Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Damion Shubert made me doubt myself

Massively(dotcom) did a fantastic piece on Sw:ToR and how they think about their player base. In particularly on the "loner" gamers.
This is another fantastic piece, that both of my SW:ToR beacons wrote about (Darthhater and AskaJedi ) and I won't really go into detail about the piece in itself. But rather go into a couple of the stereotypes that Mr. Shubert presents, and what they made me think about how I game. Specifically he mentions the "The introvert" and the "unworthy" and the "adrift" (go read the article please, its good and well worth the read and explains these a lot better and clearer than I could). What I am getting to, is that there is a not so unique, mix of the above, that very well describes me as a gamer. And it is one of my biggest fears concerning me starting in a new mmo.

The introvert unworthy drifter

The way I got into my guild (whom btw are looking for rogues and resto-druids and disc-priests and are kicking Arse in 25 manned raids and are realm #1 in guild battle-ground pvp... just saying) speaks volumes on how I am in games.
I was in a little guild called "Mean Drunks", I got invited there at level 5 by the guild leaders Girlfriend who had rolled an alt. I was a dwarf priest, she was low on health. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I healed her as I walked by, and she thought "Uh healer! and he is nice!!" so I got a /w if I wanted to join their casual guild. I said yea, and joined.
It took me 3 months before I found out that everyone in guild -apart from one Mage- was from the country as me. That is how socially silent I am around *new* people. People who know me often wonder when I'll shut up...
Anyways, I was happily leveling 20 levels below everyone else. And the Mage from Holland (that was the only guy not from my country) was very much unlike me. He joined the big guild. ("whoa dude, they have 15 level 60s online on an afternoon" he would whisper me). And once I had hit 60, and started dungeons (only with other "Mean Drunks") and got a bit of healing gear, he had not forgotten me. He was very fast to invite me to Zul'gurub on his Big guild, when they where a healer short.

I joined. I healed, I did not whine when I did not get any loot for helping them out. So they asked me to write an application. Icefly (as the mage was called) vouched for me, and the rest is history. I healed through the latter part of vanilla, and through TBC and got rank of just one notch higher of regular member. Then I had my foot in the door (only took two expansions) and I rolled my dream-type of class: a Tank.

What does it mean?
It means that unless I get my friends to join me in Star Wars, i'll be spending my time as a loner. There are a lot of 'typical gamer types' that I cannot cope with. Especially those that claim they are "mature gamers", because in my experience, if you need to claim that you are 'adult and stuff', you never are. Same with 12 year olds. Another pet peeve of mine are gamers who use 'gay' as a description to anything. "that is so gay". urgh.

I can very much be a gamer snob if people rub me the wrong way, for example the type of player who as everyone else say "hello" in a pug, feels the need to epeen all over my dungeon, either by strouting his gear/dps or by belittleing other players.
So, there are a lot of guilds where I will go the "Tam way" and get in a fight with one player, and I will not be pretty. I am very much a grumpy bear, but once i know and respect the other players, I'd like to consider myself a Douglas

Thing is, when you love tanking, but need time to warm up to people, you are very dependent on getting a solid base of players around you, very quickly. So maybe I should take this opportunity to get myself to open up more online. Start chatting with random players, start embracing people you randomly meet.
But then the other thing comes up.

I joined as a healer, and ended up a tank. Those are two classes that are great to play, because if you play DPS your ability (or lack thereof) to play, is very easy to measure. And the results are not always as fun as you'd like em to be. As both my virtual friend Calli and equally virtual Lar'is´´sa found out.
(But between you and me, dear reader, their problems stems from playing mages above anything else).
So I'll stick to playing a tank, thank you very much. In a way there is way less performance demands of tanks, than DPS. *for me*, because I could go into a pug on my alt tank-a-din and be way overgeared for a PUG heroic in wrath, and still get booted because I did not have ICC gear, and then join on my sucky newly dinged rogue and do 1800 dps and not hear a word.
But for me, I'd rather play the tank there, because *I'd* know that my dps sucked, when tanking it is not the numbers that determine how well I play, but only.. how well I play. (Well it makes sense to me).


  1. Excellent post; it lead me to reading both the article you cited and Pew's post (which I hasn't read yet, though I had Larisa's). While reading the article, I found myself looking for my archetype, too, and I found it: "Mr. Lunch at his desk." While I don't (and would never) play at work, the definition he provided was spot on for my term "Part-Core Gamer."

    I also found your analysis of new/new to a guild tanks very telling, and I completely agree. If anyone in a dungeon needs people to sometimes give him some time to learn (or just give him a break), it's the tank. I've wiped on new trash over and over because I didn't understand a mechanic until the third or fourth pull (see: the trash before magmaw).

    Great post!

  2. Thank you. Yea Calli over at pewpewlazors is... great. Just... great. In a "frikking post more you lazy bum" combined with "If he posts more frequently I might as well stop blogging, cuz I suck in comparison" -sort of way. I hate you Calli. So im glad you found his blog :)

  3. Honestly I don't think I can blame my position on the dps charts on the mage class being broken. There are loads of successful mages out there. Just not me... However if I'd known what I know today I would probably have done wiser to go for a healing class. For all what people say about the dps:ers lacking responsability and healers taking the crap, my experience with my alt tells me that there's way less pressure on you as a healer than as a dps. Everyeone is so goddamn grateful that you're around. You're not questioned and judged every second as a dps is.
    Being a pure dps is probably the worst you can be at the moment. Unless you're really really competative and really really good at what you're doing. Then I suppose you can show off your epeen and be truly happy about it.

  4. I totally agree; I've avoided the dps classes (until now - I have a tendency to try to do things that previously scared me) because I'm not particularly competitive, so I didn't want to be judged by others' performance. So I tanked and healed; I'll say now, though, that healers do get judged, too, by their place. Tanks don't as much; they get judged by who the boss is hitting (from my experience).

  5. @lar: The whole mage thing, was meant to be a "i play melee, you play ranged casts, you suck hurdehurhurhurrrhurr" sort of joke. Guess that was a shoot-and-a-miss on my part :)

    Go healer, it's great karma for you. In everything. Then again, an almost young woman who plays wow, 'shes gotta be playing a healer'... Is what everyone would think, so I guess its kinnda cool that you play against the stereotypes!

    @subborn: Yea I think it depends on the mood of the pug: if you wipe, is it the tank that has too low health, or the healer that sucked? It HAS to be either ;)