Afraid To Befriend
I’ve noticed a bit of an odd trend in WoW PuGs recently – everyone I meet is afraid to be friendly. Notice I said ‘afraid’ and not unwilling or unable. I’m no psychologist it’s true (please don’t tell the veterans hospital where I moonlight on the weekends), but the lack kinship that’s occurring seems to be more than just plain rude manners or late of netiquette. In fact, I think it boils down to players being a) reluctant to form lasting relationships because they know that they’ll probably never see any of the other party member’s again and b) they’re scared they’ll be insulted or derided if they come out of their shell too much. It’s all a rather sad state of affairs.
There are remedies to this situation though that I think are worth exploring. Real ID, although I have my issues with it, does actually got a long way towards solving the problem of being friends with someone on another server. Still, most peeps are quite reluctant at giving out their email addresses to strangers (rightly so) so maybe a more traditional in-game cross-realm friend system would be better, perhaps with the ability to pick them for automated groups. Just a thought but it would be nice to do something to overcome the temporary nature of cross-server PuGs.
Drawing players out of their shells more and making them less afraid to contribute to the banter in groups is somewhat harder to do. Perhaps Blizz could create an achievement for actively partaking in several conversations with a random PuG? They could even call it the Chatterbox or something equally sickening (see Blizzard, I’ve already done most of the work for you!). I know it’s very difficult to try and guide player’s behaviours but I’m sure we could all come up with ways if we put our minds to it.
Groups are not only far too quiet these days for my liking but people are also incredibly defensive now. For example, this entire post your reading was spurred on by a situation last week when I complimented the healer in my group for what a fine job he was doing. He assumed I was being sarcastic and got incredibly upset, spouting off remarks about how it was hard to heal clothies who kept stealing aggro etc. It rather spoiled the atmosphere. Of course, I suppose I shouldn’t have made the comment right after someone in the group had died but, well, no one’s perfect.