The Inevitable Schism
I’ve been having a lot of great discussions with my fellow raiders recently. One of them, Quori, is another blogger that I’ve linked here for a while, and he has a great ability to get people into discussions, to get them thinking and talking about the game. It’s been my privilege to listen in and, occasionally (yeah right) chime in on the topics at hand.
In one of our recent discussions, the perennial debate about the differences between hardcore and casual surfaced. We’d been continuing a discussion on what made our guild our guild, how our raiding was different, and where we fit on the spectrum. This was all in context with the 5.4 changes and a discussion about how group A whines about change X while group B whines about change Y etc etc etc.
Someone mentioned that Blizzard was trying to make a game that appealed to the largest number of people possible (and cited the hardcore raiding population at 20% – a VAST over-calculation, but I’m not about to overtly contradict someone in my new guild), and it struck me clearly why precisely the Blizz devs will never be able to please everyone simultaneously.
We all have heard, of course, that you can please some people all the time and all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. To be honest, I’m a little doubtful even of the second part in general, but I can pretty definitively say that with WoW, you’ll never please all the people, simply because of the players’ feelings about two mutually exclusive desires. Every player either wants accessibility or exclusivity, and never the twain shall meet.
Those two polar opposites exist on an axis, sure, and people can exist towards the middle of the axis, but in the end, every player will prefer one of the following two options:
A game where everyone can participate in all activities
A game where merit earns you special opportunities
Sure, we can have deeper conversations and talk about points at which one opposite might be more important than the other, but in each player’s heart, one eventually trumps the other, and those feelings are what drives the whinefests associated with game changes.
There’s a similar dichotomy in Dungeons & Dragons regarding paladin players. Traditionally, they must be Lawful Good, meaning they follow a clear code of behavior which includes respect for just law as well as does the morally right thing. Mean DMs (all of them) invariably put the paladin in a position to decide whether, in the end, he’s more lawful or more good. In the end, they have to discover, because while law and good overlap in some areas, they are not the same. Exclusivity and accessibility don’t overlap much at all, so it’s even easier to find the eventual but inevitable schism between the two, and when those exist in the same raiding guild, it can lead to a real problem.
In other news, I downed my first Megaera. We struggled with it for hours, and we always lost a person (in a 10 man raid) in the 6th to 7th head transfer or earlier. Virtually all of my deaths were due to cinders being dispelled a second or two late. I stayed back most of the time anyway, and I have ghost wolf + my shamanistic rage, so I was in place with a defensive cooldown popped, and I still died. When the RL finally asked what was going on, I let him know – not to call people out or blame healers, because I’ve been there and know how chaotic it is – and he told us to start calling out our dispels as soon as we were ready (which for me was basically instantly). We downed the boss on the next attempt.
After that I got to see Big Bird for my first time and was assigned to nests, something I was vaguely aware of from the LFR, but knew nothing about. After an explanation and some questions on my part, we gave it a shot, and the other dps and I – who didn’t need a healer thanks to our own healing – blew the nests up perfectly. Unfortunately, the dps on the platform part wasn’t enough, and the bird hit his downy-soft enrage timer. The second attempt, I bungled getting the dps buff out of the air and we wiped almost immediately. That was it for the night, too, so I felt a little sheepish about causing the wipe, since that’s my biggest worry – being an inconvenience.
So it was an exciting night with some new progression for me and the promise of likely progression next time (as I assume I can do the nests correctly from here out).
Stubborn (and more for accessibility)