|No, you're not getting a second chance, or are you...?|
Warcraft is a metaphor for Life, you know. :D
No really, it is. All human experience can be found within, the myriad of possibilities and outcomes, wrapped in a bunch of pixels and delivered to your desktop 24/7. Its got absolutely nothing to do with the actual game, of course. When you play with anyone else, there are inevitably moments when it stops being about which boss you're killing or the achievement you're chasing and it becomes all about the other people.
For example: I entered a Fall of Deathwing LFD this morning on my Horde Hunter. Bosses 1-3 ran very smoothly until we reached Deathwing, where it became apparent the Offtank wasn't aware of the boss mechanics. Three wipes later, and after an inordinate amount of bickering the (very impressive MT) deliberately instigated a wipe when the OT started the encounter in an attempt not to get kicked while we were two healers down. At the end of the first platform he asked everyone not to jump and (stunningly) at least half the raid complied. Much complaining and arguing followed, as we queued for replacements. One Warlock took it upon himself to check people's DPS gear as we waited, and discovered a Boomkin doing so with what was (very obviously) his healing set (it didn't take a genius to work it out). Some lively discussion ensued, the crux of which was simple: Blizzard lets him queue as a dps, and he can do that even in gear which is completely inappropriate for purpose. I suggested he might want to consider an alternative to LFR for gearing:
|So, there you have it.|
It's a beautifully simple response. Yes, we did kick him shortly afterwards.
I read this week a very interesting post from Kurn's Corner about how Blizzard could do more to adequately educate their player base on what is required from players. I think this is a prime example of how even the educated will act in an irresponsible manner if they think they can get away with it. Our 'healer' was very well geared, and clearly knew how to play that class, yet they wilfully decide to forgo all this as dps for the chance of some free upgrades? Of course they did, because in the 'metaphors for life' everyone's going to chance their arm now and again if it means they might get summat for (effectively) nothing. Those people who don't know squat about their class? Is it REALLY Blizzard's job to educate them so they are fit to play? Shouldn't it be that the players go and look for information themselves and learn about the game as they play, allowing their experience to further develop from their own exploration?
I see this argument a lot at present. This is an ongoing metaphor about education going on in schools across the UK. Substitute 'schools', 'government' and 'parents' into the above paragraph and suddenly we're in an entirely different sphere. It also matters a great deal more than a simple computer game, after all we're talking about children's futures here... yes, those same children who could well be playing this game, who see examples of people taking liberties in (seemingly) guilt-free situations. Suddenly these metaphors matter a lot more, especially to those of us who choose to play their games in the same way as we attempt to conduct their lives: with respect, responsibility and perseverance. Hang on, isn't that what the griefers and the idiots are doing too?
People like to apportion blame in game, and to know where responsibility lies, because... well, as in life, there are processes. Pointing the finger at someone else for a failure happens all the time. The wise and sensible will look at all the evidence before even considering judgement. Stubborn at Sheep the Diamond experienced the worst of human behaviour this week and I know from bitter experience that this kind of, for want of a better word, asshattery is alive and well and (sadly) not going anywhere. Like Stubborn, I find myself wanting answers to these people's increasingly inexplicable behaviour. I considered that it could be the age of people playing that was a contributing factor, and at what time of day people were running dungeons. From the brief field work I've conducted it could well be the case: play at times where you know the adult playerbase will be larger and things are less traumatic. Hence I ran an early morning LFR on my Priest and had literally no problems. As the day goes on and the possibility for 'younger' players increases... plus at weekends...
However, this is unfair. REALLY unfair, because age is not the sole reason for anyone to act in this fashion. The biggest ragequit we ever had in Guild came from a 50-summat guy who really should have known better (and left over a mace /roll he lost) and when I look back on what happened, it made a lot of sense. Certain personalities will cause trouble, regardless of where they are. When you stop looking at people as pixels and remember that behind the character is a real person, a lot of what happens simply acts as a metaphor for their real life personality. I am staggered even now at the number of people who don't consider this, that Warcraft really is just one huge social networking site when its all said and done. The only difference is, in most cases, these aren't people you would never willingly have on your Friends List, and as a result... anything could happen, and normally does.
There are a lot of arguments currently about what is wrong with the game. Blizzard are clearly at pains to ensure that when the new expansion is released, it returns to the experience a great deal of the enjoyment and fun that people feel has been lacking in Cataclysm. However, Blizzard can't change the players. It can try and make them happier, give them more things to do and increasing ways to gear and feel fulfilled. It has improved in beta the way knowledge about classes is communicated. It is giving lots of opportunities for people to 'learn to play' However if people choose not to take them, there is nothing anyone can do. If the game is a metaphor for life, sometimes it won't matter how good things are, some people just aren't happy unless they have something to complain about and a focus at which to direct their displeasure.
The only way that is ever going to change is completely out of Blizzard's hands.
[EDIT: Hello Druids, who point out to me that spirit works very well as hit for Boomkins. I am encouraged to see new people reading and responding, and so I add this postscript.
I have a Druid boomkin, so have some understanding of the mechanics at play. I also know I wouldn't play as DPS with a Maw of the Dragonlord or two healing trinkets, because there are better items out there (from LFG) which would maximise my potential in a raid. Mr Robot is my friend :D Needless to say, this then becomes an even better example of someone who knows how to play but hoped that the relative anonymity of LFR would allow him to capitalise on loot drops...]