Tales of Hate, Entry 6

Today is May 11, I will be posting this on July 12, 2010.

I hit a bit of a benchmark over the weekend. I reached renown rank 40. It’s not major, but it’s another mastery point, and it’s always been that dividing line in my head between “early game” and “end game”. It’s the indicator of leaving the lower level stuff behind. It’s not even half-way to the cap as far as renown points go (that honor falls on RR69.5), but it’s an indicator, and that means something. Judgement at this minor stepping stone: I like the class. Almost enough to make it full time.

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The truth about competency

Over the weekend, a guildmate of mine sent me a link to this video. Besides the hosts obvious talent at engaging the viewer, and his head start at making himself sound more knowledgeable by virtue of his British accent, it is a really well put together piece. The crux of the seven-minute piece is the result of a study on individual ability, and the same individuals perception of said ability. I don’t know if the study is real, fake, made up for this, or what, but the concept is sound. I can say this with assurance based on my vast array of anecdotal evidence. Do I need to put an emoticon here to show the sarcasm, or have you all started to be able to discern that by this point in my writership?

This concept of perceived ability being vastly different from real ability in those who are in actuality incompetent, can be extended to almost any activity you partake in. Whether it’s on a forum, where having a discussion with someone, and you just dissect each point with carefully worded and researched counter arguments. Or perhaps discussions of someone’s in-game skill. Of course, this is a particularly appropriate topic given the nature of this blog, and the concept that I am going to focus on.

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What is Good?

I’m not asking the question from a moral standpoint. I’m not looking for what you think is right or wrong, and should I help that old lady get her wheel chair loaded into the trunk of her car at the market. No, the more accurate question would be, “What does it mean to perform well?”. In this instance that question would have a few letters tagged on as a qualifier. “In an MMO”. You hear it all the time in MMOs, particularly games like WAR. “So-and-so is good.” “X is so much better than Y.” “LoL, he’s terribad!” So-on, and so forth. So, by what stick do you measure this undefined, non-quantifiable term?

From my outlook, the quality of a person’s performance cannot be evaluated without first acknowledging the goal that the performance is directed at. I could have the highest level of twitch skills, and a reaction time measure in nano-seconds, but if I’m playing a turn-based video game, that won’t help me at all. So, this leads me to see two necessary points that need to be held in mind while going forward with this discussion:

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