Saturday Superstar: People who are terrible in a special way

| Saturday, February 6, 2010
If your trade chat is anything like mine, it has on shortage of stories about bad players from other realms. Stories isn't the right word. Let's go with: senseless whining mixed with unfounded elitism. What inspired this post was a recent bit in trade chat and the FP from Undercity to Thorium Point.

The person was talking about a DK whose highest damage on a single target fight was blood boil. Basic knowledge of DK abilities shows that to be pretty bad. Bad DK. Bad. But the person complaining appeared to be just as bad. How so?

Well both players are to varying degrees responsible for there being a terrible DK. One player is the DK. The other player is the person who did absolutely nothing to make the DK less bad. The DK made a bad and the whiner didn't make a bad into a good; so clearly he also made a bad.

WoW is filled with bads of this sort. They're in trade chat, your guild, the blogs you read and the comments on those blogs. All manner of people who spend time complaining about 'bads' and not a moment eliminating the bads. Perhaps the problem is that they themselves are bads, but in a special way.

They can play the game, but they're social noobs. They're idiots of a sort, too stupid to see that people can be changed. Or too wrapped up in imagining their own greatness. These sort of people may not understand the concept of learning and development. Perhaps their minds are so flawed that they actually believe that they are of some superior type and that the world is clearly divided between them and the stupid and that nothing can cause a person to cross between. They are enemies. Artificial enemies, created only by their delusion. Imaginary enemies.

It's not our job to mentor others. It's likely a waste of time to attempt to teach every noob we run across. But it's worth a few seconds to plant a seed. In this case, it's something as simple as saying "blood strike does more damage on a single target than blood boil". That took me about two seconds to type, include the time I used to think of the phrasing. It's a tiny investment of time, but it's a seed and seeds are amazing things.

Seeds are tiny investments that are scattered all over and for the most part are failures, but now and then they work and a plant grows. In the analogy this plant is the next good player. A good tree throws out hundreds, thousands, uncountable seeds, and in return a few more grow. This is where forests come from, a thousand seeds, most of the failures, but just enough that over time you get a forest. This would be the community, the guilds and raids and the awesome people you run into now and then in PUGs.

Plant a seed, say something other than "you suck."

The seed is not just a small piece of advice, but also the idea that the player can improve and that improvement can be done without threat to ego. If you say that it's stupid to hold back improvement because of ego, I'll agree. If you say that you never do that, I'll call you a delusional liar who is hiding from the truth to protect your ego. Fact is, we're all human and humans are not perfect. Or anywhere close. But we're pretty good.

P.S. If you actually type out "you suck", I applaud your willingness to at least type out "you". It shows you care, even if you're still being a worthless jerk.


Eversor said...

I agree. I made it to 80 on my dk and couldn't understand why my dps was so bad when I started heroics. I was wearing almost all purples.....PvP purples. I had no idea what hit rating was. Some people will get recount and check their dps and try and figure things out and ask others and research on their own. Others are content because they had fun...they got some badges...the monsters died. Why is that gamestyle any less valid? Some goblins and other elitists would have us believe that in order to be of value you must play according to their rules. If you don't like the playstyle of the people you pug'd with, drop group. Otherwise keep negative comments to yourself. As you said, be helpful. Plant that seed. I think it's perfectly easy to casually notice something that would help them do more damage. I think if approached correctly, every player wants to do more damage or heal better. Everyone. Those that don't want to are more than likely intentionally messing with you. My guess anyway.

Klepsacovic said...

@Eversor: In the defense of the elitists, value is a matter of perspective: you may be on no value to them. However they are still being short-sighted, unable to see the potential for value and too lazy to develop it at all.

I've wondered for a while; when do people start actively thinking about how they are playing?

jeffo said...

"I've wondered for a while; when do people start actively thinking about how they are playing?"

For me it was when I actually began playing with other people more. As a solo player, it didn't really matter (except as a point of personal frustration) if I was struggling -- I'd kill that monster or finish that quest sooner or later -- but when I started trying to heal for groups, it mattered *a lot*. At that point I started to really think about what I was doing and why.

Klepsacovic said...

@jeffo: Perhaps the better question is what makes people start thinking? In your case it looks like caring about how you affect others.

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