Sorry apology my bad 373x600

All Apologies

In my quest to make the MMO community a friendlier place, I wanted to talk about one of the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal: the apology. With just a few words, one can turn a really unpleasant confrontation into something positive. Like any weapon, however, it requires a little skill to use.

Sorry apology my bad 373x600It’s happened to all of us. You accidentally wandstrike an ally’s Feint. Maybe you block one of your friend’s companions from advancing so he’s stuck doing nothing for a few turns. Or, in my own very recent experience, you break left into an allied fighter during a nasty eight-plane furball, sending both of you crashing into the Pacific. There are countless situations in every multiplayer game where a goof (regardless of how honest of a mistake it may have been) has caused a potentially confrontational situation. Here are a few of my own personal guidelines when I owe someone a mea culpa:

‘Sorry’ isn’t enough. Just saying the word ‘sorry’ is insulting. It says you don’t even care enough about your mistake and its effect on the offended party to offer a proper apology. It’s immature, it sounds sarcastic, and it just doesn’t cut the mustard. However, at the same time…

Don’t overdo it. You don’t need to beg. There’s no need to prostrate yourself on the floor, tear your clothes, weep tears of guilt, and otherwise plead for forgiveness. A sentence or two is enough.

Try and offer some explanation. In the above situation, I went with the following:

“I’m sorry about that, mate. Just a nasty furball and I was trying to line up a shot.”

It doesn’t have to be that specific. Something as simple as, “I didn’t see that feint,” or, “I completely forgot you had to get Ratbeard over. Even if it involves telling a little white lie (although honesty really is the best policy), taking ownership of your mistake and offering an explanation for it helps in crafting an effective apology.

Offer to make it right, if you can. Sometimes you just can’t. Sometimes the damage is done and there’s just nothing you can do about it. There are times, however, where you can try and correct things. Or at least make some gesture to help. Toss a heal or shield on that Necromancer who lost that feint, clear a hole for your ally’s companion and get a buff on him if you can – make some gesture to smooth things over.

On the other hand, it’s important to know how to accept an apology. If someone offers an honest apology, have the decency to accept it. A simple ‘thanks’ or ‘no worries’ or anything along those lines closes the situation and lets everyone move on and enjoy the game.


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