This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is by Effy from Effraeti’s RP: How has WoW changed your life?
Such a simple question, but there’s so, so much to it. I think during the six years I’ve played, the game’s done a lot of growing up and changing…and so have I! And of course, WoW has played a very large part in how I think and feel about many different things.
More than anything, WoW has definitely changed my perspective and attitude towards people and life as a whole. In last month’s Battlechicken Monthly Challenge, I posted about entering the field of teaching. When looking at what I’ve learned from WoW, all of my experiences from the game and interacting with the community have really built on important characteristics that I think I’ll need and highly value as an upcoming school teacher. From my WoW experiences, my views and perceptions of many things have adapted and changed…which I think are good, as I start working more with students! So here are some of the key qualities that WoW has made me value highly and aspire to get better at myself:
“You’ll never believe what crazies I ran into in that last dungeon, Cubby! They were all cursing like sailors!”
Believe it or not, I think WoW was a great avenue for me to be more outgoing (which I didn’t use to be), even if it was with strangers online. In doing so, I definitely learned to have thicker skin — whether it was through dealing with asshats in the dungeon finder, or being able to take constructive criticism as a part of a core raid member. Through watching the in-game community change dynamically through expansions, I’ve noticed how easily derogatory slurs and insults are thrown everywhere. It’s commonplace!But also because I can always expect to see that kind of behavior everywhere I go (sad reality that may be), I’ve learned to stop taking things too personally, and to keep in mind that it is just a game in the end. Even if it’s become a very consistent form of stress-relief for the past few years and what some may call a lifestyle! ;) And hey, sometimes you just can’t help but bite back a little, too.
What is this, I don’t even…
Being able to step up and take the lead is something that after having played WoW, I’m a lot less scared and tentative about doing. This has to do with my feeling comfortable and familiar enough with the game now, as I sure wouldn’t have the guts to even suggest ideas to people if this were back in TBC! In the above picture, I’d zoned into an LFR on my warlock alt and saw the entire platform covered in purple flames. I’d died even before I finished the loading screen! Then Ultraxion landed and snuffed out the handful of people still alive. Everyone jumped right in and started pointing fingers and calling names — but what good is that? I didn’t want to wait in another 30 minute DPS queue again. I went ahead and asked the two tanks if they knew what they were doing, and they had never even been there. After a few other group members chimed in to explain the fight, the boss was down in the next try. And all it took was someone to push the group towards the correct strategy and working together!
Children from the Stormwind Orphanage
We run into so many interesting (and sometimes just downright terrible) people in the game, but I think WoW has taught me to be so much more tolerant and patient. Maybe these people have a hard life outside of the game and use the pixels as a vehicle to steam off their stress. Maybe they in fact really just are immature, rude, or arrogant as a person, and it’s hard to completely change an individual’s personality. While these definitely aren’t excuses for offensive behavior, I’m more understanding that there might be some outlying issue making that person the way they are. That’s the way they will be. They’ll crave for attention, be annoying, whine a lot, and point fingers everywhere, but in the end, they’re just children. And sometimes you have to point them in the right direction and give them a talking to, and sometimes you just have to let them be themselves and leave them alone…
One, two, three, eleventy wooly mammoths!
Finally, I think the biggest changes and things I’ve learned from WoW have to do with time management. Nobody teaches you how to manage a schedule or keep up with tasks or prioritize in life. Hardly do you ever see anyone learn that from a class. Having played WoW from both semi-hardcore raider as well as very casual perspectives, I’ve noticed my priorities (both in-game and IRL) changing more and more with each expansion. In TBC/WotLK, I regularly raided as a holy paladin and was extremely active as an officer of my guild. Now in Cata (and I expect the same for Mists), I’m incredibly casual but have an embarrassingly large army of alts. Back then, my paladin was my “main” and I did absolutely everything on her — achievements, pets, mounts, you name it! Now, I’m incredibly attached to all of my alts, and don’t really have a main. And even though I don’t raid anymore, I still make sure to gear up all of my characters as best I can through non-“raiding” means (LFR/Valor).
I think much of the time management portion goes hand in hand with “growing up” and just taking on so many more responsibilities, especially now that I’m going into teaching. Instead of the long-houred sessions of play time I had during college, I sometimes even have nights where I hardly log in but to check mail/AH…and even nights where I won’t log in at all. (/gasp!) And while I do sometimes terribly miss what I consider “real” raiding and being on a core raid group, I’ve learned to really enjoy the small and fun stuff that I can enjoy without devoting all of my time to a guild and raid team. I’m always still on the lookout for silly things like giant mammoth parades in Dalaran… :)