Posted by: Makakai | February 18, 2010

It Came from the PUG

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted, you wouldn’t believe how much piles up after a week out of town due to work, especially right before a holiday. Also, due to my time away, I’m going to abuse the title creativity of BBB, because it so accurately fits this post and my blog writing creativity isn’t flowing yet. So let me tell you a short story about a pug run I was in recently and then explain how it highlights a common problem…

I queue for a random heroic on my main, a 10-man strict raid geared druid; so decently geared and itemized, but clearly not a progression raider. I pop into Culling of Strat. with a paladin (the tank), a warrior, and 2 death knights, all from the same server, but only the pally and the warrior from the same guild. While we are standing around waiting for the lore to finish I inspect the “tank’s” gear to get an idea of what kind of tank style the pally is gearing for (I’m leveling a pally and like to get a feel for how others gear and talent theirs). First thing I notice just before we start the first fight is that the tank is not defense capped, all kinds of pretty dps ilevel 232 and 245 gear, but only 2 pieces with defense on them. If I’d had any idea how this was going to play out, I would have dropped group then, instead I spoke up…

Me: Uhm. mr tank you’re not defense capped?
Tank: lol. that’s what I just said to Warrior
Warrior: he’s really good I’ve ran with him before

So many things ran through my head at that moment; I should have gone ahead then and dropped group, but no, I wanted my frost badges and this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve found myself in a bad pug. But here is my first mistake, and while overly blunt, is probably something close to what most healers would at least think upon encountering this situation:

Me: Isn’t that kind of rude to assume that your healer is going to outgear the heroic instance enough to keep a tank up that isn’t defense capped? I imagine you have a higher number of wipes and healers drop group.

This is where the whole feeling of the run changes, with the tank calling me all kinds of names for “calling him rude” and his warrior guildie repeatedly going “but I’ve ran with him before and he’s really good”. Meanwhile, one of the dks starts whispering me that they are idiots and not to worry about it. The point that really stands out for me though, is this comment (which sadly I did not screencap)…

Tank: gs<<skill

At this point hopefully you too are doing a /faceplam and recognize the same logical fallacies that I did. To finish the “story”, we got through the run without any wipes, got the extra boss, and the whispering dk thanked me for sticking it through as he was just trying to get emblems for his undergeared alt. I do also want to thank that whispering dk, who while his comments probably weren’t in the best taste, kept my spirits up enough that I didn’t beat my head against the keyboard in frustration.

So let me start with the first logical fallacy of this pug, in case you missed it: this tank was equating gearscore (gs) with defense capGearscore is not the same thing as the stat defense cap! I would have been perfectly fine if his gearscore was < ilevel200 as long as he had the recommended 535 defense for heroics, because there is no healing I can do to prevent a boss from dealing a crushing blow that kills the tank.

The second problem with this pug that I wanted to highlight and discuss was the fact that both the tank and the dps warrior were defending the tank’s gearscore. It’s one of the inherent problems with the current system of gearing in Wrath of the Lich King that players can get the top 10-man tier level of  gear just from running a rapid sequence of heroics for the emblems. So a common response by raiders is to request an achievement link or check gearscores. This results in any mention of gear to be a contentious subject in pugs. As an ironic note, I don’t even have a method of checking a person’s gearscore without looking them up on wow-heroes.com or pugchecker.com.

My lesson learned: I will be using a macro that calculates defense cap for all future pugged tanks and if they aren’t within 15 points (e.g., 520) of defense cap for the content we are in, I will be dropping  group.

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