When hunters go bad: The problem with non-negotiated instance groups

(I’m quite proud of this title, you can tell I’m in full-on essay mode this week!)

There was a minor furore amongst WoW bloggers last week when respected hunter blogger Frostheim admitted that he’d acted like a dick in an instance (the clue is in the title of his post).

I actually have no idea why this caused a fuss, except that he’d been so honest about it. Maybe people hold their favourite bloggers up to strange levels of behaviour. And honestly, everyone has those mad moments when random people in an instance drive you to do something daft like pull a load of mobs and then leave them to wipe. (Notice how it’s always in Old Kingdom when people have these ‘mad’ moments — surely no accident …)

My view is that at this point in the expansion, there’s really no need for anyone to make a fuss about needing to kill all the bosses in a heroic instance. If anyone in the group really hates the idea, just go with it, grab your justice points (or whatever they are called) and queue for another instance. It’s really unlikely that anyone desperately needs those blue heroic drops quite that badly, even if they are a new 80. And if it’s just for an achievement, then you need to ask nicely and not demand the group goes and kills them.

On the other hand, striking off on your own to go pull your own boss of choice rather than just leaving the group isn’t the greatest way to handle a dispute either.

So yeah. Everyone’s wrong. But mostly it’s an issue with the LFG mechanics. There’s no way to negotiate before you zone into an instance as to your intentions. If there was, the guys who really want to do the achievements could get a random together, along with the Tankbot2000 who doesn’t really care what they do because she’s going to pile in and test her new spec anyway, and random people who don’t mind taking a bit longer and getting some extra badges.

Similarly, the guys who are desperate to do speed runs could get instances together along with their hangers on. (and oh the amusement when a load of green geared wannabees who were hoping to get boosted all end up in an instance together … although the LFG algorithm probably avoids that.)

Alternately, you could talk to people and negotiate instance runs to your heart’s content in general chat. But that’s quite a hassle, which is counter to the whole point of LFG in the first place. It’s easier to zone in with some randoms and deal with the inevitable power struggle whenever there is a disagreement.

All of which makes me wonder if it would be useful to have a cross-server general chat. But I cannot see any way to keep it manageable in size, single server chat on its own can get crazy enough as it is. Or maybe just a few tick boxes on LFG so that people could indicate whether they primarily wanted a full run …

Incidentally, the thing which bizarred me the most on Frostheim’s post were the number of commenters who didn’t like being called ‘Hunter’ by random groups. Let me tell you, having your class acknowledged is still slightly better than being called ‘Tank’.

21 thoughts on “When hunters go bad: The problem with non-negotiated instance groups

  1. My view is that at this point in the expansion, there’s really no need for anyone to make a fuss about needing to kill all the bosses in a heroic instance.

    I don’t really see this. To me, the expected behavior when you jump into the instance would be kill all the bosses. There’s no need to make a fuss about doing the instance with the minimum possible number of bosses.

    Obviously, 4 people wanted to do all the bosses. The polite thing to do would be to excuse himself from the group when his time was up and let them find a 5th person.

    • But you won’t find a fifth person for a partially-completed heroic where the last boss (ie the one that provides justice points) is already dead.

      As I commented on the Righteous Orbs blog, it’s like doing VoA where the raidleader wants to kill Koralon. If the raid goes to Toravon first, then after the Toravon kill half the raid will drop out and you’ll have no chance of filling the spots for a Koralon kill because no one wants to be locked to a VoA instance without the chance to kill Toravon.

      If you want to do the optional bosses then you need to do them *first*, to retain the end boss as a carrot to keep the rest of the group from leaving.

    • I would have agreed with you about expected behaviour for most of this expansion, but right now I really don’t think most people zone into OK and expect a full clear.

      On the other hand, I really disagree with zoning in and announcing you don’t have time for a full run. If that was the case, you could have queued specifically for the shorter instances — if you want the random bonus then don’t whine if you get a random dungeon you don’t like.

  2. Part of the problem ofc is that when leaving would be the polite thing to do, it also punishes you by not allowing you to queue again. Therefore it’s much more efficient to make an ass of yourself so they kick you.

  3. Incidentally, the thing which bizarred me the most on Frostheim’s post were the number of commenters who didn’t like being called ‘Hunter’ by random groups. Let me tell you, having your class acknowledged is still slightly better than being called ‘Tank’.

    You get called ‘Tank’ (and ‘Healer’) because there’s only 1 of you 😉

  4. Um, I may need to post about my admission of dickish behaviour midraid the other week, when i was cheerfully telling another capt how i amused myself when bored in dol guldur… Remind me, it’s funny!

  5. I think it’s a bit weird that bloggers are expected to adhere to any kind of higher standard of behaviour. I mean, *really*?

    I can see the logic for politicians perhaps, although I don’t agree with it, and perhaps also for celebrities who rightly or wrongly are looked up to by children, but to someone who writes about videogames on the internet…?

    Is Gevlon expected to have a higher standard of behaviour? Adam from TheNoisyRogue? I think you’d probably amuse them greatly by suggesting that to them.

  6. Why should bloggers get a free pass on getting called out for being a prat, just by virtue of them being a blogger? In Frostheim’s case this isn’t some unrelated context like some journo being caught out having a few pints too many at the local and sleeping in a hedge. He blogs – is paid to blog about WoW and how to be a better hunter; making a dick move and then pretty much glorifying in it after the fact deserved criticism. No only because it was a dick move and makes him look like an asshole, but also because it’s bad advice.

    If you’re a blogger, even one with a tiny readership, you have chosen to stand on a very small pulpit and give voice to your opinion. If you don’t want a certain amount of push-back when someone disagrees with content, advice or tone you should probably close up comments and scrub your Twitter account. The same goes for paid bloggers, only more so.

    • I don’t think that the suggestion is that he should get protection from being called out on it, the weird thing for me is that his offence is claimed to be somehow worse simply because he’s a blogger.

  7. @Rohan – If you read the story(which is Frostheim’s POV and we don’t get the other side) he said at the start, when someone asked to do all bosses, that he couldn’t and the rest of the group was silent. In fact two of them followed him to the trash by the last boss before leaving him. So I don’t think there was a real 4 vs. 1 sort of thing here.

    @everblue – all bosses give JP now. The end boss gives something likes 23 extra. So there is reason for some to want to clear all bosses. Plus you could easily four-man the optional bosses if a DPS leaves. If they couldn’t then he was carrying the group and they should have listened to him.

    All in all, it was a dick move, but does anyone expect good behavior in a LFG pug? I go into all my random dungeons expecting people to be stonily silent and huge pricks, that way I am never disappointed but I get a good surprise when everyone is nice and competent.

    • “Plus you could easily four-man the optional bosses if a DPS leaves. If they couldn’t then he was carrying the group and they should have listened to him.”

      Or it’s a situation where they’re actually producing the level of damage that the instance is tuned for and they actually need a third dps player.

      I know that rarely happens in wow, but it’s not a straight up dichotomy between “they could faceroll it with 4” or “they’re bads who should beg for carries from the mighty raider” and frankly I think it’s rather insulting to suggest it.

      • Well, I understand your sentiment here, but there are really two reasons I disagree.
        1. The way the DF works is it tries to pair people that have higher ilvl gear with those that have lower ilvl gear. You are not going to get a group of 5 people that are all in lvl187 blues (unless you pre-form it).
        2. With the availability of the badge gear from doing said heroics, you will quickly out-gear them even if you start all in quest greens.

        I have done these heroics when they were shiny and new (and everyone was “appropriately” geared) and back then I would have been mad to get someone who was in all greens and everything was unenchanted. I crafted all the blues and epics I could (or bought them) on my first couple 80’s and I gemmed/enchanted the gear correctly too. I was always a bit miffed when people would just ding and instantly queue up. But now when most everyone out gears the place, I guess I don’t blame them too much about queuing(sp?) in greens.

        I was not saying that they are “bads that need carried by the mighty raiders”. I was facing the reality that even people who never set foot in a raid can easily get every piece of gear to be ilvl 232 and up to some at 264-270(270 being the PvP stuff). With that and the way the DF pairs up groups, you can easily do them with 4 people.

        If you have people doing under 1k dps then they need to learn their rotations cause everyone can do that even in unenchanted leveling gear. And with a tank or healer (you are pretty much guaranteed that one of these two is over geared) doing a bit of extra dps you can easily defeat at least the heroics that weren’t patched in with ICC. Now you might have to actually follow the tactics you had to use when these places were new, but you can do them a person short.

        I am not saying that demanding to not do what everyone else wants is appropriate, it should be a group consensus. If one person wants to do them all and one does not and the rest of the group says nothing, then there is an issue bigger than trying to complete heroics a person short.

        The easiest fix as someone commented elsewhere is to make it so you can’t skip any bosses. Make it like Nexus where you have to kill them all before engaging the final boss.

        This was super long, so sorry for the wall of text. I felt you misconstrued what I said, and if you still feel what I said warranted you feeling insulted, then I don’t know how to make my point without sounding elitist. I am trying to look at this realistically. My statement of “Plus you could easily four-man the optional bosses if a DPS leaves. If they couldn’t then he was carrying the group and they should have listened to him.” was probably stated badly, but hopefully I have said it in a way that is less judgmental.

      • “If one person wants to do them all and one does not and the rest of the group says nothing, then there is an issue bigger than trying to complete heroics a person short.”

        Yes, very much this. This is pretty much what I was getting at in the post — the silent people probably just want to do whichever is least hassle. And negotiating is a hassle.

  8. As a Hunter that has read a lot of his stuff and learned quite a bit from his guides (then learned some more without them), I was a little shocked that he’d do something like that.


    He has mentioned ‘huntards’ is disdainful tones before and it was definitely a huntardish move.

    He’s geared out the ass on his Hunter to the point where he could have almost soloed that boss – clearly he didn’t need the JPs (let alone any achievements or blue drops) and with the note of him being in a rush, he probably should have just logged and let them get another member.

    It was a bit hypocritical of him to do such a thing. In the long run, I didn’t have much of a reaction other than the initial shock (and disappointment that he didn’t actually solo the boss).

    I don’t think I can claim that I’ve done worse, but I have done some dirty things.

    1. Coordinating with a tank and a rogue to dump threat to a healer that wasn’t so good (and blamed everyone else), get it killed repeatedly until they left group (vote kick wasn’t up yet).

    2. Dumping threat onto a DPS that had a bit of a loud mouth.

    3. As a Priest I let a DPS die (several times) for being a jackass while a family member was learning to tank.

    Stuff like that. Usually, if you’re an ass to me, you’re setting the tone for how I’m going to treat you.

    But in the case of being pressed for time and people wanting to clear all the bosses? (Hey, I’ve got 4 alts that could use JPs so I totally understand this.) I’d probably just apologize and leave.

    In the end, I’ll still read his articles because they’re good work and he’s willing to do the math where as I am not. 😀

  9. They should just construct the instances so all the bosses need to be killed for the credit. That way if someone needs a particular boss for a quest or an achievement they know it will get done.

    I don’t understand the attitude that there should be no need at this point to do every boss. That is based on the assumption that everybody plays the game as much as you do. Some people have been away for a while. some people are genuinely new to the game. If the rest of the group has the right to say no we don’t want to do that boss then the one who wants to do that boss has just as much right to say fine, drop group and find someone who will. Why do people have to be so obsessed with speed runs.

    When I am tanking I ask what bosses people need and if they have certain quests. We are a group, if one of us needs it then we all do it. If you don’t like that, leave. I don’t mind spending an extra 10 minutes in an instance.

    • “They should just construct the instances so all the bosses need to be killed for the credit.”

      Yeah, I’m fully expecting this to be the case in Cataclysm. I haven’t actually seen the beta so no idea if it’s true though.

      And I personally am quite easy about how many bosses we kill when tanking an instance, it’s no skin off my nose if people want a full run. But since the only bonus is a few points and some blue gear which pretty much no one wants, I don’t really feel inclined to press the point if someone is really keen to skip some.

  10. This whole thing has me confused. I mean, isn’t the point of signing up for an instance the understanding that one is signing up to complete it? When a person signs up…wait let me rephrase that. When I sign up via LFD, my intention is to complete the instance. Why else would I be signing up? To get badges or points or whatever just to to get gear? Seriously? What’s the point of getting gear if you don’t have any idea on how to use it? Perhaps if more people went into instances to not just jump on the gear conveyor belt (in the hopes of getting that leet gear score), but, rather, to actually practice their skills, we’d all be better off. Here’s a pro-tip, the better you are with the skills of your toon, the more raids you’re going to find yourself being a part of. Further, if one happens to be on the same server and you don’t act like a moron, you might just find yourself being invited to bigger and better things. Of course, if you think you are bigger and better than the game and think the world should bow to your wishes, you are a hopeless egomaniac and I’ve got no interest in being grouped with you anyways. (all of the you’s herein are intended euphemistically and are not intended to be miscontrued as being directed at Spinks)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you don’t have the time to do the whole deal and polish your skill set, then don’t friggin’ sign up in the first place!

      • Then politely ask the group to wait for your return. Should they be unwilling to or if you anticipate that you are going to be longer than a reasonable amount of time, drop group. I have two young ones myself so I totally get what it’s like to wait 20+ mins as a DpS to finally get into a group and then have to drop group because the youngest one wakes up from a nap and “needs” his Daddy. However, I’m also mature enough to know that I don’t have the right to impose upon others the intrusions of my real life into their gaming life. In my life, gaming is but a facet of who I am – way down the list below husband, father and career professional, and to the extent that one of those three things above it on the list requires my attention, then those extra badges just became unimportant to me. There is always time to chase those pixels and I truly think that if people were more considerate of others, we’d all be much happier. A little naive, I know, but what can I say – I’m an optimist.

  11. Oh Spinks, you’re so sensible – don’t you realise that this is a topic for widespread hysteria, didn’t you get the memo?

    But I like this post a lot, especially because what irritated me particularly about the whole business (I don’t give a damn how Frost behaves, tbh) was the lack of negotiation. I mean all it needed was for people to actually respond to him. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it’s appropriate to sign up to an instance and not want to do all the bosses, the point is Frost gave them ample time to tell them they were doing the whole thing and let him drop.

    Essentially they tried to just bulldozer over him rather than negotiate. Gah.

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