Remember to Have Fun
Posted June 14, 2011on:
Everything is silent on vent. The raid is traveling in a band of spirits from the graveyard way up to the spire where we’ll face the same boss for the 9th time that night. Suddenly, somebody calls out:
“Ok, so who didn’t have their mini-pet out and caused that wipe?”
And in that instant, the tension melts away. Our warlock sheepishly admits that he forgot to summon his baby crocolisk, and we all share a giggle as we make the long run back to the boss’s lair. The discussion of the wipe doesn’t end there, but that small reminder of why we’re really here keeps it from turning accusatory.
Remember What It’s All About
I’m not sure about anyone else out there, but I play video games because they’re fun. They’re something that makes me happy and relaxes me, just like baking cupcakes or singing in the car on my drive home.
Raiding was something I chose to do because it combined two things that I enjoy: playing video games and spending time with friends. And, in the end, for me to have fun it meant for us to be successfully overcoming challenges (eventually).
Now, in order to do that, we had to be disciplined. We show up each week at the same BatTime on the same BatChannel, ready and raring to go. Vent is quiet during progression pulls, directions are executed without question, wipes are quickly called, and run backs are speedy with new strategies or tweaks discussed along the way.
And even among all that rigidity that keeps us on task, we still take moments to laugh. Some of our computers have slower load screens than others. Some of us have rocket boot malfunctions that paste our toons’ bodies on the vaulted ceilings. But those little distractions, those spaces where we can take a breath, are what keep us sane. Instead of releasing our tension and frustration on each other, we let go of it with a laugh. We chuck happy fun rocks at each other, and use /flirt more than necessarily needed. And then we all activate our Gnomergan Radiation Suites and charge into battle once more.
Not All Sunshine and Kittens
Now, I know I might come off as some hippy unicorn with rainbow braids and pink puffy cloud jewelry (which, let’s face it, if I could have pink puffy cloud jewelry, I would be ALL OVER IT), but the fact is I’m human. With a full range of human emotions, no less!
And being human, there are nights when I feel frustrated, underwhelmed, and downright pissy when a boss I feel should have been dead weeks ago is still taunting us. It’s perfectly ok to have those nights.
What is not ok is taking those feelings and aggression out on the rest of the guild. Its one thing for me to tell the group, “hey, I need to end early tonight. Or move to another boss because my frustration level is at a head and I really think that I’m going to drop kick that gnome if we wipe again.” (Sorry, Scott, it’s just easier to punt a gnome than say a draenei. Or plate-wearing dwarf.). It’s a completely other dragon to blame my group and angrily dissect their every move. Or, worse, to leave the raid in the middle with little explanation and no backup.
If someone did either of those in my raid group, I’d think two things: One, they don’t really care enough about the TEAM if they’re not even willing to take the adult way out. Two, do I really want someone who’s liable to throw a hissy fit? I mean, I get the frustration, I do. It’s your choice on how you act on it, though.
In the end, the game is supposed to be fun. And I’d rather dance by the flaming brazier or toss paper zeppelins to my friends to lighten the mood than start despising people for wipes for which I was every bit responsible as them.