Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wow is a sport?

So we of the midwest are recovering from the aftermath of hurricane leftovers. We basically lost power from Dayton, OH to Louisville KY, and everywhere in between. As a result no Wow, no xbox, not even lights. But we had work because I believe my work is built to withstand a nuclear strike. However, on to the topic at hand. . .

I've been thinking a lot about the similarities of Wow and team sports. I think I read something to this effect on one of the blogs I read, I'd give it credit if I could find it, but thoughts like these normally take a few days to ripen. I will admit, I don't raid at all. Not my cup of tea. However, I don't know of any sport that involves teams of 25, so I don't believe it affects the analogy. I believe Wow has many similarities strategically to sports.

I am a pretty avid hockey player. I primarily play goalie, but I also play defenseman, and occasionally wing if we're short. When I'm playing hockey I know what my role is. Whatever position I'm playing has different techniques, skills involved, and expectations. Thats why we have positions in the first place. The goalie doesnt steal the puck, skate the length of the ice and shoot on the other net, you know what to expect when someone is a goalie. How is this different from Wow?

Pick any role: healer, tank, or DPS/CC; you should know basically what you're getting when they say that. Granted everyone has different classes/talents/preferrences that make them unique. But each can do things in different ways and still be effective.

What's the point? I've seen a lot about "cookie cutter" group makeups. Warrior tanks, priest heals, mage, rogue and lock DPS. The secret to winning is making use of your team's strengths. Heavy on DPS, not so good on the heals? Let er rip and burn them down. Tank not holding aggro to keep up withthe DPS? Slow it down and support the healer. In any team related activity, individuals may perform poorly, but in the end, it's the team that succeeds or fails.

I think healing is one of the toughest roles in Wow. Its not hard to click on an icon, press a button and wait for the bar to fill. What is tough is triaging a situation and accurately gauging whose needs are paramount. If there's a wipe you're generally first or second in line for blame, and rarely in 5-mans do you hear "man sweet heals!". You're more likely to see people competing for top of the damage meter.

I'm not saying Wow is a sport. As a matter of fact, I consider it about as far from a sport as you can get. However, I think by applying some of the principles of sports teams, groups can be much more effective and everyone can enjoy their experience a lot more.

On an un-related note: thanks to gnomeaggedon and Larisa for support of my blog. It means a lot.


LarĂ­sa said...

There probably are several bloggers who've written about the sporty side of wow. I wrote about it myself in april, if that's the post you're thinking about. But I'm sure there are several.


Never being doing much of real life team sports I enjoy raiding immensly. I guess it gives me a flavour of it.

Antony912 said...

Yay! An Azuremyst blogger. And you play hockey! And you read blogs at work. Can you say 'long lost brother'?

What's your charcter name on Azuremyst?

--Alerexis (alliance)