When good players aren’t

lantanasham made a comment on one of my posts this weekend which really struck home.

“Call me naive, but it’s recently been sinking in that a tremendous number of people who play WoW do so while: a) watching TV; b) tipsy, drunk, or really drunk; c) high as a kite; d) reading/watching videos/posting online; or e) all of the above.

In my tiny, tiny experience (~.000043% of all WoW players is my calculation), those who do so are usually the ‘hardcore’ – and frequently behave like morons.”

And I was thinking, yes I’ve seen this type of behaviour. You invite someone to a PUG or raid, you see that they’re a member of a hardcore guild or maybe recognise their name, and you think it’s going to be a great help and a smooth run. But no. They screw around. They act like a total noob. They go pull extra patrols just for the hell of it. The run is actually ten times harder because of having them there. You think, “Wow, these hardcore players are total jerks, and they’re not even all that good. They’re used to being dragged through content by having overpowered dps.”

These things are actually all true. Except that they may well be good players. Just:

  1. many of them care so little what anyone thinks outside their social group that they won’t even try
  2. some are just used to running instances in a very different way and can’t or won’t adjust. if you’re used to overpowered tanks and dps, you’re going to approach an encounter differently. A good player will adjust to whoever is in the group, a hardcore one may or may not be able to adjust. It’s simply not a skill they need to use a lot in raids.

When I was a class officer in a hardcoreish raid guild, I used to avoid running 5 mans with our guys. I often had more luck and more fun in PUGs. Because the guys from my guild would just mess around and not take the instance seriously. They got bored, so they made things more interesting for themselves. They broke crowd control because they were careless – they just didn’t care. They knew we’d handle it. As a healer, sometimes I just wanted a nice easy run without me having to think too much and not bored tanks seeing how much they could pull so they could boast about it in guild chat.

I remember running ZA back in the day with a friend who is a priest in a hardcore raid guild. He singlehandedly screwed up our run. And I know he’s a good player. It was at the point where I wondered if someone else was playing his toon (hardcore players let others do this a lot, by the way, so be careful). But no, it was just his ‘evening off’ and he couldn’t be bothered to try, just for us.

It’s not everyone by any means. Some people are just fantastic players, they’ll adjust how they behave to the level of the group. And any group taking them WILL have a smoother run. You’ll end up with an incredible impression both of the player and of their guild.

So I’m not saying never group with anyone from a more hardcore guild. Just that … you’ll often find in PUGs that you end up with people who have different playing styles. Don’t assume that because someone wears a hardcore guild tag it means that they’ll be good at playing at your level.