Friday, January 8, 2010

The fine line of douchebaggery: A How To

We had someone quit the guild the other day, taking his main to go heal for a family's members guild. "No hard feelings," he said.

And I don't have hard feelings, per se. But I do find myself rather frustrated with him because this is something like the third or fourth time he's quit. And I find myself frustrated with us as guild leadership because we're the ones who kept allowing him to come back. Granted, the first few times he cycled out the door, it was during times of high stress and drama. I often want to quit the guild during those times too, so I can understand it to a point. Still, he's burned his last bridge with us and here's why:

I hate giving loot to people who prove to me over and over again that all they're going to do is walk away later.

At this point, I wouldn't invite him to a raid if we were a dps short and it was a choice between his skills and a new 80 who thinks that it's a great idea to be a fire specced mage and only cast frost spells (saw that in a pug, trufax).

But rather than focusing on our own stupid for allowing him to use us over and over again, I present a short list of easy ways to ensure a guild will never want you back, not ever, but still have to say, "It's not that he was a douche, really, but..."

1. Never shut up. Ever

The trick to this one, of course, is to make sure that you keep everything light and friendly and clean. That way no one can actually complain that you're rude or crass, but your constant stream of chatter will make people want to put you on ignore at the very least. To carry this beyond a simple stream of chatter, consider carrying your chat over to vent, particularly when people are trying to raid or make it visually unappealing if you're working only with text, like so:

hey gais!
so i waz wondrin
hav u evr liek
thot about bein liek
relly ur caracter

End result: When you move on, people will say "It's not that he was a douche, really, but he wouldn't ever shut up." 

2. Be just a little dim-witted 

I don't know about anyone else, but I personally despise that one person who asks the same questions over and over. Not because they're not getting a response or a real answer, but because they can't remember from one week to another what exactly they have to look out for on a certain encounter or just how to get from IF to SW without bugging a mage about it (yeah, that tram is so difficult to remember and even harder to find since you have push through a magic barrier to find Platform 9 and 3/4).

End result: When you move on, people will say "It's not that he was a douche, really, but he was just so stupid."

3. Offer unsolicited critiques on your guild-mates' builds, rotations, glyphs and enchants  

After all, your mage is a level one bank toon, surely you know more about to play that class then the level 80 who has been playing it for years, because you're fairly certain that they're not really literate and couldn't possibly be smart enough to look at sites like Elitist Jerks on their own initiative. Even if they say they have, chances are they were overwhelmed by the math and big words and still don't really know what's going on. You've heard them button mashing often enough over vent to have a pretty good notion that all they do is slam their face against the keyboard. Give everyone your ideas on how they might improve and then talk loftily about fictitious alts of yours (on other servers and they're maxed out on everything so you're bored with them, lol ) and how much better DPS you're able to pull using your ideas.  

Caution: You have to make sure your tone comes across as friendly and helpful. Any hint of condescension will result in people thinking you're a douche.  

End result: When you move on, people will say "It's not that he was a douche, really, but he was such a know-it-all."

4. Be that guy above and still constantly be the first to die in raids because you're too fucking stupid to get outta the fire!

'Nuff said.

End result: When you move on, people will say "It's not that he was a douche, really, but he thought he knew everything and was such a noob he couldn't stay alive in raids for more than a minute."

5. Give off the faint impression that you believe the rest of the guild is there to serve you

This one is perhaps the most tricky of all to master. As with the rest of these, the key is tone, but equally important is frequency. If you're constantly spamming for help, hints, run-throughs or invitations to parties, your guild will clue in pretty quickly. There are a few ways to handle this. One is to just never say anything much, but whenever you do type in guild chat make it a request. Don't be rude but don't be too gracious either. You can get away with more frequent requests if you make sure to watch who is online and who is off and try to catch different segments of guild at different times.

The other way to finesse this is to offer help about once for every five to ten times you get a run through. Honestly, not many people will keep a running tally or anything, so just as long as you appear to be helpful they won't notice that you're really just sponging off the guild and have been for months. Times to offer help are right around when you know people are going to be logging off for the night or just before most of the guild is heading into a raid. Sure you might occasionally get burned by employing this method and end up having to actually give someone's alt a run through SM, but you can also manufacture emergencies if this happens and get out of it early.

End result: When you move on, people will say "It's not that he was a douche, really, but he was just so needy."


  1. Excellent list. I would say the one that gets me the most is the non-stop talker. I can't stand someone who just floods guild chat with line after line after line of insignificant dribble. It gives me a headache AND interferes with me using guild chat to hone my comedic skills and refine my sarcasm.

  2. Agreed. Everything I say is comic gold. Gold I tell ya.