I spend a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. It’s sort of weird; before WoW it was extremely rare to find a game that held my attention for more than a day. Every Zelda game would do it, every Final Fantasy would do it. But most everything else would just be discarded, literally chucked to the wayside in favor of some other distraction I couldn’t wait to blow fifty bucks on. So it’s always very interesting, and a little alarming to me that I have been playing WoW with little beyond the occasional one-to-two month break for the better part of SEVEN YEARS. Good God, even merely typing that out made me recoil in pure disgust and lament for what was once my life. Excuse me. I need a stiff drink and some serious reevaluation.
…Okay, back. The point is that in my seven year long torrid love affair with blood elves and magic swords, I have met my fair share of people who just rub me the wrong way. Actually, it’s pretty much gotten to the point where everyone who plays WoW makes my blood boil with sheer rage, as if in my virtual old-age I am nothing more than a crotchety old man, drunkenly hollering at all the fancy-schmancy Death Knights to get off my lawn, and longing for the days of yore when epic mounts cost 1000 gold and we had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to get to our raids, dammit, before I pathetically slither back into my studio apartment, Jack Daniels in hand, verbally berating thirteen-year-olds for not taking their video game seriously enough.
The vast majority of the offenders, I find, can be neatly and accurately stereotyped into one of nine different wretched archetypes. The next time you fire up WoW (or any MMORPG, for that matter), see if you can take one step before running into one of these digital dregs:
9. The Perpetually In-Denial Addict
Commonly Overheard: “This game sucks. I can’t believe so many people still play this piece of garbage. I can’t wait till (insert soon-to-be released game, auspiciously and baselessly referred to as the WoW-Killer here) comes out! Blizzard fails so hard! Oh, me? I just log on to talk to friends.”
The absolute glaring duality of these guys’ perception is so delusional it borders on schizophrenic. They openly mock the other 11.999 million people playing the game for liking any aspect of it, then laughably reassure themselves that they aren’t like these other nerds, they’re just here to talk with friends, or until a better game comes out, or until the DNA they dejectedly spew on their computer desk and surrounding areas somehow reacts with itself to form a corporeal being for them to be real-life friends with.
Why They Enrage Me: Look, none of us are ecstatic we’re pissing away precious moments of our lives altering polygons and updating fictional statistics. The least you can do is admit you’re no better off than the rest of us.
8. The Still-Too-Socially-Awkward, Even for WoW
Commonly Overheard: “Man, that was some uber-pwnage! We sure whooped some WHORED ass! Get it? Horde…whored…homonyms…hey any of you wanna like meet up IRL or something?”
These guys make me cringe with every breath that loudly escapes their Cheeto-crusted mouths. One of my least favorite feelings is that of feeling awkward FOR somebody else; because you know how much of an ass someone else is making out of themselves. These guys somehow manage to bring that into an online world where they could totally just tell people they’re high-powered lawyers or huge-dicked MMA fighters or, I don’t know, badass fly-by-night crime fighters or something (I’ve tried all of these). In a world where they can literally be anyone, they’re still the nasally kid you just want to repeatedly mushroom stamp in front of their peers.
Why They Enrage Me: They basically embody the stereotype of the online gamer, and the reason no girl at the bar will ever be impressed by my level 85 mage in full epics. But I guess they kinda make me feel better about myself, in a twisted way, so they’ve got that going for them.
7. The Revolting Revolter; or, Mutants for Mutiny
Commonly Overheard: “The guild leader didn’t show up last night for the first time ever! Something about “his wife’s birthday” or some bullshit. I’m sick of this! Let’s start our own guild where we never have to deal with that again! He can take our raid nights, but he will never take our FREEDOM!”
This is a rare breed of supernerd. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of supernerds, but most of them are pretty complacent. However, if the leader fails to attend one raid, or the guild funds are not divided in a way that benefits him the most, the Revolting Revolter takes matters into his own hands, and delivers a Bill Pullman-esque rallying speech in order to get the guildmates’ support to usurp the throne to overthrow the King of Nerds. This is normally followed by five or six members apathetically saying “whatever” and joining the Revolter’s new guild, and then assimilation back into the original guild when the Revolter turns out to be a retard.
Why They Enrage Me: They’re essentially projecting their feelings of futility in their real life into the game in a sad attempt to feel any sort of manifest destiny. And all it accomplishes is reassuring everyone else that they are an impudent dickhead.
6. The First Taste of Freedom
Commonly Overheard: “N***er, n***er, n***er, cum-filled dicks, n***er, n***er, n***er, shit ass fucks, n***er, n***er, n***er, my parents don’t love or respect me, n***er, n***er, n***er”
These are the insanely overprotected teenagers, unleashed into a world with absolutely zero consequences, and the only thing they want to do with this unbounded freedom is curse so much that every word they say loses all meaning. Every actual word is so sandwiched between N-words and F-bombs that they could convey to me the most beautiful, profound thing in the universe and I would just shrug it off as more inane hatespeech. They’re like the Loser Who Cried N***er.
Why They Enrage Me: The worst part is that ten times out of ten they believe they are the greatest player ever to install the game, and everyone else is unworthy of their company. The truth is, though, I feel like I’m having more intellectually stimulating conversation babysitting my two-year-old cousin. The other people on this list are mildly to actively annoying, but these guys are an absolute blight on your entire experience.
5. The Slutty Attention Whore
Commonly Overheard: “You beat me in DPS? That is so hot.” “It’s getting soo hot in my room, I just had to take my shirt off!”
This one is sort of difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality. If there’s any truth to the old adage “there are no girls on the Internet”, then there sure as shit aren’t any playing World of Warcraft. But, miraculously, they do exist. Hot ones, even! It happens, but it’s rare. And these bitches know it. They will exploit your lonely, basement-dwelling frame of mind and squeeze you for every virtual penny you’re worth while you daydream of squeezing her boobs.
Need new gear? Don’t worry, I’ll run you through whatever dungeon you need as many times as you want. Need money? Here, I spent weeks collecting this modest sum by slaying boars in an infinite forest, but you’d put it to better use! Need to be filled out like an application in a seedy motel equidistant from each of our homes? You may think no nerd would be so lucky, but the next thing you know there’s a defeated sniveling man-child of a raid leader accidentally stumbling upon footage of one of his underlings committing depraved sex acts to his emotionally detached and unfulfilled wife, moments before taking her out to the Olive Garden to celebrate their anniversary.
::sniff:: “Well honey, we better get going! Those endless pasta bowls aren’t gonna eat themselves!”
Why They Enrage Me: They don’t. Man, what a weekend.
4. The Coattail Surfer
Commonly Overheard: “Yeah, my brother has gotten Gladiator multiple times, is really well-known and liked, and just generally a respected member of the community. Being a Gladiator sure is awesome. …Well, no, I didn’t get it, but you can imagine what it’d be like…”
“…but a friend of mine and her, GOT IT ON!”
This guy has not accomplished one goddamned thing in his (virtual) life. No accolades, no recognition, no particularly desirable skills whatsoever. But, his BROTHER, well, you know his brother! He won all those tournaments, you probably read his strategy guide when gearing up your character, and he’s one of the elite household names in the world (of Warcraft). And the Coattail Surfer uses this to leverage himself into situations where he is completely and utterly despised.
Why They Enrage Me: Ever the bridesmaid, never the bride. This guy’s inferiority complex is so palpable, it’s almost physically painful to even talk to him.
3. The Ventrilo Lingerer
Commonly Overheard: Lingerer: “Hey man, get on Vent.” (ed. note: Ventrilo is a program to talk to one another, similar to Skype, that gamers use)
You: “Alright, I’m on. What’s up?”
Lingerer: “Oh, nothing. Just took a shower. Probably gonna jerk off soon. Maybe play some WoW, I don’t know. What’s going on with you?”
You: “Uhh…I’m playing WoW. That’s why I’m on Vent. Listen, if you don’t need anything, I’m just gonna go–“
Lingerer: “HAHA! You should totally see this LOLCat I just saw. I’ll send it to you. So what’s up with you, man?”
File this guy under “Pathetic Loner”. He has little to no physical interaction with human beings in his actual life, so he uses Vent or Skype as a gab sesh. He seemingly waits until you are about to do something important, and then asks if you’ve seen any good movies lately or if you wanna hear what his cat did this morning. He’s basically the miserable embodiment of “Whatcha thinkin’ about?”
The Internet: A meme for every occasion.
Why They Enrage Me: It takes a lot for me to hop on Ventrilo or Skype with a bunch of people I don’t know and probably wouldn’t care to know if I saw them in the street. When I do, it’s because I’m doing something that requires communication much faster than typing. Not because I want to know how your fucking day was.
2. The Get-On-My-Level Übernerd
Commonly Overheard: “The boss enrages at 34%, NOT 35%! God, didn’t you read the patch notes? They’ve been out for 12 minutes! Fail. We could beat this boss if people didn’t suck so badly! Failsauce. Nub. Learn2Play. LOL U BAD. U mad bro?”
These guys, quite simply, take the game way too seriously. And coming from someone like me, that’s quite the fucking accomplishment. It’s as if every piece of data transmitted by anyone who’s ever been employed by Blizzard Entertainment is automatically placed in this person’s brain. He never misses a raid, bitches incessantly if the raid starts even five minutes late, and constantly passive-aggressively belittles everyone in the group.
New dungeon come out only 3 hours ago? “There have been videos online for weeks from the test realm, scrub!” Forget that they changed a spell even slightly? “Doesn’t anyone read the fucking patch notes?!” Wish to light-heartedly converse about a new feature? “That’s so old, man. Let’s just get this over with.”
Why They Enrage Me: They’re sucking what little fun I manage to derive out of this game after seven years out from underneath me. These people live and breathe World of Warcraft. But, not unlike the Still-Too-Socially-Awkward-Even-For-WoW Guy, he makes me feel just a little better about myself at the end of the day.
1. The Draft Dodger
Commonly Overheard: “Yeah man, that sounds great. I’ll be there. Can’t wait.”
This guy is a little different from everyone on the list. He’s a good guy, mild-mannered, talented, well geared, is one of the few guys you don’t mind just hanging out on Skype with, and when you play with him, you get shit done. The problem? He NEVER FUCKING PLAYS. Usually the one type of character you desperately need to complete an arena team or dungeon, he’s one of the most aloof human beings on the face of the planet. He keeps an active account, and you see that he logs on, say, Saturday morning at 4:00 am, fishing or cooking or something equally useless, but whenever you need him for anything remotely entertaining, he turns into a completely unsolvable enigma, with responses so cryptic a Navajo Windtalker wouldn’t be able to figure out what the fuck he means.
Why They Enrage Me: At the end of the day, I just wanna be this guy’s friend. I sit on Vent all day waiting for him to arrive. I wonder if he wants to like hang out IRL or something?