It came from the PUG: Oh, is this an instance? I’m just here to practice my staff skill

I have a lot of sympathy for genuine slackers. The human drive to complete tasks with the least possible effort is the same drive that leads us to generate new and incredible feats of science and engineering. Every great engineering invention started with the thought, “I wonder if there is an easier way to do this?” (Many engineering PhDs end with the thought, “Nope, I guess there isn’t. But at least now I know why.”)

But as all true slackers know, there is a slackers code of conduct.

  1. Don’t put in any more effort than necessary to accomplish your goals.
  2. If you can beat more than one goal at the same time, so much the better.
  3. If someone notices that you are slacking and calls you on it, STOP SLACKING.

OK, now back to the PUG story. I was in an Old Stratholme run for the daily instance and I noticed that one of the other group members was very low on the damage meters. You can use recount to check which abilities people have been mostly using, it’s actually a really handy tool when you’re learning to play a class because it’s easy to compare your rotation with other people. So I moused over his name on recount and saw that his second most damaging attack was a melee autoattack. And he was a mage.

So at this point either he’s the noobiest mage ever or there’s something else going on. And since he had some Icecrown gear, I mentally rolled my eyes and figured he was probably levelling his staff skill. (Which is, by the way, completely pointless for a mage but is also part of an equally pointless achievement.)

I figure, fine. He’s taking the piss. I don’t feel the need to make a scene because it’s only Stratholme but if I have to pay attention during an instance run then I don’t see why everyone else can’t too. So I say something I never thought I would say to a mage, “Could you cast some spells please?”

He at this point makes the tactical mistake of explaining in group chat that he was levelling his staff skill, but notes that he was helping on the minibosses. I say tactical mistake because the rest of the group got outraged and booted him. Since he sounded like a reasonable bloke, I personally would have just said, “OK, fine. But when we get to the town hall, stop doing that please.”  I still think it’s cheeky for an ubergeared player to expect the rest of the group to carry them while they do a totally pointless achievement but I can overlook that if they pull their socks up when I call them on it.

I think I just have a much higher tolerance for slacking when it comes from someone who knows what they are doing. But most players won’t share that attitude.

And on a nicer note

I also had one very sweet PUG this week. One of my guildies was practicing tanking on a Death Knight alt, and since he’s a notorious aggro monkey on his main, myself and one of our other main tanks jumped at the chance to swap to dps specs and get some revenge! (Err, I mean, help and support him while he learns to tank instances.)

We were very lucky and had a fantastic PUG priest in an Utgarde Pinnacle run, who was able to heal through me tanking Skadi in fury gear after the tank died.

At the end of the run, she commented to us that when she zoned in and checked gear, she thought we were going to give the tank hell for being in blues. But then she noticed we all were in the same guild :) So whoever you were, awesome priest, thank you for being awesome.

(And Kesser, if you are reading this, we both thought you’ll be an amazing tank once you have some more gear. But it is part of the job description of fury warriors and boomkins to test new tanks!)

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18 thoughts on “It came from the PUG: Oh, is this an instance? I’m just here to practice my staff skill

  1. I got him later on my mage as well as the Boomkin. :-) Poor Kesser. But seconded, he’ll be a good tank with a little more time/gear.

  2. lol, my guild has a few people trying out tanking on alts too, and I’m always the first one to step up and teach them the finer points of threat management… mostly by snapping off bladestorm on packs when I know they haven’t been using any aoe or not warning them about a pat they might pull if they don’t move the mobs back.

    It is soooo sweet to turn the tables on them for all the times they’ve made me scramble to save their hides when they messed up, even if I do end up dying a lot.

  3. Hah hah! Thanks for sharing this story . . . the “tactical mistake” part was great.

    Trying to find a balance in how to deal with people in WoW is a constant struggle. I’m glad when people (like that priest) will be nice when someone is trying. I’m also glad that people won’t put up with someone like that mage when they aren’t trying. But at the same time, I like your attitude that you’ll overlook his slacking if he shapes up once he’s called on it.

    • I think it’s very easy to get the wrong impression from all the ‘horror stories’ that people post. There are plenty of nice people around and running instances.

      And tbh it’s an interesting challenge for all of the players as to how they can interact in a group when people want different things. The player base is struggling to come to a consensus on what instances are for, what slacking means, how to deal with people who are vastly more or less experienced, and how to do it in a framework where communication is difficult (either because people zoom through instances fast or because a lot of people are scared to talk in case they get booted.)

      Whilst I react very strongly if someone wants me to do an achievement for them, I’m not bothered so much if they want to do one in a way which doesn’t inconvenience me.

  4. I recently went to pick my wife up from the station in the middle of the random for the day. I didn’t say anything just followed the healer. I came back 8 mins later to be suprised by having not been kicked! The healer said wb when I came back and I thanked everyone for being so nice and passed on the rest of the drops as a thank you!
    It goes to show how nice people can be in randoms!

  5. I’ve had some great groups on my undergeared alt. Most of them have been very nice about my gear. I’ve done what I can to keep up. At the very least, I try not to be a burden. I’ve had a few groups try to kick me because of my gear. I’m doing on par dps for that level of gear, but some people are just elitist and seem to have forgotten that they started off in blues and greens too.

    When I’m on my main, I’m usually very understanding if I get an undergeared player in the group. I do resent people that will intentionally slack because I’m there. I’ve had people auto attack their way through most of a heroic and do under 600dps because I “more than make up for it”. (That was what they said about me.) I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll now carry them almost to the last boss, and then boot them so they don’t get the bonus badges or gear.

    Don’t get me started on the achievement whores…

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