Despite my compartmentalization of issues and natural immunity (+15) to behavioral issues, I have my weak spots the same as anyone else. There are just some types that bug the hell out of me. I'm sure this isn't a surprise because, after all, everyone has their own peculiarities and proclivities. Even Superman has Kryptonite, and my behavioral Kryptonite takes the form of a pattern found in some (not all) hardcore gamers.
I'm not even sure what to name the pattern, but I can certainly describe the symptoms:
- The player thinks they are better than everyone else. They probably raided hardcore before, but have since backed off, so they still consider themselves "hardcore".
- Since they've backed off, they're now stuck with us "casuals". They're not playing with their current group by choice, rather it's just the best they can do.
- They are not an open asshat. This isn't the person who is a blatant classist or immature prick. In fact, in their mind they probably think they are the most mature, well-adjusted person in the game.
- They see casual gaming as really the "second tier" of the gaming status hierarchy. These folks couldn't possibly put the same amount of thought/preparation into an encounter as a hardcore group because they're not hardcore, right?
- They believe they are the all-star of any group they join that isn't hardcore. After all, they have the experience, so they're obviously the best. It's not something they try to rub in, but you know, and they know, and everyone should act accordingly.
- They often overcompensate for any perceived "harshness" as if the casual player were a fragile creature that cannot possibly understand the intricacies of true raiding. Thus, all wisdom is related in a patronizing manner, but it is not meant to be mean... it's just all us fragile casuals can handle.
I mean, I don't consider myself the best player out there, but I generally feel that I'm pretty competent. I like to think I know my class, and can understand raid encounters. After all, I blog about it damn near every day. I can't be that dumb, can I? (Shut up, Jbelle). There are certainly things I miss or don't do correctly, but, on the whole, I'm doing just fine, thanks.
For some reason, the individual playing with FOOWS just thinks everything they do is so damn smart and good. They couldn't possibly have made a mistake; it's always someone else. They often try to blow smoke and sunshine up your ass, because all casuals need their fragile e-peens stroked so that they can confidently fail and perhaps stumble into success. The problem is, they are so out of touch with reality, that the smoke and sunshine fail to become anything more than smoke and sunshine. We all know you're full of shit. I think we'd rather you just came out and said: "Hey, you twats, you guys suck and I'm good and if you did everything my way we'd win." The false front drives me nuts.
I guess the core problem is just that I dislike "fake" people. I prize honesty a great deal, and think it's condescending when someone tries to BS me. I'm generally a smart guy, and I can see what's going on just as well as you can. The fact that I don't have the time to play 40+ hours a week, doesn't make me unintelligent. It just makes me casual, and casual does not equal dumb. Not always anyways. A lot of us so-called casuals (by playtime) spend a lot more time researching and reading to make up for our lack of time and experience. Hence the success of my ICC group. We only raid two hours for one night a week, but we succeed more than we fail because we spend a lot of time preparing and discussing via emails and what-have-you.
The whole FOOWS thing reminds me of when guys I know used to talk about "goin' slummin'". I don't know if you've ever heard that phrase, but it can mean a lot of different things. The basic gist behind them all is that you're going to spend some time with people who are beneath you in some manner. Usually it's with a very selfish goal in mind, but it doesn't mean you're going to be an asshole about it. In fact, it often implies a vast amount of falseness in order to "fit in". Done well, a lot of people can be fooled and really do think they're "lucky" to have such an auspicious person in their midst.
It's like the Lord who takes time out of his day to be with the Commoners, but doesn't do it out of a sense of altruism or anything, but because he thinks he's gracing them by his presence. He never forgets that he's a Lord, and he never lets the Commers forget it either. There's no sense of equality, but obviously the Commoners are benefiting greatly (as much as the Lord from all the fawning).
I suppose my aim here is to just try to describe one of my recurring social issues in the game. Being a successful casual raiding group from way back in TBC, we've seen a lot of FOOWS sufferers pass through our ranks. Inevitably there is drama and hard feelings, but usually it just ends up in each party going their separate ways. It's sort of sad, because it is just such a part of who these people are that there is no way you could talk some sense into them. They will refuse to see how their behavior could be causing friction. It's textbook denial.
So how do you deal with a person like this? How do you smooth the friction they inevitably cause? After all, they're usually a good player and can offer a lot to the group in terms of experience, but do you sacrifice the good will and togetherness of a group for high numbers and boss strats? It's a tough call for a raid leader, since such a person can be a great asset, yet also a great liability. For my part, I think I've just tried to encourage honesty. Sometimes it blows up and changes need to be made, but if you aren't ever honest with someone, then you're never giving them a chance. Maybe they can change their FOOWS ways. Or, maybe you should just melt them with your laser eyes and get on with saving the World... of Warcraft.