Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Learning Never Stops

Keeva wrote a very good post today about the black sheep talents, and in her introduction, she explains:

The point is that things are always changing; a talent that might have been considered useless 6 months ago might suddenly become super amazing after a patch, or extremely helpful for hard modes. Don't become too set in your opinion on what's terrible and what's good.. because changes to talents (or to gameplay and fights themselves, or the introduction of new content) may find it very hard to accept that you need to dust those spells and abilities off.

But as raiders - especially hard mode raiders - you should also be careful not to dismiss something as terrible; it might actually be awful for most fights, but incredibly powerful on one particular hard mode. You may think, as a min-max hardcore raider, that the widely-accepted cookie cutter builds are the best you can get - but you never know when something once labelled a waste of points will turn out to be valuable.

Keep an open mind, basically.

This is such very good advice to everyone, all classes, all players, in and out of game. Things are always changing, and no one is perfect: we all must be willing and able to adapt to the changes brought on by patches, raid/party makeups, boss mechanics, gear levels, and just life itself. Be adaptable, and don't let yourself fall into the "comfort" of thinking you've got it all figured out and are perfect.

A little story...

I raided briefly with my feral druid in an Alliance guild last fall while waiting for WotLK to be released. I had already healed through BT and Hyjal in a progression guild that spring so I knew the instances very well, but only from a healer's perspective. On the trash leading to Supremis, I forgot about the cone attacks and had faced the mobs towards the raid. Another druid whispered me tentatively, "Sorry... but could you try to face those away from the raid?"

"Oh, sure!" I replied. "Sorry about that."

"No offense," he said. "I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but that cone attack hurts."

I was a bit confused at his defensiveness, but laughed. "lol... I'm always open for advice. How else would I learn?"

He seemed relieved at this. "Some tanks don't like being given advice... I didn't want to step on your toes."

I was honestly shocked that he would have experienced or been worried about such a thing. Why would someone get upset at being given advice to turn a trash mob to face it away from the raid so that it wouldn't be able to breath fire on the dps and healers? Who would be so arrogant as to be offended by such advice? "Don't worry about that for me," I finally replied as we moved on to another trash pull. "I'm always open to advice. I can't become a better druid if I don't listen! :)"

It was a reminder that some people simply are that arrogant. I've met them, and was boggled by them. There are people who hate to think that they could be wrong or in any way imperfect and fallible. They don't like that there are other possibilities, or circumstances where something they had previously dismissed will actually be useful. They can be so arrogant that they see things in extremes, and refuse to consider that something they've decided to be right is, in fact, wrong, or just too narrow-minded.

We all fall prey to narrow-mindedness in varying degrees. How can we not? It's impossible to consider ALL of the alternatives without experiencing the possibilities for ourselves or, at least, being alerted to them. However, we can do our best to think for ourselves and keep an open mind regarding our choices, our playstyles, our specs... beyond that, our lives. In our interactions with others, we need to remember that life does change, and that things are rarely in straight black-and-white. We need to remember that not all circumstances are the same.

Avoid being too arrogant, and remember that your own experiences are just that: your experiences. What works in one situation may not work in another as factors change. Life, as well as this very dynamic game that we play, are always changing and have too many factors for us to ignore the grey areas and maybes. Be ready to learn from the experiences of others and be open to change, because no matter what, there's always something new to learn.

If we can't adapt to a situation, we'll wipe... or at least make things much harder for ourselves and everyone around us.

1 comment:

Aertimus said...

What a beautiful direction to take Keeva's post in! You are right, not only do we need to be open minded about talents, but about learning in general all through life.