Friday, October 28, 2011

Mechanics Are Bad For Community

As always I can only speak from my experience but I can say I have had a fair deal of experience with random people in this expansion and in the last when the random dungeon finder first came out.

I've tanked, healed and DPSed randoms.  I've played as every class in the game.  I've had great groups, average groups and bad groups.  I've had groups I have openly praised and groups I have complained about.

I feel that while it has only been from my own experience I have done enough and seen enough to make what I believe to be a reasonable conclusion about random dungeons.

Random dungeons are not bad for the community, at least not as bad as some people make them out to be.  The mechanics in the random dungeons are what is bad for the community.

I might complain about 2K boomkins, 5K paladins, tanks in dps gear, healers that say "I'm done" faster than a virgin on his wedding night, but what it really comes down to is that I say it to laugh at them. 

A 2K boomkin might annoy me enjoy to complain here but that is where it ends.  Those people are just bad players.  Bad players you can deal with.  Stupid players you can not.

Mechanics bring out the stupid players.  I am not saying that someone is stupid because they never did Corla before and do not know when to step out of the beam.  Hey, we all need to learn.  I screwed it up the first time I did it too, second also, never since. 

Stupid players are players you can tell over and over to do something and they just do not get it.  Kind of like a hunter I saw in ZG one time, we yelled at him attempt after attempt to get in the damn bubble and he never did.  He was stupid.

And that brings me to my point.  The rage that was coming from the players in party chat was amazing.  Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?  Even if I am never the one to be rude or insulting in chat I was talking to friends on vent telling them how horrible this person was.  I was ranking him on a scale based on the stupidest players I have ever seen.  Good part for him was, even as stupid as he was, he still was not a top 10 idiot.  I've seen much worse.

From my experiences I have seen people kick plenty of people.  I have seen them say something before kicking.  I have seen them kick someone as a complete surprise being no one ever said anything in chat.  I have seen people bark orders, complain, insult, give advice, critique, you name it.

One thing however always seems somewhat consistent in all dungeons I have ever done.

People seem to be willing to work with bad players.  They seem to have no tolerance for stupid players.  I've gone through dungeons with that one horrible DPS and no one ever says a word as long as things are going down without a problem.  One person wipes the group because they mess up a mechanic and everything changes.

Stupid players can turn the nicest person in the world into a rage-a-holic.

The common response to bad players is usually something along the line of, you are not ready for this, or we need someone a little better, sometimes people even put in a sorry before they say that.  Even the people that are instinctively rude are much nicer to bad players than they are stupid players.  They will say something like, your DPS sucks, l2p, and start a kick.  As rude as that sounds, that is like whispering sweet nothings to the one you love compared to what they say to the stupid people.

Every time I have seen someone go all nerd rage in a random it has always been on someone messing up a mechanic.  It could even be the first time they mess up but it is the act of messing up simple mechanics that gets to people.

I know it is what gets to me.

I could easily deal with bad players.  I will give bad players advice if they want it.  I will help them or even carry them if I am capable of doing so.

I can't deal with stupid players.  While bad players can get better, stupid players are just stupid.  Stupid is who they are.  Bad is how they play.  You can fix how they play, you can not fix who they are.  A bad player gets hit by a mechanic and learns while a stupid player does not, that is one difference.

Don't be fooled either.  That 36K mage in your group, while his numbers might make him look good, he could still be a stupid player.  Just was not unlucky enough to ever get hit by anything that required him to move, so he looks like a good player.  First time Mr. 36K super star is forced to react to a mechanic and dies from it you will see how fast he turns from the BMOC to the human equivalent of pond scum in the view of the party members.

I call it the new Random Mechanic Mentality and it has been festering and building in our heroics.

Any raider will tell you that there is a thin line between wiping and looting and that line is called mechanics.  You can wipe 30 times on a boss but once the mechanics of the fight click for everyone in the group you will one shot the boss from that point on every time you are there.

This, to a lesser extent, was added to heroics and that it is killing the community.

I remember early in the expansion one time I was DPSing GB and we where on the first boss.  I was the only one over 10K but the other two DPS where doing reasonable numbers that where more then ample to down the boss.  The tank was doing just fine picking up the adds and I was keeping the one I needed to take care of away from everyone and under control with some old school distracting shot to a trap movement to get him away from the possibility of any incidental AoE.

The fight basically had one other mechanic that apparently one person in the group did not know.  The healer had no idea about the charge.  It targeted the healer first, we wiped.  No big deal, people where polite about it.  The tank explained the charge and the healer apologized.  It was their first time in there and they did not know.  No big deal, things where still pretty new for all of us and you could tell the whole group agreed with that being no one complained.

Next try we wiped again.  This time I explained, from a ranged standpoint, how you can see he is about to charge you.  I asked if they had DBM and said either way it would not be much of an issue.  They just needed to pay attention to the mob and not just their healing addon.  I told the healer I too have healed and and learned the hard way, if you are mid cast, move.  You can always play catch up healing later if you have to stop mid heal, but you can't heal anyone if you are dead.

The other ranged DPS (do not recall the class) chimed in and said they used to get caught too mid cast until they learned it is not worth it to finish the cast.  We all agreed, it happens to us all, and no one was upset at all.  We just went back in and we did it again.

After a third wipe the melee DPS was the first one to start showing some annoyance by the healers lack of ability to seem to learn.  They said something along the lines of, how hard is it to move?  On the internet no one can really know the tone you are saying something in but after three wipes to the same thing, we all knew exactly what tone that was in.

The healer once again apologized and me, the tank and the other DPS all said we understood.  We all said something along the lines of after they have now seen it a few times it will be easier for them to pick it up and it should not be a problem.  Just be quick.  Pick a direction and move and we will be fine.  The healer joked that if it would pick anyone else we would have had the boss down.  The healer was right.  The tank laughed.  We pulled.  We wiped.

Melee DPS nerd rage time.  You knew it was coming after the last attempt.  He only had one more left in him before he snapped.  He let out a tirade on the healer about how they have to be the stupidest player to ever play the game, they where rude to the extent that I could actually see this turning some people to tears.  He did not hold anything back, full nerd rage going here for sure.  Even after the tank and myself said he made his point, no need to be insulting.  He kept going until the healer dropped group on their own.

We get a new healer and the melee asks as soon as they port in if they know the fights.  The new healer says yes.  The melee then asks if they know how to strafe.  The healer says yes.  The melee then says, you're better than our last healer already.

We pull, we wipe, healer takes a charge to the face and the melee goes flippo.  Is every f'n healer in the f'n game a f'n retard or something?  He drops group, the healer apologizes and the other ranged says.  I am not sure how much more I have left in me.  We get a new melee and we go at it again.

Call it bad luck or what have you but the healer goes down again to a charge and the other ranged starts a vote kick with reason being "idiot".  I never even get a chance to make a decision, as soon as it pops up the vote has passed and the healer is gone.  We get another healer and we go in again to the same results.

The tank, who was nice and polite throughout the whole slew of attempts finally breaks down too.  This is the last time I queue up without a healer from my guild, it seems all random healers have mental disabilities, and he drops group.  The new melee drops group and the other ranged drops group leaving just me and yet another squished healer.

I tell the healer.  Sorry, but I am dropping too, after all the wipes we have had I just don't feel like even trying again.

What started as a reasonable group ended up in a blie filled rage from players because of a mechanic someone did not get.  These all seemed to be reasonable people that understood people need to learn but someone failing to a mechanic over and over was just to much for them to handle.

They could have dealt with a healer that was having mana issue.  They could have dealt with a healer that was new and learning.  They could have dealt with a few wipes and they did but when you keep dying to a mechanic it starts to get frustrating.

Now add 6 months, dozens of more runs, and plenty of more wipes from the same mechanic from as back then by more people that just did not get it.  Sure someone might be brand new to the game now and this might be their first time in there but for others they have been doing this for a while.  They have wiped over and over.  They have dealt with new players and learning players but they just do not have the patience for it any more.

Now after one mistake they start to rage.  Not like when it was new where they would give someone a chance to learn the fight.  Now, if they do not know it the second they walk in they will be labeled an idiot, a retard, stupid.

The community did not start like this.  There where few mechanics in wrath dungeons and even the few that there were they usually did not wipe you.  On the rare occasion they did, the person might have gotten picked on but being wipes where so rare, they usually got people offering them suggestions to getting better and letting them know what adjustments they might need to make.

Sure there where still some nerd ragers that would rag that you had to be a complete retard to wipe in a wrath dungeon, but those where few and far between when compared to what we see and hear now.

The mechanics and the massive amount of wipes they have caused have changed a lot of people.  More people are quick to rage out now.  More people are quick to insult now.  More people are quick to kick now. 

The community is the same community that had no issue with the bad or stupid players in wrath because those players just had bad DPS, horrible arrgo or crappy heals, but you could get by.  The bad or stupid player now wipe you.  In wrath you could not really pick out that there was a difference.  Now it is obvious.  Bad players and stupid players are different people.

There is only so much abuse a person can take before they start to lash out and be abusive to others and the mechanics pushed many people to that point.

I assure you that if the GB situation above where to happen now people would have not lasted as long as they did back then.  Back then when everything was new people also did not have a ton of wipes in randoms under their belt yet.  Now that they have been there and done that so their level of patience is so small that one mistake and they rage.
It is what has started to destroy the community.

Some will say that the random dungeons are not the "community" but they are an extension of it. 

The new way of people treating other people like crap that the dungeons have taught them has extended from the dungeons and into the raids and that is part of the reason the pug society has been on the decline.

I have seen people nerd rage in pugs over every little thing.  The "no patience" in dungeons has leaked into the pugs for raids and the looking for raid will do nothing but further support this.

People have gotten into the "if you fail at mechanics you are an idiot" mentality because of the heroics.  No one even thinks about someone needing to learn or having never seen something before because they are so sick of wiping after they learned the mechanics to others that do not know them yet.

While fights based on mechanics are fun for a guild group, it gives the feeling for learning together to complete a task, for random people anything mechanic based only hurts the community and festers hate and rage for anyone that is below you on the learning curve.

Putting different people in different stages of their learning of the game into the same mechanic based fight you are bound to have problems and those problems bring people to start to hate other people.

When all there was to complain about was bad DPS, bad aggro, and bad heals you just complained about bad players.  It might have bugged you but it rarely put decent people into a rage.

Now, I've seen decent people break down into a rage of anger and hate against people because they can not take one step to the left.  Because they got sick and tired of explaining the same thing over and over.  Something that now seems second nature to them they can not imagine someone else not being able to do.

Reading some of the forum feedback of the raid finder from the people testing it out only further supports my opinion that mechanics are bad for the community as a whole.

The common lines I am seeing pop up are thing like, how f'n hard is it to LoS when you are supposed to.  How f'n hard is it to stay out of the black stuff.  People seem to have forgotten that everyone needs to learn and just because you know it doesn't mean everyone does.  But after all the countless wipes they have all had while someone else learned something they already knew, all that was left for those people to do was nerd rage at the first sign of failure.  Unleashing their rage on the community as a whole.

There will be no patience for mistakes because we all had to deal with them over and over in heroics and soon raids and we all have just about had our fill of them.  This is bringing people to a boiling point that carries over from their random experiences where they are with people that will most likely never see again and into their local server where most communities are only hanging on by a thread to begin with.

Many previously decent people now snap faster.  Many previously decent people no longer want to help others.  Many previously decent people will leave after one attempt.  Many previously decent people have taken just about as much of someone elses failures as they can handle.

Mechanics have destroyed the community.

Anything where you have random people of random levels of skill and ability you can not have mechanics.  It is better to have damage requirements, tanking requirements and healing requirements which would usually just lead to someone saying, you are not good enough for this. 

Having mechanics makes people start to call other people idiots, retards, and stupid.  I don't know about you, but I think it would be better for the community if the 2K boomkin was told, we can not down this boss if you are doing under 10K then, I refuse to play with an idiot that can't side step something as simple as a charge.

Like I have said.  I have done more then enough dungeons since they introduced the random system and I can see that the quality of people that play in them has gone down immensely since they added killer mechanics to the random system.  Even if to you or me those mechanics are super simple, that is the problem, to some it isn't.

If you think the community as a whole has really gotten worse recently get ready for looking for raid because I assure you it will keep going down hill even more if the early returns are any indicator.  Heroics have beaten so many people down.  They no longer have any patience for anyone just learning.

Random people and mechanics do not mix well at all.

Next time you are in a random and see someone rage over something stupid, or after just one wipe, you have to realize that might have been a very nice and decent person before but they have just had enough and can't put up with it any more.  The random mechanic mentality created that rage-a-holic  Now they will carry that rage everywhere, not just in the randoms, it now infects their local community as well because they can't shake it.

That is why mechanics are bad for the community.


  1. /agree

    There is also the sense of abject futility when it comes to spending the time to teach someone how to overcome the encounters. I am fine with wiping 20 times on P1 of a raid boss with my guild, because I know that every minute I spend coaching these people will be repaid in competency (and social favors) later on.

    Teaching LFD pugs is literally pissing your time away on people you will never ever hear from again. I don't think that is a weakness with the LFD system itself, as much as it is that there should be a way of "Liking" people and having some chance of being randomly grouped with them again in the future.

  2. I do think you have hit on something here, I know my patience has become rather threadbare( I will sigh to myself, and drop group), I haven't had a max level character I am sorta alt crazy since Wrath. I haven't raided since BC , but I did do trade chat pick up groups in BC and hardly ever(ok never) saw anyone so irritated as I see folks get now in LFD. That said in most cases I'm happy to teach in really low level stuff because in most cases the people are just new. Of course I'm not a superior player myself, only adequate, but I have fun.

  3. I agree to a certain extent, but I think some of the rage is also caused by the fact that many players feel they 'have' to complete repetitive dungeons because they 'must' cap their vps. The are raging against the system, as well as the bad players, I think.

  4. You are searching for justification. The game somehow turns perfectly nice people into asshats.

    If you want to improve the community, never approve a kick for other than DC, don't accept the rage of others as normal, and if you feel rage, take a break.

    Your community will improve, guaranteed.

    It's very easy to begin to feel that complex mechanics are "common sense" with repetition. Randoms will always have a spectrum of players.

    There are no "stupid players". Belief that there are is merely justification for treating people poorly. Just ask anyone working in IT support about the "stupid" executives making 500k a year who can't manage simple tasks. Then ask the executives about the schlubby IT guy who couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag.

    All relative. There is never a good enough reason foe giving a faceless player a bad day.

  5. You know, Bristal, I was all ready to disagree with you...then I thought. I know a lovley chap in my guild, ex army, served in at least 1 warzone, is aged about 50. Tough looking chap, he's on my facebook. For his jollys in the game, he plays a variety of pink haired female gnomes, with which he gleefully does 4k DPS max. He's is not a stupid man, he is a real life capable man who is really bad at computer games, but enjoys playing them. Would I group with him in a guild run? Sure. Would I go nuts at him if I didn't know who he was? I admit, shamefully, I problably would. I agree with his Grumpyness and you in this instance for differant reasons. 1) Wipe mechanics make for stressful groups and therefor make people snap at one another. thats common sense - people who are in a stressful situation with snap when one makes a mistake costing the others. and you 2) People excel in differant situations. If only we weren't specifically talking about only WoW here, I could back point 2 more.

  6. Hmm.

    My opinion is straightforward. If you can't handle the "stress" of potentially of encountering someone who doesn't understand a mechanic or has difficulty managing it in the dungeon finder, then you have no business using it. The problem is *you*.

    You have the option of forming a group manually, with your guild, your friendlist or however you like. You have the option of not using the dungeon finder. And if you do use the dungeon finder, you have the option of trying to help people who are struggling. You have the option to drop group. Resorting to obnoxious raging in party chat is not a reflection on how bad the tank is, or how many stupid dps you've encountered. It's a reflection on your own inability to find a sense of proportion and your lack of self control.

  7. Comment continuation as I can't seem to write more than two paras here on my iPad without the text entry window refusing to respond...

    Of course it's frustrating when all you want to do is get those last few points for whatever you're looking to buy, or to have relaxing fun killing virtual monsters or whatever and someone's inability to comprehend standing *here*, and not *there* is preventing you from doing that but that doesn't mean you get to hit them over the head with the rantbat or break out page 37 of your curse dictionary. The viable options are to suck it up, to help (or at least try) or to leave.

  8. Last segment, I promise. :)

    In my view, by blasting away at people who are struggling (or just don't get it, perhaps never will), you make yourself more of a problem than they are. You'll certainly cause *me* more distress. I'd sooner spend 60 minutes struggling through a dungeon with nice randoms that 30 minutes zooming through a dungeons with people who emit gamma waves of negativity and hate at the slightest error.

    Now who wants to join me for a group hug?

  9. /hug

    I value the LFD mechanism because I don't have lots of online friends to group with. For me, it was a gift that improved the game many fold, and is the reason I still love the game.

    I also recognize the weakness of matching strangers, who can't see each other, and then asking them to play a pretty complex game with extremely limited, or no communication. And that without any ability to quickly size up their abilities, mindset, distraction quotient, age, computer setup, sobriety, and on and on, like you could if you were just put into a work group.

  10. Hmm.. Very good arguments.

    Though, I will not write my usual post-length replies. This is more of an acknowledgement that I have read your post, which was very good :)

    - Jamin