Super-Ego – Not What Freud Meant

I was in the process of writing up a piece on various guild-related topics – applying, recruiting, and the like – but then I came across a site which I find absolutely ridiculous, and begging for immediate comment:

I speak, of course, of Landsoul’s Coaching.

For those who aren’t yet familiar, I do highly encourage checking it out… for a good laugh, if nothing else.

Now, before I start, don’t get me wrong: Landsoul is obviously an incredibly intelligent person. You can’t put together one of the most complex class spreadsheets in existence without a high level of mathematical proficiency, nor can you write a novel about your spec without a vast reservoir of knowledge and experience to tap into. He knows warriors better than probably anyone else out there, Blizzard employee or otherwise, and has been at the top of PvE progression for ages.

He’s an exemplary player, there’s no question about it. And what he does with his time is his own business, and if he can get people to willingly pay him for a piece of that time, then by all means, go capitalism.

But, honestly, the whole thing is just a tad bit ridiculous.

There’s so much wrong with it, I don’t even know where to start!

First off, I’m sorry, but this game is not that complicated. Yes, if you want to write your own simulators or be able to calculate the amount of dps gained with an upgrade by your own hand, then yeah, it takes a fair amount of knowledge, but generally speaking? It’s pretty simple stuff, really, and if you don’t know how to play a spec or don’t understand why you’re supposed to play a class a certain way, there’s plenty of free resources – EJ being first among them – which will tell you all you need to know and then some. Why would people pay for stuff they can get for free?

Secondly, although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a healthy ego, this whole thing is just slightly pretentious. He’s not that good. There’s plenty of warriors – Kaywarrior and Negiva, for instance – who are just as talented. There’s nothing that awe-inducing about his performance. Top 100 dps isn’t that great, honestly. Why would people pay for someone who isn’t actually the best?

Third, no one can make you a smarter player but you. Others can make you a more knowledgeable player, sure: they can teach you rotations, point out flaws in your armory, tell you how to gear, share encounter-specific tricks, but they can’t teach you to react to the unexpected – which is what being a good player is all about. Others can only help you improve so much – to be truly competitive with the best, you’re going to have to be able to think on your own, and a coaching service which encourages you to rely on another isn’t that conducive to such.

I could go on and on, but  as I said at the start, if people are happy to pay Landsoul for this service, and both sides are happy, then excellent. Who am I to judge?

But I’m of the belief that no player out there is so dim-witted whereas they need a paid service and no player is so amazing that they’re worth paying for such a service.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of people out there who could be performing better than they currently are. In fact, the vast majority of players could be. But if you want to improve your play, there are plenty of free ways of doing so. There’s EJ which, despite its flaws, is an excellent source of information, and which has at least a couple players of each class who are voluntarily helping others out – be it by maintaining a thread, writing a spreadsheet, or programming a simulator. There are numerous sites – from the specific, such as Pwnwear, to the more general, such as Tankspot – which have their own repositories of information and helpful communities to help aid you in your play. There’s plenty of capable players in top guilds who will happily answer the random question or two, provided you ask politely. There’s even the official forums which, although loosely moderated, have hordes of people who will happily tear apart your armory for you, if you don’t mind the insults!

The fact is, if you want to be better, there’s plenty of ways in which to improve which don’t cost a dime and are at least equal to, if not superior than, paying some decent-but-not-godly guy to tell you what you can just read up on elsewhere.

I’m not sure if this is the first service of it’s kind, but I do hope it’s the last.

If you’re a DK, and you have some questions which aren’t covered in my thread, want your armory critiqued, or just wish to talk to someone who may be somewhat more experienced than yourself, I will happily help you out in such areas, provided it’s asked in a legible manner. Add me on MSN or drop me an email. I’ll even hop on a vent if you so desire, time permitting.

But whatever else, please god, never pay someone for such junk. Not for a game. Not for WoW.

17 Responses to Super-Ego – Not What Freud Meant

  1. Angvard says:

    One flaw in being the best is the randomness of wow. The difference between the top players is so small there is really no way to tell who got lucky and who didn’t, so claiming to be THE best is really not the way to go. Sure Landsoul is really good, and probably one of the best. Maybe someone out there is willing to pay for his service because of this, but when I read through his site it all seemed very greedy and condescending. I doubt anyone would go “ZOMG I NEED THIS” after reading it.
    Oh and thank you very much for your >free< work on DKs 🙂 Looking forward to the Guild-stuff, maybe throw in something about dealing with the underperformers or the well performing asshole of a casual guild? Don't know what you were going for 😉

    • Consider says:

      Very good point on randomness. Theoretically, you could completely ignore hit/expertise/crit, and yet have a fight where – despite the one in a million odds – you land every hit, and every hit is a crit! If such a thing happened, bam, assuming you’re moderately decent, you’ld probably get a top parse because you would have been able to stack all your other stats higher. That said, there are those who consistently manage to pull top parses. Someone who regularly gets in the top 10-20 is better than someone who gets the top parse this one time for this one fight, but then gets a rank 200 one for another encounter.

      And, although I appreciate it, this certainly wasn’t my way of looking for thanks or any such thing. I just couldn’t believe the site when I saw it. I still can’t! I’ve played with many amazing people in game, and met others via EJ, but such a site takes a special kind of audacity I can hardly comprehend.

      I’ll do more than one guild-related article over time, I’m sure. I do have experience as an officer and raid leading, and obviously I’ve spent time in a top guild, so I do have plenty of topics of which I can (and will) delve into at various points, including the ones you mentioned.

  2. gravity says:

    Consider, another analogy to this is so many bloggers too fall into the trap of thinking “oh I can make money from WoW” and naively not understanding the economics of the internet. (I am absolutely not talking about you here, btw). So these noob bloggers will think, geez mmo-c makes money, worldofraids got sold, tankspot did some kind of deal with zam, maybe I could too. They then invest money (the people who make money from these noobs are the hosting companies).

    Maybe they try something genuinely creative, and good for them if so, and hit some serious traffic (like 50k+ hits a day)… but even then, the total asset value is unlikely to breach $15K.

    Your example is more an ego-trip than mine relating to the gold rush of the internet, but similar in the naivety of it.

    • disargeria says:

      Tankspot produces very valuable content. Compared to… “Gem Arp, press WW, spam HS, and use Slam procs. Make sure you stand behind the boss!”

      But hey, if someone feels that the technical expertise of a very good player is worth their money over digging through a free knowledge collection, more power to him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yea i too think it is ludicrous to think you need more than the many internet sources about this game to be good. Whats so hard about stacking armor penetration and hitting 3 buttons lolz.

  4. Zeran says:

    I honestly think that sitting and chatting with landsoul would be good for most warriors, I doubt that playing with him guiding you would be any better that translating (for lack of a better term) the Ej thread into English.

    That being said, more power to Landsoul, his target audience is obviously people with more money than brains (my cousin once got a job giving guitar hero lessons… :-/ ) and I think I’d prefer the college kid with questionable morality get the money.

  5. Roth says:

    That….is the most ridiculous thing Ive ever seen. Though I dont know if giving his website free advertising was a good idea either! =P

  6. Karesh says:

    Come now Consider Landsoul has asked you to become one of his instructors hasn’t he, you can tell us 🙂
    I find it rather amusing, creating a site that will offer one on one coaching for your class. I can see people paying for it but like what has been said dealing with the unexpected is what makes you a great player. Yeah you can stack Armor Pen press your three buttons but that won’t get you to the top you need to be able to have a good grasp of what can happen in the fight plus other good players (your fellow raiders) to help you out as well.
    Good luck to him but I rather look for knowledge and learn how to play my class the hard but free way, it help keeps my intrest in the game up and make me a better player.

  7. Pande says:

    First of all if you want to get any revenues from any business you have to make some investments. You have to make a plan, business plan, put some money for advertising and have the product or service ready to be served.

    ATM his website doesnt encourage me to take any actions – even more, I feel that if I would decide to pay for his services I will be screwed and wont learn anything.

    If he want to be paid for his “work” he should consider donations-type way of funding and keep his work open to public domain.

    • Bactide says:

      If he wants to get paid for his knowledge, he should consider not “working” in a domain which is decidedly based in the free, and open, communication of knowledge in a community-driven format. His idea of purchaseable in-game tutoring is contrary to how the WoW community has disseminated knowledge over the past 5+ years.

      What I’m saying is that it’s a very very poor area in which to attempt to be entrepreneurial. It doesn’t make very much sense from a business perspective, to me. I simply don’t understand where the impetus is for people to actually pay (beyond the rare exception) for this service.

  8. Roth says:

    Plus, what if you end up paying for a service from a guy whose personality you cant stand? Im not saying Landsoul is a bad person (Ive obviously never met him) but it still begs the question.

    “I just spent $100 to get tutored from this guy and I already cant stand him after 5 minutes!”

  9. Theldonn says:

    Since it is on topic with this post, I have some DK questions for you Consider:

    1. When you are Runic Power capped and you have runes available to use a strike/ability that will take you over the Runic Power cap (wasted Runic Power) do you cast Death Coil? Or do you use your Rune abilities (ie. using Scourge Strike when at 130/130 or 120/130).

    2. Do you let your diseases run their full duration or do you clip them to keep high uptime (assume no Glyph of Disease)?

    3. When using your abilities do you mash your keyboard? Press the key once when its available? Or hold down the key and release when the GCD is up?

    These are questions I’ve been dying to have answered. Thanks in advance.

    • blingen says:

      My name isn’t Consider, but to answer your questions anyways because the servers are down and I’ve given some thought to all these things previously:

      1) Scourge strike always trumps RP dumping. The sooner that you use your runes, the sooner they are available to be used again. If you shoot off 3 death coils, you are using 3 GCDs, and if you do that a 7-8 times throughout the course of the fight, you are losing at least two full scourge strikes. You may have time to get 1 off (you can rarely get 2 off in a row I find) so focus on finding time to squeeze in singles here and there. But always prioritize your strikes.

      2) You don’t want to wait for both your diseases to fall off usually because unless you have perfect timing you will end up losing DPS time. You CAN however only clip one of your diseases by alternating the order in which you apply them. So, if you do icy touch, then plague strike, if your rotation is tight, you should have unholy and frost runes coming up just as the diseases are about to tick off, and you should reapply them in the order plague strike, icy touch. When you do this, you will have allowed frost fever to have gone through its last tick while you only clipped plague strike by 1.

      3) Mashing all the time works but it can lead to fatigue if you’re not used to it. Watching your GCDs and mashing right before a new one is available works too, but it takes good timing and a reflexive familiarity with your rotation. Holding down the key only works if you can program key macros, ala Logitech G15 gaming keyboard, where holding the button down “spams” the command to the game faster than you could physically push the button consistently. So if you have the money to drop, that’s the way to go.

  10. The thing though is learning this yourself takes time that people are unwilling to take, it is much easier to buy gold then learn to make it, much easier to be told what to do, then understand what to do. Someone needs to start up a paid service to teach people to think.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If he is giving strangers his undivided attention and talking with them for one or more hours at a time over VoIP, why should he not be paid for his time?

    If the author is saying that he would do this for free instead and that charging for your time is immoral, why doesn’t he post contact information so that he might give out these free lessons and advice? He would get hundreds of people asking for help, and would probably have to spend hours every day working through a backlog of people seeking freebie advice.

    Landsoul has freely created both a spreadsheet and an up to date compendium of Fury Warrior knowledge. He does not charge for the work he did on these and offers them freely to the public. He is not being an ego-maniac who thinks he’s the best in the world or wants to be the best in the world. He wouldn’t offer these tools or information publicly to the rest of the community if so. The ironic thing is that other top warriors who equal or surpass him on world parses are probably using his spreadsheet to make gear decisions.

    • Consider says:

      How hostile!

      Like I said, he’s free to do as he wishes, of course, and people are free to pay him. I just don’t see why anyone would need to, and I don’t believe his expertise at the game is so extraordinary as to warrant people wanting to.

      I have a link to my contact information, if you actually looked up at the top ^^. And I already answer several questions and such each day. And I already wrote up a guide which, although not as lengthy as Landsoul’s own (which is needlessly long, if you ask me), equally useful for its relevant spec. There’s no hypocrisy in my post, as anyone familiar with me would know.

      There’s really no irony if other top warriors use his spreadsheet. Part of being the top is using all available resources. If they couldn’t manage without the spreadsheet, yes, then that might be a tad bit ironic, but I’m very confident when saying that people like Negiva or Kaywarrior would function just as well without it – it just saves them a bit of time and energy.

      Anyways, relax, and be happy!

    • Zibidideath says:

      Why does it say Anonymous and not “Landsoul” at the top of this post? Must be a bug in WordPress.

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