Monthly Archives: June 2011

I am not Bilingual

This post over at Screaming Monkeys got me thinking about another problem that sometimes pops up in the world of Warcraft: players who don’t speak English…at all.

I play on a North American server. I live in the United States. English is my first (and pretty much only) language, though being a California girl I can reasonably decipher simple Spanish. I can ask where the bathroom is, and that’s about it as far as speaking goes. I will avoid citing my political views here (at the risk of pissing people off royally) and instead I’m going to share a few thoughts and encounters about non-English speaking folks in WoW.

I’m certainly aware that North America encompasses more than just English-speaking countries. Yet somehow it doesn’t occur to me regularly that people who don’t speak English (I’m looking at Mexico here, but we must also acknowledge that there are plenty of Americans and Canadians who don’t speak English either). Somehow, when I’m playing WoW, I expect everything to be in English. The game is in English. It’s created and supported by an American company. My server is an American east coast server. So when I encounter someone who doesn’t fit neatly into that little algorithm, yeah, it throws me off. Please note that I did not say “pisses me off”.

I recall a time years ago when I was running a Zul’Farrak pick-up group. I remember there was a hunter in the group who we eventually established did not (likely) speak English. It wasn’t a problem until he put on Aspect of the Pack and no amount of yelling or begging or asking sweetly could persuade him to take it off. Our conclusion was supported by the fact that he had not said one coherent word the entire instance, so if he spoke English, he was either very young or mentally retarded. This was long before the days of vote-kick and the dungeon finder, so removing a player in the midst of a dungeon in progress was troublesome. If I recall correctly, the group fell apart.

There is obviously a level of reasonable doubt here. It is entirely possible that he spoke English and just wasn’t bright enough to work cooperatively with a group. My point here is that communication is key to a successful group run, and when it’s compromised (for any reason) then serious problems can arise. You expect, reasonably, to be able to talk to your group mates and be able to convey simple ideas and commands to them. I feel that if you cannot communicate with all members of your party, something needs to change to rectify that – fast.

On the flip side, I remember being in groups with people who only spoke limited English, and we did fine. They were honest up front and said they didn’t know English, asked if any of us knew their language (Spanish, I think, which I don’t speak). It’s a little irksome, but so long as nothing goes seriously wrong, it can be worked around quite easily. So I will not attempt to suggest that non-English speakers ruin the game or cause undue problems or any of that noise. It simply isn’t true for the vast majority.

But what about when it is true? What about people who don’t speak English who find themselves in an English-speaking party unable to communicate? I’m sure it is as frustrating for them as it is for me, trying to tell them something like DON’T STAND THERE and it just isn’t getting through.

Is it in poor taste to vote-kick someone who cannot speak English? You would not hesitate to vote-kick a player who was causing other problems, I assume. If they speak English just fine but are ignoring directions and dying and causing a problem, most people who give them a shot at doing it right, then boot them. But those people speak English and supposedly are reading what you’re saying and just choosing to ignore it. What about people who are trying their best but because of a language barrier are failing and bringing the group down with them? There seems to be a thin line between what is acceptable in these situations and what is not. It’s not acceptable to shut non-English speaking players out of the game on the premise that they don’t speak “our” language, but neither is it acceptable to let one person drag a group down because of a lack of communication.

My gut reaction is that people who don’t speak English (at least those on North American servers, where the majority of players speak English) should be aware of the language barrier. Queuing for a dungeon you’ve never seen before with the added strain of not being able to communicate with your group seems to be in poor form, as it makes you a liability. On the other hand, English-speaking players should acknowledge that those who don’t speak English are not dumb or dense as a result, and unless otherwise proven, aren’t going to cause a problem.

It may help to evaluate these situations by the performance of the player, rather than the language they speak. So maybe you can’t communicate with them and everything they type is in another language you can’t understand, but if they’re doing their job and at the bare minimum not getting anyone killed…it is worth it to be tolerant and pleasant even if you don’t know how to say “thanks for running with us” in their language at the end.

 

End Note: Levels 40-50 of the druid guide are coming up soon.

 

 

Druid Leveling 4.1 — 30-40

As you progress through your 30s your rotation will start to look a little bit more like what it will be at level 85.

Balance druids in particular will get a shake-up with the Eclipse mechanic. It’s not truly important to your DPS right now to adhere to Eclipse’s procs, but it will be at higher levels, so practice as best you can. Trash still dies so fast in dungeons I find I only have time to cast Moonfire and Insect swarm and maybe Wrath once before they’re dead. The key to Eclipse is to keep your meter moving as quickly as possible to the opposite end. The tracker will always start in the center. If you cast Starfire it will move towards the sun; casting Wrath will move it towards the moon. Starsurge will contribute to whichever direction the meter was currently moving. When the meter hits either the sun or the moon, you will gain an Eclipse effect. A solar eclipse (meter hits the sun) will empower your Wrath spell, so cast that exclusively (with Starsurge, of course). A lunar eclipse (meter hits the moon) will empower your Starfire spell, so cast that. Again, most things die too fast to really give you a sense of how the meter should work, but on longer boss fights the mechanic really shines. For questing it’s almost moot. Both DoTs and a few Wraths usually kill things for me, eclipse or no eclipse. Typhoon is a fun spell in that it knocks enemies back. Good for solo questing, bad for dunegons (unless all hell broke loose and the tank is dead anyway) because the knockback effect makes tanks very angry. Don’t use it in dungeons.

Kitties have the most abilities, but the simplest rotation for the moment. Mangle to apply the debuff, Rake to apply the bleed, Mangle until dead. Quest mobs and most dungeon trash die fast enough that you will not have time to rack up points for a Ferocious Bite, but for boss fights, you will want to gain four or five combo points to use with Bite. Keep Rake’s bleed up at all times. Swipe if there are multiple mobs in a pull. At this point whether or not you open from stealth is a matter of personal preference. If you choose to stealth between mobs, whether questing or running dungeons, use Ravage to open your attacks. In dungeons, though, groups move so fast and things die so quickly that I find stealth just hinders my contributions.

Bears should be having little trouble with threat right now, with Swipe and a glyphed Maul at their disposal. Charge your target and Swipe immediately if more than two mobs. Establishing threat early is important, as inevitably your DPS have all selected separate targets. Mangle your main target, Swipe on cooldown so long as three or more targets remain alive. Glyphed Maul will hold two targets. If you don’t have the glyph, Swipe is your only option. Maul single/double targets, Swipe three or more.

Healing druids will find themselves in the midst of a dry spell for many more levels. No new spells, no new toys, just three basic heals and one “oh shit” button. And truthfully, we don’t need much more than that. Keep Rejuvenation on the tank at all times (it’s mitigation will keep you from having to spam larger heals most of the time) and use it to top off any DPS who gets smacked around. Regrowth should still be used sparingly when the tank needs a big heal, and its HoT combined with Rejuvenation’s HoT is a powerful force. Nourish will fill in the gaps where Rejuvenation isn’t quite strong enough. If all goes well, you’ll be spending the majority of your mana on Rejuvenation.

Level 31:

Naught but a talent point, move along…move along.

Level 32:

Bash is a bear ability used to stun an opponent for a few seconds. I use it primarily to interrupt spells or heals, but it is nice just to spare yourself the extra damage you might otherwise take. Bosses are generally immune to being stunned, so dont waste the cooldown.

Pounce is fun if you prefer to open from stealth while in cat form. Again, I still feel like it’s more efficient to attack unstealthed while questing and instancing, but you have options now if you would like to creep around in stealth.

Track Humanoids requires you to be in cat form. It works the same way any hunter tracking spell works: the tracked target will show up on your minimap. Combined with prowl, this can be quite useful in locating quest mobs or rare spawns in places like caves or barracks.

Level 33:

Just a talent point here.

Level 34:

Nothing new here, either. You’ll start seeing dry spells like this more frequently as you progress into higher levels, considering you’ve already learned a good chunk of the spells and abilities you’ll learn.

Level 35:

More nothingness.

Level 36:

Swipe (cat form) is the only multi-target attack you’ll get as a kitty.

Level 37:

Nothing at all.

Level 38:

Nothing…again. Sensing a pattern?

Level 39:

Keep moving towards 40.

Level 40:

Ah, at last. It feels like a long haul with so few new abilities, but get used to it…especially if you plan to heal. Level 40 may not be the epic achievement it was back in the early days of WoW, but it’s still no small feat. You’ll earn your epic riding skill finally, and be well on your way to bigger and better things.

The only new skill you’ll learn is actually a passive ability for bears. Savage Defense is basically a damage reduction ability that has a 50% chance to occur whenever you critically hit with Mangle or Maul. Not exciting for level 40, but still better than nothing.

 

Now is a good time to go back and acquire any glyphs you may be needing, rearrange your current talent points if you’ve the need, grab a second spec, etc.

 

I will make the push to 50 as fast as I can. In the interim, I may be writing a guide for your first 16 talent points to fill in the gap.

Randumb Update*

I have had my druid camped out in Deephole for well over a week now, chilling in Jadefang’s home in hopes of obtaining the little spider pet. I was almost certain it was a lost cause: I was rarely alone in there, usually joined by two or three others with similar goals, and I’m not exactly diligent when it comes to logging in every few hours or so. I was getting frustrated, not willing to move myself because the second I left I knew she would spawn, and growing restless because there are other things I want to do with my character than sit with my thumb up my butt.

But it paid off! I logged in today on a whim and there she was, sitting right at my feet all sweet and spidery in her innocence. So I slaughtered her. And I stole her baby.

The end.

*Tune in soon for the next installment in the druid leveling guide!