In any grouping of human beings, conflicts involving personalities are inevitable. Learning how to identify certain personality types can help you identify a person or group who could potentially ruin a party.
The most common malady affecting players is the inability to see another's point of view. The truly blithering idiot has no regard for the welfare of others, and will do everything in his power to advance his own cause, even at the expense of the rest of the party.
Some idiots, on the other hand, are merely incompetent within the realm of their chosen class. It is all too common to find a mage who doesn't understand the concept of aggro management, a warrior who insists upon tanking in Berserker Stance, a rogue that thinks all the sheep standing around during a fight are easy pickings, or a priest that stops healing and starts complaining any time he takes damage. Some of these types of players can be successfully dealt within a party, while the revealing of some sounds the death knell of the group or party.
Despite assertions to the contrary, specific types of aberrant personalities often *do* gravitate along class lines. This is due to the specific psychology (or psychopathology) which tends to be associated with the different play styles required by different classes.
As such, the type of aberrant personality you will most likely encounter with members of the Priest class, as an example, is a tendency towards extreme emotional sensitivity, smugness, and elitism. The Warlock is similar, however added to that (as you might expect) can be a layer of schizoid, Gothic morbidity and viciousness. Aberrant Warriors and Rogues (particularly the latter) will tend towards control issues, a desire to dominate others, and hubris/overestimation of their abilities.
This, then, is a short list of a few of those stereotypes. While it may be embellished to the point of absurdity, anyone who has spent any significant amount of time playing World of Warcraft will tell you that there are people more insane than this.
Dealing with some people can be very difficult. A common impulse upon spending time with an idiot is anger. Managing your reaction to other players is as important to working in a group as knowing how to play your chosen class. Keep in mind that the average idiot, having no empathy for other players, couldn't care less what you think of him, and as such will often goad other players into hysterics purely for amusement. We offer, for your edification, a few suggestions on handling yourself in the presence of these mental muttonheads.
- Don't get angry. Pushing your buttons is the idiot's way of asserting his superiority. Keep a cool head, and remember that he can't help himself.
- Don't argue with him. There is a very famous and applicable saying regarding this: "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." Getting into a screaming match with an idiot is a good way to show your teammates that you are also an idiot. You're not an idiot, are you?
- Think before you speak. Sometimes an idiot will say something that merits a response. Assuming you can read what he wrote, put together a clear explanation for why you think his head is full of moth balls. Don't give him a leg to stand on. Shame is a powerful motivator in handling the unruly.
Above all, remember that they really can't help it. Just as you can't help needing to breathe and eat, idiots can't help themselves when it comes to foolish behavior. The best you can hope for is that someone will train the idiot, in much the same way you would train a recalcitrant dog, to think before he speaks, and to have some regard for the feelings of others.
Know your retard
Disciple of Leeroy
Immortalized in the Internet subculture, Leeroy Jenkins sprinted into a massive brood of whelps, completely destroying his party. The entertainment value in recordings of the event is incalculable, as is the number of working hours irrevocably lost to the industrialized world. Unfortunately, there is a class of player who idolizes poor Leeroy, and believes emulating his strategy will bring gold and glory. This player is convinced that the best tool for opening a jar is his forehead, that blindly rushing into a group will bring victory, and that anyone wary of supporting such a foolhardy leap into the Pit Lord's mouth is weak and cowardly.
Find something to occupy this player, preferably something that will result in minor and nonlethal head trauma.
There is a type of person who knows everything. From Sumerian history to Hammurabic law to astrophysics, there isn't a subject under the sun that this person hasn't mastered. Strategy and tactics are second nature to this player, and they are convinced that, given a pliable enough party, they could conquer the world. They will espouse at great length the best way to engage in fights, then fly into a spittle-flecked rage when a fight is handled counter to their instructions.
There is very little you can use to silence this player, short of chloroform, an Indonesian fighting snake and a whiffle bat. Generally the best thing to do is find another group or, failing that, tequila and a pistol.
The Guardian Angel
Learning to effectively play your class can be a challenge. Don't worry, there are people willing to explain your particular role in such minute detail that you will have no problem understanding it. They alone know the One True Way to maximize a particular class, and they possess the ego necessary to correct your every click. These players, while very similar to Napoleon's Lovechild, have narrowed the scope of their expertise so as to specialize in the blinding of the untutored with the brilliance of their genius.
It is extremely difficult to maintain composure when exposed to this class of person. Silencing them can be difficult in the extreme, as it is very hard to convince the all-knowing of a gap in their understanding. In addition, you need to be careful that such a person isn't a friend of the group leader, or, heaven forbid, the group leader themselves. If said person is the group leader, antagonizing them is basically asking to get booted from the group...although the bright side of this is that you could then look for a different group, one where you hopefully won't be exposed to the kind of aggravation that has been proven to cause cancer in lab rats.
Disappearing without a trace, these players trade in cryptic phrases like, "brb," then vanish for minutes or hours. They typically return just as a major boss has died or a desirable piece of loot has dropped. It can be very aggravating for a party to down a boss with four people, find a rare and extremely valuable item, and have that item taken by the one person who did nothing.
Admire the tactless ego that allows this person to use his inclusion in the party to justify taking items he didn't help acquire. Then, when your blood pressure has risen to the point that you begin to twitch like a boiling teapot, cram a piece of rawhide in your mouth and sit quietly until the impulse to scream yourself unconscious passes.
Some party members have an unquenchable curiosity, a burning desire to know what is around the next corner or how close they can get to a monster without attracting attention. The smarter of these folks have some sort of stealth (rogue or druid), but none of them is Sir Edmund Hillary, if you take our meaning. These fearless trailblazers tend to wander off looking for gather-able ingredients, trying to get a close up on a mob they've never seen before, or just seeing if they can squeeze between two barrels for the fun of it.
Rather than constantly trying to rein in this intrepid explorer, sometimes it's best to let them die a few times and be slow to heal or resurrect them. Eventually they may learn that their curiosity tends to cost them time and repair bills, but we wouldn't count on it if we were you.
This person never learned how to type. Never mind trying to figure out how they entered a character name, or setup their account name. Maybe they have invented a way of interacting with computers via semaphore. Maybe they trained a squirrel to take dictation. We can't figure it out either. Somehow, some way, they never figured out that one can use a keyboard to communicate. The anguished screams of a party in need of their stone deaf tank will fall upon his eardrums with less effect than a snowflake on a seesaw.
Having one of these characters in your party is probably one of the most difficult situations to deal with. On the one hand, the person might not be responding because he's busy. This makes him a bad candidate for addition to the party, since communication is more than a little necessary to the proper functioning and continued survival of a party. On the other hand, the person might not be responding because he doesn't care. This makes him a bad candidate for addition to the party because he's a jackass.
It's generally not a good idea to party with anyone who doesn't respond to chat. Warcraft lore does not include deaf-mutes in any way, so you can be assured they aren't role playing a deaf or mute character, and if they're trying to anyway, you have to ask yourself if you really want to get involved with that kind of person.
The Arrogant Anarchist
This seems to be the exact opposite of the Napoleon's Love Child; they ignore rational tactical thought and do things their own way, often demanding loudly in raid or battleground chat for people to ignore the designated leader. When called to the carpet for their actions, they usually cite their ability to simultaneously kill three of the opposite side as a justification for undermining the attempts of more rational players. They will often ignore their detractors, choosing instead to believe in the abilities that mysteriously turned them into a social pariah.
A reasonable ability to recognize a pattern of actions that will result in extreme bodily harm can serve you well if your party has been shackled to such a deviant. Spend just a moment or two too long discussing strategy, and they will become impatient and incensed at your apparent indecisiveness. Watch the ensuing bloodbath as they learn that trying to solo a boss in the Shattered Halls is a terminally bad idea.
The Vengeful Healer
Some people weren't meant to be healers. They cast Divine Intervention on themselves when an extra mob gets facepulled. They heal a Warlock that just used Life Tap in the middle of a trash pull. In a boss fight, they put on HoT on the tank and start swinging their staff. They run away from the tank when they are attacked. They pull aggro by breathing.
When confronted about their obvious inability to heal a scraped knee in a Band-Aid factory, they get furiously defensive, hurling poorly-spelled invectives at anyone and anything nearby. Instead of healing, they constantly start arguments about the completely bizarre and illogical beliefs that have put them in the position of being less useful to a party than a burning rock.
If you're feeling lucky, boot the healer and find another one. It may take some time to find one that isn't already helping another group, but it will be well worth your time, as stress has been shown to decrease quality of life, increase blood pressure, cause headaches, and is a major factor in the use of filthy expletives, some of which can cause grief and anguish in family members, pets, and visiting law enforcement officials who have been summoned under the impression that severe domestic violence is in full swing.
If you're not feeling lucky, or you feel like your time would be well spent in being a dick to a dick (and who could blame you?), the remaining party members may collude to give the healer a baptism of smack. Hunters should use Misdirection, rogues should use Tricks of the Trade, and the tank should stand around looking butch (if circumstances have transpired to put in a group with a female tank, she should instead endeavor to appear confident yet feminine).
The Drill Sergeant
Most of us in WoW who run dungeons or raids know exactly who this is. They are usually the "leaders" of the party, the tank, or both. Unless you enjoy having every order barked at you via the /yell command (and caps, don't forget that), being raked over the coals for drawing a bit too much aggro as a DPS (not enough to wipe the party, but just enough to piss them off), or screaming at the healers when their health drops below 50% just because they were healing an off-tank tanking a key add mob at that moment, I would suggest leaving any party containing such dreck. Cut your losses and leave the party because it just isn't worth it.
These "special folks" are the bastard children of a Napoleon's Lovechild and an enraged pitbull. God forbid you question their authority when a bad call is made in Vent; do this and a virulent stream of nerdrage is sure to follow.
In sum, if you play World of Warcraft to *gasp* have FUN, and enjoy hearty combat with a group of intelligent, mature individuals who enjoy having fun in the game as well, and look forward to exploring all the cool late-to-end-game content with a reasonable amount of light-hearted trash-talking, please DO NOT associate yourselves with this piece of trash player.
This one's easy. If you are a person of infinite patience, stick it out and finish the dungeon/raid/bg/whatever and never, ever, group up with that mental midget again. For the rest of us, however, the best option is to simply utter a "stfu" and get out of the group. It's not worth the stress, aggravation, or hurt feelings that pricks like this cause wherever they go. Remember, they are 99 times out of 100 just a sniveling coward in Real Life who feels that treating others like crap will somehow make them feel better or stronger.
If you do stick around in a party with this moron, out of necessity or just can't see missing out on the awe-inspiring boss monsters, please, PLEASE /ignore the sumbitch! 8^D
A last word on people
As a game, World of Warcraft is built to entertain. A huge part of that entertainment comes from the social interactions between players. Unfortunately, it doesn't take many mean, disruptive, or abusive players to ruin an encounter, a party, or even the entire game. Remember that you are not the only player. Maintain a healthy attitude and don't be a jackass. Nobody enjoys spending time with a jackass. If another person in your group needs the same item you do, be fair in deciding who gets it, and don't bitch and moan when you lose. Treating a game like a job is the surest way to stop enjoying it.