Losing your confidence stinks. Still, in a game like WoW where your character must work cooperatively with so many others, there are times the issue is to be expected. Most players feel a bit apprehensive when getting back into content they haven't played with in a while. You feel rusty, and you're anxious about making an obvious gaffe and letting down the group, embarrassing yourself, or provoking some jerk into whining about your performance in chat.
The advent of proving grounds makes simple business of knocking the rust off. Just head into your own private scenario and experiment, fiddle, and wipe to your heart's content. Nobody has to see how many times you've flopped but you.
But what if the problem's not you? What if you've simply been shaken by too many encounters with trollish players who tear others down in order to build themselves up? What if you find yourself trapped in the ugly atmosphere that makes grouping a hellish prospect for anyone who's been dragged through the dirt one too many times?
We're all "real people" here on the internet
Whether or not you consider yourself a self-confident player, it's important that all of us remember that there are real people with real feelings on the other side of our text and headsets. The fact that we play this game on the internet makes it no less "real," no more "just a game" than any other public social interaction.
As impatient as you might be to slam the Accept button on the quest window, buff as you run, pull faster, and tank more, there might be other players in the group who want to read the quest text and hear the dialog, greet the other players, and have time to consider what could be a new encounter on a new character or new class for them. A flippant, mocking tone (whether directed toward a player or the content itself) may not feel very funny to a player who's moving at a different pace.
What's in it for you? Two things:
- Being careless with people's feelings makes you look like an arse. You don't want to look like an arse.
- Treating people like disposable cogs in your machine shakes your group's confidence and synergy, making the group less likely to succeed. That's a direct negative outcome for you. Bagging on people makes it less likely that you will get the successful run you want.
(Snorting at that last bullet point in disdain? Chances are, you're actually a Ferengi and you need the Rules of Groupmate Acquisition.)
Recommended reading for all
It's easy to fall into thinking that that everyone has completed the current content for their level and should know the ropes by now. Unfortunately, we know that's not so.
- Why grouping with others is always about compromise Any time you sign up to participate in a dungeon finder instance, you may find yourself grouped with others who might not care about playing the way you do -– and who's to say whose approach is "right"?
- The real victims of PUG critics Allison Robert explains why fuming about low-performing groupmates makes you, not them, look bad.
Prescription for confidence
The quickest way to overcome a loss of self-confidence is to get back in the game with supportive friends. A supportive guild or group of friends will help you have fun while tackling whatever it was that shook you up in the first place.
- How to choose a guild that's right for you Our Drama Mamas guides explore the signs it's time to leave your guild, how to leave a guild without drama or burning bridges, how to find a new guild, and how to identify the right type of guild for your playstyle and personality.
- A guild for players with social anxieties Sometimes WoW can seem like an intimidating, unfriendly place. But for players with social anxiety, those feelings persist, blocking them from the ever-expanding range of activities the game offers. Some tremulous players, however, have found a way around this roadblock: a guild designed especially for players with social anxiety.
Ease back into whatever's gotten your goat slowly. Try proving grounds first. Then ease back into grouping with the support of friends. Let's restate that for record: Never go it alone. You need the support and buffer of friendly companions in order to succeed without stress.
"No matter how you accomplish it, you definitely need to set yourself up for success by grouping with people you enjoy playing with for a while," concludes Drama Mama Robin. "Then you can go back to random dungeons and raids with more confidence and less fear. Unfortunately, there will always be funsuckers. They're just always easier to take when you're with friends."
Dodge the drama and become the player everyone wants in their group with advice from the Drama Mamas Drama-Buster Guide. Got a question? Email the mamas at email@example.com.