Saturday, August 24, 2019

WOW Classic Social Expectations

I enjoyed the community that the original WOW fostered. But there were plenty of times when their wasn't enough community at all. LF2M Tank/Heals being spammed into chat was hardly a rare occurrence.
It's probably because of this that someone wanted to develop a LFG add-on for the game that replicates he one we see on retail. Blizzard, rather quickly, squashed this by eliminating parts of the API that it used. While I don't feel the smug superiority of heralding Blizzard's decision to mandate the purity of the experience, I do ultimately agree with it.

As Mage, my services were never particularly in high demand. In response I kept a notepad file where I listed every player I had grouped with categorized by tank, healer, and DPS. Every component run earned a player a "point; exceptional play earned two. Players who constantly afk'd or played particularly poorly lost a point. Anyone who went below zero got frozen on my list for a month.

It ended up being a good system. It acted as a quick way to find and message tanks and healers, and helped find exceptional DPS that could make up for other weaker players. When I eventually became an officer in a raiding guild in Burning Crusade, the list was a very quick way of finding recruits that I know were sound.

After my nightmare with raiding just two days ago in the modern day retail version, I'm hopeful that such a rudimentary list can  bring back an experience more akin to what I had. Maybe it will take time for slobby players to wash out of the game. Maybe it will become overrun with elitists and become unbearable. But WOW Classic is a fresh shot and creating the kind of dynamic that can foster communities. Doesn't mean it will happen, just means we can try a hard reset on the social dynamics of a game that's been pretty dysfunctional for a while.

2 comments:

  1. It's intersting to me that you kept an actual, written-down list. During EQ's LDoN expansion, the peak of my grouping period in MMORPGs, I grouped for most of the session most days for nearly six months. I met a lot of people and at times I was the one forming the groups.

    I had a mental list of who was good at what, who was exceptionally good, who was fun but needed to be carried, who was a liabilty, who was unpleasant company but good at their role, etc etc. I also used the in-game Friends list to add people but it didn't allow for notes so it was just the name.

    I never really had any troube remembering who was who. I guess there wouldn't have been more than fifty or so people in the pool I was drawing from, though. I often read bloggers talking about making lists or spreadsheets for this kind of thing but it always strucl me as something you just remember, the same way you remember the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of people you go to school with or work besides.

    Then again, maybe other people keep lists and spreadsheets of those, too...

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    1. I think at it's peak the notepad file probably had hundreds of names? And frankly anything more than 20 would have probably been too difficult for my addled brain to remember.

      I did have a semi-regular group during that time with family and friends from high school. But 2005-2006 is when we all made the move to college and that made our gaming schedules inconsistent. Classic Wow represented a time of great change for my group.

      Also I used .txt files for everything from my to-do-list to finances nowadays. I'm just a list guy at heart.

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