If by the tone of my opening paragraph you conclude that I stand in direct opposition to his conclusion, one would be right in supporting your impression, for I certainly do.
In Tobold’s world, everything lives in a theoretical vacuum, a world in which the likes of Gevlon can be as correct as he, for neither of them really engage in what I would consider practical theory crafting. Gevlon’s world is one in which everyone is a total rat bastard on toast, out to get you and deflower your mum. Tobold’s word differs slightly in that everyone involved is somehow a robot following preprogrammed pathways that have no dependence on those around them.
When isolated in such a way from reality, conclusions such as "healers and tanks are the only responsible gamers" can be fully formed and realized without spending any amount of time reflecting on the premise that the problem is not the group dynamic, but, in reality, the LACK of group dynamic.
First of all, I wish to lay out some bona fides here. I prefer the DPS life because I like making things go boom, whether it’s a gun or a fireball. I have, however, also ran a toon through an entire expansion as a healer, two-healing my way through all the Wrath raids (which kinda explains the eventual burnout, but hey – BONA FIDES!). So I am INTIMATELY familiar with two of the three roles in this game. I’m not so certain about mister Tobold.
What I DO know is that Tobold’s over-simplistic view of the DPS role is as shallow as a Las Vegas lounge lizard, and only half as agreeable. His view is that the typical DPS player is the kind of person that sits around the periphery space-bar-jumping over and over and pausing occasionally to go "hurr de hurr durr" in between the occasional frostbolt and side trip to the nearest burning patch of fire on the floor.
If you’ve spent any time being any good as a DPSer over the past three expansions, you’ll have noticed something. You’ve got a LOT of responsibility going on. Soaking crystals. Pulling down drakes. Banging gongs. AoEing parasites. Run into the portal. DPS the brain, but not too much. Burn down the Sons. Hell, I don’t think many of the bosses in this last expansion ever allowed a DPSer to sit around and pew pew pew, though Ultraxion comes close. But you have to DIG to find something from Kara on forward that didn’t offer new challenges to the DPS team. Challenges that the healers were usually excused from.
So, you want to talk responsibility, Mister Tobold Sir, you go right ahead. All it’s really doing is making it look like you never set foot in Firelands, for starters.
There is a group dynamic in raiding and instancing that changes depending on the people you are with. LFD and LFR represent the worst-case scenario. You get the utter dregs from there. You can’t really judge the game in its intended form by those examples.
But if you take a group of repeat raiders and repeat dungeoneers, you get a different reality. In that reality, bad DPSers don’t come back if they don’t improve. In that reality, people talk about the instances and communicate who’s job is what. In that reality – the one in which people are people rather than asshatty robots – responsibility for failure is shared by the whole team, DPS, healer, and tank. It is, in reality, a team, and functions in a team dynamic.
Tolbold, apparently, has not instanced with anyone but total strangers, been required to carry the entire instance on his frail shoulders, and has never once been able to get DPSers to do anything but stand around and scratch their belfy butts. I’d be bitter in that scenario, as well. But I’d reach a far different conclusion, because I read more than my own blog and those like it. Every day I read about yet another group of my friends getting through another tough fight, in which everyone worked to get the job done and nobody was getting off on blaming one or the other particular role in the group.
The choice is yours, of course, but if you’re inclined to listen to this guy, I gotta tell you he’s about as wrong as a whistling fish. You can do better than he as a source of information when it comes to MMOs. Especially since, yaknow, he doesn’t blog about MMOs now.
- I feel dirty linking back, but fair’s fair. [↩]