Confessions of a Guild Leader: The Raid Leader that Lost His Mind
Being a Guild Leader isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be sometimes. It’s hard enough managing things in game. But sometimes, and I can only pray that situations like this are rare, that you get that person… the one who does everything he can to ruin you and your guild.. even taking it out of game and making real life threats against you.
Summer 2010, we were raiding ICC, and making progress. Enter the Raid Leader that lost his mind.
Our new raid leader was a warlock. He used to be a raid leader in a top 500 guild back in the day.. so he was a bit rough around the edges, but he was a good raid leader. He was a grumpy man, but not in the emo sort of way… or so we thought. With him at the helm we progressed to Sindragosa mid summer 2010. And we hit the proverbial wall.
At this time we were not extending lockouts. With the trouble Sindy was giving us, we did not want to lose morale by wiping on her for 4 hours a week, so we were doing full clears up to that point. So our Raid Leader was getting frustrated. The frustration was exacerbated by some crazy IRL stuff he had going on. I’m going to stop here and say this guy had Bipolar Disorder. Bipolars are perfectly normal when they are on their medication – you can’t even tell there’s anything wrong for the most part. However, when they are not taking their meds, they become very very unstable. That summer, with all the real life shit he was being handed (that I didn’t know about at the time), he stopped taking his meds and started drinking.
For weeks it was building up. He was getting very combative and hostile on our forums and in our raids. If someone suggested an alternate strat, he took it as a personal attack against his raid leading skill. If someone asked an innocent question, he would bite their head off after somehow taking it the wrong way. He then started making suicide threats on facebook which scared me and Star. When I tried talking to him to get him to calm down, he snapped and /gquit.
When I tried sending him tells asking him what happened, what’s going on, I’m here if he needed to talk…he refused to talk to me, so I just let it go. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. He started on the Uldaman forum, with a very subtle dig that probably didn’t make sense to anyone else reading it. One day, Star and I were chatting about something in the officer channel when he logged in. It was something that was personal, but at the time I didn’t think much of him over hearing it because it was something we could all just laugh at.
Without going into detail, he decided to take the personal comments I made, and publicize them in the server forums, in trade chat, to anyone that will listen. Due to the nature of the comments, it was in fact sexual harassment. I reported his forum posts as harassment, and they were deleted. He then kept reposting, I kept reporting, they got deleted, he kept reposting..etc. I didn’t respond to him directly at all. Instead, I wrote an email to Blizzard’s customer support:
To Whom it May Concern,
Once upon a time there was a warlock in my guild named XXXXXX. (<Masochistic Tendencies> Uldaman). He may have been a grump, but he was a loveable grump. We had fun in the guild raiding and such. Then one day for reasons unbeknownst to me decides to rage-quit. I tried to ask him once what happened, he said “no.” I never again attempted to contact him, and moved on.
Since this player left, he has been resorting to childish and harassing behavior on the Uldaman realm forums under the thread “How is this server?” (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26262868410&sid=1)
“This category includes both clear and masked language and/or links to websites containing such language or images which:
- Insultingly refer to other characters, players, Blizzard employees, or groups of people
- Result in ongoing harassment to other characters, players, Blizzard employees, or groups of people
Harassment takes many forms, and is not necessarily limited to the type of language used, but the intent. Repeatedly targeting a specific player with harassment can lead to more severe action. The idea behind this is to prevent any one player from consistently being uncomfortable in the World of Warcraft forums.”
In the thread I specified above, this user is masking his language to make it look harmless, however the repeated XXXX statement is a direct attack at me personally. One day he “overheard” myself and another player talking in officer chat (he was an officer/raid leader at the time) about my past relationship with someone [….].
He can say whatever he wants about the server. However the direct personal attacks have got to stop. Every time I report his post, he either deletes it and re-posts it, or a moderator deletes it and he re-posts it. You will see I have reported him many many times for harassment, and his behavior still continues. He has also used “masked” language to attack my guild in his first post in the thread, but honestly, nobody is going to care about that. What I do care about is where it gets very personal, and the intent behind his repeated statements is actually sexual harrassment because the line refers to a sexual incident. The intent is to make me feel like a failure in that respect, and it is completely and 100% uncalled for.
Please, PLEASE make this stop.
“Alykii” of Uldaman
This got him a forum ban. So he took it into the game. At this time I had all his toons on “ignore” so if he tried to contact me directly, he couldn’t get through. I was farming Stratholme for the Rivendare mount on Aly, when I got a tell from someone else I knew in game saying:
“Do you know what XXX is saying about you in trade?”
“Nope, I have him on ignore”
“he’s spamming, ask Alykii about […]”
So I hearthed back to Dalaran, briefly “unignored” him to see what he was saying. Sure enough, he was spamming trade
“ask Alykii about […]”
Ticket time! I opened an in-game ticket citing further harassment from this player. A GM responded thanking me for reporting it, that they “take these incidents very seriously and action will be taken”. Of course they couldn’t go into detail on what kind of action, but it obviously got him a ban from the game.
Did it end there? Nope. Where can’t blizzard touch him? Facebook! He started sending me threatening emails on facebook saying “you messed with the wrong motherfucker” and I “was going to pay” for “getting him banned.” I never responded to him or gave him any direct reaction. I then completely shut down my facebook, removed my home town (at the time I was planning a cross country move), removed all permissions for wall posts, emails, etc. He wasn’t working – he had gotten laid off (one of his IRL issues), so he had all the time in the world alone with his thoughts and at this point I had no idea what he truly would have been capable of. I was google’able from some of my work at my old job, and I was actually afraid he would drive to Boston, show up at my work and do something crazy. From the nature of his posts and emails, I had to assume he was capable of just about anything.
So I moved (not because of him but because I had to get away from my old job), and I never heard from him again until a year ago when he sent Star a mile long apology and asked her to forward it to me, since I completely shut all avenues of contact from him. That’s when I found out everything going on in his life at the time, and his actual suicide attempt. Instead of contempt or anger, all I could feel was pity. He was getting help… and from there I can only hope life got better for him. That was the last time I talked to or heard from him.