[I posted this in a comment to a friend, but I think I want to post it on its own too.]
This last week I’ve been leveling my warlock. Got tired of Plaguelands and all that gathering of drops, so I cleared all my quests and hied myself to Hellfire Peninsula. Over three or four days I’ve completed all the quests except the (Dungeon) and two  quests, got the discovery and the questing achievements for the area, and moved on to Zangarmarsh.
In the process of leveling, I did what I always do, which was to walk up to random folks and say “Hey, do you want any help here?” This time it’s worked really well, though I’m a little skewed in my idea of what’s “working well”… I really like helping other people, and if I’m helping someone else, I really don’t care whether I’m getting my own quests done.
Last night I helped some Horde folks kill a boss, which was fun. (I’m Alliance–my Warlock is a gnome female with red pigtails). I was in the area and I saw they were killing a boss, and not doing too well, so I jumped in and started beating on him too, and we all died. When they came back, I just lined up behind them and did /salute then /ready. They said something to me in Orcish which I didn’t understand, but I just nodded. So we all killed the boss together and they /thanked me profusively. It was very cool.
Tonight I asked on the General channel if anyone wanted to help me kill a boss (same one, Arriz or something, Pools of Aggonar) and got a couple people responding. I thought it was cool that they came to help me, so I ended up grouping with one of them for the rest of the night, something like 4 hours. I was pretty much just helping this one rogue with a bunch of quests that I had already done… the idea was that we would eventually get back around to the same boss again and I would help him, but mostly I was just happy to have someone to group with. Turns out the guy is 12 and easily distracted… whenever he saw a Horde PVP player he would go try to kill them. I had to tell him a couple times “Hey, uh, I’m not interested in PVP so have fun with that, and let me know if you want help with any quests.” To which he would say “Oh no, I’m questing, really…” and we’d go quest some more.
I think there was only one kind of sour note to the interaction, which was when I didn’t get the drop that led to the next quest, he got his and went ahead with the next part, and was soon gone. This left me with one other person trying to do what I was doing but we kept dying. I kinda pointedly said “Hmm, I didn’t get the drop, and I was kind of hoping you would wait and help me with this,” and it took him a while to get back to where I was, but he came back and helped and I thanked him for doing so.
At some point I excused myself politely by saying “Well it looks like your next few quests are easy ones so I’m going to head on over to Zangarmarsh, but if you want some help with anything give a shout and I’ll come back and help, and definitely let me know when you get to that Overlord thing.” He had about 38 quests left in the zone but I think he eventually dropped them and came over to Zangarmarsh too.
I guess 12-year-olds get distracted easily. I didn’t actually say “Hey if you’re in a race to get to 80 with your friend, why are you chasing the Horde around, and telling people you want to create a 1-priest and such?” But I didn’t. I just mildly corrected him the one time he failed to help me and I think overall I made a friend. Anyway, I’m just happy to be grouped and socializing and helping people.
(Seriously, if I ever have a guild of my own it will probably be called “Ask me for help”. I love the idea of a guild that just goes around helping people at all levels, at least with some of their time, kinda like community service hours.)
I have to say, I really wish I were on an RP server though… I am on the straight PvE server where my sweety and some other friends are, but there is absolutely zero RP, and I would really like some RP. I’m amazed that people can play the game without RP, actually, but that seems to be the norm.