introductions/ragequit is a rambling rant of a blog not about Blizzard‘s World of Warcraft. Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online1 Role Playing Game2 (MMORPG). In World of Warcraft character development is primarily through gear. The best gear in Warcraft is achieved through raiding3. This blog focuses on the fun and drama that arises from people’s interactions within this game, arguing about gear and raiding places.

Well, that’s my pithy mission statement, but if you read the blog you’ll find it’s more rant and ramble than it is pith. It’s in the nature of this blog to focus on the stupid drama4. The best thing in World of Warcraft is the end game content. It is so much fun working in a team to defeat a difficult, “normal” (now Heroic) or Heroic (now upgraded to the title Mythic) raid challenge. Either in a group, flexible in number (used to be 10) or 20 (was 25, 40 before that) smashing raid bosses and winning, getting better gear and progressing to new and harder challenges is seriously good fun.

What saddens me most, but no longer surprises me, is that most people playing this game care more about the game, the end game raiding and the gear than they do about the real people they play with. Now many people will tell you that, while there are many people who play like that, they and their group (guild) don’t behave that way. They are more social and just like playing in a more relaxed fashion with friends. For a few this may even be true, but for the many their actions and interactions belie their words.

I’ve met a lot of people who talk a good chat about being social, community focused and inclusive regardless of gear or skill. I’m no longer surprised to see ranting and hatred occur from these very people when a specific piece of loot drops they really want and someone else gets it. I’ve seen raids stop and people /ragequit groups, tearing guilds into two over loot, arguments about loot and accusations of loot whoring flying back and forth. “Nice and friendly” people have left guilds taking the “best raiders” with them to form a new “elite” guild that makes faster progress (gets loot quicker) through the content. I always thought that MMO’s were a fun place to create virtual communities of people, all with a shared interest in playing one game. How naive.

I have learned the grim lesson that people in Warcraft often do not care about other people and often treat them no better than in game, non real, Non Player Characters (NPCs). If they interact at all they are a cesspool of insults, trolling, rage, sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and parochialism. The worst excesses of hatred and hyperbole can be seen in randomly assembled Pick Up Groups (PUGs)5 especially in groups formed using Blizzard‘s Looking For Raid (LFR) tool. This blog frequently addresses this directly, comparing a normal/heroic mode raid, as a guild would approach and experience it, and the content as an LFR group might encounter it. I find the aims of LFR inimical to the development of the game, it’s purpose has gone astray in practice and it’s existence is detrimental to the aspects of the game I enjoy.

I’ve never tried to hide or disguise my identity in this game. A guild Officer once said to me “If I’d know who you were when you applied to join you’d never have got in.” From that day I have always listed the the names of all my characters in guild applications (remember them). In the first iteration of Warcraft I played a warrior called Fleetfoot on the Dragonblight-EU server. I changed main character during the next expansion, The Burning Crusade, and played a warlock called Ruta. I realm transferred in 2012 to Vek’nilash where I played Rutå, Fleetfoot, Sakkara, Anwyn, Éowyn, Bethan and had a brief sojourn on Alliance with Linden.

This is my World of Warcraft story.

1 “…a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.” Wikipedia

2 “Players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative through a process of structured decision-making or character development.” Wikipedia

3 Raiding is a scheduled group activity whereby an organised group of people, usually a Guild (Warcaft’s gaming clan), attempt to defeat challenging game content, each success provides a limited amount of gear that is distributed to the members of that team.

4. Different people define online, Warcraft or guild drama in hugely varying ways. Drama is angst, arguments and rows or the causing of those things or the results, for example, leaving group activities, raids, guilds: quitting or ragequitting. I have suggested not without some seriousness that drama in Warcraft is expressing an opinion. The opinion can be drama in and of itself or provoke drama. I have been advised in the past to just keep my opinions to myself. That way no one knows you disagree with them, and your disagreement in and of itself would provoke drama. It may appear that Warcraft gamers are conflict averse but this is only because for the most part it is true.

5. A PUG: a group of random players who come together, usually through one of the in-game automatic queuing systems to tackle multiplayer group content.