How to deal with Disruptive Players
By Black Label
August 2006

There are many types of disruptive members and scenarios that can appear in your MMORPG guild.
Some of these disruption can be innocent and some can be deviously planned. As a leader of an online
MMORPG guild for the last two years, I’ve been through many disruptions imaginable. I can
honestly say most of these were unexpected. From tiny outbursts of new recruits to planned
sabotage by officers, these disruptions if not handled correctly can do major damage to your guild
infrastructure and morale.

In order to deal with disruption in the guild, you need to put things in perspective. The first question
you need to ask yourself is who is doing this. Second, what is his worth? For me, a recruit doing any
sort of disruptive or in appropriate behavior gets an automatic boot from me immediately. Why allow
his nonsense to go on further causing more damage to your guild. Furthermore, why allow his
disruptive behavior to occur in front of the whole recruiting class. This may sound egotistic and
arrogant but you have the entire guild and the future of the guild watching. If your recruit acts up in
an inappropriate manner, give him the quick boot. Be sure you let everyone know why you kicked
him but be firm about your decision. Overall, the structure and integrity of the guild is preserved, no
matter who this new person is. An incident happened to me a few months back when a recruit
started challenging me because he felt he was been disrespected. After two minute of private
conversation, the recruit decided he wanted to make a drama scene and he wasn’t going to take any
crap from anyone even though he is on a recruiting run in hopes of entering the guild. At this point,
he was immediately let go despite having some promise in him. After hours of bitching and moaning,
it was the right move. Remember guild leaders. Recruits are there to impress you! If they don’t fit
your guild for whatever reason, just drop them and move on. No need to make a drama out of it. If
you let them get away from one disruption, then next one will be bigger with more damage.

What happens when there is a disruptive presence in one of the established members? This is always
a tough question. You must wonder to yourself. Why is this person all of a sudden being a drama
queen? Did something happen in real life? Did the person snap or was the person always this nuts? I
had a member who started drinking while playing online and cursing everyone out for no reason.
Another one started to recruit my members for his own separate little side guild. The best way to
handle these situations is to use your conflict officers. I believe any members are allowed to have bad
days. Sometimes life gets you down and you react and respond negatively. However, too many bad
days and they will get a warning from me. Guild leaders must realize that the guild is not a punching
bag substitute for members who had a bad day in real life. No one deserves to be caught in the
middle. I would approach the disruptive member and be blunt but also polite. Use positive language to
emphasize the member’s good qualities but also emphasize that lately these disruption are unlike them
and unfair to the guild. Make sure they understand that you are seeking a stop to the nonsense and
that you hope they can accommodate that. If there is a private matter then tell the member to handle it
privately. They should avoid any disruptive behavior over guild channels, guild forums or during team
play. For the most part, most members realize they have to handle their issues privately and leave the
guild out of this. A few may decide because of personal reasons. What do you do as a guild leader
when an established member wants out? You let them leave as hard as it may sound. The greater
good you do for your guild for letting them go outweighs the mayhem that can result if they stayed.

The worst case scenario is when an officer or members begin fighting over guild channels and
forums. Hopefully, this would have been prevented before then. But sometimes it is inevitable. People
will always disagree and some people will remain immature when they are right or wrong. Most guild
members who end up fighting will fight over love, accusations, pride, respect and personality
differences. When this involves two officer or members, things can get real ugly. Since each member
or officers have friends in the guild, members are often caught in the middle choosing sides.
Sometimes one side will leave the guild, resulting in a massive exodus. This has happened to my guild
twice and I am happy to say we survived. If this is happening to your guild, be firm and stand for
what you believe. If an officer or member has to go, let them. Sometimes you can’t make peace with
the two group as hard as you try. If people are going to leave with them, let it happen. You can’t
organize and lead a group that follows someone else in the long run anyways. But you must reaffirm
that once a member leave over this nonsense, they are out! In those desperate times, you must
amputate the weak limb and start the healing process quick. Find yourself a new strong right arm and
continue forward.   
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