Back when I started writing the blog, as I’ve mentioned many a tedious time, the way of the paw just wasn’t very well understood. That’s a given. There were those that stuck by it and loved it, like I did, from the beginning… and you call those people romantic idiots, because we didn’t care that it wasn’t effective, we just liked it.

There was one other thing that was fairly lacking, though, and while I touch on it from time to time, it’s never really been the focus of the blog, and that is how to play in a group, and how to work as a team on challenges.

I touch on it, usually, from the point of view of a tank’s traditional concerns; how to lead a run, how to make group assignments, how your role as a tank fits into the group as a whole, and how to remember that you are not a showboating superstar, you are one member of a team. How to do your job gets thrown in there, sometimes as a jumbled mess.

Here’s the thing. I marvel at this or that, but really, I make a lot of assumptions when I describe things here, and you bastards encourage this by talking intelligently in the comments.

I will admit, I lead a sheltered life. It’s been a long, long time since I left my last guild, and without exception, every run that I have attended since has been a fun learning experience. We may have been full of fail more than a few times,but the runs are characterized by a combination of a sense of fun, and a willingness to work together to learn, in order to succeed.

When I’ve described how to play in a group, the roles, what to do and when I’ve made suggestions on how to do things, that’s the play environment that I’m used to… and how I expect all runs are generally done. That’s what I expect as the average type of run.

I expect most runs in instances are done by groups of five friends that both know each other and respect each other, and I expect that they enjoy playing together.

In my mind, along the way, I had gathered the impression that what we do could represent the average instance group. We all work together, know each other, there are enough of us that we may not be totally used to how each of us plays a different class in a  group, but we know we can talk to each other, plan, and while we know our gear will generally not be above Naxx 10, it also will generally be mostly epics from Heroics, and crafted epics and other things a careful non raiding person can acquire.

In my mind, therefore, a below average instance group might not know each other as well, and might not be as well geared, and a better instance group might only run with the same 5 or 6 people each time, and be in hardcore raid attire.

When I’ve posted about things, you, the reader, have frequently commented (I passed 15,000 comments recently… freaking insane!) and your comments have generally been extremely intelligent, well thought out, and have for the most part encouraged the perception that yes, we are average and middle of the bell curve, and most of you run things smoother and more professionally.

I’m sorry, I have to call bullshit on this entire thing. Oh, HELL no.

From the time my Paladin was 78, on through to 80 and doing Heroics the last few days, I have been in a lot of pugs. Heck, I’ve already got several epics and an Emblem of Conquest piece. (The tanking Libram, if you must know).

And in those runs, I have learned that a poorly led, poorly managed, badly articulated, and incompetently handled pug IS THE NORM!

You bastards made me believe you were all competent. I’ll never forgive you!

Okay, to stop kidding for a moment, I can admit that I’m sure that the people who are competent are mostly in guilds with friends or in guilds to raid, and thus have people available to do runs with, and rarely pug. Those who do pug regularly no doubt have a list of folks they keep in their friends log of people that were good partners in previous groups. I’m sure I’m simply seeing what any brand new 80 in blues and green that is brand new to the server and knows no one would encounter in LFG… the incompetent dribs and drabs that no one else will group with. It’s okay, you know I’m not really calling YOU a bastard. Roll with it.

Here’s the deal, sparky. And I cannot even begin to believe I am going to say this, but here goes. Here are the tips and suggestions I think would be helpful for you to know before you run an instance.

1) Before you pull the boss, make sure one of the members of the group is actually a healer.

Yep, that’s right. Fastest wipe I’ve ever seen in my life.

2) Just because you CAN taunt, does not mean you HAVE to taunt every time it’s off cooldown. DPS, I’m looking at you. And you, and you, and you. No, you can’t get away with it. Yes you did, I know what Death Grip looks like, smartass.

Yeah, that one is actually so common I think I need to make a shirt.

3) Just because you are in good gear, does not mean you are easy to heal if you’ve run around the corner to grab the next two packs of mobs. Three words; Line Of Sight.

Seriously, I get the fascination with speed runs, the faster you blow through this crap you wish you weren’t doing, with people you don’t like, the sooner you can go do the next instance you wish you weren’t doing with people you don’t like. Shit dude, it don’t go faster if you toss in rez breaks. And if the group runs back from the graveyard… that really sped up the run, now didn’t it? Dumbass. What, five times? Really? Have you ever heard the words learning disability? No? Just checking. Of course, would you be able to remember it, if you had? Nevermind, go back to your ovaltine.

4) If you want me to kill your target, mark it with a Skull.

Yes, I know that a skilled player can simply make a /assist [name] macro and instantly target the tanks target. That’s fine. When the tank is holding 10 targets bigger than him and is tab targeting FASTER than the Global Cooldown could be allowing him to actually DO anything, then if he expects one of those mobs to die fast in focused fire, he needs to mark it. There is no excuse not to mark. You can open up your keybindings tab and bind Skull directly to F1, you can use an addon such as Quickmarks to assign them to your hearts content, whatever you want.

And no, the tank is not tabbing to check displayed threat levels on each mob using an addon that adds individual threat levels to a mob’s nameplate. Hell no. Trust me, these tanks aren’t SO incredibly skilled in how to tank that they sought out special addons to display threat more graphically on the screen per mob than Omen. They are not overcompensating. It’s just not happening.

5) Get out of the fire.

Sigh. I know you didn’t make it out of kindergarten, so here is a clue. Fire BURNS SHIT.

No, really. I’m not kidding. Fire burns shit. Get out of it. This is you => :) This is you in FIRE => :(

GET THE FUCK OUT OF IT!

5a) Yes, there is green fire. We call it ACID.

5b) Yes, Acid also BURNS SHIT.

It’s a caustic burn rather than a thermobaric, but there ya go. Wait, is that right? Oh who cares, I’m too tired to look it all up on wikipedia. And I’m on a roll.

6) If you are the tank, and you charge the target, and you are fighting it with it’s back up against the wall… nobody else can get behind it. MOVE, dumbass! 

Obviously, this only applies to groups with melee DPS, or pets.

Which would be, oh, every damn group I’ve been in.

7) If the healer says, “Be right back”, DON’T PULL THE BOSS.

I can’t really add anything to that one. I can cry a little inside, but I can’t really add any more.

8) If you are going to be a Paladin tank, and another Paladin asks you what to buff, and you say “Do Kings, I’ll handle the rest”… Actually DO the rest.

At least once. You can let it lapse after 30 minutes and pretend you forgot (or don’t have PallyPower configured to remind you), but at least throw up the first buffs like you said you would. Don’t just lie about it.

9) If you have been trying to get a healer for a heroic for 2 hours, and you finally get a healer… do not then inspect them, to judge what their spellpower is in case you might like to boot them in advance. Just be grateful you got someone willing to put up with your shit, because clearly the rest of the server knows to avoid you. 

Yeah, umm…. whatever.

10) If you are only running an instance for a chance at one potential drop, say so before it drops.

Don’t wait for that drop, and THEN shout, “OMIGOD I SO NEED THAT THAT’S THE ONLY REASON I CAME GUYS I’M NEEDING THAT”… when you’re a plate wearing Paladin in a group consisting of a Warrior, a Death Knight and two Paladins. And it’s tank loot. And you’re doing healing on the run. 

I just… I have never.. I cannot believe… just, the incredible… okay, those people need to get a grip. It’s loot. Get the hell over it. Run it again, you’ll see it again someday. Trust me, ain’t NOBODY calling you, saying, “damn man, we’d invite you to main heals Ulduar 25, but you don’t have the Essence of Gossamer yet. Maybe next month.” It’s just not happening. You’ve got time.

You’ve got all the time in the world, while you sit by the phone, awaiting on that call.

And finally…

11) If you don’t hold the mobs steady for just one freaking second, how the hell do you expect anyone to HIT the damn thig?!?

What the hell, do you people have the shakes? Are you in the middle of your twelve step program? Why is it you cannot for the life of you stand still while tanking for just one freaking second? Is this a new dance? Is it called “the tankers waltz”? Or is it just “Irritate the hell out of Bear” week at the local zoo?

I’m watching this shit, and I’m making a list. Oh yes I am. A list of names of tanks. And I swear, one day I’m going to snap, and I’m going to hunt you down and kill you for the sake of all groups, everywhere, for crimes against my sanity. No jury in the World of Warcraft would convict me.

“But your honor… he stood in the fire. He stood in the fire. For the entire five minute fight, HE STOOD IN THE FIRE.”

“Case adjourned. And smack the corpse for me, would you?”

52 Responses to “I need to seriously lower my expectations”
  1. Pazi says:

    @Briped: I tank or I heal (I have every tankclass with druid being healer as well), I hardly have to wait a minute the moment I enter LFG. I don’t consider greetings chit chat, I consider it rude to not respond to a “hello”. I gladly say hello to your blacklist if you think otherwise. There is no point in checking armory for a dungeon, I trust words (again only possible with “chit chat”).

  2. yunk says:

    Even in all guild or friend groups, people mistake gear for competancy. You don’t even need to get out of the fire in a heroic if you are geared from Ulduar. Heck most of us just stand next to Loken and burn him down, who cares about his damage? even on my disc priest I can heal through it. But replace a few people with lesser geared people, and we actually have to pay attention.

    It seems more like, it’s just the way things happen when you practice a lot with someone. I thought of that the other day when Favre failed a handoff to Petersen. Both great players, but they flubbed. Why? I think because Favre just joined the Vikings and hasn’t yet made so many handoffs to him that it is completely unconsious, since his body may be a different size, of hold his hands a different way, than other backs.

    So in the same way a PUG can be made of all good players but will make mistakes at first.

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