As a GM I think you need to have ESP. You certainly need to be a fucking mind-reader. Not that people’s motivations aren’t often transparent, but because sometimes they guild quit and you have no idea why. I think these people do need to learn that I stop caring about anything they think, say or do the moment they leave if they didn’t express that they had an issue before they left. That’s perhaps the worst kind of cowardice.

I’m always suspicious, whether I’m part of a guild’s hierarchy or not, of someone who tells me they aren’t appreciated by their guild. The more they tell me about everything they’ve done the more suspicious I get. Yeah, you did all that so you would be appreciated? What form would the appreciation need to take? A promotion? Can I ask is that the reason you did all this stuff? No! So why does the level of expressed appreciation matter? Maybe you were quietly appreciated. Or maybe what you are doing is simply what is expected of all members? Maybe the people not doing what you are doing are getting the guild hierarchy’s attention?

I think the worst people to be guild officers are universally those who want to be officers and GMs the most. If people are quietly getting on with their business, following their own agenda, which is also completely in line with that of the guild, people who do not want or need a higher guild rank to help people out, farm for materials and always be there at the right time with the right things to say, they are probably the best people to be officers.

The people I’m least likely to promote are the ones who are clearly looking for it. I don’t have ESP and I am not a mind-reader, but people do frequently give themselves away. Before our long gone “Mythic Clique” were ejected at the beginning of the expansion one of the ring leaders kept whispering me with “well intentioned, good advice”. Well he said it was good advice and I was insulted that he thought I needed any. That’s the thing with unsolicited advice it does tend to insult the recipient. After a while he got to be an irritant and I told him about unsolicited advice. He stopped whispering me and moved on to the other GM and when that was getting no traction he started in on the other officer, the only officer I’ve had to remove from the guild. That officer is now a GM of a guild he formed with my whispering friend. Seriously, if you think you can do a better job than I can go and try it for yourself.

Another guy whispered me about a drop in raid sign-ups when he hit Zek’voz. I just said this always happens when raiding gets difficult. Often the “best raiders” move to other guilds. This is because “best raiders” in this context means “best geared”. They think “If I moved to another more progressed guild I can get more gear without having to work hard on this boss.” They’re usually the worst raiders: the most reluctant DPS who won’t soak, enter the pod, push the button or off tank an add, complain most about “lack of progression” and decide to take their awesome metre scores to another guild. After they’ve gone you seem to carry on as well, if not better, than before.

This guy whispers me that “regardless of wipes” he’ll be there. “This week and every week. Wipe or no wipe.” Cheers mate, but why tell me? I will see you doing that. I told one of the other officers and heard “Oh, he said that to me today too!” So I primed the last officer that he should expect a whisper about raid sign-ups being down, but wipe or no wipes the whisperer would still be there! He told me a day or two later that he had had the whisper, almost word for word as I’d predicted, and he had pissed himself with laughter, fortunately it had been an in-game text conversation and not in voice chat.

Worse still is the guy that whispers the GM all the time and is always upbeat and positive. Always eager to tell that he is doing his best to do what the guild needs. Then /ragequits one afternoon feeling undervalued. Then you begin to find out how unhappy they have been for a long time about the lack of appreciation or not being able to play their preferred role in the raid. Having ESP or being a mind-reader would be very beneficial for discerning that the whispering cheerleader was actually really pissed off about something you will only find out about otherwise second hand, after they have left the guild. Don’t assume your GM has ESP or that the people you are whining to are going to run to the GM to champion your righteous cause. They won’t, they never do.

All officers and GMs have those people who are constantly whispering them when they’re online. Suggestions, advice, flag waving, cheerleading, talking about how good someone else is and how they’ve been helping them gear up. We all nod and smile and try to get on with our day as the whispers keep coming with little or no input from us. Mostly they’re well meaning, often they’re just attention seeking. If you ignore them for long enough they usually go away. Permanently. Then people ask why they left the guild, they did so much for it. We sigh and say, yes they made such a big investment in the guild, well, they said they made a big investment, in this guild they said they really liked, but have now left. Was it because they felt undervalued when everything they did was for the kudos or recognition they would get? All that stuff you were doing? Isn’t that the stuff everyone else is doing, or at least should be doing? Could it be that the guy who did it all quietly and didn’t want any kudos or praise is now…promoted or actually an officer? Is that ironic or…?

I’ve also noticed a man thing. Male gamers, of all ages seem to be afflicted with this problem: vagina blindness. This is not to be confused with vagina mining. Some women, and men pretending to be female, take advantage of vagina blindness to get “a lot of help” with everything they need in game. To the point where men are running multiple dungeons with them when they are online, buying them expensive BoE trinkets and levelling gear just to get them across the ilvl threshold into higher content and anything else for them that they need.

Vagina blindness is the yin to Vagina Mining‘s yang. Men (often, hilariously, grown men) will bend over backward to help one or two special guildies…they often justify this to themselves and everyone else as an expression of their desire to just help out. Help out everyone. As long as they have a vagina. Sometimes they become very narrow and focus on one vagina, sometimes they are more promiscuous and try to service two or three at time. Vagina Miners and the sad souls afflicted with Vagina Blindness are excellent fits for one another. However, as an officer or simply a concerned guildie I have to occasionally ask women “Is everything OK or do you need to take out a guild restraining order?” Only a tiny proportion of gamers are vagina miners and not all of them are even female. You find a few of the Vagina Blind in every guild, they’re mostly harmless and if you are the recipient of their attention it ranges from very friendly and really helpful to creepy and asphyxiating. A tiny minority of women will abuse vagina blindness and mine it for all it’s worth, some men pretending to be women will do this too. I’m not sure what the vagina blind are hoping to get out of it…

The very worst guildies for GMs to know how to deal with are usually a combination of all of the above. A whiny, vagina blind, perpetual victim of oversight and undervaluing is one of my all time favourites. Fortunately even men grow out of this sooner or later. Most men.

I’ll give you two examples of how people are in guilds. One person asks for a feast and a cauldron to be put down in a raid. With twenty minutes to go? No. Feasts and cauldrons are, in this expansion especially, prohibitively expensive. So with twenty minutes of the raid left? A cauldron? No! A cauldron requires 100 Anchor Weed, which two weeks ago was changing hands for 670Geach. Now it’s only 320G each. So cauldrons are approximately 32, 000G a pop. That’s only in Anchor Weed, there all the other herbs too, they just seem trivial next to the Anchor Weed. Compare with the guildie who, without asking what the mats are, without telling me they are going buy some because herbing for the is a ball-ache (and, of course, it is), turns up with 20 feasts and gives them to the officer that normally looks after feasts and cauldrons. The same guildie that has been constantly supplying the same officer with almost half million gold’s worth of Anchor Weed. One will get you promoted the other will get you sighed at. Which one are you?

If you’re offended and think I’m talking about you what makes you think that? There are plenty of examples around for me to draw on for these generic categories without even having to have a particular model in mind. Mind reading would be really helpful for any GM / officer, however, sometimes people’s behaviour is so transparent it really isn’t necessary.

“Some people that you see around you, tell you how devoted they are,
They tell you something on Sunday, come Monday they’ve changed their minds.”

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