So last week Del told this really funny joke about being flogged and… oh yeah, I said I wasn’t going to comment about the joke.
Instead, this is a relatively serious attempt at a non-meme response to his non-meme post that attempts to answer the following questions:
- How many 80s do you have?
- How many 80s do you raid with in your guild?
- Why aren’t you on your healer, you selfish jerk?
And again, I jest, it is not in response to those questions (although I will include the answers).
His alternate title explains more thoroughly where he started: “Do you help the raid or does the raid help you? Do you help the guild or does the guild help you?” but as the conversation continued, it progressed into a more general examination of why we’re playing the game in the first place, why we choose to be in guilds, why we raid.
And in tribute to the meandering journey that his post took, mine will be similarly disjointed. OK, so it’s not really in tribute, it’s just me being me.
1. I currently have 3 level 80s.
Arioch, my main, is my regular raiding character. My first 80 and for a very long time, my only 80. As a mage, I’m rather limited in the flexibility I can bring to the raid (would you like DPS, DPS, or DPS?), but as a player I bring my utility, ability to follow directions, and kitten-herding skills.
Inítrí is off languishing on a server that I don’t even log into anymore, but he served his purpose and I may yet find a use for him.
Selwyn is my newest addition to the raid-worthy roster. Selwyn is also my first healing character. I am now at the point where most heroics can be healed without issue but raid healing still makes me scream on the outside and cry a little on the inside.
2. Arioch raids regularly with the guild, Selwyn is just starting to break into raiding and joined the guild upon reaching 80. Inítrí was raiding with another guild to be with friends and help out with their attendance issues.
3. My healer is fail, that’s why I’m not on my healer, you insensitive jerk. /cry
There have already been a few non-meme responses to this non-meme post and the common thread/agreement as to why we play the game seems to be “for fun” or some variant thereof.
I really can’t argue with that.
So I won’t.
Here’s where it gets sticky.
“Fun” means different things to different people – and may change for a person as time progresses.
When I started playing, fun was finding a new area, watching the map reveal itself and surviving though a simple combat. Picking up an item off a mob was the neatest thing EVER (if you ever played Rappelz you share my pain of the shittiest drop rates in the known MMO universe).
But I was a solo player. Grouping was terrifying. I fucked it up every time I tried, just didn’t know what the hell to do. No one was helpful and I really didn’t feel like I was missing out by not grouping.
As my circle of friends that played grew larger (we call sending someone the trial invite “getting the needle in”), we got a little more focused and learned all about grouping and dungeons together.
Suddenly, the “fun” focus had shifted from basic survival on my own, solo experiences, to mastery of group mechanics as a team, experiencing new things as a social unit. I had progressed from being all happy about just getting from one wild boar to the next on my own to wanting to share things with others.
Now, I use the term “progressed” in the previous paragraph rather loosely. I don’t mean to imply that solo play and its enjoyment is in any way inferior to group/social play. I still have a few characters tucked away to enjoy a little solitude from time to time, recapture that “new and alone” feel. But for me, the game took on more warmth and depth when I included other people.
So where I am now, “fun” usually means that other people are involved, especially where my main character is being played.
I also enjoy sitting in Dalaran on my pretty new mounts or with my pretty new pets on display. I’ll admit it, accidentally getting invited to a group followed by a hasty whisper of “sorry, was trying to inspect” inflates my epeen.
That is a perk, a side-effect if you will, of what I am able to accomplish because of the people I call friends in this game.
My “fun” is not derived from the loot. Yes, it’s exciting to get something new and shiny to equip, especially if it’s visible on the character. Your gear changes a lot (outside of BoA) on the climb up to max cap, and then there are regular changes as you collect your emblem pieces… but then it tapers off as you wait for just the right drop and just the right roll. A new piece of gear is a visible and pseudo-tangible sort of reward for the time and effort you’ve put in to developing your character. Or you are a lucky SOB and someone is carrying you to your epics. Meh.
My “fun” is not derived directly from the kills. Yes, bringing down a boss, even one that I’ve downed a dozen times before is still exciting, still gives that rush when the EP window pops, “Reward EP?” Hells yeah I’m awarding EP. We just fucking killed a dragon.
I’ve noticed that the closer we get to the “end” of the content (we’re in P2 of LK), the less and less I can bring myself to log on to do the random crap I used to do; the dailies and the questing and the exploration.
It took me a while to pin it down, but I realized the difference was the company. Yeah, I was in guild chat and probably in vent, but my character, on the screen, was alone while performing those activities.
The only time I really get excited to be on Arioch right now is if there is a raid. A raid means that we are getting together and heading in to kill a mother fucking dragon. Or construct. Or pile of bones. Something. We are going to kill it. Or save it. You get the idea.
And now I’m going to pull a totally bitch move and say that I will continue this later. =)
Tangent – yes, I am still totally behind on my feed reader. I iz sorry. =(