Tobold has a post up today about training players in WoW, and what can be done to improve the sad state the PUG scene is in.
I think the PUG scene in WoW is hopeless though, that game is too far into easy mode to make any reasonable changes. Between guild hopping, welfare epics, PvP being quasi-solo, its no wonder WoW players don’t stop to teach others about agro, CC, builds, etc.
In direct contrast, EVE has an extremely helpful player base, old and new, and is often considered the most complex game to understand. In addition, one of the primary recruiting tools used by Corps is the offer to train new members in whatever field they wish to focus on. Corp hopping is rarely seen in EVE as well.
Which leads to the greater overall problem of designing a game that hand-holds you through everything and gives you rewards regardless of success or failure. Everything is all peaches until you add any amount of challenge, and all of a sudden a player is required to understand something beyond auto-attack.
That alone will be one of the worst legacies left by WoW, the massive dumbing down of MMOs. Outside of a much smaller minority, most WoW players expect everything for nothing, and generally get it. Oddly enough, even WoW was not originally as dumbed down as it is right now. The original WoW at release was, believe it or not, actually a bit more challenging. Still by far the easiest MMO out, but not in the state it is now. It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be when that majority tries something with a bit of challenge to it, or will all future MMOs with mass market dreams continue the ‘massive solo online’ trend set by Blizzard?