The Sincerest Form of Asshattery

Dear GM/Officers/Guildmates,

Unfortunately, I have to step down from raiding with you guys. Due to my job/family/health/upcoming prison sentence I just don’t have the free time to commit to raiding 9 hours a week with you guys anymore.

Hopefully if the situation changes I could come back to raid with you in the future. Otherwise, I may try to look for a 1-night a week guild or maybe set up a GDKP run at some point.

Thank you for the great guild and raid experiences I’ve had here, I’ve learned a lot from you guys. I have had an amazing time raiding with you all and I wish you nothing but the best in Mists.

This is a nice, respectful way to tell your guild you’re leaving them. Real life happens, everyone understands that.

But you know what people are less understanding of? Lies.

You know what makes people angry? When they respond to your goodbye post with understanding, sympathetic messages and wish you all the best with your busy schedule that no longer allows you to raid 3 times a week then find that you are now the GM of a new raiding guild.

Anger levels reach a fever pitch when they find out that the ‘new’ guild you’ve started is a complete knock-off of the guild you just left.

You can probably guess that this post was inspired by real, and very recent events. We had a raider announce that he was stepping down from raiding due to not having the time to raid anymore. Two days later he was the GM of a new guild, with a guild website set up that completely plagiarized all of Apotheosis’ policies and application posts. The raid times are exactly the same, the pitch he uses to recruit people on the forums is almost exactly the same, the guild application is an exact copy.

All he had to do was tell us “You know, I really want to be in charge of my own guild, so I’m going to try to start one up for Mists” and this whole situation and all the rotten feelings everyone now has towards him could have been avoided. Saying you’re too busy to raid then magically having enough free time to run a guild makes you look like an asshole. Of course, the fact that he lied and then copied all of our forum content means that ship has sailed.

I don’t want to give this asshole’s new guild any free advertising, so I will not be linking to them. I will also not mention the guild by name, instead I will use a pseudonym. I will call this guild Uranus.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how Uranus has completely ripped off Apotheosis, shall we? (All these screenshots were taken from their guild forums this morning, I’ve just changed the proper names to protect the not-at-all-innocent).

Uranus’ application preamble:

Then there’s the guild application itself:

This is Apotheosis’s application. Go take a look, I’ll wait.

It’s the exact same thing! Right down to our personality-testing question 19 – the image and question have both been copied. Even the line: “Remember that good grammar, spelling and humo(u)r are a plus.” Is copied. The (u) in humour is a play on the fact that Kurn (any many others in Apoth) is Canadian, and we put ‘u’s in everything. This guy is most definitely not a Canadian, so he just looks like an asshole by leaving this in.

He’s not only stolen the exact text from many of our posts, but also our plan for raiding at the beginning of Mists:

And this is what our Mists raid leader posted about our raid plan a number of weeks ago: (can’t link to this one as it’s in part of our forums only visible to members).

So, good job, Uranus. Nice raiding plan you’ve mapped out for your guild there. So happy for you that you were able to copy all of our forum content before we banned your pathetic ass.

This is one of my favourite bits of copy/pasting fail from the Uranus forums:

Try a global search and replace next time, asshole. This is Apotheosis’ reapplication policy. Perhaps I should be thanking this guy for looking out for us in this post, because we definitely do not want his sloppy seconds applying to us if they don’t make the cut in Uranus.

Then there are some of the guild policies:

And here are Apotheosis’ guild policies. I actually have to applaud him here, as policies 2 and 3 are not direct copies of our policies. Similar, but not the same. He may have even written that whole PVP part himself (or stolen it from another guild, who knows).

But let’s look a little closer at number 1.

Uranus:

1) Be respectful of others. Due to our goal to maintain a respectful atmosphere, we expect all players to be polite in all communcation channels of the game. This applies to guildmates as well as trade/general chat. We want to show that Uranus is full of good people.

While profanity in moderation is fine, there is a limit. Some of our guildmates have children who can listen in and even participate to some extent. Please think about things before they are said.

Apotheosis:

1) Be respectful of others. Be polite and considerate of your guildmates, and people in the game in general. You represent the guild, show others through your behaviour that Apotheosis is full of good people. Be proud of being part of Apotheosis and be proud of what your guild is like. In short, don’t be a jerk.

This includes guild chat. While moderate use of profanity is fine, there should be no comments or jokes that target a minority group. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include (but are not limited to): racial slurs, use of stereotypes or insults used against a social or religious minority and casual use of the word “rape”. This includes using the word “gay” in the pejorative.

I think it speaks volumes about this person’s character that he blatantly copied so many of our policies word-for-word, but he took the time to remove the bits from our rules about not using racial slurs, stereotypes or the words “gay” or “rape.”

I could go and talk about how he’s stolen more content from our Who We Are post, and our Guild Ranks, and even copied some of Kurn’s responses to applicants word-for-word, but I think I’ve spent enough time on this. And Kurn will likely go into them more when she gets home and has some time to channel her disgust into a blog post. :)

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I say that’s bullshit. In this case, imitation is the sincerest form of laziness, dishonesty and theft.

To be honest, I’m not even all that angry at this person. I love a competition and I’m going to enjoy how the real Apotheosis is going to wipe the floor with his copycat guild in raiding progression and quality of guild members.

Game on.

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53 Responses to The Sincerest Form of Asshattery

  1. Here here, chief.

    • I didn’t even think of the effect this had on your recruitment activites on the forums when I first read this. That makes me mad. I hope his copied recruitment spiel gets removed.

  2. Waaaaait… Does this character know who he’s f*cking with? I mean seriously, the only reason I’ve never expressed any real interest in joining Apoth (despite the fact that I know and love several of you) is because Kurn scares the shit out of me. And you’re no slouch, either. This guy’s got some serious cajones.

    Anyway, as you said yourself, the best vengeance here will be to see Apotheosis continue to be spectacularly successful, and Uranus…not.
    Stormy recently posted..Main Change

  3. I don’t know any of you guys but I wouldnt be overly concerned. It is one thing to nick a website and some policies, quite another to be able to manage an ongoing 25 man raid with consistency. You need the officers and structure to keep things rolling for more than a few months.

    • I’m not concerned so much as baffled about how he went about this. If he had just said “I want to start my own guild” rather than lie about it this wouldn’t have become an issue.

  4. I’ve heard of some crappy things but this takes the cake.

  5. You left the new guild name in at least one spot, on the raid schedule screen shot. Just wanted to let you know so you could remove the advertising.

    It’s really amazing how some people don’t learn it’s not so much what you say, but how you say it. Be honest, genuine, and caring and people will be okay with almost anything.

  6. WELL FRANK, looks like they should have named the guild…

    ACOPYOSIS.

    *yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah*
    Rades recently posted..Fading Light: Why the Naaru should be evil, part 3/4

  7. Oh my god, I didn’t even notice that he’d edited out, you know, THE IMPORTANT PART of the speech policy. That’s fucking amazing, and by “amazing” I mean “stabbed in the eye with a rusty spork.”
    Aro recently posted..On being Gamermom

  8. Yep, been there, experienced that.

    Also had raiders pick up end game gear and then claim to need a break… then found them transferred and raiding elsewhere.

    So cowardly. Along with “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to upset you.” Thanks for sparing my feelings – being left high and dry without key raiders is a lot less upsetting than getting prior warning, for sure.

    • To be completely honest, though this guy was a good raider, he was also pretty flaky. No one was overly surprised when he announced he was stepping down, we were just surprised when he turned up as GM somewhere else 2 days later. Cowawrdly is exactly what it was. The truth would have made things easier for everyone.

  9. Well, every bit of that stinks. Sorry to hear it, Jasy and Apotheosis.

    But, if it’s any consolation, nobody so lazy that they literally can’t be bothered to produce their own guild policies is going to run a competitive 25M raiding guild over an appreciable length of time. I don’t expect that there’s a happy ending awaiting your lying, plagiarizing, ex-member.

    • Thanks Baylie :)

      Honestly, I have doubts that they’ll even get to the point where they have 25 people to run with at the start of Mists.

  10. Are you sure that was a copy & paste error, sounds like he/she may be setting up an Apotheosis minor leagues guild? If you can’t get in this guild, don’t apply to Apotheosis :)

    Good luck with your raiding in MoP, hopefully my guild can make it past the raid signup boss :(

    • Haha, maybe he’s actually just being really helpful and trying to funnel all the good players to us? If that’s the case, I may have to retract this post :P

      Thanks, and good luck to your guild as well!

  11. I can’t think of anything wittier than Rades’ comment!
    I feel upset for you that this person lied and then went and decided to make their own raiding guild. However, good luck to him on that, because as you know, running a guild successfully relies heavily on truth and integrity and determination. Your ex-guildies sounds like they are lacking a few of those essential things for success.
    Hey, I just realised I can get outraged because I too am in the guild as a social nooblet! /grin
    navimie recently posted..Frostwolves last raid before Patch 5.0.4

  12. If he doesn’t have the time to come up with his own rules and regulations(let alone being honest)then he’s definitely setting up his new guild for epic failure. RL Troll :(

  13. So when do you want to hear the pitch about my new guild ?

  14. Uranus…el oh el =)

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  16. I LOL’ed at the post title :)

    I also didn’t notice that the speech policy was changed. Strange to leave “inclusive atmosphere” in but take the actual inclusive policies out.

    • I initially had a really boring post title (as you can see from the post URL), but decided to change it. Tikari helped me come up with something more exciting!

      I think the fact that the one (and only) thing he spent any time changing was the inclusive policies is as much of a jerk move as copying all the other stuff.

  17. Well written. He had so many ways to handle it better than he has, but each time he’s chosen the low road.
    Tikari recently posted..Wrapping Cataclysm Up (Update)

  18. They do say imitation is the highest form of flattery. :-) What I can’t stand are hypocrites. What I find revealing about his level of intelligence is the lack of it; anyone on your server will realize that the application, charter and expectations are the same, and ppl will eventually call them out for it

    • Yes, it didn’t take long for our recruitment officer to find his posts and realise they were the exact same as ours. Either he didn’t realise how bad it would make him look, or he didn’t care.

  19. As a GM myself, being upset by this plagiarism would be an understatement. Simply sad, I know way back in the day, I had to deal with people trying to copy my guild, and surprise surprise they never lasted. I am sure your guild too will outlast and outshine this cheap knock off
    Ceraphus recently posted..The Mists of Pandaria Cinematic for What it is

    • I can understand trying to emulate a successful guild, but you can’t be so blatantly dishonest about it. Copying all of your last guild’s work just seems so lazy, and so unneccessary.

  20. I admit, I’m a little baffled by the uproar. A guild and its success are based on people, leadership and standards. Someone copying the text of a guild policy is like taking Google’s employee handbook somewhere else and assuming it will assure you the same results. You and Kurn both know how much goes into keeping a guild functioning, through thick and thin.

    The thing of it is, you will likely never know the whole truth about why he made the choices he did. And ultimately, it doesn’t really matter why he left–his reasons are his own. The only thing his lying did was (temporarily) make it easier for both parties to cope with his exiting Apothesis. Sure, the lie stings the ego a little bit, but it’s not the great affront that people tend to think it is. The circumstances he leaves under have nothing to do with the net impact on the guild, which is simply that you have one less raider on your roster.

    IMO, there are so many better things to spend your time and energy on than wishing ill on someone. If his guild succeeds, then you know it’s because he invested the time and effort necessary; if it doesn’t, then he joins the ranks of the many who tried and failed. Either way, it has absolutely nothing to do with you and your guild any longer.
    Vixsin recently posted..Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen in MoP

    • I wasn’t necessarily wishing ill on him when I wrote this. If he wanted to start his own guild, that’s fine, more power to him. It was the way he went about it. If he had just lied about why he was leaving or just “borrowed” an Apoth policy or two, I don’t think anyone would have been too upset. But the fact that he was dishonest and thieving every step of the way made me feel like I had to call him out.

      I don’t think his lying made it easier for anyone (except perhaps himself) to cope with his leaving. Honestly, he was a very good raider, but I can’t say that I’ll miss him too much or that I’m disappointed that I won’t have to deal with him as part of my healing team. All the officers knew that he was interested in leading; all he had to do was tell us that not getting a leadership position in the guild was a deal breaker for him. Instead he came up with plans for an “Apoth-sponsored” GDKP run that he planned on leading in Mists that ultimately wasted people’s (mostly Kurn’s) time.

      The fact that his recruitment post was an exact copy of ours and was posted by him and his new officers on over 70 threads on the WoW recruitment forums pretty much stuffed our recruitment efforts. Luckily, those posts have been removed now, but our recruitment officer couldn’t respond to any of those people who were looking for guilds after he did because then she would have looked like the jerk.

      As more details about this are coming to light, I’m feeling even more satisfied that I posted this. Raiders from other guilds are coming forward saying that this person was trying to poach every decent player on the server, selling his new guild as a transfer guild, and telling people that raiders from Apoth would be transferring over later. Obviously, this is not true. But for people who don’t read our general forums often or follow Twitter and weren’t around to watch the situation unfold, having false information like this floating around could cause confusion and strife within the guild.

      This person was purposefully trying to confuse my guild with his in the minds of potential recruits. That is potentially damaging to us, and I’m not going to allow that.

      I guess that’s my really long way of saying I disagree. :)

  21. This is pretty damn disgusting. As a guild leader myself, I would be positively livid to find out that someone was deceiving and disrespecting our guild in this way. It’s really terribly sad, but not all bad I suppose; not that you needed it, but you CAN take this as confirmation of how excellent your policies are. Imitation in and of itself is not necessarily bad – it is the way every generation learns from those that came before it – but this kind of blatant reproduction without anything new or personal added is just pathetic. And yes, what was taken out is appalling and very telling.

    I’m very sorry that your guild had to experience this kind of fraud/nonsense, but I was glad to read that you would take it as a motivator to push in MoP. Good luck to you! If I wasn’t a GL myself (and no where near progression level skill proficiency) I would consider applying myself.

    • Thanks Mundae. I do think our policies are very good, and worthy of imitation, just not exact duplication. People can get mighty protective of their guilds.

  22. Wow. Some people have quite the nerve! I remember how upset our gi-uild was when our rogue “quit WoW” after he got his legendaries, only to see him raiding elsewhere. I’ve had this happen in my ‘professional’ life, though, my ‘friend’ poached a design and passed it off as her own. (We aren’t friends anymore, I wonder why.)

    In any case, sorry to hear this happened to you and your guild. I’d be livid, too.

  23. Just saw this.

    Good on you to call him out. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    That said I thing this is something that will have no effect whatsoever on your guild. The quality of a guild is based on its guild leader, the officers and the members. Policies are a tool but ripping them off, ripping off recruitment posts and all is going to make him look good to potential applicants but the moment they start speaking to him, the mask will fall off. And then people might hear about the guild he ripped off and come looking for you guys for the “real deal”. :D
    Thunderspank recently posted..The Unhitable Tank

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  25. As I feel I need to add something here to explain how things actually went down, I have a feeling this reply will be deleted quite quickly, but if not thank you for allowing me to reply.

    I want to start by truely saying that no harm was intended and the amount of “copying” was unintended as well. As I have said many times, I have a great deal of respect for the entire Apoth group and I appologize for any stress caused.

    I am going to post the play by play:
    1) I stepped down from Apoth raiding and found my old guild Mercury (which I had passed off guild leadership to join Apoth) was still running a 10 man core. I decided to go over and hang out with them since 6 of them are old co-workers. None of me leaving was a “lie” as you accuse. It was the 100% truth at the time. The only thing you could fault me for was not trying to cause drama as I did leave also out the fact that my real passion for this game is raid leading. It is pretty much all I have ever done.

    2) After talking with my RL friends over lunch on Saturday afternoon, they had asked if I would be interested in taking back GM of Mercury and starting fresh for Mists. I had 1 main rule that I asked of them. I would ONLY be raid leader and they would divide other tasks amongst themselves.

    3) Since it was unanimous to move forward with the plans… which included shifting to a 25 man as we already had too many members for a 10 man bench, I showed our local techy the Apoth website and asked for “something similar.” This right here was my first (although I feel minor) mistake.

    4) What he did was next make a mirror of the PhPBB and WordPress sites which I cannot fault him for as it is what I had asked. It looked great! … as all of the Apotheosis forums did. I wanted to mimic what had worked so well for Apotheosis.

    5) As the site came live we wanted to get recruiting right away. I sent our other officer a link to Sara’s forums posts and asked to have “something similar” yet again (error #2). Yes my goal if you wish to think of it this way was to recreate the EXACT atmosphere that I fell in love with at Apotheosis. Our plan was to go through and personalize everything on the forums… but just didn’t have the time yet. What could the harm be in starting recruiting so quickly before the editing? I found out almost as quickly.

    6) Once the reply was complete, I spammed my heart out (Error 3…MAJOR) All over the forums was now the first thing I feel we ACTUALLY did wrong. It was near replica. I put this fault on no one but my own… and you will notice the instant I caught wind of the problem all posts… 100%…. were removed.

    7) So what comes next? I don’t at any point want to harm a guild I love as much as Apotheosis, any I will ever be in. I don’t want to hinder the expansion of our 10 man guild to 25 for Mists. Our solution is to dissapear and remove all ties to Apoth and this drama. It believe our solution is in both Apoth’s and Mercury’s best interest.

    I do want to say, I didn’t realize what I was doing when I was doing it was as wrong as it was. Yes it was wrong but was it as bad as you folks keep saying? What I would have expected from Apoth, as many of you had me on real ID and quite a few had my cell number, was to come to me and say “What gives?” or “Can you please change this?” I would have jumped because if I had to put one reason why this all happened it was being to hasty and not thorough enough. I was amazed to see the 4 paragraph barage I got from one of your officers, which might I add was a bit over the top. No one is to blame but me and it has nothing to do with laziness… I just simply didn’t have time. I should have waited to recruit and for that again I appologize.

    All in all, “Inner” and “Mercury” are no more. We have now moved and COMPLETELY redisigned everything and anything on our own. We are very close to our 25 man core and I hope the patch today will kick up some new bodies.

    As always, I have no doubts Apotheosis will be an amazing super power in Mists as it was in Cata and I wish you all the best. I do ask that you step back and look at what has happened and realize that ignorance did play a role… but mostly that my lack of time and hastiness to recruit caused this to fallout the way it did. I am not looking for you to change your opinion of me but just to think a bit more before spamming everywhere that my plot was to hinder Apoth. I feel you major goal of posts and whatnot were out of a malicious nature and TBH it hurt a bit.

    Good luck Apoth and I will restate that you have changed my outlook on what an all adult guild can achieve. I appologize again and if this post stays, Jasyla, thank you for allowing me to add my piece.

    • Hi Inner,

      I was planning on doing exactly that – asking you on RealID to delete your forum posts because they affected me personally, disallowing me from doing my job. You deleted me from RealID the moment you could, so I was unable to do so. Just wanted to clarify that.

      Good luck in your future endeavors,
      Sara.

    • I’m not in the habit of deleting comments just because I don’t agree with them.

      The officers all knew you wanted to lead. You should have just told us that’s what you were looking for in Mists, and since Apoth couldn’t offer that to you, you were going elsewhere. It would not have caused drama. We would have wished you luck in your new guild.

      The biggest problem was the overt plagiarism of all our material, especially the recruitment stuff. Whether it was on purpose or a result of ignorance doesn’t really make a difference. You harmed our recruitment efforts which was not okay. I appreciate that your posts have been removed now.

  26. Hi Inner,

    Let’s say that I/we take your word that you never had any intention to copy/paste as much of Apotheosis as you could. I’ll even pretend that several guilds from Greymane haven’t come forward publicly with wild stories about how “Apotheosis was transferring to Greymane and was now flying under the Mercury name…”

    What I want to know is how I reconcile our friendly conversation not 2 days before all of this hoopla happened (where we talked about wives having babies, MoP PvP, and every possibly doing arenas together) with you removing me from RealID before I even got to ask what was up?

    How do I look at that chain of events and think anything other than, “Oh, I guess he’s trying to pulling some shady shit?”

  27. Simple answer. I will not throw anyone under the bus or point out names. But I have an AMAZING amount of recorded harasement all the way down to certain non-wow related accounts I have had for years. I will include a the first message recieved… this is the reason for me cutting contact. I appologize I was dumb… but I don’t have time to listen to childish rants. As stated… being apporached as 1 adult to another ignorant adult would have been fine.

    Below was a spam I got from an important individual within the guild. This should help you understand a lot in why ties we’re cut.
    “I was asked not to approach you – but I consider this personal. This will be a message from me, as a person who would have formerly identified you as a friend. So – what a gross fucker you are. Good luck to your guild – I would have been accepting to that. But to copy every single item from Apotheosis? Fuck you. We work very hard to ensure our guild is the best it can be and then some pathetic shit comes by and copies *everything* from his previous guild (even your fucking application denials are plaigarized! how gross). What’s sick is you clearly have a love for how Apotheosis handled itself so it boils down to you being completely selfish with your move. Fuck off. You realize you left “Apotheosis” in your plaigarized policies multiple times? I’m confused – were those intentional? Or just MORE sloth piled on top of the stealing? Does your guild know where you obtained all of this information or are you a lying fucker to them, too? Since it is the Apotheosis application should I make an account on your forums and reply to all of our applicants? I’m not certain what is expected of me there. Would it help or hinder your recruitment work if we posted on each applicant? I suppose we could do it on the front end and just post in each of your responses on the official forums. I bet we’d find you on a few third-party sites copying our exact words, too. Huh. Fucking pathetic. What a tiny person. Not even worth this rant since you’re feeble mind will be unable to process exactly WHY what you did was wrong. Somehow in your fucked up head you will have been in the right here. So gross. Hah – random question for you: Do you plan to have your hunter as the GM and raid on your holy paladin? Because that would be hysterical.”

    • That was my message. And as I stated – it was a personal one. However, since you felt like airing it let me bring a fun fact to light: you removed me from realid and all of our alternative methods of communication *before* that message was sent. Your excuses are weak when put up against facts and timelines. :( I don’t care to get into a flaming war – you know what you did was wrong. Not saying public shaming is a fantastic retribution but the amount of plagiarism resulting in a complete halt of our recruitment efforts rubbed many of us a very wrong way.

      Imitation is fantastic – but mimesis is not. Playing the hurt puppy in this makes it even worse. :| Best of luck to your guild – I honestly wish them all the success in the world. I just hope that success comes off of the hard work and effort of its player base and not that of other individuals.

      • Understood. I don’t fault you for contacting me… in a channel I left open to you. My only thought was it was a bit much. I am sure the message was created from a frusterated/irritated mindset. In no way shape or form am I attempting to be a hurt puppy nor am I denying any accusation except that my leaving the guild post was “lies”. I am here to attempt to right a wrong or at least shed light on the origination of my ignorance. I will stand up and appologize publicly. But I will do it out of respect for the guild I once loved being a part of. That is my only goal here.

  28. Touche… Fair enough I guess.

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