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Adventures in Stubbornland

February 4, 2013

Dear Reader,

As I’ve mentioned, I’m leveling another set of toons on a new server.  One set is alongside my wife, the other alone.  My wife and I played through the Pandaren starting zone, which was new and shiny, and then decided to use dungeons with a few splashes of bgs for the rest of our leveling time.

However, the priest just wasn’t doing it for me, and I was already getting a little bored with it.  It wasn’t the healing that was the problem, but just the general class mechanics.  So I decided as a secret to level up another druid to my wife’s level and then switch to that toon.

I tried to get the name Stubborn, but it was taken.  Stubborns, however, was not, so I made the toon and then put in a ticket requesting them to release the other name if it was no longer in use.  I’d checked the armory and saw there was no data on the level 56 warlock Stubborn on my server, and I knew they’d do that from past experience, so I was hopeful.  I went ahead and leveled, though, figuring I could just have the name assigned to me when they released it (which is what they’d done the previous time after a server transfer).

I got a response in the form of an email later saying they had released the name but couldn’t let me just have it; I needed to log in and make a character with that name, as the name change was a paid service.  Of course!  It was “included” in the server transfer, so they’d done it there no problem.  Ah well, a hour or two wasted; not a big deal in the long run.

So now I have my proudly-named Stubborn alive and well on the new server.  I leveled a little more slowly in Mulgore than on the Wandering Isle, but the new leveling path is VASTLY superior to the old one.  Bear form at 10 and cat form at 20 was a nightmare; bear form sucked the entire time until you got cat form.  If you had a single mispull, you were dead.  I very nearly abandoned my first druid (who was not Stubborn – shhh!) until my buddy told me what a totally different game it was after 20.  He was right.

That’s been changed a lot; of course the whole leveling system is vastly easier, but cat form at 6 is a major improvement.

I went into leveling dungeons as soon as I could, but quickly learned that bear tanks have no AoE until level 22!  That really needs to be addressed, I think, though admittedly I don’t know what other tanks have.  My wife, though, the monk, has an AoE as her basic opener.

The early dungeons were a fiasco; I could reasonably expect to do okay on a pull of three; I could mangle (6 sec cd) one, taunt (3 secs of threat on me) one, and maybe hopefully have enough rage to then maul (3 sec cd, 30 rage) one.  However, if anything went wrong, chaos would ensue and I’d have no taunt.

Surprisingly, there were little complaints.  I let people know at the start of dungeons by saying “Please be aware that druid tanks have no AoE until 22, so if you over pull, you may be on your own.”  I never got any kind of flak… until level 21.

There, in Shadowfang Keep, I had my first what I would have previously called “typical” LFD experience.  A rogue responded, “So you’re saying you’re a lazy tank, then?”

“No, I’m just saying I don’t have an AoE, so please be careful.”

“Maybe you should just be less of a pussy and do your job.”

Well, that was just about enough of that.  I asked if anyone was that guy’s friend, preparing to vote to kick, and checked.  Sure enough, he had a buddy with him and was thus immune from any sort of punishment.  I simply dropped group and was “rewarded” for my illuminated non-engagement with a 30 minute no-dungeon debuff.  Thanks, Blizz, for coming up with a fair and just system of dealing with pricks.

Luckily, it was only one bad experience from probably 8 or so dungeons, so it wasn’t a huge deal, really.  It’s just that as I’ve been playing League of Legends more and reading the forums on the tribunal information (there’s a great “best of” tribunal forum where people talk about hilarious complaints or absurd behavior), it gets me more irritated that Blizzard seemingly doesn’t care whatsoever about actually dealing with jerks.  LoL has gone so far as to heavily ban a very highly visible player for repeated anti-semitism, yet I see worse in trade chat on various servers every day in WoW.

In conclusion, I’m really much happier with my druid than I was with my priest at the same level, am doing the name Stubborn proud again by leveling him on a new server, and have had over-all positive experiences in LFD.  Let’s hope it’s more of that and less of the other stuff.


Stubborn (and in two places at once!)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2013 8:55 am

    Did you report him? I do that in similar situations even if I never see any results from it – takes maybe 15 seconds of my time (if reporting for language), or maybe a bit longer if I write out a GM ticket. One hour suspensions, or warnings, or whatever the slap on the wrist is in Blizzardland won’t change his behavior, but at least it’s some extra pressure in the penalty volcano.

    The whole LoL tribunal thing sounds good, but it is also in a game where you are vastly more likely to encounter that sort of vicious nonsense, so I consider it a wash.

    • February 4, 2013 10:11 am

      I always do, too, and of course I did. It was really no big deal in the end, but I was a little irritated I got slapped in the face by Blizz for following their own suggested policy of non-engagement. I reported (and, thus, ignored), but I wasn’t going to sit and be abused for a half hour by some little prick, so instead I get a half-hour time out. Seems a bit off.

      As for LoL and the tribunal, I don’t know. It may be that MOBA’s bring out the worse in people, and I’ve seen a lot on that topic recently (check T.R. Redskies if you haven’t; he writes a lot about it), but I simply don’t see it nearly as much there as I do here. It may be that the tribunal has worked so well that it’s been vastly reduced, but from my own personal experiences, I’ve probably seen about 1/10th the abuse there that I’ve encountered in WoW (on a ratio scale). In other words, I did 8 dungeons in WoW and ran into one overt jerk. I’ve seen only 1 overt jerk in ALL of my matches in LoL, and he was reported by everyone (supposedly, but we did discuss and collaborate on it) and got plenty of grief on his own. In WoW, the power lies with the jerks. In LoL, it lies with the victims.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. February 4, 2013 9:24 am

    Not to pull out the couch but are you happier you are once again a Druid (vs. Priest) or returning to the tank role?

    • February 4, 2013 10:14 am

      Ah, but the couch will remain with me! While I have been tanking with my druid, it was a terrible experience due to no AoE, and the long-term (and now reached) plan is to continue healing as I was on my priest. I’ll add a dps role at 30 when I can. I leveled solely feral in the past with a little dabbling in moonkin, but I’ve virtually never tanked on my druid other than those 7 levels to catch up from 15 to 22; it was my paladin that was my multi-xpac tank. I suppose I’ll have to wait a few levels to give you a really fair answer, but I suspect it’s more druid than priest than tank versus heals.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. February 4, 2013 9:29 am

    I agree, Blizzard could do more to deal with legitimate assholes like that guy was. It’s unfortunate they don’t.

    • February 4, 2013 10:15 am

      Yes. I often reflect that I’m emotionally about as intelligent as an abused wife who keeps returning to her spouse; I just keep coming back for more knowing that Blizz will do nothing about it. I think their non-response has also made it clear they don’t plan to. Only time will tell.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

    Have you considered the possibility that the rogue was right?

    You don’t need AoE abilities to hold threat on a group. There’s a technique called “Tab-Sunder”, where you charge in, sunder (or whatever the bear move is), tab to the next mob, sunder, and cycle through all the mobs. It does require a little practice, but you can get good at locking an entire group to you just with single target abilities.

    The key is that you don’t need a ton of threat per mob. You need just enough threat that the mob dies before it attacks another player. For early levels, usually one or two high-threat moves is enough to hold it.

    Imo, you pay too much attention to the form that criticism takes, and not enough attention to the substance of the criticism.

    • February 4, 2013 1:42 pm

      No built-in charge.
      No sunder effect.
      No bleed effect.

      You get exactly the three abilities I described: Mangle on a 6 sec cd (so one out of 4 attacks), maul on a 3 second (so every other, but needs 30 rage, so more like every 4), and a taunt.

      What you’ve described is essentially what I was doing and wrote about, but having to use auto-attacks to fill in the MANY gaps in the rotation. I can’t just spam an ability that has a 6 second cd (mangle), nor do I generate enough rage to spam maul. That’s far, far from lazy, and considering I know tanking very well, I should think I know what I’m talking about, though there was no way for the rogue to know my background.

      If you look back at the warning I put out, it’s pretty much accurate; I’m not claiming I can’t hold threat, just that if they run ahead or mispull, I may not have what I need available to pull the mobs off of them. Even then, it’s not a huge deal to me; if they’re okay with tanking stuff, it’s fine, but I don’t want complaints from someone who pulls an extra group that I don’t have the rage or cds to control then complaining to me about it (which is what I got once before I started using that message).

      So actually I was precisely responding to the criticism by saying that having no AoE isn’t lazy, nor did the offender’s attacks afterwards make any sense in context with what I said; he was trying to be belligerent, so I dropped group.

    • Feature permalink
      February 4, 2013 1:58 pm

      Yes, an experienced tank would know this (although even as a raiding Guardian, I find the lack of AOE on my baby bear annoying). Imagine a new tank stepping into RFC or BFD and legitimately saying: “Hey I’m having a hard time on AOE pulls, please bear with me” and getting this type of response, with no recourse – are you surprised that tanks still need to be bribed to group with strangers?

      When tanks in low level dungeons ask for the DPS not to pull or run ahead aggroing multiple packs, we get the response “It’s a leveling dungeon – what does it matter?”, (and they’re right it doesn’t for the most part). But then why does it matter that a tank does not know (or care to) single-tab sunder to keep aggro over trigger-happy dps?

      I know it’s not just tanks and healers that get singled out by asshats, and that dps quite often feel they HAVE to put up with the abuse because of the longer queues. But jerks (especially in lower level dungeons) should not be tolerated as they are. This is the first experience many new players have in group content, and could easily cause people to be put off of this content permanently. If nothing else it sets the tone for player behavior in the rest of the game.

      I have a very low tolerance for rude or abusive behavior in groups these days – I don’t make a scene, and will not drop group unless the behavior is really atrocious or we are constantly wiping because of it. But I will ignore or report a comment like that immediately even if the substance of the criticism is valid, there are less belligerent ways to get the message across.

      P.S grrrr it’s BEHAVIOUR stupid spell-check stop helping me!

  5. Tiggi permalink
    February 4, 2013 6:18 pm

    You could have still kicked him he only had one friend 3 vs 2 you only need 4 votes if you have 3 friends that you qued with.

    • February 5, 2013 9:40 am

      One small caveat: you have to be out of combat. Since he was chain pulling, we hadn’t been. I might have been able to get him after the first boss when the door to the courtyard gets unlocked, but it’s likely there would have been the “You have to wait X more minutes before kicking this player” message, and I didn’t want to wait another 5-10 minutes of abuse to find out.

      That’s the real problem in lower level dungeons; since there’s no real danger, the jerks can chain pull and never be kickable.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • dachengsgravatar permalink
      February 7, 2013 7:12 am

      If there’s no real danger, why do we need tanks?

    • February 7, 2013 10:39 am

      I agree; in fact, I suggested that perhaps Blizzard just needs to turn leveling dungeons into scenario-style role free for alls; a tank OR a healer would probably do, and to be honest, you likely don’t even need that if you have 5 non-hybrid dps.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Samus permalink
    February 5, 2013 3:27 am

    I think you underestimate your power as the tank. Although I never had to exercise it, I was always prepared to claim total authority over every LFD group I tanked. “Vote-kick this player, or I don’t pull.”

    Yes, it is kind of a jerk thing to do. But as you pointed out, Blizzard’s policies protect the jerks.

    And if they all decide to kick you instead, that’s just as good. You can queue again immediately (there’s no debuff for being kicked rather than leaving, yet more protection of jerks). You’re a tank, you’ll just get a new group instantly.

    • February 5, 2013 9:43 am

      My response to Tiggi also covers most of what I want to say here, so here’s a repost of it:
      “One small caveat: you have to be out of combat. Since he was chain pulling, we hadn’t been. I might have been able to get him after the first boss when the door to the courtyard gets unlocked, but it’s likely there would have been the “You have to wait X more minutes before kicking this player” message, and I didn’t want to wait another 5-10 minutes of abuse to find out.

      That’s the real problem in lower level dungeons; since there’s no real danger, the jerks can chain pull and never be kickable.”

      However, let me also point out I tried this tactic once before and wrote about it here and got attacked for being the bad guy in the scenario since I was creating a problem. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but the trouble it causes is simply not worth it. I can just drop and play another game, and therein lies the problem. If WoW’s social systems are so poorly designed as to drive intelligent, patient (for the most part) people away from them, then it’s no wonder so many people are getting disillusioned.

      Hand-over-fist cash or a good playerbase? WoW chose the former. LoL seems to have chosen the latter.

      Thanks for the comment!

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