How do you judge the level of knowledge and skill a player has? Do you go off their progression so far? Or do you go off things they say and do? Do you go off past progression perhaps? There are so many ways that we judge the depth and breadth of knowledge that a player has, often without even thinking about it. I am not sure how many times I have suddenly ‘lifted’ a person in my esteem when they mention that their main is in x guild, or has killed x boss. Of course, they quite often plummet right afterwards because they follow this up with bragging, which makes me feel just a bit ill. I find it amazing though that we immediately assume that a person is a good player because they have a hefty amount of shiny purples, or have killed a certain amount of end game bosses. I have always been a loud and firm advocator of ‘the person before the gear’, but I too quite often judge people superficially.
Now, this superficial judgement rarely leads us astray. Generally, those people in the shiny purples do have a great level of skill. You often need to have this level of skill to even get near one of the bosses in most cases. However, it is easy for an occasional person to ‘slip through the cracks’. Especially in the good old days of 40 man raiding. To get the gear without the skill. Generally these people are easy to spot. They will be the ones where people mutter ‘ebay!’ under their breath.
However, it is incredibly easy to be confused and mistaken in the other direction. To look at someone’s gear and progression, and undervalue their knowledge on this basis. I’ll give you an example that I heard over Vent the other day.
Basically, one of our paladin healers are respeccing to prot (because we have a total utter lack of prot pallies). He was asking some questions about how much dodge he would need. Since the people who were in vent were unable to provide him with a satisfactory answer, he decided to ask an old friend.
Pally: Well, I asked my good friend, and he said I should aim for this much dodge. (I don’t remember the number, cut me some slack!)
Elitist person: Oh, I wouldn’t listen to him.
Pally: Why not? My good friend knows heaps about Prot Pallies. He has been playing since launch!
Elitist Person: Yes, but it’s not like he has exactly progressed very far… at all
Pally: Well, he has got personal circumstances which mean he can’t raid. He used to do old end game raiding, but he can’t anymore. He has a family and things.
Elitist Person: I just don’t think he knows enough. You should try Elitist Jerks or something. Look at the paladins in Afterlife.
This exchange did get on my nerves a little bit. I know the ‘good friend’ in question, which is why it got to me. We aren’t the best of friends, but he is one of the best Paladin tanks I have ever met. I’ll put it this way – Kalf is also one of the most elitist, judgemental people I know (sorry dear, but it’s true :P). Even HE likes this pally tank! Sure, he is still in Kara epics. Maybe a piece or two from Gruul’s. I think that his skill is evidenced though the fact we were desperate for a Pally tank for Hyjal. I asked if he could help out. For someone in such ‘low’ gear, he held aggro off us admirably. The healers had to work a little harder to keep him up, I’ll admit. But he did do incredibly well. I have seen well geared Pally tanks fail in there.
So the assumption that people do not know their class based entirely on gear does get on my nerves a bit. I think this is also reflected in the blogging world – we are all in different states of progression. Some of the WoW bloggers who are still in Karazhan know so much about their class – they know how to play various specs, they know the benefits and disadvantages of each, and they are able to give sound advice about most everything. Progression isn’t a sole indicator of skill and knowledge.Tags: Raiding, WoW Community