MMO Geek: A Public Service Announcement (Don’t be a jerk)
I want to make a PSA. But first, some context.
Yesterday, while playing my Troll Rogue on World of Warcraft (my current MMO darling), I completed the “Heart of Fear” raid for the first time. Now this raid has been out for quite some time (opened October 30th, 2012), but I recently found myself capable of running it due in part to gear level, and in part to finding the confidence to sit through a potentially volatile LFR group. For those of you who don’t play WoW or aren’t familiar with the concept, LFR stands for Looking For Raid, and its purpose is to group players together at random in order to tank down easier versions of raid bosses. It’s a great way for a casual player, such as myself, to experience content that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to see. Now, great as this may seem, there are quite a fair number of jerks and idiots who use this service without any sort of social etiquette whatsoever. Courtesy is really optional for some as they click the little LFR button.
Every time I join one of these LFR groups, two things come to mind:
1. This is awesome, I should raid more.
2. People are huge jerks.
I’m in a frustrating situation. My schedule isn’t very conducive to weekly raiding, as I don’t know what nights I will be free and which nights I won’t. I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to set aside a couple nights a week to spend with folks raiding, but then, those same nights could be spent having a couple drinks with friends or doing something outside of WoW. So what it comes down to is that I’m forced to use LFR in hopes that I’ll get the least abusive group of people possible.
I should qualify this by saying that lately I’ve had a good deal of success in LFR. People aren’t as belligerent, which I attribute to raid success. I’ve experienced less wipes as people become better geared and encounters become more well-known. That said, there are still such a good number of trolls. So my question to all of you is, why? Why do people feel the need to be such huge jerks when grouping with strangers? All things considered, people in real life are far more capable of completing a task with strangers than they are in-game. I understand that anonymity sometimes empowers people and allows them to feel more inclined to do rude things, but honestly I was hoping that human decency would win over some sort of weird angry urge to berate others.
So what I ask of all you out there is this: be kind to your fellow gamer, especially when grouping with them. I understand that in PvP tensions become heated and it’s easier to yell at someone than to help them (because it requires little thinking to say, “Hey idiot,” versus, “Hey, let me see if I can help you out…”), but take a moment to think about what you’re going to type. If people were a bit kinder and more willing to work with others, perhaps I wouldn’t have felt so much apprehension about running LFR. Maybe people in games such as EQ and LOTRO would feel more obliged to group and try harder content if they knew they wouldn’t be berated for being late to the party.- though I have noticed this problem is far worse in WoW than in other games.
TL;DR version: try to be nicer. Everyone’s gaming experience will improve because of it.