What are your ticks? (Part II)
Posted January 21, 2010on:
Last post, I started postulating about the idiosyncrasies we imbue in our characters. I barely scratched the surface of the physical when I started realizing that maybe, just maybe, I should separate the physical habits from the mental ones. Not that I believe they’re separate entities; they are very much connected. I just thought it would be easier to explain my thought process this way.
The way I look at it, the social and tactical ticks we gain while playing are interwoven. Sure, I may not as bounce as much when I’m grumpy, but my play style will drastically change if depending on how I’m feeling. The interesting thing about these little nuances of human behavior is that most of the time, we don’t notice we have them; at least, not until they’re well ingrained into our brains.
For a real-life example: every time I have to answer a question that requires a lot of explanation, I tend to pause, and lift one of my shoulders as high as my ears. My death knight companion always knows when I’m fielding a heavy guild question, or trying to formulate a logical argument simply by seeing the change in my body’s position. I never noticed this about myself until he brought it up.
Getting back to how this relates to the social/playstyle interwoven meta-thought of doom (it’s not really doom-ful per say, I just wanted it to sound dramatic), let’s use the oh-so-common example of the new dungeon finder. Each day, you have the opportunity of playing with hundreds of people you would otherwise not even know existed (except, maybe, in the form of a statistic). You have the opportunity to be exactly the same to each and every one of them, but if you’re anything like me, you’re not. Some of the people you run into will elicit camaraderie, some annoyance, some apathy (EEK!).
How do you react? In terms of play style? In terms of social interaction?
For me, my social response typically dictates my play style response. I’d love to say I give my 100% to each and every single instance/raid I run, but that would be a lie. If I’m not feeling the situation socially, my performance goes straight into the metaphorical toilet.
When I’m in a group of strangers, and everyone is using l337 speek and generally acting as if their gigantic e-peen is the only thing important in the whole wide world, I become reserved. I won’t bother answering questions or giving strategy suggestions. And my play style reflects that. That lock that just life-tapped will get a single renew, rather than a greater heal. The hunter’s pet won’t get buffs after it dies from negligence. And forget about me using cool downs. I don’t even think about them. Consciously, I’m not acting out of spite. I don’t want to wipe just to teach these bozos a lesson; I want to get my badges and get the hell out of there as soon as possible. So I will heal, but I will not be the super duper healer that everyone loves.
Now let’s take the opposite scenario: I’ve had quite a few legitimately pleasant groups. They may not be pulling 80bajillion dps every fight, but they’ve shown that they can type more than “sup” and they have a degree of friendliness. These people I will do anything for. Want me to rez your pet? You got it! Here, have some extra buff food that I happen to have lying around. If you want to stick around a little longer, I can help you try to figure out the next instance you’ll want to hit up for a chance to replace some of the blues you still have. You’re leveling a healer? Well, here’s my guild’s vent info! Stop by so I can chat your ears off! I will use divine hymn on cool down, I will guardian spirit the mage who pulled the extra pack of mobs, I will even run myself out of mana trying to heal a tank through preventable boss enrage-esque buffs, all because I like you. And again, not thinking about this consciously. I just go straight into Mega-Leet Healer mode. /hug. For instance, the first time Sairyn got Halls of Reflection as her daily heroic, I almost bolted on the group. I didn’t want to waste their time wiping. The group reassured me that they were ok with wiping if it helped me learn to be a better shaman healer. I stayed, and it was the best Halls of Reflection run I had up until that point (even the ones with guildies). I played my heart out for the people who cared enough about me as a person to give me a chance, knowing I may fail.
All in all, I think our moods seriously impact our performance, even if we don’t recognize it. Sure, some people may be driven to succeed when everyone else around them is facerolling huge numbers and are being general asshats about it. I can understand the desire to be better than one’s peers. But for me, the biggest motivator is love. If I love you, even if it’s only for a brief 5 man pug, I will play my best for you. Everyone may deserve the best from me, but you will elicit it.
So what about you all? How does your play style change on your mood? Do you heal people less? Do you go to further extremes to prove people wrong?
*This post brought to you by the warm fuzzy kittens that romp around with other cute creatures that live in the quintessentially feminine/childish part of my brain*.