Thursday, February 19, 2009

Friends in Low Places

I had two different conversations with two unrelated friends of mine, Moondaisey and Thorren, and all of us have come to the same conclusion regarding the new Achievement system. It seems, to us, that the Achievement system has become a double edged sword. While it is rewarding people, in a very real way, for their accomplishments, it is also a bit of a conflict between the two camps of wow players: the serious and the casual. (Note: I did NOT use the term 'hardcore'. I think that term is vastly overused and it doesn't describe that kind of behavior properly at all, so I refuse.)

Basically, the two conversations boiled down to this statement, which both Moon and Thorren said, "If it doesn't involve an achievement, or an instant reward of any kind, then some people will flat out refuse to lend a hand." Moon and Thorren had different experiences with this attitude, but it affected them both the same way. I've had to deal with this myself, several times. It seems to us that people are either too driven by achievements that they push everyone around them to do things that are too difficult for them, or are just flat-out not fun, or they scoff at the idea of doing anything that doesn't involve an achievement credit in some form or another. Moon's situation is the former of these two. Her guild is advertised as a casual guild with a friendly family based mindset, the guild leader is a mother of two herself, but there is an element inside of their raiders (only enough to fill a 10 man raid) that have been pushing for content and demanding performances from the raid that Moon and her counterparts aren't comfortable with. There is a lot of guild drama being brewed up by this 'serious' group, and it makes Moon very depressed that she is being called useless and a bad player raid-in and raid-out. That isn't fair to her or any of the other casual players that just wanted a place to hang out with parents like themselves and do some raiding, see some content, get some shinys, and have a good time while doing it. Is this situation brought up solely from the achievement system? No. But, it sure isn't helping calm the 'serious' people down, instead it's feeding their drive to push forward. My simple solution: the 'serious' raiders need to leave. They aren't in the right place, and that will only serve to make them, and everyone else around them, miserable.

Thorren's situation is a bit different. We are guildmates but he only joined about 3 weeks ago, so he's still adjusting to the personalities within the guild. Given that, he still fits our guild. He's driven, he's a cut-up, he's a good player all-around (a little undergeared maybe, but that will be solved soon enough), and he's been long-time friends with several of our members so that is always a plus. A couple of days ago he wanted to screw around in Storm Peaks by ganking the Alliance that were harassing the Horde there(on Mal'ganis the ally are all bloodthirsty little bastards), but when he asked in guild all he got were crickets. He asked again and got told, point-blank, that counter-ganking was a waste of time. The guy who said that was grinding Sporggar rep for the achievement at the time... A waste of time? And grinding an old content rep for 10 achievement points isn't? Having fun teaching the vicious ally of our server a lesson and having some cheap laughs is wasting time? Since when?! Now, that is sad.

I personally love the achievement system. It's fun, it's silly, and it give me something to do when I'm bored, like grinding Sporrgar rep, but I won't refuse to help a guildie, or join in for some good ole' fashioned juvenile fun, because of one. That's taking the mini-game too far. That is when someone takes things too serious.

There just isn't enough silly, laugh out loud, 'laugh so hard you cry' kind of fun being had in wow atm, at least for me and my friends. Which is why I love playing Rusty so much. I frog-hop around Hellfire Peninsula charging, rending, whirlwinding, bloodthirtsting, and (as of last night, woot 62!!) Victory Rushing my merry way along. Everyone I know is so focused in on goal after goal, achievement after achievement that they have forgotten how to ... just be a fucking goofball. And, at times I'm the same way. Mostly, that's when I play the Hunter. I think it has something to do with trying to keep a certain reputation for being pro. I have to ask myself, though, "Why?" Why can't I be the goofball that has done a lot of amazing things instead of the stony serious dude whose pro and don't know how to laugh? To hell with that, I'm way too much of a tard to be that guy.

There must be more fun in wow!
This is my call to the rest of the World (of Warcraft)!

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