Fools, Silence, and Damage Reporting–supplemental

(Pre­vi­ous arti­cle)

While it’s a bad idea to link your dam­age meters over a com­mon chat chan­nel, it’s a very bad idea to link your dam­age report if you’re a dam­age deal­er and you’re that one dps’er who con­sis­tent­ly does less dam­age than the tank. What you’re try­ing to say is that you out­per­form the heal­er at doing dam­age, but what you’re real­ly say­ing is:

“The heal­er’s good enough to keep every­one alive and also do 30% of the dam­age that I’m doing.”

The heal­er’s dam­age is basi­cal­ly like the rock bot­tom of dam­age per­for­mance in a raid. Heal­ing does zero dam­age. You are also say­ing that you don’t under­stand groups enough to know what the dif­fer­ent roles do, but you aren’t going to let that slow your spam­ming down. This is a chain of thought that will imme­di­ate­ly lead oth­ers to group with you less, because vet­er­ans will sense that this is prob­a­bly the tip of the ice­berg:

  • you roll for gear that does­n’t apply to you and then throw a fit when some­one tries to tell you how your char­ac­ter works
  • you don’t under­stand or don’t care about crowd con­trol
  • you cry and blame some­one every time you die
  • you go afk with­out warn­ing
  • you com­plain about repair costs
  • you nev­er have elixirs/poisons/food buffs
  • you use curse words in a way that’s not inter­est­ing, rel­e­vant, or fun­ny

Not every­one is all of these, but usu­al­ly these char­ac­ter flaws don’t come in sin­gle serv­ings. Most peo­ple went to the all you can eat Buf­fet of Bro­ken.

And yes, this was all that a sin­gle dam­age meter post said. And inci­den­tal­ly, this per­son lived up to many of the above-list­ed pre­dic­tions.

Fools, Silence, and Damage Reporting

I healed through Mag­is­ter’s Ter­race this week­end to get a cou­ple of friend­ly guildies ready for MrT hero­ic. My wife, in the next room, said “What’s wrong?” I had­n’t even real­ized I sighed. “This new recruit just spammed his dam­age meters after our first wipe.”

I had for­got­ten about this lit­tle slice of the game. Of course, now my bliss­ful igno­rance has been shat­tered, but it’s a good top­ic of dis­cus­sion.

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Minipets are joy

I have to admit that my most cov­et­ed drop that I want from Mag­is­ter’s Ter­race is the phoenix minipet. Minipets are prob­a­bly the sil­li­est thing in World of War­craft. A non-com­bat pet. Win­dow dress­ing.

For my wife, I think minipets are about 20% of why she plays the entire game. When I passed on the rumor of minipet bags, she was thrilled. She is that per­son who has 20 minipets, in her inven­to­ry. Chick­ens, robots, ele­phants, glow­ing balls of light, bugs, old chew­ing gum, and a ball of string. I have a mere dozen. Only four on my inven­to­ry at a time (less on my bag­space-starved war­rior, he only gets three) Our love of minipets is strong, and it turns out that we are not alone.

The best minipets have a noise you hear when you click on it. Like with Willy, you get a groan. Mechan­i­cal chick­en, you get a robot­ic cluck­ing noise. And so on. It’s some­thing fun you can do if you’re on a raid and the raid leader has to explain an encounter you know to the new per­son.

Come to think of it, the baby pan­da is par­tial­ly what sold my wife on the game in the first place. You have these majes­tic, impos­ing char­ac­ters, with huge shoul­der armor and glow­ing effects and fear­some weapons and so on. And then you have a hum­ble prairie chick­en peck­ing the ground next to you. There’s some­thing about that pair­ing that’s just per­fect. Before we got her a com­put­er of her own (and a game client of her own), my wife and I would play togeth­er, with her rid­ing shot­gun. We chat­ted up some­one in Iron­forge who had a baby pan­da. “That’s so cool!” “Yeah, but he does­n’t real­ly do much.” And at that moment, the baby pan­da took a nap, lay­ing down with the green zzz over its head. We laughed for a sol­id ten min­utes. That was the begin­ning.

Minipets fac­tor into our guild’s raid strat­e­gy as well. When we encounter dif­fi­cul­ty on a new boss, the wipes can get tedious. Some­one always sug­gests dif­fer­ent minipets, and every­one in the raid says “Ah yes. Minipets.” A dif­fer­ent con­tin­gent of (use­less) minipets will cer­tain­ly make this attempt much eas­i­er. Like I said, we’re casual/raiding, and we should prob­a­bly be talk­ing more about what­ev­er’s killing us, but how can you turn down a guar­an­teed smile and laugh before rush­ing in to die again?

You can’t. It’s just one of the sil­ly parts of WoW that make it fun.

Raid Sizes and Design Inertia

When I was raid lead in vanil­la wow, I arranged and lead many many runs on Molten Core, a few on Black­wing Lair, and many in Zul’Gu­rub and AQ20. When news of The Burn­ing Cru­sade’s reduc­tion in raid size came out, that the new raids would be 25 and 10, I cheered. My guild thought I was being sar­cas­tic (a rea­son­able guess), but hon­est­ly I was thrilled. I still am. Larg­er raids are for masochists.

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So let’s say you have a guild. Some of the peo­ple are good friends, you’ve known them for a long time. You know what they do in their lives, you know a lit­tle of their fam­i­ly life. You know about their pets! They raid with you, quest with you, are­na with you.

Then there are oth­er peo­ple who have been in the guild for a long time, but nev­er make the list of peo­ple you think of when you want to explore new stuff. They don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly care about knock­ing over chal­lenges, but are glad to come along to raid or pvp as long as their real-life con­nec­tion is going to be there. These peo­ple are the oth­er half of a “pack­age deal”. They have played enough to get to the max lev­el, and they do like the sight of zomg epics. Who does­n’t? So they vol­un­teer to come with you, whether it’s for your new are­na team, or your raid. Some of these peo­ple evolve into actu­al gamers, peo­ple who get good at their role in a group, who under­stand the game and what they can do in it, and who social­ize with the oth­ers. The oth­ers become SPHOs: sub-per­form­ing hang­ers-on. (Pro­nounced how it looks, rhymes with show.)
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