Saturday, August 20, 2011

Raidleading vs. Rageleading

And of course in writing the previous post, I totally forgot something else I wanted to talk about. Someone made a thread on the bnet dungeons and raids forum recently where they linked to a video of a raidleader losing his damn fool mind on vent. A few other people linked to similar videos of raid leaders screaming at their raid or specific members of their raid or both at the same incoherent time. And of course there's the infamous "50 DKP minus" video.

At first I just laughed, in part due to discomfort and the nervous laughter that spawns, and in part because it seemed genuinely funny that people were getting so angry. And then I thought about some of the stuff from Kurn's most recent post and I imagined someone treating the people I raid with that way and I actually got angry.

Just so we know what I'm talking about, you can take a look at a couple of the videos in question (caution - all audio NSFW):

More from the Nicsnock guy - seems like a real champ I guess

Anyway, this is the sort of behavior I'm talking about. I'm gonna go ahead and say that if you think you have the right to treat other people like that, then you have experienced an ethical lapse of which you ought to be ashamed. Absolutely disgraceful.

I guess part of why I'm actually upset about it is that this guy and people like him get away with it. They get away with it in game and they get away with it whenever they get the tiniest sliver of leverage over another human. They abuse the waitstaff when they go out, they abuse their family, and god forbid they become supervisors at work because you can be damn sure they abuse their subordinates. And, like torture, it doesn't even work.

Just screaming at your raid does not address the issue.

If something needs to change, there is no way in hell someone is going to speak up to tell you.

Further, people do not perform well when they are scared, or tense, or feeling poorly about themselves. You need sure fingers, clear vision, and mental focus to raid normal modes, much less heroic modes.

I in fact read an article in - I think? - Scientific American some time ago about a particular sort of pattern of brain activity that seemed to be common across mammals, emerging when they engaged in the activity that most directly defined their ability to survive. For rats, they entered this state when exploring; rabbits entered it when frozen in a state of abject terror. The interesting part was that this profile of brain activity could be seen emerging in humans in a whole variety of activities. Performing arithmetic, running a 100-meter dash, running a marathon, writing a novel, or indeed: playing video games.

This state of calm, loose focus is what we need to get new encounters down, to learn them and commit them to muscle memory. This is the state where you're moving out of the puddle of bad before the animation has fully appeared, not missing a single GCD of your DPS rotation, and monitoring the position of the rest of the raid at the same time so you can be in the correct place in 10 seconds. This is also the feeling I've experienced at fencing tournaments when I've done really well.

I can not see any way that someone could enter and maintain this state in a raid where the RL is screaming like a petulant, spoilt child.

Which is not to say that it would be alright to act like that if it helped. It wouldn't. I'm just being clear that there is not even the slightest excuse for it.

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