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Posts with tag etiquette

Breakfast Topic: To "grats" or not to "grats"

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

"Yahtzee" Croshaw's recent review of Cataclysm (hilarious, but very NSFW) pointed out two things about WoW that were of interest to me. The first was that, as a mage, I would die a lot less often in PvE if I remembered to use Mirror Image when I get into a tight spot. But second and of more general interest, he pointed out how pervasive the phenomenon of mutual congratulation for achievements has become in WoW, to the point where one could easily be forgiven for thinking that typing some variation of "grats" was a Pavlovian response to any achievement announcement.

I happen to think it is more of a case of social pressure, personally. You want to be congratulated when you achieve something worthwhile, so you do likewise to your fellow guildies. But then the question becomes: just how far do you take it? Do you "grats" at every opportunity, or do you pick and choose which ones are worthy of your typewritten esteem? Does seeing other "grats"-es make you want to join in, or are you perhaps the other way, "grats"-ing just to show that somebody appreciates the achievement just announced, even if it is just Shave and a Haircut?

How you decide when the time is right to type those five little letters into guild chat?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Real-life virtues in WoW


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Is your WoW behavior radically different from how you act in real life? If it is, should it be? Is the virtual world of WoW your escape from the rigid expectations of society, the requirements to be a productive member of your community in terms of career, education and family? Is WoW your opportunity to "act out," to take out your aggressions and subliminal anger on other players you come in contact with? Or do you look at your WoW characters as extensions of self and attempt to emulate your real-life, day-to-day behavior (or possibly even improve on that behavior)?

Let's look at a few common virtues, the actions and words that support them, and then ask, "Am I doing that? Or am I deliberately doing the opposite?"
  • Respect Do you treat people in game with courtesy and consideration? Are "please" and "thank you" normal parts of your vocabulary? Most people operate on the premise that they give respect and expect it in return.
  • Responsibility Do you do what you commit to do? Are you prompt and prepared? In real life, responsibility can be a pretty tough burden. It can be interesting that some WoW players shoulder that load well, while others may fall short.
  • Cooperation Being able to work with others is important to success in WoW, just as it is in real life. Any married folks among us can certainly identify with that -- and for that matter, players with siblings will also know that working well with a brother or sister is more productive (and more fun) than the alternative. When you raid, do you do as directed? How about in BGs, where a bit of cooperation can easily be the difference between victory and defeat? In game, we have only to look to successful arena teams to see cooperation at its finest.
  • Generosity Ever help someone in RL, even if they don't ask? How about in WoW? Have you ever seen a player being overwhelmed by mobs and decided to jump in? That's a form of generosity, because you're giving freely of your time and effort with no expectation of return. Have you ever helped a player by purchasing an item to help him level a skill, even if you really didn't need that item?
  • Loyalty Generally speaking, real life rewards loyalty. We are loyal to friends, to family, to our employer, our alma mater, even to our country. Do you demonstrate that same level of loyalty in game? The best example is to consider whether you're loyal to your guild. Do you stick with the guild through the ups and downs of progression, even if the grass may seem greener elsewhere?
This short list of virtues can provide some insight into your in-game values versus your RL values. Is it okay to behave differently in an online game? Of course it is; after all, it's just a game. On the other hand, it can be argued that everything we do in life is a reflection of our inner character, and this is especially true of how we behave when we're not answerable to anyone.

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Drama Mamas: When the game is no laughing matter

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced WoW players 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 checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Text communication is a touchy creature. The simplest of situations can spiral out of control in the space of a single chat pane, when players blunder along without considering the disparity between the words they've actually typed versus the message they intended to communicate. We all know how easily humor (and especially sarcasm) can fall flat on the internet. Emotes and the oh-so-snappy "LOL" seem especially prone to offending others who aren't on the same wavelength. Disaster strikes when players stop reading and start reading into what others say.

This week, we'll help several players who find themselves caught up in a web of pride, honor and misrepresented intentions -- all over a loot situation that would have been simple to resolve with clear communication.

Dear Drama Mamas, As a priestess who is devoted to the Light, I follow a flock where I make sure that everyone is happy and content. A few moons ago, I had gone on an adventure with several of the flock to the Halls of Stone, where we faced off against the Titan's creations and helped Brann Bronzebeard find out about the mystery of the dwarves. When we had finally retaken the Forge of Wills, we had found a weapon in possession of Sjonnir the Ironshaper, The Fleshshaper. Oh, what joy our rogue companion felt when we had finally gotten the weapon for him. Alas, that joy was suddenly shattered, as the other priest of our troupe had rolled his need dice accidentally. Our companion rogue burst into a fury like Ragnaros the Firelord, spewing out his frustration upon our dear priest, who had simply laughed off the whole affair.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

How many wipes does it take to end a raid?

This is probably a good question to revisit since we're heading into a patch where lots and lots of us will be running pickup raids and groups. Souldreamer on WoW Ladies LJ asks: "just when do you give up on a raid?" It's a good question, and unfortunately, the answer probably depends on the raid itself. If, going in, you're not sure just how much DPS the raid can do, and your healer says he's actually specced prot, and you were planning on going to bed anyway, one wipe is probably enough to call it. On the other hand, if you've dropped a few bosses and have an issue with the tank losing aggro for a second on a boss, you'll probably go back for another few wipes just to see.

Do any of you have an actual policy? I tend to not get involved in PuGs at all if I think there's a chance they won't make it -- there are too many fish in the sea, and too many other things for me to work on rather than beating my head up against a boss. But maybe it would be good to set up a rule that most of us can agree on, something like, "three wipes and you're out." That might save a lot of time and frustration in the new Dungeon system.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding

Drama Mamas: Of crime and crossdressing

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Pictured above is just some of the torture devices on the prison ship Success. The writer of our first letter is not looking to send a guild "criminal" on a tortuous journey across the globe to a penal colony, but he is looking to exact a harsher punishment than the one already meted out. Our second petitioner is tortured about being considered weird for playing the opposite gender. We won't torture you with any further delays before letting you at the drama.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Too many cooks in the kitchen


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Meet the drama llama: the attention-starved, manipulative player who seems to get more of a charge from being immersed in emotionally charged social situations than from actually playing WoW. They're the ones responsible for creating friction in your raids, fanning flame wars on your forums and running guildmates out of Vent, right?

Not always.

Oh sure, drama llamas take top billing in many an online drama, starring in guild breakups and social meltdowns all over the globe. But the Drama Mamas see just as much drama generated by well-meaning players who take it upon themselves to "fix" unsavory situations -- when far be it from their place to do so. The heat feels hottest when there are too many cooks in the kitchen ...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: The searing agony of burnout


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Should you stay or should you go now? You know the drill: if you go there will be trouble ... but if you stay it will be double ... If you find yourself doubting whether or not you really want to log in tonight -- or the next, or the next, or even the next -- make a decision. Don't be one of those burnouts who flop around like a beached Dragonfin Angelfish. When burnout hits, it's time to take action, both for your sake and the sake of everyone around you. So fire up this week's theme music, above, and let's proceed with the Drama Mamas Method of curing a raging case of burnout.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Dealing


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

This week's drama includes a guild leader who needs to deal with her most negative guildie. We also have a PuG leader who needs to deal with a DPSer who taunts. Let's not deal with any more of this introduction.

The Negative Guy
Dear Drama Mamas: I am an older Guild Leader of a great guild. I have a recent guildie that is completely draining me. He is a complete 'Eeyore' . He came to my guild as a friend of my mom's from another server.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: What are you here for?



Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Why do you play World of Warcraft? If you don't know what you want to get out of playing – if you're just surfing the wave after being swept up by the current – you'll be vulnerable to making poor choices when something that happens in game or even gaming itself conflicts with something else in your life. What is it that you value most about your WoW time? (Do you relish mastering raiding content with your guild? Do you savor the downtime of ticking off levels and achievements on your alts? Do you simply want to deflate after a long day by hanging out on Vent with your buddies?)

Prioritizing what's going on in your game is the first step in prioritizing what's going on in the rest of your life. Things get especially tricky when you're trying to balance your hobby time with your own family. This week, the Drama Mamas help two readers tighten their focus. One young player discovers that there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything he'd like to plus play WoW, too, and another reader struggles to figure out how to balance tells from a pesky young relative with enjoying a relaxing evening.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Is it time to leave?


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

When an elephant walks into the room, it may be time to leave. OK, I admit the above picture is a stretch for the topic at hand, but I just couldn't resist the elephant butt. The picture for the Officer with No Respect letter may also be an obscure choice, but I just felt that the Dead Bunny Police Officer depicted in that photo didn't look like he got the respect he wanted. And I could probably hold my own in a layman's debate as to whether or not Mary, Queen of Scots was a Manipulating Queen, though I doubt that I would do well against a real historian. But enough of my excuses for this week's choices from The Commons, let's get to the letters.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: My GM is a succubus


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

We know, we know: A hot, fresh Succubus managing your every need - in game, in Vent, on the forums ... How's this a problem, again? Unfortunately, we suspect the reader who submitted the headline question this week was thinking of the more traditional type of succubus: the life force-sucking vampires who impose a real-life Curse of Exhaustion on their hapless victims. Yeah, this guy from this week's headline sub-mission (har, har) has got it that bad. The Drama Mamas exorcise his demon, plus explore what to do when you catch a young guildmate indulging in some not-so-pretty behavior, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Venting

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

The big event is over and it's time to go back to drama prevention. This week, we attempt to circumvent the need for a Raid Leader's intervention. We also tackle the topic of ventiquette -- which is the etiquette of speaking in Ventrilo and not the manners involved in venting about things. Although I'm sure we'll eventually get to venting etiquette as well. Now that I'm done inventing ways to use the syllable "vent", it's time for the drama.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Don't feed the trolls


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

When is a troll not a troll? We can't answer that one for you (when he's a Goblin, instead? /shrug) – but we can definitely tell you when a non-troll actually is a troll: more often than you may oh-so-righteously imagine. Only two weeks ago, the Drama Mamas were reminding readers that you cannot "fix" other people. This week, we must add on to this principle: You may neither "fix" your fellow players, nor may you "beat" them. In fact, when you try to beat 'em, you join 'em. The Drama Mamas explain why.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Elitists and exits


Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

This Drama Mama is in a bit of a pre-BlizzCon frenzy, what with preparations and announcements. But drama waits for no mama and we have two more questions to answer this week. First, we hear from a player who is frustrated with condescending guildies and seeks help in dealing with them. Next, a player who is paranoid about joining guilds after a bad exit wants to know a better way to leave.

But enough with the introductions! Let's get to the drama.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: It's not you - it's them

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

You can't fix other people. "Good Intentions" discovered that hard truth last week, after writing in for help coping with the fallout of a BoP misloot that rendered him a social pariah. When it's other people's issues, attitudes and behavior that are causing the problem, sometimes the only alternatives are to grit your teeth and endure or to cut the line and move to another fishing hole.

This week, we hear from a newly 80 player who can't seem to gear up fast enough for everyone around him. We also revisit the unfortunate scarcity of a particular WoW netiquette basic that continues to set one incensed player's teeth on edge. On to the drama!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

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