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The S.O., the WoW & the Deal

March 17, 2009

Please note that this is a post with two parts:  Part I – What Not to Do After They Do Play & Part II – How to Get Them to Play.  Yes, it’s backwards.  No, I don’t care.

Yesterday, Bob had a post about getting your significant other to play WoW.  My comment started to get pretty long so I cut it off short and I will post all (or most) of my thoughts here, for all of you to read.

Part I – What Not to Do After They Do Play

Do not blow your exhaust on your S.O. - it is not funny & they are not laughing. Do not blow your exhaust on your S.O. – it is not funny & they are not laughing.

Perhaps the first thing you should know is that, as it says in my “About” page, I wasn’t a gamer to begin with.  I had no predisposition to Warcraft whatsoever and I had a very mean opinion of anyone who liked games of any sort (and to me, they were all the same: stupid and a waste of time.  I thought time could be better spent reading books about history.)  The only reason I ever thought about playing the game is because I was literally bored to tears.  I was on a vacation of sorts and I had read all the books I brought with me and didn’t have anything else to do.

“Hey, play this game”
*look of revulsion*
“Look, you can make a pretty Night Elf”
“Tuh.”  *looks, relents, makes pretty character*
“Now you have to play her.”

And that was my first foray into the game, ever.  And much to my chagrin, I actually liked it.  It was fun to quest and run around killing stuff.  I really didn’t know what I was doing, honestly – just pushing a few buttons here and there.  But it was fun and I liked it.  My boyfriend at the time bought me the game (I wouldn’t have gone so far as to admit that I liked it enough to buy it) and I rolled my first characters and tried it out.

Now, this gets compounded further.  Just as I was coerced to play the game, I was the one that introduced Lus to the game.  He was already open to gaming though (he had played Diablo and other things previously) so it wasn’t really any trick to get him to play.  In fact, I think I might have been a little fanatical about it and maybe scared him a bit.  (When we met, it was right after Burning Crusade came out and also right before I got my new laptop, so I was double excited about how great it was going to be omg so excited!!!)  He tried things out on my account for a bit and bought his own account soon after.

We tried things out on a PvP server, didn’t like it, rolled rogues, loved it, hit 70 for the first time.  I got tired of it, rolled Alliance, he eventually followed, leveled the pally, we played end game together and everyone’s happy.  Right?

Most of the time.

The point of this first post are the things to be careful of.  I am the black to Bob’s white.  I will always support anyone getting their SO to play because I really do have fun with Lus and I would be sad if we could never play together… but there are things you should know.

Make time outside of WoW. I cannot stress this one enough.  If I can open up to you, readership, this is what Lus and I struggle with.  Because we started playing together right when we met, and we were both so excited about the game, that was the majority of what we did together for a long time.  As I lost some of my initial enthusiasm for the game, Lus was still going strong.  I had a year more of the game in my system than he did, and at times I felt indignant that he wanted to play so much.  I felt guilty for feeling so, since it was my fault he played.  Be open with your partner about how you feel. Schedule a date night, dinner and a movie, a walk through a park or even just plain ‘ol TV.  Whatever you enjoy doing together, do it.  Warcraft cannot be the entirety of your time together.

Don’t expect a “Get out of jail free” card just because you both play. Yes, a huge advantage of both of you playing is that you understand that you can’t just step away from the computer on a moment’s notice (is it a safe place to go afk?) and that there will be hours that you need to devote to a raid.  We understand the frustrations of leveling, gankers being asshats and the happiness of getting an awesome drop in a dungeon.  But that doesn’t mean you may play 24/7, ignore household things that need to be done or say, “We’ll see the movie next week” every time someone mentions it and excuse all that by saying, “Hey, you play too, you should understand.”  That is a slap in the face.  (Unless you’re both equally happy to sit in chairs staring at a screen all day every day.  In which case, carry on.)

Keep each other’s schedule in mind. At the moment, Lus works from 7-5 and I am home all day.  I can play during the day and sometimes I’m all WoW’d out by the time he gets home.  Because I’m home and I WoW a lot all week, I’m ready to go out and do non-WoW things on the weekends when he just wants to settle in and WoW it up.  It takes some compromise and we make it work.  Keep this in mind.

Don’t take out your frustrations on them. I know that this is general relationship advice, but I imagine sometimes you might get frustrated about a wipe or a certain bad player and the person that’s most convenient to vent to is the person you’re sitting right next to.  Complain, sure, but don’t go nuts on them.  (I had a friend whose boyfriend did this – not a good habit.)

Don’t take arguments into the game. Couples fight.  Sometimes about big stuff, sometimes about little stupid things.  But taking this into the game is bad.  If you have made it a habit to always quest together, it makes things really awkward if you don’t even feel like talking to the other person.  You’ll have to grudgingly ask, “How many [quest items] do you have?” and it just gets more ridiculous from there.  I bet people even go so far as to not heal correctly, misdirect to that person, purposefully lose aggro, etc. just to piss off who they’re mad at.  Avoid this behavior – it just makes the game crappy for both of you.

Respect solo play. Sometimes you think you will cry if you see another quest and just want to go fish for a while.  Perhaps you want to unwind by doing a little PvP.  Want to disappear on the alt for a while?  Know that’s ok.  Most of the appeal for couples to play is that you get to play together – but you don’t always have to.  If your SO wants to have some alone time during WoW, I’m sure that there is rep to be worked on, farming to be done or an alt to be played as well.

You don’t own them. In the same vein as “Respect solo play” comes this rule.  You may not always always quest together or run dungeons together and it’s ok if they have a group for something else without you.  You don’t have the right to make them leave just because you need help with something or because “zomg you’re only supposed to play with meeeeee”.  Give a little space.

Don’t get jealous. I think that the majority of people reading this are adult enough to know that you can’t get jealous at every little thing.  I am including this advice, straightforward though it may be, because I have read several many lots of rants about it on a few communities so I feel it needs to be addressed.  We know that there are asshats in the game, that there are juvenile kids in the game and that there are perverts in the game.  It’s just a fact – we’ve all faced it and gotten over it by now.  However, just because that character is talking to your S.O. doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hitting on them, or flirting or whatever silliness is going through your mind.  If it’s a pervert, apply the /ignore feature we all know and love.  If it’s just someone in their party telling them what the marks are – get over yourself.

Don’t lose hope!

This part of the entry may be bleak, but tomorrow will bring happier advice on how to get your significant other to play and tips on easing them into the World that is about to take over their spare time.  (At least you hope so.  Is it bad to hope that?)

Part I – What Not to Do After They Do Play
Part II – How to Get Them to Play

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 12:00 PM

    In my case my spouse cannot understand the fascination of moving pixels on the screen. On top of that, she gets severe movement sickness symptoms even from just watching me or kids play.So she respects my ‘quality time’ with the imaginary creatures, while I respect her ‘quality time’ in her hobbies. Oh, yes, she would like to understand the jargon we’re tossing around during dinner with the kids -who also play WoW- but to her dismay she cannot find our explanations funny at all…Nice post, anyhow. Suits the ones who’s significant other can play the game without getting sick.Copra

  2. Adlib permalink
    March 17, 2009 12:18 PM

    Great post! When my husband & I were first dating, he played WoW & I didn’t. I didn’t really like the fact that he played WoW after I drove an hour and a half to see him on weekends (we were long distance). Anyway, he asked me to play just to try it. He sat beside me and explained where to go and which buttons did what. That was 3 years ago, and now we’re still happily raiding together. :) We also practice all of the tips you posted here.

  3. March 17, 2009 12:39 PM

    I had (past tense) actually managed to get my wife to play during the Writer’s Strike – as watching TV is about all we had energy for once the kids were put to bed. I gave her space, let her learn from mistakes (that we have all made) and suggested that if she was hell-bent on key turning, maybe a rogue was not the best class choice…So, her hunter and my pally made it to the high 40’s – and then it happened…I had a bout of insomnia and decided to grind some Darnassus rep…the Pally mount looks a little silly under a male Draenei…Ran newbie quests in Teldrassil, them moved to Darkshore, and ended up soloing BFD…and got the rep I needed for my kitty…But I also, sadly, dinged through the process.My ultra-competitive SO decided that this was not acceptable, that I would be ahead of her in the game forever (it was not even half a level…) and pretty much stopped playing, the thought of me “ahead ” of her too much to take.So, I soloed an alt past our levels (which was the highest I had ever been) and now she falt-out refuses to play because I would be re-hashing content that I had already cleared…Wow, that rant was way longer than I thought it would be…thanks for listening…

  4. Jack permalink
    March 17, 2009 3:14 PM

    Oh man . . . I wish I had to worry about what not to do if my wife played. My situation sounds identical to Copra’s . . . right down to dinnertime conversations with the kids. If he said his wife’s hobby was quilting I’d accuse him of being me from an alternate universe.

  5. March 17, 2009 3:52 PM

    Mrs Dueg does not play video games at all. Not her style and probably never will be and I’m ok with that. I actually like it because if she played, I would like play more and weould never get anything done around the house. Sometimes it sucks because she doesn’t get why the game can be somewhat important to the players at times. She’s very understanding though and I always make time to be with her so it works quite well.

  6. Skar and Co. permalink
    March 17, 2009 4:20 PM

    I have treid to get SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) to try out a trial account for a while; but to no avail.She is happy to listen to my silly stories (oh so many more so being GL) and knows many people by their toon names.But she is scared of the enormity of it all. Having 7 high level alts and with my own goal of “Being an Economy unto myself” I think she gets daunted by the amont of stuff I have going on…But I know if I can get her to sit down and just try it she may have fun. After all, we each ahd out own Diablo I and II while we were at separate colleges. In any event she knows I have an open toon slot resereved for a new alt when she has the time and finally decides to give it a try.Skarlarth and Co.Medivh

  7. March 17, 2009 4:59 PM

    My wife and I have always both been gamers, but I was surprised when she wanted to try out WoW after I’d been playing about 6-8 months. We had been dating during my four-year stint on Everquest and she never had the slightest interest in trying EQ. She likes RPGs, but up till then they were all single-player; she’s very big into good plots and engaging stories (like, say, KOTOR I) and not as much into sheer hack-and-slash.Fast-forward 3 1/2 years. She’s got four level 80s to my three and she’ll have her fifth soon (and her sixth not long after that). We raid together in a 25-man where I’m an OT and she’s high on the DPS charts on her feral druid. She plays more than I do because she’s home most days and loves the whole experience–roleplay, raiding, farming, all of it. A lot of the reason she’s hung around is that we’re on a great server (Feathermoon) with a great bunch of people, and we always know that if one of us burns out and takes a few weeks off to do something else, the other will be there waiting when we come back.

  8. March 17, 2009 5:34 PM

    Another top-notch post, Anea.The more I think about it, the more I’ll just have to sit my wife down and help her create a toon. Even if she never plays it again, at least she’ll have taken a small part of the experience with her and have seen something more than me flying around farming ore or somesuch nonsense. Heck, if she enjoys it, it may be cause to go out and purchase a second computer for her to play on!*steeples fingers and grins evilly*

  9. March 17, 2009 5:55 PM

    You did such a good job with this post. Its been fun to hear everybody’s stories and comments. I’ll have to do follow up post as well.

  10. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:20 PM

    Wow… added incentive to play! Who could resist that? Here’s hoping :)

  11. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:20 PM

    Thank you! I will be looking forward to your followup post.

  12. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:24 PM

    Oh, too bad that the enormity is daunting to her – though rightly it should be! Point out there are people like me with one measly 80 and hardly an alt to speak of. Hardly scary at all ;)

  13. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:29 PM

    That’s great things worked out for you (WoW-wise) haha! And tbh, I would have been a bit upset about being “ignored” after such a long drive too! But eventually we see the light :>

  14. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:35 PM

    Wow… that is ultra-competitive! That’s really too bad she felt that you were leaving her behind forever (and forever, amen.) I’m sure that telling her the rehashing of content is all part of having an alt and you would love to rehash it, so long as she played.Ah, well. /pat /cookie

  15. March 17, 2009 6:46 PM

    Great post! I’ve tried to get my gf to try WoW but her ex played it obsessively so she got kind of turned off to the game. Which is a shame, because there is a definite gamer streak in her that would enjoy it.My friend’s gf on the other… oh boy, she hates WoW with a passion. He’s screwed.

  16. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 7:02 PM

    Ah, that’s too bad. I gotta say though, the guy who plays obsessively can be a huge deterrent. Rather scarring really. (No, I do not jest!) I actually would love to put in a link to a Hammer of Grammar comic regarding this sort of thing, but the site’s down. I’m sure if you read it, you’d know.And I laughed more than was necessary at the wording of your friend’s plight. *tries not to smile and look mournful of his situation*

  17. March 17, 2009 10:18 PM

    Believe it or not, I actually got my husband to play rather than the other way around. He started playing a year after me, but when he started, I jumped ship on my realm (Sargeras US-PvP) and moved to a realm where we could “start fresh” together (Blackwater Raiders US-RP). Of course, things on Sargeras weren’t going wonderfully, so it wasn’t a huge deal to go somewhere new, where I wasn’t constantly getting ganked by Horde.We leveled 3/4 of the way to 60 together before we lost interest in one-another’s company in game. lol. He went his way, I went mine. We did dungeons together. We’ve never leveled together since. Not to 70, not to 80. We raid together, and run the occasional dungeon together, but he runs a lot more of both than I do. I’m much more casual than he is.We do have a few problems. The “Don’t Get Jealous” rule above is my biggest problem. I have issues sometimes, my mind goes to all sorts of bad places where hubby’s concerned, but I’m getting better about it. >.> Pretty much everything else we’ve got down.

  18. Anea permalink
    March 17, 2009 10:51 PM

    I really admire that you two can be at peace with going your separate ways and not having to do everything together. While I love playing with Lus, since we’re both on a semi-unofficial hiatus, I’m yearning to play Horde again and he’s got an interest in his Gnome warlock. I wish that I could say, “I’ll just go do this for a while, then let’s see how we feel in a few weeks” but I just can’t.

  19. March 17, 2009 10:54 PM

    Great post.

  20. March 20, 2009 12:29 AM

    Read both parts at once – great job! :)The respecting solo play is really huge, imo. I love questing with Sideshow and running instances together… but you can’t have all your toons paired up. You need “me” time in WoW just as you do outside WoW.

  21. March 20, 2009 8:19 PM

    I found a link to your blog on another blog site and thought, hey, that’s a unique name and realized when I read this post that you might actually be the Anea I know since you were referring to Lus! =P Nobility ring a bell? If not, ignore this post! I should just check w/ ya next time I see you on. I know you haven’t raided with us much lately and I’m not sure if it’s lack of interest or because they don’t seem to make room for others as often as some of us would like. Either way if you ever need DPS to run around with and keep you company my mage is always happy to go. Congrats on the blog, you have a great reputation with so many and I’m glad someone pointed me in your direction. Inspired by a few bloggers in our community I started my own blog, short and sweet but I linked it above. =)

  22. March 25, 2009 12:55 AM

    […] The S.O., the WoW, & the Deal from Holy Discipline, by Anea […]

  23. October 24, 2009 9:39 PM

    […] from yesterday’s post The S.O., the WoW & the Deal comes the brighter side of The […]

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