There is an “I” in “raid”

I have previously expressed my dismay at the extreme class pruning that has resulted in hunters having a diminished role as an all-purpose raid utility player. In both Mists and WoD, I loved being the raid DLJ (Dirty Little Jobs) player — the one who always either volunteered or was voluntold to take care of extra duties like flamethrower duty in Highmaul’s Brackenspore or belt duty in Siege of Orgrimmar’s Siegecrafter Blackfuse.

But even if hunters are no longer the automatic go-to player for these extra jobs, I still like doing them and will usually volunteer if given a chance. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to do something extra for the raid team, not to mention the chance to break from what can often be pretty boring pew-pewing? Well, to my surprise, it turns out that many damage dealers avoid these duties like the plague — when the raid leader asks for volunteers, there is often deafening silence, and you can almost see people studying their shoes and doing anything they can to avoid virtual eye contact with the RL.

I am, as I have mentioned several times, quite naive about a lot of things, and this is one of them. It turns out that some significant number of damage dealers do not want to do these extra duties because it can diminish their DPS numbers. These are the same players who want live logging because it allows them to immediately and compulsively check their ranking after each boss kill, who humble-brag about their numbers by sending DPS results out in raid chat and “complain” they only barely edged out the number 2 guy or their numbers are slipping or whatever. They demand certain team assignments when the raid needs to be split up, based not on where they might be most effective due to class abilities but where they can maximize their personal damage numbers.

Now, of course there is an argument to be made that maxing out DPS is the best contribution to the raid, I get that. And there is certainly a very understandable desire to be the best you can be. But this is different — this is a pure ego thing that places personal performance above all other considerations. This is the equivalent of the ball hog on a sports team, the high-paid star that demands to be the one who gets the carry over the goal line or refuses to make a sacrifice bunt.

I bring this up because of the now-infamous actions of one Adois, a mostly-benched healer on Limit’s Mythic raid team. This pathetic person actually DDOS’ed other healers on the team so that Limit was forced to call him off the bench for some of their final Tomb of Sargeras kills. Limit management was quite indignant about this heinous breach of trust and — I presume — kicked him as soon as they discovered what he was doing.

But there is a rather ironic what-goes-around-comes-around aspect to this. Limit is doing a good imitation of Captain Renault in Casablanca, in that they were “shocked, shocked to find out” cheating was going on there. Uh huh. This is a guild that had had its Helya mythic kill disallowed for pretty blatant bug exploitation, and that actually withdrew from world-first competition for Mythic Tomb of Sargeras because, in their own words, they had had too many of their raiders banned and/or quit the team as a result of being caught in the big selling-carries-for-real-money scam. Sorry, but when you promote a culture of cheating, you should hardly be surprised when one of your cohorts does it better than you do. I am in no way condoning Adois’s actions, but honestly he and Limit kind of deserve each other.

Please do not get the idea that I am equating a run-of-the-mill DPS whore with Adois, but I do think their motives are similar: me, me, me, always and only me. It is a mindset I can comprehend intellectually, but which I cannot understand at the gut level. I know this is a particular bias of mine — I am almost exclusively motivated by internal ideas of right and wrong, honor and responsibility, caring little for the approval or adulation of others. Though I pay serious attention to criticism, I do it from a desire to improve my internal compass, not because I care about others’ opinions of me. As a child, I did not need the affirmation of parental approval or good grades or awards, and in my adult life measuring sticks like performance appraisals have likewise never made much of an impression on me.

All this is by way of scratching my head over people who place their own goals over those of a team, or over what may be the goals of their teammates, in a computer game. My experience in this game is that people actually revert to their true selves in it, that many feel free to act without the normal social constraints present in real life. We are free to indulge our inner toddler, I suppose. I don’t condemn the DPS whores out there, or the braggarts who insist on advertising every high damage number or piece of luck-derived gear they get, or the shirkers who never volunteer for extra jobs in raid. I don’t condemn them, but I think less of them, they are not the kind of person I would ever trust to have my back in real life.

Meanwhile, I will continue to volunteer for extra duties, and I will happily go wherever I am assigned. Oh, and I promise to refrain from DDOSing anyone on my raid team.

5 thoughts on “There is an “I” in “raid”

  1. I recall the first time raiding in Naxx and being told, oh good we have two Priests, get your mind control ready….. wait, my what? That’s a spell I have? I thought that was only good in PvP? What do I do??? And proceeded to wipe the raid several times. Eventually someone swapped to their priest and we breezed right through. But this is what happens. Mechanics get added and people get asked on the fly, hey, know it’s your first time in here, go handle that thing over there. Kthnx.

    I recall the frustration in early Cata dungeons, having to CC, dispel, silence, chain undead, and then we hit a point we didn’t need to and just went back to destroying things. I would love a command base or something where you could talk to a class NPC and get a rundown of a dungeon on different levels. Some people can read the notes and just get it. I need to do it, sometimes several times to understand what I’m supposed to do. Maybe that makes me a bad player.

  2. Gosh…I had no idea about Adois.

    Good post. I do wonder, what would happen to society in game, if meters (if only for a certain time) was banished.

    I think most people, and players, in general, try to avoid ANYTHING that they can be held responsible for. I hear you on the fact, that many also want to “shine on meters”, but essentially, I think it’s the responsible for a certain task, they want to avoid. If they mess up, it will be way more noticeable.

    I have always been the exact opposite; I rather want the responsibility myself, so I know things are being done right (lol, sigh, I know it might make me come off as a tad bitchy).

    But gosh, some of those fights, that require all players in the raid to control something else than their character.

    I really cherish doing something else than HoT, HoT, HoT. But remember “Constructs in the raid!!!” during Teron Gorefiend? Or the drakes we had to control vs Malygos. Vehicles in Ulduar. The list goes on. Being quick to adapt to something out of the ordinary can be tough for a lot of players.

    1. Yes, you are right that there is a definite case to made for shyness or fear of failure or timidity as a reason to not volunteer for some activities. I get that a lot of people simply do not want to be in the spotlight. I was thinking more of the people who obviously DO want to be in the spotlight when they are bragging about numbers or gear drops, but they don’t volunteer because that may take away some of their self-identified “greatness”.

      And I suspect that even the most timid player would not have a problem being assigned a certain location when the raid needs to be divided. Thinking for example of being assigned the “light” realm instead of the spirit realm in Desolate Host (spirit realm apparently allows for much higher DPS), or would have no problem if assigned the “upper” team in Eonar. But the meter hogs nearly always demand whatever they deem to be the prime assignments even in those cases.

      1. Right, I totally hear you on that too; its easy to spot those kind of players. I guess all one can do is hope, that enough know better than to evaluate a players performance based solely on meters.

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