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When the Inmates Run the Asylum

June 25, 2012

Dear Reader,

First, a look back:


 My warrior, I assume, I’ll push through dungeons as prot, though I’m not 100% sure I want to expose myself to that.  We’ll see.

Coreus, valued reader and frequent commentator:

You will fly through leveling dungeons as a prot warrior. The greatest risk is boredom. What is the thing you’re worried about exposing yourself to?


In answer to your question, the thing I’m worried about exposing myself to is the public. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences in LFD at many different levels, so the fear of coming across more jerks and morons genuinely makes me feel fear. In the few dungeons I’ve done, both by myself and with others I know and trust, I’ve yet to have one that was jerk-free. Either people running ahead of me and pulling, needing on everything, or simply being rude hurriers, I’ve yet to have a problem-free dungeon.

Well, dear reader, it seems my “we’ll see” has become “we’ve seen.”  It’s a jungle out there.  I mentioned before several of those problems that the dungeon’s simplicity helped remedy, but over the weekend, I reaffirmed that there’s a problem that no amount of ease could rectify: needy jerks.

In several of the past dungeons I’ve done, needy jerks have simply been rolling “need” on everything they could get their grubby, greedy little hands on.  I really don’t care too much about gear; I’m mostly decked in heirloom stuff anyway, and I’ve got two gathering professions so money’s not that big a deal for me.  Still, I don’t like people screwing over others for a few bucks in vendor gold.  In some cases, after the second or third off-stat need, I’ve asked they not need everything, and when they continued (not if – I’ve yet to have one change their ways), I asked someone to vote to kick them since my VtK is on a perpetual  4 hour cooldown.  Honestly, when this happens, it happens.  I’m not particularly upset, though I don’t understand why Blizz would let mages need on tank items or rogues need on caster gear.  Of course, Blizz has made it pretty clear they don’t care about leveling balance, so I assume that having leveling gear stolen falls into this category of “things Blizz thinks you should just put up with” as well.

Of course, Blizz doesn’t think you should have to put up with the bug that allowed you to loot The Heart of the Mountain through the wall, so we’re back to that quest being impossible to complete, since no other players stay for the whole dungeon and the keys disappear when you leave, so even after a full clear it’s entirely likely you don’t have enough (it’s happened twice to me now), but I digress.

What happens, then, when the system fails?  Should you just suck it up, realize it’s just a short dungeon run, and put up with the bad behavior?  Perhaps.  Perhaps I should have, but alas, dear reader, that’s not the story I have to tell.

In one of my and my wife’s Zul’Farrak runs, we ended up with a needy jerk with a buddy from his guild and a fifth “neutral” member from a different server.  As the dungeon progressed, I noticed the needy jerk needing on every green and every boss item.  I mentioned to him that I didn’t think he needed an str / stamina helm, which he’d needed from the neutral paladin player (since I have an heirloom), and his response was “Shut up baby.”

Indeed.  I initiated the vote to kick, expecting that my wife and the neutral paladin would send him packing.  Instead, it failed.  Now I think I’ve made it pretty widely known that I have a hard time dealing with this sort of thing.  In the face of what I could only call insanity, I put into party chat “Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  I’m going to stand right here until you drop group.  I guarantee I can stand here longer than your queue will be, so really, you should drop party and save us all some time.  I’ll be back in five minutes to see if you’re gone yet.”  Then I alt-tabbed out and read some emails and webcomics.  My wife, though, watched the screen, crafted some pots, etc, so if the mage(s) had left, I’d be able to come back right away.

Five minutes passed and nothing.  Okay, they can be stubborn, well, so can I.  I came back and said, “Still here?  Five more minutes then.  I WILL make this longer than the queue.”  Then a vote to kick popped up for my wife, which of course I voted against, but she was removed from the group.

Then I was.

The neutral paladin, then, who’d had a blue piece of gear stolen from him by one of the needy jerks, who’d voted AGAINST kicking the needy jerk, must have voted to kick my wife and I.

I hopped on to the paladin’s server and made a new toon so I could speak to him.  I wanted to understand why he would make the decisions he made.  I wrote him several explanatory, extremely polite and forgiving tells, making it clear I didn’t want to attack him or harass him but just get his side of the story for my blog.  I spent probably 15 minutes and 200 words trying to ask him for an answer, something to clarify why he’d decided what he’d decided, but never got a response.

My takeaway from all this is that LFD is precisely what I was afraid it was: an asylum where the lunatics have all the keys.  For every dungeon I have that runs smoothly (has there even been a single one?  I don’t think so, but I’ll give hope the benefit of the doubt), I must have 5 that don’t.  Between the people who chain pull while my wife’s desperately trying to get some mana, causing me to eventually run out of cooldowns and die, which then causes a wipe (just to have them blame the healer and do it all again or drop), to the needy jerks, to the afk asses who say at the start, “brb” and don’t reappear before the first boss, I’ve yet to come across 3 decent people at once.  Just three.

I know we are all aware of the sad state of LFD, but this eviction has really taken a toll on me mentally.  Perhaps if I could understand the paladin, if he could explain how thieving assholes were a preferable choice to someone standing up against thieving assholes, how requeueing for a dps was worse than requeueing for a tank and healer, then I could feel balanced again.  I know there’s jerks out there.  I’ve dealt with them in every dungeon.  Now even the neutral people seem to be siding with the jerks, though.  Are there really so many that it’s easier just to become one than stand up against them?

I haven’t done an LFD since.  I’ve done some BGs, but when we hit the 55-59 bracket, that’ll be pointless, as the BC geared toons will vaporize the competition.  I’ve done bonfires, trying to steal enough xp to gain a few levels.  I just can’t justify at this point going back into LFD when my wife and I may be kicked for standing up for decency and fairness.

I’m this close to being done with the 10×85, but I’m starting to have my doubts.  TSW is around the corner, and I don’t know if I’m going to want to go back into a dungeon again.  Sure, I can quest, but that wasn’t the point, was it?  I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.


Stubborn (and once again deflated)

71 Comments leave one →
  1. Kishmet permalink
    June 25, 2012 11:00 am

    That’s actually a really sad story back at the start of the x-realm LFD days low level dungeons used to be my haven from the level capped ones as they offered a more relaxed envirement and people were more forgiving and in my experience you did not encounter as many jerks. As time progressed i noticed the low level dungeons become more “rush-rush” in their nature but mostly this was doable and for every bad group i had i had a good group (this was mid October 2011 when i quit WoW). Sad to hear that the trend has gotten even worse… a friend of mine suggested we rejoin WoW on an RP realm as you might not run across the jerk community there and the game was not so much about traditional things (lvling, gearing up etc.) if you chose to play it that. I don’t know if you are at all into RP but maybe you’ll find the last Bastion of uncorrupted WoW over there.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us and wishing you the best of luck in any future endeavors.


    • June 25, 2012 11:05 am

      I appreciate your kind words, but unfortunately I’ve been on RP realms and saw little difference in the dungeon culture there. This toon was supposed to be my “LFD” toon, since I plan to continue my 10×85 analysis and include this segment of the leveling population. Additionally, since this is my last toon (at least until MoP), I don’t really want to hop to another server and either pay or reroll, not to mention I’ve got my wife and her toon to think about as well. I do appreciate the suggestion, though; it’s just unfortunately not really an option for me.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Krel permalink
    June 25, 2012 11:03 am

    Unless and until blizzard decides to implement some anti-griefing tools that actually put some power into the hands of the players, as we’ve talked about before, I won’t be back. It’s just not worth it.

    • June 25, 2012 11:06 am

      I think we’ve been in total agreement for quite some time about this, with the small exception of whether it’s worth it (and to be honest, I’m quite well aware it’s not worth it; I just don’t really feel like I have a lot of other options… plus I’m so damn close to “finishing” the 10×85 thing). It’s just a shame that it’s gotten as bad as it is.
      Good to see you!

    • Krel permalink
      June 25, 2012 6:12 pm

      If you wanna play WoW, you don’t have any other options, that’s very true. 🙂 At this point, I’m playing a little EVE but I will most likely let my accounts lapse shortly, every time I resub to EVE I remember that it’s a game I like the idea of better than the actuality.

      Mostly, I’m playing World of Tanks. Jump in, play a quick few games, minimal smacktalk. Nobody can roll need on my gear, and TKers are quickly squished by the rest of the team. Until persistent world games like WoW, SWTOR, etc start coming up with better ways to manage their communities, I think they’re going to continue to deteriorate – the WoW community is WAY worse than it was when I started playing it. Maybe blizzard is saving their magic community fix for Titan. I hope so, but I don’t expect it.

    • June 25, 2012 9:48 pm

      To be honest, I just want to play with my friends. Unfortunately, it seems the only game we have ever all agreed on playing since WoW is D3, which frankly my wife and I were very disappointed by. I played WoT and liked it, but alas, my buddy didn’t, so away it went. His tastes and mine are seemingly diverging, which may eventually lead to losing contact. I hope not, but only time will tell. We’ll all be TSW, but I don’t know if it will stick. Are you planning on playing?

    • Krel permalink
      June 25, 2012 10:50 pm

      I haven’t decided. The thing that’s turning me off is that it’s supposed to have a bunch of riddles – meaning that the solution is rapidly going to be “google it.”. There was a blog earlier by Tobold about this exact concern.

      Right now I’m more interested in World of Warplanes and Mechwarrior Online – both MOBA freemium games.

    • June 26, 2012 11:14 am

      I’m pretty interested in Mechwarrior, too; Runz at Runzwithfire has been covering some of the prerelease information and it looks pretty cool.

      I played the open and closed beta for TSW, and I’m not sure “a bunch of” is accurate; there’s different “types” of quests, and one of the four or five different “types” is a research quest, which are the “riddles,” which aren’t really riddles, but simply ask you to read the quest text or know a piece of actual history or carefully look at the map for the area (those are the three I’ve seen). I felt that they were fresh additions in a stale mechanic (questing). The first one I came across was the map reading one, and as I was solving the first step, I remember thinking, “I can’t believe this. This can’t be right. An MMO can’t be actually rewarding me for map reading skills.” When it turned out to be right, I felt quite happy.

    • Krel permalink
      June 26, 2012 12:43 pm

      Ok, fair enough, I will take a second look. Sounds like I’ve prejudged the game perhaps unfairly.

    • Krel permalink
      June 26, 2012 12:43 pm

      send me an email and let me know what server you’ll be on, when you know.

    • June 26, 2012 5:46 pm

      Will do!

    • June 29, 2012 12:06 pm

      Huldra, for whenever you jump in.

  3. Chris permalink
    June 25, 2012 11:26 am

    I am noticing that the players in full heirlooms have been the greatest problem for me. These are people who have no excuse for not watching their aggro – they simply charge ahead trying to bring back as many groups as they can and running AWAY from the tank when getting clobbered! I would rather play with undergeared noobs who actually make an effort than entitled players levelling their 9th alt as fast as possible.

    • June 25, 2012 1:45 pm

      I feel like a mix between the two things you’re describing, or at least a contradiction to one of them. I’m in nearly full heirlooms, but I still like to take things at a safe pace. I remember when these leveling dungeons were hard – not challenging, but downright difficult. I remember in ZF when you entered the temple area fearing to death that the 2 troll 1 basilisk patrol would accidentally add; if you didn’t handle the first several pulls very carefully, it was a guaranteed wipe. I remember the first big courtyard in UD Strath being an absolute pulling nightmare. To just brush through these things as if they’re super easy now (despite the fact they probably are) flies in the face of many, many of my own experiences.

      I haven’t inspected any other players, to be honest, to see if the jerks were heirloomed out or not, so I can’t comment on that as a factor (though I’ll make sure to check from here on out, assuming I go back to dungeons (which I probably will). I’ll be interested to see if your observation holds true to my experience, too.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Chris permalink
      June 25, 2012 2:06 pm

      Don’t get me wrong. In a group composed entirely of experienced players a speed run can be fun but they have a time and a place. New players should never be exposed to one. If they don’t learn about pulls and los and aggro management and (GASP!) crowd control! then what are they going to do later when it becomes needed? I dont even bother to sheep or sap or stun because no one respects it anymore. Every time someone runs AHEAD of the tank I cringe – that is my first and cardinal rule: the tank is in charge and he leads! I have played for 6 years and still remember and follow this phrase: “If the tank dies its the healers fault, if the healer dies its the tanks fault, if the dps die its their own fault.”

    • June 25, 2012 3:47 pm

      I agree; when my 2 friends and my wife and I play, we usually do speed runs because I know I can trust them to follow me and not pull 100 extra mobs and to wait when my wife’s drinking mana. When it’s just my wife and I, though, I prefer a more cautious, respectful approach. The problem is that when I’m running with friends there’s 1 wild card player, but when it’s just my wife and I, there’s 3, making it that much more likely to have a jerk. Part of me seriously wishes I could queue for dungeons with just my wife and I; it’d take longer, but we wouldn’t be at all reliant on PuGs. Yes, we can just run to the dungeons and do them that way, but we’ve become spoiled and don’t want to do that.

      I, too, remember that rule, and still basically live by it, to the point that when someone’s really egregiously pulling and making a nuisance of themselves, I just ask my wife to not heal them, which she usually agrees to. When the rez doesn’t come, that sometimes plants the hint pretty firmly in their skull. Still, there’s plenty of time it doesn’t, and they just run back in and keep it up.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Chris permalink
      June 25, 2012 4:10 pm

      Just an aside and slightly off topic but here is a fun thing to do with the ever-annoying recount in a pug: point out that as dps you should never take a SINGLE point of non-aoe damage in an instance if you did your job right! That usually creates either silence or outrage. (excluding some wierd bosses that do unavoidable stuff)

    • June 26, 2012 11:23 am

      I’ve done things like that before, but often my experiences have simply ended with the PuG berating me verbally or calling names. I can, of course, then report that to the GMs, but since their secretive mechanisms operate out of the public’s view, who knows what, if anything, is ever done, and even if something is done, it’s only a slap on the wrist, so why bother?

      Perhaps that’s part of my problem; vote to kick, to me, is basically the only form of resistance that exists in LFD, so I use it liberally. If there was a system of justice that actually worked outside of vigilantism (refusing to pull) or execution (vote to kick), perhaps the whole place would be nicer for the rest of us. Too bad Blizz isn’t interested in community improvement.

  4. Mangara permalink
    June 25, 2012 12:19 pm

    I’m surprised to read this. I leveled two healers solely through LFD and I’ve definitely had more good groups than bad ones. I don’t know if I’m just more tolerant of jerkish behaviour than you are, but I rarely encountered behaviour bad enough to warrant a kick. I wonder if your vote kick cooldown could actually influence the players you are grouped with?

    • June 25, 2012 1:49 pm

      It’s becoming almost a sad joke to me how often I have people respond as you have; I don’t mean that as a criticism to your or your comment, but just that it seems that I have the worst LFD luck one can ever have. This is far from my first bad LFD story, but when I recount each one, someone says how different their experiences were from mine. I’m wholeheartedly thankful that some people are able to enjoy the LFD with little to no problems, but I just wish I could get me some of that.

      As for cooldown grouping; I’m not sure what my CD issue is; I virtually never kick anyone myself (the one needy jerk in ZF being the only kick I’ve initiated myself since I started leveling the warrior), but still my cd is always telling me 4 hours. I’m not sure why that is. I’ve been speculating that it’s not just your personal cd, but some kind of group oriented mechanism, such that if you’re in a party who kicks someone it adds to your own personal cooldown. That’s the only thing that really makes sense to me, to be honest, as I’m always asking other people to do the kicking.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. June 25, 2012 3:01 pm

    What a depressing story. I don’t know what else to say other than that I’m sorry this stuff keeps happening to you. Though you should probably take the hint after a while…

    • June 25, 2012 3:43 pm

      (: Thanks, and I agree. The problem is I’m not sure what exactly the hint is:
      Stop playing WoW
      Stop doing LFD
      Stop trying to have high standards in random groups

      If I could nail that down, maybe I could figure out how to handle things, but the lesson, as usual, eludes me.


    • June 25, 2012 5:51 pm

      I don’t think your standards are unreasonably high. I do think you should probably stop tanking LFD with random people and raiding with your guild, purely based on your recent entries, and focus on whatever it is you enjoy the most in WoW. Not that your misadventures don’t make for great entertainment…

    • June 26, 2012 11:21 am

      I did that for a while, and spent some time on my rogue doing messy PvP. The problem I run into there is that my wife doesn’t have a max-level PvP toon on that server, and for the most part doesn’t really enjoy PvP. Also, I’ve gotten every PvP reward I could, so there’s no real incentive to PvP other than just to kill time (which is enough of an incentive, but still less than other things).

      To be fair, I stopped raiding with my guild last December, but keep getting socially obligated to go back and help from time to time. It’s only been – I think – three times since December, so it’s really not that much, but each time is a comedy of errors and frustration. I reflected on this recently and have decided this is in fact the worst guild I’ve ever raided with, even worse than the RP guild I molded into a raiding team but still routinely had people wearing fishing poles or failing to jump to Thaddeus’s platform. At least they could get a full clear of Naxx (eventually) in 4 hours. This guild can’t do Spine and Madness in 2.

  6. Landry permalink
    June 25, 2012 4:18 pm

    Have you thought about asking your readers for their Battletags and recruiting them when they’re on? I’m not sure of the best way to do it with out posting the ‘tags on an open blog, but it would help you out in the wildcard department. It’s easier for me to give that out to people since they won’t know our names or e-mail addresses*.

    * Please note that I’m not sure this is implemented in WoW yet. I know it works well in Diablo III and that I can still see my random D3 “friends” when they’re online.

    • June 26, 2012 11:16 am

      I’ve had readers offer to let me join their guild in the past, in very well-written and convincing emails, but I just don’t want to commit to something or someone in that way unless I know that I myself am still invested, and truthfully, I’m just not sure I am. Consider me asking everyone for battletags and having a few people respond, only to have me go over to TSW and never play WoW again. I’d feel a bit guilty about that.

      Still, i appreciate the suggestion!

    • Landry permalink
      June 28, 2012 11:00 am

      I completely understand where you’re coming from. I haven’t joined a new guild since mine decided to abandon WoW. I’ve just kept all my toons in it for the perks we had already unlocked, even though it’s well short of the cap. I keep telling myself I need to recruit a friend or two and run through the new dungeons & the raid finder.

    • June 29, 2012 11:18 am

      Yeah, I’ve still got a toon in my first guild ever, which folded after a rift caused partly by me, of all things, standing up to a bully. It seems my penchant for bully busting keeps biting my in the ass, over and over, but I seem incapable of learning from my “Mistakes,” if, in fact, that’s what they are. I guess being scared and beat up enough as a kid makes you realize, as an adult, that really there’s nothing to be scared of, and that you’re a lot bigger than you used to be. That might not be a good lesson to learn, though.

  7. June 25, 2012 8:40 pm

    To be honest, I would have kicked you both too.

    You are correct in that the behavior isn’t fair or equitable. However, you intentionally went AFK to stop a dungeon run when your own vote to kick failed. The paladin clearly didn’t care about the loot, or he/she would have voted to kick the first time.

    So… who were you fighting for? The principal of the thing?

    I dunno, man. This feels like a manufactured problem to me. It would be one thing running ahead of the tank, or breaking CC, or being obnoxious in party chat, or whatever. But just imagine if there was some kind active monitoring feature. Do you think a Blizzard rep looking at what transpired would agree that you did the right thing? Do you still think you did the right thing by intentionally going AFK to try and bully someone rolling Need on items they are entitled to roll Need on to drop group when democracy failed?

    Not trying to be antagonistic or anything. On the scale of dungeon annoyances though, AFK party members is my own #1; conversely, loot I don’t need doesn’t even register.

    • June 25, 2012 9:37 pm

      Your certainly entitled to your own opinion, and in this case, it simply seems our opinions differ. Yes, I’m standing up for the principle of it. I don’t want to continue a dungeon with someone who’s a jerk, and I don’t feel I should be run out of my own dungeons by jerks. It seems more and more to me that having “traditional” fun in WoW (dungeons, raids, pvp, etc) is more and more dependent on a wider group of people that’s becoming more and more irresponsible and coarse.

      I’m quite certain a Blizzard rep would tell me to drop group and put the player on ignore so I wouldn’t be grouped with him again. However, I refuse to be run out of my game because someone else is behaving badly. Similarly, I abhor Blizzard’s “just ignore them” policy; it’s a policy of obtuseness put out by people who don’t have to deal with bullies because they’re in a position of power (principals, teachers, parents, etc). It does not work; bullies continue to bully regardless of being ignored or not.

      And yes, I consider refusing to move forward with a jerk – or a bully, to use your word, since taking things that don’t belong to you from people they should go to is certainly a form of bullying – the right thing to do. Is it a manufactured problem? Of course it is. Most people who take a stand against something find themselves having problems that would be more easily avoided if they just constantly caved to every jerk out there. I won’t.

      And you’re also right. Democracy failed. That’s what worries me the most; that standing up for decent behavior is now a bad enough offense to get yourself removed from a group. Then again; it’s no different in Congress, so why should I be surprised – hence the title of the post.

      How would you have handled it differently? Going ahead with the greedy jerk and continuing to reward their bad behavior? Dropping group and having to start a dungeon run over because someone else was behaving badly? Counter-needing everything so you seem like a greedy jerk? All seem to me to be wrong decisions. Mine may not have been much better, forcing an afk, but if the paladin had just voted no on kicking my wife (who was totally innocent other than not moving forward without me) and me, then the mages would have dropped and had to requeue. His spineless behavior rewarded the bullies, which will only further their bullying behavior, further ruining the community.

      So I don’t actually disagree with any core element of your argument, but we certainly come to different conclusions. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this one. Regardless, thanks for the comment, and know your opinion – different from mine or not – is always welcome here. (:

    • Tiggi permalink
      June 26, 2012 2:31 pm

      Long time reader first time poster, I enjoy reading your posts because I think we share the same mentality about raiding and gaming. That being said I want to agree with the above poster. While I think standing up for ones beliefs is generally good in this case the two wrongs don’t make a right rule applies. I admire your willingness to stand up for what you believe to be an injustice and to be wrong but the “LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE! HERE AND NO FURTHER!” argument rarely leaves you anywhere productive. One of the things I learned a long time ago was that I’m the only person in my life that my happiness depends on ( I learned this lesson the hard way in EQ back in the day) and that I can’t change everyone I can only change myself. I can either let the daily jerks in life bring me down or I can bring them up to my level. Admittedly this is a hard road to travel and I’ll be the first to say that I do fail but as soon as I learned to take step back and realize that in the long run this is a pretty insignificant problem and to just roll with it. LFD trolls are jerks and unbearable but the best way to stick it to them is to rise above them and be the shining example of how a pug should be.
      I also want to let you know that it does get better  I know you’ve been struggling with raiding and having fun in wow. I was at the same place as you in WOTLK. I had a great guild that was all local friends (Ironically this guild had tons more drama than my current one) we did raids and were pretty good but drama killed the guild. I wandered aimlessly for a while just being by myself did pug raids on the server and took a good 2 to 3 months just being alone and thinking what I really wanted in wow. I decided that I wanted a semi casual guild that was 10 man raiding that raided at the time that was right for me. I didn’t settle and I just kept working watching for it. Eventfully it came. I guess a good guild is like a lover the harder you look for a good one the less likely you will be able to find one. This guild came to me when I was least expecting it. Since then I’ve realized I need to take a leadership position and I created a partcore raid team that ONLY raided 2 times a week for 3 hours each night. We’ve talked everything from the first tier of cata to hard mode madness together. The guilds and people are out there for your play style you just have to find them 

    • June 26, 2012 5:51 pm

      I think my guild situation really is my main problem, but after so many failed attempts to find a good guild, I’m just fatigued from looking. If my couple friends decided to leave, I’d help them work to find a new guild, but unless / until that situation occurs, I think I’m probably just done. It may be that looking hard for one is a problem, but the best guild I was ever in I carefully sought out and vetted, too, so I’m not sure it’s my process that’s the culprit. Who knows, though. Things may get better, or they may not. There’s a lot of games out there either way.

      I’m glad you decided to break your silence and join the conversation, and thanks for commenting!

    • Tiggi permalink
      June 26, 2012 2:33 pm

      holy moly there is supposed to be spaces in their sorry for the wall of text!

    • Tiggi permalink
      June 26, 2012 6:55 pm

      Nod, and sometimes when its over its just over. I always used to counsel my players in my EQ guild that the game should be fun to you if its not fun then do something else and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Your true friends will be happy you are enjoying yourself in what ever adventure you decided on. 🙂

    • June 26, 2012 8:24 pm

      I used to say the same to people in my WoW guilds, but as is often true, it’s sometimes hard to take one’s own advice. Plus, having “challenged” myself to get all the classes to 85 does still motivate me in a (I hope) healthy way. Once that’s done, we’ll have to see.

      Thanks again!

    • June 27, 2012 9:57 pm

      I would have Voted to Kick, as you did. When it failed, it would have become obvious that the “neutral” paladin did not care about the loot. So, at that point, I would continue with the dungeon run and hit Need on all the loot (and tell my hypothetical wife to as well), to undermine the benefit of Needing on everything. Or just let it go, depending on my mood.

      I guess the disconnect here to me is the ire towards the “spineless” neutral paladin. He voted in favor to kick the two of you because you were wasting his (or her) time in your quest to exact justice against a 3rd party. Maybe this is his 9th alt and he simply doesn’t care about leveling gear; he just wants to get a quick dungeon run before bed, or before the baby wakes up again, or before his parents get home. Or maybe this is his 1st toon ever and he doesn’t even know what is going on.

      Ultimately, I agree that Needing on everything is not a behavior to be encouraged. At the same time, it is not as though your present tactic worked either – and even if it did, it would have been at the expense of 1-2 other peoples’ game times (assuming they didn’t Vote to Kick). If counter-Needing is “jerky behavior,” what is intentionally going AFK? An equal, measured response?

      Hopefully this sort of thing will be moot in Mists, when the individual looting system introduced in LFR is inevitably applied to LFD as well. I do not see any benefit whatsoever to keeping group loot active, when there are so many differing opinions on what is fair and equitable.

    • June 28, 2012 10:26 am

      See, I wouldn’t start needing everything. That only reinforces bad behavior and perhaps teaches a new player (such as the neutral pally, possibly) that needing everything is acceptable. I won’t stoop to their levels, so I did what people who don’t want direct conflict have done for centuries; I passively resisted. Unfortunately, their more assertive form of resistance overcame my passive form, and I was ousted.

      I do think it’s an equal, measured response. The only real victim in any of this is the spineless paladin, and he’s a victim of his own making. If he’d kicked someone who was behaving badly, no one’s time would have been wasted, and decency would have been reinforced. I won’t be run out of my own game, I won’t participate in needing everything, and I won’t reward people for bad behavior. Given those three – I think – perfectly reasonable expectations, I think my response was perfectly sculpted.

      If we’re judging on what worked, then we should take a look beyond just the behavior of the players involved. Why can mages need on tank loot at all? That clearly doesn’t work. Why are the dungeons so mindlessly easy that dps feel perfectly safe to pull in front of the tank? That clearly doesn’t work. My biggest complaint is that Blizz itself has created this environment in which bad behavior can ferment, has ruined its own community through a combination of handholding and having no real standards. Just because it’s a game doesn’t mean people need to act like children; you can have a mature and respectful community and still have a good time.

      I agree that MoP may be a solution to all of this, but who knows what unintended consequences that may have or what other “innovations” they might apply allow the community to get even worse. Only time will tell.

  8. June 26, 2012 7:27 am

    I feel what you are saying completely. And I think I know why some people have not experienced as bad groups as you have: are these people rolling as tanks? The only way to really grasp the dungeon experience is if you are “leading” it yourself, which is the role of the tank. As a tank, you will be forced to react to things that for others are mere circumstances, like the “gogogo” trend, the dps-pulling, the incompetence of certain healers. If you are healing through it, you just tag along, throw heals without caring about the targets or what they are doing, until you wipe. If you are dpsing, it is even easier to be that neutral paladin who does not care. Of course, we are all affected by ninjas, but as a healer or dps there is even less you can do against them. A tank has most of the cards, and most of the responsibility, to control the behaviour of the players.

    I think you did right, and I would encourage you to keep fighting for your rights, for everybody’s rights to have a decent grouping system. If nobody stands up for it, the bullies are reinforced in their bad behaviour.

    I’d have to say that I’m quite the demonstrator myself. I have the right to be treated with respect, and I will assert my right. As a tank, there are just a couple of things you can do on your own without allies, such as refusing to tank something that other player has pulled. Caution them against pulling for you. If they keep going, let them do the tanking. You might get kicked, as some people seem unable to differentiate right from wrong, as you reported, but you are going to feel, at least, not run over by jerks. If you are playing with your wife, you have the best ally you can get: a healer. Coupled with the tactic: “Your pull, your responsibility”, the healer may want to reinforce your argument by denying them any heals if they are doing the tank’s job. That will work wonders.

    This is a manufactured problem you will be creating for yourself, as Azuriel said, but I think it is worth it, both for the community work you will be doing and the satisfaction of being able to control your own game. You also will need a thick skin and an assertive attitude, but I would think that you have those, because you wouldn’t be tanking otherwise.

    • June 26, 2012 11:32 am

      I really appreciate your solidarity on this matter, and I think you’re right about the tank’s responsibility to “run” things. I wonder if some of the bad behavior we’ve witnessed, though, isn’t a result of Blizzard’s own decisions to basically trivialize the leveling dungeons. If packs of mobs were still pretty lethal, dps wouldn’t pull ahead of the tank, for example. I saw a hunter (it’s frequently a hunter with a tank pet who does a lot of pulling ahead) tank an entire group of ghouls (who hit pretty hard) while my wife and I stood by. He survived, bandaged, and kept going. I figured if he’s that competent of a player, then hell, might as well go with him. That kind of bending in my own standards worries me, though, and I’m really just wondering how much it’s really worth it; it’s not as if I’m 78 or 79 and getting ready to start questing for the rest of the game; I’m not even to BC dungeons, and the leveling is getting slower and slower. I can only imagine that I have more than 100 more dungeons out there to get to max-ish level, and I’m not sure I want to do deal with that.

      Still, I suppose we’ll see. My wife and I are on a WoW break because we really over-played this past weekend and wanted to spend some time doing other things. We’ll probably go back to it this Thursday, so maybe (probably) I’ll be over it by then and hop right back in to LFD.

      Thanks again for your kind words!

    • June 26, 2012 2:43 pm

      You’re right when you say that Blizzard does have a part in this – by making content extra-accessible, people who do not play as they should (doing the pulls for the tanks) are not punished because the content is too forgiving. In TBC you wouldn’t see that happen because those players would bite the dust in two hits. They learned the lesson. Now, the lesson has to be manually imparted.

      Now that you mention it, I wonder if Blizzard did not in fact intend the dungeon experience to be as it is now, with the dps being able to pseudo-tank, and the tank not necessarily having to initiate the action. In that case, my stance might be wrong: what if as a tank we are supposed to pick up mobs as the dps tag them, indifferent to the occasional misspull or astray mobs? Well, it just feels so wrong overall. The dps pulling is a terrible idea, since they will be imposing a particular pace to the instance, that perhaps other players are not willing, or not able to follow (the healer needing a mana break, the tank not being too geared to cope with their misspulls). Still, it has become the norm, and it worries me greatly.

    • June 26, 2012 5:54 pm

      Me too; my confusion about the situation stems from my fear that the game culture has changed so much that it’s passed me by. That doesn’t bode well for me, since there’s not really much of a chance of me changing – whether I’m right or wrong – so it may simply be spelling the middle of the end for me.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Kishmet permalink
      June 26, 2012 2:52 pm

      That said the easiest way of seeing this for me was, that most of the mobs in the world and dungeons used to have special abilities (heals, immunities to certain forms of dmg etc.). So every single fight be it leveling or dungeons becomes tank and spank. Add to that the fact that in TBC i had to be at least 3 levels above the most basic elite mob with no special abilities to be able to solo it. Nowadays you can solo most elites^^. I’m more afraid of the fact that if or when an MMO gets launched that is more like WOW Vanilla or EQ what have you in design philosophy,It will get ruined by the public opinion and eventually end up either F2P or just canceled. My best bet is that the genre as a whole needs to go all the way down the trash can before it can have a rennaissance 😦

    • June 26, 2012 5:58 pm

      I think you’re quite right; in fact, I know that several MMOs have met with poor receptions due to their “difficulty,” when in fact they’re no harder than WoW was when it first launched. I suspect Secret World will be considered too hard, too, unless the game’s much changed since the first beta weekend (the only time I played it).

      I think you’re probably right that it’ll be something new – a renaissance of game play – before we really find something enjoyable again. Hopefully not, but only time will tell.

  9. June 26, 2012 4:15 pm

    Aw I’m with you. I hate the LFG – it caused me a severe case of nervewhang (when something just gets more and more annoying because its already annoying) – when I was heading for level cap. I did get there, but only by gritting my teeth and persisting… stubbornly. It was I think, a game-breaker. I did other things for ages after, years even, raided and such and they were great, but I can pinpoint those first LFG runs for level cap as the point at which my interest in WoW began to erode.

    • June 26, 2012 6:04 pm

      It’s interesting you bring that up, because I can remember on almost each of my toons when I stopped being interested, and a vast majority of them were due to LFD dungeons, whether I was new-ish to healing them on my priest and shammy, or doing not-well-geared dps, or simply having trouble with a new tank rotation, the absolutely putrescent behavior of other players took its toll. Of my 9 max-level toons, I can definitely attribute a loss of interest in 5 of them to LFD pugs (disc priest – I’d always been holy, resto shammy – had just dinged 85, blood dk – wasn’t used to proactive healing as a tank, fire mage – had just switched from frost and was learning the rotation, and aff lock, which is just bad anyway). It’s a shame, if you think about it.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Kishmet permalink
      June 27, 2012 2:34 am

      I totally get your point, that at this stage or even inn future games we need more tools to give incetiv for good behaviour, so that bad behaviour is not as attractiv as it is now.
      Though I have to wonder if we really want that, because we used to be fine without those tools. The community tried to maintian itself (which was in no way perfect, but in my experience better than what we have now), more importantly this form of player policeing adds another layer of social interaction upon the players. And that’s for me personally the main reason why I play MMOs (at least try nowadays): social interaction.
      I’m afraid that any tool we can come up with would just automatize the social process too much and it would be lacking. Seeing as how every new MMO that is launched capitalizes less and less on the social part it becomes even more important for me to capitalize on its importance and not trade it away for what I like to call convenience features. Then again to invent a tool that gives both hte power but requires social interaction might be one of the new challenges for the industry if they want to make a successful game that lasts years and provides high quality. Something my cynical self doubts nowadays everyone is more intrested in the money. Where’s the passion for making a good game solely for the purpose of making a game everyone can enjoy?

  10. June 26, 2012 5:03 pm

    WoW provides almost no tools for punishing bad behavior or rewarding good behavior. The results are predictable: many players have decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    • June 26, 2012 6:00 pm

      I’m afraid you’re probably right, which threatens not only WoW’s community but every community that shares players with WoW (which is probably all of them). It’s sad that things are in the state they are, but I suppose when economic measures are put first (and they’d have to be for a game to survive to so long; if they weren’t, the game would eventually go out of business), we have to make a trade. I’m just not happy with the volume of trading we’ve made for morality versus player base.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Kishmet permalink
      June 27, 2012 2:35 am

      whoops the above comment was meant to go here sorry^^

  11. Rauxis permalink
    June 26, 2012 7:16 pm

    IMHO WoW in general these days, even more so PvP servers, and specifically LFD/LFR are effectively a breeding ground for anti-social behaviour. You can go through all of WoW, and there is absolutely no in game benefit for being nice and helpful, but a lot if you are a complete DB.
    Natural selection almost dictates that in such an environment DBs will flourish, and other will turn away in disgust..

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

  12. June 27, 2012 5:18 pm

    I find this quite interesting, Stubborn; as I leveled a prot pally via the LFD and ran across very little of the problems of which you speak – Heroic dungeons, however, I find all sorts of idiocy; so my dear little prot pally runs normals, even at 85 and geared (via JP) for End Time.

    More often than not, though, I see every vote to kick someone go through, regardless of the reason for it; so it’s almost like your neutral paladin wasn’t paying attention to who the votes were for, and figured they better just suck up and deal.

    • June 28, 2012 10:16 am

      Yes, I leveled a good portion of the way to 85 as resto on my shammy, but the first heroic I went in the party was behaving carelessly and my skill and gear just weren’t up to the challenge. Naturally, the healer got blamed, despite the chain pulling, double pulling, not letting me drink before a boss, and so forth. I haven’t played that toon again.

      Thanks for the comment!

  13. June 28, 2012 9:28 pm

    After finishing my own 10×85 project, the only thing I can recommend is plenty of alcohol and a continuous loop of “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO in the background while running pugs (there is no possible way to be depressed while listening to that). The first thing I did after dinging 85 on my warrior (10th and final 85, yay!) was to roll another alt on another server. After leveling enough to start pugging runs as a healer, I saw that it was best to just note the asshat behavior to document it in my blog. On this new server, I had about a 20% chance to get a good run. It kind of went ret pally tank, ret pally tank, ret pally tank, ret pally tank, real tank. Drop me a line and let me know what server you’re on, I have no problem speed leveling another alt to give you 3/5 vote-kicking power in pugs!

    • June 29, 2012 11:21 am

      Man, and I thought I was doing well being on toon 9! Congratulations, however long ago it was, and I’m glad to hear you’re still enjoying leveling after all that. I wonder if that says more about you and I or if it says more about the end game of WoW. I appreciate the offer of you rolling a new toon, but since I’m wavering as it is (and TSW came out today), I don’t want to burden you with yet another toon. To prove I’m not just trying to be a secretive hermit, I’m currently leveling on Khaz Modan, but I’m really spread across 4 servers.

      Anyway, thanks for the offer and the comment!

    • Alan permalink
      July 2, 2012 1:32 pm

      I took some time this weekend and rolled a Dwarf Hunter on Khaz Modan. Once I started producing items from my leatherworking, I needed someone to DE things, so there’s a mage also. I haven’t made a Worgen Death Knight yet either, so that’s a possibility. I will most likely start a Druid as well, because you know, Druids. I’m surprised that I haven’t hit the 50 character limit yet. If you’re not too lost in TSW (which sounds like a lot of fun from your latest post), drop me a line in game!

    • July 3, 2012 10:47 am

      I’ll be on and off WoW regardless of TSW, since my wife’s raiding, and I play alts during that time (usually). My leveling warrior is Lycandra, so drop me on your friends list, and if you want to email or post here your toons’ names, I’ll keep an eye out for you.

  14. July 28, 2012 1:18 pm

    Yeah, this disintegration of what tenuous community WoW had after the release of LFD is one of the major reasons I quit the game. It’s just sad to hear how it just got worse and worse as time went on.

    • July 31, 2012 10:57 am

      Yes, even more so because Blizz could fix it pretty efficiently. One small change to VtK and problems for players would be reduced. Blizz would have to do more work investigating “abusive” vote to kicks, but they don’t want to do that, which is why they instituted the “make it useless” policy. I guess they forgot we’re the customers and they’re the ones being paid for work.
      Thanks for the comment!

  15. kel permalink
    July 31, 2012 1:16 am

    Well, that’s too bad. I certainly understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t advocate just giving up on the scene.

    I behave in dungeons exactly as I would if it were “real life”. If someone is a douche, and is ninja-ing, or is insulting, I finish whatever fight we are in, and then drop the group immediately. Usually without even explaining why. I have a bunch of alts, three level 85 healers, a bunch of professions I can work on, I work the auction house so I never have to farm… I go do something else.

    I do have to end up dropping about 1/3rd of the groups I’m in. Oh well. But I don’t let it get to me. I just drop the group. BAM. And usually, I’m the healer, so I’ll be missed (momentarily, true, but still…)

    Just pretend that it really IS you in that dungeon. If someone was a ninja, you would of course finish the fight. But would you participate in the next pull? Hell no! You would walk.

    So just be YOU in the dungeon. Yes, you’ll have to drop groups. About a third of them. But you will be standing up for what is right, and showing other people how it is done. Showing other people that you will not tolerate BS, and will walk when necessary.

    And the key is, I think… to do it immediatly, and with as little passion as possible. Just “matter of factly” drop. Get used to not even thinking about it. Just go, ‘oh, a ninja. Buh bye’.

    • Kishmet permalink
      July 31, 2012 6:39 am

      I’m not sure if people actually learn what you are trying to advocate then tbh. Because firstly you dont explain why you dropped and secondly you are “giving in” by leaving (in my eyes at least). At this day and age it’s so easy to find a healer and they don’t even have to be good to finnish the dungeon if the previous one dropped, that I’m not sure if you’re statement gets through to the people who need to change in their way of behaving. But to each and everyone their own methods I guess not like I have found the miracle cure for the LFD^^ (except shouting and complaining and grindnig your teeth…).

    • July 31, 2012 10:46 am

      If I was really in that dungeon, I’d force the offending player to leave. I refuse to passively resist all the jerks out there any more; it doesn’t solve the problem and only perpetuates the jerk behavior. I won’t drop. On top of that, my only and final goal with WoW is to level this last toon to 85 specifically through dungeon finder (it’s part of an ongoing series where I write about how each class was for leveling and how different methods of leveling were), so even if I did want to drop, I wouldn’t, because that runs counter to my initiative. I’ll fight, and I’ll get frustrated by it, but I won’t be run out of my game by bad players any more.

      That’s not to denigrate your choice, though, which is a perfectly acceptable one if you’re happy with it. I just can’t do that any more. Incidentally, I read that dropping groups frequently ups your vote to kick cooldown, too. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s something to look in to. If it is, it means Blizz feels that if you’re unwilling to play with bad people, you should be unable to remove bad people from your group. If you’re willing to drop a lot, you get the tool that you have so you won’t have to drop taken away from you. Senseless.

      Thanks for the comment!

  16. August 11, 2012 6:33 pm

    Late to the party but I’ll just say a few words.
    I was wondering why I can’t recall having this kind of problem much and I remembered it’s because I don’t random dungeon very much, and also because when I do random dungeon, I don’t need anything, I’m just going along to get valor points, or embersilk cloth or something to pass the time to see if I still have the skills.
    The topic of jerks comes up a lot, and I am strong believer of not encouraging their rubbishy behaviour. Doing nothing emboldens them to continue being dicks, but I”m not sure if kicking is the solution either. I mean it’s probably the only solution when the person is beyond help (eg lost the plot cursing and swearing at everyone, or refusing to take advice despite repeated attempts).
    I hate to say it, but safety lies in numbers, especially when voting to kick people. If we were the same faction (and ever on at the same time) I would love to run a dungeon for you because I do it for fun, and not for any material gain, making me the ideal person to be tagging alongside you 🙂 I can be tank or heals!

    • August 12, 2012 9:20 pm

      I agree that kicking isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s all I have. Something a while back just finally broke in me, and I just don’t have it in me to ignore stuff like that anymore. It’s a game, and if people can’t behave decently towards one another there, then there’s not really anywhere else to go. People here and elsewhere haven’t been kind in labeling that behavior, but I’ll take what I have to take if it means even a chance at a slightly better community. I just wish Blizz was on board, too.

      At this point, I only run for “fun,” too, and to get my 10th and final toon to 85. I wanted to beat Mists, and I had a good run there for a bit, but things have slowed down here and seem like they’ll continue to, as I’m going back to work tomorrow. Maybe I’ll make it, and maybe not. Only time will tell.

      Regardless, nice to see you here, and please come back again!

  17. JCDenton permalink
    August 13, 2012 6:38 pm

    I realize this is a 2-month old post.
    I just want to say a few things; I’ll use bullet points to make it easier to read for the kids out there.

    -Penny Arcade did a comic years ago called ‘Gabriel’s Internet Fuckwad Theory’. Search for it and you will find that it applies to almost any online multiplayer experience.

    -With that said, GENERALLY the healer/buffer classes are the most decent people you’ll find in almost any online game. Part of the reason so many people are lamenting the lack of dedicated healer/buffer classes in GW2 is that there’ll be little way to find other like-minded individuals.

    -I played WoW for 3 months, ended up selling my account for about $600 and never looked back. In hindsight it would’ve been better to just work at a regular job than deal with WoW-grinding. Playing a video game for profit is NOT fun for 99% of the time; no clue how the farmers and crap in China (and other places) manage to do it. Looking back, I met exactly 5 decent people and a whole assload of jerks/trolls. I never got to join/stay in a good guild. I hope that WoW eventually dies a painful death since it has already been superseded by far-superior MMOs out there, ones that are completely f2p.
    –Enjoyment in most MMOs is 99% dependent on finding a large list of good people or a good guild. I’d highly recommend letting your sub lapse and focusing on other far-superior games instead of paying to get screwed by a hostile community.

    -Aion is ‘truly F2P’ and on the server I’m on (Kahrun), it is a vile hive of trolls and scum. The community of sub-games or f2p games does not differ in intelligence or kindness, period. Anyone who says otherwise is talking out of their ass. I’d highly recommend you and others give Aion a new look even if you hated it before. They’ve added enough stuff to make it worthwhile (and you can’t argue with free). Just be sure to visit ‘’ and use the information in that forum thread to disable the Pando Media Booster so your play experience isn’t tainted with lag. I’ve got a channel on YouTube (jcdenton2k) where I post completely unaltered/unedited videos of raw gameplay footage from Aion. Get a feel for how combat, PvP, and other things work. You’ll also see my character name there so if you roll a toon, hit me up and lemme know you came from here.
    –If you were worried, the cash shop is 95% completely cosmetic/fair/balanced items. The other 5% is questionable limited-duration minor stat boosts and are player-tradeable for in-game currency through the broker or private stores. There was a brief promotion where you had an item that would bypass the terribad RNG-based item-enhancement system and people whined so much about it being ‘pay to win’ that it was removed. Unfortunately, this only lead to the people who purchased and used them to be more powerful than almost everyone else (and any subsequent new players who won’t have access to the item).

    • August 14, 2012 6:47 pm

      Yes, I’ve referenced the PA theory before and have, in fact, taught it during a class on how the Internet has changed society. I tend to agree with part of it, though I think Ophelie at The Bossy Pally hit on an interesting point – that it might not be about your anonymity, but the audiences. You can read more here:

      At any rate, I totally agree that finding people you want to play with is the key to enjoying an MMO. One of my problems, in fact, is that the people I play with are available anywhere, and after 6 years, I’ve failed to make any really meaningful relationships with people I met online (with one exception who no longer plays WoW). That’s a failing of mine as much as the game’s.

      Right now, I’m happy with my TSW play. If (when) it begins to tarnish, I’ll suggest Aion to my buddy, and I’m sure we’ll give it a look. We’ve tried a lot of F2P MMOs, so we’re pretty open-minded when it comes to giving games a chance.

      Thanks for the comment!


  1. The evolution of LFG groups « Welcome to Spinksville!
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  5. Loss | Sheep The Diamond

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