The Article In Which I Defend The WoW Community
So. 8 months after first experiencing World of Warcraft my brother has quit the game. He sent round a rather ranty email to myself and another mutual WoW friend on Saturday detailing his gripes about all of the other inhabitants of Azeroth. Apparently he was fed up of being insulted by random strangers, PUGers who constantly threw “hissy fits”, and people who call you a chicken if you don’t accept their invitation to a dual. After checking that his character wouldn’t be wiped when he unsubscribed (he’s still a noob at heart, bless ‘im), he cancelled his monthly subscription citing the reason as “other players are immature assholes’”. Smooth.
Whilst I can’t argue with any of his points and know exactly where he’s coming from, I can’t help but feel that he’s overreacting a little, especially as he’s now saying he doesn’t want to touch another MMORPG for a long time. Thing is, we all know the community in WoW sucks. It’s awful. It’s dreadful. It’s disease on the face on the virtual planet that needs to be wiped out by some sort of manners and etiquette learning virus. We all recognise this fact and faithfully accept that the WoW community sucks yet still continue to play. Why? Because for every few dozen assholes, nutters and whiners we encounter, we meet a solid, upstanding and kind denizen who does us right and makes it all worth while, enhancement our enjoyment of the game. And yes, this is coming from the guy who wrote an article entitled “That Terrible Wow Community”.
My brother knows exactly what I’m talking about too. Back in June he sent me an email containing the image attached to this blog post followed up by an excited, schoolgirl-esque phone call about how amazing and fantastic a time he was having because someone in his guild was giving him bags, helping him complete quests and taking on a spin around The Barrens in his nifty motorcycle (at the time I suspected he was being groomed for salacious purposes but I didn’t want to spoil his fun and since he hasn’t admitted to being coerced into travelling to the Philippines and being locked up in some sort of sexual man boudoir then I can only assume I was wrong). It’s the perfect example of what I’m talking about and proof that even in the rough that is the most immature and frustrating online communities, there are still diamonds to be found. Or, to put it another way, even the sun shines on a dog’s arse once in a while.
So what exactly am I saying? Is the WoW community good or is it bad? Actually the answer is a bit of a paradox as it’s both utterly abysmal and yet quite fantastic. As a blanket whole it leaves a lot to be desired yet this doesn’t mean we should dismiss the entire thing based on surface impressions. There are nice players and friendly players and great players out there, it’s just not easy to discover them and sometimes requires a heck of a lot of effort and a hell of a lot of digging. It can take time and not always be a pleasant journey but they exist, trust me, and are worth finding.
I can only hope that these negative experiences haven’t put off my brother from MMOs completely and, even if he feels that he can never return to WoW, at least he’ll be tempted to check out some other games in the genre. No doubt he will encounter his fair share of morons there too but chances are it won’t be in the same quantity as in WoW. It would be a shame to give up on MMORPGs completely just because of a few immature players.