Well, I’m at level 15 on the RP server, and aside from a few scattered comments, there’s still not much role playing going on, nor is there much to report. B. hit the nail on the head a few posts ago in his comment.
Indeed, this guild is a 150+ person social guild, recruiting new-ish players just for the sake of being in a guild, without much going on. I have had a few more pleasant conversations with the guild leader, but otherwise… just your standard, slow, isolated leveling. (Turns out I’m not so into leveling a warrior. I miss my magic! She’s fun, sure. But… perhaps just not very “me”.)
Back on my main server, though, summer is in full swing. Late nights debating the merits of strip clubs or using a particular combination of character buffs abound.
A wonderfully gracious guildie helped me kill ogres (which, by the way, are my favorite mob (monster) to kill – they die in extremely satisfying ways) for about two of the wee hours of one morning. That killing spree allowed me to get some special goodies. (Total vanity: just more mounts to ride that don’t do anything productive, but… now, I’m on a goat! Everybody look at me because I’m riding on a goat! )
The raiding schedule has relaxed quite a bit, and the silly and fun pursuits are a bit more common now. A new pal, L., has just finished leveling yet another toon to 80, and others are running old instances for achievements, etc.
This shift to more casual gameplay (please don’t take that to imply they aren’t acutally hardcore players, though) has let me get to know some of them a bit better, as well.
I’m in an interesting position in this guild. There are several other women who play, to greater and lesser degrees. I am probably the most chatty of them, and they do seem to hold a slightly different position in the guild: the players and then the female players. This is nothing new, of course. I’m not really able yet to talk much about how they’re seen as players, so I’ll leave that for another time.
As for getting to know people, I’ve been enjoying fun Vent conversations and private chats much more than I used to in this guild. I’ve finally started to regularly log into Vent outside of running formal raids, when it’s required for coordination. Outside that context, Vent also serves as an easy way to chat and be entertained while playing.
My own game play has been a bit more for just hanging out, as well. I’m trying to get other work done, and I’m actually getting myself out some evenings, so I’m less available for raids and the like. So, I log on Vent and chat a bit.
These conversations are a mainstay of how people get to know each other in general. Some of the guild members have known each other in these games for well over five years – and many have never met in person. Vent provides a much more fluid, real, and easy way to communicate than the burdensome text chat. As mentioned here before, text chat requires stopping what you’re doing, and so interrupts any play activities quite a bit.
The use of Vent and its role in social interaction in WoW is dramatically understudied. Almost all the online game research in this area looks exclusively at text chat, largely because voice conversations are much more difficult to capture. But there is no doubt that the bulk of the social occurs there.