Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reputation Thats Untrackable

Three recent occurrences have drawn me to write again on the concept of online identity.

1) Darkspear (my Server) recently had a guild transfer to it, called PO. Their members were obnoxious, and griefed even members of their own faction, in forums, in chat, and in-game. They picked up a number of guildless people along their raiding, turned them into fellow bile spewers over the course of a month or two, and then transfered someone where else - leaving a dozen or so native darkspearians guildless. If WoW had an untouchable caste - these people would certainly now be a part of it. None can find a reputable guild that will except someone that was part of PO.

2) I got the 20min Heroic Oculus achievement, as well as all the Colored Void Achievements, with two "pug" members over the course of three days. I say "pug" in that they were not of my guild - but rather two other reputable Darkspear guilds, who's guild tags was enough to convince me that these were people that could pull their weight for the achievements.

3) I learned that one warrior, whom had joined PO, and gotten left behind when they left - was not actually being played by the owner of the account. It was a friend of his whom he had loaned the account to while they were away.

All these things to say - I think that reputation in the server community is important now more then ever. Take a moment and think about it.

Are their guilds on your server that you avoid PuGing with members from?

Are their guilds on your server that you'd PuG with a member from, without reservation?

Are there specific players that you have had negative experiences with, that you remember?

And then the most important question - where do you stand? There is no displayable bar that tracks how other players perceive you - you have to infer your reputation through the words and actions of others. And the value of this reputation is huge - WoW is a hobby that requires a decent amount of time invested to get to level 80, and that time is wasted if you end up blackisted by the rest of the community.

To make things even harder - realize that your good deeds will add to your reputation far, far less then your negative ones will take away. I don't remember even a quarter of the random people that have done nice things to me, but I can recite the names of everyone that's crossed me. Most of the time, reputation loss is a one way street.

Where on your server's rep spectrum do you think you fall - Hated, Unfriendly, Neutral, Friendly, Honored, Revered, or Exalted? Are you conscious of this as you play, not aware of it, or do you somehow still not think your server rep matters?


Darraxus said...

The last two guild I have been in have been well respected raiding guilds. I have no no problems getting groups. However, I would never again group with a guild called the Danger Rangers. They are full of bads and 12 year olds.

Vads said...

Server cred will only help you. Takes effort to build but you'll always enjoy the benefits of being in good standing, just as you remember with sceptism individuals or guilds you've crossed before that either through bad rap or personal experiences.

Being a member of a big and mostly well respected guild that has been around since rp-pvp servers started, the impressions I leave on that new guy in my group towards me and my guild is something I'm very aware of and especially while pugging I tank perhaps far more concentrated than I do in relaxing guild runs.

At the end when they're talking about how smooth things went and thanking for the company you know it was worth it :)

Chad S. said...

I'm probably more conscious of my tanking when I'm with non-guild members as well. I know that guildmembers know that I can be a good tank, so when I'm just with them, I tend to relax a little more. With PuGs, I work harder to leave them with a positive impression.

jettgeek said...

I think this is an excellent topic.

I know I've pugged with some players I'd just rather not associate with again. I don't necessarily want to throw them on the ignore list, but would like some kind of reminder that I might think twice before getting into a group with them again. On the other hand, there are some that I'd love to pug with anytime, and just having them on my friends list doesn't really help. I would almost like to be able to see in a tool-tip when I hover over their names in the raid group window, or even when I hover over the toon, what kind of note(s) I have on them.

On a personal level, perhaps there's an add-on we can use to track our interactions with other players.

On more of a community level, I know it would be abused, but wouldn't it be great if you could gain or lose reputation via some in-game mechanic? Say for instance there's a new reputation section that allows you to vote up and vote down players? The abuse would come from players who take pleasure in down-voting everyone they meet/see. Perhaps only up-votes should be allowed, that would show how many positive interactions you've had and get rid of the negative nelly's. And to prevent abuse of reputation raising, each player could only up-vote someone once, or once per (insert timeframe here). You'd also have to be able to remove any votes you gave someone to keep people from being all nice until you vote 'em up. If you could get an overall reputation with other players and also a breakdown or your reputation with certain in-game demographics of players that could lead to smarter PUGing.

When I say demographics, I mean things like: Reputation from guildmates, players you've raided with, etc.