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Looking For Durp

Recently I’ve had something of a yen to start playing my sorely neglected dwarf hunter Beltar.  Now Beltar has finished all the Cataclysm zone and quest content, pretty much, and is walking around with a typical mixture of quest rewards and a very few dungeon pieces, giving him an ilevel of 346.  That’s good enough to do normal heroics, but not good enough for patch 4.3 heroics or anything bigger than that.  So if I wanted to gear him up–and improve my somewhat marginal huntarding skills in the process–there was really only one place for the grizzled old gunbunny to go.

The Dungeon Finder.

So last night I decided that it would be Dungeon Finder night.  I would queue and queue and queue again in LFD.  Normally I avoid LFD like I’d avoid, say, a glass-shard lollipop drizzled in Ebola and tetanus.  But that’s as a tank on Linedan.  I figured, with gearing to the point where normal Cataclysm heroics are starting to approach faceroll status, a semi-competent knowledge of Basic Marks Huntering 101, and 340-level gear, I could hold my own, work on improving my rotations and DPS, pick up the Ramkahen rep I need to hit Exalted and get the +agi head enchant, and score at least one piece of loot.

I don’t know when I turned into such a raving optimist.  I really don’t.

So with his Harkoa-cat Longpaw by his side and his newly transmogged gun-that’s-actually-a-crossbow cocked and locked, I hit “I”, clicked “Enter Queue,” waited 10 minutes, and set off on my adventure…

First dungeon:  Blackrock Caverns.  It set the tone for how the rest of the evening would go that the poor DK tank couldn’t hold agro on anything, even with my Misdirects, from a geared and aggressive mage.  (He wasn’t trying to be a jerk, he was just putting out a lot of pain.)  We wiped on Rom’ogg Bonecrusher but got him on the second try after I stupidly ate a Skullcracker and died.  Then when we were heading down to Corla, we shortcut down the rough ground to the left instead of going down the ramp to the right.  Guess which way Longpaw went and brought some friends?  Yeah.  Stupid cat + stupid hunter = fail.  After the wipe, I dropped group to save them the trouble of votekicking me over it.

Second dungeon:  Deadmines.  I cringed when I saw this one.  I always hated tanking heroic DM.  Fortunately we had a monster of a tank, a death nugget with over 200,000 health that was simultaneously doing over 16,000 DPS.  (I’m fine.  Really.  That totally didn’t rekindle my deep-seated hatred of DK tanks who can top the DPS charts while tanking.  At all.)  We started off, of course, at “gogogogogo” pace, the tank not even waiting for the healer to be in line-of-sight to do pulls because, hey, he’s a DK with over 200k health, he can do that.  Everything was going pretty well and I was starting to get into something resembling a groove–even though the healer dropped without a word in mid-trash-pull after we killed Helix.  The DK survived because, hey, he’s a DK with over 200k health, he can do that.  Then we got to the Foe Reaper 5000.

We wiped on him the first time because nobody got into the Prototype Reaper to handle the Molten Slag adds.  The tank linked the Recount from the fight…because, hey, he’s a DK with over 200k health, he can do that.  The healer dropped without a word, as did the tank.  We got another tank, a warrior, who promptly pulled FR5000 while the mage and myself were standing around the Prototype Reaver at the top of the room.  Again, nobody got into the Reaver and we died.  The warrior asks “wtf have any of you done this before?”  As it turns out?  The mage hadn’t seen the instance before.  Everybody else but me and him instantly drop.

Third dungeon:  Deadmines again, because the RNG is laughing at me.  This time, the tank was a feral druid, and he was even healthier (207k!) and better than the previous run’s death nugget.  And he pulled even faster.  Healer around the corner?  Didn’t matter, he was a BARE STORNG 4 FITE.  And truly, it didn’t.  We demolished our way up to Foe Reaper again.  And again, on the first attempt, nobody got in the damn Prototype and we wiped.

On the second attempt, this time, I got in the Prototype.  I had never done it before and had no clue what to do, but fortunately, Rashona the Aggrokitty was at her computer next to me and talked me through it.  I did a truly shitty job of Molten Slag control, but we got FR5000 down.  Somehow.

We moved on, and got to Ripsnarl.  We dropped him and he dropped his two-handed agility axe, Rockslicer.  Now Beltar is still using the blue ilevel 318 polearm quest reward from Deepholm, so that axe would’ve been a nice upgrade, the first I’d seen in the heroic runs.  So I rolled Need.

So did the fury warrior.

He won.

Oh, and on Vanessa?  I missed the rope on the first rope phase, fell off the boat, walked through fire, swam around, and got back up top just in time for her to die, greeted by a chorus of “lol” and “wtf” from my teammates.  But at least I finally finished a heroic and got my 150 Valor Points.

Fourth dungeon:  Once more into the durp, dear friends, and this time, it was Stonecore.  Cool, I thought, I never did finish off the quest to kill the end boss in there.  Unfortunately, I realized quickly that this wasn’t going to be a full instance run, because when I blipped in, I saw myself staring at Ozruk, along with two DPS.  We picked up another healer and a high-health feral tank, and pulled.

The tank promptly faced Ozruk toward us at point-blank range with us penned into a corner.  Ozruk then Ground Slammed before we could find a clear spot and killed both me and the healer, and the rest of the group wiped shortly after.  The tank yelled at us “wtf does nobody know how to play wow anymore” and dropped group.  (Obviously, that was a rhetorical question on his part.)  So did one of the DPS.

We got a replacement DPS and another tank, a paladin this time, and even though the pally had much less health than the bear, his tank job on Ozruk was absolutely perfect.  Ozruk and Azil fell easily and for the second time I got myself 150 sweet tasty Valor Points.  We did so well, in fact, that we requeued as a group save the healer.  Things were finally starting to look up!

Fifth dungeon:  Lost City of the Tol’vir.  Excellent, another dungeon that I had a leftover quest in (Oathsworn Captains).  The run started off completely uneventful.  We killed the first boss without issue.  Then we hit the trash pack after the boss.  The tank immediately keeled over.  We wiped.  The healer dropped without a word, as did the tank, and the group fell apart.

Sixth dungeon:  Grim Batol.  Fun times.  With our DK tank in the lead, we set off and proceed to have a fairly uneventful run…until after the second boss.  Then the healer, who had been catching a bit of flak from the tank, drops and we pick up another.  We keep going and then we get to the third boss, Dragha Shadowburner.

We ended up winning, but the fight didn’t go well.  Our fury warrior died, got battle-rezzed, and died again.  The fight seemed to take absolutely forever compared to the other times I’ve done it.  And then after the fight, the tank went nuts.  He linked the Recount for the fight, showing him doing 11k dps, me doing 10k, the fury warrior doing 8k, and the lock doing 6k.  He started berating the warrior, testing the limits of the profanity filter in a way that’d make R. Lee Ermey sit up and take notice.  He screamed at the fury warrior for dying twice (the warrior said he was hung over), then screamed at the warlock for only doing about 6k dps on the fight.  The lock dropped group.  Then the tank said “votekick plz.”

And I found myself standing in a field in Western Plaguelands where I’d been doing archeology when the queue popped.

I got votekicked.

For doing more DPS on a boss fight than the other two DPS.

At which point, I said “fuck it,” went back to Stormwind, hung out in the Pig and Whistle, RP’d with a few of the Wildfire Riders, and got Beltar shitfaced.  (See picture above.)

And thus ended my evening of dungeoning.  The final totals?

Six instances.  Two completed (one partial).  300 Valor Points.  Around 600 Justice Points.  About 7,000 Ramkahen rep.  120 gold in repair bills from all the wipes.  One piece of greed loot (an agi sword) that I can use as RP gear and nothing else.  And 25 points in Archeology in between queue pops.

So what did I learn from my three hours of sheer heroic hell?

1.  I have the worst luck in the universe.  This isn’t new, I’ve known this since my D&D days, where it was a complete certainty that if I needed a good dice roll–as player or DM, didn’t matter–I wouldn’t get it.  I was the Master of the Badly-Timed Fumble.  My dice logged a lot of frequent flyer miles after being thrown through the air in frustration.  Rashona, who runs LFD almost every day on one of her immense stable of alts, was boggled at the run of bad groups I had.  She has issues in LFD, who doesn’t?  But never that many, that fast.

2.  I’m not a very good hunter.  I need to get better.  People are telling me that the 10-11k DPS range I typically do is low for Beltar’s level of gearing.  I need to go do some spec and rotation theorycrafting for marks.

3.  LFD is even worse now than it was during Wrath.  I didn’t think that was possible, but it is.  It’s not so much the skill or gear level of the players, because that’s always going to be a mixed bag.  It’s the attitudes.  I really couldn’t imagine people being less patient than they were when we were running Halls of Whatever in our sleep, but they are.  If the slightest little thing goes wrong, people will drop.  There’s no thought toward just sticking it out with a group and succeeding.  It’s all me, me, me, me, me.

4.  Please, let me apologize on behalf of the good and kindly tanks out there, of which I think a few may still exist.  I refused to believe it, but yes, we tanks really have turned into a bunch of entitled prima donna douchebags.

5.  I’m going to keep trying.  Why not?  I won’t get any better on Beltar, or won’t get him any better geared, if I don’t run instances, and Looking for Dumbassery is still the quickest and easiest way to gear him up and work on my huntering, if also the most soul-crushing occasionally.

6.  Tanks who can simultaneously tank an instance in their sleep and blow away the DPS meters still piss me off.  It’s not you guys, it’s me.  I’m just jealous.

My wife has the best attitude toward PUGs, because she (bless her heart) tanks a lot of them on her various druids.  She just says, “I don’t see it as a dungeon group.  I see it as an escort quest.”

12 responses

  1. You sound like my husband with his luck. I did Lost City, Dead Mines, Vortex Pinnacle, and Blackrock Caverns last night, fairly uneventfully… I was amazed that about a year since release and Corla is still absolutely horrific for most players.

    I was kind and basically kept the derp group we found in Lost City for the night. I figured it was the least i could do…we had 1 wipe (Corla), but it was fairly uneventful otherwise.

    If you were Horde I’d hook you up!

    December 9, 2011 at 12:24

  2. I wish this didn’t sound familiar. As I have switched mains from Kadomi to my EU character, a holy paladin, I have done LFD instances almost daily. A lot. From level 74 onwards to 85, LFD and point cap every week. I concur that most tanks out there are elitist assholes. It make me cry in particular that I have seen abysmal warrior tanks, with a shitload of attitude. I have never been kicked, because I am a good healer, and have healed through stupid, but I have dropped group a lot when continuing was too horrible to contemplate.

    That said, even so, German LFD is not anywhere as terrible as US LFD was to me in the last two months of me playing on the US account. People actually talk, which is unusual enough.

    And yet, the durp is strong out there. Grim Batol and The Deadmines both fill me with dread. I had one Saturday where I got one completed instance out of 6 tries. It is frustrating.

    I wish people were nicer. I sure wish that Call to Arms and the perpetual tank shortage had not gone to most tanks’ heads. Douche nozzles, the lot of them.

    December 9, 2011 at 12:38

    • Aggrokitty

      I love Call To Arms because I have this weird fetish for Things What I Can Open. (witness the stunned reaction of my raid when I killed some recovery time by opening a dozen crates I’d fished up in Tol Barad.) But I get a weird reverse kick out of pug-tanking and being aggressively NICE to everybody.

      (…mostly. I have my standard tanking announcement: “Hello, I’m Rashona and I’ll be your bear this evening. If it moves, kill it, if it’s in a dress, kill it first, if you say “gogogo” I will sit on my butt for 30 seconds by the clock.”)

      December 9, 2011 at 12:50

  3. Lin, you sound like the Elven fighter in my long running 3.0 campaign. If there’s anybody –anybody– who will roll low and do the wrong thing, it’s him. Doesn’t help that he’s played like he’s got an incurable case of ‘touch-itis’. (“Ooo, what does this do?” “/boom!” “Ouch.”)

    As for LFD, I honestly haven’t touched it in months, and have yet to queue up for a heroic. I pretty much stick to BGs, where the queue times are much shorter, and I can simply tune out the nerd ragers. Besides, since I play both factions, I get to laugh at all of the whiny comments that “XXX faction always loses this BG!”

    I sure hope your luck improves, man.

    December 9, 2011 at 12:55

  4. Good god, Linedan.

    Next time you decide to queue for some dungeons, make sure I’ve got your RealID, and I’ll tank for you, and bring a healer I know. >_<

    December 9, 2011 at 13:07

  5. I strongly suggest you bring a friend next time. Then there are two of you, so you’ve got moral support. And in the worst case, they can’t kick both of you. So whoever doesn’t get punted can be a pain to the booting jerks.

    That said please don’t hate all DK tanks? Some of us aren’t assholes.

    December 9, 2011 at 13:32

  6. natus

    As a healer and a tank (on non-Heroics), I take umbrage at a player dismissing all tanks. Tanking, as we all know, is a frustratingly thankless role, and we pay the “ultimate price” more often than not if anything goes wrong. Sure, there are prima donnas and DK’s who couldn’t care less about their party, but for most tanks it’s an uphill battle.

    December 10, 2011 at 09:10

  7. I thought you could send head enchants cross-faction now? Or is that just heirlooms? *head tilt*

    Either way, that quote from your wife? Is pure win.

    December 13, 2011 at 13:15

  8. *vlad*

    I remember back in vanilla, it was always the healers who were the douchebags that would drop group at the first wipe; now it’s the tanks. Sometimes it is justified, though. I ended up in an Hour of Twilight run as dps; the tank was fine, the other dps were terrible, and so was the healer (but maybe because of the terrible dps, who knows?).
    I think this is the easiest of the new heroics, but in this case it was endless. By the finish we had gone through 4 tanks, and I really didn’t think any of them could be criticised for leaving the group. Our last tank was very tolerant, and it was only because he was willing to put up with the wipes that we got to the end.

    Still, there are plenty of bad tanks out there who are the first to criticise the other players, be it healers or dps, because they know they can find another group in almost no time.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:51

  9. Sanderth

    You have my deepest sympathies. I’ve run LFD plenty of times this patch, mostly to meet my Valor Point quota for the week, but it’s not without its misadventures; somehow the GIFT-factor seems to spiral more out of control with each patch. I’m not entirely sure it’s specifically tanks though, granted. I go in as a tank and the group makes me miserable about as often as when I go in as a DPS; I’ve just taken to LFD’ing as a DPS since there is (just slightly) less accountability in being only one of three DPS. I’m fairly sure I’ve even had Heroics where every person in the group appeared to think every other person in the group was a moron, and made it known in the loudest and most vulgar manner possible. My one trip to the raid finder literally saw them fighting over which tank or healer they should kick next.

    It’s probably inevitable that the ratio of skilled to unskilled tanks or healers will vary with time, sometimes even during the same expansion. I’ve suspected from time to time that one reason the quality of players in regular Heroics has gone down is that most of the best players have likely been running Heroics for some time already, and have the gear to run 4.3 Heroics, and are just going there instead. If you have the gear, they go spectacularly fast and are actually pretty easy. The players in 4.3 Heroics have been about as impatient, roll on items that aren’t for the role they came as, and are generally about as unpleasant as ever, but they at least know what they’re doing and the deed is done without much incident.

    December 26, 2011 at 17:52

  10. Scott

    Mate, I feel your pain. I’ll offer one piece of advice that I’ve faithfully kept since the new HoT heroics came out on any alts I’ve rolled…. Do whatever you can to get your ilevel to 353 once you hit 85. That way you can queue for the new heroics only and avoid the sewers that the old heroics and the troll heroics have become.

    It’s really not that hard if you farm some vp or purchase the relatively cheap 397 bracers/boots and then get the neck and back from Thrall’s quest line and the opening of FireLands. If you know a friendly BS, have him make your weapon and then supplement with 377 vp gear until you hit 353. Sure, it could cost you 10k or so if you buy everything instead of farming VP, but it’s worth every drop of gold.

    The problem with the original cata heroics is that no one knows the mechanics any more. Add to that the people that are running them are generally in lower level gear and you have a recipe for migraines that rivals a dozen cats sliding down a chalk board. Seriously, it’s like the perfect storm of failure.

    I literally funded some 397 boots for a guildy solely for the purpose of getting from 346 to 355 due to his terrible luck one night in LFD. It was a night very much like yours except he kept getting Zul Gurub and his pugs would dissolve after the first boss generally.

    March 16, 2012 at 23:20

  11. Scott

    An addendum to the above. You may think that using PVP gear to “cheese” the ilevel is in bad taste. I’ll grant you that it probably is a bit. But for the most part as a DPS spec, you can get by fairly well. My most recent foray doing this was on my enhancement shaman. I went into LFD 40 minutes after hitting 85 courtesy of some BOE’s from the guild bank, 5 pieces of pvp gear, and the aforementioned boe VP gear.

    I never dropped below about 14k dps. These days, when I’m tanking, I’m very happy as long as the dps are killing things, not standing in the bad, and their numbers are north of 12k. Heck, I don’t even care about the numbers so much as the time. If we’re facing multiple shadow waves on Benedictus, then you KNOW something is amiss.

    March 16, 2012 at 23:26

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