Thursday, December 24, 2009

Drama Mamas and a Second Look at LFG

I'm a big fan of I particularly like the various advice columns, and today I would like to comment on this post from the Drama Mamas. The reader discribed himself as a power player, who tried to get the most out of his toons by using the best specs, rotations, and gear possible, and wanted to ask if he behaved inappropriately in a recent pug experianced he had using the new LFG tool.

The reader and two like minded friends queued up using the LFG too and were grouped with two random players for one of the new ICC 5man. One of the randoms was a DK who joined the group as DPS. The DK wore a mixture of tank and DPS gear and had an irregular spec. On the first boss the DK did about 1100 DPS and did worse on the second boss even though he got an upgrade from the first boss. The group wasn't having trouble clearing the content, the reader suggest to the DK that he may want to check with Elitist Jerks and other sources to look for ways to improve his DPS. After the last boss was killed, the DK cussed out the group and dropped group. The reader was asking the Drama Mamas if he was wrong to offer suggestions to improve the DK's DPS.

In responce to this, Drama Mama Robin, decided to rip the reader a new one. Basically her point was that different people value different things in this game, and it doesn't matter how much DPS each of are doing individually as long as you are clearing the content. Therefore the reader was being unreasonable and elitest by making his suggestions. Drama Mama Lisa was more tactful in her responce and offered some good suggestions, but had a similar opinion in the end.

If you can't tell from my summary, this post struck me a little wrong. I understand the readers frustrations to some extent, and was a little shocked by the response he got. In the end it forced me to really evaluate what I thought about the situation and some of my own experiences using the LFG tool.

Yes, He was unreasonable:

I think it is safe to say that I fall into the "power player" category that the reader describes. Due to my gear and my experience I regularly do double the DPS of anyone else in the party when I use the LFG tool. Oddly enough I've had the same experience on my warlock. In my most extreme experience I did almost 75% of all the damage for the entire instance on Graylo. For lack of a better term, I think it is safe to say that I've "carried" a couple of groups, and to be completely honest that doesn't bother me in the slightest.

I agree with a lot of what Robin and Lisa said in their responses. First and foremost, if you're clearing the instance it doesn't really matter that someone is not pulling their weight compared to the others. Second, it is not up to me to dictate how someone else plays the game. I've played as a Moonkin for several years, and I had plenty of people tell me that Balance was not a viable spec. I didn't like being told how to spec, and doubt anyone else does either. Third, I learned a long time ago that a quick way to get cussed out was to offer unsolicited advice. When you do, you are basically telling the other player they suck, and few people will accept that with a smile. So, to some extent I do think the reader was being unreasonable.

While I have used the LFG tool as Graylo and with my warlock, a majority of my LFG experience comes from using the tool with my priest. He was poorly geared before the patch, and I wanted to gear him up as well as work on a couple of reputations. I think it is safe to say that my priest was "carried" a couple of times while I geared him up, but that doesn't mean I was useless or that the other players could act like jerks. There is one particular situation that sticks out in my mind.

The LFG tool put me in a random group for Heroic Nexus. I still had a couple of holes in my gear at this point, but I was able to do what I thought was decent DPS for a 5 man. The tank on the other hand was raid geared. He had clear ToGC10 and had experience with 25man raids. After the first boss he starts talking trash, and complains that he is second on the DPS list for trash and a couple of bosses. If this was a raid, I could understand his frustration, but we were in a 5man, and he over geared the instance by a mile. On top of that he doesn't have to worry about aggro so he can use his AoE abilities from the start. Of course he is beating me on DPS for some pulls. Shadow Priests are not built well for really short fights, and their AoE isn't the best.

In short, I don't think anyone should be belittled or criticized for having low DPS when compared to people who are over geared for the content. I would never step in to a 5man on Graylo, and tell the other players they are slackers because they can't keep up with me. If I pull aggro, that is my fault. As long as they are not doing anything incredibly stupid I would be a dick to make any comments that were not asked for.

No, He was not Unreasonable:

That said, I do think some lower geared players to need to have some level of courtesy. If you read the post I'm referencing you will notice that the reader says the DK was geared with a mixture of Tank and DPS gear. I'm not a hundred percent sure how the LFG tool identifies if you are ready to run a particular instance, but since he did not have a full set of DPS gear, I think it is safe to say his DPS gear was not good enough to be able to run the new instances. By entering the queue as DPS without a proper DPS set he is making it tougher on the rest of us. What if he wasn't grouped with people that could carry him. What if he was grouped with people appropriately geared for the instance. Because of his lack of quality they may not have been able to complete it.

By that same token, I think every player should make some effort to learn how to play their class, before they take on the tougher challenges in the game. I will use my priest an example again. His gear may have been bad, but I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. That doesn't mean I know what the absolute best rotations and such, or that I am now an expert on Shadow Priest. I complete understand that reading a guide isn't enough. You have to practice some where, but if you don't know what to practice your just wasting time. Though I don't think the reader should have offered his advice, I do think the DK should take a little more effort to learn what he is doing. His next group might not be quite as capable as his last one.


Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with you 100%. I know that Im not the best boomkin out there but I do try and do what I can to inprove all the time. Ive had runs where I was on top of the dps charts and others I didnt do so hot. Not a problem, there is a bunch of diffrent factors in there that couild have came in to play. I personaly think that every one shouldnt be quick to jump some ones butt cuz there dps is lacking due to the different factors.

Ive had a lot of good and bad pugs. When some one is posting meters and talking trash. Yea Ive been known to get upset but you know. We all play the same game. Insted of talking trash from either side. Try to help out in the most polite way posable. But then again thats just me.

Jormundgard said...

I feel the same as you, Graylo, but looking at the comments has made me realize this is a minority opinion, where the posts are almost universally against the authors.

I remember when theory and metrics were no more than a means to the end, as an indicator for why a particular bass wasn't dying, for example. It's nice that more people care about performance, but I find it a bit sad that so many feel obligated to apply it to the most trivial aspects of the game.

Megami said...

All of us were carried at one point, some more than others. I also don't mind if I'm the highest dps in 5 mans. Even if there's a dps with decent gear pull 1200 or lower I know he doesn't have the right spec, or rotation and I almost never say something. I know we all play for our own reasons, and the majority of people probably don't even know there is a "proper spec and rotation".

Inspecting moonkins (of which there have been a lot, surprisingly) is a bit like Russian Roulette so I don't do it often. Once or twice I've tried to gently bring up the subject of The Moonkin Repository, but I say something like "Cool, my main is a moonkin, I think it's a lot of fun. I go to this moonkin forum that really helped my dps, they're very nice and know their stuff."

That said, I think a lot of people are lacking in basic manners and kindness towards others.

Fortitude said...

Keep in mind, there are degrees. My daily heroic yesterday ended up with 50% of the damage for the entire run. While in my bear spec. I know, what kind of a moonkin specs bear for heroics, rite? But seriously, sometimes it's a bit too much to handle. If you're in that kind of a group, the run will take twice as long as it needs to with a decent group. Carrying a person or maybe two is fine, but I'll draw a line somewhere.

And really, if you're being polite and helpful with your suggestions, it's much more effective that a "Go read stickies" approach. It shows that you're actually trying to help them, and if they take offense to it, it's their fault for overreacting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we were all carried at some friends, not strangers. The author on simply passed along Information that would help the DK become a better player. The DK waits until he gets what he wants then cussed out the group and the guy who was simply trying to help him out and carried him through the instance is wrong?

If that's true, then we have some really messed up values in this world.

Hardy said...

I find LFG decent for the most part, but I even before the new system I would get 3-4 guildies then ask in trade chat for any new lvl 80 that wanted to run the daily.

But, I also have pissed off some LFG pugs. I'll queue as heasl/dps or heals/dps/tank (if I have a guild healer and one dps) just to get the group going instead of waiting 10 minutes to fill a dps spot.

If I'm tanking the heroic we just need to run it wtih a bit of cc, but it's fun to run.

Anonymous said...

I always am forced to tank. I pull packs of mobs before the last mob dies and I keep in combat a good 90% of the time. I toss my innervate out to the needy and keep going. People bitch at me constantly to slow down, even if things are going good. I'm usually top dps as the tank which is stupid, but hey, people suck at this game. If they don't value playing good don't fucking queue because I want good people.

And for being carried at some point? No, not me, I don't get carried. I have fucking scholiosis from noobs jumping on my back. You don't play Call of Duty if you go 0:10 every game, you SHOULDN'T PLAY WOW IF YOU DO 1K DPS. The right to brag is something you earn, not something given.

Artofficial-Best Moonkin on Kil'Jaeden

Chris said...

I think there's nothing wrong with a power-gamer who wants to group with other power-gamers. If I pull 4000 dps in an instance, and the other two dps pull 1000 each, I feel like I'm doing most of the heavy lifting, and it takes a moment to step back and ask why this is. If it's as simple and forgivable as players being under-geared (at least in comparison to me), I'm happy to be forgiving -- they aren't intentionally taking action to harm my play experience. If a player is afk, I'm likely to say so and vote-kick if the behavior persists.

In the case presented by the original poster, the DPS wasn't ideally geared, which is fine. However, it sounds like he also wasn't well specced. This is also forgivable in my book, but it isn't a problem that will inevitably fix itself. Offering advice in this situation is the right thing to do for all parties involved. Unfortunately, it sounds like the advice wasn't given in a friendly manner. To quote the article, "I made a comment that if he's going to queue as DPS, it would probably be best to at least have a DPS spec and be able to at least be able to match the tank for DPS." If someone said something like this to me, I'd probably cuss them out too. Approaching the situation in a less confrontational manner is the better choice. Ask if he's tried a blood spec, he might enjoy it more. Offer a link to Elitist Jerks, if he'd like to try it. Don't give him arbitrary goals unreachable with his current gear, and certainly don't berate him for queueing as dps -- the last thing we need in LFG is another dk tank that doesn't know what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

If you really don't want to play with people that "suck", don't use the queue system. Before this patch, we preformed our groups - get people together that match your gearlvl/"skill" (I find the idea of displays of skill in most heroics rather amusing). When you queue, you take a gamble on who you group with. Don't like it, don't queue.

On my main, discipline priest, I will only queue up with fellow guild members. I want runs to go quickly with little fuss; our tank pulls fast, efficiently and occasionally makes it fun too.
My alt, a moonkin, is a different story. I'll get a range of groups; some are good and perform well and some I spend half the time healing while still leading the damage meters. It happens; I don't complain. It comes with the random heroic territory. Sometimes I feel frustrated but that's usually a good indicator to take a break :). Heroics aren't to be taken all that seriously; that's what we have raids for.

Andres said...

I am in the same boat as other "Power Players." I'm geared for 25mans since that is what I focus on.
I don't expect the DPS in my random dungeon groups to be able to compete with me and I certainly don't think any less of them for it. In fact I turn off my damage meter since there's no point in seeing it. It's just a heroic and I want to relax and enjoy it.

I only bother inspecting the Tank and Healer since they are more vital in getting the heroic done.

If I were to put myself in his shoes though, I might have tried to help out the DK. But to be honest I most likely would've just shrugged it off. I have no idea who that person is and more likely than not, will never see them again anyway. So why bother. The better solution would've been just to ignore him so that he wouldn't get stuck with that DK again...

It does sound backasswards to discourage someone from giving friendly advice but sadly that is the best option.

Kring said...

With my druid I you can queue as heal, tank or DD although I have a moonkin and a resto spec. The LFG system is not really restrictive as what you can queue related to spec and gear. :)

val said...

I am going to straddle the fence and say I agree somewhat, but also disagree. The way I look at the options for the player that is specced/itemized incorrectly or is underperforming his/her gear:
1. This player is not playing to min/max, and wants to do things completely their own way. If this is what makes wow fun for them, and they pay their 15 dollars a month, you cant expect them to do any different. In this case, advice is unwanted.
2. This player is a casual player, who either pugs a couple raids or has a guild of friends that raid every once in a while. They want to have fun, but would also like to improve, but not at any cost. In this case, if given properly, your advice may or may not be appreciated.
3. This player wants to min/max. In this case the player may already be aware of things that can be improved. While you may not find overt opposition to your advice, it will probably be tossed aside, with the assumption you are inferior to the internet, or don't know what you are talking about. On the other hand, this player may see you, a player who clearly knows what he/she is doing, and may ask for help. In this case, obviously your advice will be appreciated.

Basically, there is not always a clear answer on whether to give advice to a player, so I prefer to leave players to what they are doing, and play it safe.

Anonymous said...

your 15 dollars might allow you to play the game your way but the rest of the party's $60 says pull your own weight.

I follow a simple rule to see if you are doing enough. would 5 of you be able to clear the instance.

e.g is 3 dps of your skill/gear and a tank and healer of comparable skill and gear can clear it then you are doing enough.

Megami said...

Bad dps I can overlook, but you can't coach a bad healer or tank. At that point I vote to kick. I got stuck with a tank today with a level 79 green as his tanking weapon, and a priest that cast renew and greater heal maybe once every 30 seconds.

Noob dps won't cause a wipe but the tank and healer can't fail. People in those roles tend to be more defensive when given advice, or they're just silent and continue to be terrible.

Carebearz (Dreadmaul) said...

The biggest issue for me is when a pug is running around with NO GEMS SOCKETTED INCLUDING META. It is the least people can do and I dont care if they are SHIT at DPSing, all I care is they put in that minimum effort.

val said...

@anon, your logic is flawed. The rest of the party's 60 dollars does not mean the fifth should be able to do what the rest of the party considers pulling his own weight. What it means is that you four have the same right as anyone to play the game how you want, and have a right to vote to kick the last person.

Seleria said...

I can understand where everybody's coming from on this situation. Personally, I will check meters every once in a while and note people doing low dps. It's when people drop below the 1k dps mark that I start to go "wtf? really?" Earlier tonight I was in a group with a ret pally who asked how much dps he was doing. We informed him he was pulling about 1100, and considering he was in pretty crappy gear, that wasn't half bad, keep it up. The warlock on our group noted that if he switched seals, he would probably have higher dps. Sure enough, next boss he had 1700. We ran a couple with the kid and he kept asking questions, so I looked at his spec and told him "ya know, you're missing some important talents... like 2h specialization. Why don't you check out these sites and do some research. It'll really help." The kid seemed really excited to learn and just wanted to do well. I'm confident that if someone started telling him that he's crappy dps and should go read elitistjerks, he'd probably take it differently. So I guess my position is that it's all about delivery.

lissanna said...

There is still a random NORMAL dungeon. So, if people aren't geared for the heroics, they can run enough normal 5-mans to fill out their gear first.

What was bad was someone trash-talking in the normal instances I ran with my shaman. They were whining about how our DPS was low, and I said "that's why we're running normal instances in the first place & not heroics!".

Kring said...

Normal instances don't give badges nor epics. I doubt it makes such a big difference if you're in full blues. You will still be at the end of recount with this gear.

The gap between the heroic and the normal reward is to big. Normal instances should at least drop EoC.

Gevlon said...

The HC instances were originally designed for newly dinged 80-es in decently enchanted-gemmed quest reward blues and a few greens. They drop ilvl200 blues and one ilvl200 epic. So if someone is pulling this weight he is NOT carried. However that means 1600-2400 DPS depending on party buffs. And not 600.

I ran about a dozen heroics to get gear for my blue project and I was ALWAYS above the tank on bosses (except for a bear who went cat for Telestra)

I was NEVER last DPS where I should be. I usually second. When I point out that someone DPS my half, the others usually say "don't be elitist, he has much less gear than you".

They tell it without even inspecting me:

Vendric said...

The key is to remember thast you are in mixed company with people you have no established relationship with. Advice should be avoided or given with the utmost sincerity.

Another paradigm that needs to be analyzed is the assumption that a group WILL clear an instance. It is a hostile dungeon being tackled with a cobbled together group. As soon as you assume that you WILL queue up, and you WILL clear it you've made an assumption that you can not control.

I enjoy a swift run, and hate a group of nincompoops just as much as anyone. However if the choice was between a group of unlearned, oddly specced folks who struggle and fail versus a group of power players with an attitude who win; I'll take the strugglers over the attitudes any day of the week.


Anonymous said...

A random normal instances does give 2 EoT as a reward for the first one. So they can start getting some badges before they even hit 80.

Though I went straight into heroics on my mage when I hit 80 about 2 weeks ago. Only got negative comments from one person in all the heroics I farmed (a lot full badge/heroic gear now). That person was upset I was in H. VH when I still have lvl 70 epics on. But no one else in the group cared and the dungeon matcher won't place you in the harder heroics (ToC and the new ICC ones) until you get some gear.

- Quota

Glenn said...

I'm reading this at an interesting time in that I'm beginning to run randoms on my paladin at level 46 both as tank and healer spec. I've healed often as a priest and never tanked as anything. I'm guessing my gear to be marginal for either task. Are you telling me I'm doing the group a disservice by dropping into the dungeon finder? If so, where do you suggest I go for some actual experience?

Lee Quillen said...

"I follow a simple rule to see if you are doing enough. would 5 of you be able to clear the instance."

If 5 of you can't...then you are there looking to get carried. If 4 like that show up, it is entirely unfair to myself who queued to an appropriate instance. Everyone pays there 15 bucks, but I don't shout in trade for someone to take my level 20 through Uldaman because I pay 15 bucks too... just as I don't expect someone doing 900 dps to jump in Heroic because they deserve gear.

There are MANY ways to improve your gear outside of instances, and to jump in one knowing you are undergeared (or doing supbar dps) just because you deserve to luck into being carried eventually is selfish when done knowingly.

I carry people all the time to help them gear up. When I do that it is a choice, and they understand that I can only do it if I get the right additional help.

Everyone has the right to play how they want. Equally, everyone has the right to play with WHO they want ;)

Nathan said...

If someone is struggling with a cluttered inventory I recommend Mr. Plow and OneBag. If someone is having bar issues I tell them to try Bartender. If they're struggling to remove debuffs I say try decursive. If they're having trouble tanking I say check out tankspot. If they're having trouble moonkinning I send them here. If they can't make money on the AH I'll have them look up Grevlon.

Sometimes problems are obvious, sometimes they are not. Specs, rotations, best in slot and not hard rules, nor is EJ or Arena Junkies. However, if a problem exists there are places that may help you find a solution. The DK obviously had a problem. So he wants to be Unholy, so he wants to be casual (NOT a synonym for uninformed baddie btw), no problem. Not wanting to be better, that's the problem.

While the reader in the article may have lacked tact, I see no problem with what he did. Had he kicked the DK I'd have chastised him, but as it was, he offered a friendly, and good, suggestion. Had the guy been a healer and apologized for letting a DPS die because he had trouble clicking on the group UI and the reader had suggested he check out Grid then I suspect Drama Mamas wouldn't have railed on him. But, because it's DPS, everyone is super sensitive. The fact is it's just easier to tell when a player needs help with DPS easier than with other things, even if (usually) it's not the make or break factor.

Helping another player improve is not the crux of the casual vs hard debate. Making a suggestion without belittling another player is not rude or inappropriate. We all DO have different things we play the game for, but suggesting a means to make your job easier is not forcing a playstyle or gaming philosophy, simply being neighborly.

Aeiedil said...

I had an awful experience with LFD the other day. Thankfully the DPSer in question came from the same server and so now resides on my ignore list.

It was in Forge of Souls and it was a warrior that insisted on after every pull pasting the DPS meter and being generally annoying. I was healing at this point so I just told him that if he did it again he would get no more heals from me.

So I stopped healing him and even using Wild Growth. Somehow it took until the weird floaty things for him to die (he even survived the first boss just about).

Point is that he totally ignored everything being said to him because he felt he was superior. and resulted in him killing me on the second boss because he ignored me pointing out that you need to stop DPSing at a certain point to avoid killing party members.

If I see a fellow Moonkin doing badly then I tend to offer up advice, asked for or not. I don't go out and say "Hey, you sucked, here's what you are doing wrong", I just tend to question things that look odd in their spec or similar and take it from there. If you take it from a point of questioning then it feels more like a disucussion of alternative points of view rather than outright saying "you are wrong, I am right", even if you know that is what you should be saying.

It can often be something as simple as a misunderstanding of the hit cap after all :)

I never moan at people if they can't keep up with me, unless I'm in resto spec and they can't keep up with my DPS (which usually struggles to hit 1500dps in this instance) (i get bored in places like Violet Hold, have a lot of time to wrath-spam :)) Again if a tank can't hold aggro then it's not neccesarily their fault, if I take aggro on a mob in a heroic it's because I know that when it comes to beat on me that it will die before I do :)

But anyway, sounds like the DK was padding his gear score to get in the group really, and at the end of the day there will always be a few bad apples in the LFD tool. What bugs me is when someone decides that becuase hte DPSers suck they will insult everyone in the group. Especially when I know that if I respecced to Moonkin I would make the DPSer in question cry.

NonElitistRaider said...

I have both perspectives on this having just got my rogue to 80 this week and am hitting LFG pretty hard.

I am the one doing 1200-2000 dps and being grouped with people pulling 4k+ YES the LFG tool does this on purpose, to ensure that the group gets through the content. To alleviate this issue, and to stop randoms telling me L2P noob I let them know that I am working my little butt off to GET the measly DPS I am putting out. I am working harder than they are to get 1/3 of the output. I am using all my CDs, all my tricks everything I can think of to do my job. And I talk in the group, and make jokes as my contribution to the run, to make their time more enjoyable (because they are carrying me, no matter how I look at it)

How do I know this is harder to do? Cos on my main, in my offspec DPS gear, I can pull 5k dps in heroics without trying. So, anyone who says that I am not pulling my weight in heroics has no idea what they are talking about. I pull my weight far less on my main (DPS offspec) than on my rogue (DPS Mainspec).

I think geared people forget what it is like to not be geared/skilled/experienced on a toon.

Perhaps, the reader should have phrased his question differently - asked the DK if he were interested in upping his DPS, and if he were, that he had some info he might find handy as opposed to saying "Go read websites! L2P" Which is effectively what he said. Offense is in the eye of the beholder, no matter the intention of the author.

Jabarj (Aerie Peak - US) said...

@ NonElitistRaider:
I understand that being undergeared is a pain... A dps ends up waiting for LOADS OF TIME on the queue and getting flamed after this is not fun, the problem is some people don't even try... I Remember doing 2800dps on my mage on Brutallus at lv 70 (before LOLPATCH) so being under 2k at 80 is simply a shame... Some people try hard, i'll give you that... some don't even Try.
I Usually run randoms as Bear instead of Moonkin just cause of the wait time and it's ridiculous the amount of bad groups i end up with (i guess it's due to the lack of tanks, it ends up making tanks get grouped with ANYTHING)...

Another day i was with an Arcane Speced Mage with 5 piece t9 (232) and he was pulling 600dps (AND NO, HE WAS NOT MELEEING)...

My point is, the system could be a little smarter to prevent people from queueing for Heroics if they are in greens. Only allolw people to queue as tanks if they are defense capped, not allow to queue as dps on defense gear, that kind of stuff...

I know people have to gear up, but it's not fair when i enter a queue and my Bear does 70% of the damage for the run, the carried people might like it, but i don't...

Great Hug