Last night, after helping T above finish Violet Hold for her Karazhan attunement, we moved to Vault of the Wardens, and I suggested that perhaps we could use the Mythic keystone I won for extra loot. On reflection as I write this, that suggestion was at least for my mind akin to asking a recovering alcoholic if they’d like to just have half a pint with you at your local. I’d done no research for these dungeons short of stuff that was required for articles and then swiftly forgotten. Once it became apparent what we had to do I’m not going to lie. I felt sick.
Who thought showing me a countdown like this is a good idea, exactly? Why do I need a countdown to begin with? Oh yeah, because only by putting pressure on people with mandatory timescales will you ever learn the value of just playing the game. Before you all dive in, I get why this system works, and that it is probably massively enjoyable for all those people who don’t have the running beat of ‘you’re not good enough, stop playing’ in their heads. I’m sitting here, shaking now, all too aware that my inability to play this game to the standard required is what got me killed on Cordana, and was then responsible for the wipe that means four other people didn’t get their loot. I DON’T WANT FUCKING LOOT ANY MORE if this is what is ‘fun’ in the eyes of other people as a delivery system.
I don’t care about raiding or group content if all it does is prove you need to be 100% all the time to play.
Everybody else had a whale of a time, or so it appeared. People were really kind too about my failure but you know, it only works when players understand, and when your gaming environment is 100% focused on getting people to succeed? It is so very easy to see why some people will just never do this, because of the anxiety it produces. If you can’t imagine what that feels like? Remember the high you got when you killed any boss that you really wanted, and then imagine someone just punched you in the face at the exact same moment, then imagine that it’s worse than that. That’s a pretty good approximation, and you know it’s then easier to just never set foot in the circumstance to begin with. My husband at least now understands that my machine is part of my issues with response times, after coming and saving me in Suramar and FINALLY allowing access to Arcway and Court of Stars.
However, after this we 4 manned the Maw of Souls Heroic in anticipation of running it on Mythic and that’s probably the most fun I’ve had in a dungeon since launch, if truth be told. For me, that means that there’s extra responsibility, but it’s okay if I die, nobody loses anything and I still feel a level of difficulty. If that were doable in all Heroics and the loot was worthwhile, you’d never get me out of them, but it is these extra carrots on increasingly ridiculous sticks that simply serve to highlight for me how just being someone who plays and not someone who relies on gear to play has become one of the harsh realities of this game. Being told to progress that I have to play content to get rewards is absolutely fine. Making me do that is also not a problem at all. I have absolutely no complaints at all with either of these.
However, I’m not doing either of these by choice.
I suppose the problem is twofold: the reliance on where you win to guide rewards, and the inability to provide what is considered ‘parallel’ non participatory content without starting a fight. The only way this game has ever had of showing skill, in PvE situations, is with your gear. I can equip myself now to 850 in the World, and have, and now that means the only way that changes until the world content catches up is in situations where I feel physically uncomfortable taking part. That’s not the problem of the designers and still 100% my issue, it’s fine. It was like that moment at Blizzcon when I realised that apart from one 90 minute section I had no real interest in anything else this company’s trying to sell me, and haven’t for some time. If you won’t buy into the fantasy, who’s fault is that, exactly? I’ve bought 2 holdalls and a lanyard in 3 years, and that’s all I need from the Merchandise department. That’s not their problem either.
I’m really not sure where that leaves me now. People politely telling me in Party chat that ‘it’s okay, you were fine’ is never, EVER going to be enough for me to believe, because I know so much about how this game affects people, and in so many disparate ways. I’ve stopped talking in Guild a lot too, because I just feel as if I’ve lost a part of why all the group content matters, when all that you’re doing, in the end, is trying to beat other people’s expectations of your own ability. It doesn’t help I’ve been sick all week, but I can’t help but now confront a reality that tells me that, like it or not, this game is perhaps the harshest critic you will ever come up against, far more than any aggrieved fool in LFR. When you feel you’re not good enough, having a game tell you you’re not and that means four other people suffer at your failure?
I just feel empty inside.