A Farewell to Armed Bears

I woke up this morning to the farewell to WoW post shared by Precious and Soft.

There is so much to value in her post, so much to think over, but one thing I felt moved to talk about the most was her “fuck you” to asshats she has known and loathed over the years in her random groups.

In speaking of player actions that draw fire in a group, Kelly broke it down into two different categories; those who take a little longer than YOU think is right to act, and those people who don’t bother to do anything at all, up to and including just standing there in the fire.

I’ve talked about this before, and I’m sure at this point I’m speaking to an audience that won’t benefit by my saying it again. The people who need it the most wouldn’t get anything out of it, because it’s not a skill issue, it’s a respect issue.

I won’t let that hold me back, if I never repeated myself here then I wouldn’t have anything to write about.

So, you make a mistake. I make a mistake. In game, in life, at work, whatever.

So what? Mistakes happen. To EVERYONE.

Do you know the lesson I have learned from Raid Team Wanda in Band of Misfits, who have cleared all heroic modes for Dragon Soul AND Firelands?

I have learned that while they are skilled and reliable players, their biggest asset is they don’t give up. They try, and try, and try again, learning from each go, trying to make the next one just a little bit better.

Of course everyone makes mistakes. The only people who don’t make mistakes are the people who never try.

If someone is trying, trying to play their class, do their part, contribute to the victory of the team, then awesome.

Is it frustrating to fail? Hell yes it is. Oh my god, yes. I’ll talk about last night’s Firelands raid in a minute, because it ties directly into that.

The important thing is, if you are trying and trying and not succeeding, it gets frustrating and miserable. Everyone loves victory, nobody loves wallowing in defeat.

You can find some joy in taking on the extremely difficult challenges and seeing success in incremental improvements. You may have failed to down the impossble boss, but did you get closer to phase two? Did you grab that add that sometimes slips out of your grasp, did you move out of the fire right on time rather than just by the skin of your teeth like the last four times? Those can be victories, and feel like it.

I get what Precious and Soft is saying, there are lots of people who can’t stand anybody doing things other than how they have it stuck in their head is the ‘right’ way.

There are plenty of others who will simply go off on you even if you ARE being perfect, just to be assholes. No, really, there are people that will tee off on you even if you are freaking flawless. I suspect there are some that just have a really bad day, are in a bad mood, and decide this is the moment to make someone else just as miserable as they are. Cynical, but that’s me.

It’s bullshit, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it happens, those people are out there.

I have my own hot button, and it falls on the other side of the action divide. When I think someone else is taking action to hurt the group intentionally, I get really pissed.

I actually enjoy working with people fresh and new to content and working it through together, or with people that want to get through something as a group. People engaging in active sabotage or trolling of groups, trying to make other people fail? Oh, that pisses me off. I am SO troll bait for that.

Even when it doesn’t hurt anyone else to the extent of a wipe, if I see someone I think is trying to screw over other people even when it hurts their own chances at success, I start looking for ways to block them or cause them to fail.

Here is a fine example.

In the Dragon Soul raid, the very first boss, Morchok, has a mechanic that affects a group of ranged players. A Resonating Crystal forms somewhere on the field, and lines of color shoot out from the crystal to link to 7 ranged players. After a short interval, that crystal will explode, causing Shadow Damage shared among all the players affected. The mechanic is, if you are linked, you are supposed to run towards the crystal, until you stand on top of it. Why? The further away each affected player is from the crystal, the more Shadow Damage everyone linked to the crystal will share.

So, if you have a line of color come from the Resonating Crystal to touch you, then all you have to do to reduce the damage all 7 of you will take is run closer to the crystal. You don’t have to make it all the way, you don’t have to ALL stand on it or it fails, just try to run closer. Each and every affected person who manages to run even a little bit closer to the crystal will reduce the damage everyone will suffer, damage that healers have to heal through.

Time and again, I’ve seen the Resonating Crystal form, and time and again there are always people who ignore it. Just blatantly ignore moving from it, and even from the Black Blood.

I don’t get irritated at that shit because it’s going to cause a wipe. The Shadowson Annoyance Test; did you wipe? No? Well, not so bad then in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t get upset because I have to click another heal, either. That’s what I’m there for, and healing LFR DS is a trivial exercise.

I do get upset because it shows someone who is playing a multiplayer game with other people who doesn’t want to do their part for the group as a whole to succeed.

But maybe they don’t know to run toward the Crystal? I know that you can see other people with the color line running to it, but some folks could be tunneling in on the DPS rotation, trying not to get called out by some asshat for having DPS too low, and so aren’t running. or maybe someone sinmply missed seeing the color line in a graphics lagfest sludge slideshow. Some fights cause gaphics cards to churn, and at times like that, all you can do is shoot and pray. I know I used to have issues in Ultraxion when all the twilight effects kicked in.

Maybe a million things. Who am I to say?

But if you watch, and you’re as cranky as I am, sometimes you can see that one person that, even if they are only 15 feet from the damn Crystal and is a healer and everyone is at full, would rather Wand DPS than walk a few steps. 

Even then, I don’t assume. I ask them, politely, if they knew that the Resonating Crystal did less damage if the linked folks all moved closer to it before it blew up. See, I try not to accuse, or to put someone on the defensive, but to follow Aunaka’s ideas on gentle advice.

I try.

If I get incredible, vile offensive shit spewed back at me? Well, there we go. 

I’ve had this a few times, but my favorite time, and one of the best reasons to play a Priest, was when I had one reply to me that he wanted to cause the rest of the group as much pain as possible, and fuck me too. I proceeded to use Leap of faith on him the very next time the Crystal was up to pull him in while he wasn’t moving.

The INSANE frothing at the mouth nutmonkey rantings he erupted with in raid chat brought so much joy to my heart I thought I was going to piss my pants laughing.

He was so enraged at being forced against his will to not screw the group for that one moment out of the entire run, I didn’t even have to Leap of Faith him again. The simple fact that I could and did force him to the Crystal blew his cool all over the place, and he couldn’t recover. He just lost it on raid chat until the group booted him. 

In my mind, the unforgivable sin in joining together to do group content is to try and screw the rest of the group intentionally. That kind of griefing should allow you to do a /ignore-account on that person, so you never have to see them again. Ever. Cross-server wide. Just block them from ever being in your groups or in your communications, ever again.

I want to focus my time on playing with people who enjoy working together, not with people who hate other people.

Last night, our guild had another Firelands run to further Pumpkens’ progression on the legendary staff.

Once again, we failed to kill Ragnaros.

They tried their best, and I tried my best, and each time we took a run at the boss I believe we did better and moved smoother. The last try we had Ragnaros to 42% and were holding so as not to push the next phase before splitting hammer was done.

It could have felt very satisfying to come closer each time, except for two things; the majority of the group were experienced hard mode raiders who killed Ragnaros on heroic, so this wasn’t shit to them. And we were under time constraints to be done before it was past Alex’s bedtime.

We kept failing, in small part because I wasn’t an experienced Firelands raider on Ragnaros, but in large part because I kept having serious problems picking up the closest adds to the splitting hammer and stopping them in time.

it wasn’t a knowledge issue, I knew what to do, I just had trouble translating that into doing it. I failed to perform.

I was, if not THE point source of failure, one hell of a major contributor, and I was getting very upset with myself over it. An entire group is trying to feel that moment of success, and I was preventing them from getting it.

Wanting it isn’t enough. Trying isn’t enough. You have to do it, and do it right, and be able to nail those transitions. If you are going to have the time to keep getting better until you reach that victory, then it’s not so bad. If you only have a shot or two befire it’s quitting time, oh holy crap.

When everyone is counting on everyone else to do their best, and YOU are the one that is letting the team down, it feels like shit.

In a perfect world, everyone could start fresh together on new content, learn it together, make mistakes together. it’s hard to feel like the outcast moron when other people are making silly learning mistakes too.

When everyone else is the old, experienced hand and you are trying to learn everything and master it in the first shot… it doesn’t matter if logically you know shit happens. Emotionally, you’re letting down the team, and it sucks, and you feel like  failure.

How much worse would it be, at that moment, where you feel like a worthless shit already because you keep making small mistakes or aren’t reacting quite fast enough, and then some cockbite starts in calling you what you’re already, in your head, calling yourself?

The TL;DR version would be the same old tired shit we’ve all heard. Everyone makes msitakes, yes even you, so stop being an asshat to anyone that isn’t doing it the way you think they should, because who died and made you the Lord of all creation?

But if you want to screw other people over in groups, don’t be surprised if someone else is going to get up in your case and try to figure out how to really annoy the piss out of you.

If you find those two statements contradictory… yep, they are.

THAT’S the biggest problem. Who can really, 100% be absolutely sure that what you’re seeing is learning curves instead of active sabotage? Isn’t it better to never say anything, ever, so as not to be the one that adds incredible hurt to an already overloaded stressful situation?

But then, if you do… I really do believe that assholes should be opposed. Always.

It’s a judgment call. I know I want to be damn careful not to mistakes confusing someone trying and having problems with someone actively being a seditious dillweed.

To me, that means it can only be the most obvious, blatant, “are you kidding me wtf” forms of asshattery that I respond to. I’d much rather err on the side of kindness than cruelty. Even that one person on Morchok, I whispered them in a non-aggressive way first, and only unleashed the Grip of Flail when they started swearing vile crap at me.

I  also won’t just let everything slide. Is it a failing? If it doesn’t do any good, it’s just drama right? I don’t know, but I do know that it feels real good to see someone trying to hurt other people, and helping to be the instrument that turns the tables on them.

That means I am arrogant enough to take it on myself to mete out rough adn ready street justice to LFG offenders, and looked at honestly, that makes me an asshat too. 

The real solution to all this?

The only way to win is not to play the game.

No wait, I kid.

No, the only real way to take all this kind of stress off and get away from it is to form friendships and only play with people you trust. people you truly trust to not laugh at you, screw you over, or even worse, act like they are oh so superior to you and pity you.

That’s the rub, right? To go away from the current trend of finding fast, easy and impersonal groups with strangers, and try to form groups with people you really get to know and feel you can trust.

If you can’t find a full group of people you trust who want to play with you because they really do like you and want to hang with you and do crazy shit with you first and foremost…

Well, I guess we see what the solution is from Precious and Soft, and the World of Warcraft community will be poorer with her moving on.

But Warcraft’s loss is craftings gain! Have you SEEN her Craftypodes site?

6 thoughts on “A Farewell to Armed Bears

  1. I believe I owe you thanks again. I didn’t know that about Morchok, which means I’ve inadvertantly done several people quite a bit of damage in the past.

    This appears to happen to me freqently. I once repeatedly wiped an Azjol-Nerub run I was healing because I didn’t know about Pound, and was standing next to the tank on Anub-arak so that he could grab the little mobs that aggro’d me.


  2. Ah I have done Morchok on tank, heals and as dps when im dpsing on my rogue and on my dk I do stay for the black phase mainly because I know I can survive it and second because it is a dps gain for melee rather than waiting behind the pillars.

    When doing heroic its a very different animal the dk and the rogue now have a job to soak and survive rather than dps while trying to put decent numbers.

    As for the heals I usually have no problems healing the heroic but some people think that all the druid heals are instant cast hots and get annoyed when
    You stop to cast anything (even if You are the top healer in the group)


  3. The problem with the game community IMO is the divide in game experience between the haves (those playing with trusted friends) and the have nots. And the spectrum in between is just chaotic.

    That creates players that have wildly different game experiences and expectations. Couple that with an arcane, player created system of game information, and an impossibly archaic method of communication in-game, and you have the equivalent of a blindfolded softball game where everyone has a bat, only half the players know who’s up, and the umpires are officiating 24 games at once.

    When it works, it’s the best and most amazing game on the planet. When it’s bad, you may feel either homicidal or suicidal or both.

    Focus on building the overall community such that there is true value and reward to leadership and taking personal responsibility, and maybe we don’t have to quit to win.


  4. I agree with both your post, and the one referenced.

    A lot of the impatience is due to people having a limited amount of play time, and wanting to get the most done in that time. For instance: I’ve got 45min before Mom says I have to come down for dinner, I should be able to get two runs in. The same could be said for the college student, the man home from the office, the dad. This person is setting up their expectation to be able to accomplish something in a given amount of time and anything that threatens to derail their progress is a threat.

    It’s easy to forget that in an online game, we’re not always playing with reasonable adults and at the end of the day if the experience isn’t enjoyable, then it’s time to change the experience.

    The current culture of Warcraft is one of intense selfishness.


  5. Ya know, BBB … I’ve been tanking since BC and I feel ya on the points about getting upset about your own performance. I’ve also felt frustration at all the points you made here. I’m tellin’ ya, I wish there’d been a resource like this long ago. Woulda saved me lots and lots of hair.


  6. If I keep waiting until I have the “right words” to comment on this, I’ll never comment. Thank you, BBB. 🙂 Thank you for this post, and bears on camels, and all the stories you’ve told on this blog. Reading your blog was part of what made me try bear before giving up on druids completely, and I finally got to love my druid! I hadn’t enjoyed the game that much since I pet-tanked during Wrath with… well, my hunter’s bear. (I sense a theme here.)

    Even if I couldn’t make myself take full advantage of it, the fact that you offered support to me has meant so much. I just don’t have the words to express it. And leaving WoW really is the best decision for me, for a lot of reasons, but it’s not one I’ve made easily and I’m glad Twitter will let me keep in touch with all my WoW-playing buddies.

    You’re an awesome person, and remember… BARE DURIDS IS ALWAYS FRENDS! (“” ( -.- ) /””)


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