I've been talking around this theme before, that different players have different goals with their playing. I usually state that any goal is good, as long as it works with your game style. If you want to raid, you have to have a certain game style, and if you want to rp you have to have another game style and so on. But... that was until I came across a really interesting incident when doing PoS the other day. Me and a friend got in it through random pugging and everything was working ok. The druid healer was a tad bit undergeared, but I really didn't think of it much. Bad gear definitely doesn't mean bad skills. I was however a little more worried when I after the dragon riders, just before Garfrost had the dot on me that won't go away until you're healed to max. It's horrible, because some healers don't have that "oh, someone isn't maxed out on hp, I have to heal him" reflex, and just wait till you're below 50% before they take action. The dot was ticking and ticking, I was closing on death and told him kindly to heal me to max or I would just keep on taking damage. It took a while before the coin fell, so to speak. But anyway. Maybe he hadn't ran across that mechanic before, it happens. Maybe he was preoccupied. Not good, but it happens too.
So we did Garfrost, no one dies but after the boss is dead the shaman in the group capses "HEALER YOU SUCK!". The healer wasn't great, but if no one is dead then he doesn't really suck. The paladin quickly defended the healer and said "how can you say that when you're doing less damage than the tank?". I quickly checked and it was true. Although the shaman outgeared me, he actually did less damage than me, the tank. And you know, some people are just bad players. It happens too. But his answer really shocked me. He said;
"Well I'm not playing serious, but the healer has to".
Not playing serious? I told him that unless everyone was at least doing their best, everything would be slowed down. He asked me why. Why?! Well if you're doing less damage than you can, the mobs will die slower and there will be more healing needed and mana wasted. That's why!
Did he really not grasp this? Well, that is hard to know. The real question is, why did he think it was ok to not do his best? So ok in fact that he stated it like it was nothing, standard behavior. He could slack, but the healer had to perform at his best.
It made me wonder. What is the point of playing a game, unless you want to do your best? When you play anything, be it Tetris, Monopoly or WoW, the general goal is to be good at it. To win. Isn't winning what makes it fun? Isn't at least trying to win what makes it fun? And in a game like WoW, where you can't really win the game per se, you have to win the second best thing - the fight. Everytime I do an instance, I do it because of the fun of outperforming myself (and preferrably everyone else in the group too). I want to win dps or heal/tank perfectly. Doing something a little better than I did before, or just boast my awesome skills, it doesn't matter. I want to win.
And then we have this kind of player. I don't know if he was some sort of freak exception, but I think I often see people who simply seem to slack. Their gear say one thing, their actions something else. What is the fun in simply entering an instance and not try to win? To just kinda... run along with everyone else. Throw a punch here and there but not much more. Is doing the instance so boring that you don't even want to try? Then why are you playing? For the few emblems you get? Is it really worth it then?
One could argue that maybe the slackers are doing something else meanwhile, like chatting or watching some series. If you're a healer I accept that, because instance healing could really become boring and there isn't really much to do whether you want to or not. But this guy said it like it was ok for him to slack, but everyone else had to do their job properly so that we could get forward. Did he really not understand that he was making things go slower? Well now I'm back to that unanswerable question again.
In my post about players who "want" and those who "don't want" I discussed the players who didn't seem to want to become better at the game. Who were satisfied with anything that works. Who keep on using the less good options with the excuse "well I'm no good at this anyway". This is quite similar, but the quote from the guy in my pug group just forced me to bring it up again. This is more about players who are good sometimes (or so I assume), but slack at other times, and find it quite ok. Is it perhaps that being the best in an instance isn't "worth" anything anyway, so why go through the effort. Why would you think that? If the instancing really is that boring, one would think you'd want it over with as soon as possible. And why would you expect, even demand, someone else to do their best for you? Do dpsers really think they have the right to take the easy ride?