Back in the Saddle

My sister and I recently started playing WoW again. We took some time to see what else was out there and while there were some good games, we found that nothing really captured our attention the way that WoW does. So we started playing again, only this time with a new perspective on everything. New server. New guild. New faction.

So far, so good… sort of. We found a nice new guild. They’re all kind and friendly, for the most part. The only problem so far (and it’s a doozy) is that a great deal of them, and I mean this in the kindest way possible, are totally and completely terrible as players. I don’t mean to come off as arrogant, but there it is. Now, that in itself isn’t too much of a problem. I can teach you to be better. Assuming, that is, that you’re willing and able to learn. The thing is, a great many of them don’t seem to think that they are the problem. Many of them seem to be stuck in the Wrath mentality: ignore the mechanics, we’ll just bang our heads against this wall, and you can just heal through it. If we fail, we’ll just throw some gear at it until the problem goes away. Wiping on trash? Must be the healer’s fault. Can’t down a boss? Must need to gear up the healer more. Can’t keep up a heroic-geared tank in a regular? Must need to gear him up some more. Meanwhile, I’m sitting at my keyboard ripping out my hair and screaming “GET OUT OF THE BAD, YOU FRICKING MORONS!!!!” Seriously, mechanics mean nothing to them. Interrupts? No. Execute Boss Mechanics? Naw. Manage your own aggro? LOLwut? Crowd Control? Ha, not in this gear.

It’s an interesting thing. There’s a hunter in the guild that is almost universally looked at as the worst player in guild. Now, I’ll grant you that her DPS is really low. We’ve watched her, and her problem is she’s a little slow. She’s not too quick on target switching and there are gaps in her rotation. Eventually we’ll be able to fix that. Meanwhile, she has great instincts about when to use which trap, and she keeps an eye on the healer, sending her pet after any stray mobs that the tank hasn’t picked up. When we work out the kinks in her rotation, she’ll leave most of the other players currently looking down on her in the dust. My sister and I often take her with us on runs, and the guild thinks we’ve adopted her as some sort of charity case. But that’s not it, at least not totally. Sure, we’re helping her improve. That’s what we do when you run with us: we share what we know, and soak up from you anything we can learn to improve our own play. But the real reason we love to run with her so much is that a) she’s genuinely kind and helpful, b) she has great situational awareness despite her reaction time issues, and c) she’s not afraid to ask a question if she doesn’t know a mechanic or something along those lines. In short, we feel much more comfortable in the progress of the group when she is in it. She may not be the fastest horse in the stable but she will finish the race.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the guild’s “elite” rogue, who has until our arrival been looked at as one of the best players in the guild. This guy, until 3 days ago, when I forced him to use it while I was tanking, had no idea what Tricks of the Trade is, and had never used it. He never vanishes or feints when he pulls aggro, which is often since he has a habit of ignoring the kill order. He often messes up the tank’s pulls by running ahead and Sapping things that aren’t marked. He doesn’t even appear on Recount’s Interrupt list. He will happily stand in whatever void zone an enemy has dropped and sometimes stands in front of mobs, soaking up all sorts of avoidable cleave and frontal cone damage. He dies way more than any player should, almost always to something avoidable, all the while laughing about how funny it is that he’s died again. He does good DPS (when he’s alive) because his rotation is tight, but he is hands-down one of the worst players I have ever seen. His attitude seems to be one of doing you a favor. His every word oozes an aura of  looking down on you, as if the other 4 of you couldn’t have gotten by without his rogue. We don’t like going on runs with him because he is a major wipe risk. His inability to play his role in the team makes his dps wasted, and not only because dead rogues do no dps. When he ignores the kill order and pulls threat he messes up my rotation as a tank and puts a strain on the healer’s mana, both of which put *everyone* at risk. Yet, somehow, when he dies, he always looks at it as someone else’s failure. He thinks it’s funny that the tank and/or healer couldn’t save him. It never seems to occur to him that he has numerous ways to save himself. He may be a speedy young stallion, but he’s probably going to throw a leg out in the first half-mile, and if you’re lucky, his fall won’t take any other horses with him.

We’re making slow, painful, yet steady progress with them. But it’s a bit of a culture shock to go from the Tigers, who are both competent and polite, to this new guild, who though polite, are unable to down many of the regular Heroics (for example, Stonecore) despite many of them being in raid-level gear. It’s little wonder, though, considering the sort of advice that they had been getting. Save for a single raid-ready and talented veteran who stuck it out, most of their talent left the guild for dead and started a raiding guild. Unfortunately that player faces time restrictions and fixing the guild is a little more work than he can shoulder at the moment. Until we arrived, the default “guild gurus” (the best of the players left) were giving them all sorts of bad advice. They were handing out little nuggets of wisdom like “You want some Int and Spirit for a pally tank.” and “Expertise and Spell Penetration are ok for hunters.” I still cringe a little.

We’re getting there, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth until they actually want to get better. It has started. My sister and I have pointed out to each other all the little ways that it has begun to happen. Need to know where to read up on your class? Go to us. Gear advice? Go to us. Spec advice? Go to us.  But there’s still a lot of resistance to the idea of asking for help if you don’t know a mechanic, or taking advice when somebody gives you a tip. (Like say “Tricks of the Trade + Killing Spree = Pure Win.”) That sort of help is still being looked at grudgingly. I guess I can understand. You come to terms with your ability level and find a bunch of other people who accept that or maybe even look up to it. And then comes a new guy, who looks at your best shot and says not “Good job” but rather “I can help you get better, if you want.” It’s a reality check, to think that you might not be as good as you think you are. But for those who have the courage to own up and step forward, I think we will be a rewarding and satisfying change to the old guild mentality. Complacency is easy. Change is hard. But the end result is worth the effort. Dear god, please let it be worth the effort.


5 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

    • We’re over on Staghelm, now. Sadly my stable of toons on ThoBro is becoming badly neglected.

      I don’t think it would be hard to get you a guild invite to DragonsLair if you want to help us. There’s plenty of work to be done with them. A couple of guild masters and raid leaders like yourselves would be a breath of fresh air as far as reinforcements go. 😀

      • I appreciate it, but we’ve got our hands full already. And while we’re raid leading where we’re at, we’re also not interested in gaining officership/GMship again.

        I might could put a toon over there though, just to hang out

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