Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where to find friends in WoW of today

Beyond parties, raids, and guilds, you will inevitably encounter other players who share some of the same interests, likes, and dislikes as you, people with whom you’ll end up chatting even when you’re not in a dungeon or on a quest; the kind of people where you don’t even notice the hours flying by as you swap stories, joke, and play together. In other words, you’ll make friends. Making friends and going on adventures with them is part of what makes World of Warcraft so much fun.”

You’ll make friends. They said it! “Swap stories, joke and play together as the hours fly by”. It sounds great, doesn’t it? Making friends is a part of what makes World of Warcraft so much fun! And so easy! Inevitable as they say.

Counting my friends
The question is: is this true? I figure it was back in the early days of WoW; at least I’ve been told so. But is this still valid?

I went to myself and did a quick count where I recalled how many friends I have in WoW right now. How many players are there who I chat with, not in raid channels about practical issues, but in whispers about nothing-important at all? How many players do I know who give me a personal greeting as I log on, who will tell me what they have for raid snack, who will notice if I seem to have a bad night and ask what’s up? How many players do I know who might ask me to do something together in the game because we enjoy each other’s company rather than to achieve something?

I ended up with around three. And I suppose three are better than none, but it’s far, far from the social platform that Blizzard makes us believe that WoW is.

The silent club
I’m not sure what the problem is – if there even is one. Is it the game that has changed into a solo experience – for all the beautiful promises in the gameguide ? Or – perhaps – it’s more about me, how I choose to approach it?

On one hand I can agree with Copra, who complains about the lack of social tools in WoW of today. There are no natural meeting points anymore - group quests removed and the LFD tool turning PUGs into speechless, anonymous let’s-get-it-over-with experiences with strangers you’ll never meet again. If you don’t already have friends as you enter WoW, you’re not likely to get any new.

On the other hand I wonder if it isn’t a little bit unfair and too simplified to blame Blizzard for this as for so much else. Haven’t the players got something to do with it? Isn’t this more about what we want and how we act in game?

Wolfshead has a new post about on the issue of group play (or the lack thereof), as a part of his ongoing crusade to “bring back the good community experience that once existed”. He compares the modern MMO experience to the gentleman’s club pictured in the Sherlock Holmes series, where talking is strictly prohibited.

“It occurred to me this has become what many solo gamers find appealing about MMOs. They are just places where they can go to relax, unwind and not talk with anyone. But what happens when the majority of people in a virtual world are escaping to such a silent club?”

Well, my question is: if the majority wants the club to be silent, can you really blame Blizzard for supporting such a play style?

And if I go to myself: how much effort have I, Larísa, put into trying to get to know more people? If I roll an alt, do I look around for new players in the starting zone to possibly connect to? Do I spot players who struggle and offer them a helping hand? Do I add them to my friends list and next time I see them come online, do I whisper them and ask them if they want to play with me for a while?

As long as I don’t lift a finger to do this, as long as I behave pretty much in game as in real life, keeping most people at a safe distance, who am I to complain? You can’t really expect friends to fall from the sky right into your hands.

Where to find friends in WoW
But let’s come to the point of this post, namely that maybe we’re missing something as we’re discussing the lack of opportunities to make friends and build communities in the cataclysmic version of Azeroth.

You see: I actually do have quite a few WoW friends, it’s just that they don’t play on my server. They’re people in the blogosphere, readers and writers, who I’ve exchanged my most personal thoughts and experiences with for years. We’ve followed each other through bad times and good times, sharing our proudest as well as our worst moments, opening a window into our minds.

I’d dare say we know each other pretty well by now - better than I know many of my guildies, and If I’d ever find myself guildless for some reason, I’m pretty sure that someone would offer me a new home.

I believe that you still can make WoW friends, even if the game is turned into a silent gentleman’s club, but you don’t necessarily make them the traditional way, as you bounce into people when you're out in the world on adventures.

There are better places today for meeting people. If you want to make friends, you won't find them in /trade or Goldshire. You'll find them in the blogosphere, in the forums or on Twitter.

Perhaps this is something to include in the game guide for beginners? Don't look for WoW friends as you're logged into WoW. Look for them in the offline community.


Ali said...

I think alot of it depends on the player and what kind of experience they want. Some players make the effort to talk to other players in trade chat, in a PUG, or while questing while others don't. I have both friends that I have met while playing who are not in my guild and others who are guildmates.

If you want a more social experience, then I do feel that the player had to make the effort to have that by introducing themsleves, talking in groups and chats, and by actively seeking other players to quest with. Otherwise it can certainly feel like a totally solo experience.

Ratshag said...

Couldn't agrees more. WoW is a crappified place fer ta meet people. Even befores all the streamlinings like the dungeon finder, it were crappified. The chat window is full of noise, the in-game mail is hards ta read, and lotta times folks is there ta unwind and ain't in the mood fer chit-chatting. Folks I done did get ta be friends with, is because we was on vent tagethers.

But talkin' ta folks outside the game about the game, though blogs, forums, e-mail? Made some of the best friends of me life that way.

Nikodhemus said...

Fascinating post, i was just thinking of this last night. I was in a friend of mine's guild when I first started (the friend who recruited me into WOW in the first place) and it was great! BUT, i was really underpowered, and aside from chatting was never able to participate in any guild events. They weren't unkind, I just didn't have the gear, or time... this is a 5 year old guild! Eventually, I parted ways, wanting more, and transferred my main to another server to play with my step son and try to start my own guild.

I've been successful, in game, but still don't have really anyone in the guild other than people I know personally and its because of the things you mention: LFD becoming a hassle, no group quests except in outlands, trade chat trolls making me sick... so last night, I rolled a DK back at my old realm, and joined back up with the old guild! I MAY or MAY NOT be able to join them in anything... but at least I won't be alone!

lady2beetle said...

Amazing conclusion, Larissa! I had never thought about it that way. So many of my friends from WoW have either transfered off my server (Or I off theirs), or have stopped playing but I still talk to them, or I met them on the LJ community wow_ladies. I have a few good friends in my guild, but when I started counting all the friends that I met because of WoW that maybe I don't play with any more, but I still consider my RL friends... that's something. :)

mystic said...

I touched on a few of these points in my blog a couple of days ago, though not quite as eloquently. Whilst I like the ability to quickly find dungeon partners if you're in a rush or you're not in a chatty mood, the main thing it's missing is the opportunity to build lasting friendships, and I think Blizzard is missing a trick.

At the end of the day, it's unlikely to be love at first sight when you meet someone in a PUG, back in Vanilla you generally joined PUG's through friends of friends (kind of a blind date...) or at the very least someone shouting on one of the channels. If you had a good experience you'd add them to your friends list and give them a whisper next time you're short.

with the cross realm PUGs you cant really do this, even if everything goes perfectly, you smash through ten instances and chat all the way, unless by pure fluke they're also from your server you'll never play together again.

My guild (I started it back in Vanilla, and am now just a casual hanger on) was formed from a run in SFK, most long lasing guilds have roots back in PUGs for quests or dungeons or similar. I'd really like to see Blizzard do two things, firstly allow people to party with friends cross server for instances, and secondly make the dungeon finder favour players from your own server when putting together groups; with populations running into the 10's of thousand for mature servers this shouldn't lengthen queue times and will allow those chance meetings to blossom into friendships.

Copernicus said...

I think three in game close friends is a pretty good number. If I had more than that, I'd never get anything done in game. Obviously I don't think saying hellos and finding out how everyone's day went is a very fulfilling way to spend my time.

People like to socialize with people that are like them. They want to have shared topics that they are interested in talking about. It's no surprise that a blogger would find more friends in a blogging community.

Even the dreaded "soloers" make friends in game, but they're likely to be other "soloers" that naturally follow the same patterns, or more aware socialites that understand the need for greater personal space that "soloers" tend to have.

Not everyone is like you. (I use the general you here. Not necessarily speaking to Larisa) You need to sift out a lot of chaff to find those grains of wheat.

Nils said...

Do you read EVE Online Blogs? I guess .. no ? :)

What I always found interesting is that WoW players discuss WoW in their blogs: What Blizzard does and whether it is the right thing to do. While EVE players discuss the universe. They report what their alliance has achieved, why they lost that ship, etc...

I tell you this, because you write that blogging about WoW seems to be more social than playing the game itself. Food for thought ;)

Sean said...

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and insight on the game we all love!

If I looked at it closely, the circle of friends I have in WoW is probably pretty small, maybe 4-5 people at most. Many of them live in the same city as I. The number of memorable people I've come into contact with over all the years I've played, however, is much larger. I'm always finding new blogs to read, seeing the same names pop up in replies on the sites I frequent, and steadily increasing the circle of *influence* I dwell in with regards to WoW. It seems like most of the blogs I read (enjoy) happen to be Europeans and so there's the added benefit of makign connections, even if they're only ones *I* feel, with people from around the globe. It's a good thing.

So many times when I'm using LFD it's, as you mentioned, deathly quiet. I think a lot of players see the randoms as worK, get itover with, move on. Sometimes I'm talking in Vent with guildies/friends and we exclude the other players, inadvertantly(?) so /pchat is silent. Maybe the other person(s) is/are doing the same thing and maybe not.

I will always enjoy the MMO aspect of WoW, regardless of how many or few (as the case may be) daily opportunities I have to make new friends. I could ramble on longer but won't. Thanks again!

Redbeard said...


Well, as one of the people who has been primarily a solo artist, your questions center more on the people you encounter than anything else.

Riddle me this: what server are you on?* Is it a server where new players are sent to, or is it an established server that already has a good sized player base?

The reason why I ask this is because the people who have already established connections in the game aren't actively trying to make new ones. Sure, there's the pug for, say, BD, where you encountered that cool Priest, but it's not like you were looking for a connection. It just happened. If you've been on a server since Vanilla, you've already got a stable of friends that you hang with. When most of a server's establishment is like that, then it's hard to break through that haze of perceived silence.

If your server is filled with newbies people will take the trouble to connect, because they're newbies who don't have 5+ years of experience in the WoW-verse.

Also, I think the time of day has an impact on whether people will connect in-game. If you're on during prime raiding times, then you're going to see more people with their game face on, talking to their fellow raiders, and less interested in forming friendships. If you're on overnight, you might run into overseas gold farmers than anything else. However, if you're on at other times, you just never know who you might find: the person who's sick and off work for the day, someone who is in between errands and hopped on for a little WoW time, etc.

The tools are there, we just choose to use them a certain way because we don't feel the need to try something a bit harder, but more satisfying in the long run: actually talking with people.

*Yes, I know what server you're on, Larisa. Rhetorical question.

Loronar said...

I believe that Blizzard's guide still holds true, though we need to take it with a grain of salt.

At this early stage of a new expansion, when everyone is pretty much focused on their own progression, socializing is a secondary matter. As I recall, social activities in late BC was much more abundant than in the early and middle phases of the expansion. When players have found their own pace in the expansion, socializing becomes more natural. I would imagine that this will also occur in Cataclysm.

With regards to LFD, I usually test the waters on new groups with a friendly hello when I enter a dungeon. In most cases, this will break the ice with at least a few, if not all, of the party members.

I think you are approaching the issue with a bit of elitist mindset. Truth be told, we are all privileged persons to have an offline community because the majority of players do not. The blogging community is not a place that should be idealized. It should be a place that can be used to teach us how to develop better social networks in the game itself.

tonyp51 said...

I believe there is a big disconnect between what the developers expect people's behaviors should be in their games, and what they really are.

I have no real life friends that play WoW. The people I meet in WoW are acquaintances at best. You can depend on friends, you can't depend on acquaintances (as a practical matter).

Can you make new friends in the game? Sure can. Do MOST people make new friends in the games they play? I don't think so. They will make many new acquaintances, for however long or short a period of time, but not new friends.

So when the dev's expect people to complete content by 'just grabbing a few friends', there is already a problem. You simply can't depend on fairly casual acquaintances to drop what they are doing to help you out.

A big problem with these games is that the dev's think in idealized ways - like most people. So they try to force people to play in idealized ways that are actually foreign to them, and not how people experience real life. It's the forcing part that is the problem. Give the players a variety of play style options, and let them choose what fits them best.

Tesh said...

Hmm... I think I have maybe 3 real "friends" in real life, Facebook nomenclature slaughtering aside. I have a lot of acquaintances, some neighbors, several people I'm genial toward, but real friends? Not many of those.

Y'know, I kinda like it that way. I don't have the time for a lot of people. I don't play games to make friends or gather more obligations. I am friendly and kind where possible when playing games, but that's a different thing.

Crystal said...

I very much agree with what Ali said. It does depend on the player. I know that sometimes I can feel a bit alone while I play, being an older mom and all. I do though make an effort to get to know my pug members. I have had some gret conversations with some of them, lasting well after the boss was down where we just hung out in the instance for a bit and chatted. We even ended up making alts on each other servers. There can be a great oppertunity to met other players, espically from other servers. People just have to be willing to make the effort.

Anonymous said...

I ran a random Outland dungeon the other day. The tank and I really hit it off so we ran another one together. He's the sort of person I would have added to my friends list if he hadn't been on another server. That was a lost opportunity that we both would have enjoyed.

This past summer, somebody in Dragonblight was asking for help with that chain of group quests. So I said I could tank them. I added the healer to my friends list, but then we never had a reason to talk after that and now we're both 85 and that hour spent together last summer isn't enough.

One of my IRL friends plays WoW but we're on different servers with different schedules. We tried to play on each other's realms, but it was never satisfying for either of us. So, among other things, we talk about the game when we get together but we don't actually play together.

When it comes to social interactions, WoW is junk food.

Copra said...

As it happens, there have never been any real meeting points in the game, but the game induced opportunities to meet people from the same server were. Like you stated, the removal of the group quests and addition of LFD took the rest of the opportunities.

My experience is that it's in vain to try to be social in WoW, at least in the servers I've been seriously involved. The silence is mind-bogging, even on the RP servers its either silence or a well thought emote in response of a nice comment.

We live in our own little tribes, but there are no events or excuses for the tribes to mingle. The next big MMO revolution will involve the social/casual gaming side, there is no question about it.

Even if it dumbs the core of the game even more.

C out

SpiritusRex said...

Interesting post, Larissa.

However, I think that you get exactly what you put into the game. For example, I don't play the game as a social interactive sort of diversion, I play the game because I like video games and it is a nice way for me to relax while enjoying my nightly drink(s). Therefore, I have a few guildie friends (none of whom I knew 3 months ago before I joined them) to provide all the interaction I need. On the other hand, my son, enjoys the social aspect of the game more than I (much to my chagrin at times). In fact, he has a friends list of so many people it's mind-boggling and he does not hesitate to ask anyone in the same zone if they want to level together.

Quite frankly, I think therein lies the beauty of WoW. Two people, disparate in age and in social interactivity levels, can play the same game and walk away with whatever sort of enjoyment they seek.

For people to say, "WoW isn't is social as it used to be," or "WoW has streamlined questing and LFD so much the social interaction is no longer there" I say phooey. It's still there, you just need to step out of your comfort zone and take a chance to meet people - if you so desire. Much like real life, if you ask me.

Pzychotix said...

I just want to know, before discussing how many close friends you've met in WoW, how many close friends have you made online in general? As it is, I still keep anyone I only know online at an arms length, regardless of WoW or not. I don't think it's any fault of WoW for people not being as social on the internet. It's just the nature of the internet as a whole imo. I'm not going to discuss my daily nothing-nothing to a random person on the internet, and I don't want to hear their daily nothing-nothings either.

WoW has little to do with it.

thenoisyrogue said...

"... Well, my question is: if the majority wants the club to be silent, can you really blame Blizzard for supporting such a play style?"

My question is, are Blizzard simply supporting this play style or did they purposely decide to steer the game in that direction?

Jen said...

Spamming trade with "LFG SH fury warr" was never fun and never got me friends. For me, it's the guilds. I don't know how to define friends exactly, but I have one good friend in WoW (she knows personal things about me, we talk outside the game too, we've met IRL, I can rely on her for a number of things), a couple of pretty good friends (we talk about personal stuff, but I wouldn't expect favors) and a lot of people I'm friendly towards.

I didn't meet any of them in a pug or in trade or in a group quest. I met them all in guilds I've been in, and with Blizzard trying to focus more on that... I think we're going in the right direction.

Larísa said...

@Ali: I agree that it’s basically a lot up to yourself to make it happen. Nevertheless… there’s something “in the air” that prevents me from even trying. Hasn’t the climate, the atmosphere changed? Or is it just me?

@Ratshag: Yep, it’s through the blog I meet people these days. Funny thing though that we tend to bash the terrible “WoW community” forgetting that the blogopshere is community too…

: I think it helps a ton if you know people from RL as you enter WoW. And isn’t the game more and more designed for this, despite the quote from the guide? All the time they talked about Real ID it was from the assumption that you’d enter Azeroth “with your friends”, which I think was referring to friends you already had from somewhere else.

: I’ve had more friends previously, but sadly enough they’ve stopped playing. Mind you, my definition of “friends” is probably rather wide. I think some people would rather think of my friends as “acquaintances”.

@Mystic: Oh, I definitely would like them to try to put you in dungeon groups with people from your server as much as possible. I wonder though if it would help at this stage or if we’re too much into the silent-pug-runs-mindset by now, not even taking notice anymore of what server other players come from.

: I wouldn’t say they’re all THAT close. I’m honestly not spoiled with direct contact with anyone at all in the game. If you even bother to whisper me occasionally you’re very close to being one of my closest friends…. Regardless of what the content is. Yep. That’s how much of a solo experience wow is these days. Even if you’re guilded.

@Nils: No, I don’t… But it’s an interesting observation. I’m not sure what it’s telling us though. Hm. Honestly there are a few blogs that are more like diaries than soapboxes. Blogs with screenshots, telling about what the blogger is up to in game right now. Sometimes with a touch of fan fiction. Some of them are good, but as a thumb rule I must admit that the blogs with views tend to capture my interest more.

@Sean: Thanks for your rambling! I must say I’m a bit envious about knowing WoW players from the place where you live. I would like that!

: I agree with your observations. One reason why I’ve had such a hard time to find friends on my server is probably that it’s more or less filled with oldschool vanilla players who already have their set social circles and can’t be arsed to get to know any newer players.

@Loronar: Hm… I don’t think I agree with you on this. I don’t see any difference in the interest for socializing now compared to the end of Wrath. It was just as bad towards the end of that expansion.

And elitist? Well it’s not the first time I’m called that… But I don’t think that there’s any obligation for bloggers to use their blogs to teach people things. If your blog brings you a network that you can benefit from in the game, what’s the harm in that?

Larísa said...

@Tonyp51: acquaintances or friends, well that’s a definition. I’ve met people through WoW that know me way better than any of my “real life friends” do. Not necessarily people I’ve bumped into ingame though. Friendship is a floating thing, we all define it in different ways I believe. However, I do agree with your conclusion that dev’s probably think a bit in idealized ways and that this is one of the problems with enforced grouping. The nuances, the very shifting social patterns, won’t quite fit into the game model if this makes sense. (I’m not sure what I’m trying to say there myself.)

@Tesh: Oh, I think I’ll refrain from trying to define what a “friend is”. I think I put my bar lower than you do though.

@Crystal: Yeah. I guess… maybe I was more willing to make the effort a few years ago? I wonder if I like everyone else get a bit lazy and jaded as time passes?

: “Junk food”. Maybe it is. I have encountered delicacies though. But they’re rare spawns.

@Copra: Why must facilitating socializing in a game mean that you have to dumb it down?
I know a lot of opinion makers argue that way but is it true?

: I’m not sure how easy it is to make friends. Perhaps I should try it out one off-night – roll an alt and start to hang around in a starting zone, making efforts to find a levelling partner. It would be interesting to see if someone will tag along or if they’ll just report me for being a creepy stalker..

: Oh, it’s the same here and I thought that was clear in the post. I do keep people at a safe distance and no doubt my generally geeky approach will spill over on how I behave in WoW. I think I’m not the only geek to hang out in Azeroth though. And maybe if you want those geeks to somehow cooperate and socialize because that’s a part of the MMO experience, you need to help them out a bit and give them incentives to get together?

: Are you seeing conspiracies? I guess they draw conclusions from player feedback and their own numbers and changed the game in the direction they thought would be advantageous from a business point of view?

@Jen: You met them in guilds… but how did you get there in the first place? If you enter the game as a brand new, completely alone player, how do you find the connection to someone?
I know for sure my first guild experience was from bumping into someone in Wetlands and starting to chat as we levelled our first toons… It was not the opposite – that I joined an unknown guild and found friends there.

klokbok said...

There's two kinds of friends these days: Real friends - the ones you socialize with even AFK - and Internet friends - the ones you most likely will never meet but still find funny, interesting or just "cool".

With the global community of WoW, I think we should look closer at the Internet friends; A living in Sweden but having funny times with B living in England, while C also having fun is living in Belgium or some other place. On US servers I think it's the same, though with people in different states.

I remember the closeness a lot of people felt with each other in a (not EA endorsed) community for the Sims. People from all over the world chatted, discussed, swapped stories, vent to "virtual parties". It's almost impossible to explain how it happened - but when I was there, I was In Their House.

A lot of guilds in WoW function the same way, I think. I hope. And there's FB, guild sites, Twitter, blogs - as you say. Sure, there's the progression guilds that reminds me more of a work place, but then there's the social guilds where between "check my new armor out!" there's friendly banter about ... oh, pretty much anything. Cats, dogs, kids, Stupid Players In Yet Another PuG, neighbours, work, love, What Happened At The Pub, sex ... childhood memories, the lot. Cooking recipies, dinner plans. Did I mention cats?

We have to define "friendship" with something else than F2F meetings, I think. I doubt it's the same thing now as it was say five years ago, before the social media explosion. The success stories of people falling in love or becoming friends for life through internet plays their part, but the majority of "friends" most likely never see each other IRL - but It Doesn't Matter.

An image on Facebook, a voice in Vent - and viola: A Real Person, two thousand miles away.

That's fun :)

Loronar said...

@Larísa: I don't know about end of Wrath since I wasn't there, but it felt that way in BC. From what I hear, Wrath was the demise of many things.

This is maybe where you and I differ, but I believe there is a certain level of obligation. Perhaps you can understand this as a journalist (though I can't speak for you). Because our writings are in public, people are bound to read them. That is not to say that people can't think for themselves.

There is certainly a level of pride and security with having one's own offline community, but it shouldn't keep us from being open minded to those in-game.

Azryu said...

I believe this to be the first post I wholly disagree with.

From what I am reading, this just seems to be a lot of misplaced cynicism. The guide that this whole post is stemming from never claimed you would have twenty new besties added on your Facebook as a result from playing. They simply said that meeting other people, and sometimes consequently befriending them, is something that is almost inevitably going to happen along the road. They said that its something that is thought to bring an additional layer of fun to the game.

Like you, I too can count the number of friends I talk to on a regular basis with my fingers still, but that doesn't phase me. If anything, I think it's astonishing I have come to know some of these people to the degree that I have! To me, not having thirty additional friends does not devalue the few I have now. I think those few friendships I have are something to be proud of.

Also, I really don't like that this post ends on a "Get a real life/Go outside" statement either =\

Larísa said...

@Azryu: It's OK to disagree with me! That's what we're here for. :)

However it boggles my mind how you could read a "get a life" statement into this post. I don't think hanging around in blogs like this place is considered belonging to the world outside of WoW. It's just an extension of Azeroth. Just as geeky as if you're logged in.

I've never ever condemned people who spend more time in the WoW community than with so called "real life friends". Why would I? I'm one of those myself.

coldbear said...

LFD is 4chan - hook, line and sinker. There's zero incentive to play nice, and you actually get to the endboss faster if you pay a tank to get you to the front of the queue and then leave. Or if you just piss off the people in your group enough that they kick you so you have a chance at getting into a group that's close to the end of an instance. See

Instanced BGs and arenas and queue-from-anywhere don't help.
"Between flying mounts, summons, and being able to queue for dungeons/bgs from anywhere, your chance of actually encounterring another player outside of dalaran are hilariously low. "

The only way to counteract this is to not use the LFD and make groups the old way. To get a reputation on your own server nowadays takes much more hard work than it used to do.
“people… just crowd round in the major cities and only emerge for ways to upgrade their gear.” – Fawz of Dragonblight

Shy said...

Make a character on a new server and level this character. Without knowing anybody there, and then tell me if what you said about not making friends in WoW is still true :)

Rosa said...

I guess my problem is that I'm too friendly? I have done several cross-realm PUGs, and 7 out of 10 times I end up doing multiple dungeons with these people and we become as close as you can in that time. To the point where I've made a few for funsies toons on their servers or added them to my battlenet friends. For some reason though I have a harder time making friends on my own server. Maybe because I can't escape them if I need to. :p

Anonymous said...

I find that friends in wow, have come from doing arena's.
I suspect the team dedication and chatting in person over skype etc is the key.
Albeit a niche in wow I suppose.