Social Anxiety, Performance Anxiety, New Players and Puppy Dog Tails

Hungry for news about Döra’s new guild I managed to find Paranoid’s new website. Geez, I feel like a stalker but I was so interested in finding out how they were doing. I had social anxiety back when it was called being shy, hanging on my mother’s leg, crying and sobbing, “They’re looking at me!” Yup, that was me and I can’t say I’ve changed that much. If you’re lucky enough to be able to roll on an EU server and any of the below sounds familiar I’m sure they’d be happy to hear from you.

  • Would never think of talking in Trade
  • Would never think of talking in Vent
  • Fear of pugging
  • Fear of poor performance

I pretty much suffer from all of those. I remember when I wanted to get a certification in ColdFusion from a nearby university I had to take the LPAT to be able to enroll. I studied relentlessly and when the day came to take it, I looked at it and nothing made any sense. I thought I was taking the wrong exam, I didn’t recognize anything, it was as though it was written in a foreign language. I flunked. I retook it, the second time I tried to calm down and look through the questions until I found one that made sense. I finally did find one. When I went back to the first question miraculously they were now written in my tongue, I was able to continue and passed.

This is how WoW is for me. I get flustered by a group of strangers, I worry that I’ll cause, Oh God, a wipe. I don’t mind wiping but the terror of doing that to other people sometimes unhinges me to the point that I find I’ve become THAT Druid who is just mindlessly spamming mangle. Have you done the new fireland dailies? The one where you get your whole little group of NPC’s to kill bad guys? I do fine with those guys, I never devolve into mindless mangling with them. Is it because they don’t judge? NO, it’s cause they aren’t REAL people. I wish Paranoid had a sister guild on US side.

Anyway, I was kind of saddened when I saw that my backwater server was so low-pop that it was now designated for New Players. But that has changed. My beautiful home town of Darnassus is now alive again! There are low levels running around everywhere, I love it. I’m having a great time inspecting people and then mailing the neediest 20 gold. You get extra if you’re a Warrior wearing spirit gear.

I’ve also been trying to give away stuff but so far no success. When I saw all these new people I decided to dust off my experiment, a low level male worgen. The experiment was to see if my playstyle would be changed in any way by changing to a male character. I’d have to say it might. I was standing in Darkshore using the general channel to try to give away free scopes. I have NEVER used the general channel, I only whisper, ever. But HE was just belting it out over general trying to give stuff away. I know he looks a little grumpy but he’s not too thrilled about the purple robe I bought him.

No takers. Maybe they don’t know what a scope is for yet. Maybe they also have a little social anxiety. Whatever, I’m going to do it again today. Maybe I’ll explain what a scope is first, ON THE GENERAL CHANNEL. I mean that’s big for me, I love you, you new people you.

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12 Responses to “Social Anxiety, Performance Anxiety, New Players and Puppy Dog Tails”

  1. Haha what a nice story with a happy ending.
    Sounds good with a little experimenting, especially if it can challenge you as far as to do something which you would normally think was out of the question.

    Good luck with your altruistic worgen dude.

    • It’s funny, I don’t know if he’s the life of the party because it’s a male character or because he’s talking to new players, if I keep playing him I’ll find out.

      I was totally shocked to find myself yelling out to Darkshore!

  2. Oh I’m sorry I took so long to get my first Ernee post up. Most of it had been ready for a while, but before posting – I suddenly had the realisation that I needed to find out whether other members of the guild were ok with finding their names mentioned at odd times, or seeing themselves in one of my screenshots. I like posting Screenies as they often have a little tale to tell in thier own right.

    So I’ve had a forum post up on Paranoid’s forum about this for a while, and it has prevented me from posting in the short term. Seems that most members are very ok with it it (as long as I snap their best sides – lol) , but I couldn’t just assume.

    And…
    Oh my goodness – your description of exam nerves! That has happened to me – the everything written in a foreign language bit. I couldn’t believe it when I read that! Plus what happens to you in a group of stranger in Wow – how the mind becomes unhinged. Such a good descriptive word that. Trying to describe what happens is soo hard, but yes – that’s it. For me it’s effects means that I don’t take in properly what’s happening around me – hence why I didn’t take in that I was actually in a pug (in my Pilgrims Progress post). It is such a shame that you are not in the EU – it feels so different in Paranoid.

    I’ve been thinking about why you have suddenly got an infux of new low level players on your server, and why your brave efforts to make contact and give away stuff in the General Channel is not working. I suspect these are new people who have taken up Blizz’s new ‘Free to Play’ trial of Wow. The new rules for trial accounts now prevent them from seeing/using the main chat channels, they can play for ever up to level 20. Cannot trade, cannot join a guild, cannot have more than 10 gold, cannot whisper anyone that is not on their friends list and/or has not whispered them first. I suspect that they are completely cut off from you :(

    • Now I have Paranoid’s site and yours to follow Ernee and your guild so alls good!

      Exactly, when I get jittery thinking “oh my god I’m in a group of strangers” that’s when I stop registering things like spikes coming up out of the ground or fire at your feet and I just get stupid, lol. I can now pug holiday bosses and hold it together because it’s just one boss. My next mission is a whole instance, maybe. When I did them with people I knew I was fine.

      OH! That may be it, I knew they had that new thing where you could play on a trial account until 20 but I didn’t know they couldn’t communicate.

      My Worgen did get to play tour director standing around Darnassus. Someone asked him how you find ore and he had done everything right except he was looking for it in Teldrassil where there isn’t any, so I got to do my good deed for the day!

  3. Paranoid does need a sister guild on the US side. :( I’d transfer my toon over so quick it’s not even funny.

    It takes an insane amount of mental effort for me to even queue for a random nowadays, even as DPS (I swear, I will not be comfortable tanking this expansion until I’m in full T13 or something. And then I’ll be doing the first tier of heroics.) Utterly gripped by fear that some random person from some other server that I’ll never probably meet again will disapprove of my dps/tanking.

    People always tell me “Just go with a guild group.” My guild rarely has more than 3 people on at a time. If it does have more, it’s because they are raiding. If they want to group up, it’s for Zuls, which I can’t go into yet. /sigh.

    • I can’t even imagine how people can pug as tanks. Even if you’re experienced and play well you still probably get complaints. The least stressful for me is a caster.

      Yup, if a sister guild opens up I’ll be right there with you!

  4. Social anxieties are horrid. Luckily my social anxieties (which are rather severe irl) don’t bleed much over into WoW. I’m usually able to speak on Vent or Skype, type chatting is rarely an issue, honestly I’m rather chatty when it comes to computer words. However, I completely feel you on the performance anxieties. I stress and worry over being called ‘bad’ regardless if it’s warranted or not. I used to have a guild to run with all the time, filled various roles in both raiding and LFD (even with good people, tanking was hella stressful) , but I burned out and started having issues with being ‘stuck’ in a raid for four hours at a time. Now that Cata is here and I don’t really have a “crew” to raid with, I’m a scardy cat. I refuse to PuG now that I’m unfamiliar with the raid fights (I used to LOVE to PuG 25 man ICC, nothing like just being some random face in a big group tearing up the meters) and I’m no longer confident with lag raiding as I once was. I’m just now starting to get comfortable with heroics to the point where I won’t have a panic attack going into them (insert irrational thoughts of – Omg what if I don’t put out good numbers? What if I die?! (always happens anyways, silly melee) What if someone else fails, and I can’t pick up the slack? What if I don’t do the mechanics right? – here…hate playing the ‘what if’ game).

    I must commend you for breaking out of your shell a bit and speaking in general channel, that’s a great step in the battle of dealing with anxiety! Even if it’s a persona at first, it’s still you behind that mask, and I think it’s an excellent baby step. Every little bit helps ^_^

    • It’s funny how logic never helps. I think it was the Brewfest boss, I did that everyday on two characters and noticed, because I’m melee so it was real noticeable for me, that 90% of the time the tank did not move him out from the wall or turn him so that the melee characters could easily get to his back. Instead you had to try to squash in there and you couldn’t see.

      I didn’t care, but I thought, see everyone else isn’t perfect, don’t worry so much but did it help? Noooooo.

      Yeah, the what if’s kill me. I’ve queued for a random and the wait is so long that after about 15 minutes I leave as the what if’s have killed the urge!

      Thank you, I’m very proud to have spoken out even though I was a man at the time!

      • Logic is definitely a strange beast. You can chant in your head that things will be alright, but the chemicals seem to have a mind of their own (puns possibly intended?).

        I find that if I pair up waiting in a queue with dailies or archeology it helps distract me enough to where I’m not all keyed up prior to getting into the instance. Usually it helps some, and if I get an anxious “tweak” when I get in there, it usually dissipates once I get down to smacking up some baddies. If all of the above fail and I’m still having troubles, reminding myself that I do indeed have the option to leave group at anytime often helps resolve the “I feel stuck here” panic feeling.

        Sometimes it’s fun to pretend to be something we’re not, and it’s a great break from whatever it is that we are in our daily lives – WoW is great for immersion after all! I have my big ol’ warrior dude that I can run around as (he’s pretty mellow for a warrior guy), but I tend to play most of my characters personalities ‘usually’ how I once acted pre-zomg nerves…well, except for the whole spell slinging, head bashing, shape shifting bits of course. Until a few months ago no one knew how bad my nerves were until I was all “H’okay, so! Here’s dee problem…” Thankfully what I have left of my crew have been incredibly supportive.

        Right, so I’m babbling! Bottom line, keep doing what you’re doing. Things get easier after a few pushes, just so long as you keep at it. If you ever need a chat, let me know ^_^

        • Thanks Saz! I need to try that. I definitely suspect sitting here staring at the screen, waiting for the queue to ding is not helping. I need to learn to go about my business and stop all that thinking!

  5. How’s it going with this now, Tomeoftheancient? I keep thinking about you and wondering if you are managing to make contact & help more people. I think you are very brave doing this. Small step for some, but one giant leap for others, so you are right to be proud.

    And if doing it on a male char helped, then don’t let that diminish what you have achieved. For me its like i’m trying to Role play a more confident person – hehe – there is a reason I made Ernee a male :)

    Lol – oh the joys of melee – squashed in and can’t see a thing! Yup!

    • Hi Döra! He’s level 18 now and giving out more information, lol. Someone said they hadn’t played in a few years, and what happened to Darkshore and how did they get to SW now.

      So my chatty male worgen told the zone about Deathwing and told him where to find a boat.

      I want to do Deadmines with him so I’m waiting to find a likely time when I’d have an hour or two without interruption to queue for it if I don’t chicken out!

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