It’s a word that comes up quite a bit in discussions of raiding guild and WoW. Elitist, elitism, and it’s often combined with those jerks that we all rely on. Often we associate elitism with progressive raiding guilds, those that go for world/server firsts and have those persnickity guild applications. I’ve seen players accused of elitism for mentioning their standings, their latest boss kills, or even their newest piece of loot. So how do you express pride in yourself, your guild and your accomplishments without coming off as a jerk?
And even more than that, how do you keep from rolling your eyes at players in a position of being in a less-progressed guild who wave the flag of the elitist. What makes an elitist, and how can you spot them in the wilds of Azeroth saving yourself grief?
I’d like to think I’ve never come across as an elitist who poo-poos the achievements of others, and seeks to bar them from experiencing the same pleasures that I do in their time in Azeroth, whether it be raiding, PvP or collecting many, many things. However, I know it’s not always been the case. I’ve been told my expectations of others was too high, my criticism of their failures too severe, and that I was an elitist. On the other hand, I rarely agreed with these people, and I think it’s because of my own personal definition of elitism.
There are quite a few things I consider necessary to being in a competitive progressive oriented guild. I’ve always tried to keep these standards even when I didn’t feel that I was in that type of environment. My personal achievement and standards had nothing to do with those of my guild. When I was in a guild with raiding standards, I’ve always tried to exceed those and view new applicants and raiders through those eyes. I’ve taken pride in my accomplishments, achieved solely and with a group as meager as they may seem to some, because I know the effort, time, and dedication that I have put into those efforts. I’m happy to share those experiences because I am proud of them, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having pride in your accomplishments.
Where I draw the line between an exuberant player and an elitist is when you cross the line into other players space. That could be offering your opinion on their raiding environment or standards. It could be belittling other people’s accomplishments because yours is so much “better.” And while I can’t define a braggart for you in exacting terms, bragging vs. exulting is a distasteful thing to watch.
Sadly, as much as this behavior is ascribed to the “elite” of the raiding community, in my experience it’s rare. I more often see elitism among players seeking to join higher-rated guilds or middling type guilds trying to fan their own enthusiasm and desire to succeed.
I had an applicant interested in a guild I was in. This player hadn’t been playing that long (less than 6 months) but had reached cap, geared up, and joined a casual raiding guild that *might* raid. The casual guild started to raid, and they told the player it’d probably take her a couple of weeks to be geared enough. The player was ready in 2 days. She ended up on the “core” raiding team. And then, the player started to get antsy. They wanted more progression than their guild was able to provide. I think this story is familiar to many: I know I see echoes of my early raiding experiences when I came back in BC and was vetting a new character for raiding.
Where this tale skitters off track into a horrifying debacle is as the player discussed her previous guild, her experience, and her goals. You see, her guild was at fault for everything. If we questioned a talent choice, it was because her guild made her follow a certain model. If we questioned why she wasn’t at a particular cap, that was her guild’s fault too. If we asked about her experience (or lack thereof) well by God, her guild was keeping her back.
Even worse, in my eyes at least, was her lack of appreciation, or even nice things to say about this guild that had taken her in and nurtured her while she worked towards meeting her goals. They were too casual, too jokey, not serious enough in raids. They didn’t roster properly, they didn’t appreciate her monumental effort to get geared in a short amount of time. In short, her guild was full of losers that couldn’t contain her awesome any longer.
At first we found ourselves amazed that this
creature player could have such a sense of entitlement. It’s one thing to aspire, to wish for better things for yourself. It’s quite another to expect everything to fall into place on your exact time schedule at the very moment you feel prepared and ready to step up to the next level. By the end of our questions, we weren’t even trying to screen her for our guild, we were honestly more interested in how far she would go, how much blame she could shift to others, and how grandiose and inflated we could gauge her ego to be. While it finally reached into such realms as to be ridiculous, it was honestly sad as well. A player with 6 months experience had already been turned.
She was an elitist.
Where do you draw the line between pride and elitism? What kind of behavior makes you view another player as “elitist”?