One of the few things I dislike about being a mage is the occasional times I get a random whisper from someone that typically reads about like this:
can u port to Dal plz
I usually won’t make any sort of reply to someone who approaches me for a port in that way. If I am feeling surly, I’ll reply with something along the lines of “10g.” But only if I am feeling surly.
You see, I dislike it when a perfect stranger asks me for something with no attempt at either civility or a sentence in proper English. Yes, ‘plz’ is what usually passes for civility in WoW among strangers, but there’s more I want to see from a person who is requesting my aid. I would like to see either a mention of them realizing that they are intruding on my time (a “pardon me” or a “if you are not busy” would suffice) or an offer of cash in advance.
To anyone who could manage every element I would like to see in their request, I would give a port for free and go out of my way to do so. (Hint: it reads thusly: “Excuse me. I am in SW and need a portal to Dal. If you have the time, could I please give you 5g in exchange for that?”)
Giving and receiving and resenting
I like to think of myself as being a fairly giving person in WoW. My guild will benefit from this far more than strangers, but even in a guild situation it is possible to have small resentments spring up from time to time.
In thinking about this – and in trying to determine how I want to respond to a potential situation – I have come to a conclusion.
No one should ever ask anyone whom they want to keep as a friend for anything.
A favor asked for and received here or there probably can’t do much harm, but only if the person receiving the favor doesn’t take their friend’s generosity as a welcome mat or open door for further favors.
It is too easy for resentments to grow when unequal exchanges are made.
Even the most giving of people (note here: I am not claiming I am that giving), will eventually start to feel put upon if someone is always coming to them with their hand out, whether it’s for gold or time or crafting mats. Or mage portals.
If I can’t ask, how do I…?
So if you don’t ever ask for anything, how can you possibly manage to pull together everything you need to be raid ready, for example? There are two options. One is to have a great many alts, all of whom are completely maxxed out in their professions. That is the way I aim for but certainly cannot achieve towards the beginning of an expansion.
The other way is as I mentioned above in my portal request example: Ask, but also offer. It is the offering that is important. It is the offering that will more than likely make most people who like to be giving willing to help you out from their own resources.
What can you offer? Depends on what you have. Offer gold, if you have it. Offer to gather the needed materials yourself and ask only for the other person’s skill. Offer an exchange of goods: “I will give you your next two leg enchants if you will craft that epic shield for me.” Or offer your time and aid for some project they can’t do on their own.
Even to me, this seems painfully obvious. But sometimes I believe other people don’t think about their actions appear. Sometimes I think a reminder is needed.
Careful what you ask for. You might get it and also earn someone else’s ire.