I’ll be honest. It was hard to find a close friend that HADN’T played World of Warcraft before. After awhile searching, I found one who we will aptly name Bob. Bob is a big gamer, but strictly console systems, so the MMO scene was completely new to him. I had Bob try out the character I made for my initial post about WoW, whose name was Informatics. To get a good emotional response, I told him I wouldn’t answer any questions. He was on his own.
Bob seemed intrigued by the game in general. He found it easy to pick up. The first thing he did was run up to a rabbit and kill it (poor thing). Bob was incredibly amused by this. Shortly after though, as shown on the screenshot to the right, he started clicking on the ! near the bottom of the screen which told him the basics of the game(screenshot 1). He was very suprised at how detailed and useful these description boxes were. He figured it would be much harder to learn how to play, one of the main reasons he had never tried in the first place.
That was the extent of his excitement, however. Combat in World of Warcraft ended up being his downfall. He became frustrated to no end when, after 5 or so attempts, he kept losing to the beginner monsters(screenshot 2). I’ve never seen someone curse so much at a wolf. It made him even more frustrated when he found out he had to run back to where he died from a graveyard. All his frustration melted away, however, when he finally figured out how to use skills and got himself to level 2 (screenshot 3).
As you can see, playing the game by yourself elicts a wide range of emotional responses, from anger and frustration to excitement and happiness. Adding people into the mix, however, adds a whole new dimension to these emotions. Bob didn’t play enough to get to groupwork (he looked at me and said “This game’s stupid!” shortly after reaching level 2), but from my own experiences, groupwork can draw out even more emotion. When other people don’t know how to properly utilize the game’s interface, not only is it frustrating to them because they can’t play the game very well, it’s frustrating to everyone that they group with because bad players are burdensome.
Luckily, Bob will never have to deal with bad players, but he had enough of an emotional rollercoaster within the first few minutes of playing all by himself.