Shabby PUGs I can stand, but exploits really makes my ass drag!

Name where I got that (slightly changed) quote from that I used as a title, and get a Big Bear shout out… because if you recognise where it came from after I tweaked it a little, you’re definitely my kind of movie fan.

Yes, that’s a hint. The original line is from a movie. Here’s a second hint; it’s one of my favorite films of all time.

Now, on to the show!

A few nights ago I finally achieved my mini-goal of hitting 375 Enchanting on my Shaman, and so I no longer had any excuse not to play her.

I queued up once again as a Healer Shaman, and away I went into LFD.

All I wanted was a quick romp in the Heroic sack with some random PUG I picked up in a bar, but, as Ford Fairlane might have said, “I got the bonus plan.”

I got Drak’theron Keep, and in looking at the group composition (as I always do for Totem adjustment) I saw that three of the others in the group were all from the same guild. A Paladin, a Shaman, and a Shadow Priest.

Now, the first thing I did was laugh, and I mean really laugh at the name of this guild.

Get this; Prophet of Cthulhu.

Why did that get me chuckling? For the answer to that, may I refer you to this ancient post of mine, from May of 2008, wherin I plug John Ringo books, throw down the hate on Transformers, laugh about things that lots of people probably take very seriously, get insanely cranky… and way down at the bottom relate a true story concerning myself, some very serious true believers, and the great old ones of Lovecraftian lore.

Okay, so I’m laughing with the guild name of these three, and off we go.

First thing I do, as I said, is see that one of the three, Lardzilla, is a Enhancement Shaman, and I’m examining what Totems he’s dropping in the first coupe fights so I can set mine not to overlap. I also check to see what the Paladin did for buffs, all the things a Shaman has to do to make sure you drop the right Totems. And of course, I get my Tremor Totem set for later, when the fear, she be a flowing.

This causes me to lag a little behind, but I do my best to keep the heals flowing.

Then we get to some lizards, and I’ve got max skinning and seem to be the only skinner, so again, I’m lagging behind a little trying to get some skinning in.

All in all, I’m doing my best, but I’m certainly not feeling like I’m giving off the impression to the others of being bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and poised to let the heals flow.

We blow through the instance, everything is pretty nice, a few times the Paladin scoops up groups that are a bit larger than I’d certainly like, but some frantic healing and Nature’s Swiftness keep everything just fine.

We hit the end boss, finish him off, and I win the epic Mail healing bracers. Score!

I also ding the 25 Emblem achievement. 🙂

I thank the group for the run, and make the comment in passing that it does get hard gearing up a new alt all over again.

The Paladin, of all people, comments that he knows the feeling from his Druid.

I mention that at least I’ve got an idea about healing and some good toolslike Vuh’do thanks to my other healer, a Tree Druid, and the Paladin says he hates Vuh’do on his Tree Druid, he prefers Lifebloomer instead, an addon I’m not even sure I’ve heard of before.

Next thing I know, the Paladin says, “Hey, when did you ding?”

I tell him I just turned 80 on Saturday, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Next thing I see, he’s queued the four of us up for heroic Forge of Souls, and says, “Here, let’s get you some gear.”

Well… okay, this is an unprecedented level of niceness from three folks that I haven’t seen before. My healing sure as heck didn’t warrant this behavior.

What does that leave?

It couldn’t possibly be… nice people?


The Paladin queues us up, and it won’t let him. Why? Because despite my efforts, I still don’t have the gear necessary to let me in.

So the Paladin laughs and queues us up for regular Forge of Souls, and away we go!

We did Forge of Souls, and Pit of Saron, back to back, and they were willing and ready to go do Halls of Reflection, if I hadn’t had to go get Alex ready for bed.

And a nicer bunch of people I haven’t seen in a PUG in a long, long time.

Knowing the fights, the enemy tactics, and the boss encounters from both a Paladin tank and Healer point of view helped immensely in making sure I was proactive in my healing rather than reacting in a panic.

And being familiar with Vuh’do and having studied my spells also helped a ton.

But mostly, I had a very well geared tank and a very powerful group of DPS that killed things before they had a chance to hurt anyone too much. 🙂

Earlier I mentioned an exploit. Mostly, I brought it up just to be able to use that movie quote in the title. 🙂

We did use an exploit I had never heard of before, in Pit of Saron, but it didn’t actually make my ass drag. OR make my butt slump.

What happened was, as soon as Ick and Krick were dead, the Paladin said, “Everyone mount up, we’re going to do the exploit.”

I had no idea what he meant, but I know what a mount is. I’m kinda crafty that way. I can haz hoofs!

Loot was taken, but even before the dialogue was over and Krick was dead, we were mounted up… and heading up the ramp.

We reached the top of the ramp just as the two shadowcasters appeared to head down, and they ignored us as we kept on going to the other side and stopped on that first landing halfway towards the tunnel, where it takes a dogleg 90° to the right. The two groups on the ramp spawned after those two reached their positions… and ignored us, safe at the top landing.

We only had the two groups of icicle guys and their minions to deal with before the tunnel.

I don’t mind the ramp, but I’ll admit, I wasn’t crying a river of alligator tears about avoiding that particular fight when I don’t know everyone I was with, and my healing power is a might on the low side just yet.

Anyway, we blasted through the whole thing, I was very careful of my healing during Overlord Brands, and I got the nice Mail healing chest piece, and of course emblems and stuff.

More than that, we chatted a bit during the run, and I really was amazed at how you can sometimes just bump into the nicest people.

Things like this really serve to highlight one lack which I wish Blizzard could remedy.

We already have an ignore list that works cross-server, and if you put somebody from another server on it, it prevents you from being queued with that person in a random again in the future.

That’s all well and good.

What I wish is that there was a cross-server friends list, where if you find yourself grouped with some really nice folks, you could exchange friends lists.

You put them on your list, they put you on theirs, and if the random generator sees two people who BOTH are on each other’s friends list, it matches them up together by preference, if possible.

Just a thought. It’s nice that we can prevent future occurances of playing with the same asshats, but I’d love it if we could increase the chance that we would play with great folks we’ve had fun with again.

So, to Khaotix, Karalov, and Lardzilla of Prophet of Cthulhu, thank you very much for being really nice people, and great players, and for being kind to a complete stranger in a pug.

Bravo. You all rock.

24 thoughts on “Shabby PUGs I can stand, but exploits really makes my ass drag!

  1. Actually, I can’t tell if it’s your tree or your priest that was on this run… if it was your Priest, please disregard all Nature’s Swiftness BS from me. 🙂

    My Priest is still 72, and has been since week 2 of Wrath being released.

    Someday I will start leveling the Priest, but I’m really getting tired of leveling in Northrend. In the meantime, I’ve got no Priestly idea how they work at end game these days.


  2. @Kat…

    First off, don’t feel bad about your performance in terms of how your group responded. The first rule of the Pit of Saron guantlet is, you go at the pace the tank feels comfortable with in order to grab all the aggro. It is truly, 100% the tanks responsibility to grab aggro on all mobs, including the small skeletons that get spawned along the way.

    If the tank does not have the gear in terms of health/avoidance to survive to the steel disc half way up, or from that point to the end with minimal heals, then the tank needs to pause early and wait for heals, making sure things are kept off of you.

    As a healer, it is your responsibility to let the tank grab aggro, but when it’s necessary, throw the heals. If you start healing because the tank is about to die, and you get swarmed from the aggro, guess what; it’s not all your fault.

    Yes, it is always good to wait on heals until you’re sure the tank has established threat on all mobs to overtake potential heal aggro. WHEN YOU HAVE THE LUXURY.

    If the tank is dropping like a stone and hasn’t got aggro yet, you’re presented with two choices; don’t heal and let him die and the group wipes, or heal and glow like a little Sun to the ungrabbed enemies and die when they come for you and then the tank, who was dropping like a stone, dies anyway.

    Does this sound like a situation where it’s all the healer’s fault?

    When groups were first gearing up, most of the ones I saw had to take the guantlet in stages. Only when tanks got geared well enough did it become the standard to just dash to the center, and then dash to the end.

    Sounds to me like you’re still starting and getting there, but so is the tank, and in this situation rather than adjusting tactics based on group capability, the tank mindlessly zerged as he’d seen everyone do before.

    Prior proper planning prevents piss poor performance. He didn’t have a proper plan in place prior to the pull, and so his piss poor paws got pounded.

    Cheer up! Trees are OP when you get a little better gear. Trust me.

    If you find you need a fast big heal as an oh shit button, you might want to think about speccing into Nature’s Swiftness, and then setting up a practised sequence of Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch for a super fast instant cast oh shit big heal.

    I don’t do that on my Druid, personally, because I am geared anough not to need it on heroics, in fact I havebn’t cast Healing Touch in like 4 months. But I do have Nature’s Swiftness and Healing Wave set up for my Shaman, as I learn, and I use that instant big heal all the damn time. Less now that I passed 2k +healing, and Chain and Lesser and Riptide are taking the slack, but it’s nice to have it right there if someone (like a clothie) pulls aggro and drops to 200 health in one shot.


  3. Yesterday I ran a heroic PoS, it was horrific. This morning I sat down to catch up on my feedreader and here you were. So while I’m a little late commenting on your post – it struck a chord.

    I play a healer. I have a resto druid and a holy priest; I restarted playing the game in late January, and my priest just dinged 80 about a week ago. I’d been holding off on trying a heroic until two days ago, because I was nervous that my gear wouldn’t be good enough, and I’d never done any heroics in BC, so I didn’t know what to expect. Sunday, I queue up, I get through h Nexus, and then h Old Kingdom, no sweat. According to the “hardest heroics” poll, OK is supposed to be quite tough, so I decide heroics aren’t so bad after all, but I still want to go back to the regular ICC 5-mans a couple times.

    Yesterday I’m online, and a new dps from my guild sends out a gchat asking for a healer for the final boss of PoS. I say I’ll go. So after a couple minutes the group summons me, and lo and behold, it’s not regular PoS, it’s heroic PoS. I don’t say anything, admittedly mostly because I don’t want to get yelled at, and because I’ve run it twice on normal and never had a problem with the instance. So I cross my fingers, and we run to the hill before the gauntlet, and I follow two dps towards the left to go around the trash mobs. A minute later the tank comes barreling up the hill on his mount, straight into all 6 mobs. Before I can even dismount, he’s dead. DPS is cranky, tank says he’s used to killing them, we go back, kill them, and start the gauntlet. On the first leg, the tank, who has 32K health, gets smashed by icicles, and mobs, and his health is falling fast. I throw a shield, a renew and a PoM to try to keep him up till the circle, but he hasn’t gotten all the mobs’ aggro, so they all come for me, and we wipe. More complaining, and one of the dps says, no heals on the run until we get to the circle and the tank can get aggro, ok? So everyone agrees, and we make it through the first circle, I get the tank up to 100% and shield him for the last leg, but then we wipe at the top because the tank has about 3% health once he makes it to the circle and I’m panicking, my instant cast spells aren’t enough of a band-aid to keep him up until I can get a real one off and before I remember DH he’s dead. Everyone yells at me, and asks where the heals were, I try to explain that they said no heals and that I can’t run and get off a big heal simultaneously, that’s for druids, or disc priests, the tank /facepalms and I get booted from the group. They go on to complete the run with a different healer.

    So, clearly I was doing something wrong. They were able to get through with a different healer, and while I’ve never gotten any complaints about my healing before, that seems implies that I have some more learning to do or there’s some strategy I’m not grasping. I checked online (wowhead, wowwiki) … Is there something I’m missing about that gauntlet run? That I should have been doing, but wasn’t? Maybe I’m just not geared well enough for that heroic? My gs is 1928 according to wow-heroes, and I have over 18500 mana and +1750 healing. I love healing, and I’ve never had terrible pug experience before, but how’s a healer supposed to learn what she’s doing wrong if no one takes the extra 2 minutes to explain their expectations.


  4. Just an extra tip BBB, you can skip the first group of skellies on the hill by hugging the left wall of the ramp 🙂


  5. I had a similar experience last night. I got to pay it forward. I dread getting my frost badges these days in LFG but I suck it up and heal them. Rarely does the healer get grief. (I stopped tanking them once I had the pet.) So we get H VH. I think great quick easy and done. I am always prepared for jerkwads or the quiet efficient runs.

    Well I got a DK tank. No biggie my gear is good enough to heal that. She doesn’t take much damage. I did the switches on Hadronox. I was kinda bored. Everything even bosses die really fast these days in regular heroics. So we get the chicken boss. I comment, since I am bored and have time to type, as a paladin healer, on a boss fight, that her tanking skills are really good. We finish the fight and she tells me she just dinged 80 yesterday. She said she was in mostly blues, so I inspect, and sure enough. I said she will be a great tank. She asked if I want to do another she needs the gear.

    Sure says I.

    We get H PoS she is ready to back out. I said no I got this. She made it through the first boss fine, but she dies twice on the second boss. Well we had an elemental shaman with some heal gear and a resto spec. I asked if anyone else could heal. And I magically became the tank. Now my tank gear is ICC ToC stuff. My Dodge is like 30%, health over 40k unbuffed, that sort of thing. She is impressed. I said look if the tank gear drops it is your’s I don’t need it.

    I proceed to do the last 2 bosses and the pull the ramp without the exploit, because you know the battered hilt would pay for the Pillars of Might. She got some nice upgrades. She appreciated the help. I let her tank the fights first. I healed her through the tunnel fight, and she tried both Ick and Tyrannus. I don’t care that I had a few wipes. Everyone was glad to help the new person out. There was also a slightly undergeared mage there, who got nice upgrades as well.

    So Peannut the gnome DK on the Scilla server good luck and I hope you meet some more nice people. I said then, and I will say it again. I would heal for people like you anytime.
    .-= Arkaneena´s last blog ..Tier Piece or Nontier Piece That is the Question =-.


  6. There kinda will be a cross-realm friends list, with the next incarnation of “Real-ID” will allow you to friend-list people and chit-chat with them, anywhere in the Blizzard universe. So, cross-server in WoW, if they’re playing Warcraft, or Starcraft, or Diablo. Anywhere.

    However, I still would like a “friends” list that would work as others have suggested: preferentially queue me with people on it. THAT would be sweet!


  7. Another great article.

    One of our guildies (rogue) hit 80 yesterday. I promised to run her through at least one heroic. We were able to fill the group except for no guild tanks were online at that moment. We queued into a random within 30 seconds. The rogue was having somewhat of a hard time… but our ‘guest’ tank (druid) realized what was going on and was extremely patient. While he could not provide advice for the rogue… he certainly made the fights easier. The ultimate display of patience came when he took us through two more runs and then wished the new 80 the best of luck.


  8. BBB, I agree with you 100%.

    What I wish is that there was a cross-server friends list, where if you find yourself grouped with some really nice folks, you could exchange friends lists.
    You put them on your list, they put you on theirs, and if the random generator sees two people who BOTH are on each other’s friends list, it matches them up together by preference, if possible.

    Anyone cares to throw a post at te official forums under “Sugestions”?
    I can do it at the Europe forums.


  9. hey,

    BBB, i read your blog all the time and i love it, what i love mostly is the way you treat “asshats” and funny enough i wanted to send you an email today about an accident that happened with me in gundrak heroic last night.

    i queued for daily and it was gundrak , i enter there with 3 newly dinged dpsers, and a shammy with an ego as big as his ass it seems, he shouted when he entered : OMG WHY I ALWAYS GET NOOBS !!!! so i nicely told him to leave if he doesn’t want to do the instance with us, he replied with : pull today ? which made me focus my warrior’s rage on him as he was very rude so i replied saying : i will pull tomorrow and sat down, ofc he pulled the mobs and i reacted and tanked them. although my warrior is fairly geared with 4 t9 and mostly ilvl 232 items, i was topping the meter but i didn’t care tbh, it was just gundrak not HOR, plus it was nice seeing my warrior topping the meter as thank as that is something i can only get on my druid 😛

    Anyway we kill the boss and the druid moonkin ask me something so i stop pulling to reply to him, the shaman meanwhile says: damn noobs i ll solo this, and pulls more mobs, i let him die and don’t tank them until he dies, so after this pull i asked him to leave as we like to continue the run on our own, he said with pleasure, he hearth out and dont leave teh group .

    Now, what followed was one of the things i hate in the new vote to kick option, we were not able to do that to him and kept getting this message:” players can not be vote to kick in combat or shortly after combat” so we were waiting there in gundrak while he was doing dailies!!! we ask him again to leave and he refuses! so i said that i am willing to go make coffee irl and chat with u guys until the option to vote to kick is available, funny enough they all replied to it and we started asking about what happened with us during the day, work, school and such , which pissed off the shammy too much until he said : omg nabs !!! so then I madly said : i have 6 lvl 80s and this is my newest alt !! so i am not a noob ! -the Spirest and Moonkin agrees as they too have many alts- if you just grew hair on your chin and think u are on top of the world because u have a high gearscore then you really must go outside your room a little!

    vote to kick was available after that, and we went to do 4 more heroics with different healers without any problems 🙂

    TL:DR; so moral of that day to me was :

    1- nice ppl will always exist in WOW even if there are rude ppl as well
    2- the vote to kick option has to be changed or improved .

    thx for reading 🙂


  10. I have been running a LOT of PUG’s recently (to gear my 5 x level 80’s) and although you do occasionally get great groups its just unfortunate that the vast majority are full of fuckwits.


  11. Yeah… that exploit works… until you wipe in the tunnel and people get split up and for some retarded reason run straight into the mobs you skipped instead of waiting for the rest of the group. Maybe the mobs reappear out of nowhere again if they weren’t destroyed the first time? Only explanation I can think of…
    But it’s nice to hear that you had a great group!


  12. @Twinsuns: “By and large the hill after Ick isn’t bad if you are healing as a shaman. Having done it as a paly and a druid all I can say is cleansing totem is your friend. With the totem cleansing the debuff and chain heals, those pulls are not nearly as bad.”

    I’ve healed it as a Pally and a Druid, and can’t say which I prefer. With a good tank, both classes do well. With a bad tank, my Paladin 1) has better gear, 2) has better individual survivability, and 3) has Divine Sacrifice to help out with the AoE. While my Druid does have the better AoE healing, I think I prefer my Paladin (especially since the Druid can’t heal the disease… and that thing hurts).

    Now, I’ve also TANKED those pulls on two classes – Paladin and Warrior. And that’s one of the places where I prefer my Warrior, despite him being less geared. I’ve got those pulls down to a science using Heroic Throw, Concussion Blow, Spell Reflect, Shield Bash, Cleave, and Thunderclap all to maximum effectiveness. My Paladin just goes in, silences two of them, stuns them when they all get in range, and then it’s back to normal tanking duties. Warrior = more to do = more fun. 🙂


  13. Yay, a GOOD pug story…

    They are far too few… most pugs are just.. normal.. you get it done and you go on your way… you occasionally get really annoying types that cause most stories… and then the rarest… a gem like this.. 🙂

    thanks for sharing, Bear!


  14. Wow that’s a nice experience. I was expecting a harrowing tale of yet another shitty pug. Yes, sometimes you do get that perfect group composition and it’s a real pleasure to play with such decent people.


  15. By and large the hill after Ick isn’t bad if you are healing as a shaman. Having done it as a paly and a druid all I can say is cleansing totem is your friend. With the totem cleansing the debuff and chain heals, those pulls are not nearly as bad.


  16. Congratulations Vink, yes, you got it right, and you get a pony. Even better, althugh your comment was caught by my spam filter, nobody else posted it after, so nobody else ended up thinking they won only to find you nailed it first… in stealth.

    Honorable mention goes to Silvchan on Lochar for also geting it right… but instead of posting it as a comment, he emailed it to me. 🙂

    Ahh, The Eiger Sanction. One of my favorite movies of all time, and one that I can come close to quoting the entire dialogue, not just my favorite parts. It’s the flow of dialogue, the rhythym. But mostly, it’s the way Clint grabs the role and makes it his own. Having read the original novel the Eiger Sanction, I can tell you that the bones of the story are clearly there, the Robert Ludlum elements of Bourne style suspense, but Clint Eastwood took a poorly fleshed out character and truly made it his own, in a way you oftentimes hear about, but rarely get to actually see. In this case, you read the Eiger Sanction and then see the film, and you can see how, no matter what the source material or screenplay may say, actors make or break everything.

    In The Eiger Sanction, he gets to combine the lethal ruthlessness of the Man With No Name movies with the sarcastic smartass of the Dirty Harry movies for the ultimate Clint role.

    Grats, Vink!


  17. The odd pug with really genuinely nice people really do make up for the absolute shit ones. I recently dinged 80 on my paladin 4 days ago and specced into HOLY to try out healing and I’m digging it. I’ve also noticed that most puglings bow down to healers and generally treat them with a little more dignity and respect. Finally, doing dungeons and boss fights from the dps, tanking, and now healing perspective has really been a learning experience. I feel like I’m a better wow player than ever having spent the last few days healing dungeons, and I can certainly say that I have a newfound respect for skilled dpsers who don’t pull aggro off the tank.


  18. Completely an awesome run it sounds like. Think I’ll grab a few friends tonight and pay the good you received forward a bit for the next new ding I see.

    Also, a good reason for people that are newly geared to speak up – someone might decide to take you on a tour of a few instances.


  19. I love hearing things like this. It makes all the smacktards more tolerable knowing there are nice people out there that like to help.


  20. I am almost certain that cross-realm friend lists (an announced feature) will be accompanied by ability to choose cross-realm groups. I definitely look forward to it!

    But I am sad that you cheated at PoS, Mr. Bear 😦
    .-= Neil´s last blog ..Ulduar Struggles =-.


Comments are closed.