Raiding is all about imperfect execution and doing it again and again until you get it right. However there’s a big difference between someone who can’t deliver proper execution and someone who is a faillock noob that’s standing in fire all time. I’m very forgiving of one, but not so much of the other.
This is a guest post follow up to Windsoar’s excellent post on Elitism and it’s comments.
Where does the time go?
A typical university has 48 hours worth of class lectures over a semester. There is an expectation that a student does 2 hours of work outside of class for every hour of lecture. In other words if you put in 144 man-hours of time and effort into a task that you will learn enough to pass a university level course. 144 hours is 6 days. A semester of 5 classes is 30 man days. An academic year is 60 days. A 4 year degree is 240 man days.
Now I ask everyone reading this to type /played the next time you log into your Warcraft account and do a little introspection. Where do you fit on that time scale? If it’s a modest 2 days of played time you could have instead audited Astronomy 101 without doing a lick of homework or taking any test. 60 days of played time you could be just starting your 2nd year of business school. 300 days could have been a Masters in Computer Science instead of simply playing a computer game.
I believe that there’s no right or wrong way for someone to spend their time. These numbers are just to put that time into perspective. Someone could have used that time to learn how to play the guitar, or how to garden, or biking cross-country. It also applies to mundane things like learning how to drive a car just from the 1 hour commute you have to work each day. However the number of man hours you put into doing a task directly effects your skill. It applies to everything in life, from work, to the mundane, to playing a computer game.
Now to bring it back to elitism…
Is it really elitist to expect a college student who’s taken physics 101 to know Newton’s Three Laws?
Is it elitist to expect a truck driver to know how to reverse with a trailer?
Is it elitist to expect someone to have learned interrupts, cooldowns and staying out of fire given the number of hours it takes to qualify to raid?
To me those aren’t elitist expectations at all. But I wouldn’t expect the student to know how to reverse the truck, nor would I expect the truck driver to know Newton’s laws.
Consider how much you raid. Is it a 3 hour session, 3 nights a week like mine? If so, that works out to be equivalent to a course credit in Raiding every 4 months. If you’ve been raiding since the start of cataclysm then congrats, you’ve done a term’s worth of non-electives in Raiding. The the minimum to pass a non-elective is 70%. If you’re in school doing a group project, then your fellow classmates can assume that you are at minimum a B- student or you would have flunked out of college.
All I expect of raiders is that B- level of performance when I know nothing else about them. I don’t feel it’s elitist to use that as the baseline minimum. And yes, I do have a sense of entitlement regarding that minimum performance in the same way that I feel I’m entitled to someone pulling his weight in a group project. If you are a D+ raider then you’re doing a disservice to your entire team. You’re max level in a raid. It’s not your first day playing this game. Please don’t act as though it is.
Smithers: Sir we found the problem, some idiot threw this (doughnut) in the reactor core.
Mr. Burns: You did this? How could you be so irresponsible?
Homer: Eh… it’s my first day!
Mr. Burns: Since I’ve never seen you before, maybe it is your first day. Very well, carry on!
Smithers: Err..Sir that’s Homer Simpson, he’s been working here for 10 years!
Mr Burns: Ohhhh really? Why did you think you could lie to me?
Homer: It’s my first day…
Mr Burns: Well why didn’t you say so…..WHOAH…you’re fired!
Just because you _claim_ you’re inexperienced doesn’t mean you get a pass when you burn everything down.
Using interrupts, cooldowns and getting out the fire are the fundamentals of raiding. There really is nothing else to it. If you can do those 3 things well and nothing else, you will succeed at raiding. Even things like being social, knowing your class or throwing big numbers (while important) they are all secondary. Even an easy fight like Patchwerk still required the proper use of cooldowns and fire (slime). Every single boss encounter in the game has some combination of those 3 things. That _is_ raiding.
For me someone who is raiding and still can’t handle the basics of 1) fire, 2) interrupts and 3) cooldowns is like taking a taxi and having the driver accidentally run through a red light. (Both of which have happened to me a disturbingly large number of times.) However I do not find it acceptable regardless of how common it is. I could forgive someone that is only level 40 or just has their learning permit. I’m not asking for skills of a rally race car driver nor the top dps of Paragon. But I do expect what I consider to be basic skills for a given level of experience.
Adjusting expectations Based on Circumstances
I used to play (even raid!) on dial up. That meant no voice chat, and horrendous lag. I wiped our raid more than a few times and I could only imagine what my guild was thinking as my corpse skipped across the ground. My guild made allowances for me given my technical limitations and we were successfully raiding hard-modes.
I’ve raided with someone who was legally blind and enjoyed myself immensely as a “seeing eye dwarf”. She couldn’t see the fire on the ground but she could make out raid markers. I would be raid marked and she would stack on me. Even given that limitation she was a good raider in her own right.
“I’ve never done this fight before,” is a valid reason to not know certain things specific to the fight, such the aggro reset in phase 2 but it’s not a blanket excuse for being stupid. For example “Odd groups go left. Even groups go right,” is clear regardless if you’ve done the fight before or not. Having to explain that 4 is an even number and 5 is an odd number should not be necessary. (NSFW)
“I’ve never done this fight before, so that’s why I was standing in front of the dragon when it breathed,” is likewise unacceptable even if you’ve never done the fight before. It’s a dragon. You don’t stand in front of dragons in this game and you should know that. While I don’t condone the above level of verbal abuse, I do condone this level of verbal abuse. Especially when everyone is standing around thinking that you must be Homer Simpson. Consider if the criticism is valid before you claim you’re victim of an elitist.
I dole out respect based on expectations. Those taxi drivers lost mine but I had lots for the blind raider. If I was raiding with someone with one arm then I’d expect them to be not be proficient at certain things (like camera control and strafing at the same time) but fine at something it takes only one hand to do such as interrupting with a mouse button. But at the same time if they can’t handle something that has nothing to do with their hands (like have gems socketed) then I’m not going to cut them some slack just because they can’t clap.
Your outlook really depends on where you are standing. From where I’m standing someone who is max level and raiding (at the bare minimum) has finished Warcraft 101. I don’t expect someone to know “Paragon’s theory of Raidativity”, but I do expect them to know “Brunpal’s Three Laws of Raiding”… even if nobody ever calls it that.
If that makes me an Elitist… so be it.