I wanna hear ya'lls stories of the worst ceos, directors, and whackjob employees, partners, and clients you've come across. The juicier the better. Most of my stories are from EVE, but I'm sure there are some great ones from Wow and EQ. I really hear almost none about SoR, ATitD and some of the other ones.
People behaving awfully and the misery it causes is probably one of my favorite part of mmos, because it allows people to show just how weak and corrupt they can be. Plus you can learn something from those stories about how to exit with style, with financial security, and with the better members of that group.
This is not where the celebrity stories and news items go. We all know those stories. I wanna hear your personal experiences, embelished or no. Maybe we'll all learn how to recognize the warning signs, and not simply steer clear, but take the situation for everything we can.
Here's a great repository of stories over on the Daedalus project: The Rise and Fall of Guilds
I'll start. Oh but which ceo to pick? Should it be the complainer mother hen? The clueless, yet endearingly jovial Texan? The emo FC (fleet command)? The obnoxious and rude British director? (Take a number you limey punks.)
"Once upon a time there was a corp in the Southern Rim. It was an admired corp if not much respected, and it was growing. It was in this corp that a certain mercenary came into full awareness of the limits of his dedication. The pvpers of this corp blew for the most part, but that was ok for our protagonist because he was laid back, didn't npc, and flew cheap ships. He had come from worse corps that didn't even use voice coms, or simply couldn't get any organizational effort beyond one gank squad partially composed of people in a completely different corp nearby. The new corp was established, old, and for the most part completely revolutionary by all appearances due to the fact that it had a lot of connections and was mostly a business oriented, non-nbsi corp and yet survived in the rim. Your's truly was convinced that here was mecca. Here was a well organized corp that was not for meatheads and would take every opportunity to make a profit by its actions simply going by it's past history. This was not to be.
Yours truly was delighted to find that there were pvp ops every day. The first time was a gatecamp, which was odd, because the corp wasn't allowed to shoot neutrals. "Maybe neutral traffic will bring hostiles" he thought. Surely later there would be intelligent use of covops and missions against enemies. The wallet was rather light afterall.. surely he couldn't be the only one. Eventually he though, "Well I guess I'll break down and shoot some npcs." The next day, a message appeared on the all coms "No npcing shall be conducted whilst combat operations proceed." This seemed reasonable. Many combat units break down with too much private isk-making to be had. Surely a group complex or assault op can be arranged later. And yet no advance ops, and not a dime to improve his ship from any single kill, few as they were.
Always the ops were pursued which had longterm impact on the wealth or security of those who had invested heavily in the first projects. Yours truly sympathized with this simply because he was an evil, greedy capitalist himself, albiet a poor one, but he marvelled at the selflessness of the npc grinders that were used up to support the wants of the owners. He wouldn't leave though, because he would lose a lot more by backing down now than he would forego in never earned recompense. Probably the others were in the same situation, or they were just suckers. In any case, a little comraderie was the real asset he was after. Maybe he was destined to fail.. he could accept that, because success has no meaning without failure.
About this time the FC started ranting in the military forums and the alliance forums. He couldn't understand why people weren't bringing more BS to combat. He felt mopey, said he may leave the alliance. Corp leaders patted his hands. "There, there FC. Darn those naughty carebears." The next op, yours truly shows up in an inty to a POS seige. The only other option was a Rupture by this point. FC is furious that only 10 BS show up out of an alliance of 500. Every time the protagonist would speak up or relay intel, he would be overspoken, which he shrugged off as being incidental or natural. More ranting later in forums about hauler losses by people that weren't willing to cheat and use alts, and lack of volunteers. FC is a kid by the way, mid to late 20s, probably never held down a job more complex than grocery bagger - a nice guy when he's happy with you, and has the necessary ego required to be a corp leader/gang leader. Another corp leader complains about the burden of handling so many pilots and roles by himself.
Then our protagonist makes a fateful error. One that he even knew immediately was probably not a good idea. Nothing makes people more resentful than offering them an helpful suggestion. That should probably be reprinted in bold. The response was a carefully written suggestion to delegate some of the responsibility to other members. It would be much easier to keep track of members with a few more low level officers with simple tasks and just a few people each to tend to. Unfortunately, he has ignored a core precept of human nature: People that complain about something that bothers them and do not make any move to fix it must be assumed to derive pleasure from their self-inflicted unhappiness. Masochism to be specific. Wittgenstein even made a difficult to deny point that people must always be assumed to seek their own highest ethic through observation of whatever they did or said.
The leaders were insecure, they were threatened. All further correspondence on voice coms was tinged with condescension and shrill hostility. Subconsciously, they realized that atomization of their forces and division of command structure would weaken their hold over their slaves. There were no private coms. No typical comraderie between say a squad and its sergeant. All communication went before the single group and the leadership clique. All responsibility and orders went directly from the top clique and the individuals members, all several hundred of them. All ops were scheduled at the convenience of the clique. They simply could not afford dissent, which is also helpful in understanding why they could not afford organization from below either.
In one op following, the protagonist and a scout who took the initiative made their way from the battlefront to fetch ammo from a depot for the group which was running low by that point plinking away at a POS. It seemed the logical thing lacking BS. This was a long slow operation stretching over uneventful hours. Leaders were discussing a soccer (futbol) game. On the way back, a worried (and harried) BS pilot requested info on the progress of the shipment. In staccatta tones, the protagonist replied "Supplies are two jumps out and all clear." Immediately, the FC erupted "SHUT THE !^@%
UP ON COMS." Dead silence ensued. There were no hostiles in local nor reports from forward scouts. If there was any genuine friendliness remaining on the part of the protagonist, it was gone by now. But he was no kid, and had danced with more than one jerk employer in more than some digital hobby. This scenario repeated itself over weeks on into the present. Tyrants need a spectacle, yet it was resolved suddenly and sharply that one would not be easily offered. Yours truly realized he had just found a much more interesting game, and he intended to win.
Now to be fair, your protagonist realized that starting a corp was hard work and takes luck, probably not something for which he himself had the stamina. At the very least, he would not walk away empty-handed though. No corp thief by any means, but if he was leaving this corp, he wasn't going empty handed. He would turn the members against the clique and leave with the best of the best if he had to, or simply force the corp to become better than it was by sheer force of clout and resonance with the unspoken and smothered complaints of the membership. He still isn't absolutely certain how to do this without being outed. Is it possible to play Gaius Marius to another's Lucius Sulla in a video game? When you've got 500 people with real complaints, surely it can happen. How to make them just a little bit greedy though? It's a tough question that's got him poring through his old texts by Xenophon and Niccolo Machiavelli.
So what do you guys think? Should the protagonist aim for revolution, or should he sign on with a pirate corp and use a covops to hand over a few hundred faithless npcers that will probably turn over in time? Keep in mind that he loves the stated goals of the corp, but he's getting poorer by the day, and therefore he's not going to be able to invest in the orginal projects of the corp. He could start organizing the army from below, once individual and from there one unit at a time. But no units exist currently, the members don't even know how. Will they rally to him, or will they be too cowed? Will he meet comrades in the same situation, or will he meet a traitor? Decisions, decisions. The stakes are raised, and reputation is on the line. One thing is certain, he's playing to win, and hopefully brains count for more than isk."