Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

I alluded to this a few weeks ago, but I think it deserves a little more room to breathe. Incoming philosophical treatise.

One of the beautiful things about the min/max world of Burning Crusade is that it forced you towards perfection. There was often room for creativity, but not a whole lot. You needed full consumables. The correct spec. The right balance of stats on your gear. The right set of down-ranked spells. If you were serious about raiding, there was no “well it works for me.”

In Lich King, we all know that raiding has gotten easier in the extreme. I’m sure you could heal Naxx in a 0/0/0 spec, agility gems, and no consumables. The gap between correct and well it works is largely irrelevant because so much works.

From one perspective, this is a great thing. It’s a game FFS, not a challenge to survive for ten days in the wild using only a paper clip and a roll of duct tape. Having a margin for error is what makes a game playable by mere mortals, and not only by the elitist jerks among us.

This is not a lament for the good old days of WoW. Not at all. My issue here is that by allowing the “well it works” folks to succeed, the distinction between right and wrong has been lost. The fact is that right and wrong still exist, although right is no longer required to succeed. Wrong works just fine. Which makes wrong start to look like right.

I strongly support finding a way to play that you love, even if people (like me) tell you it’s wrong. Playing your way might be technically wrong even if it’s morally right. What I do lament (and strongly so) is the “well it works” folks giving any sort of advice whatsoever. Enjoy the game however you play it (and I truly mean that). But it’s important to know that there is still a line between what’s technically correct and what merely works because Blizzard has softened the edges so much. You may, in fact, be doing it totally wrong, but your apparent success makes you believe that you’re doing it right.

There are many levels of the game as well. Advice for beginners may be perfectly irrelevant for advanced players. And the experience and advice that advanced players have to offer may be totally wrong for someone at a lower level. There are also different raid roles (tank healer & raid healer, primarily), and very different advice applies there too. The context you’re in is 100% relevant, and determines the choices you should make. That context includes the your gear level and the gear level of your mates, whether you’re running with pallies or druids, whether you’re attempting content below or above your gear level, etc.

So there are indeed multiple ways to be right, but that does not negate the fact that there are still many ways to be wrong.

(9) Comments

  1. 10/02/2009 6:55 PM Nymarie

    So am I right since I basically agree with you on everything? Lol

    10/03/2009 10:22 AM Rachel

    I have to agree 100% with you. Maybe I'm just harder on priests cause I am one, but it seems that there are a lot of ok priests that are able to get by these days. The trouble is getting them from "ok" to "great" when they don't want to listen to your advice because what they are doing "works for them". That's great and all, but "works for them" just might not cut it at the next stage in raiding (you never know). IMO, one should always be aiming for improvement, not just getting by.

    10/04/2009 11:20 AM Tsark

    I consider myself a fairly well-informed wow player. I'm not a nut, nor do I play in a worldwide top guild, but I like to keep informed. And yet, I've recently realised I was carrying around way too much mana regen, and not enough throughput - and your post was a big part of this realisation. Did that stop my raid from getting achievements and results? No. But I still was doing it wrong :-) Thanks for another great post.

    10/05/2009 3:11 AM Perfectalpha

    What brought this post about anyway? You said that you eluded to it, and basically made mention of ways to spec, gems, etc. I think a lot of it comes down to role in the guild. I don't think that there is any WRONG way as long as the gems and spec make some sort of sense. Of course, that is merely my opinion anyway :).

    10/05/2009 2:41 PM Nymarie

    I think the point of this post is that there are a few ways to do it right and about a hundred ways to do it wrong. There are different ways to gem, spec, whatev depending on your role in your guild as Perfectalpha said. But there are definitely ways to do it wrong. That's what I interpret this post to mean and what I believe.

    10/06/2009 2:04 PM Epic

    Paolo love your post. Guess I will have to roll a priest next.


    10/07/2009 3:03 PM D.R. Eisenbarth

    I find this whole topic and the ensuing conversation extremely interesting. I would say that Blizzard has succeeded in replicating real life within the confines of a game and virtual community.
    Many say that there is a "right way" to live, and though many agree that there indeed is - few agree on what they way entails. Meanwhile, many in society rebel against the very idea that there is any one way that is right. If you choose a way - that way must be right by nature of the fact that it was possible.
    As Blizzard has chosen to allow for multiple paths towards end game bliss, it will be problematic to attempt to promote a "one way" gospel... good luck :)

    10/13/2009 11:13 AM Paolo

    @Vorris: Don't you dare! You'll force me to level my warlock. Also, this post was 99.9% priest-free content. See below...

    @DRE: I agree with you, but only halfway. On one hand, I'm saying that there are indeed multiple ways to be right. On the other hand, I'm saying that not every way is right. So you pegged me correctly in saying that this was a metaphor for life in general. In both domains, it's become patently obvious that our pluralistic "every-way-is-ok" worldview is not only incorrect, but destructive. In our rush towards open-arms inclusivity, we've lost any sense of right and wrong, because we're so committed to letting everyone be right.

    11/06/2009 3:10 PM Flex Vikings

    You can make the game as hard as you like. In EQ, we often did raids designed for 72 with as little as 38. Did we progress as far and as fast as other guilds? No. So what. It's not a race, and we are not measuring our ability by our phat loots.


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