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Posts with tag hamlet

Hamlet talks raid awareness

Lei Shen encounter
If you're at all interested in the world of WoW blogging, there's a good chance that you're already familiar with the one run by the inimitable Perculia and Hamlet. If you're not, Hamlet's most recent post is a very good reason to change that. One thing I've always enjoyed about Hamlet's writing is that he has a very good grasp of perspective, and this latest entry is par for the course. This is a post about how to be a better raider, and it's not about DPS or meters. It's about correcting personal errors, specifically the kind that kill you, and in particular, about not standing in the fire.

Hamlet's principle thesis is that raid awareness is a skill that can be learned and practiced. That sounds simple enough in plain terms, but awareness and how to improve it isn't something I've seen often discussed seriously in WoW circles. Sure, I've heard many complaints (and made plenty myself) about people who die to easily preventable things such as fire, or void zones, or whatever, but it's usually talked about as if it's a done deal--"so-and-so pisses us off because they always die in the fire." Not "what measurable steps can so-and-so take to stop dying in the fire?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Guides

The Illusion of Logistics: Elitist Jerks' Hamlet on 10 vs. 25 man raiding

You may remember Hamlet from Elitist Jerks, or you may not. Whether or not you do, he's written an interesting post over on his personal blog discussing the 10 man vs. 25 man raiding issue. I addressed my own thoughts on this issue this week, but Hamlet's take is far more analytical (which is to be expected) and also somewhat epistolary, taking the form of feedback on the issue and expanding from there.

Frankly, I'd do the post a disservice by attempting to summarize it, but I'd also be doing it a disservice by carving it up piecemeal here and commenting on it. One aspect of the post of note, that I really found both interesting and a trifle challenging to my own preconceptions, is his deconstruction of the notion that 25 man raiding is logistically harder than 10 man raiding. His points about how 10 man raids can often be far more difficult to run if even one player misses a night is valid, and he goes through all the ways 10 mans are limited by their smaller pool of players in a thorough and convincing manner.

This is in service of the main point of the piece, which again I think deserves your full attention. He makes the case that the problem isn't logistics at all, but rather that due to group composition constraints 10 man raiding simply can't be as complex, strategic or difficult as 25 man raiding, and so it's not an issue of logistical difficulty, but rather purely inequality of design. In other words, 25 man raids are generally harder than 10 man raids because they can be, they don't have to be designed to be completed with limited group compositions. There are 34 specs in the game, and 25 mans have more room for more options than 10.

Again, this is summarizing a really well thought out piece. You may or may not agree with it, but please go read his argument and don't just rely on my brief on it -- by necessity I'm missing a lot of subtleties here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

All the World's a Stage: Center of the universe

All the World's a Stage returns today after a week off due to reasons beyond the comprehension of mortal man. Mysteries abound in World of Warcraft, and roleplayers are there to enjoy them.

In roleplaying, one's own character is never the center of the story -- this is true. But from another perspective, your character is always the center of the story -- and this is also true. It seems like a paradox, but it's actually a way of understanding your own relationship to the world.

In most stories, the main characters are usually the ones who have the most impact on the world around them: they are the heroes who save the day, fall in love, and make the choices that determine the ultimate outcome of the plot. In a way, the whole story circles around them, like planets around the sun. The structure of Warcraft lore is built with the stories of characters like this, whose choices made the World of Warcraft what it is today: Arthas, Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and the like.

But the roleplaying community of imaginative characters is not such a centralized system. When immature roleplayers fail to understand this, they end up with a chaotic mess where everyone wants to steal the spotlight. But mature roleplaying environments are quite the opposite: they are cooperative rather than competitive, and quite unlike traditional storytelling patterns. Where traditional stories are like a solar system, with main characters around which all the other characters revolve, roleplaying in WoW it is like the expanding universe itself: a web of interconnected stories and characters in which the center appears to be nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Some literary humor for your Saturday in Warcraft

Here's two bits of literary fun for your Saturday afternoon.

First, earlier this week, I saw this nice little piece of fan fiction over on WoW Livejournal. I'm not usually a fan of fan fiction, but this one just explains so much. And I really do hate those things, too.

And then yesterday, swampers put together this terrific little Shakespearean parody in the World of Warcraft style. "To quit, perchance to /afk" -- that's great. "Out out, brief arena match -- life's but a walking Shadow Priest, a poor player, who struts and QQs while the tank goes down, and then runs OOM."

Great stuff. Literary humor is always fun, and mixing it in with WoW makes it even better. Laugh and enjoy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Lore, Fan art

Live performance in a virtual world

This piece on Terra Nova got the gears turning in my head again about something I've been thinking about for a while: a live dramatic performance in the virtual world. The article goes a little deeper than that-- basically, it suggests that we're all performers in the virtual world, and all the world (of Warcraft) is a stage for us to perform on. You may not be a roleplayer, but you still play a role in the game, whether it be the stalwart main tank or the ganking PvP moonkin.

But I'm talking about something a little more concrete: an actual dramatic production performed inside a virtual world. Unfortunately, my background in drama is tiny (I did some production stuff in high school and college), which is probably why I've never mustered up enough effort to pull it off, but others have, and I'd love to see more of it. The colorful, fantasy world of WoW seems perfect for putting on a production-- can you imagine Hamlet in the corridors of the Stormwind castle, or The Tempest down in the tropics in Stranglethorn Vale? It'd be a lot of work (not to mention a lot of typing) for all those involved, but a finished, complete production created entirely within the world of Azeroth would be incredible to watch.

There have been a few groups aiming for something like this (the Synthetic Worlds Initiative even planned an entire online world about Shakespeare, at one point, though I'm not sure what happened to it). And I can't believe this idea is original-- someone has to have performed something in WoW at some point, I'm sure; I just haven't heard of anyone really taking the time to do it professionally (and live). We're already playing our own made-up roles in the virtual world-- the idea of going one step further and recreating fictional characters in that world fascinates me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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