Rivs got me thinking about something in his post “Why I Raid”…
I wasn’t really a huge raiding kind of guy, but I’ve been falling into it a bit more than usual lately. It’s mostly because I was invited on a run, the guys liked me and asked me to come back the next week. Making it a commitment wasn’t a big deal since I usually play at that time anyway, but things quickly got much deeper than that. This may or may not be due to the fact that I have 4 toons in greater wards which grant me access to all the top dungeons, but I digress. Relating to non-gamers about your in-game activities is daunting. More often than not I stumble about with my tounge trying to make it seem less like a game, and more like a commitment. Telling people that your gaming is a commitment can draw some taunting and laughter. So instead of making a statement about how I need to play WAR on the weekends, I relate it more to a sports team.
Raiding is something I consider a kind of e-sport. Planned “matches” on a given day, “practice” during the week, and hopefully a “win” at the end of it all. The most challenging part is finding the like-minded people that can treat it as such. Gamers are a fickle sort from my experience and having any kind of set schedule is pretty taboo. I don’t mind it at all, though if you use the wrong terminology, it’s hard to describe the justification of being busy to those RL friends and family. Telling a friend that you’re playing an MMO on a Friday night with some guildies is a quick path to taunts and jeers. Tell that same friend you’re on a team, and you have a match on Friday night is a whole different story. Granted, they’ll be interested in what the hell you’re playing that they’re totally unaware of, but a bit of creativity to avoid full disclosure helps.
Changing the subject while making it clear that yes, I am indeed busy at that time seems to work well enough.
When I was in school and on a handful of sports teams I don’t recall missing a game, match, meet, tournament or even practice aside from a serious illness or vacation time. Typically I was looking at 3-5 practices during the week of 4 hours a piece, and then 1-2 matches on top of it. Sports are serious business! No one ever questioned you if there was a sport taking up your time, they just accepted it, wished you good luck, and adjusted to your schedule. While gaming you don’t actually need to practice per se, but leveling your toon during the week while preparing for your run on the weekend is a kind of practice. Not as intensive, but you also do it to have fun. It’s a game after all, something to never lose sight of. The flexibility of it being a game means practice is much more casual. Your toon is never really out of shape, it’s just progression to better yourself and make you more effective for the next match.
I suppose I’m on the Hardcore side of things considering my mentality about it all. A lot of it has to do with fulfilling commitments as well. If I tell my team that I’ll be there on Friday at 9pm, well, I’m there. Hopefully a bit early to group up and get situated. When someone doesn’t show up I get a little irritated. I still want my damn match, and if that means I have to sub in a few random people, then so be it. If they’re any good, than someone just lost their spot on the team as far as I’m concerned. Especially if you don’t have any reason coming from the missing player. People come and go more often than we like, eventually we’ll have a solid 6 people to show up every week and we can really start working things out. In the meantime it’s a struggle to find reliable, hardcore, like-minded players to join up.
It’s a double edged sword. One side, you’re playing an MMO with loads of casual players that all want a piece of the glorious loot at the end of a run. Sure, everyone is relatively competent, but a lot of the raid content takes a step up towards the end. The other side is having the mentality that while it’s a game, it’s also serious business. Assembling a team, committing to dates and times, making forward progression each week, helping each other get loot and gear during practice, is all anything but casual. The two simply don’t mix well at all, and the casual players quickly take one side of the blade, while the team is hit by the other. Every week that the same players aren’t ready to go is another chance we have to take into dipping into the casual pool and hope to find someone that’s a step up from the rest.
So good luck to all of you that have solid hardcore raiding groups. That’s an accomplishement in itself to get rolling. For the casual players, try not to make commitments you’re not sure of. It’s not just loot you’re missing out on, but possibly the chance to run with that particular group again.
8 thoughts on “Grimnir is Hardcore”
Thanks for the link love. To relate to my WAR days, I was part of a weekly Lost Vale group. Come hell or high water I rarely missed it. It was great fun, but to tell others in real life why I had to be in-game at that moment, it would've been easier to pull teeth.
No problem. It was something that's been on the tip of my tongue anyways, you actually managed to spur the rest of it out. =DI rather like running Lost Vale, but have yet to down N'Kari. Just trying to get that right group together still… /sigh
The day I tell my wife I am busy because I have to play a game is the day that gaming becomes a "problem". I can get sucked into a game and alienate the people that love me for the health of my other relationships I must remain casual.
It's not about being sucked into the game and alienating yourself, it's more about making a commitment and honoring it. I make plans to have 2 runs a week, and I stick to them. If something else comes up, sure, I'm busy. It'd be the same answer if I planned to hang out with some buddies at the bar though.I've never bought into the "It's just a game, you can blow them off" mentality, I've had girlfriends that have done that with me before. It was the same conversation. When they dropped the ultimatum that it's them or the game it just made me look at them funny. Is it so wrong to honor a commitment based on what that said commitment entails?I don't think so. This usually ends the conversation, and the relationship. If someone wants me to twist my honor so that it applies to what they think is important, well, it's not really honor anymore. It makes my words hollow lies waiting to be broken. Some people just think they're that damn important. My personal integrity means more than that. Promises made, are promises kept.You just have to avoid making too many./endminirant
It's taken a while, but I've been bringing my wife over to understanding gaming commitments, slowly. She was also of the attitude that these are people that I'll never meet, and what's it matter if I blow them off or not. She has a hard time bridging that mental gap of electronic relationships are just as valid as personal ones.Just would like to throw in the mix as well, that progression and preperation IS practice in the sports analogy. Don't show up to do an instance w/o all your pots, or all our liniments, or different sets of gear. You prepare for the game by doing the necessary practice ahead of time, just like in a game where you prepare for a raid.
I don't understand girls who have a problem with her significant other's hobby (maybe the word hobby is a slap in the face for most but that to me is what it is). If anything, they should try it out for themselves so they understand why their partner likes it so much.I think I've argued the opposite point once before with someone I've been seeing for a year or so. Of course we only can see each other once a week and I had to change our day last minute. The fact that they were okay with not seeing me that week because of a commitment they could of postponed left me dumbfounded. And of course the argument itself made me feel ridiculous since I'm a bit of a gamer myself (just not to the extent of most people). Regardless, I felt my point was just.
I had a really hard time transitioning from bachelor life, to married w/ a kid life in regards to my gaming. As a bachelor it was easy to make my own schedule with very little explanation to anyone. On the occasion it did require an explanation, the crowd I hung out with was also gamers and nothing was taboo or looked down on.I've often tried making the comparison of computer gaming to other hobbies or sports to people, but they never really seem to 'get it.'