Saturday, June 6, 2009

Casuals and "casuals"

According to Webster, the word casual means something "without plan" or "Occurring or appearing or singled out by chance". In gaming it was originally (and officially still) used for players who don't plan their gaming sessions, play when they feel like.

WoW is a casual friendly game, as the world is persistent, you don't miss out on anything if you don't login, and also the content (quests, monsters, dungeons, battlegrounds) are available anytime you log in.

It's neither "wrong", nor "harmful to the community" to be casual. If someone logs in only at the weekend to level his main from 77.1 to 77.3, he harms no one. If he puts the herbs he picked during this insane XP-marathon, he harms no one but himself with the ridiculous pricing. No harm done, easy AH targets and lot of $15 for the development of the game we play much more than them. We should love casuals.

We don't. The reason is a politically correct term.
"politically correct term" is a politically correct term for "lie".
The word "casual" nowadays does not mean casual.
The word "casual" means "someone who plays a lot but suck in it terribly".

The reason for such lies is emotional self-image defense. Except for a few of us, we are not excellent in this game or in anything else. Most of us are not bad either. Most of my commeters have killed this or that in Ulduar (or at least claim so). Most of the bloggers killed lot of things in Ulduar. It's not a small thing. According to wowprogress, only 25% of the players have killed XT-002. If you did, you are in the top quarter.

However being in the top quarter is not good enough for most people. They want to be in the very top. Too bad that they are not good enough for that. I am not good enough for that. Last raid I was benched because the guild was trying on XT-hardmode and I have no DPS spec and gear to kill the heart in time. I'm fine with that. Most people are not.

So they set up the lie that "gaming success depends mostly on gaming time". By this lie, me, with only 2/4 keepers is not worse than those who killed Yogg, just have "less time".

It's a lie. I did not killed Hodir because I got frozen, and not because I lack free time.

The most negative effect of self-image defending lies is that they affect the way we see other things than ourselves. From the lie "I did not have Mimiron hard mode because I can't play that much" comes the lie "those who can't get out of the fire and do less damage than the tank, have even less time than me".

This lie is the reason why the M&S gets support. To acknowledge "M&S is lazier/dumber than me" one has to also acknowledge "I'm lazier/dumber than the guys who killed Yogg". For me, who believes in numbers it's not hard to do. I look at the charts and say, "hey, 85% is behind me and only 15% before me, so I'm fine". For a social person who compares himself to (a mostly imaginary) peer group it does not work. He sees a guy in Dalaran with ilvl 239 stuff, and feels bad. The idea that "he plays better than me" in unbearable. So comes the lie "he plays unhealthy more than me".

By this lie, the "casual" is called to existance. The social helps him and does not call him M&S, because he wants the "more HC" to help him and not call him M&S. The circle is now complete, no one is responsible for his actions, all results are function of "play time", which is out of our control.

Of course the reality is a stubborn thing, so slowly the "casuals" (and via that, unfortunately the real casuals and beginners) are viewed as "useless scum who make PuGs terrible". The casual vs HC opposition is formed to ravage the forums, the trade and general chats.

The solution is always in numbers. They are unbiased and free from all ape subroutines. I killed more things in Ulduar than 85% of the players and less than 15%. That's a fact. I got 1 flame wave on my last ten Sarth visits (that was long ago). I've never blown off others as light or gravity bomb. I got frozen 3 times out of 8 tries on Hodir hard. These are numbers, facts, measuring my performance.

There will always be people who do things better than me. Not "have more time", or "luckier", or "had chance" or such nonsense. Better. And there will always be people who are worse than me.

As long as the first group is much smaller than the second, I'm fine. From my ability to call those who are better "better", comes my ability to call the M&S "M&S".

34 comments:

gmacbank said...

your thesis doesn't really reflect the facts at all.

Play time does certainly have an effect on a player ability within a game. the old adage is certainly true that practise makes perfect.

More time spent on any activity, improves performance, spatial awareness, understanding of surroundings, what one does and doesn't need to focus on and a whole ream of other aspects.

Your theory doesn't take into account player motivation or interest levels, physical ability or mental aptitude.

Suer if we were all very similar, playing on the same equipment and on the same connections then maybe your theory might hold water...but unfortunately like most things in life it is not as black and white as you put it, but many shades of grey...

certainly some players will need less or no play time to perform well in a certain situation due to their natural abilities, whilst others might need considerably longer to get to a similar place.

when you factor in 9 or 14 other people with all the technical, physical and emotional variables and the small RNG factor. Then you can expect that practise and familiarity with an encounter, clear understanding of roles and team strategy will all count for a lot.

If you have only a small amount of time to devote to an activity, whilst in comparison another person has considerably more, then naturally there will be a large difference in performance, even in a virtual game enviornment.

Molinu said...

@gmacbank: You are making excuses.

Play time does have an effect, but it fails to explain why people who play less can perform better than players who play more. Spending an hour getting hit by lava waves is not practice - it's just stupid.

My guild used to wipe repeatedly on Sarth + 2 because one of our healers could not stay out of the void zones. It didn't matter how much 'practice' or 'play time' we spent - every time, the healer would eat a void zone and we would wipe when the tank no longer had enough heals. This healer had, if anything, MORE practice than the rest of us because healers always got to come to a raid while dps sometimes had to sit out.

When we hit Ulduar, we managed to recruit some new healers. The void-zone eater is now our last resort and only gets to come if no other healers are on. We've made very good progress without that player.

There comes a point when politeness and political correctness must step aside in favor of measurable performance.

Anonymous said...

Your logic fails in one important area.

The fact that a players ability can dictate how much he can achieve does not disprove that a players playtime can also dictate what he can achieve.

The two (play time and play skill) are not mutually exclusive.

I am a DK tank. My guild is ranked 7th on the server. We have killed everything in 10 man Uldar but Yogg, and Everything in 25 man but Yogg and General. I have been OT or MT on every fight.

While it is true that we have not down yogg due to our skill, it is also true that my character would be more progressed if I could play more. More play time would mean more badges, more raids (Sarth 3d every week, etc etc), would mean better gear, which does give a player an edge vs any encounter.

Time IS a limiting factor in any MMO. They are designed that way. Skill is also a limiting factor. They are also designed that way.

Thunderhorns said...

Class choice and gear has alot to do with DPS. But at the same time, you definitely notice the people who take no time to research how to be good at what they do. But gear and class mastery come with time, so at the end of the day you should still be able to be a top guy if you take the time to learn your class. Considering the amount of resources out there to show you how to be the best at your class, there is no excuse for being a poor player other than laziness and/or stupidity.

One nice thing about WoW is that it is a true meritocracy. Everyone starts off the same and rises based on own their own merits be it dedication, intelligence, skill, social ability, or any of the various traits that help you succeed in WoW.

And one truth shines just as it does in real life, and that is that dedication is the number one trait to success. It may take some players or guilds longer to do the same thing, but ultimately it comes down to the overall players level of dedication as to whether they will succeed at whatever goal they undertake whether it is to be a top DPSer, have great gear, make a lot of money, or accumulate the most achievement points.

Most people don't want to dedicate to a video game. That is understandable and even wise as it shows they have more sensible priorities. But they shouldn't expect the same level of success as those players willing to dedicate hours to the game to attain the highest level of WoW success.

If only more people in real life could admit that they lack the dedication to have even moderate success, rather that claiming some artificial barrier like race, poverty, or gender is standing in their way. Not everyone needs to be Bill Gates or some super successful person, but moderate success is obtainable by all. If only the world would be a more honest about why people are poor, unhealthy, and unsuccessful, it would be a better place and we could actually improve rather than wallow in the false idea of why a person ends up poor or unsuccessful.

Thunderhorns said...

Playtime affects how fast they achieve, but not how much they achieve. Even a person that plays only a few hours a week can obtain good gear and learn their class, especially given how easy it is to obtain good gear now.

Sure, you won't be the top DPSer, but you can certainly be a competent player that does well on raids and in heroic groups without playing umpteen hours. You just have to plan your time well and focus on gearing up in an efficient manner with your time.

There are plenty of PUG raids occurring all the time. You can hop in PUG raids now and again to get some gear.

Sven said...

The problem here lies with generalisations. It's true that there are some people who fail because they will never learn, but it's also true that some people fail because they haven't got the hang of an encounter yet. I know I've got better as a raid healer as time goes on (e.g. getting the timing right for multiple lifeblooms on Loatheb to maximise the healing done in that brief window). That process has been slower than it would be for someone of equal ability who raided more often, because I simply get less practice per week, although I got the same amount per raid.

What's wrong here is using the word "casual" to lump both classes of player together: those who play less often and those who play a lot but are are dumb. They may learn at the same rate per week, but the learning per raid is much greater in the former case. This difference matters because the former will keep up with his fellow casual raiders as they progress (although they as a whole will progress slowly), whereas the latter will gradually fall behind and become a burden, no matter what rate they raid at).

Anonymous said...

For all those people who claim "If I only had more time, I would've killed General or Yogg by now", etc.

Hey, guess what? My guild raids twice a week for 4 hrs each night (never more) and we downed Yogg-25 on the 2nd week. For nearly all of 3.0, we raided one night a week and cleared all 25-man content in the game. We also finished all 10-man hard modes in one night (except Mimiron, Vezax and Algalon) so far. And no, we did not spend even a second on the PTR.

Gevlon is exactly right. Skill means much more than time invested. This is why all of the top guilds have such stringent recruitment standards, because they understand that quality > quantity.

Sure, time does make a little difference, but anyone who claims that it's the deciding factor in progression is just deluding themselves.

Sven said...

"Hey, guess what? My guild raids twice a week for 4 hrs each night (never more) and we downed Yogg-25 on the 2nd week."

We raid for about 1/3 of that (roughly 4h every 10 days). WOTLK has been out for about 6 months. Where were you in your raid progression 4 months ago?

Time does matter, *a lot*. It's just that skill matters too. You only progress quickly if you have both. If you lack time, but have skill you progress slowly. If you lack skill, you don't progress at all.

Anonymous said...

So, does that mean that when all the pro guilds who call themselves 'hardcore raiders' start to farm content in one night, they become casuals?

Guerron said...

Time played is not equal time practised. You can spend 4 hours chatting, doing dailies or piss-easy 5mans OR you could practice for example your dps-rotation or read stuff on EJ's. Point is that the skill-argument is only for the here beloved 'M&S', because it means talent. In the sense of 'I can do something because of my innate abilities, I dont have to practice'. If you think everone has an innate amount of skill which is is only marinally affected by practise, then it only an excuse not to practise...
Next excuse is 'oh im not the best but I do reasonably well'. Yeah 80% of the people belive they are better than the average ...

Ranjurm said...

You don't begin to take into account the time spent outside the the game. A person who plays little in game but reads up on fights and strategies is likely to out preform someone how doesn't but spends several times more time on their game play. And there is the quality of the external resource to consider. 100 hours on wowhead's forum or thottbot's will pale in comparison to 1 hour on EJ.

I suspect you would find a much more accurate picture if you applied the term casual based upon the time a player spent reading on their role on external resources rather than their ingame play time.

Anonymous said...

I always thought casuals were people who didn't raid or raided once in a blue moon.

Play time does have an effect since guilds will more than likely take a person on a raid who comes every day rather than someone who doesn't log in much.

As for people who read up on tactics , whats the point? My guild don't use tactics they try the encounter and learn for themselves. They'll never be a top guild but they're playing the game their way rather than the way someone else says they should.

If people are enjoying themselves then what matters?

phoenixboy said...

You know, im sure that if you ask to many raiding guilds they just log at 7, do their thing and log off (oh and expend a couple hours/week making money for reapirs/flasks/enchants).

The statistics show that the hardcore raiders expend less time logged on than the "casuals". And a problem with that is that "casuals" believe that they are better jsut because they are logged more time.

Newsflash: Playing lots of easy content doesnt make you better, makes you addicted.

Theres dismishing returns between time played and skill, especially if in that time you just goof around/do dailies/whatever.

Sven said...

"The statistics show that the hardcore raiders expend less time logged on than the "casuals". "


That's interesting. Do you have a link to that evidence?

Entropy said...

Much of this game is specifically designed to be a time-sink, so arguments that time has no effect seem a bit silly.

Time is more that what one spends on raids, however. Chances are, somewhere along the line to get to that point, one had to grind different reps, level tradeskills, farm etc. to aid or support progression. I did a lot of that back in classic WoW days when making flasks required a trip to a dungeon.

I've spent a fair amount of time raiding in this game and I am a "casual," but no by your definition. For me, "time" is not so much a limitation as "schedule" is. Wow is low on my list of priorities and I also have a wife and two kids. If my wife wants to watch a movie with me, or have some nookie on raid night, or if one of my kids wake up with a nighmare at the beginning of a boss fight - well, guess what - my wife and kids are gonna take priority. I don't have, nor do I really want, the luxury of being able to focus 100% on the game during set and prescheduled periods of time.

So that's why I choose not to spend a lot of my playtime raiding. It's also why I play on a laptop, so I can sit and play next to my wife while she reads a book or watches TV. My "scheduled time" is limited, my playtime is not. I choose my priorities differently than a "hardcore." I suppose to most raiders that makes me a casual. I personally could care less because I enjoy the game on my own terms and that's all that matters to me.

Snill said...

One disagreement. There are two kinds of casuals. There are the casuals who have jobs, families and a limited amount of playtime, but are still quite good. Those are people like me, who have killed mimron, and who will clear Ulduar with their guilds, but can't or won't raid 5 nights a week.

Then there are the "casuals" who really are renamed "bads." They'll clear Ulduar eventually as well, but by tagging along with guilds or pugs that can carry them through the content.

The third kind of player is the one who DOES play so much that it's unhealthy. Those are the players that are always on. You log on, they're on already. When you log off, they're still on. They raid 5-6 nights a week, and farm or work on alts on the 7th day. They haven't had a date or girlfriend in years, and all of their friends either play the game or are online friends.

We Fly Spitfires said...

I'll rephrase my earlier point as my previous comment got deleted (sorry, Gevlon, I was too overzealous!).

There is no such thing as casual or hardcore. Firstly because there is no way to clearly define each concept and secondly, most importantly, they always result in the same thing.

It's the fundamental problem with MMORPGs, there is very little skill required in anything players do. Ultimately any player can achieve anything by inputting enough time into the game. It doesn't matter if it takes a player 1 month or 1 year to hit max level and complete the top tier raids, the end outcome is always same.

The connotation of hardcore simply stems from the involvement of time which has been used to create the illusion of challenge.

The flaw in Gevlon's argument is that he uses the word 'better' without being able to define it. I guarantee any defintion of it will involve progression by time.

Anonymous said...

"It's the fundamental problem with MMORPGs, there is very little skill required in anything players do. Ultimately any player can achieve anything by inputting enough time into the game. It doesn't matter if it takes a player 1 month or 1 year to hit max level and complete the top tier raids, the end outcome is always same."

Please explain to me how someone will ever reach Gladiator title in PvP by simply putting in time or how someone will down Algalon or Sartharion 3D without getting into a capable guild.

Anonymous said...

"We raid for about 1/3 of that (roughly 4h every 10 days). WOTLK has been out for about 6 months. Where were you in your raid progression 4 months ago?"
I can only assume that your guild has not entered Ulduar yet. About 5 months ago, we cleared Naxx-25, Sarth3D-25, Malygos-25 all in one night in about 3 1/2 hours on average, once a week (and I have the WWS parses to prove it). So we raided just as much as you, but 90% of the guild just logged on for the raid day then went offline mostly for the rest of the week.

No one farms in our guild EVER, because all raiding consumables are provided by the guild bank. We pay for these consumables by selling all BoE purples on the AH.

Reading EJ and boss strategies does not require any significant amount of time investment. Maybe a few minutes per boss? The only relevant EJ pages are the first post of your class/spec, and that's about it.

We've only moved up to a 2-days/week schedule due to the release of Ulduar content, but once we have everything on farm, we will surely be moving back to 1-day/week.

Anonymous said...

And "practicing" DPS rotations? I have never touched a target dummy in a major city, except maybe on the day it was released to check it out. There is plenty of time to perfect these rotations by using them ON a raid boss.

I wonder what other mythical time sinks people will think up now for raiding.

Anonymous said...

"The statistics show that the hardcore raiders expend less time logged on than the "casuals". "

I can't believe that. Everyone has more important things in their RL to do , University , Work , School , partner , kids etc. All casuals aren't the unemployed members of society who have nothing better to do and all hardcore raiders arent busy workers so it must be 50 /50. I know plenty of Hardcore raiders who never seem to log off.

"Reading EJ and boss strategies does not require any significant amount of time investment. Maybe a few minutes per boss? The only relevant EJ pages are the first post of your class/spec, and that's about it."

Seriously why do you need to read some theorycrafting to know how to kill a boss or pick your spec so you can be just another clone?

Where's the fun in that? Can't you use your brain? It should be pretty evident to work out what talents are useful / useless for PvE/P so why do you need someone to tell you what to do?. I find it quite annoying seeing alot of applications to guilds that ask " why did you pick this spec?" and they answer because it's the best spec according to EJ.

It's so sad that people don't know how to experiment these days by themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Where's the fun in that? Can't you use your brain? It should be pretty evident to work out what talents are useful / useless for PvE/P so why do you need someone to tell you what to do?. I find it quite annoying seeing alot of applications to guilds that ask " why did you pick this spec?" and they answer because it's the best spec according to EJ."

Why do you read a calculus textbook just so someone else can tell you what to do? Where's the fun in that? Can't you just use your brain to figure out how to do everything your own?

Why do we peruse EJ? It's because most of the time, they are correct. There is indeed one spec that indeed results in a higher DPS output than another, because the WoW mechanics are all based on math.

Let me tell you what is NOT fun though. Spending a night wiping on a raid boss due to sub-par raid DPS/healing or people dying because they don't get out of the fire.

Some guilds pride themselves in efficiency and the progression that comes hand in hand with that. Being the best that we can be IS fun for us.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

Actually, any one making a comparative arguement, including Gevlon, here is pretty much just stroking the epeen...why? Because you are comparing yourself to others. That is, by definition, about the most socially oriented thing you can do.

If you are going to reject the social style of play,etc... then you must also reject the reflexive self-comparison to others. You must only measure yourself against your own goals. The minute you start to measure yourself against others you rejoin social gaming.

And, if you are going to be "all about the numbers," your goals should all be purely quantifiable. BTW...the numbers themselves may not lie, but people use the numbers to lie all the time.

Anonymous said...

"Why do you read a calculus textbook just so someone else can tell you what to do? Where's the fun in that? Can't you just use your brain to figure out how to do everything your own?"

Hmm I'm not sure if you've noticed but maths books give you an example then tell you to work out other answers for yourself. EJ gives you something that they say is correct and then every person blindly sees it as truth.



"Let me tell you what is NOT fun though. Spending a night wiping on a raid boss due to sub-par raid DPS/healing or people dying because they don't get out of the fire."

I'm not genius but if I burn myself I try not to do it again. I could read that in a book but it's much more memorable if it actually happens. As you seem to go towards DPS / healing I'm guessing you're a tank.

Omestes said...

You forget something here...

Some people could care less about raiding, or having better gear than someone else.

WoW has many facets. Some people want to amass money, and devote their time to that. Some people want to collect achievements and titles. Some people just want to log on to chat with their friends.

This is fine. To judge everyone against raiders is rather unfair. Some people find a problem with taking a game serious, or making it into a second job (or an obligation). Some balanced people have a hard time caring if their pixels are more epic than other peoples, or visa versa.

There is probably 11 Million play styles on WoW, complete with different goals and measures of achievement.

When I do hop into a pug raid, I generally do very well. But I still don't do it often, and thus am not as geared. I have the time and skill to do it, I just don't have the motivation. I have a hard time taking orders, or having a solid schedule in a silly game.

Yes, I missed that raid because my friends came over and we decided to go to the pub. Yes, I missed that other raid because my cat looked like he needed some attention. And that raid, I missed because I'm reading a good book.

Thunderhorns said...

[i]For all those people who claim "If I only had more time, I would've killed General or Yogg by now", etc.

Hey, guess what? My guild raids twice a week for 4 hrs each night (never more) and we downed Yogg-25 on the 2nd week. For nearly all of 3.0, we raided one night a week and cleared all 25-man content in the game. We also finished all 10-man hard modes in one night (except Mimiron, Vezax and Algalon) so far. And no, we did not spend even a second on the PTR.

Gevlon is exactly right. Skill means much more than time invested. This is why all of the top guilds have such stringent recruitment standards, because they understand that quality > quantity.

Sure, time does make a little difference, but anyone who claims that it's the deciding factor in progression is just deluding themselves.[/i]

Are you part of Ensidia or Vodka or one of the very top raiding guilds on any server?

Name your guild and will check when you cleared and if it only took you 16 non-continous hours like you claim. Remember, you can check when a guild down Yogg 25, so claims like the above can be validated or invalidated.

Personally, I doubt your guild killed Yogg-Saron week two with roughly 16 hours of time in. I seriously doubt it.

You'd have to have been one of the top five guilds in the entire game to have done that. And to be honest, I'm not sure they did it that quick.

So name your guild, let's see if you're telling the truth. Why post anonymous? Why not post your name if your from a guild that good and your that good a player?

I don't believe you personally.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you check your facts again? Actually, 64 guilds world-wide killed Yogg-25 by the fourth day of 3.1 release, and this was with the crippling lag and disconnects plaguing almost every server making the game practically unplayable. By the end of the second week, over 500 guilds had downed him.

I won't name my guild, but we are #2 on our server on one of the top 20 US servers. You can believe whatever you want.

Sven said...

"I can only assume that your guild has not entered Ulduar yet. About 5 months ago, we cleared Naxx-25, Sarth3D-25, Malygos-25 all in one night in about 3 1/2 hours on average, once a week (and I have the WWS parses to prove it)."
Well that is impressive. Only 5 guilds on my server had achieved a Malygos-25 kill by then, let alone be able to do it all in one night. Congratulations.

One said...

"Seriously why do you need to read some theorycrafting to know how to kill a boss or pick your spec so you can be just another clone?"

Well you don't need to, as long as your performance is still good enough.
But people which are to dumb/lazy to figure out there best specc/rotation for themselfes but still want to be able to use the full potential of there class will do, whats bad about that?

"Hmm I'm not sure if you've noticed but maths books give you an example then tell you to work out other answers for yourself. EJ gives you something that they say is correct and then every person blindly sees it as truth."

Well, EJ also tells you how to figure the things out, and if you really want you can do it yourself after each patch, spending a few hours at dummys gathering data and evaluating it.

Usually the stuff on ej IS the truth.
And if they are wrong and you can prove it, i'm shure they will admit that they were wrong.

Thunderhorns said...

Why don't you check your facts again? Actually, 64 guilds world-wide killed Yogg-25 by the fourth day of 3.1 release, and this was with the crippling lag and disconnects plaguing almost every server making the game practically unplayable. By the end of the second week, over 500 guilds had downed him.

I won't name my guild, but we are #2 on our server on one of the top 20 US servers. You can believe whatever you want.


I know they did. It was probably 4 days straight of 5 hour plus raiding. Not a lousy 16 hours in two 4 hour raids a week. Alot of the guilds that cleared out Ulduar in the first week played like maniacs.

You make it sound like your guild played their usual raid week and did it. Like I said, I seriously doubt that.

You sound like another of those big talkers you hear in trade chat all the time that like to stretch the truth to make themselvse feel like a big man. So I will believe what I want and I don't believe you did it in your usual two four raid periods or 16 hours for a full clear of Ulduar. I don't believe that at all.

Melthu said...

"politically correct term" is a politically correct term for "lie".

I don't know where you come up with this stuff Gevlon, but it's golden.

Gibbiex said...

This topic is not new. From my perspective of two years of raiding, time == skill == loot.

Here is my experience. I first started raiding in a bad guild; poor time management being the major issues. We would take 20 hours or more to clear kara. I got fed up, transfered server, ended up with a good guild. We did 3 hour kara clears, and moved up rapidly. We were quite good and got a few server firsts. But we had raid schedules, 4 hours of raiding, 3x a week. Plus farming to get consumables and so forth. Plus doing fun stuff. I was spending 20 hours a week just raiding. Yes i had titles such as Hand of Adal, and great gear.

In Wraith, pretty much the same deal, 3x4 hrs per week. I gave up due to the time constrants. This was a 'casual' (meaning light) raiding guild, but they often did 10 mans and so forth. Bottom line, any raiding guild that does raiding does it 3 or 4 days a week, at least 12 hours a week if not more.

In the guild I am GL of, we raid for 4 hours a week total. We still have yet to clear naxx and probably never will. We just dont care about raiding that much. For people in this guild, its very hard to get good gear, the only way is to PUG 25man naxx or something like that. You don't be in that guild and expect good gear or to do ulduar.

My wife used to play with me sometimes, and we would try 5 mans. She would suck pretty hard. She is suma cum laude from high school, undergrad, and grad school. She is board certified. She is a fucking genius. Yet I am far more skilled in this game because I play it 100x more than her. Intelligence is a factor but it's really about time and effort.

My advice is to stop worrying about what other people are doing, and focus on you. Are you having fun? Do you have the (insane) time commitment to raid?

All the b.s. provided by raiders is just b.s. Know that you will spend at least 20 hours a week raiding if you are going to stay in that kind of guild. Maybe they have secret issues because they play the game way too much (I know i did and sometimes still do).

Gibbiex said...

@Sven

I also call shinanigans

We (Indecisive - Ghostlands) were/are one of the top guilds on server. 5 months ago we were just switching to one night full clears of naxx25. We were still learning maly. This is a guild that got many of the server first leveling achievements (certainly not me). I imagine it would have taken us about 7 hours to do all 3 raid dungeons, and we're pretty damn good. (5 mo ago - this is around the time i stopped playing).

Anyway now that you've stroked your epeen, does anyone really care? Stop to think if these achievements are in any way important to anyone beside yourself. Nobody will give you a job based on 4 hour naxx clears. Trust me, nobody cares. Go outside.

Hagu said...

Yes, about half of any group is below average (well the median anyway) whether it is WoW players or billionaires. If Blizzard cancelled the worst performing 11.4 million raiders of the 11.5 million subscribers, then only 10,000 of the remaining 100,000 would be in the top 10%. This is the trap of comparing yourself to others.

In WoW, there are hundreds of skills that go into success; whether it is how will you can twitch out of the colored circle on the ground, research a talent build, to even showing up on time or not being so obnoxious that people cheer when you are gkicked. I.e. the more "skilled" player may not be the "better" - i.e. more valuable to the guild - player. E.g., they can't/won't attend reliably, whether due RL commitments or just not choosing to. And at a certain level of play, using a $300 laptop on Vista with a firewall on dialup is a big handicap even for a more "skilled." So who would be perceived as the more "skilled player", the one with the talents but who performs worse due to computer, network and a sick child in the next room?

Success is also very subjective and you seem to project your definition of success onto others. If someone never sets foot inside Ulduar, but has the 0.5% PvP mount, are they a failure? No Ulduar but they have all the gonzo achievements like The Insane, 100 pets, 75 mounts, and they enjoy that, then aren't they successful? What about someone who only competes on the ultimate level PvP field, the AH? What about someone whose RP toon never leaves Goldshire, but they really enjoy their time there [although hopefully only with other consenting adults]?

The same principles apply in life (which is successful: a rich loner CEO or a manual laborer with a great family? Someone with an intelligent, ugly wife of 30 years or someone had 6 wives, all blonde, beautiful, stupid and under 30? - YMMV ) Someone who sees a movie genre you do not like is not a failure, they just have different tastes than you. "Follow your bliss" seems even more logical for discretionary entertainment that serves not other function than to please you.

Nor is it an accident that there is not a single metric of success - some number that allows you to rate players. This is a for-profit business; they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make money. Look at the recent $20-for-a-murloc tournament. Everyone was 80 and got to choose their class and gear so nothing was OP, you could merely choose poorly. You ended up with a single unambiguous 4-digit number. Any game vendor could do this; no spending $15/month to level, work on gear or rep or professions; just avoid all that income, jump in and get graded. Now say you generated this #### for all of the players? How many of the bottom half ( two-thirds I bet) would pay $15/month to be told they are below average? Next month, the bottom half of the remaining player would lose interest. So a really great game; one that did a good job of providing feedback as to performance could easily cost the shareholders over a billion dollars!

And what about someone who has worse skills than you - say they died in the voids, circles, flame walls twice as much as you. Except for whatever reason they had the skill to find 24 more skilled players than you did and got the final achievement. Are they more skilled than you? Or do you rationalize it to yourself by calling them "an observed winner" since they achieved the final goal not in the way you thought they should?

Faecious P.S.: If someone created a Humbling-Of-Indra toon and derived great mirth from raiding with the pretentious and wiping, then couldn't they feel they have successfully spent their $15 entertainment?

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