xeno's LFR frustration - should different player bases get mixed?
I'll start this blog by stating that this is purely my own opinion as a long time player in a high end raiding guild. I'm not trying to offer the view of Paragon or "all high end raiders", just talk about the observations I've made about myself when playing with people who have different attitude towards playing this game. Read: when I accidentally did a couple of pug runs.
I actually already meant to write this blog almost one year ago, after experiencing a heroic 5-man Halls of Origination run on my alt with a shadow priest that only used mind spike rotation. I remember still how surprised I was about this, and even more when I told him/her that "you should dot the mobs up for better dps". All I got back was "stfu noob, I know my stuff. With this pvp gear mind spike is better than dots". I remember getting really angry and teasing him the rest of the run about it (still feel bad about it btw), but it really made me think about the whole scenario: why did I even care?
When I enter a dungeon (alone) my goal is of course always to perform as good as possible, so that we complete it as soon as possible, and I can go and do something else. I expect that everyone else that joins thinks the same way: go in, play good, get your reward (reputation, gear, conquest points etc) and get out. I admit, this is my crucial error when I think about runs with people I don't know.
"Stfu and let me just have fun"
There are way too many people out there who don't bother speccing right, or gemming or enchanting their gear. Maybe they don't know how to play their spec, maybe they are eating at the same time they play. Might be the healer has to take a 10 minutes "bio", or the hunter doesn't want to use his pet. Or he doesn't know how to summon it. The story is familiar. But when I encounter a person like this on my 5-man team/LFR, I just get very upset. Why hasn't this person prepared for the run like I have? Often I give a little tip about how to improve one's gameplay, like "just focus on keeping healing rain up, and lightning bolt to keep your mana up". But I've noticed, that half of the time I don't even get a response from the player I whispered. I probably just end straight on the ignore list. The other half of the time people get really hostile: "stfu you don't play a shaman (my first alt is a Resto Shaman), I know what to do noob". Really, what is this? If I was a noob and doing my first dungeon run on my rogue I'd love if someone actually took the time and gave me a useful tip so that I could improve. The whole situation just makes me steam. Blizzard, why do I have to play with bad, ignorant people? Ok, they paid their 13 euros per month so they must be entitled to their fun, but where is mine?!
When I join a run on my Holy Paladin I make sure I have time for the whole run (even if we wipe a couple of times). I check that I can perform good enough there (if I'm undergeared, I just try a bit harder to overcome the cap with skill), and I have checked the right spec, gear, reforges, and spell priorities from someone in our guild or a class guide. I'd feel terrible joining a run where I don't know what to do. I think that's ok when you level up, that's the time when you familiarize yourself with your class. But when you join a run with other people you should be able to pull your weight. And I really mean, that I expect it from everyone I play with, and that's why I get so disappointed.
It's the attitude that counts
I don't mind playing with people who just have bad gear, but I can see them doing something all the time. I'm more furious to a hunter with epics who afk's half the time than to an Elemental Shaman with green gear (slowing us down) who uses the right totems and casts all the time. He might do 6k dps in a heroic dungeon, but he is trying, and that's what matters.
So it all comes down to the attitude people play with. There are people like me who feel ashamed if they play bad, and then there are those who just come to LFR unprepared to have fun. Often when they are asked to perform better they just say "yo chill out, this is just a game and it's supposed to be fun". But what if you think it's fun when everyone plays great together and you get out fast? My fun in this game comes from succeeding together with others, and these unprepared, ignorant people often ruin my gaming experience.
So why do I even play with them then? That's actually a good question. Often I can just crab a guildie or two and form the group ourselves and just carry 5-12 people along. But sometimes I just feel like playing my "shit alts", and there is no one else online who wants to do heroic Throne of Tides with me. I have to admit, that often just as I'm pressing the "Queue" button I still rethink it on my head: do I really want to risk playing with bad players?
That's what happened last night in LFR, we wiped 5 times on Madness of Deathwing. After wipe 3, a mage, who had been badmouthing everyone the whole run ninja pulled the boss just after everyone had ressed. Then he left the raid, together with 20 others who were calling everyone "noobs". The 4 people who were left had to wait for 25 minutes to get the raid full again. And then some people wonder why Paragon players "don't ascend from their awesomeness and come to play with regular people". The atmosphere in that raid was just terrible, and last night I swore I don't want to risk having that experience ever again.
Most likely I'll end up doing another LFR on my alt again when I've cooled down a bit. But why couldn't there be a button in the queue tools for serious gamers only. Like "I know how to play, and I just want to get this done fast". I really want to play with people who have the same attitude towards gaming, that's what makes it fun for me. There might still be bad geared people, but if we wiped we would improve, and finally defeat the bosses and that would feel like an achievement.
This may sound a bit elitist (and yeah, maybe it is), but it shouldn't be my job to carry people and never have fun in random groups. If we had an option like that, to divide the player base to those who care and those who don't, the ignorant, bad players would have to play only with each other. And from what I've experienced, they'd need to start working to kill those bosses, and eventually they'd need to get better when no one is doing their work for them.