Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

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A Tanking Primer: Tank Talk

July 28, 2009

heartrazorWelcome to a brand new series I’ll be starting here on Going Bearfoot, a Tanking Primer! Here we’ll explore a new aspect of tanking each week for the next several weeks, continuing with today’s topic, Tank Talk. My hope is that I’ll manage to stay objective enough to cover tanking aspects without making this a “druid only” resource, and even include things specific to my warrior, paladin, and death knight brethren.

Tanking Primer Table of Contents

1. The Pull

2. Tank Talk

3. Adaptability

4. To be continued…

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One of the strange things that has evolved over time in this game is that the tank is the leader. It’s entirely possible for a healer or a DPS to take charge and direct a group, but it’s a lot harder to do so. One reason for this is that it generally falls to the tank to be party leader for the sake of using raid markings to show priority kills. (Raid markings can be used for a strange concept called “crowd control” too, but this is a very ancient concept that no longer seems to apply to the world…) Because it falls to the tank to lead 85% of the time, it’s important that you find a way to establish yourself as the leader right off the bat, and remain in that position for as long as you need to work with your group.

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Why the Old Country is also the “Motherland”

May 5, 2009

logo-warcraftNerd that I am, and addicted as I am, WoW Insider is my home page. Whenever I open Firefox, unless its by taking a link from somewhere else, WoW Insider is the thing that pops up. I don’t agree with a lot of things, or even most things that get put up there (And I’m seriously sick to death of hearing about Karatechop. SRSLY guys, find something new!) But it sits there anyway because it’s a good place to get a quick run down of some of the big news that comes up. In the vein of not really agreeing with things, one of the articles this morning was titled “The End of Vanilla WoW” in which the idea was proposed that now that we have Death Knights and all, leveling any other class is simply too much work.

Now, there are two philosophies to approaching the game. (Really there are far, far, more philosophies to the game than I could ever cover, but right now we’re talking about leveling and it’s my blog-o-verse so I can simplify it as much as I want to. Neener neener neener!) One is that Warcraft is a great game with tons of content that works for a number of playstyles, and another is that “The game doesn’t actually start until max level.” I’m in the former camp. The concept that everything is crud until you hit 80 (Or 70, or 60 back in the day, probably 90 in the future) makes me wonder why people even got hooked enough to level their first character up anyway. Read the rest of this entry ?

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In which there was a lot of pondering.

February 24, 2009

Edit: This post is somewhat out of date as of… well, most of Wrath, actually. It reflects ideas based on game/quest/lore design that doesn’t really exist, especially since the chaos of the Cataclysm. It has nothing to do with a world in which Moira Bronzebeard is trying to rule the dwarves or a world in which Garrosh has visited Azeroth and become a faction leader.

While portions of both factions maintain some of the aspects I’ve highlighted here, the broad generalizations are much less accurate than they had been.

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So Etsugal and I were sitting around having lunch yesterday, and somehow go on the subject of Warcraft lore, and how everyone has a side. It was brought up how the Alliance is always seen as the “Good Guys” and the Horde, depending on point of view, are “Bad Guys” or at the very least “Monsters that Don’t Deserve to Live”. From this point, as is natural in rambling conversations about fictional universes that keep us from doing the homework due in two hours, it then branched out and we explored the classic Warcraft villains and heroes and tried to define what exactly we were talking about.

Now, the first way that we tried to define evil was, “Destruction. Ultimate selfishness, something for you on someone else’s tab. (Be it their money, time, or their physical, emotional, or psychological well-being.)” A hero, then, was someone who did things at personal cost for a moral or ideal. One caviot, of course, is that a hero to one side of a situation is often a villain to the opposite side. For example, the Burning Legion are Bad Guys; they want destruction and a world of their choosing at the expense of lots of other people. The Scarlet Crusade has lots of people fighting for a cause that actually does have good intentions, I mean: who doesn’t want to see the Scourge eradicated? On the other hand, they also want to kill us and anyone that isn’t human and part of their order so… Heroes? Sure. My heroes? Not so much.

I liked this because by these definitions, a farmer in the third war just trying to get the harvest in before fleeing the country from the Scourge is a hero. He could flee and be safe, but he knows that the army needs food and so he puts himself in danger for the sake of a greater cause.

And then I remembered a much better explanation of it all…

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The “girl” thing.

January 27, 2009

uncomfortable-mita

You know, female problems. Yeesh, no! Not that.

What I mean is the issues that surround being a girl, particularly a tanking girl in this game we love. The problem isn’t as severe as it once was, there are a helluva lot more girls playing games now (even crazy shooter games like Halo). Really, the issues are some of the same things that come up in real, live, day-to-day interactions between people as well as some web-specific ones that come with being a girl playing a male toon.

As far as being a girl in general goes, I think the whole mess was more than adequately covered by people like Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick. There are a lot more of us and it’s not necessary to stand up before the people you meet to say, “Hi, I’m “GnarcFntsyNam” and I…am a girl.” The internet, however, is a pretty faceless place, and nobody actually knows who you are which can cause some unfortunate assumptions later on.

Ultimately, the simplist and most forgivable of these is pronoun confusion but a bad assumption could go anywhere from there to wiping a raid by speaking in Vent, or perhaps the worst: someone assuming you’re a guy, everyone else in the party are guys, so this is “guy time” and we can say whatever pre-women’s-lib diarrhea of the mouth should happen to issue forth under “John Gabriel’s Internet Fuckwad Theory“. No, stuff like this doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And it frequently pisses me off.

Generally speaking, my rules are as follows:

1. Friends know who I am.

2. Guild members*know who I am.

3. PuGs can know that I’m a damn good tank, and the people I’m with will refer to me as “he”.

4. Everyone in world chat channels is male until proven otherwise, by the great ordaining power of idiotic internet assumptions.

*Guild members know who I am unless they forget. It happens.

I will make a confession though. When I joined Heroes and we were just starting to set up weekly Kara runs (Damn, it feels like ‘back in the day’ already, doesn’t it?) I intentionally put off getting a mic. I was tanking and unfamiliar with the instance, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get a microphone.

See, it’s one of the stupid unspoken laws of gaming that girls ARE healers, girls MAY be dps, but girls AREN’T tanks. Apparently getting horrible permenant battle scars on your FACE is a thing for guys to do. Honestly, I don’t care if girls tank (it would be absolutely rediculous if I did, no?) but they just don’t tend to or come forward about it. The first time I ever went to an instance with a tank who’s toon was female it made me smile for a week, even though I knew ‘she’ was played by a ‘he’.

For all I know half the tanks out there could be girls under those buckets, I’m not the one claiming to have good data on who is what. I’m just calling ’em as I see ’em. Whenever I tank, I feel like I’m actively spitting in the eye of Status Quo. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside…