Monday, January 14, 2008

WoW: Asking someone to leave the party

Last night four members of my guild, including myself, along with another friend, attempted to complete the quest in Black Morass to gain the key to access Karazhan. Obviously I was the healer; we had a druid tank, two warriors, and a warlock. Unfortunately, it was taking an extremely long amount of time to take down the elites. As such, we were unable to effectively control the swarm of adds that kept appearing through the portals. I believe we only made it to the 6th round before Medivh succumbed to his “mortal coil”.

Eventually, one of the warriors stepped out and allowed another DPS warrior to step in to assist. We tried again with no success, although we started to take down the elites a little faster. Running a damage meter showed that the warlock was at 2% of the total damage, only remaining from the bottom because I was at zero (something I jokingly complain about; they make me feel better by running the heal meter).

What came next I’m sure is a classic problem with guild groups throughout WoW; how do we ask someone to leave?

The first obstacle was that all of us needed to complete the quest. The warrior from our guild volunteered to leave, provided when we were done that we would help him later. That’s when the DPS warrior from our guild joined. When it still wasn’t working, the next obstacle was that the warlock was not performing effectively as a DPS like the group needed.

I had previously tried this with others from our guild that included a mage who was very good at DPS, but hadn’t completed the quest due to a time constraint. We wanted to invite him to help as he had done extremely well with the adds last time. But how to ask the warlock to leave? Finally after beating around the bush and not getting anything accomplished, I finally decided to be the bad guy; this was after several hints about replacing either the warlock or another in the party. I told the warlock to not take it personally, but that we really needed to ask the mage to come and we’d get her back in once completed.

Why are we compelled to say “don’t take this personally” when we already know that they are going to take it personally? I felt stupid saying that, but couldn’t stop myself.
Well, we got the warlock to leave and invited the mage. We ended up making it to round 12 or 13, but didn’t get past that. Our party make-up was now better, but we still didn’t get the deed done. We all decided to try again next Sunday.

After leaving the instance, we headed back to repair and figure out what to do next. We ran into the warlock in the bank and she and I began a conversation. She felt really bad. Some of the comments were that she didn’t have the DPS that she should have. She should think about re-spec’ing and do something different. None of these comments were negative; however under the given circumstances they weren’t well received.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about warlocks, except that they kick my butt in BGs all the time. I can’t stand all the afflictions they cast on me to beat me down. I can usually survive it, but it’s the warrior and rogue standing next to them that finish me off. So I’m definitely not the guy to be asking for advice when it comes to how to play a warlock and I told her so. I also couldn’t give any advice on how to spec. I was a protection pally for the longest time and struggled with making that work. When I finally did start to get somewhat good at it, I switched to holy to fill a need. Although I like being a healer, I definitely miss being a tank. My advice; spec to how you like to play. Don’t spec to what people tell you. It will eventually destroy your own enjoyment of the game. That’s not to say don’t be afraid to try new things. If you don’t like it…switch back.

Needless to say, she was embarrassed, upset, hurt, etc. I tried really hard to make her feel better. I told her that it wasn’t her fault. Although we were able to get further, we still didn’t finish. There were other factors including inadequate gear, additional DPS problems, party make-up, and inexperience with the instance. She was still pretty hard on herself and we all felt bad. I think I may have done some damage control to at least keep her from leaving the guild. I also shared the experience I had when still fairly new with the guild. I’d only been in the guild for about a month. I grouped up with the tanking druid from our party and another tanking warrior from our guild. There were two hunters in the group and we were in one of the Coilfang instances. I don’t remember which anymore. Anyway, we were trying to get past the second boss and it was impossible. I was eventually blamed for not having the proper gear and I’ll admit that I was trying to be the healer with half protection and half retribution gear. However, I didn’t feel it was my entire fault because I had completed the same instance the night before with an entirely different group and we didn’t have one wipe. Actually, if I remember correctly we finished the instance in about an hour.

Anyway, in this particular instance, the druid spent a lot of time trying to make me feel better. We became pretty good friends about this because she felt bad for me and was a little upset with how the other two non-guildmates handled it. We still joke about our "sucky" armor to this day. Our other guildie also felt extremely bad as they were his friends. I’ll admit that I was offended and upset about being asked to leave, however I knew I’d get over it as well. It’s just a game after all and I wasn’t going to let a couple of jerks ruin it for me. This was the driving force behind me entering the BGs and going for the epic gear, but I’ll save that for another time.
So how do you handle a situation where you have to ask someone to leave? I don’t know that I know the answer to this as each situation is different, but I hope with respect and concern about how the recipient will take being asked to leave.

How do you handle being asked to leave? I hope with respect and concern about how the others feel about asking you to leave. Sure there will always be the jerks who could care less about how you feel and to them I say "Grow up!", but I believe the average person will be very uncomfortable asking you and will genuinely feel bad about the whole thing. Try to use the experience to learn where you can improve for yourself. Don't worry about what they think you need to improve and I think you'll come out with a better look on the situation.
I'm curious to hear how you feel about both sides of the story from you.

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