Friday, 13 August 2010

Starting to play as a couple.

The following is not a guide to convince your partner to play WoW with you. Sorry, that's for you to figure out. For me, it was quite easy. Mouse was an avid player of MMO's for some time before we even met. So moving from Ragnarok Online to WoW was a simple transition. What you will find below are a few tips to successfully play WoW together. It's just a guideline, nothing that's set in stone, afterall, different strokes for different folks and all that. None the less, I hope it provides an entertaining read for those of you who are planning on introducing WoW to your spouse, or if you just wanted to know what playing WoW as a pair was like.

Play together! - This may sound like an absolute no brainer, but sometimes it can be easy for this little fact to slip your mind. We found it best to make two characters that are used for the sole intent of leveling together. They log in at the same time, go to the same places together, take down bosses with one another, and then end the night by logging out in the same inn together. With this in mind, it's also a good idea to have a pair of seperate characters, for those times when you want to play and your lovely other half is not available.

Pick your classes wisely - Right, this is a very important point, probably the most important decision you'll have to make while playing WoW together, and it happens before you even type in your new characters name. There are a few things that need to be considered:
  • Class synergy - Simply put, how well the classes work together. The most obvious combination would be that of the Healer and Tank. As a warning, this might not be for everyone, as it tends to create a Superhero and sidekick situation. Sure, as the tank, it's great to charge into a whole pack of mobs and not have to worry about that little green bar, but give a little thought to your cheerleader on the sidelines. I find it's best to have at least one character that's able to heal, even if they aren't specced as a healer. It just removes a lot of down time and keeps everything going at your own pace.
  • Armor class - This is VERY important. The key to playing as a couple with as little drama as possible, is to remove the possibility of it occurring in the first place. The last thing you want to happen, is to spend a good hour or so slogging through an instance, having to deal with all the worst types of "PUG horror stories", and then at the end of it all, having a piece of armor drop and then arguing over who it should go to. It's very easy to say "well, we can both roll for it, and who ever wins, wins!" It's nae that easy though. The rule we have in this house is simple, if the missus isn't happy, then no one is happy! I'll go more into this later, as it deserves a post of its own. But for now, the bottom line is "make sure you aren't rolling on the same gear. That means no rogues and kitties together, hell, I'd even avoid going healer with any sort of other caster."
  • Tokens - Very similar to the last point, but something we completely overlooked with our first characters. I played a prot paladin back at the start of TBC and Mouse rolled a holy priest. By picking these two chars, I had taken into account everything that I had already stated in the previous two points. What I didn't foresee, was going into our first kara raid together and seeing this token drop. On the token it stated, nice and clear "Classes: Paladin, priest, warlock". We were the only two that needed to roll on the item, and thus, I turned to face her, opened my mouth, when I was met with the following... "Don't you even dare think of rolling!". I just shrugged it off and thought, 'go on then, I'd like to sleep in our bed tonight'.
Get comfy - By this, I mean, really set yourself up for whatever length of time you're planning to play for. If you plan to play for a few hours, then get some supplies ready. Go get a kettle on the boil, or grab a couple of cans, hell, even grab a couple of bottles of cider if you want. Then I'd recommend getting your favourite joint playlist on the go. For us, it's not a proper night of WoW, if there isn't some lady gaga blowing out the speakers at some point. (Yes, we have a gloriously camp taste in music.) Just make sure you're ready for whatever stress the game may throw at the pair of you.

Know when to stop - There's nothing worse, then feeling like you're being forced to play when all you want to go is go for a stroll or curl up for the night. Just keep an eye on each other. If you've been together for long enough, then you'll know the signs. Be it a slight change in the pitch of their voice, a firmer click than usual, or even the telltale sighing. When one of you has had enough, it's the other persons responsibility to realise this and take actions accordingly. There have been a few times when Mouse has got up off her chair, wrapped her arms around me, leaned over to my keyboard and /afk'ed me out of WSG just before I snap at our flag carrier walking around middle "pwn'ing noobs". And with a simple kiss, and a quick tug on my arm, everything is right in the world again.

On the subject of knowing when to stop, I guess that brings us to a close on this introduction. I hope that's given a small insight to anyone that's wanted to start playing WoW with their other half. Thanks for reading my first blog post, hopefully it'll be the first of many and I hope I'll remain interesting enough for you to hang around in the future.
Happy hunting everyone!

No comments: