What you want.

During my lunch break yesterday, with a lingering cold, and just feeling a bit like my own active mitagation was nerfed, I read Vidyala’s Manalicious post, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nerfs.” She touched on some thoughts I believe many people think or feel, at many times. Not just playing a mulit-player game, either.

I can’t help but ask, again as relatively newer player (wonder what the statute of limitations is for that adjectival phrase?), perhaps WoW is just going through good old-fashioned growing pains? And players are sensing it. The level of nostalgia and “good old days” conversation is fairly thick, and this time of reflection for many players is interesting.

This observation or analogy may bristle some folks, but here it goes: I think about my own mom who used to play bridge or canasta, drink margaritas, and hang out in the summer time while the kids played. She wasn’t in the kitchen baking cookies; she was having fun with other moms in the neighborhood, and made no apologies for it. We kids were well-fed, clean, and looked after, but she needed her social time, too. I am not suggesting Azeroth is one big bridge club (shudder). I am saying at no point in time of being a human have we homo sapiens have not banded with others. (And I will never learn how to play bridge. Lucky in love, not at cards. Now, a margarita sounds lovely.) My mom probably doesn’t remember every bridge score, or when she gave Mrs. Perfect the smack-down with hearts and clubs, but she probably does remember having fun summers.

Maybe this anecdote will reaffirm Vidyala’s sentiments:

A young druid, who was recently in a Horde guild, having reported downing boss after boss in Firelands, on normal, and then heroic mode, was quite proud of this. He was a tank and dps, often the top performer in scores, whatever the need be. Interestingly, as he and his guild downed more and more, he would make more side comments about guildmates, not mean spirited, but how one did something that was annoying, and in general, the other players were dull. Very, very dull. Perhaps that is the greatest sin of all in a social game: boring others to death before the bosses do. He finally had enough of one guildmate’s particular brand of whining and tattling to the GM, and the young druid left. Took his DPS to another guild, one that is hopefully more fun and engaging.

Now, the guild I belong to has that in spades. No question. On the scales of shenanigans, they have been summarily tipped. When I think of the nerfs, though, I can just hear some of the unintended smugness and “there there dear’s” of some of my guildmates. They can be a touch patronizing sometimes. I have shared a success or victory, only to hear the next statement, “Yes, but they nerfed that quite a bit.”

Sigh. Like dating 10 Comic Book Guys. Worst. Guildchat. Ever.

(But really, we are all pretty sweet to one another, with hearty congratulations at every success–nice!)

But I do wonder what my GM wants. I will ask him next time I see him.  I count on his honesty. I may ask him if we can schedule a raid one hour earlier on one night, or what he would like from me. Reading a Matticus’ post recently, one comment resonated, that when a player leaves, Matticus doesn’t keep them in mind–if they’re gone, they’re gone. Fair enough. One reason I didn’t join another raiding guild a few months ago was that the GM was very honest with me–basically, if I didn’t perform, I’d be out. (And I wasn’t ready. My DPS on little Miss Shaman pants is pretty solid now, ironically, when I don’t have time to raid when I would like.) That cut-from-the-team attitude may not work for 4.2 or 4.3, and those who have enjoyed the strict raiding team line-ups may be in for a rude awakening and have to ask hard questions: “Do I have the player who can be trained and is intelligent, and spend time getting them geared up, or do I throw them all into the river and see which ones swim?”

Well, I know that is traditionally important for many guilds: just win. But that doesn’t fit my personality. And I think—maybe I’m reading too much into this–many great players are feeling the same. Vidyala’s openness about her full-circle reflection and coming to terms with what she and her guild has, and has not, accomplished is perhaps an eye-opener for many players. To me, what they really accomplished is something I yearn for: A guild that truly likes one another, gets together, and enjoys each other’s quirks, humor, and personalities. Wow–that is awesome. And of that, I am a little envious.

At the heart, the only question one should ever ask and answer is, “What do I want?”

Vidyala, your humility and honesty are truly refreshing. I haven’t yet read the 20+comments, but I can guess what the majority of them say at the heart: Thank you. I believe that this world, as we band together, make alliances, prove loyalty, and friendships, is where the strength endures. In any world. Recently, I have had to take a long, painful look at my own professional life, and rip up excuses or toss out crutches. I will do what I can do, but I will still need my colleague’s support, as they need mine. We have all decided to be kinder, more positive, and supportive of one another.

Sounds like a solid plan. And again, f-it dude. Let’s go bowling.

Drabble: Shadow healer

The stitches become raggedy. This—had been a long week. Zep felt as if small goblins had set up house under her eyes, bringing bags full of rocks, taking souvenirs of sleep. She twisted the silver band around her finger. Every instinct in her wanted to rain golden light on the group, not cast shadows and death. She was terrible at this. Practice? Yes. She turned the ring three times. How did her sisters do it? She put down her needle and thread. She laid her head on the embersilk pillows, a gift from a patron, and found edgy sleep. 
Oh, my…the poor little priest girl is a bubble or two away from level 84, and is really awful at being a shadow priest. Much more complicated than it looks.