Sunday PuG 'n Pray: omg WHAT are you WEARING?!
As my friends and I were doing some table top gaming on Friday night, our newest WoW playing member mentioned that he was nervous about using the LFG tool, particularly once he hit level 80, because he has a great fear of walking into a group, and having the not a-typical "omg... WHAT are you WEARING?" response. I hated to say it... but his concern is valid - and I find it very frustrating.

A Year Ago...

Remember when Heroics were hard? I'm not even talking about TBC-Heroic hardness... I'm talking about when you leveled your first toon to 80, and you were gearing up to raid not long after Wrath was released. Back when Naxx, VoA, and OS were our only raiding options. Did you jump straight into Naxx in your quest blues and greens, with one or two crafted epics?

For most of us, in order to gear ourselves up for raiding, we ran heroics. We ground our way through an entire dungeon, picking up one or two blue upgrades along the way, mostly in the hopes of getting a nice shiny epic to drop at the end that might be what we want. Heroics didn't always give badges, if you recall.

Remember when Heroics were genuinely a challenge for you? In our guild, we fought amongst ourselves, arguing with each other over the specs we were using, or the spells, or who ought to be healing or tanking or whatever. It was draining, we got frustrated, and often felt like we couldn't do it. Utgarde Pinnacle and Culling of Stratholme brought us into several raging arguments, and for some time, we just stopped running Heroics altogether.

These Days...

It is a lot easier to gear yourself up now, and I think we can all agree on that - even before the new LFG tool, people could chain heroics in a pug, and pick up enough emblem gear to be ready for the latest tier of raiding content. This is intentional, and exactly what Blizzard wanted to happen. The entire point was so that people wouldn't have to spend weeks grinding through old raiding material that raiding guilds didn't want to touch in order to be ready for the current content. Love it or hate it, it is working as intended.

However, in order to get to that end game raiding content gear level, you still have to somehow bridge the divide between Fresh 80 In Quest Greens And Blues and End Game Gear Level. And the best way to do that has always been, and still is, running Heroics.

So why do end game raiders seem so shocked and appalled by the mere presence of people using Heroics to do exactly that... gear up?

In an LFG PuG earlier this weekend, I landed myself in a HCoS run. Everyone except for the elemental shammy was very well geared. In fact, the tank was in a recognizable raiding guild on my server... a guild that includes a few realm first type things, if I recall properly.

The tank whispered me and said "looks like were going 2b carrying this dam shammy lol". He then made a point to tell all the dps to pump out the damage in order to make up for the shammy who was in unenchanted and ungemmed blues and purples. Since healers and tanks usually have some sort of strange bond, and since I was fairly well geared, I guess he thought I would sympathize with his devastating woe.

My response?

"... So?"

The shammy stayed out of fires. She even did a healthy 2k dps in her gear. We finished the run with 10 minutes left to the timer, and she even passed on the drake to someone else who wanted it.

Despite the fact that the tank continued to send me tells bitching to me about the crap dps, we had absolutely no problems. Maybe the tank and I carried the others through. So what? No one died, they all did enough damage that we were successful, and I got the badges I wanted.

I can imagine it would be more frustrating if you are a very strong DPS with a weak tank and healer combo, but luckily, in all but the newest heroics, my heals are strong enough to where I can make up for a lot of errors others make, and get what I want from the heroic. As long as everyone is courteous and friendly, or at least honors the "if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all" rule, I'm perfectly content - you can even stand in the fire on occasion, and I don't really care.

Before you jump into a pug, consider this: There are generally two types of people using the LFG pugging tool to gear up. Those who are gearing up solely via grinding heroics for the badges, and those who are gearing up via the items that actually drop from these heroics. Even for a lot of the raiders there are some good drops in the new IC 5 mans, but I'm not even talking about those. You may just end up with someone who still considers the epic that drops from the final boss in Heroic Utgarde Keep an upgrade.

(I'm not sure yet if the tool matches people of similar gear quality, as this has been up for some debate and anyone who can provide a source confirming the subject gets personal Power Infused thanks!)

If you want to chain grind heroics on high speed, that's fine. Blizz thinks that's okay, and so do I. But you should also respect the fact that for people who have just hit 80, they have a right to use the LFG tool in an effort to gear up as well. Don't be a jerk.

You could even follow the Tamarind Method of Wanker Prevention if you're feeling especially generous. For the record, I read his post several times before I understood it properly. If you play alliance, don't forget that everytime Tam refers to the DPS with whom he partnered a "cow", I'm almost positive he's pointing out that she was a Tauren, and not some other less courteous descriptor. Unless my context reading udderly failed. (CWUTIDIDTHAR)
17 Responses
  1. Fuubaar Says:

    To be honest, when I run heroics with Fuu (my OP tank) I never once looked at someone's gear. I figured that as long as the healer could stay alive & occasionally throw some heals my way, our chance of survival was near 100%.

    TBH I wish that I get a few newbie 80s with me. We shard all of the gear anyways, why not give it to them? Who cares if I carry someone who's doing 1.5k DPS in Blues & greens? Good for them I say.

    We need to encourage these new people to play properly, to stand out of the fire, to wear properly itemized gear for their spec, and to not judge them for we were all newbs once.

    Just my two Copper.

  2. @Fuu


    We should spend a day next weekend teamed up trying to see how many newbies we can gather, and help learn them.

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    @ Jess

    I wish I could but I'll be at my mother-in-law's house baking cookies & looking through my wedding pics ...

    I would rather be pugging with you :D

  4. Shintar Says:

    You know, not all my heroic pugs so far have been pleasant, but I can honestly say that nobody has complained about anyone's gear EVER. Once a group of friends suggested that their tank might not be geared enough for heroic Halls of Reflection yet, but that was it.

    I do suspect that you get matched with people of similar gear level by the way, as my main always gets groups with 55k-health tanks while my lesser-geared alts also get slightly lesser-geared groups.

    I agree though that it's stupid how quickly people forget how they were geared when they did heroics for the first time. I remember how much we struggled in heroic CoS to make the timer back in November, these days it's hard to miss unless you have a party member go AFK for ten minutes. I also remember how people were scared of trying heroic AN because most tanks couldn't even survive the first couple of trash pulls. And now people get ridiculed for doing 1.5k dps? Pfft!

  5. Ara/Vinenaro Says:

    I totally agree that people need to be more forgiving toward lower-geared folks. Keep in mind that alot of those lower geared people may be alts of someone who already has a high end raiding toon. For instance, i will have my DK to 80 really soon(78 right now) and while my gear is total garbage, I am a good player and know how ot use my class to the best of its gear ability. I definitely plan on using the random LFG to help gear up. Also, you two should hlep me gear up, then I will have a tank and a healer ready for my DPS only DK ;)

  6. There's low DPS, and then there's "WTF are you doing?" low DPS. The latter is usually coupled with other fail, like...failing to recognize spell reflect and wasting your healers mana bar as she cleans your own dots off you. Repeatedly. After she tells you about spell reflect. And after the mage kills himself. D:

    Also low DPS DOES matter at least in the new heroics-you know hwat happens when you have a 1.3k DPS toon and a 2k DPS toon on the first boss of Pit? You have a tank who gets to 20 stacks of the debuff and dies is what you get. I know...I wiped on him. 6 times. D:

    For the normal heroics I'll "carry" who the hell ever, because I outgear that stuff. But I'm still a tank-healing geared disc priest, and I still can't save all 3 of you if you fail at self awareness. /headdesk

  7. Fuubaar Says:

    @ AV


    So, you're telling me we have to carry your sorry ass?

    What is your payment? You must appease Fuu & Jess with your sacrifices before you are allowed to aproach our greatness.


  8. @Shin

    I consider the three new Icecrown raids as something different. I'm not going to carry someone through content that, on occasion, I struggle to carry myself. The tank needs to have more than 30k health or something >.<


    See Fuubaar's comment XD


    I totally do not count the new 5 mans in my complaints. Pre ToC, I'm not concerned about your gear... but once you hit the new ICC 5 mans, and to a lesser extent, ToC, I'm a lot more wary. Although, in all honesty, I haven't picked up anyone for ICC5 with the LFG tool who sucked that bad... how did you get so unlucky?!

  9. Fuubaar Says:

    @ Amber

    I totally agree. In the new heroics: 50 DKP Minus because you didn't know wtf to do!

    (I do still laugh when Fulguralis corrupts his own soul. He flails around like a newb & we all have a good laugh. Hell, I've even Hammer of Justiced myself on accident during that fight. I thought if I stunned him before he got the bubble off, I could be the ranged DPS savior... needless to say, Failtank is fail)

    Old stuff: Just make sure that you occasionally smash your keys so that that pesky AFK doesn't appear.

  10. Malchome Says:

    Ya I was heroic grinding this weekend on my Paladin, the 3rd tanking class I play. Now there were a few runs especially when I queued as dps I was most likely carried a bit early on. But after getting enough gear upgrades going form pvp->pve gear for dps and iLvl 165+ -> 200 Blue or Epics I started to hold my own.

    One thing I noticed was that I would be grouped in to questionable groups when I was dps only, as in I think the tuning for Heals and Tanking are a bit more restrictive than the random 3 dps you should need. It is almost like it makes sure the average score of the 3 dps is at some level where the healer and the tank have to be above a certain level for different instances.

  11. Vok Says:

    I ran a random heroic the other day with a Pally tank all in blues with 20k health. My first thought was "oh god, this is gonna suck."

    It didn't. He was awesome. You never know...

  12. Jong Says:

    Given the title, I expected a qq post, but it's a feel-good post.

    I read Tamarind's article too. I think you guys make the same good points.

  13. Matheus Says:

    Some people just forget that they were noobs once to. I wiped a raid today on my Lvl 73 Prot Pally today because of a bad pull, did I know the instance, yeah, but I went into the room just a bit too far and got too much aggro. Called "my bad" in group, we did the ghost walk and did it right the second time, one shot the next boss and then the server crashed. ARGH!!!

    I'll be 80 by the end of the week, and I'll be the noob again trying to gear up my tank. I can DPS heroics, but I don't know the tank jobs completely yet. So, here's hoping I can pug with anyone but the tank that started this thread. I know I'm not geared, I don't need someone telling me that I'm not geared.

    I'm not sure about the gear matching in pugs though, we were all sub-80's in my groups today until one of the pugs the healer DC'd and didn't return, we stayed in group and got a very well geared Holy Pally replacement. His comment - "Don't know how I got stuck in this group, but lets go".

  14. Matheus Says:

    Oops, Holy Pally was level 80 btw...

  15. Tamarind Says:

    Good grief! Of course I meant a Tauren. I always unthinkingly refer to Taurens as 'cows' because, well, it amuses me, and I love Taurens, and I think they're cute - but they're still big, goofy-looking cows when you get right down to it.


    Also, yes, you're thinking along exactly the same lines I am, although you've expressed in a much more measured, less frothy way :)

  16. Cassandri Says:

    I very rarely see complaints about people's gear. I've definitely not had anyone come right out and make a complaint about a pugged group member.

    However, I think the source of the "great, we have to carry this Shaman" is for the opposite reason you have concluded with. It's not because the Shaman isn't geared enough for the instance and therefore isn't contributing.

    It's because we DO remember how much harder Heroic UP was when were first headed in there wearing greens and blues with tanks who barely reached their defense cap and were proud of their 25k health pool.

    We know, that as a very geared group we're not really helping that new Shaman learn how to contribute in a 5 man. How can we? Everything dies when they've cast 1 lightning bolt.

    It doesn't matter if they drop Tremor Totem or Poison Cleansing totem at the right time or the right place. When the rest of your party can comfortably handle pulling 3 groups at a time you probably wouldn't even notice.

    It's when I'm in a group that's struggling that I really learn how to handle the tough situations/the hard decisions - is it better to chain heal or do i have time to run out and drop a different totem? can i afford to refresh my water shield right now?

    So yeah I think your tank was just frustrated that a newbie isn't experiencing the difficulty level the way we did. Not much you can do about that though. Still no point in complaining or belittling that player in front of others. It's not like they can help it.

  17. Thistlefizz Says:

    It's a lot more likely that the tank was just a whiny jerk who thinks anyone with a gear score under 3000 is a waste of space. But, maybe I'm just a little too pessimistic about the awful nature of people. I just can't help but assume that 90% of people are just asshats.

    This assumption was recently exacerbated when I posted an ad on the WoW guild recruitment forums looking for a casual guild and the only responses I got were people criticizing my gear and calling me a noob and an idiot. Even the people who came to my 'defense' treated me like an idiot (e.g. hey come on, don't make fun of his gear, he doesn't know any better cause he's clearly a stupid noob).

    I'm seriously sick of all the jerks not only in the game, but in life as well.

    /end frustrated rant

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