It came from the PUG: Make him run!!!

Welcome back to the annals of my random PUG experiences! Things have been a bit quiet on the PUG front because after having maxed out my reputations and sorted out raid gear on Spinks, I found my motivation to queue was very low. The instances were great and all – instance review to follow later this week – but it was as if I was done with that phase of my life. “It isn’t you, WoW Instances, it’s me.” Clearly this does not bode well given that a large part of the WoW endgame for every expansion up till now has involved running lots of instances.

Anyhow, recently I was levelling a Death Knight alt and dipped into the unchlorinated swimming pool of random PUGs as DPS to see how the temperature is in WoW randoms lately.

One thing I noticed is that when you are playing an alt and haven’t instanced in awhile, chances are you’ll make the odd silly mistake while you are remembering how it plays in groups. Maybe you’ll forget to put the right aura up, or accidentally taunt a mob, or something minor like that. If you’re lucky no-one else will notice and you’ll swiftly correct it.

If you’re unlucky, you will get the group from hell. They will either assume*** that because you made one minor mistake ONCE, you are the personification of all their hates and fears about being grouped with ‘morons’ (or M+S as Gevlon charmingly puts it.) Or else they’ll be so highly strung that even a single thing in an instance that doesn’t fit their expectations will send them off the deep end.

Make him run!

So the instance was normal Vortex Pinnacle, and my alt was around level 83 or so, wearing levelling greens/ blues as you do.

I realised this was going to be an odd run when I noticed that the tank was level 85 and in  raid gear. (Warrior Tier 11 is very recognisable because it’s so fugly.) There are actually very few reasons why a raid geared level 85 would be interested in normal Vortex Pinnacle, it won’t give reputations for tabard wearers and they’re hardly going to care about the justice points. I can only assume Blizzard patched in the warrior gun again as a drop there.

Anyhow, he was barging his way through quickly with occasional mana breaks for the healer and we came to the section where the trash pack starts within a grounding area. This means they are immune to spells, so the group needs to pull them outside the grounding pyramid to kill them.

I figured it probably wouldn’t work but I’d try to death grip one to bring it over. It didn’t work, but it did act as a taunt so when the mobs came over our way, it was still fixated on me. So my character died and we killed the mobs.

The tank said, “Who do you think is tanking here, you or me? Don’t res, make him run.”

I said, “Sorry, that was my mistake but you could have taunted it back. Now you’re just being a jerk.”

And (this part is crucial) then I left because I made the same attribution error as he did, figured he was probably just an arse, and decided there wasn’t anything I needed in the instance for which I’d put up with it. The nice thing about being low level is that you can always just go and do some quests instead.

This fairly casual attitude to instances, now that they are so easily available,  is why we both made the same mistake.

*** Technically this is called an attribution error. If you see a dps get aggro in an instance, do you assume?:

  1. They are a moron. All dps who pull aggro must die in fire.
  2. It’s a low level instance, s/he is probably just learning.
  3. It was probably just a one-off mistake and they won’t do that again.
  4. You didn’t even notice. Either mobs were dying so fast that it doesn’t matter, everyone was tanking everything in any case, or (if you were the tank) you just taunted it back again as an automatic reaction.

If you always automatically assume (1) without ever waiting for more evidence then you are probably the problem. Obv. if they have a stupid name or say stupid things in chat prior to the event, you’ll have more basis for that opinion.

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21 thoughts on “It came from the PUG: Make him run!!!

  1. I don’t know if I ever had a set plan with which to deal with this kind of thing. I can remember putting up with dps pulling aggro numerous times before deciding they needed to learn a lesson. I can also remember letting them die the first time it happened. The latter usually because it was the very first pack of an instance and I wasn’t going to encourage that level of stupidity.

    I’d say my overall approach to the 5 man dynamic is that I’m okay with dps occasionally pulling aggro because I understand that sometimes they do just string crits together when they pop cooldowns. I also get that dps sometimes just want to see how much dps they can do or want to see if they can go all out without pulling aggro because if they can, it’s a lot easier to play. (or at least, it’s always felt that way to me when I’ve dpsed)

    My tolerance for pulling aggro is definitely much, much higher than my tolerance for people fearing mobs, pulling extra groups, initiating pulls instead of me (drives me bonkers) or kiting mobs. A mob that gets kited into another group that we’ve skipped earlier may the one thing that can consistently make me go nuclear.

    • I’d be with you on that (the latter I mean). Especially if the mobs weren’t marked or people were AEing, I got far more relaxed in Wrath about people pulling aggro. Even in Cataclysm, I’d be more annoyed if they ignored kill order or broke CC early.

  2. Wait! There is a fifth choice, I…..ask. Shocking I know but you actully can use that little box in your left lower corner for more than insults. Then if he reply “lol i don car m8 i just playz for funz xd” you can assume he is a moron. And if he can explain himself it’s all good. You don’t become a moron (or M&S) for making a single mistake.

  3. 3 or 2 the first few times. After that, well, I point out (politely) that they are not the tank and I will let them die if they keep grabbing aggro/trying to pull. But I tend to cut people more slack than most.

    There are exceptions, like if I know the person is using a cc. Stupid Mind Control, pulls aggro every time. And those Vortex Pinnacle pulls are kinda nightmarish.

    Also, funny death grip story…. my guild decided to run a bunch of the Outlands raids. Gruul’s lair, Mag’s, and Black Temple. I went on my lvl 75 dk in hopes I’d get some xp/drops. Well, death grip happened to be keybound next to pestilence (I tend to use it a ton while questing), and finally our lvl 85, well-geared tank asks…
    “How the heck is that dk pulling threat? I’m 10 levels higher, that shouldn’t be possible!”
    “Death grip is not my friend, it makes me eat floor?”
    “Why are you death-gripping?”
    “Cause I’m not looking at where my fingers are and hitting the wrong button.”
    There was some laughing over vent, and then one of the good DKs told me I should a)move the keybind, and b) if I ever wanted DK help, feel free to poke him.

  4. I don’t get why your snap judgement of him was an attribution error.

    He let you die then insisted no one ress you. You assumed he was an arse.

    Where is the error?

    • He probably was an arse, but it’s quite possible that the rest of the instance would have been OK.

      I wonder though if part of the reason I left was just feeling uncomfortable at being called out like that. It’s like, I died on a trash pull in a normal instance, can we move on already without treating it like a progression boss fight where we need to dissect everyone’s play?

      • I don’t actually think it’s an error to leave if you feel uncomfortable with someone.

        I found a random 2s partner the other day and he asked me to come outside for a duel first. I never duel. He trashed me.

        He then started moaning that we’d never win a match and he was so depressed.

        Now logically I would have maximised my gain by stroking his ego and trying to talk him around as he was a good player (and we would have won 5 matches fast) but I preferred to call him a *&^% and put him on ignore.

        It is just a game. One does not have to maximise everything. It’s not an error to decide you don’t want to play with an arse, attribution or otherwise.

  5. The real problem here is clearly communication. If players were not running dungeons like a “circuit” and the dungeon content was of such a nature that players are accustomed to STOP AND TALK the obvious interaction that would have occurred in this situation:

    dps player : “Hey, Tank, i’m going to try and pull those guys with this ability”
    tank player: “Ok, i’ll taunt , or maybe we should try using ability b first?”
    dps player: “Hmm ok, ability b sounds better” .

    Problem solved!

    Imagine if all dungeon runs was like that? Isn’t that how group content should work?!

    I definitely blame Blizzard a big deal for the lack of this happening. The dungeons are LINEAR and designed to work 100% of the time if you do something a specific way. There’s no BRANCHING/DECISION MAKING anymore. This gets a zillion times WORSE when you are required to repeat a linear piece of content 100 times…

    Hell even DDO dungeons have places where everyone needs to stop and go “do we go left or right?” . Most might know that going left = doing the dungeon this way and going right = doing it another way, but it still encourage everyone to stop and speak up and get a little “socializing” going.

    Kinda like a little space to even mention to the group that you tank like this, or heal with that or want to try this or that.

    Actually this reminds me of a few “lobby” based games i’ve played, you know the ones where you are thrown into a room with your group and have to wait for all the members and/or have to wait 1-2 minutes before you can go into the instance. It’s amazing what those 1-2 minutes of waiting can do in terms of group cohesion and decision making….

  6. First couple, it’s a mistake / whacking the taunt key out of reflex (easily done when someone who normally tanks is in another spec).

    Doing it persistently after it being pointed out that I’m tanking, they can eat floor and walk it off.

  7. I think the tank attitude in general has been declining (even more) since Cata launched.
    Instant LFG + insane damage makes some of them feel like semi-gods, who boost all the other people in the group through that instance.

  8. Thanks for reminding me to watch out for my attribution error, I needed the reminder I think.

    Though I had a funny run, on my alt paladin that I’m trying to learn to tank with (at 85, without having any previous tanking experience at endgame). Reg GB, I told the group that I might be rusty and to tell me if I was doing anything dumb. Forgot to put Righteous Fury up for the first few trash pulls, wondered why the DK was always pulling threat, and they left when they died a few times (despite my taunting and trying my darndest to hold threat!) Realised my error shortly afterwards, but did anyone say anything? Nooooo. Wonder if the DK noticed but thought I was an idiot, or just thought I was that bad at holding threat anyway.

  9. Incidentally I just experienced being on the receiving end of 2 attribution errors in one.

    Last boss of Utgarde Keep – tank, ret pally and rogue all stood in Slam and died instantly. Me and the hunter duoed the boss for them.

    Ret Pally says “healer u suck”. Now I wouldn’t mind but this tank really had been made of paper and I’d worked miracles to get us through with only one wipe.

    2 attribution errors:
    1) thinking it was my fault he died
    2) thinking I would ress him

  10. As a paladin tank I tend to opt for 4. Lowbie instances aren’t worth the hassle of arguing/educating, the margin of error is bigh enough to even let two DPS go AFK and as a tank the queue is practically instant anyway.

    As DPS choose 3 just to hope for the best. If it was just a one-off error, I’ll be able to salvage the situation with some CC. But if I’m wrong, I’ll try some constructive criticism like “Don’t use multishot while facing the CCd mobs”. After that they’re on notice: One mistake and I’ll propose a kick. If it fails, obviously I’m the problem so I’ll leave and take my chances with the queue.

  11. 1.) To just barely connect with your theme, the right rxn for a tank when someone *inconveniently* grabs aggro is to let them handle it. You wanna off-tank, knock yourself out. Honestly, I hate it when a tank tries to pull a mob back when I see a good opportunity (a mob with high AOE dmg or one where I’m high on aggro and have low health on mobs) and go full bore. I’m not squishy and I gotz heelz. Assume I know what I’m doing.

    But they should still rez ya, even if you screw up, and even if you’re a DK. ;^) Like, um, smakendahed says, why are you making everyone wait?

    2.) That *is* fugly. Wow.

  12. If I’m tanking, I’ll let the first mistake like that go (maybe they hit the wrong button or whatever).
    Second time it happens, I’ll say something like “Please watch CC” or “Please let me pull”.
    If it happens again, I address the offending character by name in party chat and ask them why they are continueing their behavior. I’ve had a variety of explanations, from not understanding their class, to knowing the group could handle it based on my tanking and the healing being done, to sullen responses.

    If I’m on my alt and mess up something like that, I immediately state what happened, that it was my bad, and I’d understand if the group wanted to kick me. Generally, with my contriteness, most groups laugh it off (even if it’s a wipe) and say they’ve all been there.

    So, ultimately, it comes down to communication. I’m willing to give and receive, as long as the others in my group do so.

  13. I was recently informed on my alt DK that I would be joining the ranks of fail dks forever because I had twice death gripped a mob running for the healer at the exact same moment the tank taunted it. Thus, the tank’s taunt being on cooldown, I got beat on for a few moments while he regained control. After he complained, I pointed out that I’d rather have the mob hitting me – or even killing me – than the healer. He agreed that I should die.

    Ah, pugs. I was only trying to help. No harm, no foul? Nope, nope, nope.

    Well, I made his life a living hell the rest of the instance by pointing out every time “a death grip really would have been useful there.” The mage died at one point, the healer nearly died at another, but no, I didn’t DG the whole rest of the instance. I know I shouldn’t be proud of my actions, but I think that’s the point of my comment; it’s hard not to respond to bad behavior in kind. Or, as Medea said right before she killed her children, “I know what I do is wrong, but my irrational side is stronger than my rational.” Or something like that.

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