Paying Your Dues

Posted: by Arth

If there’s one thing the WHU has been about, it’s paying your dues. This, for me, manifested as min/maxing my character at all times. But the mentality of this has leaked into my personal life. Let me give you an example:

I was driving with a coworker, and we were coming to a train crossing. A train was on the tracks. There’s a distance you’re supposed to stay back from a moving train, and then there’s the distance most people go to…which is dangerously close. Now, don’t get me wrong, the odds of a train derailing at any specific point are incredibly small, so small as to be effectively negligible. But if you’re not wasting any time or resources, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be much further back.

So I pull up and stop probably 150 yards back of the tracks. There were no other cars, and no reason to be closer.

  • Coworker: “Why are you stopping so far back?”
  • Me: “Well, the chance of accident is almost nothing at a closer distance, but it’s entirely impossible at my current distance, and there’s no reason for me to be any closer”
  • C: *laughs* You shouldn’t worry about it so much.
  • M: Worry? No, I don’t worry. This is too trivial to actually be concerned about. It’s just maximizing my survival odds.
  • C: *laughs again* You’re an an interesting guy.

Then, as I saw the end of the train cars approaching, I moved forward so that I lost no time crossing once the train had passed. It was the exact same efficiency as if I had sat 10 feet from the tracks, but moved the odds of accident from the train from essentially 0% to ACTUALLY 0%. Seemed like a win in my book, and that’s not an approach to that situation that would have crossed my mind before I began playing WoW.

Frostheim used an awesome anecdote years ago from his job, wherein he used math and empirical evidence to support his proposal at work. It went ignored for irrational reasons. His frustration was palpable, and he used it as a defense of the reasoned, methodical approach that high-level players use in WoW.

The train example is a bit silly, I admit, but it’s an effective microcosm of something Frost and I have continually stressed. The little stuff adds up. And following the math or logic of a situation is nearly always going to be advantageous. Now, we were talking about DPS and in-game survivability, but it’s not hard to see real-world application of the same principles. Staying back from train tracks will likely never have any affect on my life. But the mentality that leads to me doing that WILL have tangible benefits in my job, personal life, and private life.

When Frostheim left the podcast, he vacated the sign-off line of “…and don’t forget to pay your dues.” I ended up with the quite arbitrary “Nerf Canada!” as my sign-off line, through a series of random decisions, but I always sort of wanted to adopt Frost’s old line, because more than anything it represents what the WHU has stood for.

The guides and videos many used to rely on from the WHU are going to be a thing of the past in a couple weeks. But the resources and tools to pay your dues still exist. While there may never be a central hub of hunter news as comprehensive as the WHU has been for many years, the true potential for hunters to be their best has always resided in individual players themselves. So if you’re a dues-paying hunter, make sure you commit yourself to staying that way.

Most of the articles I have planned from here on out are of the “Going Away…” variety. News and guides are nearly done. But keep searching, keep min/maxing, and always remember to pay your dues.

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  1. Scruffi says:

    Indeed you are an interesting guy, Arth ]:)

    Question, though: “A thing of the past in a couple weeks”?

    Does this mean you’re going to actually DELETE the site and all of the information on it then? Or leave it up and just not continue to iterate on it?

    The former doesn’t make any sense to me. The latter would be sensible and expected.

  2. Debrashavi says:

    Thank you Arth for bringing us to this gentle closer, I’ve been a part of WHU since a lvl 10 dwarf hunter by the name of Dianth. I have many great memories and videos to enjoy as a result of hard work and imagineering of many friends I’ve made over the years in our guild. We couldn’t have done it without each other. If “dues payer” was a Hunter title, you, and too many to mention, would definitively deserve it, well done.

  3. Argent says:

    A proper goodbye will come with the last farewell post, I’d rather avoid being overly-gushing. For now though, “don’t forget to pay your dues” has been at the forefront of my mind from the moment Frost wrote a dedicated article on dues paying. I do my best, and succeed most of the time and always hope to do better. As for your story, I think it is absolutely fantastic and a wonderful example of the real-world good Warcraft can do (outside of social interaction). I hope to be able to use it to add to my examples things that show people that WoW (and games in general) is more than “just a game.”

    Until the official farewell then


  4. Taconite says:

    I have not played WoW since Cata, but I still lurk and listen to the Webcast on occasion. Like many of the great blogs, sites and resources about WoW that have gone offline, I am going to miss this one very much. Happy trails and thanks for all fish!

  5. Cyworg says:

    I’d like to eat biscuits when I drink tea. And when I do, I put less sugar in my tea since biscuits make the taste sweet enough. I’m a hunter, I can’t waste any resources :)

    Farewell Arth. o/