Friday, August 27, 2010

Feelin' the Friday Love!

"Congrats dude!"


"Nice, grats!"

"I hate you!"

Uh, sorry, didn't mean for that last one to slip out. I mean, I am happy that you got another toon to 80, but that means that you now have 6 while I'm stuck on 3.

It can be embarassing to admit jealousy, can it not? It signifies that I am not a perfectly composed robot nor am I selfless to the degree which would merit approbation. Jealousy is dirty, yet it comes in various degrees, from a bit of dust on the corner of a book to rolling in the mud with the pigs. Yes, jealousy is a dangerous game, and for me an occaisional struggle. I speak only for myself, but if you have had similar or dissimilar experiences, please share them so that I can feel worse about myself.

When I reached 80 for the first time it was an accomplishment in my mind above anything else that I had done in the game. I had no concept of what it was to live out a max level life, as I was new to the game when Wrath was introduced. I didn't know about min/maxing, about raiding, about gearing mains or gearing alts, the only thing I cared about was to soak in the pleasures of having one, just one character at max level (80 in this case).

The months went by, and yes I played with alts and leveled them accordingly, but never with the thought of creating an army of 80's, but just for the fun and enjoyment that the game offered. Skip ahead a year of being 80, I now had two more join the fold and thought myself pretty special. Then I met someone, an incredibly intelligent man who taught me a lot about my own toons, who had a total of somewhere from 15-20 level 80's. He was multi-boxing and multi-tasking. He had a setup in his home that allowed him to run a full 5-man dungeon all my himself, and he did it quite often. By that means he was able to level multiple toons to 80 at breakneck pace. I must admit, I was not jealous one bit but only stood in awe at the lengths this person would go to achieve this. He was not a nerd in his mom's house but a successful business man with lots of time on his hands.

So if the jealousy didn't creep in with him, who was by all accounts one of the wealthiest account holders in the entire world, where did it rear its ugly head? Why it was with those that I had been playing with the longest, the long-term guildies. Oh don't look at me like that, just let me finish!

As I saw a few other guildies who I'd become very friendly with gear up one 80 after another (one reached 6, another 7, another 8) I continuously asked myself why I was feeling jealous. What was the source and was it really about the sheer number of toons? In the end I concluded that I was jealous because I saw that they had the time and ability to play. Interestingly enough, I am convinced that if I had 8-10 hours a day to play I would NEVER do so. I enjoy too many other things in life to devote that much time to this game. But to have the time available...that's what really rocked me. I never dared asked how they took care of themselves or their families, perhaps they were as this other dude and were insanely rich, in which case their time was their own. But that didn't matter to me, I found another correlation.

I may talk about it too much, but since it's an integral part of who I am I'll mention it again. I can't sit and play for more than a hour or so at at time because of my pain. In the end as my condition was getting worse I saw my jealousy increase. As physically I was unable to do anything, I resented those who could do whatever they wanted without hinderance. I had reached the point where in fact I was not jealous, but was wallowing in self-pity...that was the feeling that was eating at me, not true jealousy as we all know it. I had no desire to play 8 hours a day, I had no desire to have an army of 10 80's on one server and 10 on another. All I wanted was the opportunity but pitied myself for not being able to because of my situation.

What a horrible state I found myself in. I realized quickly after the epiphany rushed over me that I had to change a few things. So what I did was to try and find people who played the game that I could be truly happy for when they accomplished certain things. I had to reverse my wallowing into genuine shows of affection and support. Even though I'm not online as much, when I am and I see my guildies do something great, I make great efforts to not only congratulate them most sincerely, but to make sure that I feel as sincere as I portray myself to be. It has proven to be quite the relief these past couple weeks, and I now feel none of the "jealousy" or self-pity that I felt as recently as a month ago.

What's made it easier is to watch my 8 year old boy level his first toon towards that max level mark. Last night he hit 76, and should be at 80 by the end of the month. (He starts school next week, so his play time will go way down - so it might take him through September). For him I am most happy, and that affection I have attempted to show to guildies who deserve my support, not my green eye.

I believe that jealousy is prevalent in the game, however, as evidenced by all those with low self-esteem yelling to the whole world about their GS and how awesome their gear is and how great they are because they have this great gear, which gives them an insanely high GS. Ugh, it's one jealous shout-out after another. Oh, don't call it competition, men don't measure their "gear score" out of competition, they do it out of a jealous fit that possibly their's isn't as long or big as the other dude's "gear score" - if ya know what I mean. I make no apolgies for the sexual content here, it's how I see it.

True competition can be achieved without jealousy, by placing the largest comparison of your current self with your past self, and not somebody else. If I want 4 80's it should be becuase I only have 3, and 4 would surpass only myself, not somebody else so wholly unconnected to my account. In group settings I can judge my own position as DPS with others by using Recount and other tools, but my most healthy competion, if I am to remain healthy, should come with my efforts of trying to outdo my previous performance.

Go off this weekend and be jealous or selfless, it makes no difference to me. I'm trying to be less so, it's what will give me greater satisfaction and enjoyment as I solo or group up with guildies. It may sound like something you say to 2nd graders, but I'm just trying to be the best I can be and let everything else just fall into place. It would be my suggestion to have fun based on your own expectations, and not compare yourself to anyone but yourself; but you're not bound to my suggestions. I wish you well and a good weekend, no matter how you play the game.

Good luck!


Syl said...

A very interesting post. what I have often noted in the past and also by playing with others in wow is, that we tend to make ourselves unhappy by comparing ourselves too much with others sometimes. if you look left and right all the time, you suddenly feel you should have what others have and that what you got is not enough somehow - even though you were satisfied with things as they were before.

WoW can insert this feeling of competition into you and thats when it's really important to tell yourself that you're playing for yourself only and in your own time. don't let comparisons take the joy of the game away from you. :)
I empathize with your (back?) pains by the way, I know how it is not to be able to play hours constantly.

besides that i think a healthy jealousy (for ex. on a drop you didnt get etc.) isn't such a bad thing - if you can joke about it and still be happy for the other person. there's nothing wrong with admitting that you're disappointed.

best regards.

Gronthe said...

@ Syl: "besides that i think a healthy jealousy (for ex. on a drop you didnt get etc.) isn't such a bad thing - if you can joke about it and still be happy for the other person. there's nothing wrong with admitting that you're disappointed."

I'd agree with that, the key is to truly "be happy for the other person". I've seen jealous ruin raids before, hurt feelings between guildies, and hurt my own enjoyment. It's tough to keep in check for somepeople, impossible for others.

Healthy competition vs jealous competition, it can draw a fine line that's easy to cross, sometimes we do it without knowing what happened. Thanks for stopping by for a read, Syl!