I’m feeling a lot of frustration lately with some of “the WoW community”. (Let’s face it… there is no “WoW community”. There are many smaller communities within the enormous chunk of people who play WoW.) I think some of this comes from being on Twitter. I love having WoW players to talk to on Twitter! But it also means I see discussions about and links to things I would have remained happily oblivious to before. I am much more aware now of things that get said outside of the circle of people I directly interact with. Here’s what I’ve learned:
WoW is really about raiding.
Hardcore end-game raiding is the only kind that counts.
WoW has been nerfed so hard that anyone who can install it can master every aspect of it within five minutes.
Anyone who cares about the story is a closet RP-er.
RP-ers are “casuals” who hate their real lives and think they live in Azeroth.
“Casuals” are too stupid to care about their performance in the game.
Blizzard nerfs the previous tier of content when a new one comes out because they are caving to the “casuals”.
If you aren’t doing it exactly the way X player, Y blogger, or Z guild is, you’re doing it wrong.
When did so many people not employed by Blizzard become the ultimate authorities on what the point of WoW is and how to go about playing it correctly? I’m not talking about things like “Don’t stand in the fire” or “The warrior should not roll need on cloth gear”. Yes, there are things that are “the right way” to do things. Especially when you’re doing things in groups. (If that warrior really wants that cloth gear, they should get together some friends who understand this run is so the warrior can get those pretty robes, or whatever.) I’m talking about judging another person’s priorities when it has NOTHING to do with you!
You can set standards for what you expect out of people you group with. When it’s a random dungeon, you have the choice of intitiating a vote kick or dropping out of the group yourself. I understand people don’t want to take the debuff because two or three people in a group are being abusive assholes, or keep rolling need on gear they don’t really need, or whatever. Sometimes, though, you have to ask yourself what’s going to ruin your enjoyment of the game more… waiting a while before you can re-queue, or putting up with this group’s crap just because it’s not fair for you to be the one who gets penalized?
When it comes to raids, you don’t have to raid with people who don’t hold themselves to the same standards you do. You can find a guild full of people who have similar priorities to yours. What raiders and guilds do outside of your group IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS.
If Horde Raider A on Server A doesn’t make it a priority to be Valor capped, or their guild doesn’t do the raids until the next tier comes out so they can do it when it’s easier, that is not the business of Alliance Raider B on Server B.
I’m tired of hearing that anyone who wants to raid can, that Blizzard has made it that easy. And I’m going to get rude here for a second… The next person who wants to say that needs to shut their mouth about it until after they’ve spent a day with my husband. I can accept that, no matter how much I want to see raid content, it’s just not likely for me. (Not completely impossible, but not likely.) I want to see the story. That story will still be in there later. I want to farm for pets. Those pets will still be there later, and the drop chances might have even been increased by then. My desire isn’t really the challenge of raiding as much as experiencing the whole game. So I can wait.
What REALLY bothers me is that my husband can’t raid. He does want the challenge of raiding. And he would be a GOOD raider! He’s a dps addict, but he makes a fine tank, too. He knows his stuff, he works well in groups. He would be a pleasure to raid with! But he also has physical issues from his service in the Marine Corps. Just sitting in his chair and playing the game for long enough starts to put a real strain on him, and that happens a lot faster when he’s doing dungeons. He has to limit the number of dungeons he can run in a night because of it, and some nights he can’t run any. When he was raiding at the end of Wrath, I saw two or three hours of raiding leave him crawling to the bedroom afterward. He was in SO much pain, and it sometimes meant he actually had to leave the raid early.
It hurts me to see him not be able to do something he would really enjoy, and that he would be good at. Please, come spend a day with him and then tell me to my face that he just needs to invest the time in it if he really wants to raid.
Speaking of investing time… The argument that because Raider A can find time for things that means Raider B can, too, is ridiculous. Unless Raider A is Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent/Stephen King and Raider B is Batman/Superman/Richard Bachman, Raider A does not get to decide what Raider B can handle based on Raider A’s schedule and priorities. This is like those stupid diet product commercials claiming that, if the bubbly skinny chick on the screen could do it, ANYONE can! Yeah… go talk to your doctor about that. Preexisting conditions, metabolism, and a bunch of other things might make some other weight-loss plan a much better idea for you.
Not everyone can juggle the same things within the same 24 hour period and be affected the same way. Not every raider has the same raiding priorities. Some people live for raiding (as far as their time spent in game goes). Some people really enjoy it, but it’s not quite that important to them.
It’s a big game. It has 85 levels, not just level 85. It has professions, which some people enjoy a lot more than I do. The leveling experience has changed and it’s a good time to level alts. So some people enjoy leveling multiple characters. It has a TON of story, and most zones have had the stories updated and quests revamped so that they are worth seeing again… assuming someone enjoys the story.
There’s a quest in Un’Goro crater where Karna Remtravel sends you to check on her robotic gorrila, A-Me 01. It’s an easier, revamped version of an old quest. And there’s a big red gorilla in the gorilla cave you get a quest to kill. The interesting part comes later… when a Titan watcher sends you around to do some tests for her. In one of them, she disguises you as a gorilla and wants you to talk to a regular gorilla, a stomper, and a thunderer. That’s all you have to do. Just one each of those three types.
Of course, I wanted to see what happens if you try to talk to gorillas that aren’t required for the quest.
If you talk to A-Me 01, you get this:
CRASH REPORT XX1-017.
CHECKSUM ERROR 0081.
FLUID LEVELS DANGEROUSLY LOW.
NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO SEE OUTLANDS.
And if you go into the cave and talk ot the big red gorilla, he tells you a joke. (I’m writing this from memory, so I’m sure I’m a word or two off somewhere. And I was playing a night elf druid. He probably just fills in your race and class.)
“Hey, did you hear the one about the night elf druid that started attacking gorillas? A gorilla asked the night elf druid, ‘Why are you attacking us?’ and the night elf druid said, ‘A gobline told me to.’ So the gorilla asked the night elf druid, ‘Do you always do what goblins tell you to?’ and the night elf druid said, ‘Yes. Because I am smelly and dumb and walk on two legs.’
Pretty funny, huh? Maybe it needs some work…”
That’s what I like doing. I like finding the things that Blizzard put in but didn’t lead you right up to. The things that only someone who wanders off the paved road with all the signs pointing where you should go will find. I am not a failure because I’m not raiding. I am a success because I’m not restricted to one thing that makes the game worth it for me. I can enjoy a number of aspects of the game and not feel like I either have to find a group that will let me drag them down with my poor performance or just unsubscribe.
I struggle every day with things that other people find so simple, and it’s not because I’m stupid. I’m living with a condition that mimics a brain tumor. Would you tell someone who has a brain tumor that the reason they have trouble with [insert common, everyday thing here] is because they’re stupid? I have enough to deal with already. I keep working my ass off to make myself see the doors that have shut for me as opportunites instead of limitations. I can’t sew anymore. Okay… I’ll spend that time drawing. I’m limited on the driving I can handle. I can get lost and have a panic attack just going across the town I’ve lived in all my life. Okay… well, my husband can’t really handle going out a lot, anyway, so we have plenty of time to stay home with each other and it saves us money. Numbers are difficult for me to process because I have dyscalculia, not because I’m stupid. I get mathematical concepts, and I rather enjoy calculus. I just have some serious problems when actual numbers start getting plugged into things. So no, I can’t always make sense of what would be the best upgrade for me, or choosing gems and enchants.
I have to deal with myself about those things all the time. Some days, I shut down and cry for an hour or two because I just can’t take it anymore. I get fed up with seeing other people be able to do something so quickly and easily when it’ll take me hours or days to accomplish the same thing. I get angry when my brain knows what to do and my hands just aren’t getting the message and cooperating in time. I hate myself when I can’t even string the words together to clearly explain the issue so that people will stop patting me on the head and saying, “It just takes practice. You’ll get used to it.” I’m tired of feeling like I’m somehow a failure because I have to do one thing at a time and pay attention to it… I can’t be alt-tabbing out of the game to read something while still questing, playing music, and tweeting on Twitter. I can do ONE of those! Only one.
So, really, I don’t give a shit what you can do. I’m not you, and you’re not me. You have no right to judge me or how I play the game. Especially since I don’t go into heroics with crappy gear and start making excuses. I don’t impose my limitations on you. I don’t insist that you have to make up for what I’m lacking because I pay my $15 a month, too, and it’s not my fault I have trouble with this.
And you may think you aren’t judging me. Many of you may sit there and say to yourselves, “Wow… I can’t believe someone would treat Glorwynn like that! There are some real assholes in this game!” But how many times have you passed judgement on someone else who wasn’t doing it your way? How many times have you decided what guilds other than your own should and should not be doing? How many times have you said something like, “Anyone who wants to can raid” or, “There’s no excuse for not understanding something so simple” after listing off a string of numbers and calculations?
Mind your own business. I think it’s fair to include deciding whether or not to work with someone else when you don’t agree with their way of doing things. That’s still “your own business”. But passing blanket judgements on large groups of people when all you see is the end result, not the causes, and making assumptions about what other people can and cannot do just makes you an asshole. If it’s not getting in the way of your gameplay, it’s just not your business.