Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

Now I’m One of Them, Watching Damage Meters Myself

I always close Recount when doing boss fights – for my own sake

I have it installed, but if I put it on “Current Fight”, I would be ogling my damage output to a degree I would be performing worse. Especially if I fall behind everyone else, I get stressed and feel inferior, so I make sure to keep these numbers invisible to myself during the fight.

After the fight, I have a sense of how my performance was, if my casting was tight, my movement and reactions quick and alert. And here’s the issue: Sometimes, the feeling of having done EVERYTHING I could possibly do to perfection, doesn’t relate at all to the sight of the damage meter.

Some fights I absolutely love. I’m at the top of my game, everything from mana to procs are done to perfection. I had this experience at our first kill of Omnitron Defence System, and have had every time since.

We learned the fight fairly quickly, it’s so rhythmic and smooth to me, and despite the fact it requires momentary spurts of movement, it doesn’t feel penalizing when playing an elemental shaman. After the first successful kill of this boss, I switched Recount back on, and I topped. Every time we do this fight, I’m a real spacegoat zapping around, and I always do well – my experience of having done well was reflected on the damage meter.

This is not always the case.

The Valiona and Theralion fight is a feeling of doing everything I can while continuously disappointing myself on the meters.

Every time we do this encounter, I’m thinking “this time I must have done well”, but I’m always middle if not bottom of the dps’ers. My experience of having done well was not reflected by the damage meter – damn!

Then there’s Halfus Wyrmbreaker, a fight where I often have to interrupt a lot, and generally spend the entire fight staring at his cast bar.

I hate this fight, it’s not at all pleasurable for me. Contrary to Omnitron, I’m now sweating nervously. Looking at the damage output after this one, I’m in the top two, but I feel like I did shit, gaps of time flapping around and what not. I am baffled that I yet seem to do good damage. My experience of having done badly was not reflected by the damage meter.

And then there’s Ascendant Council, a fight where I feel like I do badly and yes, I also did shit on Recount. Baah I hate this fight. My experience of having done badly was reflected by the damage meter.

  1. good experience, good performance
  2. good experience, bad performance
  3. bad experience, good performance
  4. bad experience, bad performance

The damn numbers!!!

And here’s the point of this post: When I reflect on my performance of the raid and my damage was low, I feel I could have done better, even if the fight is favoring dot-heavy classes or melee. No matter how much I felt I pushed as hard as I could, and indeed kept out of the fire, reacted well to everything, the final number prevails.

It’s like I am being controlled by Recount – by my damage output, as if this is the only measure of how well I did this fight, which I know it isn’t. This isn’t openly part of the attitude of my raid group, it’s me who’s become obsessed with the numerical result of a fight instead of the fact we killed the boss in itself, or that I healed and rescued myself or someone else, or that someone did an amazing stunt etc etc.

Addons that are not part of the original Blizzard WoW package can still change the game fundamentally – how we play, how we talk about the game and how we treat each other within the game. Think about the dreaded Gearscore, which basically is now implemented in the form of “Itemlevel”, used primarily as a gateway controller. Turning someone down has never been easier.

Recount is also one such addon. An amazing utensil regardless, but ultimately not just a mirror of your own performance, but also a surveillance tool. Am I actually scrutinizing myself based on the fact I know everyone else in my raid can see how I did, and that this account adds up into a whole legacy of my skill as a player and thus my worth as a raider – how capable I am to push through in general?

Then again, I see Recount meters being published at random if not requested quite often from strangers in pugs… so weird when some people don’t have it installed, yet appear completely preoccupied by it.

It’s everywhere.

I recall being a noob wanding through Karazhan, being called out on my ignorance and lack of raid ethos – now I’m one of them, watching meters myself.

I’m tempted to ask – is it part of the WoW culture to be obsessed with damage meters in a simplistic way like me? And I wonder what the next big epoch-making addon will be…

4 comments on “Now I’m One of Them, Watching Damage Meters Myself

  1. Zinn
    March 7, 2011

    I do just like you, always closing down recount before a fight. I’ve tried playing without it alltogether, and for some reason it’s really difficult. Some reasons are good, like me being able to evaluate my performance. Some reasons are bad, like me being able to feel good because I kicked everyones ass on the meters (when I happen to do that). Well maybe that’s not a bad reason, we all deserve to feel awesome.
    I do think it’s easy to get stuck with the meters. It’s such an easy way to measure your skill, although it doesn’t really say all about your skill at all. It’s a number, easy to understand and to relate to. People like simple things like that.

    • ironyca
      March 8, 2011

      “It’s a number, easy to understand and to relate to. People like simple things like that.”

      Absolutely true, but also the pitfall.

  2. Rades
    March 7, 2011

    I keep mine up as a personal awareness thing. One, if my DPS is significantly lower than normal, I might be without a presence or have a fishing hat on, or something! I also glance at it to see if I’m at the top, and if not, I try to push myself a little harder. Not because I actually care about topping the meters, but because it helps the entire group if I can buckle down and squeeze out an extra 500 dps or so. (But obvously, not to the point of neglecting interrupt duties or anything.)

    As for people requesting Recount…I hate it. I really, really hate it. Every time someone asks for it, I automatically assume they have it and are well aware of the results, and it’s just a sneaky way of bragging about their numbers to the rest of the group. And if they honestly don’t have it – why the hell not?? They obviously care about what it says. So anyone that asks is, in my eyes, either being arrogant or just displaying their laziness. /rant ;)

    • ironyca
      March 8, 2011

      Yeah usually it seems they ask for meters to brag, but the screenshot above is actually mine, and the guy requesting did 11% of the total damage and around 5k dps (cata heroic), so I was a little surprised to see it coming from him. He left without saying a word afterwards, and no one said anything either, was kind of funny.

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2011 by in Opinion and Discussion and tagged , , , , , .


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