Life is like playing a violin…

several-violins…in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” I first came across Samuel Butler at university whilst comparing various translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey as part of my course. I favoured his. He is mostly famous for his theory put forth in Shakespeare’s Sonnets Reconsidered (1899) that the sonnets tell the story of a homosexual love affair if rearranged. I simply enjoy his writing style. I am currently reading “The way of all flesh” again. It’s like returning to a favourite spot I use to frequent but have not visited in a while. Phrases like “[t]he pair had lived not unhappily together” and “he could play as much as he could draw, not very well according to professional standards, but much better than could have been expected,” appeal to me. It also contains my favourite quotation: “we must judge men not so much by what they do, as by what they make us feel that they have it in them to do.”

My wrist dislocated in Naxx last night during the four horsemen fight. I was first assigned to Korth’azz and we wiped as one of the people assigned to the back couldn’t get the swapping right and didn’t stay in range. I was then assigned to Baron Rivendare, but the same happened again and we wiped. Third assignment: Lady Blaumeux. Great, but also not so great.  Running back and forth whilst casting is not something my wrists will tolerate for very long. I can do it once, twice, maybe three times, but then it gets a little dodgy. It was holding up unexpectedly well and optimist that I am, I thought that after the break that a wipe creates, it’d be okay. And if not okay, I was hoping that it would dislocate after a swap so that I didn’t die on a void zone. No such luck. I died, we wiped, I relocated, splinted and had no problems on the second try.

I stood in the back of the room wondering if I could hae done it differently. Had my first or second assignment been Lady Blaumeax, I would not have been comfortable accepting it. However, I was pretty sure that I could do it and do it well, bar one unpredictable event which hadn’t happened until this point. From experience I knew that my wrist doesn’t do running and casting well, but still, I’ve been getting better at it. I used to have problems with lava waves in OS, but I don’t anymore. It was an alt 10-man run and I still wonder how much why matters.

It’s somehow both worse and better that I died and caused a wipe because of something completely outside of my control. It’s both easier and harder to live with the inevitability of it. It’s a matter of when not if to tell the raid leader that I dislocate joints, but I’m worried that had he known, I would be seen as a liability, as someone who has to be kept on easy assignments as I’m not up to the task at hand. On the other hand, I worry that not having mentioned it lead to unnecessary frustration and wasted time. If he knew that I may not be able to do it, we may not have died and we could have spent significantly less time on it.

When I started doing this seven weeks ago, I only had one unbreakable rule. I would not continue to play with other people if playing with me somehow detracts from their experience of the game. I am still conflicted as to how much personal information to provide. I personally don’t care about the reason behind the action. I don’t care why someone didn’t make the Thaddius jump or why they died in the Heigan dance as much as I care that they did. I’m by no means ruthless, in fact, I tend to find it quite funny when other people make silly mistakes as it makes me feel a bit more normal and average, but I don’t care why it happened.

The issue I am having is that once I tell someone that my joints dislocate when I play, how they use that information is not up to me. Will they decide that I am a liability? I don’t think so. Everybody knows someone with a disability and that personal knowledge usually makes people happy to accommodate quite a few things. Will it be helpful? Definitely yes. On both sides. The person handing out assignments should take this into account and I find it helpful and reassuring to know that I have been open and honest about any potential issues.

I am on a trial period with a new guild at the moment and although I feel that raid leaders should be informed it’s a difficult topic to bring to the table. I don’t want special treatment and yet that is sort of what I am asking for.  I hope that they would take it at face value,  give me a couple of minutes every now and again to relocate things or rest so that I don’t have to relocate things, understand that the first time I see any boss issues will arise that I couldn’t plan for before hand – sometimes they are reflected in the game, but not necessarily. With experience I am learning how to predict what I need to do better than I could a month ago. Today I was watching video’s of Sarth with two drakes up, keeping an eye on each healer in particular to see how to move, when to move and what movement to avoid. Mock practicing my spell rotation based on what other druids are doing and experimenting to see how I need to adapt things to make it work well for me. I don’t want assignments rearranged because someone thinks that I’m not up for the task, but more importantly, I don’t want to cause a wipe because I got an assignment I shouldn’t have gotten. I don’t want to make it all about me and my issues when it’s not. Raiding isn’t about me and my issues. It’s about being a team player. Warcraft is important to me. I know that I need to have that conversation, I just really don’t like that I do.

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4 Comments

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  1. I agree with your hesitation in sharing the information. Because we have so little information about each other, the personal information we do share defines us more than we may want. Can you find other ways of asking for a break? Good raid leaders plan for mana breaks. Can you find a way to ask for the break without giving personal info? Sry, only lvl 60, I’m not doing raids at your level, but I aspire to it.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Jeanne. Luckily, everybody needs breaks, so most nights I do get a fair amount of two minute to five minute breaks that are scheduled in. I’ve gotten to the point where I can manage the vast majority of dislocations without needing to stop. The issue is that if something more serious happens, there isn’t time to explain and I can’t just afk without any explanation. I think I have to share a certain level of personal information so that the raid leader knows and understands what’s going on as the decisions he/she makes is affected by it.

  3. Having been where you are, I understand. I think the most important thing you can do when sharing information about your disability is to let the raid leader know what to do with that information. For instance, telling him that if you have a couple of intense tries, you may need a few minutes break while everyone is running back and rebuffing. One thing I’ve done is share the link to my blog in my guild forum signature. I’ve been surprised at the number of people who have read it and am seeing benefits from their reactions.

  4. The more I deal with people, the more I realise that it’s much more of an issue for me than it is for most people. I have been more open and forthcoming about how EDS may affect my play style and I haven’t regretted any of it. It shouldn’t be such a big deal. Everybody has their issues, mine are just a little quirkier than most.

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