“God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s one thing to read stories on the internether about those awesome pugs or raids that report right from the beginning up until the end. Somewhere along the way, there is usually one or two individuals who disconnect, but are needlessly replaced by people on standby. Sure, life goes on, and the last guy drops that awesome purple that lands right into the author’s lap, or maybe the tank in his or her group. Fun is had, lessons are learned, and more hits are added to his blog to satisfy the daily traffic fix.
Things are a little bit different when you’re the one lagging out.
You’re the one who logs back on to discover your spot has been taken, because nobody knows where the hell you went. You’re the one who’s often accused of purposely disconnecting after a bad pull because you have no patience to put up with a subpar group, or because the pace does not fit your needs for farming badges. You’re the one who doesn’t happen to be online when the Tier gear drops from curator, and you’re the only individual left in your class or group of classes who can make use of it.
But hey, you can’t control it. It’s not your fault. You can’t simply L2Cable or L2DSL, or even L2America.
An hour before this post was scheduled to be published, I happened to read gnomeageddon’s thoughts regarding his own lag experiences due to being an Aussie. I feel for ya, my gnomish friend. But at least you get to stay online. I get shut out for long periods of time. And for those out there who aren’t satisfied with their own local internet service, there are a few bits of information and advice that hopefully you will find quite helpful.
1. It’s not your fault you’re so damn laggy.
Circumstances that lead to your connection status are beyond your control. You can’t simply move closer to the server that you’re on, nor can some people afford to subscribe to top-end internet service. If it happens, it happens, and you shouldn’t kick yourself for it. Having a negative attitude towards your connection will only hurt yourself in the long run.
2. Likewise, your mistakes are not always because of lag.
Continuing from point number 1, your attitude towards your lag can possibly lead to excuses regarding lag. Didn’t get the heal off on time? Don’t blame your lag. Blame yourself for not topping off your tank. Lag spike caused you to peel aggro? Your fault for not throttling your threat properly and afkcasting. Didn’t move away from the boss’s AoE attack because you heard the vent warning too late? Your fault for not reading the chat text yourself or not taking responsibility to download Deadly Boss Mods for yourself. There’s just so much more that I can list, but the point is, you have to adjust your playstyle to suit your lag conditions, not be dictated by it.
3. Don’t take it personally if you get replaced after a lag-out.
Again, it’s not your fault for your lag, nor is your lag a measure of your skill or lack thereof. Simply put, if you get replaced during a badge run, or raid, it’s for the good of the group. They don’t want to spend a long time waiting for you to log back on, especially when they are not aware of the nature of your lag. For all they know, you could be down for a period of time. Some groups are nice enough to wait an arbitrary amount of time before you get removed from the group, but others follow the philosophy that badge runs are meant to be done smoothly with no interruptions.
Face it, you form a badge run group to clear as fast as possible, and if you were on the other side of the situation, you would probably feel the same way. It’s not about the lagout, but just the inconvenience of time that drains from the rest of the group compared to the inconvenience of connecion that drains from the individual who lags out. To use larisa’s analogy, the mana drained from you for getting kicked out is MUCH less than the collective mana drained from the rest of the group when you disconnect.
4. Know thy lag, and cope accordingly.
The enemy is never your lag, but yourself, and how you deal with your issues. I’ve been in plenty of Kara runs with my guild where I disconnect during trash, or more inconveniently, during a boss fight. Never a great moment for me personally. I’ll spend a minute or two cursing while trying to plug and unplug my modem with fervor before accepting the fact that it will take some time before I get back up. Fully knowing that my service will simply disconnect me for upwards of an hour, I would rather do something else constructive than wait for the service to be restored.
By lagging out, the deed has been done, and lagging out repeatedly after getting back my reconnect will only hurt the raid. So last night, when I d/c’ed during Opera, I turned off my monitor and hit up the treadmill in my basement. I ran out my disappointment, and when I logged back in 40 minutes later, I felt refreshed. They had already cleared Kara up to curator, and called the raid for Sunday; they were quite understanding of me, having disconnected numerous times before. The Raid Leader even awarded me extra DKP for logging in after the raid finished and publicly holding myself responsible for the lagout and surrendering my spot to those already in standby.
Towards the end of last night, I realized that lag is a natural part of the game, and is as natural as weather is in real life sports. You don’t blame the wind for pushing your football outside the field goal posts, but learn to kick harder. It’s when the lag gets bad that I should push myself even more to become a better player. And it pays off, too. I disconnected while at the top of the raid DPS (leading by a comfortable 2% higher than 2nd place might I add), and I had the presence of mind to pick up and kite the add that killed the priest who couldn’t get off a re-shackle in time. At the end of the night, I missed out on 2 bosses, but never felt so satisfied of my own performance.
Have a good weekend, my fellow laggots: may your disconnects be swift and your tantrums short.