August 23, 2010

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”

Posted in Musings, Tales from PUGland, The Player Behind the Toon at 8:33 pm by Aduial of WrA

Gah, okay, one day I really will learn to stop making drafts and just post. Eventually. This is the culmination of around two days’ kicking my own rear into gear, so hopefully this will be the last time I go off the radar for a while (at least unexpectedly).

Since my last post I have been playing solely on US servers again, and my baby warrior and her priesty partner are now in their forties, which is good… except that we’re in Maraudon’s Pristine Waters range so the dungeon finder tool keeps dropping us in there, and for whatever reason it just seems like the levels wouldn’t come anymore. So after a bit of a, err, masochistic trial on my part we decided to give those two a break to let them get some rested XP stacked up while we play new toons. Well, sort of new.

I’ve had a low level mage for a while now, and despite normally wanting to fill either a tanking or healing role I actually, so far… enjoy him. He’d originally been part of a group of four: Esgal had rerolled a paladin, Ithraen rerolled rogue, as did Kyrem, and I’d rerolled the mage, and we’d planned to get through the starting areas on our own then level the four together. Well… that didn’t work, and I was pretty much the only one to continue leveling (I also seemed to be the faster leveler of the group, for whatever reason). He was level fourteen when I shelfed him, originally to let the others catch up, though they all stayed around level 10 at most.

So a few nights ago, after some complications, I ended up wanting to play by myself and just sort of… let off steam, I guess. I actually don’t really enjoy my eighties anymore, so I didn’t consider them options, so I looked down my character list. I’d completely forgotten about the little cowgirl I’d rolled on another realm for this purpose… and ended up choosing Uruvion, my mage. His professions are herbalism and inscription, and is actually the only toon I have on WrA (at least on this account) that has those, so I was leveling them a bit, ended up going out to a spot in Eversong and farming Bloodthistle for a couple hours while killing any of the mobs I aggro’d. Before long I ended up hitting level 15, and decided, what the heck, I want to dungeon on this guy.

So I went to Silvermoon, made sure my bags were empty of any excess, got myself all buffed up, made sure I had enough food and water conjured, sat beside the trainer, and dropped myself into LFD.

And there I sat. For over two hours. Needing only a tank.

This of course came as a bit of a shock to me. I’d heard DPS queues were bad, sure… but I was used to chaining instances on a tank/healer combo, and actually any of my pairs with Ithraen usually have a tank, or at least a healer, so I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I had to wait this long. Well, except that one time on my alli-pally where we waited just shy of three hours for a DPS, but I’d been lucky to get a talkative group and we had fun nonetheless.

I also couldn’t help but remember all the times on Cele that we’d get an instant queue, only for it to time out because one of the DPS didn’t respond. It had aggravated me a touch so I didn’t want to do that on Ruvi, much less did I want to have to sit through a long queue again because I missed it popping… So I didn’t even dare get too far from my computer.

During this time, as I think most people would end up, my perspective changed. A lot. And it continued changing throughout the night.

A little after two hours (rebuffing every thirty minutes on the dot, too), it finally popped, and in I went. Trying my best to be a good little mage, I offered food or water, which no one wanted, and off we went. And I’m casting, and then the mob’s dead. And I notice the tank is… a 21 paladin. Which, I guess, makes sense, since paladins don’t even get consecrate until level 20, so I didn’t think much of it all things considered. At least we had a tank. I also didn’t get much practice on how to play a mage.

End of the run, everyone drops, I plunk back in, and a half hour wait was so much more tolerable. Second group, different paladin ‘tank,’ this one level 15 (so didn’t even have a taunt), and a level 16 retadin who ended up tanking more often than not. Well, aside from the massive groups I’d end up tanking because I can’t stand to see healers be hit, and I seemed to be the only one capable of holding aggro on more than one mob. Even when I was just wanding.

I ended up getting that same ‘tank’ the rest of the night, for several runs, even when we didn’t queue together (though hey, at that point I was thinking any tank was better than none, so we did end up queuing as a group quite often). That night I also watched the morals I had as a tank slowly disappear. Towards the end we had a steady group, aside from revolving door healers.

There was the paladin tank who couldn’t, but darned if he didn’t try (and I do respect his trying). There was the shaman who was average, though didn’t seem to speak English as a first language, but took the time to get quests to share with us. Then there was the warrior, who would charge in before the tank, heck, often times before we were done with the last group, never bothered to thunderclap so he just ended up usually making things harder (but the poor tank did his best regardless to take aggro back, bless him), who needed on just about anything that dropped. Unfortunately even the tank ended up needing seemingly randomly after a while.

Had I been on my tank, I wouldn’t have stood for that, of course. As I said, as a tank I have morals. Ninjas are bad. DPS should wait for the tank to pull. People who purposefully pull just to be a dick gets to tank what they pull, usually without heals. But on my mage? Hey, we had a tank! Things are dieing, I’m getting experience, and I’m not needing any of the things dropping, so why worry? I ended up not caring. At first when I pulled aggro on accident, I’d apologize. By the end of the night when there was an AOE pull, I’d start it off just to make sure I had aggro and the healer didn’t. If I pulled from the tank, oh well.

The next time I played Cele, the morals were back… for the most part. I did find I was a lot more lenient than I usually was. I found myself not caring when others pulled for me, for example, unless it ended up almost wiping us (or actually wiping us), but then I’d just say something about it in a joking manner. I didn’t actually tell the DPS not to. The spine I’d worked long and hard to develop as a tank was suddenly very, very flexible, and I was more stressed than normal.

I wish I’d thought to ask then how the runs were going for the DPS. I couldn’t tell if there was any more or less stress on Veive, well, aside from a couple total asshats we ended up getting. I’d been tolerant to them, too–after all, who knows how long they’d been stuck in the queue? That kind of queue could make a lot of people feel like being jerks. The last run we did before temporarily shelving those two, though, we ended up with a particularly bad one who made me wonder if perhaps having a, er, flexible spine is a bad thing.

We were in Mara, purple crystals, which was on the low side for Veive and I, so it wasn’t terribly difficult. Things were going well for a while, perhaps about half the dungeon. The warlock was Rain of Fire’ing, and Veive made an off-hand comment, “Man.. Raid of Fire looks so lame now…” The warlock shoots something back that seemed to be joking, Veive jokes back, the warlock goes off. He apparently had not been joking. He’s saying Veive was dissing the class, he’s immature for doing so, that he’s… well, many expletives I shan’t repeat here. Now, knowing Veive, it hadn’t been meant as anything like that, and I say so. I also mention that I doubt he’s dissing a class that he has played all the way to 80 and loved. I’m thinking he either meant compared to some Shadow spells (since he’d recently dual-specced Shadow), or perhaps just because the novelty wore off from the first time he Rain of Fired.

But no, the warlock would have none of it, and kept berating Veive. And Veive, being who he is, delighted in such and kept, well, poking the warlock. Veive, well, he likes to poke idiots, to paraphrase him, it’s almost like picking at scabs for him, I suppose, and normally I would’ve let him without paying much attention, but this warlock reminded me a bit too much of someone I used to know, so it was getting to me, and a couple pulls later I halt the group and manage to talk them both into stopping. And so we continue, without further incident, until the last boss. We down him, and then… as if the warlock had typed it already in preparation… came one last, long paragraph of cursing Veive, berating him, generally being a prick, and he dropped. Veive apologizes that the other DPS (who had been mostly silent) had to put up with that, and they actually sort of cheered that the warlock was gone, and tell Veive he wasn’t a problem at all, just that the warlock was.

Silent runs aren’t uncommon, and I know I’m not the first to comment on that. Veive and I are used to being the only ones talking in party, with the others either ignoring us or just choosing not to talk themselves. Would those two DPS have stayed silent if not for the warlock? I don’t know, but I didn’t think much of their silence at the time until the end, when they, well, weren’t silent anymore. Before my experience with Ruvi, I probably would’ve kicked the warlock when things started getting out of hand instead of just trying to get them to chill out so we could finish the run. And it seemed the other DPS would’ve rather I had… So perhaps, for all the griping about tanks doing this or that… Perhaps, just perhaps, it is necessary for a better environment afterall.

As for dipping my toes into the solo-DPS gig, I’m done with that for a while. Uruvion will no longer be one of my solo toons; I’ll be leveling him while Cele gets some rested XP, and Ithraen’s rolled a little cow druid who’ll be my pocket tank while Veive gets some rested XP. Well, he’ll be my pocket tank after he gets himself to 20, at least, since he doesn’t want to tank before then (and I went ahead and got Ruvi to 20 to be even with him when we start).

Now, to just stop procrastinating where my EU account is concerned and stop worrying about how long I’ve been offline and just get my butt back on…

Edit: Of course, in my dallying, I’ve ended up running out of time on my EU account. /facepalm.

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