Light & Leafy

What are your ticks (Part I)?

Posted on: January 21, 2010

While battling the Midweek Meeting Boss (fyi: we came thisclose to wiping), I noticed something very interesting about our Snottidin-esque raid member: every time she was making excuses for her (lack of) performance, she completely closes her eyes. It’s like adverting her gaze to the extreme. Because all I really do in this weekly encounter is sit in the back and wait for someone to call out for my limited dps, I had time to compare this unique behavioral tick to ones exhibited in another game I frequently play!

Of course there are levels to these ticks: how do I respond socially? Does my character display any of my ticks? Does my play style change? The answer to each of these questions is a resounding YES!

So, today, let’s  explore Character Ticks.

I can’t say I do this much on my paladin, though I think this solely rests on the fact that she’s not so geared yet that she can simply look at a health bar to make it green, but on each of my other characters, I bounce when I’m happy. And I’m not talking about the Night Elf idle motion.  My draeneis and my tree bounce in place. Eda bounces while she’s punching someone with in the back with prayer of mending. Sairyn bounces between chain heal casts, pretending she’s playing connect the dots with her team mates. Fluffikins bounces around the edges of fights, tossing out hot’s and giggling as she effectively emasculates the mobs. Sure, some of the constant motion comes from boredom, but honestly, it’s just way more fun to heal when you’re bouncy. I think the reason I excel at fights like Hodir and Keristrazsa is because somewhere it was seared onto my brain that bouncing is the path to winning.

Now, sometimes I need to stop bouncing. The pull might have gone a bit roughly (like last night in Ice Crown where we pulled the group on the side, the middle group, and set off one of the Bone Warder’s trap), or maybe I actually have reason to use a spell with a cast time. Or *gasp* I have someone talking to me (rare, I know). But, generally speaking, I’ll resume full-force bouncing unless I’m being a grouchy pants.

Now, character ticks are fascinating because you’re essentially breaking the barrier between yourself and your toon. You’ve developed muscle memories  and situational response mechanisms above and beyond the ones needed to successfully play the game (movement, spell keybindings, etc.). Do I need to bounce to heal people? Well, perhaps for a few specific fights, but generally speaking, no, bouncing will not regen mana, or make my hot’s heal people for more, or make people feel like they’re being lavished with hugs. Well, maybe that last one.

Originally this post was going to cover all three types of idiosyncrasies I outlined above, but then it just got too long. So, more tomorrow! Until then, what kind of physical idiosyncrasies do you catch yourself having in game?

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