Category: PuG

Wait…you took Nowhere to Hide?!

I just played 3 Heroes of the Storm matches with Illidan.

I was getting ordered around the map by a Jaina (Mighty) for no discernable reason. I was solo defending the bottom lane for a while which may have given them the impression that I was pushing the lane, quite rightly they noted “You’re too slow pushing a lane…” so I should “…go top.” I only went bottom to capture the zerg beacon and stayed because Alarak and Sylvanas were going to kick it in otherwise. I was holding them.

Jaina (Mighty) kept urging me away, they came bot and we had a 2 v 2, which I was happy with. The next beacon pop I reamed out three opponents trying to take bot off us, so I was pleased with how things were going. During a death phase I asked Jaina (Mighty) why the grief when we were two levels ahead and I was doing OK, our zerg wave was larger in part because I took out three trying to take bot, which left a 3 v 2 top with weight of numbers on our side. Mighty gave a little. Asking if it was my first time, since Illidan is on free rotation, no offence like. OK, well I could’ve taken offence, but what is the point? Now as I freely admited “I am not the best Illidan in the world. However, I can play OK for a level 4.”

We owned the next zerg wave too. Then the opposition grabbed a boss and I did a pretty fine job, with Jaina, of trouncing it top, fast. She even said “Nice xD”. Fair play, doffs cap. I drew a breath looked around and because I’m a n00b Illidan I’d taken the discouraged Nowhere to Hide at level 20. I saw a half health Chromie pushing bot. Hunt is such a joy. After smashing across the map and taking her completely unawares I then promptly cast Sweeping Strikes and smacked Sylvanas round the head for trying to take a Merc camp with Kel’Thuzad. with them both on half health it was small matter to terminate her and chase him down.

I got a LOL and “Not bad for a level 4” from our Jaina. Thanks Mighty.

Drink it in, neither of us will ever see the like again. Illidan is 5.

N00bs welcome

 /facepalmI frequently rant about how my time and energy is wasted in this game by retards. It may appear that I’m just some MMO elitist with little or no patience with newcomers to the game and individuals who haven’t experienced a particular fight or make mistakes.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. No one, and I mean no one, is more helpful and welcoming to new players, or players experiencing content for the first time. I have a few rules though.

Rule 1: the most important rule, inexperience is not a crime or an embarrassment, this is a MMORP Game, not your virginity. If you don’t understand the mechanics of a fight simply own up and ask where to stand and what to hit. That’s it. I don’t even insist people come straight out with this either. If we don’t wipe you’re probably doing OK and if the boss goes down I don’t care if you: lost aggro a couple of times; couldn’t keep one of our party alive; did low DPS. If the boss went down you did enough. My requirements and expectations have been set very low by sad and sorry experience.

Rule 2: if you don’t know the tactics, or even think you did but we wiped, listen to the tactics and if they’re new to you adjust and work with them. If they don’t work we can go back and try over with the tactics you know.

I’ll recount a Stonecore Heroic run from this evening that is illustrative of the breakdown of a group because of a catastrophic failure to follow these two simple rules.

OK, we’re at the second boss, for those who don’t know her it’s a simple tank and spank. For the tank anyway. The difference is that DPS have to focus on something other than nuking the boss down in this fight. She has three adds, all struck by a purple (Life Drain-like) beam. You have to interrupt that beam, by standing behind the adds, between them and the source of the beam. The beam stacks a debuff on whoever is struck by it: add or party member. If either gains 100 stacks of the debuff they transform into something large and aggressive that kills other party members. It’s not rocket science but you have to get into that beam pretty sharpish and out of it again quickly, before you stack to 100, let the debuff fall off and jump right in again.

[Party Member 1] me middle
[Ruta] Ruta left

Tank charges in…leaving the DPS standing open mouthed.
Healer leaves the party.
Party Member 1 leaves the party.

Ruta covers her face with her palm.

The most important rule flouted here, clearly. It gets worse. The tank wouldn’t corpse run, he queued us again and guess what happened when the new healer and DPS ported into the instance? Right next to the boss? Yeah, another wipe…

[Ruta] Right that’s two wipes because the tank doesn’t know what she’s doing.
[Tank] How is it my fault.
[Ruta] You charged in before we allocated DPS to the adds, then you refused to run in and got us wiped again as people ported in to where you are, lying dead by the boss. How is it not your fault?
[New Healer] c’mon guys lets just do this
[Ruta] Ruta left.
[Tank] no she didn’t
[Ruta] …will take the beam on the left.
[Party Member] Is this guy for real?

The tank charges in.

I got a 30 minute dungeon cooldown for that! Thanks Blizzard.

Wrath has had many unforeseen consequences, worst of all it has created many unacceptable expectations. WoWCrendor addresses this in another marvelous YouTube short. He responds quite succinctly to the accusation that Cataclysm instances are too hard. If you completed any of them in Heroic mode you’ll know this is not true, they can be very straightforward once you learned the mechanic of any given fight. Of course you have to focus and if someone makes a mistake the entire team may need to adjust to get past that. So naturally PuGs fail almost every time anything, however minor, goes wrong. The inevitable finger pointing begins. “Blizzard suck” because you cannot simply walk into an instance and walk out with the loot you want.

Normal, top level, instance dungeons are a means of learning the basic fights and accumulating the next rank of gear to get ready for Heroic modes. Heroic mode ups the ante and requires more skill, better gear and higher focus. Heroics are a training and gearing ground for raiding. They are meant to provide a challenge and test your mettle. They are not exactly hard, simply challenging. However, the PuG scene now reflects this new perceived level of hardness.

I have whined about the situation of the Affliction lock before now, most people responded by simply re-speccing Destro. Well, I did and my DPS naturally went down as I struggled to own the ‘rotation’ and not stand in the fire. I also really enjoy the Affliction spec and I would like bigger numbers, but I do fine really. I’m an asset in most heroics. I am usually one of the very last alive in a wipe, I know the fights and I respond quickly to problems. I can banish and fear and will use my initiative if the mage dies and we lose polymorph or we pull a second group or badly (for us) timed patrol. I don’t stand in the fire and self heal when things are going pear shaped (that’s what Life Drain and Deathcoil are for). I cannot, however, lay down as much DPS as I, and often the group, would like.

I’ve had a lot of constructive suggestions, for example, where is optimal to tank a mob, not standing in a particular coloured circle or when to stop all DPS thrown back in my face with some remark about where I rank on the DPS metre.

Someone has to roll in last guys and who would you rather have? A high DPSer who dies at the beginning of the fight, stands in wrong place and pulls extra groups and causes wipes or an experienced guy who plays a nerfed class and is there cc-ing stray mobs, self healing during chaos and throwing in the last shadow bolts to squeeze out the boss kill, after the tank dies because the healer got ganked after the polymorph broke when the mage and rogue died standing in the green circle? Higher DPS of course…

“N00b!”, “L2P”, “Roll Destro”, “Play another class if you can’t play that!”, “At least I do more DPS when I’m alive…”, yeah but I’ve put down three times your damage in this run already! Someone, usually the tank, will sigh and say in a quite reasonable manner “Guys we need more DPS”. Here comes a kick.

So how do I get all this experience given a kick usually follows a wipe as the post mortem, blame storm will usually conclude that more DPS will mean quicker kill with less skill? Well, fortunately I have friends and guildies and despite my n00b level DPS we manage to easily finish all Heroic dungeons with some care, communication and planning. Go on check my achievements, I’ve completed all the instances in this patch (many heroics with PuGs). So I can say with assurance that my skill, gear and DPS is easily good enough to complete any 5 man dungeon in Cataclysm on heroic.

Next time there is a wipe, ask yourself not who is fourth on the DPS metre, but why did you die? How much damage did you take as DPS and how much did this extra healing contribute to the healer going out of mana? Did the tank have the mob facing the right way? If the Warlock doing 7.5K DPS was replaced with Mage doing 10K, who was an ass, wouldn’t listen to tactics, stood in the fire and then bitched out the healer, would you down this boss any quicker?

You have been removed from the group.

We all had high hopes for Catacylsm, most if not all have been met. I still have an issue with instancing and of course my issue is with PuGs. I had dared to dream that content would be hard enough to require tanks to demand crowd control, plan and communicate and at least wait for the DPS and the healer to be in range before charging into packs.

Most tanks still seem to be on the clock in normals and clearly on piece work. Kills per hour, baby, kills per hour. Go go go go go go. C’mon keep up! It feels like a month and half is a short time for them all to gear up and become wrath invulnerable. Indeed PuGs being what they are many tanks are still dropping the odd mob or three out of packs and letting the clothies tank for them.

[Tank] You pull it you tank it.
[Ruta] I wasn’t even targeting that one! I was on the skull, the only one you had threat on!
[Mage] The one that killed me was beating on the healer you’re only alive because I aggroed it off him.
[Tank] wha wha wha cry me a river

What annoys me as much as this, I am the tank kick me and wait 45 minutes for my replacement while I insta-join another run, attitude and the speed tanking is the mob skipping! Why are we going to such lengths to skip one pack of four? It would probably be quicker to kill them and now the healer is dead and has to run in…it was definitely quicker to kill them.

[Ruta] Considering their proximity to the boss and the likelihood of arse pulling them during the boss fight we should…he just charged in without a ready check! Do you have mana, I haven’t got mana?
[Ruta] /sigh

[Tank] rez me
[Healer] sec mana
[Tank] LOL
[Healer] Well I had none when you pulled…so
[Tank] nubs
The tank leaves the party, do you wish to queue for a replacement?
[Healer] How does that make us…oh great. Moron.

I’d like to think that heroics separated the tanks from the ‘auction house green shield’ boys. To a degree it does, but this trend is creeping in:

[Tank] OMG
[Tank] Skip this boss?
[Ruta] OK, I got toasted in the flames and he was healed up we killed him three times otherwise. Should we all be on the adds.
[Healer] Everyone else was on the adds, they heal him so they have to die quick.
[Hunter] Oh I wasn’t on them either.
[Tank] FFS
[Ruta] Sorry people, our first time here and you charged in before I could confirm the tactics.
[Tank] Skip this boss?

One wipe and some people want to skip onto the next section of unchallenging trash. I could see an entire instance progressing like this if I am unlucky enough (and I am) to get four of these slackers. One wipe at the final boss and the tanks calls it and other three agree.

[Ruta] C’mon all we’ve done is kill trash we skipped every boss after one wipe!
You are not in a party.

EPIC fail2 AM, Violet Hold, normal. A group of four spawns in front of Voidy boss. There is no point asking where is the tank, he’s as far away from the action as possible, again! Mage takes the initiative, well you have to when it’s clear you’re the only one who knows his arse from his elbow…

[Amtty-Bloodhoof] lol you ran in
[Juta] Got all the mobs and organised them, marshaling them into a group. Watch and fucking learn.

Whoah…it’s OK, the meds are kickin’ in now.

In the crazy world of PuGs we’re used to new stereotypes appearing.

We’ve had the Go Guy: half the party is dead, but if the tank doesn’t pull the next pack he will. Even if he’s the healer. GET BACK HERE AND REZ!

The slow tank. “OK, is everyone ready?” Well, we are standing right with you sometimes in front, but still far back from the next group, so what do you think? “I’ll just do a ready check?”

The knock-back guy. It’s funny but he always seems to be a nerd raging, twelve year old, or is it just me?
[Tank] “Hey, please don’t do the knockback thing man.”
[Shaman] “stfu”
[Shaman] “nab tank”
[Tank] Look please don’t do it you knock the mobs out of melee range, usually in arc and I just gathered them up to tank them all together. My silencing ability is cooldown now, so I cannot collect in the two caster mobs again…”

[Shaman] “The caster is attacking me n00b!

[Shaman] “TANK!”

[Shaman] “u lost aggro. l2p n00b!”

One of the worst is the DPS who got sick of having to wait fifteen minutes for a group and bought a green shield and one hander on the AH. The “Didn’t want to wait in queue as DPS” tank. “I have a shield, how difficult can tanking be?” You are about to find out…and so is your party, god help them, the ‘green shield tank’ is leading your group.

Which reminds me of the other melee DPS tank guy. The one who always has aggro. I’m guessing the truth is they are very bad at tanking and this is their revenge.
[Tank] Can you come out of Frost pres pls.

[Tank] Pls stop taunting.

[Tank] Do you want to tank?
[Death Knight] I can. I’d do a better job that you you keep losing aggro.
[Tank] Stop Death Gripping mobs and I wouldn’t!

[Tank] Why did you queue as DPS?!

There is a new stereotype, the guy who has turned up at the end of the expansion. Love him or loathe him, we’ll have to tolerate this ass until Cataclysm comes out. The chain-pulling tank, the ‘speed tank’. When he’s your guildy and all of you are wearing ICC gear (you’re on a Triumph farming mission, I don’t know? To buy epic gems, heirloom gear…whatever, or just doing a quickie to get two Frost Emblems) he’s a godsend. In a PuG he could be your worst nightmare.

No ready check, no quick look around at the group. Only 4 people have ported in but the chain-puller has already collected the first three packs and is tanking them half way through the instance, caster DPS has been unable to damage because the mobs aren’t in range, melee is wishing they had longer two handers (say twenty five feet long). The tank dies then all 15 mobs carve through the DPS. Wipe.
[Tank] “WTF!”
The tank quits…the healer ports in and dies instantly.

[Healer] “Er..what happened guys.”
“The tank pulled three groups before you arrived.”

I’ve just levelled my Death Knight I have two lvl 80 tanks already so I collected no tank gear for the DK deliberately. I often find myself in frost presence half the run. Regardless of the DPS, maybe we’re all newly dinged on our play alts and cranking out 1 – 1.5K in our bad greens and poor blues, the tank leaves me tanking the last couple of mobs as he rushes on to the next pack…or maybe the boss.
[Healer] “Damn you’re a squishy tank mate.”
[Tank] “LOL Wot?”
[Healer] “No, not you…the DK.”

I’ve worked out what the problem with these speed tanks is: they’re either bored or arrogant, or more likely, both.

They’re bored of all the content. Their approach to heroics is: I need to get through this chore as quickly as possible, like a day at work. OK, when I burn through a random DTK with guild mates we don’t chain pull (all the time), but we do rock through in a good, and often very careless, pace. However, we still enjoy our game, we often bring alts and try to remember the rotations and laugh at each others alt-noobisherness.

“Dude, fear ward *someone* here. ;D”
“Fear ward? Oh yeah, I’m a priest! LOL on it.”

[Tank] “Mate I need *some* healz. :D”
[Druid] “What? Who’s healing this one? I r chicken LMAO”
[Tank] “Get in tree form! The hunter, ‘lock and DK can’t do it! C’uh can’t get the staff. ;D”
[Hunter] “I’ve got bandages.”

The problems become manifest in two situations. The speed tank simply ignores the whole party, deliberately or…I think it may just be deliberately.

[Tank] “speed run”
“Actually can we do the other two bosses, I can get upgrades and I really need the Emblems?”
“Me too.”
“I can get gear too.”
[Tank] “speed run dont like it leave”

You simply can’t do anything about tank arrogance. I can wait up to half an hour for a PuG and no tank ever waits more than three seconds…there’s a reason for that.

In the other situation you have an averagely geared tank or well gear tank who cannot play. Or worse the “Didn’t want to wait in queue as DPS” Tank. Now proto/failed/n00b tanks see ‘awesome tanks’ chain pulling through heroics in their T10 Sanctification Token upgraded gear and think that is how a good tank plays.

Once upon a time good tanking involved picking up one group, or a second, if god forbid they were pulled or we got a patrol, maintaining aggro on all (or most) of them, turning them away from the party and soaking up damage until the DPS could burn them all down. If you became practised at doing this and managing to pop a skull up on the mob you were focusing on, so the DPS to focus damage without pulling aggro, you were immense. Party survival, or at the very least progress, with at least some of the mobs dead before the wipe, was guaranteed.

Demonstrating your tank prowess now requires you to chain-pull through the instance, which also seems to involve showing a total disregard for the other party members. So now they all do it. Can’t chain pull – can’t tank. Now if there’s a wipe people leave the group and if it’s not the tank he will start flaming the n00b healer. The healer who said:

“I just dinged 80 so please take it easy.”
[Tank] “np i don’t need healz”

God help you if your healing set is coming together but you need more tier items and other drops to round out your set and mana regen is still a big issue.

“mb after the next group.”

This usually falls on deaf ears so you end up screaming “MANA FFS MANA!” to which the tank finally replies: “i dont use mana noob!”

Of all the PuG players you meet the speed tank is the one I’m starting to dislike the most. Whether good or abysmal they simply suck the joy out of doing heroics. Low level instances are even worse. People will regularly get so bored that when they stop for mana, the tank chain-pulls on, they lose the group, so they go for a coffee while tank and healer get their experience and Sack of Unhelpful Goods for them.

In normal high level instance dungeons you can still see the ancient art of tanking done well. The parties are quick and efficient and everyone feels they have a role and plays it well. Groups are friendly, any mistakes are followed by apologies and reassurances that it doesn’t matter and that ‘we’ve all done it’. Smilies, emotes and laughter are common.

With the speed tank don’t be surprised if all you get is a stony silence, recrimination, flaming and occasionally a Death Knight sighing a lot.

[A lot of the existing stereotypes are derived from an hilarious video at YouTube, by Eric (Wowcrendor), check his work out.]

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