future of cross-realm play, I agreed that the possibilities are exciting. But I do see what could be a major problem: funsuckers.
We do have funsuckers in heavily quested zones right now. (Granted, this usually only happens after a new expansion or during holidays.) They spawn camp us on PvP servers. They steal our gathering nodes, even though they are in the same faction. (Stealing nodes from the opposite faction is fair play. We don't want to help them support their side of the battle.) They take their huge mounts and sit on NPCs everyone needs to interact with.
They suck our fun.
But we often have a recourse. We can contact someone from their guild or get on their guild's website and tattle. Responsible guild leadership will nip that behavior in the bud and/or eject the embarrassing player from the guild. And if the guild is made up of funsuckers, their reputation gets around and good people will ostracize and ignore them.
Also, just one or two griefers will usually be sucking our fun at any one time while leveling. Often just leaving and coming back a little later allows us to avoid the nastiness.
Since most players want to be a part of a max-level guild made up of generous players, getting gkicked is something even funsuckers want to avoid. If they are trying to build up enough guild rep to get the goodies they want, they especially don't want to start over again with a new guild.
Lack of accountability cross-realm
Elunamakata over at Healing Mains recently bemoaned the loss of manners that occurred once the Dungeon Finder spanned multiple realms. It's true. When people were known funsuckers, we didn't group with them. And when they created alts and tried the same antics, their identities and behavior would be announced via public chat. Now, our only options are to vote to kick, ignore and/or drop group. Many people have had to resort to addons that extend their ignore lists. And ignoring them only silences what they say, not what they do.
Leveling up now may be lonely and more difficult in some zones -- particularly on low-population realms -- but it's also a mostly peaceful experience. With the advent of cross-realm leveling, that peace ends. The number of funsuckers at any one time will rise, and the general chats will turn into mini-trade chats.
Barrens chat will return.
I very much think that changing /ignore to work across your account and for all of the characters on the funsucker's account would make things more pleasant for most of us. But it wouldn't make those sucking our fun more accountable.
Reporting is time-consuming, and most people don't bother. Any reprimand doesn't happen immediately, and we want the funsuckers to take up less of our play time, not more.
I'm stumped. What can we do, if anything, to keep our leveling experience from going the way of dungeons, raids and Battlegrounds? How do we stem the further rise of the funsucker?
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
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