There are points, I have noticed since joining the community out of game, that the conversations and discussions everyone has takes on a similar light. Recently, the Beast Mastery hunter debate was raging through the community, demolishing things as it went. I did not take the time to comment excessively on it, though I did get in some dicussions, because I figured my “comment” would be a rant as my hunter has been and always will be Beast Mastery. Anyways, currently the theme is the idea of Pick-Up Groups (PuGs) and the use of the Dungeon Finder tool. People are sharing their most horrid experiences (like Thespius) or are recounting the best moments (like Anea).
I have tried to isolate why this surge in discussion could be happening and in my opinion (which I am sure is going to be contested), I believe it is due to a lack of interdependence in groups. Interdependence can be simply defined as being mutually dependent on one another. Thespius said it best:
- If there’s no tank, the healer dies.
- If there’s no healer, the tank dies.
- If there’s no DPS, the mob never dies
That is the concept of interdependence in WoW in a nutshell; but somehow, that idea is getting lost in the PuGs today. Each person is vital to a group’s compoisition but each role tends to feel they are more important, they are the leader, they call the shots, etc. Tanks take the lead of the group 9/10 times, the pull constantly which can leave a healer feeling overwhelmed, falling behind, and out of mana. Tanks who do not constantly pull, find themselves being ushered in party chat by the impatient DPS. DPS who are overgeared feel they don’t need a tank and run ahead pulling which stresses out the tank AND the healer. People, regardless of their role, scream and demand heals, won’t pull without certain buffs and all the while they don’t seem to care that just as they sit there, someone is on the other side taking in the brunt of their carelessness.
Being the healer in most groups, I’m a peaceful person who only requests occasionally that the tank be the one to pull or I reassure the tank that my mana (while not infinite) is going to be okay. So is that to say healers are never egotisical d-bags in PuGs? No, I’ve ran with a few. I once saw a healer in H: Pit of Saron after its release that didn’t care that 2 of our dps had no idea what to do in the fight; the only thing that mattered was that he was in hurry. I’ve ran with healers that yell hysterically after a wipe…I have even seen a healer call my HUNTER an A**hole for not ressing him when he saw me res my pet. He was too sorry to run back with the rest of the group because the tank was a druid who could res (ps. I do feign death and don’t try to hide it).
But what has brought about this disastrous attitude? It is a multitude of things. Firstly, most people who run in prime-time hours are not raiders. You will find that raiders are silent and headstrong but understand the idea of interdependency. Casual or new players have experienced way to many stereotypes of what a given role is supposed to do (i.e Tanks who aren’t capable themselves chain pull like they think they are supposed to). Secondly, a lot of the eager-beavers out-gear a lot of the instances. I’ve seen a priest comment something along the lines of “I’m in T10.5, I don’t even need to be in here with you babies” and he was the healer. It is been a while since I ran with him and my vote-to-kick failed. I told him he didn’t have the right to be a douche because his gear was good and he said…”Yes, I do.”
What kind of defense is there to this display of primitive behavior? Blizzard has put in the Dungeon Guide position which is supposed to be the group leader. They are supposed to “guide” the party through the instance. Letting that person fulfill that role and listening to them would be a start, but that happening would be doubtful. If you feel your character (your personal character) is being attacked or that they simply have too much attitude you can vote-to-kick or leave. Sadly, when we leave for feeling ambushed and overwhelmed we are going to be punished by a 30-minute debuff now but that is 30 minutes of freedom versus 15 minutes of hell. Vote-to-Kick is a worthless feature as 1) you can’t do it until their dungeon timer is gone (some instances dont even last 15 minutes) 2) it has to be pass all 4 people and 3) you cannot do it in combat and with a chain pulling tank…is almost always.
Sadly, my defense is (and please don’t hate) that I try to show them their dependent on me. If a DPS refuses to stop taking aggro or pulling, they will die. If a tank begins to look like a d-bag, I will leave then they are stuck waiting while I mess around on another toon. I’m usually the healer, as mentioned, sooooo….well about that. The whole situation boils down to who can and who cannot handle conflict and work well within the confines of tension. Conflict resolution skills are an impressive skill to have in these situations.
At any point in a group, it is important to remember that you are no higher on the totem pole than your tank, healer, or dps. You are equal. Moving away from this will result in deaths (probably a lot). Thespius refers to this attitude shift as a sense of “Heroic Entitlement”, I think its an old-fashioned case of “I’m better than you and I don’t need you”.
Low and behold they will always be wrong.