Friday, October 12, 2012

Dear Matty: Sad Panda Edition

Dear Matty:
Last night, after what should have been an unexpected day of unencumbered play, I went to sleep in a huge funk. I feel it's happening again, but this time, at an even higher rate of speed. By "it," I mean players who are trying to go faster, faster, faster at the expense of other's fun. I went in a few dungeons yesterday, for the first time on heroic with OS, and it was a disaster. Everything that could go wrong did: lag, tanks who pulled every mob fast, etc. I know I almost got kicked, because one of my guildmates told me so. These were the very same dungeons I ran earlier in the day on my OS with even less gear, and did fine. There were some hiccups, but all in all not bad. I had only been in Scarlet Monastery once on my MS, so it's not like I thoroughly knew the fight. So once again, I am faced with legions of players who have been able to play and have set the bar so high for other players who don't have the time to devote to running dungeons or studying every YouTube video like me lonely and sad.

I'm not sure what my question is, exactly: maybe, how do you handle the post-expansion blues?

Sad About the Pandas

Dear Sad:
I completely understand.

Here was my day yesterday:
  1. Hey, let's see what the priest and druid are up to, shall we? Nice, nice. Normal dungeons. Compliments about healing for my priest in the face of adversity. Yup. Yup.
  2. Miss Mage - how's it going? Good? Oh look, no gear, but still, flame on, little girl!
  3. Shaman: hey, girl, want to try some heroic dungeons as healing? Sure! Why not! It's relatively early in the expansion, what could go wrong? People are still patient, right, and enjoying the new content?

Here is what I think may be happening:
Because of the volume of dailies, and Blizzard holding back raiding for a very short time (I do believe they are open now), the unintended consequence is players are chomping at the bit even more. Those who were impatient asshats are made even more aggravated, and more irritable by Blizzard's decision to "Slow Down, Life is to be Savored" theme. And those who just love to play have grown cranky.

At my larger guild, a relatively small cache of players have been spending their time gearing up, and have already worked their way not only to level 90, but with dailies, cooking recipes, and heroic dungeon achievements. That's right. I asked several times today if anyone wanted to go now that I am geared for heroic, but alas, no takers. I asked yesterday too, and I think the day before. This core group has it figured out, and I must admit am saddened once again that I am missing out. Kay is busy, Guarf was last seen lost in the wilds of the midwest, and my other buddy has been preoccupied with some real life stuff, (and in fact joined me last night, but on the second death on the blade-fire-boss in Scarlet had to leave. This is the first time I've had a chance to try some new content with him because of his life stuff, so now he'll probably not want to go with me again anytime soon), and I am feeling the cold shoulder. When I brought this up to my GM, I was told I  am "shy." For those who know me, this is hysterically funny.

Here are some ideas/wishes, they are ones I have wanted before, but see a need more than ever:

Healing Dummies:
The dummies would be set up like a typical five man - each dummie in turn goes through a typical scenario: melee aggros, tank pulls too much, etc. I really need these. I really, really do. I like to heal, and want my shaman to be a good MS/OS kind of character.

Alt Love:
In the time the game as been out, there has been a lot of time for players to raise and grow many an alt. I realize I sound like a nagging fishwife, because Blizzard has done many things to change lives for altaholics such as myself, like account-wide mounts, pets, etc. I love the fact I can move my priest to the new content, and have one of my lesser minions take over pet battles, and it still counts for all. But I need to be able to switch out faster - if the shaman isn't working, go to priest, etc. I just wish I had more access to gear-swaps, etc. Which leads me to:

Ways to Get Gear that Doesn't Include Asshats:
Remember I asked the question months ago, what if gear didn't matter? No one is ready to let that part of the culture of Azeroth go, and perhaps nor should they. But holy smokes, would I love to be able to try new content without the tank speeding through it. I was trying to talk to my GM about a few issues last night, and was told everyone else was "gearing up" so I read that as "and since you can't raid you don't count." He spoke for the entire game in that sentence. Players who are not actively gearing up are second-class citizens. But, sir: I do want to raid. I do want to get achievements. I do want to be an active player. Just because I can't guarantee that I can be there Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 10 does not mean the desire isn't there.

And think of the bigger picture: a cache of players who are geared, feel loved, etc., is a happy guild. These players are loyal, and will work hard for you. I know this to be true from my real life. Make every one successful, not just FEEL successful - that inauthentic self-esteem is bullshit. But really lead and make sure everyone has a place at the table. Which leads me to:

Guild Flexibility
 This will never change, but I have wished for it before. I don't want Zep to leave my cottage guild with my friend, but I would love it if I got to raid or do dungeons with a larger guild. I just wish RL's had a "free agent' button or something where they would recruit your player for a run or raid and have it "count" for both guilds.

The sweet revenge I got last night was when I did choose to leave so they could get a new healer, the tank died again.

Here was the conversation we had prior: 

Me: Need mana

Tank: No I have plenty thanks.

Me: No, I need mana. Can you please wait before pulls?

Tank: Just take care of yourself. I'm fine.

What. The.

One of my guildmates was on Mumble with me, and at the end of the frustrating evening was pretty blunt and said "he's had worse healers." Fair enough. If you know me, I do listen to the criticism fairly. I was awful, and now it's up to me to figure out how to change it.

But here's the thing: I can only change myself. I can only do the research, and try to get gear. If I don't have the infractural support of others, it will be so challenging and fraught with so many obstacles, I will begin to question why I am wasting my time.

So, Sad Panda, take heart. Like finding true love, it's out there for you, and you'll find players who want to play with you, and you them.


  1. LOLOLOL! Shy would not be my take!

    I know, I get gear envy once in a while and think of going back to group with strangers. I did one Coren Direbrew to make me come to my senses and boy did it work.

    I'm sure there must be guilds that just want to take their time and enjoy the trip with everyone but I never found one.

  2. Thinking on this further, I think I expect too much and should not get my knickers in a knot, and just keep repeating; baby dragon, baby dragon, baby dragon!

  3. Good tanks listen to their healers, bad ones make their healers cry :(

    I've done the Cathedral bit of the Scarlet Monastery a couple of times now on heroic and each one has felt like a completely different instance. We had the one where the tank was on a mission to top the damage meter at any cost (DK), we had the sympathetic warrior who asked after pull if he was doing everything right and what could he do better to improve our dungeon experience (warrior.. we all wanted to take him home).

    Then there has been the dps deathknight who I outdpsed whilst spamming solaces during lulls in the healing, 13k to his 9k. The Mage who insisted on standing in every patch of aoe to see what would happen, the hunter was afk for 99 percent of the instance..... the list goes on and on.

    I think that part of the issue is that the heroics are slightly too easy when everyone is in synch so the jerks think they can always steam roll through with aoe even though half the party maybe lack gear, one guy is reading the forums and the healer is trying not to panic as health bars bounce around all over the place.

    1. There needs to be a "good tank bank" where we can find those considerate tanks who are in there having fun and not making healers cry. And your insight is so spot-on- every run is different, and perhaps that is what keeps things interesting. It wouldn't be challenging or fun.

      But still: baby dragon, baby dragon, baby dragon! :)


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