Can the average WoW player please step up to the mike?

I’ve been reading some blog posts recently criticising WoW players for various things – flying angst, unfair criticism of stressed out developers, unrealistic expectations, the Volkswagon emissions scandal etc. I notice that some of these posts talk about the player base and often direct the comments at “you” (me?) the reader. However, although I’m reading these posts I don’t identify with anything they are criticising or advocating – I’m firmly in the “I just don’t care” camp. I can’t even say I’m sitting on the fence – for me there is no fence, I’m just off somewhere dancing in a field. It’s causing me to have a little existential crisis (just a small one while the kettle boils). Why do I feel totally & utterly disconnected with it all? Am I completely naive and disturbingly apathetic or am I typical of the average WoW player?

My husband plays WoW – has done since Burning Crusade. He does not read any blog except mine (I made that a condition of marriage).  He does not listen to WoW podcasts (he still thinks Randy is on The Instance). He never checks out specs/builds/rotations and when fighting in WoW pretty much just lines up all his abilities on the task bar & hits the ones not on cool down. He wanted flying in Draenor but after one rant about it said no more on the subject, accepted it & moved on. He is currently having a blast rediscovering pet battles because of the stone you get in the garrison that lets you level a pet to 25. He has no interest in the raiding end game or even 5 mans.  He likes levelling alts, making money on the auction house & doing World Events. Is he typical?

I have played WoW for the same amount of time. I listen to The Instance while I iron, read WoW blogs and miss WoW Insider. I did not care about flying in Draenor. I do read up on my class to optimise my DPS if I intend dungeoning or doing LFR and in Cataclysm I even did some proper raiding with the guild I was in (but not too much due to my chronic crapness). I like levelling alts, taking part in some World Events and the occasional pet battle (get in there little level 2 squirrel). I am not bored at Draenor end game because I’m not there yet – my level 100 still has a ton of things to do and even if I get there I’m probably going to be too nervous to do all the proper grown up stuff. Am I typical?

Then there are the players who have done everything now (including flying). Some are currently holed up in their garrison twiddling their thumbs waiting for Legion. A few of these players regularly offer up well thought out critiques of what went wrong with Draenor & what Legion must do to right these wrongs. In these critiques they talk pointedly about (and sometimes to) the general WoW playerbase. They speak of the playerbases’ justified or unjustified (depending on their personal view) frustrations with Draenor & end game. Are they typical?

I do know that the latter group are not speaking to my experience but what I don’t know is if other people feel like me or am I (& husband) in the minority? I’m assuming WoW developers want WoW to meet the main needs of its player base – but what are those “main needs”? What is the view of the majority of players on Draenor? Was it a failure, is everyone bored, or are there people like me and husband still doing stuff with their level 100s, still levelling alts, still pet battling and still having fun?

Some of these other blog posts and articles come across as very angry  – either at Blizzard or the playerbase in general. The anger surprises me. I’m not saying its wrong but personally I just cannot find that strength of feeling about anything either in or not in this game. I do not feel Blizzard owes me anything and they could never betray me – they are a games company making a game that I sometimes like to play. We have not exchanged fellowship rings or made heartfelt vows in some sacred space (although if they go F2P I will give them my heart forever!). I subscribe when I enjoy the game, I unsubscribe when I’m just not in the mood for it and I resubscribe when I miss it (I suspect Blizzard affectionately call me Bravetank the YoYo). Is there something wrong with me?  Is the situation more dire than I appreciate and am I merrily fiddling while flames fast approach my toes?

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8 thoughts on “Can the average WoW player please step up to the mike?

  1. I imagine most WoW players are just happily doing their own thing, like you. Unhappy people like to talk about their grievances, happy people just keep on doing what makes them happy. I sometimes get overwhelmed with all the negativity in the WoW community so I make a point to be constructive and positive in my own contributions and find others who do the same (one reason why I’m glad you’re back to blogging again).

    1. Thank you 🙂 Glad to be back playing WoW & blogging again. You are right – those with grievances are more likely to talk about them. When everything’s ok in the world most of us just get on with it & don’t tend to write about it! Even I tend to write about dungeon runs gone wrong rather than the run of the mill ones where nothing bad happens!

  2. I’ve often wondered what the “typical” WoW player looks like. I used to think I was an anomaly but now I’m not that sure. I think there might be more of us who just enjoy the world, leveling, making money and just generally having a good time than I thought.

    It’s interesting that Blizzard made a game with raiding in mind as the expected end-game and so many have taken the world and made it there own.

    1. Yes from the comments here and other things people are saying in some of the blogs I’ve come across more recently I do think there’s more people than I realised still enjoying the variety of things on offer in Azeroth & not bored with the end game/raiding. I like the idea of people taking the Azeroth world and making it their own in ways different from how the developers might have intended!

  3. I use to think I was way out of the norm for a typical WoW player, being on Twitter for many years now, I have come to realize that however you perceive the game to be fun, most certainly there are others like yourself. I do find myself critical of things at times, but mostly because of what appears to me to be the main focus of the game, having less interest to me as a player, I work on old things, run around, now fly, exploring things, and only found out this morning that I could be running the Mists Scenarios at level 100. There are a whole bunch of achievements I need from them. I think you will always be able to find people interested in some aspects of the game you do. Some times it’s just harder to find over the one’s yelling so much.

  4. I think people who blog about WoW are probably more interested in the game than the average player, because you just don’t write about something if you don’t care about it one way or another (unless maybe you’re being paid to do so). That said, I think people who blog about it (and I myself have written some doozies when it comes to critiquing Blizzard) care in a different way.

    I blog because I have an interest in expressing my opinions clearly and eloquently through writing. I blog about WoW because it is my primary source of entertainment, both by myself and with my friends and family. It’s something I can do with my sister and my nephew that we all enjoy (although we do very different content depending on which subset of us are playing). As such, it is something that is special to me.

    I think the linked article is hinting at a problem or concept that I myself have danced with, on occasion. To put it clearly, I think what many of us find annoying is not the general lack of skill, but the unwillingness to learn. I’ll offer up as an example, two of my guildmates. Both of them were having trouble clearing the proving grounds silver mode on one or more alts so that they could queue up for heroics. To help them out, I created detailed video guides explaining how to defeat the content. Player A watched the videos, practiced and beat the content on most alts, but he’s still working on his warlock. Player B said “I’m not watching videos, it’s just a game” and she still hasn’t beaten any of it. Guess which one annoyed me?

    That, I think, is what all of this is pointing to. Lots of people have plenty of patience for people who don’t know what they are doing, so long as they are willing to work to improve, even if that work is something as simple as looking up a rotation or just listening to somebody who already knows what he’s talking about. However, many of those same people (me included) also have little to no patience for people who don’t know what they’re doing but also willfully and stubbornly refuse to learn. I think Alternative Chat’s article hit that nail on the head. Multiplayer content is a team sport and it has different rules. I’m not demanding that anybody carry more than his fair share of the load. I’m even willing to carry part of someone else’s share, as long as they’re doing their best. I tend to get cranky when I am expected t carry someone else’s share for no other reason than that they can’t be bothered.

    TLDR: People have lots of patience for “I can’t” but not much patience for “I won’t.”

    1. I can completely understand people being annoyed when other people are not trying/can’t be bothered etc. But personally that’s not what I usually encounter on bad runs. I find people can be very critical if you’re not topping the dps meter even if you are still gearing up. That said I’ve also encountered people who have been very helpful in suggestions about rotation & I’ve always appreciated that & thanked them. But some are not interested in helping, they are only interested in criticising. Perhaps they are the same people who never think they could get any better? There is also little empathy with those of us who may not have fantastic reactions & have a tendency to panic!! But on a positive note did my first LFR healing yesterday – just Highmaul but I enjoyed it.

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