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The Secret is Out - and I've had enough
Right, I didn't want to have to write this particular post, but I will.

Back when the titles concept was being written up, I decided to take on a particular role with a character, partly because no one else wanted to play a Kaldorei, partly because I have a solid writing background. I approached the GMs with this and asked to write out my own acquiring of a training title. This was done - halfway through this process, I was offered a GM title as well to cover for the absence of one of our other GMs, and I accepted in the capacity of watchdog/enforcer.

The reason this was kept secret, ladies and gentlemen, is because of a rather brutal, unpleasant truth: people treat watchdog GMs like dirt. Absolutely like dirt. And you can sit here and say that person is not you, but from past experience, people clam up very quickly when a GM is around, and yet talk a fair bit of rubbish behind their backs at every opportunity. Grakor's experienced it, and so have I. It is very wearing, and very trying. As a result, Kretol decided to keep my GM identity seperate from my regular account.

The problem with this was I was still going through my title training on Nightfel - and again, how people felt about that became quite clear. I must say, I'm absolutely -appalled- at how I have been treated going through my title training. I am stunned at how few people appreciated the reading and the work, the storyline and the concept, and how many were merely interested in how powerful my character was, whether or not he could be killed, why I did or did not have the right to do this or that - even though every post I made was approved by GMs before I even wrote it, even though my character was actually not so strong at first, and it was Kretol himself who put the added improvements on my weapons to make sure people who treat the character with respect. In true WoW-culture style, the journey was ignored - all that mattered was the phat lewt, and the fact that Nightfel had it.

As it became more and more obvious my character was going to be powerful and no longer an easy target, all I ever heard was sour-grapes. No one appreciated the added danger of being evil and potentially having to be careful - come on, if you're going to be some sort of fel-possessed creature going around exploding bombs in a city, expect to get caught. Expect to get killed. No one wanted to pay the price of potentially losing their character. Instead, I was required to do everything possible to keep out of other people's way in order to allow them to play in peace, and I rather thought it would do...but it was never enough for some people. I found I had avoided conflict so often and so well that it meant people thought they were entitled to have my character walk away, no matter how bold they were being. However, there's only so far I can bend before I was no longer playing my character - I was breaking it solely so other people could strut around and do as they pleased. This isn't something I'd expect other players to do for my own character, and as a result it wasn't something I was going to do for others if it came to a point where people were flaunting themselves in front of me - and in the past few weeks, this did indeed become the case, perhaps because they've gotten to used to my character walking away, they assume they could make a pithy exit one-liner and then stroll off, unharmed.

However, that is decidedly not the case. There's been too much of that of late, and as such I tightened up how my character was played, making it more realistic and doing what I could to make him a proper demon hunter rather than a blind guy who carried a set of flashy blades. And still, I didn't kill anyone if I could help it.

But even that wasn't good enough, it seemed.

The worst bit of all this however is the assumption - entirely erroneous - that only GMs are allowed to play such characters because they're GMs. They are "Not Us" and can be as godly as they like (which is also part of the reason everyone interacts with them in an entirely different way, usually by sucking up or kissing ass). However, if it's a "regular" player, even if they're pursuing a title, the assumption is they somehow don't deserve being better than others, no matter if they're earned it through work or roleplay or ability. Above all, this attitude had me more furious than anything else I ever heard. People, it doesn't bloody matter if I'm a GM or not. What matters is how it's played, NOT who plays it. That this fundamental truth didn't get into anyone's head has been the biggest thorn in my side since I started the project.

In theory, as GM, I could have given my character immediate powers, and immediate storyline, and immediate ability and no one would have challenged me. I could have just given up on writing it and just said "right, I'm a demon hunter, give me uber stats and I'll dare anyone to get in my face." But I decided to do things the hard way; stick it out, sweat and scrape and wrack my brains out writing, gathering people together to aid me with storyline, and even reach a point where I realised if I didn't make the final battle my character would die. I wanted to test the training mechanics, to see what worked, what didn't, what would be fair, what wouldn't be. I spent a lot of time not rping at all, sitting out events, and trying to avoid characters because I am aware how powerful my character is, and I wanted to give them a chance not to get thrashed within an inch of their lives, or permanently killed. Evil is a TARGET, people, either deal with it or don't play evil. There are powerful characters on this server, and it's understood. No one gets in the faces of these characters, and no one questions them, their abilities, or their playstyle, because they have that magic "GM" tag, even though I am aware there are characters even among the GMs which can be killed, and said GMs don't have a problem with it. It goes with the territory.

As a regular player, no matter how much work is put into it and even though it's done as a title (which was how it was designed, and keep in mind ANY of you can seek out a title if you want), I wasn't allowed to play my character as all of us GMs had designed it. Why? For the only reason that it meant certain characters were no longer so invincible or capable of doing whatever the hell they pleased, whenever they pleased. And yet, utterly goading, but true: if I'd been a GM, it'd be fine, no question.

Well, guess what? I am a GM. I've been for some time now. And I am not impressed with the attitudes of people I have had to deal with OOC. If this is the behaviour you people display, then I am not even remotely surprised no one has bothered to chase up the title concepts. I wouldn't be even remotely surprised if the title concept is scrapped, not because it isn't a brilliant idea (it is) but because the people who wouldn't have a title would spend so much time complaining about the people who did, it would take all the enjoyment out of it. The amount of "if I can't have it, then you're not entitled to it either" is so utterly appalling there are no words. I am incredibly disappointed. The experiment proved people are incapable of focussing on someone else's hard work; they're merely focussed upon how they don't have it themselves. And there was a LOT of moaning and complaining - having two accounts, one of which no one was aware was a GM meant I heard a lot of it, to my face. Sneaky? Possibly - but since people are incapable of actually stating their views directly to someone's face, it was necessary to do. Again, that's what experience has taught the GMs here.

Character death happens. You deal with it. If you can't, don't play a character which is designed to come head to head with another. Nightfel could be killed, and I've accepted that. Qaza can be killed, and she accepts that. If we can, then I seriously do not understand why the rest of the population can't. This is why our recent rules have been put in about character deaths and arrests - the rash of people who wanted no repercussions ever grew to epic proportions, but it applies to GMs as well as to other players. That I even have to explain this is exceedingly irritating.

I honestly don't know the fate of the Title character options. I can honestly say I would never wish the ridicule, ignorance, and general uncharitable nastiness I've been receiving for Nightfel on anyone. And if this is how you people treat "regular" players...I need to start distributing more warning bans, as it's utterly unacceptable.

Now you can sit here and argue with facts - I'm on the receiving end of this and all the other GMs have seen it, people, so arguing about it won't do - or you people can do the bigger thing and realise where you might have been guilty of the above, and choose to rectify it in future. Be charitable, people, and applaud the ability of others to have earned something through rp, and if you want the same, strive for it yourselves! And please, for the love of all things, do not assume GMs are some sort of untouchable entities who are solely there to fill out your requests and shake their fingers at you when you've been bad, or kiss butt to if you want something, but otherwise entities to either avoid or ignore.

Suffice to say, however, I will be moving Nightfel to my GM account. If you don't want to interact with him, stay out of his way. But don't expect me to break my character just so you can do whatever you like. If the only rationale you'll accept for showing this sort of respect is "because I'm a GM" then fine...but I would really rather hope people can show a bit more decency than this in the long run.

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