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How-to: Con your Spouse in to WoW-ing With You

February 27, 2010

One of the funniest phrases I’ve ever heard a fellow dungeon-crawler say in /p is, ironically, one of the ones I hate to hear.  “Uh-oh.  GTG.  Wife-aggro.”  As many married folks know, the only aggro worse than the dreaded, “wife-aggro,” is the treacherous, “pregnant wife-aggro,” which is quite often a one-shot kill.  To be fair, I’m sure there is such a thing as, “husband-aggro,” and I think we can classify the end of nap time as, “infant-aggro,” but let’s not get down into the weeds.

You’ve heard the phrase, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” before.  How about, “If you can’t beat them, convince them to join you.”

I’m going to make the following assumptions about your relationship:

  1. You care about your spouse or significant other.
  2. You enjoy spending time with them.
  3. You really want them to start playing World of Warcraft.

I’m also going to assume that you have at least two computers that are connected to the internet.

Your arguments:

  • It will give the two of you more quality time together.
  • She will be able to participate in your WoW conversations.
  • You love her and you like (or hell, maybe love) your guildies, and you’d really like everyone to be able to hang-out together.  Emphasize the social aspect of WoW.
  • WoW  is already a lot of fun, and it would be fun-squared if she would play it with you.

Fair warning: You should, in all fairness, be ready to go antique shopping or to a craft show or whatever hobby she likes to engage in.  Reciprocation, guys.  Reciprocation.

Bait the Hook

Play WoW where she can see it.  Go do something they would enjoy doing in an MMORPG.  If you’ve played console games together before, you probably have an idea of what they like.  Does she like storytelling and lore?  Then, either do Wrathgate while she’s watching, or go talk to Alexstrasza in her dragon form and let the cinematic play, or turn in The Lady’s Necklace where she can watch.  Is she more into casting fiery death?  Show her your character’s best moves!

Set the Hook

Get her ready to have fun playing WoW.

My first experience with RPGs was not fun.  We spent thirty minutes rolling dice, reading a manual and allocating numbers in a table that I didn’t understand.  I’m sure that the fact that the DM (that’s the old-school term for Game Master) had his hands full teaching his girlfriend how to play and didn’t have much time to show me had a lot to do with it.  Ten years and hours of tabletop gaming with my husband later, and I’ll fire Magic Missiles and Melf’s Acid Arrow all night long (or until the DM tells me I have to sleep again to get my spells back).  The set-up just doesn’t hint at how much fun the game really is, and the same is true for WoW.

Here’s my noob confession: my first night of playing WoW, I didn’t know how to adjust the camera angle.  I messed it up so badly that my view of the NE starting area was either straight up, or straight down.  Makes killing anything a royal pain, and you can forget searching it.  I was ready to give it up after one night.  It was not fun.  Nobody wants to pay $15 a month to spend their spare time frustrated.

The next day, Garnam logged me in to his account again and talked me through the technical stuff I needed to know to enjoy the game.  How to adjust the camera, how to target, how to attack, how to cast, and just what it meant that the spiders’ names were red (back before all of the starting area mobs were yellow) and the cats’ names were yellow while the NPCs were all green.

I don’t recommend hovering over her shoulder while she completes the starting quests – no one likes a side-seat driver.  I don’t recommend walking away, either.  Stay close and be ready to solve technical problems and answer questions, but let her play the game.

Reel her in

Start a new character yourself and offer to group with her.  The key here is to start a character that will compliment hers.  Look at her class’s available party roles – is she pure DPS?  In that case, I’d go with a Paladin or a Druid so that you can tank and heal as needed.  Is she a two-role hybrid, such as a Shaman or Priest?  I’d pick a hybrid that covers the role she didn’t take.  For the first ten to fifteen levels, don’t worry about roles.  Focus on helping her see just how much fun World of Warcraft is.  Choose your professions the same way you chose your class.  Let her pick first.  If she wants to take a difficult combination (say, leatherworking and enchanting) offer her a nudge at first.  If that doesn’t succeed, offer to take up the missing gathering professions on your character.  You’ve got 70 or so levels to bring her around to change her mind.

Congratulations on your catch, guys!

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