Owning up.


One of Gevlons sentiments in a post about one of my posts  Brick Wall  – (  I think I’ve explained my thought processes in the orginal post Gamers or Raiders   and I’ve talked about wiping as learning experiences before)  

But Gevlon, in discussion about giving feedback  talked about a players reluctance to take ownership of an error, and that they will lie, rather then admit to making a mistake.

This is going to sound quite odd, but I am happy to admit I screwed up, firstly because that means I beat the person who tries to tell me I screwed up; thus depriving them  of superior satisfaction.  It takes the wind out of their sails**, and  secondly when I screw up now – I deserve to be ‘punished’ ( to a point) Yes, I  know I screwed up, and that the people who matter will probably know I screwed up, but I would rather take ownership of the issue because I think the embarrassment of you admitting an error is a lot less then   being called on it.

To stop being called out on things like missing interrupts we have macros shooting off all the time ” I kicked you”  “Misdirect on ”  I set a Shackle macro  up in the days of Kara so they would know I was casting what I was supposed to.  They are pretty much people trying to cover their butts.   “See my macro went off… I did cast it…”

Ideally you don’t want people to make mistakes.  It’s going to happen to the best of people,  If more people were honest  – and then fixed the issues  then there would be less pointless wipes, so the campaign of ” Own up – and Suck it up” Shall commence ( <– kidding) I do think that if you skip hiding behind your avatar hoping you don’t get busted will make you a better player, and put you in better light with your guildys.

I do have a funny story about the lack of ownership though.  last night while attempting TOC  we got to the faction champions and my game started lagging.  My fear didn’t work,  I couldn’t get my dots up on the skull.

At the time I was thinking  –  Awe crap – whats my PC doing?  Is my Virus Checker running? Is Windows doing an update?  Is  it a graphics problem and my Pc is going to die on me.  Is it my ISP  ect.

The funny thing is that 24 other people were thinking the same thing,  interrupts weren’t happening,  people weren’t being healed,  CC was breaking, and they were all too afraid to talk about their problem.

Until someone said eventually almost 40 odd  sec’s into this terrible lag.  “Uh is anyone else lagging really badly”  you should have heard the sighs of relief, and the ” I thought it was just me”  as people who were so worried that it was their own individual performance that no one was game enough to admit to having a problem.

I don’t expect people to keep the guild updated on the health of their PC,  but if the 1st person who noticed that their stun or heal or spell didn’t work said “I’m lagging” and it was just them, and said so,   it alerts the raid that eg the tank healer might not getting enough heals right now, that a CC target was going to be loose ect.

Should have I owned up  ?  Nothing I was doing was particularly important on that fight,  and to be honest I thought it was my Pc being sick again, not an instance problem so I was being slightly hypercritical hiding behind my avatar hopeing it would fix itself. If I died in a fire due to lag, I still would have said  I lagged, and it would have been true,  ( though it’s never happened due to lag)   When I died to the rocket on Mim, and  got hit by a Shadow Crash on General,  I DID IT – IT WAS MY FAULT. I did  find it  amusing how long it took for people to admit a problem, when it was raid wide because they didn’t want to admit it.

** not everyone has that tone.  My belief  is delivery of feedback is just as important as what you say.

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9 Responses to “Owning up.”


  1. 1 Cassandri September 3, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Being unafraid to own up to your mistakes is a sign of maturity in my eyes. Or maybe it’s easier for us girls? Certainly never bothered me in all the time I’ve been playing this game. I know I’m not perfect, therefore I will make mistakes.

    Oceanic guilds in ToC last night were completely messed up. I don’t know what the problem was but fortunately most of the people in my raid recognised it as being much much worse than any normal PC problem.

    And, yes, someone will always notice when you make a mistake even if they don’t say anything 🙂

    • 2 Cassandri September 3, 2009 at 6:03 am

      I just followed the link to read the Brick Wall post at the Greedy Goblin (a site I think all WoW bloggers read, although I’m not quite sure why).

      While he certainly succeeded in stirring up a bunch of reader comments the actual argument of his article was so oversimplified it actually offended me as a thinking human being.

  2. 3 Silk September 3, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Yeah not sure what that weird lag spike was – one of our tanks died because he had something like 7 stacks of the impale debuff? I do remember my raid frames clearly said he was dead for 40 secs…

    I think part of the solution to the “owning up” problem is for the officers / raid leaders to be the first to own up. I usually own up (sometimes with a string of obsenities…) but some of my fellow officers are *very* reluctant to admit their mistakes. Its always lag or someone else’s fault or we need to do things differently so its easier for them personally.

    Of course I tend to out people as well – everyone makes mistakes its the people who are trying to convince they don’t that are the biggest worry.

  3. 4 Thomas Jespersen September 3, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I am not afraid of saying I am lagging. Infact since I am healer its good to do so in order that the other healers can keep an eye on my healing assignments if I got some.

    My problem is that I am not good to accept getting critizized. I tend to be upset, and I need to work on my temper in such situations.

  4. 5 Tamarind September 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I am a big owner-upper but then I don’t raid so I imagine owning up to failure in a group of 10-25 is much worse than owning up to failure in a group of 5, one of whom is M’Pocket Tank and is honour bound to forgive me 😉

    Also I’m generally much nicer to people who own up to mistakes in PUGs – “ooops pulled aggro, sorry” or whatever, in which case I’m always likely to reply “no worries, happens to everyone” and forget about it. But if someone blatantly causes a wipe and doesn’t ‘fess up, I find myself getting twitchy. It’s not that I have a pathological need to point the finger of blame at other (at lesat I hope not), it’s just it’s nice to know that other players have a modicum of self-awareness and aren’t going to do the same thing again.

    One of the nice things about running with the guild is that it fosters a nice atmosphere of people feeling comfortable enough to admit when things have gone wrong. Of course, being English, it soon degenerates in an orgy of “oh no, itwas my fault”ing but that’s better than the opposite.

    We had a particularly acrimonous AN run not so long ago, though. On the last boss, we wiped because the shaman stood on spikes and I misjudged my healing, thinking I could get a cast off, when I couldn’t – so I got spiked and died, and then, of course, the group wiped. I was just about to say “sorry guys” when the shaman started laying into my about standing on the spikes in this incredibly patronising way. I tried to explain what I was familiar with the principle and I know what I’d done wrong, and I’d try not to do it again. But he just wouldn’t drop it and then I got annoyed and pointed out that I wouldn’t have died if I hadn’t been trying to heal him for having stood on a spike. Ultimately it was still my fault for misjudging it but he just wouldn’t admit that he ever ever ever in a million years stood on spikes.

    So on the next fight I didn’t heal him at all and he got … yes …. killed by spikes. It was one of those “cut your nose off to spite your face” victories, and I felt really bad for it afterwards.

    Sorry, epic comment is epic.

  5. 6 Shy September 4, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Being able to own up to your mistakes, and genuinly discuss on how to improve requires a lot of trust on behalf of all parties concerned.

    Very few guilds reach that level of trust I think, since very few raiding guilds stay together long enough to build up this trust.

    What you will find mostly are the business like guilds where they ‘point out’ mistakes to others.

    Or you have indeed the ones that keep banging their heads into the wall. Social enough to not wanting to be the baddy and open the discussion, but not enough established trust yet to actually discuss progression the way you seem to need it.

    But yeah…I couldn’t work with the butting head against the wall technique.

    Tam: good on you, don’t feel guilty. Some people just don’t understand until they get hit in the face with it.

  6. 7 AShadowPriest September 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Raiders taking ownership of their mistakes is one of the things I look for in a guild. It’s impossible to improve if your players are too afraid to even hint that they might have caused a wipe, much less begin talking about *why* it happened.

    Part of that is the raid leader and GM’s responsibility to foster an atmosphere of openness during raids, where people are unafraid of talking about their mistakes and nobody gets heated in the process. This can happen through policy (guild rule: no talking after a wipe unless you’re an officer or a raid leader), or personality, if the RL or GM is just charismatic enough. It’s also the player’s responsibility to have to maturity to understand that wipes are really not the end of the world, even paying repair bills isn’t the end of the world, and anyone that doesn’t understand that needs to take a step back for a second.

    All that being said however, we all, from time to time, get very invested in whatever encounter is being attempted, and I’m sure 90% of the WoW raider population has lost their temper to some stupid wipe. 🙂 It just happens.

  7. 8 yunk September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    After a wipe we look at the death log, or anyone who noticed anything that went wrong speaks up, so that we can do better next try. Without that analysis you’re just banging your head against a wall not learning.

    As a healer I especially say something if I’m lagging, because I’ll need the other healers to watch my tank for me. Anyone assigned to anything important should speak up about lag immediately.

    You see people at work doing the same thing, refusing to speak up, as if they are fooling anybody. After a very short while most of us learn that the best policy is to speak up when it’s your screwup, it shows you know what happened and you learn from it. Because you can guarantee at least a few others know it was you, and if you don’t then you only look dishonest.

  8. 9 theerivs September 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    We all make mistakes, Death happens in this game, it’s whether not we learn from those mistakes makes us better gamers, and people in general.


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