Successful participation in this community depends upon one single thing: communication. What's the expected behavior in a public chat channel? Is that different in guild chat? Are you so curt with other players you seem unwilling to cooperate during group events? Can you efficiently and effectively coordinate a group or raid encounter? Much of MMO socializing comes down to simple good manners, but new players can find themselves stumped by gaming lingo or stymied by unspoken social expectations and commonly understood conventions of group behavior.
Need a refresher course? Let's talk.
Before we can help you with what to say and how to say it, you need to know how chat channels work and what they're for. Trust us, there's no quicker way to earning the title of "That Guy" than chumping it up in the wrong chat channel (or chumping it up in chat, in general). Get the basics straight first!
Our first advice is quite the blast from the past, pulled from a post from the prehistoric era of WoW Insider in 2006. The issue: Speaking in real English like people normally speak.
Look at the difference in the impression made between these two whispers:
[Leetganker] whispers: plz, plz plz join our gruop. need healz for wc. plzzzzzzzzzz
[Sindy] whispers: Heya! I was wondering if you felt like hitting WC tonight. We have a group all set, we just need a healer. We could even summon!
"I would never join a party with someone who talks like that," writes original poster David Nelson about that first ugly little example. "It gives the impression of being an immature moron, and whether Leetganker is an immature moron or not, I'll never know, as I am not grouping with the guy."
On the other hand, he observes, Sindy comes off sounding friendly and reliable. She starts off with a greeting and then moves to a clear invitation letting me know what's in it for the player. "No typos, decent grammar and she comes off like someone who won't be an idiot once we get into the instance," Nelson adds.
Bottom line: Typing to other players in WoW is not the equivalent of texting your best buddy. "When talking in the general channels," he observes, "it is even more important not to make a spectacle of yourself."
Here's what you need to know to avoid that trap:
- If you don't have anything interesting to add to the conversation in general chat, don't say anything at all. Chuck Norris jokes, any references to religion or politics and flaming a guy who stole your chest in a level 10 zone do not count as something interesting.
- Be friendly when you are asking someone a question. A simple "hello" is usually appreciated.
- Never, ever, never, ever use leet speak. While some people don't care, others hate it with a passion.
The language of gaming Gaming and WoW lingo evolves over time and varies from realm to realm, but that doesn't mean it has to remain an incomprehensible wall you can't see past. To the rescue: an encyclopedic assortment of lists of WoW, gaming and internet abbreviations, acronyms and lingo that steers you back into comprehensible territory. We've arranged our resources from the most basic to the most complete so you can choose how far you're ready to delve into the world of gamespeak.
The language of raiding We have a must-read guide to basic raid terminology and concepts, too.
The languages you don't speak What happens when you group up with a player with whom you share not a word of commonly understood language? You could try to pantomime your way through the encounter –- and we have advice on that, immediately below –- or you could turn to our guide to essential WoW terminology in other languages. Need to remind your Croatian DPS-mate to let the tank pull? We show you how.
No language at all What happens when you arrive at a quest spawn or other objective and need help, but the only other player around is from the opposite faction? By using the right emotes, there's a good chance you can make your intentions completely clear even without being able to chat with your "enemy." Whether you come in peace or are seeking a more personal connection with the object of your destructive affections, standard emotes help you make the statement. ... /moon ... /grin
When your chat box is scrolling with trolling through no fault of your own, yet you don't want to leave the channel altogether, it's time to take action -– the right action. The first rule of handling trolling and profanity is to avoid countertrolling; you don't want to become part of the problem for everyone else forced to listen to your well-intentioned take-down of the chat offender. We'll show you what you should be doing instead.
If things get personal, cut the communication connection and move on with your game. You have options for protecting yourself against in-game harassment. Know them, and use them!
Dodge the drama and become the player everyone wants in their group with advice from the Drama Mamas No-Drama Guide. Got a question? Email the mamas at email@example.com.