World of Warcraft & the Engineering of Scarcity

Was browsing the forums today and noticed a thread titled Can’t Do It AnymoreWhat is this it that someone can’t do? Against my better judgement, I clicked on the link.

I ran 20 instances yesterday, 17 of them had DPS pulling ahead of me and dying regularly. I managed to get a number of them removed from group but in 2 groups they removed me instead, once during the final boss fight. I simply can’t tank anymore. One less tank in your queues. I won’t do it, it’s not fun, it’s an exercise in total frustration.

Good luck to those that weren’t complete morons. I feel sorry for you on the queue times but I can’t be a part of this anymore.

Warlords of Draenor forums via the Wayback machine

The first responses were predictable troll responses to hurry up and pull then and so forth, the kinds of things the worst of the worst players might say. However the thread goes on for 17 pages and there are some real gems in there.

None of them really addressing the point I felt needed to be made.

I don’t queue as DPS (Damage Per Second. In a 25 man raid there are usually 17 of these spots, 2 tanks and 6 healers) DPS queues are astronomically long, a half-hour or more. I won’t wait to get into anything (Hearthstone has started popping up queue times and I’m going to quit that too if that keeps happening) one of the reasons I despise amusement parks and shopping centers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not into instant gratification. I just despise the false scarcity forced on things which could be readily available if people were just more sensible. Amusement parks and shopping centers aside, most scarcity is engineered into the framework of the world outside; either by reality itself in the form of temperate zones on the surface of our planet that limits arable land, and through that, food and space to live in, or by the systems we humans create.

False scarcity, human engineered scarcity, is all around us.  It is present in the wasteful food systems we in the US enjoy (nearly half of all food going to waste while people starve right next door) It is reflected in the vehicles that we are sold (marketed as exclusive) the schools we attend, etc, etc, etc.

Group efforts in World of Warcraft are a hallmark of this. The reason that queues for DPS are so long is because DPS is relatively easy, whereas tanking and healing have specific duties which must be performed if the battle is going to be successful.  DPS’ers will argue that DPS is anything but easy, but the proof is in the structure that Blizzard has been forced to craft to cope with the relatively few people willing to heal or tank.  DPS queues are long specifically because DPS is relatively easy.  If it were hard, the structure would reflect that in tanking queues.

Tanks do not queue, and healers rarely queue. If you tank (and I do) you will be placed in a group almost immediately upon placing your name in the list as a tank. Be prepared though. No role is kicked more often (as represented numerically in raids) than tanks are. I mercifully am almost never kicked. I rarely let DPS die no matter how stupid they act. I try to pull as soon as the group is ready, try to keep damage off of my healers, who in turn try to keep me alive.

All DPS has to do is deal damage and move out of bad (if it’s on the floor, it is likely hurting your character, GET OUT OF IT!) the amazing part of this equation is how few of them can seem to do even that much.

So the queue structure in World of Warcraft accurately reflects your talent as a player.  If you don’t want to wait in queues, tank or heal.  DPS is where slackers and bots go to hide.  Don’t pull if your tank is slow, you will get nothing but grief from it. Patience is a virtue (my most typed phrase while tanking) learn to meditate, you’ll live longer.

Meditating is essential when caught in systems of engineered scarcity. Peace and serenity far more rewarding than being consigned to the prison queue when you finally snap after waiting half your life to get on whatever ride that is popular this year. Enjoy your summer.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.

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