Curing Purple Fever

Tobold posted about the relative value of purples. While mudflation and applying economic theory to MMOs isn't new anymore, there was one tidbit that caught my attention:

Raiders should learn that it is in their self-interest to spread out the epics more evenly.
While it's easy to say that one shouldn't care too much on who gets a particular epic, that won't be much consolation to people stuck in the vicious circle of purple fever.

You don't want to let other people have epics if you aren't sure whether they'll stick around or not. So you'll make arbitrary rules on who is eligible for a particular piece or loot, who won't get invites to raids etc. Naturally, all of that will just breed more distrust and envy. Eventually some people will leave, devaluing the guild of the collective benefit of their epics. To discourage that, you'll make even stricter rules, which cause more people to leave. Then, during a night of wiping at a previously easy boss because your class balance is screwed up.. tempers flare and guild breaking drama ensues.

I'm currently in the opposite self-reinforcing loop, where loot is plentiful and drama nonexistent. Unfortunately, reversing vicious circles is hard and painful at best, and quite impossible if you're deep enough into the downward spiral. To many, being an officer or a guild leader is the first time they're actually in a management position, so it's no surprise if they fail at detecting, let alone correcting these kinds of issues. But if you do succeed.. perhaps listing "Guild Management" in your resume isn't a bad idea after all.

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