So, I was scanning the AH, and finishing waking up this morning, having an early morning chat with RG, and the subject of patch changes came up. Off handedly, I threw out “You heard about the two new instances, right?” This simple statement started a conversation that is of the sort that delights me. See, I have this problem. My mind typically as a lot of CPU time in the background. Bring up a topic that has to do with language, human nature, and the combination of the two, and all the cores kick in, and CPU time spikes. Why? Because, due to the nature of the debate, there is no right answer. The point is not to be right, but to think about the various angles and nuances of the topic.
Archive for February, 2010
So, I cut my WoW time short last night, and had planned a post today, concerning such weighty subjects as peace in the Middle East, ending world hunger, and the sputtering economy, but fate, in the form of Repgrind, dictated it was not to be. I am subscribed to her blog, of course, and this morning, I get notified of this post. Ah, raid news. Yada, yada… and then, imagine my shock and dismay as I discovered that I’m being accused of cow tipping some “poor little Tauren druidess”, and then portrayed as trying to blame such a nefarious deed on her guildie.
I had been thinking something was odd. She and I generally exchange pleasantries throughout the day, while at work, via IM, however, yesterday, her end of our workday chat consisted of “hi” in response to my greeting. No “Bye!” at the end of the day, nothing. Last night, of course, she was busy raiding, but even while standing around Dalaran, ignored any attempt at communication on my part. I thought this odd, but assumed she was preoccupied. It appears I was correct.
I encourage the reader to pop on over, and check out this travesty of inaccuracies, half-truths, and hyperbole. Indeed, the statement “poor little Tauren druid immediately shows the vindictive state of mind of the poster. When have you ever seen a “little” Tauren?!? And how does a Tauren flagged PvP – which RG so accurately notes doesn’t happen fighting Omen – equate to “poor”?
What really happened:
As I noted yesterday, Kalyon and her guildmate helped Shalae and I with the Omen fight. Some history here. RG forgets that I came from a PvP server. My hunter was ganked approximately half a dozen times fighting Omen last year. When I saw a Tauren, flagged PvP, bearing down on Kalyon… well, I think it’s pretty obvious what my reaction was. I didn’t ask for applause, or even a “thank you”. It’s what friends do. You look out for each other.
At the end of the fight, Kalyon, for some odd reason, accused me of “killing a cow”. I thought she meant… well, a cow, and I said “must have been the warlock”. Those of you that have played locks know that it’s not uncommon for a warlock to Drain Life on a neutral ambient creature in between fights, and this is what I assumed she was referring to. She started yammering about arcane missiles, and remembering a post of hers, I responded to the effect of if she doesn’t have it on a screenshot, it didn’t happen. She apparently missed the reference entirely.
She starts then going on and on about me being flagged PvP, and finally identifies the source of her distress… “a Tauren”.
At this point, it clicked what she was talking about, and sunk in that not only was she not thanking me, but she was poking fun at me. I was both indignant at the apparent ingratitude, and yes, embarrassed that I hadn’t caught the the reference. That was quickly replaced by realization that she hadn’t even realized the implications of a Tauren flagged PvP. So… I just shut up, and let her have her laugh. Little did I realize that it apparently went deeper than that. I know RG used to play Horde, but when did she start bucking for the “Defender of the Cattle” title???
And now, she’s messaged me. “Hi!” I responded “Hello. ” Conversation? No, she’s gone to lunch. Apparently, she’s disappointed that I haven’t given her feedback on her attempt to… well, do whatever it is she was trying to do.
/sigh. Maybe the troll episode over the weekend was WoW’s way of telling me something. It was fun, and I made a bitchin’ troll.
So, Love is In The Air ended, the Lunar Festival continued. WoW-wise, it wasn’t precisely an exciting weekend, but it had it’s moments. Outside of WoW, it was one of those daddy weekends. My daughter started her softball season. She went ten-for-ten in the league hit-a-thon, raising $200, to take second overall. The girl who took first place was the daughter of one of the coaches, who got his checkbook out of the glovebox of his Hummer, and wrote a $400 dollar check. The “daddy moment” came when a bunch of the girls were booing the winner because of this, and my daughter told them to lay off, it wasn’t the girl who wrote the check, then trotted out and high-fived the winner.
Meanwhile, back on WoW, I got my Elder title, with Kalyon‘s and Zarchius‘ help on the Omen fight, as well as a couple of the dungeon elders. Probably the most exciting thing, however, was Saturday night. I’ve talked about our guild before. We’re about as casual as they come, and we’ve been smacked with pug-crap a few times, leaving us very shy about pugging, and unfortunately, until recently, we were short a tank. Our pally tanked with his DK over on Thunderlord for a long time, on a laptop that was giving him a consistent framerate down around 3. Any wonder he burned out on tanking? Eventually, my son got his DK up, and started tanking for us, but he isn’t on as much as we’d like. With 3.3 coming out, Nick led the way into pug-a-geddon, and I timidly followed. The other members have been slowly following. Now that my gear is up to a level that I pretty much feel like I’m not going to embarrass myself in most content, I’ve been going back, and trying to organize something to get the others back in the swing of things, and convince our pally to try tanking. With some rotation advice from Hartbane over in Apathy, he’s been coming along nicely. It’s been awhile since we’ve done instances on a regular basis, so everyone was a bit rusty in their roles. This weekend, another guildie brought her high-70′s mage, Bootters, over from Thunderlord, and she joined us in Hall’s of Lightning, which she’s never finished before.
That said, I spent 6 years as a non-com in the military, and a good portion of the 13 years since dealing with and managing people. I’ve been to schools on leadership, management, project management, and have an avid interest in history. As any true historian will tell you, history is really nothing more than studying human nature, and patterns of humanity. I spent years living in close confines with other people for months at a time, and I came out of it without any lasting physical damage. Yes, I tease, I play, I bullshit, but in this, I am absolutely serious. When it comes to dealing with groups of people, I know just a bit what I’m talking about.
I don’t think anyone in any MMO, can hear the word “Guild”, and not have the word “drama” flash through their head. It’s the nature of the beast. In dealing with a guild, you are dealing with a collective of human beings, of varying intelligence, patience, generosity, etc. etc. etc. Insert trait here. Believe it or not, it all matters, because the variance in different traits creates differences. Like two pieces of metal that are supposed to mesh smoothly, differences create friction.
Understand, you cannot have a guild without drama. It involves human beings, and human beings thrive on a certain amount of drama. Some like to observe it, some like to be in the middle of it. The trick is to catch the drama early, or failing that, have mechanisms in place that prevent you from personally having to make decisions in crisis. Ideally, a GM should not have to “make a tough decision.” The rules of the guild should already be clear, and in place, and the proper response already outlined. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your dealing with adults. You are dealing with human beings, and they react to the same thing in many different ways, some of which will seem absolutely childish to you or I. The average WoW player will tell you “I pay my WoW bill, I’ll play how I like!” That’s fine. Just do it within the rules of the guild.
Read the rest of this entry ?
And now back to our regularly scheduled … er, well, I wouldn’t say that. Back to posting about more usual topics. Like…. the receptionist’s cleavage. Oh, wait… that’s not WoW, that’s WOW. Excuse me, let me move my tongue off the keyboard. She’s one of these sweet young things that you will never, ever see in a fashion magazine, because she has curves for days, just more days than most fashion magazines have time for. And yes, I would drag sensitive portions of my anatomy the length of a football field through broken glass to hear her break wind over a cell phone.
Ok, so maybe that was a bit too graphic for those of you who never spent months at a time going three-knots-to-nowhere aboard a 425 foot steel tube, with the only females in the vicinity being of a species that hangs out several hundred feet below the surface of the ocean. Although, I swear, that was an honest-to-goodness mermaid I saw that time on the USS Usetafish. It was about day 72, and we’d just surfaced off of Nassau. I had just climbed a ladder up to the bridge, carrying about 15 pounds of portable communications gear in one hand, and was setting it up. It was just a glimpse, out of the corner of my right eye, but I’m sure of it. I know for a fact she was hiding behind that porpoise that was sporting off the starboard bow wake. I’m just sayin’…
So… WoW. Not a lot new and exciting to talk about. I logged on last night, and before my addons had finished scrolling messages in the chat window, was whispered “Busy?” – and not from Kalyon! I replied in the negative, and shortly thereafter found myself trotting into ICC25 with an Apathy-based mixed group, to wreak havoc. A couple hours later, I ported out, my havoc completely wreaked. Disappointed? Not in the least. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing! Lore led us with his usual laid-back, calm approach. I’d been boning up on the Marrowgar fight – get it? Boning? – and I noticed Lore’s instructions were not precisely what I’d read about. Then I went back and read again, and found his tactics under “Alternate positioning”. I remarked off-handedly to Kalyon that Lore was apparently into alternate positions, and I thought I was going to have to tranquilize her.
By the time I got out of Icecrown, the guildies were spread out, going about their business, so I took advantage of everyone being busy to call it an early night, and catch up on my sleep. And I had this dream, about this mermaid…
So, this weekend, I flung out several posts, then added another on Monday. Yesterday, I was staring glumly at the screen, going “what do I write about?”. Today, I wake up, and it seems as if the world is answering my question in new and creative ways. Start with Euripedes’ observations on escapism over at CriticalQQ. That post opens up a plethora of other avenues that have little to do with the original premise, branching down myriad pathways. As I’ve said… the mind is a terrible thing.
Human beings have the uncanny ability to over-simplify complex things, and make simple things overly complex. Sure, there are lots of nuances to why WoW, and video games in general, carry a stigma, but it all comes down to one simple principle: animal instinct.
So, Love Is In The Air is in full swing, and the Lunar Festival is underway, so achievements were popping up left and right. That sorta takes the “oomph” out of screenshots, so today, I’m going for “different”.
Every since 3.3 went live, the blogsphere has been rampant with posts talking about the various problems with random heroics. One of the problems that we talk about is simply a new spin on an old theme – that phenomenon known as the Swollen Headed Assclown. We’ve all seen it: The arrogant cock monkey that thinks since his guild carried his ass through high level content, and got his sorry incompetent ass geared that he is something 733t. You can recognize this pseudo-sentient waste of precious natural resources like air, water, and bandwidth by their familiar cry of “what’s your gear score?”.
However, what you don’t often hear about – and should more! – is the opposite extreme: the patient, encouraging, nay nurturing sort of player that besides obviously remembering where they came from, is just a genuinely good human being, and team member. I’ve made it clear here that I will call out the asshats, but I’ve sworn to to use my powers for good, and that includes recognizing the good with the bad.
I mentioned in my last two posts a healer that impressed me by their attitude, not just their skill. She deserves a post to herself. We were playing around Friday night, my son Nick tanking, Karius and Lore from Apathy, and myself, DPSing. We popped a random, and found ourselves in Pit of Saron. The healer that we picked up bore the memorable moniker of Gracemoose.
Edit: Note that I’ve since confirmed that the player is male. The character was female, that’s why I wrote “she”. Doesn’t matter. Still pure awesome.
As we got to the first uphill, Grace remarked “I’ve never tanked this before, it should be interesting.” I thought at the time, she just mispoke, but I soon realized she recognized the problems Nick was going to have. Face it, three ICC-10+ geared Arcane mages, we were putting out pretty serious DPS. After the first wipe on the hill, she said “Hey, DPS… give Nick a few seconds to lock down aggro, ‘k”? I immediately whispered, thanking her, and mentioned that Nick was my boy. She just smiled and said “Cool!”.
Nick had a bit of trouble getting the hang of drag-tanking at the Gauntlet, as he’d never tanked that section before. She explained it to him – even as we were getting ready to – and once again, I just shook my head. She wasn’t giving orders, or lecturing… just doing her best to help a still-learning player get better. No finger-pointing, no accusations. I was chuckling to myself, because she sounded almost motherly. I was enjoying the instance, and enjoying seeing my son learn, but most of all, I was enjoying having an obviously experienced player, who knew none of us from Adam, just being so damned nice!
Her healing was great. The times we wiped, no healer was going to heal us through. But no level of competent healing would have outshone her attitude. I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again: I will pay for her server transfer to Winterhoof! That’s the type of player that I want to play with again!
So, geez… apparently I went too far yesterday… or more likely, not far enough. People actually took that post seriously. Normally, I’d put that down to them not knowing me, but even RG missed the intent.
Normally, I’d just duck my head, apologize to the principals, and move on, but I’m acutely aware of how someone’s reputation can be affected by even something as insignificant as my little blog. So, here’s the less embellished version of Friday nights events.
Kalyon whispered me, and asked if I wanted to do OS. Of course, I accepted. We swung by Naxx, taking advantage of the fact we were in a raid to get in, pitied a fool, and headed back to OS.
We had a couple wipes, and what I said yesterday was true. No one pointed any fingers at anyone, except themselves. Apathy members, being who they are, might wonder why I always stress that. It’s something that all too rare in pugs, and even in guilds raids, and I can’t say enough about how refreshing it is.
So after a couple practice runs, Sartharion went down, and yours truly wound up with the drake. And the loudest comment I got was “Lajos, take it outside, I want to see it.” Yes, Lore, very laughingly, said he figured Apathy would get another writeup. I refer back to the cliche’ I mentioned yesterday. Does a druid take a dump in Moonglade? Gnomer has made noises to the effect that it’s rare you have something pleasant to write about that’s is interesting to read. I’m not going to miss the chance.
The rest of the evening happened pretty much as I described yesterday, but, no, Lore was nothing but patient, laid back, and a joy to run with. The healer I mentioned was every bit as awesome as I said, and will be the subject of tomorrow’s post.
Those few immensely bored souls who swing by my little blog now and then have probably figured out that I when I’m not cutting loose with a full scale rant, I spend a lot of time writing with tongue-firmly implanted in cheek. Laughter is one of my favorite past times, after all. Once in awhile, however, I find myself moved to write about something that warrants neither a rant, nor comedy, but just a plain heavy sigh. Last night, I found myself a position to observe just such a tragic situation. Read on, if you have the stomach for it.
Edit: Sadly, I tend to forget that not everyone share’s, or even understands that mutant entity that I refer to as “my sense of humor”. The following is, in fact, entirely tongue in cheek. Please read it with that in mind.