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Loss

April 30, 2014

Dear Reader,

For the first time in my life, I’m starting to understand why people argue that being a kid is better than being an adult.  I still don’t agree, but at least I can start to fathom the reasoning behind it.  I always told my students – my “kids” – that adults who said that didn’t remember what it was like to be a kid, to be powerless, and scared, and confused.  But perhaps the adults who say that simply feel even more powerless, scared, and confused than they did as kids.

This reflection is largely precipitated by one terrible event amidst all the other anxiety-inducing situations in my life.  The terrible event is that I had to make the decision to put my middle cat down recently.  She’d been mine since she was a kitten, and I’d had her twelve years, so it was a hell of a thing to have to do.  I won’t go into the details, but it had to be done.  Still, a lot of callous people surrounding my wife and I did not understand why it affected us so much; it’s “just” a cat, after all, and besides, since we’re moving, it’ll make the move easier.

That, of course, compiled with having to get another new job, having to sell a house, having to plan a move, and it being the end of the semester when all the work’s coming due has really ruined my week.

I’ve spent a lot of time since my cat’s death playing FTL and WoW just to keep myself occupied.  Perhaps it’s “not dealing with it” – I don’t know – but that’s what keeps me from dwelling on my loss.  It was with all of this weighing on me yesterday that I had a de ja vu moment in LFD, when two goons from the same server and guild became hostile to my buddy and I in an instance and eventually kicked us.

This has happened before, though I’m happy to say that those of you who (perhaps rightly) felt I was to blame for the last one will find it impossible to justify the jerks’ behavior this time.

I usually avoid LFD like the plague, but I’m trying to get my buddy to 60, and by chance I actually had a prot warrior who’s the same level as my buddy happened to be when I noticed this prot warrior existed.  So I figured I’d help him get faster queues, and, since I was a tank and wouldn’t be alone, I probably wouldn’t run into problems.  Ah, the hubris.

To be fair, we did several dungeons over two days and had zero problems.  At this level, I can almost keep myself alive against trash with victory rush, and my dps is as good as any two actual dps players’, so I chain pull pretty rapidly to keep moving as fast as possible. If a healer asks me to slow down, I do; I respect the other players, but the only healer who’s asked me to slow down changed his mind after a few “normal” pulls and said to speed back up.

In this dungeon, Dire Maul: Gordok Commons, the healer was doing a terrible job at first; I did a double pull and almost died; I’m not sure I got a heal at all, to be honest, but I popped my CDs and was fine.  I didn’t complain; if I took him by surprise moving so quickly, that’s my fault, not his, but I did slow down.  But then after a few pulls the healer complained I was going too slow and called it “snoresville.”  Okay, so I sped back up.  But then the dps (not my buddy) started pulling extra groups on top of my chain pulling, and, even with all my aoe cooldowns, I was having a hard time keeping all the mobs on me.  My buddy died; his dps is the second (behind me) and he has a lot of AoE, as well, so it stands to reason.  I mass rezzed him the first time, and we continued.

But it kept happening.  I’d chain pull two groups, then start moving to a third, but a fourth and fifth would show up from a dps pulling.  My buddy would die.  Occasionally, one of the other dps would die.  So I stopped chain pulling, but still the dps were pulling more than I could handle.  The second “room” in Gordok Commons, which has, I’d guess, 10 groups in it, we did all at once.  Of course my buddy died again, and we damn near wiped, but we didn’t.  I asked the dps to stop pulling, and the healer concurred.

So we just rezzed and moved on, with no further complaints, as it was still going quickly.

The dps kept pulling, though, but not to the same extent; of course the rooms after that second one have far less pulls overall.  My buddy kept dying again and again, and eventually the healer didn’t rez him. This is an old, long instance with a long run back, and he’d been rezzing, so I asked the healer to rez him.  There was no response.  I tried a mass rez, but it failed due to my buddy still having the debuff.

Then the abuse started.  “Nice try, dumbass,” the healer said.  “He’s got the debuff.”

“Okay, well, would you rez him, then?”

“No.  He dies too much.”

Oh jesus.  Here we go.  I pointed out that he was only dying because the dps were pulling more than I could tank, which they were doing because he asked for more pulls.

“That’s not my problem. I didn’t tell the dps to pull.”

So he wasn’t going to be reasonable.  On top of that  one of the two other dps started in with real hostility, calling me and my buddy dumbasses repeatedly, quoting Blizz role descriptions saying it wasn’t the healer’s job to rez (which goes to show how stupid Blizzard is for leaving that part of the description out), and a few more choice racial slurs that I won’t repeat here.  I checked, and sure enough, the healer and the abusive dps were in the same guild.  Wonderful.

While all this was going on, my buddy had released and started to run back in, but the other dps, likely the “extra puller,” was still dead and was demanding a rez.  The two jerks were being hostile to him, too, saying that no one cared about him or his rez and that he should just stay dead.

And then I got removed from the group.

Three things really baffle me about all of this.  First, I thought if you queued with someone you needed a unanimous vote (4 of 4) to kick someone.  My buddy didn’t vote to kick me, obviously, so apparently that’s not true.  So “unanimous” is 3 now, if the other 2 queue together?  If 3 people queue together and the other 2 in the group also queue together, can the 3 just kick the 2?  That’s stupidly designed, then.

Second, my fucking vote to kick is still on a four hour cooldown.  I haven’t done an LFD or voted to kick anyone in probably more than a year (though clearly I tried to kick one of them, which is how I know).  That is not an exaggeration; I haven’t done dungeons in a long time, and I wasn’t really playing WoW at all before that, so there’s just been no opportunity for me to use my vote to kick.  But it’s still on a goddamn four hour cooldown.

Lastly, why the hell would the third dps vote to kick me?  I wasn’t being belligerent to him; the other two were.  I had used my mass rez on him when he needed a rez, but couldn’t that time since he had the debuff.  I clearly and without any doubt was not the problem this time.  But still, got removed.

Sometimes I hate WoW.  Its raw fucking injustice is just more than I can handle at times, and the complete and total powerlessness of wronged players to seek retribution on bad people, truly bad people, is just more than I can bear.

Sure, I wrote a ticket about it.  I got back a form letter basically telling me to use the simpler report function.  No thanks; it doesn’t adequately encompass the actual problem; there’s no “I got kicked from a group by hostile players refusing to cooperate with the group” option.

I also sent an in-game mail to their guildmaster in case he’s the kind that cares about how his members behave, but he’s probably not.  Either nothing will come of this (which is most likely true) or I won’t ever know what happens, so either way it’s no good to me.

So I’m left powerless to respond, scared to do LFD and have another encounter like that, and confused about why on earth what happened happened.

It won’t stop me from playing WoW, of course.  I’m clearly and addict, knowingly doing something that’s bad for me and justifying it for whatever reason I can dig up.  For god’s sake, I pay money to give assholes access to me so they can abuse me.  

It won’t stop me from LFD, either, since mathematically right now I’m still doing better than worse.

But it certainly wasn’t a kick I needed when I was already down.

So, Bubbleosèven and Geñius of Exodar, thanks for being just the kind of absolute dicks that ruin the WoW community for everyone, and ruin my day in particular, a day that I didn’t think could get any worse.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and ruined)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2014 12:05 pm

    I feel for you, mate. It becomes even more infuriating when you realise that they are deliberately gimping themselves by having to wait for another tank *just to punish you*. LFR is almost as bad with the stupidity compunding the maliciousness.

    It’s at the stage where you not only expect it, but can even plan for it! When I was doing the Legendary cloak questline and had to go in and get Lei Shen’s heart, we got to the platform, and the tanks declared themselves new to the fight. Of course, I sighed, since I knew what was coming. Of course, only the most cursory outline was given to them, and only about phase 1. So we pulled, and got through phase 1 with only a minor hiccup. But when we wiped in phase 2 because they didn’t realise a quarter of the platform was out of bounds, I knew what the reaction would be, and I actually got so angry about what was incoming that I pre-emptively lost my shit at the raid. I yelled at them to not even THINK about kicking the tanks, and sure enough, some of the elitists argued with me. But luckily, I think it shocked enough people into not voting to kick, so we were able to explain to the tanks what went wrong now they’d seen the fight. Naturally, the dicks who wanted to kick them turned on me, but I was fine with that since I’d gotten my way.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to actually get in first and bully people into NOT kicking new tanks after a single wipe. Bully people into being decent human beings. Argh!

    As a side note, the only explanation I can think of for that third dps to vote to kick you that doesn’t involve them being a stupid twat, is that they reflexively hit yes on the vote prompt without looking, assuming that it was a vote to kick the obnoxious healer. Which isn’t great, but…more charitable I suppose?

    • April 30, 2014 12:10 pm

      And if my story seems to attribute much more credit to my actions than should reasonably be assumed (which I don’t deny, it’s perfectly possible they wouldn’t have been kicked anyway), it is simply a demonstration that my default mindset nowadays is that most people (strangers) are going to be stupid, impatient, elitist pricks.

  2. April 30, 2014 12:27 pm

    Just opening with this: I lost a dog in college, that I had basically grown up with. By the time I had lost it though, I had barely seen it or spent time with it for three years.

    I still felt devastated and heartbroken. I never expected it to affect me so, and I knew he would die of old age soon, but still…it tore my heart open.

    So I want to just say that I understand how it feels somewhat, even though we didn’t put ours down so it’s not exactly the same. It still hurt a lot, and I’m sorry you’re feeling that.

    About the LFD stuff though, those guys were clearly jackasses, and they deserve some form of justice to be visited upon them. All I can think to say is, try to find a way to let those things go. People are dicks when they have the power to be. Sometimes all we can do is occupy ourselves during a 30 min debuff and then jump into another dungeon.

  3. April 30, 2014 3:40 pm

    I lost my dog a few weeks ago who I’d had since sixth grade. She was pretty old and I figured she didn’t have more than another year or two…but she pretty much fell to pieces over the span of a week and my mother had to put her to sleep. I was on a trip at the time and couldn’t even be there for her. When I stopped by my mother’s place a few days before leaving on the trip I could see how bad she had gotten since I last saw her a month ago and I knew there was a decent chance she wouldn’t survive until the end of my trip. Didn’t make it any less awful to hear about it, mother’s place felt very empty next time I got there without her trotting up with her tail wagging wildly.

    “First, I thought if you queued with someone you needed a unanimous vote (4 of 4) to kick someone.”

    If three people queue together you need 4/4 to stop that majority from having absolute vote to kick power.

    LFD is like Hearthstone — if you use it you have to accept that a certain percentage of the time you’ll get something awful. One thing I would suggest is that you report them for the language — probably won’t do anything to them immediately but would rachet them a bit further up Blizzard’s penalty volcano.

    On the flip side…

    “Sometimes I hate WoW. Its raw fucking injustice is just more than I can handle at times, and the complete and total powerlessness of wronged players to seek retribution on bad people, truly bad people, is just more than I can bear.”

    …it’s also avoidable if you don’t use the automated grouping systems — think about the Flex runs you’ve done with us. I agree that it’s terrible for people who don’t know to reach out to lift themselves out of the cesspool but you, at least, can avoid it. Can level without dungeons too (or see if anyone you know has a healer alt at your level so you can three man dungeons without the tool if you want or at least prevent getting kicked with the tool).

    Part of the problem is it would be a nightmare for Blizzard to try to figure out who is wronged — imagine two LFD groups. One has a tank that is consistently making bad pulls and randomly standing around for 30 seconds. The rest of the group holds their tongue for a bit and then just finally kicks him without saying a word. The second has a tank who is doing fine except them he aggros a patrol and the group wipes due to a large pull. On the runback the group kicks him without a word.

    The former probably deserved to be kicked (or wasn’t really wronged, at least, not in your sense) while the latter didn’t. But how can Blizzard tell those apart? Chat logs wouldn’t help in this case and they don’t have the time to try to reconstruct the combat logs of the instance and pore through them — if they even still store that info which they almost certainly do not.

    I agree that it’s awful but I sympathize that it’s also incredibly difficult for Blizzard to take action except in easily verifiable situations (hence my suggestion on reporting for language at a minimum).

  4. April 30, 2014 4:08 pm

    That was hard to read, because I empathise so much. I was spoiled early on by the friends and family guild I was in with WoW, even when LFD launched we largely ignored it as we had enough for dungeon and heroic runs without using it.

    Fast forward to my more recent run (I unsubbed again a week ago), in a bigger guild, the game has moved on. The guild is larger but still just as supportive and friendly. But you practically need to use LFR to progress your character – you gear here as dungeons are long abandoned. You also almost have to engage with LFR to progress the legendary cloak quest chain – which is good story content sadly pinned to gear progression I have zero interest in.

    Having suffered the cess-pit of battlegrounds just to get one stage of the cloak quests done, I couldn’t face multiple rounds of LFR runs for the seemingly endless token grinds. I’ve done some guild raids at flexi and normal levels and know how the MMORPG experience of harder group content *should* be. Blizzard’s concept of randomised grouping and the community that has spawned is leagues away from the game I want to be playing…

  5. April 30, 2014 4:43 pm

    Sorry to hear about your cat. :( With me being a former pet owner myself, you definitely have my sympathies.

    As for the kicking madness, dungeon finder users have been agreeing to kicks for no rhyme or reason since the tool first came out; they just click “yes” automatically. I remember back in Wrath I was once in a group that was happily rolling along when I accidentally initiated a kick on one of the dps when I had actually just meant to inspect him. He was gone before I could even say “wait, don’t”. (And I felt so bad that I made an alt on his server just to apologise.)

  6. April 30, 2014 6:13 pm

    I’ll run you guys through some instances just so that you’ll never have to deal with LFD jerks again. I know the XP isn’t as great but it beats the pain of dealing with lesser evolved human beings. :)

    • April 30, 2014 6:19 pm

      “I know the XP isn’t as great but it beats the pain of dealing with lesser evolved human beings.”

      WHOA WHOA WHOA. I mean, really? REALLY? We’re going there?

      Because I’m not sure they qualify as human beings in the first place.

    • April 30, 2014 7:37 pm

      “WHOA WHOA WHOA. I mean, really? REALLY? We’re going there?

      Because I’m not sure they qualify as human beings in the first place.”

      Ha. Long have I dreamed of dedicated servers that have a series of aptitude/social skill/Maturity qualifiers that guarantees some kind of accountability for one’s words and actions so that those of us that choose to treat each other in the best of lights can be banded together away from the anonymity nightmare that plagues mmo’s and the internet in general. I, of course, am not getting my hopes up…but one can dream.

  7. April 30, 2014 11:35 pm

    I actually had a bad experience in LFD the other day on my warrior… I had decided to finally log back on that toon and queued up for a random Wrath dungeon… which at my level meant Utgarde.

    I get in and the dps don’t want to do UK and try to requeue. When they find out that I’m too low level, they kick me.

    The guy admitted it was cheap and mean but he’d “accidently” queued random and didn’t want to do UK or take a debuff.

    So I had a debuff instead.

    So then instead of being able to play what I wanted to, I’m stuck unable to play how I want to because of some jerk.

    Who I reported to his guild master

    And who was also unguilded hours later.

    GMs do sometimes take action based on reports of negative behavior of their members [especially lower eschelon ones]. They do represent the guild.

    I got a couple of those reports when I was a GM… so I do know you have to take it with a grain of salt. Usually nothing more than a warning for a first offense but repeat offenders… yeah.

    That said, far more often i’ve logged to report someone to their GM for incredibly nice or helpful behavior… especially tanks. I feel like if I’m going to do one, I need to do the other too.’

    On a further note the Blizzard GM I talked to said I should NOT get a deserter debuff for being kicked from a dungeon, so that was apparently a bug and something he bumped up the chain.

  8. April 30, 2014 11:38 pm

    I am sorry about your loss by the way – we lost all three of our cats within a short span of time :(

    And I know I’ve run into BubbleOSeven myself :( Very sorry you had to deal with that jerk!

  9. Samus permalink
    May 1, 2014 5:59 am

    Unless they changed things from when I played, getting kicked is literally the best outcome for you (at least, as a tank). You get to leave the group, except without the deserter debuff. So you can queue up again right away, and expect a new group more or less instantly. I know it seems like injustice, but you got out of a bad situation with no penalty.

    Try to imagine them waiting 20 minutes for a replacement tank, who turns out to be the worst tank in the universe (not hard to imagine in LFD). And they can’t kick him because they just kicked you.

  10. May 1, 2014 11:43 am

    Some people are incompetent, some people are dicks, you ran into the (thankfully) relatively rare incompetent dick breed. Generally I can handle one or the other… good-natured incompetence or competent dickery (for instance, if the dps had been pulling other mobs against instruction but not enough to result in deaths) but both is a death blow to me. As soon as I realize I’m in a group with incompetent dickery involved, especially a smaller group like a 5-man or scenario, I drop… simple as that. Life’s too short and my time is too valuable (even my recreational time) to put up with that kind of shit when it’s easily avoided.

    As for vote kicks, far as I know it just requires a simple majority, especially in 5-mans… I’ve been contemplating a vote kick in a 5-man and had the guy get kicked before I respond so it definitely doesn’t require more than 3. That’s how it should be, though, it shouldn’t require everyone to want someone out to get them out, otherwise two people queuing together can NEVER be tossed. And as Samus points out, getting kicked has less downside for you than dropping since you don’t get a deserter debuff… Blizzard may track kicks at their end but have you ever gotten the impression that anything useful happens with that info? I certainly haven’t…

    Best I can recall I’ve reported someone to their GL 3 times in history… once back in Wrath for a legitimate item ninja (GL response: “So?”), once to a GL I knew a bit about a guildie who was being a trade troll (GL response: “Yeah, we’re aware, he’s a trial and is about to get kicked”) and once to the GL of someone who rounded up the courtyard and brought them into Ordos (I normally can’t actually figure out who did it but that time it was blatant… GL response: “Yeah, a few have reported him, he’s only 12 and we’re discussing appropriate behavior, shouldn’t happen again and apologies on his behalf”). So, 2/3 successful and the other resulted in useful info about a guild on the server to avoid in a world of manual pugging. It’s worth doing if the situation annoys you enough to do it, IMO.

    (and as a tip for your buddy, once that type of thing happens once or twice, stop attacking altogether &/or only follow the target of the tank… I don’t have that keybound these days but I can easily /focus the tank on the fly while not dpsing and see who he’s attacking and grab the mob from there… chances are the reason the dick wasn’t dying is because your buddy was pulling off him and you had secondary aggro after he went down, which is pretty much a worst case scenario for all except the dick)

  11. May 1, 2014 9:55 pm

    So sorry to hear about your kitty companion! I can understand how you feel, as having my own personal ‘zoo’ here at our house, I cried like a baby when my son’s rats died. Imagine the reactions to that!

    That’s too bad you had such a rotten group in LFD, I had the same problem with my monk until I got to 80+. I must have attracted every jerk possible.I had a very similar experience which made me quit running them all together while leveling. I have lost all faith in pre 80 groups. Thus probably a huge reason I am not playing WoW now, it isn’t the same it was when I started in Vanilla. You just have random idiots trying to show off and be spiteful. Luckily it isn’t every group, but it happens too much for my tastes. Next time I’d leave, I don’t even give groups like that the time of day.

  12. Beshara permalink
    May 4, 2014 8:54 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. Being a longtime cat owner, I can understand how you feel. It’s never easy to lose something you have spent years caring for and receiving affection from.

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