World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online game and an industry leader in the field of helping people escape their socially awkward real lives.
People don't get addicted to World of Warcraft right away. It usually takes a few hours at least. Ha ha. Seriously, the real hooks get into players after reaching max level (currently 80) which is why with every patch and expansion, Blizzard has made it easier and easier to level. Here's how the stages of addiction usually progress:
This is when you get your character from level 1 to level 80. It's been dumbed down so much since the game first came out that the next step will probably be to have you message a GM (in-game customer service) to set your level to 80. Blizzard has even added some features making it even easier for you to level additional characters after you have a character at 80 already, on top of being able to use your level 80 character as a sugar daddy. The additional characters create more investment in the game for you. Clever. On the way to your first 80 however, you are learning the game and it's all new and unfamiliar. You can stop any time, though. It's just like any other RPG and you don't really group with anyone for more than an hour or two.
2. 5-man Dungeons
This is the next step after level 80. It's incredibly easy to get a random group to do these, and get yourself some better equipment quickly. You might join a guild to make it easier to get these groups together and have some reliable people to depend on, but even so, you just do these when you feel like it and ask whoever's around in your guild, you don't have to schedule nights on your calendar, that would be silly.
Unless you're raiding. Raids require groups of 10 or 25 (and previously 40) which often requires some serious schedule coordination. Guilds usually schedule raids at least a week ahead of time, with signup sheets and waiting lists and some kind of system to determine priority. You can't just take off a night when you've had a bad day anymore, because people are depending on you. You could be ruining the plans of 24 other people. That's why they had you fill out an application and evaluated you in trial raids based on whether your personality would be a "fit" for the guild, whether you seemed committed enough, and whether you could play well. Man, if you quit now, you'd be letting a lot of people down.
4. Meaningless Achievements
Even raiding gets repetitive after a while and making new 10/25-man dungeons is a lot of work. Blizzard is not going to be able to make them fast enough to keep up with the ADD of their players. That's why there are a ton of completely useless prestige items and achievements to get, like pets that don't do anything and mounts that function exactly like the one you already have (if you get 50, you get a free mount that also functions exactly like the 50 you have). You have to jump through hoops to get through many of these, like finding a very rare monster, or running the same dungeon 100 times hoping for a random drop, or going to a yearly World of Warcraft conference. Blizzard also found they could save themselves the trouble of actually making any reward item at all for players with an achievement point system, where you get "points" for completing arbitrary tasks or killing a boss a certain way (hopping on one leg, hand behind your back) which gain you absolutely nothing in-game but which everyone else can see and be impressed, or saddened by.
Eventually a player gets tired to death of raiding and starts to question why they have spent so many months trying to get a dragon that is a different color than the dragon they have now. They realize it's time to concentrate on "real life" and say tearful goodbyes to everyone in their guild and pack up their characters and everyone writes long posts on the guild forum about how much they appreciate them. Then the player goes and does productive things in their life.
Several months later the player starts playing WoW again. Everyone welcomes them back! It's cool, they straightened out their life. They can control it this time. Some people have been known to repeat steps 5 and 6 about once a month, continuously. This is known to psychologists as Brett Favre Syndrome.
Unsurprisingly, WoW public chat channels are as depressingly inane as any other multiplayer game chat. The two most common annoying phenomena are chat games and trolling arguments.
Formerly quite popular but lately out of style, Chuck Norris jokes were often a staple of Trade or General chat. They were, as you can imagine, terrible. Another popular game at times was the Murloc game, where people would name movie titles and replace a word with "murloc". (Murlocs are a race of fish people in WoW whom quests often ask players to commit genocide against.) The word replaced doesn't have to sound like "murloc" or begin with an M, or anything. Just a random word. "The Murloc Redemption," "Murloc Shawshank Redemption," whatever. Nobody cares. It's about as hilarious as it sounds.
Like everywhere, there are trolls. Trolling can begin with a brag or a diss, or just stating a completely factually incorrect statement. Even worse than the trolls are the people who respond to them and argue with them, just like the trolls want. Even worse than the trolls and the people who argue with them put together are the schoolmarm types who then lecture everyone that the trolls just want attention and the arguers are just giving them attention, and the best thing to do would be to ignore them and not respond, and not say any words at all, to just let the conversation die out, to just be quiet, so that it will be forgotten, so let's not devote another word to this, and if we just stop talking about this, then it'll go away, and do you see how cluttering up the channel like this makes it hard for people who are trying to buy and sell because their information just gets swept away in the spam? They never shut up.
How To Improve Your Game Chat Experience
Right click on your chat window tab and click Settings. Find the chat channels window and uncheck the box next to Trade.