Raiding does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Max lev­el does not mean Skilled.)

There’s a class of play­er who feels that their sta­tus in the raid­ing game means that they’re Right. They label oth­er peo­ple noobs, and the sil­ly thing is that peo­ple believe them. “I have this awe­some item, you don’t, there­fore I know what I’m talk­ing about and you don’t.” This frus­trates me a great deal.

My guild recent­ly brought in a new recruit. Her main is a holy priest, just like me! I’ll call her Mary. She was very per­son­able, online a lot. She had raid­ed a lot in the orig­i­nal WoW, all the way through AQ40, which I’ve nev­er seen. She had tak­en over a year off from the game, and in her return was look­ing for a more relaxed play­time require­ment while still play­ing at a high lev­el. A per­fect fit!

One of our top dps’ers had lev­elled a priest to max­i­mum lev­el and was look­ing for a run­down of how to heal as a holy priest. (He want­ed to be able to fill out a hero­ic instance or raid in the case that we were short heal­ing) He post­ed in our guild forums, ask­ing how to man­age mana, which spells were good where, the dif­fer­ences between instanc­ing and raid­ing, and so on. The oth­er pri­ma­ry holy priest in the guild and I post­ed a decent overview of gen­er­al strat­e­gy and how to use the var­i­ous tools in the priest’s tool­box.

Mary, still in her first week, post­ed a lengthy and emo­tion­al rebut­tal to what we wrote. Her entire priest heal­ing strat­e­gy is: Flash Heal. As far as she’s con­cerned, it is the only spell any­one needs as a holy priest. Her defens­es were long, full of pas­sion­ate and anec­do­tal evi­dence, and even had bad math to back her up. (I love bad math of all kinds) She was ful­ly entrenched, she down­right took offense to the thought of using oth­er spells, and basi­cal­ly framed her argu­ment such that to dis­agree with her was to start a fight. (I’m not going to go into details about why she’s wrong, just take my word for it.)

Need­less to say, she did­n’t stay long.

We chuck­led about it, but I did­n’t under­stand how she was going to find what she want­ed. How was she going to even pass the appli­ca­tion to a mid-tier raid­ing guild?

The answer: Mary could suc­ceed in raid­ing, because her oth­er heal­ers could heal around her. I remem­ber this in painful detail from the 40-man days. But there’s no rea­son that it could­n’t con­tin­ue in 25-man or even 10-man raids. So Mary moved right up to a SSC mid-tier guild, where she’s no doubt the 25th per­son in some raid. They’re prob­a­bly pro­gress­ing, too. She’ll get overgeared and then be back to her elite flash heal­ing self, and look­ing down at every­one who isn’t geared like she is.

The fun­ni­est part of this is that Mary could only ever find suc­cess in large raids. Not small­er group play, not ever small raids. And yet, raid­ing is sup­pos­ed­ly a pres­tige envi­ron­ment. Raiders are seri­ous busi­ness. They’re seen as elite play­ers. I mean, these peo­ple have zomgepics that are sim­ply inac­ces­si­ble to most. They have to know the game, right?

Ah well.

Now don’t get me wrong–there is a tier of play­ers who by def­i­n­i­tion of where they are must know what they’re doing. They’re the ones push­ing new con­tent as it’s released, who write the wowwi­ki arti­cles, and write and tune the spread­sheets. The rest of us are, for lack of a bet­ter term, scrubs who exe­cute well-defined strate­gies. I’m not say­ing that raiders don’t know what they’re doing, I’m just say­ing that their posi­tion in raid­ing guilds does­n’t mean that they do. They’re hit and miss, like every­one else.

(The title of this arti­cle real­ly should have been “Mid-tier raid­ing and below does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean Skilled”, but it was­n’t catchy.)

More Words!

2 thoughts on “Raiding does not mean Skilled”

  1. I under­stand what you mean. There are play­ers who like to cling to their philoso­phies as if they were more impor­tant than life itself.

    Any­way, I took the effort of reg­is­ter­ing an account and leav­ing a com­ment to let you know that you have at least 1 read­er (me) and also to tell you that you don’t have anony­mous com­ments turned on so every­time some­one wants to par­tic­i­pate and say some­thing, they need to reg­is­ter.

    I guess its a request to turn on anony­mous com­ments so that you can facil­i­tate more dis­cus­sion on your blog with­out forc­ing peo­ple to reg­is­ter ;). I like what I’m read­ing here and it shows much promise espe­cial­ly from anoth­er Priest =).

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