|You were expecting something else? ^^|
Subtlety often seems like a dying art in this game.
LFR is a great example of this, on any given day. For every Tank who wants to eat a food buff and check he's not still in his DPS gear there is the guy who just zones in and starts hitting stuff, regardless of the rest of the World around him. This is a fact that hasn't changed since Leeroy Jenkins, after all. All the planning in the World will never compensate for the nutter who didn't read the memo. That is a fundamental part of what makes things interesting, and is now accepted by most people as part of the occupational hazard in game. Many more like to moan about it, but the fact remains that this continues to reinforce Warcraft as yet another Metaphor for Life.
WoW Insider this morning has the sobering reminder that, like it or not, your gaming experience needs to have an element of suck inherent within it. Whether this destroys your enjoyment or whether you simply choose to ignore the consequences is, of course, very much up to you. If the horror becomes too great (as I know has been the case for a number of high-profile Bloggers) walking away is by far the best thing to do for your sanity. For those of us who remain, however, judging the success or failure of our game becomes an increasingly complex equation to solve. Do we look simply at the numbers of bums on seats in terms of subscriptions? Is it even necessary to place such epithets on Azeroth to begin with? After all, the Naysayers do love to keep finding ways of joyfully pronouncing the game is dying, even though it clearly refuses to do any such thing. Does it end up (as with my post yesterday on dps as a reward) becoming necessary to fixate on a very specific part of gameplay as 'needing work' to get a handle on what might be a bigger malaise?
The thing about subtlety, you see, is that people don't go around making a big fuss to begin with. It's the lone healer in LFR who takes the Pheremones at Garalon just because they know if they don't they'll be there for hours. It's the Guildie who makes the selfless gesture and sends a levelling Tailor a ton of cloth just because they can. These are the people that seem to be fewer and further between these days, and I find myself thinking why. Did these people get tired of doing stuff and no-one noticing? Do these people just think that there's no point in bothering when the majority of the people around them are obsessed with other issues? Is it more likely that these people are still out there, I just don't get lucky enough to to be blessed with our paths crossing? It's not like there aren't as many awesome people out there either: I know there are. I just wonder if, in the miasma of Dailies and Reputation Grinds something hasn't been lost.
All that talk of reward yesterday made me realise just how huge a spectrum of tastes Blizzard's franchise currently covers. Ghostcrawler publicly admitted yesterday he considers the game less of a fast food experience and far more like the concept of fine dining. He also made us all promise we wouldn't all start spinning the metaphor out of control, and I feel duty bound to adhere to the rules. However, I do feel game rewards should have substantive nutritional value. They need to cater to a vast range of tastes. Does that mean that everything has to be cooked Gordon Ramsay style? Is there a place in this gaming environment for less is more cuisine? There are indicators in the new LFR wings that actually yes, you can be the hero. Soaking up feed pools on Ji-Kun, kiting Gastropods, not kicking Whirl Turtles unless there's a Furious Stone Breath being cast... all these things will make the difference between success and failure in the early weeks. Let us hope that these bases continue to be covered, because it will make the difference.
I wish that more people thought before they logged into Warcraft. I hope that for every idiot who refuses to read a guide or even consider the consequences of their actions there remain those who will take the time to explain tactics at the start of bosses, to point out what can be done better and not simply make a wipe a blamefest. More and more it seems that it is simpler to hide from the bricks that are inevitably thrown in the more public places than it is to actually take the time to make a well thought out and reasonable point. If you want respect, then you must learn to give it, after all.
Next time you throw a mindless brick, thinking it doesn't matter in a group of 24 strangers, take a moment to consider the consequences.