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Be careful what you wish for

December 14, 2009
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So, you remember that post that I wrote about the new LFG tool?  This one?  Oh, and maybe some of you on twitter remember this particular tweet:

The Elitists: Don’t think I’d hear this EVER: RT @anea: off to PuG more! :D

Apparently some minor God of Fate was listening and decided to have a little fun, because ever since I gushed about how awesome the system is and how I love it… I’ve just had the most terrible luck with PuGs.

I didn’t even want to write about it, since I felt it would diminish what I said earlier, but I just can’t take it any more.  I told myself that of course bad PuGs are in order, I just have to roll with the punches.  And I do know that sometimes PuGs will break up and things will be hard – but the thing is I seem to be the only person in the group willing to work on something and try again.  Everyone wants to ditch the party at the first sign of trouble.

The first Bad PuG I had I think I’ve managed to block out because I can’t remember it clearly (or I’ve just had so many that they’re all running together, I’m not sure) but it was in Shadow Labs.  But, have no doubt that our corpses littered the floor like soda cans at a subway station and the mobs had strung our guts around the place like garlands.  Just dying again and again and again and again and again.  For no good reason!  The tank just needed to understand that if we know the mobs fear… why don’t let’s pull them into the hallway so that when we do get feared, we’ll only be feared in the hallway and not pull the other mobs?  People left soon after (not that I can blame them in that instance.)

The second through perhaps fifth Bad PuG were simple issues that could’ve been fixed but at the first sign of trouble (either a Close Call or a wipe) people were dropping (party) like flies.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s so much easier to work on a problem than drop party and wait another half hour for a group to be fully assembled and have all the people accept an invitation to the dungeon.  It just takes too long.

I know now that heirlooms are out, people are flying through levels and are all hot to trot to get to 80 and endgame and I know that everyone said that Wrath was so easy right when it came out, but did eveyone really forget how to learn something and work on it – even though it requies a few wipes?  One PuG in Utgarde Keep the first time through, we wiped twice on the second boss.  Twice we tried and failed.  Someone got pissed and left – while waiting for a new group member I went to look the boss up on wowhead and relayed the strats to everyone.  I expected everyone to say, “Ok, got it, let’s try it again!”  But one pally said, “We shouldn’t need to look up strats, my guild never did.” and it just infuriated me that he’s being so pompous about it – if he really knew this dungeon so well that he “didn’t need strats” why didn’t he contribute an idea to ways to approach the boss?  And strats are not a bad thing at all – if there are certain ways to do a fight that make sense and make it easier or even just possible in the first place, why not utilize that?

I tried to put myself in the other people’s shoes.  The snotty paladin critiquing everyone and their gear/spec/life?  He would rather breeze through an instance with zero trouble rather than work on it.  Probably because his main is in a great guild who can do just that and he’s gotten used to it.

Ok, so maybe I didn’t put myself in everyone’s shoes, but the poor tank struggling to get things done in the last PuG I did?  I could imagine that being me in a little over half a level and I felt a little scared.

I told myself that I’d try out tanking when I got to 70 – I have gear in the bank, I have a new shiny weapon, I have the gold to facilitate dual specs… I just need to do it.  Thanks to a helpful link from @bossypally, I’ve found an article that doesn’t badmouth frost the entire way through.  Yes, I want to tank Frost.  I’m not entertaining tanking as Unholy or Blood, thank you for asking.  I’ve got a spec planned out, I just need to put the plan in motion.

However, I’ve never tanked before (besides that one night in Zul’Farrak on the warrior) and it’s still kinda scary.  As I’m getting closer to 70, I’m seeing all the things that scared me before (the whole being in charge thing, marking, taking the blame if we wipe) and I wonder if I’m ready.  I’m sure that after some trial and error I’ll get things figured out – I just need to keep a clear head the first few times.  However, I’m remembering how everyone will leave when things seem shaky and I wonder how I’ll ever keep a group together for me to try tanking in the first place!

The other issue that I’m slightly worried about is that I’ve not been through these dungeons in a long time.  I very vaguely remember Utgarde Keep, which is the only place the daily random has sent me so far.  I know that I could look them up on wowhead or somesuch, but I think it’s best to learn them by doing.  After seeing how ruthless groups can be…  *gulp*  The combined idiocy of battlegroups can be rather daunting.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 11:08 PM

    Tanking *is* really scary! I’m still reluctant to tank in PuGs, I worry too much that I’m pulling too slow, or not holding all the mobs.And like you said, PuGs are so ruthless. I think half the reason PuGs are so bad is BECAUSE people go into them expecting them to be awful. A self realizing prophecy.

  2. Anea permalink
    December 15, 2009 12:46 AM

    @Ophelie – I’ve noticed that people are awfully impatient with tanks and their pulling. In what I think is a group with a good pace, there is always some melee creeping forward and sometimes "accidentally" pulling. I’ve firmly decided if that happens when I tank (and I’m pretty sure that I’m at a good pace) I’ll let them die. (And were I a healer, I’d let them die too)

  3. CunningB permalink
    December 15, 2009 7:44 AM

    If you want to learn to tank 70-79 is the place to do it right now ^^Lvl 80 pugging world has turned into speed runs for all and if you cant chain pull and have over 2k dps pleae leave -.-Hopefully it’ll calm down a little when all the over geared, self entitled, pompus shits move on but who knows, as far as the heroic pugs i’ve had they’ve contained maybe 75% raiding alts who don’t really want to be there and just want the badges *sigh* so much for a relaxing dungeoning experience at 80, hey ho maybe its time to pull out one of my other 60+ characters ^^Anyway rant aside, tanking is great fun, so jump right in! A little reading at http://www.tankspot.com can help you out alot as they’ve got some pretty good advice around there, but being in charge and being able to run and instance at the speed you want is an enjoyable experience ^^Oh and if your worried about it threat is easy as punch to generate and you’ve got some good AoE skills as a DK, one piece of advice though is find the marks in your keybind options and bind the skull and cross, marking what you want killed smooths things out considerably as "most" dps these days will follow the kill order and you get a more relaxing ride ^^

  4. Jack permalink
    December 15, 2009 4:05 PM

    Hey! Congratulations on trying to tank frost. I levelled a DK to 80 tanking Frost and loved it. I’ve gotten in the habit of whenever I create an alt on a new server, I create a DK with them to be their "gathering mule" for whatever profession I want the alt to have. And the DK is always Frost. There’s just something appealing about sweeping into combat on a frigid wind and leaving frozen husks in your wake.Plus dual wielding is awesome.And chaining damage mitigating cooldowns for extended survivability lets you take on some very fun challenges even solo.Probably the toughest thing for me to learn while tanking frost was how to use Death and Decay versus Howling Blast correctly. Both being great threat generators, Howling Blast having the benefit of costing one less rune, inflicting more actual damage and spiking all the threat up front, (and being a great ability from utilitarian, rp, and graphic perspectives), but the drawback of needing to crit (like with Deathchill or Killing Machine) in order to be as good as D&D. And whichever you use has to be done relatively early in a fight.But that’s part of the fun . . . learning when and how to use the abilities best, right?

  5. Jack permalink
    December 15, 2009 4:05 PM

    Hey! Congratulations on trying to tank frost. I levelled a DK to 80 tanking Frost and loved it. I’ve gotten in the habit of whenever I create an alt on a new server, I create a DK with them to be their "gathering mule" for whatever profession I want the alt to have. And the DK is always Frost. There’s just something appealing about sweeping into combat on a frigid wind and leaving frozen husks in your wake.Plus dual wielding is awesome.And chaining damage mitigating cooldowns for extended survivability lets you take on some very fun challenges even solo.Probably the toughest thing for me to learn while tanking frost was how to use Death and Decay versus Howling Blast correctly. Both being great threat generators, Howling Blast having the benefit of costing one less rune, inflicting more actual damage and spiking all the threat up front, (and being a great ability from utilitarian, rp, and graphic perspectives), but the drawback of needing to crit (like with Deathchill or Killing Machine) in order to be as good as D&D. And whichever you use has to be done relatively early in a fight.But that’s part of the fun . . . learning when and how to use the abilities best, right?

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