Friday, August 31, 2007

Your Perfect Swing

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost

Who knew that Robert Frost played World of Warcraft and goblin . He didn't? Well, he should have. I think he would have played a survival hunter (maybe even a melee hunter) who did tailoringengineering. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, I am going to take this time to vent (or rant, if you prefer) in as polite a manner as I can about something that really bugs me. It gets under my skin. It sometimes upsets me to the point that it affects the quality of my performance in-game. Before you continue reading this article, maybe you should go to the fridge and get yourself some comfort food, perhaps some of that meat loaf from a couple of nights ago and a nice glass of milk. There you go. All comfy? Ready for the jaw-dropping news that is going to change your perception of World of Warcraft?

There is no magic formula.

I see people looking for this magic formula in chat channels all the time. "What is the best profession for a..." or "What is the best spec for a..." or "What is the best weapon for a..." are all ways that sentences in these conversations start. Folks, you're missing the most crucial part of the equation: the human variable.

You should play what feels good for you. I think one of the biggest reasons some guilds are so frustrated in end-game content is because all their characters are photocopies of each other, or builds that they picked up off the forums. Do you think maybe that Blizzard reads these forums too? They know with mathematical precision what the most popular builds are. So do you think when they were designing the instances and raids for The Burning Crusade that they took this data into consideration? They would be foolish not to.

I'm not saying there is no benefit in using a tried and true configuration as a benchmark, and I'm not invalidating the benefit of our Build Shop series of articles. What I'm doing in this editorial-style piece is encouraging you, the player population, and especially the younger population, to experiment. So what if every mage in your guild is frost spec? If you want to roll arcane (or a mix of all three) then more power to you! If it makes you happy, do it! Be an individual! One of the most addictive qualities of World of Warcraft is the number of choices that Blizzard has offered us to personalize the abilities of our characters.

Six years ago Will Smith was in a movie called The Legend of Bagger Vance and one of the things his character said was "Yep... Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing... Somethin' we was born with... Somethin' that's ours and ours alone..." and this wisdom applies to World of Warcraft today. Please. I'm begging you. Our characters were not made to be all the same. Go out and discover your true authentic swing.

[With special thanks to Scott and Randy at The Instance for planting the seed a few weeks ago that blossomed into this article...]

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