Sunday, August 28, 2011

Human Decency

I like to think that most people, even in a game, are decent to each other if not actually friendly. It takes some effort to be a jerk after all, and usually people, particularly in pugs, just want to do their business and be done with it.

But yesterday I came across an unusual bad specimen that I had to write this to wash my mind of it.

I joined a pug on my resto druid alt (my third druid) and it was for Hellfire Ramparts. We did the first couple pulls across the bridge and all was well.

The third and fourth pulls were more chaotic. It looked to me like a couple of the dps pulled, but the tank soon had everything under control and I didn't get blasted in the face by caster mobs like I expected. The mage even commented that he was happy to find a healer who would heal his pet. (For me, pets are last priority, but I do heal them if I am sure it will not result in another party member dying.)

Then the tank paused and asked the dps to stop pulling. He has been away from the game for several months and is getting back into the habit.

The mage is ballsy enough to say no to the tank's face, saying that the tank is too slow, and pulls again.

The tank replies that he's not going to taunt mobs off the mage if he pulls them. And he doesn't.

As I have done from time to time out of sympathy for much put-upon tanks, since it is most often the green and the rusty among them that get this treatment, I offered to not heal the mage so that there is a real consequence to the dps for having a mob on them. The tank is grateful for the support.

The mage dies, and I rez him figuring he's learned his lesson.

He hasn't.

And so we go down the corrider to the first boss with the mage berating the tank, saying that it doesn't matter that he's been gone for months, he's wasting other people's time by pulling so slowly, and all the while continuing to pull. Unfortunately the mage is a pretty good player, so even though he pulls mobs and the tank does not taunt off him and I don't heal him, he continues to live.

The tank snaps back at the mage, and also apologizes to the rest of the group. He says he's not normally this snippy, but after getting so many awful people in pugs it's starting to hurt. I comfort the tank and the atmosphere in the group is so bad the other dps start yelling at the mage to shut up.

The tank really isn't pulling that slowly. He's not chain pulling, but he's not 10 seconds between pulls like the mage claims.

After a pull in which the mage nearly dies, the tank whispers me that the mage tried to have me vote-kicked for not healing him. I laugh it off, though I'm a little surprised that he didn't try vote-kicking the tank first considering he's who the mage has been venting at. Perhaps he doesn't want to wait in the queue for a new tank.

Right before the boss the mage says if the tank is rusty he'll tell him how to tank. And rattles off a warrior rotation.

The tank is a paladin.

No one says anything, but the mage must have caught his error because he then spews out a bunch of random prot paladin abilities and proclaims that he has now taught the tank how to do his job.

Moving on, we kill the boss and it is no problem. The tank doesn't chain pull, but he knows how to hold aggro. The rest of the party continues defending the tank, the hunter even saying that the tank is pulling faster than others he's seen so he doesn't know what the mage is complaining about. The death knight tells the mage to stop QQing.

After the next pull the mage runs ahead. I have bad feeling about this.

When the mage comes back with two enemies in tow, nobody hits them, but the mage ice blocks sending them on us and we're forced to pick them up.

The mage runs away for the next batch.

I know his game now. If we're too slow for him, he's going to force us to speed up by bringing us enemies to fight.

We try kicking him repeatedly, but we're never out of combat long enough to activate the vote kick. He's not giving us enough breathing room.

Finally he runs down with six mobs after him and he can't save himself. Unfortunately, it's a bad situation for us with the ranged mobs not being on the tank, and I get killed second when I try to heal. The rest of the party soon falls.

I grumble in chat that at least now we'll be out of combat long enough to vote kick him.

The mage declares that he got what he wanted and he won't care if we kick him. We, of course, kick him as soon as the timer lets us.

The rest of the instance was fantastic.

The tank was easy to heal, held all the mobs, and only took a couple seconds between pulls, checking to make sure everyone was with him, which was fine with me. I don't see what in the world the mage had to complain about.

After the last boss was dead, the tank thanked us for the run and I told him that I hoped he had better luck with future pugs. What we had there was one of the nastiest I've seen in a while, and I hoped he wouldn't think that happened all the time. Pug tanking is often thankless work, but it's a role that needs filling, and I hope by encouraging young tanks we'll find more of them out there.

The thing that bugs me the most, I think, is that Ramparts is a leveling instance. People are still learning things, trying out new specs, figuring out when to use new abilities, getting familiar with the pulls. Not everyone is an old hat who knows every instance inside and out. The tank was in the proper instance for getting back into the swing of tanking. He was doing nothing wrong.

If the mage had a problem with that, he should have left, but in fact did not, even when the option was raised.


Jasyla said...

Ugh, people can be such jerks.

Surprisingly, I find people are more likely to be jerks in the leveling instances. When I do level 85 PuGs (not that I do a lot of them), they mostly go okay. But the last time I levelled a character through dungeons I had awful people who were insulting and rude in my groups all the time. I can't even count the number of times I saw people ninja pull multiple packs of mobs to the group and then leave the instance because they didn't like how things were going.

Hana said...

That's unfortunate. :( I did a lot of pugs this weekend (maybe about six TBC leveling instances) and the Ramparts one was the only one that was screamingly bad. It was the first one of the weekend though, so it didn't make for a great start.

After I had a break and came back again the rest of the pugs were fine.

Christopher said...

I'm leveling a holy cow through the same level range, chain healing dungeons with boa gear, and it just blows my mind how little teamwork or camaraderie I've seen. I'd say 1/3 of the "tanks" I've encountered are plate dps who abuse the short queue timer, 1/3 are hit it once and run chain pull maniacs, and the rest are every other color of the tanking spectrum. I've only had a couple that even bothered to taunt when I was getting beat on. Sometimes it feels like there's a competition to see who can be the most selfish and difficult. I do have to say, though, that the boa gear plus lots of dungeon blues makes it possible to heal stupid - I often feel that I'm carrying people through stuff they'd have zero chance to survive otherwise. In the end my purpose is served by getting to the end of the dungeon so I put up with it, although it seems that to some extent I'm enabling their bad behavior and poor play by removing the consequences. I guess it's just proof of Gabriel's Internet fuckwad theory: anonymity + audience = asshole : /

Saga said...

I can't stand it when people are being jerks like that. From your story it doesn't sound like the tank was pulling overly slow or being a bad tank. The mage really had nothing to complain about.

It's also frustrating as a Paladin tank when others pull for you, because you don't have a "proper" AoE taunt like a warrior or bear, the one you have only hit something like 3 targets. So if the dps pulls a group of 6 you can only get half of them.

In general I think people should be nicer to others in groups. Less whining and more playing nice.