Noblesse Oblige

Last night, once again, some of our guild leaders ran some of us gear-seekers through Ulduar. And let me  just say, wow, ty ty ty and I am positive the gods of Azeroth are looking down upon thee with kindness.

I am not among the WoW ultra-snazzy. Oh, I’ve got some decent gear (less so now that the next level is out), and I’m pretty good at following directions, but the truth is that I have an obvious learning curve.

Last night I was healing Ulduar for the first time (other runs were as Enhancement for me), and in the Assembly of Iron fight, I was on a tank, just us on that side of the room.

The Iron Council

The Iron Council

“Okay Lant. You just heal me and you, and when he starts to cast Chain Lightening, interrupt that, but later, interrupt the Lightening Whirl, that’s most important” says my tank.

“Okay! Sounds good,” says Lan, thinking, no problem.

Wipe 1: Lan flails on the switching between boss target and tank, doesn’t heal, tank dies, Lan dies, raid dies.

“Okay, er, A., I’m interrupting which again? Chain Whirl? Lightning wha?”

“WHIRL, Lan.”

“Got it,” says Lan, thinking, no problem.

Wipe 2: Lan manages to heal the tank, but can’t get the interrupts. Does not run fast enough to get out of the way of the Fusion Punch, dies. Tank dies, raid dies.

“Heh, yeah, that was all me. Sorry guys,” says Lan.

“No problem, Lant. You’ll get it.”

“So, um, I interrupt Lighting Whirl, and…”

“Actually, that doesn’t come until later. You just heal me and yourself, and we’ll be golden.”

“Got it,” says Lan, thinking, no problem.

Wipe 3: Lan manages to heal and interrupt this time, but again does not run fast enough to get out of Fusion Punch.

“Heh heh. I swear I’m learning!” says Lan. “I can add one new thing each time through, so this time should be the charm.”

“You’ll get it,” says A.

“No problem,” says Lan, thinking, no problem.

Wipe 4: Lan runs away from Fusion Punch! Lan heals! Lan interrupts! Lan’s tank dies! She is puzzled. But not surprised.

“Okay guys, I think that was our last try – I’ve got to go do some stuff with the other folks. Great job everyone, you definitely got better. We’ll pick this up again either tomorrow or Friday.”

Yeah, okay, so Lan had some problems. Poor troll. Sure am glad I’m not her. Wow. Noob. Heh.

And what, you ask, is the moral of the story? How can you even ask that?! Did you hear what those experienced, geared-out players were saying?! They were so coooool! I love my guild. /tear. The moral of the story is, THANK YOU!

So here they are, these folks who are progressing through Ulduar, who know the fights inside and out, who somehow, magically, have infinite patience with people like me: learning and screwing up to do so.

Helping out fellow guildies is certainly a common thing in WoW. But just as common are the people who scream and moan about “shit players” and “fuck ups”… you name it. A. and our other guild leaders plan these learning sessions fully knowing it will be slow and painful, yet they actually seem to have fun with it. They teach us the fights, watch us screw up, and teach us again.

I recently had a conversation with B. in which we talked about the fine line between helping people who will learn from it and give back, in a sense, and helping people that are just a time-sink, ever flailing and never getting self-reliant. I like to think I’m one of the first kind – I do eventually get it and get better. But the second kind can suck you in and take all your energy.

Some players just really enjoy helping: run people through instances, show them better spell rotations, lend/give them gold. I confess that I like that – it’s fun to get powerful/rich/skilled enough to give back to other people. Generosity helps the whole guild, of course, and improves all the players’ gear and skill, but I’ll say it again, my guildies have infinite patience sometimes. /bow

What makes people good at helping? And what makes people good to help? Is it because we keep up a good attitude? We demonstrate we actually can get better? We’re fun to joke with in Vent? I suspect that there are some people that A. and others help out who don’t really learn all that much, yet they find the patience anyway. I like to think my sparkling personality and wit make it a bit easier/fun to help me out, although, of course, it could just be I’m a pain in the ass.

Naw, it’s probably just those gods of Azeroth, channeling some +234 Patience to A. and the rest. Is that from a trinket?

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8 responses to “Noblesse Oblige

  1. Your guild sound wonderful. Would you mind gift-wrapped them and sending them my way, please? I promise to look after them.

    As somebody who is more frequently the learner than the mentor I do find it genuinely difficult to understand what people get out of being terribly nice to me but then when I have been the mentor I’ve enjoyed myself too … so I suppose it’s just an unfathomable dynamic, too bound up in the individuals to really be classified.

    I actually have a blog post in the offing about Wow and ignorance, but I think, perhaps, there is an often unacknowledged value in being willing to take advice, to ask questions and be a noob. There is a pleasure in sharing knowledge, after all, and it’s so much better for everyone if you’re comfortable enough to be able to admit it when you don’t know something or haven’t done something before.

  2. How about this, you gift-wrap yourself and come on over to Lethon. We promise to look after you :)

    There really is a pleasure in helping, and I like to think, anyway, that my willingness to admit ignorance, ask questions, etc. is part of what makes it easier to help me out. The worst is definitely when people refuse to admit they don’t know the fights or won’t ask, “can i stand in that red circle?” and just die… heh.

  3. I like to help people, but I need to know that they know how to help themselves. I’m all about empowerment. Teach a man to fish and whatnot. I have no interest in people that just want me to give them a fish.

    I also have a bit of a personal hang up; I like to be asked for help. People that drop vague hints like “wow, this quest is kicking my ass” and expect someone to volunteer to help them make my stomach turn. However, a statement like “wow, this quest is kicking my ass, could you come give me a hand?” doesn’t bother me in the least, and if I’m able, I’ll gladly go help.

    On the other side of the coin, when I say “man, this quest is kicking my ass.” it is NOT a request for help, and all the people that offer to help send me into a fit of irrational irritation. If I want help with a quest, I will ask for it. Otherwise I’m just venting some momentary frustration. Your job is to nod understandingly and go back to what you’re doing.

  4. /nods understandingly

  5. Ha ha!

  6. Haha! I’m sorta like Copernicus *waves batter*. I like helping people who actually ask for help, but I hate getting nothing but passive-aggressive *hints*.

    “Man this quest is kicking my ass. *Soulful eyes* It’s so terrible. *more soulful eyes* This is just so difficult. I’ve tried so many times now… *EVEN MORE SOULFUL EYES*”

    …makes me just want to ignore the person. XD

    In my anti-social yet goldenbattery goodness, I think that if you want help, you should ask for it. Not attempt to guilt me into it.

    I also get impatient with people who *always* have some ulterior reason for dropping me a tell. See soulful eyes above. Add that to an utter unwillingness to learn or adapt, with extra propensity to claim that what I’ve told them doesn’t work waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah… when I’m doing the exact same thing, elsewhere, at that moment, and it DOES indeed work.

    I had a guy harrass me like that for the past 3 weeks until I finally put him on ignore out of sheer ‘omg I just don’t want to have to listen to your nonsense at all, anymore’.

    For me, it’s just not satisfying if the person I’m supposedly helping refuses to learn the concepts of why the help works, and just wants to ride along and end up as ignorant as before. :(

    [Must clarify here, I no longer play WoW, I play Guild Wars instead. Guild Wars entire world is split into lots of teensy tiny instances made just for you (or your party), so I can, in fact, be nowhere near the Soulful Eyes, and yet be doing exactly the same area.]

    Oh! And I blame Mr Sissy Robe for the spam I leave here, I found here through Righteous Orbs!

  7. you feel free to put your spam here whenever you wish :) Mr Sissy Robe and I have an agreemet (he now owes me $10).

  8. Woot! I r profitable nuggetz!

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