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Posts with tag Etiquette

The Drama Mamas guide to basic WoW etiquette

The Drama Mama's Guide to basic WoW etiquette
Joke as we might about rude, trollish behavior in game, that sort of thing doesn't really represent WoW's gaming culture. Our community of MMO players is kinder and gentler than the seething horror of console FPS titles. The truth is that when WoW players are rude, it's most often completely inadvertent and based on their newness to WoW and the MMO subculture. Especially if this is their first MMO, they might only be dimly aware of the concerns of the other players around them and of how and when it's appropriate (or inappropriate) to open the channels of interpersonal communication.

Ever have that uncomfortable feeling your groupmates consider your matter-of-fact approach too abrupt? Or perhaps you've wondered if other players view your friendly chatter as nammering instead. What are all these people expecting from you, anyway?

Your mother was right -– manners are grease in the wheels of the social machine. Let's get this thing off to a smooth start, shall we?

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Implementing a positive reinforcement environment; is it possible?
Over on the EU forums, poster Xie brought up a topic that cycles in and out of the spotlight as well as the gaming community in general: how to better discourage people from being awful to their fellow gamers, or in this case, how to encourage people to behave better. Xie proposed a "thumbs up" system similar in style to the League of Legends honor system, where you can give someone a thumbs up or "like" them, and when they reach certain milestones they get some kind of non-combat perk, like a title. Others are quick to point out that this type of system could be easily gamed, and CM Vaneras adds that regulating such a system is the obvious drawback, and it would require extensive testing in order to iron out any potential exploits before live implementation.

In honesty, I doubt a system like the one Xie proposes could ever work, at least partially because it would be too difficult to police. In a game with 8 million players, how can we ever know whether a "like" was truly given honestly or not? Furthermore, the cynical part of my brain is calmly reminding me that not getting a "like" isn't going to deter those players who are determined to be rude, cruel, or offensive. While I appreciate the logic behind the idea to reward good behavior in place of, or in addition to, punishing poor behavior, I don't believe this particular type of positive reinforcement is effective. Or rather, I don't believe that anything Blizzard can do with regards to player behavior is effective, short of the banhammer, and that is a blunt instrument not appropriate for all situations. In truth, the overall tone of community behavior is determined by what the community is willing to tolerate. So if we want people to behave better in WoW, we need to stop tolerating bad behavior. Admittedly, it's not easy to do, but my own experience has taught me that it really is the only long-term solution. How do you respond to or deal with poor or offensive behavior from other players? In your ideal world (of Warcraft), how would such things be handled?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK

Guide to going AFK during groups and raids
Life happens; we all get that. But should your life be happening to the 24 other people in your raid group? We (and your 24 raidmates) think not. After all, if you're here to play World of Warcraft, why do you keep going AFK?

The need for and the etiquette of going away from the keyboard (AFK) was stronger in WoW's earlier days. During classic WoW, 5-manning places like Blackrock Depths was an all-night affair. Players were more forgiving of a quick dash to the bathroom, and groups doing longer content tended to schedule natural breaks along the way. Today's WoW is a much more terse affair. Scenarios, group instances, and raids are likely to be over long before your bladder is. It's not so difficult to simply plan ahead or wait for a group to come to a natural conclusion.

Yet people don't always do that. Like That Guy who's always texting and checking his Twitter feed instead of looking you in the eye during a conversation, That Guy in game is likely to wander AFK just when you need him the most. Tuning out the people you're with, online or off, simply is not socially acceptable behavior. (You've heard what they're calling those tuned-out types who'll be wearing Google Glass, right? It's not a complimentary term.)

The best way to handle going AFK is to avoid it in the first place. For the rest of those moments when something comes while you're grouping that's beyond your control, let's look at the best ways of managing the interruption and getting you back into the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Blizzard releases parental control video

Parental controls are of paramount importance in games such as WoW, which appeal to a wide audience of young and old, and are sufficiently immersive to permit lengthy sessions. Blizzard has long advocated responsible gaming, and WoW Insider is no different. To this end, Blizzard has released a video clearly and carefully laying out all the Parental Control options available to the WoW-playing family.

These include:
  • Limited hours' play per day or per week
  • Scheduled playtimes and preset schedules
  • Limiting of the use of RealID and in-game voice chat
  • Preventing use of Diablo III's Real Money Auction House
  • Automatically generated weekly playtime reports.
These features may be useful for more than just parents. Students wishing to ensure they aren't distracted by WoW could have their own parents set up controls for them, or players who wish to limit themselves for any other reason could do the same. Additionally, any player might appreciate weekly reports of their playtime!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Drama Mamas: Too skittish to face the mob

Drama Mamas Too skittish to face the mob
When the fear factor of an MMO revolves more around social hits from fellow players than it does physical hits from monsters, you know something's out of whack. After reading this week's letter, I certainly felt like whacking something -- namely, the ugly atmosphere that makes grouping a hellish prospect for anyone who's been dragged through the dirt one too many times.

Dear Drama Mamas,

I've been playing this game for three or four years now (I'm still a teen, though) and I really wanted to ask you about something.

About two years ago, I first started raiding. I continued going to the pug many times, always with the same raid leader. (Let's call him R.) I started talking in vent with him and his guild, and raided with them quite a lot. I was really sheepish at first because: 1. I was a kid, 2. I'm afraid of social interaction, and 3. I'm a girl. Everything went fine though, for several months.

It was when R needed to go off to work, and couldn't lead the raids anymore when things got bad. I wasn't in his guild, but he felt that I could be trusted enough to be the raid leader. He passed it over to me, handed over his group macros for recruting, and told people I would be leading. He also put two people with me to be my raid assists. (Let's call them Andni and Pir. These are not their actual names.)

I would always start of the raid slightly paniced, but by the end I was joking around with everyone and having a good time. But during one Black Temple run, everything went bad.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: He's ready to plaaayyy ...

Time for a nostalgic trip back to Ulduar, boys and girls. This week's letter writer? Like a certain clockwork creation from our past, he might be just a little overeager to come out and play ...

Hi WoW Insider Drama Mamas,

So ... I'm a WoW n00b. I get the impression I'm a rarity these days (even with the release of Mists of Pandaria) (I'm so n00b I've only recently worked out that WoW means World of Warcraft and not like "Hey, man, WoW!" with a badly placed capital letter).

IRL I'm a pretty outgoing bloke as well. I'm not short of mates, and friendly to most people I know. I even have a young family, and a wife I love very much. I'm an internet veteran who remembers ICQ and IRC chat. I've hung out on rock band and football club forums and successfully existed online there. I've played MMO style games before, in particular Second Life which is all about being social, and I've done well in the whole making friends thing there.

But when it comes to WoW, I don't seem to be able to strike it, socially at least.

I've got one mate on my friends list, who I know from RL; however, I worry I make him sick of me bugging him with my n00b questions. (What's the Dungeon Hunter? Where do I get leather from to make stuff with? Who's Leeroy Jenkins?)

I had a brief "fling" with a girl kind enough to take me on my first dungeon run. I kept dying. I'm sure she was laughing her head off. But she was very gracious, kind, and friendly. I friended her, however I think she's since culled me from her friends list which of course makes me sad, but hey maybe she had to cull her list because it was too busy for her to concentrate on playing perhaps. I understand that sort of thing completely and I'm certainly not hurt over it.

Other than that ... Every time I chat publicly to someone I'm either ignored or they run away. Comments in the casual guild I've joined seem to get ignored. And like I say, I don't want to drown my RL mate in-game either. Would love to see what you both have to say. What makes the WoW denizen different from other online hangout denizens?

Many thanks,

Scott Nofriends

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: The case of the raid leader and a guildie's wife

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Should inappropriate behavior always be against guild rules?
Help me, Drama Mamas!

I'm a newbie guild leader (of about two months now), but I was an officer in my guild for over a year before that. When my GM/RL retired from WoW a couple of months ago, I took over and things have been going pretty well. We're a medium-sized, active PvE guild with a core raid group. My raid leader is my only officer.

Recently, my RL (who is also a good friend) told me that one of our raiders, a woman who is married but not to him, had sent him some dirty whispers during raid. He said that she was "in a weird mood" and kept on saying sexual things to make him laugh on Vent. Her husband is also in our raid. The RL told me so that he wouldn't "feel weird about it."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: How to deal with profanity in Battlegrounds

Drama Mamas How to deal with profanity in Battlegrounds
Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I'm not one for the profanity filter. Special characters randomly appearing in public chats don't improve my gameplay experience. Also, it's so easy to get around, so why bother? And honestly, I just don't mind profanity. Now, if there were some kind of hate and trolling filter, I might use that. Ah, just think of how slowly trade chat would scroll ...
Hey Mamas,

I've been playing since vanilla. The reason I preface my letter with that is because I know the drama that goes on in battlegrounds. Really, I do. But for some reason, I feel it's just gotten so bad lately. People being rude or just trolling isn't anything new. But this is a whole new level of mean, and the offenders act like every little (often just perceived) mistake is a personal slight against them, one from which they will never, ever recover from. This isn't just about one instance either. In literally every battleground, whether we're winning or losing, someone is cursing someone else and causing a ruckus over something very little.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

The unspoken etiquette of world boss encounters

World bosses are returning in Mists of Pandaria!

You know, my uncle, the legendary General Commandicus Brutallicus, told me stories of veteran players staying up at various odd hours of the day to challenge the emerald dragons, Lord Kazzak, and others. Even though I was but a young priest at the time, he told me that going after them was a hoot and experience in itself, especially if your home was on a PvP realm.

There was an unspoken etiquette among raid leaders who went after world bosses. Since world bosses are making a comeback, I wanted to share them.
  • You can't call dibs. The first group that arrives, is buffed, and ready gets to pull the boss first. No exceptions. You can't just stroll in there and call dibs when your entire raid group wasn't there or ready yet. Heck, you can't even physically contest the boss even if you did get there first. Back in my day, anyone who cried about seeing the boss first and losing out was generally laughed at.
  • You take turns. There was an unspoken level of respect between the top raiding guilds. Despite the hatred and the fierce competition, we never interfered with attempts that were already progress. To do so brought dishonor to the guild and would cause you to be blacklisted from the realm. In an era when realm and faction transfer never existed, it was a big deal -- not to mention, if you opened fire on one group, they would come back and wipe your attempts. This would go on back and forth before everyone got tired, but no one would give. Yes, which leads me to the next rule ...
  • Bring two raid groups. You had one raid group which would tackle the main boss. The second raid group was there to provide cover and to engage or otherwise tie up any hostile players who wanted to wipe your raid. These tended to be the PvP contingents within the various guilds. They were the players who didn't raid but spent all day grinding Alterac Valley for Grand Marshall and all that. This second group of players would hide behind a mountain or a tree or something and wait for instructions from the primary raid leader before engaging anyone.
  • Majority guild receives first picks on loot. This is more of a courtesy than anything else. If a raid group consisted primarily of a raiding group and it was demonstrable that they did most of the heavy lifting, they had the right to select one item they wanted out of the loot drops before opening the rest to free roll. However, since the loot method is going to change, this rule is no longer relevant.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: How do you handle real-life interruptions?

AFK Goblin
You just can't take a picture of yourself during Love is in the Air without a heart on your head.

I actually don't like the phrase "real life" when describing what happens in the physical world because it implies that the interactions we have in Azeroth aren't real. Captain Obvious says that WoW is not a single-player game. When we are playing Mass Effect, we don't affect anyone else if we get up to take a bio break or comfort a child. But in World of Warcraft, if we are in a group of any size, we affect others every time we AFK.

The phrase "real life is more important than WoW" is a mantra we hear all the time, and it is true in that you shouldn't shirk responsibilities in the physical world in order to play. However, if you have committed yourself for a period of time to other players, it is the same thing as committing yourself to any group of people in the physical world. Breaking that commitment falls under the same etiquette umbrella, whether in game or out.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

5 ways to keep your DPS players happy in 5-man heroics

OK, you can't pretend you didn't see this one coming after the healing and tanking editions. As I may have mentioned, I have less DPS experience than tanking and healing, but from that time in Azeroth, I have gathered that there are things everyone can do to make their DPSers happy bunnies rather than melancholy murlocs. Actually, being a murloc would be pretty cool. One of my GMs does an awesome murloc impression.

So, tanks and healers, and other DPSers, how can you keep your DPS buddies happy?

1. Mark your targets. Tanks, or whoever is experienced, or whoever is taking on that role in the dungeon, mark your targets. Telepathy is not a standard talent in any tree, and while sure, it's possible to click the tank and then use an assist macro, you can easily keybind or add a button to your action bars that marks your target with a skull, a cross, a moon and so on.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The etiquette of rolling on gear in groups

Dungeons drop gear. For many players, that's the whole point of going into an instance, whether it's a 5-man dungeon or a huge raid instance. We're locked in the ever-expanding search for better gear, and you have to kill bosses to get your sweet, sweet loot.

Most guilds use one or more various systems to make sure loot distribution is fair. Some employ a basic rule of civility; once you get gear in an a raid, it's polite to defer further drops to other guildmates. Others use complicated but effective point systems, assigning dropped gear a point value that members can bid against. No matter what the general system for rolling on gear, the foundation of the system is based on all group members' being part of a common team.

Pickup groups and Raid Finder groups possess no such commonality. The teams comprise random folks thrown together by Blizzard's behind-the-scenes group-building algorithms. Basic roles are filled, a few rules followed -- but basically anyone can get thrown together into a group.

Random groups rarely agree on loot etiquette before getting started. We all say we should agree on loot rules beforehand, but that rarely actually happens. Instead, most folks charge ahead into the dungeon operating under only a few basic assumptions about how loot will be divided. With that in mind, let's review the basic etiquette of rolling on gear in groups.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Behavior unbecoming a player

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Sometimes we do things that we'd rather forget. Sometimes we do those things in a dungeon. My guild has a few funny stories, such as the paladin tank who forgot to turn on Righteous Fury or DPSers who went through entire runs wearing fishing hats.

In my case, I'm ashamed to say that I let a pushy dungeon group get to me and earned my only dungeon finder kick to date. It was late Wrath, in the early days of the dungeon finder when leaving a random still gave you a long, unavoidable DF cooldown. I queued as a healer and popped into heroic Drak'Tharon Keep. I greeted the group with a cheerful "Hi guys!" but was blindsided when one of the DPS replied, "less talking, more healing." We hadn't even pulled yet.

I shut up, but the comment rankled so much that I immediately decided not to heal the DPSer. As a result, he died a couple times throughout the run and was rezzed by the ret pally. They were all from the same guild, so I knew any attempt I made to vote-kick the rude DPSer would fail. I seethed throughout the dungeon, healing only the tank and two of the DPS, and when we reached the last boss, I was the recipient of an unceremonious vote kick. I was angry at the time, but in retrospect, I deserved it. I should have dropped group the moment the comment was made and let them find a new healer. It's all water under the bridge by now, but that's the one dungeon moment of which I'm ashamed.

Have you ever done something in WoW that you wish you hadn't? Was it with friends or strangers? Is it just a funny story now, or do you still feel sheepish?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

A parent's guide to World of Warcraft for kids

Is WoW appropriate for children? While we're sure the inevitable trolls out there are already clicking straight to the comments to revile the very idea of allowing children into Azeroth, the fact is that with preparation and consistent parent moderation, WoW can be a fine fit for kids -- especially for families with parents who already spend time in Azeroth. It's definitely one of those cases in which your mileage may vary; parents who don't already play or who take a more hands-off approach to gaming will probably want to wait until their little goblins- or worgen-to-be are well into their teen years.

For players whose kids are itching to join in the family fun, though, there are plenty of ways to make World of Warcraft a productive, happy experience for kids, parents, and fellow players alike. Here's the thing: There's more to think about and more ways to throttle age-related issues than simply turning off trade chat and forbidding PUGs before walking into the other room to watch TV. We'll show you how to find the best fit for WoW with kids, teens, and even parents themselves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Rookie: Being polite in game

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide. WoW Rookie is about more than just being new to the game; it's about checking out new classes, new playstyles, and new zones.

It might seem like an odd notion, but not everyone understands what's polite in the World of Warcraft. This isn't because they are rude in real life or necessarily lack the social skills to properly order a cup of coffee. (I'll admit, though, after a few battlegrounds and seeing the behavior in BG chat, I wonder about that.)

The most common reasons folks are inadvertently rude in game is because they're new to our subculture. They haven't been inculcated to the subtle niceties that come with pretending to be elves and trolls. Especially if this is their first MMORPG, they might only be dimly aware that other characters are also players and that any amount of human interaction might be expected.

The goal here isn't to lay down some kind of draconian law of behavior. It's just an attempt to talk about being polite.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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