Basing Your Expectations on The Things Other People Say

So I’ve been thinking.

This is nothing new.

You know me, always thinking, always brooding. Ruminating. Pondering so long that I’ve fallen out of the blogging habit.

I collect a bunch of stuff in my head, letting it percolate, waiting for lightning to strike.

This post’s recipe consists of two chance events following each other in close succession:

  • a sudden outpouring of newbie welcome and overall positivity on the GW2 subreddit over the last week or so

This stems from another series of chance events: internet celebrity ‘finally sees the light with GW2’ and makes Youtube video about it; Bless Online launches and falls flat on its face; a slew of follow-my-leader MMO locusts descend to try out GW2 (base game is free, after all); and the more positive community-minded subreddit member voices somehow manage to drown out the more negative ones in the equivalent of a slow-news period for GW2 (perhaps the negative nancies have gotten bored and quit during the slow period, or they just decided not to say anything for now as everybody needs new blood, even the predatory sort.)

The TL;DR version is best succinctly explained as a cat video.

  • Shortly after, we contrast this upsurge in optimism with the first histrionics of a newbie who attempted to do dungeons and was abruptly kicked with poor feedback

There’s a lot to unravel in this thread, but all the drama is mostly due to differing player expectations.

Veteran players expect newbie player to demonstrate a modicum of civility and self-reliance and independent self-preparation before partaking in group content.

(This is commonly culturally understood as appropriate behavior by more hardcore gaming traditions, who trend toward being competitive, achievement- and prestige-oriented and high-challenge seeking.)

Newbie player expects to learn group content from observation of the actual game and being tutored by veteran players.

(This is not entirely unreasonable a set of expectations in general: some people learn best by seeing, and even the best preparation is no substitute for direct experience and in-the-moment practice. The very fact that multiplayer gameplay experiences exist will engender the highly likely possibility that two players of uneven gaming knowledge will interact with each other. However, the -means- of that gaming knowledge being transferred though brings us to…)

Newbie player expects all players in-game to be able to express themselves in a civil tactful fashion and be willing and able to successfully coach a beginner with accurate in-the-moment feedback and excellent communication skills.

(Yea, well. I think the absurdity speaks for itself. Let me know if you find -one- person like this. I keep looking for great coaches and teachers and can never find any. Recall my pottery “lessons.” I consider myself lucky if I can find a written guide or a youtube guide video structured in an organized and easy-to-understand manner. Sometimes one has to exercise a high degree of creativity and personal judgment to be able to learn effectively from others.)

Veteran players expect all newbie players to already be prepared to the point of being a high functioning, possibly even higher contributing than themselves, group member and preferably not waste their time and/or learn in another pickup group that isn’t theirs.

(Which only goes to prove that veteran players’ grasp of the language isn’t very good – newbie means newbie for a reason – and that harboring unreasonable expectations is not solely in the realm of beginners.)

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