Friday, November 16, 2007

Managing Expectations

There are certain things in life that I’ve kind of “fallen behind” on.  TV and movies are probably one of those big things.  I watch about 30 minutes of network television per week.  (I love me The Office, even if last night’s episode wasn’t the greatest, IMO.)  We have Netflix, so I usually keep up on my movies that way, and I’ve caught up through season 2 of Lost that way as well.  The last movie I saw in the theatres was Ratatouille at the dollar theatre with one of the kids as a treat, but only a few weeks before it was actually released on DVD.  So, because of that, I hear a lot of opinions about these things way before I actually see them.  I’ll give you a few examples:

At the beginning of the year when I heard that Transformers was going to be made into a movie, I was really excited about it.  It was almost to the point that I was going to go out and see it, even if I had to go alone.  (Which I’ve never had a problem with… you’re just sitting there in the dark anyway.  Why do we always have to go with somebody?)  Somehow, it never really got on my list of things to do for the weekend, so I made sure it was on my Netflix list.  I’ll admit that I had a lot of pre-conceived expectations after having years of playing with the toys, watching the TV shows, and watching the cartoon movie in the theatre as well.  (Did I just date myself?  Lol.)  One of my co-workers was pretty excited about the DVD release as well, so that raised my expectations even further.  When I actually saw the movie, I was mostly very disappointed.  I won’t go into all of the details of why I was, but I’m sure it boils down to the fact that I had expected something akin to what I knew as a child, and it really wasn’t that.

Before watching season 1 and 2 of Lost all on DVD, another co-worker had warned me that the middle of Season 2 was quite boring and slow.  I’m sure I stored that in my mind somewhere and probably didn’t expect much.  As I watched Season 2 of Lost, I really didn’t find any dull parts.  Sure there were things that happened that I thought might be out of character, but living under the stress that they were, I supposed it could be justified.

My last example, that I’m sure most of you will disagree with: Meet the Parents.  This one I actually saw in the theatres.  I know it’s been a couple of years.  Everyone played it up as that it seemed it would be the funniest movie ever made.  So, when I went and saw it, I thought it was barely entertaining.  I don’t think I even laughed out loud.  It had some humorous parts, yes, but I wouldn’t rate it with some of the funniest movies I’ve seen.  Basically, my expectations were set way too high.

Now, those that have gotten this far are asking themselves, “What is he talking about?”, “Why am I still reading?”, and “How does this relate to WoW at all?”  It’s kind of one of those real life lessons we can learn from WoW, but it’s very important to manage expectations.  With 2.3 out, let’s say you want to go clear Zul’Aman really quick.  The timed part gives you 20 minutes to kill each boss, and there’s 6 bosses, so you should be able to do it in about 2 hours, right?  Never mind that your whole party is in Outland blues and greens.  You should be able to take it, right?  Umm… no.  It takes time to learn each new boss.  Sometimes you may have to gear yourself up through badges, pvp or other raids (Kara, then Gruul’s and Mag perhaps).

We had a recent recruit that said that he had stumbled on some of the Black Temple quests if we wanted to help him out on those real quick.  (Or something to that effect.)  I had a chuckle since we’re pretty much nowhere near that at present.  He didn’t know, so it’s not his fault, but if he had expected to get that out of his quest log in the next few weeks, he was going to be disappointed.

So, as a member of any raid, and especially leadership, you need to make sure that expectations are set.  You’re not going to steam-roll over most bosses the first time you try them.  Set your expectations realistically.  Have a game plan for when you exceed your expectations.  To me, this is a much better feeling than thinking you’re going to clear Karazhan in one night because other guildies did it, and then you can barely make it past the Opera Event in 4 hours.  It might be better to say that you’re going to spend 3 hours in Karazhan, and this is the order you’re going to take bosses.  If at 2 hours and 59 minutes, you had the boss down to 1% when you wiped, maybe you take one more try (if everyone can commit to another 15 minutes or however long it will take).

What other things do you do to help manage expectations in groups in Wow?  (And feel free to bash me about Meet the Parents, if you must.)

1 comment:

Jess Melton said...

I am in the same age catagory as you are and know what you mean about expectations. Currently Hollywood is taking all of my childhood memories and reinventing them for a new generation while at the same time hoping that I will come along for the trip. The most obvious examples of this are X-men, Spiderman, The Hulk, Transformers, and whatever new item they are going to throw out.

I learned a while ago to divorce myself of expectations and just accept things for what they are and not what I want them to be. My best example of this is Star Wars. I just accepted the new trilogy for what it was and didn't expect it to make me feel the way the original did and because I did that I really liked the new trilogy. Granted I did not like it as much as the original, but then again I am in my 30's and not single digits anymore.

The other thing is if I make a decision to see a movie I usually don't watch any previews or read reviews. In today's media if you watch all the trailers for a movie you usually see all the best parts. As far as meet the parents go, it was a funny movie, but for me not re-watchable funny. The only movies comidies that I rewatch are Christmas Vacation and Groundhog day, all the others are once every few years.

Great blog, enjoy reading it, keep up the good work!