Sorry this week’s post is late. With the extended maintenance I got distracted and completely forgot about updating. So, without further ado, this week’s dose of etiquette is brought to you by the Looking for Dungeon (aka Random Dungeon Finder) tool.
The LFD tool has made leveling alts a much more attractive option than it used to be. The problem is, people tend to forget that they aren’t raiding anymore and/or that even when you’re small mechanics can matter.
This week’s tip is mind your manners.
I’ve seen all sorts of rude and offensive behavior directed at toons as low as level 15. Yeah, that level 20 bear probably isn’t as good as your guild’s main tank for ICC. And that level 18 priest probably isn’t as awesome-sauce at heals as your guild’s ace healer. Guess what? They’re not supposed to be. They’re still at the stage of their character progression when they are learning. They don’t have all of their spells and abilities yet, they almost certainly don’t have great gear even for their level, and they aren’t very likely to have a wealth of experience to draw from. All of which is why it’s stupid and unreasonable to play like an ass and then get mad that they can’t compensate for it.
Not that being level 80 is any excuse to get rude with your group. You should always be polite and understanding, regardless of level. However, it’s particularly irksome to see blooming tanks and healers nipped in the bud by people who have more ego than common sense. It’s not just about there being a tank and healer shortage and the noble idea that helping to cultivate more and better players at those positions helps us all out. It’s about the fact that every single player you run across in the game is a living, breathing human being with thoughts and feelings of his or her own. It’s about the fact that nobody should ever be expected to be an expert on their class when they’re just getting started. It’s about the fact that nobody should have to be made to feel small and stupid, especially not over a game (which, you know, is supposed to provide entertainment and relaxation).
Whenever the latest hunter (it’s always hunters, sometimes warlocks too – I think having a pet gives you delusions of grandeur) is running ahead pulling things, I always say “please let me pull” or “don’t pull extra adds, thank you” and not “OMG, noobcakes, stop being a huntard, you asshat!” The latter may be what I’m thinking, but it would be rude to say it to somebody, so I don’t. And that’s really all there is to it. Being polite in group is as simple as just not typing hateful things.
The incident that spawned this post – and it was far from an isolated incident, just this was the straw that broke the camel’s back – happened in Shadowfang Keep. My sister – who is already an experienced healer, by the way – was trying her hand at healing on a priest (her primary healer is a paladin). They got to the room with those nasty adds that hit you with the debuff that prevents you from casting spells. Now, if you fight the guards one at a time, you get a 5 second aoe silence on an 8 second cooldown, which is still pretty nasty, but gives you time to throw off maybe 2 instants (like a shield and a renew) and with only one mob, that should take care of the incoming damage. That’s assuming that you even get hit with it, since it has a short range and usually you’d be safely at distance. However, if your mouthy hunter pulls all five, you get 5 mobs, each with its own aoe silence and its own CD and since the hunter made the pull, they go running for him, where they’re within range of the healer. Meaning you get chain-silenced frequently, meaning nobody gets heals. And half the group can’t dps. And you better pray that the tank doesn’t need to cast spells, like say, to get threat. And since your mouthy hunter just made the mother of all overpulls, and the tank can’t get aggro and the healer can’t heal, your group is going to wipe. Period. All thanks to a mouthy hunter, whose response is, “OMG, the damned healer didn’t heal” which the ‘damned healer’ was quick to point out was because she was silenced. By all those extra mobs. Remind me again, who was it that pulled those?
She ended up rage-quitting the group, and who can blame her, because nobody should be cursed at for playing a game. The tank was from our server and he whispered my sister after the group fell apart, which didn’t take long. But what really gets me about all of this is that everyone thought the group fell apart because the healers couldn’t heal through that pull, when really, it was that a dps was playing stupidly and pulling things that shouldn’t have been pulled. Nobody could have healed through that pull.
What should have happened is that somebody, anybody, should have had the nerve to call the mouthy hunter on his rudeness, and then vote-kicked him for it. Which is what so many of us need to keep in mind. Yes, it’s the easiest thing in the world to just drop group, eat the deserter debuff and go on your way. Or to just suffer in silence while somebody runs roughshod over the group with their rudeness. But it doesn’t matter that it’s easier to punish yourself than to enforce your rights. Dropping group should be your last resort. If somebody else is causing problems, they should be brought to task for it. If the vote kick fails, fine, drop group and be better for it. But nobody liked the mouthy hunter, everyone was just putting up with his rudeness to get to the end of the dungeon. So whatever your level, mind your manners, and don’t suffer through those that don’t or can’t do likewise. At the end of the day these people are just bullies, picking on what they see as easy prey from the safety and anonymity of their computer screen. But you don’t have to be easy prey. Being polite doesn’t mean being a pushover.
Until next week, happy gaming… or else!