(WoW n00b is the header under which I give advice to players who are new-ish to the game. It’s not a “get to 80 in a week!” guide, but rather it answers questions and gives advice that newer players might not have known they should have been asking.)
Macro Monday will return, but after a very productive weekend (or unproductive, from a non-player’s perspective) I felt the strong need to release the next part of my WoW n00b series – inspired in part by today’s screen cap.
Any form of communication has certain “dos & don’ts” – certain things that are expected of you if you wish to remain civil with everyone else using that same method of communication. Letters start with “Dear [insert name here].” Businessmen shake hands when meeting face to face, and so on. Some of these have been around longer than any of us, and some, like the internet, are relatively recent inventions.
So here’s how to interact with others in WoW without ending up on everyone’s ignore list. First the general stuff:
- Tear the capslock off of your keyboard. Yes, typing in all caps is the internet equivalent of yelling and that will attract attention, but yelling when you don’t need to do so makes everyone around you automatically deduct 50 to 200 IQ points. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences aside, that can leave most of us with a negative number. If you find it was stuck on by accident, you can save some face by apologizing immediately.
- The /y option should be used sparingly, if ever. It yells out to everyone in that zone. See above as to why.
- Don’t beg. Do not ask for gold, runs through instances (note: I mean specifically where players ask a high level player to lead the way through the instance, killing all opposition and leaving the loot for those who are more appropriate levels for that area), or anything else. The great thing about WoW is anyone can get to 80 and/or make some cash for themselves if they work at it. Those who worked at it will often feel resentment if approached by those who feel entitled to handouts. And FYI, in WoW “just asking” still counts as begging.
- Read before you ask. Read the text in your Quest Log. Look up the information on Wowwiki. (With my notorious spelling abilities I’ll often do a Google search and include “wowwiki” as one of the terms. I find I get better results that way.) There will be times when you have to resort to asking in General Chat for something, but 9 times out of 10 you’ll get what you want faster and with fewer troll responses by alt-tabbing (command-tabbing on a mac) over to Firefox. And on that note…
- Don’t feed the trolls. Warcraft, like any social system, is full of nice, helpful people who think it’s great that we can all get along. Like any social system, it also has people who can’t tell the difference between good attention and bad. They will insult your equipment, play style, class, race, religion, orientation, and genealogy, without knowing anything about you. Report them if you wish, put them on your ignore list (type /ignore [insert player name here] or use the interface in the social tab) if you must, but don’t respond to them. That’s like a fish pulling on the hook in its mouth so the fisherman knows when to tug back.
- Ask before you do things. Unsolicited trade windows (unless you’re handing things out, and sometimes even then), party invites, and especially guild invites are frowned upon by most.
- Don’t be a ninja. In MMORPGs the term “Ninja” is derogatory in nature and means you take things that arem’t supposed to be yours. You don’t want that label. See that guy steadily killing mobs to get close to that ore? Don’t go in and mine it out from under him until you’re certain he didn’t want it. I myself have skinning, and won’t skin another player’s kills until they’ve left or until they’ve started killing something else. This is usually a good indicator that they either don’t have skinning or don’t need the leather from those mobs The same goes for herbs and treasure chests. If there’s a mob that’s a quest objective nearby and it looks like you’re both working on it, ask if that player wants to form a party. In most cases quest reward XP will be much larger than the XP for soloing the mobs needed, and you’ll have the added bonus of not dying or needing to wait for a respawn.
In a group:
- Bring what you’ll need for the run. Think like a Boy Scout. Hunters need plenty of ammo and food for their pets. If you have a spell that requires a reagent you’ll need at least a stack of it. Characters with mana need drinks and mana potions. Pretty much everyone needs health potions for those “Oh noes!” moments. If you’re running out of these things and you haven’t had a gajillion wipes, then it was you that didn’t bring enough. Don’t expect the others to carry you.
- If you know your time is limited, tell the group. There’s nothing like being 15 minutes into the run and having your tank unexpectedly say “Well it’s time to go to work, see you later!”
- Ask before you click “Need.” It doesn’t matter if it’s most definitely an upgrade for you. It’s still nice to wait for a verbal cue before pouncing on the loot.
- Don’t “Need” something you can’t use. “I needed it so I could sell it and get some gold” and “I need it for another character of mine” are not viable excuses, especially for items that are “Bind on pickup,” A.K.A. “BOP.” There are people who will run an instance 10 or more times for a single piece of gear that will help their character. If you’re a mage and you roll need on any leather armor with “Defias” in its name, prepare to be called a ninja, booted from the party, and placed on multiple ignore lists.
- Don’t loot while someone’s still fighting. There can be exceptions for this in some cases, but if the fight isn’t done then you shouldn’t be done either. You can’t loot and go “Pew pew I kill you!” at the same time.
- Tell people when you need a break. Whether you’re out of mana, need to reapply buffs, or need to go to the bathroom quick, it’s a good idea to tell the party that you’re indisposed for a little bit. (BTW, for that last one the agreed way of typing it is “BRB Bio” or “Bio Break.” Further descriptions are unnecessary.)
- Wait for the party healer. If their mana bar isn’t full then your killing spree is on hold unless they tell you otherwise. If they run out of mana they run out of heals, and you suddenly find out why the tank tolerated them standing in the back and wiggling their fingers all this time.
- Let the tank pull. It’s their job to be the meat shield. It’s what they live for. If you’re the one pulling the mobs then you’ve stepped out from behind that meat shield. Now you are the meat shield. I hope you’re not squishy.
I could go on. Expect a part two … sometime.
(If you have a question you want answered, leave it in the comments or send email to splat [at] myguildhome.com.)