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Good Tidings

October 11, 2013

Dear Reader,

Today, after all the negativity that’s been flying around here, I thought I’d take a moment to look at the several good things that are going on in my game-playing life.

For one, thanks to my buddy taking me on flex raids with his guild, I’ve met several new, fun people.  One of them, a druid healer, has been great to play with partially because she never gives my buddy an inch,  She’s an excellent healer and a good teammate to just hang out in Mumble with, so I look forward to continuing to get to know her.  My wife says that my buddy and I upset her in the flex raid by teasing her too much, so hopefully this will help smooth over any rough waters.  I don’t want to be on the bad side of a healer!

Another one of the new people I’ve met is a mage who’s constantly dissatisfied with his dps, which is a consistent 250k.  He’s not being elitist or nasty about it (though of course he’s likely showing off a bit, but I like it when I’m top dps in LFRs, too, so I can’t fault him), but he is funny and certainly likes giving true slackers their due.

In fact, that’s one of the things I’ve liked about this group; I’m truly the underdog here both from a gear, practice, and knowledge point of view, and they let me know it in a friendly and supportive way without being nasty when I make a mistake (and I make plenty).  On Nazgrim two weeks ago, I stood in three of his ground effects, and I got politely called on it.  Last night, I only got caught by one, and while a general comment was made, I felt better that I’d improved and had not, perhaps, drawn notice about it this time.  The comment, in fact, was more likely directed at the many others who were standing in effects, since we got 4 ravagers (at least), which couldn’t possibly have been from me alone.

That’s something that a lot of more casual guilds lack: the willingness to put players’ performance out there.  It may be because they’re worried about people taking it personally or because they feel like that type of scrutiny doesn’t fit a casual atmosphere.  I think this is partially why I’ve had such a hard time finding the right place; I want scrutiny and advice and honesty when I make a mistake (without Raid Leader rages, of course), and I know I’m objective enough to handle it without much more than a little pouting and self-flagellation on my part.  In turn, I expect the same from others, and, as I wrote about before, in some of my guilds it’s just not considered acceptable.

That baffles me; don’t people who are doing poorly want to know specific ways in which to improve?  Of course, the fallacy there is that not everyone thinks the same way I do or wants to play the game the way I do.

Perhaps, then, we get closer to a true definition of casual; it’s not just about putting people first, because honestly in most of my casual guilds the team – the guild or raid team or whatever – was still put before personal desires.  I think instead it has to do with whether people are able to run free and ignorant or not.  More serious guilds expect basic levels of knowledge and performance, and as a result, are more willing to treat their members like teammates as opposed to individuals.  Note that those two words aren’t mutually exclusive; people recognize a teammate as a person, but that person is known to be part of a larger system.  Maybe casual guilds simply don’t acknowledge that larger system; they’re just a bunch of people having fun.

Regardless, whether or not I’m just joyriding right now or are becoming part of a larger system, I don’t know.  In the next few weeks, that will reveal itself with no real work on my part.  For now, I’m just tagging along to flex raids set up by my buddy and his friends and enjoying the successful and – as a result – more carefree attitudes.

I look forward to playing with them more.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (Remediating Inadvertent Loss Of Sympathy)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2013 8:19 am

    Glad to hear you’ve stumbled into the kind of group you’d like to play with – that kind of serendipity is always pleasing. :)

  2. kaleedity permalink*
    October 11, 2013 8:20 am

    “That’s something that a lot of more casual guilds lack: the willingness to put players’ performance out there. ”

    That reminds me when my awesome raid guild fell apart (under happier circumstances) and Meabo and I transferred characters to your server. One of the first Karazahn runs we had we noted this really well geared hunter that was doing really terribly. Meabo and I basically posted our version of an elitist jerks thread for hunter dps on the guild’s forums, without really saying anything about any individuals.

    The hunter quit the guild the next day without a word.

    • October 11, 2013 9:40 am

      Yes, I remember that quite clearly. It was the beginning of me as middle man managing ya’ll’s relationship with the rest of the guild, a spot I was very unhappy to occupy. I seem to recall it didn’t stop there, in fact, and Lonnie and I still joke about Nightfall’s constant badgering of Lonnie to make you guys (and, eventually, me) quit the guild.

      I read http://hzero.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/theres-a-first-time-for-everything/ here recently a good narrative metaphor for people like us: the little boy in the Emporer’s New Clothes. When we perceive problems, we call them out without consideration for the repercussions, because all of us would rather know we were doing something wrong and correct it, so we assume the same in others. George was a bully. Nightfall was terrible. That hunter, who I don’t even remember now, apparently was terrible (this was before I could have made a judgment like that, though). Lonnie, who of course I love, was a pushover, and GODDAMNIT PUT DOWN THE WINDFURY TOTEM.

      The funny thing is, I rejoined a guild on another server at Cata’s start with Ant and Lonnie and a bunch of other “good” (and they were in numbers, but not so much in personality) players, and we blew stuff up within the first few weeks. But Ant’s drunkenness became an issue as he started being unable to find the raid entrance and falling asleep between when he asked for a summon and it showed up. The guild disintegrated not long after that. Maybe it was totem guilt eating away at him…

    • kaleedity permalink*
      October 11, 2013 2:35 pm

      The hunter would have been a mostly perfect fit for our higher end raiding guild. He was very, very pleasant in addition to having enough time to contribute. That’s why we wanted to help him out; getting someone to steady shot properly is much easier than getting them to be an otherwise good player to hang out with, in our experience. Back on Daggerspine, we had been abstracted from the greater set of players that do not enjoy trying their best for whatever reasons because our guild recruitment was absolutely amazing.

      Also, hunter dps was relatively interesting at that point in time and my brother and I were interested in that anyway.

  3. October 11, 2013 8:28 am

    Was it your own sympathy you lost? or did you feel the loss of sympathy from others? I certainly sympathize with your plight, having similar things happen in guilds I have been a member of. But you’re right, if we can’t do a little self examination and take the *helpful* advice of others, we don’t belong in a team-based situation. If we’re giving advice, we need to make sure it is friendly and that we are seeking to change specific technique or behavior, and not personally attacking the recipient.

    • October 11, 2013 9:42 am

      To be honest, it’s a code left to someone spelling a particular name (; Don’t over-think it. I realized last night that I should have changed “loss” to “lack” for a better outcome, but alas, I was too tired to get up at like 2 and do it before the post went up.
      In this specific case, I was a little mean to someone in a playful way (as referenced in my post), so it was me, but not in a serious or particularly meaningful way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Beshara permalink
    October 11, 2013 9:19 am

    I think Rowan touched on the mark here. I’ve noticed in RL and in game that people take logical criticism as a personal attack. I have to deal with that a lot at work, and have seen it happen in previous guilds. Not sure if its a generational thing, a social thing, or if it stems from something else. My experience is it tends to be younger people (early 20s) who can’t accept blame for anything, nothing is their fault, so obviously it’s someone else’s fault. Maybe it’s part of the entitlement culture. Of course, there are leaders who make criticism as a personal attack, but that seems easier to identify than someone who feels like an attack is happening when it is not meant to be.

  5. October 11, 2013 10:27 am

    “That baffles me; don’t people who are doing poorly want to know specific ways in which to improve?”

    You answered your own question here but I wanted to reiterate it… there are a lot of players who don’t want to hear and aren’t interested in improving, the trick is to find groups that don’t include those players if that doesn’t fit your niche. I’ll occasionally offer to help someone out if I see flaws that I think can be easily fixed, I can only recall one time EVER where my offer was accepted. Too many players seem to get their pride from loot and participation (in the sense of “award of participation”) rather than any sort of actual metric result.

    I recently spent some time raiding with a relatively successful (by server standards) raiding guild who was having to pug a few spots for various reasons, I was one of their regular pugs, as was one other fellow who, far as I can tell, had no clue how to play his class… his rotation was all over the place (core abilities not used, abilities used that are only used by other specs) and was doing less than half the dps he should have been doing for his gear. And he seemed to care… he’d try different rotations out, just none of them worked out. After a few runs (it wasn’t like I pounced) I whispered an offer to help him out with 5 minutes on the dummy (I mean seriously, in 5 minutes I could have upped this guy’s dps by 50%) but he politely turned me down without giving a reason. I quietly spoke to the RL afterward, he wasn’t thrilled with the guy’s performance but nobody was going to say anything to him, they’d only bring him along if nobody better was available, they just accepted his lack of rotational awareness as a liability, kind of like someone else might have with moving out of fire. I was fine pugging with that group but I wouldn’t have been able to survive a regular spot, there just wasn’t enough accountability for my taste. Wipes with an obvious cause weren’t called out, it was “okay, get back in and let’s give it another try!” To me, that’s more of an LFR-appropriate attitude, not one for a premade group, but I do recognize that a lot of raids do operate that way, it’s just not something I’m looking for.

    I’m not sure exactly what to call it but the people I prefer to raid with are professional (which I’ll define here as punctual and prepared because alliteration is fun), competent and looking to succeed, primarily as a group but secondarily through personal improvement. Players who believe that success is measured in boss kills, not in personal performance. Players who perform up to their capabilities often enough to count on. And yeah, light (or moderate) banter/ribbing can fit well into that playstyle, the best group I ever ran with had a lot of that… a few didn’t generally participate (giving or taking) but the rest of us were pretty free flowing and when those few DID join in, it had impact. It was a lot of fun. :)

  6. October 11, 2013 12:43 pm

    Happy for you ^.^

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