Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Don't fool yourself. Speed kills."

Any Australians reading this may recognise that the above was an advertising slogan used by the Traffic Accident Commission in a series of deliberately disturbing television ads several years ago, designed to deter motorists from driving too fast due to it having potentially fatal consequences.

However, the principle also applies in WoW. I was doing one of my daily Scholo farms earlier with a 60 Paladin. She was, admittedly, a lot more competent than most I've had with me in similar scenarios, and generally kept herself alive fairly well. However, there was one occasion where she charged into a group of mobs with abandon and got herself killed, although I was able to survive.

It reminded me of how, in the five mans I've done, I've never seen a single more common cause of deaths and wipes than impatience.

The tank who wants it to be a "fast run" because he has to go in 30 minutes, when the instance in question realistically needs (at least) an hour and a half. Wipe, wipe, wipe.

The tank who refuses to clear the multitude of adds in either the Steamvault or Slabs, in order to "save time," and then someone takes a wrong step in order to get range, or try to run from one of the mobs they are engaging. Spectacular chain wipe.

The group who consider first place on the unholy DPS meter to be the sole measure of their worth as human beings, both inside WoW and outside it, whose aggro thus goes through the roof. The tank can't hold aggro, the mobs all charge past him to the back of the group, and are immediately drawn to the healer, who is frantically trying to keep everyone alive in the midst of this chaos, and thus generating even more aggro than the DPS. The healer dies, and for the rest of the group it becomes only a matter of time. Wipe.

The newb who I'm gullible enough to take on instance farming runs, who's decided that he's bored with me fighting things and him simply looting, (when such is a measure designed to keep him alive) and charges headlong into the next group he sees. The last thing I usually see in such a scenario is one of his hands reaching out to me helplessly from beneath a group of mobs. ;-)

I don't try and save someone if they do that to themselves, either...I consider it an important part of their education. I do make a reasonable effort to protect the person I'm with, but if you're two manning something with me, and you pull mobs that I'm not ready for, I feign and you die. It's very simple, and it's done in the hope that if you put yourself through that enough times, eventually you might learn something.

There have been times when people in groups with me have been frustrated with me because they think I'm too slow and take forever to do something. I admit, I often am very slow, deliberate, and methodical...I find that solo at least, it's one of the primary elements of Survival as a playstyle. In terms of the parable of the tortoise and the hare, if the tortoise had a WoW character, I'm guessing it might have been a Survival Hunter. The proverb, "Slow and steady wins the race," is worth meditating on.

If you find yourself wiping in a 5 man though, take a minute. (Hell, take a couple)

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then open them again.

Observe your surroundings. Check the minimap. Are there patrols near you in the instance? Are there other adds, close to a group of mobs you have decided to engage, that the tank thinks the group can skip to "save time?" Hopefully, if you're not allowed to mark yourself, you've got an intelligent tank who can be reasoned with about such things. Some tanks are open to such negotiation; others sadly aren't.

If I'm running a 5 man though, and someone (particularly the tank) says they need to make it a fast run because they have to go in 30 minutes, I will generally boot them out of the group and get someone else who does have time. That might sound harsh, but it's a move with the welfare of the group as a whole in mind.

Yes, in terms of both soloing and instancing, I play this game very slowly. Why?

Corpse running is one thing I don't have time for.

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