Mob Performance Forgiveness

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!

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6 Responses
  1. HayFayFay says:

    If someone is that annoying in a raid or bg I do one of two things. Troll them back or leave. Lately its trolling them back because in some sick and twisted way it gives me the satisfaction of showing them what a complete douchenozzle they are.

    The other day in Battle of Gilneas for example, a rogue was constantly telling everyone how bad they sucked and spamming a macro over and over in /y saying that the team sucked. I looked at the bg stats and noticed one thing, no kills, no HKs, nothing. Hell I was out damaging him as a holy paladin. At that point I decided that enough was enough and would mirror him around the bg, because we’re getting our asses handed to us at that point and I was STILL leading in heals with 2 other healers in the bg. Dude sat in stealth the entire time I was near him and to make matters worse he had like half his gear on. /headdesk.

    If they’re super good its usually the same deal… they’re there with no intention of really getting loot, they’re usually there as someone’s roll padder and want to troll their way to valor points. I’m not the person to really ignore behavior like that so I usually try to piss them off *shrug* Not the most mature thing to do, but if they’re that vocal and annoying they can’t NOT expect the same in return.

  2. I’m usually the one countering these people in the group, calling them out on the hissy fit they’re throwing. Someone just today after being called out on not target switching pulled out the DPS meter, acting like them being high on it was a reason for them NOT to switch, when it was just proof that they weren’t switching and weren’t doing the job right.

    I’ve not seen a vote kick fail yet though. Although typically the people raising the biggest stinks were the people low on everything. On my priest I had another priest in 6th healing done throwing a fit because I life gripped him back into the rest of the group on Zon’ozz. Him and his pal through a fit the whole rest of the instance, and then on Hagara he killed both of us by pulling me into an ice wave. Now that I reported as harassment of course.

    Not sure what would happen if it was actually a top dps being that terrible. I mean I yell at people from time to time but it’s usually calling out peoples names that aren’t target switching, or that raid leader that called Green when it was a Purple, Green, Blue combination. /shrug.

  3. Yor’sahj is a bit of a pet peeve of mine in LFR. One thing that’s always worth noting is that in LFR difficulty, the green slime doesn’t splash their damage to nearby players, so it’s safe for the raid to stack during a green slime, but only on LFR difficulty. The side effect of this is that the green slime is the least threatening slime in LFR difficulty. Red is far more damaging in LFR difficulty, especially in light of the propensity of some players to think that “stacking” means “being within 40 yards of the boss”. That might explain the hunter’s resistance to the raid leader’s ooze priority.

    However, I agree with you in the idea that if there is someone who is sufficiently unpleasant to play with in a group, and attempts to remove the person fail, I’ll leave the group. There is no loot in this game that can be obtained in a LFD or LFR pug that’s worth putting up with that kind of irritation.

    Performance comes into the equation to a degree, there have been players who were perfectly pleasant people, who were unfortunately incapable of performing their duties in a manner that allowed the group to down the boss, so we ask them to leave. It is not an indictment of their worth as a person, it is simply necessary for the group to down the boss. Had their performance been better, they would have been happily retained.

  4. TheMadHatter says:

    HAHHA I had a big smile on my face the entire time I was reading this. \

    It is so true.

    And speaking of wondering how people can exist acting the way they do, you should see some of the drama going on in my guild recently (and in general). :p

    BTW, excellent to see you’re a Horde player! 😉

  5. Lauree says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth with this article. Besides my main that I never fail to get into guild raid and LFR each week, I have 5 other 85s I try to valor cap as well, and that can mean some very frustrating hours in LFR hell. I count my blessings when a group is actually pleasant and move along from boss to boss without any attitude or outbursts. Sadly this weekend was particularly “jerk intensified”. Even when bosses were being downed without deaths or any problems, there were a few “kick happy” elitists that spammed recount and tossed whatever the 3 lowest dps were after each kill … even if they were right up there with the bulk of the raid. Automatic kick for being number 13, 14, 15. Completely uncalled for. Their mouthy outburstsof commentary about other raiders were even worse.

    Taking the cake though was the guy who knew we didn’t have tanks for Deathwing and were in Q for them, but thought it would be funny to start the fight and then laugh at us before leaving group. Hoping that little note several of us sent to GM’s resulted in a few days break from WOW for him. The LFR won’t get any better if those kinds of stunts are allowed to go on without consequences.

    I ended up waiting in Q a few times this weekend for over a half hour, only to leave the group a fight or two in because I just wasn’t up for playing through the children’s hour. It may take me another week to get boots on my rogue or to grab a few more pieces of healing gear for my shammy, but honestly that Lifetime movie I decided to watch instead while remembering where I put my treadmill was worth it when weighed against the annoying alternative LOL. Usually WOW is my escape, but sometimes its nice when RL is right there ready and available (And without a Q timer)

    Great blog! Just found you today. I’ll be back.

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