Once again it bears mentioning that this week’s postings are inspired, at least in part, by the experience of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. This shall be the last such post, and next week you can look forward to aggressive shadow priest theorycrafting, or at least fewer references to hippie music.
Folk music, but it’s very nature, is somewhat multigenerational. As the music “of the folk” it tends to dwell on the issues of those folk. Everything from a famed older gentleman known simply as Valdie singing about nuclear waste, to a French Canadian gal singing about linguistic disconnection—different times have different issues.
Likewise, with our World of Warcraft, the different eras that players joined the game influence their styles and understanding of the game.
The Vanilla player has longstanding experience with the game, and has likely found some balance in their life. Once upon a time, they were a part of one of the best raiding guilds, but now they take a more relaxed pace. Despite this, their numbers are top, they move out of fires before they even spawn, and they “used to pvp a little” (rocking the High Warlord title). These folks have likely taken long breaks from the game, but on hard progression they’re your best asset. ”You think this was hard? You should have seen Naxx. No, I mean the real Naxx.”
The Burning Crusade player calls for CC on a rough trash pull the first night of Ruby Sanctum. Everyone laughs, saying CC is a crutch. After the wipe, everyone quietly talks out how to CC the pull. These players remember raiding when a different group size meant a different raid, and progressed through fights like KT and Sunwell. Sometimes BC players are just like Vanilla players and are true loyalist. Of course, with Burning Crusade marking the introduction of “raiding for all” these folks also learned game dynamics during a time when guild hopping was natural and expected. Be careful that you’re helping these folks meet their personal goals!
The Wrath of the Lich King player really got into raiding recently, but they make up for it with enthusiasm. They might play a DK, and always wonder why people complain about “boring talents.” They hate how the Ashen Verdict rep was so “grindy” and wish ICC had more AoE pulls. Despite being newer to the game, these folks entered at a time where class tools are everywhere, and bad habits are easily broken. These people are likely to stayl loyal to the folks who helped them get into raiding, or improve their play. New Wrath players tend to have fewer alts.
I expect the Cataclysm player will have a more balance schedule, more alts, and better class information. Still, it will take some time for these folks to really crack into the raiding scene. Guilds hoping to bolter numbers should remember that guild perks added in Cata will build loyalty, and that a player will always feel most at home with the people who helped make her/him better. Cataclysm promises to be an exciting time; while the work is falling apart, our guilds are only getting stronger!