Thursday, February 28, 2013

Legend in my own mind.

I am crashing the party on this one.
I have written this post asleep, standing up, on the monkey bars, sideways, and hopping on one foot. And be prepared: it will be a TLDR (too long, didn't read), full-circle moment, so I'll cut to the chase: all of this really doesn't matter. 

Steaming Pile of Bug Poo: Watch Your Step!


But, the chocolate on the pillow moment will be, I promise to end it with a drabble.

I am going to be very blunt:

Sharp #1:Tzufit's post hurt my feelings. I feel so uncomfortable with the usage of the villain from The Incredibles when talking about self-esteem. It was used many years ago in a master's thesis of a friend of mine, and it's always kind of been a tiny mental splinter. Why? I have no idea. Blame the pathological nutballness of my nature. I always kind of empathized with Syndrome -- the kid who would be sidekick turned arch enemy. Maybe because I always identified more with Buddy Pine versus Bob Parr.

Worn #2: Tzufit wasn't trying to hurt MY feelings. She wasn't hurting any one's feelings. She just had a point to make and she made it in her usual articulate, well-crafted and considerate way. (I love her blog/writing --always have and will)

Dull #3: She had every right to feel that way, as does every player who has a story to tell.

So I'm going to examine why I felt bad...why I wished that I hadn't read it...why did I let it harsh my mellow? What kind of insecurities did I fester in that I allowed someone's opinion to dull my enjoyment of my derp-dee-derping happiness and joy from some fresh, new content Blizzard provided that I desperately had been wanting? Well, first of all - I should have known from the title. But I'm strong, right? I can take it?


Well, apparently, at first, I couldn't.

I'm starting to feel like a member of Average Joe's Gym, and not Globo Gym, that everyone indeed is better than me.

I'm the one with the uni-brow.

Well, they are.

Those who have managed to play for years, have experiences, and have managed to promote functional, team-based love-like-family guilds have enjoyed years of memories, trials, and tribulations together, mourned together, laughed, and in some cases literally grown-up together. Two of my buddies went and bought the game together before they even had drivers' licenses. My apparent inability to stay in a guild because I don't A. Want to put up with a few trolling asshats 2. Can't stand to feel strung-along 3. Can't raid on a schedule means that on a very real level, I fail at that level of high-end elite raid culture. I can't do it. I can't say "no" to my loves, my life, and my responsibilities. They were here first. So if obtaining a legendary weapon is only available to this elite group, then I will always be shut out.

But getting a legendary weapon is not just where exclusivity exists. There are many tools players have at their disposal to lock others out (and sometimes they need or deserve it, assuredly):

1. G-kick: anytime, a member can be guild-kicked
2. R-kick: anytime, a raid member can be kicked to the curb
3. Ten-man: there are only enough for ten. Period.
4. Twenty-five man: you get the idea
5. Class/roles: only so many of the same class or role can be in any place at any time. I had a GM ask me if I would change to elemental simply because they were getting intelligent mail gear.
6. Guild hierarchies: GMs, RLs, officers, and the like have varying degrees of access, accountability, perks and responsiblities. Case in point: mounts in raid given to another officer, no free roll. You ALL have your own stories. There are thousands of both good and destructive ways a hierarchy meets the needs or destroys guilds.

Ultimately -- what I gathered is this--it's not about the legendary, per se: it's a mourning process.

Players who have built a culture and lifestyle are understandably, arguably in mourning over this loss of significant culture to Azeroth. It's huge. 

My epiphany is not that Tzufit and Navimie are truly trying to make players like me feel "bad" - I can do that all on my own, thank you very much, but are in deep mourning, not just over a token of achievement, but to a loss of their own happy memories of time well spent in Azeroth. If I could pour my heart out, if they could see my eyes, they would know how much I understand this, deeply, truly, and with love. I do. My point is not to undermine their feelings or disrespect these sentiments, but to examine my own, and make sure I come back to the joy that I had with this new content. It was there, that joy! It was! 

Perhaps we are not discussing "legendary," perhaps we are really discussing "exclusivity."

What is the opposite of exclusivity? Inclusion. And I know a lot about inclusion. More than I can share here. When I share that I have a Masters In Leveling Playing Fields, trust me---I do. I got it from the College of Hard Knocks and Lessons Learned. This is an endless debate, and one that, depending on your point of view, has easy answers or not. Is it fair? Is it equal? The two are not the same.

Inclusion--is messy. It's upsetting, it challenges our very nature of structure, world order, caste systems, and taxonomic approaches to classification. I can't speak for other countries outside the U.S., (even though I lived in Tehran when I was younger), about their approaches to equality. I know it's been a constant, dynamic issue in the U.S. since the crossing of the Bering Strait. The Boy Scouts of America, gay marriage, NRA/gun control, the U.S. military lifting its ban on gays serving and women getting front-line duty/recognition, slavery, voting, desegregation, and a national educational trend toward inclusion have always been a contentious issues. Whoa, there, girl! Rein it in!! This isn't about freedom of speech or the 13th amendment! It's just a game! Isn't it?

Well, yes, yes it is. And what may stick in a lot of craws is folks who get "legendaries" may be mean to small children. They may be assholes. They may have done jail time, or left the toilet seat up. But those players abound whether or not they managed to be with an elite group of raiders or players. In that way, Azeroth was already one of the most democratic places on earth, albeit a virtual one. We would think it was ridiculous if Parker Bros. sold Monopoly games but you couldn't use the Scotty Dog anymore because one "Unmaudbro," a Forsaken Warrior from Azeuremyst got to it first and no one else can ever use it again. (Illidan does drop this on every blue moon that lands on a day that starts with the letter Q, by the way. Didn't you know that?)

Scotty Dog: The Legend



It's about a loss or diminished culture, of "the way things have always been," and it is the painful side of nostalgia and grief.

But please: I love this questline, and want to see more like this.  Be careful, my sweet friends/writers. Blizzard listens to you more than they would ever listen to me. No one gives a shit what I think. And that's the sad truth. My little stupid playing world doesn't matter to anyone but myself and my few close Azerothian friends. I got to touch a little glory, a little fun, on my own time, at my own pace, and not have to worry about anyone else's agenda for a change. (Sob - all I ever do, all day long, is worry about other's agendas....all............damn.........day............) Just please know that when you are trying to maintain something that has always been, it may mean that it will remain locked away from the rest of us slobs.

I even asked young leet druid. Young leet has been playing longer than most of you. He knows everything. EVERYTHING. He will be playing long after I'm in my grave, and long before I saw my first set of draenei horns. I asked him his thoughts, sure he would agree that legendary weapons belong solely with legendary players.

He surprised the hell out of me. Emphatically, he said no-- this is a great direction in his opinion, and hope there's more of it, too.

Huh. So proud.


I feel a need for a random pep talk:




Okay, that's better.

I love crafting my own game narrative. And again, it doesn't really matter what I say. It matters what others say.

So, shutting up now. The shaman wants to speak:

The Prince's ember eyes burned through but do not see me. I am not so naive as to think he knows me, but it feels like he sees me, through his endearing hospitality and graciousness, which are preternaturally tailored to me. He knows what I love. 

His gifts are what I desire most.

But I am making deals with demons, and doing so with abandon.

Am I thinking I will win? Will it be fair? The Prince turned away, a void of cold in his wake where there had been reflective, false fire. Sandalwood barely masked the smell of sulfur. 

Am I thinking I am the only one? He has made bargains to all--the voice of my conscious tells me little shaman...little....shaman...your heart betrays you -- you are not one to heal - you want to burn, you want to slice, you want to make the blood sizzle out of razor-opened wounds. You want to cut. 

Brave, brave little shaman. You will burn indeed.


Theme song:
Sacrilege/Yeah Yeah Yeahs

10 comments:

  1. You know it was not my intention to wound. Nor am I trying to demean or reduce your experience of the legendary quest chain - I am merely writing about the experience I had with my legendary and the other guild legendaries we have had.

    What you should ask yourself - is what constitutes a legendary? Is it the effort you put into an item? Is it an amazing storyline or reward? Or is it something you covet because everyone else has one? Is it an amazing experience? The quest chain to me has not engaged me, but it has engaged others - just like how I am endeared to Lunk but others go... who? So a legendary is really, what you make it to be.

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    1. I promise it wasn't the covetting part of the item, but perhaps of being allowed to have an experience. These are all great reflective questions, Navi, ones I didn't consider asking until I read others' opinions. Ultimately, it is what we make of it - that was the point all along. Blizzard listens and links great thinkers/writers like you Navimie - they listen to you. My response is out of fear that somehow Blizzard will negate the opinions like players like me who love this new way of thinking about the game. But as Tome said, what I don't envy is Blizzard's task of making everyone happy - because that is not possible. It is up to the individual player to seek his/her own happiness in game and without. I was just trying to be comfortable in my own skin. And have an excuse to re-watch Kid President. Who's awesome. :) You rock, Navi - I love your stories, your trials, tribulations, struggles, emotions, intelligence--you are a legend to me.

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    2. I think you are overstating my importance - I am just a player and a blogger - but if I am a legend to you Blizz can think I'm a toilet brush for all I care because that is a legendary compliment indeed.

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    3. There are literally tears rolling down my face from laughing!! Oh Navi what would I do without you?!

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  2. The only thing I resent about the other discussion is the fact that some believe that since you can do this in LFR, a lot of players can go AFK while still achieving the same end goal.. while that's true for other players, I work hard at getting everything I have in the game so if I get one eventually, I feel that do I deserve it. I look forward to when that day happens - with you too.

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    1. As I told you yesterday - twenty-two times. Trying to get this without the support of a guild and a focus on "one" player hasn't meant that the RNGs are any more kind; in fact, as we both know, they are even more cruel. I could look at my achievement log and see when I finished getting the legendary gem from the Prince, but I know it's been weeks. There is sits in my bag, mocking me. That Prince is a brat, but that's what I get for making deals with devils.

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  3. You're a legend in my mind too! I often feel that I went to the car dealership and bought the exact same car everyone else did for the same amount of money but MY car came without options.

    Take that, you stupid little anti-social daytime playing anarchist! No four wheel drive for you, lol!

    May the RNG gods smile on Matty and give her the legendary she deserves, she's my hero!

    Forgive any bizarre mistakes, I have an eye migraine so I can't actually see anything I wrote. So here's hoping it came out the way I thought it! I sure don't envy Blizzard trying to find a balance that suits us all but I guess that's the price of popularity.

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    1. I am so sorry about the migraine--those are one issue that everyone has grand advice for, but in the heat of the moment, it hurts--really, really hurts. I probably needed Mr. Snerrgull (I never spell his name the same way twice: take that you red-penned sadist!) to give this post the once-over, because I don't want it to spin out. This was truly "all about me" and how I am incapable of handling my own thinking. Writing to the rescue!

      Now back to our regularly scheduled posting...

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  4. This made me sad, because I can identify with all of the feelings you're having over this. You see, I don't have a guild, not a real one anyway. I am still going through the mourning process for my old guild and friends who left the game and thinking about nostalgia and grief really brings back the pain of knowing they have moved on and are not coming back, which is where much of my sadness comes from, sorry if you thought it was your fault. To top it off I live with a self professed hardcore raider who makes me feel small sometimes. I know all about exclusion.

    I do not have a legendary, nor will I ever, I suppose. That's alright with me, my benediction is epic enough for me. I do think everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a legendary though.

    I love the idea of the questline being "for everyone". I love that raid finder lets me see content that I otherwise have no time for. I feel like these features do not take anything away from people who have the ability to get a guild group together and work on raid progression in normal or heroic setting and you can certainly still work on the questline together if you want to. Features like these were made to help players like me feel included and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    In short: I'm glad you like the questline, and best of luck on your legendary. I'm sorry that you felt excluded, I have been there too.

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    1. Honestly, I didn't know I was potentially being excluded until I read those articulate posts - and I had to turn myself around once I got stuck in the mental ditch. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I think, or even long-time players - it matters what Blizzard thinks, and that's what made me a little shakey -- that there was finally some meaningful content and perhaps others would be so disgusted by the change and mediocrity they potentially saw, Blizzard would take it away again. I wish we had lot of things like this - I think scenarios are a hoot, and wish there were more things to do with one to three players at a time.

      I went to try to get the Claw again tonight, now almost two dozen times. Whether or not the Black Prince digs my shit may be moot here pretty soon! /sigh - dang you RNGs!

      I'm back to my spunky 'tude. I know this may sound silly but that little footnote story at the end makes me smile. This game is for everyone, and we will all get out of it what we choose. Great points in your comment, Malkshake -- thank you.

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