably would have had to tie me down to stop me writing the post and undoubtedly at some point the guild name would have entered. I have a suspicion I have written a similar post in the past.

    I would probably have thought about contacting the GM, but to be completely honest, it would probably take me less time (with less location restrictions) to write a post than to create a lvl 1 toon and pray that a leader was online at the time, or log on multiple times looking for a response to an ingame mail.

    As GL: I would probably fire off a quick email, too quick of an email, which was meant to express apologies and describe the dismissal of an unknown dickwad, yet was, if nothing else between the lines, filled with rage and embarrassment.

    The rage might not be directed at bear, probably at the dickwad, but the email would be to bear and read as anger towards him. The embarrassment would probably change my request into an apparent demand.

    Yet, hard as it may be to beleive sometimes, I am a pretty balanced and calm individual, especially when I take time to reconsider (maybe saving a draft and retiring to it later).

    If I was in that mode, I’d say I would handle it better… but in reality, in either position, I would probably handle it the same way and ultimately regret the delivery.

    But then, I’m only a Gnome, we make at least one (with a maximum of 3) mistake per year.

    Who is accountable… Dalra, Bear and the GL.

    Each has been held to account in some way, with Dalra probably the least of the 3.

  40. Eva Elisabeth says:

    Judging by this guys email immature and boorish behaviour is alive and well in this guild.

  41. Gnomeaggedon says:

    I think in the world of turning a bad situation into a good one (in particular via the medium of text), Aleitheia is doing a pretty good job of it.

    Shit happens, Drama happens, it’s the nature of the world, condensed by a community (such as WoW) and amplified through the Internet.

    There is a lesson in this for all of us and I wish Aleitheia and the guild a future without drama and arsehats like Dalra.

    Good luck!

  42. Andrew says:

    Wooo! Aleitheia, BBB has been writing this blog for a long time, entertaining lots and lots of folks. That he took this “out of the game” was perhaps unfortunate for your guild, to the extent that you inadvertently brought on an asshat who was an asshat in a pug that also included a fairly well-known WoW blogger. But BBB didn’t defame your guild – Dalra did that – and as far as things go, BBB has more than covered his end for asking his readership not to take further action.

    What this reaction does suggest though is that the player base is beyond tired of dealing with asshats, will descend on known asshats like a hawk from hell, and woe be the guild that harbors them.

    And you are doing your guild precisely no favors by trying to turn this on BBB. Get some standards in your guild. This is precisely the risk you run with the policies you have in place.

  43. Azwing says:

    I’m a bit conflicted about holding a guild responsible for an individual’s action. Of course we’d all like to think that our fellow guildies act appropriately when they’re out in the big wide world (of warcarft). But, obviously not everyone does. Hypothetically, is it really the guild’s fault if an otherwise seemingly normal guildie acts like an asshat when there are no other guildies around? I don’t know, I don’t think it’s quite so black and white.

    I guess I tend to look at it like this:

    One lone asshat –> call out the lone asshat.

    Several asshats from the same guild (plenty of examples from LFR and LFD) –> call out the asshats and the guild.

    I’m not sure the folks in SSC deserve to be tarred and feathered for the actions of a lone asshat. My 2 copper.

  44. Andrew says:

    They do not deserve to be tarred for Dalra’s actions, but they are not being realistic if they expect the egregiously griefing acts of one of their members in an MMO with an enormous offline community not to get called out somewhere on the Internet, if not the official forums. Frankly, this is about the worst act of LFR griefing I’ve read. BBB had every right to call this guy out and identify him. He did not defame SSC, and has asked we not molest them. That’s where his responsibility in the matter ends. Nothing he has said has been unfair. It’s up to the guild now to demonstrate that they aren’t like this griefer. This is the way things roll when it comes to associations on the Internet: you are what your membership say and do.

  45. Aleitheia says:

    I personally give the invitation to anyone on this forum to run LFR with the consistent members of SSC. I also guarantee that you will not see one of us being stupid in the LFR. If you want to run with us, do let me know. I’ll add you via real id and invite you for a run. We are alliance side, so you would need to play alliance, but other than that, it is all I can do to show we do not all act like Dalra. At this point, I am beginning not to care what people say about SSC or the guild leader, because I know the truth of the matter. If you want to see what we’re like, run with some of us. That is the last I have to say here.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I am traveling on the road, but I guess I am concerned as to where you are continuing to receive problems from.

      Are you having people harassing you on your server? That is unacceptable to me, and I could post a follow up tomorrow just to make sure people stop.

      • Aleitheia says:

        People have not been harassing the guild on server. I just respond to the comments I see here, but like I said, “I am beginning not to care what people say about SSC or the guild leader, because I know the truth of the matter.” If people harassed the guild, other than snide comments in response to the blog I have not been made aware of it.

  46. Zwingli says:

    My opinion is to continue to name the guilds that asshats are a part of. The only “weapon” against asshats is peer pressure. There isn’t any server peer pressure any more. But, when a guild is named and someone puts something up on the forums “naming the guild,” that counts!

    Also, you get guild leaders dumb enough to try to belittle you in an email, and you get to post their “prattle” up on your blog!

    win-win, imo. ;)

    Z

    • bigbearbutt says:

      All right, it’s great to see that there has been no harassment in game of your guild. Obviously, the point was to identify and highlight the actions and activities of Dalra. In many ways, the continued conversation has served to focus attention on the guild that, for a brief moment in time, that character was a part of.

      The comments have been great, and I’ve let it go for the last three days so that everyone had their full and complete opportunity to say everything that they wanted to say, but it’s gotten down to the point of passive-aggressive stuff, and I’m not seeing much really being added to the discussion. Kind of at a “is not” “is too” point.

      One thing I learned a long time ago in writing the blog, is that everyone has their own point of view and opinion, and they are fully entitled to it, even and especially when it’s not the same as mine. Or, and this can be the hard part for many people, yours.

      It’s clear many people have different points of view on what happened. That’s a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is when some people won’t let things go until everyone else changes their opinions to agree, or gets snarky because others don’t change to agree.

      The best everybody gets here is the warm inner glow of knowing that you’re right, and all those other people who don’t agree with you are deluded fools.

      So, time to lock ‘er down and move forward boldly into the future instead of living in the past. Truly is it said; living well and having fun is the best revenge. Shining Star Crusaders, may you continue to prove that true in everything you do; live well, have fun, prove the haters wrong just by being yourselves.

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