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A Teaching Moment? April 12, 2011

Posted by Stormy in Uncategorized.

My Mailbox

This was my mailbox when I came home from work tonight. You’ll see five of the ten or so Vanishing Powders I sold on the Auction House. I really only made them because I had the extra mats lying around; it’s not part of some grand longterm scheme to rip off the people of Garrosh. My first thought (as was my first thought when I did this the first time) was “Teehee! Look at all the people who haven’t taken the six seconds to figure out that you can buy Vanishing Powder from a vendor!” But then, because my heart is only two sizes too small and not three, I started to wonder…how did I find out that the new glyph system had this Vanishing Powder stuff that was available from a vendor for a pittance?

I probably read it on WoW Insider or somesuch, because that’s what I do. When I’m not playing WoW but my nose is stuck in front of a computer, I’m reading about WoW. WoW Insider, Wowpedia, every halfassed wellwritten WoW blog I can find…it’s what I do. As another example, I’m baffled by the people who still ask in Trade Chat where the Dalaran portals went. Seriously? This happened four months ago, people. The portals are gone. Deal with it.

And yet, I now have occasion to ask myself: if I didn’t spend several hours a week reading WoW Insider, et al, how would I know these things that everyone is supposed to know? It’s not like WoW really has an ingame instruction manual. When I’m in an instance silently talking smack about the hunter whose pet is on aggressive and facepulling the whole instance, I look back to my days as a new hunter and I think “How did I figure that one out?” Someone probably yelled at me in an instance. And really…is that the best way to learn things? WoW has so much depth to it, depth that we as veterans appreciate and that keeps us coming back, but I have to wonder, if you’re a new player, do you just get overwhelmed and shut down your computer, never to return?

What can we do better? Do you take advantage of opportunities to teach your fellow players things rather than just yelling at them or silently grinding your teeth? Do you assume everyone you come across is a veteran player who’s just a moron, or do you allow for the possibility that they’re a new player with good intentions who wants to be good, and just doesn’t know how? How can Blizzard improve its efforts to actually teach people to play the game successfully? More importantly, would you feel guilty taking these people’s gold?




1. Rush - April 12, 2011

I may be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure that the tooltip for Vanishing Powder and Dust of Disappearance, both include text that say it’s able to be purchased from vendors.

I say we just stick with P.T. Barnum’s worldview, and make what gold we can.

Cynwise - April 12, 2011

Vanishing powder, enchanting vellums, and stylish black shirts are a huge part of my initial cash generation on a new server. Recipies, vendor mats, and pets are another. All I’m doing is moving them from the vendor to the AH and assuming some risk, in return I charge a convenience fee.

I thought that the market for Disappearing Dust wouldn’t exist because of the tooltip. I was wrong.

No one is forcing people to buy on the AH. 🙂

2. Suzanne - April 12, 2011

Guilty? Never. I did this when the dust was first added to the game. But I had no idea this was still even marginally profitable.

I suppose I need to get back into my money-making game…

3. Rush - April 12, 2011

On your larger point…

I try when possible to provide helpful hints to players I come across, who are struggling and seem receptive to assistance. In recent run if The Steamvault with four players who’d never done it before, I guided them through the twists and turns of the instance (and it’s not a straight forward layout like we’ve come to expect from our dungeons). If a player is struggling, I try to provide a tip or two if I can see what the problem is (ie, Righteous Fury isn’t on. Use Shadow Word: Death to help recover mana on longer fights) Always in whispers, because you don’t want them to feel called out.

4. Fuzzy_Magicz - April 12, 2011

This is thought-provoking. I guess most of the information people like us – people who read blogs, WoW Insider, MMO Champion, et cetera – take for granted is just passed by word of mouth.
The other day I helped a rogue who was asking in Trade Chat for a PvP Assassination rogue. I helped him with his spec, glyphs, stats and what abilities to use. When I left, I gave him a link to the Arena Junkies Roguecraft thread. I could’ve given him that at the start and left – but I didn’t because I just love helping people who don’t know things about the game. It makes me feel smart (>.<) and hopefully it helps them become a better player.

5. Zinn - April 12, 2011

This is one of my favorite subjects, and I’ve written plenty of posts about it. In lowbie instances, I would like to think that I have the patience of a saint with people who do everything wrong, as long as they’re interested in learning. It amazes me however how someone could get to 85 without knowing jack shit about their class and role, but I have to ask myself, isn’t that Blizzards fault? If they managed to level all the way to 85 without ever having to CC, conjure water etc, I feel like Blizzard have failed to teach the basics of a class to that player. I do still try to teach people stuff whenever I get the chance, I probably one of those people who think everyone are noobs and I am their savior.

Zinn - April 12, 2011

Ow and then I noticed that the tooltip to Vanishing Powder actually tells that Incription Vendors sell them. So people who buy them from AH just fail 😛

6. Nairu - April 14, 2011

I always try to answer people’s questions in trade chat, especially those that I know nobody else will because everyone is too busy laughing at the person asking. But we have to keep in mind that there are extremely casual players, who not only not read MMO Champion, but also perhaps only logged on a couple times during these four last months.

The same goes for “nooby” behaviour in instances. I tell people in a friendly manner that melees should attack from behind, tanks shouldn’t be casting exorcism and DPS aren’t supposed to pull. Or whatever else it is. Of course there is the occasional dumbass who in fact played the game for years and thinks that gives him the right to insult me for trying to give him advice. But, you know, that’s okay with me. There’s still space on my ignore list. 🙂

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