Monday, December 3, 2012

How to be Elite!

Everyone thinks they can -

The separation between the elite player and a normal raider is staggering. So staggering that the normal raider will never ever have a clue on what the elite player does to get where they are at, the amount of pulls it takes to kill the boss or the investment of time they put into their toon to make it right for ONE fight let alone a whole nights raiding.

This topic came to me while reading a thread on a forum I go to from time to time. The forum has some good  people but in a way, a skewed sense of the game from a more casual audience  I take nothing away from what they have accomplished or what kind of people they are but it usually isn't a site you go to when you want to find out what is new in game. For that reason I will leave it anonymous.

In every aspect of life you come by people who just have a knack at being better at something they do. Call it natural ability, if you will. Usually that isn't by total mistake and this portion of the discussion goes way deeper than I'm willing to go here but skill is usually cultivated more than innate. If you want to learn more about that please check out this book and site. I've looked at both in length and they make a ton of great points. But back to this point; you are always in awe of those people -they are often called the 1% because 99% of the people walking around can't tie their shoes correctly but these people make anything look easy.
Our game of WOW is no different. 

How did this post come about?

There was a discussion about Prot Pally builds and the new way things are for post 5.0 tanking. The poster started to slam a person who has contributed so much to WOW, Pally's and tanking in general he is a legend. I'm talking about Theck. A member of WOW's community so highly thought of, Blizz even named a poorly stated tanking ring after him. I say that with a smile on my face because maybe it was a sign of things to come. The statement went to the "Theck doesn't know what the hell he is talking about" due to the use of haste as a stat that Prot Pally's want to use. The thread went on to say that they knew the he was wrong because none of the top guilds in the worlds tanks were doing this. Which BTW is flat out wrong. (Dream Paragon's top prot pally Fraggoji). My counter rebuttal was, we causal's can't look to the very elite due to several reason and just do things that they do. It doesn't work that way.

But this got me thinking.

Now, in that post I put I'm not Theck fan boy, but looking back on it, I guess I am. I know for a fact I wouldn't be the player I am, or was with out the time he devoted to ALL of us knowing what it took for use to be built as tanks. Other than maybe Ciderhelm, I had no clue who to look up to as tanks. He laid the foundation to my career as a solid WOW tank.

The reason not everyone can do it.

Here is what I came up with - I always loved raiding from the minute I walked into Kara and got chased out due to a face pull. Raiding is or was the best thing about this game to me. As a raider I thought I knew what it meant to be a min/maxer and top of the line. I had some run in with greatness. In fact I hit top 300 for a few days in Wrath.

I also seen some drama that being towards the top created. I've logged on to see my guild was no longer going to be a guild. I was asked if I could switch professions to get an extra 400 HP's. I've been sat for certain fights because prot pally's weren't a solid choice on a given fight and been brought in as a 3rd tank because of my PoJ skill which made me move faster to kite adds. Oh, I was also ported out and hearthed in so I could go as an extra healer in certain fights. All in all sounds reasonable, it was what you did to be good.

Just like in real life there is a point in wow where your skill won't take you further. You hit a wall, and it could be from a multitude of things. Can you take the hours of raiding and wiping? Can you devote the time to running your rotation with your eyes closed? Can you take the yelling that goes on? Or losing out on that ONE piece of loot that you needed to complete your threat set because the loot master gave it to the new tank to help get him closer to the rest of them? On top of all that are you willing to do whatever it takes to be number 1? It isn't easy.

Visual proof -

Oh I thought it was! I watched this - The Race to Number One a professionally done movie about the top few guilds in the world racing to get the top spot. They do some crazy shit. I could never devote that kind of time or life to this. Its sad and awesome at the same time.

Race to World First from Looking for Group Productions on Vimeo.

People that get to where these people are in game are no different than any other 1% in the world. It isn't easy and takes a special kind of person. They log out in different gear so you don't know what their spec was for a fight. They walk to rope of just outside the rules every way they can just to get that kill.

And on top of that, they do it better than you or I could ever do it. See I thought I was good. I really did. After watching that movie it proved to me I'm not. I'm not bad. There was also that other incident I had that made me realize I might not be ready for prime time. This goes back to mid wrath.

In person proof - we've all seen it - 

It was just after LFD come out. T9 was still the top of the line gear due to gating. 258 Was heroic 25 man T9. I qued up with my hunter to get some VP/JP. I entered and the tank had zero gems or enchants but was fully 258. I always looked at the tank, just to see his build he was a prot paladin. I looked no further, because we were off to the races. A bit into the dungeon I seen the healer (tree) and the tank were in the same guild. From start to finish it took us 8 minutes. That entire place was done in 8 minutes. Now, most of you can remember that Wrath style AOE fest were pretty common, but not the week that LFD came out and not with such grace and perfection. This guy was off spec, not set up correctly and pulled that whole place in about 4 pulls. We didn't skip one boss. I looked later to see where they were from. It was a guild called Exodus on Ysondre at the time they were top 15 in the world in progression.

So yes while the guys who put spread sheets and blogs together to make us better, we normal casual players have no clue what it takes to be sitting up high on the pecking order of WOW raiders, let alone staying there. They just get it. Because Theck or EJ puts out a post on how to do it, doesn't mean you can do it like them. The thing that makes the really great theroycrafter so good, is  they do it and then write it.

I've said this before, anyone could run a 969 rotation, but to really understand why you did it and what came up next separated the great from the best.

Sorry for the length. I really wanted to get this out. We all think we can do IT but really not many of us can, it is why one guild has for patch after patch, time after time been at the top. It ain't easy, and if anyone could do it, why hasn't anyone else done it?

Watch the video Race to Number One if you get time. It will open your eyes.

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