Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social responsibility

Scarybooster is upset, because he noticed that as DPS he can be quickly kicked out and replaced in a pickup group. Now I have something nice and something not-so-nice to say about that. For comfort, Scarybooster can rest assured that getting kicked out by jerks happens to everybody, even less easily replaceable healers. In fact, in my experience, healers are more likely than other roles to get blamed for the mistakes of others, and kicked because the group wiped, even if they played perfectly.

But I must also say that if the DPS feel uncomfortable for being easily replaced and having to wait long in a queue afterwards, that is perfectly fine with me. In fact, I wished they had that feeling a bit more often, or even that Blizzard would add additional rewards for healers and tanks, or diminished rewards for any role whose queue was much fuller than those of other roles. Because I do see MMORPGs as some sort of team sport, and people who choose to play DPS in spite of perfectly knowing that there are far too many of them for group activities, but still insist on queueing up for team activities, are shirking their social responsibility towards the other players. Just like in a sports team not everybody can play on the most sexy position, and some players have to play on the less exciting or more difficult positions, in a World of Warcraft group there is only room for 60% DPS players. That is already more than half, and the fact that this 60% of spots for low-responsibility, easy mode players still isn't enough, is a symptom of how selfish the large majority of players is. And that this gets worse every year only shows that Blizzard isn't rewarding tanks and healers enough for taking their social responsibility, and doing a harder and thankless job, so that other players can play their DPS.

In guilds that often works better, and I've frequently seen people switch to a healer or tank after seeing too many DPS turn up for a raid. But for random pickup groups the DPS prefer to remain selfish, and would rather have themselves and all the other selfish players rot in a waiting queue for 40 minutes than to admit that *somebody* must play the healer and tank, and if everybody counts on that somebody being somebody else, the whole system doesn't work. It is time that some of the people who always leeched from the greater social responsibility of other people finally man up and start playing healers and tanks themselves! And if they continue shirking that social responsibility, it is time that Blizzard does some social engineering towards a more balanced player base.

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