Are You a Good Player?

Today I was thinking about my playstyle and what classes I play and which ones I avoid. After a bit of time, I realized that my alt-ism has carried me into all three player roles in the game, but not all of the classes. With the exception of shaman, I have played every single class through level 15. Shamr is was still a lovely little Level 1 orc that has not even seen the introduction video for shaman yet. It is this dabbling that has led me to stick with the classes that I enjoy in order to fill my rotating playstyle fixes, because, “dang it!” some days I just don’t want to heal your annoying butt in an instance.

My first toon right out of the box was a dwarven hunter named Grimr. I spent about 30 minutes on the character creation screen picking his name using Norse sites. I played him for hours for a couple of weeks up through level 32 or so. One day I was talking with my seriously addicted co-workers about WoW, and they opened my eyes to the concept of playstyle. They told of this great warrior who stands toe to toe with level 60 Elites in Molten Core and had over 9,000 hit points. Wow! I had something like 1,200 and had to run away when things got after me. I had to try that. I wanted to be up front getting hit and smacking back. I knew what I had to do.

Early damage in 5-mansDuring my short stint raiding with Gitr, I realized that dps was so dependent on gear that I couldn’t compete. I settled for running the 5-man instances and tanking like an M1A1 Abrams. I mastered my role in every pre-MC instance and could rip aggro off just about every dps monkey or stressed out healer. I took pride in getting people through instances with no deaths, healer dependent, of course.

Then along came Deadr on the PvP realm, Burning Legion. I have no idea any more why I wanted to be a priest. They’re the armor opposite of Gitr. I took a lot of pride (I can’t believe a game can do that to me, but it does) in entering an instance and announce that “no one dies on my watch, unless someone does something stupid.” If it was a decent group that was noob-less, it was very rare that I’d let anyone die, although there were some times where sacrifice was necessary when things went very bad. Did I experience wipes? Sure, but not very often.

Getting back to the topic of the post, because that was a heck of a bragging run, do either of those abilities make me a good player? I would argue that the answer is yes and back that up with some solid logic. We have all been in a PuG where someone did not understand their class. Mages that start tossing spells before the tank had aggro, hunters that break crowd control and try to tank with their pets, pallies that don’t buff, and rogues that don’t get out of the way when the boss does an AOE spell or melee hit. Those are not good players, without a doubt.

For the purposes of being quantitative, here is a checklist to determine if someone (or yourself) is a good player:

  • Understands the basic role of the class or the build (tank, dps, healer).
  • Comes to groups prepared with mats and full tummy and empty bladder.
  • Communicates with the party or leader.
  • Improvises and keeps a cool head when things go wrong.
  • Remains mature and calm, not easily given to group drama, such as “I’m on my period!” or “I hate guns! Don’t use guns!
  • Is not on players’ /ignore list for group play; “you are being ignored by Leetcow” is bad.