The Daily Grind: What’s your oldest memory of epic MMO guild drama?

    
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Let me tell you a story about my first real experience with guild drama. It was back in the days of yore, when I was a dumb teenager playing Ultima Online. I’d been there a few months and joined a famous anti guild – that is, a vigilante PvP guild that exclusively killed griefers, gankers, noto-PKs, and PKers. (I had a ridiculously good internet connection and could run circles around those clowns, so my cut-off-head collection was sublime.) Anyhow, I was super proud to be in that guild; they were famed across the server for being the heroes of the little people, the kind of players who kept the dungeons safe for regular PvE players and crafters.

Little did I know that the leadership of my new guild actually all had griefer characters that they played in secret while checking recruits’ accounts to make sure we weren’t similarly shady. Let’s just say that the day it came out that our guildmaster was actually the same player behind one of the most hated gankers on the server was the day the guild completely imploded, bam, a dozen splinter groups shattering away one night in chat because the guildmaster accidentally gave away his own deception because he was a moron. I don’t know whatever happened to that guy… but I’m still guilded with a few of the people from back in those days, all these many years later. All I can do now is laugh.

What’s your oldest memory of epic MMO guild drama?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Brazen Bondar

We had a bad situation develop right before I left Anarchy Online but I think nothing bets the implosion of a guild (cabal) that formed right before TSW went to beta. Cabals were forming so that when the game went beta we would have an established community, most of us were from established guilds in AO. We had a good strong cabal on a Thursday and by the next Monday we were in shreds with people fighting over a game that hadn’t even been released yet!! Accusations of misrepresenting the lore of the game, the developer’s intentions, allegation of power grabs…in a game that hadn’t even released. The cabal split in two and it was one of the saddest community events I ever experienced. When the game finally released, the accusing faction didn’t last as long as the ones who were forced to leave. SMH still

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Turing fail

Pales by comparison to other tales of melodrama recorded here, and didn’t even happen to me personally.

My friend “inherited” a couple of guilds in SWTOR by simply being the last one there still logging in. One of the guildmasters eventually came back and accused my friend of somehow stealing his guild.

Upon reflection I find these occurrences more sad than dramatic.

MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

Our UO guild was a relatively mature bunch even right at the beginning, and the only drama we had that I can recall was when the Guildmaster fell in love with a particularly nasty individual, who tried to turn him against everyone but couldn’t because he was soft but not spiteful. But then she also got onto his private shard, got admin powers, and completely wrecked everything multiple times over by killing or demoting people she didn’t like, pulling down their houses…

No, the real drama ended up coming through the official EA forums. Someone posted a “Faces of UO” style thread, I forget who but I think we can all guess why, and back in those days people were innocent enough to respond with actual photographs of themselves. And maybe some lovely budding relationships were formed! Wouldn’t it be nice to think so?!

But in my experience it led to two women forming obsessions with me, one of which spent that New Year drunk and telling me she’d castrated a man and got away with it. Could have been a troll too looking back, but I didn’t fancy having my xmas walnuts cracked either so I blocked and moved on.

And the other divorced her husband and flew out to meet me but… well, that isn’t really fair to gossip about that, but let’s just say it was an education in how it’s very, very easy to pretend to be something online, even to yourself, but you should never believe it until you’ve had the opportunity to safely live it in person.

I recall that thread went on for hundreds of pages. I’ve always wondered just how much drama and hormonally driven lunacy it eventually led too in the UO community back then… And whether there are gamers now active today who were conceived from the success stories it might have led too.

Later most of the UO guild that went to WoW drifted apart as it went from a personality and roleplay driven community to a focused, aggressively impatient and demanding raiding one. But I was gone long before any ninja looting drama.

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Turing fail

This is like a mashup of an old Penthouse letter and Daily Grind comment.

MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

Penthouse letters at least always had the infamous “happy endings”, and you could always turn the page to the genuinely informative articles afterwards; I think I would have prefered the Penthouse experience looking back! Or for it to have indeed just been fictional.

I do know a few people who got their online MMO relationships working in real life, the afore mentioned guildmaster has long been happily married to a woman he met in WoW, for example. But whilst it requires a decent, mature character to not stuff your friends over for online pixels (even if those pixels are worth real money) everyone hopes for, and thus can run into drama through seeking happiness and love. In that sense, I suspect my experience is pretty universal and common. I just never really did the “cause tonnes of drama because I didn’t get the +1 boots” thing, and didn’t know many people shallow enough to do so either.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Nothing to say directly about the Daily Grind topic. In a twist that will surprise basically no one who has noticed my pointless posts, I don’t do “guilds.” Not joining guilds means I also don’t encounter a lot of guild drama. Well, not as “just” guild drama, rather than being harassed by a group of griefers or whatever.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Velious-era EverQuest. A growing rift between the general membership of retired raiders and the active raid team leads to a spiteful induction vote and I wind up with a sixteen-year-old self-proclaimed narcoleptic on my heal line.

We’re raiding Temple of Veeshan three nights per week, and this new kid is just causing wipe after wipe every night as he inevitably falls asleep and bails on the rest of the group.

After a few weeks of this our morale is shot and I’ve got other guilds sending offers to my teammates. We’re on the verge of being kicked from rotation.

Then one night at the 2am end of yet another raid being wiped by our sleepy cleric my roomate and I stumble upon his respawn point on the beach in Cobalt Scar. Without a second thought we both began training sirens over his AFK avatar over and over again for another two hours until we’d deleveled him below 50 (This amounted to hundreds of hours of experience).

We left him there for his corpses to time out. We went on to finish the raid season.

It was an ugly thing to do. I can’t say that it was anything but character murder, but even though I know I was in the wrong, I’m still not sure I was wrong.

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Turing fail

Your story reminds me of “Private Pyle” in Full Metal Jacket getting beaten by his squad mates after repeatedly subjecting them to group punishment with his failures.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Yes, though my actions were not premeditated or sanctioned by the larger group. We just stumbled upon his ill-considered respawn point after yet-another hours-long recovery and 100’s of team hours wasted.

The postscript to that story is that someone else spotted the bodies and woke the guild master who intervened and managed to help the kid recover most of his loss. I admitted to being the culprit, apologized and the real breach, an argument between myself and the GM over operations, was patched up through compromise.

Still, that event continues to bother me. It wasn’t long after that I stopped progression raiding entirely and became an anti-advocate of that environment.

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Turing fail

I’ve done too many things I wish I hadn’t. But I make a real effort- not always successful- not to repeat my mistakes.

Live and learn is the best we can do.

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NeoWolf

I don’t do guild drama, I have no place or time for it in my life, which is primarily why I make and run my own guilds, and prefer to keep them smaller and more intimate as it creates environments that are exponentially less likely to have drama.

But back when SWTOR was coming out and they were doing the guild thing I thought I’d do it differently this time and found a guild that seemed to mesh with my preferences and outlook (whose name I won’t mention), reached out to the lead and we got on so I signed up.

We had a website, forums etc.. so all the members were interacting for months before the game came out and getting along. Now the leader who was a decent guy and someone I got on well with was very much of a similar mind to me in many ways in so much as guilds that have too much in the way of too much infrastructure in relation to officers and people runnings invariably end up having more conflict and differing opinion. And so his approach was one leader, him and he makes the decisions. I was cool with that, it is how I do it myself.

BUT he sometimes wielded that approach like a blunt weapon to beat other members down with and in one little interaction I was witness to he pretty much threatened and bullied another guild member in order to get what he wanted and make the guy behave how he wanted. The target in question was a younger player and I wasn’t happy with how he approached that situation, spoke to the player he’d targeted who wasn’t happy and quite upset. Heck I was upset its one thing to be in charge it is another to use that approach to essentially beat others into submission, so I had a chat with the leader, told him I wasn’t happy with what I’d seen, told him I couldn’t be a part of a guild that worked that way and resigned.

I posted a goodbye message to the rest of the guild, I didn’t go into details, indeed only myself, the victim and the leader knew why I was leaving and I left.

I later found out the leader had made some story up as to why I left and sh** talked me to the rest of the guild so they thought I’d all left because I’d been a jerk in some way.. it was all very childish and I had no interest in it. The guildies who I was particularly close to reached out to me privately and got the real story after the fact and most of those ended up joining the guild I ended up making myself in SWTOR.

I don’t think the leader was malicious, just maybe a little misguided. His intention on how to run it was good, but his method was off and what followed after was just a lack of maturity, but it was what it was.

It just served to convince me further that I’m not really a joiner as I have little tolerance for people abusing power while I’m around.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

My take is that he was completely malicious, as evidenced by the fact that he decided to lie behind your back after you left to paint you as the one at fault. That isn’t misguided, it’s sociopathic.

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NeoWolf

I guess, I just chose to see it as part of his lack of maturity as it came across to me as if he was trying to save face, rather than admit his mistake and have to explain what happened to the rest of the guild and so he tried to paint me out to be a bad guy to them instead, avoiding the situation effectively. Its pretty much how children deal with situations, deny! deny! deny! but he was a grown up sadly.

It was all good though, those who knew me and cared asked and received the real events from me (all of which could be confirmed by the teen he threatened and bullied), those who didn’t care, didn’t and bought the leaders rhetoric.

either way from what I heard he never bullied anyone else (not that his guild lasted that long by all accounts), so that was something at least :)

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Nick Martin

There are a lot of these to choose from…

One I knew about was more tangental, as I was not directly involved, but a classmate of mine in college who was caught up in it. Basically… all the drama for EQ raiding that was happening around 2000, which led to a whole big raid guild getting the axe at one point. He was an officer in the guild that got smacked down, and it was ugly.

Or me personally, it was back in my SWG days. In the waning days of the original game, well before Jump came out, I ended up taking over the guild after several players had let their account lapse. The old leader, in particular, had been MIA for months. We were trying to recruit, needed the space (we were trying to earn a starport), so I ended up booting out any characters that had been gone longer than 2 months. I’d sent multiple messages, made multiple posts…

… within ten minutes of me finally booting them out, they were back online and ranting that I kicked them out. It eventually fractured the guild, I gave leadership to someone else, and never talked to any of those players again. Should also be noted, the guild never ended up getting the starport.

Honorable mention for the worst experience I’ve ever had with drama before, and it was ultimately what got me out of raiding and endgame content entirely in MMOs. In the WoW Cataclysm days, I was a guild leader that was also having to function as the raid leader because no one else would. Both are completely thankless jobs that seem to bring the worst out in other players.

I was on vacation for a week, enjoying a week traveling with my wife, and wasn’t going to be available. It was posted on the calendar, it was in the guild MOTD, and it was given out to the other officers. I came back from vacation to find that three of our consistent raiders had quit the guild because I “no-showed” a raid and they had their night ruined. It was a long, drawn-out, affair trying to get them back in place (a couple were real-life friends, one whom I worked with, who knew full well I was on vacation). In the end, we raided a few more times before I called it quits on the raiding and said anyone who wanted to do it was free to take it over.

I haven’t joined a dedicated raid team since then… it effectively spoiled that part of MMOs for me.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Does SWG send some kind of automated message to people who get kicked? I can’t imagine how else they would have reacted so quickly, unless they were just deliberately ignoring the situation up until then. “Nah, nothing will happen. No one would dare to kick me for not playing for months, it’s my guild.”

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Utakata

Ones I mostly want to forget and move on…

…but those memories aren’t really interesting though. Most consist of a guild leader and/or officers jumping ship to a progression guild, and then watching everybody bleed off until there’s only about two players left including myself in a matter of days. And from what was only a week or two before, a very active guild.

The only lesson I ever got out of this is that progression guilds don’t really build communities. They cripple and destroy the ones that had already been established. /bleh

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TomTurtle

In WoW choosing who will get the Amani War Bear on our last run of Zul’Aman before the mount became no longer available. I was the one, but someone else got upset about it wanting it for themself. Not terribly big drama, but it stood out to me considering the now rarity of said mount.

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Castagere Shaikura

Every MMO I’ve played and the guilds I was in. Raid, Raid, and more Raid drama It was always fighting over Raid spots and Raid gear. Some guilds broke up over it. This is why I will never Raid in an MMO.