First of all, a little background:
In South Korea, World of Warcraft's popularity has been certainly waning down. It is nowhere to be found in Top 10 game rankings in terms of usage in PC cafes, and it is a well-known fact that most of the servers are suffering from severe lack of populations. Other games such as League of Legends have been rapidly growing, and Mists of Pandaria expansion did not help much; if it did not hurt in fact.
Some Korean WoW players have pointed out that one of the factors for such decrease in player number could be that Korean players are getting too competitive and hard-hearted. I am not 100% sure about this, but their servers seem to have different lockouts for 10 mans and 25 mans, and I think, at one point, their servers were resetting every 3-4 days, which give them more chances to raid. Such changes have forced many Korean players to be as hardcore as they can be, leaving no room to breathe and forgive others for their mistakes. Many new players, especially people who just started playing WoW (surprisingly), could not adapt to such situations because no one would help them understand the game better. And the whole community was getting more elitist in general, with most of the players playing from the original WoW, since WoW has been around almost 10 years. And the whole topic of 'bullying' and 'cyber-bullying' has been a major issue in a Korean society.
Then THIS happened.
Original post in "Inven" community (in Korean language): http://www.inven.co.kr/board/powerbbs.php?come_idx=4&l=2933
There have been thousands of replies and reactions to this incident, and apparently there have been visible changes in servers, and the whole community have asked themselves: What happened to the good ol' WoW we enjoyed?
Below is my translation of the whole incident and several posts related to it. Not perfectly literal translation though.
Thread: He needed attention and help... The story of Zul'jin server 'outcast' warrior.
In the afternoon of February 3rd, a player who identified himself as a PUG raid leader/organizer of Zul'jin server posted a thread titled "Zul'jin server outcast", and it has been the hottest topic in the Korean WoW community.
Below is the thread:
Sub-Thread: Zul'jin server outcast
Hello, I am one of the many players who have been playing WoW for 8 years.
I am writing this because I had quite an incident today.
I'm not sure where to start... I will just state what comes to my mind. Please read.
One fine Saturday afternoon, I was organizing a PUG raid.
There was a whisper.
"DPS Warrior, ilvl 496, I'd like to go!"
Hmm... he was quite infamous in our server. DPS below tanks. "The Hole". He was well-known by raid leaders for his lack of skills which eventually break apart any raids.
I told him that it was to be a 10-man raid, and gently said no.
"Well... sir, you are not intentionally avoiding me, right...? I was really thankful when you brought me to ToES last time..."
Yes... I brought him to ToES once, without knowing about him, and he did 30k DPS to the last boss. I could never forget him.
But, seeing him saying he was thankful, I suddenly felt bad and sorry.
I was like... !@#$... Was I one of the snobs who would calculate and bring only maniacs to make an easy raid...? I felt really bad, so I gave him a reply.
I was not able to gather up a full raid anyways that day, so I was able to talk to him for a long time.
He was saying: "I really want to do better DPS, but I don't know how to do that... Even if I join a raid, I don't qualify to get any gold (Translator: In all Korean servers, they pay gold to loot items, and players who didn't get any loot divide up the gold in the end, if their DPS/HPS qualify), so I can't get much gold... which again affects my gear settings. I can't join any raid nowadays. No one would bring me. I whisper, no one answers... Please help... My current guild wouldn't even help me... Please."
And I felt really really really bad. I inspected his gears. He was using Stam gems, wrong gems on red sockets, wrong enchants and everything... And the whole reforging was just totally wrong.
After an hour of trying to organize a raid, I just called it, and I was on GameTalk (Korean Vent) with him to teach him gear settings, rotations, and basic DPS strategies.
You know you don't even get "Yes" on the GameTalk nowadays?
He was answering "Yes" to every sentence I was saying, like he was spamming. He was really learning.
I wanted to bring him on to my guild, so I can keep him closely to help him as much as I can.
Then I never expected my guildies would object.
"Brother... Please don't ginvite him, please..."
"Oh, if he's coming, I'm out of this guild. Sorry."
He was that infamous, sucked too bad in many dungeons and raids. So everyone in the server knew him, and hated him.
And I didn't know my guildies were on the same boat.
Still, I asked him to join my guild, and he was like, "Is that really OK??" "Thank you so much... I will speak to my current GM first and go over there."
He was saying "thank you" multiple times, and gquitted. Then, because of my guildies' objections, I ended up not being able to ginvite him.
I didn't know what to say, and he first said: "Oh... There are people there who don't like me... That's OK! :)"
And I realized that he knows he was hated by many. I really didn't want him to know, but he already knew. I was even more sorry.
All I could do was just letting him know more about the game, and encouraging him to change his character name.
I don't think I helped him a lot, but he said thank you so many times, and I still feel really bad.
All my fellow players, I had so much fun playing WoW.
But one day, because of random LFG dungeons and LFR raids, we didn't have to hang out with people in the server any more. And the game got old. And people have been saying about WoW: "A game for only maniacs and hardcores. Noobs not allowed. Nothing humane about it."
Yes... I did feel that.
If you went to army, you'd know that there are all kinds of people in this world.
This guy was different too.
It took him good 4 hours to understand a few things I taught him.
He was not as fast as you are in this game. He was not as game-savvy as we are.
I even got to know some stuff about his personal life and his family situation, and there were a lot of problems.
He was old, and he was just trying to have fun playing WoW, because he was stressed from the real world out there.
He was just trying to do his best, but he was hated by many fellow players in the server, without getting any help. And I felt really bad.
If there is any warrior who can help him, please whisper me.
And people, please do not hate and bully bad players too much... Some of them are not intentionally being bad.
There are certain jackasses and losers who are intentionally being bad, but not everyone.
There are some people who really need attention and help to be better, like this person.
I will wait for your response.
This thread has been the top thread for this week, and the actual 'outcast' warrior posted a thread himself, saying 'sorry' to his fellow players in Zul'jin server:
Sub-Thread: I would like to apologize and ask for your forgiveness... I know it's late, but can you give me one more chance?
Hello, I was reading the original thread and I thought I should post one myself to speak to all of you... I am that 'outcast warrior'.
I know that I wasted much of your time in many raids and dungeons, because I was bad.
In all the raids I joined, my DPS was below any tank, and I would really like to apologize to all players who had to suffer because of my poor play.
Many people have been posting encouraging words to me, and I wanted to say something here too, so here I am.
I am indeed a bad player, as you all know.
Many people in my last guild explained how to DPS, great websites, forums, and guides, but I could not understand what they were saying. I was reading up all the posts in Inven community, but I could not get better. I didn't even know how to make macros.
WoW is my first online game ever, and it was just so difficult for me to understand certain things.
And the raid leader, who posted the original thread, taught me how to DPS, how to install add-ons like DBM, how to reforge, and how to set up gears.
And it was totally my fault that I didn't get to learn those things all this time. And I deserve to be bullied.
All my friends in Zul'jin server, I know you all hate me, but when I log on and see any of you, I really feel like all of you are my friends... In fact, I see you more often than my friends in real life... I know many of you hate me and blocked me, but please forgive me once.
Again, this was my first online game... And I made your raids '****' because I didn't know anything about the encounters. I apologize for that.
Can you please give me one more chance to play with you again? If I make same mistakes again and again, without fixing anything, then I will only do quests and LFRs.
I know you don't even want to see my face, but I just like being in a community. I know you do not want to see me around, so I just hide myself around mountains or corners of big cities...
And I feel so thankful to raid leaders and raiders who brought me onboard time to time... But then I was only a burden to them. I am truly sorry. Please do not hate me so much...
I really want to play with you and have fun. I know this post is not enough to forgive me, but I really want to show you that I have changed and will keep changing.
Happy New Year, and if you forgive me, I will be a better player I promise.
And for the last time, thank you to all raid leaders who tried to work with me, and sorry...
And even more players replied. Not just WoW players, but players from all different communities (Diablo, Starcraft, you name it) were checking the thread and posting encouraging words.
Many people cried. Many people remembered what it was like to play as newbies. Many people questioned: "Why are we not having fun any more? What happened to our good ol' WoW? What happened to us?"
People started talking about how much they sucked when they first played this game, and shared how brutal and non-forgiving they are to other players nowadays, leaving no room for mistakes or lack of skills.
I almost cried reading all those posts and threads. I myself was a newbie once. Every person starts somewhere. I remember when I was tanking on my warrior with Hypnotic Blade (spell dagger). I remember my first raid and how bad I was. I remember how many people have helped me and encouraged me to play this game on the level I am in now.
This whole incident has been a huge impact to the whole Korean WoW community that has been waning down. In many servers, there have been movements to create "Mentor Raids", in which raid leaders will give detailed guidance and mentor players to understand the raid and their classes better. It is such a positive change. And I hope this whole incident makes a positive change that will last for a long time in many people's hearts.
I remembered: This is why I play a MMORPG. This is why I play WoW. And I just wanted to share with you, so sorry for such long post.
TLDR: South Korea and North Korea are different. And sorry for making this too long!