Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Do You Do When Someone Says...

Pugging makes you meet alot of different people, but I still feel like that you often meet a certain kind of people more often than others. Probably simply because they are more annoying or otherwise notable than other types and I just notice them more. You've got the guy who needs on all items, the tank that is too slow/fast, the healer that lets everyone drop to 10% hp before they start casting and etcetera. I'd like to make a post on how I regularly deal with these kind of people.

Today I am going to the discuss the player who always wants bigger pulls, never satisified with the amount of mobs because they have some really cool aoe skill that they want to use. Because of this these players usually play a class that isn't good at anything but aoeing (read: Mage) and therefore wants this opportunity to shine. It is also occasionally the healer that asks for this, because lowbie healers often become bored of lack of action.

I've had various ways of responding to this kind of player. To some extent it depends on which class and role I am currently playing in the group, since big pulls will affect me very differently.

I've had two ways of dealing with this as a dps. Initially I had the confronting attitude in everything when I was pugging, but I quickly realized that this wasn't a good way to handle random people (actually it took me longer than it should have, and many sad pug moments...). I was never the one who asked for bigger pulls myself. Honestly. I've been a tank and I usually think that whatever the tank is doing, it's probably exactly what he wants to be doing. The only reason for him to take smaller pulls than he'd be able to handle is if he thinks the healer can't handle it, in which case he shouldn't be taking bigger pulls anyway. As a dps I try to adapt myself fully to the skills and mood of the tank (and healer to some extent). Back in the day, whenever some other dps would ask for bigger pulls, or even the healer, I'd jump into defense for the tank at once even if he didn't ask for it. Because I knew how I'd feel in that situation. How do I tell them that I don't feel like doing bigger pulls? That I am enjoying it the way it is? I didn't want the tank to think that we were all on the same side as the "do bigger pulls"-dpser, so I usually stated that whatever the tank felt like doing was going to be the right thing, as long as it took us forward. I've too often seen tanks trying to make the group happy with pulls they can't handle, and eventhough that doesn't necessarily lead to a wipe I always feel sorry for a tank that isn't on top of things. Being a tank is wanting to have full control over the situation (or should be anyway). That doesn't always mean that you'll tank everything, but you'll at least want to have the feeling that you're the one making the decisions. Tanks that too easily oblige aoe-horny dpsers usually loose this precious control.

Lately I've taken to a more laid-back and "heck, it'll work out in the end" kind of attitude instead. If the group happens to have someone that desperately needs bigger pulls, and the tank tries to oblige, things can either turn out well or not so well. But in most lowbie pugs things need to turn out horribly bad before you'll wipe, and nowadays I usually just try to do the best of the situation. Cc, offtank... whatever I can offer to make it easier on the healer and the tank. Because I am thinking that the poor tank will have to learn to stand up for his way of tanking sooner or later. Sure, everything about a pug group means you'll have to adapt yourself to some extent, it's still a group-effort, so if someone asks for bigger pulls you might at least consider doing bigger pulls. You can try to oblige, but never let people bitch you around, or they'll walk all over you.

One thing I really love about being a healer is that whatever happens, I'll probably have it under control. Being a healer in a group really means having the ultimate responsibility for success or failure, especially in lowbie groups. You don't really need a tank in a lowbie group, so if the healer is decent and some mana breaks are allowed, you can have anyone pull and tank, most of the time. When I am healing and someone asks for bigger pulls I usually just /shrug. More action for me, yay. It's easy because all you need to do is keep people alive. As a tank you want to keep all aggro on you, and that is probably the most difficult thing to do. As a dps you want to outdps everyone else (at least I do), and that can be quite some challenge in lowbie instances if you happen to play a class without a good aoe skill. But as a healer I just have to make sure no one dies, and that is usually quite simple. As a healer I rarely get worked up about anything that happens in an instance, because the ultimate responsibility lies with me and if I know I can handle it there is nothing to worry about.

I used to be extremely cranky as a tank. One of those "you better do exactly as I tell you or I will nerdrage and leave group because you don't deserve me!". As a tank I still think I am more important than everyone else in the group. There is a reason there's a shortage on tanks. They do all the work (especially in lowbie groups where the tank often does 50% of all the damage) and never get any recognition or love for it. One mistake and you'll have a choir of crying babies in your group. Tanking really does feel like herding ungrateful children sometimes (and many times that's probably exactly what I'm doing). Back in the days when I used to be a cranky tank I would fly off the handle when someone suggested bugger pulls. I made it quite clear that if I was remotely interested in their opinion I'd ask for it and I am tanking exactly the way I want to. Don't like it? There's the dungeon exit. Ok, I am exaggerating, but only slightly. I have a good reason for being this cranky though - people blame everything on the tank. Give them the pinky and they'll cut of off your arm.

I remember some months ago when I was doing BRD, and we had one of them people who always asks for bigger pulls. I kindly (seriously, I tried to be very gentle) told him, and the rest of the group, that whatever pulls I made were based on what I thought I could handle. I also pointed out that if I did a bigger pull and it went wrong, I would surely get the blame, and I wouldn't have that. But they kept on and on with the nagging. Finally I thought "what the heck, let's give it a try". I did a big pull, some two groups of dwarves in a room instead of the one I had planned for. We wiped, and guess who got the blame? Yours truly. In fact, my wanting to oblige my group and make them happy only awarded me the title "worst tank I've ever had" from one of the group. I wasn't very happy with WoW or random people at that time.

Nowadays, that I am more smooth and laid back instances, I actually just ignore people when they ask for things I don't care to do. So if someone says "DO BIGGER PULLS!" (it's always caps for some reason) I just go on tanking as usual. If I keep a steady pace and never let their minds wander away, it usually stays at the occasional cry for bigger pulls, like some kind of tick, and nothing more. And that's the way I want it.

1 comment:

  1. You descripted exactly the reason I quit tanking with my main warrioress after about 1,5 year being mainly a tank.
    My aversion against tanking has its origin in the peoples behave changes after the LFD tool came out, although I was quite enthusiastic at the start. The bucket of sand thrown into the warrior tank opening abilities after 4.0.1 settles the hash.
    I'm not hardcore (and a pussy from a RP server) so I don't know everything inside out. As tank you be expected to know and to be able to handle everything however and mocking or worse is your reward regularly when things don't go as expected. Before 4.0.1 I could managed to stay on top most of the time, but now I regular get run down by the dps steam train.
    Currently I only tank inguild heroics and raids and completely stopped with tanking PuGs although as tank you get a spot within seconds nowadays.
    Healing on my Holy priestess and my running up Holydin has become my main activity now while my beloved warrioress is wearing fancy dresses on RP events iso leads the charge.