Friday, June 29, 2012

Beginners Bane: Part V: Community

Warcraft has a long history of being a good game.  It has been around for a long time in terms of gaming and as such has a very expansive world which can be overwhelming for the new players.  This will be a series about the problems with warcraft from the perspective of the new player.

Part I: Abilities
Part II: Flow
Part III: Gold
Part IV: Mechanics
Part V: Community

The first bit of advice I ever give anyone that is new and happens to come to me is to never go to the in game community for advice.  Never post in trade.  Never ask questions there.  If you have a question, whisper me and I will help you but stay away from trade chat like the it has the plague.

The reason for this is because you are fresh meat and the community is filled with wolves that are hungry for blood, your blood.  The community is a pit of hate and rage and the last thing anyone new needs to get is covered in all that hate and rage, so keeping away from the people that wish to cover you in it is a good idea.

I've said it before and it is worth saying again, I blame blizzard for this 100%.  As many usually argue with me about it and say that it is our own fault because we can be better I agree, we can be better but we won't because of one word there, we.  There is no we in the community.  There is only you.  You can be better.  You can be awesome.  You are just one person.  So no matter how you try as long as there is no moderation in game for people that are abusive, hurtful, disrespectful and downright rude to everyone the community will just continue to get worse.

The basic idea is that even if someone wants to be better, they are afraid to because the community would rip them apart for not being one of them.  So it becomes a choice of joining them, keeping quiet, or being ripped to pieces by the jackals. It is that community mentality that is why I tell people, keep away from trade.

Paraphrasing what tommy lee jones said in the first men in black movie, and it is completely true, a person is smart, people are stupid.  That is the warcraft community.  It might be filled with many decent people when they are alone, but put them all together as a group in trade and they become horrible people.

It does not end for the new player there.  The community will hunt them down to rip them apart sometimes.  Everything they do they will have the community following them around.

First time in a battleground, unless they pick up really fast it is going to take a new player some time to understand the concept of how the battle is done.  If they do anything wrong, someone in this wonderful community will be so kind as to point out that they are a noob, a retard, a moron, and the worst player they have ever seen.

Lets not even think about advanced tactics for someone new, you are just trying to figure out where the hell the mine is.  But when someone yells incoming mine and you head to the lumber mill by mistake, you are the worst player they have ever seen in their life.  It doesn't matter that anyone can make a mistake, you are the worst.  Don't worry, you will not forget how bad you are, they will make sure of that.  God forbid you are on the same server as the person who found you out as the horrible player you are.  The helpful people of this community will take it upon themselves to let everyone on your server know how bad you are as soon as the battleground is over.  Isn't that nice of them to help a new player out that way?

The new player can not even escape it in single game play either.  People that will kill the quest mob you where waiting on instead of inviting them to a group.  People that will curse them out because they got to a node before them.  People that will spit on them just because they feel like it.  Not saying the entire community is like this, in truth, I have met more decent people questing than in any other aspect of the game, but there will still be those asshats here and there and those are the ones that the new player will remember.

When a new player first enters a dungeon they will encounter a million and one things they never expected but one they should expect by now will be to get called all types of names.  Their expectations will be not wasted however, I am sure they will get called all those names, and some new ones they have not heard yet too thanks for this helpful community and its amazingly colorful language.

Leave it to this community to always think of new and interesting ways to insult new players.  The worst part is many times they insult people for things they have absolutely no control over.  They insult people for not being decked out in heirlooms as losers and noobs, as if they think everyone gets a free set of the best leveling gear in the game for their first character ever.

They will bash you for never having done the dungeon.  They will bash you because your wearing a piece of gear that had stats not meant for you and never consider that a helm with strength and agility is better than no helm at all even if one of the stats does nothing for you.  They will bash you for not knowing your way around because everyone should know this already, even if they have never been there.  I must admit I do not understand that logic, but I have heard it before.  Someone bashed a tank for getting lost and after he said, sorry, I've never been here before, they said, that is no excuse  Have to love this community.

How about those people that rip into the tank for not holding aggro at low levels when they still do not have many AoE skills instead of behaving themselves and single targeting to make everyone's lives easier.  Or the tank with no heirlooms or no decent gear pulling entire rooms and wondering why a low level healer can't keep them up and not realizing that heals are three second casts.  Or the damage dealers that complain about others not pulling their weight in a leveling dungeon and forgetting that some classes are just flat out better at some levels because not everyone has all their skills yet.  Or tanks that insult all the damage dealers when they are top DPS at low levels when they are supposed to be top DPS at low levels.

Leave it to this community to always insult everyone else when they have no control over what they are being insulted for.  Out community is great that way.  It can insult anyone for anything and it seems those poor new players are the ones that get the brunt of most of their attacks.  Somewhere subconsciously I think the community beats on them because they know they can not defend themselves.

Like that healer example.  I had it happen to me in one dungeon.  I had no heirlooms because the character was on a server I have no max level characters to get them.  So to someone else, I looked like a new player, one easy for the picking, someone they could rip apart and I would bow to them as if they where my one and true god.

So the tank pulled the whole room and died and blamed me.  I said, a heal takes three seconds, if you can not last three seconds without a heal, pull smaller packs.  Don't say I am a bad healer when you over pulled.  That means you are a bad tank.  He shut the hell up, his pick on the new player because I am super awesome was beaten down and thrown back in his face, because I was not a new player and I knew how things worked.

The sad thing is, a new player in that same position would have never come up with the answer I did and he/she would have continued to get beat on over and over all dungeon long as being a bad healer when in fact it had absolutely nothing to do with his/her healing abilities.  That is our wonderful community for you.

Unless a new player takes the time and effort outside of the game to learn about the game and has at least somewhat thick skin and quick wit to defend themselves, they are going to have to deal with a fair amount of brutal attacks from the people in this community.  And even if they have think skin and even if they read a lot, they will still be at the mercy of the community that seems to think that anyone new sucks.

Lets say that our factious new player has reached max level, now they have to get ready for a whole new level of abuse.  While it is true that there are many horrible players in the game, the new player will often find themselves thought of as the bad one even if they aren't because they might not have the gear yet, the achievements yet, the experience yet, they will always be abused when the unwashed masses need someone to blame for the wipe.  The elder player, the one that is really the bad player, will deflect all blame to the new guy because it must be the new guys fault.

The end game community is so horrible I could spend all day writing, make hundreds of paragraphs, and not even touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes levels of insults they can spew out and for the reasons they do.  We all look at people once in a while and say, that guy if F'N horrible, but there is a huge difference between thinking that and typing that out.

It is natural to think it when someone is really that bad, but it takes someone with little class, low self esteem, no morals and a bad upbringing to come out and say those things, or just one person that is a flat out jerk to say them and everyone else just plays follow the leader to the alpha jerk that started the verbal assault.

I won't go into the graphic details of the horrors that a new player has to endure their first time at max level when trying to gear it.  I am sure you all know and even if you do not know I would not want to ruin your snow globe of a world you live in where you think this community is not as bad as some make it out to seem.  Trust me, it is that bad.  The only ones that say it isn't are those that have little or no contact with it, or those that are part of the problem and see nothing wrong with it because they think insulting new players because it is their first time doing something is fun.

There is a first time for everything.  Sad part for the new player is that there is also a first time you get to interact with the community and that is rarely a good impression with this community and that is a huge beginners bane.


  1. Well that is why it's not ''Cheery Lollipop Elf'' I guess ;)

    But yeah, I tend to agree with you. Worse, it rubs off on people, I have e.g. seen people that posted about this rudeness as fresh newcomers turn into some of the worst 'elitist JERK' posters around.

    In fact, this was one of the reasons I stopped subscribing (one month of 'horse tax' to go). Luckily, my interests don't include a lot of end game so instead of puting up with it I can easily decide to just stop queueing Heroics etc. , the dreamy newcomer that actually believes 'Everything will be better at cap', and 'the next Expansion will cure all ills up to and including world hunger' will be in a different street.

    Not to be intrusive, but sometimes I wonder what attracts you in WoW.

    Personally, I like bouncing around cute characters in a virtual world and seeing others do the same , doing 'the impossible' (e.g. one of my 10's now has The Explorer; wonder how exactly accountwide Achies will screw that one up) and can enjoy it when others do it as well (eg an Asian 39 Twink got, after 17 months of winning the Fishing Derby, Exalted with the Kal'uak and hence the Pole and its boss combat stats) and I guess 'The Zen of Grinding'

    1. Account wide achievements will totally screw that one up. When you create a level 1 you will be a level 1 explorer now. This is one of the biggest arguments against account wide achievements. I want to get my achievements on each character. Yes, there are some I like to share but others I don't. I think I should be allowed to decide which are shared and which are not.

      As to why do I play? Well, that is a very hard question now really. See, I am a grinder. I love to grind. I love to grind levels, grind mobs, grind reps, work my ass off for materials to make food and flasks and fire resist capes.

      I like to do things that I feel like I am accomplishing things. While I have the worst luck most times and can kill 80,000 mobs to get something that is supposed to be a 20% drop I like knowing that my persistence will pay off and having the joy of it when it does.

      With that said, that has completely been removed from the game. So why do I still play? I don't know really.

      The account wide achievements will take away a lot of the stuff I like to do, those few things that are left. Now I will not have to grind all those reps again because all my characters will have the achievements. I will not have to explore again, because all my characters will have that achievement.

      I lose a lot when it comes out and it is another reason there is less for me here and less reason for me to stay here.

      I guess the reason I still play, as weird as this might sound, is because I believe my guild needs me.

      If the time ever came where that guild broke up or I felt I was no longer needed, I would quit.

      I play for the people I play with, I no longer play for the game itself.

  2. I think you hit it on the head with the reason you still play. It's helping out my guild, and the social interaction with it. I think it's kind of like an obligation, sort of.
    I quit playing in March, due to DS getting old, as well as some people in my guild taking a hiatus until MOP comes out. The most fun I have in an expansion is leveling my toons and learning the lore, and then doing the new raids and working together to complete them.
    However, the game isn't as fun as it once was for me. I started in BC, right when Kara came out. It took me about 6 months at least to level my first toon, a hunter, to 70. The zones had a lot of people in them them. There were still several elites in the areas, several group quests, like Durn, which you had to have at least 5 to do. Crafting and professions seemed harder, and more viable back then.
    I miss the days before LFD and LFR. I know spamming in trade for a tank or healer seemed like it took forever, but it at least made you meet more people, develop friendships, meet more guilds, etc. Now you go into a dungeon and no one ever says a word, and if they do, it's about how bad someone is.
    LFR is worse. I guess it's better for the casual player, or someone like me with 10 85s who like to work on some toons I wouldn't normally raid with in 10 man.
    But, LFR, and to a lesser extent, all the 85s I have, contributed to my burnout. Doing LFR on several toons a week, then running DS 10 man on 2 or 3 toons weekly was just too much. But it was because I wanted to help the guild and have a variety of geared roles and classes. Then Blizzard makes it where you can level to 85 seemingly in days now, I think I leveled about 5 or 6 toons just in Cata to 85.
    Anyways, I just miss the old days more, but I know Blizz is catering the game for the casual players, who are the majority of the player base.
    I didn't mean to go off tangent, but I agree with everything you wrote about the new player's Bane, Grumpy. I think if more people would help in trade, and say along the lines of 'just google about your class' or whatever, these players can get the answers to all their questions in minutes. Not that hard. Trade will never change though. I try to be helpful in trade, but there is only so many posts I can read that say 'what is better for pvp Survival or Marks' or 'what are some good frost mage glyphs' where I just shake my head and don't whisper them with my answer, which always at the end includes the idea of using google and a some specific sites for their class. Anyways I love the blog, thanks for having it!

    1. Every game runs its course and it seems warcraft has run its. Casuals and hardcores alike have found something to hate in cataclysm. It seems that blizzards efforts to make everyone have something to do has made everyone have something to complain about and their anger, or displeasure if you will, with blizzard has carried into the game in the forum of people becoming trade trolls. To some extent at least.

  3. As a follow up to my last post real quick, I wasn't blaming trade on everything, just using it as an example. The player himself is to blame mostly. Odds are they know how to surf the web, use internet resources, etc, to make them better.

  4. What is really disheartening is that the Devs in a sense lead the way in not thinking about newcomers, something that I personally find rather grating.

    As others and I have already pointed out, the game gets dumbed down not for the benefit of newcomers, it gets dumbed down for aging Raiders with time-management issues.

    'Nonsens, the game is aimed at newcomers'

    Besides earlier links, just look at the MoP Cinematic:

    That whole 'we were there' bit doesn't really apply to newcomers, now does it?

    With PvP it is of course even clearer that Blizzard isn't particularly concerned with newcomers/less-established players (though they should). The idiotical inclusion of ever-more Enchantable Heirlooms in regular BG's is of course the most well-known proof of that, but things like putting Expansion capped characters into Twink queues is another (not just the Starter Edition situation, but in general newcomers are more likely to not have all the Expansions installed than more established players) .

    Heck, Blizzard even lauded those that grief newcomers at least three times in the past
    (3 feb 2011) (3 feb 211)

    (7 feb 2011)
    For many of you, when someone asks, “What is best in life?” there’s only one answer: “To crush the newbs, see them driven before me, and read their lamentations on the forums” -- and we salute you. "

    Note the use of the specific term 'newbs', not that it would be much less distasteful if the term 'noob' was used.

    (and yes, I get the Conan reference, it's the 'we salute you' part that especially shows what kind of people call the shots in WoW - though of course the BlizzCon videos *cough* Corpsegrinder *cough* make that quite clear as well)