Mark gives some well-needed perspective in our second installment of Game Rant's on-going "World of Warcraft Wisdom" column.
One thing I enjoy most of being in a guild of older players is we all have perspective. In the end, World of Warcraft is a game. While we do have some serious players in the guild, we all know that we log on to have fun and piddle away stress. Sadly, when we have to get a random player for a run, we all realize how so many others out there take the game too damn seriously, so much so that they strip away the most important part - the fun.
The other night we got into Heroic Deadmines. As with much of the Cataclysm update, this is rather tough. At the time of the run, my gearing wasn't good enough to heal it, so I took Abby in as DPS. Alas, we didn't have a healer from the guild online, so we had to hit the random grouping and one was found.
That is when the fun got started.
None of us had run Deadmines on heroic, so this was a learning experience from the get go. All of you can remember your first time through any instance: the questions of what to do, when to do it, should you AOE or CC, and the like. Our first wipe came quickly and the healer left just as quckly.
When we got back into the queue, a healer was quickly found and we moved on. When the first boss encounter arrived, our tank asked, "So, has anyone run this before?" Here is where maturity counts: none of us had run it. And when it was known that nobody, including the PUG healer, he didn't say a word and poof, he was gone.
At this point, we all knew what was what, that a healer was going to be hard to keep. So, while we waited for another in the queue, our tank hit the net and learned quickly what he would have to do with the upcoming boss. We all used the spare few minutes to got a cocktail, go to the bathroom, chat, and the like. Our tank was back with information and a new healer added to the group.
We confronted Glubtok. We did fairly well, our tank told us what to watch for, but seeing as none of us had any experience with Deadmines at the heroic level, we wiped - and believe it or not, the healer stayed. Once resurrected and ready to go, we confronted Glubtok again. This time, we defeated him.
This pattern of learning, playing, wiping, and laughing (among us in the guild, at least) went on through much of the instance. We burned through seven healers until our tank's wife could come join us on heals - she was busy with the kids, putting them to bed and the like. I guess she heard that we were having a difficult time holding on to a healer.
What got me and my guild mates, was the impatience of those who joined are wayward band of adventurers (as our tank dubbed us). While we had fun, laughing at our failures, the PUG healers did not. We laughed, they quit. When our fifth healer joined in, we dubbed him/her as "Number 5" - and continued through numbers six and seven.
I feel sorry for those who can't enjoy Warcraft as a game. We have so much that has to be taken seriously outside of Azeroth, why bring that frustration into the game? I realize that I may be generalizing here, but when I encounter players who bring their real life anger and impatience into Azeroth, they tend to be younger or living at home (among other admittedly unfair generalizations). This isn't to say that all young players are this way - as there are plenty of young gamers I've met online that are far more patient and wise than myself (more on that later).
However, as a public school teacher, as well as an abnormally old member of several guilds, I feel qualified to say that, in a lot of cases, it was younger guild members that would leave because they didn't get an item from a dungeon or raid. It was these guild members who never laughed or didn't seem to enjoy themselves at all (even when things were going well). It was these guilds member who took World of Warcraft as seriously as any real life endeavor - stripping themselves of the simple fun the game provides.
Outside of the game we all have issues that take precedence over most anything. However, some younger players might not. In our "nation of wimps" ethos, if things don't go someone's way, he or she will throw a hissy fit. In real life, things rarely go our way. Why should a game be different?
Many of the youth, by which I define people before their early 20s, of today get what they want, when they want it. Ribbons for participation not for merit. Colleges and high schools across the nation are inflating grades. I have parents who call me when their kid is not getting 100% - and blame me when their child doesn't do the work. I see kids crying in the halls at school because their parents didn't buy them the fancy car they wanted, and had to settle for an older model. I deal with kids who are sheltered from the realities of life - so much that when something doesn't go their way, they don't know how to handle it.
So, when somebody brought-up under such circumstances joins a group who doesn't know exactly what to do in Azeroth and there is a wipe - the only way they know how to react is to say, "You all really suck," and then leave the group. It's unfortunate, because some of the best times I've had in World of Warcraft have been spent simply enjoying time away from everyday life . Life outside of the game is not so simple, in fact, which is what sets maturity apart from immaturity - we can put it into perspective. The members of my guild know what it is like to pay bills, feed kids, and maintain a household, just as many kids realize how hard it is to get their work done, apply and pay for college - these are the young people who can laugh at wipes.
Maturity is able to draw that line between real world and make believe. But, when we give kids whatever they want, when they want, when we protect them from the realities of life, when we cushion and pad every surface around the house and the body, they seem unable to draw the line between life and games - and rob themselves of the fun of actually playing a game. They want that epic item, and if it doesn't drop, they throw a hissy fit.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
What is the most fun you've ever had playing World of Warcraft?
Oh, and a quick hint: when fighting Foe Reaper 5000, the tank needs to pull from the top.