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The Rules of Online Gaming Etiquette

written by Ehre August 18, 2015

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I find it an unfortunate experience when I am playing a game and having a great time, and then all of a sudden I run into one person who is just really rude for no reason. Being rude in general is unattractive, but being rude for no reason is even worse. The really sad thing is that through my years of gaming, I have discovered that more and more people have no idea what good gaming etiquette consists of.

I can tell you that calling the healer a noob and rage-quitting because the mage pulled a second group, and the tank died after picking it up because the healer wasn’t over geared just isn’t it. The fact that these games are made to require team work in certain cases and instances, and being childish to your group because they don’t live up to your outrageous expectations is just crappy and unrealistic. I know that people can become a completely anonymous character online, but that is still no excuse for an absurd elitist attitude. Whether you believe it or not, it still says a lot about you as a person. So play nice, it’s just polite.

Back when I first started my gaming career, I was shocked by the amount of helpful people I encountered during my leveling experience. I took this example of friendly and enjoyable game play and passed it along to other characters that I ran into. It became habit to help out new players and in turn, provide them with a positive outlook and attitude in the game. I found myself rewarded with friendly and dedicated guild mates and became the leader of a very successful raiding guild on my server.

It wasn’t until recent years that I discovered more than a handful of rude and inconsiderate ingrates, poking fun at new players and people who made mistakes in instances. When did this become acceptable behavior? Here is a list of rules that I feel should be common gaming courtesies afforded to every player, experienced or not.

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Don’t be a Quitter

If you are in a group and it is not going well, try talking to the other players. Maybe you can make suggestions in a calm and polite manner. You will be surprised how many people are open to improving themselves if approached in a nice way. People will also come up with impressive tactics, utilizing the strengths that the group possesses.

It is never cool to start a fight or call people names just because they aren’t plying the way you want them to. Perhaps their play style works well for them and they are actually really great at their class. You will never know if you don’t give them a chance to show you what they can do. Sometimes it’s as simple as just not knowing the fight. I have been a first timer in many dungeons where I ended up being left behind watching initial cut scenes and then insulted for not keeping up. If people need help, offer.

Remember, each person that you run into has paid for the play time that they are using so they are entitled to be as serious about it as they like. As long as they are not intentionally affecting anyone negatively, relax.

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Ignore Insults

We’ve all been here. You are playing the game, maybe questing somewhere and some horrible person comes along and says or does something completely out of the blue and uncalled for. You can either lower yourself to their level or be the bigger person and ignore it. Most chat systems or voice chat have a mute or ignore button. Use it. Escalating the exchange by returning insults until you are in a situation that you regret is much less rewarding than not reacting and imagining how angry and upset the other person is at being ignored.

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Be a Good Sport

I understand the distress that follows losing a roll on something that you really, really wanted. I also understand that rage-quitting or whining and crying about it will get you exactly nowhere. In fact, it will probably land you on a list somewhere, a list of people who the raid leader will never invite again. Your chances of getting that epic item just dropped dramatically. If you instead choose to ninja the item you will be black-listed throughout the game because word travels fast, and you will certainly never get another good piece of gear or a group invite very easily. Instead, try congratulating the person who won the item. This is the polite thing to do. Behaving this way will get you real life reputation with your fellow compatriots and people who you group with will be more likely to help you get items that you need even if it involves some farming runs. Believe it or not, most people want to help mature and nice players rather than jerks.

During PvP try learning from more experienced players rather than freaking out and breaking your keyboard over your face because the same guy has killed you 12 times. That guy was once a noob too, practice makes perfect. I remember a player who used to consistently destroy me in battle grounds. We were in the same level range and almost always ran into each other in the arena. Instead of losing my mind and screaming at the screen (which I really, really wanted to do) I decided to create a character on that person’s server. We actually ended up chatting for a long while about the different things that I could do to improve, and improve I did. I actually got to the point where I was able to defend myself and even beat him more often than not. At this point he created a toon on my server and we chatted again. It became a mature and enjoyable exchange between us and it is an experience that I wish all gamers could have, a playful competition between two adults who chose to learn from their shortcomings instead of being pricks.

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Don’t Spam and Spare us the CAPS

Selling stuff in chat is the same as selling stuff anywhere else on the internet. Most people who post things on sites like Craigslist or eBay have to wait a day or two for responses. The same applies in-game. While you realistically don’t have to wait a day or two for inquiries, you should at least wait 15 or 20 minutes between posts. By spamming you are running the risk of annoying people to the point where they will never buy from you. If you wait between posts you will most likely be reaching a whole new audience each time. This will widen your casting net and give you a much better chance of finding a buyer. The same goes for caps. Please don’t post everything in caps; it is the text equivalent of YELLING AT PEOPLE. Do you like being yelled at? Neither does anyone else.

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You Were a Noob Too

You might be the absolute best player in a specific game, but you didn’t get there completely on your own. You were new to the game once and people went out of their way to help you learn the ropes. Every game has its own unique lingo, quirks and items that must become a familiar part of your character. Never forget that other people must go through the same process to grow into a skilled asset.

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Camping is Lame

Let’s be real here, I have done this to someone once or twice. No one is perfect, but I reserve this behavior for people who have managed to make my “do not heal list”. These are people who went out of their way to give me a bad day. I don’t appreciate being camped and I’m sure no one else does either. If it has ever been done to you, you know it’s not fair. It is especially unfair to those who are much lower level than you. Other than revenge (which is still not a great reason) there is no point in picking on someone who is just trying to level¬† and get gear so that they can be as cool as you.

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Enjoy

Being a genuine butt hole to people gives them a good reason to assume that you only behave this way because you have nothing to show for yourself in real life. Being a jerk can make people quit your game all together and you don’t want that. Keep in mind that the developers of the game that you love so much and think you are so great at, will not make those expansions that you’ve been waiting for if they don’t have the player base to justify it.¬†People have enough stress in their lives and there is no need to bring more of it into something meant to be fun. Don’t get me wrong, playfully picking on someone can be fun, just know when to knock it off. Sit back, relax and have fun. It’s only a game.