Monday, 14 December 2009

Conduct issues in the Wider World of Warcraft

So it’s here. Dungeon Finder, allowing us to group with adventurers with other servers to complete instance runs. Aside from the advantages to gathering a party, what are the interpersonal issues raised by this significant adjustment to the WoW experience?

To answer that question, let us consider for a moment the concept of a community. Community describes a collection of people who are share some common ground. For example WoW players or members of The Venture Co. server.

However a community is not a stagnant thing. It develops and progresses, experiences a ‘life’ of it’s own. Most importantly, members of community are stakeholders within it. Or to put it another way, how you behave in your community is important, if you want to keep enjoying it’s benefits.

Cross-server experiences are very interesting, because whereas there is something to gain from cooperating, the penalties for being anti-social are less severe. If your behaviour with a group of random people from other servers is ruthless, dishonest or antagonistic, the chances are they won’t be shouting about it in your local Ironforge and killing your reputation.

It’s back to the old adage about the Internet, anonymity and being an asshole.

So what we have here is a good test of character. You may find it interesting to observe player behaviour in coming months, and to note when people are unable to be pro-social, honest or useful without the sword of server notoriety hanging over their heads.

Bit like the Battlegrounds then.