Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chaotic ventrilo in Paragon raids

I've understood that Scandinavian people often are considered to be somewhat introvert. We may be talented for organization and efficiency, but when it comes to socializing we fail. We're shy, if you put it nicely, plain silent and even boring if you're more blunt.

Is it true or just prejudices? Well, I guess there was a grind of truth in it historically. On the other hand, the national borders and special features seem to fade away these days, not the least thanks to the modern global life style, where we take for granted that we interact with people from all over the world on the daily basis, in MMO:s and otherwise.

Some people don't like to blend up with other nationalities though. And apparently Paragon, the guild which in the moment I'm writing this is closest to grab the world-first kill of the heroic Lich King, is one of those.

Paragon inerview
In the latest issue of the Swedish WoW Magazine Level, they have a very well timed interview with one of their officers, Lazeil, who tells a bit more about the guild and how they're raiding. I didn't know a thing about them, so it was quite an interesting read. What especially brought my attention was the fact that this guild is entirely Finnish. But this doesn't mean that the raids are silent, on the contrary. I'm quoting Lazeil:

"We have chaos. Complete chaos. If someone wants to say something you plainly have to shout louder than anyone else. My sound input is a bit higher than the one everyone else, because if I'm leading the raid I must make myself heard somehow, so I normally shout a lot. There's so much noise, people shouting out what's happening, who's making an error, but somehow it works for us. New members are always wondering what the heck we're doing, but we love it. I remember when we were raiding Algalon and I was at home with my parents. I screamed so loud that they came to me and slammed the door. It's as one of our new members said: "You don't GET the chance to speak at the vent of Paragon - you TAKE it".
To be honest it wasn't quite the image I would have of our neighbors in the east. On the other hand they DO live up some other expectations. A high consumption of alcohol is a part of the Finnish raiding culture, according to Lazeil.

I'm somewhat surprised I must admit. Like the interviewer, I would rather have expected a guild of this caliber to have a military discipline in the vent channel, where only the raid leader and a couple of assistants were allowed to talk. And they're Finns! They're not supposed to be talkative. In our guild we have only one Finn and I still don't know how his voice sounds.

A ventrilo culture
I guess that in every guild a ventrilo culture will develop naturally over time, regardless of nationality or how far progressed the guild is. Our guild is multinational and I suppose somewhere on the upper part on the raiding scale. We're definitely not any elite guild, but we take our raiding seriously. And our vent is often so silent that it happens that I start worrying that vent has stopped working for me. I have to whisper a fellow raider just to make sure: "Am I missing something on vent right now, or is it just silent?".

Sure, we do get assignments, we do coordinate stuff and we are allowed or even encouraged to speak up in appropriate times, providing some entertainment during corpse runs. But most of the time people don't say anything more than necessary, and to be honest I find it peaceful and even necessary for me to keep my concentration. The kind of chaos that Paragon has would have a seriously bad impact on my ability to perform. But to each one his own.

Yesterday night we finally got Putricide down, after some weeks of frustration. I honestly think we would have gotten him earlier, if it hadn't been for the lag feast we've been suffering from for a while. Anyhow, it was a huge relief for everyone, and of course there were some happy cries at vent, but far from deafening.

And I couldn't help wondering how it sounded when Paragon got their first kill of him, over a month earlier. If their normal state of vent is chaos, what is it like in the moments of triumph? Tinnitus warning I suppose. They've definitely got another vent culture. Not because of their origins but because they're just a different kind of guild.


spinksville said...

"And they're Finns! They're not supposed to be talkative."

Haha. We have one Finn in our raid and he never stops talking :)

Anonymous said...

Finnish? When did he start? :P

Only scandinavian joke i know btw :P

On topic now, it depends on the fight tbh, if its Marrowgar theres talk of shelfing (just dont ask!) marriages, sex lives etc When Celestra, Blossom and myself get laughing theres not much else gets said :P there are times ive sat and cried with laughter down vent and the RL /w me to log out of it :P

Thing is, Teamspeak/vent is such an essential part of raiding and socialising within the guild structure. Even when im not playing wow, im sometimes logged in to vent chatting about everything.

Yes i can fully understand Paragon'd vent style, proves they arent robots.

Cacknoob (The Switcher)

Gevlon said...

I don't think that Finnish born as "less talkative" than for example Spanish. They just learn to shut up. And in their game, they can leave this social norm.

Daergel said...

That is strange - I have never used vent or any other utility for talking to people while playing WoW; I have never seen the need, and I have been raiding a few times.

I'm not sure I'd want to anyway - a lot of my characters are female...!

Hirvox said...

Finns like myself are only quiet in the presence of strangers. We don't like to burden others with our banter unless we know they're okay with that.

Euripides said...

When we interviewed their hunter, Kruf, about their lich king kill, I found him to be very reserved at first. Once we got him going, though, we were really glad he came out of his shell a bit- he really had a lot of interesting things to say!

Klepsacovic said...

Our vent is chaotic before raids, filled with jokes and as many American accents as you can find, though a bit muted by the voice quality.

Darraxus said...

When only a Raid Leader is allowed to speak, you may be missing something. You dont see everything from one person's perspective. Different vantage points can see different things happening. It is easier to adjust on the fly if you know what is happening at that very moment.

Dwism said...

Like Euripides touched on, I think that Finnish people are reserved (like most nordic people) at first, but once we warm up... oh boy :)

Gronthe said...

When I'm on vent with my guild we are very talkative, but sometimes there are a few who get distracting.

For example, when our RL is going over assignemnts or other important stuff often we'll have somebody (one person in particular, actually) say "I think I'm gonna jump on an alt after this and farm some crystalized fire." We're all like, huh? Then the RL continues as if nothing ever happened.

It's actually kinda funny.

Anonymous said...

Scandinavians ... my favorite topic.

Seven Years ago, I was charged to establish contact to Scandinavian Enterprises.

I found the Swedish to be the easiest one's to follow. They are very close, to Mid European communication, tend to express an inherent self confidence without showing it directly. The only thing that is puzzling at the first moment, is that some of them drag you in the middle of attention. It feels like being in the middle of a spotlight, especially if they have those beaming eyes.

Norwegians are a topic for their own, but I really started to love the Fins by now.

Once you learned to deal with their way of speaking, "finish Wine" and Sauna, you meet friends for life.

My most memorable situation, was being invited to an international meeting on a finish company island.

I still remember the look on the face of to representatives from Missouri, who were persuasive talking to the finish CEO about, investing in the US.
Until the point he joyfully announced, that we all were going to the sauna now, and how proud he was, that they had separate Saunas for men and women. (Although the Fjord was not separated...).

After all, Egg Butter and Beer is not that bad ...

People who are used to fast speaking or small talk may have their problems with them, though.

But the common ground for all Scandinavians seems to be a sort of melancholy deep within.



Holly said...

the stereotypes! they accoomoolate!

But more seriously I've found that we all have quiet people, or talkative people and for the most part, they tend to move in packs, be it in vent, in guild, etc. . .

I'm in two guilds where really about the only talk -period- in guild chat is 'grats' when achievements happen.
Whereas there's another on the same realm where the talk never stops.

I have two vents I stay on most of the day because people are on there actually socializing, and two vents I go on just for raid where it's mostly quiet, with the occasional chat about rotations, gear, or upcoming content/nerfs/buffs.

Larísa said...

: hm... drunk maybe?

: well, I don't say we don't joke either. We do...but in really crucial moments during hard progression fights, vent is rather silent and not at all like Paragon. And I'm frankly pretty happy about it. Jokes and socializing is really fun, but only as long as it doesn't steal all focus from the task... But maybe I'm a bit boring and conservative in those matters...

@Gevlon: or they're just extremely shy with foreigners perhaps. When they're on their own they can let out their true, outgoing personalities.

@Daergel: I honestly can't imagine raiding hard content without vent. Farm content is fine, but if you're learning new fights... it seems very tedious and time consuming to write everything in chat.

@Hirvox: yeah, that's what I suspected.

: I listened to the show, but couldn't quite find a way to link to it naturally in the post. Anyway yeah, he seemed to thaw a bit once he got started on talking about hunter stuff.

: the quality can be a hold-back for talking. However I've found vent a lot better in that aspect than TS. Don't know if it's just me. And the in-game voice chat I've never even tried.

: oh, yeah... It's not a one-man-show. But you don't need to call out everything you do. I once raided with one guy who informed the raid about more or less every healing spell he cast. That was pretty annoying in the long run, trust me.

@Dwism: "once we warm up"... Are you Finnish? I know Danes are sociable enough, I always imagined you were Danish, living there...

@Gronthe: a good thing about vent is that you actually can mute people who are starting to talk about irrelevant stuff and just are annoying. I'm too kind to do that, but I know others who have been practicing it a bit.

@Usiel: Interesting observations. I'm not quite so sure about the melancholy with people from Denmark, I never saw them like that. But for Swe, Fin, Nor I think it's valid.

@Holly: different vents, suiting different moods... sounds practical. Sometimes you want to socialalize, sometimes you think "less is more" and want to stick to the essentials.

Anonymous said...

As Holly mentioned, I was inexcusable generalising.

Besides, you caught it: I brought in the Fins, who are (by most definitions)not Scandinavians and left out the Dens.
The reason I did not mention the Danes, is that they are way to close to Scandinavian part of Germany (Schleswig Holstein).