Sunday, January 20, 2008

Looking for Group == Looking for Repair Bills

To your right, you will see the makings of your average. . . or perhaps even ABOVE average, PuG run on Steamwheedle Cartel. I'm pretty sure the guy on the left is a 20/21/20 Druid, and the one on the right is a mage wearing a set of matched gray clothes. Toss in a Shaman who swears he can tank everything, A warlock who cant stop tossing Seed of Crowd-Control-Breaking, and just for the sake of headaches, I'll throw myself in there on my hunter. Oh, wait, actually, I think I had that exact group last thursday.

It amazes me how BAD people can be at playing their class, it really does. Yesterday I, on my trap-focused (Read: Not DPS optimized) hunter, Kibler, I ran a regular mechanaar and ended up doing over 48% of the total damage for the group. I wish I had taken a screenshot of the SWStats screen at the end. The TANK did nearly 20%. I think our other DPSers could be summed up in one brilliant comment by the warlock in the group: "I was wanding because I want to conserve my mana".

Dear Warlock,

It has recently come to the attention of the Shadow Council of Dalaran that you are in dire need of De-noobification. In order to rectify your current situation, we must now insist that you follow one of two pre-selected protocols:

1) Visit your local Warlock Training Officer (WTO) and attend the 5-second training course on Life Tap. Upon conclusion of this training, please place your new Life Tap button in a convenient place on your hotbar, and learn to love it.

2) Send the aforementioned WTO your Shadow Council membership card and badge in the mail (or, if desired, we also accept Imp Deliveries). Upon surrender of your membership paraphernalia, please log out, delete your character, and cancel your World of Warcraft account.

We apologize for this inconvenience, however, we cant afford to have incompetent warlocks representing us.

Twistedly Yours,

Its more than just incompetence on the server, though (And dont get me wrong, there are also plenty of COMPETENT players on the server, but they're rare to find outside of guild runs). My biggest beef as of late is the insane lack of TANKS on our server. Any tanks, even the incompetent ones. I estimate I've sat on the LFG channel for 60 hours since Kibler hit 70. In that time, I've successfully run TWO instance runs. I've gotten probably 20 groups, but all of them end up the same:
[4. LookingForGroup] [Kibler]: LF1M Tank for _______, PST

Now, I blame this partially on Blizzard for changing class balance every time they change group size (20% tanks for 5-man and 10-man instances, but only 8-12% tanks in 25-man raids). But what really boggles my mind is that people dont try to fill in the need. Hell, even the other FERAL druids wont tank on this server, they all claim "Oh, I'm cat specced, I cant tank". Bull shit, cat spec hasn't existed since 1.12, I should know, I was there as a Bear-spec (11/33/7, or as I called it "1 1337 Bear Tank"). All of the paladins on the server are Holy, most of the druids are Resto (Amazingly, no shortage of healers for PuGs. . . just for Raids), and all of the warriors are Arms/Fury. But alas, as I already mentioned, PuGgers are idiots on this server, and thus probably cant wrap their brains around the idea of respeccing in order to gear up faster. So, we all sit in LFG, waiting to jump on some poor, unsuspecting tank that wanders in.

Actually, a couple days ago, I decided to be just that sucker on Surania, after giving up all hope of ever getting a group on Kibler. And doing so made me realize why I never noticed the poor PuG quality before: A good tank can cancel out a LOT of bad play by the rest of the group. My favorite moment from that day was at Warlord Kalithresh in The Steamvault (nonheroic). I had been tanking the instance in my DPS gear (In which I still have 25k armor, 12k health, and my dodge jumps up to about 50% unbuffed), but decided to switch to my tanking gear for the last fight. Turns out it was the best decision I ever made, the DPS failed to kill the first fishtank in time, causing the boss to enrage early in the fight. Which wouldnt have been a problem, except I guess the healer had gotten bored and decided to DPS the boss a bit. . . while he had his spellshield up. . . at the same time. Oh, look, a big red boss, and there's an angel in the corner over there.

Amazingly enough, I managed to keep myself vertical long enough for us to kill off the second fishtank and the boss. I owe my life to a combination of BearVasion,Frenzied Regeneration (One of the few times I think it actually made a difference), Improved LotP procs, and everybody's favorite toy from the 2.3 patch, my potion/CCF macro. I think I ended the fight with about 1.5k health, and about 4 amazed group members. That was a fight I wont forget for a long time, I think, ranks right up there with the time I tanked Magmadar in my MC healing set (After both warrior tanks went down) way back when.

The kicker? Despite the headaches they cause, I still recommend EVERYBODY, regardless of gear and experience level, go on a PuG run at least once a month. PuGs offer a unique challenge, especially the bad ones. They make you think about what you can do to survive, or at least minimize your losses, when faced with an unexpected challenge. The skills you learn in PuGs are the skills you use in fights like Prince Malchezaar, or High King Maulgar, how to deal with it when the shit hits the fan and your backs are up against a wall. And if you have these skills, you can pull off some incredible saves.


Delos said...

Great suggestion about PuGs. I couldn't agree more that life in the PuG makes you think on your feet and make good decisions under pressure.

I'd like to add that along with a good tank making up for a terrible team, a good hybrid can do the same.

Plenty of times I've rez'd/healed in a pinch, and in places where a group with a mage would have wiped we came out victorious. Stick that in your sheep and smoke it. Erm, that came out wrong but you get the point.

Xanathos said...

last time I did normal SV I told the group (mostly fresh 70s) to ignore the tanks and just DPS the boss. I had a damn good healer though. He ate 2 tanks and we still took him down.

I like to PUG, yes they are often bad, but they remind me how good the people in my guild are.

Lypi said...

Hey there Sura - good to see a SwC blogger. (This is Lypi, another bear druid on your server). I agree for the most part about PUGs, and Steamvaults seems to be where they come out of the woodwork most of all. I swear, they go straight from ebay to SV. The hunter that didn't know that if he sent his pet in to fight, it would increase his DPS... (pet was probably untrained)
The druid that wasn't interested in advice on spec (Entire Feral tree filled) - "I'm feral" - and clawed and FB'd her way through...
It makes bunnies cry.

I'm surprised about the lack of tanks though. This has been true in the past, but lately it's seemed like you can't turn around in LFG without hearing "Tank looking for group for _____", and there are some damn fine Pally tanks around too.

I don't PUG much on Lypi, unless it's a single hole filler in a heroic, but I'm frequently perusing on my shadow priest (who frequently ends up healing).

Keep up the good work with the blog!

SuraBear said...

Maybe its just the late-night crowd then, I dont get home on weekdays until midnight or so.

Maybe I'll pop onto LFG on Kibler again tonight, though, perhaps things have shifted in the last couple of weeks. And I really would like to at least get the hourglass from BM on him if nothing else, that thing's hard to replace (I still have it in Surania's kitty set, and dont forsee replacing it unless by some chance I luck out and win a DST)

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