Monday, February 16, 2009

May Fortune Favor the Foolish

Our guild's former raid leader had a do-all macro set up for his hunter alt (the famous BRK macro with non-BRK-endorsed frills), and bound it to his scroll wheel, so that all he had to do to keep things going was to twiddle the scroll wheel. His hunter alt, mind you, got better DPS than I did when I was in the role of the team's Main, and that was with moderately inferior equipment.

Not that I'm bitter (No, I didn't lose a spot to him. I was on the main team with his Main (Tank)).

OK, I can accept being fairly beaten by a more skilled player. I will learn from him or her, and the raid will benefit from having that person within its ranks. But binding a macro to a button takes no skill.

This should not bother me, but it does. It offends my "sensibilities", tweaks my gamer ethic on the nose. There is a line between brute force efficiency and skill that is all too easy to cross in this game. Skill gives way to gimmicks. I like to admire a fine player practicing his or her craft. I like the bon vivante of a friendly competition between the DPSers of a group. It keeps us sharp. But the exercise is meaningless when we are competing against a gimmick.

The game would be nigh unplayable without macros. And not all macros are, technically speaking, gimmicks in the sense I'm using the word here. I can't even, in good conscience, argue in favor of removing that which makes "gimmicking" possible, because at the end of the day, any raid leader will want as much DPS as he or she can get. Same for heals - you can gimmick that too. All other things being equal, though, the toon with the best numbers is the one you want, as a raid leader. Numbers are harsh little devils.

It just makes me a little sad that the game has taken this turn. That anything and every thing in this game can, apparently, be griefed so that you can either eliminate it (hello, Flora Fan Club!) or just muddle along and pretend it doesn't exist.

Epilogue: The other night we went into Heroic Nexus with a pugged Hunter that had a face roller macro set up like that. He blew me away on the meters. Oh, he was wearing Tier gear and some Naxx drops (at least one that I recognized), and he was Survival build, the new belle of the ball. But again with the macro. I can't really tell how valid the comparison between BM and SV would be under the circumstances, all other things being equal.

Still, he was a good Hunter, which merits pointing out, because quite often this sort of thing is seen from e-Bayers.  In fact, I picked up a couple of good things from him.

Pity about the macro, 'sall I'm saying.