I want to try and get this down before work pulls me away. I was already removed from the initial thoughts by family related stuff so this won't be as raw as I wanted it.
In anything in life we have two separate states we approach problems from: 1) the outside looking in, whether before hand doing prep or after doing review and 2) in the thick of it.
With 1 we have the opportunity to be cold and analytically. Time is on our side and we can move at a leisurely pace without having to rush or make rash decisions.
2 on the hand puts us in a situation where stress and emotion begin to eat away at our careful planning. Suddenly we loose the ability to make informed and well thought out decisions and instead begin to act from either muscle memory or emotion.
This is why the military drills and drills and drills. Once stress clouds all rationality you will either act in a way you have trained your body to act or you will act in an unknown and possibly dangerous manner.
And yes I know I am taking a discussion of very serious real life activities and applying them to a "damn game" as the wife likes to say.
The thing is though this game draws us into it and asks us to invest our time and energy. If the game designers are competent then our investment will itself produce a sense of wanting as find certain goals to go after. This could be loot or other items or titles or achievements or simply a personal goal of concurring some situation. Once we have become emotionally invested it is once again up to the game designers to challenge us in a manner that makes the work we then put in have meaning in the face of failure and success. The more invested the more we tie ourselves to the idea of succeeding and the more we become stressed when success seems to be slipping away from us. You would have to be brand new to the game to have never heard stories of ear shattering screams of what can only be called ecstasy after a very hard fought victory.
And contrary to the cynically anecdotal evidence we get from old timers there are still screams of joy from even the small 10 man groups.
Anyhow. This all leads up to some thoughts I had while working on Healer Gold PG today. This is day one and really was supposed to be setup as an acclimatization day to gather data about areas of deficiency and provide a strong foundation for focusing efforts towards improvement.
See how cold and emotionless that sounds.
Contrast that with my desperate please, racing heart, and held breath during wave 10...the final wave standing between me and Gold.
Unedited and speaking honestly without the filters we place once emotion leaves I felt frustrated, I was angry, I wanted more mana, I wanted to slug Hamlet for being so fucking perfect and making this look effortless. I wanted to scream. My arms waved in the air and I issued forth muted growls and obscenities. Then I sank back in my chair fatigued from the effort involved.
And its this mind set that I wanted to capture but am now too far removed from. In the thick of it stress kicked in and as I viewed the quickly decreasing bars I panicked and began to cast spells wildly and without thought towards control and preservation. And as my mana dried up and I faltered just inches from my goal I watched as my hard worked literally burst into flames.
This was only day one. On top of that I'm new to healing and do not have years of experience and knowledge behind me. I have only just now begun to set into motion the training of my muscles and thoughts to act without my conscious input. I know this will take time and I know that I will need to examine the mistakes I made and either put in more mental effort or find some other source to correct for my mistakes (like Chomp not showing on raid bars, I created a weak aura and handled chomp better).
It takes time and with a bit of distance from the emotion of the trial I can see that my efforts show a large amount of promise. This is a source of personal growth for me as I once would have dwelled upon my deficiencies and not been as appreciative of my successes. Still I use the failures as a jumping off point to drive me forward with a heat and passion that invigorates me.
I will achieve Gold Healer. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.