Guilds, Elitism, and Community   3 comments

Full disclosure: On WoW, I have a personal Alliance guild and am an idlish officer in a Horde guild. In TOR, all but two of my toons are not in guilds at all.  In LotRO, I run a kinship that consists solely of my toons, people I’ve personally met RL or have known for years, and a couple of relatives of kinnies.  For the most part, I honestly play MMOs as a solo player.  To be fair, a lot of it has to do with my hours at work (my choice, it pays the bills better being 2nd shift).  However, a lot of it has to do with how players behave.  Or rather, how they don’t behave.

Recently, there was a dust-up on Twitter after noted TOR player/blogger/podcaster Asros reposted another person’s tweets (blurring name and face).  Also, more disclosure, Asros is a friend and used to be my GM as part of TOR’s No Sleep Til Kessel.  My two guilded toons in TOR are still in NSTK, but I’ll admit I haven’t played them in ages. Nothing wrong with the guild, just got tired of having to rename with /two/ server transfers.  Anyway.

Asros took this other person’s tweets and used them as a basis of an editorial he wrote for TORWars, the podcast he cohosts that is well-received in the Bioware offices, from my understanding.  These tweets detailed this other person’s… well, /I/ read them as disdain… for freeps, aka players who will be under Free-to-Play accounts, either returning TOR players or folks who only signed up once it goes F2P or folks who stop subscribing the second they don’t have to anymore.  This other person said freeps wouldn’t be allowed in their hardcore raiding guild, then elaborated that it was due to the restrictions on being able to equip purples and having to spend money to buy raids and otherwise keep up.  If I’m understanding correctly, the game mechanics after F2P launches means that a wannabe-raider may very well be able to keep up and it’s mostly a case of how much they’re willing to pay for it. Unless a freep /told/ someone they were a freep, there may not be a way for a GM to know that one of their guildies /was/ a freep.

So, no big deal, right?  Except it was the other person’s TONE that got people’s dander up.  The whole FUCK YOU, FREEPS attitude is what Asros was calling into question. And when questioned, this other person was even /more/ cheerfully hostile about people, and they actually called freep players ‘cheap bastards’ and continued to state that freeps were not welcome in their guild and that they had friends who could group with them, but couldn’t be in their guild.

The editorial from Asros also included multiple points regarding how the guild can set their entry standards however they saw fit, no one was challenging that, blah blah blah.

Asros’ point, that sailed CLEAR over the other person’s head, was that players need to stop being elitist.  That we should be an inclusive community, not a series of sandboxes with KEEP OUT signs on it.  Let’s face it, TOR has struggled. As much as I adore many of the folks who currently or used to work on the game, it’s got a lot of ground and player goodwill to regain.  I’m /tired/ of seeing people posting the equivalent of snide comments or snickering whenever TOR is brought up.

So Asros was bang-on here.  It’s fine for a guild to set their rules and be strict about them, I /get/ that, I’ve played WoW.  But people have got to stop being dicks about it, or it’ll just drive more interested players away.

Since the original editorial went up, I finally had to block this other person from my twitter feed because they and their spouse descended into posting spiteful and childish personal attacks against Asros, a guy who was not questioning their decisions, but how those decisions were presented and how it would ultimately be bad for the TOR community in general.  They made snide comments about his alleged ties to Bioware and how Asros was trying to throw around some sort of ‘in’ with them. /I/ have more ties to Bioware than he does – my sister’s name’s in the game credits cos she used to work on the community team back in the day – but just cos he’s on good terms with the devs and the current community team, that’s a reason to snark on him?  Implying the guy is some insecure geek desperate to get into a guild and being SO HEARTBROKEN that he’s denied?  Dude didn’t even want to join their guild anyway, so that doesn’t fly either.  They called his post ‘bullying’.  I read it with an open mind, cos I don’t always agree with Asros (we’re WAY opposite politically), but he made no comments about these two people personally, just about the overall attitudes being displayed.  THEY in turn started using what I’d consider bullying terminology and spoke with malicious intent.

Calling someone a bully and then acting like one yourself, that not only brands you as a bully but a hypocrite as well.

As fans of gaming, and the broader scale of ‘mundane’ versus ‘geek’, we take enough bullshit from the jocks to this very day, despite the mainstream acceptance of nerds like Nathan Fillion. We’ve been treated like shit by people who don’t get us all our lives, teased in school, derided for D&D (which is not much different from fantasy football anymore), whatever.  We don’t need to be treating /each other/ this way.

What we need is a simple bit of self-respect for our fellow gamers. So you want to run a guild that’s sooooo hardcore that Method wants to join you.  Be my guest.  Don’t expect me to want to join you or socialize with you or respect you if you act like a dick.  Stay in your toxic cesspool of self-congratulation and delusions that you’re somehow superior to other players because you won’t let cheap bastards in your guild. We don’t want you out here in the respectful community.

End of line.

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Posted October 20, 2012 by druidsfire in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

3 responses to “Guilds, Elitism, and Community

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  1. Well written and I’m deeply honored to know you. I think you hit every nail on the head and explained the true cause of strife so well, it couldn’t be more perfect. Thanks for this.

  2. Excellent post! It’s sad that the whole point of Asros’ message was missed by those involved.

  3. Nice article. I was right there with Asros on this. Coming from LOTRO as well, I have seen what good communities do when a game goes f2p. It was a very positive experience in LOTRO, because the community wasn’t elitist. We actually have more call to be elitist in LOTRO as well, since they limit the trait slots as a f2p player. In SWTOR, we will see none of that.

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