Posts Tagged ‘in which I complain’

Lately I get a sense that a lot of people aren’t satisfied with the way things are going in their raiding guilds. The WoW ladies livejournal always has posts about people not fitting in with their guild, feeling like the way they raid isn’t the right fit for them, and asking what they can do about it. I’ve bailed on guilds in the past, and there are times in BoO when raiding gets me pretty damn grumpy (my poor boyfriend had to deal with me bitching thunderously a few nights ago, and he doesn’t even play this game).

So what causes raid dissatisfaction?

Personally, I think the big culprit these days is not having everyone on the same page, goal-wise. In a raiding guild you’re all working together to accomplish a goal, but when some of you have a different goal in mind than others, there’s a pretty clear disconnect and some people aren’t going to be happy. I think that the introduction of achievements and hardmode raiding has really led to two distinctly different ways of approaching raiding – it used to be that you raided to progress, and that was the goal. Pretty much everyone who raided could say that they wanted to get further through the content with fewer wipes. These days you can have a group who are in that camp and want to see all the bosses downed and hooray, goal met! But then there are those who want to up the challenge and toggle on hardmodes, because for them that accomplishment is what the raiding game’s all about. And of course, there’s always been those who are just there for loot; a steady flow of purples is enough to keep them happy, and when it’s not coming any more, neither are they. If you have people from all mindsets in your guild, there’s going to be friction between them. People who want a challenge will feel that they’re being held back by those who don’t, because if they do get the opportunity to attempt hardmodes and fail, people who weren’t too keen on doing them in the first place will press for giving up and moving on. Those who just want to progress through normal levels of difficulty won’t understand why they’re expected to help the others who want to do hardmodes, and spend their time and gold on repairs after wiping. Things will go more smoothly and with less resentment when everyone makes it clear what their goals are, and finds a like-minded group of people to accomplish them with.

The other big issue is attitude. Sometimes you can tell when a guild member doesn’t want to be there for the raid – they might be very vocal about it, or their performance might subtly reflect that they’d rather be doing something else. When your heart’s not in it, you don’t give it your all; when I’m having a bad night and feel like I’m there out of obligation, I know I’m off my game. And while you might feel like you should be there out of obligation, the more you let us know that you wish you were doing anything but raiding, the more the morale is going to go down. We all hate wiping, but complaining about it and saying that you don’t want to stay through it doesn’t make it any less likely to keep happening. I’d go so far to say that complaining about the wipes makes them more likely to keep happening, because everyone else wants to get out of the raid just as much as the complainer, so they don’t have to listen to the whining any more.

The aspect of the attitude problem that gets me more than anything is how people approach criticism. I’m not saying that you should never criticize your raid members, because we all make mistakes and have room for improvement, but the way that you approach that makes a huge difference on the reception. Politely offering suggestions is cool, and usually will be well received by someone who is genuinely interested in their performance. We have had newer players who have improved a lot by talking with the more seasoned ones about the details of their classes, which wouldn’t have happened if we’d just yelled “why do you suck so much?” and replaced them every time. If someone were to give me tips on how to improve my healing (and by that, I do not mean telling me to beacon one target and heal another when I’m already doing it, because honestly, telling someone the core basics of how to play their class is just insulting) I would welcome it, because I’m not one of the guys at ElitestJerks, and I know that there’s probably more that I could do. If we’re struggling on a boss with wipe after wipe, politely suggesting a different strategy will go miles farther than “Guys, why can’t we do this, I know PuGs who can handle this shit, so why can’t we?”.

What will really hurt your raiding core? Forgetting that we are all a team, and that you have 9/24 other people relying on you. When you sign up for a raid and show up late or not at all, you’ve hurt your team. There will be bitter feelings about it, especially when you don’t give any excuses. When you rant about the fact that you’re not getting loot and you don’t know why you even bother any more, you’re hurting your team. When you take the negative route and call everyone morons instead of offering constructive criticism, you are hurting the team. When everyone doesn’t come together to make a team effort on a regular basis, it’s the surest way to have the whole thing crumble.

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I think most of my guildies have reached this point, which saddens me a bit, because I’m trying to keep on enjoying this game, and it is a little difficult when everyone else is having trouble too. I keep getting frustrated because there’s a lot of goofing around and stupid wipes that could be easily prevented, but I don’t feel like I really have a place to complain about it – I’m not perfect either, after all. For reference: ToC last week when I kept moving while trying to cast Mass Dispel.

It really does make the anger bubble up when you feel like you’re doing just the right thing, but the group keeps wiping anyway. Last night we attempted Freya, where we got stuck last week, and we hit a wall. We even wiped on trash several times. There was one pull that involved me getting one shot after I bubbled the tank, which is just … what the hell. We weren’t on the ball and I was grumpy about it, especially because I switched to shadow, and having failures in a role that isn’t my main one makes me very defensive. Being lumped into the dps group with comments about how the dps is not performing makes me RAWR when I know that I’m doing my part.

Oh, and I discovered that it’s a little difficult to play without lag when your better half (who came up with that phrase anyway? /cough) is downloading torrents at “lightening speed” and hogging up all the internet. I’d press a button and approximately 10 seconds later, casting would begin! Except … sometimes not because by the time my screen caught up, the silencing trees were rampaging about and I wasn’t under a mushroom. /shakes a fist (… Also, that kind of sounds like someone’s bad acid trip.)

Burnout has even made me want to get my paladin up to speed and bring her to our runs instead of Celaeno, because we have a lack of holy paladins lately, and because jokes about how many priests we have used to be funny, but now rub me the wrong way.

At least I’ll be taking a little break over the next week. With any luck, the patch will be up and running within a week or two, which I can only hope will cause some changes.

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Just a small update, because I didn’t manage to finish my extra special surprise theme post finished this week due to laze.

I’ve been told that picking on one of our officers, Hunt, has been a guild pastime for a long time. It makes me laugh when people who aren’t even in our guild are in on it. He was on an alt in this raid, so it was obviously someone who knew him.

Picking on hunters in general is hilarious to me.

We do a lot of joking in g and raid channels while we’re raiding, and I think that really takes some of the pressure off and makes things fun. I have a blast with people who have a great sense of humor. Most of what I screenshot ends up being dirty jokes, like the time Amber asked before Northrend Beasts, “Which worm do I grab?” and was answered “Mine.” by one of the guys. Or Frostscourge letting us know that he has a searing totem (the new demote ranking) in his pants. Here’s a clean one.

And this post wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t something that I’m angry and want to bitch about. Are you someone who likes to tell everyone how to play their class and give them unsolicited, completely basic advice any time that something goes slightly wrong? Then you can DIAF.

Really? That’s how you’re supposed to play a holy paladin? I guess only having been one for months and having kept you up through the other heroics so far, I just wouldn’t know. This shit is right up there with saying “heal me!” I can understand trying to help out someone who’s absolutely floundering (I will sometimes whisper paladins or priests and politely offer help if they’re interested – I’ve only done it a few times and each time they have accepted and thanked me), but when you tell someone to do things that they were already doing, you’re not helping at all.

I also ran into this problem yesterday when I tried to heal a tank with 26k HP buffed through heroic ToC. I hate discriminating against tanks solely on HP, because I know that everyone has to start somewhere, but without a buffer for me to give attention to the other people as needed, the Black Knight is just extremely difficult to heal as a paladin, and especially when the tank has aggro issues and I’m covered in ghouls. Everyone started giving me pointers like “just focus on keeping the tank topped off all the time”, which is kind of insulting, because HELLO, that is my job, I know that’s what I need to do. Eventually after about 5 wipes, the tank disconnected, we found a new one, and completed with no problems.

I need to start thinking about things in WoW that make me happy, because PuG crap and all the other things I’ve complained about lately are making me very grumpy.

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Between general boredom and reminiscing, I’ve decided to start focusing a little more on my paladin, specifically building a tanking set again. I really miss the thrill that I get when a group of mobs want to spank me. Her healing set needs work too, since I haven’t raided seriously on her since Naxx was progression and she’s wearing nothing higher than 213, but I do alright. I’ve managed to fair very well in VoA and Onyxia, so I think that if I can get lucky with an Ulduar pug or maybe squeeze her into a ToC, she’ll get caught up.

The problem with building tanking sets is that frequently, no one wants the healers to roll on tank gear, but they also don’t want to have a tank in blues with less than 35k health, even in heroics. I’m hoping that biding my time until 3.3 drops, then running so many heroics it hurts, will be the solution to that. It’s also really frustrating to see other people get extremely lucky with drops in VoA and similar places – I’ve never seen something that I can even use drop there, much less have I won anything.

There’s also the issue of no one wanting to run old content – heroics have mostly stalled these days, and T7 level content runs are few and far between, and most are unsuccessful. The last few Naxx pugs that I’ve ended up in (on various characters) haven’t even downed a single boss – one group wiped three times on the trash at the start of the Construct Quarter. Yeah, really. Ulduar groups seem even more rare, because it’s an instance that requires knowledge of the fights and coordination – it seems much harder to steamroll through.

So I guess this post is really just a complaint about the lull that exists between patches. Right after one comes out, there’s a flurry of activity with mass heroic running and tons of people getting ready for and participating in the new content, and then things just die down. The repetition gets boring to a point, and I haven’t quite figured out a way to make it more fun for me. Outside of signing on for raids, I don’t find myself wanting to play as much as I have in the past. I especially am guilty of thinking “this is worthless because 3.3 is just around the corner”, because I feel like the changes to LFG and getting Triumph badges from everything will make everything easier.

Which brings me to one little complaint to tack on to the end. Am I the only one who thinks that details of Cataclysm were released too soon? I see so many people saying that they’re planning for Cataclysm, saving up materials, hoarding gold, and other plans, and a lot of people saying things like “well, this will be useless in Cataclysm” or “that will be changing in Cataclysm”, but the expansion is an unspecified amount of time down the line. It seems so pointless for me to make all of these preparations for something that can be 6 months or more away, and it bothers me to see that information impact how people play the game now.

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