Body Language

| Friday, February 19, 2010
Hopefully we all know that body language says a lot in real life and have some ability to read and control it. But what about in WoW?

I dislike other characters standing on me. It's so intrusive. Give me some space! Too many fights require some or all of the raid to cluster into a 5x5 square.

I face people while trading. Facing away just seems rude.

There are more practical forms though.

Misdirect or tricks of the trade are how a DPS can say "I'm ready to go, please go soon" without the standard, rude "gogogo". It's more subtle and implies that they are offering to help make the pull work better for you, rather than merely rushing you.

Conversely, a rogue wandering among packs of mobs, sapping randomly, is either pickpocketing (and the fact that he has the time for this means you're quite slow) or he's trying to purposefully express boredom. A constantly growling pet racing back and forth may be due to a hunter sending out and calling back a pet in rapid succession, as if he can barely contain his eagerness/impatience. Casters who cast and stop frequently are doing something similar. It sends the message "I want to go, let's go, why are we not going, GO!"

Either misidrect or tricks of the trade on a healer means someone is either making a joke or is a total douchebag who should be kicked immediately. Use contextual clues to differentiate; doing this while the tank or healer is afk indicates douchebag while if they are in the same guild as the healer it indicates a joke on vent that you didn't hear.

Prayer of Mending is how a priest says "I'm ready". It sounds like a bell to me, which doesn't matter in this context, I just wanted to point it out. Power word: shield also works, especially if it's the sprint bubble from a holy paladin. BTW, I love the sprint bubble. I use it to catch up when people pull while I'm drinking. I want that last 10% mana, dammit!

Vigilance is a warrior's way of saying either "Your DPS is clearly the best" or "You are terrible with aggro management but I feel accommodating". Either way, nice guy.

A tank standing still is ambiguous without context. If a DPS is ahead of him, he's saying "You ran ahead, go for it". This is an especially cold-hearted expression if the DPS have pulled a mob and are now engaged in combat. If the tank is ahead of everyone and has run close to aggro range and stopped, he is likely trying to figure out a pull. This is especially likely if he seems to be moving around a lot and switching targets. If he instead is standing still after the previous pull, especially if he isn't targeting anything, he's probably waiting on a cooldown such as death and decay or divine plea. Or he's trying to say "DPS, stop saying 'go go go', it's really annoying".

Some would just call all this being passive aggressive, but to them I say *look of disgust*. So there!


Dorgol said...

Sprint Bubble is from priests. :)

My Holy Paladin says "gogogo" by putting Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light on you.

My Druid says "gogogo" by blanketing you in HoTs. If you have more than 1 HoT, you are being urged. If you have SIX HoTs, by God you better be taking some damage.

My DPS characters don't have a "gogogo" action. Though I might consider the cast / cancel cast for my Mage and Warlock.

Both of my Tanks have a "you guys are SLLLOOOOWWW" when tanking. That would be when I'm standing in front of a pull moving left-right-left-right in rapid sequence. With my Warrior I will wait - with my Paladin I'm likely to just pull anyway since most of the trash can't kill me.

Isa said...

When tanking I live for those "I'm ready" signals from healers. Priest frisbees, druid HoTs, paladin bubbles, shaman earth shields.

My default body language as a DPS for "let's go" is to strafe rapidly left and right. That's how a group of friends and I used to show we were ready, and I get really amused when strangers start doing it with me. Along those lines I like jumping in place too, especially if someone else is jumping and I can get in sync with them.

Shintar said...

Interesting observation there, and so true! When a tank asks if everyone is ready before a boss, I rarely type out a response, I just cast prayer of mending on him, misdirect or take another class-appropriate action and assume that he'll correctly interpret that as my way of saying that I'm ready to rock.

Gronthe said...

When a trade window is opened I always find myself backing up or moving forward to create a distance that I think would be comfortable for me in real life. It's weird, I know, but I just can't work with you unless we're just the right distance apart.

Ok, now, what kind of gem did you want again?

Anonymous said...

...when a tank is jogging back and forth, or just jumping up and down, they are saying they're ready but want a buff before the fight.

...when a healer /sigh(s) they may be getting frustrated with healing a group that can't manage aggro.

...when a tank zones in, but turns back around to face the healer and the group (instead of just rushing forward), it either means that they respect the group and will wait for buffs, or they are suspicious of you and are inspecting everyone.

Eversor said...

Too funny. It's a game and yet it irritates me when people stand or sit in my rude! That is my virtual space!

Hana said...

I love the PoM from priest. It's the perfect indicator that they're ready to go.

I don't get the same feeling from pallies, priests, and shaman though. When I'm healing on my pally I never let SS or BoL drop, so I'm not really used to accepting either as a signal.

Jumping also works for me as a "ready set go".

Unknown said...

Great topic, and something that I think about a lot, so I'm actually de-lurking to post a reply. :) Another "personal space" thing that bugs me is when people run their toons right through other people's toons. I always try my best to weave through the crowds in Dal. I know it's silly, but barreling straight through another toon just feels so rude to me!

One of the sweetest PuG tanks I ran with while learning to heal would /sit down next to me every time I stopped for mana. It was like his cue to the impatient DPS that he wasn't going anywhere until I was ready. :)

SlikRX said...

I will strafe or jump... never thought about doing a cast/interrupt or casting SS on the tank.

Then again, as long as nobody is AFK, I pretty much dont care. Well, I'm not a fan of a 7 minute sprint through Nexus either, so no biggie.

BTW, another way Pallies can hint is by cycling Auras. If they change to Crusader (aka "pony") Aura, or cycle between Seals (Vengeance is a VERY obvious one) they are uring you on...

Klepsacovic said...

@Dorgol: Doh. I was originally inspired to write this post by playing my holy priest.

@Isa: Frisbee? I always thought it was a Flying Gong of Awesome.

@Shintar: I gotta be honest, I ignore ready signals from anyone but the healer unless the DPS are in the same guild as them and therefore might know.

@Gronthe: I do that too. Sometimes slows things down when I do my lockpicking yell and then spin in circles trying to face whoever just stuck one in my face.

@Anonymous: "This is the deadline. You cross this line, you die." I like to set it pretty far back.

@Eversor: But the real test is, do you shift ever so slightly after you res someone so they don't pop up inside you?

@Hana: They're not quite so LOUD.

@Roz: That's something I do, sit when the healer is drinking, to say "I'm not going anywhere without you."

@SlikRX: It's our version of shuffling papers.

Anonymous said...

I jump when I am ready as dps.
As a healer - pom- renew - on tank.
If I am bored I levitate - either myself or the nearest avatar to provide entertainment. Floating trees ftw. I also like to make dwarves and gnomes fell taller.

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