Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Wildhammer Diamond Import Business, (and who are you calling a ho?)

It's off to work I go.

Here is the big question: When does play become work?

My impulsive comments (Backpeddling Powers: ACTIVATE) on my "1%" post drew some attention from  my guildmates. (Told you I would hear about it later.) I'm still a little fuzzy on some of the bullet point targets my GM was trying to shoot, but that is not his fault, but mine, since I am a woman and have no logic or reasoning facilities. That was left at the apple tree at the beginning of time. It's probably baked in a pie somewhere: Mmmmm! Serve that logic up ala mode!

Anyway, the discussion centered around this comment:
Answer: No, no I don't. In my defense, I have a million and one things on my mind, always. I have not devoted the time to watching every fight over and over, and anticipating every scenario that can come my way. I screwed up. Won't happen again. I was so used to the shard dance, I forgot about the other fight mechanics. If I did spend that time, to raid leader level, of understanding and studying all fight mechanics, there are many players who wouldn't listen to me anyway. Kind of seems pointless at this stage of my life. Yes, I want to contribute, yes, I will do what I can to do so, but I cannot and will not overturn any more of my life to this very fun avocation.
His point, if I understood correctly (see Diagram A, subsection xiv, paragraph 3) was that indeed, I do have time. What I am doing is making choices about that time.

He's right.

No question.

Let me just analyze the avocation that is WoW in my personal life:

Currently, I have two accounts, three if you count the trial one I used to try to get a friend a rocket. I need to clean that one up, and possibly go back to just one account. Between the two main accounts, I have Mataoka, and on the other Haanta, Luperci, and Zeptepi. Those are all my level 85 toons. One comment that struck me during a more lengthy discussion with my GM was that "back in the day," a player would have their main, and any other alts were truly just that: alts for something to do, something else interesting to play, but would never get the care, feeding, or grooming like the main show dog. The alts don't get to play in the raids, don't get trotted out much, and do not get the resources as the main does or would.

All right. Fair enough.

I did not heed the gentle warning of Manalicious' blog post, "How Alts Ruined My Raiding" because I was not there yet, still getting used to my metaphorical training wheels being taken off. In other words, I wasn't so sure I would even be raiding on a regular basis--I just kept showing up and being allowed to go.

In general, a theme for me personally has been I went from a control-freak to not, or at least relatively. I used to think that if I organized, listed, prepared, anticipated, front-loaded, etc., that somehow I would control the future of myself and those I love. I learned, harshly in some moments of despair, that that is not the case. So the control pendulum swung to too much letting go. That hasn't worked for me either, and now I am seeking the balance.

How this plays out during my leisure time playing WoW may come down to this: I cannot be fixed on a "main," and I believe that my GM will and does respect my choice, as long as I do some of my homework. His point was that I am not expected to know everything every role does for every fight, but to yes, know my OWN role. Agreed. How could that personal accountability be anything less of that expectation? It can't, and there's no justification or rationalization. His other key point was that all of us should never be of a 'fixed' mindset, but of a 'growth' mindset --learn from mistakes, adjust, flex, progress, and well, duh, grow. (See the work of Dr. Carol Dweck.)

But the conflicts of choice come into play: Another player chooses to leave the guild. Another player choose to play only one main. Another player has scheduling conflicts that affect everyone else's life schedules. Accommodations and compromises are made. And that is where I do not envy a GM's role. GMs make choices constantly about their own management style. And if we all had a gold piece for every time this has been said, "GMs don't get paid," we'd all be snorting Vials of Sands off of gnomes' heads. We don't spend our leisure time in the pursuit of money, that being the only goal. For those of you who have jobs that are both fulfilling and pay the bills, you are the truly blessed. (Mine doesn't pay all the bills, unfortunately, but I do love it.) For every player, there are their own reasons why they play.
Snow White faints from over-thinking.

And in the time I wrote this post, I could have been watching the Bale'roc fight again, or brushing up on my Alysrazor. And I will watch videos again-but I'll also just jump in there and get my maces dirty and play, cause they're not the bosses of me.


  1. I think there are a lot of different undercurrents in your post. Q: When does a game become work?
    A: When you let it, and when you're unhappy with it and when your method of approaching the game differs from that of your guild members.

    Joining a raid group at any level carries a tacit level of responsibility that varies from group to group. Some groups might expect that you bring a good attitude and nothing else. Some groups are okay with/will have fun just throwing themselves at content without knowing in advance what will happen. Other groups find that frustrating and expect a basic level of knowledge about an encounter. It's the right of the group to decide what they expect, and it's the right of the individual to either agree (by joining raids with them) or disagree (by choosing to raid elsewhere or choosing not to raid).

    The other week we organized an alt Firelands run and we had to find a pug to fill our tenth slot. I picked up a moonkin wearing mostly PvP gear. He said he'd watched the videos and never had a chance to see FL in person. I agreed to take him, with the understanding that he'd get Mumble so he could hear us, and would listen to verbal instructions as we went. He did really well (especially considering he'd never seen the fights) and I was happy with him. But I was taking a chance - his unfamiliarity with the fights could have cost us a lot of time, but I went with my gut because he sounded competent and prepared.

    I guess the thing is, there's no "get out of jail free" card. When someone comes to a raid and hasn't read the strat or watched the video, that takes time away from the raid (either in wipes, or for them to go watch the video). It's not something I tolerate in our raids, and a repeat offender would probably be spoken to privately. A raid group has a right to set expectations, and you have a right to think they are unreasonable - but it's probably unrealistic to expect that the raid group will be changing any time soon.

    The second thing is the whole "alts v mains" issue. It's an interesting post of mine, in that it's one of the most likely for people to apply to their own situations and feel guilty. I didn't necessarily mean it that way. My guild aims to raid at a fairly high level of progression (all we have left now is H Rag), so we try to set the bar pretty high in terms of performance. I don't personally have the time in-game to maintain more than one character at that level of play. It doesn't mean "Alts are bad" or "you're bad if you play alts" or "You're a bad player for liking alts." By all means, have alts! I love alts. I'm already planning a draenei monk... Just recognize that any time you spend on an alt is time you could have spent on your main IF you have one, or "raiding character" if you prefer. If you still have the level of play appropriate to your group (not bottom of the DPS, not interfering with the group's success) then it's really moot whether you play the character enough or not. What matters is whether that works FOR YOU. Which is basically what the entire comment comes down to! Know what you want, spend time on the things you enjoy, and realize that sometimes you may have to bend in order to meet your group's requirements and also enjoy some raiding time. :) Good luck to all of you!

  2. Agreed - and for the record, I do watch videos, I have been one of the top DPS performers, and I do ask a lot of questions. I feel that my level of expertise, responsibility, or heck, dare I say, friendly competitiveness, does not harm our raid group, and I hope I didn't suggest that that is what my GM was trying to say to me. In fact, I know he wouldn't spend any time talking with or to me if he didn't feel I couldn't learn and grow. One thing I have learned in the relatively short time in Azeroth: change is constant. It's a good idea to keep a few Aces up one's sleeve, and be flexible.

    Draenei monk?! Me too! Can't wait to see how she'll do a belly-roll with hooves. And, if she can...perhaps they'll let Draeneis be rogues, too -- from what I heard, the hooves make it difficult to sneak up on monsters. I would equip her with velvet-covered horseshoes, come on, Blizz! Whaddya say!?! Soft-step hoof glyph?

    Thank you for your insightful comment. And again, your art is breathtaking.


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