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?
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