Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good People

Posted: August 27, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Guilds, Out of Character

We ran Deathtoll with far fewer raiders than we’re used to last night.  To top it off, we had issues with our voicechat server which we use for officer discussion during raids.  So, needless to say, we got off to a rocky start for one of our most rocksteady weekly raid nights. 

Once we did get our voicechat issues resolved (I ended up signing up with a new provider once I realized it was quicker than trying to fix the problems with the old host), and when we finally got our legs back under us, we were about 45 minutes behind schedule. 

No worries, right?  Oh, how little we knew…

“What else could go wrong? ” If you have a superstitious bone in your body, never utter these words – don’t even think ’em!

In all honesty, once we really got to focusing, we started to do much better.  Officers started to stagger into our new Teamspeak server.  We shuffled a couple of groups around.  We had a small potential mini-drama involving our loot rules but that ended up being resolved completely behind the scenes (read:  it was cleared out quickly in tells, and ended with an honest misunderstanding being resolved with an apology).  Then, before we knew it, we were at Tarinax, only 20 minutes behind schedule, and with plenty of time to spare before we were done for the night.

We had a few newer raiders with us, and at least a couple of players on alts, so we did a quick survey on poison resists, and had the person with the lowest score “get on the wall”.  It’s a bit of a tradition with us, from a more cautious time.  If someone has a low poison resistance (in this case, only 4600), we have them go get on the climbing wall in the off chance we wipe.  It’s a bit of a old tactic, as we really haven’t wiped to Tarinax in forever, but it also serves as a bit of a traditional public statement to remind everyone on the raid to get their poison resists up.  It’s not something we put much attention into, and we haven’t had an issue with it in …well, ever.

Till last night.

One of our veteran raiders was on his alt.  He never raids with us on this character…or really any other character that isn’t his primary.  Because of this, he’s never had to be on the wall during our Tarinax kills, since he’s always right there with the rest of us.  So, when I told him to get on the wall, he didn’t really realize he needed to be literally “on” the wall…so he ran up the embankment, and found himself a nice ledge to stand on – well away from the fight. 

He didn’t think twice about it since he’s never paid much attention to anyone “on the wall” and we didn’t think about it since we’ve never had anyone not realize what we were asking.  In short, it was an honest oversight.  Chances are we would never have realized it…

…that is till Tarinax decided to suddenly rush his character half way through the fight!  We saw the target change from our main tank to this character and wondered how it was possible.  Then as quickly as Tarinax charged, he retreated – he’d reached his leash.  In other words, he attempted to attack a target that was outside of his range, and once he reached that extent, the entire encounter reset.

It took us a few minutes to figure this out.  In the meantime, we “explained” what exactly was meant by “on the wall” in a tone that was perhaps a bit gruffer than I needed to be(read:  I was not nice).  In retrospect, there wasn’t any real harm done and I reacted much more harshly than I needed to – especially for Tarinax.  It’s not like we haven’t killed him dozens of times before.  It’s not as if we didn’t have time for another pull (we had time for 3 or 4 more pulls actually), so I guess when I look back on it now, it was the pile of petty frustrations that had been piling up all night grating on me and spilling over.  Still, I wish I hadn’t been so abrupt with our member who didn’t realize he was doing anything wrong. 

Some of the other officers called me on it, and rightfully so.  They got me fairly straightened out and we repositioned for the pull.  This time, we were even smoother than the first pull.  The positioning was better from the pull/tank team, and the raid force shifted right where they needed to be.  Healing was faster and more intuitive and the parse showed our numbers were much higher this time around for damage.  Tarinax was falling fairly quickly and steadily and then, just as we were about to finish up…the encounter was yelled off!  I couldn’t believe my screen, but there was the name of the player who was sitting up on the wall again.  This time, he had broken the encounter by yelling.

What!? 

Before you could say, “everyone die”, we killed had killed the dragon.  No chest. 

My immediate assumption was that he’d accidently hit the button his hotbar, and I made a comment in raid chat that this was exactly why we didn’t include yells on the hotbar.  Other officers began a discussion in our channel on why we even allow anyone but the raid leader to yell off an encounter at all.  This lead to a discussion on how the yell had occured. 

By the time most of us had calmed down and started to piece together what had occured, our poor member had apologized profusely for his mistake and explained to two officers how horrible he felt just before he went camped out.

By looking at guildchat, we realized he was spending his time on the wall typing out the percentages of Tarinax’s health (he didn’t have much else to do up there) and probably at some point accidently hit /y instead of /g, which of course lead to the encounter breaking. 

This morning I logged in to our forums to see another apology from this player, as well as his plans to take a small leave from raiding and a desire to pay for all repairs from last night.  Needless to say, myself and a few other officers stepped in to straighten him out. 

You see.  Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  This could have been one of those “50 DKP minus” situations.  If we were more “serious” about raiding, then perhaps it would have.  But we’re not.  We may not be a “family guild”, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t a family in our own rights. 

He made some honest mistakes.  He happened to make two of them right after the other, and I’m sure he feels horrible about it.  We missed out on some potential loot after a few hours of raiding, and he probably feels like he ruined it all. 

The real tragedy here would be if he didn’t recognize his mistakes.  The real tragedy would be if he allowed these honest mistakes to paralyze his enjoyment of raiding – a playstyle he’s enjoyed quite a bit for most of the time he’s been with us.  The real tragedy would be if he felt his guildmates thought worse of him for making these mistakes. 

I hope he shows up tomorrow night for our next raid.  He might even make some mistakes.  Or someone else might.  Or I might.  But it’s not the mistakes which matter.  It’s how we acknowledge and handle our mistakes which define us.  

I made mistakes on last night’s raid.  I chose to see the worst in a guildmate before finding out the facts.  I passed quick judgements, and allowed frustrations to get to me.  In short, I handled my mistakes poorly. 

My guildmate was quick to recognize his errors, apologize, and offer to rectify the situation as best he could.  He stepped up to the plate and offered recompense.  In short, he handled his mistakes well.

In the game of Everquest II, I may have been more skilled than he was last night.  In the game of personal character, I was just pwned.

Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  But most of the time, it’s how we handle those bad things that determine whether we’re good people in the first place. 

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Comments
  1. KevinC says:

    “Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. But most of the time, it’s how we handle those bad things that determine whether we’re good people in the first place.”

    Great article Kendricke, and well said. I agree 100%. It can be easy to lose track of the fact that we’re all people behind these screens, these characters, and that we should treat each other as we would in real life – with patience, respect and dare I say kindness.

    Everyone makes mistakes – no one is perfect, though some would have you believe it. I make mistakes in RL and in games, but mistakes happen. It’s not the end of the world, as long as you learn from those mistakes. Are we able to accept fault in ourselves in others, or do we beat people up over them?

    I hope your member was encouraged and came back to raid again. It sounds like a good person you have there that just happened to have an off night. I think we’d all hate to be strung up over something like that.

  2. Letitia says:

    I am a little confused, why would you have someone on the wall anyway?

  3. Hitmaker says:

    Ah, the boy guildmaster has grown!

    Doesn’t matter whether tis in an MMO, a boardroom, an office, a warehouse, a manufacturing facility, pr your very own dining room. This is just a typical scenario of life – whether you choose to contemplate what happened and apply the learnings across these settings or not is what constitutes wisdom or the lack thereof.

    Carry on, old friend.

  4. kendricke says:

    Yeah, I think you’d be surprised, Hitmaker. Ask Loralor sometime about it.

    The bottom line here is we’re all human and we all drop the ball from time to time. Most of the time, the best response is to just pick the ball back up and keep on moving.

    Sometimes though, even the best of us can forget even that simple act.

    P.S. – Surprised to see you here. I guess we just jumped to 12 readers. *winks*

  5. Pythos says:

    Could someone explain why someone yelling resets the encounter? I’m not very familiar with EQ2 so is this a bug, or is it just a “feature”? Thanks in advance!

  6. kendricke says:

    Everquest II uses “locked” encounters. You can set your options to turn this off, but raid encounters are automatically set to lock. This means that once you begin combat with a particular encounter (which can consist of one more more monsters), you’re considered to be “in combat”. Some abilities and spells can only be used “out of combat”. Also, while in combat, your health and power regeneration slow down.

    The act of “yelling” (/yell) breaks an encounter, allowing outsiders to assist in the combat, as well as increasing regeneration rates and giving participants access to abilities which may be combat limited.

    For this reason, breaking an encounter also removes all possible experience or loot gains. If you break an encounter, you lose all rewards from the encounter.

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