As I often do, I logged in before work this morning in the hopes of getting a few XP for my reincarnating Completionist Mawry. There is only one LFM in the appropriate range: Taming the Flames. Not my favorite quest, but it is one that can be completed in my limited time budget.
There is trouble immediately. The non-English-speaking wizard is one of those uber types that believes the proper way to run a quest is to heroically do everything yourself while the rest of the party supports you on the rare occurance that you need any support.
And so our wizard makes Wrong Assumption #1: When you are good enough, it is all about you
He really is a good player. But he does not know the quest and takes the group off in the wrong direction. He is killing the enemies that are just going to respawn and charming the ones that we can actually kill. And did I mention that he is going the wrong direction? I point this out, but he does not understand and no one else is paying attention.
And so I make Wrong Assumption #2: People want to be told the right way to do stuff
I join the group of wrongness, and we eventually reach the (inevitable) dead end, run back through the respawns and the no-longer-charmeds and return to the quest beginning. Mana is down, and now the wizard is heading off in the other wrong direction. I try again to point out the correctness of my knowledge. I am on a time limit after all, and I may have gotten a little frantic.
Wrong Assumption #3: Using stronger words will convince people that you are correct
Yet off we go in the other wrong direction, killing things that are just going to respawn and need killing again. It is painful and there are deaths. We eventually reach the other (also inevitable) dead end. Questions are raised. One of the players curses and bails.
Wrong Assumption #4: When people are wrong, prove it to them and remind them you were right so they will believe you next time
At last, with no other choice remaining, the group heads off in the correct direction. Or so I think. There is a melee, and in the confusion, I find myself and a dead fighter as the only ones in the right place. The rogue curses and bails. I can’t find the leader or the wizard. There is a trappy gamut that has to be run to get the key. There is no one left with evasion, there is only me.
“Can you raise?”, I ask the leader who is also the cleric, “I have to run a trappy gamut and may need a raise on the other side”. The leader answers that he can. I potion and buff up, and off I go. I make it about 75% of the way and die. As time passes and I don’t get my raise, I realize that the leader has in fact left the quest, apparently to get more mana? As has the uber wizard.
And so the leader makes Wrong Assumption #5: If you don’t care about XP, no one else must either
And then, suddenly and without explanation, the wizard is dead next to me. “Alive” he types. “Alive me”. But I am really confused “Why is the wizard here? Now we have two people to raise”. “Alive me” he types over and over in that particularly annoying way that the super-uber do when they finally need you to do something but you do not instantly do it. The leader types something in Chinese, and certain things begin to clear up for me.
I have made Wrong Assumption #6: People who type in English and are not in a known Chinese guild cannot be Chinese
The wizard gets the raise, takes it in a fire trap and dies again. I get a raise, move to a safe area near the key and raise there. I have the key. A barbarian joins and now we are a group of six again. Things are looking up.
I buff and potion and run the trappy gamut backwards. I make it about 75% of the way and die again. I type in chat that someone needs to get the key, only to notice that the uber-wizard has typed something about a door, and there is a Dimension Door up that I could have used instead of needlessly dying in an out-of-the-way trappy place.
Wrong Assumption #7: Only jerky buttheads act uber-heroic and insist on winning the quest by themselves
This is unsettling. As the uber-wizard rescues my stone (awkward!) and the key, I reflect on the fact that from their point of view, I have been acting boorishly this whole time, even though I thought it was all them. It is humbling. As we clear our way back towards the west I resolve to be a bigger person, and am trying to figure out how to express that in party chat.
We start back towards the final fight. The barbarian, a fellow reincarnatee, and I are out in front, he clearly knows the way too. As we approach the last group of mobs, I type “WAIT” – I want the others to be able to participate too, no more unasked solo heroics for me – but he ignores me. “LOL you may not want to solo the end fight” I type, and as I am finishing the typing, he is attempting exactly that. And dies. And starts berating me for not healing him.
He has made Wrong Assumption #8: Any favored soul in range will heal because why else would they exist?
“I am not a healer” I explain, but this does not calm him and in fact has the opposite effect. I am no longer feeling sheepish about the revelation that I may have unintentionally been ruining the quest for others. Now I remember, really, it is all their fault. Theirs. Not mine. I am the good guy.
It is only as I am driving to work that I realize I have made Wrong Assumption #9 which is the worst one of all: Completing the quest is what matters
Having fun is what matters, even for reincarnating Completionists that need seventy-gazillion XP.
Fun. At all costs.