Lots of folks have been posting their WoW resolutions for 2008, and it’s been the topic of many a podcast conversation as well. For me, well, I’d like to get a few of my characters to 70, dip my toes into Kara with the guild, get my puggin’ mage through (at least) all the 5 man instances in the game, and … maybe try PvP? I have never, not a single time, tried any PvP in WoW. I’ve never entered an arena or battleground, participated in a scuffle in the Crossroads, or accepted a duel.
Why? Back in my Diablo II days, I had some bad experiences in dealing with other random players. Most of the time that I played Diablo II online, it was with people I knew in real life. The few times I ventured out to play with other folks, it was rarely a good experience. The time I got tradehacked pretty much ended it all for me. I had just completed a legitimate trade with the person when they offered a second trade. They said they’d give me the unique shako (don’t even remember what it was called) for just a single Stone of Jordan. Seemed like a pretty good deal, too good… and as soon as I hit trade, the shako turned into a regular shako with no stats, no nothing, and my Stone of Jordan was gone. The other person laughed and laughed and when I cursed at them, they were like, “oh, now don’t be mad,” and tried to get flirty. I was so upset, so disgusted with this idiot, and myself — also an idiot, apparently. Thinking about how the whole trade went down, the things the guy said, the substance of our interaction, I should have known not to trust him. I don’t even know why I did it. I let my guard down too easily. I quit the game for a long time after that.
So, I came into WoW feeling like I was going to have to be exceedingly cautious, as not to allow another idiot to ruin the game for me. Anytime I got a quest that said “dungeon” or “group” next to it, I abandoned it. I didn’t even learn how to use the most basic chat features until I decided to join my first guild. If anyone talked with me, I didn’t respond. My husband wasn’t playing yet, so I was pretty much going it alone, soloing as best I could. Can you believe how much I’ve changed? Now I am actively going out and looking for random people to play with!
Well, some things have changed. I’m obviously comfortable grouping with people I don’t know. Most transactions with others that involve money or valuable materials are still done through the auction house, however. I have never responded to a “WTB” or “WTS” message in a city, and very likely never will. (I do trust the lovely folks in my guild — I imagine they can help me with anything I might need of that sort.) I have done enchants for a few people I don’t know, and I realize that this is safe. I absolutely would never put a lockbox in the trade window for someone else to open, however, though I’ve been assured many times that this is safe. Just before I left my last guild, some of the folks were talking about tradehacks that they used to do in WoW, things to slow people’s framerate to boot them from the game during the trade and somehow get the item…. That’s all I needed to hear. Will never happen. I don’t care how safe people tell me it is.
I have also never so much as dueled another player. People have challenged me many times while we’re waiting for boats or standing by the summoning stone waiting for the party, but I have never accepted. For me, that’s stepping into a territory that I’m not sure I’m prepared to handle. It seems tremendously personal to me, and I’m not sure that I want to add that stress to the game. I wouldn’t survive for a second on a PvP server unless the rules about encounters were quite different. It would only take one ganking before I ran back to my RP server. Call me a big baby, whatever. Sure, I run into jerks now and then as it is, but it’s still us against the game.
The biggest barrier is clearly psychological. I’m not saying that in 2008 I’m going to derail all my PvE plans (of which there are many), but I feel like I want to try to overcome this fear of PvP and slip into one of the battlegrounds to see what it’s like. If I don’t like it? No problem — I just won’t go back. I’ve read a bit about the different battlegrounds now (including some lovely intros to each of them by Pike), and I think they might be a good place to start. Plus, the battle between the factions is something I think I can get behind, given the number of times I’ve had Gnomes fart on me in Gadgetzan and various Alliance rogues ninja the chests or mobs I’ve been clearing around.
For the Horde!