Be very afraid.
No, on second thought, you should be shitting your pants right about now.
My 9 year old son is joining LFG random teams, and I am coaching him on what to do in the background.
You know, I used to make jokes about the ultimate power I held. I have a son who I can teach any kind of crazy shit to, and he’d believe it. For a while, at least. If I was convincing, sincere and made an effort to keep my story straight, it is entirely plausible that I could raise him believing that almost anything is really reals.
I did not use my powers for evil, unless you count sitting him on my lap and training him to say “Baby versus Rhino” and giggle while yet an infant, using my Penny Arcade t-shirt as a visual cue.
Oh yeah, that’s right. Baby. RHINO! *giggle*.
Mostly, they only giggle at rhinos. Mostly.
Okay, so there was that whole ‘take pictures of Disney characters’ butts’ thing, but hey, if I took a sneaking pic of your booty would you hold it against me?
Don’t answer that.
And if that was cool, we could maybe overlook that whole “posted it on the internet for millions to, err hundreds to… okay, for Frank to see” thing?
Note to self… don’t ask dangerous questions, or you might get a visit from The Law. We don’t got no truck with The Law, we’re all about teh kaoS around here, baby.
My son is in ur groups, whacking ur mobs.
I have coached him carefully.
The rules as I made them known for a beginning are;
- Never get in front of the tank, for that is how you face pull.
- Never attack before the tank does, for that is how you tag team aggro.
- Never taunt, and take Growl off your pet, for that is how you yank aggro.
- Target a mob, attack with everything you’ve got, and if the nameplate (Threat Plates) turns red, switch to a different target immediately.
- Always pay attention at all times. You never know when the tank will run and pull something.
- If you are getting eaten, run over and stand on top of the tank.
- If you are attacking as melee, get behind the bad guy and TEAR UP HIS BUTT!
- Pass on ALL LOOT, unless it is the correct TYPE of armor or weapon and STATS.
It’s fairly simple. It is a beginning.
He started by entering instances on his Goblin Hunter, who at the time was a freshly minted 15. Cassie and I didn’t have anyone on Horde side at all to run with him, and I had given him the options for leveling;
- The Questor: Quest through the zones, killing and exploring as you go.
- The Grinder: Ignore quest objectives, kill anything and explore anything you like.
- The Grouper: Queue for randoms and pass the time between queues however you’d like.
- The PvPer: Queue for BGs to kill other people, and pass the time between battlegrounds however you’d like.
- The Skilled Worker: Grind Archeology and Gathering professions to gain level up XP.
Of course, you can mix and match however you’d like, but it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of options for gaining XP and leveling. What would he choose for his Hunter?
He chose to Group, and kill stuff and explore while waiting.
I was a little… nervous when I let him loose.
I’m sorry, but the fact is… a lot of players are pricks. It is what it is, and I’m not saying there are more pricks in WoW than in other games, but there ARE a lot of pricks out there. I tune it out, but we’re talking a nine year old, and I’m not going to shut his Party Chat off when there may be important information in there from the tank or healer.
So, I sat there hoping that, armed with my advice, he would not attract the ire of the asshats.
I don’t hold out much hope for over the long run, he’ll see it and have to learn to deal with it maturely, because there are a lot of pricks that attack people in groups without any basis for their hostility at all. There are people that just pick someone at random, and unleash their inner asshat all over them. Nothing you can do to avoid it, all you can do is recognize that the problem isn’t something you did, it’s just them being them.
Not something I like contemplating for my son, any more than I like seeing it happen to any other stranger out there that may be just like my son.
Regardless, you don’t learn or grow by being wrapped in bubble wrap and sheltered in a box. You can’t prepare yourself to fight evil if you don’t even know it exists. In our modern world, learning to deal with internet bullies and online harassment is probably one of the most important lessons we need, so might as well get started sometime.
I’ve watched him in instances, and he’s outstanding.
He doesn’t say a word in chat, because he doesn’t type all that fast, although he does like typing in “/say Hello”.
Regardless, he’s been rocking the place, and I’ve seen other players offer to trade him items that he could use, and I have yet to see anyone be mean to him at all.
In fact, he’s been doing so well that when he wanted to queue in randoms on his Feral Cute Kitty O’ Doom Druid, even though he is level 56 and had some massive places in his instance list, I let him give them a try.
He did so well in a Sunken Temple run, that the others asked if they could requeue as a group and do it again. And again. And again, even.
So, he’s doing well. I’m very proud of him.
Throughout it all, he finds the funniest things to get interested in.
I’ve been letting him go solo to see what he’ll get into. I’ve been pushing him on his Death Knight, who is level 82, to explore. As I’ve said to him, “there is very little in the entire world that has any hope of hurting you. You can travel wherever you’d like, get in the face of just about anything, and eat their lunch. Except here (points to Twilight highlands).
So, why not go looking?
He spent some time killing Hogger and clearing out the Stormwind Stockades. He liked running the instance solo, and feeling powerful.
When we did Children’s Week, he saw all of Nagrand, and went nuts.
His big thing has always been ‘rock guys’. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but he has loved elementals in the game for as long as I’ve played WoW, and rock dudes are his favorites.
He would love to see me kill rock dudes, and watch them split up into smaller and smaller rock dudes. Absolute favorites.
Well, he saw the rock dudes in nagrand, and spent the next two days killing rock dudes, then water guys, then I showed him the fire guys on the Elemental Plateau… he had a blast.
Then he went off the grid. I was raiding, and wasn’t watchig him too close. Next time I looked over, he was in Shadowmoon Valley, and he went on a demon killing spree that was unprecedeted.
He found the entrance to Black Temple all on his own.
He LOVED killing Uvoros the two-headed demon dog. The GIANT two headed demon dog.
That led me to show him the Petopia website, and I had to bookmark it onto his desktop and let him spend an hour browsing the awesome pictures of tamable pet designs.
And then… he went to Hellfire Peninsula, and without any prompting from me in any way, began hunting Fel Reavers across the entire landscape.
And now… he has come full circle.
He has discovered the Raging Colossuses, the giant rock guys around the red crystal just to the west of the Temple of Telhamut.
These are the holy grail of rock guys.
You see, when you start attacking these guys, they get a little smaller as you damage them, AND they make MORE rock guys.
He has also noticed… the Raging Colossus has, ahem, “Tushie Cheeks”.
This has been a new source of giggling amusement.
To the Blizzard graphics designer that decided ‘rock guys’ needed tushie cheeks? Well played, sir. Well played.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I am being summoned to watch as my son kills another Fel Reaver, or, as he says, Watch him “Demolish a Fel Reaver of Doom”.
Watching my son destroy a Fel Reaver in fiendish delight, and exclaim with joy as the pieces fall apart and drop, scattering all over the place, is magical.