No, You Didn’t Invent This Class [classic repost]

I’m a guy and I do fall into the “know it all” trap at times. It’s partially an ego thing, because it feels good when you know more than someone else and you can show off that knowledge, and it’s partially because you feel like you’re in competition with everyone else so you don’t come across as completely ignorant. It’s all about insecurity.

With that said, Mr. or Mrs. Pugger who ends up palling around with me for a while and talking my head off, I appreciate your discoveries and insights about the class you’re playing, but no, you really didn’t invent the class. You may feel like you did, as if the revelations that drip off your tongue have never before been uttered in this game. You may acknowledge in a very peripheral sense that other people may play the same class, but you feel as though you were the first and only, and the rest are posers.

Whenever you become assured that we’re going to stick around with you for a while and patiently listen to your sixteen-point lecture on your class as we kill the foozles, you break out that encyclopedic knowledge of every single skill, buff or talent that you unleash. We hear about the wonders of whatever happens when you hit the “3″ button, as if it was wrought into existence by the divine touch of your finger. If we try to share our abilities in kind, we are quickly dismissed as “lesser” creatures to be tolerated in a patronizing fashion.

Listen, I’m glad you like your class. Really really. You’ve found your groove, you’ve mix/maxed to your heart’s content, and you’ve very likely become somewhat of an expert on how to play that class to something nearing its full potential. But with great nerdiness comes great responsibility, and it is your responsibility to be a tad bit humble. There’s only so much we can ooh and ahh over you describing how awesome your class is, an immortal blessed by Mars the god of war, and then we just settle into a grating endurance trial to see how long we can stand to be around you so that you’ll keep contributing to the task at hand.

Instead, why not learn that valuable line between showing off and helping others learn? I mean, I probably know a little more about math than your average 3rd grader, but I don’t go crowing about it up and down the halls of elementary schools nationwide. I’m content in my knowledge, I use it, and if a little kid wanted my help and I wasn’t trying to lure them into my gingerbread house to cook them for dinner, I’d be glad to share what I knew.

Now, I and most people I know have no problem with a learned player sharing what they know. But there’s a line between sharing and lording over, and when you cross it you’re just obnoxious. Perhaps this is a symptom of how MMOs give players the feeling as if they’re the Lone Hero, the epic center of the game’s history, and we let that go to our heads. Maybe it’s just the over-extension of an enthusiastic delight in your passion. And again, I’m being a bit of a hypocrite in condemning this, because I know I’ve been “that guy” at times who is just that annoying with spewing know-it-all-ism without recognizing that I need to keep it in check.

This is a pet peeve I’ve had through every MMO I’ve ever played. I am patient with people who start going on like that, but after a point I have to turn off vent or alt-tab out to avoid punching the screen. You didn’t invent the class — nor did I — and it wouldn’t hurt to remember that from time to time.

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6 thoughts on “No, You Didn’t Invent This Class [classic repost]

  1. Everyone is an expert and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you can move on to the task at hand.

    Quoted from my personal rulebook for playing MMOGs.

  2. I’m in 100% agreement with you. This is also a pet peeve of mine. I cant stand know it alls, especially when they criticize you for playing a way they think is inferior to their own.

  3. Awesome post :) Sums up something I’ve been feeling for a while. Although insecurity is a contributing factor to why people do it, I also think it’s because they’re perfectionists and control freaks and can’t tolerate any deviation in play from the way they think it should be done. Funnily enough though, most games are easy enough to allow for a wide deviation in the way people play because having fun and not worrying about it is the most important thing.

  4. I totally agree with the overall tone of the post as well. When I’m in a group, it’s extremely rare that I say a word. Maybe it’s simply due to age, but openly criticizing, playing papa bear, or trying to lead a single serving friend is a complete waste of time.

    Basically the players that want to play well, do. The players that want to just play, do. Personally, I use my ignore list to punish the people who I think are inferior, which I think is a pretty reasonable compromise.

  5. Those folks are hilarious and amazingly helpful. How?

    I always feel like I’m the worst player to every play a particular class and invite suggestions and guidance from other players. Every once and awhile I’ll get stuck with one of the above mentioned Know it Alls and I find despite all their “knowledge” and “leetness” they are only marginally more effective than my uninformed use-the-cool-looking-skills technique.

    Usually makes my day. : )

  6. I am also an addict of LotRo and I find it incredible that within our kin we have a bit of rivalry between various hunters. The thing that I think people forget is that it is ‘just’ a game. It’s supposed to be fun, and when people are bickering about their classes, it sometimes makes me avoid logging on. A pity really

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