Alternate title: Why is something so simple so complex?
Recently I was touching up the paint on a door. As I looked at the door I realized: painting doors is more complex than it would appear at first. At first glance you'd think to just put some paint on a brush, smear on door, repeat until door is the desired color.
The door appeared to have been done with this method. It looked like shit.
Instead, it is best to paint with a pattern. Do the inset portions first loading up a lot of paint and spreading it (this is faster than dabbing little bits at a time). Where it spills out of there, spread it out so it doesn't build up. Get drips and any pools in the corners and spread those. Then follow the direction of the wood. I tend to go horizontal first. That way the vertical sides can be used to redirect any overlap paint from the horizontal parts, in the correct direction.
This process is a bit slower, but it makes the paint much less chaotic in appearance and minimizes the effect of the hairs of the brush.
Who would think of this? I'd guess not many people. It's a fucking door, not a mentally engaging process. The people are not stupid, overall; though in this particular instance they might be. Instead they just don't imagine that a simple task might not be perfectly straightforward.
Could this happen in WoW as well? I suspect it does, and accounts for a lot of apparently stupid players. It's a game, how complex could it be? Once you know the steps, really not very. But who would bother to learn the steps? It's a door, it's a game; why do I need to paint in a direction or use a rotation of runes and abilities? "It's just a game!" they insist. And of course they're right.
Yet it remains that no matter their intellect or ability, their inability to imagine the improvement of mundane tasks is holding them back. And affecting others.
I care how my doors look. They're going to be in someone's house, seen every day, possibly not repainted for 1, 5, 10, 20 years. That door better look good, or I'm really fucking someone over. I get paid either way. But I feel better if I know I've done a good job and made a life ever so slightly better. Are raids all that different? It's another mundane task, a seemingly trivial one, which done poorly will negatively effect dozens of other people.
I'm not advocating min-maxing every detail of your character. Diminishing returns set in and it ceases to be worth the time spent. To return to the paint analogy, if it's a wall, there's no point at all in going right down to the cabinets. They won't be seen and the point of the paint is for appearance; unseen paint is wasted paint. Of course you can see it if you get on a ladder and look up there, but why are they looking up there? It's not worth the paint to appease the ladder people. Similarly, I'm not in favor of spending every last piece of gold on crafted gear for marginal upgrades. I did buy some expensive boots, but only because I was still in Ulduar leather boots and my DKP wasn't favorable to getting an upgrade any time soon.
Learn your paint rotation and your DPS rotation. It's worth seeing the overall effect afterward.