Head of the Class

I few weeks back I noticed something when I was doing some low level dungeons.  I was playing this mid 20s level hunter that a friend created to break up the monotony of the level 85s.  I did several dungeons with all different class make-ups.  I was consistently topping the damage meters but didn’t think much of it because people are different levels and things aren’t terribly balanced at low levels. 

But I think we were in Blackfathom Depths when I noticed something different.  I don’t remember the classes of the others in there, but I remember there was another hunter.  I didn’t check what spec he was, but I quickly turned on the damage meters and watched as we played.  I soon found myself paying pretty close attention to the damage meters, which I have sworn to hate so many times before, to make sure that I was doing more damage than the other hunter.  I was, by a lot.  But on every fight, trash or not, I wanted to make sure that, if I beat no one else, I beat that hunter. 

I didn’t have this sense of competition with other DPS, just other hunters.  There was something inside me that wanted to prove my value.  So I tried harder when there were other hunters around.  After thinking about it for a bit, I recalled feeling the same for healing.  When I would heal more raids (back in BC, sometimes LK) I would push myself to do more effective healing than the other healers.  This validated me and my ability to heal.  The challenge was against me…can I push myself further for the group and for me?  I remember being told I couldn’t tank heal because I wasn’t good enough geared for Mag’s Lair.  I was determined to prove them wrong!!  I popped potions, watched 5 second rule, I played my little heart out and healed like there was no tomorrow.  In the end, the tank healer went down and I stepped up and outlasted other priests better geared than me who had since started tanking the floor.  That was a great moment for me because even without bragging about it to the raid, I knew that it was my playing that helped us succeed, the raid leads probably didn’t notice, but I knew I had made a significant difference and probably because I was out to prove them wrong.   

I think a lot of this happens subconsciously.  There will be some sort of challenge and my natural competitiveness takes over without even thinking about it.  And I try harder than ever.  I wonder if others feel this way?

Coming soon:  Exploring the idea of in-game goals and motivations!

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5 Responses to “Head of the Class”

  1. Tyler F.M. Edwards Says:

    I think it always inspires a little more competition when there’s someone else of the same class in your group. If you’re beat by another class, you can always just chalk it up to class imbalance — whether you do so consciously or not. But with another of your class, then it’s more personal.

    It’s a bit painful for me when I’m on my mage, because he’s fire and not arcane, so I pretty much get beat every single time.

    But on the plus side, my paladin is invariably #1 in healing. Not that healing charts mean much.

    • Troutwort Says:

      Yeah, but if you do beat another mage who has gone with cookie cutter arcane and you’re fire, it makes the victory all the sweeter! There were a few times on HH during Hallow’s End that I beat out arcane mages as frost. That was about the best feeling ever.

      • Tyler F.M. Edwards Says:

        True. It hasn’t happened often (I think literally once or twice, and it was because I way outgeared them), but it is a very sweet feeling.

        Oddly, I seem to beat them in total damage done reasonably often, even if they clobber me in DPS. I don’t know why that is…

        But soon 4.3 will bring its fire buffs, and it will be my time to shine!

      • Troutwort Says:

        AOE is why. Fire mages excel at blasting away those packs so while you may not get more DPS, you get more total damage because you’re bombing everything at once in trash while they just nuke one target.

      • Tyler F.M. Edwards Says:

        That’s probably it. More mobility might also have something to do with it. Arcane DPS goes into the toilet when they have to move, but a fire mage hardly loses anything by moving.


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