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Posts with tag anxiety

The Drama Mamas guide to getting your groove back

The Drama Mamas guide to getting your groove back
Losing your confidence stinks. Still, in a game like WoW where your character must work cooperatively with so many others, there are times the issue is to be expected. Most players feel a bit apprehensive when getting back into content they haven't played with in a while. You feel rusty, and you're anxious about making an obvious gaffe and letting down the group, embarrassing yourself, or provoking some jerk into whining about your performance in chat.

The advent of proving grounds makes simple business of knocking the rust off. Just head into your own private scenario and experiment, fiddle, and wipe to your heart's content. Nobody has to see how many times you've flopped but you.

But what if the problem's not you? What if you've simply been shaken by too many encounters with trollish players who tear others down in order to build themselves up? What if you find yourself trapped in the ugly atmosphere that makes grouping a hellish prospect for anyone who's been dragged through the dirt one too many times?

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Guild helps anxiety-ridden players get by with a little help from their friends

Guild helps anxiety-ridden players get by with a little help from their friends
We've all sweated through those teeth-grinding firsts: that moment when you step into your first guild raid or zone into your first Arena or even first click into the Dungeon Finder without the moral support of your best buddy. Sometimes WoW can seem like an intimidating, unfriendly place. But for players with social anxiety, those feelings persist, blocking them from the ever-expanding range of activities the game offers. Some tremulous players, however, have found a way around this roadblock: a guild designed especially for players with social anxiety.

... To be quite honest, I had doubted the idea of a guild created for the socially anxious or shy. I expected everyone to be quiet and to stick to themselves or to be divided into tight, unapproachable cliques.

I am pleased to know that I was incorrect in my assumptions.

After my application was accepted, I was invited into the guild and welcomed warmly. No one asked about my spec, gear level, age, gender or location and I doubt they ever will. At the same time, any questions I had the courage to ask in guild chat were answered in a polite and constructive manner.

In the brief time that I have been a member thus far, I have seen every request for help answered (even if it was a polite decline), and the kind of generosity and friendly interaction one should expect from a guild. I have not felt the isolation and awkwardness associated with being the "new guy." There are also guild events on many different nights of the week, so everyone has a chance to do something regardless of scheduling.

... With that said, if you are considering Swords, give it a try. There's no pressure even if it's not for you. You never know unless you try.

-- Kuro / Anatole

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Raid Rx: How to stop worrying about healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Annnd the BlizzCon hangover continues. I think we should have two BlizzCons a year. Perhaps one out in the east (or maybe a separate one in Europe)? I think it'd be neat! But alas, I'm digressing. This week in how to maintain your healing sanity, I wanted to discuss a problem that most healers have experienced at some point in their healing careers. Ever go to bed sweating stressing about your healing? Felt particularly bad about your performance because you just kept dropping the ball? Have that sinking feeling in your stomach after a particularly bad night?

If this happens to you consistently, then you just might be suffering from worry!

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Defeating the anxiety of running your first instance

One of my favorite WoW blogs, HoTs and DoTs, has a great post up about Dungeon Groups 101 -- the very basics of running instances. You may think that there's nothing more basic to the game than getting in an instance with four people and taking down a few bosses and trash, but you'd be surprised. Even in a social game like this, one of the first hurdles newbies have to deal with is joining a group to play together. They worry that they'll do things wrong and that other people will make fun of what they're wearing or playing, and that worry keeps them from enjoying my absolute favorite part of the game.

Cassandri's writeup is an excellent read for anyone who feels that way (and feel free to pass on this post to any friends or relatives you know who've been too leery to join an instance yet). She does do some basic knowledge stuff in there, just hints on the classes and what they can all do -- and our WoW Rookie posts will help out with that stuff too -- but more importantly, she says what lots of new players need to hear: that messing up in an instance isn't that big a deal, and that playing together with others (which is the reason why we're all playing an MMO rather than a single player game in the first place) is more than worth getting past any anxiety around joining a group. I've read a lot of comments like the one Cassandri quotes in her post, too, and I'm here to tell you: if you haven't run an instance yet, it's time to stop worrying about what it'll be like and give it a try.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Bosses

Study: Playing in a guild actually lowers stress


A new study done by researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology says that spending time online playing World of Warcraft with others can actually be good for your mental wellbeing -- within moderation of course. Researcher Huon Longman studied WoW players who played alongside guildies in game, and found that players often shared their real-life concerns with their virtual associates, which resulted in lowered levels of "anxiety, depression, and stress." In short, it seems that when you build relationships and share emotions even with people online, it can help you deal with problems in real life as well. That follows what we talked about earlier this week with Dr. Hilarie Cash -- games like WoW can definitely complement real-life relationships and actually help you relax.

But only when used in moderation -- Longman also found that 10% of the sample he studied played considerably more World of Warcraft than normal, and that those players not only didn't experience a bigger benefit to their wellbeing, but actually experienced more "negative psychological symptoms." A good balance of virtual and real life can have a lot of benefits, but falling too much into virtual life can actually cause more problems psychologically, according to this researcher's work. Obviously, this is one study of many about how playing these games can affect how we think, but the results are definitely reflected in experience: in-game relationships, used in moderation, can definitely help you deal with the real world in a healthier way.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding

15 Minutes of Fame: Tanking with a panic button

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It's always fun to indulge in WoW talk with fellow players, but our favorite interviews for 15 Minutes of Fame happen with people for whom WoW opens doors – whether as fun and frothy as indulging another hobby by crafting a replica of Booty Bay entirely out of Legos or as meaningful as being able to game in a non-threatening, non-judgmental atmosphere among like-minded friends.

This week's featured player exemplifies the power of WoW to energize and empower people's lives. MMOs can make wonderful outlets for disabled players, who find online camaraderie and 24-hour access amenable to their unique needs. Kalzedhan Hurenfal of Feathermoon-A US not only games "around" his limitations but in fact focuses his crosshairs dead on them: he's a tank with a diagnosed panic disorder.

Kalzedhan suffers from a handful of debilitating mental disorders that keep him socially paralyzed, homebound and unable to function in a productive work environment. Yet through WoW, Kalzedhan not only has been able to re-engage in relationships and personal achievements – he does it in the hotseat as a tanking Warrior.

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Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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