It won’t surprise you to know, that I think I’m a bit of an odd-ball. Although I discussed a lot of my raiding quirks that I noticed even more when I became a single raider, I realized that I had a whole lot more that had nothing to do with whether I raided alone or not. One of those pertains to positioning. Depending on the fight you might spread out, collapse, space every 6 yards, run manically back and forth between assignment A or assignment B. And on those fights that have a lot of “run here and wait” components I find myself getting grumpier than usual when someone steals my spot! How dare they?
Some of our desire to have an assigned “spot” just makes sense. We know exactly where to go, we know that no one else will be there avoiding the reshuffling game, and there’s none of that “I couldn’t find a safe place so I fell into the lava” excuses… at least not after the first time! We can all feel secure that there’s a special place just for us, and it’s oh so comfortable.
But many times, we’re not directly given a spot. The pack starts the encounter, jockeying for position, and making minute adjustments until everyone fits in just right. Or do they? Sometimes you end up so far from the boss that you couldn’t hit even if your bow came with titanium soaked dragon sinew. The tank you’re assigned ends up on the opposite side of the room. And now everyone has a spot. You’re stuck making the rounds, trying to find a better position or silently playing the chicken game, daring the other player to stand on you and doom you both to a horrible death.
Healers and tanks, of course, have jockeying advantage in any territorial dispute. I could almost see one the tail of our hunter’s cat being tucked one night when the resident shaman walked up, stood on his pixelated self and stated “I’m commandeering this spot. Find another.” The hunter shuffled left, then right, then forward and back, and could not find a spot that was suitable. Eventually he ended up jogging across the room, dooming himself to confusion and death as he re-oriented himself to the left side of the boss room.
It gets even worse when you rotate in players. Although everyone has marked out their territorial claim the night before, now you’ve got the other guy who is awesome. But confused. Instead of taking the mage’s spot like he’s supposed to, he’s trying to take my spot! How dare he?! Grumbling ensues as he tries to find the perfect place. Even if someone says “just takes Mage’s spot” no one really knows where that is so he’s left hunting and pecking until people stop snarling at him as he nears their territorial range.
Although this behavior has its advantages, it gets a little awkward when the boss mechanics single out a player to reshuffle to a new position. Where to go? What to do? Well, move of course… but where? This is where you can use your sneaky skills to discombobulate your raid-mates and reach your comfort zone in a faster manner. As you shuffle out of the bad and into your raid-mates range, don’t automatically begin the shuffle-dance. You’ll be doomed! If you shuffle around like a person with ants in your pants, I assume you’re going to keep doing that until: 1) You die, 2) You get the hell out of my spot.
However, if you shuffle into my spot and stay put, I start getting a bit nervous. Thoughts will randomly collide such as:
- Why isn’t he moving?
- OMG, I’m going to die if he stands on me!
- No time for vent, can’t type, healing. Fuck!
And then I obligingly shuffle a bit to my left and do the same thing to the raid member on that side until he re-positions himself accordingly.
However, the thing that worries me the most is what happened to our good hunter friend a few paragraphs ago. Having to play from a different side of the room. Intellectually, I understand: the mechanics are the same, I can still heal people, and their are not giant magma crocodiles on that side either, but…. it’s soooo disorienting! My little healing mannequins are not where they are supposed to be! Familiar colors and names are now dark, and I’ve got this new set that just isn’t the same.
What can I say? When it comes to PvE environment, I become a territorial monster (but with good reason!?)