Thieves in the night

No, I’m not unbiased about this and yes, I am a little upset about it. I also said I wouldn’t blog about it but enough other people are — on the other side, and sometimes in a way that’s just a little too passive-aggressive smug — that I feel entitled to give my own point of view. I’ll keep things unspecific, especially since it’s not the first time I’ve experienced this type of event and though the names, faces and  games may change, the behaviour doesn’t seem to. So much for maturing.

If you’re going to start a new, breakaway guild, fine. But don’t start a fight to do it, because that causes drama and bad feelings that really, really weren’t necessary to begin with. You’d be surprised how many people will just nod and understand when you say a situation doesn’t quite suit you and you’re going to try and create something that does.

If you’re going to join this breakaway guild, at least have the courtesy and courage to say goodbye to people. Don’t leave the guild without a word. We’re not fucking lepers and we’re not the bad guys and we’re due, I feel, at least that much.

Who we play with in MMOs is our own business, I firmly believe that. I do, however, also believe that calmness and (yes, I do harp on about it) courtesy make things so much easier. Instead, it feels like there was a falling out that needn’t have happened and I don’t know whether to be angry or just really disappointed that people I thought were friends, or at least amicable acquaintances, didn’t think enough of me to talk to me, if only to say “Hey, this setup doesn’t suit my style, I’m moving elsewhere, but I’m sure I’ll see you around.”

It’s not that difficult.

Oh noes! Vent drama!

(Not)

Yeah, that’s a lie — but it makes for a good title even if it’s not really true to the principles of journalism. Then again this isn’t journalism, it’s the inside of my head (parts of) splattered onto the internet (parts of).

Unfortunately for you if you were expecting juicy CoW meltdown (juicy CoW? juicy meltdown?), you’ll be disappointed. I have nothing but pride in the herd, individually and as a collective. It’s software I have a bone to pick with, and how that software ends up regulating or even restricting my interactions with other people.

Voice chat has a way of insinuating itself. It starts out optional, and yet within weeks it’s a case of “you don’t have it? You really should get it. It’s almost a requirement.” And those are the nice folks, who say it kindly and mean it sincerely (and, as it happens, are right) — the rest just say “Get Vent or GTFO, I’m too freaking cool/busy/leet to type, yo.” I’m glad to say CoW is blessedly cool/busy/leet free. Yo.

Now, while I freely admit having discovered, thanks to CoW, that if you’re in congenial company it really does add to one’s gaming experience, I still don’t like this voice/no voice divide that, it seems, inevitably appears. Even in the best of companies. It’s nobody’s fault – if anything, it’s the tech’s fault because you either have it (can use it) or you don’t.

Why is it that some technologies that are supposed to bring people together only end up doing the opposite when those for whom it works end up having little time or tolerance for those for whom it doesn’t? I find it interesting that it happens even when those involved don’t want it to and, indeed, are determined NOT to have it happen. Like I said, it’s insidious.

So yeah. Voice chat is optional in the bare definition. However, those who have it quite often stop talking to those who don’t. I know it’s not intentional, because when Vent worked well for me I could see it happening to me: a tendency to voice- rather than keyboard-chat because, after all, we are born with vocal cords and not keyboards in our hands. But it’s still the net result.

Vent isn’t working so well for me right now, and again I’m starting to feel marginalised and out of the loop, even if there is no loop to be out of. It’s like sitting at the front of the bus and wondering what the hell the cool kids are up to at the back, when in fact the cool kids are really up to nothing special at all. (Getting to the back of the bus was WAY less of a thrill than I thought it would be. Scarred my teenage years.)

I’m irritating guildies with my frustrations about it, because I’m airing those frustrations in an effort to get help from any possible gurus out there; well, ok, and to vent my irritation at being unable to get that damned piece of software working so that I have a reasonable chance of hearing everyone at a reasonable volume. In doing so I seem to have reached the “gah, she’s on about it again” level; I eventually realised that and have shut up about it, but I am going to post about it here because I am all sorts of frustrated about it on all sorts of different levels, and this is a more appropriate forum for it, being my own.

In all fairness, I should have moved my venting to here days ago, because part of it is prompted by my weird relationship with sound and that really doesn’t need to be of interest to my already rather patient guildies. (I’m sensitive to sounds – repetitive and/or extra loud make me irritable; turns out extra quiet does too, and spending 5 hours asking people to repeat themselves grates, I am sure, on more than just me.)

I do like voice chat. Maybe it’s Ventrilo I dislike. Either way, I’m pissed about how it works and how it affects my interface with people. I’m… Venting. Ah ha. Ha. Ha.