post from Matty I've been thinking a lot again about how we deal with each other in WoW. LFRs can be awful cesspits of terrible behavior, everybody knows that. I haven't tanked more than one on Rim, not because that one went at all badly but because I know the second anything does verbal abuse is almost inevitable. The question is, does it really have to be?
I've got a rule for myself when I notice somebody doing something 'wrong' in a dungeon or raid. It's a rule born of thinking about how I wish people would handle it when I make a mistake, how I'd have liked them to treat me when I was a little nooblet and didn't understand that ret meant dps and that I couldn't tank that way. (Thankfully I only tried in a guild group and it all went fine, but it could have been horrible.) The rule is, I don't call them out in party chat, no matter how kindly I might word it, because that's embarrassing and would put me on the defensive in their place. Instead I whisper them, and I add a smile and do the best I can to make my words kind and not accusatory.
Sometimes this goes well. I ended up having an interesting chat with a tank in an LFR via whispers as an indirect result of this. Sometimes they just fix the problem and don't say much. Sometimes, though, it goes like it did the other day.
Went into a heroic with Tyl and after realizing growl was on after the first pull in Stormstout Brewery I turned it off... and wondered why I was still sharing aggro with the dps dk on the next pull. So I looked at the paladin tank and realized he didn't have righteous fury on. I whispered him to remind him and commented that I forgot it too sometimes when I'd switch specs. I got no response. Righteous fury didn't go on. We ran that dungeon with aggro divided between three dps and the dk getting louder and more abusive in party chat with every passing minute. I whispered the paladin again halfway through but he never responded. By the end of the dungeon I was as frustrated as everybody else, though I'd never have said what the dk said in party chat, even if by the end I had mentioned the righteous fury issue in party.
I don't know what was going on with that paladin. I'm fairly sure he was boosted but it felt less like he didn't know what to do and more like he wasn't trying. And my rule didn't work. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people have been so mean to each other that people expect abuse to the point they don't seem to see anything else. I whispered someone in Hellfire Ramparts where Saelindir was priesting. "Great tanking :)" And after a pause I got this whisper back. "Not sure if sarcasm." I didn't get a thank you until I'd hastily assured them that it wasn't. They were an excellent tank after a string of okay ones and I wanted to let them know, that was all.
It makes me sad that the first place that person's mind went was sarcasm when what I had meant was a compliment. It makes me sad that that's just kind of how stuff is. I hesitate even to whisper that hunter whose pet Laen can't keep up because they have growl on. Because I don't want them to think I'm being mean, I just noticed something they might have missed and want to help by pointing it out. If Snowthorn's growl was on, or Rim forgot his tanking cologne I'd hope somebody would whisper me with a little heads up. I hope they wouldn't be enough of a jerk to me in front of everybody over a little mistake that I'd be left wishing I hadn't logged on at all. Most of all, though, I hope I never leave anybody feeling that way myself.