Posted by: Makakai | April 14, 2011

PUG is the Time-Killer

The Daily Blink: "The Loot Must Flow"

The Daily Blink: "The Loot Must Flow"

If you don’t read The Daily Blink you’re missing out on some amazing “tongue-in-cheek” humor, which is where most of my humor stands… I saw this the other day and considering what I’ve been doing lately in between researching for my next Healing 101 post, it really had me laughing. My posts have been slower lately because I’ve been busy with RL stuff that has left me just enough time most days to get a pug LFD run done on 1-2 of my characters, especially my lowbie alts. Now while I hate to add to the pugging woes posts, new players (especially healers) might find something useful from this post, just as most healers say they pug to get better at healing.

Most of my alts are in the 60-80 level range so I get to run a lot of Outlands or Northrend dungeons and I’ve especially been leveling a holy paladin, a frost mage, a demo warlock, and a resto druid through these dungeon runs. While all of these dungeon runs for the most part are smooth, quick runs in BoA gear it does require teamwork to get through the run without a wipe and I’ve found that the teamwork tends to breakdown in one of the three following ways:

1. A dps decides that the tank is not doing their job in some way, so starts pulling extra groups, expecting the tank to pull the groups off of them.
2. The healer decides that they are not going to heal for whatever reason and/or starts pulling extra group for the tank to pull off of them.
3. A tank decides to start pulling extra groups expecting that they will be able to hold aggro on all of them and off the AoE of the dps.

I have weird and humorous dungeon experiences for each of these teamwork breakdowns and I shall relate one of the more memorable ones to you since I love telling stories and all names have been forgotten anyways so the innocent and guilty alike shall remain anonymous.

Story: I zone into a new Underbog run on my Warlock, the tank (Protadin) pulls the first and what appears to be the second group, he and the mage die almost right away. The healer (Priestly), a dk and I are still fighting the mobs. My response is to soulburn and summon my Voidwalker to tank a set of the mobs while the dk and I each concentrate on a single mob to burn it down, while Priestly heals the two of us. This seems to work and we manage to survive and resurrect Protadin and the mage. Protadin runs to the next set of mobs while Priestly just stands off to the side. We manage to get the next group down and Protadin proceeds to run to the next set of mobs, Priestly meanwhile has moved over near another set of mobs that are patrolling in from the right. This results in an extra large pull, all the while Priestly is just standing there. The rest of the group notices Priestly’s lack of action and poor choice of standing location and requests that he heal the group. No response  to the questions in party chat posed to Priestly and we proceed to the next group of mobs. Protadin pulls the group, Priestly moves over and pulls another group, doesn’t heal and just stands there while the mobs die and the party’s health drops. The group waits a few minutes while Priestly still stands there doing nothing, but Protadin runs on to the next group of mobs which proceed to wipe the entire party. At this point one of the other party members realizes the teamwork breakdown in progress and initiates a vote to kick Priestly (which passes). The rest of the run is very smooth and not very memorable, although the beginning was definitely one of the more bizarre dungeon experiences in a list of bizarre dungeon experiences.

I see a distressing commonality in all of my dungeon situations and that is of players purposefully reducing the controlled flow of the dungeon. The intrinsic problem here is that Blizzard designed the spacing and numbers of each group of mobs with the intention that they are pulled in a controlled manner, one set of mobs at a time (usually with crowd control). When you start messing with that controlled flow of the dungeon, you are messing with the balanced design of the dungeon. Considering the cries on the forums about balance in the game, why do players decide to purposefully unbalance their dungeon runs?

P.S. My scientific mind has in fascination started counting how many of my runs contain each of the three categories and #2 has a distressingly high frequency. I apparently need more Healing 101 posts for lowbie dungeons…

Happy Healing!

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