Friday, March 23, 2012

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Knowledge Killing

This week's shared topic at Blog Azeroth was suggested by Logtar:
Do you guys think that the LFR and LFD kill the sense of community, but taking it one step further; does it also kill the passing down of knowledge?  Are the new tools for grouping killing the knowledge sharing?
I wasn't sure I had anything to say but after reading Karegina's post on the topic I realised I did have something to say.

There are different kinds of knowledge.  I don't agree that you can't pass knowledge through LFR - people can learn about boss techniques and you tend to learn it from watching rather than anyone explaining.  Sometimes you can get lucky and someone will go through it and explain it to you, and I know I try to pass as much knowledge as possible that way if I do LFR with any noobies.  The same goes with LFD - those instances are the same difficulty and the strats are the same, so you can still impart knowledge about mechanics and techniques in those areas.

One item of knowledge that I think having LFR and LFD reduces is WHERE things are.  People no longer need to know how to get somewhere if they don't want to.  As long as one person gets there, then throw out a group summon, you don't have to know how to get there.  Remember summoning stones?  We used to use them to summon people to a dungeon.  I wonder how many people who do LFR know where the Dragon Soul instance is?

Another thing that may lead to knowledge killing but not DIRECTLY related to LFR/LFD is that there is more of a trend now for solo play.  To raid or to do a dungeon in Vanilla or BC required you to at least know somebody.  Or you could PUG, but before cross server, a successful one was hard to find.  If you solo play, who is there to pass knowledge to you.  How are you going to know where the Valor point vendor is in Orgrimmar if you don't have someone to tell you?  Trade channel is an option but it can be full of trolls that sometimes even asking the simplest question can get you anything from a helpful answer to abuse about being a noob.  NOT that you should put up with that abuse (and we should all make a stand against abuse in WoW! But I've already written a long post about that!) but it is sometimes easier to avoid something if you can help it. 

I am guilty of this to an extent.  It took me a long time to figure out where Grim Batol was, and even where Vortex Pinnacle was.  It's so easy to queue Grim Batol as a dungeon and instantly you're there.

There are so many ways in WoW to get your information now.  Dungeon Journal, Wowhead, Wowwiki, Google, blogs... you don't need to ask other people all those questions anymore.  But does it seem like people know less in WoW than we ever did before, even with this all this info?  Do people care about the lore of Warcraft?  Sometimes it feels like that the only people who did care were those who played Warcraft 3.  Perhaps we underestimate new players - if they get passionate about WoW then they will do anything to find out everything they can about the game.  I just hope that everyone will treat those new players with respect and answer their noobish questions patiently so that everyone can enjoy this addictive, maddening, enthralling game that we all play.

3 comments:

  1. I don't think I'd trust trade chat for anything… o_O;;

    But I think you've hit the nail on the head that the 'finders encourage solo play. I only really did dungeons pre-finders when I was in my micro-guild—there were only a handful of runs I did while leveling and that was because I happened to be in the right zone at the right time.

    Since the 'finders pull from a wide server pool there's a good chance that you'll never see the people you random with again. Which on the one hand is good, because the jerks probably won't pop up again, but on the other hand the non-jerks don't have any real motivation to help me. Explaining what I'm doing wrong takes more time than finding a replacement (woo dps *sighs*) and there's no benefit to the group to suffer through my learning curve.

    As a solo player I can say the in-game and out-of-game resources are allowing me to build up the courage to un-mothball my main, but I seriously considering not setting foot in the 5-man 'finder again until I've found a guild to go with me. :p

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  2. Sometimes I play the role of "wise elder" and help those who are seeking help in Trade Chat, only to find that they are trolling, too, but hey, fairly quickly figured out. There is a bigger issue here, and how does anyone learn anything or maintain curiosity in this world of overloaded information? I believe those who are curious will remain so. They will seek answers with the great resources out there, experiment, make mistakes, and learn. In some ways, it's funny because some of my most best play moments are with those strangers, and paradoxically it's not "solo" any longer. Sometimes I have felt lonelier in a large guild setting than with a partner or even PUG. It was the friend or two who would show me where instances are, the friends who show me the small things that mean something. I go into LFR for the same reasons I go into PvP -- practice and anonymity--and points. Well, heck this response is becoming a post, so I'd better go make my own. Great thoughts, Navi, gave me a lot to consider!

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  3. POSTED :P

    Learning boss techniques is one thing, but the game or failure is imparting the knowledge, not the community. There is really no time to pass any knowledge in LFR unless you make a huge macro list (or an addon that whispers people back. Even then it still almost a copy and paste of someone else's content and not a conversation.

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