Thursday, January 09, 2014

That Man

Ah, we were so forward thinking in Victorian times ^^

A while ago, I had a discussion on Twitter with @FeyMercurial about how certain people seem to be really good at criticising other people in LFR. In fact, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that certain people in LFR turn up just to chip in on any number of subjects. These can include, in no particular order:

  • Abusing the Raid generally for being below par in dps, healing or tanking abilities
  • Abusing individuals for the above, normally when said individuals are even less effective
  • Having done the Raid in Heroic mode, abusing people for not understanding mechanics
  • Having done the Raid in heroic mode on an alt, abusing everyone who doesn't know what the abuser's main can do in their sleep
  • Anyone looking like they're making no effort
  • Anyone looking like they're making too much effort
  • Any combination of the above
  • People being afk and therefore failing

I could go on actually, I've heard some fabulous abuse in my time, and if all else fails WTF NOOBS MOST FAIL LFR EU is always a good shout if you're just looking for a great way to instantly annoy at least a fifth of your compatriots. If we employ Playground Psychology Rules to this behaviour (Rule 12: They who smelt it dealt it) then these shouty people are doing this to cover the fact they are rubbish, and to hopefully divert attention away from themselves to avoid being found out. However, Fey made a very good point in our conversation: if you have the time to stop what you're doing and type into Raid Chat that people are being rubbish, you must by definition have stopped actually playing your class to the best of your ability. Therefore, you are bound to fail. It's not hard to extrapolate from this that if you don't say anything in LFR, you're far less likely to be criticised, because you're already doing the best you can by focussing on the matter in hand.

This is probably true, but only to a point. If your gear far outreaches those people around you at current levels, and this is most definitely the case in certain instances I have frequented, you can pretty much do what you want in certain situations and still out dps everyone else... but if these people are truly heroically geared, what do they gain from telling the rest of their fellow fighters how inadequate they are? Is it really the notion that this being the Internet no-one's ever going to pop around to their house and ask them to sit down and explain their behaviour, thus allowing them to act without consequence? Is this the equivalent of sticking your Yeti into a questgiver and attempting to prevent anyone else from interacting with it? Why even bother? These are the questions we consider when we look at how to deal with bad player behaviour, and which could all be sorted quite simply were we all still restricted to a far smaller player base as we were back in Vanilla. Yes, the days when your reputation actually mattered and if you pissed off enough people on your server, nobody would play with you any more.

Going back to that situation is something I often think should be an option.

Layer Cake. Guilty Pleasure #7

It's not about tuning these people out any more, either. Pretending it's someone else's problem only works to a point. We've discussed these issues at length on the Blog, and I know people like @Liores on her blog, Herding Cats will tell you that if Guilds worked the way they should, these issues could be eliminated by decent mentoring and education, and she's spot on. The problem becomes that there are a vast number of people who play this game and who will never ascribe to the notion that rules apply to them. In fact, the above GIF is relevant in two ways, because it isn't simply the mouthy guy who won't shut up that's the problem. You can ignore stuff, but there comes a point where you might actually miss something not simply helpful, but important. Many people simply use LFR to bolster their Valor score... until this point in an Expansion, where many switch to alts in an attempt to gear to a decent standard to level when the time comes. Maybe some believe if you're on an alt you can mouth off without consequence, but there's still a Guild name above your head. If more people took the time to write down those names and report the persistent miscreants, stuff might actually change, but many more just can't see the point.

And that, I suspect, is actually the bigger issue at play. Back when it was your backyard, your server only, you did the legwork because if you didn't you were excluded. Now all you do is drop your group and queue for the next one. Convenience has superseded responsibility, and people can afford to be lazy because there are no consequences, just another queue. That's why I doubt we'll see the end of LFR any time soon and why a part of me would be really happy to have it removed tomorrow for just that reason. If the people who complain they need it to play because they have no Guilds or odd times that they play, could this not be catered for with Guilds that do just that, but that exist cross-server?. The problem now that by removing the convenience Blizzard have no method to allow pretty much consequence free experience of raid content, and that is something they're hoping more people pick up, and not less... because the responsibility then goes to the individual to learn how to play so they can do other versions.

This is the Azeroth where no-one is left out, where everyone can experience all the content with no penalty, wherever they play. I think therefore it is high time Guilds reflected this, and were able to cater not simply for the people on one server, but them all. I think Blizzard need to go back to the Guild ethos sooner rather than later... and I think it is time for the Cross Realm Guild to accommodate this. There'll be more on this tomorrow, but for now I'm off to consider where the notion of responsibility should begin and end... because something does need to give somewhere.

1 comment:

R said...

Until about a year ago I'd report abusive or disruptive behaviour on my server to the GL of the guild the player was from. The reason I stopped is because the typical response, and I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME, was similar to "So what?"

I've come to believe that LFR idiots are, almost always, also flex idiots, 5-man idiots and trade trolls as well... basically idiots in general... I don't think otherwise well adjusted folks just take their frustrations out on others in LFR. Guilds that have players like that in them are already, doubtless, AWARE of it and are okay with it. In many cases I'm sure the guilds cater to that attitude, the GL may be the worst example of that type of behaviour.

I don't think the old pre-LFx days of server reputation were much better, either. Players blocking vendors or mailboxes with mounts are doing it for the attention, they don't care that it's negative. Same with people who speak up negatively in random content, they just want attention. Even without responses, they know people are reading and reacting to what they say. It's a forced power play. LOOK AT ME, DAMNIT.

I've often wished for an unlimited length ignore list. I'm past looking for complex ways to manage player behaviour, I'm not expecting it and I'm not sure how to implement it fairly regardless. I just want to be able to look at the idiot, think to myself "what an idiot" and hit the ignore button and never have to deal with him again. That would be enough for me and it's past time that was an option, especially in today's highly-random game.