Anti-Social Azeroth

A couple of weeks ago, after a hiatus, I decided to return to Azeroth…that is…start playing World of Warcraft once more. I used to play as an Alliance character, but fancied a change so have decided upon a Tauren Hunter named Calcium.

I’ve been playing Warcraft on and off (mainly off over the last couple of years) since the world-consuming MMO started out, and a lot has changed. Aside from the big changes, such as the new dungeons, races, spells and whatnot..the biggest change I’ve seen is in the interaction with other players.

Back when I played nearly every night the game was like a social hub. To find groups for dungeons and quests required talking, completing a dungeon took time…everyone would chat as you made your way through hundreds of mobs wanting to ruin your evening. In some cases even getting to a dungeon took time and patience, and more often than not…laughs. This just isn’t the case anymore.

Blizzard introduced a ‘Dungeon Finder‘ which meant instead of the old fashioned way of finding random groups you could instead click a couple of buttons and then carry on what you were doing until your put into a group and asked to enter the dungeon. Now this makes life easier I admit, it means you can carry on doing quests or levelling up your profession instead of getting frustrated at the lack of groups seeking a DPS character.

As well as this change, Blizzard have made experience points easier to get via dungeons. By choosing to find a group without specifying which dungeon you’d like to do, you get extra experience and gold, not to mention a bag at the end of the run with a blue item for your character. Due to this, more and more people just use dungeons as a way to level up instead of the traditional way (questing), as one trip with a group can almost take you up a level. This is where the problems start however…

Because of the amount of people using dungeons to level, and due to those people wanting to level up fast, no-one really communicates during these trips. Every ones far to busy wanting to get to the end so that they can start another one. Pause for a break, and you’ll be left behind.

Blizzard have understood that current ‘crafters are just in it for the endgame, levelling is just a hurdle that gamers try to overcome as quick as possible. Because of this the studio have made gaining experience easier, hence the improvement to dungeons.

It’s a mighty shame, one I’m trying to counter act by greeting my fellow adventurers, asking these random folk how they are. My words most of the time fall on deaf ears. It seems the only words permitted nowadays are

mana break
pull now
tank go
heal!! wtf?! no heal?! (followed sometimes by someone quitting)
omg noob (followed most of the time by someone quitting)

It’s almost like a large part of what World of Warcraft was all about, the social interaction with other gamers, is starting to vanish. Luckily though, they’ve introduced new guild functions which increases interaction with your guild mates, so at least the social aspect of Warcraft isn’t completely dead.

Although I am complaining about this, I’m levelling my Hunter far quicker than I’ve ever done before…which is great as I’d like to reach a high level, but its a major pity that such a large portion of what I enjoyed about Warcaft of old has been sacrificed.


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