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Makai White Mage

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

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  • 10

There can't be a top half without a bottom.

Public
Have you ever heard this before? I did yesterday from the coach at my son's soccer practice. It's all good being the best, but without people learning or being average at something, you would have no one to compare yourself too. Also there would be nothing to work your way towards if you are always the best at something.

Some would say work towards perfection and that IS a valid goal for some. But think about it, if you had a choice in being in the top half of something or the bottom half, which would you choose?

I would bet dollars to doughnuts many would say; "the TOP half you Blonde Ditz! Why wouldn't you want to be the BEST at something, be elite, super good, more awesome than others?"

Yes, I can certainly see the allure of that, impressing people with skill and talent,, showing off your success to others. Bragging and flaunting it. But hear me out, is it TRULY that great? What's wrong with the other half?

The lesser half, the average, the less talented, the beginners. Unless you are an extreme prodigy at something, everyone starts at the bottom when taking up an activity and advances at their own pace depending on many factors. Some excel, some don't. IS it bad if you.....don't? Is it bad if you stay average and never get really good?

The answer is, it really depends on the person, really!

Some want to master whatever they do, but not everyone. Some are perfectly happy being mediocre, average, or just learning the basics of something to have some knowledge of it. Some have a limit to what they want to achieve, be 'good enough for THEIR satisfaction; and THIS is the key, knowing what level makes YOU happy.

This is a huge distinction. The level of happiness an overachiever wants is totally different than the level of happiness someone who just wants to learn how to do something competently. There is nothing wrong with this, achieving limited success. Sometimes someone just wants to learn the basics for whatever reason. Going back to soccer, think of learning how to properly handle and kick the ball, but having no interest in becoming a competitive player.

In doing this, being just 'good enough', a bottom half forms; a group who is not that great at something. Some hate being there, some don't mind being there. In fact, some are perfectly content being there. And because of them, the people that get good have something to base their achievements, to compare themselves too.

Look at FF14, the PVP rankings, the FFlogs, the game achievements. you have the best players and then everyone else lower. Do you feel bad if you are in the lower rankings, the lower half of achievements? Don't be, because I am going to let you in on a little secret. Many of the people who are the best at something, who are in those top ranks, brackets, etc. are really NOT having much fun achieving them.

Being the best at something, obtaining EVERY goal, seeing their name at the top of the lists take soooo much effort, soooo much of their time, plus causes soooo much stress, that it all just ends up becoming a chore for them. They don't take any pride in it; it is just one more thing to check off a 'list' then move on to the next thing to perfect. Being perfect becomes such an obsession, accomplishment loses all meaning other than being a physical and mental 'chore' to them. Now tell me, does that sound like.....fun?


Ok, I am going to give you a real world example of this.

Back when I was single in the DC area, I did ballroom dancing and met many many different people with many different levels of skill. One group that really stood out were the Asian dancers. They tended to, more often than not, be very good dancers. But here is the thing; to anyone observing them, they were trying so hard to be technically perfect in their dancing, were so intense in their technique and practice; that they really did NOT look like they were having very much fun dancing.

People who danced with them all tended to say the same thing, they were so critical, so focused on doing all the steps and routines perfectly. Sure they were some of the best ones out there on the dance floor, but there was no JOY on their faces compared to others who were good. There was no love of the dance, no passion or joy; they just wanted the accomplishment for mastering the activity. Now I am sure not ALL of the Asian dancers thought this way, but a good many DID. Honestly, it kind of became a trope among the people I knew in the dance community. (And yes, some of the Asian dancers I knew admitted this. ;-) )

See, compared to people who are really, REALLY good at something; people who are more average, have lesser talent, tend to be more mellow, more laid back at the activity they do. Sure they probably want to improve at doing it, but THIS is the thing I probably wrote too much to get to. LOL

When someone in the lower half achieves something, gets better at something; it means so much MORE to them than the ones in the upper half. Don't believe me? Think about it.

Ok, FF14 again. Take something hard like say, a new EX primal fight. Super skilled, high parser raider goes in to do it. Takes 2 hours to clear it, checks it off his 'list' of EX clears. No big deal, one of many.

Casual sprout still new to the game decides to try the same EX. Never did hard stuff in the game. REALLY struggles, takes a long, long time but FINALLY clears it. HOW do you think he feels about that accomplishment? I would bet a LOT more elated and happy than the skilled one. This was an average player who did something way outside his comfort zone.

It's kind of one of the sad things about being TOO good at something. The better at it you are, the less it means to you because being good becomes so routine. You lose the elation for achievements, things become so commonplace to you that are rare to the people in the bottom half. It no longer is.....fun, just work to maintain your perfection, your place at the top of whatever.

Now, people might think me writing this is weird since I have done all those hard things in the game, so I am kind of one of the upper half, right? Not really.

I am still FIRMLY in the bottom half of players in the game. My parsing is shit, I die a LOT in raiding prog, it takes me a loooooong time to clear a new primal. But you know what? Without my poor parsing, those high people would have nothing to compare themselves too. They can't be high without me being low. And SURE I die a lot in prog, but THAT is how I learn, by the mistakes I do, NOT by reading or viewing a guide. Eventually I work it out and get good enough to get my clears, sometimes even WITHOUT dying during the run! ;-)

And yes it tends to take me a long time to clear something compared to good players, but let me tell you; when I DO do it, I guarantee you I am absolutely THRILLED with my accomplishment in doing it. It means something to me.

When I cleared BA back in the day, a dungeon so hard to get access to, so hard to go through, the feeling and joy I got from doing something like that was off the charts! Hell, just read my blog on the clear and you can see it in my writing and in the comments.

https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/character/16649137/blog/4059845/

For a top half leet player, it was just another check mark on their FF14 list. To a bottom half casual like me, it was a tremendous accomplishment.

So don't feel bad if you are considered to be in the bottom half. you just might be having WAY more fun than those that are above you who have turned their 'fun' into work to stay the best. ;-)
Comments (10)

Maya Garhael

Midgardsormr [Aether]

What a candid post. True to any skill that takes time and dedication to develop, one's goals should come from self-reflection and self-realization. :3

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

Thank you Maya. Yes, I thought it was an interesting topic and one I never really thought of.

It's kind of funny I posted this when the new Ultimate came out. Speaking of 'top' , think about all of those high end players torturing themselves trying to be the 'first' to get their clear and achievement. You think they think it's 'fun'?

Eh, maybe, some people love punishment. LOL

Elril Moonweaver

Phoenix [Light]

I don't consider myself a good Red Mage player. I actually consider myself terrible at every job I decide to main RDM, GNB, SGE, you name it I always do something that labels me as bad. Like forgetting... yet again to put the GNB dot up, or failing to understand what one of my SGE spells does.

Elril Moonweaver

Phoenix [Light]

That said I do find joy when I manage to do something outside of my comfort zone. Rezzing 30 players in the 6.1 Alliance raid and being top on the enmity list in a trial as RDM, using Superbolide at just the right time as GNB or saving a the group from a wipe as a barrier healer with SGE is so much more rewarding for me as these are little victories that feel so good :D

Bear Ironfist

Faerie [Aether]

That title *Snickers in gay*

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

BEAR!!!! God, I knew SOMEONE would think 'sexual innuendo' with that title, and of course it's you. ;-)

Yeah Elril, I am the same way. I suck badly with most of my jobs too. Only WHM and Bard do I consider myself decent.

Even Dancer, who I play a lot of because of the ease of the job, I do pretty badly at. Hell, half the time I forget to use dance partner on someone.....WHOOPS! ;p

Oh, and parsing DPS jobs, almost ALWAYS the bottom DPS. Sometimes even TANKS beat me DPSing! (cry!)

Elril Moonweaver

Phoenix [Light]

Oh... I even forget I HAVE the dance partner spell when I enter lvl 60+ content., that's how much thought I put into playing the Dancer. I've been called out several times for forgetting it :| And the part about doing less DPS than the tank... uuuuh.. nope! I don't know how that feels like at all ^.^

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

HA! Glad I am not alone in that!

But yeah, since Dance partner is a 60+ skill, you do lower stuff, such a 50 ex's, you forget about it since it is not used, then forget you NEED to do it when going back to higher level stuff. ;-)

Oh, speaking of DPS parsing. One time in one of my statics, I was the HIGHEST parser in a fight as a dancer. I said WTF, that CAN'T be right! Turns out that I got that percentage by staying alive while all the good people died, which screwed up their parsing. LOL

Leonie Hawke

Faerie [Aether]

Good read Anna yus yus, I cut the harder content out long ago because I was always afraid of the elitist group of people along the way. The people whom treat playing the game as a job, not an option. Big thing in wow

The worst realization came last few expansions with raids and 24 man raids that this elitist ideal sticks around even in “easier” content. To the point where sometimes they seem to good to do dungeons even and treat it like it’s not real content.

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

Wow, finally posting again woman! LOL Did not know you still looked at the Lodestone anymore.

You know it's funny Leonie you said that about Elite players. Because of the discord I joined, I have been able to do lots of the hard FF14 stuff. This group has many REALLY good players, Perfect Legends, pink parsers, etc. and yet, they let me, ditzy Annabel who can't parse for shit, join their groups and statics, and are very tolerant and helpful. So not all are bad, but yeah, some REALLY are.
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