Combating Toxicity in the WoW Community

Kaeson Writer Soap Box (Staff Editorials) 1 Comment

If you’ve played WoW for any length of time, you’ve likely encountered your fair share of trolls, noobs, and all sorts of “interesting” players (I’m looking at you Moon Guard-US).

With the successful advent of the Warcraft movie and the Legion prepatch looming just weeks away, many players are returning to WoW or are just now beginning their adventure for the very first time. Think back to your first time playing WoW. Was there ever anyone that helped you out – maybe they answered a question or gave you some gold? Or perhaps you encountered players that were mean to you – they called you a noob or said something rude. Now think back to the influx of new and returning players that the WoW community will soon face. What will their first impression of the game be?

People complain all the time that “the game is dead”. But if our community is so toxic, then what can you expect? We’re left with a seemingly insurmountable challenge – how are we supposed to make the community more welcoming to these new players? How do we assimilate them into WoW and overcome today’s toxicity so that they can experience the same magic we experienced during our first time playing?

It starts with you!

The secret to a good community is to be a good community member. How can we expect something if we aren’t contributing to it ourselves? I like to think about the words of President John F. Kennedy. He once said, “ask not what the WoW community can do for you, but ask what you can do for the WoW community.” Well, it was something like that, I’m paraphrasing of course.  =P

Newer players might stand in a bit of the fire. That PUG hunter will probably barrage pull the whole room. That clothie may roll need on a plate tanking piece. And trade chat will always be filled with players' simple questions that seem dumb to you. Through all of this, there will be so much potential for new friendships or for horrible experiences. The difference lies with you. That being said, here are five practical ways that you can be a good community member over the next few weeks as we welcome more players into the WoW community.

5 Practical Ways to Be a Good Community Member
  • Be patient! Not everyone is going to have heirlooms, and not everyone will know where to go or what to do. Don’t kick people from the group if they don’t know what they’re doing. Instead, offer them nice suggestions on how to improve.
  • Be kind! Calling players “noobs” or trolling them in trade chat does the community absolutely no good. Instead of bullying others, why not try helping them out? Not only does this apply in game, but also extends to online communities such as the forums or the WoW subreddit.
  • Be generous! See someone begging for 32 silver so they can get their first mount? Gift them some gold! Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty left for your spider mount in Legion. If you’re feeling extra generous, I challenge you to go the extra mile – give them one of your extra Void Touched Satchels to help them level, or give them a ride on your two seater mount to their next questing zone.
  • Be helpful! If someone asks a question in trade chat, don’t tell them to Google it. Here’s a crazy idea – you could Google it yourself and then tell them! If it’s really that simple, then help them out instead of being rude.
  • Be friendly! Cultivate some friendships. After helping someone out, share your Battletag and offer to help them again. Offer them an invite to your guild, or ask if they need any help completing a quest.
Bonus Tip
  • I always keep some Chocolate Cookie in my bags to hand out. It’s fun to randomly give them to players, or even to make a guildie’s day during raid!
Final Thoughts

Now I know what you’re thinking at this point, being social can be scary sometimes. But the Lich King was scary too at one point, and we conquered him! Let’s be the best gaming community in the world! Let’s combat the toxicity in game and online by being kind to new players! Let’s work to put the MMO back in MMORPG!

Kaeson on Twitter
Content Writer - World of Warcraft
Hi, I'm Kaeson! I enjoy raiding on my worgen hunter and serving as an officer in my guild. In my free time I monkey around with web app development and other programming projects.

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