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!)

It came from the PUG: Move it, slackers!

As part of the tank sampling project, I’ve spent a bit of time on levelling a paladin alt. I ran a couple of Scarlet Monastery instances, courtesy of the random group finder, while retribution specced. Now, low level retribution is fairly hands off. You put up some buffs, judge from time to time, and throw in the occasional Exorcism and stun if you are feeling frisky.

But what struck me about these two runs was that I was playing pretty much similarly in both but had two very different reactions. In the first, the paladin healer berated me continuously for slacking and said she could have pulled more dps in her healing gear. In the second, the whole group was practically worshipping at my feet because of my insane damage.

oppally(Paladin with Bladestorm!)

So what changed? Well, this one is pretty obvious. As part of the first run, I got a really nice weapon upgrade. In fact, if you believe that the purpose of a retribution paladin is to annoy tanks, it may be the best weapon in the entire game, because it randomly procs a bladestorm, as per the screenshot.

Which begs the question: Why did the player in the first group accuse me of slacking? Answer: Because there are some things you just can’t tell from a damage meter.

But still, it’s quite insulting to be accused of slacking when you weren’t. Maybe I was slacking because I didn’t get an heirloom weapon for my alt? But if I had, I never would have gotten to the awesomeness that is the Ravager.

What if you were slacking?

Another slacker moment was had while running my daily for frost badges on my warlock alt. In this case, it was another paladin making the accusations (not sure if they’re more likely to be uppity or if I’ve just been unlucky with paladins this week).

So imagine that the tank is using some dps gear and pulling about 4k dps, and then starts accusing the damage dealers in the group of slacking because she’s top of the damage meter. But all the dps in the group were over 3k, even my alt who forgot to train up chaos bolt past level 1.

Well Ms Uppity Palatank, some of us are mere Saronite Slaves and if you expect us to turn up with full raid consumables and a progression mindset on your random 5 man heroic, then you are doomed to a life filled with disappointment.

Or rather, I might be a slacker but I’ll pull my socks up when it comes to raiding with my mates tomorrow, you however will always be a twat.