Abusing Your Powers: 3 – Favoritism


Earlier this evening (before the servers said you can’t login if you are with Comcast AND you have a battle.net account) when my raid started I had someone express interest that they’d like to go to tonights raid.  One of my healers whispered me and offered to bow out for this person.  I was like hell no.  You can’t leave, your my favorite student.

I was joking of course (or was I!?) about the raider being my favorite.  I like most of my raiders (about 12% of them) but I appear to like many more of them (no, you there, the one reading this, I like you, don’t doubt yourself).

Every raid leader wants to raid with people they like.  If you don’t like someone then why are they in your raid… That’s not the right sentence.  There are people in the past I have taken on raids who I didn’t necessarily like, but they were decent players who did a good job and I took them with me so that I could accomplish goals.  This is the wrong end of the rainbow though, what about the raid member(s) that your raid lead likes to much?

3. Favoritism

1.the favoring of one person or group over others with equal claims; partiality: to show favoritism toward the youngest child.
2.the state of being a favorite.

How do you spot Favoritism?
Favoritism is cried out more often than “Why did you die in a fire?”  Someone is always quick to yell that the raid leader is showing favoritism when things aren’t going their way.  That doesn’t mean it should be discounted though.

Favoritism will quickly degrade a raid group and leave chunks of your player base with a sour taste in their mouth.

Example 1:
You are the Dungeon Master(DM) for your Dungeons and Dragons group (I don’t care how geeky it is, this is my example dammit).  You lead a group of players around in a world.  You provide the players with encounters and loot.  DM-Xeo yells that the players have stumbled upon a nest of murlocs (yea, cuz you could easily stumble on murlocs…).  The players dispatch the murlocs quickly and loot the bodies.  Zalana finds leather scraps on one of them.  Shiningstar finds the Holy Grail on another.  The adventure continues and DM-Xeo shouts the players have stumbled upon Sartharion!  Sartharion tosses out a breath attack that incinerates everything in a frontal cone.  Zalana is vaporized, nothing is left of him except some leather scraps.  Shiningstar is unharmed…

Example 2:
Player A whispers you, “Is there a raid slot open for a healer?”
Reply, “No.”
…elapse 2 seconds…
Player B whispers you, “Is there a raid slot open for a healer?”
Reply, “Yes.”

Both of those examples are pretty self explanatory but we’ll go over them a bit more indepth.  Favoritism can be present from the first roll of the dice, it might just not be apparent to the players.  In the first example Shiningstar simply seems lucky.  Random loot is just that, random.  Zalana is probably a bit grumpy he didn’t pick the right murloc but thats how the dice roll.  Then Zalana is vaporized when Shiningstar isn’t even touched.  This continues to the point that Zalana seems to not be able to catch a break while Shiningstar is walking on water.

You haven’t been altering Zalana’s rolls, he really is just that unlucky.  You have been altering Shiningstar’s though.  It’s difficult to understand at first… its not that you have been mean to Zalana, you just haven’t been fair.  You haven’t put as much effort into helping him as you have Shiningstar.

The problem is this creates a gap between the players where one person is sailing along and the other(s) are scraping behind like servants.  This might not even be fun for the person who is getting the favoritism shown to them.

Example 2 is a bitch.  You will probably not know this type of favoritism is ever happening unless you stumble upon it simply by accident.  This is often the result of a raid lead simply wanting to raid with people he likes.  That doesn’t make it any less severe though.  When people notice they are never getting picked they start to take notice.  They will quickly see that person who signs up late for the raid or is never on time… but still manages to get slotted.

How do you deal with someone who is showing Favoritism?
Unlike insanity or selfishness the raid lead may not be very responsive to talks about this.  Example 1 is your hopeful, best scenario.  The raid lead probably doesn’t realize the effect it is having on other people.  A quick talk can go far for you.  Be careful on the approach though, it will be VERY easy to trigger defensive mechanisms.  Try to keep it away from looking like it is an us vs. that person type of thing.  This person is someone the raid lead likes quiet a bit.

Example number 2… EXTREMELY touchy.  The raid lead makes a conscious effort to keep this person around them.  They want them there and it is highly unlikely you will change their mind on this…

I’m actually not even sure how I would go about talking to the lead about this.  I know that personally there are a few peeps I want to raid with.  I will go out of my way to get them into the raid.  This usually consists of people I like in that special way or IRL friends.  I’m not going to hurt my raid group to bring them, but I don’t think there is anything someone could say to me that would make me stop bringing these people.  Anyone have suggestions on how you might approach the raid lead in this situation?

Special Note:  Are you in that raid group where the lead brings their significant other… and the significant other sucks so much you do every boss 1 person short?  I feel so sorry for you it isn’t even funny.  If you know the person well, you might try to talk to them in this circumstance and let them know it isn’t fair to the raid group to make them suffer in such a way.

If you have just joined the guild / raid group that is like this… move on, QUICKLY.  It is highly unlikely you will a. change their mind or b. get slotted after you tell them how much their loved one sucks.


15 thoughts on “Abusing Your Powers: 3 – Favoritism

  1. Conifer says:

    “There are people in the past I have taken on raids who I didn’t necessarily like, but they were decent players who did a good job and I took them with me so that I could accomplish goals.”

    Dude, you know I read this blog…

  2. Tagra says:

    How DO you deal with the “This person is a good friend/relative/lover of people in the raid and they’re really nice and all and they even bring fish feasts and other stuff to help the raid however they can because they want us to win, but they completely and utterly suck at everything they try to do” situation? Especially if they happen to be the friend of one of your best raiders, or even YOUR RL friend/relative, so the cost of saying “fuck it, we have to do something about this” becomes much more expensive?

  3. Addy says:

    “This person is a good friend/relative/lover of people in the raid and they’re really nice and all and they even bring fish feasts and other stuff to help the raid however they can because they want us to win, but they completely and utterly suck at everything they try to do”

    Dude, you know Shiningstar reads this blog…

  4. Shiningstar says:


    “and that significant other sucks so much you do every boss 1 person short”…am I holding you back? Addy’s your golden boy and I’m just…just…baggage. *sobs*

    Personally I loved example 1. I get the Holy Grail (I am a priest after all) and Zal gets leather scraps. But in your example you didn’t mention and I wanted to confirm–if I was the ‘favorite’ there, did we dance on his vaporized ashes and then /loot angel wings after? 🙂

  5. Addy says:

    I the newest issue of Knights of the Dinner Table there are some pics from gamers playing at Origins. Word and thought bubbles were added to make them fun. On of the word bubbles is a GM saying, “Don’t bother writing down damage. Your character bursts into flames!”

  6. Tagra says:

    It did kind of cross my mind when I mentioned Fish Feasts >.>… but I didn’t mean Shiny!

    I was actually thinking of someone I used to raid with who was totally awesome but did *horrible* DPS, and when approached about it they were always like “Oh I don’t care about that stuff, I’m just here to have fun!” … And of course they were the significant other of a really awesome raider too, and then they’d do things like volunteer to do all the pulling or bring flasks for everyone or whatever other useful thing they could think of to help out… and everyone just settled for carrying them along like a mascot. …And then TBC came along and carrying people just didn’t work anymore no matter how much you wanted to…

  7. Gigantor1960 says:

    I have dealt with this situation in my guild for several months now. We are usually short raiders for 25 man content but have a consistent group 18 or so people who are all good players IMO.

    The bad part is that it is primarily a family guild and the majority of slots are taken by family members followed by the raid leader who has his “favorite” people so I am one of those on the outs.

    I attempted to address the issue to the GL but basically nothing was done so we have a GUILD of “The Ten” as I like to call them that get to do everything and the rest of us are S.O.L.

    I could leave but while the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence it also tends to only be greener in patches. There will always be some dead or brown spots if you look hard or long enough.

    I am lucky enough to have some RL friends and co-workers that have a small guild and get to run heroics and the occasional 10 man with them if they are short a body. So for now its deal with the situation as is I suppose as it’s not likely to change.

    Just discovered your blog…love it!

  8. xeonio says:

    @Gigantor: First of all, thank you for the love!

    The situation you are in is tough for sure. If I were you I don’t know if I could stick it out. If I wasn’t getting to raid I’d be hitting the road. It always sucks to leave friends but you gotta make sure you are having fun in the game.

    Have you considered joining the guild that your IRL friends are in? It might garner you a better chance at always raiding and being in the same guild with IRL friends can be a blast. Cuz then you can go out to dinner and have guildchat IRL! (yes, I’m that geeky) =)

    Thanks again and glad you found me!


  9. Gigantor1960 says:

    Hey Xeo,
    I have considered it but the temperament of a few of the guys in the guild that has RL friends causes a bit of drama from time to time. I love raiding but not at the expense of yelling screaming and abrupt log offs, even if it’s periodic.

    Most of them have been friends longer than I have known them and they are pretty hard core. Playing Vanilla WoW high end content on a PvP server can do that to you I guess. Besides I work with three of them and our co-workers are tired of hearing our exploits as it is : ) I played pre BC but in the same casual guild I am in now. We never got to end game stuff but did well for so-called casuals.

    I went to a high pop server and did some raiding for about a year because I thought I was good enough and wanted to experience end-game content. I was an officer and the Priest class lead of a pretty cohesive and talented guild that got through T-6 BT, Hyjal pre-nurfs but still considered itself casual. Unfortunately that guild blew up twice to so-called drama out of the blue so I went back to the stability of a guild I knew.

    “The Ten” are currently working on the last boss in Ulduar which they usually do weekly. The rest of us get to pug it or wait and pray we get 25 people to show. That’s usually been one day, once a month… if we are lucky. I think we have 6 bosses down so not bad for not raiding much IMO. Still I’d like to see the rest before it become irrelevant. Guess there is always a trade off. Sorry for the Walls-O-Text.

  10. xeonio says:

    @Gigantor: Don’t worry about the walls of text =) It doesn’t bother me. I’d much rather have peeps say stuff than NOT say stuff. I just tend to take awhile to get back to peeps.

    As long as your having fun, that’s what matters.

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