When I play World of Warcraft, my game sessions usually involve running a dungeon or two, hitting up the Raid Finder, queuing for a scenario or beating on the other faction in some battlegrounds. While World of Warcraft has great convenience mechanics, such as the ability to solo queue for dungeons, raids etc., it’s easy for a player to jump in and out without much social interaction with other players. It’s not unlikely that the little conversation that is had in running a dungeon or scenario amounts to brief strategy talk or complaining about something or someone. I would wager that most of the socializing that does happen in World of Warcraft, and other MMO’s for that matter, is probably among your guild mates. One of the greatest aspects of World of Warcraft is that a vast majority of the players are honestly great people despite what many discussion forums would make you believe. In all of my time playing World of Warcraft however, I have found that the most memorable moments have been the interactions I’ve had with other players. This is where some of the most rewarding things can happen and often all it takes is someone to get the conversation going.
A Hearty Hello
Since the implantation of the Dungeon Finder system and the more recent Raid Finder, many players have started to call World of Warcraft a single player game. I find the reason for this, in most cases, is that there is no communication between players almost as if you’re just playing with bots. That’s like saying the party you’re at is full of animatronics because no one is talking to you. If you take the initiative, things will become way more fun, believe me. Let’s try a little experiment: the next time you run a dungeon or scenario from a queue, say “hello” to your group or even ask how their day is going. Sure, there will be times where you party doesn’t want to respond immediately or in some cases, at all. But if/when they do, keep the conversation going. Ask questions and act like a human being and not a bot that some people claim others to be. And here is the cool part: unlike being at some awkward social event in real life that you somehow find yourself attending, the people in World of Warcraft have at least one thing in common with you: the game you’re playing.
Be Kind, Rewind
Some of my greatest memories of playing World of Warcraft was when I was leveling my first character and would happen across players willing to help me out with quests or answer questions I may have had about the game systems or mechanics. I am sure we’ve all been there, not knowing where to go or where something is that we’re looking for. Imagine if there was a high level, experienced player who was willing to help you out - put yourself back in the shoes of a new player and think about what you would appreciate from someone more experienced. The next time you log in and look for something to do, head to a low level area and hang out by a quest hub or town and ask the players that come through if they would like any help with whatever it is that they’re working on. If you want to feel like a hero in the game, this is the way to do it. Not only are you helping someone out, you could also possibly be forming a long term relationship with someone and this far outweighs the cost of simply asking a random player if they would like assistance with something.
Do you remember the first time you entered a raid? I had no idea what the hell was going on. This was long before Raid Finder when things were less friendly to inexperienced players. Luckily I had the company of some cool people who took a few moments to explain what was going down. But just because Raid Finder modes exist now, doesn’t mean there are no longer players who are still scared or unsure of what to do - even in heroics or scenarios for that matter. Try this: Next time you’re running a Raid Finder, heroic dungeon or a scenario, keep an eye out for players who may seem to be new or unsure of what to do and shoot them a whisper asking if they have any questions. Don’t be the person who wants to vote-kick a DPS who is low on the charts in a Raid Finder raid and instead offer them some help or advice. Even more so, if you’re familiar with the players class, ask what their rotation is or what spells they’re using and offer what you can to help them improve. Even suggest add-ons or macros. A friendly whisper can go a long way, you’ll be surprised.
Another step you can take in getting yourself to feel more badass is to take a look at what the newer players are wearing and let them know where they can get some good upgrades. Perhaps there is a quest you know of that may offer a good replacement for something that they have equipped. Or maybe they can use advice on what enchantments or gems would be best for their play style and gear. How about even use your professions such as blacksmithing or tailoring to make some gear for them. You could also give players food or potions you might be willing to part with which is another good way to get a conversation going.
When you are new to something, no matter what it is, it always feels good to know that someone is there to help you out. When someone has taken you under their wing, it’s a good comfortable feeling. Whether in the real world or in a game, it’s a great sensation to be helpful to others or be given guidance, even if for a few minutes. You know what’s really cheesy? If you end up taking the time to help someone out, take a screenshot of the two of you. Incredibly cheesy right? In a few months when you come upon that screenshot however, you’ll remember the time you offered a stranger some helpful advice and the conversation you shared. It could be a fond memory of the time you made someone’s day or possibly a memento of the day you met your new Battleground or Arena partner. It could be as important as that screenshot of your first downing of Onyxia seven years ago. So the next time you log in, whether in World of Warcraft or any other game, talk to some people, I promise you it’ll feel good and rewarding. There are tons of cool people playing our games, and talking to them is really easy.
Read more of The WoW Factor in these articles:
And our World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review: