Are You A “Try Hard”?

I’m gonna start with some facts, then veer wildy off into the weeds. You’re invited to come along with me, and point at the pretty aminals just before they eat us.

Last night our guild leader Tom went looking to kick off an open Flex run.

He filled up the raid list with folks who wanted to go that weren’t already in the other main raid team slapping Sha around in Siege normal.

He thought we were a might light in our loafers where tank and healing was concerned, so he brought in a warrior offtank and a druid healer from Oqueue.

Sounds familiar? Seem pretty normal? Ask around with your friends first, and then move to a more open platform where strangers roam the arid plains.

Off we go to flex-mode Siege sequence two, the Galakrasical Wonders of the Flappy-Winged Age.

Kill all the trash, try like heck to pull everything on the beach at once to pad AoE DPS, fight to set off cannon bombs while players are still in them, the usual shenanigans.

We get lined up, set up a tower team, make the pull and midway through lose the new tank and healer down below in the valley and it all drops in the pot.

No worries, right? Most of us are on alts anyway.

Being on alts means, we HOPE to pull it out since we know what we’re doing, and get gear on our alts that could use it.

BUT… if the bosses aren’t dying, we swap alts out and bring mains in until bosses start dying. It’s the natural order of things.

Sometimes, you need bigger guns.

Ah, but then comes this gem. This was a first for me, a high point in the week, nay the month.

What happened, though incredibly minor, is the kind of thing I’ll remember long after I forget what raid we were even doing back in this expansion.

Two things happened at the same time.

Tom was driven to check what happened to the tank that he died so fast. Squishy, or standing in bad, or what? He was from Oqueue, maybe there were performance issues.

I hear a lot of people suffer from performance issues. They make a drug for some of them, but not one you can take that helps your raid. And how do you bring the subject up with your flaccid tank? “Hi, we’ve noticed you’re kinda… squishy… lately. We think this will help.” [presents bottle of ARMORALL armor polish]

So Tom does a quick look to see what happened, and at the same time Pumpken, the most incredible healer that plays a Shaman ever in the game, and who happens to be on her main at the time, gets a whisper from the Oqueue druid healer.

The whisper is as follows;


So Pumpken shares that whisper with us at the same time as Tom finds the problem. No heals coming from the OQueue Druid healer, who has low gear, no gems, no enchants, and apparently, no “try”.

Tom let the druid go, removed him from the raid. Told him, “Go get gemmed and enchanted, and we can take you some other time.”

The Druid called Pumpken a “Try Hard”. Like, as an accusation.

What, was he afraid she was making him look bad?

This is the great lie. Someone else does not make you look bad. Only YOU can make you look bad.

You, by not performing, by not moving out of bad, by not bothering to gem or enchant or reforge your gear.

By not trying.

YOU make you look bad, by not giving a shit. By not trying.

Others do what they do. Has nothing to do with you.

We were laughing about that “try hard” stuff in vent and in guild chat for a long time after that. Mostly ’cause I couldn’t let it go. That attitude is fascinating, I keep circling it like a dog smelling shit. It’s horrifying and yet I can’t stop looking at it.

Someone else in guild, not one of the progressive raiders, saw us basically mocking him for being upset at Pumpken for, what, healing too well? Giving a shit? And asked, legitimately not wanting to ALSO be mocked some time in the future, “What iLevel should I be to join your Flex runs? I’d like to start going too.”

Tom answered “Meh, whatever. It’s Flex, come join us.”

It’s not about being an elitist. It’s about whether you can do the best you can with what you’ve got, and that you try to be prepared. Basically, that if you’re putting yourself out there to join a bunch of others, that you’re going to give a shit, try to do your best (and raid utility!) and not tank the raid.

Unless you’re a tank. You know wtf I mean.

Listen, when all of your mains gear is 561 or higher, then everything else looks undergeared. You stop expecting the best possible gear, and instead you look at what seems reasonable for what you’re running at the moment.

And for Flex, what matters most is you are going to give a shit, you’re going to try, you’re going to care.

Since we can’t read your mind, we have to look at how you take care of your stuff.

Just like I, when interviewing someone for a job, will take a look at what they drive in to the interview, go out and look in the front seat while they are inside filling out the application. I hire service techs that will be out in the field all day long, given their own company truck. It’s reasonable to me that if I’m giving you a truck and I’m never going to see how you maintain it, then looking at how you take care of your personal car right now might clue me in as to whether you naturally give a shit and take care of your stuff, or just throw whopper wrappers and half-full pop bottles in the passenger foot well. It ain’t perfect, but it provides a clue.

Same with the character you’re bringing to the raid. If I look at your gear and see that it ain’t gemmed, enchanted, reforged, whatever. If you are missing major glyphs. If you forgot to take your level 90 Talent. If you never pop a flask, eat a food buff (even when given by a feast!) or cast your own raid buffs? None of that tells me whether you WILL try or not, but if some of it or all of it is missing, it’s a good clue that you don’t give a shit.

Or that normally you do give a shit, but this is an alt you don’t care about, so you haven’t paid it the attention a character you bring to a team raid deserves.

We have to look at these things, because now more than ever each player has to try hard.

When you get out there on the field of battle, you move your butt, you attack what needs to die first, you follow the flow. You interrupt. You move stuff away from others. You focus on the adds instead of padding the meters by burning the boss when it’s doing nothing to help us. Raid utility, whatever you brought, use it. It’s a force multiplier. Interrupts? CC on the trash before Garrosh? Big honking force multiplier.

This is what I love about the modern raids, and what increasingly irritates me about LFR and random person picked up from a queue.

These raids are designed so that every boss has a Lich King Defile.

Old school ‘get out of the bad’ meant if you stood in the bad, you died.

Modern ‘get out of the bad’ means, if you stand in the bad, the RAID dies. Or has a big pain in the butt to deal with.

It’s a shift in raid design. We had some special ones in the past. Remember Shade of Aran? “I will not move when Flame Wreath is cast or the raid blows up.” It was special and unique enough that there were monk chants on Youtube about it, it was infamous, because it was so damn simple… but if you had strangers in your raid group, somehow they always moved!

Now the fights are all like that!

Maybe it’s because of Deadly Boss Mods. Communication addons that, if you have them, clearly communicate in big honking letters, “pay attention naow!!!”

Maybe Blizzard feels if people are told what is happening that easily, then there needs to be more piled on top of it to strain your ability to process it all and react properly.

I dunno, but I like it.

At the same time, this is the biggest challenge I see in LFR and when I join other Flex runs, especially in OpenRaid with strangers.

It is not enough for the raid leader, tanks and healers to know what they are doing, move out of the bad, and by being awesome carry everyone else.

Each and every member of the team has to be a try hard. One person blindly attacking General Nazgrim during Defensive Stance, and endless Ravager axes come to eat you. That’s all it takes. One DPS who doesn’t act properly, and things go very wrong, very quickly.

Sure, you get enough really strong, solid raiders who outgear the stuff, and it compensates for a few that are in starter gear. Absolutely.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a blind carry. Those players in starter gear still have a profound impact on the flow of the fight. You don’t need mega-gear to interrupt a Shaman before they can get off a chain heal. You don’t have to do 300k DPS to pop a defensive cooldown and jump on a ticking time bomb before it blows and does damage to the entire raid.

Just, amazes the shit out of me. “Why are you such a try hard?”

There is a group of people sitting here beside you, thinking you give a shit.

The better question is, “Why aren’t you?”

13 thoughts on “Are You A “Try Hard”?

  1. Been gone from the game for awhile, so I am not current on the “slang”; but I couldn’t imagine going into any type of group situation not fully prepared. Granted during my playing days that was more moving my but out the bad and carrying proper flasks, food etc….Oh well almost glad I don’t play anymore unsure I could deal with that attitude and I always was looking for a group, or spamming trade chat if you remember. Incase the name threw you off its Graimerin/Falromord.


  2. I run a druid heals in raid quite often with a shammy heals as my fellow healer. Doesn’t matter how hard I try, gem, eat, drink or, quite frankly wave my leafy hands above my head … he still out heals me like nothing else on earth. He’s basically just a damn good healer :D. I’m not bad … I’m just not as effective as he is and we joke occasionally about the fact that in comparison the recount makes me look a little redundant. When he doesn’t run and our other druid heals does, I get to spend the night drooling over his gear. Being second to both their heals just gives me something to aspire to.


  3. I haven’t personally experienced the “try hard” insult in group content but I’ve heard that others have experienced it. That’d be an instant kick for me, too. You could almost understand that person letting their idiot flag fly in a full random group but coming in as 1 of 2 fill-ins? Time and place, skippy, time and place.

    My personal tolerance gap is strictly solo vs group play. I can slack as much as I want when I’m playing by myself. Anytime I’m doing ANY group content, which includes LFR, LFD (even when overgearing it) or PvP (when Wrathion forces me to), I’ll perform to my maximum ability, at least rotationally (I may not use consumables). I’ll interrupt, I’ll dispel, I’ll stack (which I think might be the single worst performed task in LFR), I’ll spread (which might be the second worst), I’ll target swap, etc. Any group play, no matter how basic, is both practice and gameplay and I want to represent myself appropriately. I’ll also actually play, only short between-fight AFKs when necessary (taking food out of the oven? Acceptable… taking 10 minutes to eat it? Not so much) and if I need to leave for any significant time, I’ll drop group. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that or similar from anyone in group play but more and more I find myself in the minority not just from a personal performance standpoint but from an expectation one.

    I had a typical LFR run last night on one of my middling alts… crappy (first tier LFR) weapon but a nice gear set otherwise and a class I don’t play in group content very often so I wasn’t expecting to set the world on fire… but was top 2 dps on all fights. That itself isn’t necessarily an issue – bosses died (two on second attempts, but due to vertical body issues (too many weren’t), not average dps issues) – but it was some of the supplementary stuff that had me shaking my head. Had a healer not take a rez or release after the first wipe, after a while with 24 of us standing around waiting a vote kick was suggested and someone actually defended the healer, said to wait because “he was the last healer to die on that attempt”… is that supposed to be a reason for wasting combined hours of time for other people? A while after that he was kicked and we, shockingly, were fine without him. Later on we had someone holding us up for a boss pull (also a healer, this one borderline geared and not performing to even that level) because he needed an AFK for “laundry”. Again, someone spoke up in his defense since he did say he was doing laundry and would be back soon. After about 5 minutes he did come back, saw the discussion and called those calling for a vote kick “asshats” for calling for it. It isn’t just the selfishness that bugs me, it’s that it’s somehow becoming unacceptable to call folks out on it, they’re being enabled for little or no actual reason. If that takes root it may be the end of random content for me… I’ll almost never vote kick someone for performance reasons but I’ll absolutely do it for someone holding up the group. If I can’t even do that…


    • I got called a crappy healer (in Lev. 80 Halls of Stone) by an Arms Warrior that queued as a tank because the queue is shorter. He proceeded to try to tank without a shield. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. Sorry, heals can’t help much when you’re getting one-shotted.

      I’m with you, though. Any time I’m in group content, I try to do my best. Gear, gems, enchants, food. Check.

      One of my biggest pet peeves in BGs is the asshats who start giving up the moment they fall behind in bases capped, score ticker, etc. Godammit, try harder, don’t quit. There’s other people that are still trying to win. I’ll keep pushing even if it’s hopeless. Of course, I do that in real life too. My team can be down 7-1 in the third period of a hockey game and I’ll still be playing like we’re tied in overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.


  4. It’s funny, really. I did 28 million healing on Dark Shaman in LFR yesterday, and some troll decided that “the healing is %!£%. I do 150k hps on my Shaman in this fight” I guess I wasn’t trying hard enough for him.


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  6. Just tell the fail healer that it is the “Try Hard” that is going to get him geared so that he too can become a “Try Hard”… Or, as appears to be the case in this instance a well geared fail healer.


  7. As DeGei says, it’s one of those terms where people feel the need to bring down those who are better than them, to make them feel bad, because they feel bad that they themselves are not doing well. If the role was reversed, and that person was doing all the healing, with no gems and chants, then they would probably say “you noob lrn2heal with that awesome gear of yours, even I with no chants or gems am outhealing you” so really that person was an all out loser.


  8. “Try Hard” came, if I recall correctly, from forum groups like Something Awful, and refers to somebody doing a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t really helping their situation. The forum “Try Hard” wants to feel included so gets into every thread, responds to every post, laughs at every joke, and so on. Rather than making him part of the club, it actually makes him stand out as an irritant and clearly an outsider.

    The term doesn’t really translate well to gaming as it isn’t really an analogous situation. “Try Hard” is more of a social characteristic, not a performance related one. But I would guess you might call somebody who was, say, healing out of combat or AoE’ing when they shouldn’t just to get at the top of the Recount chart that. Doing things that are ineffective or don’t help the group maybe.

    But anybody who is doing well by playing effectively is generally just a “winner.”


  9. I loath this term. Give it up for the gamers on the internet, who decided that they needed an insult for someone being better than them at something. I have seen this outside of wow in Awesomenauts. I’m not a great player of any game, but I have my moments at times. Was in a game that my side was winning slowly and steadily, enemy player actually says in chat “shame I got matched against a bunch of tryhards” or something to that effect. I called him out on his BS. You can’t insult someone for winning a game. Especially, if roles were reversed, you would call your opponents “loser newbs, who need to learn to play.” If you only have fun when you win, then don’t play multiplayer games. Everyone plays at different skill levels, learns at different rates, and invests different amounts of time.

    The funny thing is, it’s not even about actually “trying hard” it’s about putting in time to learn your class, earn gear, and upgrade it. If that’s trying hard, then raiding in WoW isn’t your gig.

    I could go on and on.


  10. I agree. Flex might be easier, but you still have to try. I’ve never understood the idea that you don’t have to try because it’s Flex. Get green gems and non optimal cheaper enchants if you don’t want to spend a lot of gold, but get something at least.
    It shouldn’t matter if one person does more healing than you as long as your job gets done. I used to love being the healer that followed the tank around on fights like Beth’tilac on the web, or even the add tank on Blackfuse. My healing might be lower because I was healing fewer people, but my tank would survive to do his job. That’s all I cared about. I have the same attitude toward dps. I will try hard to do my best and also perform the mechanics, even if my dps suffers for it.


  11. Good grief, people actually think trying hard is somehow a bad thing? The mind boggles. I guess maybe that person was from the kind of culture where having aspirations and a desire to excel is looked down on? I experienced something like that when I was in school – pretty low-income neighbourhood, everyone sticks with (and up for) their family, “we’re all in this together” kind of sinking-boat mentality.

    But this… this is a raid, where the whole point is to try and overcome a difficult problem. You’re only trying too hard if you’re doing it at the expense of more important things in your life. Maybe that’s where the sentiment came from? “You are doing tons of healing so you must spend far too much time playing this game” ?


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