Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tales from the Random Pug

Random pugs... you can really expect anything to happen there, which is both what is charming and scary about them. Anything from that awesome run where everyone seems not only to know what the heck is going on but are also in a chirpy mood. To the god awful runs where everything you do is wrong and everyone hates eachothers guts and leave during the first boss fight. I've had my fair share of both. Maybe it is as with real life acquaintances, you just don't mix with some people. The chemistry isn't right. Or maybe that slight misunderstanding, which is so easy when there's only text to communicate, screws it all up.

The other day I did a DM on my fourth prot warrior alt (yes, I will psychoanalyze myself later on why I keep rerolling prot warriors later). Aside from the random dps leaving, new one joining and leaving and yet another one joining, all whilst the rest of us were happily runningly along, that was one of the smoothest pug runs I've done in a long time. What's interesting about lowbie pugs is that people can have either of two mind sets; this is a lowbie pug so I don't give a fuck OR this is a lowbie pug so I'll play it by the rules. Rules being the necessity of marks occasionally, not to tell people which mob is the most dangerous but to tell people which of several equally dangerous mobs to hit first - to coordinate. Also that you need to use cc sometimes, maybe. And give mana breaks often, especially in the real lowbie pugs where mana regen still is really, really bad. In this particular WC run everyone did exactly what they should've done. No ninja pulling (not even on the boat!), no mistargeting when there was marks up (not even once!), no whining about how people did things (maybe because no one did anything wrong really) and most perplexing, a total agreement on how to run things.

- "Kill the adds on Smite first" I say (well actually the healer said that, but I marked) - "Yes of course" in chorus. I go "huh?"
- "Don't pull from above when on the boat, let me go first" - "Yes of course" in chorus. I go "woot?"
- "Run all the way up on the ramp with me, so we don't pull Greenskin" - The only one who wasn't tucked in my ass up the ramp was the poor druid who got frost novad. But we didn't pull Greenskin.

And so on and so forth. So yeah there are definitely sunshine stories even in pugs.

And then you have things like a run I did in RFC the other day (actually a day before the WC run). Everything is going along just smoothly, when suddenly everything changes and people become douchebags in like two nano seconds. I have located the initial time of change, but can't really figure what happened. Here is the chat log - I am the warrior Onigogo (bonus points if you know what that is a reference to).

As you can see from this picture (I hope) it all starts when I say "the healer seems to be afk". This is a mere statement of fact. Not a complaint, just to tell everyone why I'm not pulling, and that they should be careful not to do so themselves (a behavior quite common in most pugs). For some reason this triggers the lock, and he turns into douchebag of the day. I can't say that the healer is afk? Is that like forbidden in his country or something? Kamaky was the paladin healer.

There are alot of fun things about this conversation. The lock asks me how I could've figured the healer is afk when no one has died. Well I don't usually pull until people die before I figure out that heals aint coming my way, for one thing. And the funniest thing is when I say; "I had to use a pot" and the healer answers "no u didn't". That one cracks me up! There is a pause between "I don't care" and me answering "I didn't ask if you did" because I was stunned. Where did that come from? I had merely stated that the healer seemed to be afk, and suddenly they both jump me. In a way it's hilarious, in another way it's really sad.

I joined a random just after this one was done, and ended up with that lock and healer again, who immediately started with "oh look it's the QQ warrior again! Are you gonna QQ or are you gonna tank?". I was completely flabbergasted. I can be a bitch plenty of times, but for once I really hadn't done anything to warrant such a rude behavior. What you see in the chat log is the entire conversation. So I decided that I wasn't going to tank and just had follow on the rest of the group the entire instance. They cleared it with me in tow while I was afk stealing exp. Yes, I was quite douchebag myself, but I had to get something back from them after that kind of behavior. I had to get into a good mood again somehow right? :P

The point of this is to show how easily things can go wrong in a random pug. I wasn't going to let the first incident get to me, and when I joined with them again just after I decided to just let it go. Until they jumped me again. What went wrong? I'm not sure. Clearly there was some misunderstanding going on here and the healer and lock (for some reason, maybe they were friends) took it as an insult that I thought that the healer was afk. So tread carefully people, it is obviously very easy to aggrieve people in randoms.


  1. This behavior is exactly why I stoped tanking. I had just started tanking with my druid, I was green, I admit it but I didn't suck and I didn't deserv the hate some random shaman healer poured over me so I stoped tanking all together. I decided to stick to healing because I know I'm good at that.

    This happened in BC and still I stay away from tanking.


  2. Whenever I find a nice, up and coming tank in a random group I do, my first advice always is "try not to let people get to you". No one is awesome at once, no one is awesome all the time. But for some reason people really demand tanks to be. Even I, who love tanking and have been tanking actively for more than a year, can go on long tank breaks just because someone was a total asshat in some random.

    I wrote a post about it a long time ago -

    Here's a quote from what I said back then, and it is still true;

    "The tankrole is in low supply and high demand. This means when you finally get one you will treat them with utmost respect. They are in fact doing you a favor. You will adapt your dps to function with the tank, and as long as he doesn't suck so madly you wipe on every group of mobs, you keep your mouth shut. People complaining on every little mistake a tank does will -not- encourage people to choose to play a role that is already in limited supply. Especially not when considering how demanding it is to play a tank in comparison to any other class (except healer in some cases)."