Thursday, April 15, 2010

What is Skill (In PvE)

I recently read a post on the Wowhead forums where someone bought up the topic of people using "skill" as an reason they should be able to get into content that they are not geared for.  His reasoning for that comment were, as he said, skill is "Knowing your rotation" and "Knowing the fight".  I agree with that 100%, heck, if I could agree more then 100% I would.  He basically left skill at that.

I am lead to believe that he has not raided with many people of varying skill levels before or he would know that skill is more then that.  "Knowing your rotation" and "Knowing the fight" are important and will make a huge difference on how you do during the encounter but just because you "Know" them does not mean you can do them.

I "Know" Korean when I see it, but I can not speak it or write it.  So does "Knowing Korean" mean I am skilled at it? No, it just means I "Know" it.  "Knowing your rotation" is all fine and dandy.  You can teach a 2 year old to press the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, etc.  Does that mean they are skilled?  No.  The skill is "Knowing" when to change things up. "Knowing" when to refresh that 1 instead of sticking to the rotation. "Knowing" when rapid fire will be most effective, not just when the priority system called for it. 

"Knowing" to move out of the cold flame is not skill, it is simple boss mechanic that everyone knows. "Knowing" you have a split second to fire another autoshot before moving because you know the cold flame is coming before it gets to you and timing it right is skill. Getting out of the fire before it hurts you is skill, knowing you need to get out of fire is not, that is common sense.

So, while I do agree, "Knowing your rotation" and "Knowing the fight" are extremely important I do not agree that those things alone are what makes people seemed skilled.  I can tell one of the guys I work with what buttons to hit, what order to hit them in and what the boss does and how to respond it it.  He is a very intelligent guy, he will pick up on it instantly I am sure.  But if I put him on my char in the game, even if he "knows" exactly what to do, his DPS will suck and he will most likely die.  The reason for that?  He does not have the skill required to do what needs to be done well.

Skill is doing what needs to be done and doing it well.  "Knowing" is not enough.

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