Sending Senpai Supplications


Aka “Why it’s not okay to keep sending directly to community experts about stuff”

One of those prices of “e-fame” and/or being known as an expert is that people tend to come to you to ask questions about things in your wheelhouse (and sometimes outside it). This is a short conversation point about why it’s better to exhaust other options first, like reviewing previously written information/guides or asking other players on chat/forums.

Information & Frequency

One part of the problem is that quite often the answer is already available via guides or other documentation already made available to the player, but they haven’t taken the step to check before asking. Another is the fact that even though your individual question may only take a few minutes, if there are 10-20 people asking questions each day that take an average of 5 minutes to answer that’s 6-12 hours per week. Often the majority of questions will be already answered and documented in guides, google docs, forum posts, discord pins or bot commands. (Note: the 10-20 estimate per day was from Canibehealz & Wordup as I tend to have PMs/DMs switched off)

There’s also another group of questions that start off “Has anyone done the math on X?” or “Have you looked at Y since the last patch?”. In most cases significant changes will have already been evaluated and anything noteworthy published, so the lack of information generally indicates that it’s not worth considering.

Being a “class expert” is like selling tickets at a train station with a working real time schedule tracker, but 90% of the questions you get asked are “When is the train for arriving?”

Construct Additional Pylons

One problem with this sort of behaviour is that if everyone asks one person for information, when that person is unavailable there’s nobody to answer the questions. Asking in public channels means more people are available to respond which helps if the question has already been asked/answered.

My usual slightly snarky reply to “Has anyone done the math on X?” is “Probably not, so why don’t you do it?’ but there’s some seriousness to that question too. There’s been a few occasions recently where people actually decided to do that & got help from a few people to use SimCraft to get the end result.

Taking Information vs Gaining Knowledge

One thing most people like myself will do is write guides on how to do things to help everyone else master them. For example, I’ve added a !howtosim command on Earthshrine that returns this:

Skasch’s Google Doc guide
Bay’s Youtube guide on FinalBossTV

Both of these run through how to use SimCraft to import characters and generate stat weights, which is a good stepping stone to being able to do further analysis & adjustments. I’ve even got my own guide on generating trinket comparison charts in an effort to answer the “which trinket is better” question.

Learning how to do this sort of stuff is a good starting point on the path to becoming that person that other people ask questions of.

We’re People Too

At the end of the day, we’re gamers too, and we want to play games just as much as the next person. Asking us to sacrifice a small amount of time to help you may not seem like a big deal, but when there are lots of people asking for those small amounts of time it really does add up.

About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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