To start off, I’d like to preface this with the fact that my love/hate relationship with World of Warcraft (MMO’s in general) will never die. An MMO can fully emerse you in a community full of such a variety of people that it can truly be a wonderful experience or the polar opposite within a matter of seconds. You will come across a wide range of personalities ranging from the hardcore progression raider right out of college to the retired war vet who simply plays because he has a hell of a time kicking ass in PvP. Then again, you could come across that 20-something year old who acts like he’s 13 who has the vocabulary to consistently insult you, but lacks the girlfriend to keep him from trolling.
Brief update on me
All stereotypes and joking aside, the past couple weeks have been quite interesting for me in World of Warcraft and with the launch of patch 5.2, there’s never a dull moment. So recently, I transferred to Aerie Peak[US-A] to play with the Convert To Raid guys and gals. The guild literally has thousands of players and hundreds on at any given time. Since I don’t raid anymore, having a large community such as this has helped keep my interest in the game in tact. The guild sets expectations for people to not act like douchebags and so far, that has remained consistent for the most part – I can’t complain. I host old world achievement runs regularly and there’s always a group for something running. It’s been a positive experience so far and I’m enjoying it.
Persisting the backlash
The trouble comes from outside of the guild, of course; This is all part of a bigger issue. So, we all know that trolling can spread like wildfire, given the appropriate situation and can create that “perfect storm.” Well, take this into consideration – over the course of a week, a guild of over a thousand people transfers to your server. The economy goes haywire, tons of new faces are showing up, trade chat explodes with LFG and occasional guild advertising posts. Now, consider if that guild was sponsored by a well-known podcast that has thousands of listeners every week. If this isn’t the perfect storm for a troll, I honestly don’t know what is.
Alas, we <Convert to Raid> folk have found a new home on Aerie Peak and we’re honestly enjoying the everliving hell out of it. We have a handful of raid teams, constant pugs, cross-guild chatter and best of all – a positive attitude. So despite the constant trolling such as fraud guilds being created, derogatory comments towards members in trade chat, or griefing while questing – we have created our own little tight knit community and do our best to phase out the trolls.
Warbringers & You
One of the new additions in patch 5.2 are the rare Zandalari Warbringer mobs. These are mobs that require at least a tank and healer that spawn at various points in Pandaria and have a chance to drop Direhorn mounts, rep tokens, and various other items. Here’s the catch: The spawn locations are usually by a cliff and they can be cc’d. So with a well-place Powershot or like spell, you could potentially knock Warbringer off the cliff and have it reset. People are currently using this technique to reset a Warbringer when another group has the tag on it, so they can get it for themselves. Naturally, when this happens there is usually some foul language and pissed off people involved. I personally experienced this last night – Being a Rogue with no knockback to return the favor, I was not pleased when it dropped a mount.
Prediction: Within a few days, Zandalari Warbringer mobs will become immune to CC/Taunt. This is a low risk solution that should address the issue.
Stay classy, Educate each other
Alright, so given all of this new content – what can you do to make this a more pleasant experience not only for you, but for others as well? As stated, there are plenty of personalities you’ll come across when playing any online game. World of Warcraft just happens to have one of the wider range, due to the population of the game and how long it’s been around. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – the best way to build a strong community is to educate each other. Patience is something that many people, including myself, need to develop to stay happy in an MMO. Not everyone is devoted or motivated enough to the game to research all new content, strategies, or even something as basic as a build/rotation or stat priority.
Try to find yourself a place where you can play with other like-minded players who match your play style and mindset. However, you also have to keep in mind that you will never be able to avoid those “damn casuals” or those “elitist assholes” – no matter what your play style is, they’re everywhere. Patience is key. If you see an opportunity to help another player, go out of your way and help them. Whether it’s something as trivial as nuking a spawn that’s already tagged to help them out, or inviting another player to your Warbringer hunting party, you can truly make a difference in another person’s view of the game simply by making a nice gesture.
When it comes to dealing with the trolls – some people’s first reaction is to try explaining or reasoning why the troll is an idiot. Honestly – don’t bother. Ignore them. They’ll get bored and they’ll eventually move on to something else. The saying, “Don’t feed the trolls” is probably the best advice anyone could give.
My philosophy to MMO’s is to enjoy playing the game with people you enjoy being around, educate and help others where possible, ignore the a-holes and I promise that you will find yourself in a much more satisfying situation at the end of the day.