For Saga: Barbarians on Utopian shores

It’s Saga‘s one-year blogaversary and she’s been suggesting post topics for her readers. Here’s the topic she gave me:

… since you’re into mysterious buttons and I know I’ve learned about some blog stuff from your site in the past. How about giving us a list of which blogging add-ons/tools you use/recommend and why? And if that topic is too boring, you can tell us what you do to keep positive when you feel frustrated after a bad day in WoW/a bad PUG. I know you live in PUG Utopia (lucky bum!), but surely you still run into them occasionally. You still seem very positive about the Pugging experience, so I’d love to hear more about it :)

I don’t know if this counts as sneaky or cheating, but I’m going to answer both points as separate posts. ‘Giving each subtopic the full consideration it deserves’ or just ‘shameless padding’? Not sure, you decide! I thought I’d start with the second part — coping with bad pugs, or just a bad day in game — as I’ll need to think a little more about what to cover in the other.

When the UDF fails me

For me the first thing which keeps me calm in the face of idiocy is the thought “what have I lost?”

If I’ve queued for a random then there weren’t sufficient guildies available to put together a guild group. So, without the help of the LFD tool, I would be completely unable to run a dungeon. Ok, ok, I could try to recruit people from tradechat, and I’ve seen people attempting to do just that. I normally relegate the global channels to their own (hidden) chat tab, so I’ve no idea how successful they are, but it *is* an option. But short of putting together a group the old-fashioned way, my options are “queue using the dungeon finder” or “don’t run a dungeon”.

There are a bunch of reasons to run dungeons: for valour points (from heroic dungeons), for justice points, for gear drops, for reputation, for levelling XP, for fun. It seems possible  that too many people are neglecting that last item: fun. I *like* running dungeons. I like running dungeons on my levelling characters, especially in the 60-80 range. I like running dungeons on my 85s — it’s one of my favourite things to do in game. That’s not to say I’ve no interest in the rewards that come from dungeon running: Ano and Cent are chasing valour1 points, and Tremble still needs drops and JP gear from heroic instances, but I enjoy 5-man dungeon running as an activity, not just as a loot delivery system.

Then there’s the question of “need”. If I don’t log in at all tonight, I won’t feel bad because Ano-the-paladin has missed out on 70 valour points. My guild isn’t the sort of guild where failing to acquire VPs from your daily heroic is considered bad form2. I guess my point here is that because I don’t feel like I *have* to complete a dungeon on every play session, if I do get a terrible terrible group, it’s disappointing but not horrifying.

That also makes it relatively easy to deal with people who are obnoxious, as my worst-case scenario — I drop group and take a deserter debuff — doesn’t worry me.

Finally, I try hard not to lose hope and get snippy. When we wipe to EncounterX’s PredictableMechanicY because the tank can’t be bothered to [sidestep/jump/turn and face away/sing the Botswana national anthem] to avoid it, I don’t scream about it. “Sorry, I just can’t heal through PredictableMechanicY :( All together now: Fatshe leno la rona, Ke mpho ya Modimo …” is often persuasion enough, and if the tank goes away thinking she carried me I won’t lose any sleep over it. When it becomes obvious that the not-a-word-since-the-helloes, minimally-geared DPSer doesn’t know the fights in this particular instance and is too shy/embarrassed/boneheaded to say so3 rather than railing at them for not speaking up when they had the chance,4 I just speed-type abbreviated encounter summaries, Gnomeaggedon-style. “I’ll cc the purple add. Sidestep out of the way of Blitz (it’s a charge attack). Kill the boss.” “Sidestep away from Binding Shadows. Stack up on the centre of shadow gale (big swirly thing). When the adds come, you and you take left as we look at the door, you and me take right.” Ok, maybe I’m a bit more wordy than Gnome. You’re shocked, I can tell.

A bad day in WoW

This one is thankfully much easier to deal with. If I’m having a bad day in WoW, I … go do something else for a bit. Obviously it’s not *quite* as straightforward as that — I don’t bail in the middle of a raid if I’m playing badly or annoyed with the healer — but generally speaking, if I’m not in the mood, I’m not in the mood. I can think of many more fun things to do than I can possibly find time for so it’s not difficult to go do something else instead.

Failing that, you can always head to the blasted lands and murder a bunch of slave-driving nagas. Go on: do it for the murloc babies.

Won't somebody please think of the children?

Background for the above image shamelessly stolen from this post over at Revive & Rejuvenate. Angelya takes wonderful screenshots.

Fatshe leno la rona,
Ke mpho ya Modimo
Fatshe leno la rona,
Ke mpho ya Modimo
  1. Am I the only one who keeps seeing “valour points” as “velour points”? I keep wanting to exchange them for a fluffy bathrobe []
  2. if anything, it could be argued we’re a little *too* relaxed at the moment, but that’s a topic for a different post! []
  3. That doesn’t always surprise me. These days, there aren’t that many people who check whether all of the players in their party know the fights in the current dungeon, but so often when the question is asked, it’s done so in a way which positively discourages speaking up. “I need to get this finished quickly: we all know this dungeon?” or “Does anyone (read: any nub) NOT know these fights?” does not exactly imply willingness to teach. []
  4. It’s the vicious cycle. Angry LFDers pounce on people who make mistakes or don’t know the fight, which makes people reluctant to ask for tacs reminders, which means more frequent screwups, which makes angry LFDers pounce on the person who screwed up []

2 thoughts on “For Saga: Barbarians on Utopian shores”

  1. Oh, this turned into a great post! And sorry for being so late on commenting – I’ve been having a pretty crazy week.

    You make a pretty fair point about people who don’t know tactics not daring to ask in some cases. People in PUGs aren’t always known to be the most kind and patient, and I know I’d hesitate to ask if I didn’t know.

    It’s interesting though, because while people are like that in Heroics I find that they’re generally more forthcoming about not knowing something when doing lower level dungeons. Like everyone seems to get lost in Wailing Caverns and admits to it :P (I guess everyone getting lost is why they’re changing the layout!)

    1. It’s funny, isn’t it, how pretty much no-one has a problem with people who don’t know their way around a levelling dungeon but the moment you forget that so-and-so does such-and-such in a heroic dungeon you’re the worst player in the world.

      Also, the second part is coming soon… ;)

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