Being one of the oldest MMOs in the market, it doesn’t come as a surprise that WoW has one of the most rabid playerbases ever known to the internet-using human. It’s also the most diverse with a very wide range of differing personalities dotting the virtual world with their quirkiness, weirdness, and, most of the time, douchiness. So it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that the playerbase also contains some of the more serious gamers in history. From hot-shot pvpers to perfectionist raiders, and stressed out achievement hunters to addicted pet battlers, WoW isn’t at all short of the over-achievers and power players. But a lot of times, the method in which hardcore gamers attempt to conquer WoW isn’t at all “hardcore,” but nothing else other than a watered-down version of it through the easy way out veiled as efficiency. So, what’s the deal with how hard it is to get into a raid or arena team? Why do most regular players have to jump through hoops just to get into something pretty simple?
Efficiency or Laziness?
There are many that claim that WoW has fallen far from grace since Vanilla and Burning Crusade, and though I find their claims to be foolish as the game needs to adapt to the modern world of internet gaming, I do agree on the sentiment that the lack of WoW’s “hardcore” aspects have certainly made the new generation of players (and vets as well) into soft piles of gooey goblin snot. Anyone can see the plentiful sordid notes on group finder of listed raids or arena teams wanting only players of a certain caliber to join them or, perhaps, no, most likely, carry them.
“Need <Insert Achievement Here> for invite. No bads.” Familiar? About ninety percent of all raids or arena teams that I was “qualified” to join end in failure not even halfway through to the intended goal. Those failures are caused by a lot of things and determining them specifically would be just as pointless as the disparaging arguments over chat or VOIPs about how the warlock’s rotation is “inefficient” despite doing well on the damage meters. Poor guy; he was just there to rain green fire on adds. But the point is, this trending attitude towards playing the game makes it difficult for the rest of the playerbase that have simply started later than the rest of those at the apex. Skill aside, I’ve seen so many other players kicked or unaccepted into teams due to a lacking achievement or idiotic item level requirement, despite not really knowing what those players were capable of.
People favor the path of least resistance and I understand that completely, and sometimes harsh decisions like kicking an under-performing member of a team is truly necessary, but requiring certain standards way above those of what is meant to be the minimum is just too stupid. Really? An ilvl of 670 for an instance that drops the same kind of gear is required to enter the raid? It becomes more apparent that people either want a quick and swift run or an unassuming carry by like-minded folks. Efficiency, I got it. There isn’t at all anything wrong with that, but it is something that should be reserved for a player’s main group and not a pug.
What I’m trying to get at is that people often mistake past triumphs to be the truest defining factor when deciding who to take a long. That isn’t always the case, of course. Yes, I agree that it is a guide to somehow gauge the ability of a player, but it should be nothing more than that. I’ve went through many instances where the one who was less experienced was actually the best player amongst those who were supposed to be better, simply lacking the experience because they haven’t been given much chances, being passed over for veterans. In fact, there were some raids I’ve had that the newbie actually carried. But with how most players set up their requirements, they’ll never know any of these players, normally succumbing to the notion that achievement equals success, not knowing whether the achievement was legitimately earned in the first place and not simply carried by a more solid group.
But it isn’t just the normally steep requirements to get into anything, but also the impatience expressed by those already mid-activity. I couldn’t possibly keep track of the hundreds of players that drop out from one raid to the next, hoping to find that team to carry them all the way to the finish line. I agree that I don’t want any of my time wasted with a billion wipes on something so simple like Gruul or, C’thun forbid, Kargath, but I certainly wouldn’t call it quits at the first wipe. Sometimes, the wipe isn’t even legitimate because the raid lead called for a wipe because the idiot hunter right-clicked the boss and nobody was ready. Who quits after that? Seriously? With motivation and patience like that, it’s hard to imagine failing at anything! /sarcasm
Mistakes will be made and no one will ever be perfect all the time no matter how hard these people claim they are. Arena partner screwed up his cc? Adapt. Idiot hunter not doing his job? Adjust. It isn’t the end of the world if a mistake happens and it certainly can’t hurt your future chances at obtaining gear, unless, of course, you’ve been stuck on Oregorger for eight hours.
With the community continuously evolving, people find the easiest route appealing with each passing day, and it becomes apparent that most players simply want their success without actually working for it. Most think that the only way towards said success it to party with players that already have that success, which is, of course, quite logical. However, continuing in this fashion leads only to a deterioration of overall playerbase skill and makes for one hell of an unfriendly environment, discouraging the community and content to flourish.
Moar Time Plz
This sort of attitude really stems from the very idea of time. Time is money and we all want our money’s worth. We just attempt to savor and conquer everything we possibly can just to say that this very special activity of ours that is WoW is something we are very good at. What better way to show it off other than achievements, rating, and gear? Why else do we play if not to have fun, win, and achieve some pixelated items or fabricated success?
And, come on, guys, don’t say that those aren’t important – they always are. The very idea of an MMO is that there is infinite progression while playing among our peers and the experience becomes pointless when we are unable to – wait – you know what, never mind. Progression. That’s about it. If none of these things matter, why are you progressing in an MMO, never mind that you are even playing an MMO? E-peen, fellas, no matter what we always want to compare e-peens. But the more we want this, the more we strive to get ahead the fastest against other people, and most of us forget that we aren’t wolves of Wall Street.
The MMO world is becoming more and more like the real world where people, in the words of Rocket Raccoon, are in a hurry to get from something stupid to nothing at all. I fear for that attitude worsening through the years because it doesn’t help anybody on anything, furthering only an anger for newbies and Blizzard for not making enough content for the masses to gobble up. Playing an MMO presupposes that players do have time to sink into it, and the argument that they “don’t have enough time to play” is moot and academic. MMOs are not for you, my friend.
The Dumbing Down of WoW
Like I said earlier, I disagree with the notion that older WoW was better than present day WoW. The quality of life advancements and developments that makes the game more accessible certainly is a step up in improving the continuously changing MMO landscape, especially due to no longer being required to quit your day-job just to raid, however, I can’t deny the adverse effects it has had on the playerbase. All the things previously mentioned are what I believe to have stemmed from the ease of today’s WoW gaming. People have become spoiled by the conveniences of flexible raiding, LFR, streamlined progression, and other things, unlike the old days where one had to actually put in some effort to get somewhere. Raiding and PvP are treated like fast food – get in and get out. We’ve all become accustomed to the ease that it is reflected to our general demeanor towards playing the game, especially evident in the social aspect as shown earlier.
Players have become fat, lazy, discontent, and incontinent with the way they treat WoW in these present times. The attitudes and demeanor towards achieving the pinnacle of the game has become nothing more to a lot of people than mindless instances where they expect the same ease in playing as it was in forming a group. Patience has become a rare commodity and tolerance for the new has all but dropped to zero. Though it is never a bad thing to choose with the utmost scrutiny who you play with, achievements and whatnot are only guides, and you won’t ever see what others are capable of without even giving them a chance.Related: Column, Community, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday