What a concept!
We had an interesting discussion in guild chat last night. Caraway, our GM, is a pally tank, and was raging about pugs wanting to rush through the content, and wanting the tank to know every fight going in. One of the other members chimed in, and noted that this is pretty much how WoW is played. Before you tackle content, you read up on it, make sure you’re geared, gemmed, enchanted appropriately, etc.
Caraway made a couple very good points last night. One sounded very familiar. Blizzard worked on Cataclysm for over two years. Why does everyone try to finish it as fast as possible? Hmmm…. I’m fairly certain I heard similar rumblings from a mage that shall remain nameless, during Wrath.
The other, and more telling, point Caraway made, was that somewhere, sometime, someone went through this content without the benefit of guides, advice, perfectly tuned gear and specs, etc. Does that somehow mean that they’re better, smarter, or more capable than we? I really doubt most of us would say “well, yeah! They’re WoW gods!” The fact of the matter is, they were lucky enough to get into beta, and have a crack at it. Or, on the Live realms, chances are their guild had a commitment to be the first, and they tackled it blind.
One of our other members chimed in with some valid points. It’s very hard to find people who are willing to tackle content that way. Most people are caught up in the “NEED MOAR GEER!” mindset. And further, they look upon anyone who doesn’t know the fights as a noob.
Um, no. All it means is they don’t know the fight. They may know how to play their class perfectly well. Which Caraway proved in a pug last night by turning off chat bubbles, switching to the combat log, and tanking Blackrock Caverns, successfully, without any prior prep.
Caraway and I work together, and we started talking about last night’s chat, and he came up with an idea that I quickly band-wagoned on. Moonlight Requiem is the most casual of guilds. Basically, you have people to talk to on guild-chat, and we try help each other as we can, but no one really makes a point of helping someone level, or whatever. When one of our members was getting ganked in Hyjal, I dropped what I was doing and went to help. those of us that know each other outside the game will run together somewhat. Things are pretty loose, though. Which, given my own distaste for pugs, has been a bit of a drag.
However, that may be about to change. Caraway announced to me this morning that we’re forming our own Explorer’s League, within the guild. He’s completely committed to people doing their own thing, and keeping things casual, but last night reinforced the problem with the prevailing view in WoW, and this is how we hope to resolve it in our little corner of Azeroth.
The Explorer’s League is going to be for those players who don’t want to rush through content as fast as possible, as painlessly as possible. We’re not excluding anyone; they’re welcome to run with us. Just don’t tell us how to play. Our devil’s advocate made a good point last night: “So, what if I know the fight? What, am I supposed to pretend I don’t?” Nope. Play your toon. Just don’t spoil it for the rest of us.
See, what get’s lost in the heat of discussion is a simple fact of human evolution. If someone constantly solves your problems for you, you never learn to solve problems yourself. As a parent, I’ve spent my last fifteen-plus years letting my kids go through unpleasant experiences that I might have spared them. It’s hard, especially as a parent. But that’s the only way they really learn. You can tell someone not to stand in the fire. But until they stand in it for themselves, and die, sometimes it just doesn’t sink in.
It’s an experiment. I’m optimistic that it will be a productive one.