Diplomacy FTW! A how-to guide for
reducing spousal aggro!

By Lori "Changul" Zachariah

We all know that real life is more important than online gaming. There
are umpteen million news articles vomiting warnings about the evils of
online addiction, articles that make the guiltiest offenders roll their
eyes up in their heads and groan "They don't understand!". What these
Non-gamers don't grasp is that like any hobby, gaming is as real as
collecting postage stamps-- to the
Finishing that last boss and looting that uber
sword/axe/helm or finally creating that Grade "A" Infineum Leg Greave
gives the gamer the same sense of satisfaction that a Star Wars fanatic
gets when adding the "Original Anakin Skywalker Swoop Helm" to their
collection. Like any other hobby though, this leads to obsessive
behaviour and the savvy gamer must learn how to avoid the pitfalls that
can wreck his/her relationship. Sure, you save your showers and trips
to the mall/post office/doctor for known server-down days; don't we
all? But Spousal Faction must be farmed, and farmed correctly, or it
can wreak havoc in your real life, which could lead to a cancelled
subscription...and collecting stamps. This guide will provide you with
helpful hints, tricks and tips to avoid that fate, and maybe even get a
chuckle from the non-gaming spouse.

 Warning! This guide is not
intended as a substitution for the hard work, love and dedication that
must go into any relationship.

Spousal Aggro Alert!

There you are. It's Saturday morning and the best raid group ever
assembled is on time and ready to go. No, not quite on time. The healer
is on Thestra finishing up another quest and will be about 30 minutes
getting to your group. During this lull, you notice the spouse is
beating pancake batter with a vengeance, casting significant glances
your way. (Since you played until 3 am with your guildies on friday
night, leaving him to stare at his fishtank alone, this should come as
no surprise.) This is a subtle
warning which you will ignore to your peril!

Spouse: *Casts "The Look" for 447 points of ice damage!*

You: *Counter with "Blatant Flattery" for 400 suck-up value*

Pitfall: "The sun shining on your hair reminds me of this elf I know in
Tawar Galan" causes increased Aggro. Do not refer to the game in any

Note:  You are still damaged at
this point. Nothing serious, yet.

You: *Don cloak of invisibility*

Spouse: *Casts "Reveal Hidden Foe"!*

You: * Your cloak of invisibility fails!*

Spouse : *Casts "Burning Reproach (and burning pancakes)" for 333 heat

You: * Check the pc clock and see you have about 20 minutes to spare
before the Healer shows up.* You
have time for breakfast, use it wisely.

Pitfall: *You type "/afk- reducing wife-aggro, man what a shrew"* style="font-style: italic;">(and she can see it) Instead, type
"/afk- Goddess of my life made breakfast , bbs!"

Note: This is positive faction
grinding which will hopefully reduce later aggro.

So, breakfast is over and you have even offered to clean up!
Well done! Just make sure you do it or you lose 10,000 spouse faction,
which is a bitch to grind. You are standing on treacherous ground here,
and must proceed with caution.

Core Meltdown in 3..2..1

You: *hit spouse with  "Appeal to the Heart".* style="font-style: italic;">("It's been a stressful week and I don't
want to take it out on the family. Mind if I play for a bit?") style="margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; float: left; position: relative; left: 10px; top: 4px;">
Appeal to the Heart is a Inspire Evaluation Statement. When
playing the card you move the lever by 1 step. The cost for playing
this card is 0. When playing this card you give your opponent 2 Demand.
Don't forget that!( "Mow the
lawn!/Buy me something shiny!")
When playing this card you give
yourself 1 Inspire.( "I think you
should buy that new fishing gear, honey. You deserve it." Gives +5,000
faction AND gets him out of the house for a few hours.)
refresh time for playing this card is 1-2 turns.

The raid is almost over, and the final boss mob is about to meet his
doom. Isn't this riveting? You are about to become the proud new owner
of the uber leet Tunic of Mass Destruction! But alas, it is nearly
dinner time and those durned dishes are still there! Oh noes!

You: *hit spouse with "Disarming Rebuttal" 0 pts. style="font-style: italic;">(Almost done here, babe! Gimme 2 sec...")

Spouse: *hits you with "Blanket Accusation."* 1 pt.

You: *schmooze with "Charming Aura* 0 pts.

Spouse: *rebuts with "Flow of Invective" and "Axe to Grind"* 11pts.

You:  *counter with " Halfling Laughter"* 5 pts. but -20,000

Spouse: *slams you with "Demonize Opposition" and "Ultimatum" 10 pts.

You: *hastily muster "Qaliathari Charisma," "Raki Sweet Talk" and
Falsehood"* 15 pts. ( I made
reservations for dinner, let's turn that frown upside down!)

You lost this parlay. Worse, your playtime ended with your character
dying, losing massive xp since you can't go get your corpse, and
forfeiting all chance for phat loot. Nevertheless, it was for a good
cause. You are still subscribed, albeit with negative faction, and if
you play your cards right, you might even end up scoring a "Vulmane
Howl." Your spouse is your friend. Treat him with the consideration you
would treat your best guildmate, or even better, treat him like you
would wish to be treated.

Do's and Don't's of Spousal
Faction Grinding

First things first. You can never max out your Spouse Faction in either
direction. It is extremely important that you understand that.


1. Do take your spouse seriously when she makes amusing remarks
like.."It's just a game." Laugh with her like you mean it!

2. Do attempt to get spouse interested in the game. When this fails, Do
show interest, spurious or otherwise, in his hobby.

3. Do remember all red-letter days such as birthdays, anniversaries and
Valentine's Day, with more than an E-greeting.

4. Do encourage quality time together. Inviting him to go shopping with
you at Gamestop does not count towards positive faction. Offering to
help wash his car topless, does.

5. Do sit down at the same table with your spouse for meals. Use the
silverware, man.

6. Do the chores on your Honey-do list in a timely fashion. Failure to
comply results in the crit hit " Nagging."


1. Don't ever refer to your mother-in-law as a troll. This includes
sister-in-laws or best friends, no matter how true it is.

2. Don't assume that your spouse will learn to love the game in time.
Buying him a Station Access subscription for ChristmaKwanzaHannukah
earns nuclear-proportionate negative faction.

3. Don't wear your Vanguard: SoH Gen-con costume atk. It looks stupid,
dude. The Flintstone buffalo horns and Shaman tooth necklace do not
make you sexeh.

4. Don't ever, ever, ever compare your spouse unfavorably to ANYONE who
plays. * Your subscription has been

5. Don't try to play off Swanson's Hungry Man as dinner. -50,000

6. Don't wait for the Honey-do list! Pluck those eyebrows,
Neandrathal-girl! Change into something that isn't sweat pants.

Avoiding the Fallout

Look, you're a gamer. It's in your blood, it's what you love to do
best. You can easily recite the stats and attributes of all classes.You
know which racial abilities will positively affect your character. You
swiftly grind from level 0-50 with minimum effort and maximum pleasure.
It may not be "Just a Game" to you, but your beloved disagrees.
Apply that same powerful intellect to the pursuit of  happiness
with your spouse and you can reap the phat lewt of love for years to
come. Yes, you will often err in favor of a 5-hour dungeon crawl versus
attending a baby shower. You will occasionally scorch dinner whilst
getting that last 2% of xp. You will sometimes fold socks at the
keyboard, have the longest grass in the neighborhood or stacks of dirty
dishes in the sink.  Nuking your marriage to squeeze in a few more
hours' playtime is  a very risky business. Offset your bone-headed
mistakes with sincere, thoughtful decisions. Remember, balance is key!
Harvest your spousal faction while you can, the day may come when you
need it!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.