It hurt so bad, and that's not good

I said it a long time ago, way back in the darkest days of the blog.

I said back then that I have certain expectations of other people during a run in the game. Any run, any content, any level.

The base expectation I have is, the people involved all attempt to play their class the best they know how, out of respect for everyone on the run.

All of the people involved.

A lot of time has passed since I used to talk about raid progression and Karazhan and even dallying within Gruul’s Lair.

Sometimes I’ve played in groups while chatting, and once notably while on a live podcast. But in my defense, when you’re normally raid leading and main tanking, sitting back and just doing ranged DPS does leave you with some extra capacity for chatting. Especially if the raid is a pug that’s not using ventrilo. I’m not saying you’ve got to be a single minded machine, I’m just saying that you need to be doing your best to play your class. If you can do that and chat too, hey, rock on.

My base expectation, that people who commit to group activities act with competence in playing their class, has not wavered.

I have other preferences, things that a player can do to move them, in my mind, from “meets expectations” to all sorts of categories far above.

To reach the pinnacle of excellence as a group player takes more than just being a really nice person. It also takes playing your class effectively, being prepared with mats/reagents/poisons/food, showing consideration for the others by actively trying to get TO the instance or raid as fast as possible, not going afk for extended periods without explanation, and not having a million disconnects in mid fight.

There are always exceptions. For example, sometimes disconnects happen without warning. It’s life, things happen. Nobody I know has ever held it agasint someone. On the other hand, if you know you’re getting disconnected every 5 to 10 minutes at random, and it’s been happening all day, it would be rude to ask a group to join you on a run without warning them about it first.

Sometimes you don’t have the food you need for a run. On a tough fight, with lots of wipes while learning content, you can run through food at a frightening rate. Likewise elixirs and flasks, and reagents for buffs. In my opinion, that kind of thing happens a lot, especially with dual spec. If you’re running tank for a few weeks, it’s easy to forget you ran out of healie food a while back until someone asks you to heal.

In my opinion, if you’re trying to start the group yourself, you should make sure you’re prepared. If someone asks you out of the blue to come help, well, if you didn’t have things on hand, it’s perfectly understandable. Circumstances change, there are no absolutes.

I’m pretty irritable about the “knowing where the hell to go” thing. Especially for Azeroth raids and instances. The game has been out for a very long time. If you seek out a Molten Core run, you ought to know where to go by now. If you are asked to come join, again, it’s more understandable. But if you want to start the runs, why haven’t you bothered to go check it out before now?

But the base requirement, the absolute foundation all else springs from, is trying your best to play your class well.

That includes having a spec that makes some form of sense… I don’t care what the reasoning is, I just ask that there be one, just to reassure me that you thought about what you wanted to do. I’m fine with a Beastmaster Hunter with a Pet Tanking spec in an instance run. Optimized for solo farming of BRD with your pet Turtle? Sounds fine with me, I bet that’s fun!

That also includes having gear choices made for comprehensible reasons. That same Hunter in all cloth spellpower gear? Girlfriend, who HAVE you been listening to? Trade chat? Yes, I’m sure your Mend Pet spell is very effective, but allow me to educate you as to the following mantra, “It’s all Hunter loot.” Umm, it ain’t.

I’m just using Hunters as a ‘for example’, I haven’t personally seen a spellpower cloth wearing Hunter that wasn’t just having fun messing with people.

But you get the idea. My Retribution Paladin, for example, loves Strength, Critical Strike, and Stamina. While soloing, I haven’t been turning aside Armor Penetration or Agility (for Crit Chance and Dodge), Hit Rating or Expertise either.

If I were to be prioritizing Intellect and Spellpower as Retribution, I’d expect someone to slap me. Hard.

When I get invited to groups, or if I put myself in a position where I may get invited to a group, I make it my business to know where I’m supposed to be going. Invited to a Molten Core run? Great, I know right where that is, and I know what I have to do to get attuned.

The alt I’m on might not BE attuned, but I know how to get down to BRD area and find out if I am, and know whether or not I’ll need to run into BRD and take the long way.

If I’m invited to The Nexus by a pug, and I’m in Grizzly Hills, I’ll get to a flight master and get started going that way, unless the group needs me to stop and pick up food or reagents somewhere. Sure, others may get there first, but then again, they may not. I shouldn’t expect a summons automatically, should I?

If I’m in a guild run, I’ll ask if I can get a summons if others are already closer, but that just makes sense. They’re already there, and they know me.

I try to bring food for myself. I appreciate and admire those that bring Fish Feasts to instances and raids (Hi Elystia!) but I still haven’t gotten my Fishing to that point yet. I figure, as long as I bring the food I’ll need, at least I’m not depending on the Fish Feasts of friends or strangers.

You get the idea. I expect good players, players I want to hang out with, to care enough to be prepared. To know what they’re doing. To pull their own weight at the minimum, and maybe have a little left over to pull the weight of someone else… but not have to.

People that get distracted by shinies and wander off in the middle of a run or even the middle of a fight, or are too busy chatting to actually, like, play, or get lost on the way to a raid or instance and need to be led by the hand to the portal, aren’t prepared, out of reagents, no food, not repaired, and disconnecting all the time…


As I said at the beginning, my base expectation, that has not changed since day one, is simply that people play their class the best they know how.

What HAS changed, is my understanding of what that means.

Years ago, I expected people to want to do the best they could, but I knew in my heart that it was difficult to sometimes know what that was for a class. Heck, there’s a reason I started a Feral Druid blog. Years ago, they were poorly understood, especially as tanks.

These days, with the data on the official WoW Forums stickies, websites and discussion forums such as Elitist Jerks, and addons to help with gear choices such as RatingsBuster, it’s become easy for me to get accostumed to the idea that everybody knows how to play.

Maybe someone needs experience to put that knowledge into action. Maybe someone is undergeared for what they are trying to do. Maybe someone is even horsing around and not paying attention, goofing around, having a good time and not really caring.

But as the years have passed, somehow, somewhere, I got the idea that everyone learned how2play their class.

This blindness to reality led to what we had here last night. A baseball bat right between the eyes. 

A grand awakening.

Oh, holy shit.

Last night, I had a little time before bed, so I put my level 75 Retribution Paladin in LFG channel for some regular instances. I was tired, but the role of an axe-swinging, sammich-eating monkey, I felt that was something I could handle.

I was whispered within moments to see if I wanted to join a group to do regular Nexus, followed by Old Kingdom. I made sure to whisper back that I was Ret specced, was that okay?

“Sure”, I was told, “I’m Prot Specced, I’m the tank”. It was a level 72 Paladin.

Okay. I figure this should be a good test of where I’m at. I think I do good DPS, but since all I do is solo, how to judge? I hover at 1200 dps at level 75 as Ret in Grizzly Hills, but folks are hitting 2200 dps+ as new level 80s, so I might just suck.

And it’ll also give me an idea of how much I can go all out, or should throttle back, when playing with a lower level tank. Paladins are supposed to have very good threat generation, so this should be stimulating.

The group that formed was a 72 Protection Paladin, a 71 Hunter, a 79 Resto Druid and me, a level 75 Ret Pally. There was supposed to be a 79 Shadow Priest, but that player bailed out after the group formed.

We entered Nexus, and four-manned the place until thankfully a very skilled level 75 Shadow Priest was able to join us.

This run… this run shook up my preconceived ideas. My expectations have changed. Drastically. Dial up the wayback machine, because it’s 2006 all over again!

I tend to watch what people do around me. Yes, I do. I’m always looking to see how people play their characters in various situations in the hopes that I’ll learn something new and nifty.

Okay, a few things I noticed while doing this run, a run that had no wipes, and therefore must constitute a successful run.

Basically, the Hunter, Pally and Druid combined to form a blistering trifecta of pain.

First, I’ve never before seen a Resto Druid heal an entire instance without using Rejuvenation or Lifebloom. Healing Touch spam all the way. On the tank, and only the tank. Who never rose above 35% health on any fight.

Or a Paladin Tank that doesn’t have a taunt button, doesn’t understand what a kill target is, or how to apply AoE threat. A Paladin that can’t apply AoE threat! How f’ing hard is it to drop Consecration? Holy Shit!

And finally, a Hunter that sends the pet to attack the next group rather than the current group, including bosses, over. And over. And over. And over. The entire bloody be damned instance. Including early boss pulls before we’ve even finished the trash.

  • “Dude, is your pet on Aggressive?”
  • “Does Passive work the same as Aggressive now?”
  • “No, put your pet on Defensive.”
  • “It is.”
  • “Then why is your pet attacking the next group?”
  • “Is your pet on Defensive?”
  • “Yes!”

I swear, that Hunter should have been in a guild called “Surprise Pull”. Except that after the 15th time, it’s no longer a surprise that the next group came running. Or that the boss was pulled as part of a trash pull.

So, you get a Druid that only heals the tank, and doesn’t do that well because instead of HoTs, he’s using Healing Touch exclusively. And the Paladin tank is so squishy that his health hovers around 35% most of the time, never much above that. So the Druid has to keep spamming to keep the tank alive with direct heals, and nobody else gets anything.

I keep running over that like a loose tooth. A Resto Druid that doesn’t use HoTs, and that dies several times and lets others die several times, without ever a Rejuvenation to be seen. Or a Lifebloom, for that matter. A level 79 Restoration specced Druid unable to heal regular Nexus. /shudder.

Anyway, so then you’ve got Mr Surprise Pull the Hunter, that not only pulls groups all the time, and sends the pet into other rooms, but actually is so desperate to out DPS everyone at 71 that he’s going all out on one target, pulls it, and then runs around trying to Ice Trap it before he dies (’cause he’s getting no heals, of course).

What makes me think that he was depserate to out DPS me?

Why, that would be the Damage Meter spam put out all throughout the instance.

After a while, I wanted to say, “Look, I’m at 1200, you’re at 950. It hasn’t changed yet, and it’s not looking like it ever will. You’re level 71 with 950 dps. Deal with it.”

And you’ve got the tank. Omigod, the tank.

I have been tanking a long, long time, and I’ve never seen anything like this guy.

He wasn’t marking anything. “Okay”, I think, “He must figure this is too kiddy skool to bother marking.”

But hey, I keep pulling aggro and then keeping the aggro somehow. He keeps changing his main target every second or two. I can’t tell what he’s targeting as a first kill that I can be safe on DPSing.

So I ask him, after a surprise boss pull, to please use a Skull to mark whoever he wants us to target for our first kill because I keep pulling aggro off him, over and over, and end up eating a mob.

“Sure”, he replies. “np.”

On the next pull, which the Hunter did not start early for a change, the tank put a Skull on one mob out of 3.

The tank pulled, I ran in, and I whacked the Skull. Once.

I got aggro.

Now, by this point I was actually expecting this. That is why I whacked it once, and only once, and then shut off auto-attack. And I stood there, with the tank sitting on top of all three mobs, and watched, doing nothing, as my health dropped, and I did not attack, and the Skull kept hitting me, and never, ever changed aggro to focus on the tank.

After a while of watching my health drop, I got ready. When I went below 10% I was poised to begin healing myself. Now I knew the deal with the Druid; main tank Healing Touch heal spam only. 

Only after the other two mobs were killed did the tank finally take the Skull off of me.

No Consecration, no taunting, and when he marked after that, he himself ignored the mark in favor of attacking other things. Apparently, he thought a Skull meant that was my target, and mine alone. He clearly knew how to do a mark, he put it up without any hesitation.

I began a program of procrastination. I’d target the tank, wait to see who he was attacking, hit only after he did, and watch him like a hawk to see when he switched targets so I could switch too.

When in a target rich environment, like the frequent times when the Hunter would pull the next group, and a few extra, I’d just Consecrate and Blade Flurry and basically go all out with everything that I had that did AoE to try to keep things off the healer and Priest, relying on Lay On Hands, Art of War/Flash of Light and bubble to keep me alive until I could eat food.

I pretty much left the Hunter to fend for himself. Watching him run around getting chased half the instance becamse one of my new favorite things.

At some point the tank started moving and hopping while tanking. He began hopping all over the place, moving and hustling around, twisting and turning. I frequently found myself targeting his current target in the middle of a fight, whacking it once, and then having aggro on that mob for the duration of the rest of the fight. I’d make sure to drag it to the tank, to hold it on the tank, and to not be hitting it as I patiently waited for him to pull it back off me. No dice.

I have to thank them, that run taught me that Pallies really are like cockroaches, damn near unkillable as long as you’re not silenced or stunned. 

Note: I now have a newfound respect and immense sympathy for every melee DPS that has ever had to attack targets when the tank won’t stay still for so long as a second. Holy shit people, if you’re tanking with some melee DPS, stand still unless you’re standing in a poison puddle, acid puddle, gas cloud, or other stationary damage dealing crap! How do you expect the melee to position behind a target, if the tank is dancing the Chubby Checker?

I watched in amazement once as the tank ran in. He dropped Consecrate on the way to the mobs, and then continued running, taking the mobs a good 15 yards past the Consecrate circle. That was the only time I saw him drop Consecrate, and I have to say, I wonder if he stopped using it because he thought it didn’t help. I was gratified to know that he at least had Consecrate somewhere on his button bar.

The capper, the absolute “Are you shitting me”, was when we took the dragon boss at the end.

The tank ran into the dragon chamber, closely followed by the healer. I started to follow, and then thought, “Maybe I should wait… and watch the Hunter. I’m thinking he’ll find a way to screw this up.”

Sure enough, the Hunter runs straight into the dragon chamber… and manages to pull one of the dragonkin patrols along the way. Without apparently noticing, and certainly without slowing down. 

I run in after, and of course the tank and healer are engaged with the dragonkin inside the dragon chamber, and have no idea, as usual, what anyone else in the group is doing. The Hunter feigns. The dragonkin goes for the healer.

I watch. “I’m not getting in the middle this time,” I say to myself. “It’s the last two trash mobs, let’s see them figure this out.”

The Healer begins to go down, as expected, because the tank won’t pull threat or taunt, or even notice. He’s off in some brave new world of discovery.

It’s only then that I realize that while I was back watching the Hunter run into the room trailing a dragonkin behind him, one of the folks already in the chamber, probably the tank, had activated  all the orbs, because we’ve got both the dragonkin AND the dragon boss active at the same time.


I drop my aloofness since if the healer goes down we’re gonna wipe on the boss (and did I mention I really didn’t want to pay a repair bill for this crap?) and taunt off of him.

Why yes, Paladins have a ranged taunt. Shocker!

I focus on killing the dragonkin and healing myself, while hopping, and thank the lord for the Shadow Priest, who did awesome focused damage throughout the run… I think on my targets and not on the tanks’.

The dragonkin both go down, and I begin attacking the dragon boss. Yes, I know his name, but I like saying dragon boss. Each time I do, I’m thinking the Erfworld “dwagon”.

Anyway, what I mean is, I try to attack the dwagon boss. I mean dragon.

See, the tank, that glorious Paladin tank, is not hopping in one place and tanking the dragon.

He’s not even swiveling from side to side doing the electric slide.

No, the Paladin tank is running around at full speed, back to the dragon, sometimes spinning around to face it and keeps going that way, to and fro, hither and yon, with no rhyme nor reason. Sometimes he runs through the dragon to come out the other side and keeps going. Just complete chaos.

I have never, ever seen a tank run around like complete bugnuts crazy on the last boss in Nexus before. That was something to see, boy howdy.

I’d also never known that that dragon boss tail swipe was a knockback.



Now, maybe this style of tanking is something that other guilds do. I don’t know. I checked the WoW Armory for my character statistics, and across my characters I’ve only done Nexus on Heroic about 50 times. So I might have missed something, and this guy knew the neat special way to do the run.

Somehow, though, since after jumping down from the ice tunnel after the rock giant boss he took a right heading back into the mobs instead of a left toward the dragon, I don’t think so.

This, as I said, was a successful run. We never, quite, fully wiped.

But wait, it gets better!

Once the dragon was dead, the funniest thing ever happened!

The tank said, “Great run folks. Now on to Old Kingdom!”

Umm… no. OMIGOD no freaking way!


I can feel my expectations recalibrating themselves… lowering… returning to 2006 levels.

Settling, settling… there!

Okay, now I am prepared for next time. No more pesky unrealistic expectations to get in the way!


66 thoughts on “It hurt so bad, and that's not good

  1. What’s sad, is that we know you aren’t making this stuff up.

    In my wow time, I’ve seen my share of this behavior as well.
    but, your story is the winner of the epic flail award.
    (to be given to the three dunces you described so well)

    By the way, thanks to your suggestion of VuDoh
    i’m actually able to tolerate healing once in a while when i branch out.
    (go ahead and groan at the tree druid humor)


  2. Brilliant commentary. I laughed and cringed with you, through out.

    Having learned the “A, B, C’s” of fear druid tanking here at your blog, I must say, the one thing I learned most is that the majority of people do not know anything about feral druid tanks. My favorite was most recent. I was invited to a pug group (had all the food and reagents needed prior to going… like you, a pet peeve) for Halls of Lightning (Heroic). We all made it into the instance, began buffing (the make-up was a DK, Hunter, Pali, and Lock), and of course the general chit-chat before the first two pulls at the top of the stairs. I marked both targets and got some rage going when the Lock says, “WTF” in chat. Being thoughtful, I stopped and asked if everything was alright in my usual, “?” reply. He says, “Hit cap is 540 for tanks in heroics”. I agreed and asked what his point was in my ever so useful “?” reply and then he did it… you’ve heard it… I’ve heard it…. any feral druid tank out there has heard it… “you’re only at 422. Learn your class before wasting peoples time” and he left the group before I could respond. Followed by the DK and the Pali (all guild mates). So there I am with the hunter and only the hunter. We’re looking at each other in only the way 2 pixelated Nightelves can look at each other when he goes, “Guess he never heard of survival of the fittest”.

    I said all that to basically say, that seems to be the biggest problem I am faced with: People more concerned about what YOU’RE doing than what they are doing. You were aware of what you were doing was effecting the run therefore you paid attention to what others were doing. These clowns I was just talking about had no idea what they were talking about only leaving me suspect of their capabilities to play their own class.

    But the happy ending: I got a healer and 2 DPS from my guild to make it through HoL with us.


  3. Great story, I have seen this as well. My theory is that, at this point in the expansion, people are running with their 6th level alt. Combined with the fact that content is *much* easier than it used to be, there really isn’t any need anymore for people to learn the proper mechanics of their class. In that respect, the game just isn’t like it used to be. I mean heck, even SM (back in the day) required more skill to complete than any instance in WotLK.
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..Protect Your Nuts =-.


  4. That just made my morning, B3. Excellent post, I was cracking up all the way through it. This is the #1 reason why I no longer PuG on any of my characters. I’m leveling up what will soon to be my fourth 80, an enhancement/resto shaman, and I haven’t set foot in a dungeon unless it’s with the guild or people I know. I’ve run too many PuGs this way. How does a Prot pally get to 80 and tank ToC without having a clue what Righteous Fury is? Oh yeah, totally boomkin tanked that one.


  5. Yeah, a digression, but… now you know why I get frustrated when people say “if nobody died, the healer was doing his job.”


  6. I am amazed you stuck with them.
    That was a great post. I really think sometimes we all forget what it is like to run with a random PuG. I have just allined with a new guild (great bunch of people). They do from time to time have to PuG a few for raids. I could not understand why the last raid went so badly. I understand it does take some time to learn how other play together. But this last raid was really PAINFUL. I found out from talking to the raid leader (I wanted to know how my heals where etc.) that (without pointing fingers) only two healers healed what they where assigned to. That means only the main tank and my group was being healed in a 25 man raid. Yes painful. Everyone has to understand there assignments and how to play there toon. READ the spells!!! They tell you what they are for and try them out once in a while. You might learn something.


  7. One of the reasons I hardly every pug is because of the sheer amount of cluelessness.

    I don’t mean non-advanced playing. I can even deal with things like feral dps who don’t bres or innervate (not that I’d allow such in a guild raid) or even shamans who forget to drop totems down regularly. But simple things like gearing and rotation. I had a feral dps not too long ago and 70% of their damage was mangle. Not a bleed in sight. And this is just one example out of millions. I’ve seen holy paladins stacking spirit, resto druids stacking crit – gah it goes on. the info is out there. Gods, just reading your TALENT TREES should make it obvious – there’s no excuse for that ignorance especially when 4/9/24 other people end up carrying you. And I hate that. As a guild and raid leader I hate that. I’m not asking 24 guildies to carry someone to free epics because they haven’t bothered to gear/don’t have a clue about their class. The other 24 geared/researched/have an ounce of sense.

    And I hate it when people don’t move. My guild knows this and fears my epic rants on the subjects. Sure we will summon if we can but if we don’t have a lock and there are 10 squillion horde at the summoning stone then we can’t – and then 24 ulduar raiders have to twiddle their thumbs while someone decides to start moving from ironforge (my hs is on cd! Yeah? This raid as been planned at this time for 5 days now. You didn’t see this as a problem?)

    Waaait a pala who can’t aoe tank? How do they NOT!? The druid may fail – or it may be that the tank is so squishy dots just won’t do it (damn that’s squishy). Teh hunter? yeah, I’d have kicked him. twice is a mistake. Three times isn’t on. 4 times is fail and intolerable. Same with damage meters. They spam it, I say I don’t like them, they spam again, I leave. Damage meters make people do stupid crap.

    And as a feral dps druid (my dual) AMEN to tanks that WON’T STAND STILL. Damn it, we only do damage if we stand BEHIND the mob and stack some combos. STOP MOVING HIM! ESPECIALLY when a boss has a breath attack


  8. that’s awesome. can’t get enough of these stories. makes you wonder what the threshold level needs to tell someone how to do something or when to intervene. one of my favorite personal stories was a guild run plus one pug. pre-ulduar (mid nax i believe) we were doing heroic HoL. this pug we got was what we called on vent “feralkin.” utterly hilarious. feral specced (sort of–not sure he’d used all his talent points) in caster gear (sort of). pulled a whopping 300 dps and kept telling our healer she reminded him of his mom (yeah, weird). then he wanted to roll on plate gear or something ridiculous. we were never mean outside of our own vent conversation, but you just wonder where these people come from or how they figure out how to even LFG. this guy at least understood pulling and things like that though. it was a great guild effort to 4 man H HoL.


  9. You’ve got a damn good point, Jeremiah. At what point do you offer up criticism of someone else? And how?

    How many times do stories about asshats start when the other person accuses you of something in the game? You know? Like Atheia’s story about the idiots that thought Druid tanks needed to reach a Defense Rating cap in WotLK, and quit the run without waiting for any discussion.

    That would be a pretty good topic for discussion, I think.

    For this case, I’ll just say that I was in silent disbelief for the first third, and after that I was silently horrified and wondering how deep the rabbit hole would go.

    “Surely”, I said to myself, “ONE of them will catch on eventually.”

    I never was rude, I never recommended any course of action or tried to tell anyone what to do. I gratted the Druid on battle rezzing the Paladin one of the times he died and I picked up the mobs, I thanked people for their DPS, and generally tried to be pleasant and unobtrusive on the run. The sum total of my suggestions was asking the tank to mark a primary kill target with Skull, and after seeing how that went, I just went with the flow.

    I believe my parting words to the group right before I left was, “Thanks for the run guys, that was good xp.”

    And truer words were rarely spoken. That WAS good experience. You’ll note I didn’t specify good experience at what.


  10. BBB says,

    “Surely”, I said to myself, “ONE of them will catch on eventually.”

    But here is the thing: They didn’t NEED to. As you said yourself, technically speaking, it was a “successful” run. Yes, running a 5-man *pug* without a single wipe is indeed…a success, by anyone’s standards, no matter how high the standards. And Blizzard is encouraging this play style, which perhaps really should be the point of the post as opposed to how poorly people play their class while basically “conquering” content. 😉
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..Protect Your Nuts =-.


  11. Okay, I’ll freely admit I hardly touch lifebloom these days, but no rejuv??? No regrowth? Nourish?

    ::headbark headbark headbark:: I was sorta clueless when I first max-leveled back in BC, I’ll admit freely but when I realized I really wasn’t getting it done, I went and found the information I needed to learn how to do it right!

    This group never wiped? I think that is probably the most amazing thing I’ve heard out of this story with all the crap that was going on in this run! I’ll give you full credit for being one of those who pulled it through. My hubby the pally tank will be shaking his head at this, too, when he reads it. How can a prot pally NOT know how to AoE tank when that’s all they had until just a few months ago??? As for the hunter… well, ones like him are why people call some of them huntards…


  12. You sure you weren’t doing a horde pug? I pugged ToC reg yesterday in a group lead by a pally who formed the group, he was going to tank.
    The joust portion went fine. Phase 2 was epic fail. I was healing on my holy pally and I know I’m notheroic ready unless I’m on with a competent tank, but this guy, would mark skull, X, square then randomly attack one of the targets, we had a ret pally who constantly pulled aggro it was amazing. Finally after 2 wipes the tank left. One thing I did learn is that 71 talent points in Prot does not make you a tank.
    We picked up a warrior and zoomed through the rest.


  13. No way in hell would I have stuck that out. Even if it was guildies, I wouldn’t have subjected myself to that without completely exploding. I typically do not PuG on my druid unless its for a raid that we don’t have scheduled or to get the Heroic daily done when there’s not a guild run to be had.
    However, I do PuG with my DK a bit, largely b/c I don’t really care about the toon, if he gets a run great, but no big deal. I will instigate shit with terrible tanks if they will not take suggestions. Had a H-ToC run a couple weeks back where the warrior tank wasn’t getting aggro on all three of the champions, and so the mage, warrior, or rogue was running off immediately at the healer and making short work of them. I told the warrior he should be using his cone effect and thunderclap off the bat to get some initial aggro on all 3. Two more wipes and I started calling him on this and that he needed to do a better job of getting them collected at first so the healer didn’t continue to get smoked, he proceeded to throw a hissy fit and boot me, even though I had set up the group initially and passed him lead for marking.
    Being a tank myself, I have little patience for tanks that won’t take suggestions and/or show improvement after wipes. Your story were both the tank and healer were not doing their job, on top of a screw up hunter would’ve had me dropping group without a word shortly into that instance.


  14. When you see someone doing something wrong, terribly wrong, it just hurts inside.

    Especially gear. I’ve seen a mage leveling (as in, right out there questing in Zul’Drak) with a Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftain ( Yes, a +Agility, no spellpower staff. I considered telling him, but in the end I just facepalmed and let him go on his merry way. What really got me though was that he was in his 70s, and still didn’t know the value of spellpower.. :/
    .-= Boize´s last blog ..2-Piece T9 and Improved Moonfire =-.


  15. Holy cow. I admire your patience, I don’t think I would have made it to the end of that pug. Although, on the other hand, it’s stories like this that make me wish I pugged more often. If only for the laughs.
    .-= Rhidach´s last blog ..Summer down! =-.


  16. As a person who plays a Pally tank this was a humorous and painful read. A pally tank that can’t or doesn’t understand AoE threat. Please its was our niche, it was what got us out of the pally’s cant tank of vanilla. I know next to nothing about druid healers accept that I love to run with the ones I know. Also the definition of a huntard should include this toons picture. That you stayed and used all of the abilities available to your class was awesome me I would have blowed. It also reinforces the reason I don’t pug. I don’t have the patience that you showed.


  17. Druids don’t get Nourish until level 80. The glyph of Healing Touch was meant as the druid’s “flash heal” if they didn’t want to use Regrowth, although at 79 I have no idea why s/he wouldn’t have glyphed for Regrowth to not only make use of a trailing HoT but to increase the heal if healed again while the HoT was still present.

    Not using Rejuvs though… That’s just special. o.O


  18. LOL @ “How do you expect the melee to position behind a target, if the tank is dancing the Chubby Checker?”.

    Would have been interesting to see their run histories on

    I cried at how familiar this story was to me.

    /salute to those who suffer the similar


  19. I don’t play a pally, and I don’t play a tank. But I HAVE leveled 3 characters to 80, and two of them have been successful in Naxx-25. So I think I know a bit about how to play. 🙂

    So it seems to me that a 75 Ret Pally should almost always pull aggro from a 72 Protadin, especially if the hunter is not MDing. That doesn’t negate any of the other stuff (all bad, I agree!). Just seems to me you should expect to beat the tank on threat: Three levels in Nexus is a LOT, considering it’s built for level 71-72.

    That said…I’m not afraid to make suggestions when I see people doing things that aren’t conducive to success: The tree should have been reminded to use HoTs for the benefit of the whole group; the hunter should have been told how to MD, and how to NOT tab target and have his pet autoattack. (I use macros for “Group” and “Solo” play. The group macro puts the pet on defensive, turns off growl, and a couple other things to make sure I’m not “that huntard.”)

    And the tank…Okay, when we run Heroics, our guild MT rarely marks. But when our top DPSer is tanking on his alt, and two or three others of us are on our alts, you better believe Skull and X, minimum, get marks on almost every pull. And even when they don’t, I’ve gotten pretty good at setting tank as my focus, and hitting his target.

    So by all means, SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE! If they don’t appreciate it, and things keep going to hell in a handbasket, then it’s time to say adios. But if you don’t tell ’em, who will? 🙂


  20. OMG! That was an awesome story and hearing it makes me want to quit WoW! My addiction won’t let me though. It brings back memories of a time I tanked a heroic with a former prot Warrior, pally healer, and a huntard. The FORMER prot warrior would charge groups before I was ready. Why? “Sorry, I’m used to tanking”. Doing this one or two times would be understandable, but almost every pull! I had to tell him to wait after almost every pull. The pally healer seemed like his UI consisted on one health bar, mine, and one button, Holy Light. He would not heal nothing else, not even himself, other than me. No bubbles, no judgments, no nothing…. Holy Light spam FTL! The Huntard was like yours and his pet was actually on aggressive because he said it made it easier for him to dps. It was like death, but worse.
    .-= klaki´s last blog ..A Second Wind =-.


  21. Blizzard should have given you a Feat of Strength achievement for sticking with that run! I’ve had many, many bad pug’s, but none nearly that bad!

    Thanks for providing some great entertainment as usual. I started reading your blog when I was leveling my first toon (feral druid) last November, but have continued to read it even though I have been spending most of my time on my warlock lately. Your post makes me want to start leveling my paladin again though. (And yes, I know how to use Consecrate) 🙂


  22. Kestral, I think you missed the part where he wasn’t *pulling* aggro, he was getting initial aggro and then standing there not attacking while the tank *never* tried to get aggro… 😀


  23. I totally remember being that clueless. Being the hunter who put wizard oil on my weapons thinking maybe it would increase my arcane shot damage. We’re all noobs at some point. I’ve only been playing since early 2008, so you know, relative to people who were around at the beginning, I’m still noobish. Why would someone who bought the game last month know how to play better than I did a year and a half ago? I mean, maybe they do. Maybe they learn faster then I did . . . but I guess I just don’t expect it of them.

    Hopefully, by the time you’ve played 70+ levels, you figure out how to do it. But you know how it is . . . some players are young (though I know some amazing young players) or slow or may be picking up a character on a friend’s account for the evening (“dude, do you mind if I try this game?”) or joined with recruit a friend and powerlevelled through 60 in a week as a ret pally, blundered through Outland, then dual specced into prot as soon as he had 1000g. Whatever. I can see situations where the player can be clueless even though the toon is in Northrend.

    But for anyone who’s wondering . . . there is a correct way to be clueless. I healed RFK on a resto shaman the other night. The tank was a pally who needed help finding RFK and asked if any of us knew why her attacks (with her Sin’dorei Warblade) took so long. Yeah, she was tanking with a 2H sword. She also warned us ahead of time that she’d only been playing for about 3 months and this was her first time tanking anything. It was good to know. Fortunately, the rest of the group . . . everyone in the group . . . was very supportive. We explained that she should use her other attacks, and consecrate. Maybe we should have told her that, ideally, she should be tanking with a shield . . . but at least she’d already figured out that she needed str/stam gear and must have found the AH at some point (or gotten extremely lucky with green “of the bear” drops), so healing was pretty easy and, geez, it’s just RFK. There was never much problem staying alive. Shields will be another lesson.

    But the point is she told us ahead of time what to expect, asked us for advice, and seemed truely appreciative when we gave her some. It ended up being just an awesome PuG.

    I absolutely agree with Kestrel. If players are doing stupid things, chance are it’s because they don’t know it’s stupid. And may not have the self confidence to ask for help. I have no problem offering up some humble wisdom. Usually prefaced with, “I play your class on an alt. Do you want some tips on how to hold aggro/heal more efficiently/whatever?” Usually, if they’re screwing up, they know it and welcome the advice.


  24. /salute

    All I can say. While it had me rolling, I know I would have seriously needed some Xanax to make it through that train wreck. The good news is, when you get a group that totally, awfully, horribly bad, you know that YOU have a firm understanding of your class 😛
    .-= Windsoar´s last blog ..Basic Healing =-.


  25. Our theory is that there are a great many new players in the game and with the total collapse of the guild system (there are probably 2-3 guilds that raid on the realm we play in, the rest are leveling guilds), they do not learn how to play their character in a raid. It is not obvious how to tank, for example. Without patience and the willingness to learn plus no raiding guild to teach newer players how to act, the situation will not improve. I think Blizzard knows this and that’s why content is getting easier. If it stayed the way it was in the beginning, the new players would soon quit paying their $15 each month.
    .-= Chillyhollow´s last blog ..BIg Bear Butt Discovers the Guild System Has Collapsed =-.


  26. thats like my favorite story of yours 🙂

    I have a tip for the targeting thing though, if it wasn’t already mentioned. 2 macros

    /focus target


    /assist focus

    hit the first on the tank in the beginning of instance, and the second whenever you need to during pulls. It helps alot.


  27. I’ve had surprisingly good luck in heroic PuGs since 3.2, both healing and tanking. I tend to play late, and by then most of my guild has either gone to bed or already done the daily, so I have to take what I can get. The only run I recall coming close to that was one where I was healing H Culling of Stratholme, and the over-excitable DPS started the waves *before I zoned in*. Amazingly, the bear-tank survived the first wave relying on cooldowns.

    The DPS then went on to pull the second wave, too. I arrived *just* in time to save the tank, but not the rogue and hunter… They died 2 or 3 more times once I was there, by pulling the packs before the tank got to ’em. On the final boss-fight, I didn’t bother healing the rogue – it’s about the only time I’ve deliberately let someone die, and I felt a little guilty about it afterward… but only a little. (Watching the rogue’s energy bar sit at 100 for way too long was the final straw… But before that was their harping on beating the timer – you pulled without the healer and died – we’re not beating the timer this run.)


  28. @Chillyhollow

    I agree, but don’t think the issue is that broad. Consider this: You join LFG to run Nexus since you notice you have 3 quests for that instance in your log, not that you have remembered this because you are on your alt alt’s alt and it’s been 6 months since this toon has seen the light of day. Your UI is hosed and your talents have been reset yet *again*. In fact, you are impressed that you even notice this as you scramble to randomly “talent” yourself. Meanwhile you get invited to a group. What the hell, right? You have *wads* of double xp that can used up in a less boring way than doing the same quests three times now. Your are dps, that much you know, but pull agro on the first pull anyway. You quickly hit the keybind for Feign Death…oh, wait, I am a rogue…THAT is my main with that ability. You die and everyone laughs at you. Next pull, the healer takes a fateful blow. He apologizes saying he hit the wrong key looking for “fade”, this isn’t his main he says. We all laugh. The tank confesses the same. So does the other dps. We all laugh some more and muddle our way through the instance with no “wipes” but some individual deaths. It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done. Someone asked if we wanted to take our “Alt Noob” group to another instance, we all jumped on the opportunity. The comedic material in and of itself was more than worth it. Non-heroic Nexus = the new Deadmines for the up and coming fourth level alts. 😉
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..Protect Your Nuts =-.


  29. I actually think the druid did a bang up job. I have healed almost every NR instance (non-heroic) using healing touch as my main spell. Of course, I was specced moonkin. But when there is a healer shortage people take what they can get.


  30. I am aware this is flamebait but…


    That’s what you get for playing Alliance BBB.


    Haha, burn!

    …or something along those lines. Nightmare PuGs are the absolute worst, and I think it’s funny how you mention that technically it wasn’t a fail PuG cause you never really wiped. Which means neither of those three players will ever, ever, EVER get any better, because you finished the instance. Ah well, I guess you can only hope they find Goblins appealing in Cataclysm and wander back over to our side. Ugh…


  31. That was the most entertaining story I’ve read in a long, long time. Unfortunately, there is a huntard in my guild that thinks she needs spellpower. Yes, she is level 80. She even rolled on items in Naxx that were sp items, and after being told that hunters do not use sp, immediately logged. Some folks just can’t be helped. She’s been advised on multiple occasions what kind of gear she needs, and one other hunter went so far as to tell her which talents to put points in and what rotation to use. Sadly, she is completely clueless still. Tonight we brought her along to OS 10, and as expected, her DPS was lower than both tanks. The other DPSers offset hers, so it wasn’t really that big of a deal, but there is no way we could take her to Ulduar or ToC with us at this point. I’m not even sure how successful heroics would be with her in the group.


  32. ” I shouldn’t expect a summons automatically, should I?”

    This ^ has got to be my pet peeve in this game. A while back I was asked to heal a HoL, last spot, and repsonded “sure, just gotta do this group quest with my mate, be there in a few minutes”. The group quest in question was in Eastern Plaguelands. I got it done, took a bit longer than I thought, perhaps 5 minutes from the whisper to me being able to join their group. Surprised they waited, being pugs and all, but still. So the group has been formed for at least five minutes, they have notification that I am on my way, I HS to Dalaran, repair, get more candles (being priest and all), and hop on the taxi to Ulduar. And whaddaya know – I get to help summon the rest..

    The story BBB, is just so terrible that it’s good!


  33. This did make me chuckle, I’ve seen some terrible players but this almost makes me want to reinstall the game and have another go. Sure it’s frustrating when things like this happen but then it’s all part of the rich tapestry of gaming.
    .-= ZombiePirateXXX´s last blog ..Welcome Servitob =-.


  34. @ Kestrel: A 72 paladin tank should never be losing aggro to a 75 ret paladin, unless the ret in question has his RF turned on by mistake. The great thing about a Paladin tanking is that once you get aggro, they stick to you and it’s actually challenging to try to take aggro from us. 🙂 Of course, this assumes you know what you’re doing.

    @ BBB & Bluetiger: Sigh. Honestly; I can see why they were implemented and the theory behind them is good, but I still think we’d be better off without summoning stones at instances. Before them we all had to make our own way to the instance, but at least everyone DID go there. Nowadays it seems no-one actually bothers and everyone just carrys on questing or whatever they were doing whilst waiting for the summon they assume is incoming. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve flown halfway across the world to get to an instance, only to find that I’m the only one that has even started the journey. ><


  35. You get your bad pugs a lot these days. With ret paladins dishing out a whooping 300dps and a full epic lock with 800 dps…
    But yesterday my faith was restored. I ran cos hc with me as druid tank and a resto healer. After the run he told me he is dabbling in tnaking but has trouble holding aggro on multiole targets. I checked her gear and spec and told her what abilities and rotations/prorities to use in which situation. It was soooo refreshing to see someone genuinely interested in improving their play. Most of the time you get rude comments when you tell the mage that armor penetration isn´t really good for them f.e…..
    So, there is still hope!


  36. Wow. Was in a reg UK group with my 75 enhancement shaman, my husbands 68 druid who was healing and a horrible 75 dk tank (a dk and shadow priest made up the rest). He marked nothing in the beginning even though I asked 4 times. It took the healer (my hubby) to request it before he started, then he used star as main target and skull as #2 (/sigh) and he could not keep aggro. I had to finally just make an /assist macro so I would at least be attacking the same target as him. I do not know how we made it to Ingvar but after the 4th wipe, he bailed. He was just too squishy even with my hubby healing and me tossing some heals, could not get past phase two. He would be down in one smash or whatever it is called. Everyone else was taking so much damage as well as he kept spinning Ingvar around in a waltz or something.


  37. Thank you Bear. I thought, after playing this game for 2 1/2 years, that I was still a bad hunter. My 14 year old son still has to help me with my survival spec (I’m actually decent at BM). However, you give me hope that I’m certainly not the worst player in the game. This was hilarious!


  38. Umm, Mike?

    I hate to say this, cause I actually laughed at your comment, I love that kind of rivalry, but…

    My Paladin is on Horde side.

    My Paladin WAS a Dwarf, but I did the faction change first day. This pug was a Horde side pug, the Druid was a Tauren, etc. My Paladin is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. 🙂 Sorry, thats my way of saying I’m now a Blood Elf Paladin. At least until race changes go live and I can convert to Tauren.

    That’s why I was in a pug, if I want to run something now, I don’t have any guildies. Just me and the almighty LFG.

    No, no I did not do this just because I wanted to improve the material I have to draw on for stories.


  39. I don’t have your patience. I’d have been in there telling the paladin tank what to do, get this skill out, use this skill here, use that skill there. I’d have been telling the druid healer what to do, albeit I don’t have a druid healer, but I’d be all – HoT’s HoT’s HoT’s are your friend! Roll ’em out!

    I probably would have laughed at the hunter dying too. 🙂
    .-= kikidas´s last blog ..A Keiji in Naxxramas =-.


  40. Oh, and FYI, I still had the Recount Damage/Healmeter stats saved from the run. I checked. It is verified 100% certain the Druid did NOT cast one single Rejuvenation in the entire evening.

    It broke down to 1200 Wild Growths cast, and 500+ Healing Touches. Yes, I was clearly mistaken, I must have been getting healed… unless Healing Touch was for the tank, Wild Growth was going to the ranged group, and thus I as melee was always out of range of Wild Growth.

    As far as healing percentages, the Druid had 42% of the healing, and I as the Ret Pally had 34%.

    Clearly I judged the Druid too harshly, after all Wild Growth going to the ranged group must have been doing a lot of healing… it’s just my misfortune to have been out of range of it.


  41. Oh Bear, I feel your pain. I laughed at some of the stuff, because I’ve seen it done too.

    You know what else I’ve seen? You know how that “Tank”adin was running around like a madman on the boss? I’ve seen Sartharian tanked that way. <.< I was on my healer alt, and was doing OS-25, and the tank had never been there before. Someone told him to watch out for "Flame Walls" which I guess he took as "Anything that's on fire!" and he just kept jumping through the boss and running around the boss and kept the boss spinning all around the entire fight which resulted in melee getting cleaved, people getting smacked with the tail, people flying into lava, etc. Crazy.
    .-= Naissa´s last blog ..Guest Raiding Part 2: Ulduar Again! =-.


  42. Wild Growth on the ranged dps? Heh. That’s classic.

    Seriously though, I have to admit that I, on my resto druid, will often cast Wild Growth on myself. After the combat is over. You know, when I can position myself in range of everyone that needs topping off.


  43. Just out of curiosity, what realm are you on? I had a similar run on Khaz Modan, where the tank ran in circles around the final boss. Unfortunately, we wiped several times.


  44. I have to give you a lot of credit for sticking with that group. It may be easier (mentally) as a dps spec to accept when ppl die but as a healer or tank (I have both as well) it gets way more frustrating because I take responsibility, even if its not my fault. I’ve never really had problems with PuGs myself, probably because I can only play late and most of the kiddies are past their bedtime.


  45. BBB,

    First off, like many here, kudos for sticking it out – I’m not sure I could.

    I’ve noticed, that like you’ve commented in the past, and like many other people here have too, that the better one gets, the more expectation there becomes on the others that one runs with. I’ve noticed it in DPS, with both guildies and in PuGs that I expect people who are geared near where I am to put up numbers along the lines of mine. I expect aggro control, and attention to mobs that peel off the tank by the group, protection of the healers and clothies, and other such things that I now seem to feel is natural for good party runs. Heck, even when I’m DPS, I end up pulling stuff off the healers/clothies, since my being a DK, I can easily pull those mobs to the tank to get things back in order.

    But when the tank doesn’t do ‘the job’ and pull it off me… I get ticked, now. That’s part of being a tank, to me. I do it when I tank, and if I didn’t, I’d expect someone to be upset at me.

    When the tank doesn’t pick up and keep track of all mobs that are being engaged, the tank has failed to a degree in his job.

    When the DPS doesn’t watch their aggro, and pulls a mob unintentionally from the tank, the DPS has failed to a degree in her job.

    When the healer doesn’t think ahead and apply a good combination of spells that might be more efficient to healing (especially on the tank), waiting to see the damage before reacting, the healer has failed to a degree in its job.

    I dunno. When I go out and do anything in a group – though it’s to a bit of a lesser degree for BGs – I always try to bring my A-game. Whether we’re farming Utgarde Keep, which I can almost do in my sleep, to working on new content in Ulduar or Trial of Crusader, I always try to do my best. I’m a harsh critic on myself, and I know it, but it’s how I keep my forward momentum, and improve.

    I read. I try stuff out. I work on my gear. I keep trying to take as many invites I can to the more endgame content, so I can gear out and try stuff.

    I’ve learned to tank, and I’m relatively geared for it. (And I like it.)

    So, running with people who don’t know their class, don’t know their roles, and/or aren’t executing to the best of their abilities… frustrates me.

    And I see it a LOT in the new ‘Heroic Farms’.

    We’ve had a relatively new 80 Prot Pally tank and get me killed twice in REGULAR ToC, because he didn’t get the mobs off me when I pulled them in off the healer. He didn’t watch for mobs peeling off, he didn’t get aggro very quickly, and it didn’t feel like he was following kill order.

    He also didn’t keep an eye on our healer’s mana… though she handled that pretty well.

    We didn’t wipe at all, thank goodness, or I’d have really been upset. But I did die twice, and our healer died once. Three deaths for an instance we SHOULD have owned, especially since I could have tanked it better myself.

    Why did the new Pally tank? Because he was SINGLE SPECCED and did not have a DPS spec.

    My advice to everyone – have a DPS spec available, in this new land of Dual Specs, if you’re not ready on your other job specs (Healing or Tank), so you can fall back on that in a group setting.

    Don’t put the group in the position of having you do a job you’re not ready for, simply because you can’t offer anything else.

    I think I could have tanked it fine. I’ve done it before with that healer, even with lackluster DPS.

    But that would have meant excluding the Paladin, even if that Pally was still part of the group, because DPS in Tank mode sucks.

    But not having another spec to fall back on? Inexcusable, in my opinion. Not at Lv. 80. Even if that other spec was Holy, the Priest then could have had the option of going DPS and we’d have taken it down. Or heck, I think we could have with two healers and a little bit less DPS.

    The point is – don’t force the group to make a bad decision because you want to do something you’re not ready for, and give them no other options other than to find someone else.

    Know your character. Know your role. Perform to the best of your ability. These SHOULD be givens for any group. But also, know your limitations. This seems to be a sticking point, these days, especially in Heroics.

    It’s not unreasonable, Bear. Your expectations seem extremely appropriate to me.

    But good job for sticking it out… A lesser man would have bailed. I think I might have.

    My 2 yen to the Bearadin,

    .-= Akiosama´s last blog ..What’s in a (Guild) Name? =-.


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