I Don’t Want Your Number

Hello. I’ve been all flowery and frivolous with my fun lists and whatnot recently. It’s time to get down to business, people.

There are all sorts of people who play World of Warcraft, there are all sorts of people who play ANY game, but there’s a definite “worst type” of person to play with. In fighting games like Street Fighter, it’s people with the “scrub mentality.”

Now, when the word scrub comes into play, a lot of people bristle because in Warcraft, it tends to mean the same as “casual,” at least when the latter is used as an insult. Inferior for whatever reason, whether it’s they raid the “wrong” level (“you’re not Mythic? Fucking casual.”), or they do something that’s not seen as direct betterment of their character (“you do pet battles? Fucking casual.”). In fighting game parlance, it means thus:

A Scrub is a player of a competitive video game who adamantly believes that his or her “house rules” should apply to everyone to promote his or her view of “fair play”. If a scrub sees a move or strategy he doesn’t like (or can’t beat), he bans it (if only in his own mind), and complains that anyone who uses it is cheap.

TV Tropes article on Scrub

The “scrub mentality” is one of not playing to win (as one would when playing a competitive game) but playing “fair” or “with honour,” whatever the hell that means. The thing is, an individual’s definition of “fair and honourable” can differ from someone else’s. You beat Mr Scrub with a lot of fireballs? You’re a fireball spammer and fireballs are cheap and you shouldn’t use them. You beat Mr Scrub after you throw them five times in a row? Ugh can’t you DO anything ELSE? Do you even know any moves or combos?

Instead of learning from their mistakes and growing and figuring out ways to counter these moves, the scrub will “ban” them. In the old days, this might mean switching off the machine and saying something like “well I’m not playing with some cheap arsehole like YOU” whereas in this modern age of online play, they may kick you out their lobbies or disconnect from you, usually with accompanying hate mail. There’s a lovely Twitter account dedicated to documenting things like this.

It’s people setting rules that they believe others HAVE to live by, but they can’t see that these regulations of theirs ultimately handicaps THEM as well. How do you get better if you can’t overcome something that beats you? Answer: you can’t, idiot.

I strongly dislike E. Honda in Street Fighter 4. Nine times out of ten, when my boyfriend plays as him, I lose, and this is despite the fact my main characters Gouken and Poison have distinct and numerous advantages over El Sumo. Now, I could say to him “okay you can’t pick him any more, he’s banned” and the boyfriend has even said “I can just not play as him if you like?” but I’ve strongly refused. Why? Because how will I improve if I just ban everything I lose against? Shit, I’ve even ENCOURAGED him to play as that sumo bastard because I want to learn TO beat him, because in the long run it WILL make me a better player.

If you don’t face your fear, you can’t overcome it.

What’s this got to do with World of Warcraft?

Well, there’s a worst type of player in WoW too. It’s not a scrub though, it’s the “Just LFR” person.

“hey what are the tactics for this fight?”

These are the sort of people who spam GOGOGO when a tank takes more than 10 seconds to pull a boss. They’re the sort of people who stand in the fire and complain that it’s too hot. They trash talk anyone below them on the Skada while also trash talking those ABOVE them too (“fucking casuals” and “fucking no-lifers” respectively, of course). They either don’t know the tactics (because it’s just LFR) or don’t respect them (because it’s JUST LFR DAMMIT) and then get surprised when they fall in the hole on Elegon, or Durumu’s maze obliterates them, or the Doomfire on Archimonde incinerates them.

When there’s a wipe, they spend all their time bashing everyone else for failing while not recognizing their own failures. They demand resurrection despite the fact that when they release spirit, they appear RIGHT THERE (particularly glaring on Iron Reaver or Archimonde, and yes I’ve seen a LOT of LFR groups wipe on the 2nd boss). They criticize the healers for not healing them despite them standing in crap, the other DPS for not pressing buttons hard enough even though their own DPS is decidedly mediocre, and the tanks for letting a newly spawned enemy kill them despite them not giving the tank any time to establish any sort of threat level on it.

They are not the try-hards of WoW. The TRUE try-hards are good players, whether they are the “filthy casuals” that actually respect LFR mechanics that can and WILL kill you, or the people who regularly raid above LFR level that still respect the mechanics because they just want to get the fights over and done with for their Valor Points. They are good players BECAUSE they try their hardest.

These people are the do-nothings. The don’t-try-at-alls. They are the problem, for which I see no solution. They are a plague that I fully believe are driving a lot of people from this game, because who wants to play a game with a bunch of arseholes? They may be a minority of people, but they are the ones that shout the loudest because NOBODY seems to want to tell them to shut the fuck up and start playing the game properly. When all you see is a wall of abusive text from whatever group you’re in and NOBODY telling them to stop? It’s disheartening, and makes the game, one that’s meant to be a social multiplayer experience, seem like the most toxic place to be.



Most scrubs criticize a “play to win” attitude, because it’s supposedly “at the expense of fun” for some nebulous reason. But what if you derive fun FROM winning? The game itself is great, but winning makes it taste sweeter.

Play WoW like you want to win. Treat each encounter, no matter the difficulty, no matter the place, with respect, even if that means you get flasks and food for dungeon runs and establish everyone knows the tactics for fights. I’m sure you don’t queue for LFR because you WANT to wipe over and over again? Learn the fights, know how the bosses work. Help others who may not know.

Instead of criticizing everyone else, look at yourself. Instead of having a hissy fit when people throw fireballs at you, learn what your character can do to overcome them. Instead of being a whirlwind of toxicity and abuse, be level-headed and treat people the way you want to be treated. Call out people who are acting like blowholes, instead of ignoring it. Trust me, you’ll make someone’s experience better for doing it.

Be the change you want to see in the game.



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