It’s All The DPS’ Fault
I was dicking around in WoW again over the weekend and decided to run a couple of PUGs with one of my Warriors. It’s been a while since I’ve done one and, let me tell you, I don’t miss it at all. I mean, I miss the grouping and the tanking and general dungeon crawling, just not the nutsacks that I seem to get landed with on an all-too-frequent occasion. I’m sure there’s some legitimate psychological reason why people behave like monkeys when they’re matched up through the random dungeon finder and not when they’re playing with friends or guild mates but alas I fear I’ll never know of it.
This particular dungeon run started off the same as any other: in complete silence with the DPS running on ahead trying to play chicken with elite mobs before the tank and healer had even finished loading. Anyway, I was tanking (as is my delight) and the Paladin healer was doing a fine job despite the continual complaints from someone in the party that he wasn’t wearing the correct set of gear for the job. All was going well enough until half way through the dungeon when one of the DPS players went rogue and decided to pull several groups of mobs onto us like a small child pulling down a bookshelf on top of themselves. Like the awesome seasoned veteran I am, I braced for impact and did all could but we eventually wiped in a blaze of glory.
I’m an easy going chap and after suffering through death mechanics invented by sadists in MMOs of days gone by, the mild stratch that is the abyss in Warcraft doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I didn’t even feel the need to reprimand the pull happy offender as, y’know, mistakes happen. As it would be though, he or she had a completely different idea of who was to blame.
“HEALER YOU SUCK!” were the first words they shouted as soon as they returned from the loading screen. Suffice to say the diplomatic situation of the group declined quite quickly from there on until eventually our healer quit and I got kicked for taking too long to return to my corpse. Charming.
To be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve had issue with DPS classes in PUGs and although I usually play the tank so I’m not in a position to comment on that, I find that 95% of all the healers I’ve had have been well versed and well played. It always seems to be the rest of the party that lets us down with their incessant need to try and pull mobs before I do, steal aggro whenever possible, never assist the tank or continually berate us with whines about something or rather.
Now It’s not that I think DPS classes are easier to play than tanks or healers (the last time I suggested that I got crucified by a virtual lynch mob so my lips are sealed tonight) but they are certainly a role that comes with a lot less responsibility and is a lot harder to measure the success of. Horrible add-ons like DPS meters don’t help matters as all they do is train people to put out as much damage as they can to try and top the charts without consideration of strategy, threat or cooperation.
Unfortunately it’s just far too easy for DPS to blame healers for not keeping them alive or tanks for not holding threat properly than it is to accept their faults and/or limitations and play as part of a team. It also puts Blizzard in a bit of a quandary when they’re trying to alter the mechanics of play and make the DPS role more challenging and strategic because as long as they expect to be babysat through groups, the finger of failure will always be pointed at the tank or healer and never at themselves.
I’m not saying all of this because I’m trying to be a Negative Nancy here though as I actually do have a solution to all of this. Seeing how much players like metrics and big flashy signs popping up on their screens, I think Blizzard should create a DPS Performance Indicator bar. It could be a little box that sits on the screen of every damage dealing class and changes colour from green to red depending on how well the person is playing. Steal too much threat, pull too many mobs or whine more than three times in 10 minutes and a giant throbbing neon announcement flashes up onto the screen announcing “DPS YOU SUCK!”.
Yes, I think that would do the trick.
Anyway, I still finding myself enjoying WoW regardless of these PUGs (gotta laugh, right?) but I think I’ll be sticking to soloing, PvPing and hanging out with my friends and guild mates for a while. At least until I need another inspiring story to blog about.