Updated Wed, Jan 11, 2012 by Saia
In many ways, the World of Warcraft is much like the real world. It has a vibrant planet with real people who explore it, even if they do it via digital avatars. You can learn trades, earn money and respect, make friends and kill big, big things and save the world.
Let’s assume for a minute that you’re a new player. After all, lots of people find Santa has left them WoW under their festive trees. How do you become an upstanding member of this vibrant community?
It’s important to remember that WoW is like life and the same social rules apply. You can be polite and go a long way or rude and quickly find yourself reviled and shunned. Your reputation will proceed you and if it’s good, it will unlock dozens of doors.
It’s also the little things which matter, things like not ninjaing that Elementium node while that poor level 82 is battling three mobs - even if they’re the opposite faction. The correct thing to do is help and even heal them if possible. Similarly, don’t just see someone questing and invite them to a group or guild. Ask first.
Common sense does play a big roll and this is what all those little life lessons your parents taught you are for. Yes, politeness is the same whether you’re in Arkansas or Azeroth and, while virtual, there is still a person behind that toon. That person has feelings and you’re not going to achieve anything if you damage them so when interacting with other players remember that while their avatar is made of polygons, the person behind it is flesh and blood. It’s the little things which have the most impact though: think before you speak, if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep mum and, try not to nerdrage; there’s never an excuse for it.
This means if you’re in a random LFR or LFD group don’t, for the love of Elune, continually spam damage meters for example or need on loot without asking. There’s nothing worse than a squishy Mage taking that shiny piece of leather Boomkin gear that they can’t even wear.
Similarly, if there’s conflict, breathe and deal with it calmly. Someone ninjas your gear? Don’t take it out on the group/raid leader but calmly explain your problem when you file a ticket. If you have a disagreement within your guild, talk to a neutral party about it before you /gquit.
Similarly, don’t ransack the guild bank or even expect immediate access the second you join a new guild. It’s not a right and too many people treat it like it is. Instead, if you find the odd gem you don’t need or Chaos Orb, pop it in the guild bank rather than heading for the AH. For added politeness, if an item you want/need is in one of the locked sections that you can’t access, ask the officers for item x and explain the reason why you need it.
Professions aren't just about making money, they can also be used to help others people, including your guildmates.
The other thing you can do is learn professions and then advertise - either in trade or guild chat -for work. Don’t spam though and don’t inflate prices, start low but not so low that you can’t make a tiny profit. Instead do offers, for example, if your an alchemist and your transmute procs, give the person the extra gem at half price or even for free. You could even inspect them and, if you have it, toss in a free enchant or an extra cut gem.
To give you an example of how not to do it, though, there’s nothing worse than a Mage offering portals for 10-50g when the reagent to create it only costs a handful of silver. Also while we’re on the subject of portals: FYI Mages, playing the portal lottery is not nice, particularly on the unsuspecting lowbie, let alone your guildies.
One of the best things you can do in-game is to be generous. For example, when I was a newbie wandering through Elwynn, a random pally came up to me on his mighty charger, enchants gleaming and stopped. I was in awe of the maxed out champion of Azeroth. After a moment, he opened a trade window and gave me 50s (this was back when just five gold was a massive amount) and welcomed me to Azeroth.
It’s encounters like that which can make a player want to level. Random acts of kindness might sometimes be few and far between but they’re always worth it. This can be as small as buffing low-level players where you see them, trading the odd potion or just giving lost souls direction.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll become a paragon of what it means to be a good person. You’ll make far more friends that way, trust me.
Have you got stories of random acts of kindness you’d like to pass on? What’s the best piece of advice on being nice you’ve received? Let us know in the comments below.