As I mentioned a post or so ago, I am in the process of leveling a paladin tank solely by the dungeon finder tool. It’s been a blast. I haven’t quested since my mid-twenties (and only so I could get an upgrade I sorely needed). As a tank, I get instant queues. No waiting, no chance I may miss the queue when it pops. I click accept and BAM. Queue. It’s lovely.
But on the flip side, I’m TANKING. Tanking. A lone pro in a sea of noobs. Ugh, that sounds too harsh. I have been playing WoW since 2005. I have played every class (quite a few to the level cap in various expansions) and every role. My main is a level 80 restoration druid in full ICC 10/25 gear. I understand the concept of healing! I really do. The green bar goes down; I bring it up. Got it. Admittedly my tanking skills are less honed. I tanked in vanilla WoW as a tauren warrior until level 40 – big deal. I got compliments, but I was a noob. NOOB. I’m proud to admit it. It means I have moved beyond noobishness. Sort of. I have a level 70 protection paladin (whom I log in every now and then raring to smash things and then pussy out and skulk somewhere on another character). I bear-tanked on my druid in the Burning Crusade at 70 until a feral druid friend convinced me to go resto so we wouldn’t be loot competition. So I did, and ended up loving it and haven’t seen my own bear butt in years. However, I did recently get my off-spec in order to tank. I haven’t tanked anything yet. I’m rambling.
The point is I currently have a level 46 protection paladin that I am shoving into the dungeon queue six or seven times a day. I have the best gear I could hope for at that level, and a very low chance of anyone competing for it. Yes, there are ninjas. Oh Christ, are there ninjas. I am usually very lenient on low level players. I figure they are either new to their class or new to the game entirely. They don’t understand what I do. I usually just casually mention that, hey, you shouldn’t be rolling need on everything that drops. Or, hey, try not to pull things left and right. That’s the tank’s job. My significant other – God bless him – is very patient with these people. If they commit horrid acts in his presence, he whispers them and sorts it out politely. I am more likely to say it once and then grow horns and fangs and splatter them all over the dungeon floor. Didn’t know I was a boss, did you? Surprise.
It goes without saying that I encounter a plethora of these hapless people while dungeon-crawling. It is the one downside I have found to my chosen leveling method. At low levels I am lenient, like I said. At my current level, I am not. I am of the opinion that, by level 45-46ish, you ought to know how to behave in a group. Running ahead and AoE pulling huge packs of mobs and racing back towards me is not the way to act. Rolling need on every item that drops is a very poor way to win the trust of your group. But do I see these things happen? Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
The priest healer in Maraudon who ran head of me at every pull and brought back tons of mobs, even after she was asked to stop, it an example of a piss-poor player. Said priest eventually wiped the group, despite my best keyboard-smashing attempt to survive the deluge of mutated plantae. This person then “disconnected” and left us sans healer.
How about the hunter who rolled need on a mail helm in Razorfen Kraul (not Maraudon madness, but still pertinent)? He won. I politely asked what he thought he was going to do with a mail +strength helm. No response. Hand it over or find a new tank, says I. No response. I let him run ahead and pull a pack of piggies, let him die, then explained that I had no intention of finishing a dungeon for him when the item I needed was ninja’d. I left. I don’t recommend that strategy, but I queued specifically for that dungeon, even though it was green to me, specifically for that helm. The lack of common sense in most people astounds me. And why is it always hunters? Buh.
There is a period of a few levels when the only dungeon available to you is Maraudon. First it’s just the purple side, which has no loot for me and after one run get’s old faster than bread on a hot day. But I run it incessantly for the experience so that, in a level or two, the orange side becomes available. I understand people get tired of Maraudon all day every day. But I don’t understand why they continue to queue for it if they don’t want to run it. I queued specifically for the orange side yesterday, because I needed a quest item off Noxxion. I forgot to loot it last time. Oops. Five seconds after everyone has buffed, the healer leaves. No explanation. The boomkin – you lovely lazerchicken, you! – stepped in to heal. Two pulls in, a DPS leaves. No explanation. Myself, our fake – but awesome – healer, and an intrepid and un-noobish warlock plowed ahead. We cleared the damn thing faster than a group of five. We even detoured into the purple side for Vyletongue for his quest item drop. As we neared him, the queue finally found us a full group. I’m not sure how. I thought we’d finished the instance we had queued for…anyway. They were depressed to learn we were practically done, but they helped us kill Vyle and then Celebras. A good group.
A good group is hard to come by. A decent one is not altogether rare. A bad one is frighteningly easy to find yourself trapped in. I do not usually leave a group, for any reason. I try to work with what I have. I try to politely correct bad behavior. I am the tank, and 90% of the time I am also the group leader. It helps to have some fake semblance of authority when asking idiots not to be…idiots. I don’t care if people have no idea what they’re doing. So long as they don’t do it so horridly incorrectly that they undermine my position as the meat-shield and endanger the group.
No, what really aggravates me is the attitude I have encountered in many dungeon runs as of late. That attitude is the “pull everything in the dungeon right now GO GO GO!”. I guess with the advent of heirloom items and random blue rewards from the satchels, people feel they out-gear a dungeon so entirely that it warrants becoming a trivial mess of “pull everything and AoE it down”. I don’t feel the same way, and I’m guessing neither do my healers. I’m the one with my face six inches from the one thousand screaming mobs you want me to pull, trying desperately to keep aggro on everything, begging the RNG gods that I’m not the one who gets sleeped/feared/stunned/gouged/killed. The people who usually scream for such things are the DPS (though a healer did it once). They don’t seem to understand that I am still learning this role, and though I have been in these dungeons a bazillion times, I may not know exactly how to pull them to prevent being slaughtered. So to the people who incessantly bitch at me to “PULL BIGGER!” or “PULL FASTER, FATASS”….fuck you.
I have experienced similar on my level 20ish priest healer. Leveling mostly via the dungeon finder with a shaman friend, I have learned a few things. One, people are stupid at that level. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they don’t know what they’re doing yet and they will learn. Two, groups can survive fine without a tank, because at that level no one is really a “tank” yet. The people who spaz out and declare defeat the second the tank drops group are morons. Anyone with arms can tank the low level dungeons. Get a grip. Lastly, I remember why I don’t like low level healing. The mana problems, man. They get people killed. With a decent tank and a non-idiotic group (or just Blessing of Wisdom) I can outlast almost anything. But the second something goes wrong and people are running about screaming and dying and the tank is being pounded into the floor, I am out of mana in seconds. It sucks. I miss my druid and his unlimited mana (/cry).
Ugh, and the people who feel the need to tell me when to heal…I could rant for hours. I really could. I won’t. As I stated above, I UNDERSTAND HOW TO HEAL. I have been doing it for years. YEARS. I know how keep someone – anyone! – alive. If I have mana, you will live. I promise. I blow my top when someone pipes up “heal!” in party chat when they have 70% health left. Do you see my hands waving back here? Do you see me casting heals? I’m watching your health bar, you idiot, so do YOUR job and use your keystrokes to tank things or kill things, NOT to tell me when and how to do my job. It kills me when the person shouting “heal!” is the tank who cannot keep aggro to save his skin and the mobs ran to me after five seconds and are bashing my face in. Here’s a tip, pro-tard, do your job and I can do mine!