Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I chose to be a mage on Warcraft. Mages are pretty cool, but they can only fight with one enemy at a time. They are useful in groups, but not good for playing alone. What's funny is that it's really hard for me to make friends on Warcraft. According to my sister, many people join Warcraft together and hang out with the real-life friends. Anyway, it's a humbling experience. I'm begging people to let me join their group and casting nice spells on people trying to earn their friendship.

If anyone has been considering starting World of Warcraft, please join Khadgar and be my friend. ;-)

Technorati Tags:


For someone who seems to make friends so fast in the "real world", you're having a hell of a time socializing with true geeks... :)

I feel for you though... it's so hard to find a decent group of people on any multiplayer game...

And now you are begging your ... ahem ... "real world" friends to come be your friends in Warcraft? Dude, talk about recombinant collapsing contexts!
My head is spinning. ;)

Aright aright... where do I get a copy of this Warcraft thing?

oh man... are you trying to get us all addicted as well? he he.
i sure am tempted, but i really shouldn't.

Joi, come over to Dragonblight. We can 'hang out' together. My wife is a priest and I am a mage.

I have a discount code for a friend. Email me. First come first serve.

But it is really funny and humbling. "You're too low level dude." "We already have enough people in our group." The more I beg, the funnier it gets...

I run into the same problem as a mage on Blackrock. You can make friends pretty quickly with preists because the love the free water you can conjure. And priests are like the social butterflies of warcraft, everybody loves a good healer. ;)

"My wife is a priest and I am a mage". Never thought I'd hear someone ever say that...

Try a female character and you might notice the difference just as interesting. People abuse this difference though. At one point, I found myself being the only male character among a hundred female newbies. Another interesting thing is that, if you are observant enough, you can tell the sex and approximate age of the person behind a character. Lots of areas to do some real *cough* research in.

I have not played WoW but I really used to be into Ultima Online and had a very similar experience. I loved that game because it takes into account that lots of people just want to exist, and it allows space and time for that -- not everyone is an A-type gamer. That is what UXO didn't have. A stoop on which to chill and hang with your friends.

I remember a Japanese guy telling me (in Sweden, one year ago) that he didn't play computer games anymore, since it takes too much time and since he could get addicted. Guess it seems like that guy has given up not playing ;)

I've got a few characters I play depending on my mood. My primary is a gnome warrior, but I also have a hunter, a shaman, a druid, and a mage. It's interesting to see how there really are very different ways to play them effectively. Now I just need to spend some time and boost my warrior's fishing and cooking skills.

It becomes easier to meet people as you progress through the levels. You'll be forced to party up for the harder quests, and you can always ask your party members if their guilds are looking for members. I think a guild is the best way to meet people. There are bound to be a few people near your level, and it's easier to remember names on a mostly-static guild roster than the entire server population.

Another option is your server forum. You may find people recruiting there.

Heads up though, World of Warcraft can be a huge time sink. (I should know.)

Joi! Head over to Runetotem! I'm Crystaltips (Horde, Warlock).

Alice. x


How about bribing people with offers to link back to their blogs if they'll play WoW with you? :-)

Blog links as currency. Fear.

As soon as I find a copy I'll look for ya. I need a break from reality for a while!

Not that we've ever met, but someone pointed this post out to me and if you're not opposed to re-rolling on Cenarius, may I suggest the Drunken Penguins? I'm not a hard-core gamer, and I've found these folks to be incredibly fun.

Jason D-, since I do know you, that goes double for you. If you get the game, get thee hence. :)

my brother plays wow, and he seems to hang around with people he met on ultima online and dark age of camelot. i'm thinking it just takes a long time to really meet people you can trust.

I'm interested what your take is on the blizzard vs. bnetd case is. obviously you don't mind sending your money to blizzard.


Drunken Penguins sounds like Leeroy and his bros wearing tuxes. :-)

As your level gets higher, you'll find it easier to find friends and a*s kissers. If you know your stuff, you'll also get respect and invites. But at very high level, things just get really boring cuz you've seen and done everything.

If you make it to Ner'Zhul (PvP), say hi to Ehrin (my Alliance priest) or if you make it to Proudmoore (PvE), say hi to Seine (my other Alliance priest) :)

Jaap: I didn't know about the Blizzard vs. bnetd case. I'll look into it.

I don't know if I have the energy to create a new character on another realm right now, but at least now I know where to go. Thanks!

So I guess that means no one has a character on Khadgar... at least they they want to tell me about. ;-)

my friend who plays a mage tells that mages become cool only when your level gets high enough. actually, i think i got fed up with my warlock at level 33, and restarted with a rogue.

also, i too am having very hard times at socializing on wow. actually, i think this really spoils the game - if you can't manage to play it in group enough often, it becomes boring and repetitive after a while.

Ranged attack classes are hard to solo. I play a rogue and solo well due to the ability to stealth around and fight only what I want to fight. Mages are great, but they can't take much of a pounding.

A guild is the best way to gather a party.

While it might be fun to play with friends you already know, there is something to be said for meeting new people and living in an online world with only your interaction defining your persona to others.

Sometimes I'm in a party of strangers when I mention going afk to deal with one of my daughters. My party mates are often shocked that I'm not 16 like they are...

One thing I've found is that it has been easier for me to find people to group with on the RP servers. I'm not sure if it the people who are drawn to those servers or just the style of playing that clicks with me. I suspect a little bit of both.

The whole dynamic of how people interact on WoW is fascinating to me, even after having been on MUDs for 13+ years. There's just a different feel to it that I just can't put my finger on.

Yes, I was comparing it to MUDs and it's very different. I think the thing about MUDs were that there weren't many distractions. Basically, "You are stood on top of a hill. There is a road leading towards the cemetary to the west and a door to a cottage to the right. You see Joi standing." Clearly, you would "look Joi" then say something. Probably the text mode made it more natural to type things to each other, whereas on WOW, most of the time you're dealing with the keyboard bindings to open and close windows, not typing to each other... but again, what do I know. I'm still level 14. ha!

This problem actually spans all social-oriented online communities. I'm a pretty big dork, but most all my friends are physical world enthusiasts. So after trying out new social-oriented sites I rarely come back as filtering thru strangers online is pretty low on my list of priorities. And I guess this is all a 100% translation to real life. If you walk into a cafe it's rare to leave with a real connection, unless you are known. I'm not really trying to make a point, so much as just sharing that I think this is a very common problem for anyone that tries to branch out without moving with a pack of people. It's always hard making friends in a new place when you are unknown.

WoW is the biggest time drain I have ever come across. Ok, I wasn't a prolific blogger before I bought the game but now... what was my typepad password??.....

The social side of the game definately picks up in the mid-levels (30+) when you become a more attractive potential member for a guild or party. I spent all of my early levels playing solo which has it's benefits too (no sharing of loot for starters). Unfortunately the other thing that makes a good party/guild member is the ability to give lots of time to the game. Some of the higher level instances take many hours to complete and for people with any kind of family life, finding that kind of uninterupted leisure time is not always that easy :)


What's your WoW player name?

hehe, WOW is seriously addictive. Its a shame youre not on Skywall, its a pretty new server and the majority of us are level 60s from other servers...most of us started doing endgame content just 4 weeks into it...ok, thats sad, but its a blast.

I have a level 8 dwarven warrior, Farkusson in the same realm. Look me up? We can chat about tech and then do medieval killing of monster stuff...

Playing a mage, you're going to enjoy some of the nicest spell animations existing in the game. Leveling shouldn't be so hard, only the need to drink water after every 3-4 mobs will slow you down. Blizzard did a great job giving people a chance to gain experience even if they don't play 24/7. And as a mage, you won't be running into problems finding groups, e.g. for instances. Being one of the main damage dealers you're always welcome.
When you're interested, there are a number of good weblogs covering the authors virtual life(s) instead of just repeating official news from forums or the official websites. E.g. Tobold's MMORPG Blog (english) or Living in WoW (german).

Interesting links Pieter. Boyd. I'll look for you.

I've changed my name to "Jonkichi".