I wasn’t going to write another today, but this one matters.
Today, Big Bear Butt wrote of a really nasty incident that happened in his guild over this past weekend – go there for the sordid details if you’re interested, but I’m spinning off it for this subject. Specifically – in a lot of ways he’s being very wise in believing the right thing to do is just, to quote his quote, “Don’t give the prick the satisfaction… sir.” There are circumstances where he’s right. This isn’t one of them, though the reason has nothing to do with loot. It has to do with reputation. Not rep with factions, REAL reputation.
I’m a darn good healer. And there are a lot of people who will say, “We need a healer. Hey, Zing’s on. ZING!!, WTB HEALZ.” That, folks, is reputation. You’ve got one too – maybe only among a few friends, maybe serverwide, maybe even across multiple servers. Great. How are you going to feel if the reputation that follows you is, “Ninja.” Worse, what if you weren’t – it’s undeserved or malicious.
There are ten people in BBB’s guild who now falsely carry that label. Well, not yet, but the reality is that if the guilty party isn’t discovered, the rest of the guild is going to wonder about them. And some – even who don’t mean to – will treat them with the possibility that they are. They’ll get a bit more grief and a bit less fun-runs. There’ll be people who, not being sure, will quit chatting with them. They MIGHT get anonymous (alts ahoy) tells accusing them of being ninjas – “Why don’t you just do us all a favor and /gquit.”
There are ten people who are going to get hurt DIRECTLY by one idiot’s behavior.
When deciding whether to burst the pustule or leave it, there’s a tendency to leave it in the hope it’ll dissolve. In almost every case, this is wrong. The reason is good – they don’t want additional pain. But the festering wound won’t go away – sorry, folks, it’s fix it or watch it kill the guild. Oh – make sure… make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN – that what you do is right. Bad? “All 11 of you are banned from getting loot from raids till we find the culprit.” Do it right, folks. Lance the boil, but be precise – precise in getting the boil and not the meat next to it, and in only hitting it as hard as necessary instead of driving through it into the bone.
Flipside of same issue. Guilds get reputation too. Yes, they get positive rep for progression, but they also get rep for interaction with other players and guilds. Sometimes this rep is due to the behavior of a few individuals, and sometimes it’s the tenor set by the guild leadership. In either case, you the player (leader or member) have three options: Work to change it; leave it; or see your character (and all KNOWN alts) tainted with that rep for a long, long time. Note this last isn’t a bad thing if you’re getting good rep, but obviously I’m not speaking of that. Instead… let’s get specific, and for a change I’m naming names.
BBB says the guild is Green Dragonflight on Kael’thas. Since the guildmaster has essentially given his seal of approval on the incident, that guild’s reputation on that server is locked. In a week – no more than two – every upper-tier guild — and a lot of mid-tier guilds — will know of this. And any guild member who doesn’t leave that guild within the next two weeks is screwed. Every time they LFG – Oh, you’re from GDF? No, thanks, we don’t want ninjas. Same if they decide to leave group later — the long time they spent with GDF means, well, if they applied at BBB’s guild (for example) then as soon as their guild background is checked (easy to do with wowcensus) they’ll be told “no”. Possibly it’ll be polite, possibly not, but it’ll be “no”.
This incident has ruined the personal reputation of a whole bunch of people, and they’ll be paying the price in both the near and distant future. In this game, folks, levels and gold and crafting skill are ephemeral. Our most precious asset, after time, is our reputation. Don’t ruin it. And don’t let others get away with destroying anyone’s rep – in the long run, it’s bad for us all.