Sunday, January 25, 2009

The sickness within World of Warcraft

I just read Kruger's comments on my last post, and was depressed by what he described having happened to him.

"Well the inevitable happened to me today.

Was in LFG looking for a 'roic CoT:Strat group and a group was looking for dps, so I whisper "I'll come dps" and then I get what I'm going to be seeing alot of "If your BM we dont want you"......*expletive*

About 10 mins later I got another group "LF DPS", I whisper "I'll come, 80 hunter" and I get "What's your spec?" I of course being BM tell them and I get back "Oh you dont do enough dps"

So if this trend continues I guess I'll be running less and less and having to find stuff to do solo.

Anyways good post, I enjoy reading the SV side of things."

The above attitude, that these people expressed towards Kruger, is based on nothing objective or logical, whatsoever. It is pure, elitist bile. Pike mentioned being able to generate at least 1.7k DPS unbuffed with Beast Mastery, which is perfectly fine for a Heroic.

The necessary minimum to avoid a wipe with Patchwerk is 2k DPS, and the necessary minimum for Heroics is 1.5. Anyone who refuses to take a member of a class and spec which is capable of hitting those numbers is not acting from a position of anything other than vindictive, entirely subjective elitism. They are taking advantage both of the fact that online anonymity allows them to be casually hateful and avoid the usual consequences of doing so, and of the game's (and this planet's) currently overpopulated state, in order to have the attitude that anyone who does not match their preferences can simply be summarily replaced.

This attitude is dehumanising. It is unnecessary. It is utterly sociopathic, and devoid of empathy. Most of all, it is wrong. If for no other reason, it is wrong because the person doing the rejecting refuses to empathise with the person being rejected. Elitists rely on the idea that they will always be in a position of rejecting others; they do not try to imagine how it would feel if they were in a position where others were rejecting them.

This goes to the very heart of the reason why, for the most part, I refuse to raid. I refuse to raid because I refuse to be a party and an accessory to a moral crime which is committed against thousands, probably millions, of individuals within this game on a daily basis. As Martin Luther King said, passive acceptance towards evil is the same, on a moral level, as active participation.

I do not advocate people raiding if they are unable to reach, in purely mathematical terms, the DPS prerequisites to avoid wipes in raids. However, I will now also give you a demonstration of what I consider to be objective.

According to WoWWiki, Patchwerk has a total in a 10 man raid of 4,320,000 hit points. WoWWiki does not mention how long his Enrage timer is, but does mention that the total raid DPS necessary to kill him before he Enrages is 12,000. Dividing 4,320,000 by 12,000 gives us 360 seconds, or 6 minutes.

The minimum requirement for killing Patchwerk before his Enrage, and thus avoiding a group wipe, is for the 6 DPS classes in a 10 man raid (2 tanks, 2 healers) to maintain 2,000 DPS each (12,000 / 6) over that period of 6 minutes. This coefficient remains the same for the 25 man version, as well.

There is no DPS class or spec within this game, pure or hybrid, which is not capable of this goal, given sufficient gear. There is also no justifiable reason for excluding any individual from a raid, if they are capable of meeting this goal.

Survival was capable of it, pre-patch. I refuse to believe that Beast Mastery has been rendered incapable of it now. Marksmanship has always been capable of it. I am capable of it, unbuffed, in my current gear. It is not an excessively unreachable goal.

The reality is, I've come to realise, that a large number of the people who play World of Warcraft are fairly simply, emotionally and spiritually dead. There is a Chinese proverb which states that if you wish to learn the true nature of a person, to put them in an evironment where there are no constraints whatsoever on their behaviour, and then watch how they act.

People playing this game want to be exclusionary, and they will accept virtually any excuse or justification for it that they can find, whatsoever. The desire for elitism and exclusivity doesn't have anything to do with what is objectively or legitimately needed to progress at all. 2k DPS is not a difficult goal to reach.

Because of this, guilds and individuals who crave elitism actually raise the bar to a subjective, and entirely unnecessary level. Suddenly they're claiming that the needed minimum is 3k. That isn't the needed minimum for actually killing Patchwerk; it's the needed minimum for an individual to be accepted by them.

My own sense of moral outrage is triggered on a daily basis by the relentlessly hateful, genuinely inhuman attitudes of many of the people who play this game. Gundersson, writing to me through Gmail, only the other night asked me what had happened, for humanity as a species to get to the point that we routinely observe in World of Warcraft.

My answer is a deeper, more genuinely serious analysis of John Gabriel's "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory." As the above-quoted Chinese proverb states, what Gabriel fails to take into account is that the "fuckwad," transformation only occurs online because that level of ugliness is, in fact, the true internal state of the majority of human beings. It is therefore not so much a true transformation, as it is a simple unmasking of the genuine nature of the person in question.

For an example of the opposite (positive, friendly, inclusive) type of behavior on a consistent basis, look at Pike. She is, to quote Gabriel, a normal person, with both anonymity and an audience. Yet, for her, the transformation to the fuckwad state never occurs. The reason is because that is not who Pike truly is, internally.

It isn't always safe to be a fuckwad offline. Doing so can have a wide variety of consequences, from being afflicted with physical violence, to being arrested, depending on the severity of the aberrant behaviour in question.

Online, however, there are far less restrictions. Sure, WoW might have guidelines about acceptable behaviour, but these get violated literally on a minute by minute basis. Even when they are enforced, the most serious potential consequence to an offender will be that they need to buy another WoW account.

Thus, offline, people are forced to act with restraint, but online, where the consequences of their actions are minimal to non-existent, the mask falls away, and the true, hideous nature of most members of our species reveals itself. Raid and Heroic elitism and exclusion are only one way for this nature to express itself, and it is one of the most common in this game, because it is seen as the most justifiable, through the use of superficial, and flawed logic.

I'm not claiming to be anywhere near perfect, myself. I've alienated a lot of people associated with this game; some of them permanently. I also was once exposed as having said some truly terrible things on MSN, when speaking in anger. And even though my highest ideal when playing WoW is to try and have a positive effect on those I interact with, my volatile nature means that I fail to reach that objective probably more than 90% of the time.

The one thing I'm not going to do, however, is exclude anyone from a group I'm in, if in mathematical terms, they truly are able to perform sufficiently well that we can get through an encounter. Even if they aren't, human beings are not disposable. The appropriate response is to assist them in improving, in a manner which allows them to maintain their own dignity; and you generally find that that process causes you to improve as well.

I know; you want to progress, to see all the content, to get gear, and to have your epeen stroked. If you're any sort of conscious, feeling human being at all, however, ask yourself this:-

Is that really what's most important?

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