Meet Your Friends

A possible solution to the problem and a story to back it up.
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This is a post in response to TygerWDR’s Bring Your Friends post. I guess it’s less response more commentary, or… continuation, related? Anyway, something like that.

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So basically, Tyger’s point was that it’s really difficult to find reliable players to play with, this includes your real life friends. This would be the point of an MMO, that you can play anywhere any time and there are others to play with. The problem is that these random people can cause some awful experiences or just plain ruin your fun time. So the solution many companies give is: bring your friends. This is not the best solution because they will not always be available.

Here’s My Solution

Make friends with good players. I’ve found that the best players are one of two types: extremely friendly and nice OR total elitist jerks. So, when you are running dungeons or group content with randoms and you find they are great players… Talk, have fun, joke around, and make friends with these players. One night I was streaming and let everyone in the party know because they were quite good, we started to really have a great time. They all jumped in the stream and had fun with it. After each run none of us would leave the group, we just kept queueing up and ran instances over and over.

We did so well and had so much fun we exchanged email addresses so that we could friend list each other and run instances again in the future. This is a great solution, I have now started to accumulate quite the list of skilled players on my friends list and most of them are usually on when I am. BAM!, good, non-random groups.

The Story

This brings me to my favorite story around this method I use. One night I was running instances and there was this Elemental Shaman who was just incredible, seriously amazing, face melting ridiculous. I tried my talk, have fun method and never got any response from the player. I just shrugged it off and went on with my life.

Coincidentally a few nights later, this same Shaman appeared in my group, this time playing as Restoration. As I was expecting, he was amazing at healing as well. Not only that, he still did more damage than the rest of the group while healing (this is a rare thing you will come across and goes to show how amazing ‘some’ players are). We went through the first instance at an amazingly fast pace, because I’m a good tank who knows how to go fast and this Shaman said right at the beginning of the instance, ‘pull everything!’ We did so well that this Shaman stuck around for another.

Man of Few Words or…?

To put this into perspective for you, this Shaman has said very, very few words. The few words spoken had been kind of short broken English. This is normal though in most MMOs, these short abbreviated blurbs to get a bit of information out as quickly as possible because you are probably mid fight. This didn’t feel unusual to me. It was not until the end of the second run that I realized something.

I was trying to talk to the Shaman about kicking another player who was too low-level for us to move to higher level instances. The Shaman responded with ‘no speak English, Portuguese’. I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, I’m so dumb, why didn’t I realize this. Obviously this person didn’t speak English’. I immediately pulled up two windows of Google Translate and started translating everything I had to say into Portuguese to copy and past into chat.

I have not had so much fun in an instance ever before. I was now speaking Portuguese with this player, every time he said something I would just type it into Google Translate then translating whatever my response and so on.

Good Tank + Good Healer = Quick Runs

We started the next instance and it just so happened that another new player was speaking Portuguese as well (the translating became very difficult at this point, but I was having more fun with that then actually playing the game, constant alt+tab ensued). The Shaman at the beginning again said pull everything, this time in Portuguese. I pulled so much at one point that the proverbial shit hit the fan and we wiped. This other new player started typing out all kinds of stuff into chat, upon translating I found out he was bashing me for being terrible.

My new Shaman buddy came right to my defense and started expressing how good I actually was and that he had messed up the particular fight which resulted the wipe. The new player stopped typing all together and stayed quiet for a while. Towards the end of the run the player made his last remark, again calling me a ‘nub’ (I love how nub is used by all players of all languages).

The funny part of this is I had a damage meter running. I quickly translated the phrase ‘Oh, I’m nub? Well check this out!’ – ‘Oh, eu sou nub? Bem, veja isso!’ I ran the damage report which showed that I was tripling his damage and my HEALER Shaman was doubling his damage. He didn’t even respond, immediate rage quit.

At the end of this run I had to get off and go do the GSRoundTable podcast. I explained this to the Shaman (still in Portuguese) and expressed how amazing a player he was and that I would like to run instances with him in the future. I asked if he wanted to exchange email addresses to this. He responded with his email address so quickly that I have to assume he already knew that was what was going to happen. I quickly sent the friend request and I got the response ‘você e eu somos amigos agora.’

In conclusion

This is the magic that is MMOs. This is why I feel like I could never be satisfied as fully with any other genre, because these kind of things don’t happen in other genres. 

Back to the whole point of this: you can find friends, you can find great talented players to play with. You just have to be open and friendly and people will group up with you. There are tons of crappy people out there and they are usually very vocal, provoked or not. There are twice as many awesome, friendly players out there who are way less vocal, until you are nice and friendly.

Just be nice and open, you will find your friends.

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