Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't Cleave Me, Bro!

Arenas are not really hard, per se. They're just very, very intimidating. There is not a lot of love for people who come in unprepared. If your comp isn't good, you don't use binds, and you don't use voice communication you'll probably get dominated and never want to play again.

So people go looking for help. If you've done your best to make yourself as good as possible internally, sometimes you need help elsewhere. That's what forums are for.

Arena Junkies is sick. They've got some good information, despite the high amount of rage that exists towards stupid people. Some of it is difficult to parse through, but over time you start to see the bigger picture of what arenas are really about: the metagame. As a warrior, any idiot can tell you to gem ArP. They can tell you to Brostorm for sick damage. But, as Sun Tsu said, if you know yourself AND know your enemy, you will win 110% of the time. Turns out, he was a great strategist, but his math was a little off.


I love forums that flame idiots.  A lot of people might think that this is unnecessary and that people are just being mean, but all the best content comes from sources that control who can post.  You don't want idiots increasing the amount of noise.  You want condensed, valuable content.  Let's look at some examples.

Elitist Jerks is probably the most uptight, controlled forum out there in gaming.  Don't spellcheck your post? Infraction. Reply with no real value?  Infraction.  Ask for help?  Infraction.  Talk back to moderators? Banhammer. On top of that, you'll look like an ass to everyone when they post your infraction publicly.  But everyone who raids (and actually does research) goes to EJ, because they're the best.  Very low noise, no redundant posts, highly valued information.  It's theorycrafting Mecca.

Arena Junkies is a little lighter.  They don't hesitate to remove posts (whether it's from keyloggers or idiots, I'm not sure). They'll flame you for stupid questions, but they generally give you a reasonable answer. Finding information there is harder, as there are a lot of repeat topics, but the information is worthwhile, if you learn how to filter it.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, look at the WoW official forums. Anyone can post whatever they want because it's free press. This causes a large amount of noise to a small amount of useful content.  People will post talents and builds that are, for the most part, terrible.  That's because all the daddy pants theorycrafters know these forums are absolutely worthless.  You'll find a gem every now and then, but for the most part you'll feel stupider/dirtier having read them.

On the same note, have you ever seen the Champions Online forums? Again, anyone can post anything, so it's basically useless. When I stopped playing, every damn post was "I don't want a nerf, but x is so overpowered I cry myself to sleep." People actually witheld information because they didn't want to get nerfed.  Game was out for all of a month and there were 260 pages of posts on talents.  So much noise, but because it was the only game in town, it had the theorycrafters and the mouth-breathers alike.


So back to Arena Junkies.  They have good information, but sometimes it's hard to notice how much you've actually learned from them.  So here's a test.

This is the most epic thread ever. Take some time to flip through it and try not to bust a gut laughing.  But honestly, ask yourself this question.  Do I know why this is funny?  If you can answer that for more than 70% of the pictures, there's a good chance that your grasp of the meta is pretty decent, and with the right group you'll be ready to play at 1800+.

If you don't get any of them... maybe arenas aren't your thing.

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