LFD: The Root Cause of our Woes?

I’m just going to go on and on and on so bear with me. So with the Call to Arms mumbo-jumbo we’re hearing a lot of: “The bribe won’t work, I still hate random people”.

The Day of the Dungeon is different than the days of old. We need awareness. First thing when I step foot into a dungeon is to analyze what classes are journeying with me and take note of the potential interrupts and different styles of CC we have. As a hunter, which of these classes will have a CC that complements my traps? I will then see what kind of healer we have, and what type of healing they tend to excel at, what is their “big cooldown” and to look out for it. Then I will take a look at the tank and see what kind of tank they are, do they need time for aggro, are they weak against certain types of mobs. This is basic stuff to help make dungeon runs go as smoothly as possible.

The next step of Awareness is to be aware of the fact that the best way to get mobs downed in an orderly fashion is communication. Yes, there are people out there who REFUSE to CC. But in most cases when I slowly approach a group of mobs (on my druid), mark the mobs and ask nicely, people are glad to use their abilities, and it’s smooth sailing from there. From my first analysis, if it seems that someone has never been in a dungeon before, or looks confused (you can tell from their faces), I will explain various mob abilities, what should/could be interrupted, and also general boss strats and tips that the different roles can use to maximize their performance. People generally understand, and once again smooth sailing. And yes, there’s always that ONE person who seems to have completely zoned out during the explanations and just goes off and does their weird crazy thing, which usually leads to their death.

It’s one thing to explain a fight, but it’s another to actually witness it, so I’m quite lenient on learning curves. Such as helping a tank who helps our guild out a lot do Ozruk. We’ve been in Bastion and Blackwing Lair before so I know he’s solid. He’s just never seen what the hell Ozruk does. We explain the slams and shatters and reflects and jumps and dodges and after a couple tries we get it. In this case, I knew the tank was capable of understanding the fight. Its the people who just seem to never EVER be able to grasp certain mechanics that confuse us. (Feign Death ftw).

The last step of Awareness is environmental awareness. Stay out of pools of things, except for that pool of heals after Swiftmend. If a boss does “something”, run away from them generally. If there’s a debuff or buff to watch for, well…watch for it. Our game is not as fast paced as we think it is.  One great example is Magmaw, one of the easiest end game raid bosses. We took on a strategy where hunters had to stand so close to the boss where we couldn’t even DPS him and just focused on the parasites. Because for that encounter, the parasites are the real boss, Magmaw is downed via chaining gimmick.

So this Satchel of Exotic Bribery that Blizzard is offering, we know it still won’t entice some tanks or healers to queue, because its not that they aren’t being rewarded, its because there’s a possibility they get thrown into a group of dumb-ding-dongs.

Unfortunately, we can not really force awareness onto other people (except via annoying Facebook statuses), especially under the shroud of anonymity that is the LFD tool. Some people feel they are too good for your CCs and that it takes too long, or maybe they aren’t properly geared, or don’t take notice to damage priorities, or they somehow managed to level to 85 by autoattacking. Or perhaps that waiting for an extra five seconds would reduce everyone’s penis size which is seen as unsavoury in the l337 world.

There’s always a chance that someone has never been in a dungeon from 1-84. And somehow they decided to do a heroic? It’s a long shot I know, but hey anything is possible. There could be very young children playing. I think. Kids who won’t understand tooltips, or understand the concept of “attack” or that you have to actually be in melee range, and they press what button “sounds the coolest”. I know that is a lofty dream, we all hope that the “baddies” we’ve encountered are actually just naive kids.

Not everyone plays with Addons. Remember the Age of the Gearscore? That was fun wasn’t it?

So back to “I hate random people”. There are people out there who blame the healer when the group takes damage, or blames the tank for not grabbing threat, but what can we blame onto the DPS? If a DPS stole aggro blame the tank for not grabbing it in the first place because the DPS probably let loose early on, as a tank is supposed to be able to grab enough aggro in the first five seconds of a fight equivalent to a DPS’ cooldown. Healers get blamed when melee stand in fire, or get cleaved, or when they steal aggro and get pounded on. There are also DPS who just wail on a mob because they think they can solo it. Sometimes they can, such as a hunter. It’s not a happy place nonetheless.

Those with an analytical eye will probably be able to see what the root of the issue was. Perhaps a dangerous mob should have been interrupted or controlled. Perhaps the melee should have ran out of the deadly AOE. Maybe the healer really SHOULD have healed the DPS through unavoidable damage, and maybe the tank should have waited for the group. It all depends, but I am sure most of us are able to spot what the error was and will try to correct it. Hence communication. Though it can’t be explained why people just randomly drop group without saying a word. Especially when they caused a wipe. That’s just extra aggravating because you can’t confront them afterwards unless you remembered what server they were on and go and make a low level toon just to scold them.

I’ve actually done that once. But out of caring. It was during a heroic shadowfang keep, we were at the last boss, the one that shoots a cursed bullet at a random person which does increasing shadow damage over time. This person was the only person with a “curse” curing spell but had failed to use it a couple of times leading to two wipes. First the healer got cursed and died, then I got cursed and we didn’t have enough DPS to down the boss. The third time, the curse didn’t get cleansed but one of the lower DPS got hit so we managed to kill the boss. He said that his spell didn’t cleanse curses, but since I have a toon of the same class I knew that it did. But he had left.

I was quite concerned, and also righteously indignated. Of course it removed curses I’ve done it many times before. I began to worry. What if this person had decided to go into a raid and they all die of a deadly curse because he thought he couldn’t heal it. I had to make a character on his realm, and link the spell and ask them to read it. Luckily their reply was “Oh yeah I double checked it does, I just thought it didn’t before.” Phew.

I take it personally when people don’t read the tooltips that are so painstakingly detailed in every spell. It’s as if I bought you a brand new phone but you say “oh no it doesn’t make calls”……errr…what?

Now what was I talking about? Oh yes, dungeons right?

Dungeons are long and tedious nowadays. I’m sure most of us at one point or another have strolled up to the next trash mob and just wanted it over with, rather than appreciate what deadly abilities they had. So maybe its the whole dungeon design itself. Especially when the group has crowd control down pat, it just becomes brainless again.

We want dungeons that will kick our asses down the street, and not be aoegogogo-fests. Of course with improved gear, our asses get kicked a shorter and shorter distance each time we upgrade. From an immersion perspective, we want dungeons to be fantastical places within the world, rich with lore and details (well maybe that’s just me). Dungeons with too many trash mobs end up being too tedious regardless of what role you are playing (yeah I’m talking about YOU Grim Batol!). Though dungeons with no trash are completely unimaginative (*cough* yeah YOU TOC!).

Is it the fear or judgement? “If people take damage, they’ll hate me as a healer”, or “Crap if I can’t keep aggro on all these mobs I’ll be judged as a weakling”. Think of all the Nightmare PUG stories you’ve heard. People acting out beyond reason or logic. Sometimes you’ll be in a wonderful group where everyone knows their role, everyone also makes sure everyone else knows what they’re doing and you’re good to go. But sometimes you’ll get people who just love to cause grief and misery to others, or people who just ignore their key skills or …who knows what they are up to?

So why do people act this way?

Pre-cata heroic content is so easy now that people are easily tricked into thinking that dungeons are just loot machines that you steamroll through with four other people. Tanks can pull whatever they want and their HP never drops below 75% and healers can do whatever they want and even deal damage and their mana never drops.

Come Cata heroics, they see their HP drop continuously and their mana pool depleting, the DPS are wondering what these weird marks on mobs are and are frantically opening up their spell books to try to find spells asked of them. Things are “hard” now. People leave, and quit. The tank is taking too much damage, they must suck. I must leave. The healer can’t keep up, they must suck, I must leave. The tank and heals aren’t letting us survive, they must suck, I must leave.

NO, that’s how the new dungeons are designed COME BACK!!@# Yes, all throughout your levelling process **whoa these crows totally bombared my window**..anyways real life interruptions resolved…yes, even though all throughout your levelling process you were used to facerolling through content we uhh… kind of want you to take things seriously now and L2P cause…umm well… this part of the game is not for you…or you can change your play style so it is! It’s for the people who complained about the stuff you levelled through so easily so they can have some fun.

Say whaat?

Hmm, so we want people to understand Crowd Control. Let’s implement the idea early on, say at level 1.

Say you roll a new human rogue. He comes with two abilities. Sinister Strike, and Kick. Right when your cute little cinematic is done, an angry level 3 mob is casting a long spell at you, you must then figure out to use kick or you die. And once you die, your corpse is sent all the way to the Moonglade and you have to WALK all the way back to to your corpse. This will give new players enough time to realize that they should have used KICK on the mob, saving them the two hour or so walk across the ocean back to their body. Make it harsh, Vanilla players will LOVE THIS. Heck, code in a hill that never ends for 10 minutes just for kicks. Every class that has any sort of CC or interrupt must learn this harsh reality early on or they die. Horribly. And the user interface will continue to mock them “wow you’re such a p*ssy for dying how come you’re so incompetent you can’t even control a simple mob?” all throughout their corpse run.

For the lower levels, we can add some new MANDATORY quests where a player will group with four NPCs from a neutral faction. This gives us the excuse to berate them when they make a mistake. Perhaps send them on a mission to trap or interrupt, or stun or continually harass a certain enemy mob and if they fail the NPCs can then yell across the region “WOW YOU SUCK AS A ROGUE YOU HAVE FAILED THE BROTHERHOOD” or “IF THAT STUPID HUMAN WOULD KEEP THE HEALER OFF OF US WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS RIGHT?” This will please the hardcore players so when they level up their new toons they can be proud that The Brotherhood never yelled at them.

Make the lower level dungeons HARD. I believe a paladin tank can solo their way up to level 85 in dungeons without breaking a sweat. Heck any class with buttons can….

Ragefire Chasm? Have the last boss slowly approach the group, pulsing an AOE fire attack occasionally. You can only run in when he has stopped AOE’ing. Make it so there’s no possibiliyt EVER of running into a group of mobs and AOE’ing them down except for the occasional novelty groups. Such as ghouls or troggs. We need to condition new players, and recondition existing players. Currently, if you die in a dungeon its more like “LOL OOPS RES ME”. I say when we die, a giant “FAIL” banner slowly slides across the screen along with the appropriate failure music. Once everyone becomes adept at Cc’ing, kiting, slowing, interrupting, stunning, you name it, then the players can decide how much of it they can get away with.

One great way this idea could have been implemented is through the “elite” quest mobs in Cata. You know how it usually goes, you do a short chain that eventually leads up to some “elite” mob which you can probably AFK autoattack through. As the new quests nowadays don’t even require a group to complete, why not let the player hone their skills alone? I was helping a friend through Shadowmoon Valley and was surprised when he shared a quest that suggested (3) players to complete. I arrived at the quest location and it was rife with mobs. Good days? I know, the issue was that we can’t seem to find a group to do quests anymore, but it doesn’t mean that the solo quests should be easy as pie.

Yes of course we must keep the game fun, but the difference in difficulty for a player to succeed at end game and how the process in which they got to end game is too drastic. You literally go from having your healer have UNLIMITED mana going afk baking cookies to HOLY CRAP I CAN’T KEEP UP I MUST READJUST MY ENTIRE PARADIGM. Seriously, on my resto shammy, who is now 65 I don’t remember my mana dropping to below 95% except for when we accidentally pulled the ENTIRE bottom floor of LBRS and only the did it go down to maybe 85% /sadface

I don’t even know who the game is trying to cater to nowadays. “Casual” players who eventually have to toughen up to survive end game, or previous end game people complaining about the annoyances of the old world?  Its definitely hard to find a middle ground. But I know what can solve all our problems.

The answer lies within Karazhan.

Turby the Still Needs Arcane Crystals

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