Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Self vs. Whole - What WoW Means to Me

Edit: Now that the poll is complete, I'm editing in the results and posting the next one.

Question: Who are you for?
FOR THE HORDE! (4 votes, 33%)
FOR THE ALLIANCE! (3 votes, 25%)
Can't I stay on the fence like Thrall & Jaina? (5 votes, 41%)
Neither! DEATH TO ALL! FOR THE SCOURGE! (0 votes, 0%)

Good to know there's no active traitors in the midst. D= But really, what's with all you peace mongers? Don't you know this is World of WARcraft? ;)

I was originally going to post the next segment of my story here - and in novella form, as that seems to be the general consensus. However, I couldn't find the time to convert my script to story form, and another topic's been clawing at my mind lately, so I thought I'd share.

I'm always surprised with what people do and don't know about me. I generally try to keep my personal life separate from my forum life, and only the guildmates that I talk to on a regular basis know the kinds of things that really go on with me. But to put this topic in full perspective, I have to share a few things about who the person really is behind Eseten.

Eseten is played by a, at the time of this writing, 22 year old female who lives in Hollywood. I graduated college about a year ago, and decided to pursue my then-dream of being a voice actor by moving out here from the midwest. I made some progress, but ultimately decided that my passions did not lie in being an actor of any sort. The only things that thrill me these days are writing and, well, raiding. I play WoW as much as I do because there is little else I do with my life at the moment. I more or less lost my job a few weeks ago, my hours scaled down to such a miniscule amount that I cannot afford to live off of it. I have been spending nearly every day of the last two weeks searching for interviews, revising my resumes, doing everything I can to find something to put food on the table.

I live in a hell hole. My apartment is disgusting - I rent a room from a somewhat dubious middle aged man who works as a paparazzi. The rent is cheap and I really only have to share the shower, but when you feel arguably dirtier from using it than when you stepped in... well, there's something wrong. I would never dream of cooking in that kitchen, as whatever grossness is lurking in there would probably kill me. So I stay holed up in a 13x13 foot room in the dim glow of my computer, just trying to lose myself in the virtual world I know and love.

I have lived here for one year, almost to the day now, and in all that time, I have remained mostly alone. While I have some distant relatives in the area, I'm somewhat of the black sheep. I don't really get along with anyone, and I'm not terribly sociable. I've made few friends - in fact, of the ones I've made, the only ones I've really kept in touch with I actually know because of WoW. I rather fit the "socially awkward" stereotype of most WoW players. All I'm missing is the stack of Hot Pockets boxes, uncontrollable acne, and about 200 lbs worth of weight.

The summary of my sob story is that I'm essentially a single, lonely female with little to no social life, no job, and a lot of things that should really only depress me. But instead, I tend to make silly forum posts, write creatively, and, above all, play WoW in as helpful a way as possible. That is, I'm the schmuck who goes and fishes for the Fish Feasts we plop down every boss pull. I'm the sickeningly sweet weirdo who says, "Guys, that may have been a wipe, but we're progressing! Keep it up!" I'm the nerd who finishes the Noblegarden event early, then starts setting out spare eggs for others for no reason than to know I made someone's day.

Lately, I've had some issues with my guild. We have had poor attendence, and this week was particularly bad (due to one unforeseen sickness and a previously planned vacation that just happened to be ill-timed). However, due to a lack of communication, this has projected poorly on the organizers of our raids, and our morale has been low. There's a lot of upset people, and I worry that our attendence is only going to drop further. It's difficult to recruit new, good, geared people when you have no evidence to show them that being part of your guild is worth it.

It doesn't matter if certain, logical decisions were made - unless those kinds of things are explained to the rest of the guild, they won't know any better and will only be led to believe the situation is getting worse. When people make assumptions, that's when things go downhill. And there's been a whole lot of assuming going around.

It makes me sad, for more than one reason. One, because I love this game, and this guild. There's a lot of really awesome people in it that I have fun raiding with. There are people who make me smile and laugh, people I've had the honor of hanging out in person with, people that I consider not just my guildmates, but my friends. Two, it's because... well, this is kind of all I have. It may be sad in one way, but in another, it gives me hope.

WoW means a lot to me. I can't afford to go out and meet new people. I can't afford to pay the gas to go to the local game store every weekend and hang out and spend money. So I spend fifteen bucks a month to have access to 13 million other players who often share my enthusiasm and my interests. I personally think that's a pretty good investment, or at least a good bang for my buck. So when things go sour, and I watch 10-14 people sit around and be left in the dust due to unfortunate circumstances and misunderstandings... My heart actually hurts. It aches because it's not fair. Maybe I'm just still naive, but I feel like something can be done, and if no one else is going to do it, I'll do it myself.

I want everyone to have fun. I want us to be together as a guild. I want us to grow as a guild. I want us to progress as a guild. I want the best for the people who I consider friends. I often shoot myself in the foot, putting others before what I want or need. I know it's not the best quality to have because, more often than not, I suffer more than anything else. But I've always been that way, and really, at this point, even if I wanted to change, I don't think I could. Not fully, anyhow.

Just the same... if people don't share my sentiments, I can't stand by and let myself waste away. To use a cliche, there is no "I" in team - and there's really two meanings to that. While a single person can't outshine the rest to stand on their own, it also means you can't wait for a single person to pull everyone along. I can give, and give, and give some more... but if others aren't willing to use what I give to its full potential, then it's really all a waste of everyone's time.

I don't think of myself as the end-all-be-all anything. I'm good at DPS, I used to be a very good tank... And I'm more than willing to admit I'm terribly rusty (or perhaps just re-learning everything after the entire mechanics of my class have changed and I now have easily twice as many, if not more, buttons to push). The only things I am confident in saying about myself is that I care about the guild and that I work hard to improve myself whenever I can. Tonight, I unbound my A and D keys, because I know I'll be a better player in the end by doing so. I tried to PuG some 25 man heroics to get better tank gear, because I know there's a need for it. I want to make myself available to others, and I want to be good at my hobby. I want to be known as one of the best guilds on the server, and I want to show people that I rock at this - that I love it and work hard at it.

It might be silly to everyone else. But to me, well, I guess it's a way to keep me going. I might not have a job, and I might not have a boyfriend or even a group to go out drinking with. But I have a guild full of pretty cool people that I care about very much. I have fun when I'm with them... and I want to make sure they have fun too.

P.S. Rabble Rabble Rabble. This is now an official rant. /salute Dim


Anonymous said...

I play this game a long time maybe too long. So you are not alone with this problem it is not related to wow it is related to the human side of it. In every community there are ones who leave work for others and love to harvest the fruits only. But i dont think you should feel depressed about it much. This is a GAME after all. Summer is coming and attendance will drop rapidly as usual. I saw the guild i love falling apart 3 times but the core people can restart as long as they are willing to do it. So what you can do is endure and never give up hope is the key it dies never. I cross my fingers that you get a nice job. (I am sorry for bad my bad english but i only can type this good.) GL

Martin said...

I have a job, a close relationship with my family and many friends... why do I feel so identified with this?

Digital Freya said...

I find it easier to make friends on games or even the internet then in real life. It's hardly necessary to hear about all their problems, because everyone in the game has the obligatory to do what they are there to do. To play the game. No one can really judge you either because no one knows what you look like, and impressions are made by game skills not what you have or don't in real life.

Amras said...

I find that WoW helps me a lot like it seems (as your post indicate) helps you, life might not always be what we would like but at least in WoW and its community we can channel ourselves into attainable and positive goals, success even in something as simple as this game can give me at least the hope to keep trying even outside of the game where my success’s might more often allude me.

Keep at it and most importantly, Good Luck.

Fish said...

*hugs* thats about all I can think of ATM. . .