I was playing Cynli in WSG the other night when I got whispered by a rogue on my team.
God, you suck.
Wait, what? What the fuck?
Holy shit man, do you even know how to play? I can see what you’re doing.
It was at the end of a long day at work. I was in my son’s room, waiting for him to go to sleep. It wasn’t a great game for us – the Horde was working well together, putting a lot of pressure on our GY. We weren’t getting farmed, but we were starting to get bottled up.
I CAN SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING YOU SUCK
I decided to take my chances and try to break through their lines – I was able to keep a few of them off of me, perhaps if we made a concerted effort to punch through their lines we could break the vice – worst case, get someone through to the flag. I ran through them, healing healing healing healing dead. They overwhelmed me.
You just ran straight at them. Holy shit you’re terrible. Stealth around them!
This rogue was not going to give me a break. I got pissed, really pissed. I’ll be honest – I think my first thought was a very uncharitable, “holy shit, do you know who the fuck I am, buddy?” – but then I came back to reality and just ignored him.
Release Spirit Y/N?
29 seconds to resurrection.
Well, damnit. We’re losing. Am I healing okay? Scoreboard says I’m healing okay, I’m 3x the nearest healer. I’m doing things right.
24 seconds to resurrection.
What the hell was I thinking, running into that pack? I might not be able to stealth that well, but at least I could have not just suicided into the Horde.
15 seconds to resurrection.
I shouldn’t PvP when I’m this tired. What the hell was I thinking, that I could distratct a group like that? That shit only works in Strand and EotS.
10 seconds to resurrection.
WTF am I thinking, justifying myself with the scoreboard? The scoreboard doesn’t mean jack or shit.
5 seconds to resurrection.
Maybe he was right.
The problem with hostile criticism is not that it’s criticism, but rather that it’s hostile, which makes us immediately defensive. When we’re defensive, we’re closed to the possibility that we could be wrong. That’s why effective criticism isn’t hostile – if you want to actually change someone’s behavior with your criticism, how you say it is as important as what you say.
But being hostile doesn’t make the criticism any more or less valid. It just makes sucking hurt more.
It’s important to distinguish between criticism of an activity versus criticism of yourself as a person. This is a tough thing to learn in life; doing things poorly doesn’t mean you’re a failure at life. It doesn’t mean you’re doing them well – but failing at something doesn’t make you a waste of human genome.
Attitude is key. Jesus christ, I’m sounding like my father, but he was right – attitude is key. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to let people down. It’s not okay to stop trying to do better. It’s not okay to give up. Claim your successes, learn from your failures.
I remember the first time I got actively ridiculed in Warcraft. It was on my 59 DK, and some guy came up to me while I was at the training dummies. He laughed at me and said my spec was terrible. “Okay, I’ve been playing him for about a week, any suggestions how to improve?” “lol noob l2p” was all I got back.
I was pretty chuffed at that. But I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing on my DK yet, I knew I didn’t, so once I got over the gall of someone criticising a stranger, I went and asked for Twitter help on my build. I rebuilt my Frost spec and, indeed, did better. I stopped sucking.
It was easier for me to accept that criticism on my DK because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and the criticism was open. On my Druid, I actually felt like I knew what the haps are, and in WSG I feel like I know what the fuck I’m supposed to do.
So this impertinent rogue had a lot of gall telling me to learn to play. I know WSG, buddy!
But the rogue was right. I wasn’t playing well. I certainly wasn’t playing as well as I know how to play.
I pulled my shit together, waited for teammates to rez, and healed them as they went out of the GY. When they went down to the zerg I hid and abandoned them to die, sneaking around the Horde and getting into the base. The rogue was running the flag and I healed him as best as I could – which was pretty well – but we couldn’t get the other flag down, we were behind 2-0. We lost.
It’s okay to suck. Honestly, it is. There are plenty of times I really shouldn’t PvP – I’m exhausted, I’m stressed out, I’m not really focused on what I’m doing – but sometimes, PvP is really what I want to do right then. I don’t need to be at top performance all the time, as nice as it is. PvP takes my mind off my day, it makes me focus on pushing buttons. BUTTONS I LIKE TO PUSH YOU LET ME PUSH YOU PUSH PUSH PUSH.
But I should be honest with myself when I’m not playing well, and accept criticism when it’s deserved.