LFD: It’s making me a people watcher

Just a heads up. Total Bearwall incoming. Rambling, lengthy post. There is WoW stuff in there, though, I swear! But I’m proud to say that I manage to ramble on for over 4000 words… just for fun. Classic Bearwall action. I know it’s been a while!

People watchers.

I’ve never been that person before.

You know who I mean. People that tell you that they enjoy going to a high traffic area, getting comfortable, settling in, and spending time watching the diversity of folks go by.

The “local color”.

“OMG, did you see that woman with the purple snakeskin capri pants and pink flip flops with the plastic flowers? Wow, who leaves the house looking like that? There’s a trailer park in need of a tornado somewhere.”

Well, I’ve finally found my own version of this. And you are my enablers.

I think I’m starting to play WoW less for the fun of the game, and more for the people watching. 

Don’t mistake me, I still love the game.

But everytime I queue up in LFD, I feel it.

The fascination, the burning desire, the ever-present curiosity…

What incredible jaw-dropping shit is going to happen next? 

It’s people watching – but I swear, it’s even better, because normally you see people in a crowd, and they’ve got their “People are watching me” masks on. They put on some makeup, did their hair, brushed their mullet, and put on their very bestest spandex stretch pants before going to the mall food court.

In WoW LFD, you get the “John Gabriel” factor at play, where everyone is free to be themself. Totally anonymous, especially if they are in a PUG with 4 strangers, all of whom are from different servers than your own, and you’ve got no guildies with you.

Tell me that idea doesn’t make your skin tingle with the desire to plot out social experiments. 

People being themselves, without even the most minimal concern for internet consequences.

All hell can, and sometimes does, break loose.

Disclaimer, and the positive thought for the day;

The amazing thing ain’t that people act like asshats when cloaked in anonymity. The amazing thing is how few people you may run into, out of the vast playerbase, who actually DO act like asshats.

The majority of players you are likely to meet are kind, decent, or at the very least quiet, friendly players. They just want to play the game, have some fun, get some loot, and get on with their lives with the minimum drama and fuss.

Let’s all try and remember that. I may tell stories about amazing stuff that happens, but really, the whole reason it’s entertaining to read those stories is that those are the exceptions, not the normal state of affairs. 

The reason I mostly tell these stories isn’t to demonize people, as much as it is to follow in a grand sea service tradition that does extend to the Marines…

“This is a real no shitter.”

I love sharing these stories. It’s fun.

There is always something amazing waiting, just around the bend. Good, bad or just freaking weird, you never know what’s lying in wait right around the next corner.

Last night I ran two Normal Pit of Saron runs, back to back, in the hopes of getting the mail Spellpower helm off the first boss. I’d really like that hat. Mine is horribad.

These two runs damn near blew my mind. I queued up for a third just on the off chance I could score the hat trick, because this stuff is pure popcorn entertainment. Or as Kiri said in guild chat last night, “I don’t even know what to say to that”.

The first run as a Shaman Healer I’ve got a Death Knight tank, Cassie is with me on her Retribution Paladin, there is a second Ret Paladin on the run, and we’ve got a Mage.

This is Normal Pit of Saron. My expectations are fairly reasonable. A group of people trying, gearing, and learning. Maybe altastic runs, maybe brand new fresh dings.

What I find is, I’ve got an entire crew that’s good… except the tank.

The Death Knight pays absolutely no attention to anyone else in the group, where they are, what they’re doing or, and this is really the point… what mobs may be on them.

He just doesn’t look behind or pay any attention to anyone else but himself and what’s directly in front of him.

He never pops Death and Decay until about the last three seconds of whatever fight he’s on, treating it kind of as an additional DPS technique rather than an AoE threat generating tool.

He was in Frost Presence. I checked. Early on. Trust me, I had to know.

Right from the very start, on the first pull, it began.

The Death Knight avoided the large stationary group at the base leading to the right, jumping down near the water and running up to the single giant Skeleton to engage.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are even remotely familiar with Pit of Saron, what can you expect?

That the second large group of Summoner and Skeletons, that pats right along there, will roll on up behind you and engage from the rear if you take too long on the Giant Skeleton, or if people hang back too far if the tank grabs the Giant Skeleton and pulls him down and away from the pat area, etc.

So the tank engages the Giant Skeleton right where he is, doesn’t go further. I run forward so I’m at least past the tank and his mob, so I can look back and watch for the pat as I heal. I don’t like being taken from the rear. Read into that whatever you’d like.

The Mage moves a little forward, but not as far as me.

I see the large pat rolling on up. I announce in party chat, “Large pat incoming from the rear”.

The Giant Skeleton drops, the pat takes the Mage from behind, we’re all getting engaged on the group… and the tank takes no notice and runs on ahead, hopping down and grabbing the next two Giant Skeletons. 

This, my friends, is when you perk up, pay attention, and find out if you really have practised your “Oh shit” buttons.

Cassie and the other Ret Pally basically tank the group while the Mage AoEs and I spam heal everyone through it. No real problem after all, group dies, we move forward, and finish off the mobs the Death Knight was on.

Now, you might think that the Death Knight, getting no heals from me while he’s beating on something, might say something. Acknowledge a bit of a scurry there. Whine about health. “Whoops”. Anything.

Nope. Oblivious.

That typified the rest of the run. Death Knight tank that paid absolutely no attention to what anyone else might be doing. And the group tried to adapt.

I wasn’t angry, worked up, or sputtering as the run unfolded. It was Normal Pit of Saron, and I never really felt overtaxed on Healing the rest of the group. It was just, well, amazing. And fascinating. Just how oblivious might this person really be? Is this for real?

See, the thing is, the tank is acting like every other tank you see these days. Full steam ahead, chain pull, fast clear, go go go. The difference is that other tanks that do this at least bother tagging the mobs to establish aggro, and grab the ones that slip on by from over eager DPS. They Taunt. They are aware that there is something that NEEDS to be Taunted.

They at least, bottom of the barrel, wonder why the Healer’s health is dropping… dropping… dropping….

Heheh, on every non-single mob pull, I waited until the tank pulled and whacked for a while, and then when I finally did drop a heal, I still got a faceful of mobs that never got a single tag. 

Ya know, Death and Decay, Blood Boil and all those plague and chill thingies… boy, I thought those spread stuff around. Silly me.

I spent a lot of time with mobs in my face… and on my butt, since the tank never paused once the ones he was fighting were dead, so he’d take off while there were still one or two on me, dazing me, and Cassie and the other Paladin would kinda brush them off me and step on ’em. Then we’d catch back up to wherever the tank had gotten to. Tank? No clue we’re still fighting back there. No clue I’m getting eaten.

My first actual “cluestick” smackdown rebuttal happened after Krick and Ick died.

The tank lined up on the ramp with the Flame AoE dudes, and I just knew… KNEW what was coming.

And so did everyone else. You could see them kinda… huddle up. I had my own defensive linemen, I swear.

The tank charges in. So does everyone else. I dart forward with them and drop Totem. I wait. AoE kicks in and people start dropping. I cast my first Chain Heal, and here most of them come. Right in my face. The big lady in the middle that does those tasty (I mean ouchie) Shadowbolts?

Yep, all of them cast on me. Boom boom boom.

Yep, I’ve got aggro. From most of ’em.

Everyone else is working at killing the mobs in that first group, the ones that stay there. One of the teleporting flame AoE dudes is on me like stink on a skunk, teleported right on top of me and going whoomp, whoomp, whoomp.

As I’m chain healing, casting like a fiend, flipping the mobs the bird ’cause we got this and everyone else is coming down to finish them off… I see the tank, all alone, run up to grab the next group.

Yep, no pause, no break, no indication there was a thought in his mind that we might be trying to finish this last guy down here pounding the healer to hell before going up top to grab the next group.

Love that AoE flame, thanks!

He just runs on ahead, far out of range of my heals BTW, and grabs the next group.

We stay where we are, finish off our flame dude, and run on up the hill.

His health is going down, he’s at half before I get there.

I’ve got plenty of time to respond.

I let his ass die. Cold and hard.

I watch as his health continues to drop and then poof! Dead.

I didn’t lift a finger to help him.

Cassie, the other Ret Paladin and the Mage meanwhile are engaging the group.

I heal them through it, without a single problem.

We kill that second group, from start to finish, with two Ret Paladins, a Mage and me, no actual tank at all. And it was EZ mode.

I’ve made the tank see, lying there dead in the dirt, that if he really wants to play games, well, we can move on. It’s okay. We don’t actually have to follow him to certain death. He does not automatically get to pull us all down into death with him.

After the group is dead, I rez him. Nobody says a word. At least, not until the tank says, “Wow, sorry guys.”

Do I think he might have learned to pay a little bit more attention?

Did I at least enjoy seeing him eat a repair bill?

Yes, I did. And I was curious to see if he’d realise what had happened, and if so, if he’d get pissy and leave the run.

Nope, no clue.

But it should get better now, right?


The tunnel. The ice. The mobs.

What are the rules?

You know the rules of Tunnel Club.

  1. Nobody attacks but the tank.
  2. Nobody heals anybody unless the tank absolutely no shit needs it. If someone dies, we come back later when the tunnel shuts down and rez them. 
  3. Nobody talks about Tunnel Club. Oh, wait.

Wow. Hard.

So, first time up the tunnel, tank makes a mad dash for the center metal circle.

Yeah, the first time. That’s an artistic writing technique called foreshadowing. See what I did there?

He’s below half health by the time we get there, but I’ve held off, and nobody else did DPS. At the metal circle, the DPS begins to burn them down, and I cast some heals.

The last mobs aren’t even dead yet, the Mage has aggro on a couple the DK hasn’t grabbed, more adds are streaming down the tunnel towards us aggroed on ME ignoring the tank… and the Death Knight takes off for the second half of the run, hell bent for leather.

He doesn’t grab anything as he runs past.

Edit addition: I realise, on re-reading this massive bearwall, that I was unclear here about what was going on during this first run in the tunnel. The DK took off from the metal circle while there were still mobs, many of them on me… and like in all normal groups, even though I had aggro from stuff hitting me, we all as a group took off after him and tried to keep up. The DK enver paused or slowed down to see how the rest of us were doing. Not once. He just ran straight to the end and waited, and the rest of us tried like hell to keep up.

Meanwhile, I’m getting hit. I’m having to cast heals on myself to stay alive. This is adding to healer aggro, making me even more tasty to every new mob the tank is running past, who are all ignoring him to come get me. And the Mage is trying like hell to get them off of me, so he’s getting pounded right beside me as we run, we’re both dazed and falling behind, and next thing you know I’m chain healing the Mage and myself, we get overwhelmed, and die, just as we reach the end of the tunnel. 

The rest of the group, without heals, and swarmed by all the mobs that had been on me, go down shortly thereafter.

Ever notice you don’t have time to slow down and do it right, but there’s always time to run back in and do it over?

Now, there are no recriminations. No harsh words. But also no encouragement. Just a grim determination to keep going.

But not from everyone.

We lose the Mage. He drops group, and we get a new Mage.

We square off at the tunnel, and I say to Cassie on vent, “Let’s just do our thing, and I’ll keep us alive”.

We take off exactly the same as before.

Everything happens exactly the same as it did last time.

With one major difference.

As the Death Knight takes off for the second half of the tunnel run, I stand my ground on the metal circle. I’ve got my totems out, the mobs that the DK ignored are still on me, the ones running down the tunnel towards us past the DK come on down to us, and Cassie stands her ground beside me.

And so does the other Paladin, and even the new Mage.

Death Knight? Runs on up and out of range. Bye? Bye!

We stand our ground, and I heal the group as everyone else kills the adds.

And kills the adds.

Eventually, we run out of adds to kill. They just stop coming.

Eventually, the DK comes down and rejoins us. Bringing the two adds from the tunnel mouth. And a few spawned mini-skellies.

The last two mobs of the tunnel and a few scrubs. Those were the only things he kept aggro on himself.

We killed the few mobs he brought down with him to the metal circle… and the avalanche and spawned adds instantly stopped.

We actually completed the tunnel run, and cleared it, and shut down the snowstorm blue circle of knockback add generation idiocy AT THE METAL CIRCLE.

I didn’t even know you could do that.

We calmly walked up the rest of the way, and as you can imagine, healing the group through the last boss wasn’t even an issue.

That… that kind of run is so amazing to be a part of, it’s hard to describe. You know in your hearth that, if it were on Heroic, it would be a run of frustration, of anger, of pain, of guilt when people died, of abandoned group and just a terrible experience.

But, on Normal… it was kinda fun. Horrifying in it’s implications for any poor group that gets him for a tank in the future, but fun at that time, in that place.

And I’ll be honest. Letting him die, all alone, and THEN stepping in and killing that group on the ramp? That felt epic even as we were doing it.

Homeric, even. 🙂

You’d think that would be enough for a post, wouldn’t you? Isn’t that enough of an evening to retell?

Oh, hell no. There’s more.

But I’ll be quick about it. I swear. 

The second run was smooth sailing. A rare pleasure to heal. Excitement at times, fun challenges, but a solid team working with you.

A Paladin tank, a feral kitty Druid, a DPS Death Knight dual wielding one-handers and a Combat Rogue.

Everyone else on the run, aside from the Death Knight, was in pretty new gear. Tank, Rogue, Druid, mostly blues.

That sets it as a challenging run.

The difference? Skill. They did a good job.

I’d like to be clear about this; I have rarely, if ever, seen a better job of tanking in Pit of Saron. That Paladin tank locked down every single mob, positioned himself perfectly for each pull, manuevered where appropriate, stood still where not for the melee DPS.

So, what’s the problem? What made this run unusual?

Well, here’s the deal.

So Forgemaster Garfrost drops Garfrost’s Two-Ton Hammer. I am at work on my lunch and can’t link to WoWhead, I’ll do it when I get home, but the hammer is a two handed mace with tons of Strength, Stamina, Crit, and a red socket.

Both the Death Knight and the feral Druid roll Need.

The Death Knight gets a 9, the Druid gets a 92 and wins.

The DK immediately throws an epic level hissycow.

First, he’s rude and pissed the Druid rolled at all. When the Druid replies, polite as all heck, saying that’s it’s a big upgrade for him, the DK starts telling the Druid that Druids don’t want Str, it’s useless to a Druid, Druids should only ever roll on Agi items.

I inspected the Druid. He had a blue quality mace, not bad, but a long, long, LONG way away from Garfrost’s Two-Ton Hammer in terms of kitty DPS. Not to mention, dump a +20 red Agi gem in it, it’s not bad for Bear tanking. Not optimal of course, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. It’s got lots of Stamina on it, and a socket for added Stam or avoidance. What more do you really want when you’re alternative is a blue mace with no sockets, huh?

The DK won’t let it go. He bitches, pisses, moans, whines, tells everyone and anyone in the run how the Druid should never have taken it, it’s no good for him at all, Druids should never take Str, it’s worthless, and on and on and on.

I pipe up, just to say “I’m sorry, but that’s not correct. Feral Druids get Attack Power in both Bear and Cat from Strength. It’s far from useless.”

The DK wheels on me. He apparently feels the need to spank this upstart down and put him in his place so he can keep working on the Druid.

“My main is a Druid” he informs us.

I answer that my main is a Druid too.

He tells us “My main is a tank. You can check with Elitist Jerks that I’m right.”

Then he adds, in a second line, “If you’re a Druid, I bet you’re resto.”

Yes. Yes, he did.

Oh, hell yes he did.

Cherish that mental image with me for a few moments. I’m sitting there, with a lot of folks that happen to play Feral Druids that come visit me regularly on a website, and yeah, I don’t raid, but I have been known to occasionally research a few things here or there. Granted I haven’t visited the EJ website in months, but that’s okay. I do my own research, and when I’m wrong, you guys catch me. I’ve just been told that if I do play a Druid, it must be as Resto. The implication, of course, being that I’m completely ignorant about Bear tanking or feral Druiding. I know things can change, but last I heard Str still coughs up some AP in bear and cat both. Cataclysm ain’t live yet, is it?

As Emilio Estevez said in Young Guns, “Hey! I’ll make you famous!”

And for much the same reason.

But no, this is a fun post, not a name and shame post.

Still, how delicious!

Now, having put me in my place, he continues haranging the Druid.

The Druid finally says, “Ug, here.”

I stop dead. Remember, we’re still playing. This entire conversation is happening while we are playing, killing the mobs after Garfrost. We’re at this point killing the last couple parts is parts draggy mobs before killing Krick and Ick.

I say, “Please tell me you did NOT just give the DK the staff.”

The DK says, “It’s not a staff, it’s a mace, bro.”

To which, all I can possibly reply is, “What possible different does that make, “bro”.”

He did. The Druid actually gave in to pressure, and traded the damn mace to the whining DK.

The Druid asked him to equip it. The DK answers, “I happen to be dual wield specced at the moment.”


The Druid turned over a massive, huge honking upgrade he could have used immediately to someone who isn’t even ready to use it until he juggles a bunch of other stuff. And to someone who lost the damn roll fair and square!

I was appalled. What a complete asshat. Making someone else feel like shit for daring to want an upgrade that was actually perfectly viable for him and try to guilt him into trading it back.

Nevermind that he succeeded, just to do that to another player in the first place.

As I said, the run itself went smooth as can be. Great tanking, good DPS, easy healing. No worries. Just fun challenges.

In Ick and Krick, the Druid and the Rogue each were Pursued; each were one shot. New players to the fight maybe, nobody thought to mention mechanics. They’d done so well up until then.

Both of them went down very early on, when the boss was still at about 75% health. Between the tank, the Death Knight and myself, we had zero problems completing the boss smooth as silk. It wasn’t a panic… it was a fun challenge. Everyone ended at full health, no issues, and I still had good mana from potions and Totem juggling and Mana Tide and stuff.

But at the end, I made a point of saying that I really enjoyed the run, had a great time with everyone, and would love to run with them again, great tanking, solid playing… except the DK. I told him he was now on my ignore list, and I hoped to never see him again.

He can take that and think what he wants about it. His behavior just blew my mind.

I did whisper the Druid and mention a link to my website, if he’s ever interested in some starter info on getting ready for Bear tanking. He’d mentioned in chat that he wanted to get geared up to do some, and what the heck, some of the stuff I have on the sidebar might be helpful. You never know.

Hopefully, he’ll not only look forward to Bear tanking, but also learn more about the mechanics of the Druid, to feel a little more confident in asserting his right to roll on gear that is perfectly appropriate to his chosen specs and stated goals.

Maybe next time, he’ll be prepared to tell a player unhappy with a roll that he’s sorry the player isn’t happy, but yes, it is a very viable weapon, and he’s grateful to have won the roll, and fully intends to use it.

Seriously. These runs, seeing this side of people, the often good, the rarely bad, and the frequently damn strange… it’s addictive. It really is. You never know what’s going to happen next.

Keeps me on my toes. 🙂

44 thoughts on “LFD: It’s making me a people watcher

  1. I have to thank you for this post. I’m just back inte the game after a 10 month break and today I decided to check out Forge of Souls (as resto). I had read up on it and was messing around to get my UI right when the guilde I grouped with for that wants us to go together. He’s fine with doing FoS on normal for me. Then he wanted to go on to Pit of Saron and after hesitating a bit I decide to give it a go even though I hardly know anything about it.
    We makes it through with 1 or 2 really nervous monents for me when the tanks health is lower then I feel comfortable with, but no deaths. In the en I see not 1 but 2 achievements popping up! That SoaB had put us in heroic PoS instead of normal and I really felt I wanted to slap him or something.

    The part where you helped me out was the tunnel, when I saw it and was told just to run I instantly recognized it from here and for once I felt I knew what we were supposed to do. When everything around me was totally new and unknown I felt very good to actually find something I recogniced. Thank you!

    Sahele (formerly known as Sah)


  2. What’s the difference between a Fairy Tale and a Sea Story?

    A Fairy Tale starts with “Once upon a time…” and a Sea Story starts with “This is a no shitter!” or “There I was…”

    Yes, WoW adds to the Sea Story catalog at least a couple times a week. I’m lucky I have people I work with that play WoW, so they get it when I tell those stories. Not so much with the Navy stories lol.

    (8.5 years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club)


  3. Had one a while back that just came to mind. we were doing heroic occulus, I was on my lunch break so severe time limitation there. One of the dps said he had to AFK. so we stopped and waited. We were on the outer ring starting the middle bosses 4 pulls. He comes back in about 10 minutes said he had gone to make tea, and see what was on tv. I happened to have been tanking this run and was on the verge of kicking his butt right then and there. Well we make it to the top, I was on the green drake, and had never run one of them before, someone else was on red, and three someones were on amber. We start the event and most of the way through my green dies and i fall and go splat on a pillar about 2/3 of the way to the ground. i release and spirit rez as i’m out of time. just then, badges appear in my combat log. somehow they finished the fight. i log and leave a vapor trail back to work. I didn’t care about loot at that point. just had to get to work..
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..3.3.3 is live =-.


  4. This is in reply to my first post.

    Let me clarify I wasn’t defending the DK’s behavior. People like that I just give a few juicy remarks and then /ignore. Also, I wasn’t saying the druid shouldn’t have taken the mace, since it would still be an upgrade from a worse weapon. Was more just commenting on on the Strength thing since I found that info interesting. 🙂

    And on the druid giving up the mace. Hmm. He reminds me of this post (http://criticalqq.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/pointless-filler-post-is-pointless/) that I only came across last night (quite hilarious, btw); specifically the part about people letting things go wrong because they refuse to stand up for themselves.


  5. Well.. reading from the elitistjerks thread, strength may not really have been a good idea for that druid. Apparently it’s only competitive once you’ve hit the crit cap. (Got it from here: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t63774-feral_dps_discussion/p32/?nojs=1#links)

    Regarding the DK tank who kept silently charging along; we actually had a pally tank who did that. And he didn’t have RF up either and totally ignored all our calls for him to put it on so that he could actually hold aggro. He only took notice when I let him die after 15 minutes of our calling to him (and all of us tanking). I wonder if there is some sort of bot tanking program these guys are using? Surely nobody can be that deaf, dumb, and blind.


  6. I just wish I would be able to take things that way. One of my bigger problems with WoW is taking it too seriously. It’s actually my wish to be able to take a more relaxed stance and don’t get stressed, irritated and angry on people like them.

    After reading your blog for some time I’ve found you to have the attitude, mindset and ways to handle stuff that I’m striving for in many cases, but not all 😉
    That together with the fact that you write well and all your nice stories makes me keep coming back



  7. Wow, I read this post on my Blackberry, never again! That was some bearwall :p

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across a tank quite that oblivious to what’s going on around them, but a fair few that come close. While on my DK once, just after the first boss in Gun’Drak, the tank immediately runs off into the next lot of mobs… with our healer in a decidedly non-alive state. I (politely) brought this to the tank’s attention in party chat, and for my troubles received a barrage of abuse from him, calling me an a**hole, a dick, and telling me to just shut up because no-one in the party should have to put up with MY anti-social behaviour! I was really quite taken aback. In the end I called him a moron, told him he was a terrible tank, wished the others in the group good luck and left.
    .-= Kalacios´s last blog ..I Rolled Another Alt =-.


  8. “You know in your hearth that” – Someone’s been playing too much wow! 😛

    Also, great post. I know exactly the kind of tank you’re talking about. except i ussualy got alot more lip for it. I don’t know how you put up with this, your endurance is so so far beyond mine.

    Keep the horror stories coming! I can’t look away from that oh-so-close-to-train-wreck.


  9. Here is an epic one from last night. I was messing with my new Pally healer who a lvl 75, and my friend who is working on his 77 rogue, got into normal random LK LFG, we draw up Violet hold. I’m nervous because I’m not “The Natural” of healers, and I’m still learning, and I know how continous VH is. But as luck has it we get a lvl 80 DK tank, and I’m happy until I realize he’s not a guildie helping anyone out, and he’s not from any server of any other player in the group. So me and rogue friend on vent are going why is he here running normal heroics?? But away we go, and things go smooth until I lock up and DC on a group after wave 7 or 8, but druid (who was the runs MVP) in my mind goes into healer mode and keeps things going until I get back. While offline, i’m screaming over vent at the computer desperately trying to get back in for my last run of the night, going crazy. Back to normal, everything is going smooth, then all of a sudden DK starts taking lots more damage, and stops moving. Uh oh. I figure he’s DC’d, again druid MVP steps up converts to Bear, and tanks the next group, while we all run about trying to get back into control, no one dies amazingly, and rogiue friend keeps trying to divert mobs onto stationary DK. We get thru it, and DK starts to move again. in comments I see, sorry, just had to leave for a bit, but back now. ????!!! no brb or anything, not a bathroom break, just got up to see what was on TV for a few minutes or watch the neighbors, or anything besides tanking. Just got up and left for a bit. Rogue friend (Sorsscriba and me laughed over vent for the rest of the run having tanks ourselves, and never having dreamed of just leaving in the middle of a run, especially a continous one like VH. Amazing people that play our game


  10. I love reading those types of stories. Makes me glad that I am not the only one it happens to. Ran with a DK on my random yesterday that did an amazingly high 414 DPS. He did get better on the last boss and pulled 577 DPS. Over all however he did not get anyone killed and was only a DPS while the other two, me and another hunter (first time ever my hunter got grouped with another hunter) had it covered well. Nothing even remotely close to kick worthy but it was funny. Was on vent with a guildmate that was healing it and we were laughing about it. Told her that she should have left him dead when he did not get out of the beam in HoS.

    As you said however I agree, most runs are fine. It is the bad ones that stand out and you remember. Not to mention that they are always fun to share.

    BTW: Thanks for the guides. I am working on a bear alt and refer to them often. They are like my bear bible.
    .-= TheGrumpyElf´s last blog ..Of the Nightfall (and the death of old raids, with the perfect solution) =-.


  11. @ Sarabian,

    Yes, he would need a wake up call. If said player is young, he may not even know to seek advice from someone in his guild. Assuming he’s not in a leveling or mish-mash guild to begin with. Case in point, someone like Lifeforce’s 11 year old kid. Imagine if he’s so stressed over he just tries to emulate what he has seen other tanks doing, chain-pulling and all. If I were in the run, I would surely be frustrated as well, but I can’t help help thinking he’d get the message if everyone just got him to stop and listen to some advice.

    Personally I’m just sympathetic towards players who don’t play well, but are generally nice people (or in this case, doesn’t reveal any signs of being a douchebag otherwise) or willing to improve.


  12. In fairness…

    My wife and two sons play, and so does the “manny”, the former marine who watches them after school while he is going to college. We all have 80s, my wife has two. We don’t watch much tv in our house, and we try to play together, do dailies and such, and gear runs when we can.

    My youngest is now 11. He has an 80 hunter, and a sixty-something DK. I watched him tank one of the Hellfire dungeons the other day. It was painful. (btw, I know nothing of DK mechanics) His positioning stunk, his attention sucked out loud, and he pulled without any strategy or awareness. But, he’s a great kid, who listened to me talk over his shoulder after the third wipe. He started to get it. “Does the healer have enough mana, dad?” “They won’t all group up, how do I make them?”

    Not all tanking DKs (or any player for that matter) are over 18 and read tankspot.com on their coffee breaks. And not all of them have a dad talking over their shoulder. Sometimes, it’s just a kid, who is used to playing Super Mario Bros. alone on Wii, and is clueless about the difference in roles from dps to tanking. “Don’t all the mobs just GO to the tank automatically, dad?” My sons have been playing for 2 years. My youngest was NINE when he started…sometimes, I, the father of the year, can’t stand playing with him. How could I expect anyone else to be patient?

    I don’t have any idea how old the first DK was. But he/she COULD have been a kid, trying out tanking to get into an instance or two. And don’t we need more tanks? I am glad you weren’t mean to him or her in party chat. It’s one of the reasons I like reading this blog. I get good info, I get entertained, and I don’t have to feel guilty about it.

    The second DK was just a douchebag.



  13. Another reason I think it was a bad idea for the Druid to give over the Hammer, besides the fact that he won it fair and square, is that it rewards the DK for being an asshat. Even ignoring the matter of appropriateness of gear, I think we’ve all seen too many bad players get their way by raving like spoiled children.

    It’s tempting to take the path of least resistance and smooth things over, but I feel kinda queasy everytime we let someone like that have his way. Rewarding folks for being pushy and rude only encourages them to do it more. 😦 And since this particular DK wasn’t even fulfilling his role in the group, doesn’t that just add insult to injury?


  14. One thing I love about being a Shammy healer in PoS and some other instances or even raids is how much damage you can prevent by casting windshear.

    The big caster mob with all his little skeleton minions in PoS? Wind Shear every time he tries to cast anything and you won’t have to cast a single heal, ES will take care of everything. The mobs on the ramp? Wind Shear when the big lady casts Empowered Shadowbolt or as soon as the flame guys start casting Hellfire.

    You can stop the casters casting shadowbolt volley in the final gauntlet run of HoR.

    Even in ICC10/25, you can wind shear the ice casters before Marrowgar to prevent them from casting Glacial Blast (I think that is what it is called) or the nerubian casters from casting Dark Mending.

    And Wind Shear is a great way to help a tank gather caster mobs that don’t want to run towards him. The big mob groups in FoS are a prime example.


  15. Loved this post B. I just had a couple of similar experiences that very day. First – Halls of Stone – Tank is 52k health Pally, Healer is 26k mana Shammy. So they both overgear. I’m a fresh mage that has most of the triumph badge gear, but still need triumphs. The healer says – “Just go to last boss”. All three dps chime in that we would like to do all the bosses for badges. Shammy “lol – just requeue when we’re done – it’s quicker” Me – “Not when we dps get 20 min queues” Tank is chain-pulling at this point – right towards Brann. I notice that one dps has dc’d. We ask again to hit the other bosses too, no response. So we start the event, and Brann gets in the room – and the other dps and I decide to drop group. If they are so l33t – they can do it on their own. Yes, it was a jerk move, but there are very few things that I can do. I’m sorry that if my slightly-undergeared-but-still-needs-badges mage would like you to spend an extra ten minutes for a couple of extra badges that you don’t need. Some of us don’t quite yet have all 251+ gear and need more than Frosts. Suck it up – roll through it. Help a poor elf out.

    The next run I queued up specifically for Forge of Souls, having not run it on this toon yet. I finally felt like I was geared enough to handle it, pulling 3k dps in other heroics. Pally tank, pally healer. The tank just starts going. We catch up to him – I start in on dps that he has tagged – and die 10 sec later. They finish off the mobs. I get rezzed, tank is already into the 2nd pack. I mana up – head up to the pack, start dps’ing on a mob that has only half health left – and die again. So, bad tank, bad healer, dps isn’t that great. We trudge on. Tank is very bad, it seems. I get one more death before we make it to Bronjahm. Tank charges in – while we are all resting/rezzing from the last trash pull. We all catch up, start dps’ing. I die again 10 seconds into it. The DK dies 30 seconds later, they haven’t been killing the soul orbs, Bronjahm is restorning health. So the tank, healer, and rogue is left. I figure it’s a wipe, but keep watching. The tank gets into a kiting groove, dps’s the orbs when he can, the rogue gets on the orbs right away, and bronjahm starts going down. Soulstorm is coming though. It starts – fears a flying, rogue goes down. Healer goes down. BJ has 30k health left, and is fearing the tank like crazy. The tank pulls out every trick in the book – and Bronjahm dies – tank has 200 health left. 7 min 39 sec kill. I still can’t believe he squeezed it out. I thought “Ok, maybe this guy isn’t that bad after all” We all cheer him. We get rezzed, are drinking to restore, look around – and he’s gone again – pulling the next mob, before we had a chance to buff or drink. Crap – we run after him – Make it up to the those ghosts in the final tunnel – he goes in while the healer – who has said he needed mana – was at the last mob area drinking up. He’s now los and 100 yards ahead, – we follow him in, and the 2nd ghost pat follows us in. It’s a wipe, but the healer doesn’t get in combat and rezzes. We all say something to to the tank – “easy bro, let us get ready” kind of thing. He doesn’t – he’s rezzed and barreling ahead into the final boss. I manage to make it for 30 seconds before dying. Boss is killed. That is the worst/best tanking I’ve ever seen. I hope to never see it again.


  16. great post.
    I have a DK and Pally lvl 80, both very good tanks. I have just gone through levels 60-70 on my warrior tank purley through LFD tool, and i have to say it was the most stressfull time of my life! Have to love all those fresh DK’s just out of boot camp testing just how many times they can deathgrip in one pull!
    But thats another story.
    I am now working druid, who i am also leveling through LFD as a tank (i just love tanking, what will i do when i run out of tanking classes??) Currently sitting at level 53, my heart sinks everytime i think of going through the ramparts stage again 😦
    At the moment though, the biggest problem i have is frost mages, agro whores that they are. 50-53 has been done in nothing but the 5minute instance that is BRD prison. Yesterday i had a frost mage who was activly running past me to not just 1 but 3-4 groups, pulling extra mobs for me, then running back to sit next to me. The healer spotted this too and said before i got the chance “let the tank do his job”. Within seconds i typed “you yank it, you tank it”.
    In perfect harmony, i stopped swiping, healer stopped healing the mage and we watched him run in circles ion panic, trying to lose the 10 mobs he just agro’d, till eventually, his health was no more.
    I picked up the mobs, got em all down and rezzed the mage. He stayed at the back and only hit the marked mobs from then in.
    Just want to say, i love it when healers and tanks work together to put unruly dps in their place!



  17. @Perdissa – Even if the DK was just an ill-prepared player that was young, they needed a wakeup call. If you are going to tank, you need to either research the role and learn what to do, or don’t bother playing it. Ask a tank in your guild for advice. Check online to see what tanks need to do. Something. Having zero situational awareness = total failtank. It would also equal total failheal or faildeeps. I’m sorry, but by the time one hits level 80, one either has what it takes to play in a group or they have what it takes to play on my ignore list. I’m sorry if that sounds totally elitist, but I’m a patient guy and that just takes the cake.

    The DK ninny in the second story is a real piece of work. That was a child, pure and simple. Throwing a hissy fit over a drop in a heroic is pathetic. Keep queueing for random heroics and you’ll get in there again. I’ve had bored days and just kept re-queueing and gotten the same instance 4 times in one day. I’ve lost rolls one day and won the same item the very next day. It’s so easy now to get loot there is no reason to explode when you lose a roll.


  18. I noticed one thing. No one thought to speak to the DK tank in the first run? Maybe say “Hey, tank. You know, please turn around and help us out a bit. Or please pay attention to the group before you move off?”

    I don’t know. In my mind’s eye I’m seeing a pretty young child struggling to play a DK tank, has his screen zoomed all the way in, can’t see much except what’s directly in front of him, and could have used some good advice. The behaviour you described does not sound like the malicious, arrogant tanks who don’t give a damn whether their group is getting beaten on, but more like some ill-prepared player.


  19. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why I prefer entering heroic randoms on my own rather than with guildies, and think people-watching is part of the reason. I don’t even queue as a tank in them, but having a tank offspec is useful when poop hits the fan or the tank gives us trouble. May be pretty selfish of me, but I like to test the limits of the tank within the first 4 or 5 pulls, and tune myself to that level. No doubt sometimes I bite off more than I can chew with it, but it’s fun adapting! And you can really get a gist of the party members’ personality within those first few pulls. Some tanks will not give a crap and let me tank what I pull. Some will remark they can’t out-aggro my level of gear. Some will toss me a Vig or Salv. So far though, most I’ve met have been extremely polite about it, and I am happy to attune my aggro to them as best possible.

    I’ve not had much trouble with attitudes so far except for once when I politely corrected someone to address me as a female, and got some “ASL?” harassment sass.


  20. Yes random PUGS can be hilarious, but also very ugly. My main role is healing and I am very good at it so people are generally very friendly and complimentary. My main alt is a 75 DK tank and I am still learning and as such have some very good runs and some. . .well. . .not so good runs, I am by no means the world’s greatest tank but I’m certainly not a complete and udder failure. It is surprising to me how very different the tone of the comments are. Really, at 75 are you supposed to be an expert tank? The one that caused me to drop my jaw was when I was running and instance and on the first three trash pulls my 75 tank lost aggro to a well geared 80 Pali. Now mind you, we didn’t wipe and nobody died. He said, “this just won’t do, I’m dual spec ed and I’m gonna tank, DPS or leave.” Well I didn’t want to argue and cause a scene, nor did I want to wait out desertion, and I too am duel spec ed, plus I wanted my badges, so I changed and we ran out the instance. About half way through he had the audacity to whisper me, “I hope you aren’t mad.”

    Somewhere along the line some of us lost sight of the fact that we are all constantly learning in this game. Yes we want to get our badges and get on with it, but if you are an 80 that queues for normals you are going to be put with players in the seventies. If you out level and out gear the tank it is quite likely that you will out threat him/her as well. Why would you expect any different, and why would you insult that said tank? If this guy wanted to tank so bad he should have queued that way, and if he didn’t want to play with lower level players he should have queued for heroic.

    I’ve probably spent too much time in my own little touchy feely world but it would be nice if folks would try being a tiny bit more compassionate.


  21. Epic post. Thanks for the great read. You are right, these PUGs are turning into a social experiment more than anything else. Some of the shit that goes on in some of them blows my mind too.


  22. The majority of Death Knights are actually why I don’t play mine very often. Especially since I tend to tank and DK tanks are more than somewhat ridiculed.


  23. I’ve been leveling a Warrior, and leveling it tanky. LFD has fed me with continuous delight.

    When I have decent gear I roll LFD with both tank & DPS checked. Usually I pick up the tank job. Whenever I do, the first thing I do is say ‘hi’ to everyone, but then I tell them I’m a Warrior, not a Paladin, so they need to let me hit things a few times before they can cut loose. I can usually judge the rest of the run based on how they all respond to that.

    Once someone said something along the lines of, ‘OMG! A Warrior?! Kick me now!’ I responded letting them know they were free to leave whenever they liked – which they did, immediately. Let them eat that LFD cooldown if they have to be an r-tard that hard.

    Recently I had a great group that I ran with. I picked up Gnomer from LFD, did my message and people actually responded intelligently with things like ‘oh, okay’. We took the shortcut and jumped down to the room with the massive gear from the first walkway. Once the pats all ran down and we got that 15-Trogg pain train I blew Shield Block, followed by Shield Wall and easily stayed up around 80% health throughout the fight with the healer mostly twiddling his thumbs. I think at that point I won them over to Warrior tanks. They seemed to be pretty new players, but we proceeded to easily waltz through the instance. At one point the healer joked that the Warlock in the group should tank… because the he was getting bored because I was taking so little damage. At the end a few of the people in the group really wanted to run another one, but I had to log, and they were actually kinda bummed. A rare moment for me & LFD.


  24. Delicious Bearwall! I hope you get to do your social experiment soon, which you mentioned a few posts ago… really looking forward to that too.

    That DK deserves to be slapped around, hopefully that kitty will not give in so easily the next time. Would be nice if he visited here and learned more about his class, it always makes me smile to see more feral druids. 🙂

    Had something similar happen to me recently, Gunship battle in ICC10. I’m bear tanking and the other tank is a DK (PUG).

    Abomination’s Bloody Ring [http://www.wowhead.com/?item=50790] drops, we both roll. I win it, DK goes apeshit and demands I give it to him because I have a resto offspec etc. I said sorry, already gemmed, enchanted and equipped it, so then he starts demanding I ticket it.

    I just politely told him it was a huge upgrade for me and that I hope it drops for him next week.


  25. I gotta say, it never happens on my tank. I have met few asshats when running with my husband’s character who is a priest. I think.. tanks a lot more prone to be ‘one of those’ players. I have also met great tanks who ninja loot from last boss and drop group instantly. That is when I decided to start making use of my ignore list. I have no idea what I would say to my group in unlikely scenario I met someone on that list again. Nonetheless the act of ‘ignoring’ them makes me rage a little less meantime.


  26. You know, I’m the same. I run LFD over and over (my latest batch of runs got me 750 badges which makes for tons of Crusader orbs!) and love watching the human mix. Each new run is exactly that, new.

    If anything, I’m more forgiving now of the crappy behaviour (my ignore list filled and I needed to be more selective).

    I was told last night by a tank who continually ran from mob to mob without respite (and hence out of the reach of my healing branches) to ‘keep up’. When I said ‘I will once I’ve looted’, he says ‘looting is overrated’.

    I love the LFD, I can still be surprised after months of running it again and again 🙂


  27. I’m with Vidyala. I would group shamed him at that point. Granted, if he knows who you are, he probably reads your blog and saw this post anyway. Still…
    .-= Saniel´s last blog ..OMGICC! =-.


  28. My Death Knight tank is only 74, but I’ve Tanked a good six or seven times on him. I’m always open about still being fairly new to the Tanking scene before the first pull. The only time I’ve ever had aggro problems was when we didn’t kill one of the Skirmishers quite fast enough in AN. But since that’s part of the mechanics of that particular mob, I don’t know if it should count.

    More than once I’ve had the healer send me a whisper mid-run and tell me that I’m doing a fantasic job given my lack of experience, which always makes me feel good. I’m really enjoying the difference there is between Tanking on my Death Knight and Ranged DPSing on my Hunter, although I dread a little bit hitting 80 on the Death Knight and starting to Tank for DPS that severely outgear me…

    And you’d think that your Death Knight Tank would have at least thrown a Pestilence once or twice. It’s so habiutal for me that I’ll even have a brain fart and hit it on a single-target pull.

    As for the Death Knight who complained about the Druid winning that Mace, that reminds me of the pre-cross-server-LFD run of ToC that I had where I won Marrowstrike for my Hunter. The Arms Warrior in the group, who had lost the Need roll fair and square, started to complain, but the rest of the group shut him up pretty quickly. I kept my mouth shut; I was in one of those odd moods that night, and if I had started to say something, I probably would have regretted it.

    I mentioned the Warrior’s name when I related the story later on in Guild Chat, and it sounded like he had a little bit of a rep for being a dork.


  29. My favourite part was the “Oh no he didn’t” moment where the guy tried to argue with you about being a druid. I know you’re too classy for that, but I would’ve been all over that. I wish I had been in the run.

    “Really? You think he might be resto? Well, technically he does also play resto, however. You should check out bigbearbutt.com… YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF HIM.”

    As for random instances and the fascination, I clearly can’t argue their appeal!
    .-= Vidyala´s last blog ..It’s still pugging if you met in an instance. =-.


  30. Maybe it’s just my southern upbringing, but I don’t get all whiney about loot. it’s pixels on a screen people… This is a game, it’s not reality. If I lose the roll on something i really wanted, I wait for the next opportunity for it to drop. Eventually I’ll get whatever it is.. To raise that much kane about a bunch of pixels shows just how out of touch said deathknoob is. What is sad, is i know that we don’t make this stuff up.. truth is FAR stranger than fiction.

    I got this same attitude from a person in one of my previous guilds when my hunter rolled (and won) on the Dragon Spine Trophy back in the days of Gruul’s lair. I saw it as an awesome upgrade for me, and took it fair and square.. His hissy fit was months later, he /spit on me in shatt one day, i /gquit later that afternoon after talking to the GM about it. Granted, you had one shot a week at getting it if it dropped.. not like a 5man you could reset and do again. But the point is the same.. These are real people you are dealing with via their avatars, there is no reason to be complete dorks.


  31. I had a tank like that in Heroic Utgarde Keep just a couple days ago. Pulled way more than his gear warranted, but that didn’t really matter because he used 0 AoE threat moves and my Ret Paladin ended up tanking half of them anyway. I think there are new tanks out there who are just emulating what they’ve seen, without realizing that they need to start by taking smaller steps.

    And a nitpick: you had an offensive line, trying to keep you from getting sacked.


  32. I had one of those runs once… with a bear tank who never used swipe. He’d only tag the mob he was on… My poor friend was [pally] healing the instance and I was on my kitty… so naturally I was pulling stuff off him and going bear on occasion to keep it off him. Painful H-AZN run. :/


  33. Great stories!
    I was a-hunting in Drak’Tharon and the group was uber-strong. We zipped through the first bits and knew we were good. After King Dred we ran up to the platform where there is a group, walking pat, group, walking pat, group down the long platform.
    The tank (he’s a bear) says “mount up, boys, and keep up — I’m gonna pull them all.”
    I hop on my choppa and the healer joins me. We start riding along as the bear runs and begins pulling and pulling. We get halfway and he’s sinking fast and stopped cold. We start to AoE but it’s hopeless. Total instant wipe.
    And we get the giggles.
    We’re loling and chatting and offering silly advice — it was unexpected fun and goofy.

    Not as fun as the tank in the water at Gundrak, but still it was a hoot.


  34. I’ve been THAT tank before but only because I was re-learning how to tank after being resto from 70 to 80. Keep in mind, I haven’t been a feral tank since Kara was the brand new shit. One day, I decided that I like my bear form because it’s pretty (shush, I’m a girl) and that I want to be a bear tank (because then I can see pretty all instance long).

    I’ve also been THAT healer but only because I was with THAT tank. Well, not that tank literally. But a tank similar.

    I can’t really defend that tank for being so completely ignorant. I’ve lost aggro and my growl was on cooldown but I did my best to maul whatever was beating on someone else until growl was ready. At least they couldn’t say I didn’t try. Yea, I forgot about challenging roar where I can taunt everything in one press every 3 minutes but I still tried to hold things together despite my forgetfulness of druid abilities.

    As a healer, I’ve let tanks die too just to teach them a lesson that I’m not insignificant and you can’t just leave me behind. There was a time that I let a mage die and never gave him a heal for the rest of the instance because he felt the need to AOE goddamn everything and pull funnies while I was trying to heal a tank and decurse and remove poisons and curses and keep HIM alive while doing all of that just for him to laugh at a group wipe in heroic Halls of Reflection.

    I have a temper in game and in real life. I don’t know how you didn’t flip out during your runs but OHHH MAN, if I were in that group, I would have been THAT GIRL THAT FLIPPED HER SHIT… Like really flipped the heck out as opposed to just flip out and leave group. I guess I’m worse in that sense. I want my damn emblems I’m dying for. :p

    And for that, I applaud you. I admire your patience and your tact.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Starting a Budget =-.


  35. All I can say been there, seen a lot of it.

    I am currently doing the primodial saronite alts hunting (gather 23 Frosties per alt to buy the saronite). I do between 2-8 daily heroics each day. You just cannot make up some of the stuff people do.

    On my tanks, I lead. On my healers and DPS, I follow the tank. If the tank is a @$$ – he dies, and I leave group, grab the next alt and requeue. I do not have time for idiots, uber-minded ego-maniacs. Get in the heroic, perform your role, collect the loot and leave. I have 299 Frost emblems to collect.
    .-= Dracomage´s last blog ..Very very interesting read and analysis =-.


  36. That DK was quite the classic whiny me-me-me player. At least there is a handful of other quality feral upgrades in the ICC 5-mans (I believe there’s an agi/stam polearm on both regular and heroic) for the nice druid.

    I totally agree that random groups can be hilarious to just observe and spectate! I ran a Gundrak with a tank who was nice and all, but immediately announced/warned us that he “was totally smashed”. I think my eyes lit up at this, because I knew the run would be something special. And it was. He was swerving all over the place, running into doorframes instead of doorways…it was surprising to see how inebriated his character appeared to match up with the player itself. The best was at the end though with the rhinos on the bridge. Somehow, and I’ve never seen this before or since, the tank fell into the water while tanking them, causing the rhinos to leap into the water too! And then he tanked them UNDER THE BRIDGE, in the water, as the rest of us ran about crazily above wondering what to do. It was amazing, and hilarious. I was speechless with laughter for a good ten minutes after that.

    Pit of Saron seems to be…quite the Trial/Birth by Fire experience for groups. At first glance, as someone who’s ran it countless times, I assume it’s not that hard. But then I think back of all the avoidable yet horrible ways it can go wrong. The roaming patrol at the very beginning. The sneaky third bone guard who aggros from out of sight. Garfrost’s frost. The ambushing Geist pack. Ick & Krick’s half-dozen mechanics. THE HILL PULLS. The ice cave. Tyrannus’s mark & Rimefang’s damaging/slowing frost. All in all, it must be a nightmare for new players!
    .-= Rades´s last blog ..Battleground marks = Worthless =-.


  37. PoS can be… interesting. Normal PoS also has pretty much the best healer shield you can find outside of a raid, I ran it a bajillion times to get the Protector of Frigid Souls

    Don’t forget that the hellfire that those adds cast is channeled just like the warlock version, and CAN be interrupted. It’s totally legit to ask/demand that people interrupt, or use the lovely shaman wind shear (which is OFF the GCD so you dont even have to waste a GCD, just the click of a button or key). And then you can post interrupts meters and be like “PWNT I WIN”


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