Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stealing is Wrong...Right?

EDIT: Just so everyone is aware, what follows turned out to be an elaborate and convincing troll. The question, however, is interesting enough to continue exploring.

You ever get that question, about the guy whose wife is dying? The one where there is a doctor who has the medicine to cure her, but he won't sell it for less than a certain price, and the husband can't afford it, so he breaks in and steals it? It's at that point in the scenario where you get asked whether or not his stealing was a justifiable action.

Now, stealing is generally wrong and difficult to justify. I have never seen a justified ninja of a guild bank, and I'm not entirely sure my mind has been changed. However, this thread throws it into a new light.

Basically, a four-year guild founding member, officer and guild leader (all rolled into the same person), was passed over for a Warglaive of Azzinoth to a new, server-transferred applicant in order to complete his set and increase DPS. The guild leader, Aqua, proceeded to take 200k gold from the guild bank and gquit.

But wait, there's more to the story.

You see, the guild he's in, Casual, have been clearing Kil'Jaedan for a while. They cannot progress any farther, and therefore do not especially need an increase in DPS (the speculators in the thread value it at about an extra 200-300 DPS, or 5-10 seconds off a Brutalus kill). Their forays into BT are, on the flipside, for filling in spots in people's gear, probably to keep them busy while waiting for the expansion and for nights on which Sunwell is a cold, empty, boss-less shell.

200k, however, is a lot of gold, and would hurt an entire guild, not just those responsible for the, in my opinion, horrible call to give a two-month unknown a glaive over a 4-year vet. (For those of you wondering, the glaive was not distributed via loot council.)

What follows is a conversation with a fellow blogger and guildmate about the issue, presenting several facets and sides to the argument.

[14:31] Harl: I see petty guild drama so far... what am I looking for?
[14:31] Bellwether: Ha
[14:31] Bellwether: Well, it's kind of the scale of the drama
[14:32] Bellwether: As in, some guild thought a 2 month old app deserved a warglaive over a 4 year officer/guild leader because it would be a "complete set" and would "up dps," but this guild clears KJ every week and cannot progress any farther, so the increase in dps is obviously unnecessary.
[14:33] Harl: I dunno, it doesn't really sound like a very clear-cut issue
[14:33] Harl: and based on the behavior of the former guild leader, i have to think there was gross lack of maturity involved...
[14:34] Bellwether: Well, you have to believe he was doing something right to have a raiding guild last 4 years, be just under the top 50 in the US, and be regularly clearing KJ.
[14:36] Harl: hard to say if it was him or the people he surrounded himself with, though
[14:37] Harl: I mean, I can understand getting fed up enough to quit - I've done that myself. but to ninja the bank and whatnot? that's not what I'd expect out of a high-quality leader
[14:40] Bellwether: True enough, but it's also the scale of things. As in, 1) it's a legendary, which aren't the easiest to come by. 2) It's four years of dedication versus a server-transfer applicant who people have known for two months total. 3) As they regularly kill KJ, an increase in dps is not paramount for guild progression, as the guild can no longer progress.
[14:42] Harl: yeah, all fair points. I guess I feel that his behavior overshadows all of that, though, and puts him clearly in the wrong. you just don't *do* shit like that. esp. as someone in a leadership position
[14:43] Bellwether: (Not saying he's right in what he did)
[14:43] Bellwether: But at the same time, do you just let it go? It's truly a gigantic slap in the face by an organization you've put four years into.
[14:44] Harl: oh, I wouldn't let it go at all. I'd walk. you're right, it's absolutely a bitch-slap. but there are mature ways to deal with it and immature ways to deal with it. he chose poorly ;p
[14:46] Bellwether: He could have done worse. /gdisband? But still, "walking" doesn't really drive the point home at all. He wouldn't get anything, they wouldn't feel a sting (if they're clearing KJ and getting rogue w/ glaive applicants, they can't be hurting badly), and it'd be like they got out of a horrible decision virtually scot-free.
[14:48] Harl: I guess I disagree there. that's a desire for revenge that I hear, which is petty and non-constructive. it's not going to change anything in the end, it makes the perp look like a douche and it ends up hurting a lot of other people (other guildies) that weren't even involved in the drama.
[14:49] Bellwether: I'm still not saying he's right. But walking wouldn't fix anything. It's not, in my opinion, petty to be deeply hurt and angry about a two-month applicant being valued over four years of dedicated service and wanting some sort of restitution. Not saying he went about it the right way. I'm just saying walking wouldn't fix anything.
[14:51] Harl: I guess my point is that there isn't always a way to fix something.
[14:51] Bellwether: There should be.
[14:51] Harl: that's not how reality works
[14:51] Bellwether: Reality sucks.
[14:51] Harl: it has it's moments, true

In the end, both were in the wrong, it's true. Both could have handled it better. But a feeling of betrayal cuts deep, and I can't help but sympathize with how Aqua felt, even if I can't with how he chose to address it.


runycat said...

This sort of situation is a perfect example of why each guild needs an incredibly transparent loot system that everyone can understand perfectly before he or she joins.

My sentiment is as follows: nothing is an excuse to take guild money, which everyone has farmed and contributed to, and leave. It's petty and it's incredibly puerile. If that guild is farming Kil'jaedan, then there's absolutely no reason to think they won't get another glaive. Illidan is child's play, and what he drops is all up to the RNG (and, funny enough, Mutilate is actually the best Rogue build for damage, currently, and you can't Mutilate with glaives).

Additionally, seniority cannot always be equated with "better play." I'm sure you can think of one person you've played with in a guild who might have been there forever but was probably only still there because of some straw-grasping folks using time-spent as an excuse to validate his or her "suck."

Pretty sad, in general.

Ratshag said...

So hard to tell what actually happened from the forum posts, other than the basics. Was he a good, contributing guild member, or just someone who'd been around 4 years? Dunno. Were the loot awarded in a manner consistent with guild practice, or were it a shoot-from-the-hip, arbitrary decision? Dunno. Is they gonna farm Illy every week, or were this the last run? Dunno. Is a lotta anger and hurt flying from both sides, though.

Me, I thinks falling in love wit loot you ain't got yet be a dangerous thing, whether it be WarGlavies or Sonic Spear or VanCleef's codpiece. Is too easy ta gets overexiteds and pull a dumbness.

Siha said...

He was the guild leader, I believe - you don't get much more contributory than that ;) (Well, generally not, anyway.)

As for the original post, I agree Bell - it's really hard to see what he could have done to be vindicated. Just walking doesn't feel like enough; ninja'ing is uncalled for.

I guess, were I in his shoes, I'd probably just take a few of the raiders with me and set up a new guild where one could guarantee that poor choices like that weren't going to be made again.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I dont blame him one bit for doing what he did... given that wow is a video game.
Legendaries should be about overall contribution, and any talk of upping dps is nonsense at that stage. I'd probably quit the guild too, in support of the leader. I couldn't care less about new recruits, vs age-old members. Running a guild is REALLY hard work.

If the guild's loot system is screwy enough to give it to a new member, they should have known it would cause serious repercussions. God, I'd be so mad after 4 years of dedication. Running a guild is about 3000x harder than showing up to a raid... and dps classes have the easiest jobs of all. What reward do you get for organizing other people's playtime in wow? Not a damn thing... except maybe a legendary once every 4 years.

I'd say both parties are at fault. But given how loot is the most sensitive issue there is in wow, and guild that screws around with legendaries is looking for trouble, and if the guild falls apart, so be it. It's a video game, and a lot of video game players are VERY immature. When kids play outside of an adult context... well that's how kids play. Moral codes are more immature, and vengeance is part of a moral code in kiddy-land. I think that's natural. I have to deal with kid morality all the time in wow, and it bores me a lot. But I dont blame them, because they're kids and I'm an adult.

Jordan said...

In an extremely simplistic way of describing and closing any feelings about this; Humans are idiots, this is how they deal with decisions and how they handle problems, frequently.

Daniel Chapman said...

The other thing to consider is: He may have taken 100k from the guild bank, but it would take him all of 30c to send all of that money back.

However, the legendary. Well, it's bound now.

Daniel Chapman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Chapman said...

Oh, and it is possible that this is all a hoax according to a later post by the same person. Supposedly the basic story is true, but it did not flare up into drama. No gold was stolen, no gquitting was done. The leader was irked, but nothing came of it.

(Or he just returned the gold and they're covering, but in any case, it was an understandable fit of anger followed by rational minds taking over and recovering.)

Bell said...

Ha ha ha, even if it was a joke, it's worth talking about still, imo.

Anonymous said...

this is a perfect example of Kohlberg's Morality Theory

Anonymous said...

Yet another loot drama that could have been avoided if they'd only used dkp.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

DKP is a terrible loot system. It only rewards time, not contribution.

In general, if this is real, I'd say Aquasheep was perfectly justified in anything he did, given that they guild he sheparded to Kil' Jaeden just bent him over a bench. If Casual is like most of the other guilds I have seen, they'd have never made it there without him. The GM is highly integral to the success of the guild. So, when treated like a jenny, he should kick. They don't really deserve any success if they will throw someone that is as important as their GM under the bus like that.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Aqua's decisions if the story is true. It's similar to a CEO of a large successful corporation leaving. They are usually compensated greatly for the hard work put forth by the CEO. His gold was his compensation considering he probably made the most amount of sacrifice as a Guild Leader.

I will never take upon the role of leading a guild anymore due to all the time and effort that needs to be put forth. So, I completely understand Aqua's POV.

Armond said...

Last! <-- Win.

Anonymous said...

It is as it is. Point skipped by other commentaries is that - your Harl is a hypocrite. Pseudo-objectivity and reading morals are easy, mediocre and inneficient tools in a debate. Unless your sole aim is to show yourself as a-- /gets post deleted

Pies said...

I'd simply /gkick the loot master for making the wrong decision :D

Pies said...

(To clarify, I wouldn't kick the loot master for making _a_ wrong decision, but in this case it was _the_ wrong decision.)

Yashima said...

Nice drama ... and forum drama (or trolling?). Drama rarely has room for mature solutions. (Summing up the really long comment I was going to post).

In the end: it is only loot. I try to detach myself from the pixels. It is hard especially if they are legendary but pixel is pixel.

Naissa said...

Its so hard to pick sides there, but like you said I think both sides could have handled it better.

Artorin said...

What the guild leader did was wrong plain and simple. He didn't do it out of necessity, as the person stealing a cure for his wife, but he did it out of wrath and vengeance.

You could say that saying what he did is wrong would be subjecting him to my moral code but when he stole 200k because he felt he was wrong, he did that and more to the guild.

Does what happened suck? Absolutely. Its a terrible thing to have happen but so is having 200k gold stolen out of the guild bank. What happened to him only affected him and frankly with the time they have till WotLK the guild could have gotten him the Warglaives. What he did to the guild though affected everyone in the guild.

This to me is no different then the guild bank theives and hackers who steal from others.

Anonymous said...

I can understand how upset/mad he was. From what I've read the guild had ups and downs and he was the ONLY original member still standing from that guild. Kinda like when wipes coming in waves for weeks people seek greener grass and move to to other guilds. He stuck around and had faith in that guild.

Someone who has been in the same guild for four freaking years sure deserves a legendary weapon over a server's transfer. Especially since they cleared the content and did not have an immediate need to up that other rogues dps. Obviously they did just fine.

Basically Aqua got screwed over. Someone who showed up on all wiping encounters and was loyal to his guild. That was a very poor loot distribution. When a legendary drops, loot council should be involved and give it to (dedicated, loyal, high dps member) over a 2 month server transfer rogue.