So, I realized today that I've been playing World of Warcraft for a long time. Something like 6 years. I still really have only the one character, and she's max level and pretty cool, if I do say so myself...and I do. She's purple, casts spells and can kill things without ever having to touch them, which is important because I'd hate for her to break a nail or something. She makes potions, cooks, fishes, can make band-aids and stuff, and has multiple festive outfits for many festive occasions. Oh, and she has 94 little pets to follow her about*. Ok, I do all that stuff in this game. She's just pixels on a screen. And yes, I have a pet problem.
Anyway, over the years, I've learned some rules about playing the game. I'm a casual player for the most part, so it's taken me the better part of those 6 years to absorb this knowledge. I've said them often enough to the people I play with that they've become sort of standard guild rules now. It also makes it an...adventure to let me explain any boss fight.
I share with you my standard rules of WoW:
• Don't be a jerk
• Follow the kill order (also known as “Kill what the tank is killing”)
• Kill the adds
• Don't stand in stuff on the ground
• Don't stand in front of the orifice of a dragon
• Hug the wall
• Do your job
That right there will serve you pretty well in pretty much every instance, raid, fight, group, whatever. It’s taken years for me to understand and follow these rules, no matter how self-explanatory they may seem.
These are my auxiliary rules of WoW:
• Don't pull things with your face
• Don't start to kill it until the tank has threat
• Don't go over the tank's threat
• If something is killing you, run to the tank
• Don't start a fight when your healer is OOM
• Stay in Line of Sight of your healer
• Don't break CC, especially not with a DoT
• Spell Reflect means DON'T CAST STUFF
• Moonfire is like bacon, it makes everything better (except CC)
• Listen to your Raid/Group Leader Warnings**
• Pay attention to all the things, not just your DPS
All of these are rules because I’ve broken them, sometimes habitually. My darling husband is very patient and has to be to keep playing with me. We do not at all play the game the same way. I do what is fun for me. He does what makes sense to him. Thus 45 levels of frustration when he rolled a mage specifically to play with me since his hunter main was already 100 levels ahead of me (and I couldn’t figure out how not to put a DoT on his trapped target). His little squishy, cloth wearing mage had this crazy idea that since I was a druid and could turn into a high-armor non-squishy bear, I would do that so we could play more effectively and efficiently together. That made sense to him. But being a bear wasn’t fun for me, so I didn’t do it. Of course, if killing things with speed and fury were fun for me, or I knew how to do that, I might have been able to do enough damage to keep the threat of the things we were killing so as not to endanger my squishy mage-playing husband… but that is a great stretch of the imagination, so what really happened was we would both cast spells, I’d wind up putting a Moonfire on the sheep (which is a spell mages can cast as a form of crowd control) and the mage would blast away doing 250% more damage than me and then dying 250% more than me, which was both no fun and made no sense to him… so it should come as no surprise that he doesn’t play that character anymore.
What I'm trying to say is that while there are "game rules" about the mechanics and what you can and can't do because the people who made the game said so, the more important rules are the ones I make up. It's just funnier that way.
Glossary, for those few non-WoW people who made it this far (congratulations, you deserve a cookie):
Adds- additional monsters, critters, dudes, or whatsits that appear mid-combat
CC- crowd control. Spells cast to keep things out of combat so you can kill other things more efficiently and don’t die a gruesome and completely avoidable death
DoT- damage over time spell, usually instant cast, meaning once you’ve touched the button there’s no stopping it
DPS- damage per second***
Dragon- large, usually winged snake-type thing that will breathe fire in your face or knock you around with its tail. Basically it can kill you with both ends.
Moonfire- instant cast damage over time spell that is the staple of the Balance Druid spell rotation
OOM- out of mana, meaning unable to cast spells
Tank- the big brawny person with lots of armor who gets (and holds) the attention (threat) of the thing you're killing
*Only one at a time though
**No lie—one time, I was in… some instance somewhere and it was shortly after I had installed some add-on that had “raid warnings” which basically means that my computer flashed messages to me of stuff I needed to do during complicated fights. Hooray! How useful. So there I am, killing this big bad guy, spread out around some circle so that whatever I do, I am not standing next to other people, and suddenly my computer flashes the message “Astaldolinde is the bomb!” and I think… why thank you! I am doing a rather impressive job killing this guy right here. My spell rotation is rotating at optimal efficien___WTF?!?! Why am I dead?!?! Then I say, “WTF?!?! Why am I dead?” and everyone is all, “Well didn’t you see the raid warning? You were the bomb.” Only then I realized that they meant “explosive device about to do massive damage to my person and other people” not “totally awesome DPS machine!!!” like I thought. How embarrassing.
***I did, for a time, ask my husband frequently what my DPS per second was… I didn’t have my own counter nor did I understand what I was talking about