wow

Three player types that give me healer rage

healers wow druid tauren

Image courtesy of Angry Healers

Rage is a feeling many gamers will feel when gaming. There’s the rage quit, when you just throw your keyboard out of the window and exit the game forcefully. There’s just general rage, which is often caused by the (perceived) idiocy of your fellow gamers. And then there’s a very specific kind of rage, which is often found in MMORPG’s which cling to the holy trinity of tank, DPS and healer. Some call it “just whining”, but I call it healer rage. Sadly, I am no stranger to it, but my experience with it has taught me that it takes specific types of players to invoke the rage deep in my healing heart. In this post, I want to introduce to you that trio of idiot players that force me to raise the question: “Why the eff do I still enjoy doing this? ”

Type #1 – the heal-hogger
The first kind of annoying player is what I call the heal-hogger: a player who thinks that he is the only one worthy of your healing and that no other member of your party should receive those green, floating numbers. Most often, this player is an unexperienced tank, who lives under the illusion that his survival is the only thing that counts. A heal-hogger will remind you regularly that he is your number one priority, especially when his health gets dangerously close to fifty percent, or when he sees that you dare to heal the top DPS of the party. He’s not just green because of your heals, but also with envy.

Luckily, most heal-hoggers grow out of this behaviour once they understand the game dynamics and the value of every party member. It still takes time though, and their appearance in a pick-up group gets my heart racing in the wrong way.

Type #2 – the “I have a scratch, heal me now!”-dude
Many new healers think that they have to make sure that everyone’s health bar is permanently full. Sooner or later, these young apprentices learn that many end-game encounters do not give you the time, resources or plain possibility to keep everyone’s HP at a maximum. The experienced healer does not fret when a part of the group hovers around half of their maximum health. Everyone’s alive and kicking, so where’s the problem? Well, a certain type of player can be the problem…

This annoying archetype has probably never played a healer himself and does not understand that most of us have to work with a resource budget. He lives under the impression that if just one party member is not at maximum health, the healer is slacking. This player will remind you of your failure, telling you that you’re worthless and should play something else. You know who should play something else? You, you annoying piece of dung. You will appreciate me once you’re at the brink of death because you pulled something. Which brings me to my final annoying player type…

Type #3 – the tank who isn’t the tank
Some people just seem to be always in a hurry. Sadly, many of these people play MMORPG’s, and nothing can be fast enough for them. When the tank dares to slow down a bit because the party can’t keep up, this tank who isn’t a tank will take over his job and charge ahead. Going all Leeroy Jenkins on the party, this often squishy damage-dealer while dive right into a pack of elite monsters, causing his health to plummet. Once he’s dead, and the party is done cleaning up his mess, he will blame the healer for his demise and often ragequit.

Well, you mother of annoying party members, let me tell you something. The reason you’re dead is because you’re an idiot. My heals don’t work on idiots, so you just killed yourself. Remember that the next time you group up with me. Maybe if you calm down a bit and use your grey matter, my heals will detect that increase in IQ and work on you. Until then, have fun paying your own damn repair bills.

Writing this piece already brought up some healing rage, so I guess I better stop now and think about all the players who appreciate a good healer. Yes, believe me, they’re out there, and you should be grateful for having them around. Just stick with them, and you might be able to dodge these three flavours of idiocy I described above.

How I stopped worrying and learned to love gaming ADD

Focusing my gaming time on one title has shown me once again how much I suffer of a condition referred to as “gaming ADD”. Just like regular ADD, patients of this affliction suffer from an inability to play one and the same game for a longer time, being distracted by the beauty and “shiny factor” of new titles. To a degree, all gamers know this:  when a new game hits the stores, you want to have it and play with it. However, many of my fellow button-bashers are able to focus on one title for some time, while I’m already knee-deep in another game.

I haven’t been always like this, and for a time, this gaming ADD was driving me mad. However, I learned that it isn’t bad, and that you actually get more out of your gaming life when your attention span is similar to that of a hyperactive dog. This is my story (cue epic intro music).

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Breaking the chains of factions

Earlier this week, Ghostcrawler (the well-known CM of WoW, acronyms ftw!) teased us with a very interesting tweet about adding an unannounced feature during Mists of Pandaria’s run. The entire community has been thinking and writing about this, and some of the ideas that have been proposed actually sound interesting. One thing that I haven’t read or heard yet, however, is a feature that had been discussed a while back, and that I would love to be inserted into the game: races not restricted to one faction.

You see, I can understand the idea behind implementing different factions in a multiplayer game. It’s cool to be part of a team, and having these teams compete against each other is something many players enjoy. But what I don’t get, from a rather logical point-of-view, is why membership of a faction should be limited to a handful of races, and why I shouldn’t be able to join forces with my enemy to take down a greater threat. It defies logic, and it also takes away some great storytelling opportunities. However, since Blizzard has given the Pandaren the possibility to join both factions, I wonder if the same thing shouldn’t be offered to all races, in a way identical to that of the fluffy bears: you finish your starting zone, and then you pick which faction you want to swear allegiance to. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Instead of just having you choose your faction freely, it would also be great to group with members of the oppossite faction for PvE content. RIFT has added this possibility shortly before launching its first expansion Storm Legion, and in The Secret World, the only thing you can’t do alongside other factions is PvP (which I guess is kinda logical). Cross-faction communication and gameplay would add an additional layer of gameplay, and I can already hear thousand roleplayers cry out in joy when they could finally talk with Orcs or Worgen.

Bottom line, thinking “in a box” is nice and well, and also important for any kind of PvP, but if Blizzard would join other titles in opening those boxes a bit, I would be more than pleased. I would even be so damn pleased that I would give them another expansion to implement player and / or guild housing. Seriously, Blizz, what’s keeping you from that?!

Our thing for evil

“The Joker” by jossielara

Humans are bizarre creatures. Through the ages, we have established a set of rules regarding “good” and “bad”. No matter how abstractthose ideas are, we have done our best to come to an agreement of what is okay, and what just doesn’t fly. Love is great, but loving someone so much that you follow them everywhere they go is considered rather creepy. Being ambitious is also something our society considers good, but once you go over corpses it’s a completely different story. We do our best to enforce these ideas on every member of our society, and yet the people from fiction who defy these ideas are the ones that fascinate us the most.

Take exhibit A, Heath Ledger’s potrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises. Actually, just take any portrayal of the Joker. One of Batman’s most famous enemies is everything we as a society despise: he is chaos incarnate, and a sociopath to boot. He blows up hospitals just because he wants to lure out a single caped crusader, and burns mountains of money just to “send a message”. He even treats his greatest fan like shit, caring nothing for her emotions. The Joker does steps and spits on our moral and ethic codes, and then sets them on fire. And still, we deem him to be one of the greatest fictional characters ever.

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World of Warcraft – it will never let me go

bokuzen northrendWhen Funcom announced that The Secret World would go B2P, I rejoiced and did my happy dance. Not just because I like to do silly dances, but also because I’m a Scrooge McDuck and like to keep as many Euros for myself as possible. The fact that I can keep enjoying TSW without paying a fee meant that I could dabble in other MMORPG’s, possibly even one that might require a subscription fee. That was when World of Warcraft reared its not-so-ugly head.

You see, WoW and I have a long history. I started playing the game-changing MMO one month after its release, and took only short breaks from it until Cataclysm. The world-shattering expansion also shattered my last shreds of interest , and so I said goodbye to it for quite a while. Then, Mists of Pandaria was released, and a month after its (surprisingly positively received) launch, I bought the expansion and started playing a new toon, together with some returning and veteran friends. To my surprise, I found the changes made to the game really enjoyable. The new talent system is limited, but now I have the feeling that choosing a specialisation and a talent actually matters. The Pandaren are less whimsical than I had expected, and the Monk is actually a really fun class to play. Damn you, WoW, for being fun again!

So, for the last months, I’ve been playing WoW on and off again on multiple characters. I hit 70 with my Pandaren Warrior today, and I’m working my way back to the level cap together with a group of friends. It doesn’t feel as great and fantastic as it did “back in the days”, but I have fun rediscovering a world I thought I knew so well.

Azeroth, I’m back!