I think that I am guilty of expecting too much from my fellow gamers.
Let me explain. this is long, but I DO have a point at the end.
I’ve been writing this blog for quite a while now.
And one of the very first posts I ever made was a rant about players that come to a raid unprepared.
I went on and on about how Kara is srs bsns, and you should be respectful of the fact that you’re agreeing to go on a raid with 9 other players, each of whom have things they COULD be doing, but they are here with you, intending to play together, challenge the fates and succeed.
I’ll recap about my FORMER expectations a bit.
I have described in the past how there are just certain things we should expect of anyone that is going to join a raid, IF it was planned in advance. Things that you should do so everyone can go on time.
The most obvious thing, of course, is to show up on time. It is the very first thing everyone will notice, as they sit there at the Summoning Stone 15 minutes early waiting to be helpful and ready to summon folks to the raid. They WILL be sitting there chatting, and WILL notice if you log into your character 5 minutes after the set raid start time. It’s only 5 minutes… but when you’re sitting on your butt waiting to see if someone that signed up is even going to be online at ALL, it can seem like an eternity.
Far better to log on early, and then if you have things to do, you can let the raid organisers know you got stuff going on so they can rest easy knowing you are going to be there, even if you’re running a little late. Other people may appreciate the warning too, since now they know they have a few extra minutes if they’re farming mats for consumables or something.
Other simple things like being the spec YOU feel is right for what you are about to undertake. Don’t be PvPing right up until the very last second, then ask for a summons directly from the Battlemaster to the raid, still PvP flagged, get all the unsuspecting buffers flagged when they spot-buff you to get you caught up, and then announce you are still on your PvP spec and can someone ‘port you to IF to respec for the raid?
Or coming to the raid fully repaired. C’mon… even if you are a rock star, simple wear and tear over the course of a long raid night is going to bring you down, big boy. You need to start at above 85% Durability, at the very least.
Consumables? Hey, I love Mage Tables as much as the other guy, BOY do I love them… but if you are Friendly with the Shattered Sun Offensive, then you can buy Naaru Rations from Eldara Dawnrunner on the Isle of Quel’Danas. You don’t NEED to have a Mage in your group to have food and mana juice on the run, okay? Bring a couple stacks with yo. If you have a Mage, fine, you won’t need to use your own this time. But you’ll have them for when you need ’em.
And yes, I do try and carry plenty of buff food for myself and my friends, but if you are going to raid, roll your own. Don’t bogart a man’s Warp Burgers. If you can’t make the food yourself, you can certainly get the raw materials from any of hundreds of critters across Outlands… and I can assure you, you know someone in your raid that can make what you need, might even be able to make a fire right then and there… and would be delighted to do so.
Same with potions, flasks and elixirs. Maybe you can’t make it, but you can find out what the raw materials are, get THOSE and find a friend to craft it for you. And maybe they can get procs for extras.
And then your gear… oh my God, your gear.
It is your responsibility to play your own character. Thus, it is your responsibility to seek out your own gear upgrades, enchants, and gems.
Look, no one really gives a crap what exact gear you have on. Yes, some folks will look at the color of the item name, and if it isn’t purple, they’ll sneer. You know that.
But most people trying to organise a raid aren’t like that. They don’t care what the color of your gear is, what they want to know is, are you capable of performing your raid role at a level necessary to succeed? AND, have you shown you want to succeed by seeking out every advantage for the gear you DO have?
What do I mean? I mean it is up to you to determine by talking to a raid leader what your role in a raid would be, what goals you should set, and then try your best to meet them.
If you are intending to be a druid tank, guess what? If you ask me if you’re ready, I could care less if you are still wearing greens, or if you have a few pieces of DPS gear equipped.
What I’m going to ask is, what is your armor in Dire Bear form, what is your Defense or uncrittable status, what is your Dodge, and what is your Health? And I’ll ask you if you are using a feral tanking spec that includes 3/3 in Survival of the Fittest.
In that specific example, if I think that, on balance with the rest of the raid, you are weak in a particular area, I may ask you to go DPS on a particular boss fight I think you’d have trouble with, like solo tanking Prince. I may even go so far as to say that until you get your armor and health above X or achieve uncrittable, you can’t main tank it for our team, you’d need to offtank until you are ready.
Likewise, for healers, ranged or melee DPS… it’s not the exact pieces of your gear we worry about as raid organisers, it’s what your +Healing, +Spell Damage or DPS output will be, what your level of Spell Hit or Hit Rating is, and how prepared and practised you are at providing utility to the raid with your class abilities such as Chain Ice Trapping, Sapping, Sheeping, Shackling, Banishing and Fearing, casting Divine Intervention on the fly for wipe prevention, Misdirecting and so many others.
That being said… we will inspect your gear.
Because we want to know how serious you are about doing the best you can with what you’ve got. Sure, you’re in blues and greens, maybe a crafted Epic or two, some Reputation pieces, a few PvP epics.
EVERYONE starts out in the same place, at the bottom of the progression list, at level 70. Everyone. And not everyone has a sugar daddy maxed out level 70 to go farm for hours so their alt can get every good crafted BoE epic in the game for when they ding.
BUT… there is no excuse for having empty gem sockets. None. There is a green quality cut gem vendor in the Inn at Honor Hold (and likely in the Inn at the Horde city on Hellfire Peninsula, too). The gems are cheap, but they provide bonuses that are only a teeny bit weaker than the equivalent blue gems. Any Jewelcrafter can cut most green gems patterns, and while the raw gems aren’t cheap, they are only the cost of a daily to get.
There is NO excuse for someone attending a raid to walk in wearing a blue chestpiece with three empty sockets.
Enchants… if your items are weak, and you reasonably expect to replace them with upgrades soon, then no, people do NOT expect you to have the +53 Shadow Damage enchant on your weapon that costs 12 Void Crystals and 10 Large Prismatic Shards to craft. Of course not.
But where possible, you should try and have some enchants on gear that are your end game pieces. And you should always have every socket gemmed. It shows that you give the barest minimum of a shit about being the best you can with what you have.
Yes, I have ranted and blogged and whined about all this in the past before. many times, sadly.
The reason I’m talking about it now is NOT because anyone I know has been violating these simple ways to be prepared. In fact, things are a utopia of prepared, savvy gamers these days… so much so that it seems like everyone is on top of what they should be diong to be ready to go with what they have.
Hell, it’s been ages since I’ve seen the words “How do I write a macro” in chat, trade or otherwise, and I think that macros are a massive area of difficulty for even experienced players.
No, the reason I’m talking about it is because every time I think I have set realistic expectations for myself about what behavior I should expect from other people, I see something in the world that makes me stop dead, and say “What the f*^# is that? Are you SERIOUS??!?!”
This morning is one of those mornings.
I woke up, thinking that when I got to work I would prepare and post part 2 of Terin’s PBeM story.
Instead, I checked the news… and was so… stunned, that I had a hard time getting my brain started. I still am.
We play this game with people from all around the world. As far away as Singapore, as close as the guy two blocks down the street.
And there are certain things we can take for granted about those people.
The very first thing we can take for granted is that the person can use a computer, and can read.
Those aren’t small things, there. Those are pretty big accomplishments, which the older you get the more you take for granted. I work with plenty of people that just would have NO CLUE how to do what we do. None.
Many of them are over 40 years old. They have no frame of reference for the world we live in.
The next thing is that your life is stable enough to be able to play an online game that requires monthly billing (or a gametime card), and be able to afford the expense of the game and an internet account or internet cafe charges on your budget (or be stable enough to have college dorm internet or the equivalent).
Again, no small thing. Not at all.
Anyone that meets those expectations can be the person playing next to you in the raid. From any country, and society, in the world, as long as they bought a game account in the right region.
That person in the raid with you could be anyone, from anywhere… it’s part of the joy of the game to me.
Then I read the following news story on CNN.
And I realised that I am setting these high expectations of how I expect other people in the game to behave when trying to form a raid. And I am wrong. Dead wrong.
My expectations are way too damn high.
Gemming your gear? Bringing your own Warp Burgers?
Good lord, that is nowhere near my list of priorities now. Oh, HELL no.
My new list of expectations is now as follows;
- Show up on time.
- Have a character that is not naked.
- If we are on vent, do not ever mention to me what you may be planning to do on the weekend that would involve shovels, a crowbar, and a box of condoms. Ever.
- Oh… and don’t tell me you have two friends that are willing to help out.
- And DO NOT ASK ME TO HELP OUT, EITHER!!!!
I just… I just don’t want to know. Dear God, I don’t want to know.