Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's a "mene" going round the blogs right now. No, not a "meme". A meme is generally benign, possibly strange, and often quirky. (to me, anyways)

No this is a "mene", pronounced "mean".

As in you can't possibly MENE that, or that's rather a rather MENE spirited point of view.

And no, I won't link the originating post. I don't care to give it whatever ephemeral, mental kudos you get for getting linked/mentioned. I'm sure you probably know which one I'm referring to, or will quickly recognize it once I get beyond this introductory spewing of frumpitude.

I am referring to the belief by some that certain types of toons are worth more than others. Because they do more. And the last type of players are just grist for the mill.

As a DPS player that has to switch (mid fight) to healing to help out in some fights, and taunt mobs off the healers and other squishies due to lacking in others, I not-so-respectfully request you insert this into the most uncomfortable orifice you can conceive: (I'll even start it for you)

Maybe it's because I'm still rather new to the game, but I am absolutely STUNNED at the depth of self righteous, antagonistic, selfish and unbelievably arrogant BULLSHIT I read and see whilest perusing the online culture of WoW. This isn't the only topic I've seen that raises my hackles, but it's the most recent, and for me, the most incendiary.

I don't care if all someone does is farm titanium only to sell it to the closest vendor for 12 silver, or struggle to hit the "1" key so they can auto attack in a heroic. Nobody "deserves" more than anyone else. We ALL pay the monthly fees. We all play, I would guess, for the same reason: to enjoy ourselves.

If your entertainment requires you to receive extra special colored pixels, above and beyond what other players get, in order to feel oh-so-special and get enjoyment out of the game, please take a moment to evaluate why you play. I'm not joking, and I'm not (honestly) trying to be flippant or mean with this particular comment. I think we all know that WoW can foster some unhealthy habits and attitudes in some of the player base, and it can manifest itself in a multitude of unpleasant ways.

This is a game.

I completely understand getting personally vested in it. Hell, we ALL are to some level, or we wouldn't play for very long, let alone take the time to bother blogging about it.

That being said...

As has been pointed out in multiple places across the internet, Blizzard (hallowed be thy name) has made it a fundamental mechanic that the game revolves around the holy trinity of player types: tank, DPS, healer. The game simply isn't playable at any serious level of you don't have all three types.

Yes, as a Ret Paladin, I can heal a good bit and if all the other players were geared enough, I might be able to heal a low level heroic. Or with some good healing and some good gear, I could probably half-assed "tank" the easiest heroics. (or at least the regular dungeons)

It would require EVERYONE to be way over geared (myself included) and it would annoy everyone involved, but it is probably doable. (if not by me, then by better players)

Does that flexibility make Pallies, or Druids or any other hybrid class any more valuable? Absolutely not.

We all play, in theory (as I mentioned above) to have fun. The moment the words "should be compensated more" cross your lips, the word "job" pops rapidly into my mind. That is kinda the opposite of fun, at least in my book.

And unless someone can prove me wrong, I think it's an easy, and fair assumption that good, bad & mediocre players occupy the various roles in equal proportions. Therefore, there are an equal ratio of skilled (and unskilled) players in all the roles. So I don't think it's reasonable to claim special priority based on skill/ability: all groups have the same range & average.

Tanks love to bitch about bad healers and bad DPS, Healers love to bitch about bad tanks and bad DPS, and so on. No group is above others here, and all are possible targets for ire.

A bad player in any role can wipe a group. (I'm mainly talking 5 mans here) A good player in any role can also save a group. I am far from good and *I* have done plenty to save runs.

There's a "rule of thumb" that is often bandied about it WoW, and most people seem to think it has value:

If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault.
If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault.
If the DPS dies, it's their own fault.

This would seem to imply that a tank/healer duo form their own team within a team, and that, in general, DPS are on their own. So, in effect, heal/tank duos have a special team mate watching their back, while the DPS are "solo" within the team.

Yes, in practice, healers help the DPS and the tanks help the DPS, and the DPS helps both the others. (at least in theory) BUT, it sure does highlight a distinct culture within the game, don't ya think?

After all, we each chose our roles for our own reasons; they fit our preference, personality, present an interesting challenge, etc.

If you want to get a bit petty about it, one could argue that tanks & healers already *do* get more loot (at least if they try) This is simply because they can probably run an entire instance in the time it takes for me to even FIND a group, and they can then run an entire SECOND instance while I am running my first.

So, they can get twice as much loot/badges as a run-of-the-mill DPS pugger in the same amount of time.

Lastly, I put in a pretty good amount of time learning my class, reading, and trying to do my best. I spend as much time as the next "average" player (maybe more) in this pursuit.

I find it blatantly offensive that some folks feel their time (for a game) is somehow "worth" more than mine. The phrase "culture of entitlement" comes to mind...

I wish I could be more subtle, more witty and *maybe* a bit more obscure in my rants, but, that's not who I am. Ah well, I guess I'm another yahoo on the net with a chip on my shoulder and spleen in my words.



  1. I'm glad you posted this as is Slik - even though I don't have a feed reader.

    The truth is that most people believe DPS is the easiest job. I don't know about that. I find it the easiest, but I know some healers and tanks that totally suck at pulling good DPS.

    I think it stems from the fact that all players, regardless of experience, know how to DPS - that's how you level after all.

    There's no mystique surrounding DPS. Therefore it commands no respect.

    Good, experienced players can tell when the DPS are good players. And it's not just about numbers. It's about interupting the right spells. Standing in the best place for your healer to heal you. Saving the day moments are usually a bit showy, but the little things don't go unnoticed either.

  2. Cassandri,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    It's sad, I tried to reply to my own blog from home, and it wouldn't work, so I needed to wait until I had some free time here at work ...doh...

    Alas, I am still very much a stuend of "good" rading, as opposed to actually being a good raider. I *don't* always think about staing in LoS, or staying close to the hearler, and some of those "not so little" things.

    But I am learning.

    Have I actually saved a heroic raid from a wipe? Once, if I recall correctly. (with help from Kattastrophe on Heals)

    I have definitely extended a couple fights , but as I've mentioend in other posts, I am often wondering if I missed some opportunities that COULD have actually saved things.

    I think you raise a HUGELY imortant point, and one I had not thought about: the fact that pretty much everyone has to DPS at some time in their WoW lives.

    Another aspect I hadn't thought about was brought up by Big Bear Butt, in that the waycontent has been designed/redesigned has definitelyplayed a large part in how the game is played, and everyone's role in playing it. This, in turn, affects perception.

  3. daman why wont this comment field let me paste... baah not going to type in a whole paragragh..

    Great post you are 100% right, there should be no sense of entitlement.

    The one unsaid bit of the tank/heal/dps who takes the blame bit is... The DPS should be caring for themselves, only in so far as if they screw up, or at that moement in time the tank or heals have to focus 100% on each other.

    The rest of the time, when the DPS is intelligently doing their job, then it is both the healers and the tanks fault.. both.. the tank for not controlling aggro, the healers for not keeping them up.

    Still, I think we would all agree that green loving dps (or characters of any role) deserve to soak their face in the green.

    However on true point of contention.. while I agree that no single role should hold a feeling of entitlement...

    I sure as hell do.. cause I'm special you know ;-)

  4. This is an interesting post, and I agree with a lot of what you've said. I am fairly (very) new to WOW, and I find I'm enjoying playing a healer most of the time (my toon's a druid). However, I am also learning it's very challenging.

    I think the main reason the tank/healer ends up being a team is because, generally speaking, if the tank can pull the aggro, and the healer can keep the tank up, everyone lives. If other players are pulling aggro, it becomes really hard to keep everyone healed up. And, heaven forbid, if they're suddenly split in different directions and out of LoS, you're just in major trouble. I ran with a PUG last night that wiped 4 times...FOUR times...before we called it quits. I begged and pleaded with them (ALL of them) to stay in LoS, to not pull multiple mobs, to please figure out *who* was tanking because it seemed there was some disagreement. It was enough to make me crazy! I ran that same dungeon afterwards with my friend (a new tank) and a great threesome of dps folks, found through the LFG, and it went much much better.

    So, I agree that there should not be entitlement. Players of all types can be good/moderate/bad/whatever. I agree that is IS a that I am finding I really like (and I'm mostly a board and card game girl), and people really shouldn't take it too seriously. However, when you're running with a group, it is useful if everyone can agree on their job description for that instance or quest or whatever and stick to it! Of course, that's why I'm trying to get my friends to all get to about the same level and actually start running as a group :) It's easier to build that sort of commraderie than to PUG into it, I suppose.

  5. Sorry for the delay in responding... for some reason I can't reply to my own post using my normal home PC. (I'm using a web book)

    @the roaming gnome - I will agree that "plain old DPS" is easier than "plain old tanking"or "plain old healing".

    If everyone knows/does their job, and it's one of the WotLK Heroics, DPS is easier. There's no CC to worry about, many tanks are nearly impossible pull aggro off of. Basically, there's fire to avoid standing in.

    BUT, that assumes everybody does/can do their job. As soon as you get as fail tank or fail healer, the likelihood of raid survival falls more onto the DPS. (survival in the face of fail tanks &healls is a LOT tougher than surviving a bad DPS or 2)

    Anyhow, regardless of workload, we are all people,individuals trying to enjoy themselves.

  6. The current shortage of tanks is both a well-known and longstanding condition. Though Blizzard has attempted a variety of solutions, including introducing a new tanking class, the problem does not appear to have abated. Solving the problem would make it easier and more fun to do group content, so making a change would be in the interest of both Blizzard and the player population in general.

    I think one of the reasons why the topic of rewards can be upsetting is because it is not always clear by what is meant by 'worth'. This is particularly true if 'worth' is taken as a measure of the player's value as a person or skill in playing a character. I think a better way to conceptualize 'worth', however, is in terms of scarcity.

    Presently there is a scarcity of tanks in the queue. In order to induce more players to roll tanks or tanks to enter the queue more often, some sort of incentive is needed. Would it really be so bad to give tanks or healers a little extra loot? Everybody would win: tanks/healers would get the loot they want and dps would get faster queue times. Maybe the objections to such a scheme are based more on jealousy than trying to make the situation better for everybody.

  7. @hersubbiness - Thanks for the perspective :) (not sure how I didn't see your post before, sorry!)

    There's no doubt that bad heal or bad tanking can cause more problems than one bad DPS....

    Failpugs are a fact of life in WoW, nd bloggng would be much more bland if they DIDN'T happen lol. I will usually stay for multiple wipes IF the group "feels" like they can make it. I will leave if it goes down hill fast...


    I actually think "bribing" folks to play as tanks would be ok, for the most part. (some have mentioned that a fail DPS would, mosts likely, make a fail Tank or healer) But fail tanks aside, that's fine.

    That being said, I don't believe that the author I'm talking about was approaching the topic with that in mind. His comments seemed to be directed at the specific attribute of "worth of the player/toon". The "meat in the room" comment in particular rings loudly with me.

  8. FWIW: I started with a warlock main, but have changed to a resto druid. I *MUCH* prefer healing to DPS. I think the 'whack-a-mole' style of play is easier than either of the other options.

    When I go on runs with the warlock, I suck at DPS. I think I hit the meters somewhere below the healer. I am not sure what other people have issues with, but my problem is targeting. Tabbing through to find the X after the skull drops, oops, missed it, go around the room again until it comes up. Oops, he is pretty much dead, guess I go on to the square....square....Ah. There he is. Ok, rotation, DoT's start ticking, dead.

  9. @ Joe Jansen

    For targeting you just need a simple macro.

    Set the tank as your focus.
    /assist focus

    Easy as pie. You hit that macro every once in a while and you will always be targeting what your tank is hitting. :)

  10. I would post something relevant but your little edit box for posting is horrible.

  11. Well, thanks for stopping & reading...

    There's not much I can do about the layout. As far as I know, this little response box is "fixed" so my hands are tied...

  12. Hey, I got here from another blog, and while i didn't read any other entries, i just want to say i have a different view than yours.

    I've been playing for some time now, and i'e been around long enough to notice changes in the way the game is played and the mindset of the players. The game is changing, and so are the players, but some things don't change. A bit about myself, i've played since vanilla, where most of my time was spent pvping, only in the final months i got into ZG and that was about it. TBC was a big step for me, when i realized i can learn more about myself as a rogue by doing everything else not related to roguery. In TBC i raided as a resto shaman and as a rogue and thanks to the guild i've been in, i got to see the insides of BT on these two chars. WOTLK was the next step in my higher understanding of things when i tanked with my warrior all sorts of stuff, my shaman morphed into a ranged dpser and my priest was the new healing char.

    Now, i don't want to seem like i'm bragging or condescending, i just want you to understand that i've fulfilled all roles a player can have and i'm not just some guy that landed on azeroth from... whatever moon azeroth has. Make no mistake, i am quite proud of my accomplishments, but i no way i want to seem elitist or superior or anything like that.

    So here we go. Firstly, i believe you're looking at this from a way different perspective. WoW IS a game, but for me, it's beyond a game, it's TIME. Now, i'm not a young man anymore, and time is precious for me. Between the job, the socializing and a cat, my time in WoW must be well spent. So imho, anything that stops you from doing that is murder. Some cocky young pup did a nasty pull and stole 2 mins of your life. It adds up, man. I'm not one of those guys that asks max performance, i'm okay with running heroics with blue geared people, as long as they know what they're doing. Even if they don't, i can understand as long as they accept this fact and are open to suggestions.

    One thing i hate more than anything, is "GOGOGOOG". If little Timmy is bound to go to bed in 14 mins, it doesn't mean i should break my legs for him, keep him alive or letting him set the pace of the instance run. Basically, it's a risk vs. reward type of thing, and i'm trying to balance them out. Which brings us to my next point.

  13. Numero dos. Try to understand this: whatever mistakes you as a DPS make, the tank or the healer have to overcome them. I am a dps, natively, i'm a rogue and i kill stuff, but the cases where i had to save the party as DPS are too few. As a healer, though, and as a tank, i'm in constant alert, because aside my basic duties of keeping up in aggro or keeping everyone topped off, i need to watch out for mistakes other people do. Especially nowadays with the dungeon finder, these things happen, quite a lot. And during these times, as i said, 85% of cases, it's not the dps that saves the day.

    What this means for me, is that i have to work more because you worked less. And sometimes, i can't get behind that. And by sometimes, i mean those times when dps goes "ffs heal" or "aggro ffs". During my many years of killing innocent NPCs in instanced dungeons, i saw a lot more abuse coming from dps than from healers or tanks. There are types like that, too, of course, but what you should realize is that the expectations and responsabilities of these roles kinda surpass those of a dpser.

    I mean, i could jump into heroics the moment i hit 80 as a dps, but it's trickier if i'm a healer (these are the times of GOGOGOGO and regenning on the run) and even trickier if i'm a tank (what, only 28k hp ? GTFO).

    So, just imo, tanks and healers, kind of are more valuable than dps, not because of the availability, but because of the responsabilities. You're right about one thing though, as a tank or healer, i shouldn't feel entitled to deserve more. It shouldn't get to my head. It shouldn't make me feel superior. And it doesn't.

    It's about empathy. The main ingredient in social cohesion. I know i need you and that guy and the other guy to have a good time in.. FoS or whatever. I know we all want the same thing. But i don't delude myself, i am far more valuable as a tank or healer because i can bring something to the group that no one else can do in that particular moment. And i feel better about myself while tanking or healing, because... i don't know, feels like helping out to me, i guess.

    Head over to the EU forums if you like, look into tanking and healing forums for a thread called "the most stupid thing you heard a pug dps say" or something like that, and maybe you'll understand better why there are people that don't share your point of view.

  14. @Kinsei

    First, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write that reply. Quite a mouthful.

    As a 40-something myself, with a career and all that, I understand your concern about time. Especially when my daily commute sucks 3-5 hours a day out of my life.

    I think we're actually on the same page overall: I did NOT say that DPS was always as hard or any of that. ANd yes, the opportunity for me to save a run are not all that common. Overasll, it has ben the tank that has been the timewaster in my runs. In probably 100 heroic runs, I have yet to see "that" DPS that runs ahead and pulls. (Inadvertant pulls happens, mistakes and I've done *that* a couple times* but never an intentional DPS pull - guess I've been lucky ) If someone is doing stupid pulls, it's usually the tank, and then the healer and DPS are scrambling to prevent a wipe. But, it leads (often) to the same timng: repair bills and wasted time.

    I tank on occasion, and I understand that it can be tough. I personally think trash pulling is harder than boss tanking, and doing successful trash pulls can be a bugger. Hell, wrangling 4-6 mobs, maintaining aggros is an effing pain, and I'm not good at it (yet? I hope). SO no disaggreement there.

    Healing? THe responsibility is certainly higher and I *HAVE* seen the "wtf healz?!?" tytpe rants, and felt the urge to sling them occasionally. (Sorry, as a melee, I can't always avoid damage, it's why I wear armor) But, I rarley comment on lower performance. (I do thank for good healz)

    I've seen my other half healing, and it's definitely more stressful. BUT watching the work and how she does it (ie, the whack-a-mole) THe biggest concern is not getting all tunnel vision, and not standing in the bad, and that's a danger for DPS as well.

    THanks again for taking the time to write. Perhaps my tone in my original rant hies it, but I don't think my POV is really all that far off from yours.

    Cheers. :)