Please give us a release date so that our friends will come back to Azeroth.
Your Current Players
My wife bought me a copy of WoW in the weeks before BC came out. There was a large percentage of WoW players among our friends and family: I, my wife, her brother, his wife- her two brothers, father, and mother all played. When my wife and I divorced, I still played with all of my extended real-life WoW family (in fact, my ex-wife's new husband was in our RL family/friend guild for a while, along with her sister-in-law's second husband, whew I know.). Among these and their real-life friends, I could easily play with any of over twenty different people I was friends with in the real world.
Now, in the lull that is the waning days of Cataclysm, I don't have a single real-life friend to play with. It has been over six months since any of my RL friends on my friend's list have played. I'm in a new guild (my first lvl 25), yet their guild roster has many, many toons that haven't played in months.
I've given up running dungeons and raids without having friends who know the fights like the back of their hands. I tanked through Wrath on a druid and paladin, but moved over to healing for Cata. I find the anonymity of the Dungeon and Raid finder intimidating because few people take the time to explain the fights.Drama Mama Robin: Too Shy, being shy isn't necessarily your biggest problem here. As you said, the lull during the waning days of Cataclysm is causing many players to take a break. The pool of people playing presently is puny. (Yay alliteration!) This means that many of the players who might otherwise make the overture after seeing your skills aren't around to do so.
I've transitioned my discipline priest to PvP (my first toon I've PvPed with), because I know the BGs pretty well. I love keeping people alive while the Horde beat on my little gnomey butt. I want to Arena and run Rated BG's (because I have nothing else to spend Honor on) but I don't know how to connect with anyone, even my guildies.
I just don't know how to play WoW without real-life friends. Help.
Too shy for an MMO
Shyness is like depression: being told to "get over it" just doesn't work. Though I can't help you with your reticence to meet new people, I do have some suggestions for your situation.
- I don't think you're in the right guild. If you are pursuing PvP, then you should be in a PvP guild. I know your shyness makes it hard to change guilds, but you have already done it at least once. Check out Too Shy to Change Guilds for how to do that more easily.
- Don't give up on PvE. Harshness warning! The reason people in the Raid and Dungeon Finders aren't explaining the battles is that they expect you to already know. And why don't you? There are so very many resources out there, starting from the in-game Dungeon Journal to various websites across the WoW blogosphere. Do your homework and get back to PvE.
- Do something else. If playing the game alone isn't fun, then either find fun things to do alone in game or take a break until Mists of Pandaria. Roll an alt. Collect achievements. Grind rep and/or archaeology. Amass vast amounts of gold on the AH. Don't like any of those? Then what are your friends playing? Join them or pick up a single-player RPG or whatever until they decide to come back.
Drama Mama Lisa: To connect with people in the game, Too Shy, you have to find common ground. Simply coexisting in online space with a common guildchat channel somewhere on your screen won't build a relationship of any kind.
As you've discovered, though, making connections is hella awkward if you have nothing in common. So pick your poison -- start doing whatever it is in the game that you enjoy and want to do the most. Then make a concerted effort to get to know your guildmates. Use voice communication in instances, take the initiative to assemble groups, offer help to leveling characters.
Yes, it's going to feel a bit like homework at first, especially if you feel awkward around new people. Approach it as an integral part of leveling up, another aspect of building an enjoyable character. It takes time, so set yourself a realistic amount of time and don't give up early. Then just get it done!
If getting into Arenas and RBGs is truly where your interests now lie (and that's not simply a fall-back because you don't have anyone to run PvE content with), then it's time to find some teammates. Consider your playstyle and how you hope to fit into a team.
Finally, consider that without people you enjoy playing with, World of Warcraft might not be a good fit. Some people find the game itself to be the main attraction, but other players are looking for the human element -- the teamwork of guild progression vs. the actual downing of the bosses, the camaraderie of a night spent in instances vs. the loot and achievements gained therein. Don't beat yourself up in areas of the game you don't truly enjoy simply because you wish you were enjoying the parts you do enjoy. If things just aren't falling into place for you, it might be time to log out -- at least until Mists of Pandaria brings in flocks of new and returning players to connect with!
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.