11 February 2012

isn't saved

[quote="Hippeaux"]There is no problem with wanting to accomplish more that other players or advance further or whatever. There is a problem when someone feels like they're "better" than someone else because of these accomplishments.

Special Snowflake Syndrome happens when someone feels like their Deathwing kill was somehow more important/valuable/significant than someone else's, therefore only they should be entitled to rewards from it.

Examples include: Wanting Ashes removed from the game because TK can be solo'd rather than 3-manned like it was when the OP got hers, asking for loot table adjustments to raids after they've been nerfed, asking that older tier armor not be available to new players, and so forth.

Given how easy it is to get certain achievements, titles, and ranks from being carried, I'd argue that being there when the content was relevant doesn't mean you're any "better" than someone who starts a new character and completes it some time later. Some players just don't want to see anyone else get what they have even 3-, 6-, or 9 months later. Nerfs don't negate the fact thet the player defeated the content and sometimes people need to be reminded of this.[/quote]

Pass/fail mechanics lead to nerf, which causes content to fall into a region of not requiring skill, only non-skill factors. This loss of relevance as an accurate metric leads to subsequent debate on further nerfs to difficulty.

Reason for pass/fail is prevalence of invisible carrying and its implications for group progress or identifying the reasons for lack thereof. Highly visible failure with a given content tuning means that group success is 'validated' by the high-performance players in the group who choose to carry the poorly performing members.

The idea of 'becoming more difficult for a group with higher performance' is therefore essential to avoiding nerfs so that a group where no carrying is necessary is still challenged. Since 'going slower' is not an inherently more difficult choice (only takes longer), it must come in the form of complexity and pace of activity with subsequent implications for the accuracy of decisions. Idea of a threshold of 'safe amount of risk for the entire group' seems to still be useful.

Arguments about 'special snowflake' are based (around the exaggerated caricature of a derived measure of achievement that uniquely identifies a single individual's accomplishments, but also) on the assumption that a game's most difficult content will ideally be balanced upon release such that the in-game competence of all players in a group is required to be at a high level to complete that content. In other words that no 'carrying' will be allowed even if poor performance results from factors like latency. This establishes an idea of 'player skill' within a game's population; anyone who does not complete content at its original difficulty is seen as having a lower or unverifiable skill level and automatically ineligible for a special in-game status from things like better gear.

Countering this assumption as it manifests in a discussion can only be done by the players who are seen to benefit from the current arrangement: those who complete a game's most difficult content at its original difficulty. The required statement would have to be that greater relevance to a wider audience is worth the loss of accuracy from the removal of pass/fail mechanics that test every player in a group. Such a conclusion could only reached through a discussion of the various ways that carrying happens and how it could be made more visible.

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