CAVEAT: This post has absolutely nothing to do with WoW. It is opinionated, and reflects on some of my opinions on social values that you may not agree with! If this type of thing doesn’t interest you, please move right along and check back tomorrow for something involving WoW. If it does interest you, but you find you disagree with my opinion on things, my only request is that you are respectful in your dissent.
Disclaimer: I am a graduate of Ole Miss.
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In the past 6-9 months or so new slang has entered into the WoW vocabulary. I’m not entirely sure how it happened or where it came from, but it’s there. I’m sure you have all heard it, are familiar with it and perhaps even use it! The term that I’m referring to is “pro”.
As far as I can tell, to be “pro” is to do something exceptionally well.
The problem is, I hate the phrase. Perhaps it’s just my old age coming through, and my dislike of this new-fangled term is just me being stodgy. (Hell, let’s face it, I still find Tom Selleck, circa Magnum PI, as the pinnacle of a gorgeous man!). I mean I also disliked it when people said “Money” or “$$” back when it was the term du jour in Vanilla WoW. Maybe I just dislike all slang terms, and am a stuck up goody tooshoes, who knows. I just know that every time I see/hear the phrase “pro” I cringe a little bit on the inside.
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I came across this thread on my realm forums the other day that’s got me thinking a little bit. The thread itself is your basic “lol you/your guild/your server sucks” thread that is ripe with all kinds of trolling. However, there was a comment in there where a couple of posters commented that they not only clear all of the content, but have fun doing it along the way, and how they didn’t see anything wrong with that. And of course the trolled response they got was basically if you aren’t a top 100 guild, you suck and should get a life.
The commentary going back and forth almost got me riled up enough to post on the realm forums, but then I remembered that I should “never argue with an idiot. They will only pull you down to their level, then beat you with experience”, and abstained. But as the post goes back and forth, my mind is still perplexed. I am curious exactly what is wrong with just having fun? Why is being “ranked” they only measure of a guild’s strength for so many?
Why is it that people are criticized for just enjoying something without concern for competition? In the thread above one of the posters even comes out and says they aren’t about the same things as other guilds. They place their values in different places, and they quite enjoy the game the way they play it. And yet they are criticized for doing things they way they would like? They don’t want to be the best, and they 100% understand and make no claim that they are, yet critics tell them that because they aren’t the best they are a failure. How does that work?
So many times you will see someone achieve something that is huge for them, only see some jerk comment “grats on being months behind noob”. It’s to the point that people have to qualify their accomplishments with “I know it’s old” or “I know we are months behind”, which in my opinion is just flat out wrong. An accomplishment is an accomplishment regardless of when or how it is achieved. Everyone is entitled to celebrate their accomplishments, regardless of how small they may seem to someone else. Who cares if they killed Boss X 3 months after Guild A? They still killed Boss X. They still put in the time, and had the fortitude to set a goal and meet that goal. That is a lot more than many people can say about themselves in, and out, of game.
So what is so wrong with having fun? What is so wrong with being “months behind” if you are enjoying the journey along the way? What effect does it have on you? If you don’t like it, just stay away! As my mother used to ask me as a child “Does it hurt your big toe? No? Then what does it matter to you?”. (See Mom! You knew someday I’d see the wisdom in your ways!).
If being highly competitive and the rush of being first is what you are looking for, then it is fine to place yourself into that environment. But I think it’s important to understand that not everyone is after that, and not everyone should be expected to have the same goals that you placed for yourself. For some people finding a pleasant environment to enjoy the game is more important; for others finding an environment that fits their playtimes and lifestyle is more important. But what gives anyone the right to begrudge others for having a different set of goals than they have for themselves?
Whether it be the person that is looking for the hardest of the hardcore, or the gal that just wants to see everything before the next chapter but takes her time doing it, or the guy that just wants to play with his friends, everyone is equally entitled to participate in the fashion that suits them best and in which they have fun. And nobody has the right to begrudge them for that. Ever.
So tell me, Mr. Forum Guy, exactly what is it that’s wrong with just having fun? Who are you to dictate what makes something “good” or “bad”?
There are many ways to lead raids, some successful, some not so successful. Some enjoyable, some not so enjoyable. No matter which you choose they will all largely depend on the personality of those that you play with, and their goals. I know that there are some guilds where leading with the stick is the norm. Where nightly ranting and berating is to be expected, and where members accept that as being a part of that guild.
For me, I much prefer, and think that you usually get better results, from the carrot. While I do sometimes get very frustrated on a personal level, I try to keep that out of the raid (unless Brade has his mic queued without me knowing…). I find that, just like in life, most adults like to be treated as adults, and will generally produce better results when treated as such. I think providing a pleasant raid experience tends to encourage people to turn up night after night to participate in whatever activity happens to be on the schedule. I like the carrot. I like positive reinforcement, and I like open discussion.
That being said, sometimes there is no alternative for the stick. Sometimes people just need a quick whack to get them back on track.
As an example. My guild has certain encounters that tend to just have our number. The past two weeks, this has been Putricide, for whatever reason. Sure, we get him down, but with no small amount of total stupidity ensuing (sometimes even from yours truly!), and frustration. For whatever reason, people just fall all over themselves, and the stellar players that we saw all night long leading up to this point, let their stunt doubles drive. I can think of no other logical excuse for what is happening! Stunt doubles, I tell ya!
For the past two weeks, we have taken far more pulls than was necessary to finish this task. And both weeks, I’ve had to revert to letting out my inner-bitch to get folks to focus after an hour or two of just flat out sloppy play. Both weeks, the pull after the inner-bitch was let loose we netted a kill. (WTF! No, Seriously, WTF!). In both of these instances, wielding the stick netted better results than offering the carrot. Hell, I even half jokingly asked last night “Should I just yell at y’all before our first pull next week, and skip the bullshit in between?”.
I certainly recognize that sometimes the stick is needed, there is just no way around it. The problem is…I hate wielding it. I get inner-bitch’s remorse. “Was I too hard on people”. “Did I holler inappropriately”. “Should I have just let it go”. Nine times out of ten, the answer is always “no”. I did the right thing, people needed to be whipped into line and brought back to focus. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.
Quite the opposite, actually. I much prefer to offer respect, and provide a venue for constructive feedback and growth. I think that people are more open to fixing performance issues when they don’t have the fear of god (or Beru in this case) in them. I think that, as a general principle, the carrot is a much better motivator. At least it’s the one that I have come to prefer.
But…that doesn’t mean that there aren’t appropriate times to brandish the stick either. However, I think knowing when to make use of it is extremely important. Because if you swing it constantly, people will start to ignore it or just grow used to it’s sting. But if you only bring it out on occasion, people know it’s “srs bizns”. When the usually calm, collected, and friendly Beru is now in your face as if you were Private Pyle, people know that the shit has hit the fan and it’s the splash of cold water they need to regroup…usually.
As much as I hate it, I have to admit that the stick is sometimes a necessity.
Which do you prefer, the carrot or the stick? At what point do you think it’s appropriate to bring out the stick?
It’s not often that I have an entire post writen in my head as I drive to work. But the topic of this post has been gnawing at me since last night, ever since I stepped foot into the Plagueworks. We ran 10s last night, being an off night. We manage two field two strong groups for the zone. The goal: learn everything we can about the 3 new bosses to prepare ourselves for the 25.
I had three reactions to the new content: Confusion, Frustration and Happiness.
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I know that many people have already given their, largely unfavorable, opinion on this asinine new “tool” that has entered the game, but I thought it was time for me to pitch in my two cents on the matter. For those of you that aren’t interested in another gearscore rant, here is the TL:DR version: Gearscore can kiss my fuzzy tauren ass.
Over our holiday weekend, I partook in any number of PuGs through the looking for group system on just about all of my 5 level 80s. I’ve done a good number of these on Beru, so that I could finish off my achievement and nab up Perky (which I did this weekend!). Brade and I also always make a point to do the daily random for our two badges of frost. One of these days, our queue popped us into the Culling of Stratholme, which is one of my favorite instances. Read the rest of this entry »