World of Warcraft

16 years of playing WoW as a hardcore player, and I’ve just now discovered a new way to engage with the game! I’m more excited for Shadowlands than I have been for an expansion in a very long time.

wow5 - 16 years of playing WoW as a hardcore player, and I've just now discovered a new way to engage with the game! I'm more excited for Shadowlands than I have been for an expansion in a very long time.
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After playing WoW since Vanilla and experiencing it from the perspective of pretty much every angle from hardcore mythic raider to casual PUG player (as I've moved through life and my commitment to WoW waxed and waned), I've found a new way to engage with the game and the community in a way that's made me more excited for Shadowlands than I can remember being excited for WoW in years…

Guiding and mentoring other players

We've seen trade chat spam blow up with ads for carries and a common sentiment among players has been that earning and keys are too hard for the average player. Certainly there are many reasons that people buy carries, but this is one that drives me nuts. WoW is a game to be experienced and, IMO, Heroic raids and M+15s the sweet spot of challenging but doable endgame content that most players are more than capable of beating.

A few guildmates and I set up a free "carry" H NYA run in trade chat for players willing to learn and play the content, and it turned out great! It's the end of an expansion so we didn't get a particularly large turnout – 6 experienced guildies leading 8 PUG players of varying skill and ilvl, but we provided an explanation of each boss fight, a full set of consumables for each player, and after the (surprisingly few) wipes we had there was a short discussion around tweaking tactics and attending to a few particularly challenged players as they learned how to not fail at gimmicks.

Yes, this was just a PUG raid and not a carry at all! Our players thought they'd need to pay 70-100k gold just for an achievement, but we showed them that they could have the experience and confidence from actually defeating the content on their own. A few expansions ago I would have been an internet tough guy raging at the noobs for wiping to mechanics and booting people without a second chance, but where did that ever get me? Burned out on raiding within 6-8 weeks of each raid tier and complaining about a lack of content.

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Taking a step back and sharing our WoW knowledge with other players turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying experiences I've had in any MMO to date.

So to my fellow longtime WoW veterans out there waiting for Shadowlands and preparing for yet another rush to endgame and then slam themselves into the brick wall of Mythic raiding or the burnout period between Heroic raid tiers after breezing through Nathria in a few weeks, consider trying something new this expansion. Whether it's joining the in-game mentor system, working within your own guild, heading over to r/wownoobs, or recruiting friends to try Shadowlands, there are myriad opportunities out there for the hardcore experienced player to give back to the community.

Tens of thousands of players are out there watching streams or paying for carries when they could be experiencing the game firsthand and knowing the thrill of 'beating' some of the most challenging content out there. Be a mentor, reach out to newbies, and offer your patience and expertise in learning how to enjoy this amazing game that has become such a huge part of so many of our lives. It may not be as elite as topping leaderboards, but it's infinitely more satisfying to make that personal connection with a small group of players and watch them grow from cute newbies standing in the bad stuff to confident players getting AOTCs kicking ass in Shadowlands.

I have no idea how it will play out, but I'm planning on spending my first few months in Shadowlands getting groups together to collaborate and learn the mechanics of the new dungeon and raid content. I can't wait for the 23rd – this is going to be the best expansion ever!

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