Playing with friends is overrated

| Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Why do we assume that we want to, and must be able to, play with friends? That's just asking for trouble. I think it's an unreasonable expectation. I don't do everything with all of my friends. Why should WoW, or any other game, be special?

Ideally I could play with friends, but in my experience the thing preventing that is not skill or server divides, but divergent interests. The friends I did play with were friends I had made through WoW, friends with whom I have common interests: raiding and arguing. I have a few friends I first met in real life who play/played and I wouldn't want to play with them. We don't want to do the same things in the game. It would be as ridiculous as saying "let's play sports together!" and then I want to go running and they want to play football. Or we both run, but at different paces, so someone ends up left behind or dragged along and what fun is that?

It's not necessarily that my real life friends are bad. I mean, maybe they are, or maybe not. I don't know and it doesn't even matter. But when two are RPers, another is bowing down to the cookie-cutter gods, and I'm searching for creative ways to die, it's not really a compatible experience.

I do actually want to play with friends, not the friends that I dragged into a game, but the friends that I met in the game. Those are the friends that I know want to play it and play it as I would. I wonder how much happier people would be finding more friends who share interests rather than trying to push friends into unwanted 'fun'.


Issy said...

How true :)

Reminds me of the time (a long time ago, and I was really unfit) some friends tried to take me on a 25 mile hike (yeah, what the hell was I thinking agreeing to that) and after 10 miles I just sat at the bottom of a hill crying because I just couldn't face the climb up.

I bet they'd totally suck at online gaming :P

Syl said...

I wouldn't just agree on the friends thing, but also on family. I made myself unpopular in the past by stating that I would SO NOT wanna have to play with family, for dozens of reasons, yet it just seems to be a social 'must'.

- always ends in tears is my own experience. my partner and me were constantly bickering and making each other miserable while we tried to play wow together, our playstyles and goals just didn't match at all. so we figured it's okay NOT to share a hobby sometime and now we're happy. ;)

Dwism said...

I had one glorious evening with mrs dwism and 3 other close friends, getting drunk and running instances, back in TBC. It was a full weekend of the 5 of us in a big house sitting and gaming. It was a blast! Until *someone* got way to drunk to play instances, and I got extremely pissed off at them for wanting to do silly fun stuff, rather than focusing on downing the next boss. We haven't played again since... hmm

Aracos said...

Yeah this really is a double edged sword. I met one of my best friends ever through WoW. We did everything together for years. Then through no fault of our own really, it all changed. We went our separate ways and haven't spoken since. Ok, me having a baby had something to do with it. But I blame Cata. It makes me feel better about it. ;)

Max said...

Heh heh. Exactly reason why I am advocating social networks inside games. People who would you have enjoyable experience playing with <> facebook/RL buddies

Hyperian said...

It comes down skill in the end. The people who WANT to raid will, and those who dont WONT. No sense in making people raid who dont have either the skill or desire. Be they friends or family. If a bad pull or CC breaker is enough to destroy a friend/relationship you were already in some dire straights.
On the flip side Kelp has a good point, on a purely game standing its better to raid with WoW made friends, you share game experiances and RL issues are always secondary to the game or dungeons. Once you know them for a long period (ive raided with some WoW friends for 3+ years) then it'll change, but not by much. Talking politics is taboo, same with anything other than what they saw on BBC. the relationships stay simple, and to the point.... and if the bastard ruined a Hero Nefarion kill... at least you wont have to see his/her ugly face for PT at 0500.

Klepsacovic said...

Blizzard, are you reading this? BAD IDEA!
Oh wait, you're clearly not listening.
Pay more money to play with friends! Oh never mind, money. Good idea.

@Hyperian: Of course it's all a matter of what works for the individuals, but I think it's survivable for long-time WoW friends to have some other conversation. It helps if their first response to a political opinion isn't "who?" or "what a fag." Then again, if their response to anything outside of old-time cigarette-related humor is "what a fag", I probably don't want to be WoW friends either.

Kring said...

But then they would have to admit that LFD killed their game and remove it...

Hyperian said...

I remember waiting 3-5 hours for a 5man man group (as a healer), only to have dudes bounce after the first boss didnt drop the gloves they needed. So no thanks, ill deal with the douche bags i occasionally get in LFD, I dont have that kinda time on my hands to waste anymore

Klepsacovic said...

@Kring: A tool for forming groups was probably needed. It's the cross-server anonymity which causes so many problems. Blizzard seems to recognize this, as I've heard LFD now has a same-server bias.

Kring said...

I don't have a single RL friend who plays WoW on the same realm as I do but I have/had a lot of WoW-friends with whom I've played together and enjoyed it. Therefore I couldn't agree more with your post. The problem is that since the LFD was added I haven't added a single new person to my friend list and the list of existing friends shrunk because people stopped playing.

The problem is Blizzards implementation of the LFD which grouped people that can't play together again (cross-realm) and people that don't want to play together at all (you're just delaying my way to shinies, scrub).

They did everything wrong with their implementation of the LFD that can be done wrong. And you would have to fix all issues to fix the LFD. The same realm bias wont help unless you also group people who enjoy playing together. Plus I don't think I would enjoy those runs where I'm together with 4 people of another realm. Those are normally the worst runs because you're the 5th wheel on the car.

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