Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vanity Fair and You: The Untold Story.

Oh hi, fellas! I suppose it's time for a more formal introduction. I'm Surazal of Dark Iron, Bell's home realm! If you decided to click on my name, you probably noticed that I am not only geared up in disappointing blues, but that I have also haven't played since last year! With that being said, I'd like everyone to know that I am quite aware that things may have changed in that time, and that my lack of raiding experience makes me an unreliable source in the first place. That's all right, though. This rant really applies to the trip to level 70, not raids.

So... TheoryCrafting, amirite? I'm not very familiar with the subject, considering I never actually read one, but they still grind my gears. The people who follow them like some kind of holy scripture do, anyway. In my... travels, or as I like to call it, my sitting in my room playing this game for a year, I experienced many jerkfaces who decided that they are better than everyone else because they learned how to play from reading Vanity Fair, or whatever they read that tells them how to play.

Well I'm not so sure it's something to be proud of.

The most rewarding part of this game for me was being good at what I do and the learning process that led me there. To me, it seems like people who open up Seventeen Magazine and read the "HOW2WoW PLZ" guide are just cheating. The most upsetting part about this cheating is that it usually produces characters that really only care about their own damage. "Oh, I don't use Curse of Elements or Shadows because they're a waste." "Oh, I only spec Arcane/Fire because being useful doesn't exactly have the DPS output that I desire." "Oh, I like hitting things with maces because -insert good rogue skill here- is not a good skill." (actually i've never quite understood the mace rogue theory, since it seems like they don't do damage and they're not stealthy. but i felt i should mention them because... because they are lolz, i guess)

Don't do that :[!

Now I'm not saying that every Cosmopolitan entry on WoW is rife with misinformation, but in my experience, everyone who ever said, "Hey I read about this spec..." ended up being absolutely horrible at their job in every way. Therefore I made up these horrible stories in my head that all guides everywhere tell people to spam shadowbolts and arcane blast and completely ignore everything except the numbers on the damage meters. If I happen to ever start playing again, I can modify my opinion, but for now I'm sticking to it!

Anyways. It's just very frustrating to see people be completely selfish in a teamwork-based game after 30 days of playtime. Are teen girl magazines to blame? Possibly. It really depends on whether I want to think that the WoW population is easily brainwashed, or just stupid and selfish.

Circumstances have called for an edit:
I'd like to be quite clear that I am not being mean to all research everywhere, nor am I picking on everyone who has ever done research for their class. I am only criticizing those who like to take all of their knowledge of their class from the internet without putting any thought into it. And yes, I fully understand that mages who don't sheep and warlocks who... are idiots exist regardless of their reading habits.
You'd understand if you had met Rick. ;-;


Doyce said...

The answer, I'm afraid, is "both".

Just wait until Wrath comes out and all the things they learned were the one true way... aren't.

Phaelia said...

@Doyce: People who enjoy reading and learning about their classes will continue to perform well in the expansion because they will continue to learn rather than basing their playstyle on previous "personal" experience as the original poster seems to prefer.

Out of respect for Bell, I won't give my full opinion of the contents of this post, but I'm going to instead assume that it's an odd attempt at satire. ^_^ In which case, LOL!!!

Surzlala said...

Doyce- Oh goodness. That'll certainly be a fun time.

Phaelia- It's not satire. I don't care for people who base their playstyles on what other people do.


Valenna said...

I was going to say how brillant this post was for being the most sardonic posts I've read yet on the ignorance of players that refuse to research their class or the game. And the sheer genius of comparing all the sources of theorycrafting and tips to teen girls magazines as the ulimate in sarcasm.

But apparently, I can't.

To compare research of your class as paramount to cheating is however hilarious.

This reminds me of the debate between science and religion. Do you decide to research a topic, consult experts, come to an educated conclusion or do you just have blind faith that you're playing the right way and decide that just because you've been rewarded in a postive way (next level, quest gear) that your style of play is right?

You decide to rant and make snap decisions about an entire group of people after admitting you've never even read a theorycrafting article.

If you want to play a single player game then researching how to play the game may be considered cheating to some people. Those same people might not want to know how to get to the secret portion of a video game without finding it themselves. Others enjoy maximizing their performance in the game.

However, this is a multiplayer game. That's the second M in MMO. Not learning how to optimize your role for multiplayer is a disservice to everyone you play with. This is true no matter what sport or game you play. Would a professional athlete train by themselves in a vacuum, or would they research and find out the best methods of training, exercise and play to perform better at their sport? Team sports players study hundreds of strategies from many sources looking to improve their play. No one on a team wants to be that person that is ill-prepared for that next game simply because they didn't do their research on the team they are about to play.

@Doyce: Those that learn to play their class and play it well, are going to take the method they used to learn their class with them to Lich King. Those that don't know how to play their class are going to carry forth the same bad play to Lich King because they simply never learned how to analyze or research a playstyle.

Surzlala said...

Valenna- Now that's my kind of comment. You made me feel like a jerk, instead of making me think you're a jerk.

I fully understand where you're coming from, so. I'm not really referring to those who 'research their class'. Sure, that's fine. People who completely base their playstyles off of what they read are cheating, because they never really learned to play themselves.

It seems as though I had a skewed idea of theorycrafting in the first place, and I apologize for that. It's true, I have read articles that people wrote after tirelessly crunching numbers so they can prove that Drain Life doesn't do damage. Goodness, I'm a hypocrite :(!

Also, it seems like we have had opposite experiences as well. I've had to deal with mages that don't sheep because it squanders their mana that could be used for using firebolts because they read it in Vanity Fair, whereas you have had to deal with paladins who spec Retribution because they thought it seemed neat and they didn't want a paladin blog to tell them otherwise.

Yes, I made up your story, but I imagine it's happened to you, anyway.

So thanks for making me feel like a jerk so I could revisit my opinion and try to undo the damage I have done to my honour.

Valenna said...

I came away from the post feeling like people were being criticized for trying to find out how to play better.

However, maybe it was addressing instead the practice of taking someone else's wisdom without analyzing it for yourself.

Also, it's just not one tip that's going to make you a better player. It's reading more and more, asking more and more players and then experiencing the strategies yourself that is going to improve your play.

If you blindly take someone else's advice without attempting to understand it yourself, you have done yourself and everyone you play with a huge disservice.

I have played with players who insist on using some "tip" they read on the internet that has wiped the party, but I've also played with competent Retribution paladins who have made positive contributions to a group and are great players.

Phaelia said...

@Surzala: Very cool. I think that learning from lots of different sources and letting others' experiences encourage you to try new things helps a player to find the playstyle that best suits them. There's nothing wrong with "breaking the mold" of what's accepted, but you should do so by first being well-informed about why you're making adjustments. That is, after all, how new molds are formed. :-)

Stupid Mage said...

Bad players will be bad players regardless of whether they do research or not. A Mage not Sheeping is worse than a Hunter not Trapping. Sheeping is easy and if a Mage refuses to do it, it's a sign of a bad player.

I just can't see doing research as cheating. I can't. So many things in the game are difficult to know or understand without looking it up.

Go find X-dude in Y zone isn't exactly helpful as a quest tip, but sometimes that's all you get. I don't know about you, but it would frustrate the hell out of me if I had to search an entire zone to find somebody.

"But Stupid, you'll miss out on all the exploring and whatever!" No, sorry. I'd rather drop quest. I don't have hours and hours to spend "exploring".

THANK YOU all you bloggers and explorers and number crunchers. THANK YOU for doing all that stuff and sharing. My game is so much more fun thanks to you.

Awlbiste said...

I am Jack's endless confusion. No theorycrafter worth their salt is going to tell mages not to sheep. Also, in a raid situation a large percentage of the time a dps class's "utility" is, well, dps.

Surzlala said...

Awlbiste- Please re-read the last sentence of the first paragraph.

Matticus said...

I don't cheat! I bend the rules to my will!

...And stuff.

Armond said...

The rogue mace thing is a PvP thing only. The mace spec talent lets you get random stuns in every now and then, and it triggers a lot faster when you're dual-wielding.

That is, of course, much less useful in PvE, where 50% of everything is immune to stun...

Stupid Mage said...

Not to mention that Tanks get pissed when you stun stuff.