After most days at work, good or bad, I go home to my toon and plug into Azeroth for an hour or two. In fact, this is the case for hundreds of thousands of users. I suspect a chunk of us are just trying to escape our bad days. I might queue for an LFR, or join a mythic+ group. And while I’m in the midst of an instance, orange text screams,
“You’re a fucking retard. You’re a waste of space moron.”
Let me be honest: I am not a perfect player. There are mechanics I just don’t know. My DPS isn’t always topping the charts. I screw up – a lot. I also have a fairly tough skin and can breath through the scathing insults being thrown my way (although, sometimes I leave the instance because what has been said was just enough to trigger my anxiety).
I have a question for all citizens of Azeroth: why?
I get it. Playful quips at one another are part of the fun of the game, but my guild-mate once got threatened for allegedly “wiping a raid.” Don’t kid yourself. Blizzard takes such things very seriously. If World of Warcraft is so important to you that you would threaten someone’s life, be prepared to loose it all because your account will be blocked.
People playing WoW with an “everyone is complete shit” attitude just perpetuate all the worst qualities in people and life that we are trying to ditch. I’m not suggesting that we hold each other’s hands and sing about rainbows. But what if we thought before we wrote? What if we excluded death threats? Perhaps have lines we don’t cross?
As mentioned above, I have left instances because I’ve been on the edge of an anxiety attack. One bad run with a salty player has left me devoid of confidence. How can I become better, if I don’t make mistakes? If I don’t play? I can’t. So I am not going to let the harsh words of one player keep me from a game I love. This is me, but it may not be everyone. I personally hate the thought of someone throwing in the towel because of the idiocies in chat. At the same time, I’d understand if they did, as the vile discourse can be overwhelming and overpower the glory of the game.
If this is you, I urge you to keep going. There are good people in Azeroth. You will meet friends who will coach you and keep you afloat. It doesn’t matter how many raids you wipe, it is still just a game – not life or death. And besides, all good players are guilty of making fatal errors (i.e. pulling a trash mob of 50 elites).
If you’re the one that feels the need to add to the toxic pool of hate, I urge you to look yourself in the mirror. Why is this game so important to you that you feel it is necessary to call someone “retarded” or “a waste of space?” Are you so invested that you feel that someone should “hurl themselves off a cliff” for missing a mechanic? Is wiping a boss really “failing at life?” Yeah. There are sucky World of Warcraft players. Guess what? I bet you suck at something too. For your sake, I truly hope you don’t have to take what you dish. If you’re so explosive that one wrong pull will set you off, I suspect real, hard hitting criticism will leave you in a puff of smoke. Better upgrade your ilvl, fast.