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Posts with tag netiquette

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

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

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

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

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

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: Don't let others control your fun


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 great thing about playing massively multiplayer games is all of the wonderful people you get to meet and hang out with, no matter your respective locations. And the bad thing is all of the inconsiderate people who forget that you're a real person with other things to do than be his/her playmate on his/her schedule. This week, we talk about taking control of your fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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

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