Another Dungeon Finder story

19 March 2010 § 6 Comments

Admit it: we want Dungeon Finder stories to be about the  underdog proving he can tank/heal/dps way above his/her gear, and thus teaching the elitist pricks that doubted his/her ability a valuable lesson. We want them to be something like this, or like all the story that are popping up in the new Classified column at – a feel-good tale that Hollywood would like. I guess I’m just not that lucky, and get stuck with more traditional stories.

The time: yesterday. The place: Halls of Lightning PuG. I zone in with Tsark, and see a warlock in T10, a rogue in ICC gear, a hunter and a DK. Now, clearly, the tank has to be the DK, except he’s sporting 22k health with Fortitude. No problem, I think, he must be in dps gear. Then he says: “Ready?” and moves for the pull, and his health is still in the 24k region. Oh well, it’s HoL, I’m certainly geared enough to keep a new tank up, let’s see how it goes. I choose not to say anything, mostly because I don’t want people to leave group – I want to be able to finish this run and tell them: “See? You don’t need 40k health and ICC epics to do Heroics”. Of course, the dps have not even looked at the tank’s gear, and open up immediately with their AoE attacks on the first big group. I heal all of them, except the rogue that gets to help Loken redecorate the floor of his instance. As I rez him, I try the cautious approach, stating something like “if you haven’t noticed, our tank is a bit undergeared, so maybe we can wait a bit before unloading dps, and help him all the way we could?”.

The reaction is actually encouraging – a few grumbles, but mostly acceptance. So we keep going, get the first boss down and move to the Slag room. Throughout this time, the warlock has more healing received than the tank – it seems his entire action bar is nothing but seed of corruption, and our tank must have forgot to train D&D, so the mix is quite explosive. I don’t mind too much – if nothing else, it spices up a run that is normally quite dull. After that first rogue death, no-one else dies. We’re going a bit more slowly, but hey, that’s fine. In the meantime, I inspect the tank, and discover that his gear is worse than I thought: quest reward blues (with one green) and a weapon out of Forge of Souls. The gear is also ungemmed and unenchanted. I don’t know whether he’s def capped – he may well be, or at least he doesn’t get insta-gibbed by bosses. At the same time, enchants, even cheap ones, can add some considerable amount of stats – as do gems (although, in fairness, it was only a couple of gem slots anyway). Let’s not even talk about low-level craftables (Titansteel, how long I used thee).

So anyway – slag room. I brace myself for pain suppressing the tank, and hope that the rogue can survive with his own tricks (Cloak and whatever). However, I’m surprised to see the tank stop in the middle of the room and move to a side alcove. While I hang back and heal, some of the dps moves forward to the stairs, and gets more mobs. So the tank now has to run to get the new ones, ends up on the stairs, and promptly explodes when all the slags die on him. I pick him up, and watch in increasing astonishment as: a. the tank gives crap to the dps , because they didn’t “stop where he did”; b. the dps retorts that he should have gone “to the right spot” (which I presume is the stairs, arguably the right spot because a Titan came down one day and decreed “thou shalt tank the slags on the stairs and on the stairs only”); c. a window pops up, announcing someone started a vote to kick the tank.

I vote no, the vote passes anyway. As we queue again for another tank, I question the dps and of course, the excuse is “we were going too slow, we couldn’t reach our dps potential”. The possibility of not needing 6k+ dps in Halls of Lightning is not, apparently something that was considered.

So why am I blogging about this? Mostly, because the whole run left me with a strange feeling. I don’t think I personally could have done things differently: I tried to heal the tank and the group, and on average, did a decent job at it. I also voted “no” to the kick – because I’m stubborn, and want to finish stuff I start. Was the dps to blame? Yes, because they all voted yes to kicking a tank who was, in the end, not worse than the average DF tank – they were just looking at gear, and lamenting the fact that they had to push more than one button to get through a Heroic. Was the tank the victim? Not really – no crafted gear, no enchants and no gems really is asking for it, when you already are a fresh 80. Money to get the crafted gear is really not much of an issue these days, or shouldn’t be at least. Also, his tanking was less than spectacular: more often than not he would miss mobs in groups, which would proceed towards me until the first seed of corruption popped, or I faded, when they would go towards the warlock.

All in all, I think it’s the same old story: mismatched expectations, very different levels of interest in doing things in a slightly more difficult way – and a lot of miscommunication. If the tank had recognised that his gear wasn’t very good, and that he hadn’t had the time/money/inclination to gem and enchant it, we all might have laughed with him and kept going. If the dps had been a bit more mature about spending 5 mins more in the instance (which we ended up doing anyway, while we waited for the new tank), we could have gone through the rest fairly easily. Alas, we all reverted to easier schemas of communication – and the consequences might be minor, but it still disappoints me…

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§ 6 Responses to Another Dungeon Finder story

  • puggingpally says:

    It is disappointing when folks won’t even give a new tank a chance, but as you said, he could have tipped the scales himself by being a bit more proactive about gems/enchants.

    “Thou shalt tank the slags on the stairs and on the stairs only” made me laugh.

    p.s. I know we ran into each other in SAN probably over a week ago now, but I didn’t know then that you’re a strict tens raider. I haven’t written as much about it in my blog but I am, too. *secret strict ten handshake?* That must be something like a really, really firm handshake. Because it’s “strict.”

    • Tsark says:

      Hey Vid, what’s your character name in SAN? Also, while I do 10-man hard raiding, I don’t do strict: some of my raidmates have ongoing 25-man raids, so we don’t qualify 🙂

      • puggingpally says:

        Her name is also Vidyala, because I wanted to keep it simple! I may be deleting and re-rolling her though (same name, different class?) Altitis knows no bounds.

        Oh well, about the strict thing, a few of our folks still run the 25s as well – just a few less than yours I suppose. But I don’t really see it making a huge difference. It’s an arbitrary measure in any case. The only reason we try to stay “strict” is that it seems to help with recruiting on occasion. 🙂 We’re not all “holier than thou” about it, haha.

  • Itanya Blade says:

    To show up to tank, even a heroic, with unenchanted and ungemmed gear is an insult to anyone you want withyou.

    I tanked on my DK when she first hit 80, but I made sure I had decent gear for it. I knew that I wouldn’t be as well geared as soome. And yes, I had some blues and some greens and no crafted gear. Maman was my 4th 80 after all, but I made sure I had what I needed to tank.

  • squiglet says:

    While I agree to quite a lot of this post (loving the blog by the way, one of my better ‘more recent’ finds), I have to say that if you’re going to do something unusual in tanking (like only pulling half way) it might not be a bad idea to say so.

    Certain dungeons have their own little ‘habits’ that most players do. Most players take the left fork first in Nexus, most players stop half way in the zombie gauntlet in CoS, most players stop at the stairs in HoL. That’s not to say it’s law, but when most people are subconsciously tuned to these things, it’s quite a jolt to see a tank go in a different direction. That said, sleepy DPS = bad DPS, so they probably should pay attention.

    Personally I don’t mind having low HP tanks. I’m so bored of just dumping a Renew on a 50k HP tank then going AFK. And people who whine about tanks “only” having 24k HP – remember back at the start of Wrath when 24k HP was actually quite impressive? Bah.

    • Tsark says:

      I don’t disagree with you – but honestly, this was just the dps looking for an excuse to vent their frustration. My point was just that all of us could/should have done more to make that group work – and didn’t.

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