I was going through my feed reader’s backlog when I ran across this post from Blessing of Kings. This is always a topic that will get my knickers in a bunch, so let’s get started, shall we?
High-skill players almost always use the optimal spec or strategy. There are a few exceptions, but they are very rare. The vast majority of the time, someone with a non-optimal spec turns out to be a low-skill player.
Encouraging medium or low skill players to feel that they are a “special snowflake” and don’t need to use more optimal builds dooms them and their group to mediocrity and failure. You have enough trouble with lack of skill, why further handicap yourself with a sub-optimal build?
And even the high-skill player with the sub-optimal spec does her group a disservice. If the high-skill player switched to the optimal spec, odds are she would play at an even higher level.
I always resent the whole “you’re holding everyone else back” flavor these discussions take on. Sure, in a situation where you’re doing hardmodes, I can understand, and there’s truth to it–in that situation.
But, ladies and gentlemen, World of Warcraft is a game. We play games to have fun. If I love raiding but the spec/class I enjoy most is (we’ll go with my favorite example) Beast Mastery Hunter, and BM hunter isn’t the current top spec, does that mean I shouldn’t have get to raid?
Of course not.
Does that mean that because I happen to enjoy something not the Flavor of the Month, that I am a less than stellar player? Not at all. I know several people that are very excellent players and chose, at some point or other, sub-optimal specs. If you haven’t been so lucky then you’ve been looking in the wrong place, for there’s plenty of them–in guilds like mine.
My guild is full of people playing non-optimal builds. For a guild that raids only twice a week, we’re still clearing content at a reasonable rate. I dare you to ask anyone in SiB if they think they are doomed to an existance of mediocrity and failure.
We may not have a place in your Epic Guild of Awesome Leetness and Hardmodes, but we are not lesser players for it. We’re just over here enjoying playing our game the way we find most fun, and collecting shiny purples for it.
You’re more than welcome to play your perfectly valid interpertation of the game over in your corner, but the holier than thou attitude could do with a nerf.