Archive for February, 2010

How to Get Your Girlfriend to Play

How to get your SO into WOW

Many people out there would love to be able to share the game they love with that special someone. As someone who gets to do that I thought I would share a few tips on how to go about it.

I was going to start off with the actual steps one should take, but instead I will start by talking about YOU. Your attitude and actions are absolutely critical for his/her enjoyment of the game. Nothing will make the experience miserable faster than the things your actions might inject into the situation. This stuff SHOULD be obvious but really isn’t. I learned some of this the hard way and others I learned by studying how to teach women to shoot guns. Yup, guns. You see most of the mistakes guys make when trying to show their girlfriend how to shoot are the same ones that can poison the WOW experience. This advice will apply to girls getting guy friends to play the game but to a lesser extent.

1. Relax! This is supposed to be fun. Don’t inject stress into it.

Go slow and let them learn at their own pace. There is a lot to absorb all at once. We, as experienced players, have forgotten how strange and alien everything was when we started. Don’t rush them through that phase; let it soak in a bit.

2. Be aware of the person’s gaming experience, or more importantly lack of gaming experience.

Look, if you have been playing for years and have also played a variety of other games then certain things will be natural for you but not for your SO. Little stuff, like paying attention to health bars and managing camera angles on the fly will be second nature to you. You have to stop and realize this all maybe new to her/him. If she has been playing nothing but Farmville then selecting a target makes perfect sense, but constantly modifying camera angles is not.

My wife’s favorite game had been CIV II. Because of this the complexities of camera angle, particularly indoors, were a source of frustration that I did not fully understand.

3. Let him/her learn her own play-style.

There are a lot of ways to use the WOW interface. As an experienced player you know some good and efficient ones. But probably the USB gaming pad is a little too much too soon. Perhaps using WASD is not going to seem as natural as using the arrows. Number keys for the hotbar are reflex to you (maybe) but she might be perfectly happy to click them with the mouse for a while. LET HER. Don’t bug her to change her style right off. She finds that pestering more annoying than the annoyance you get from her inefficient play style. Getting her play style to be faster will not let her enjoy the game as much as getting you out of her hair will.

4. Give less advice

In fact give as little as possible. Better yet, wait for her to ASK before your give some. The game has great tips and is VERY forgiving at low levels. Let her make a few mistakes on her own and figure things out. People learn faster when they DO.


Some people don’t mind it. For the rest of us it drives us nuts to have someone standing there, breathing in our ear, and judging every click we make. It is going to be a lot easier to not give too much annoying advice if you don’t have to sit and watch her running in to the tree, or face the wrong way while attacking. Figuring out those little things on her own will be a tiny source of pride. Having you give advice about each one, or point out each mistake, is a source of shame and frustration. Guess which route is better for her to actually ENJOY things?

6. Give advice in general terms with details.

Do not simply say “First click Three and then click One. No no! One! Your pet is not attacking! Oh, now you are dead.” Nothing there was helpful. No, really, it wasn’t. Instead do something like this, “See how that spell takes a long time to fire? If you stay way back and start the fight with that one you can get two of them off before they get to you.” THAT conveys information. This doesn’t: “Back up, no, a little more. Ok, press 2. Press it again! Again!” Both of those got her a good start on a fight with a lvl 1 shaman. But the first one actually told her how AND why. Plus it was not states as orders, but was simply explained as advice. Advice, good. Orders, bad.

7. When you do give advice, don’t expect her to follow it.

Don’t get bent out of shape if they forget your tips, or just chose not to do them. It takes time for things to sink in and make sense.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Looking for More!

I don’t remember whose idea the druids were, but it was brilliant.

I’d been hooked on WoW for a while now. It took a little time; the first character I rolled was a hunter, like my husband’s. WoW was my first MMORPG. I hadn’t even played that many computer games (shocking admission for a self-proclaimed computer geek, yes) but he was determined to share the game he loved with me.

It worked, sort of. I got that hunter to about 40 and I enjoyed the game but not so much the hunter. “Fake die!” he’d say, and I’d look for the button but too late. “No, use this shot, not that one!” I was always running out of bullets, panicking because my pet was unhappy, and to make matters worse, I’d rolled a dwarf hunter. A FEMALE dwarf hunter.

Then I made a mage, a cute little gnome with little red buns and balls of fire shooting out her fists, and it was a whole new game. It took me a while, but I got her all the way to level 70, and now we had a max level hunter and mage and it was three months out from Wrath of the Lich King and we had nothing to do. We weren’t in a guild, I liked PVP ok but it got old… and then the Refer-a-Friend program came out and we made the druids. We gt a third account and started Night Elves and had them almost to 60 before WotLK. Then they went into storage until the mains were levelled. But after that, out they came to run dungeons until they hit 68. A tank and a healer, we got parties whenever we felt like it and the levels just flew past.

They’re our mains now, although our hunter and mage are pretty well geared and we have fun with them too. But my Tree and his Bear get to raid ICC, or pug until we get bored, or whatever we feel like. The synergy that they have is awesome. Nothing says “date night” like slaughtering iron dwarves together!

Anyway, we learned a lot of lessons from that experience. It’s easier to level together. If leveling a pair, make one a tank or healer. If you’re bored with WoW, roll an alt. Always level your professions. Don’t try to do holidays on two sets of characters. Levels 45-58 are the most painful. It takes a long time to kill stuff by hitting it with your branches.

This blog is about alts, about duos, and about WoW. Want tips on getting your girlfriend to play WoW? Stay tuned. Dedicated to leveling Resto? I feel your pain. Not really sure whether you want an alt? You do.

Off and Away!

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