Wednesday, March 04, 2009

WOW: Easy social interaction

In WOW you can only win by aking others in the game world to join you. As long as you have manners, the worst result is a polite "no" and at the best is that you have company and you advance faster.

I'll talk about raids/dungeons tomorrow, but outside them you complete quests to advance your character. There are plenty of them open simultaneously. The quests become repetitive after intial novelty. Some quests are too hard to complete alone, so you ask others if they also need to do the same quest.

Then you notice that there is plenty to win. It's faster, you die less and you have company. You may even have fun discussion about some topic outside WOW, but that's quite rare, since most players are too young for that.

Group play also has it's problems, especially new players. The other seems to do everything fast, needs no pauses and talks all the time even in the middle of tight fight. Then you make some mistakes - get lost, die many times etc - or get pissed at someone hurrying you .

Then you notice there is nothing to lose. The following day you probably don't even meet that character, and there are plenty of other players.

The game structure puts incentives to cooperation while enabling you to exclude harm. I've never seen a place where it is so easy to talk to strangers.

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