I know that, at times, I get ranty and some folks think that I’m just an all-around crabby kind of guy.
Then other times I’m gushing about how much fun I’m having playing World of Warcraft, and some folks think I drank some serious mind-mojo kool aid.
I can understand it probably seems weird if you don’t see where I’m coming from.
“This guy is a freak! He plays the game, but he nerdrages about what some punk did in a raid. If he hates it so much, why not just quit?”
This is an actual sentiment I’ve seen before, and since I have clearly caused some confusion, hey, I’ll do what I can to clear it up.
Why Asshats in Raids Can’t Make Me Quit
I continue to like playing World of Warcraft because it is an activity I enjoy regardless of the presence or input of other people.
Yes, World of Warcraft is an MMO filled with people, and the ability to interact with and continue a story with others persistently can be awesome. But World of Warcraft is not the only game in town, nor is it even the first or only MMO I’ve ever played. It is instead the best role-playing video game with the widest range of potential activities that I’ve ever played, and that is why I’m still here.
The majority of what I like to do can be done solo. Creating new alts, trying fresh specs, whipping up new personalities and playing dress-up with them, devising new in-game goals, crafting, exploring, hunting for gear, taming rare pets… I can do these things whenever I like, as and how I have the time.
The key point I want to make here is that my enjoyment of the game does not depend on the actions of any other people. I do not rely on the moods, attitudes or continued play of anyone else in order to get what I want from the game, or to feel fulfilled by my game play experience.
If I have a raid with people that falls apart, if other people act like asshats in a random group, if whatever concerning someone else happens… it doesn’t affect my core gameplay experience. It doesn’t reduce the fun I find in the actual game.
It’s important to me to make that distinction. I can be in a raid with some total asshats, and I can rant about them for a page and a half here, but it doesn’t affect how I feel about World of Warcraft. The game is not the other people I am around. The other people can be fun multipliers or fun reducers… but the game is the baseline.
If I find myself surrounded by asshats, and I’m not happy… I don’t leave the game, I leave the people. The game, to me, is fine.
Plus, truth be told, I’ve never understood why my ranting on the blog is taken as actual rage. Do people still think it’s healthy to cram down your feelings, hold them inside tight and tense, and never explore them or release them or work through them? If you don’t like reading my rants here, then don’t read, sheesh. This is my writing space, if you’re offended, then don’t read. Expecting me not to blow off steam on my own website created for that purpose shows a lack of understanding about what a blog is. Ranting doesn’t mean I’m close to grabbing a gun, silly people, it means I’m working through my feelings, exploring what it is that made me angry, and maybe it’s not apparent from the outside, but I have a lot of fun doing it. It is a release, not a winding up.
If I didn’t like the game, but I was surrounded by great people, then I’m sure I would stay in the game much longer than otherwise… but I would be bored unless some of those other people were online. If I logged in and found nobody on, I’d probably feel the slippage of time being wasted without the fun.
If the main source of fun I found in game was playing with other people in group activities, then I might even start to resent other people for not being more active, resent the guild for not raiding more, or resent the other people for not providing me with what I wanted – the only fun I got in game.
It can be hard to remember that it is not the job of anyone else, not friends, guild or game, to entertain you or keep you amused. Once you log in, you must go seek out your own fun in your own way.
Raiding with other People, Old and New
I enjoy a lot of solo play, but I also like seeing the content, experiencing the lore, taking part in the group adventures, and I do like raiding with fun people.
I also enjoy older content where you can blow through it with friends, joking and swearing and generally abusing an hour in Black Temple.
I rage about players I see from time to time, but the other big point I wanted to make was that I’m never raging about poor performance.
I am angry, raging, ranty when someone shows no interest in trying, doing their best, or making an effort.
This is the heart and soul of my position as a player and as a writer about the game, and how I have always approached any guide I wrote or advice I gave.
I do not get angry at poor performance. I get angry at people who don’t give a shit.
If you are stepping into an instance for the first time, excited and scared at the same time, and speak up, I am not the one groaning in party chat before bailing.
If you are there to step up and try your very best, i will be happy to be patient with you and help the best I can. If you are willing to accept some suggestions, I will be there to help guide you.
Most especially, if you have tried to prepare your gear as best you can, with common sense attitudes towards enchants and gems considering how expensive some of it can be, if you have reforged, ESPECIALLY if you have PvP gear but have reforged it to try and be as prepared as you can…
Awesome. Come on in, let’s rock.
A positive attitude. A refusal to quit. A desire to do the best you can, to learn from mistakes, to recover without raging, to persevere… to pay attention and focus on the task at hand.
These things will win you my admiration and gratitude for making a run a great place to be.
If your attitude is poor, if you whine and complain, if you rant about this or complain about that, if you live or die by who did what on the damage meters, if you couldn’t care less about whether everyone is in the instance, if you want to pull to grief the group intentionally…
Intent. That is the magic word.
If your intent is to be a douchebag, then fuck you. I don’t care how geared you are, you are a pathetic loser in my eyes, and you always will be until you attain some maturity and some consideration for others.
I have always approached writing about the game from the point of view of wanting to encourage people interested in improving their game by learning more about the mechanics behind how things work, what the stats do and which are important, how to use abilities to their fullest extent, how to expand your fundamental understanding of the game.
I wrote gear guides because, well, gear does matter, and I love setting goals.
But gear does not matter to me nearly as much as skill, and skill doesn’t matter as much to me as a positive “can do” attitude.
Some of my favorite bloggers recently have been talking about being invited to run in raids, and are apologetic IN ADVANCE because they are sure they are going to perform badly.
Oh, they will try, and do their best, but they are sure they’re going to fail miserably.
I say, “Get your ass in the raid, have fun, and let your fears go. As long as you try, and remain positive and energetic, you will rock that damn joint!”
Get your ass in ICC. You know who you are. Oh, and /hugs.
Consideration for others, attitude, intent.
The longer I play, the more I realize that for me, Looking For Raid is a good tool for seeing content, getting familiar with the basic structure of the fights, and improving gear so that I can better support my actual friends… the people who I know, and who have that consideration, who maintain the positive attitude, who intend to kick ass.
And if all I had to play in the game for raiding was LFR, I’d be fine with my solo play, is all I’m saying.