Monday, October 19, 2009

Assumptions and Achievements

When I was in college one of my friends had a saying "Assumption is nothing more than the opportunity to be an Ass". I haven't always agreed with that idea, believing that "somethings should just be common sense". However this past week I have seen his philosophy demonstrated so many more times than my own. I have recognized it in myself as I have faced frustration or upset with individuals only to later acknowledge I have no one to blame but myself for thinking each of them would respond as I ASSUMED.

At times I have questioned whither individuals were even SERIOUS as they have made statements or asked questions. One of the difficulties of WRITTEN text is that it fails to convey tone of voice. Sarcasm and joking are often misinterpreted unless specifically identified. For myself I try to error on the side of caution and take things that could be considered "insulting" as not MEANT that way, sometimes going to so far as to share with the individual how it could be miss understood if I see OTHERS getting upset about it. I don't ALWAYS succeed but I at least put forth the effort.

Sure, at times it may mean that I spoil the joke...but at the same time when an individual expresses shock that "Deer eat GRASS? I thought they ate human flesh!" and I laugh only to discover that "Well that is what my Mom told me so I always thought it was true" does make you question what they teach people now a days.

Just because a player tells you that they have been playing WoW since the VERY beginning doesn't mean that they will know some of what some consider the MOST BASIC information. Elitist Jerks? Shadowpanther? Wowhead? I have been challenged to the utmost this week in sharing information with individuals who YOU WOULD THINK would KNOW only to later discover it was if I was speaking a foreign language. Give a rotation in numbers and abbreviations? "What does S&D, FoK, etc MEAN?" "You mean you don't just use the SAME opening move ALL the time?" "You use different poisons for different specs?" 

There have been times I have just wanted to give up. But then I look at how others who I at times questioned would EVER improve are now some of our most valued members and assure myself that YES it IS worth it....sometimes. I know for myself that I didn't KNOW all of this stuff when I was starting out. Even after playing the game for four years I am STILL learning new things every day. Every Patch, upgrade, etc offers new challenges and for some....Well they just don't even CONSIDER that there may be sources OUTSIDE of the game they can and SHOULD consult if they want to improve.

I have dealt with individuals who are convinced that using ANY type of "mod" is "cheating" because don't you know if Blizzard didn't put it in the game then you MUST not REALLY need it. Trying to convince them that it is more like pimping out your car so you can enjoy added features over just the "basic factory" model can be exhausting.

In the end it all comes down to TIME. How much of it am I willing to spend in an attempt to help someone who is asking for assistance? There have been a few I had to just say "Listen you keep asking me these questions then arguing with me because you don't like my answers. Either TRY them and THEN talk to me about it or don't ask me anymore and save us BOTH the frustration."

Gearing up and playing a rogue now is in my opinion easier than ever. With instances like Trial of the Champion and tabards that allow you to gain reputation while farming heroics there is really no REASON that an individual CAN NOT get to a raid level of gear. Sure the "Elitist" may whine about it but THEY are STILL going to be in the highest end gear ANYWAY because THEY will be farming all of that stuff RELIGIOUSLY verses a "casual" player with more limited play time.

I know there are some who do not like how the achievement points are being used by guilds and even pugs to "rate" how much a person may know or not know about the game. I can only speak for myself in that it DOES help me when I talk to an individual who tells me "I have played this game since the beginning" and then I look at their achievements and see that they have only JUST completed 500 quests. An individual like that is going to be a VERY different type of player from the one who says "I have played this game since the beginning" and is sporting over 6000 achievement points.

SURE it MAY be an alt they are on but if you are level 80 and have less than 3000 achievement points it would SEEM common sense that you knowledge of the game or at the VERY least that CLASS, is going to be more limited and others should be willing to take that into account. Also the TYPES of achievements an individual has tells us A LOT about a player. If you are seeing someone with LOTS of PvP achievement points but VERY few PvE, their knowledge of how to work with a group in a dungeon or raid can be legitimately questioned.

Does that mean you shouldn't be willing to group with them? No, but it does mean that BOTH should be aware of how differences COULD potentially effect a group. Working through them can be VERY rewarding IF individuals are willing and able to take the time.

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