Hours of play had produced zilch. I said hello to everyone, but no one responded. I waved at players, cheered them on when they slaughtered a beast, but still no reaction.
I hadn’t even managed to get called a noob. I was lower than a noob. A sub-noob. So noobish, I didn’t even register on the noob-o-meter.
And then I met Pinkyperky. At least I think that was his name. Or hers – it’s hard to tell but it was definitely a gnome. I was heading to collect some weeds for a computer-generated dwarf when I found Pinkyperky gyrating on the road.
Instinctively I said hello. As usual no reply, just gnome hips oscillating as if they were keeping a hula hoop going. But then just as I was about to give up and walk off, Pinkyperky waved at me.
It was a sad, sad moment. Like those last desperate minutes in a club where closing time is casting its shadow and everyone who hasn’t got hitched or drunk enough to be in danger of peeing themselves tries to find a last minute bedfellow.
Hopeful, I ventured another hello. Pinkyperky danced on. I decided to join in and got my character to dance. Then another gnome, Tinnyginger, turned up. All we needed now were Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.
He hopped around, danced, laughed and, er, slapped my character in the face. Which might have been offensive if it wasn’t for the fact that there’s no animation of the face slapping, just a text message informing you of the fact.
I tried responding in kind but couldn’t work out how to stop dancing so instead my character saluted him before dancing like a Cossack.
After this randomness had dragged on for a couple of minutes I made a fatal mistake. ‘I’m new to the game, any advice?,’ I asked the pair as they hopped and bopped.
Tinnyginger slapped me again said the text message in the corner of the screen and by the time I finished reading it they had both run off in opposite directions.
Three days in and that was the nearest to social contact I had experienced in World of Warcraft. I decided then and there to give up on friend making and refocus my time on going on quests.