I've never tried to make it a secret that in my opinion, WoW Insider, while a decent read, is pretty much useless for anyone playing beyond the base 85. This isn't a knock against the writers or the site itself, there are just better sites for getting the nitty gritty info that you might need for raiding or serious theory-crafting. I will admit that I've picked up a few tidbits for UI tweaking and the like, and for news they're pretty good - but I've also come to the following realization.
I am not their target audience.
Now, where WoW Insider does do a great job is with their WoW Rookie series. Sure, it's tough to get everything you need in a couple of blog posts, but they try to give you at least a sample of what to expect and where to go for more. After all, you shouldn't get the entire game spoon fed to you. Believe it or not though, there are actually new players picking up the game. While it's easy to dismiss the 45th hunter wearing spirit cloth off as a complete noobcake, it's very possible that they simply don't know any better. Like I mentioned before, I currently have a guildmate that didn't know what a TABARD was for - how can I expect him to grasp the intricacies involving haste and mastery? Should I REALLY be surprised when he's wearing Spirit cloth as a non-Spirit user?
Helping someone in the LFD
I'm fairly certain that the LFD has passed the random BG in terms of being a complete cesspool of humanity. At least in a RBG you can get away with turning off BGchat and you'll still do fairly well if you keep your eyes open. While I'm not advocating the Lone Ranger type play, it's easier to pull off than in a LFD group. Of course given the average communication in a random is maybe a "hey" or "go faster", it's not surprising when the first real sentence to escape someone's mouth is nothing more than a string of profanity and insults.
I'm getting off track though, which just goes to show you the power of the LFD idiots. What I wanted to talk about today was how taking five minutes might actually help someone enjoy their game, instead of logging off in a fit of frustration, or tears. While I know it's tough to imagine, all of us were new to WoW at one point - even the elite players in Paragon and Stars. While past experiences might give you an edge, everyone has a first time, and that first time will set the stage for future play.
The hunter in Spirit gear
We've all seen at least one, admit it. While catching one at 85 in a heroic is grand cause for a /facepalm, what about one at level 20? While I've recently been spending all my time grinding Ramkahen rep with my Lock (yes - I still need rep, and the boots are better till I get a pattern or Shannox coughs some up), every once in a while I need to do something different, so I work on my baby Druid. Now the LFD is a pretty quick way to level to 60, even if I am queueing as DPS, and it saves me the stress of having to heal the retarded tank of the day.
Back to the hunter.
So this morning I get in a group with a nasty mouthed tank, a healing priest, warrior, and this hunter. I'm the only one rocking full BoAs, and we all know that it's really easy to just decimate an instance when you're geared that way. So I'm watching the group while learning how Eclipse works, and I see this hunter - in cloth - keeps pulling mobs. Now, he's not pulling and then FDing on the group, he's either a bot or just used to being able to kill non-elite trash. Immediately calls of Huntard, "Stop pulling noob", and much worse go out. I felt bad for the guy, so I took a minute to actually talk to him.
It turned out that this WAS their first toon (or they were just acting), and they simply didn't know what they were about. They were wearing a dress because it was enchanted, and they had no idea why they should be looking for any kind of special gear. Instead of belittling them, I pointed out a few quick tips, directed them to WoW Rookie (sending someone like that to EJ is just cruel), and the rest of the run went smoothly. Well, as smoothly as that type of run can go.
Even Ed has feelings
While I do have some difficulty beliving this statement, it's true. Behind the keyboard (usually) is another person, and that person probably has feelings that they'd like to keep intact. Even that hunter doing 4k in your 85 heroic might not just be a turd, but someone who has never had anything explained to them. As easy as WoW has become over the years, there's still nothing in game that tells you "Get some AGI and skip the INT gear hunter boy". Despite the new information about available talents, stat bars, and ease of leveling - it's tough to really max out your characters without going for external information.
So instead of opening up with hostility, maybe take a moment to try and help someone on the other end. While I don't advocate holding their hands all the way through, at the very least you can point them to a good resource, or offer a nugget or two of information.