Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The concept of delayed gratification

In a recent post, Lienna talks about a recent Molten Core raid she tried to assemble. She relates how out of 10 people who it turned out were not attuned, 6 left the raid rather than go through the process, as well as how on wiping in front of the third boss, everyone in the raid suddenly and mysteriously had pressing reasons to leave.

I admit, this is probably the single main reason why I'm starting to be put off even five man content, let alone trying to raid. People have apparently become completely intolerant to undertaking any kind of challenge in the game if the difficulty is more than trivial, and the gratification involved for doing so is anything other than immediate. I've been able to get maybe a single five man group in the last two months which wasn't aborted before completion, and some of said abortions were in low level instances.

The excuses offered in refutation to this, I know, will be many. "Mirsh, Molten Core is old and obsolete. They were scrubs for wanting to do it anywayz!" or "All of the content in this game is old and boring now. People can't be bothered wiping through it simply due to the presence of a couple of scrubs in the group!"

I guess I'm just weird. I've done every five man in the game at least once, and I can honestly say that I'm not bored with any of them, other than the odd blatant, genuine scrub trap such as the Mana Tombs.

Is this seriously the reason why people feel like this now, though? Or could it be that the people who've referred to the Arena reward system as "welfare," are actually right, in the sense that it's apparently rendered people averse to doing anything that takes more than a minimal amount of time?

Here's another way in which I'm weird; running 5 mans for me used to be about having fun with the people I was with, experiencing the actual content, and maybe helping people out. Apparently gear is the sole reason why most other people play this game, however; and if said gear isn't forthcoming within maybe 15-30 minutes, tops, then they're no longer interested.

I also used to take pride in how effectively a group I was in was able to move through an instance; not necessarily quickly, but successfully and safely.

I've recently been reminded by a few people on the forum that I don't raid or play in the Arena, (which are apparently the only two legitimate activities for someone to engage in, in this game) that I shouldn't try and make myself out to be some kind of authority on the Hunter class, (which I have no recollection of ever having done anywayz) and that I apparently know absolutely nothing whatsoever about either this class, or the game in general.

Granted, that might indeed be true. I guess said ignorance on my part is the reason why I used to care about trying to get through an instance without contributing to other people's repair bills; someone who truly knows how to play the game can probably do that to the point where it's automatic, and so isn't even an issue at all. I envy such people; that degree of competence would be great. I guess that comes with actually knowing something about the class or the game.

That's part of the reason why I'm still stuck soloing the EPL/WPL instances and other places when people call me a scrub for doing so; I don't care so much about gear, but I do want challenge, and I do want to get to explore interesting places. Those activities take time; actually quite a lot of it.

Trackhoof mentioned hitting a dilemma of his skill surpassing his gear; there are now a lot of people playing this game who apparently believe that if you aren't completely covered in purple, you're a complete failure as a human being, both within WoW and out of it. Several of the aborted instances I've run recently were with people who spoke of having multiple geared 70s; yet somehow, in the scenarios we were in, they just couldn't help wiping. They've got lots of purples though, and we all know that that's the only thing that really matters.

While we're also on the subject of my faults, one of my most grievous ones has been a tendency to leave just about everything in life half-finished. I'd go halfway through something, get bored, and leave it. I've done that with pretty much everything else in my life so far; school, higher education, my last relationship. However, ironically enough, WoW has been possibly the first thing I've ever done (or more specifically, this Hunter) where I haven't done that.

Before Blizzard recently sold out and became purely about the lowest common denominator, WoW actually taught me in very graphic terms about the value of the concept of delayed gratification.

You go through an instance. Some of the mobs in it are difficult to kill. It takes a long time, and involves you having to try and work as a group and pay attention for longer than might be comfortable. At the end of it though, you've got several new items you can use in several cases, and you come away with a feeling of having accomplished something, (even if it's only killing monsters in a video game) and maybe having helped a few other people out.

I used to value having those sorts of experiences, but like I said, I'm weird like that.

"Caring about what yourself or other people do in a video game? Geez, Mirsh, you need some perspective. Get a life. Learn to play this freaking game while you're at it. You're still half covered in blues and greens. Stupid scrub."

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