June 28, 2010

How random is random?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:19 pm by Aduial of WrA

I don’t know how many people still use the random dungeon very often, I know it’s likely a lot less than when it first came out, but sometimes it’s easy to assume that every random PUGee will either be a raving lunatic, moron, or just plain average. But the random tool doesn’t just drop you into a random dungeon with random strangers… Quite often, the quality of said strangers can be very random, indeed. I got a blunt reminder last night of just how random the whole experience can really be, ranging from extremely bad to “how are these people not some of my guildies? they’re so awesome!”

The Bad

I’m sure everyone who’s set foot into a dungeon with PUG’d members, pre- or post-LFD, have experienced some of these. They’re the dungeons that make you want to rip your hair out, with the warlock lifetapping to near nothing then hellfiring to death, or huntards pulling aggro left and right, or DKs insisting on tanking when they aren’t, or people standing in fire, or healers insisting on healing only the tanks and no one else, and so on. These unfortunately do seem to be the norm anymore, as sad as that is. And it seems the chance of having a whole group ruined by one of these people is exponentially higher the less people you know when you go in: If you go in solo it’s all but guaranteed, though if you go in with 4 guildies or friends then it’s much, much less likely to have a bad group. There also seems to be a correlation between going into a fresh dungeon, and one that’s already in progress; even if you have a person or two with you, the chances of getting a bad group when entering a dungeon that is “in progress” is at least double that of a fresh run.

So normally, logically… I will not go into a dungeon that is in progress when it’s just myself or just Ithraen and I. Well, last night I screwed up. He and I had gotten our daily Lord Ahune out of the way as well as heroic Forge of Souls to try for his boots (since if we random in there we can’t specific, but if we specific then random in that’s an extra chance at them), and had plopped ourselves into LFD for the daily heroic, instant queue as usual, and I clicked automatically… And realized a moment later, to my horror, that it’d said “In progress.” And then the loading screen up, and helloooo Gundrak. I try to talk myself into how it could conceivably be positive while the dungeon loads.

Maybe they’re at the last boss, and it’ll be really quick.

Maybe the last tank and healer had to go or something, and the group wasn’t horrible.

Maybe it was just coincidence or bad luck for the tank and healer and they DC’d or something.

I was so wrong.

We zone in, a bit behind the second boss… From the water. The hunter is somewhere out way on the right on my map instead of with the rest of the group, and we end up needing to have the lock summon her because she can’t get back, because “there’s respawns.” Apparently someone had suggested a shortcut… So when Ith pulled the boss, all the trash skipped before him charged with it. Everyone stood in the bad stuff, the hunter least of all thankfully, though even I had to stand in it to save the warlock or DK several times. We make it through without any deaths… and the DK continues standing in the bad stuff while waiting on loot to roll. I toss him a heal, loot goes to whoever, we move on, pull one of the few mobs that didn’t pull, kill it with no problems aside from people standing in the bad again, and then… The DK continues. He stands there until his health is at 10% at which I toss him a heal, then say screw it and follow my tank. One of the mobs right after the jump got pulled so we’re standing there fighting it, the DK finally joins in, and the warlock… is out of range, then dead? Apparently, he’d already jumped and died a foot from the other side. At this point my tank notices the DK is in tank and PvP gear, with 30k health… And I’d already noticed him pulling about 700-800 dps.

Oh, did I mention he was at least the second tank and I was the third healer they’d gone through? At this point in the dungeon I completely understand why.

We trek on and at the end boss Ith ends up having to move the boss to keep the DPS out of the freaking whirlwind… because they sure wouldn’t move on their own, and the group overall is just… bad. Even the hunter who I expected more from after noticing they were from my realm, but no luck. They actually start trying to queue up again, at which point Ith drops, I thank them for the run, and follow suit.

The Good

Later on in the evening one of the other officers, Em, signs onto his shaman after apparently just woken up from his after-work nap. Within moments he’s gone ahead and queued himself up solo as he normally does and chatter sort of stops while he’s healing until at one point he comments, “this PUG is amazing.” It was apparently his second dungeon with the same group, and the biggest ‘complaint’ that he had (and he’s the type to whine when someone’s being stupid, a lot of times)? Apparently the tank commented that Cradle of Filth and tanking the Nexus don’t really go together. He ended up doing one or two more runs with them by the time I signed off to go to bed, so I don’t know how many in total he did with them, but it seemed like they were going to be running together as long as possible.

Groups like that are seemingly extremely rare… And while it’s not totally uncommon to have one good PUGee in a random, it’s almost nonexistent in my experience to have been dropped into a group with 4 strangers who are not only good players, but fun people.

It was just something that really struck me, in contrast with my earlier groups that evening, and made me realize that LFD isn’t just about random dungeons, it’s all truly random.

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