The Cub Report – Does it Hurt When I Eat Your Face?

… Too soon?

As I raided on Saturday night, my level 9 (I mean nine year old, damnit!) son Alex wanted to take his level 60 Druid into some instances.

Here is where I’m going to admit to some probably poor logic on my part.

I asked him not to go into the level 60 Hellfire instances as part of a group yet, because his gear is mostly scattered lower level stuff. I know that, once you hit Outlands, people start getting pissy about having good gear. They have ridiculous “You should be able to solo this place at level 60” expectations, and generally piss poor elitist attitudes.

I’ve seen it on every character I’ve leveled since the Cataclysm. I don’t know why. The heirlooms people have, if they have them, are the same ones they had since level 1.

Maybe it’s that people are confused by all the changes to the original instances and cut each other some slack, but once hitting Outlands everything is the same as in the old days, and so it’s worthy of arrogant disdain?

Is it that most people ran the old instances until they had them memorized, and they are so poor at introspection they can’t conceive of someone else seeing them for the first time?

I dunno. I do know I’ve personally seen a serious shift in attitude among players once hitting Outlands, so before Alex hits them I’d like to make an effort to get his gear at a reasonable baseline of kickass. After all, he has no heirlooms to OP the stuff, he has to get by on drops and skill. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, since I didn’t want him to be subjected to abuse by petty little asshats in Outlands instances, I suggested he try queueing for one of the PvP Battlegrounds instead.

Oh, shush. I never said I was overly blessed with common sense, did I?

Wanting to have fun stuff for another Cub Report had nothing to do with it, I swear!

I suggested he get on his level 82 Death Knight, and queue up for Arathi Basin. All this while I was in Dragon Soul getting my healing on.

I told him, “It’s okay, it’s easy. All you have to do is go in there and kill Horde.ย ย Try not to be all alone, find some other Alliance and tag along with them. If you see Horde, kill ’em. If you’re all alone, you might die, so try not to get surrounded and cut off from support.”

Then I let him go have fun.

As he was waiting in the hut for the timer to go off, I pointed out that there were five flags, what the locations were called, and that generally whoever held the most flags the most time won. So you could capture flags, and defend flags if there were too few people at your location, and go try to take flags away from the Horde. Bye! Have fun storming the Lumber Mill!”

He did Arathi Basin, and then he queued for another, and then he did an Eye of the Storm (or two). There was also an Alterac Valley in there. I mostly tossed a few words of advice and let him roll.

As he played PvP, and as I raided, the achievements started rolling on in.

An Honorable Kill. Damage Control. The Grim Reaper. Know Thy Enemy. Stormtrooper. Take a Chill Pill. Eye of the Storm Victory. 100 Honorable Kills. That Takes Class.

I was just telling him “grats!” and pretty much not paying too much attention to the Achievement spam, until he got to “Stormtrooper“.

Wait, what the hell is he doing?

That is when I looked close, and he’s in there just freaking dominating the center of Eye of the Storm, ganking the flag carriers from the Horde side and protecting the carriers fro the Alliance that picked the flag up.

I suggested he go try and capture some of the bases. Like the one the Fel Reaver dominates.

Then I turned back to the raid… but every once in a while, he’d say something as he muttered to himself while running around killing all the things.

I was listening and enjoying the commentary, but there was one line that made me pull out the pad of paper and the pen to write some of the true gems down.

“I’ll kick their butts until they’re red, sore and dead.”

Oh yes, I’m bringing him up right.

“What what what?!? I just noticed the Horde are controlling THREE BASES! Time to get rolling!” No, I’m not joking, that’s exactly what he said, while standing over the body of a dead Horde flag carrier.

I knew he was one of us at heart though, when he finished an Arathi Basin loss, and had this to say;

“I swear, that last one? The Horde had seventeen in AB, because there were ten swarming us in Lumber Mill, and then seven holding Blacksmith! That’s not right!”

Ah, he’s already begun complaining about how the Horde cheat in PvP. God, my chest is just swelling with pride.

As I was tucking him into bed for the night, I asked him how he liked his first time in player versus player battlegrounds. This is what he told me.

“I think the Horde get more achievements than the Alliance.”

You know, Alex, you’ve got a Goblin Hunter. You could go Horde.

“That’s right! I could join the winning team!”

Ah, from out of the mouths of babes. Or baby face eaters, anyway.

He was so excited to get in there again, he got up early this morning, raced downstairs and did some PvP on his level 60 Druid. Then he switched over and tried his Goblin Hunter once.

Apparently, the one time he did it on his Goblin, they lost.

When I got up out of bed, I asked him how it went.

He looked at me sorrowfully and said, “I think I’m cursed. I even lost on my Horde.”

I started to try and reassure him that he wasn’t cursed, that a single win or loss doesn’t indicate a trend, when he told me, “Oh, I know I’m not really cursed, I just like pretending I am.”

It was like rockets went off in my head, exploding with sudden understanding. The epiphany rocked me on my ass.

Suddenly, I understood all the whining QQ threads from people who endlessly bitch on the WoW forums about PvP wins and losses, class nerfs, other classes getting buffed, and all around whaaaaah.

Sure, sometimes there are very valid issues that people want to report on the forums in order to help Blizzard understand key issues in the game.

But then there are all the rest of the posts on the forums, and it’s not always that people really are screwed over in PvP, or nerfed, or annoyed at other people getting buffed.

It’s that it can be fun to have something to bitch about, even if you have to make that something up! Then you’ve got a reason to wallow, if only for a brief moment, in the “Oh woe is me, why am I so persecuted, it’s not fair” land of sadness and sorrow.

Holy shit, why didn’t I see that before? Now it all makes sense!

Well heck, now I understand the forums. Talk about clueless, I finally get what it was all about.

Wait, what the hell was my last post about? Oh, shit.

Uh, excuse me, gotta go delete something real quick. This’ll take just a sec. BRB. /scurry

PS. I’m planning on talking to Tesh, but I can easily envision a new Alex-inspired T-shirt. A huge Horde symbol, with the words “Go Horde! Join the winning team!” on the front. How hilarious.

26 thoughts on “The Cub Report – Does it Hurt When I Eat Your Face?

  1. Pingback: Friday Fun « Tish Tosh Tesh

  2. Just wanted to understand your logic on this but why would you let your 9 year old kid play wow and then on top of that why let them pvp? Isnt that encouraging them to be anti-social and then on top of that to be violent?

    Psychologically, how do you make sure that a 9 year old will be able to intellectually separate video games from real life and for them to realize that ganking may be video game alright but morally wrong (i.e. dont be the bully and instead stand up to bullies)?

    The lesson your son seemed to learn from the game and that you verbalized here was alliance was too hard and that he should join horde instead as it appears to be easier. Is that the manner in which you think you have lived your life and how he should live his? I know the first part of this last question is not true as I have read your blog since 2007/08 but I cant understand how your current actions and these life lessons you appear to be teaching your son are consistent with everything else that you have up here.


    • So… you claim to have read my blog for that long, but this was your very first comment here. I’ll pass on that.

      The fallacy of your comment from my point of view is that you’ve already taken the morally superior stance that what your impression of correct activities at certain ages are is the correct one, and therefore I must justify myself and my actions and my ‘parenting model’ to you.

      From your comment, it seems to me that you have no sense of humor whatsoever. From your writing, and maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to you took seriously the entire post. All of it. If you had really been reading my blog for years, and had played World of Warcraft for any part of that time, then you would know that there is a very long standing joke that “the other side always wins”. It doesn’t matter what side you are on, the other side always wins. The other side ALWAYS wins.

      The joke in this bit was the hilarious fact that my son was unknowingly echoing the plaintive cries of PvPers down through the ages.

      The fun thing here is, I instantly spot the arrogance of your assuming the high ground and expecting me to defend myself, explain my logic to you, justify my behavior. There is no point in doing so, your comment is the very essence of bored trolling.

      I’ll tell you what, though. I’ll give you this, you made me and Cassie laugh. You almost… almost but not quite, came off with the proper tone. If you’d linked a study from some liberal think tank that supported your implied position that playing WoW and PvP caused people to be anti-social and violent, it would have been more fun.

      In conclusion, I’ll link the perfect conversation starter;


      • I guess I offended you with no intent on doing so. In my perhaps inartfully worded set of questions to you is:

        1. a new parent who has curtailed his playing time significantly to make time to do things that are more active and social to encourage her growth; and
        2. someone who cant appreciate humor in stories where children and violence are both present.

        My tone results from the choices that I make and then viewing this entry in your blog through my eyes. You did identify me correctly as a liberal and maybe you are right in that there is no causal link between video games and behavior.

        I can tell you that in my arrogance I always believed that in my years of playing WoW, my side always won because I was on that side. As in

        Anyway, again, I didn’t mean to offend though I certainly see how what I wrote is easily viewed as argumentative.


      • My taking offense was purely in what I read as implied in your comment, that a child Alex’s age playing WoW and taking part in PvP, and being exposed to even this level of violent concepts, was inevitably going to result in being anti-social and on top of that violent.

        What I read as implied in that was a first, unspoken sentence, “Given that playing violent video games makes children anti-social and violent, explain why…”

        I don’t take that as given. I remember, DISTINCTLY, what my childhood life was like at age 9 and younger. There are very good reasons why I never speak of those years, and let me assure you, comp;uters did not exist. I can clearly see what being exposed to violence does and does not do to children, what 9 years olds are capable of comrephending, and what careful, loving, supportive parenting is.

        Placing the blame of violent behavior on video games and video game violence is ridiculous from my point of view, have seen and been subjected to real violence from an early age.

        Or, to put it another way, boys don’t learnt to be sexist, arrogant little pricks from exposure to video games. From unsupervised exposure, and abuse, and neglect, and sneers and slaps and seeing parental figures treat women like shit? Yes, then sure.


      • And I do apologize to you for coming on so strong. As I’m sure you can see from the vitriol of my response, blaming video game violence on the behavior of young children is one of my hot buttons, a true hot button, no bullshit.

        To blame video games is, in my opinion, to excuse the child and family from having a part in their behavior, by saying “it’s not their fault, it’s not the parents, it’s not any other environmental indicator, it’s THIS”, whatever THIS may be.

        I do not subscribe to that view. It starts with the parents, and it includes ALL that the child is exposed to, including MOST ESPECIALLY those moments when parents are being themselves to each other when the child is around.

        When I think back to the years I was a child, before computers, I don’t remember some idyllic time when everyone played at parks, had active social lives and were all buddy-buddy friends canoeing and hiking and playing frisbee together. There were the same cliques, social misfits, violence, abuse, stigmas and hate you see today.

        if anything, there is far less obvious violence and abuse today. What you’ve got to understand is, it just wasn’t talked about much back then. And if talking about violence in all forms, and abuse, and getting everything out in the open reduces how acceptable it is, makes parents rein the shit in, then I say talk about it openly, honestly, get it out there, and don’t ever find some excuse for it that takes the burden off the family to be responsible for paying attention and controlling their own behavior.


  3. “I just noticed the Horde are controlling THREE BASES! Time to get rolling!โ€ omg!

    Every single time EotS comes up on my random daily I groan. I know only too well that 3/4 of our team will spend the whole battle pointlessly fighting over the flag while we only hold one base and the Horde have three. Yet your youngster has got to the heart of the problem in a moment.

    Incidentally, when I PvPed on my Horde character, I think I lost something silly like 25 BGs in a row; “the Alliance wins” – how sick I was of seeing that. Now I’m playing mostly Alliance and it seems “the Horde wins” is the constant result of most Bgs I go to. It can’t all be down to me!


  4. I think it’s something with the younger folk. Our 12 (possibly 13) year old guildie is ridiculously good at PvP. He kind of stumbled upon it one day and just fell in love. He’ll duel outside Stormwind like everyone else, but when he loses will ask his opponent what he should do differently or better.

    Now we just need to reign in PvP mode when we’re raiding, lol.

    Kudos to the Bear Cub for commencing with becoming a PvP legend. Up next, Arena!


  5. Ooh this is just so wonderfully cute. I’m vastly entertained every time you write about your baby bear, and I don’t even like kids! Or play WoW anymore. Go baar! Keep the good and insightful writing coming!


  6. I actually had a run today with a DK tank in almost all PVP gear comment to the healer in a HoT heroic “you only have 97k mana? Everybody knows that you need at least 109k mana to be good heals”.
    I commented that you could tell that school was out for the summer and he said the just because he would be in 6th grade next year doesn’t mean that he can’t tank.
    Not sure if I hope that he was trolling or not. Hard to decide what I want in that situation.


  7. I’m 99% Horde, and have experienced the exact same thing in reverse. I think typically, people remember their losses more than their wins for some reason. Though there have been good nights with the same crew queuing at the same time and rolling though BGs like we’re a premade – most of the time is just utter fail. Swapping sides doesn’t seem to matter either – it is weird.

    As for Outlands, I was healing it up on my priest, being all kinds of noobish (shielding as holy being the big one) a nice hunter alt explained how holy should heal, and it changed my whole outlook.

    Yeah, there can be the occasional jerk crew (I joined in a 4 man DK party and being a new 58 and squishy, kept dying – they just rolled though Ramps like they didn’t need a healer – cuz they didn’t. I eventually just trailed along behind them grabbing loot.)

    Alex seems like he can handle himself though – If you can pry him away from PvP, I bet he’d have fun dungeoning it up as a cat… pouncing on the orcies!


    • MMO-Champ showed a report earlier this year of wins losses for both sides, and not a single battlegroup had more then a +-5% spread from 50%, even the most lop sided battlegroups were only 55% one side winning 45% the other side winning.


  8. Hahaha……I laughed so hard at the “โ€œWhat what what?!? I just noticed the Horde are controlling THREE BASES! Time to get rolling!โ€ comment that my girlfriend wanted to know what was going on.
    Good post BBB.

    Ohhh, kinda relating to the previous post about not getting a motorcycle in MoP…..ever since I learned that mounts would be shared account-wide, I switched focus from collecting Darkmoon Fair tickets on my baby Horde account on Darrowmere for the mounts/pets, and cast my eyes towards the BOA heirlooms that you can also purchase for tickets. Something to think about, if Alex has done some questing for them.


  9. I don’t understand why I can be loosing pvp on my Alliance toon and then fail totally when I swap to my Horde toon either … I came to the conclusion that the point in each night I gave up trying to win on Alliance and swapped that every Horde player had decided to take pity and swap to their Alliance toon … okay so maybe I’m also not brilliant at pvp … I’m going to keep an eye out for an up and coming DK who knows how to dominate the Horde holding mid in EoS :).

    The worst I’ve seen on the Hellfire runs is the same thing you see in the Cata ‘norms’ and Northrend runs … the belief that fast is good. If I’m tanking I usually just announce that I’m novice and learning (amazing how many people believed a dk at 60ish was novice). Only OP player who didn’t like the pace was a mage who kept pulling and when I finally commented after having saved him … again … he complemented my tanking pointing out that most tanks let him die. If I’m a dps … if anyone looks at their recount and mutters at my less than stellar dps (like a normally geared dps toon is going to top the lists against fully speced out heirloom gear and I choose to not heirloom my gear as I like to feel the challenge of the game rather than roll it in my sleep) I suggest that if they don’t like my dps, then turn off their Recount … lets face it … if they didn’t have an addon … then they’d not know our dps was not the same as theirs (sorta). hmmm I have a number of lvl 60ish toons floating around in my collection of dk’s … dunno … they just collect on my account … I’ll keep a look out for a non-heirloom Bear Cub when I’m bouncing around on them if you like.


    • If a DPS does that, I let them die. It’s not that I don’t have the ability to save them, it’s that if I protect them from their stupidity, they won’t learn it’s stupid.

      If people aren’t all ‘omg go fastar!’ at me, I’m more than happy to help out. I’ve dragged lower level groups (like 80-83) through normal Cataclysm dungeons on my Firelands geared tank, when I wanted to tank but didn’t want to put up with the peckerheads. Seems like something in heroics turns most people into pricks. And uniformly, they were grateful for it, unlike at-level heroics which if you get any response that isn’t ‘lol u suk’ (a response I’ve gotten, even after a successful run where the healer was DPSing because he was bored), it’s at most ‘gg’ and leave party.


      • Normally I would do the same however I was enjoying the challenge of seeing just where I could stretch myself. It was actually a fun run and for all his efforts to die faster, the run didn’t really take all that much longer than it normally would have (probably as we ended up killing more of the trash)


  10. MuuuHaHaha… The Big Bear and now the Bear Cub…

    Time to introduce him to “You win some, You lose some”. Sounds like he had a blast, just need to get him past the “always beating the content” part.

    I’ve had similar experiences with BC content, it seems to be easier enough to encourage the go go attitude, but hard enough (or maybe complicated enough in design) to allow wipes that end in verbal tears.

    PS, Horde do cheat, I have been in ABs where they have has at least 30 players at each node… but they also broke my screenshot key so I can’t prove it.


  11. I’m sorry you’ve had negative experiences with Hellfire dungeons. I found I didn’t have that sort of pissy attitude, except towards DKs who suddenly think they know how to play *laughs*. Almost everyone is on an alt and if you at least seem to try you’ll do fine. I went through on my shadow priest and actually had someone help me with rotation *shrugs*. It does seem we all have differing experiences sometimes. For example; alliance always beat horde in PvP in my experiences.


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