The Daily Grind: When have you felt like an idiot in an MMO?

The Daily Grind: When have you felt like an idiot in an MMO?

While I’m sure that you have it all together and project the infallible air of someone who strides with the greatest of purpose, there’s no way that you — or I — can be perfectly suave 100% of the time. There are those moments when we become utter doofs and say or do the wrong thing. We join the great Guild of the Horse’s Patootie, where the only requirement is that you feel like an idiot as you bask in the shame of your mistake.

This happens to me every so often in MMOs, usually in group situations where everyone else knows exactly what to do and I’m too bashful to ask for clarification. Suddenly, everyone’s shouting “WHO TOUCHED THE BLACK ORBS OF DOOM AND RELEASED THE KILLER FERRETS?” in the middle of a boss fight while I’m whistling in frantic innocence and trying to blend into the wave of fur and sharp, needle-like teeth.

When have you felt like this in an MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Yuge McBigly

2 days ago on WoW when I spent 900g on mats to craft a robe on an Alliance character to send to a Horde alt. Only to realize in year 15 that you can’t send non-account bound items to the opposing faction. Oh and the character it was intended for was also 11 levels too low to wear it.


I was riding along on my mount in WoW unaware that there was an opening in the ground ahead of me. I fell through the crevasse and landed 200 feet below on my back and died. It just so happened I hit the ground in the center of a circle of 10 or so players who had been standing around chatting. There was a long silence as both I and the group came to terms with what just happened. Finally, a healer in the group asked if I would like a rez. I said that would be great. My real life face was pretty red.

Does not check email

All mmo user interfaces

Dug From The Earth

Here is the thing

Pick up ANY book on intuitive design (UI/UX etc), and you will quickly come to understand that nearly most of the time, its not the user who is the idiot, its the systems poor design at how its supposed to be used.

For example.. A door with a handle that you obviously grasp, indicating “Grasp and pull” and yet, to open the door you must push. Is the person who pulls, an idiot? No, the doors system to user experience was flawed in design.

Many games are this way too. They dont properly convey what something is for, or how to use it. Im not saying you need some big tutorial, holding a players hand like a 3 year old. Im simply saying that putting a big, red, shiny button somewhere and expecting players NOT to push it, is bad understanding of how people work.

Most of the time, when someone can figure out a system that lacks intuitive design, will walk away saying, “Im an idiot, I cant figure it out”. Here is the thing. Engineers, and Developers often suck and people skills and people understanding. they build things how it would make sense to them, which often times, are the vast minority.

I once had lunch with a statistical engineer who redesigned (on his phone) the menu for the restaurant we were eating at. It was one giant and complex spreadsheet. His comment was “So much better”. The existing menu was an easy to read, non-cluttered booklet of images, big item names, and short but informative descriptions. And yet my friend thought that his overly convoluted spreadsheet was better. For him, maybe, but for the vast majority… no. Had he been asked to create a menu for the restaurant, and they went with his idea, a vast number of people would walk out thinking, “Sheesh, I must be an idiot because I struggled to figure out what to even order”.

Another example. Your refrigerator. Ever look inside and see ONE dial, with just numbers from 1 to 10. How cold is 1? How cold is 10? What should it be set to? Then realize that the dial ALSO controls the freezer temp as well. Is setting 7 good for the freezer but bad for the fridge? Just bad design, all together.

What about walking into a room, there being a light right over head and a switch nearby, and flipping it, to have it turn on the light in the hallway behind you. Normal connective thought would connect the switch to the light closest to it, but nope. Is the person an idiot for switching on the hallway light when they wanted the one in the room they are in? Not likely just doing that.

So many things, especially in video games, suffer from this.

Again, its not about treating people like they are 5. Its about designing a system that an average person can figure out on their own because it makes sense to how the majority of humans think and do things.

Things like standing in fire however… people know fire is hot, and fire colored. Intuitive decision making would say, “dont stand in it”. Where games fail with this however, is with different colored fire. For example. Fel Fire in wow… is green. Green has long been established as the color of healing spells. If someone, for the first time, were to stand in green fire, it wouldnt be quite so dumb, because there are many aoe, ground placed healing spells, that are green.

Castagere Shaikura

Not knowing how to link something in chat.


How was i supposed to know that you greed for what you need and need for what you don’t?


If I don’t feel like an idiot at least once a session I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

Bruno Brito

Deleting an epic tends to make me feel like that.

Kickstarter Donor

*cough* I got this one folks…

One of the previous MOP DDO streams, I climbed a ladder and ran to the treasure chest before the thiefy thief did and tripped the trap, ALL three saw blades hit me, killed me deader than dead dead. 😂PRO TIP: let thief disarm traps first. 😋


That isn’t an MMO mistake. That is D&D 101…

Until the Thief fails his Disarm/Sleight-of-Hand check and springs it on himself. Which likely could have happened with your group too since I believe the game rolls and checks for success in it–or I’m remembering things wrong from when I played a bit of it years and years ago…!

The true lesson there? Always put the meat shield first…!


Right. That’s what level 1 Wizards are for. That and holding the torch. :P


This doesn’t happen to me, or at least not caused by lack of knowledge; if I’m playing any multiplayer content I make sure I know my way around the game before I ever get to any place where I might meet other players, as well as make sure I know the most used strategies for any encounter I might face before I join any group.

And yeah, if you want to go without foreknowledge, to discover the strategies as you face each encounter, I’m absolutely not your person; I make sure everyone playing with me knows what to expect ahead of time.