In World of Warcraft roleplay, there’s a lot of drama. Tons of drama. It’s just like any other roleplay medium, whether we roleplayers want to admit it or not (it seems non-WoW roleplayers want to think that this style is worse for drama than any others — wrong!). It can be hard to separate fact from fiction, especially when friends and people we generally think are a-okay and cool are involved. Especially when people we’ve never had issues with are involved. At what point do you begin to accept that maybe, just maybe, that roleplayer that you like, or that has the occasional twinge of Something You Just Can’t Put Your Finger On, really is a Drama Llama?
Complaint Volume as a Measure of Drama
A serial Drama Llama or problem player will usually leave a swath of destruction in their wake. Chances are, they’ve been involved in issues between themselves and other players, raised a ruckus on other sites, or done something, somewhere, to cause discomfort and terribleness. The more complaints about a player or group of players that exist, the more likely that this person is a Problem.
You knew there was a “but”.
This is not always reliable. Some may find that a player’s reputation among one specific social group is actually the fault of that group, and doesn’t reflect the way that player actually is — say, one member of a social group gets a bug up their arse about a person, then suddenly the entire group hates them. Yes, this happens. Yes, we all thought we abandoned that line of thinking after leaving school. No, we didn’t. It does happen, even and especially in World of Warcraft roleplay, and it’s just as irritating there as it is in the outside world.
If, however, you have multiple complaints from different social groups, people unrelated to these social groups and, hell, maybe even different forums, chat channels, and/or game servers … then you could be dealing with a serial Llama.
Screenshots and Chat Logs
In World of Warcraft, there are add-ons like Elephant that record chat channels and let you save or keep logs of what’s said in various channels. This sort of add-on is great for keeping track of stuff that happens in roleplay, whispers, and chat channels — though WoW Instant Messenger is probably better for the whispers portion. Some folks choose to take screenshots of everything, from conversations to Twitter DMs, to LJ PMs, and any form of communication with people that they think they might wind up having issues with.
Images can be tampered and edited, however, spotting such edits is fairly simple. Does something look wonky and not uniform? Does it look pixelated in places that it probably shouldn’t? Is the communication style of any of the involved people different than what you’re familiar with?
Again, if different unrelated people have screenshots and chat logs, it’s safe to bet that they’re not lying. The more thorough the record of Llama behaviour, the better, and it’s often better to be safe than sorry.
That Feeling in Your Gut
If you’re familiar with Llama behaviour (assuming you aren’t one yourself, oho), then you’re probably familiar with that little feeling that starts to creep in when you find yourself facing the potential of more Drama. It’s that slight dread, where you think that the behaviour you’re witnessing isn’t entirely good, but you don’t want to say anything or cause any trouble, so you don’t speak up. It might just be you, right? You might just be misinterpreting something~!
You might not be misinterpreting, either, and if you aren’t sure — ask. Ask me, ask someone that you know, ask for clarification on whatever’s happened with your roleplay partner, ask a community like bad_rpers_suck on livejournal. Get an outside opinion. Maybe someone else has seen the behaviour and can tell you whether or not it’s time to pack up your toys and go home.
The Llama Revealed!
How do you deal if a player has proven to be a Llama, but hasn’t actually reared their head as such to you — yet? How do you pry yourself from a Llama’s grasp?
That’s a set of posts for another day.