A Teaching Moment? April 12, 2011Posted by Stormy in Uncategorized.
This was my mailbox when I came home from work tonight. You’ll see five of the ten or so Vanishing Powders I sold on the Auction House. I really only made them because I had the extra mats lying around; it’s not part of some grand long‐term scheme to rip off the people of Garrosh. My first thought (as was my first thought when I did this the first time) was “Teehee! Look at all the people who haven’t taken the six seconds to figure out that you can buy Vanishing Powder from a vendor!” But then, because my heart is only two sizes too small and not three, I started to wonder…how did I find out that the new glyph system had this Vanishing Powder stuff that was available from a vendor for a pittance?
I probably read it on WoW Insider or somesuch, because that’s what I do. When I’m not playing WoW but my nose is stuck in front of a computer, I’m reading about WoW. WoW Insider, Wowpedia, every half‐assed well‐written WoW blog I can find…it’s what I do. As another example, I’m baffled by the people who still ask in Trade Chat where the Dalaran portals went. Seriously? This happened four months ago, people. The portals are gone. Deal with it.
And yet, I now have occasion to ask myself: if I didn’t spend several hours a week reading WoW Insider, et al, how would I know these things that everyone is supposed to know? It’s not like WoW really has an in‐game instruction manual. When I’m in an instance silently talking smack about the hunter whose pet is on aggressive and facepulling the whole instance, I look back to my days as a new hunter and I think “How did I figure that one out?” Someone probably yelled at me in an instance. And really…is that the best way to learn things? WoW has so much depth to it, depth that we as veterans appreciate and that keeps us coming back, but I have to wonder, if you’re a new player, do you just get overwhelmed and shut down your computer, never to return?
What can we do better? Do you take advantage of opportunities to teach your fellow players things rather than just yelling at them or silently grinding your teeth? Do you assume everyone you come across is a veteran player who’s just a moron, or do you allow for the possibility that they’re a new player with good intentions who wants to be good, and just doesn’t know how? How can Blizzard improve its efforts to actually teach people to play the game successfully? More importantly, would you feel guilty taking these people’s gold?