Monday, February 3, 2014

Keeping your Internal Clock Going

If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners.
--Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman), Hoosiers

Before Christmas, I spent one evening watching my youngest in her elementary school's Winter music program.  Being in 5th Grade, she was allowed to take lessons in a band instrument (woodwind, brass, or percussion) at the school, so she leapt at the chance to learn the snare drum.* That particular evening, she stood in the back as the school band's lone percussionist, keeping a steady beat for the rest.

Late in the show, just as the band was to start another piece, her music stand tilted and her sheet music went splat on the floor.  Her music teacher, her back to us, looked over at her.  I could tell by the teacher's body language that she asked a question: do you want to go get your music?  My youngest, her face dead serious, shook her head once.  I recognized that face from having played against her in chess: Don't worry, I got this.

The teacher waved her arms, and the band began playing.  My youngest never missed a note and kept up with the rest of the band without a problem.

It was at that point, in a completely out of the blue moment, that I realized part of the reason why she loves playing tanks.

She has the internal clock that all tanks need.

A tank has to have an internal clock that allows them to know when certain things are coming.  Sure, add-ons are nice, but the reality is that a tank is watching a lot more than just what the timers are.  And if you play an MMO that doesn't allow add-ons, then you absolutely have to have a great sense of time.  

When I play an MMO and things seem to be going south during a fight, time for me seems to slow down. Those procs can't come fast enough, and I'm constantly spamming buttons until something happens.  But someone with a good internal clock allows the fight to operate at its own speed; in sports terms it is called "letting the game come to you". Don't press. You can be quick, but not too fast. And if that sounds weird as hell, remember that there is a difference.

Have you ever had nights where you seem to be CC-ing everything in sight, your procs are coming at just the right time, and you've got this rhythm going?  But on another night that you seem to be just off, no matter how hard you're trying, and you just can't get into that groove? That's when you're pressing. You need to back off, relax, and let your internal clock take over.

And if you can do that, you don't need add-ons. Or sheet music.

*One of her goals is to play "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes, because "the drummer for the band is a girl." She also loves the music, which never hurts.


  1. That's awesome! Rock on, little drummer girl.

    1. You know, she'd kill me if she realized I mentioned this.