When do you say, “enough”?

March 29, 2010 § 6 Comments

First, a quick 5-man fail PuG story.  Then a 10-man fail PuG discussion.

I’ve been working on my shaman’s DPS set, in case I need to swap roles during a raid for any reason.  Because of that I’ve been queuing as DPS so that I can also get practice as enhancement.  I’m finally feeling the long-queue wait pains that DPS folks have been facing recently.  There were multiple almost-starts along the way, but someone would decline and I’d go back to the top of the queue.After nearly an hour hanging out in the queue I finally zoned in to the Nexus.  There were multiple almost-starts along the way, but someone would decline and I’d go back to the top of the queue.  I was unamused that it was the Nexus, but I sucked it up and stayed. (I hate the Nexus because for some reason, the color scheme makes it hard for me to distinguish the enemies from the environment.)  The group makeup was me (enhancement shaman), a marksmanship hunter, a subtlety rogue, a protection warrior, and a restoration druid.

Right from the start it went badly.  The hunter decided to take it upon himself to pull extra mobs.  The tank called him out on it.  It wasn’t in the most polite way, but he certainly wasn’t being a jerk about it.  He just very clearly and directly told the hunter to stop pulling.  The hunter decided not only to deny that he’d been pulling extra mobs, but that it would be fun to pull even more extra mobs.

When we engaged Grand Magus Telestra the hunter went back out into the hallway and pulled the extra packs of mob back into the group while we were fighting her.  Even though we didn’t wipe, it was really obnoxious.  This of course set the tank off.  The warrior and the hunter spent the rest of the time yelling at each other.  They were still fighting when we got to Anomalus.  The warrior then did one of the strangest things I think I’ve ever seen an angry, retaliating tank do.

As a form of retaliation he engaged Anomalus and proceeded to kite him away from us.  Back down the ramps, across the platforms, and back towards the hallway we’d just come from (where Telestra was).  And I know it was retaliatory because he made a point of telling us, “I’m doing this to annoy the hunter, and because I think it’s funny.”  The warrior got Anomalus a good way away from us and by the time we were able to catch up he’d gathered up additional packs and Anomalus had opened a bunch of Chaotic Rifts and tons of angry mana wraiths were coming through the rifts.

I know that some groups actually do this kiting technique on purpose for the achievement.  But they usually don’t also aggro as many extra mobs as possible, and then laugh about making it hard on the hunter.

The hunter died, followed by the warrior.  But the rogue, druid and I managed to take care of the rest of the mobs (shaman tank ftw!).  The hunter and warrior continued their pissy bitch fest.  Finally I gave up and said, “Look I can’t deal with this anymore.  I know it will be easy to replace me as dps, but I’d rather eat the debuff then put up with this nonsense anymore.”  And I dropped group.  The healer dropped group too.  (It took me a second to get from typing to clicking ‘leave party’ and in that time I saw him drop.)  I’m willing to bet the rogue left as well.  And I doubt that the hunter and the warrior even noticed through all their bickering.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they did their corpse run, got all the way back, pulled the first group, died, and then got mad at the departed healer for letting them die before they realized anyone was missing.


Then this evening I was supposed to continue the Icecrown Citadel raid I had been a part of on Thursday.  Unfortunately some of the folks from the earlier group weren’t able to make it, and others were late so we had to PuG 3 people.  We got the first guy, and decided to wait 5 min past raid start time to see if the late folks would show up.  Of course during this time the druid we PuGed kept bugging us saying, “invite so-and-so dps he’s good” or “bring so-and-so he can heal”.  Even though we’d already told him we were waiting.  Sadly, the late people didn’t show up so the raid leader finally picked up the druid’s suggestions for dps.  A death knight and a warlock joined us.  They were all from the same guild, so they knew each other.

I knew it was going to be frustrating from the moment they all (finally) logged into vent.  One of them said, “Hey [warlock’s name]!” And the warlock replied, “Hey slut.”  And the first person replied with, “haha, you’re the slut, bitch.”

v_v (that’s my unamused face)

But it was past raid start time, and I just wanted to get an attempt at Rotface in before it got even later.  So I kept my mouth shut and plugged along.  We’d already cleared up to Rotface (including Festergut), and just had to deal with the trash that had re-spawned.  The death knight and the warlock then proceeded to go back and forth in vent about who had better dps.  It got to the point where the raid leader had to step in and say, “the only dps that matters is the boss fight.”

As we continued on the death knight and the warlock continued to act like…well like children.  And they couldn’t have been much older than 16.  I hope.  They used horribly foul language, ragged on each other heavily and crudely, whined about this that and the other and just generally acted like fools.  At one point I decided to put them on mute, and did it right as the DK said something so foul in vent that the raid leader said, “Language! Man! I mean, come on!  I know I didn’t say anything when you joined but this is a moderated vent.  We expect you to speak with some level of decorum.”

We finally made it to Rotface and two of them (the lock and the druid) hadn’t ever done the fight.  The DK claimed to have downed him twice, but his stats didn’t reflect that he’d ever killed him.  During the time the raid leader tried to explain the fight, the lock and the DK kept talking over him, saying really crude things.  To give you a sampling, at one point they had a tangent about ‘going gay for Rotface’ and all the sexual things they would do to him.

v_v (remember–unamused)

Each of the attempts went horribly awful.  We tried 4 times I think.  I don’t really remember because I was so pissed off that I couldn’t really think straight.  After the first attempt the lock and the DK complained and bitched and moaned about how they didn’t get any healing (which they did–I know, I healed them) and that the little oozes didn’t get taunted off of them (the little oozes are not tauntable).  Then they decided to rag on the poor druid, who we discovered was only 12.  They really laid into him and embarrassed him.  I was embarrassed for him.  Even though he wasn’t pulling the numbers needed, he was by far the most mature of the group so I felt bad for him.  Their mocking must have gotten to him because eventually he dropped group.  I don’t know the specifics of how his departure went because my internet crapped out for a few minutes, but when I came back he was gone.  My guess is his friends shamed him into leaving.  It was sad.  I wish him well.  Even though he wasn’t quite able to pull enough dps, I’d still invite him at least to the first 4 bosses that we have on farm, because even though his play style could improve, he was certainly mature enough to handle it.

His so-called-friends on the other hand wouldn’t know maturity if it ran over them with a truck, climbed out of the truck, kicked them in the stomach, and then lit them on fire.

Seriously, it was so bad that I just couldn’t focus on my healing duties because I was so irritated.  They made an already frustrating fight nearly unbearable.  After the 4th or 5th failed attempt the DK and lock finally dropped group, but I (and others) were already so frustrated that we just decided to call it a night rather than getting more PuGers.

For some reason the lock and the DK hung around in vent after they dropped group and just wouldn’t shut up and were acting like asses, so I left vent and the raid group.

But then I got a whisper from the raid leader that he’d booted them from vent and asked me to sign back in.  So I did.  And we proceeded to talk about the evening. (We being the raid group minus the PuGers.)

Before we moved on to the strategy of the fight the raid leader apologized for the poor quality of the PuGers and said that he’d been on the fence about booting them but because we were past raid start time, he didn’t want to hold us all up so he let them stay in the group.  But then everyone else in the raid then said something to the extent of, “I felt the same way!  I didn’t want them to be there because they were so obnoxious, but I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ who holds up the entire raid group just because they can’t deal with a couple annoying players.”

We all had a good laugh about it and were able to shrug off the frustrations of the night, but it did get me thinking.  At what point do we say, ‘enough is enough’?

It’s actually a pretty big question.  As I think about it, I can’t help but think past the game, and into the real world.  When do you put your hands up and say “Stop, I can’t take it anymore!”?  For now I’ll just stick to the game, but I may do a part two where I expand on this thought into more real-life situations.

Anyway.  What is the limit?  How much abuse and bad behavior are you willing to tolerate in order to progress through content, finish a random 5-man, or get a battlegroup completed?

We’ve all had our fair share of awful pickup groups.  In fact, a quick Google search of ‘fail pug’ produces nearly 400,000 results.  Bad PuGs are an unavoidable part of Warcraft.  At some point in the game, if you run with other people, you will encounter players full of fail.  And most of the time it’s just the every day average fail like standing in a fire, tanks who out dps the dps, melee hunters, death knights of any kind, warlocks with no pet out, etc.  But every now and again a certain…frustrating type of person pops up.  I’m talking about the person who treats everyone around them like an NPC.  The person who bitches and moans and criticizes every tiny mistake anyone else makes, while never owning up to their own.  The person who spews the type of petulant bile that would make Frank Collin squeamish.  The person who is only looking out for number one.

What is the risk/reward analysis that you apply when dealing with these people?  Is it worth putting up with their abuse if it’s only for a quick 15-20 minute random heroic?  Are you willing to tolerate them saying racist, homophobic, rude, or crude things if you get some emblems out of it?  I suppose it’s fairly easy to think that as long as the group progresses forward then it doesn’t really matter what they do or say.  I mean, why should you be bothered if everyone gets their emblems, shards and rep in under 20 minutes, even though the tank called everyone and everything ‘gay’ and said really racist things?

And if you stand up to these people, what is there to gain?  You’re unlikely to change their actions and opinions right then and there.  And it’s also unlikely that they will change their behavior in the future.  They’ll just think of you as the annoying whiny prima donna who held everyone up.  What’s worse is that the other group members will probably think the same thing.  After all, if you just shut up and took it, the group wouldn’t have taken so long.  By standing up to the bully, instead of them thinking of you as brave, they will think of you as a jerk and a time waster.

Personally, and I would not be surprised if I get flamed for this, I have decided that I am not going to put up with it anymore.  I know that occasionally this may mean that the others in the group have to suffer to some extent but I’m no longer going to let people get away scott free.  If someone acts like a real jerk in a random heroic, I will stop, and ask them to stop acting like that (in /whisper).  Then if they shape up, we can progress as normal.  However, if they continue to behave like a horses’ ass then I will let the party know that I am not going to put up with the behavior of said horses’ ass.  I will then give them the option of vote/kick or me leaving.  If the jerk stays, I leave.  If the jerk is booted, I’ll stay and queue for a replacement.  If they decide to vote/kick me, then so be it.  At least I won’t get a deserter debuff.

I know that even if everyone stood up to jerks and didn’t let them get away with crappy behavior that there would still be jerks in the world, but I’d be willing to bet that there wouldn’t be as many.  And there’s also the chance that some of them might actually learn that the way they are acting is an inappropriate way to behaving.  And then maybe they wouldn’t keep acting that way.  And then, maybe, just maybe, there would be less fail PuGs.

Although, if there weren’t fail PuGs, bloggers wouldn’t have nearly as much to talk about.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


§ 6 Responses to When do you say, “enough”?

  • Len says:

    There are a lot of things I will put up with in a pug – really shoddy dps, bad gearing or spec choices, people not knowing their skills/buffs, not knowing the fights but not saying so, going afk without saying anything. I am more than willing to give people a chance and try/

    However rudeness in any form is something I won’t put up with. I will usually warn them once (or tell them what they did that I find rude and unacceptable) and if they continue, I will leave. I’d rather a 30 minute debuff than put up with disgusting behaviour.

    Fortunately for me, I don’t pug raids and my battlegroup is pretty good so I don’t have to do it often 🙂

  • eternalised says:

    Great post. I feel really sorry for that druid. Usually I have the feeling is people try that trying alone is good enough for me. I mean, I’m also trying. We’re not all hardcore or experienced at all things WoW. I may have run the Nexus a bazillion times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occassionally make a mistake there. It’s really stupid if your so-called friends make you feel terrible while you are playing a game you enjoy, and also because it’s in front of other people.
    I’ve had my fair share of terrible Pugs. But if people try, if they are mature and give it a shot, then I will never call them terrible or even drop group for it. I mean, if we whipe in heroics, that isn’t a reason for me to quit. If someone is rude or constantly pulls aggro just for fun, those will be reasons for me to drop group. As Len says, bad dps, bad gearing or spec choices, ppl not knowing their skills: I can put up with that. Disgusting behaviour: I can’t. Ppl should try to be polite to others, it’s not because it’s online that you can be rude without getting punished.

    Hope your next raid goes better.

  • Guthammer says:

    I run very close to zero tolerance. I am a raid lead and often try and set the tone. I don’t think the 2 butt-heads would have lasted more than 10 minutes in one of my raids. And because they were DPS, the trigger is even easier to pull. Good quality DPS isn’t that hard to find.

    Heck it sounds like the druid was working toward that.

    As I think about it a bit more I think 2 sentences after “Hi slut” I would have stomped on that.

    The best one I had was in Oculous. Both my GF, the ex-progression guild healer, and I had made mistakes. Stuff happens. The mage was really obnoxious about it. Just before we get to the Lay Guardian, a vote kick comes up for the mage and *poof* he disappears. Both of us thought the other had started the vote, but it turned out to be one of the other DPSers.

  • Magma says:

    Good post but I have to somehwhat disagree with something in the 5 man. I’ve gotten into arguments before with people similar to the hunter where I was clearly in the right but instead of the party backing me they just sat there and because of that the whole run fell apart when all they had to do was back me up so the ‘hunter’ would shut up. Sometimes ignoring the problem is the wrong course of action.

    • thistlefizz says:

      You’re absolutely right. I guess I left that part out of the story–where I said something (after they started bickering) to the effect of, “Hunter, please stop pulling. Warrior, stop yelling at the hunter. Lets just pretend for the next ten minutes that we are adults.” The other two group members remained silent though.

      That was part of the point I was making though–that staying silent is not the way to go. Ignoring the problem is not helpful. If someone does something wrong, and another person calls them on it, back them up. You don’t have to lay into them or be a jerk about it, just support the person who is in the right and get on with the run.

  • Hear, hear! We’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna heal you anymore!

    But of course, we need unionization.

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