Whether it be the rudeness of another, suggestions on adventuring, or a just a…lame distemperment towards life in general, I am here to answer your letters as best I can. Yes, I know I stated this in my paragraph above you little busy body. *coughs* So, without further ado, let’s get to my first letter.

“Dear Sir Digimus,
I was recently exploring the Shakhrami Maze, when I encountered a small party looking for a healer. Being that I play a WM, they were very excited to see me, and begged me to join their party. I knew I couldn’t stay long due to RL obligations, but I played with them for about an hour or so. They were very disorganized, and I spent more time trying to keep the monsters off myself than being able to heal them, and I quickly grew aggravated at their constant “healmenow” dialog. After I was killed for the third time, I finally told them that I had to leave, at which point they began to insult and harass me. I didn’t reply, and started to walk back to town without turning back, even while two of the party members continued to follow me and call me names. Was it wrong of me to have expected some sort of “thanks” for the help I gave them, even at the expense of my own experience? What would you have done in this situation?

Yours,
Mr. Pushover”

Dear Mr.Pushover,

You are my hero if you put up with that rubbish as long you did, and frankly, they are lucky PVP isn’t ready yet. You made them sound like a bunch of incoherent children, and you as a single White Mage could probably have easily beat them. Not to say that White Mages are weak by any stretch of the definition. (I can feel the hate mail as I write this…) You do as a White Mage have the most emotionally destructive lives to lead as you are loved, hated, sought and shunned all at the same time. (I understand this a little as I am a Red Mage, though I have my own “healing angst”, as it were.) Regardless, there are some real issues here that must be discussed.

1.) First, thank the gods you realize that there is still a real life. Not to offend, but people so often don’t heed this warning and are drawn so far into the game that they completely neglect reality. (Sorry to disappoint, but marching around as a fighter in that little bronze subligar number isn’t your real life.) If you know you will only be available for a short time, be sure your party knows that when you join. Good parties and their leaders like those who give a reasonable heads-up so they can try and find replacements. If you have ever been a party leader, I’m sure you know that nothing is more aggravating than to have party members just bail. Especially those convenient, “OMG! My Aunt Marge has just been sent to the hospital! I have to go!” just after gaining a level. But, that is another subject entirely. If you did tell them, then I applaud you. If you didn’t, it is something to keep in mind for the next time.

2.) I agree that a downright lack of mental capacity is hard to spot ahead of time, and no one likes to just abandon a party even if they aren’t up to snuff. It’s normal to feel a certain amount of guilt in this. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil if you don’t have the patience of a saint to train those less experienced, or are not a party leader who can simply kick out those who don’t act appropriately. However, do not be afraid to tell why you are leaving, and if they shout insults like: “j00 5uck!” or “n00b!!!11” then you probably know you are better off without them.

3.) What they did was downright harassment. Step one: Page a GM and get them jailed or reprimanded at the very least. That type of low brow behavior and lack of intelligence… well… there is no excuse. Step Two: GMs take a while to get back to you. You can help pass the time by adding them to your blacklist. It’s like warm fuzzy blanket that you can put in your ears and snuggle up with until vengen… I mean justice is dispensed.

4.) As I mentioned, some people just don’t understand. In FFXI we all know that White Mages are like gold. Either they are all anon and require some incredible searching skills to find them, or are grumpy and arrogant and demand payment for them to join your party. I would say that you should never expect thanks. And if you receive it? Well, you know you are playing with some good folks and it would probably be worth ‘friend’ing with some. I don’t think I know anyone who would turn away a White Mage on their friends list. I know I wouldn’t.

5.) You do have to watch your own neck. Simply, if your party has the organizational qualities of drunken orcish revelry, then it is probably best that you move on. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect to die. That would just be silly. Also, not to be a pessimist, but even some of the best parties get in over their heads and have to get a “reality check” from a Yagudo Scribe before they take a step back and re-evaluate their situation. Base your decision to continue your tenure with them on how well they recover.

Well, I hope I was able to give you a hand and maybe some insight. In the end, don’t be discouraged. For every regrettable player or party that you adventure with, there are plenty of good players out there and you sound like you have the right idea as far as your own behavior is concerned. Here’s to better trails!

Respectfully
-Sir Digimus

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Send all letters and inquiries to:
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