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Posts with tag relationships

How to live happily ever after with a nongaming partner

How to live happily ever after with a nongaming partner
So your beloved spouse doesn't play WoW. It happens. Sometimes you can tempt them into trying; an enjoyable duo is great for a relationship, after all. And if your spouse does decide to give the game a whirl, we can show you how to get off on the right foot.

But sometimes, getting your partner to join you in WoW just isn't in the cards. And that's okay. You don't have to quit your hobby simply because your other half doesn't share your enthusiasm. You can play, and your partner can not play, and you can both be as happy together as two bugs in a rug. We'll show you how to keep grouping in Azeroth from ungrouping you in life.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends

8 ways to keep up with your old WoW friends
When it finally comes time for your ship to make a final departure from the shores of Azeroth, the lands you're leaving behind will almost certainly not be what your heart aches for the most -– it's the people. Skittering about atop superficial friendships with guildmates and situational acquaintances is easier than ever in the age of LFD and LFR, but we're sure it's unnecessary to remind you that lifelong friendships and marriages are forged and strengthened in Azeroth, as well. The people we meet here are most assuredly part of our lives – and stepping away from WoW (whether for a temporary sabbatical or on a permanent basis) doesn't inevitably mean losing touch.

We never recommend sticking with the game solely to stay in touch with or please other players. It's no fun to play if your heart's not in it, and nobody has any fun if you're obviously slogging along with little real enthusiasm. If you need to take a break from World of Warcraft but you don't want to lose touch with the people here who've brightened your life, you can keep in touch so many other ways.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Preemptive polyamorous preparations

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.

Results! We want them! If you've written in to us and we've answered you, please send us an email letting us know what happened. We already have a few responses, but we'd like to collect a few more to fill up the next Drama Mama: Results Edition ... coming soon.

On to this week's letter:
I'm writing as a "preemptive strike". Like a good boy scout (err... girl who would be a good boy scout if she was a boy), I want to be prepared.

This would be excellent material for a Soap Opera or a Greek Tragedy, so grab some popcorn and enjoy.

I run a fairly big raiding guild (about 30 active raiders). Many of us are very close, and a few of us have hung out in real life. We know a lot about each others' lives and we laugh, cry and celebrate when life events occur.

Now to the fun part. Two of my officers (We'll call them "Ross and "Rachel") are married to each other. Ross is a raid leader. They have an open marriage (I don't judge and neither should anyone reading this). They're happy and comfortable in their marriage so as long as they're happy, I'm happy. I consider myself very close friends with this couple.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Can you keep calm and carry on?

Drama Mamas Keep calm and carry on ANY
We all choose how to react to the world around us. Nobody's exempt -- we're so much more than the sum of our knee-jerk reactions to life. Yet it's also true that harnessing raging emotions is hard, especially when things hurt, and sometimes we're just not up to the task.

When continued pain seems inevitable, sometimes treating ourselves with respect means making a measured retreat. The trick is knowing which situations merit dogged perseverance and which deserve said measured retreat.

Hey Drama Mamas

I am a raid leader for my guild, I handle guild progression and the GM handles farming and alt runs, After a long struggle we finally are all set up to make some serious momentum in Mists of Pandaria after using DS to bolster our ranks. Furthermore about 2 years ago I brought my girlfriend into the game and guild.

Recently one of the guild members we picked up in dragon soul started raiding heavily with us. He quit his other guild where he had lots of friends to join us. I am a tank and for our progression I asked him to be my Co-tank. We did arenas together for a while and became fairly close. Then the other day my girlfriend (also on the progression team) and I broke up. If that was not enough, she then started dating my Co-tank. I found out that the two of them had been in contact ever since they first raided together.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Do you play WoW with your significant other?

Couple playing in vanilla WoW Image
Note: The above image is from January 2005. Isn't it quaint?

I love playing MMOs with the guy in my life -- whoever that may be at the time. I even stopped dating someone once because he was uninterested in trying out EverQuest with me. (We didn't have that much in common anyway.) The Spousal Unit and I have played multiple MMOs together over the years. Even though he has dropped WoW and moved to SWTOR, we are having a fantastic time PvPing together. (Fight at the objective!)

Video game dates are a cheap way to date your partner and can really help strengthen a relationship -- as long as both people want to play and are enjoying the chosen in-game activities. When a couple disagrees on what they should be doing in Azeroth together, bad things can happen.

Recently, a woman wrote in to Drama Mamas wondering if she should try to play World of Warcraft with her husband, who is an avid player. She isn't a gamer but was willing to try it in order to spend more time with her spouse. Trying out games in order to spend more time with a partner is normal and often rewarding. But a husband who refuses to learn how to play his character and makes his wife and guild carry him is just one of the instances why WoW playdates don't always work.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Trade skill crusader brings back customer service and sweat equity to crafting

Vial of the Sands
WoW players today tend to consider the deterioration of the in-game community in terms of relatively recent influences like the Dungeon Finder and then the Raid Finder. We sometimes forget that design tweaks and new systems have been chipping away at the paradigm of Azeroth as a place to forge ongoing personal relationships for years now. Take a gander at the beginning of this analysis I wrote on the death of the Azerothian salesman all the way back in the hyper-modern era of The Burning Crusade circa 2007:

Forget the endless debate over hardcore versus casual -- there's another moniker that we here at Insider Trader hold dear: salesman. What's that? You don't know any salesmen in WoW these days? You're not alone. Times have changed since craftspeople toiled to build reputations as the go-to traders on their servers ... when Ironforge was the hub of civilization, where a few elite enchanters held court over the entire server with coveted formulae from such exotic locales as Stratholme and Scholomance.

It's a brave new world in today's Outland. Most enchanters don't enchant for the general public at all, unless you provide mats and a tip. And in any profession, with so many other players on the servers who have the same patterns (even rare patterns are generally available from more than one player) and so many easy ways to make money (hello, daily quests!), there's little reason to hang around town to build a regular clientele. Components provided or created by other professions are readily available on the Auction House -- there's no need to seek out and nurture relationships with another player from a complementary profession.

Have the conveniences Blizzard has developed for today's crafters meant the death of the salesman?

Most WoW players would agree that convenience and self-service is the way of today's game. But for one stubborn tradesman on Sentinels (US), life as an Azerothian salesman is anything but obsolete. Daen, a dedicated craftsman and proprietor of Daen's Crafting Emporium, single-handedly maintains what may be one of World of Warcraft's last remaining bastions of personal craftsmanship and trade skill service -- with a twist. This proprietor not only aims to provide personal service, but he does it at no charge, with the insistence that customers devote sweat equity to their mutual creations as well.

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Filed under: Economy, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Call of Nyorloth: Your favorite Azerothian relationships

Nyorloth, the newest blue poster on the forums and a lore specialist, has already opened up the floor for lore discussion with a great topic for Love is in the Air. There are many types of relationships all over Azeroth, from romantic to bromantic, friendly to rivalrous. The question is which work the best?

I think my favorite relationship in Cataclysm was the father/son bonding and relationship building that went on between Eitrigg and his son Ariok. Eitrigg seems to want to bring his son along for the ride as he redeems his people and weeds out the bad blood amongst the Blackrock clan. Ariok is proud to serve under his father, and that relationship feels real, honest, and not forced. Just a father and son doing something together that they love -- subterfuge and war.

Head on over to the thread and help out Nyorloth with his first post on the lore forums. Another hearty welcome to Nyorloth!

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Filed under: Lore

Drama Mamas: What to do after inappropriate chat between wife and guildie

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.

Marriage is hard -- really, really hard. It's full of compromise and sacrifice. Sharing WoW as a common hobby can be a real boon to a healthy marriage, but it can also be a hotbed of temptation for an unhealthy one.
Dear Robin and Lisa,

I find myself in a situation that I have largely brought upon on myself. What I come to you for help in is what to do after I bust my butt fixing things. My wife and I both play WoW and lately I haven't been playing as much as I used to. Well along those same lines, I've been a bit blinded by my own happiness and blissfully living in ignorance of how the rest of my life outside of the game was going as far as the happiness of my wife. As of recently I have come to find out that she isn't as happy as I thought and that she has been sending text messages back and forth with a guildmate, that borders on the wrong side.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: How do you cope with muggles who don't "get" WoW?

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

We have a hunter in our guild whose mother does not understand World of Warcraft at all. She's the type who doesn't use computers, refused to have an internet connection in the house until this very year, and thinks that MMOs sound the death knell for her hopes of having grandchildren. My friend the hunter has painstakingly explained that raids are a group activity, that there are real people behind the colorful avatars, and that it's not polite to jump up and leave in the middle of fighting a raid boss -- to no avail. The mother still doesn't understand what could be so compelling on a computer screen that her child can't be at her beck and call.

We all know people who are not WoW players, and most of us have had the experience of trying to explain our favorite game to someone who just doesn't get it, whether that someone is a parent, a significant other, a coworker, or a friend. My own efforts have met with varying results. My family still can't quite wrap their heads around a gaming hobby, but after much persuading I was able to convince my last girlfriend to give WoW a try. She's a valued guildie to this day.

Have you ever had to explain your World of Warcraft hobby to the uninitiated? What was the hardest thing for them to understand? What kind of reaction did you get? Have you convinced any of them to try the game themselves?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Has playing WoW changed your life?

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

As I write this, it's my last week on the job. I work as a small-time newspaper reporter in the southern United States, and at the end of the week, that's going to be over. The following Sunday, I'm going to be packing up my meager belongings and heading to the Sunshine State. What brought on this change to my life? Why would I move, when Mark Twain himself if often quoted as saying, "Two moves equals one fire?"

World of Warcraft did this to me -- but in a roundabout and fairly awesome way. I met my fiancée, a fellow WoW player, while battling foes and rounding up new prospective guildies to enter into the WoW social scene. What's funny is, at first, she said I was kind of mean to her. Despite blowing up guild chat with random quotes or lyrics, I was a fairly serious guild master, having to mediate disputes between raid fellows and defuse explosive situations with only words and hard choices. My fiancée and I ended up talking after one of these situations. She told me about her life, and I told her about mine.

After months of speaking this way, we felt that we knew enough about each other to try a face-to-face meeting. I flew to the Bay Area and we met. Everything clicked into place after that. We're getting married next year, after a faction and server change (myself from dwarf to tauren warrior, her from draenei to troll mage). If you would have told me a year ago I'd be moving across the country because of World of Warcraft, I'd have thought you were crazy. Then again, it's a crazy world.

How has World of Warcraft changed your life, and in what ways?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Drama Mamas: Overpulling your love life

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

Most of the troubled souls who write in to Drama Mamas already know the steps they should take to free themselves from their predicaments. They simply want to hear their conscience speak aloud, to come face to face with the writing on the wall. Things are no different this week for lovelorn correspondent A Troubled Tank. Although his plea for help is more eloquent than most, his sticky situation (and subsequent avoidance of the issues he lays out with clarity and precision) is all too familiar.

Dearest and Revered Mamas of the Drama, This warrior finds himself in the prickliest of predicaments. On the server Earth, my main is a pretty normal dude; what is relevant is that he is in a relationship. My alt in Azeroth is getting him into trouble, however.

Viewed as objectively as possible, my main relationship is a good one. However, it leaves me feeling unsatisfied. The problems of the relationship, which do not bear additional mentioning, are primarily external to the relationship. That is, if whoever runs the Earth server would nerf various things, it would be rather good. However, context and circumstance delegate it to a troublesome bore.

Enter my alt's crush on a guildie. She is beautiful, charming, funny, intelligent and never bugs, scolds or annoys me. O would that she would reside in my zone, or one neighbouring mine! Yet alas, she resides on a foreign coast. She who is of relationship ilevel 277 is beyond my reach. Nonetheless, I daresay she adores me. Though as a warrior my Intellect is low, even I can tell she is my perfect match.

What's worse, my guildie crush is unaware that I am seeing someone. Our friendship started innocently enough, but soon it was clear that we fit like a tank and a healer. My Earth server girlfriend and I are like two DPS, laboring in a 30-minute queue. My alt's heart's desire completes my set bonus.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Facebook vs. World of Warcraft

They both have millions of users across the world. They both have made and broken friendships and relationships, and they both have raised millions if not billions of dollars for their respective companies. And chances are that they're both so popular even your grandma knows about them. Gamasutra has written an interesting post comparing both World of Warcraft and Facebook of all things, and they say that the two are more alike than you might think: both enable you to create an identity, and use that identity to interact with others, and both give you a wide variety of options to do so (in WoW, you can slay dragons together, and on Facebook, you can tag pictures or post on walls). Gamasutra wants to get to the center of where exactly the interactivity lies, and in doing so, figure out what makes Warcraft a game, and Facebook a network.

One major difference is in the interface -- obviously, WoW is wrapped in a fantasy world, so that in between all of the socializing, you're also fighting the Scourge or the Burning Crusade. Facebook has games, but it doesn't have that overarching narrative. WoW also rewards group teamwork and coordination, while Facebook leaves collaboration to its own rewards. And of course the cost is another big difference: WoW is still a subscription game, while Facebook pays in other ways. But the amount of similarities between the two are pretty fascinating. And comparing the two, as Gamasutra does, really makes you think about just what interactivity means, and how two apparently very different types of interactive media aren't that far apart after all.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

Player stories on the official site

Blizzard asked for real-life stories from players a little while ago, and now they've posted a pretty big collection of them over on the official site (this page was around last year, but they've added many stories since then). As Bornakk says, these are personal accounts from players of how playing the game with others has helped them grow relationships in real-life. I'm not sure what exactly the point of posting these is (maybe Blizzard wants to stave off some of that negative media reporting about the game and addiction to it), but then again, if you dive into a few of these, you can see that they don't really need a point -- they're really interesting (and in some cases pretty heartwarming) stories about how players are using this game to enrich real-life relationships.

They're still accepting more stories as well, so if you've got a good tale of some WoW-sharing in real-life, hit them up over on the submission page and put yours in the mix. Hopefully Blizzard will figure out a way to get these out into the real world -- harsh stories about addiction are so easy for the media to jump on, but great stories like these are the real reasons we all play this game.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Leveling

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

Officers' Quarters: A scheduling headache

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

One of the big annoyances of raiding is finding the right schedule. This time of year is particularly bad for many guilds, as last week's Officers' Quarters column proved. Students of all ages have finals. Working adults are traveling more often or spending more time away from the PC. When you have a small crew, the loss of even one person for a few weeks can mean all your raids are put on hold. This week, one officer wants to know how to figure out a raiding schedule despite some uncooperative individuals.

Dear Scott,

I am the co-leader of a casual 10-man raiding guild on Lightning Hoof. Despite only raiding once a week, we've managed to down ten of the bosses in Ulduar and we're proud of that accomplishment. Lately though, it has been almost impossible to get everyone together on the same night to work on progression. Quite a few of our raiders have school or work requirements, and it is very difficult to time every one's lives around raiding. We try our hardest, and for a good while it was working out perfectly. Lately though, I feel that our raiders are beginning to demand the raid schedule be built around them, rather than trying to make time in their own week to come. Since we are such a small guild, it happens quite often that when one person can't/doesn't show, we are not able to raid. This then wastes the entire night, and it becomes almost impossible to re-schedule.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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