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Dealing with Dilemmas

Overall, 48% of respondents would have let the Priest shadowheal. This dilemma produced the most interesting age effect. While consistent with the previous dilemmas in that older players were more lenient, there was a gradual increase in that leniency this time rather than a sudden spike in the over 35 age group. As the graph below shows, older players were more likely to allow the Priest to shadowheal. There was no gender difference in this scenario (p = .42).

What these three sets of findings show is that older players tend to be much more lenient than younger players when dilemmas arise in the game. Part of this may be because younger players tend to be more competitive and goal-oriented and prefer efficient teams where strict role assignments are kept, while older players are less concerned with pure efficiency. With regard to how men and women deal with conflicts in the game, the gender difference appearing in only one of the three scenarios is interesting. At first glance, it's not immediately clear what is different about that dilemma. One possible explanation is that it was the only dilemma where there was an overt punishment choice. Perhaps this is something that future surveys will help clear up.


Posted on December 2, 2006 | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)


I wonder if you'd see different responses to your setpiece question if you compared a priest rolling on the warlock setpiece, and a priest rolling on a mage setpiece. There's some very interesting hate for 'locks going around these days and I wouldn't be surprised if this scenario is colored by the lock "finally getting what's coming to 'em for being overpowered" or something of the sort.

Posted by: Chris on December 4, 2006 10:24 AM

Another reason why the shadowheal vote may have been more lenient for older participants: older people may be more willing to let the person try it their way, then *if* there's a healing problem (wipes, etc), then they'll have plenty of "ammunition" to get the priest to go back to regular healing. In other words, let the priest determine his own fate (or dig his own grave).

Posted by: Trent on December 4, 2006 12:05 PM

I have to agree with Trent that I also have a tendancy to let people do whatever the hell they want until it gets us killed THEN I'll put my foot down but if he wants to do it and it works then who cares.

Posted by: Argyuile on December 5, 2006 6:04 AM


When I read the examples, the difference to me is that the first scenario allows for the possibility of just making a mistake -- while the other two are more playstyle or calculated choices.

I haven't teamed much in WoW (and have only "instanced" once) in two months of playing and now having a level 40 character; and the first time the Need/Greed window popped out, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.

Because of the ambiguity (did he make a mistake, or is he trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes, and so forth), and because the team really needed the extra player, I would err on the side of kindness and simply keep an eye on him in the future -- to see if he continues to make the same "mistake." if it happens again in the same outing, I would be much more inclined to bump.

Posted by: Fortunato on December 5, 2006 7:09 AM

My girlfiriend played shadowpriest and she was forced to come out of shadowform in every group.

Groups tend to need healing and keep one spot open for one instead of taking priest that doesnt come out of shadowform.

But when it comes to leniency from the older players I have to agree with the survey. The older players are usually more forgiving and patient. They are also cauntious to the extent of being anoying. Where as 17-27 aged males start shooting and take their changes relying their quick thinking and reflexes. The older ones seem to prefer pulling 1 by 1 and advancing slow and steady to the goals.

Posted by: Zaro M26 on December 6, 2006 12:56 PM

I'm thinking that most of age difference in these scenario's comes down to a basic 'wait and see' theme for the 35+'s.
Esp. the shadowpriest one - over time it will become obvious whether he can actually do his job or not (or whether the hunter is a loothog/ninja) - and if he can't (or is) then you re-think.

Posted by: Dort Onion on December 7, 2006 1:10 AM

Wow, wish I'd seen that poll ^^

On the other hand, in every circumstance I would have made my decision based on knowledge you didnt give. Bear in mind I would have probably been that group leader in every case.

With the hunter, I would have taken his behaviour up to that point into account, then asked guildies if any of them had him on their ignore list. With no result, I would be lenient.

With the Dreadmist, I would try and give priority to the player who had not received anything so far this run, or to a player who had mentioned the item before hand.
The Shadowheal I would definitely allow, as faster DPS=less incoming damage. And then reconsidered if we had difficulty, as other posters suggest. I would also take into account the number of players that would be taking damage in the fight. A group of casters + tank would probably require a full time healer, but a group with a combat rogue and a pally as well as the Main Tank would benefit a lot from the shadow healing.

Iím a bit surprised by the results though. I think they would have been more skewed if it werenít for the fact that female considerations normally work against each other to find a finer balance
a) They are more group oriented
b) More forgiving
c) More accepting of individual styles
Maybe you should design a survey based on testing different aspects individually.

Iím not surprised about the change over age though, in fact, Iím surprised it wasnít greater.

Karrie(Rob), 60 Lock, 26yrs male

Posted by: Karrie on December 7, 2006 6:19 AM

What is interesting in WoW is that young players are making high level moral and managerial decisions about loot all the time. It is not uncommon for a 13 year old to be leading a mixed party of children and adults. What high level skills are players learning

Posted by: Tony Forster on December 8, 2006 10:56 PM

The question regarding the shadowpriest seems to be more a survey of knowledge than one of ethics. Any shadow priest worth his salt will be able to do much more at least starting the battle in shadowform, then popping out if needed, rather than playing against their entire specialization. I think the much sharper trend of older players being more accepting is due to them appreciating that the shadowpriest is trying to help the team the best he can. Younger players tend to get too caught up in what's happening to their own health bar, and get upset about a death or two that's going to happen whether the priest is in shadowform or not.

Posted by: Glitch29 on January 15, 2007 10:56 AM

Anybody rolling on a piece that would significantly benefit another player would be kicked by me. That applies to the priest rolling Dreadmist because it "looks cooler". Dreadmist is heavy on stamina, which does not benefit a priest at all, and intellect to a lesser extent. There is no priest build that would benefit from a stamina-oriented set, and rolling Dreadmist just for looks is a sign of a noobish and inconsiderate player.

A shadowpriest will only come into my group if we know from the beginning that he is dpsing. If he is to be the sole healer, healing only in shadowform is unacceptable. I say this as a shadowpriest myself. I've often welcomed them into my group, but I always take class mix into account.

64 Warlock, 60 Shadowpriest, 23 years old, female

Posted by: Katherine on January 22, 2007 7:52 AM

The 35+ crowd, which I am a part of, is more lenient because we simply have the life skills to understand human nature better. And while it's easy to hide one's true personality online, it will eventually reveal itself in playing. Also, most older people work, have families and other obligations: we have enough stress and drama as it it!

For the Hunter and Priest, I would take their word and see how things manifest. I agree with the view, "Let him/her dig their own grave." So what if one dies once or twice in an instance (it's expected)? That's why most people consider WoW a game as oppose to life. But this game can teach one how to improve their people skills. Imagine if you, in real life, made a mistake and got fired for it. Wouldn't you feel wronged?

As for myself, I have not played every single class/race. My knowledge of WoW grows everyday and I know I will never know everything. If a player wants to try something or want to accomplish a goal, let them! This, "they shouldn't be doing this or that because I've played that character" is very immature. Playing WoW is a learning process- give people a chance.

In the end, those who are up to no good will reveal themselves.

Posted by: Jerry on January 29, 2007 8:04 AM

Jerry, I'm in the 23-28 age range, but what you said really encapsulates how I feel on the matter. It's that old 'fool me once' thing-- I'd let them try it, let them roll on the item they're so interested in, let them get away with ninja'ing one thing... because we all make mistakes, we all make silly decisions, and life is a learning process for all of us.

Posted by: ihavenomouth on February 27, 2007 4:33 PM

That Hunter would have been out of the party in a heartbeat. As I play a Paladin, I would be particularly affected by the fool's screw-up.

I'm a bit skeptical of Shadow Priests attempting to heal for a group while in shadowform. Vampiric Embrace is nice, but if it's the only healing tool you're going to use in instances like Scholomance, you're gonna run into problems.

I would let the Priest roll on the Dreadmist set. So what if there are no "viable" builds that can use its stamina bonus? Maybe he's got an idea for a new build, and it's not like a Hunter needing plate like a dee-dee-dee.

Posted by: Treima on August 23, 2007 5:28 PM

That's an ingenious way of thkining about it.

Posted by: Tory on January 2, 2012 7:20 PM
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