Tobold's Blog
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Most embarrassing PuG ever

Statistically I knew it was bound to happen one day. But we are all so used to thinking of pickup groups as being us playing well and some other players underperforming and barely pulling their weight that we don't think that one day it might be the other way round. Last night I couldn't find a guild group for random heroics, it being raid night, so I just joined a random pickup group for heroics with my priest as a healer. First surprise was the random being the Pit of Saron, the second of the new 5-man dungeons, a rather tought place. The second surprise was the people I was randomly grouped with: All wearing full Ulduar/ToC epics, the warrior having 45k health, and the dps all doing over 4k dps.

I was determined to do my best, but I did have my difficulties to keep up. The saronite rocks the first boss throws cause line-of-sight problems to healing, and I was struggling to keep everyone alive. And then I died. Fortunately I'm actually a better healer dead than alive, with the holy priest ability to transform into an angel after death and keep on healing for some seconds without even needing mana. I threw a couple of longer lasting spells like Guardian Spirit and Prayer of Mending on the tank before that ran out. And miraculously the combat ended with everyone dead except the tank, and the boss down.

That encounter set the tone for the rest of the dungeon. I managed to die in every single boss fight, and in the hard fight up the ramp after the second boss. But the tank always survived, and we always beat the boss on the first try. So I ended the dungeon run with 2 Emblems of Frost, 3 Emblems of Triumph, and 2 iLevel 232 epics which were an upgrade for me. And all that reward for taking a dirt nap at every hard fight. Hugely embarrassing! And not a word of criticism from the others, except that the tank had his perky pug out to indicate he was kind of used to that.

So let that be a lesson to you: Don't complain about the other people in the PuG underperforming, because one day you'll be grouped with 4 people performing better than you.
As long as you gave it your all. :)

You should be proud of yourself for doing admirably in the face of really crappy odds. :)
If you'd let your tank die you would perhaps have reason to be embarassed.

Since you didn't you have no reason to be embarassed.

Grats on a job well done!
If you are mentioning angelform I take it that you are holy. I'd advise you to try out discipline instead if you are not raiding with your priest and are needed as an AOE-Healer. For healing 5-mans Discipline is a vastly superior specc, simply because Discipline does a superb job healing the tank and an acceptable job at healing the group while Holy does an awful job at healing the tank and a good job at healing the group. Discipline also requires much less foresight and Reflexes because your most powerful tools are instant.

@Stabs: "If the tank dies its the healers fault, if the DDs die its their own fault" is a nice saying if you are a DD and don't need to know it any better. However a good healer knows that you indeed can be at fault for the DDs dying, because sometimes damage is not avoidable and sometimes avoiding it would mean a so huge decline in damage that the fight would be lengthened. A significantly longer fight could be more stressful to the healer than the DDs taking a bit of damage. (To all DDs reading this and getting a slightly manic smile at the moment: DON'T try this if you aren't REALLY experienced. With less than three years of raiding experience under your belt, stick to avoiding as much as possible.)
What do you call a guy who was the worst in his graduating class from med school? A doctor.

Getting reminded that there's always a bigger fish does help in keeping things in perspective, but you shouldn't feel too bad about succeeding, even if you think you didn't deserve it. IMHO, the only worthy source of shame would have been if you had stopped trying and let the bigger fish take you through the instance.

And no, one shouldn't stop complaining because of the bigger fish. While one shouldn't start hand-holding them, a well thought-out piece of constructive criticism can get them started on the path to self-improvement.
On the forgemaster fight in PoS, line of sight is indeed a problem, but as a priest you can cast Prayer of Healing on yourself, which will heal people not in los.
I fully agree Stabs: the tank lived, the boss died = the healer was OK.

No matter what spec is 'better,' or how hard the instance seems now, they are still heroics. There is a huge margin of error, so that every healing spec and style can get the job done and do it to the satisfaction of downing the boss with everyone alive, given enough player skill.
First problem is you are holy spec'd...

going disc would solve a lot of this
I was going to write a post to this effect, but Hirvox beat me to it:

"What do you call a guy who was the worst in his graduating class from med school? A doctor.

Getting reminded that there's always a bigger fish does help in keeping things in perspective, but you shouldn't feel too bad about succeeding, even if you think you didn't deserve it. IMHO, the only worthy source of shame would have been if you had stopped trying and let the bigger fish take you through the instance.

And no, one shouldn't stop complaining because of the bigger fish. While one shouldn't start hand-holding them, a well thought-out piece of constructive criticism can get them started on the path to self-improvement."

This is quite true. I might also add that playing with players who are geared really well, but who are not 'elitist dickheads' can be a really motivating experience to get better in your own play. At least it was for me before I went out on the hardcore raiding path.
Let me tell you about some of the stupid things I've done in heroics this week :)

I ran one on my death knight and I was in the wrong presence the whole way through. I only realised at the end when the tank asked why I kept getting aggro (oops).

I fell of a platform in forge of souls while trying to reposition an add.

I fell off a platform in the nexus while trying a new shortcut.

I also let lots of people die while healing on my druid because I was really out of practice.

BUT, all of those runs were eventually successful. As long as you learn from it, it's all good. And people who are raid geared should know the ropes. I wouldn't beat up a healer who was trying hard if it was a rough instance run.
@Katsuya: Sure, in itself there is a lot of error margin in every heroic. However that error margin shrinks if your gear is worse than the designers anticipated. Or if your DDs don't care about moving out of the fire. Or if your tank is so proud of his equipment that he doesn't care about avoiding damage anymore. In most PUGs, all of those things come together. I also thought the Arthas-Chase in Halls of Reflection is kind of jokingly easy, until I someday got a group with three DDs pulling 2500, 1000 and 1200 DPS in iLevel 232+ gear. I'm also sure most healers were able to kill the Prince in Karazhan without pulling every Ace that reading EJ gives you, but those probably weren't punished by god with a group where 80% didn't even have heroic-experience. Difficulty (and error margin) is always relative and your only way of influencing it is playing the best you possibly can and pray that the rest of your group put at least half as much thought in it as you did.
As I tell people who apologize for dying [especially healers] or for letting others die when downing a boss.

We're alive, he's not - no big.
Having a good player being the least effective member of a group (while still carrying their own weight) *once* does not absolve bad players of the blame they deserve.

Keep objecting when someone in ungemmed blues and leveling greens does 1k dps! They should either be in a normal dungeon instead, or reading their class thread on EJ.

Tobold's house is hardly glass here. To extend that metaphor, he just got a single window, but I think he's safe to still throw rocks. :)
I top damage in nearly every pug I've done and I'm the tank. Don't feel embarrassed, some players are just decked out in amazing gear and not running their alts.
lol :) its true there's "always someone better"
Everyone has their bad days every now and then. The trick is to make that the exception rather than the rule.

Shall I take it that you find healing challenging again, Tobold? Especially when partnered with groupmates that vastly overgear the instance ;)
Had this happen to me on my alt the other night in Heroic AN. I not only died on every boss but I died in the first 10 seconds of each fight. It was the single worst Heroic run I have ever done. Nobody said anything until the last boss was down and I brought it up myself.

Exact quote after final boss died

Me: I am sorry guys that was the worst I have ever done in a Heroic. I would have kicked me long before the end.

Tank: "I hope so man because that was the most wonderful display of what NOT to do in a dungeon I have ever seen. But all good, bosses are dead and we have our badges, good luck"
The other night, I did just about everything wrong that I possibly could do wrong in Heroic Pit of Saron (y'know, the instance with the most unfortunate acronym possible). My DPS was subpar, I ran around like I was blind on the Forgemaster, I died because I apparently chose to ignore DBM telling me to run away from Ick, and managed to instagib the tank on the end boss by running AT the tank and freezing him. It's not that I didn't know what to do, but I certainly looked the part of the brain-dead DPS.

Of course, all evened out; last night I dropped a group because of a terribly abusive jerk of a tank who started a vote kick on me simply because I had the audacity to zone in after a wipe (that NO, I didn't cause this time) right as he sent a role check to replace the DPS who dropped after the wipe. (For those who don't know, if you zone into an instance with the role check dialog up, the dialog is gone after you're done loading.)

Of course, he was going on the whole time about how Alliance sucks and Horde are so much more mature. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that followed by a dick joke, I'd be rich.
A friend once told me that if the tank dies it's your fault (the healer) if the healer dies it's the tanks fault and if anyone else dies it their fault.

Though tank and healer are responsible for not standing in the fire too.

I've been their Tobold.

That's where the tank had the choice to be cool about it or be a jerk. He chose the latter. The right answer would be, "We got through it, it's okay."
It makes me wonder, who is the best? Out of the millions is there one tank who is just better than everyone else? One DPS that can't be topped? One healer that is more awesome than the rest?

If we're all doctors, who's first in our year? It's not me, I know that for a fact.

I think you did fine, and you'll probably do even better the next time.
I actually got told "Don't stand in the fire" the other day. That was in Allods, and the fire was, I thought, cast by our mage. Maybe it was, but it still killed me.

At least in beta no-one knows what they're doing so no-one gets prissy ;)
On the contrary to your post, I did a random halls of lightning as a warrior tank. I have a 4.8+K gearscore and 40k unbuffed. They all had 5k or more, the rogue with 5.5. I chainpulled my heart out and we finished in 12 minutes.
It happens. I haven't been playing in half a year and joined the new instance pug. I didn't read up so didn't stop dpsing the last boss which caused someone to die. Even though I messed up everything died without a wipe.

But you learn from it. For the next instance I read up on wowwiki, told in advance "first time I'm here" and installed deadly boss mod. That run went smoothly.
It's doubtful, but I will be hopeful.
I had the worst pugger yesterday. He was a holy paladin with zero offhand. When questioned about his lack of a shield or Off-hand he went on a racist tirade. He was reported.
That was a great story! It definitely goes to show that the more experienced players are still human. (Though I still think you did really well Tobold, despite the dying.)
PuG are real crazy. First time I got into Pit of Sauron was on a PuG to the regular mode. almost all where with a mix of 232 and 245, with a couple of 219 here and there.

We decided to do the Pit again on heroics and ended doing all the questline on heroics in a row. Last part running from Arthas was fun!

Really amazing when you find people that know their characters and are just not geared. You really can do hard and new dungeons with joy. It's hard, but so fun!

Was really amazing. I'm really enjoyning the new PuG engine.
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