Friday, February 20, 2009

What Is Fun?

Baby don't play me, don't play me, no more...

Now that that head nodding song is in your head, I can get onto the post inspired by an exchange of comments over at Oriniwen.

Short Version: Raid leader has a tough time with some raid members who are treating the raid far more casually then the bulk of the members, and gets angry/frustrated at them. One comment left reads...
"That kind of attitude annoys me, ITS A GAME and we play for fun dont we?"
I think that this highlights a problem in the WoW community - many people are not aware that different people have different definitions of fun. And in many cases, people are flat out intolerant of the existence of avenues for other peoples enjoyment.

In this case, the commenter did not recognize that for some people, taking raids seriously can be fun - working hard, failing, analyzing why, improving, succeeding. And to go further, you can say that there is a huge variety in how serious people like to take their raids, and how hard they want those raids to be. There are some people that long for level 60 four-horsemen difficult - with people spending weeks theorycrafting a plan, and carrying it out under the strict command of an unforgiving raid leader. There are others that want bosses that don't take more then a few attempts to learn with their RL friends, and clear one wing of naxx in two hours, while having conversations about their weekend. Are either wrong? No - both groups may be doing exactly what they find fun.

Moving away from the raiding scene, there are people who exclusively collect pets, play the auction house, chase achievements, or level alts. And while you may not think about it, its the people who fall into the smallest niche that are driven to create resources that benefit the community.

With the demands to make everything accessible to everyone - there stands the threat of chasing off these devoted people that enrich the game for everyone. If you could easily collect all the pets in the game - there would be no website needed to help track them down. If all achievements are easy to get for all players - there would be no resources dedicated to tracking/helping people get them.

Raiding is no different. The mass clamoring for "accessible" raiding content nearly closed down the niche for hardcore raiding. Only OS+3 and the recent promise that numerous similarly difficult encounters will exist in T8 are keeping a decent chunk of the "hardcore" raiders around. I don't think anyone is upset that new avenues for raiding were added (non-achievement fights / 10-mans), just so long as older options (difficult raids, now packaged as "hard mode") don't disappear.

So next time you see someone doing something confusing (grinding honor, raiding five hours a night, camping rare mount spawns, working the auction house, pugging heroics) - know that its probably because they find it enjoyable. And accept that it will probably not get nerfed/buffed/changed to fit your specific desires - because some group out their enjoys it.

Do what you enjoy, with people that enjoy doing it, and leave everyone else alone.


Tarsus said...

The other side of the above is the importance of finding others who play similarly to you and being honest with yourself and others about what you are looking for in a raid (or guild for that matter).

Arideni said...

Indeed, people online seem to be rather insensitive to others. It seems worse for people who are online often, young in age or maturity, and/or play games of a competitive nature. Anonymity is a marvelous thing, ne?

"It's a game," is such a lame excuse and cop-out. Anytime there's ever an issue with something one can be sure someone will spout that garble sooner or later. True, it's a game, but it's also a social experiment and this is from whence the issues derive. The game is what it is, but the people in it are an amalgam of self-defeating cowards. Of course, there's always a few rare gems in the bunch. <3

Anonymous said...

"It's a game."

"So is soccer."

Hooligans anyone?

Everyone takes their hobbies and their pasttimes with a different amount of seriousness. I'm highly competative, highly driven to excell and a analytical person. I like to raid, to raid well, to improve my raiding and to theorycraft about it. That's how I play.

If you play differently, I'm more than willing to accept that, but don't come into *my* game and ruin it for me. This is my game. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.

And Yakra, short-short version "Don't be a dick."