Bad in Blackrock

I continue to be amazed at the current state of pugs for the old heroics. I honestly couldn't make up things as bizarre as the behaviour that some players display there. Good thing I was on my hunter on Friday night, feeling relatively unaffected by other people's failures, and in one of those moods where I was able to detach myself emotionally and just laugh at the whole situation from a distance.

Basically, I had queued up for an old random heroic because I didn't just want to run Zuls and nothing else, and because my hunter still has an old trinket for which about three possible drops in the old heroics would serve as good replacements. I ended up in Blackrock Caverns with a druid tank, accompanied by a priest healer from his guild, a mage and a dps warrior who did over 20k dps on the first pull. Clearly he was an experienced valour point farmer who was also aching for a bit of variety. He would soon regret it.

My spider sense started tingling as soon as the tank decided to pull the first boss with the vast majority of the trash in the room still alive. When I'd seen people try the same thing in the past, he had always called for help and pulled everything nearby into the fight regardless. This time however he didn't, the druid pulled the boss back into the tunnel and I thought "oh well, I guess it works after all". Then the boss suddenly turned around, ran back into the middle of the room to cast his chain spell, and landed us all smack in the middle of three different trash pulls. Mayhem ensued and we wiped.

The druid apologised, we chucked it up to the learning experience and ran back. This time we cleared the room beforehand and killed the boss without any further problems.

On Corla, the druid launched into a lengthy explanation of the fight even though nobody had asked for one and at least one person had asked to just pull already. He also explained it wrong, claiming that the transformation happened at 80 stacks, which we corrected him about. Eventually we started the fight, and the mage messed up despite of the explanation, causing us to wipe again. He apologised though and promised that he'd do it right next time. So he did. I took note of the warrior interrupting all of Corla's fear like clockwork.

When we approached Karsh Steelbender, the druid asked for tactics, claiming that he had never done this boss before. After his elaborate explanation of Corla, this didn't strike me as a very good sign. I misdirected the fire elementals on him when they were on the far side of the boss and explained the strategy. "Oh, I remember! I have done this before!" he exclaimed all of a sudden... and proceeded to pull the boss and just tank him next to the pillar. After a while the warrior ran to the other side and taunted the boss briefly to pull him through and melt his armour. After that the druid seemed to get the idea, though he still moved the boss in a fairly messy manner. We got add spawns several times, but the warrior just soloed them and they appeared to have been stealth-nerfed to not leave lava puddles upon death anymore, which made them a complete non-issue. Anyway, the boss died.

Up to this point I hadn't really considered the run bad. A bit bumpy perhaps, with the better players having to compensate for the worse ones, but that's not at all unusual in a pug. However, things were going to get a lot more interesting still. I foolishly hoped that I would be able to watch Castle in a few minutes, seeing how the last boss was just around the corner... oh, how wrong I was going to be.

We killed the elemental patrol and snuck past the first trash pack on the side by running along the wall. Then the druid asked me to trap the closest mob belonging to the second pack, so that we could "run past it". I probably should have known that this wasn't going to be a good idea, considering the druid's earlier displays of expertise, but with 4.2's crowd control changes, who knew? So I did as he asked, we walked past and I feigned for good measure. Then he pulled Beauty. The trap ran out and the entire mob pack joined the fight, causing us to wipe.

On second thought I realised that I had had a similar wipe to this one in Zul'Aman before, on a different character. I think it's highly ironic that a change that was introduced to make pugging less painful has ended up adding another way for people to wipe stupidly, though I guess I can't blame the players entirely for this one. After all it's very unintuitive for CC not to cause aggro when you cast it, but then cause aggro when it runs out. Sap doesn't do that, and people think that everything works exactly like sap now. Let this be a public service announcement that this is not the case.

Anyway, the funny thing is, the druid didn't even notice. While running back he just talked about how he was confused by the fact that the pups and Beauty aggroed all at once, and when I brought up the trash mobs joining in he was just bewildered. This is when the warrior decided to throw in the towel and left. Then the healer, who was the druid's friend, dropped as well. "Sorry guys," the druid said, "but my healer friend wants to do ZA/ZG so I'm going to leave too." I think I laughed out loud at the screen. If you can't even make it through BRC, you're not doing anyone a favour by queuing for a Zulroic instead.

The mage and I made it back to the trash pull in question and requeued. After about a minute we got a new druid tank in heroic tier eleven gear, another priest healer and a shadow priest. "Oh good," I thought, "this should be finished quickly then". We finished killing the trash. As I tried to move on, I noticed that I was taking damage because the healer hadn't bothered to dispel the shadow prison debuff, so I stopped and waited for it to wear off. Our tank didn't and kept running until he fell over and died at the entrance to Beauty's lair. /facepalm. Once again, heroic raid gear is no indicator of anything.

Meanwhile, the healer asked the mage to create a table. The mage told him that he didn't have reagents on him. The healer ignored this response and kept repeating his request, adding a swear here and there for good measure. The mage finally got him to acknowledge his response by repeating it in all caps. I think they tried to manually trade a stack of food after that, but the mage claimed that it didn't work. Eventually the priest just said "fine" and ported out to fetch some of his own drinks.

The rest of us sat around and waited. Finally the healer ported back into the instance and said "ok go", no less than three times - while he was still at the instance entrance. The tank didn't pay attention to the priest's actual location and just took him by his word. Of course we wiped with no heals. "I didn't mean go right now," the priest snarked in an exasperated tone. What the hell did he mean then? Who says "gogogo" when they don't actually want the tank to pull?

We ran back in and gathered up once again. Except... we were still missing our healer. He was dawdling around somewhere in the middle of the instance, claiming to be lost and demanding that someone should come and fetch him, though as soon as someone started moving he said that he had finally found his way.

When he arrived, we finally got to kill Beauty, though it was awkward and took ages. The druid didn't want any CC and just tanked everything, but nobody but me bothered to dps the adds. When I noticed this I eventually switched to Beauty as well, since me staying on the pups on my own wasn't going to achieve anything. Afterwards the healer chided us for having bad dps, saying that we really needed to pick up our game even if his healing was "grate" [sic].

On the next pull he then just let the tank die and dropped group mid-combat. Okaaay. Our next healer was a paladin called "Deathlol" (with some accents), which I thought was hilariously appropriate. With him we finally finished the instance. I offered to kite the adds on the last boss even though I wasn't very good at it, but apparently I've improved over time as we got the Ascendant Descening achievement. I also got a new bow, but my tv show was already halfway over by then. Two bosses and three trash pulls really shouldn't take over half an hour, but I guess you can't win them all.


  1. "After all it's very unintuitive for CC not to cause aggro when you cast it, but then cause aggro when it runs out. Sap doesn't do that, and people think that everything works exactly like sap now. Let this be a public service announcement that this is not the case."

    I know that in combat a crowd controlled mob will aggro on the person that cc'ed it. But I'm not convinced that this happens out of combat as well.

    I am wondering if its simply the fact that even though CC'ed, non-sapped mobs will still aggro on players that move into their aggro range, even though they may have to wait for the CC to wear off to launch their attack.

    In this sense, rogue sap is still a superior form of CC.

  2. wow.. I'd have been crying by the end of that, either in pain, or possibly with laughter if I'd had a cocktail first :P

    *hugs* you do manage to find yourself some *out there* groups :)

  3. "[I was] in one of those moods where I was able to detach myself emotionally and just laugh at the whole situation from a distance."

    I swear, this is the secret of good PUGging. I was in a Zul the other day that was on the verge of going *horribly* wrong (although in the end it never quite did), so I had plenty of chuckles and in-guild whispers about the hilarity of the badness. But, if I had been caught in that after a bad day at work.... I think I wouldn't have even typed this comment, as the PC would have flown out of the window already.

  4. Yeah the CC changes are basically what the first anon suggested. A CCed mob will Not inherently aggro after the CC runs out. However if you move inside it's aggro range it will still aggro you even though it is CCed. After the CC runs out it and and it's buddies will be after you.

  5. You should never queue for any heroic besides Zul'Again anymore. You'll find only pain and agony there.
    Every half capable player is going to loltroll nowadays with only the terribads left in old heroics. Well, terribads and a few clueless people looking for a recreative change

  6. "Every half capable player is going to loltroll nowadays with only the terribads left in old heroics."

    Sorry to be so blunt, but: *what a load of crap!*

    The in-game item level requirement to queue for "normal" heroics is 329 and for Zul'Heroics 345. There a plenty of reasons why one doesn't reach that second mark within a short time ... none of which necessarily reflecting the player's skill!

  7. Maldwiz said...

    "Every half capable player is going to loltroll nowadays with only the terribads left in old heroics."

    Wow, couldn't disagree more with that statement. In my experance, it's the total reverse of that. The only people I see in trolls these days is people trying to gear up. In Normal Heroics, its JP farmers. Its easier and faster in the long run to do 2 normal heroics than 1 troll, for the same amount of points.

  8. I can relate on doing normal heroics. I tend to mix some of them in because it gets boring doing the same 2 dungeons over and over on multiple characters. They really need to do something, this game is getting frustratingly boring.

    When I started reading I was thinking, this does not sound like bad. I've had bad and this is not it.

    Even how it ended is not as bad as I have seen bad but those people, not the wipes, the people, would annoy the crap out of me. I hate people like that.

    Get your drinks before you queue up. Do not assume there will be a mage to make you some.

    Pay attention to your surroundings. If a party member is missing don't pull.

    Basic simple things and I notice that the better the gear someone has the more likely they are to screw up on the basic simple things.

    It seems that the higher your item level is the lower your IQ in lesser content falls for a significant percentage of the player base.

    I think you did well sticking it out. I probably would have considered leaving as soon as the healer kept barking for mage food when they where already told there wasn't any to be had.

    Wipes I can deal with if people learn from them.

    People like that, I can not deal with.

    @ Raffles -

    I disagree. My average normal heroic with an average group takes 30-45 minutes. My average Zul takes roughly the same.

    140 VP in 45 minutes with the chance at better enchanting materials or 70 VP in 45 minutes with enchanting materials that it would be cheaper to buy off the market and sell the item.

    Not sure about you, I take the Zul ones every day. Not to mention, I get at least 2 or 3 bear runs a week with pugs. Maybe one day I will get lucky and win the damn thing.

    The only reason I pop into normal heroics is because I need a change. Seeing the same two dungeons is annoying.

  9. Thanks for the clarification about the CC changes. Either way I know not to let anyone talk me (or another party member) into trying that kind of thing again.

    In regards to normal heroics (what an oxymoron), I think that lancore's comment is a bit hyperbolic. It's certainly not true that everyone who runs those heroics these days is a bad player. However, the patch has definitely brought a lot of them out of the woodwork again and even one or two people like that can really mess up your run if you're unlucky. For that reason I also disagree with the claim that farming the old heroics is in any way more efficient than doing the Zuls - but to me it's worth it simply to avoid boredom.

    @Grumpy: Indeed, a "bad" run can manifest itself in many ways, and they don't necessarily have to include lots of wipes. In my BRC adventure here I'm sure that everyone had the basic skills and nobody was excessively rude, but people's play was just so sloppy and lazy in parts that it became irritating in its own way.

  10. In my experience, most PuGs in random heroics are decent enough. Seems to usually be a combination of alts gearing up, point farmers and people bored with the trolls. And if DPS wait times are any indication, there are twice as many people running normal heroics v.s. the trolls. Of course, a bad run can happen anywhere.

  11. I've noticed a sharp drop-off in the level of skill amongs my fellow Pug-ers ever since 4.2 was released.

    At this point I believe that the changes to the VP cap may be a reason for this. Raiders that are doing 7/7 on 25 man can VP cap from Raiding, 10 man raiders have to do 7/7 + BH and pick up 20 VP from somewhere to cap.

    Because of this, those raiders who, before 4.2, were not clearing 13/13 and still needed a heroic or two, now do not. They have been removed from the pool of people running heroics.

    The downstream effect of this, is an increased chance of getting a pug full of mouth breathing, keyboard drooling wastes.

    I personally tend to run Zulroics only on my two tanks; I need to VP cap two toons in a week and since I'm tanking and am overgeared for the runs I can sometimes mitigate the effects of a terrible pug.

    That being said though, my experience with normal heroics has tended to be worse. Since they're half the VP, and generally twice the headache due to woefully undergeared fresh 85s, I just avoid them now.

  12. I find that sense of detachment is so much easier to achieve when playing as DPS. I guess some of it comes from the fact that, as DPS, I have virtually no control over any aspect of the experience: The queue times are determined by the tank and healer. The pull speed is determined by the tank and healer. The only things I can control are how well I play my role, and whether or not I stand in fire. It's almost a carefree feeling.

    There can be stress, of course, when the group's DPS is low and the fights drag on too long (any group in which I am more than 40% of total damage is generally a bad sign). But what's the worst that could happen? If the group falls apart, I'm just going back into the queue anyway.

  13. Castle is great, I would have dropped group if it meant missing Castle (well in my case I tape it anyway) :)