First, I should note that the new review for the day is of Greg Bear’s “Dead Lines”. And now, on to the latest rewrite of a more-than-a-year-old Warcraft post.
Most of my major pet peeves with respect to World of Warcraft are related to things controlled by players, not those controlled by Blizzard. The game is a big enough sandbox, with enough things I can run around and do, that I can almost always find something I want to do in it as an alternative to something else that annoys me. Thus, the things that drive me nuts tend to be people-oriented.
So, without further ado and in no particular order:
1. Players who snake in while you’re fighting a chest or resource node’s guardians and loot it. They let you do all the work, and they steal the reward.
2. Players who spam you with duel challenges, trade windows (usually with a lockbox they want you to unlock), or guild charters, particularly when you’re in the middle of transacting business with a merchant or turning in/picking up a quest. After all, that window they open with you shuts all of your other open windows–and it shouldn’t be very difficult to figure out that if you’re standing in front of a mailbox, a banker, or an NPC, you probably have important windows open. I’ve had people completely screw up a complex series of things I was trying to accomplish, or force me to restart an auction house scan from scratch most of the way through, because they did this. No one you do this to is going to want to sign your charter or unlock your box.
3. Players who can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to group and/or guild with people you’ve never even said “hi” to before and take it personally when you politely decline their wordless invite. I’ve never had it work out well when I’ve accepted one of those invites, so I’ve stopped doing so. After all, people who lack the social skills to know that it’s good to talk to someone before partying with them also probably lack the social skills to party together well.
4. Players who invite you into a group, set looting to free-for-all, and then rush to loot everything first. It’s just a slightly less obvious form of stealing that which you’ve worked for. Also, players who group with you then rush to loot all the chests or quest items first. Folks, there’s a randomized die-roller for a reason. Type “/random 100” or “/roll” (without the quotation marks) to use it. Or, if you don’t have lots of people and you’re teamed up for a while, take turns! I had one person loot a chest and say sweetly, “oh, I assumed no one would mind?” to which of course her friend in the party immediately said, “of course not!” My husband and I just made a mental note never to party with her again, and to be as greedy as necessary (within the bounds of not ninjaing) for the rest of the instance to make up for it. (It wasn’t worth getting into an argument over at the time.)
5. Players who agree to roll fair-and-square for loot while partied up, then anytime something they want shows up tell everyone to leave it for them and get whiny if they don’t get what they want. (If people want to be nice and give you something you want for free that’s great, but they aren’t required to do so.)
6. Players who call other people names for failing to notice their off-in-a-corner peril or rescue them post-haste from a mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Ask for help before calling people idiots. Understand that sometimes others are in the middle of things (and you can’t always tell because you can’t see them at their keyboards). And, sometimes someone looks at all those mobs trailing you and realizes they just aren’t going to be able to save you without dying. Why should they take the repair bill hit and delay just because you got in over your head? It’s great if they want to try, but you shouldn’t expect it of them.
7. Players who believe that they are entitled to whatever they want from you, and if anything, you should be grateful to them for wanting it from you. I’m stunned at the prevalence of this attitude lately. People no longer ask for things like summoned water, a portal or summon, help with a quest or instance, or an opened lockbox–they demand. And god help you if you don’t immediately jump to it and deliver; you’re a horrible, mean person who deserves to be yelled at and sworn at.
- Have patience. People are usually busy with other things and can’t just jump to help you. People often start “yelling” (using all caps and tons of !!!) repeats of their “requests” before I can even type out an answer.
- Remember character vs. player. Just because a character doesn’t appear to be doing much doesn’t mean the player isn’t having an involved chat, off in another room of their house, dealing with the doorbell or a sick child, scanning the auction house, etc. They could also just be tired, not in a sociable mood, and so on.
- Remember that you aren’t entitled to whatever you think you want. ANY time you ask for something from someone else, you are asking for a favor (A gracious, friendly, or obliging act that is freely granted). This means that you need to convince someone that they want to help you. You do this by being polite–saying things like “please” and “thank you” (good lord those are rarely-seen terms online these days) and asking rather than demanding.
8. People who define the “value” of an item as whatever they wish to pay for it. It doesn’t matter if something usually sells for more–if you’re selling it for more than they want to pay, then you’re a gold-farmer and they’ll heap abuse upon you. I’ve had people offer me a quarter of what I have something priced for in the auction house as though they were doing me a favor (inevitably they get angry and abusive when I refuse, and inevitably the item sells shortly thereafter for much more than they were offering). It doesn’t hurt to offer someone less than what they’re asking for something, but don’t be arrogant about it and don’t be rude. I’ve dropped prices well below what I normally would for a couple of people just because it was so incredibly unusual to have someone be polite.
9. Players who wait until you’re attacking something and then hit it at just the right moment to tag it but (if they hit it just right) leave you with the aggro. Then they let you deal with the mob for them while they collect the loot and experience points. Again, they let you do the work and then steal the rewards.
Really it all boils down to a few key concepts: Way too many people feel free to be rude and obnoxious online. A feeling of entitlement seems to pervade people’s actions when they can see everyone around them as cartoons on a screen. The simple niceties–“please” and “thank you”–have been tossed by the wayside. And far too few people remember that there are living, breathing, flesh-and-blood people behind other characters’ keyboards, and that you can’t tell whether they’re looking at their chat window, talking to someone else, or even sitting at their keyboards sometimes.
When I can find decent people to hang out with, Warcraft can be incredibly fun. When I run into the jerks, it becomes quite frustrating. I do have one suggestion to minimize this kind of annoyance: pick up the infinite ignore list mod. You’ll no longer be limited to 20 names, and your ignore list will carry over to all of your other characters on the same server. I’ve learned that my relaxed gaming time is too much fun to waste on the annoying folks!