Retirement Reasons and Reminiscing Part 2

The other day, I wrote part one of this series in which I discussed how raiding has evolved over the years and how the devs’ ideas had similarly evolved. The major issue is that my own ideas don’t match up with what the devs are doing and planning and, as such, throughout Cataclysm’s many, varied nerfs to raid content, I became less and less excited about Mists of Pandaria.

I ended with a segue into how other people’s thinking is different from my own and how that’s another reason that I’m choosing to quit.

Again, play or don’t play, that’s your choice. I’m merely documenting my choices here and you’re free to read it or not. As always, please recall that there is a comment policy. Thanks.

Reason 2: I don’t think the same way as most of the players do.

What, exactly, do I mean by that?

Here. Let me show you.

 I don’t know why I’m still surprised…


Yet another fail “tank”

My blog is RESPLENDENT with examples of players being dumb, stupid, lazy and overall bad.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I was once terrible. Seven years ago, when I started this game, I didn’t understand the concept of filling out one entire spec of the talent tree to get the 31 point talent first. It had to be explained to me. I didn’t get the idea of ranks of spells for my pet, gained, back then, by taming other pets, learning those skills, then training my older pet with those new skills. I used to dual-wield daggers as my melee weapons, and at least one of them had an on-hit proc.

By the time I was 60, I had learned how not to be a total scrub. That doesn’t mean I didn’t keep learning, but it does mean that I continued to put in all the efforts I could into learning how to play appropriately.

I don’t bring Kurn into content that my hunter is incapable of helping out with. I make sure I’m hit-capped. I make sure I’m buffed appropriately. I even often ask what pet my group would prefer I use.

On my paladin, not that she has done ANYTHING in Mists, it’s about making the most of my character so I’m not a drag on the group. In 5-man content, that means keeping people alive, although not necessarily through their own stupidity.

These are standards I hold myself to.

Part of the reason I have them is because I started out, as I mentioned in my previous post, as someone who wanted to be a raider. I knew that I’d have to play better and learn more and work for my gear in order to get to be a raider.

People no longer have that reason to improve, because anyone can be a “raider”. There’s LFR, there’s 10-man normals, there’s 25-man normals, then there’s 10 and 25-man heroics. That about covers the entire spectrum of raiding, no? LFR people who can’t hit a button on Ultraxion and who (I am told) fall through the floor on Elegon. Normal raid teams who spend a night a week progressing until the nerf catches up to them. Heroic raid teams who power through normals and clear heroic modes before the nerfs or the next tier show up.

And all you really need to be a “raider” is to be at level cap and have a certain item level of gear.

You don’t need any of the dedication or knowledge to be a LFR-type “raider”.

You don’t need a huge time commitment to be a normal-mode raider and, let’s face it, normal-mode raiders can afford to be poorer players than heroic mode players, because the mechanics generally are nowhere near as punishing as on heroic mode.

You do need knowledge and some form of time commitment to do some of the “necessary” things as a heroic raider, but then again, I have been a heroic raider. This is the category in which I would place myself over Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm. So my beef isn’t really with my peers, exactly, it’s with the people like those I wrote those earlier blog posts about. People who don’t put in the effort. People who don’t take the time to learn. People who flat-out don’t want to learn.

Apotheosis has been fortunate in that many, many of our applicants have been of a high quality, but we’ve had our fair share of /facepalm apps. It’s those people I don’t want to play with any longer. And with the number of 25-man guilds continuing to decline, it’s getting hard to recruit for 25-man content. It was downright brutal at the end of Firelands last expansion. Sometimes, you have to trial someone just to give them a chance IN CASE they are secretly a great player and their logs or application didn’t show it, just because having a body in the raid, or available to raid, is better than calling a raid. Sometimes you have to try to teach the applicants rather than decline them off the bat because, well, it MIGHT turn out.

Oftentimes, it doesn’t work, which is why we generally only took “iffy” apps who were already on our server, so no one was wasting money if they were declined, as they were likely to be. But the sheer number of questionable applicants is downright overwhelming at times.

I don’t want to raid with people like that and I would be not only naïve but downright stupid if I thought that a raid roster was going to remain exactly the same throughout an entire expansion. Out of the 24 people I had listed in my very first Apotheosis 2.0 roster (created September 23, 2010) a grand total of THREE of those people (Majik, Dayden and myself) were still around at the end of Dragon Soul. And Dayden had taken a long hiatus. Of those 24, ten of them didn’t even complete a trial period.

In short, the one thing you can count on in a raiding guild is turnover. Looking around, there don’t seem to be a lot of quality, like-minded individuals out there: people who do their research, read strats, watch videos, understand how to play their classes at a high level. We’ve seen applicants fail to respond to our feedback in raids over and over again. “Dot all the things,” I remember telling a shadow priest app, in the hopes of helping them get their DPS up. Open up World of Logs, look at the uptimes, all the dot uptimes are below 60%.

“Always be casting,” you tell a random DPS, and you look at the logs and over and over again, the active time is reflective of their damage, which is below the tanks.

I can’t deal with it anymore. The changing approach to raiding and raids and all this “accessibility” by the developers has led, in my mind, to lazy players. Lazy players who are just, quite honestly, bad players. If that’s the kind of player that Blizzard is creating these days (and while there are certainly exceptions, it seems, more and more, as though these are the players that Wrath and Cata have spawned), I don’t want to have anything to do with them, nor do I want to be hunting high and low for quality replacements for those in my own guild. Searching for replacements is common for any guild, but I suspect it’s just going to get even more difficult given the overall quality of players out there.

So I choose to remove myself from Blizzard’s environment. I don’t agree with their raid philosophies any longer and I certainly don’t have much, if anything, in common with the average WoW player.

The next part of this series will focus on the quality control (or lack thereof) with regards to World of Warcraft.

(As always, please remember there is a comment policy in place. Thanks!)

(Edited to add: Here’s a sort of follow-up post, based on a comment I received but did not approve.)

3 Replies to “Retirement Reasons and Reminiscing Part 2”

  1. Kurn, do you think the quality of player in Apotheosis between the start of Cataclysm and the end of Dragon Soul went down?

    You say: Looking around, there don’t seem to be a lot of quality, like-minded individuals out there: people who do their research, read strats, watch videos, understand how to play their classes at a high level.

    I am curious what you mean by that when, using the criteria you created, Apotheosis is still raiding three nights a week.

  2. Ash – Those who made the raiding roster are probably better players than those who started, but boy, did it suck to have to find those people. It’s not like WoW was swimming with “the right kind of people” to begin with and it has gotten progressively more difficult to find those kinds of people as time has gone by. I know you know there were some people who should never have been on our roster, even as Initiates, but there was no way we could have guaranteed that raiding could continue without some of those apps.

    Further, given that we have fairly strict language/behaviour policies in place and given the idiocy of many of the people “out there”, it becomes even more challenging. Once you find a competent player, are they going to be assholes or not?

    Look at your current roster:

    – No Windwalker Monks
    – No Moonkins
    – 1 Death Knight… total.
    – 1 Elemental Shaman, 1 Enhancement Shaman, 1 Resto Shaman

    Prior to some main switches, there was just the one shadow priest and no resto shaman due to Kit stepping down.

    Certain classes have always been difficult to find because fewer people seem to roll them (see: shaman) and it’s just getting more and more difficult. Do you know how hard it was for us to find Hitoku? Kit? Slout? Dayden-as-a-shammy?

    People always would PM me about apps and complain that they’re not doing well enough or that “we don’t need this class”. And sometimes they were right, but as the person who went out LOOKING for them, I often felt as though we had no real choice but to give them a chance, especially if they were on our server.

    The pool of talented people is growing smaller, Ash. There’s no getting around that. And it sucks to go out there on a daily basis and look for players who might be a good fit only to discover people who barely have their rotations down.

    It’s tiring. No, it’s exhausting. And yet, it’s necessary to constantly recruit if you’re going to ensure your guild’s success and continued raiding. I can’t fight through the sewage out there any longer in the slim hopes of finding someone remotely capable of finding a diamond we’ve lost. I can no longer concern myself with things like “man, we don’t have (this class) and that would be SO SWEET right now”, not to mention the constant arguments with people in the guild over whether or not we need them.

    Good, like-minded players are out there, but the effort:gain ratio to find them is just too high for me any longer, and I think that’s largely because the vast majority of the playerbase and I have nothing in common anymore.

  3. I’ve stopped raiding at the end of DS too (with my guild ranked 5th alliance on my server on GuildOx), for many of the same reasons.

    Blizzard is not doing enough to educate their player base.

    The early and constant nerfing made it even more difficult to recruit for DS and it finally pushed me over the edge.

    I think both of these problems make it easier for players to be lazy. Why try hard if they’re just going to nerf content in a few weeks? Show up, complain about loot and don’t improve, you’ll eventually get through it.

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