The Gray Place

Do That Jerk-Uh, Watch Me Work Ya’ll

Posted in Gaming, General Me, Raid Leading, WoW by mrfenris on July 7, 2010

I can be a jerk sometimes.  My wife would attest to that.  My family would attest to that.  My friends would attest to that.  Peoples of the Internets probably can attest to that.  In fact the PotI (Peoples of the Internets, which includes guildies) probably think I’m snippier or grouchier then I really am.  I admittedly don’t translate well “into” text.  In the real life I talk with my hands, laugh all the time at improper things, tell old stories, and approach everything with a healthy dose of honesty and sadistic sense of humor.

Those last two are the only thing about me that translates “into” text and when they do, they usually translate poorly (naturally) and get me called a jerk.

I think I was over at Matticus’s titty and reading one of his tittiers post about leadership.  Now I’m paraphrasing very poorly here (and I’m too lazy to link it, if you want to read it go look it up yourself you slug) but it was basically their experience that not every player could improve past a certain point.  They each had a max playing threshold and no matter what was tried they could not pass it.  (If I screwed that up, I’m sorry but hey it’s the internet, deal.)

My knee jerk reaction was to dismiss this since I’m “one of those people” who think that through suffering and martyrdom you can always become a better person/player.  It was instilled to me at a young age, that unless you somehow suffered and endured you could not be any “better”.  Muscles break down and rebuild stronger, scars heal (even the mental ones if you shove them away enough and poor booze and isolation on top of them), and if things weren’t hard then they weren’t worth doing.  Yes I am being melodramatic on purpose, but I come from two families who pride themselves on suffering, fighting, and enduring albeit they’re completely isolated beings who have, generation after generation, hung themselves in the family windmill or tied up family members in box cars and horse-whipped them for family “justice”.  Thank you Mom and Dad, story time was always so much fun when I was a kid.

But I started thinking about it.  I suppose it does make a little sense.  We humans have limitations.  Not all of them are equal.  Likewise we have different motivations to make us push past those limitations.  Or not.  Some people are content to log in and give something a few shots to avoid doing the dishes or get their mind off real life for a while.  Some folks are motivated by the fact that they haven’t done a boss yet or that the encounter itself is challenging.

Why should I be surprised that someone’s best is really their best when stand in the fire?  Maybe they really are doing everything they can to play their character and move out of that fire but have just reached their limitation.  They WANT to be better, but they can’t seem to get past the fact that they have to play their character AND move at the same time.  Not everyone makes a mistake and grits their teeth and makes sure it never happens again.  (Oh and before you jackals start, I’m not a perfect player.  I’m not soapboxing.  Save your snark and go suck your Ego’s cock somewhere else.  There’s only one Ego allowed to suck it’s own yonk around here and it’s mine.)  So when I used to sit there as a raid leader and pull what little hair I have left out, snarl, snap, and clench my teeth because people were making the same mistake over and over and swearing they were trying their best, maybe they really were.

So if that’s true does that point out my failure in my approach when I was raid leading?  I never wanted to mark one player so the rest could follow them around blindly because I wanted them to be aware of their surroundings.  I wanted them to anticipate encounter mechanics and adjust accordingly, so I didn’t use call outs or warnings.  I tried to teach them HOW the encounter worked instead of saying “just do X”, because I wanted them to be able to apply it to other encounters.  I always thought that by teaching them the hows and whys they’d automatically adapt and grow as players, because that’s what I tend to do.

Maybe instead I was hurting us by not doing some of the things I could have to cut some corners and make things easier on us.  Maybe I was getting some people’s best.  I brought this quandary up in vent last night after our raid and I’m sure I sounded like a jerk.  It sounds fairly “elitist”.

Maybe some people’s best is not as good as other people’s.
Maybe they can’t help it.

Admittedly I’m twisting the original post a bit.  And part of me thinks it sounds like a cop-out. Maybe it’s not that we all have a playing ability limitation, it’s that we have a motivational limitation.  It’s our motivations that push us past the glass ceiling of our playing limitations.  They are the driving force in making us get better.

I thought their article was a good read and I like wrinkling up my forehead now and then I wondering if I did the right thing.


3 Responses

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  1. Jenn said, on July 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Three months ago, if you asked anyone who knew me very very well if I would ever quit smoking, they would all laugh and answer no. If you had asked me I would have told you that quitters never win fool!

    Then suddenly I found out I was pregnant. That was motivation beyond anything I had experienced before. I didn’t want to quit. I LIKE smoking, I miss it, but I did quit. Due to an overwhelming motivator.

    Does this mean that given the right motivators we can improve/change? I dunno. This is just one example, and very different from the motivators you’ll experience in a video game. But for your mulling over pleasure, I present to you the belief that the right motivator, in the right circumstance, can overcome what would typically be a person’s improvement/learning threshold.

    Now I must eat cake.

  2. Doug said, on July 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I can get out of the fire, and can kill like the best in BG, but dang the magic that happens in arena at a high level. Yeah, you’re a big fish in your pond, but there are ponds where you’re a little fish. Show some compassion, life is short. 🙂

    • mrfenris said, on July 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

      Brother-man Doug,

      I have no idea what your talking about.

      But I know I’m not the biggest fish in my pond.

      In fact if my server was a pond, it would be “that” pond that has a chemical factory dumping splooge into it that mutates all the fish and makes then retarded and grow an extra penis in their forehead.

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