Thursday, May 13, 2010
Copra on feeling heroic
Copra from BullCopra makes the interesting observation that being one of 10 or 25 people killing a raid boss doesn't feel very heroic. Quote:
"In a way this reminded me the weekly raid I accompanied, in which our guild took down Marrowgar. I was in there for the first time, we ran it like 4 times before the kill and for me it was a kind of anti-climatic experience. Like I wasn't contributing to the whole at all, like I was depending on others to do their job better while doing mine as well as I then could. The same happened to me with Onyxia and Sartharion, even though we ran Sarth with only 9 for the achievement: hollow, empty feeling, almost stating that I was glad it was over."I know the feeling, in different variations. I hate being one of the less geared people in a guild raid (or an EVE corporation fleet), it always makes me feel as if I'm leeching from the others. But I also remember the intense frustration of doing Malygos with my healer in a raid where everybody was still alive at the end of phase 2 (thus impossible for a healer to do better), but having failed to have done enough damage fast enough to prevent the encounter failing due to the enrage timer.
In every game there are players somewhat more skilled and others somewhat less skilled, but in a MMORPG you get the additional effect of people being more or less geared. And with at least 3 basic functionalities (tanking, healing, dps) in a group, you're always just one contributing cog in a larger machine. Unless you play solo content, but World of Warcraft fails to provide solo content that feels heroic.
Nevertheless I don't agree with Copra that EVE does this better. He says:
"If this pilot sets her/his objectives right and has the stamina to stick to his/her dream, s/he may well become the hero in the corporation. But there will be only few pilots who's name will stay in the lore."How many famous EVE players can you name? The answer range from "none" for most of us, to a few for people heavily involved in EVE. That is like telling people they can become the president of the United States. While technically true (if born in the USA), it is a hollow promise with no actual impact on your daily life. Not to mention that the people who *did* become famous in EVE all achieved that by acts of betrayal and treachery. Do you really want to become famous for being the biggest scammer in MMO history?
Of course there is a lot of truth in The Incredibles quote that "when everyone's super, no one will be". But how heroic can you really become from playing a video game anyway? Killing a raid boss with your guild is comparable to winning a match with your mates in some team sport amateur league. Isn't that nice enough? Would it really be worth spending tens of thousands of hours of effort on becoming the most famous player in some video game? I'd say that would be a pretty worthless achievement, given how much good you could have achieved in real life with the same amount of time and effort. You want to be a hero? How about joining the fire brigade instead of playing video games?