Are you the hero?

Drama happens.

That should be the motto of most multiplayer games.  It happens.  The moment you get more than one person involved in something, drama happens.  Even seemingly perfect duos will ultimately argue and have a falling out.  Nevermind parties, raids or guilds (or the worse: raiding guilds).  Some people can handle occasional drama, some people can’t…  the former will simply move on with their activities and learn from the episode while the latter will ride storm off into the sunset and hope to find a new, better environment where there will never be drama.  To those, I point out the opening two words of this post.

But why does it happen?  Why can we not be happy and get along in a game we play for fun?  Well, time and effort spent on our online characters is the primordial factor.  Let’s not get into that here.  Let’s look at something that I saw on one of my channels – very loosely quoted – :

Guildmate:  I was the only dps alive on Heigan after first dance. And I fired off the perfect heal right as the tank was going to die, and cleansed poisons all fight.
Me: Did anyone notice?
Guildmate:  I don’t know, I don’t need to find validation in others noticing how good or bad I am.

Awesome.  That’s one who can handle it.  But so many can’t.  Most players focus on themselves because, hell, that’s why we play.  To be the best x at y.  The best warlock in pvp.  The best warrior in pve tanking.  The best x at y.  We often ignore other people even when we are in a group setting.  In any given boss fight, most people have no idea who in their raid is dead, and of those who do know, only a very small number know why the dead are in fact, dead.  This is simply because we focus on ourselves.  Raid leaders are usually above this, as are the excellent players.  Horrible, bad, crappy and average players have tunnel vision and see nothing outside of themselves.  This leads to drama.  Why?  Because people who only see themselves constantly desire and crave that others notice them and what they do.  When that is lacking – and it will lack since they are surrounded by other equally self obsessed people – they feel as if they were wronged or worst yet, insulted.

Let’s take an example.  My 10 man raid in Ulduar.

We are fighting XT, the fuzzy wuzzy wobot we all love.  We wipe a few times, freak out at the quick enrage timer, and finally get him.  I know what was happening in the raid, but I also focused on my own actions (duh, it’s not bad to focus on your task, it’s bad to forget others exist).  I stood to the left side of the room and covered the adds from left and far left.  First phase, no problem.  Second, a little more hectic.  I honestly don’t know if we had a third and fourth, or if it was just the third at this point.  Things got really strained.

From my point of view, with the boss at 10%, a lot of adds (scrapbots to heal him, bombs to kill the raid) were coming from all angles.  I judged the time it would take adds on my side of the room to reach the boss and decided that I had to go help the far right where a bomb had spawned.  The other ranged dps were 4 multiboxing Shamans.  Sure, they could have peeled off but then we were losing on 4 dps instead of just mine.  So as far as I remember, I called out over vent for the Shamans to focus on boss and I would take all the adds.  I ran over to the far right, killed them, ran to the left where the adds were dangerously close, killed them, and realized the boss was still up, and even more scrapbots were coming.  At this point, the boss threw another tantrum (which damages everyone in the raid for 120% of their total health over 12 seconds) and I saw my health going down, down, down, with no heals.  I popped all the health stones and health pots I could find still on cooldown, and at the end of the tantrum saw my health around 5000.   Still no heals.  I was out of mana.  The boss was still alive.  WTF!  There were scrapbots coming within stone’s throw of him and the enrage timer was about to hit so no other dps could be spared. I life tapped, bringing my health down to around 1000, cast two Seeds of Corruption and a shadowfury (which has an aoe stun), rooting the nearest bots in place and blowing most of them up.  At this point I took some damage and died.  The boss died a split second after that.

Hurray! I saved the day!  I kept all those adds at bay, I sacrificed myself and prevented the scrap bots from reaching XT, I saved our ass and it’s thanks to me we downed him!

Well, that is true only in part.  It’s got roughly 1/10th of the truth.  I received no accolades.  No praise.  No thanks.  I should have thrown a tantrum of my own!  How could these brilliant actions and astoundingly perfect play not get acknowledged?  In the average dumbass, drama would either happen or start festering deep inside.  The good player (which I delude myself into thinking that I am) will realize a few things:

-everyone saw the enrage timer and was freaking out.
-if I wasn’t getting heals, it means the healers were barely keeping the tank and themselves up.  Healers don’t let people go unhealed if they can even remotely help it.  It’s like a nervous twitch of theirs.
-if i was getting swarmed with adds, the offtank was having troubles of her own with her own adds.
-if healers were having trouble, I was having trouble, and offtank was having trouble, then it’s safe to assume the tank was also having trouble since he could very well see that the raid was not getting topped off and that at some point, heals would be diverted from him into the raid, so he was freaking out too.
-if everyone is freaking out, then the other dps is also freaking out.
-just because I don’t see the others do things to take out adds doesn’t mean they don’t.  Priests aoe’d, Shamans threw down totems and insta-casts, offtanks taunted and charged.  Everyone was busy.

My personal “success” story in that fight was mirrored 9 times.  Every person there did their part.  Whether it was the healer prioritizing the tank over a dps, and choosing which dps was not on the boss at that point, whether it was the offtank living with the same amount of heals as I got for the last 10 or so seconds of the fight, whether it was the dps charged with destroying XT before he enraged… everyone had their fun, and everyone had their moment of glory.

Even as I write this, I don’t know what any of the others did in the last 15-20 seconds of the fight.  I assumed I would do my part, whether stupidly or super heroically, and trusted the others to do theirs.  Our success indicates everyone did their part.

Bad players let things like this get to them and eventually they blow up at their friends, their guild, their raids…  they feel unappreciated, they feel undervalued.  They never think, however, that they have no idea what anyone else did to save the day.  The raid takes 10, or 25, and all the members at one point or another contribute greatly.

I’m lucky enough to be in a group that understands this.  Our drama stems from frustration at wipes (try more than 24 hours on Grobbulus) and from losing members to life situations (damn you insurance companies!), never – or rather very rarely – from a hurt ego or a feeling of having been cheated.

Step outside our raid group and into our guild at large, and wowee, you get hit with a massive wall of pretend-nice that only hides a lot of greedy, selfish people* who are just itching to cause drama due to their egos and lack of – as they perceive it – appreciation for their super contributions.

*My guild is filled with great people… and also filled with less than great people who abuse others for “boosting”, run throughs, free things, gold, etc…  I’d say it’s a pretty 50-50 split in the membership.

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3 Responses to “Are you the hero?”


  1. 1 Shaggir April 21, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Really, really, really well written. We all forget that there really are so many things going on on some fights, that sometimes, we end up blaming people for not noticing what ‘we’ did that was spectacular, when in fact, we probably missed many things that the people we blame did spectacular. I.e. missing that well timed Guardian Spirit on Sal that kept her up for 15 seconds longer so the 7 big bots didn’t rape us; Sehk’s creative use of Divine Shield during tympanic to keep us alive during that last 25% push. I think we both missed these things…

    That, and we’re just con artist, use and abuse them assholes. Amirite?

    BTW – I CANNOT WAIT TO GET HOME TONIGHT AND KILL HIM AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!

    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

  2. 2 Anthony April 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Those of us who raid will invariably fuck up as spectacularly (though hopefully not as often) as we succeed. And unfortunately those who lament the fact that their achievements go unrecognized would have a tantrum if they were ever criticized for screwing up.

    Besides, everybody knows that it’s only the tanks that get to be the heroes in raid groups. 😀


  1. 1 “That was our bar/club/place…” « The Undercity Trackback on March 31, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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