Tag Archives: Elitist

World of Warcraft vs. Jason R. Peters: Two playstyles enter, one game leaves.

World of Warcraft

This weekend, in a moment of weakness/boredom, I renewed my WoW account. Unfortunately, for all my love of the game (and finding questions like “We have the technology” and “We can rebuilding him” shortly after logging in reminded me of Azeroth’s immense charm), I had very little fun for the 6+ hours I stayed logged in to WoW on Friday.

 

 

It might be necessary for me to come to realize the possibility that there is NO niche in World of Warcraft for someone with my particular personality and playstyle. I don’t know for certain whether this is the case or not, but I am starting to believe that it is.

 

I’m an elitist in that I like to run with the big dogs and be the best at what I do, but I don’t like to raid constantly. Also, I’m an introvert; I can do extroverted activities like Game Mastering, leading  worship group, or giving speeches, musical performances, but being around people leaves me emotionally drained. When left to my own devices, I’d prefer to be by myself most of the day, and keep a very small/close group of friends nearby to hang out with occasionally. I’m picky (sometimes to the point of being asinine) about my time commitments and I have high standards for others as well.

 

When I say, “I’ll raid at 8:00 PM”, what I mean is that EVERYTHING ELSE IN LIFE is put on hold for the raid. My phone is turned off, I’m fed, my drinks and meds are right by the computer, Megan knows I’m unavailable for the next 4-5 hours, and I’m going to log in at 7:15 PM to get all my mats and ammo and the right pet so I can sit at the stone by 7:40 PM. If my apartment is on fire or a friend is in the hospital, (or if my router dies) then yes, “Real life happens.” But as far as my word and my commitment goes, “real life happens” is not going to stop me from keeping my commitment. I was brought up and trained and taught that if you aren’t early, you aren’t worth taking along; and that if you aren’t on time, your word is no good. As an adult, I recognize that this doesn’t make me “better” than people who don’t operate in this fashion, it’s just a difference of personality.

 

Most other people, when they say, “I’ll raid at 8:00 PM”, they mean they’ll log in at 7:55 PM, may or may not have ammo, may or may not have the right pet, may or may not have food buffs and elixirs, and don’t really care if they aren’t at the stone til 8:15 or 8:30 and are content to start an “8:00” raid as late as 9 or 10. And this is not because of real life emergencies, but just lack of planning and preparation.

 

This seems to be the majority of the WoW community.

 

This is their choice and I will never convince them to change these habits. But if I’m online an hour early and ready to roll, I am unhappy to sit around waiting for everyone else to get their collective act together. And I don’t play video games to be unhappy, I play video games to have fun. Waiting for half the raid group isn’t fun to me. An alternative method of operation is for me to be just as late to arrive and be ready as those with a more relaxed sense of duty and commitment, but when I play that way, I am unhappy with myself, and I don’t play video games to be unhappy; I play them to have fun.

 

I’m  a loner who believes in the power of personal merit. This idea is not (currently) supported in WoW. It is not possible to get the best gear by soloing, no matter how much time you put in, how skilled you are, or how intense your work ethic. ONLY by grouping with a variety of other people (whom you are bound to like and dislike) is it possible to advance to get the best stuff available. This has always been true for PvE, with Arenas and the constant nerfing of the honor system as a source of gear, they’ve made it true in PvP as well.

 

Just about the only area of WoW it’s possible to solo excel in is leveling. Every time I’ve created a new character, I’ve dazzled people on now a dozen different servers with the trail I can blaze while leveling away a new toon if I’m completely devoted to it. How many times have my friends made fun other players for having four or five level 70 toons, but all of them in green gear? But that’s honestly how I would prefer to play. Not that I mind having good gear, but I’d prefer to do it in a way that involved personal – not group – merit; I’m a capitalist, not a socialist. So in a way I envied Stoney his multi-level 70s (which I’ve had in total, but strung across different factions/servers/accounts, never all in one place).

 

PvP was the only thing to do AT 60 and AT 70 that I could do by myself and still excel and advance via effort and skill and patience. That’s gone. The best pvp gear is now available – and faster – by raiding. To PvP effectively, I have to raid constantly, and I have no desire to raid constantly. Furthermore, even the BEST pvp gear is now completely second-rate compared to the PvE gear available based on the way Resilience was calculated into Item Level starting with patch 3.0. This was not the case in BC days; when I got my Kara PvE gear, it was mostly side-grades from the PvP gear I already had, and eventually I was able to get even better PvP gear still.

 

Besides merit, the other thing I enjoyed about PvP was it fit my schedule. If I had 5 minutes or 12 hours, I could PvP as much or as little as I wanted. In PvE, that applies only to farming. Even REP GRINDING now requires you to run dungeons for some of the major reps that exist.

 

My Personality

WoW Community

Arrive early.

Arrive on time.

Start on time.

Start whenever.

Personal merit.

Group cooperation and achievement.

Introvert

Need group to accomplish anything or advance.

Keep to myself.

Chat it up on Vent

Competitive

The only way to advance is in large groups; since I’m a loner I am always behind.

Raid once in a blue moon

Raid several times per week

Play in short segments

Play in huge sweeping sessions of 6+ hours

Prefer to work in pairs or threes at most

Smallest group is 5, largest is 25

Play a part time game

Play 24/7 when not working/sleeping

 

The more I look at it, the more it just seems like there isn’t anything there for my personality. I think this is why I get:

·         Frustrated

o   Almost NOTHING happens the way I hope it will; that’s a hard way to live in ANY community.

·         Bored

o   All the ways which would be “fun” to me give you nothing meaningful in the game, and/or nobody else feels the same.

·         Exhausted

o   I recharge my “how good I feel” batteries by solitary activities; reading, writing, painting, music. When I’m in a group of 5, I feel my batteries slowly draining away. They drain away twice as fast if I’m on Vent, even if I’m not “grouped” in game (because it has the same emotional effect on me as grouping, but without the in game rewards).

·         Drained

o   When I’m bored, frustrated, and not having fun, WoW suddenly becomes even harder “work” to me than my REAL job. When heroics take two hours, I dread going on one. When raids never start on time, I hate them even more than I already did. When accomplishing ANYTHING requires me to be social for hours at a time, I start to hate all related goals; heroics, raids, arenas, even battlegrounds when we had enough people on the same Vent channel stopped being any fun for me. WoW becomes like a second job not just due to the time commitment, but due to the fact that I have more fun at work than I do in the game.

§  Ouch?

·         That’s not why I play video games, fo’shizzle.

 

 

The more I think about it and look at it and analyze it, the more it seems like WoW isn’t right for me or I’m not right for it. This isn’t anyone’s fault but mine, but the deeper into WoW (the way it is now) I get, the less fun I’m having.

 

I was sucked into the game by methods and goals which DO fit my playstyle; leveling, playing the market, learning tradeskills, finding short-term groups of 2 or 3 people for 20 to 30 minutes to do an outdoor group quest, and otherwise exploring a big wide world by myself, with my wife, or with a best friend. Not in huge conglomerates of people necessary to take down a ginormous dragon/demon in a world where you must group to advance, and spend a minimum of an hour online (assuming everyone starts on time) to accomplish even the smallest of goals (like a single heroic).

 

What do I want to accomplish in WoW? I have no idea whatsoever. What is there left for someone like me TO accomplish?