Maximum Performance Isn’t Always Maximum Fun

This is a thought in progress. A lit­tle ram­bling.

My wife is a com­bat rogue. Always has been. When she joined the game she fell in love with being a rogue, and she asked what the high­est dam­age ver­sion of rogue was. I went off to the inter­nets, and came back with the answer: Com­bat Sword build. So that’s what she chose. When we got to the endgame, she did the most dam­age in our 40-per­son raids, vir­tu­al­ly every raid. She gave the oth­er dps peo­ple fits. (although she nev­er spammed dam­ageme­ters) She flour­ished in that role.

When TBC was released, the raid­ing game was sus­pend­ed and every­one is back to the beau­ti­ful lev­el­ing game for a while. In TBC lev­el­ing, there are quest dag­gers giv­en through­out the lev­el­ing process, with rogues in mind. She thought, “why not exper­i­ment?” and then rebuilt as Com­bat Dag­gers.

Guess what? Com­bat Dag­gers is sim­ply more fun to play than com­bat swords. Man­ag­ing posi­tion and Back­stab is more fun than mash­ing Sin­is­ter Strike x1000. To non-rogues, I’m sure this sounds like a minor dis­tinc­tion. It sound­ed that way to me, and I told her so.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Max­i­mum Per­for­mance Isn’t Always Max­i­mum Fun

Max level does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Raid­ing does not mean Skilled)

World of War­craft, and every game like it, is real­ly two dif­fer­ent games. I first read this thought at Pen­ny Arcade (can’t find where because their search func­tion is weak). Basi­cal­ly, you have the lev­el­ling game where you start at L1 and then play until max lev­el (cur­rent­ly L70), and then the game that hap­pens after the lev­el­ling game, which is filled with group activ­i­ties of all sorts as you improve your max lev­el char­ac­ter.

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Not Pushing the Button

I’m a heal­er. I have oth­er toons: a raid-ready tank that I love to play, a cou­ple of decent dps toons. But in my heart, I love being a heal­er.

I’ve recent­ly real­ized that peo­ple who are annoy­ing tend to die more often in raids where I’m heal­ing.

For exam­ple, my guild’s cur­rent off­tank is as annoy­ing as hell. He’s the liv­ing exam­ple of the Dun­ning-Kruger effect… I could go into great depth, and I very well might in a future piece, but suf­fice to say that there is often an under­cur­rent of pri­vate tells derid­ing him dur­ing every raid he par­tic­i­pates in. How­ev­er, our guild is like a fam­i­ly, and he’s the weird cousin who makes it to every cook­out. His avail­abil­i­ty is decent, he’s not com­plete­ly ter­ri­ble at his class/role, and he tries to be friend­ly even if he lacks the social skills to pull it off. But there are all-too-fre­quent occa­sions where I wish I had a but­ton I could push that gives him an anony­mous elec­tri­cal jolt in his real-life chair.

Actu­al­ly, as it turns out, there’s a lit­tle but­ton that I don’t push that does the same thing. It’s actu­al­ly a series of but­tons, each of them bound to heal­ing spells. He dies more than aver­age.

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