My current guild on World of Warcraft is rather casual with minimal guild drama and marginal progression. We target a very specific demographic of people and play on an RP-PVP server, which isn't conducive to recruiting. As such, we have virtually no 25 man raid experience but have had Karazhan on farm for many months at this venue. With that said, recently we had a new member run Karazhan with us and collect some gear. He seemed like a decent guy and a good player and by the end of the night, he had a guild tag. All seemed well as growth in a guild such as ours is a difficult task. Unfortunately, by the next week, he randomly /gquits and joins a different guild without notice or remark. At first, It was a bit abrupt and disappointing as fielding 25 people for us is difficult. Losing people at the rate we grow does not lend itself to exploring further content. Alas, sometimes things work themselves out for the best.
Yesterday, I had the distinct displeasure of logging into the WoW Realm forums and learning this individual apparently ninja looted an item in a normal five man group. While the details of this event were convoluted at best, it is apparent that this individual did indeed ninja loot the item. Of course, this warranted the flame thread where I learned this information. Now various people are taking time out of their day to flame each other. Perhaps I am in the minority but when I think of playing a game, having the equipment ninja looted by one of the members ruins the experience. Not because I care about the loot; because I care about the people in the game. And actions such as that, qualify that one of the individuals in the group isn't someone who I truly wish to associate.
In nine years of online gaming, it is easy to learn that in game items, most notably in games such as Everquest or World of Warcraft, have a shelf life. My Everquest cleric was at one point one of the best geared toons serverwide. Fast forward several years and I would be outclassed by even the most casual player of EQ. I really don't remember looting many of those items on that toon, yet I see the old guild's message boards and stay in touch with the people who I spent hours and hours grinding mobs and learning content. World of Warcraft is even more severe with TBC rendering even some of the most challenging pre TBC raid content obsolete.
The Quintessential Lesson is to play the game for enjoyment and the enjoyment of the others who share the experience. The true rewards are the friends you make along the way. They are the one non piece of virtual loot in virtual worlds. The items are binary code.