Lately I’ve been noticing a huge amount of blog posts about WoW jerks. Whether it’s entitled-feeling tanks and healers, elitist dps, forum trolls who try to ruin your fun, dungeon finder horror stories, pug leaders who want us to “link achievement and have 6000 gear score, or gtfo,” it seems like people are having (and sharing) a lot of negative experiences with WoW right now. Are elitist, disagreeable and mean players a new thing? Definitely not. Are there more of them around? I honestly can’t say. So why have these stories become so prevalent? I don’t know what the answer is, but I have a few ideas.
- Blog Wild! – It could be partly due to the sheer number of WoW blogs around right now. I subscribe to an obscene amount of blogs at the moment, so obviously I see a lot of these stories. The more you pay attention to an issue, the more examples you will see.
- LFD tool – We’re getting exposed to a much larger pool of players than ever before. While a lot of them are pleasant, or just silently do their jobs, it tends to be the obnoxious players who stick out in our memory. This is due to negativity bias which causes people to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones.
- The gear situation – Top-tier gear is easier to get than ever. This, along with the introduction of things like gear score mods have shifted way too much attention to people’s gear over their skill and attitude. If you start to see players as a gear score number, rather than a person, it becomes much easier to treat them badly.
- Burn out – Something else that seems to be written about a lot lately is WoW burnout. A lot of people don’t seem to get the same amount of enjoyment from the game, some are decreasing their playtime or taking a break until Cataclysm. This can have two effects on the issue at hand. First, when people are not having fun and playing becomes a chore, they get grumpy. And when you’re grumpy, you’re more prone to being a jerk. On the flipside, if the bloggers are feeling burnt out and not having as much fun, I think they’re more likely to focus on the negative when picking their topics. Last month I had a really bad ICC 10 PuG and a really good one. Guess which one I blogged about?
Those are my thoughts. Anyone else have other ideas? Are you running into more jerks in the game lately? Or just talking about it more?