Friday, May 30, 2008

Different kinds of wiping

I had the biggest laugh from blog reading for a long time the other day when I read BigRedKitty's analysis of wiping. Now he's updated the list - so far there are 23 different ways, and believe me, you've probably seen most of them more than once.
I have no intention whatsoever to continue the excellent work of BRK. It's a masterpiece as it is. I'll just add the Larísa perspective. The thoughts of the notoriously unsecure little newbie gnome. Larísa sorts wiping into five categories:

  • Larísa's to blame
  • Larísa and a few others to blame
  • Someone else to blame
  • Damned Blizzard!
  • Just funny

It seems that I'm kind of obsessed with the issue of blaming someone, I guess it's just because I feel so utterly ashamed if it's me, if it's the Number 1 kind of wipe.

It doesn't happen too often, but there have been a few times. The typical wipe comes from Larísa enthusiastically running way ahead of the rest of the raid (has she put herself on auto-run?), forgetting that the druid tank that seemed to join her was in stealth and Larísa not... Fortunately I haven't done it in 25 man instances, but a couple of times in 10 man and even though people generally are understanding and forgiving - I'm not. I hate myself doing those things. Another scenario is when I get into some kind of nuking trance state of mind, in which I start to interprete Omen in a far too optimistic way. Doesn't happen so often nowadays though, arcane spec is much more forgiving on that point than fire.)

Number 2 is a far better way to wipe - when the guilt and shame is divided. After all it's a team play and when we wipe we wipe together and we learn our lessons and we shape up and go for it again, shoulder to shoulder, dedicated to do better next time. Wiping isn't too bad under those circumstances. It's just a part of the game and learning procedure.

What about number 3? Well, funny enough I rarely get upset or annoyed if someone else causes a wipe. I rather feel sorry for them, well knowing how I feel in the same situation. It's easy to forgive others, much harder to forgive yourself.

Still there is a certain quota of how many "accident wipes" you can put up with for a night. If you're lucky you're the first one to do a mistake for the evening. People are still in good mood, you'll get comments like "Shit happens, bad luck, let's do it better this time." But what if you're player number 5 och 6 this night messing up? It's YOUR first mess, your first wipe, a mistake which should be as easily forgiven if you had been the first wipe-causer of the night.

Unfortunately it just doesn't work like that. No matter how unfair - people will be more annoyed if you're causing a late wipe than an early one.

Number 4: There's nothing that can unite you as much as an outer enemy. It IS annoying when there apparently is a bug or the server goes down at the worst possible moment - when you're victims out of circumstances beyond your control. Still you can't deny it's quite nice to be angry in the company of others. Of course you would have downed the boss this time if it wasn't for Blizzard!

Number 5 is another great kind of wiping, isn't it? When things aren't just bad, but rather disastrous. For instance I remember going into UBRS in order to do the last step in the Onyxia attunement chain. We were all lvl 70 and totally overgeared, quite carelessly walking around in there, nuking down bosses in no time, not actually having to organize or raid lead at all... or so we thought. When we were done and just about to leave someone managed to break some eggs and suddenly thousands of thousands of dragonwhelps appeared. It looked just insane and we wiped. So much for our superiority! I laughed so much that my stomach ached.

Still I can't help thinking: what would the game be without some decent wipes now and then? Quite boring, heh?

I think it's all of those hours we've spent running in the black and white mist that make us truly appreciate those magical nights when suddenly everything work the way we want it to and we see all of the world in colour.

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