Working towards the conclusion of this “live event,” our look at the community, the problems behind it, and some potential solutions, I wanted to make sure we took the time to clearly and simply state what our goals for the WoW community are. I’ll list some of my own today, and I hope to get some comments with other goals that I’ll feature and discuss on Monday (though of course that’s out of my hands, dear reader).
Before I get into “goal-stating,” I want to state some goals of our goals (how iterative). I want our goals to be short and direct, without a lot of florid language or corollaries. The goals should be unable to be misunderstood (a correct double negative FTW). Lastly, the goals should not suggest how we achieve them, though a brief discussion afterward explaining what’s preventing them, how to achieve them, or why we need them would be excellent. Keep the goals just goals.
Here’s my first:
Players should feel invited into the community.
I feel a lot of players, both new and old, no longer feel welcome. Either jerks are trolling them, they can’t get good answers to their questions in-game, or “better” players are looking down on them.
A brief story (but with a happy ending for a change). I went into LFD again yesterday with my buddy to try out one of the new dungeons. I also asked a former guildy (a current friend) to tag long (in that he’d be carrying us with his heals); that covered our tanks, heals, and one dps, so we’d only be reliant on 2 PuG dps. We get into ZG at the first boss, and low-and-behold the first thing that happens is one of the PuGs criticizes my buddy for having a veiled (hit) gem, claiming shammies don’t need it. Now that may be true; I don’t know, but neither my buddy or I have played in a month or so, so to open up with that was another gut punch (after Easter weekend’s dungeons). We ignored the guy and pulled. He got killed by the poison maze or something of the like and then made a glib but veiled (how coincidental) statement that I think was directing blame at the healer; I don’t remember precisely what he said. Now there’s no way this healer made a mistake; if he’s alive, everyone else who’s not actively getting themselves killed is alive. All the same, another jerk.
We wipe and run in, and the guy doesn’t even have the common decency to take the 10 seconds to fly back in. I ask him to twice, to no response. I already tried to kick the guy when he first started acting like a jerk, but got the “This group cannot initiate any more dungeon kicks,” message. Then, miraculously, a kick vote comes up. My healer friend apparently could kick him, and he was gone. Paladin healers can perform miracles.
Shortly thereafter, my healer friend sends me a tell saying, “I agreed to run a random with you to prove to you that not all LFD groups have jerks in them, and we get that guy.” I laughed a bit, but really I was fine with how it turned out; he was able to remove that guy for his callous, selfish behavior. That’s not always an option, and that is the problem. How can I feel that WoW’s inviting when at any moment a total jerk can make moves to ruin my day and the only recourse I have is to stop playing?
Okay, I promise all the goals won’t be that long in explanation.
#2: Good behavior should be supported; misbehavior should be dealt with quickly and effectively.
I think this goes without any more explanation beyond what we’ve discussed all week.
#3 All play styles should be equally supported both within the game and within the community.
That’s not to say you have to do them or like them, just that they shouldn’t be torn down or made to feel inferior than others.
I’ve never discussed Orcish Army Knife before here, but I think what Rades does is amazing and fascinating. His knowledge of lore, the connections he makes, and the discussions that follow are incredibly intelligent and entertaining. Should he be looked down upon because he doesn’t spend all his time looking at mechanics in the game? I don’t think any of us here would think that, but there’s certainly in-game behaviors that would support such discrimination. It should be stopped.
#4 Diversity is a key to survival.
As many of my commentators and I myself have suggested, increasing the differences between players and characters makes the “one spec fits all” mentality a little harder to manage. I realize Blizz works to combat such ideas by trying to make equally attractive talents, but in the end the theory crafters always figure out what is “best.” More diversity would make that impossible. Which genetic sequence is the “best?” We won’t know for a long, long time (god forbid we ever know) due to its complexity. While I don’t expect anything of genetic complexity from Blizz, something a little more complex than 31 points to spend would be pleasant.
Okay, that’s it for me today; I’ll give a slightly shorter-than-average post to counter the rest of the week’s slightly longer-than-average ones. Perhaps I’ll come up with a few more over the weekend, or perhaps you, dear reader, will leave some for me to think about.
Stubborn (not ready to give up yet)