Thursday, April 3, 2008

Split vision

There are many things that catch my attention when I'm in an instance. I guess the top position on the what-to-watch-list is occupied by the threat meater. That is my life insurance. With my spec I often almost touch the tank, so I've really got to keep on the right side of that knife sharp edge where I do the best possible dps, without catching aggro. Sometimes I fail completely after throwing one ball too many, or after an unexpected large crit. But I TRY to keep myself cool and careful, believe me. :)

Of course I put quite a lot of attention to the mob that I've been ordered to work on in one way or another, whether it's about nuking a boss, taking down an add or keeping a mean guy sheeped. How is his life going on, what fase is he in now, is he about to do something evil so that I have to move on?

Or maybe there's something else incoming? Like now for instance at the end boss in the Magisters Terrace instance, of course the bubbles will be an extra moment to keep an eye on, except for don't-touch-the-floor-game and the nuke-the-boss-ambitions I carry. Then of course I've got myself to watch, unfortunately a person that I tend to pay too little attention to. How am I? How much damage have I taken, how's the mana pool, is there some need that should be tended to?

The combat log I hardly look at at all, but I do throw an eye at the numbers that are rolling up thanks to SCT, I've got the idea that I'm constantly learning from it, by watching my spells hitting, to see how they're affected by trinkets and my own and other cooldown spells, and what things make me gain mana and health.

The chat window is another thing that I don't look at much in the middle of a fight. But of course, a red warning from the raid leader usually makes me wake up. If he for some strange reason would prefer writing instead of talking, which fortunately rarely happens.

At last there's the thing about the wholeness. I think that is the most difficult thing of it all: to have a feeling for how others are doing - does the fight develop according to our plans, does someone need extra help somewhere, do I have to think in a new way, adjusting to changed conditions? I try to keep some kind of overview, but deep down I trust that my RL has the situation under control and will tell me if there's something that has gone wrong and must be dealt with.

Sometimes there are many balls up in the air to keep track of, and in real life I haven't been able to learn three ball juggling, in spite of putting some effort into it. But isn't it this challenge of doing many things simultaneously that is the challenge and the reward in the game? Somehow I make myself believe that I'm slowly, slowly training my ability to deal with it, improving. It would be even better if I could learn to see things out of sight, just by instinct, seeing them without focusing on them. This thing you can actually practice in real life, hopefully benefitting from it in the game, at least according to my favourite blogger Matticus, that wrote about this in a post about improving your healing.

So the next time I'm on my way home from work I'll do as he suggests. Try to read the numbers on the houses along the street, without turning my head and actually watching them. And then I'll have another go with the juggling balls.

Just keep on trying. Never give up. There will always be another ball to notice from your eye corner and pick down, more or less by instinct.

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