Thursday, January 21, 2010

Theory of Relativity

Or Relativity, actaully refers to two of Albert Einstein's theories, namely "Special Relativity" and "General Relativity". Don't worry, I have no intention in discussing either theory or even delve into the Principle of Relativity. What I can say absolutely is that none of these principles/theories mean the following:

"Theory of Relativity means that upon further study of subject X, the other professor on the project has achieved different conclusions than myself and therefore we agree that there is no absolute truth, but the truth is relative, depending on how you look at it."

Only a really, really stupid person thinks anything like this. And when I say stupid, I mean truly deficient in mental acuity. Having said that, the term "Relativity" has profound impacts on cultural and social structures and is played out in our homes, place of work, churches and even in the games we play.

Some love goes out to Tobold and his post on Rise of the Leet King. The words Hard vs Easy must be, if we are to understand each other, and I hate to go here, RELATIVE. I hope that you will agree with this assumption. For proof of the assumption I relate my own experiences.

I am an accountant and love to work with Excel. The people I work with have no idea what a spreadsheet is or does, let alone how to write a macro. That's not to say that they are not intelligent people or do not have the capacity to learn what I know, I beleive they are smart and can do it given time and practice. But what is easy for me is hard for them, thus the proof that Hard and Easy are relative terms.

Back to Tobold. His post was humorous, but it brings up the issue of how hard or easy World of Warcraft is. The "word on the street" is that since WoTLK came out a little over a year ago things have become easier. Instances, Raids, Leveling (ty Heirloom items), professions, and I'm sure the list is longer but I just don't care to list everything.

Let's take just one example for now...why are instances easier? For one many of the new WoTLK dungeons are shorter and don't present the same levels of trash mobs that Vanilla or BC had. There's less need to CC due to more emphasis given to class AoE abilities that help burn down a group of trash rather than CC'ing them. And, lest I forget, the new emblem system allows a fresh 80 to jump right into T9 gear, making the scale of the dungeons to the player's gear an absolute joke. Even with all that, however, you still need people to do their jobs or the run will fail.

From my perspective I don't view things as hard or easy, I prefer to think of things that are either interesting to me or what I attribute value to (i.e. what I think is "worth" doing). Both of these things are insanely subjective and relative to other people's views. Whatever I think of playing the AH, it's only relative to other people's views on the subject. Neither is right or wrong, it's dependent on the value placed on that activity.

Again, for some, playing the AH is easy; due to addons or mental acuity, as for others it's more difficult (not good at math). But the question of hard or easy for me is usurped by the question of value. Do I value dungeons as a means of enjoying myself, no matter the level or relative difficulty? If I do then I don't care if I think they are easy, I will run instances anyway. The inverse is also true.

So hard or easy, I really don't care, it's all relative anyway.

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