I never got around to explaining my reasons for quitting WoW as completely as I would have liked. Never really explained them as well as I would have liked, either. I think I may have left a lot of people with the impression that it was all, or even mostly, about social interactions. I’m a big bear (okay, no… I’m on the smallish side for an adult bear, but stay with me here). I can choose my social circles and surround myself with people who are not raging asshats. This was not THE problem.
I think the social aspect of things was both a symptom and a by-product of “the real problem”.
I’ve tried to explain my anxiety. It’s difficult. My anxiety pops up most often in social situations. It LOOKS like I’ve simply developed social anxiety somehow. That’s not really it, though. The real problem is how my medical condition has eroded by ability to process and react to the same amount of stimuli in the same amount of time that the average person can. It has also complicated my ability to take my thoughts and ideas, turn them into words, and communicate them to other people.
Basically, I am an extrovert who must live as an introvert. I have many of the same needs as introverts, and I now keep ending up being categorized as an introvert. I have not actually lost my extrovert desires or viewpoints, though.
This affects every aspect of my life, including gaming. Unless you’ve actually been through it, I doubt you can really imagine how hard it is to watch yourself steadily get worse at doing something you love. To watch your ability go DOWN with more time and effort, rather than UP. To be told, “You’ll get the hang of it, just keep practicing,” but to see yourself either lose what little ability you had or fight like mad just to hold onto what you’ve got.
In addition to the neurological illness, I have arthritis. I’ve had it for several years but didn’t have a diagnosis until this year. It turns out THAT is why I couldn’t consistently push buttons or click abilities (sometimes I had to do one, sometimes the other). THAT, in addition to the mental processing issue, is why I had so much trouble moving in the middle of fights at times, and especially why it got physically more difficult for me to do as a night went on.
I also have a mild hearing problem. I’m not deaf. Doctors tend to mention a hearing aid once, but then treat it as something to be addressed “in the future” and never mention it again. It’s just enough of a problem that I cannot talk on the phone while doing something else. If I cann’t see the face of the person I’m talking to, I have to put all my focus on listening to what they’re saying. This is enough of a hearing problem to make things like Mumble or Vent useless for me. I used Vent the night I did the Malygos raid at the end of Wrath. It made things more difficult, and I’m glad my husband was in the raid and could repeat things to me.
I sometimes bring up the pain of seeing people say things about players who can’t mastery a certain basic level of play. It often gets taken as me talking about raging asshats. So here’s the funny part… some of THE SAME PEOPLE I’m talking about when I point out how shitty it is to treat someone like they’re stupid for not being good at a video game will tweet in reply to AGREE and tell me how they just hate people who treat others like that!
Stop and take that in for a second. I’m not talking about raging asshats who seem to only find pleasure in tearing others down. I’m talking about generally kind and fair people who just don’t understand that what is “basic” and “easy” for them very well may not be for everyone.
There’s a decent chance that I’m talking about YOU.
The people didn’t drive me away, though. What drove me away was the fact that I was putting HEAVY effort into the game. I researched my class. I didn’t always know what the best gear was for me or where it dropped, but I understood the mechanics of my class well enough to know why I wanted more of one stat, less of another, why Mr. Robot wasn’t ALWAYS correct for me, and could recognize a good piece of gear when I did see it. I knew what I should be doing in a group, and I knew how to do it. I could talk you through the steps of what to do, how to do it, and how to handle it if something went wrong in the middle.
I just couldn’t handle the actual doing it. My brain froze when it was all coming at me at once. My hands gave out and fingers would NOT go where I told them to when I told them to for the whole dungeon. I couldn’t get the space I needed to just BREATHE for a second, and so it would all fall apart.
The people didn’t chase me away, but it didn’t help to keep hearing that I was a “casual” player, or that people who found five mans to be difficult were stupid, or any number of other bullshit things people say when they act like their experience is everyone’s experience.
I couldn’t push myself through the game anymore because the reward was not worth the effort. I was working just as hard as many raiders do, but not even able to do five mans unless I could outgear and outlevel them or find four people I really felt comfortable with and trusted to go with me. I don’t actually care about doing dungeons. I care about the story. I like collecting pets. I’m a completionist when it comes to profession recipes. I like to get achievements as a little sign that says, “I was there. I did this thing.”
I’d say “I like to see the content”, but I think that phrase means different things to different people. I think a lot of people tend to think of “the content” as whatever it is they are focused on doing in the game.
Some people may tell you “the content” is everything there is to do except dailies and PvP. Some people may tell you it includes dailies and PvP. Some people may tell you it’s the story. Some people may tell you it’s the raids. Some people may tell you it’s heroic raiding.
I never got to kill Deathwing. Hell… I never got to kill Arthas. I barely managed to get my baby dinosaur back, and I never actual finished a Trollroic. I never got to do Heroic Shadowfang Keep or Heroic Deadmines. I didn’t even get to run the normal versions of Cataclysm five mans until it was almost time for the Dragon Soul raid to come out.
I couldn’t keep working so hard to achieve so little. I felt like Blizzard was moving more and more of the content I do want (story, pets, etc) into places I’m less and less able to go (heroic dungeons, raids, etc). Even LFR is too much for me.
I am not stupid. I am not simply not paying attention. I am not a “casual” who didn’t want to put the effort into learning. I’m just not as quick as a lot of other people. And in case you haven’t noticed, Blizzard equates speed with challenge. Move faster, do damage faster, get geared up faster.
Honestly, I’m not convinced that someone’s ability to raid shows that they ARE smart. For all I know, they just have really good reflexes and not enough imagination to think for themself, so they follow directions REALLY WELL.
See, it’s pretty ridiculous to judge someone as a person based on their performance in a game.
BUT HERE’S WHY I’M BITCHING ABOUT THIS!
LFR. There was Twitter drama about LFR. Again. In general, I think people who have long-term agitations and resentments about things in WoW that aren’t likely to change (and assuming this is causing a massive case of “not fun” for the person) should just unsubscribe. It’s a game. It’s your fun time. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t have to just live with it.
I also recognize that a certain amount of criticism is healthy. Not everything will please everyone all the time, and player feedback should matter when it’s logical feedback. There are questions that sometimes have to be asked in order to form opinions that qualify as worthy feedback. Discussions that must be had.
I don’t think criticism of LFR should be taken as criticism of those who use LFR. If someone is looking at LFR as an introduction to regular raiding, and saying it fails as such, then it’s totally valid to point out that LFR isn’t actually intended to be an introduction to regular raiding. It is totally valid to point out that raiding is not everyone’s goal for end game, and that Blizzard has described LFR as being for people who are not raiding to see the content. I don’t think it’s valid to take “LFR is fail” and interpret it as “people who do LFR are fail”.
There’s that phrase again… “see the content”. I’m thinking Blizzard considers everything in the game to be “content”. Blizzard has described putting in dailies very few people want to do more than twice as “adding content” before.
Personally, I don’t think people who see content through LFR because they are not raiding otherwise are “raiders”. There are certain things that make it “raiding” in my mind that just aren’t present in LFR, just as I don’t call a group of five or six kids having fun tossing and hitting a baseball “baseball players”. I also don’t think that matters. I don’t think everyone has to be a raider to have a worthy opinion about the game.
I am no more amused by people jumping all over someone’s wording and ignoring their message (or worse, dismissing what they tell you and re-interpreteing their message for them) than I am by people judging someone’s worth by their preferred type of content and level of skill in a game. It hurts. It makes me angry. It prompts me to write long-ass posts AGAIN about topics I swear I’ve already said everything I have to say about!
If you get more satisfaction out of pointing to others and shaming them for being “wrong” than from making an effort to find some common ground where you can build a place where people have enough room to be different kinds of “right”, you make me just an anxious and unhappy as people who treated me like my game experience was less valid than theirs. Worse, really, because I can’t stop you by just changing the subject to something else.
And, yes, the point could be made that creating a space for everyone’s way to be “right” is what Blizzard says they’re doing, but look how it affects this, that, blah, blah, blah… Blizzard is shoving everybody into one room and letting feral druids shit on the carpet. Boundaries are healthy. My opinion Blizzard doesn’t care about would be to stop trying to funnel everyone down a single path in the game. Spread things out, some, and really support different styles of play. Build a nice yard with a little wooded area and let the bears poop back there.