Sunday, February 10, 2008

Living up to Expectations

The phrase "Living up to expectations"... that means that whatever I expect you to do, is what you do. If I expect you to single-heal BT, and you do, then that's living up to expectations. Godly expectations, but nevertheless, you did it.

The reverse is also true. If I expect that you can't even heal VC as a level 60+ healer and you do... that's also living up to expectations. Or maybe it should be termed 'living down to expectations'. Whatever.

This holds true to lots of avenues of life. And sometimes, we become what others expect. When it's expecting UP, making yourself better so you fit into what someone expects of you, that's a good thing. However, a lot of times, people don't expect much from us, and we take that as permission to ... not be our best. We go down. We do what they expect from us because we don't get credit or it isn't "worth it" somehow to do MORE. And then that becomes what we are.

To some extent, I can understand what WoW is doing. You have a very large player base. You want more people. You want smart people and dumb people, basically anyone who can spend 15 bucks a month, to play your game. So you have to make it so that all those people, smart, dumb and in between, can play your game.

You begin by making a quest log that keeps track of everything. How many mobs you need to kill, what items you need to get, and even a summary of where to find said things so that if you're spam-quest-collecting, you can go back and read the quest afterwards to figure out where to go. Almost everything is soloable or duoable. That's how it used to be. They didn't even have the quest tracker for you. If you wanted to know how many more whatevers you needed, you had to open your quest log.

Yet still, you had people saying 'Where do I go for this?' or 'how do I get that?'. Sometimes, the best answer was 'Did you read your quest log?'. ... "No."... *bangs head on desk* The question is, do you help these people? Do you take them by the hand and lead them through their quests?

Other times, and admittedly there are a few quests still out there that takes some exploring and some deduction and isn't spelled out in a 'How to...' manner. And those questions, you ask and the answer is 'Yes.'. And it's one of THOSE quests and you know that this person did try their best, but need some help. And you help because that's the right thing to do.

The other person, the one who doesn't read their log or can't be bothered to... there are multiple thoughts on these people. Some people are of the 'I'm a nice helpful person! So I will help!', and take them by the hand and lead them down the road of their quests. These people, in their effort to help, are perpetuating the 'down' expectation. They can't be expected to read their quest log on their own! And look, they get REWARDED for not doing so! They have some nice person do the quest for them. Yippee!

Other people do the middle of the road method, which I do. I help to a certain point. I'll direct them to their quest log, or to one of the websites. I'll even ask leading questions like 'Doesn't your quest log tell you where the cave is?', and hopefully I'm rewarded with a 'Oh! It does! Thanks'.

Then there are some that are rude about it and get snarky and smarmy and offensive. Maybe these are people who, at one point in time, maybe started out nice and helpful, then moved to the middle of the road and finally are fed up enough that they've become angry.

Because WoW is altering the game to live down to the expectation of people who can't be bothered to read. Or look. Or try.

We now have sparklies over quest pick up items. And dots on the mini-map. And way points. Next they'll probably make a little path that appears in game for you. Or a spirit dude will appear to lead you by the nose to the next step.

I will admit, the quest giver exclamation points are nice, and let you discover where quests are more easily. But ... c'mon. How dumbed down is the game going to get before we tell people ... it's time for us to stop living DOWN to your expectation and time for you to start living up to ours.


  1. Well, there is another part than unfortunately comes with helpin/not helping ppl that want an easy road through leveling.

    Some high-lvl ppl getting asked alot get a bit rude. But the same goes with the ones needing help. They get rude too when not getting the help they think they deserve...

    An example: My fast-leveled 58 lock is fixing his bank slots at midnight before logging off. A lvl 23 druid aproaches and whispers: "Can u take me through Stockades? I need xp to level."
    I answer: "No sorry - about to log off". The reply comes soon after: "Your gear sucks anyway!". Druid is put on ignore.

    This is quite common on my PvP server. 12 year olds having a hard time realizing that the game is about more than just them, and that other players are humans with seperate agendas and not there for them.

  2. Yeah, because they EXPECT us to do things for them. They had it done for them once by someone who didn't realize what monster they were creating, and now expect it as a matter of course. Which is stupid. :P

    Nothing irritates anyone faster than being taken for granted. :P