There’s always one asshole that has to ruin the game for everyone else.
This is the guy who, not one minute into your Random Battleground, announces that everyone sucks and you’re going to lose because there’s too much fail and Horde loses each and every BG he’s ever been in. Or the tank in your Random Dungeon who keeps spamming the Recount logs after every kill, then bails on a group that’s competently pushing through a dungeon because you clearly aren’t worth his time. It’s even the guy in your raid who throws a tantrum after a wipe and ragequits because everybody else is too horrible to be around.
But why do these people exist? And worse, why do we put up with them? Animals sure as hell don’t put up with this kind of behavior. If one wolf in a pack acts up, the others put him in his place. And if he doesn’t take well to this new hierarchy, he’s banished from the group.
So why do we as humans stand around and take it? Why are we taught to ignore these people instead of retaliating?
Consider the following scenario that a friend of mine recently shared with me: You’ve queued into the Dragon Soul raid using the Raid Finder tool. Immediately you find the group bickering over which ooze should be killed first. The raid leader decides it should be purple, then green, then yellow, but one hunter keeps undermining that ruling.
In the back of your mind, you know he’s wrong. He probably knows he’s wrong, too, but he keeps spamming his preferred kill order. When the boss is pulled, the raid is split in half on which ooze they should be killing. While the raid leader calmly reiterates the kill order, the hunter starts berating the raid as a whole, even going so far as to call out individual people on Vent for supposedly killing the wrong ooze.
He’s still being an asshole thirty minutes later. He’s done nothing but put down the raid and it honestly seems like he wants everyone to fail. Before every attempt he bitches and moans about how much everyone sucks and how much you’re wasting his time, but he doesn’t bother to leave.
So you decide to do him a favor, and kick his ass out of the raid. You initiate the vote to kick, but an overwhelming majority of the raid doesn’t pass it. He’s still going off in raid chat and Vent, and you’re sitting there completely dumbfounded, wondering why your fellow raiders are willing to take this shit.
Then you take a look at Recount, and he’s listed as far and away the top DPS. When you ask everyone else why they didn’t vote him off the island, the majority will concede that yes, he’s a jerk. But he’s a productive jerk.
Don’t think it’s possible that so many people would put up with such astoundingly bad behavior because the instigator actually contributes something? Think again. A study published in the American Sociological Review concludes that whole groups of people are willing to tolerate bad behavior if they view the offender as competent and motivated.
Think about it: Whenever a group gangs up on someone who’s trolling, it’s usually because that person is exposing some personal flaw. They’re last in DPS. They haven’t scored a single HK. They’re not contributing to the success of the group, so they’re attacked until they’re forced out one way or another. But if that person has the highest healing done thus far or busting up recount meters in PvE, suddenly it’s far less likely that anyone will speak up. And whoever does decide to say something is met with a resounding lack of support from the group as a whole.
So what do you do when faced with a situation where someone is severely crippling your enjoyment of the game? What if the group isn’t willing to kick them for it? Personally, my decision is based on how important the end goal is versus my personal comfort and happiness. How bad do I want that trinket? How bad do I NEED that trinket? Sometimes, the only thing I can do is remove myself from the group. “Sorry folks, but I don’t think I can heal this for you so I’ll have to bow out. Best of luck to you… have a great night!” You see? It IS possible to interact with total strangers and not be dickish about it.
I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences!