Monday, July 2, 2007

Tipping Point

Paladin Tanking is a new idea, a new innovation introduced to the WoW culture in Patch 2.0.

People much smarter than I am have studied the ways that new ideas, innovations, and technologies are adopted in a pattern. First you have your innovators, then the early adopters, then early majority, then the late majority, then the laggards.

If you graph the adoption with time as the x-axis and the % of the culture that adopts the new innovation as the y-axis, you get an S-Curve where the curve starts out logarithmic (that is moving very slowly). At a certain point in time along the x-axis, a "tipping point" is reached. The curve goes from logarithmic to exponential (that is moving very fast).

The culture has to go through 5 stages.

First is Knowledge, that is learning that the new idea is out there (Paladins can tank, lol?).

Then persuasion, that is being convinced of the value of the innovation (Dude, you want a Paladin for AoE pulls).

Next comes decision, committing to the adoption of the new idea. (Okay, let's get a Prot Paladin for our guild).

Then comes implementation (Tankadin you tank the skull).

And ultimately confirmation, the acceptance or rejection of the idea. (Good job everyone, lets loot him).

I am beginning to see things happening in WoW that lead me to believe Tanking Paladins are nearing their tipping point.

Megor/Donar, Gestalt and many others were the innovators and helped the WoW culture through Knowledge. Then each of the creators and posters on places like Maintankadin became early adopters, and have led the WoW culture though the persuasion step.

Now guilds are beginning to recruit Paladin tanks and the Culture is moving towards a decision on Paladin Tanks. Over the next few weeks or months these guilds will become the early majority.

The jury is still out on where or not Paladin tanking will "tip" and reach exponential growth. There are still issues that can and should be improved, and ultimately the Confirmation stage and its acceptance/rejection decision is still very much in the air.
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