Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Being true to yourself isn't always simple

There's been some debate in the comments in an earlier post of mine, about BRK migrating to Survival.

Some say they think he is being true to himself; others say he isn't. While I will say that the decision, ultimately, is nobody's but his own to make, I will offer some observations.

For as long as I have read his writing, BRK has emphasised a consistent belief that the Hunter, first, last, and everything in between, is a DPS class. BRK has stated that he feels that our class's only real role in a group is to provide as much raw damage as possible, and up until the last patch, for several years, Beast Mastery as a tree was certainly the most effective means for him to practically implement this belief.

So on the surface, it could appear as though, now that Survival generates more raw damage, in switching to it, BRK is following his convictions about providing his groups or raids with as much damage as he can.

However, in a recent post of his, "Locked and Loaded," where he relates a conversation with himself, he offers a very important clue about his current, true internal state.

"Are you going to keep using 'we' even though your pet is a sad, pathetic thing compared to Beastmastery-spec?"

"We are. For in our heart, we remain BM." (Emphasis mine)

As I said at the top of this post, BRK, like all of us, has to do what he has to do. Ultimately the only person any of us must satisfy is the one we see when we look into a mirror.

However, I will say this.

In the near three years that I've been Survival, I haven't raided all that much. I have some, and yeah, occasionally it's even been fun, in a superficial, transitory kind of way.

I don't have a readership the size of BRK's, either. I'm not diplomatic enough, for that. I've said a lot of things which have offended a lot of people, and BRK himself is one of them. I know he won't read this post.

I have my 100. I know many of you by name, or at least the character names which you are willing to share with me on here. You're good people; many of you restore my faith in my species on a daily basis. If I go into the forums, or the game itself, or even into the offline world, there are times when I really need that.

The point is, that being true to myself hasn't got me accolades. It sure as hell doesn't get me raid slots, a lot of the time. It doesn't get my name in lights, or me in the global top 5/10/whatever guilds.

Pike, you've gone back to being BM. That is the choice you've made, and for you, it's been the right one.

However, because of that, you're about to enter my world in another way as well. You won't get into a lot of Heroics. You probably won't get into a lot of raids, either.

There will probably be days when a lot of the other people you used to know, who used to be BM, have jumped on the "new Survival" bandwagon, and looking in the Guild window, you'll see that they're all in Naxx, while you're maybe in the Borean Tundra, Zul'Drak, or somewhere else, farming.


Here's another quote for you.

"I didn't know that freedom is not a reward or a decoration that is celebrated with Champagne. Nor yet a gift, a box of dainties designed to make you lick your chops.

Oh, no! It's a choice, on the contrary and a long-distance race, quite solitary and very exhausting.

No Champagne. No friends raising their glasses as they look at you affectionately. Alone in a forbidding room, alone in the prisoner's box before the judges, and alone to decide in face of oneself or in the face of others' judgment.

At the end of all, freedom is a court sentence; that's why freedom is too heavy to bear, especially when you're down with a fever, or are distressed, or love nobody.

-- Albert Camus

If being true to yourself, then, is so terrible, why would anyone do it? If seemingly all of the possible rewards are for compromising, for selling out, for going with the crowd, for being transitory...what is the point?

The point is simply this. If your outer surroundings are a barren desert, and you are true to yourself, you will know greater joy than if your external surroundings were the most opulent palace you could imagine, while you were not.

You could be in the top rated guild on the planet. You could play WoW for a living. You could be a billionaire. You could lead the most charmed life, in corporeal terms, that you can think of. Yet lie to yourself, and it will all be worth nothing. Surround yourself with money, and in total silence, you will hear yourself weep.

BRK, I know you won't read this post, so it almost certainly doesn't really matter. If you were going to read it hypothetically, however, I'd invite you to listen to a particular song by Michael Jackson; "Man in the Mirror."

Then go and find a mirror. Stand in front of it, and without thinking about what will get you into raids or satisfy anyone else, ask the guy looking back at you...really ask him...what spec he wants to be.

You might still make the same decision.

You might not.

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