You can learn a lot from video games. They teach you how to produce strategy even when you start playing with no idea how a system works yet. From the first cheap equipment you purchase, you’re already calculating damage, defense and your party’s strengths and weaknesses.
You also learn not to run with the hype. Say hello to Samvati, the character I’m playing in Diablo III.
Samavati is special. She’s the second incarnation of who I wanted to be in this game. I had bought heavily into the hype that the Wizard was the best class to play. With high DPS and swift movement, she was supposed to be the winner of all the classes, much like in Diablo II. Why wouldn’t I be a wizard? So I actually started out with ‘Sunira’ (original, right?) the wizard. I was alright as a wizard. I spent time researching and configuring her weapons and armor and making sure her build would work for me as well as for a team.
But by the time I was nearing the end of Hell difficulty, I was just dying all over the place. I kept getting killed by monsters that got close and just destroyed me. The wizard automatically takes almost 30% more damage than the monk simply because they also do more damage than the monk. They’re supposed to be powerful and swift from afar and my playing style just didn’t match. I found myself in the middle of battle freezing enemies and doing major damage but the weakness of defense for the wizard, regardless of how much I focused on vitality as a second focus to intelligence, made me a bad player for her.
I died. A lot.
There was nothing wrong with the wizard. There was something wrong with how I played her. She didn’t reflect my style and I was trying to box myself into a character that wasn’t fit for me.
For fun, I decided to try the “underpowered” monk which after a little analysis appeared to lend itself my playing style. The monk is more of a team player with team-affecting mantras and healing but also a heavily physical character. The monk belongs in heat of battle, distracting and destroying the enemies up close so characters like the wizard or witch doctor can do their damage from afar.
I. Loved. Her.
Now everything around me died. A lot.
Samavati was the foremost disciple in loving kindness and compassion to Buddha. I found it an appropriate name for a monk. Plus it amuses me to think I kill things with flourishes of kindness and compassion.
With Samavati, I didn’t care that I had logged like 60 hours with the wizard already. The monk was such a natural fit that it was a pleasure to play her. Undepowered? That’s a joke when you play with me. I am taking this character to Inferno with no regrets.
It’s a bit of a lesson that I’ve discovered is true of all life. Your abilities don’t always translate to the current social opinion of success. Don’t try to be CEO of your company unless your strengths lie there. Don’t try to go all freelance to free yourself from the man unless your natural talents will ease you into that kind of life. You have to take a good hard look at yourself and play the game that makes the most sense to you. You’ll be a hell of a lot happier, make a lot more progress, breathe a little easier, and most importantly, be successful in a way that resonates within you.
“Everybody” knows the hottest profession and the latest success stories.
But you know something about yourself and when you act on your strengths, and delegate your weaknesses, you’re only setting yourself up for the success that matters. :)
Plus you’ll probably look sexier. Just like my monk. ;)