Friday, October 22, 2010

Personal Responsibility post no. 1

I'm told that personal responsibility is something I tend to start ranting about a lot if someone gets me going, but that's because I tend to think that it's the root cause of all of society's problems. So I'll most likely return to this topic a few times.

In fact, personal responsibility is what the title of this blog is about, in case you missed it.

What got me going today is all the complaining about the current state of the game. I tired of it. People [by which I mean bloggers and forum-posters, mainly] are so focused on the extent of their perceived problems, but without actually looking for a solution.

I'm going to give you an example from Nils' MMO blog. I don't mean to pick on Nils specifically, but it's what in front of me right now.

In this post, our friend Nils talks about how overpowered his newly-rolled feral druid became at L10 when he gained Mangle and the mobs didn't survive long enough for him to get off a finishing move. He found this boring [which I'm sure I would too]. He took a good step forward in choosing higher level mobs to hit, but then decreed that having an inflated chance to miss made this no fun either. [Which I have to assume is due to his Pavlovian expectation that every button he presses should return an immediate reward and when this fails to happen it causes him disappointment and/or distress.]

What kind of boggles my mind, coming from someone I know is intelligent, is when he proposes the rhetorical question: "Now, that cannot be the designers' intent. Can it?"

No amount of sarcasm could properly answer this question derisively enough for my tastes. It implies an expectation completely disconnected from reality, and outrage at being forced to accept the imperfect reality.

This is just an example, but I'm sure there are many like it. Now I'm going to give you my own example.

Last week I tried tanking with my druid. I found that Swipe was woefully inadequate to hold AoE threat on mobs, so I started shifting out to thorns myself before every pull. I found this necessary two-global ritual quickly became very tedious to have to repeat constantly, and even with thorns I found I had to work far too hard to maintain AoE threat.

I stopped enjoying bear tanking. I don't think I'm going to go back to it until the designers make a significant change to this, or until I can get to L81 and learn Thrash.

Stopping tanking on my druid is not an ideal solution for me, but it's my only solution for not enjoying playing it. It's a solution. It's not getting mad at the designers because I expect the game to be perfect. Or continuing to do it while cursing the fact that I can't enjoy it properly. There are too many other things I can do that I will enjoy.

The game is in a weird place at the moment. I have immense faith in Blizzard to eventually balance everything, but for the moment it's all in flux. The only thing I as a player have control over is how I play it, and I only play it to enjoy it. Blizzard gives me a medium for play and it is my own responsibility to myself to enjoy it in whatever way I find. If by some strange turn of events I can't find a way to enjoy it, the solution is to stop playing.

The world* is not perfect, and it bugs me that so many people have the expectation that it should be. Regardless of who you think should be responsible for creating a perfect solution, it's only your own fault for not accepting the imperfect one purely on the grounds that there should be a perfect one.

Don't curse the darkness, light a candle.


* This also applies to any worlds which may be of Warcraft.

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