Friday, August 07, 2009

Don't Break the Shadowbind!: Its GREAT to be back!

Don't Break the Shadowbind! is our Wednesday (or as close to as can be) column brought to you by Omoikitte. Endgame isn't just killing mobs and splitting up the drops, that is the easy part. Omoikitte will provide her insight on how to do the hard part: the administration and planning of events, deciding on how to divvy up the drops, and how to deal with that one whiny LS member that just won't shut up about their abjuration. Today, beach analagies abound as we discuss those troublesome floating members every end game linkshell attracts.

I have internet again, I am sooo happy. LoL after the drought it is a veritable flood of delight to be back in the swing of things and knee deep in FFXI. Infact I logged on and straight back into a Versus event for Limbus. It was marvelous!

I can't think of a neat and sassy way to lead that into what I wanted to discuss today, it is far too early in the morning and my brain is slowly petrifying from the sheer monotonous boredom of doing the data processing required at work, there is an end in sight, but I've already done around 5,000 forms, I'm getting very bored with it all now.

The thing I wanted to cogitate on today was what to do with those members of your linkshell who are serial linkshell hoppers. I am sure everyone at some point comes across them.

They tend to fall into two distinct categories. The Driftwood and the Useful although sometimes it can take a little while to figure out which is which.

The Driftwood are like the dead pieces of wood that float in on the tide, and float out again with it, unafraid to get all covered in that nasty scummy froth that can be made. These players apparently have ants in their pants with serious commitment issues, unable to settle on one linkshell in particular they hop from one to the other bringing their erratic and unhelpful behaviour into your linkshell.

It is not that uncommon for these particular types to be invariably only in it for themselves making it easier for them to but down no roots, they may live in your linkshell for a considerable period of time, but it does not disguise their own self interest enough, eventually they will get what they came for then they are off again.

Others in the driftwood category manage to alienate virtually everyone in their linkshell and so can't set roots due to the fact that everyone else is tearing them up again. These people may run around with the air of being "hard done-by" or "put upon" by the evil villany of those who fail to appreciate their rather unique approach to things. So they drift from community to community until the entire server hates them, their own attempt at setting up a linkshell fails and they migrate to Remora.

These members are easy to deal with to be honest, you can either not accept them into your linkshell in the first place, with a bit of judicious asking around into their past behaviour and attitudes. If they do end up in your linkshell most of the time they won't last long, if everyone else hates them enough it will make them move on that much quicker, although you do run the risk of causing a lot of discontentment within your loyal members over the acquision of gear and whether it is worth the effort they are putting in to reward these freeloaders.

The problems come with the second type of floating ls member. The somewhat useful members who when in your linkshell are good/great members of the team. But for what ever psychosis/misunderstanding/paranoia/all of the above, they quit, regret and want to rejoin.

Usually their method of leaving will be fairly drama laden due to the fact that they tend to want to go that way, they LIKE being in your linkshell but other things keep getting in the way of functioning, such as unrealistic expectations or if its the second time around, a paranoia that everyone hates them for quitting in the first place.

Fears which are hard to allay when you aren't listened to, particularly as good members of the linkshell are always welcome, regardless of whether they left the first time around in bad blood. People are very willing to forgive and forget and just get on with the business of end game if they feel that you are a valuable member of the linkshell.

The biggest problem I have encountered with these people is that they ARE essentially good people, they aren't really trouble makers, their own neurosis just get in the way a bit and sometimes I am just a little too preoccupied to deal with it. They provide good support in the linkshell, they are dedicated and consistent its just their Achilles heel is a pretty darn big one, Colossus of Rhodes size infact.

Knowing when to just say no is important, otherwise they just consistently think it is ok to up sticks and leave you in the lurch every time they get into a humph about something and leave you all alone at the prom without a ride home, and that creepy kid is grinning at you again.

These are hard decisions to make, personally I definately don't like being jerked around like that, do it once too often and you pretty much burn all bridges with me and I will just point blank refuse to even entertain the notion it is a good idea to have you back. You could be the best player on the server with the creme de la creme of gear and I still wouldn't say yes because I am tired of being played.

As I see it, my job is to provide a consistent and stable framework for people to do end game, while juggling unusual decisions with keeping it as fair as possible in the broadest sense, as you can never please everyone. It is NOT to sit there blowing smoke up someones rear so they can feel that little bit more superior to everyone else. I understand that you need a good rapor with your members, however it is still a balance, you need to retain objectivity and not let your judgement become clouded because of X, Y and Z. And THAT is extremely difficult to do.

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