This weeks Blog Azeroth shared topic is:
Have you ever tried to introduce real life friends to WoW? If yes, how did it go? If you never have, why not?
Sometimes even talking to real life friends about WoW seems impossible, even if they are into video games in general. There seems like a huge barrier of information and jargon that is impossible to explain efficiently enough to support the anecdote you want to inject into an otherwise non-WoW related conversation.
I’ve actually introduced real life friends to WoW twice. The first time was back just before The Burning Crusade was launched. This first friend jumped right in and got hooked on the game. He eventually was the person who introduced me to raiding and gold earning. He’s not playing anymore but I’d have to say that introduction went extremely successfully.
Then just recently another friend got a trial account. The difference is striking — my second friend has played one character of every race, alliance and horde, to level 20 and then stopped. So, he played a lot, but hasn’t so far decided to take the plunge to a full account. There are three factors that seem like impediments to him. First, his account was hacked and that was an unpleasant experience. Second, he is afraid it might become too time consuming. And last but not least, there is just so much to learn now — the game has stretched out so far compared to vanilla. It must feel impossible to a truly new player that they can ever catch up. Basics that veteran players take for granted are hard to explain, like addons, duel-specs, glyphs, mail, the auction house, etc etc etc… The trial account restrictions didn’t help much either.
I suppose many factors influence whether a new player ends up playing in the long term, but my general feeling is it’s harder now than it used to be.