Some observations about LFD

Once upon a time, in a server far away……

People used to have to *gasp* put together their own groups. Say you wanted to run Deadmines. You have some guildies who want to go, but you’re left needing a healer and a DPS’er. So you all comb through your friends list and manage to find a healer. Then you had to turn to other channels (literally). I can’t recall when the LookingForGroup channel came into being, but I don’t think it was always there. Eventually, you find a DPS and off you to, flying, running or riding to your destination, because you weren’t magically ported there. Even summoning stones weren’t around at first. You actually all had to GO to the Deadmines under your own power. Then you set off to slay the bad guys. And sometimes it didn’t go well, but you picked yourself up and tried again. If you were a jerk, or a ninja, your reputation could take a serious hit. People on the forums just might call you out so all could know of your misdeeds.

Time passes and the magical system known as Looking For Dungeon is created….

It seems to me nowadays that verbal abuse and impatience are common in LFD these days. My DK was once greeted in a VH with “Get the f$%@ in here” and told to “stfu” when I was like “Excuse me?” Tanks tell tales of hearing (and loathing) the “gogoogogo!” phrase, or having the DPS pull for them because they’re ‘too slow’. I was on my disco priest recently and when we wiped in HoL, the tank begged to be kicked because they got no heals and the healer can’t heal and if we wiped on the first boss, there’s no hope for us. One wipe in a group and it’s not unexpected to have one or more people complain and/or drop group. I’m sure many people could share horror stories of PuG’s gone bad. To be fair, there are good and enjoyable PuG’s to be had, but what sticks in our minds are the bad ones.

I think the LFD system, wonderful though it is, has encouraged some bad behavior to cultivate. People are no longer held as accountable for their actions, so they’re more free to act however they want, ninja whatever and kick people for ‘sucking’. I’m frankly shocked I haven’t been kicked from a group yet…there have been times I fully expected to see a message pop up. And my goodness, what is with the impatience? Too many people seem to want to get through the instance as quickly as possible. I can’t tell you how close I was to making a macro for Endy 2.0 that said “Guys, I need mana to keep you alive. Please give me time to drink if my mana is less than 50%. If you don’t, you may die and it won’t be my fault.” When I get tanks that pause long enough for me to drink (or ask me if I need to drink), I want to hug them and never let them go.  Then there are the people who utter “Gogogogogo!” like we’re in a race and we MUST FINISH NOW! Where’s the fire, Sparky? Why are we hurrying? Is pausing for a few seconds (to let cooldowns come off cooldown, to get mana, etc) really going to hurt you that much? It’s not like instances take long to run nowadays. 15 minutes or so and you’re done.

Wiping means the group is fail, naturally. It’s not surprising to me anymore to see people bail after one. Y’know, sometimes wipes just happen. You get a group of people together who have never met and don’t know the skill level of the other people and it’s bound to happen every once and awhile. Maybe a DPS doesn’t know the fight well, or maybe the healer spaced out at just the wrong time or maybe the tank is still working on his gear and he’s more squishy than you’re used to. Maybe it was the perfect storm of a few things combining to make the wipe happen. Who knows? But it seems some don’t have the patience to stick with it and figure it out. I can (and have) spent all 2 hours of a raid wiping over and over, so why can’t folks take one little wipe in a heroic? Now, there are sometimes when a group is just doomed to failure and yes, leaving may be for the best. I’ve been in a few of those…when there’s a wipe (or two) and some folks leave and it’s just you and the lock and then THEY go offline. But that’s never happened to me. >.>

Then there’s the case of the ‘sucky DPS’ or ‘fail healer’ or ‘fail tank’. If people are not performing to someone else’s expectations, they ‘suck’. I had a tank get on the case of the DPS in a FoS last night where I was the healer. At the very end, he said the DPS sucked. I didn’t even have the meters showing so after the instance was over, I pulled Recount up and looked. Nobody was below 2500 DPS. Except me, of course (I was at 40, I rule!). In my book, if you can pull around 1500 DPS, you’re pulling your weight. Below that, well, you need to improve, but I’m not gonna call you out (out loud anywho. I may think it). Because here’s the thing. You never know what the situation is. Maybe they just came back from a long break or just respecced or they’re distracted by their child who just colored Fluffy green with markers…PERMANENT markers. I try not to judge. If I get a fail [insert role here], I may offer advice if I have knowlege of the class or what the problem might be, but berating them isn’t gonna help matters. Kicking may indeed be warranted in some situations, but I think many people are just too hard on others. Because 3000 DPS in a heroic isn’t bad DPS in my book, but the tank sure thought so.

I’m not saying any of this to propose a magic solution. I’m not sure if there is one. But much likeeAskevar said here, though I’m paraphrasing a bit: treat everyone well and give them a benefit of the doubt or two.

And I’d add “have patience” to that advice.

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About Endyme

I'm a 30-something graphic designer who enjoys traveling, reading and playing WoW in my spare time. I have no life. That is all.
This entry was posted in PuG, Srs Bzns, WoW. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Some observations about LFD

  1. The only heroic where under 2k can really be a problem is HHoR. I did initiate a vote kick on a hunter once who was doing 400 dps [in hhor]and half the time was standing afk. Distractions happens, but there’s a time and place to just bow out if you can’t fill the role. I’ve had to do that before because an instance took long enough that my son woke up from his nap.

    Aside from that, there’s very few occasions to vote kick or leave a group because of low dps. As a tank, I have dropped a total of 2 instances where all 3 dps were under 1k. In one we literally did not have the dps to down Hadronox in H-AZN [900, 400, 300 respectively for the dps]. And I left a H-OK where it was about the same and they were demanding all the bosses when we had to wipe twice each on the first and second bosses :/.

    Oh, and there was that H-ToC on my healer where the dps couldn’t down the champion guys after the joust… They literally could not kill the healer faster than he could heal.

    That’s three instances of problematic dps… in what? 8,9 months of LFD?

    You’re completely right though – and I try hard to be patient with groups [probably extending them more than I should]. Just this morning, I got HHoR as my daily random on Askevar2. We had a new tank – who told us that up front… and he couldn’t hold aggro well enough. 2 wipes and he dropped to give us a better tank. No one was talking down to him… in fact, the healer was willing to give him another go and we were all encouraging him – that’s one tough place to tank! Were there things he could improve? Heck yeah! But a lot of times you can actually learn more from a wipe than from easy success :P.

    And yeah, I like fast instances but not at the expense of someone’s sanity [often mine]. I never queue in as tank, heals or dps thinking “Hey, I want to take as long as I can in this instance!”

    • Endyme says:

      Yeah, I bowed out of an instance once (this was one of those instances I was completely expecting a boot) on Endy 2.0 because I was completely failing in my duties. I didn’t have the mana pool to keep everyone alive in UK, and I was disappointed in my performance. The others would have been justified in kicking me, I think.

      But patience can get you far, I tell ya. Your examples are right on and remind me of when my priest was a noob (both in general and to disc healing) and I said as much in the first few instances I did, just to warn people. I think it’s the polite thing to do, in that case. It just lets everyone know up front to be a little more on their toes. In one case, I had a pally tank that responded with “Well, I’m a noob tank, so we’ll learn together!” I never got any flack from people. I try to be patient with others and hope for the same (but never expect it). But as you say, there are some times when no amount of patience will get the job done.

  2. Lara says:

    I completely agree with you (something I wrote about too).

    Why will people who can spend hours wiping on one phase of a raid encounter freak out and bail or talk trash to a group in a heroic after one simple mistake? The only explanation I’ve heard that’s made sense to me is that LFD allows us to have groups with no personal investment in each other. Presumably we don’t tend to do progression with total strangers most of the time—so we know who we’re dealing with, and what to expect. More importantly, we know we’re going to see them again tomorrow night, so if we’re bad to them now, we’ll feel the consequences.

    It’s wonderful that we don’t have to run to the instance! But that means you get people who’ve never even been to the zone the instance is in. It’s wonderful that we don’t have to hunt for players! But that means you get people who were chosen by lot rather than by skill, by reputation, or by association. In short, the very things that make LFD good for us, also hurt us in a way.

    I do think that LFD has been good, on balance, but I hope in the future we may have ways to rebuild the kind of “community-of-friends” feel that pre-LFD groups had to rely upon. As someone who’s never really had a guild, I’m often at the mercy of the dungeon finder. Couldn’t I still find groups the old-fashioned way? You’d think so, but nobody wants to do that anymore. The ease of the tool has made the effort too great to bother with.

    I’m not a person who believes there is intrinsic value in suffering for the sake of suffering. That said, I do think it’s nice if there is some kind of proxy for a person’s commitment to the group—even if it’s nothing more than being willing to answer an advertisement in channel, and run on foot to the instance portal.

    • Endyme says:

      Ahh, yes. I’d read that post and thought the suggestions you put forth were smart. I’d love a cross-realm friends list and way to get in touch with them (not via-RealID, since that’s meant for RL friends and plus I have it disabled). If we can ignore people cross-realm, why not friend them?

      With the advent of LFD, there definitely was a change in the way PuG’s were run and friends are made. Since I transferred to ThoBro, I haven’t made really any friends outside my guild and someone I know from my old server who’s made some toons on ThoBro. I haven’t had to. Reputation and networking (if you had a guild or not) got you invites to groups back in the day. Now you don’t need that.

      S’why I didn’t try and suggest a ‘fix’ for the problems I put forth in my post. I am sure there are things Blizzard could do to help if they were inclined (some of your suggestions, for example), but human beings are human beings and there will always be jerks out there who try to ruin your fun.

  3. Kanrad says:

    For all LFG’s bad points it beats the pants off how things used to go. Being able to have a new 80 raid raid in a weeks worth of randoms is a lot better than the months of having to beg guildies to drop what they wanted to do and help gear your latest alt.

    Don’t get me wrong I love guild runs. But if all i have time for is a quick 20min run LFG is a life saver. Not to mention it has revitalized all the old pre 70 instances.

    I’ll take the occasional bad pug over the old way any day. Except for the rare war story we can joke about in vent now and again I rarely recall the bad LFG’s. I suppose that’s because most of them are not bad.

  4. kidichka says:

    Being a casual player, and not having that much time to spend on looking for groups, having a quick queue-and-play is awesome! I absolutely love the fast PUGS! Now as everything in life and wow it has some disadvantages. Sometimes I meet someone really nice, and we chat, and try to help each other, only to realize that – no you cannot swap/trade = bummer… Sometimes you get an occasional jerk, but I always think that those lost souls are kids, or mid teens at most. So I do what any mother would, either ignore the tantrums, and keep doing my thing, or tell them firmly, to shape up or get lost. As result, most of my pugs are mostly very well behaved.

    Once the guy tried to kick me out of the group, it failed since the rest of the crew were my whole family. The silly guy kept dying on each pull, naturally – it is tank’s fault! Oh, well, I am well armored to be oblivious to personal insults, thank goodness! My hubby, however is another story, he keeps on reading all the party chat, and getting in all kinds of arguments about this and that, and getting upset, and frustrated. He is very sensitive and the funny thing, he is usually guessed to be the wife (we mainly play female toons!) I always tell him ” do not reply to that”, and every time he does not listen, it yields the same results. I actually never initiated a kick from the group, unless they DCd for a long time, instead I would mute or ignore, and if they decide to drop group, either way it won’t rain on my parade.

    Sometimes I forget to wait for mana, and fully expect a deserved death! But I love my healers 🙂

    Vasi

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