Leighroy and Lifebloom are now big damn level 80s. Upon this happy occasion, we began hitting heroic dungeons pretty hard. Two days into our life as 80s, we both have three pieces of tier 9 gear through emblems of triumph. We’ve also captured Wintergrasp, played in some random battlegrounds, and been ass-whooped in a practice arena match. Turns out you can collect emblems really damn fast when you’re a tank and healer duo with instant queues all the time, every time.

We haven’t been writing much lately, and that is, once again, the dps’ fault. Specifically, they haven’t been as horrible ever since we hit Northrend. We still meet a few bad ones, but seldom bad enough to warrant taking the effort to write a full post.

So instead, I’ll post a few short stories in one shiny post, concerning our adventures with Northend dps.

- We met a hunter in Halls of Stone who had a fishing pole equipped. We took note but didn’t say anything until he rolled need on a BoE dagger and won it, but did not equip it. Then I began to ask him why he had his fishing pole equipped and not his shiny new weapon. I asked a few times and he didn’t answer. At one point he used it to smack an iron dwarf in melee. Finally his friend, who was in the group with us, told me that he had just forgotten to unequip it and it didn’t matter because hunters use bows. I just sort of /sighed.

- A high gearscore mage in heroic Nexus very quickly began pulling mobs for us. He pulled a single mob and burned it down before it could touch him, then pulled three and they started to kill him. Leigh asked him if he’d like to tank. He died. I asked him if he was going to keep doing that. So he called us gay and left the group. Oh, stupid mage, your words sting so!

- Fun in the Occulus. In one group a hunter got his amber drake, flew into a ton of enemy drakes, and died. “Where were my heals, green healing drake?” he shouted. “ffs!” Leigh explained to him that green drakes don’t get healing abilities until the last fight. He didn’t apologize. In another run, a shaman was the group leader instead of Leigh, putting her into the second slot on my party frame. Druids are creatures of habit, so I asked if she could make the tank the leader so I wasn’t always automatically clicking on the wrong person in a crisis. She said no, she couldn’t do that. So I stopped healing her, until she asked, where are my heals? I replied, where is my tank as party leader? She made Leigh leader, and got her heals. Win-win!

- We still meet quite a few warlocks who don’t soulstone the healer, and/or lifetap themselves to the point of death and then yell for healing. There are good locks too. But please, warlocks, try to lifetap in increments if you can, not all at once. I’ll throw a hot on you and it’s all good. Better yet, try to wait until you take some damage, and then lifetap a few times when I toss a rejuv on you. But I get annoyed when I have to heal you up from 10 health to full every two or three pulls.

- There was a hunter in heroic Utgarde Keep. We had joined the party in mid-dungeon, before the first boss, and we wondered why their last tank and healer had left. The hunter then began to pull aggro, run into groups of mobs, laugh about it, and claim he could tank the dungeon himself by kiting. I told him to go ahead, see if he got any heals. Leigh told him that she could see why their last tank and healer left. He shut up and stopped being a complete asshat after that.

Three of those stories involved hunters. I’m sorry your class is so full of bad examples of how to play your class, hunters. There are good hunters too! Really!

Moral: Dps have gotten better, overall. But some of them are still awful.

Roll on heroics!

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Incredible Huntard

The other night we found ourselves, as we often do find ourselves at this level, in Utgarde Keep yet again. Ingvar the Plunderer just can’t get enough of dying painfully at our hands, being reborn as an undead bastard, and dying again, so we always oblige him.

In this group was Foragebeard, a hunter from Ravencrest, to whom I took something of an immediate dislike because he seemed to be under the impression that he was the greatest hunter the world had ever seen. Nay, the greatest player, even. He began to dispense class advice about all the other classes in the group, including telling Leigh that she should respec to get Seal of Command now (nevermind the fact that in order to get it at 70 she’d have to give up Hammer of the Righteous, nor the fact that she has no threat problems whatsoever, nor the fact that she still tops the damage chart 98% of the time).

Foragebeard bragged about his 80 Death Knight, and the DK in our group decided Foragebeard was just the greatest. This intrepid hunter told Leigh that he could pull for her using Misdirection. She said he was welcome to, but that she did have Avenger’s Shield and was going to keep pulling her own stuff anyway.

The hunter’s first sign of critical failure came just after the first boss, when he spotted a patrolling enemy coming further down the hall while we were clearing up some ghoul trash. He misdirected it onto her, and then, of course, kept attacking it. The mob never even made it to Leigh, because the threat switched back to the hunter when it was still about 15 yards away, and Leigh had no idea that he was trying to pull a mob onto her. The mob spanked him a little before she pulled it off.

She told him maybe he shouldn’t misdirect, since obviously he wasn’t making it work. He defended his precious skill, extolling the virtues of misdirection.  The DK also defended him, saying he must have taken aggro because his dps was just too leet. We kind of ignored them, so the hunter began to proclaim several times that he was not a huntard. We didn’t really care, we just kept clearing the dungeon.

But when we reached Ingvar at the end, he decided to prove once and for all just how non-huntarded he was, determining to rescue his misdirection’s reputation, not realizing that the harder true huntards try, the harder they fail.

Leigh, as she always does before a boss, hit a ready check. The death knight was not ready, so she didn’t pull. The hunter, however, apparently believing that if he was ready then everyone else must be as well, ran ahead and misdirected Ingvar onto Leigh.

She was turned around to see what the unready DK was up to and was in the process of asking him to let her know when he was good to go, when suddenly Ingvar yells and comes charging across the area at her, catching her completely unprepared and out of her preferred position. The hunter, of course, once again continued attacking the boss after his misdirect wore off (four seconds is shorter than you think!), and pulled the boss onto himself as our warlock also started attacking.

The hunter feigned death, sending Ingvar charging in another direction after the warlock while Leigh swore and tried to figure out just what the fuck was going on here and why the boss was running around in our midst when she hadn’t pulled it and when everyone wasn’t even ready yet. She yoinked Ingvar off the warlock and got him positioned.

The boss fight proceeded and I refused to heal the hunter who had started this mess, figuring that the 20% health he had left was his own damn fault. He once again started shouting that he wasn’t a huntard. Then he didn’t break line of sight on the roar, and he died. His DK worshipper stood in a smash and also died. It was great, we three-manned it smoothly from there on out.

This is why we don’t let dps have nice things.

Moral: Please don’t misdirect mobs onto a tank who has no idea you’re doing so. Not only is it stupid, it’s like to get your face smushed. And when you’re not the one controlling the ready check, never assume that everyone hit Yes. Never ever.

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Aggromaniac

I have a reasonable suggestion. It’s simple, too. Before a person can be qualified to be a dps character in a five-man dungeon, first they should be forced to play a tank in a group with bad dps. I feel that this experience, the frustration at seeing firsthand all the things dps players sometimes do to make a tank’s life hard, would make them a better damage-dealer in group situations.

Leigh and I hit up Shadow Labyrinth a few days back, and one of our dps members was a hunter who’s name I forget. She had pretty decent dps, her raw numbers were right around Leigh’s. But she was absolutely terrible when it came to aggro.

The hunter consistently pulled aggro off Leigh, to the point where I checked my Recount to make sure she wasn’t using some kind of bizarre rotation that contained Distracting Shot. This was not a problem of Leigh’s. She was tanking like she always does, doing high dps and damage, but the hunter’s dps choices were as poor as they could be.

She would target the enemies that had the least threat on them from Leigh, the one furthest down her target list, and then unload. I suspect she liked bragging about taking aggro from the tank, and she did nothing to dissuade me from that theory — the hunter talked about how great her dps was, and how the tank should be doing better, and how she couldn’t help taking aggro, it wasn’t her fault, her dps was just so high.

(For the record, it was about 750, with Leigh at 730.)

I tried to explain to her that threat doesn’t work like that. Leigh, under the effect of Righteous Fury, does threat at a much, much greater level than her actual dps indicates (and her actual dps is not low). In order for anyone to take aggro from her, they have to be playing very poorly, or have some kind of a death wish.

There’s really no excuse for this. Even if your single target dps is three times the tank’s, then guess what? Dial back your attacks, do some more auto attacks instead of popping your cooldowns and going for broke. The run will be better with a little less overall damage than it will be if everyone is constantly trying to save your aggro-whoring ass.

She clearly didn’t believe me, or just wanted to keep making a fuss, because on the ogre boss in Shadow Labs, she constantly unloaded on the boss before Leigh could get back onto it after a mind control session, forcing Leigh to taunt.

So, after enough of this, Leigh didn’t taunt. I didn’t heal. The hunter died. The rest of the boss fight went so much more smoothly.

To illustrate my aggro point, a little later we were in Utgarde Keep with a level 80 death knight. I have no idea what he was doing there, but there he was. He was raid geared and did 3000 dps. This death knight … did not take aggro. Not once. Even though his dps was more than three times higher than Leigh’s.

Because you see, there’s a little something called aggro management. Dps should have to pass a test on it before they’re given a license. Seriously. We’ve gone over it before. Attack the tank’s target, be careful with your AoE, focus fire, lay off or temporarily switch targets if you see the mob’s threat number getting too high. This is not rocket science, people.

Moral: If you don’t manage your aggro, the tank has every right to let you die. I don’t care how awesome you think you are or how big your numbers are — if you’re making things tougher on the group, then you are not impressing me. And last time I checked, dead hunters do zero damage per second.

aka Leigh and Bloom vs Totems and/or Mind Control.

One thing we’ve found we can count on DPS for, is being more interested in hitting mobs than helping out.

We have experienced many, many instances with totems that should be taken care of by the DPS.  However, it’s far more often that Bloom or myself are the ones attacking them.  Now, while this is ridiculously annoying, it’s not necessarily that dangerous.

…until you get into the realm of mind control totems.

Evil Leighroy takes a swing at Symitar-Dethecus.

Now, if the DPS is the victim of a totem such as this, that’s ok.  I’ll probably be the only one killing the totem, but no one gets too hurt.

However, if I’m the one being mind controlled…people die.

I’m not joking.

I have killed teammates under the influence of these totems.  I believe I may have even caused a wipe once.  And sometimes, we’re only saved by Bloom’s desperate moonfire-spam.  And as you can see by the screenshot, I’ve almost taken care of poor Symitar, too.

(Bloom says: sometimes she even stuns me, to keep me from healing the dps while she slaughters them. She feels neither mercy nor remorse.)

Often, I relish this.  Perhaps given a little fear, a DPS will be more willing to take care of totems.  Also, it’s kind of fun to see how OP I am  :)

Moral: Always kill totems.  ALWAYS.

Introducing…

At least I have chicken...

Last night, Bloom and I were sitting in queue, waiting an impossibly long minute or so for our next instance group, when Loliana of my main guild texted me.

“MOLTEN CORE!”

There had been talk earlier of perhaps running this.  I had suggested a few days ago that perhaps Bloom and I should try to get all the dungeon achievements.  We’re already well on our way, and you never know when they’re going to start giving rewards, or turning old achievements into feats of strength because they’ve gone and updated the raids.

So, when Molten Core was mentioned, I told Loli that Bloom and I would probably be interested (whereas my main would not–I like to get specific groups of achievements on specific characters so as not to overwhelm myself), and after she texted me, I whispered her and Bloom and I began running.

…We have no flight paths to speak of.  It’s rather hillarious actually.

One nice thing about the patch in which they introduced the new dungeon system is that any level can use any summoning stone now, so eventually we got a summon there, and as many of us were alts, the bulk of us went through BRD to get attuned.  Once inside, we killed all of the bosses, got our achievement, and then decided to go to Blackwing Lair (BWL) as well.

It turned out that BWL still required attunement too, which involved an Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) run!!

This was exciting, as that’s where the Leeroy achievement takes place–kill 50 Rookery Whelps in 15 seconds or less.

Our first run was a fail.  We didn’t group up the whelps properly, and the achievement didn’t happen, and then one of the bosses was killed too fast and it stalled the instance.  So, out we went (after some creative alt-hopping and summoning), reset the instance, and tried again.

When our dear hunter ran through independant of the tank (he wasn’t on Vent), we thought all hope of the title was lost.  But seeing there were twenty left to go, I went in and hit Consecrate a bit, and BAM!  Jenkins title!

I think I need a Westfall Chicken now, so I can say, “At least I have Chicken”.

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the DPS Who Really Ought To Be Ashamed Of Themselves By Now

You know who you are. You roll into a dungeon, the big, strong dps, the damage dealers, the ones who put up the big numbers and make the bad guys fall down. And then suddenly the tank steamrolls the whole dungeon, leaves you in the dust, and puts you to absolute shame.

This is understandable sometimes at low levels, especially with paladin tanks. But Leighroy does this regularly even still, at level 65. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been generally getting better. She typically only does about 35-40% of the group’s damage these days, a handful of people can beat her pure dps score (though very, very few beat her overall damage), and the trend has been positive. But every once in a while …

Every once in a while, this happens. This recount was recorded during an Underbog run, and no, I didn’t rig it by not resetting. That’s the full run, start to finish.

What we have right here is a tank doing 52% of the group’s damage while simultaneously blowing their dps out of the water, at level 65. That sort of thing really shouldn’t happen anymore. I know, I know, two of them are warriors, but we’ve seen a warrior doing 650 dps — they are capable.

I need to add that we’re not calling out the people in that recount. They were a fairly friendly bunch, and fine enough to group with. We tend to get chatty with groups we like, whereas when we don’t like a group, all the conversation is in guild chat where they can’t see it, and this was definitely a chatty group.

Moral: How we long for the day when there will be three damage dealers on top of the charts, with Leigh in fourth. I’m not convinced it will ever happen. We still haven’t even hit two yet, and one is such a rare happenstance that we take note of it and cheer.

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Rudekin

Sometimes you wonder why you even bother.

Leighroy and I have been rocking the low-level Outland dungeons pretty hard the last few days. For the most part this has actually gone pretty well. No one can beat Leigh on the damage charts yet, and some of the Death Knights we meet are still pretty bad at their jobs (while some are quite good), but for the most part things have been going smoothly. But every once in a while …

We hit Blood Furnace for the nth time, and on the first pull our boomkin, Erustari from the Gul’dan server, took aggro with his AoE. His fault in a way for not waiting long enough, but that’s okay, it happens. Even though he was standing right next to the tank when he took this aggro, he began to run around the room, forcing Leigh to chase his mobs down to get them off him. We pointed out that he should stay next to the tank.

Apparently he didn’t like this plan, because he ran ahead of the group and body-pulled some more adds, running them back to us. He offered some half-assed explanation that they were stealthed, even though they weren’t. He then began to laugh and tell us that he was just fucking around. I told him not to, so of course he insulted me.

Rather than leave his sorry ass and drop group, I told him that he wouldn’t get any more heals from me. He continued to be rude. So Leigh looked at the random dungeon debuff time remaining and told him that he had ten minutes to redeem himself.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because when that runs out, we’re kicking you.”

Rather than take this opportunity to heart, he began to argue with her and make up excuses for his behaviour, claiming that we had attacked him and he was only defending himself. He then resolved to continue being an ass because we were going to kick him anyway. Leigh told him that she wouldn’t if only he would shut up and do his job.

For a miracle, at that point he actually did. I don’t think a single other word was said through the whole run except to congratulate someone who levelled. We finished the dungeon and went our separate ways. And I put him on my ignore list, because seriously, I don’t heal people who insult us.

Other highlights of the night’s excursions include a pair of mages who informed us they were “gangsta”, talked incomprehensibly among themselves, pulled groups of mobs and then ran to the tank, then insulted Leigh and laughed about it. Needless to say, we left those idiots behind and went somewhere else.

There was also a great incident in Slave Pens where one of the dps swam out toward Quagmirran, the end boss, with the tank nowhere around. Leigh asked him what he was doing, so he turned around and said “lol”.

“Ohahahaha, getting yourself killed,” said Leigh. “lol / ahaha / :P / it’s sooooooo funny when dps do things they’re not supposed to! / ahahahaha / ahaha”

The dps lolled again as we killed the boss, and smiled, and apparently thought he had done a great job.

“In case you were wondering,” said Leigh, “I was being very, very sarcastic.”

The poor dps left the group without replying to that. Maybe with a lesson learned? We can only hope.

Moral: I know you’re playing to have fun, but so is everyone else. Being rude to people and “fucking around” to make things harder for them is not fun. It’s selfish, and we will kick you for it if you insist on being an ass.

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Solo Wonders

One truth of World of Warcraft, especially in these days of increased experience gain, heirlooms, and easier access to gear, is that every spec of every class can safely solo to 80, with some specs having a faster time of it than others. Playing solo is pretty simple — you take aim at something, you kill it, you run if there are too many of them.

But being a good solo player and being a good group player are two very different things. In a group you have to take into account the abilities and roles of everyone in the party, think about how they can work together, and do things properly so that everyone survives and progresses smoothly and efficiently. At least, that’s the theory. If you are like far too many of the dps we’ve encountered, you can also simply play like you’re by yourself, ignore all the helpful things you can do for a group, roll on your gear and go home. But then you get mean blog posts made about you.

The other night we were in Lower Blackrock Spire for the first time, and one of our group members was a retribution paladin (Leigh, you’ll have to put in his name if you can, I think you ignored him for us). He did pretty decent dps, so he obviously knew the straight up damage-causing mechanics of his class and spec, but the more we played with him, the more we realized he was secretly a bad dps player.  You know, his dps wasn’t even that good, so he must have been doing SOMETHING wrong.  Besides the obvious, of course.

For starters, he would constantly go after the targets Leigh had the least aggro on, the one that her Avenger’s Shield didn’t hit, the one she wasn’t targeting. Perhaps he just loved the sight of aggro going to him for a moment and forcing Leigh to taunt off him. Maybe that made him feel like a big boy, I don’t know. At one point I watched him jump into a group of un-pulled spiders and consecrate them when the rest of us were still looting the last group of spiders. I know you’re a paladin and super-tough and all, but saving your ass from spiders starts to feel like a waste of my mana after awhile.

He also had no concept of debuffs and cleansing. The trolls in LBRS can use a magic attack to turn the tank into a frog, which clears aggro and turns the trolls loose on the rest of the group for a fair chunk of time. This is a fairly bad thing to have happen, because there are trolls running everywhere, other trolls can be pulled by accident, the healer takes a lot of the heat, and everyone is losing health at the same time. If only there were someone else in the group who could cleanse magical effects! Like another paladin. Oh, that’s right, there was.

We specifically asked him to cleanse the tank when she was turned into a frog, but he ignored us. Maybe he didn’t even know he had such an ability, and wasn’t about to take our word for it.

(A funny side effect is that every time Leigh chewed him out for something, be it taking aggro or not cleansing, the boomkin in our group thought she was talking to him, and this led to the oddest disassociated conversations. He also thought her taunt macro yell was directed at him, and had to be reassured several times that this was not the case.)

This all got me thinking about the many cases I’ve seen where people just don’t seem to understand how their class/spec fits into a group. So it’s Lesson Time with Lifebloom.

Buffs: If you have a helpful buff, give it to people. This is so simple a concept I shouldn’t even have to say it, but anyone who’s been in a pre-80 random group probably knows what I’m talking about. Mages who don’t give Arcane Intellect, paladins who don’t give blessings, shamans who don’t drop totems, we’ve seen it all. I really shouldn’t have to ask you for a buff.

Cleansing: I understand that this one is trickier. If you play with the default UI, chances are you have no idea when anyone other than yourself is debuffed, and chances are even better that you can’t be arsed to search through your quickbars to find your debuff-removal ability. But there are some nasty debuffs out there, and the faster we get them off the group, the faster we’ll progress and the better we’ll do. Personally I recommend grabbing Decursive, a simple and excellent cleansing tool.

A sound will play when anyone in your group gets a debuff that you can cleanse, and then all you have to do is click their coloured box in the Decursive frame and wham, you’ve cured them, and you don’t even have to physically switch targets to do it. It’s really that simple. The most complicated it gets is when you have two decursing abilities, such as a druid and a priest have, and then you have to know whether to right-click the box or left-click it. Your party will thank you. Well, okay, that’s a lie. Your party probably won’t even notice. But you’ll all do better, trust me.

Crowd Control: I know this isn’t half as important as it used to be, back in the mists of time, but you should still know how to do it just in case. Tanks these days can hold aggro against legions of enemies, but crowd control can be the difference between victory and a wipe during hard pulls or when shit just plain goes wrong.

Mages, you can polymorph things, this is an incredibly useful and powerful ability that can save your ass. I know, the dps or the tank will probably break your cc, but that’s their fault.  You can always yell at them if they were the ones who told you to CC. :) Druids, you can root your enemies for a short period of time (I had to do this the other day when I was the only person still alive and a mob interrupted my rezzing, so that I could stand clear and get a battle rez off on Leigh). The list goes on and on — just about every class can do something. Learn what it is, and practice it for when things go bad.

Focus Fire: AoE is king of the damage game right now, but not every class has it for every situation when levelling. Unless a kill order has been established or is generally recognized (ie. kill the healer first), you should start by attacking the same target the tank is. Tanks will target-switch (at least warriors will), but the first enemy they smash is the one they’re going to have the most threat on to start the fight. If everyone attacks that enemy first, it’ll be dead by the time the tank has good threat on everything, and everyone goes home happy. If you just pick a random target, or even worse if you go after the target the tank has the least threat on, then the fights last longer and sometimes you get a mob in your face. And if you ever complain about the tank’s threat when your target selection is moronic, expect the tank to hate your stupid ass.  A good way to achieve this is to press F-F, the default hotkey for Assist.  Generally speaking, everything will be looking at the tank initially–assisting once will target the tank, assisting again will target what the tank is targeting.  Problem solved!

Know Your Threat: I don’t mean that every dps should have Omen running. It’d be handy, but is not required. What I mean is that every class has abilities that do more or less threat than others, and you should not start out with your big guns. For classes with tanking abilities, such as warriors and death knights, don’t open with your high threat abilities. Feel free to sling some of them around once the tank has a comfortable lead, but don’t open with them, please. Mages, don’t start charging your pyroblast while the tank is still running in. AoE classes, let the tank get things in hand before you open up with your blizzard or your volley or your whatever. Unless the tank is completely incompetent, it’s your own fault for taking aggro, and a meaner healer than me would let you die for it just out of principle.

Some things to remember: Your portrait will have a yellow glow when you’re climbing a mob’s threat table.  It will proceed to orange, and eventually red–when it gets to red, you already have aggro.  At that point, I might throw you Righteous Defense, but if the healer also has a red portrait, Imma throw it on Bloom first, so you might be SOL.

Know Your Role: For the love of God, let the tank pull. I know hunters used to do it sometimes, but those days are over, except for some boss misdirects. Everything is so much better when the tank doesn’t have to taunt off you before they even have a chance to establish threat. If the healer is in trouble and the tank can’t get there, pull the mob to yourself, especially if you wear mail or plate. If you have a higher armor class than someone being attacked, try to pull the mob to yourself instead, you’re easier to heal. If you have a mob on you, go to the tank. Do not run away.  You know what, even on my mage, if something’s going after the healer, I usually do something to take it off.  Sure, I usually DIE in the process, but it’s better than something chewing on the healer and them having to try to heal themselves, and everyone else.

Also, hunters don’t get misdirection until 70, if I remember correctly.  I don’t want to see them frigging pulling things unless they have swirlies on their heads.  Kapish?

Line of Sight: If you ever get a caster on you, for whatever reason, find a way to break line of sight (or spell distance if all else fails) so that it has to run toward you and hopefully also toward your group. Bringing casters together is the key to destroying their squishy butts. Leaving them at range is the key to bringing too many adds into the battle.

Miscellaneous: Warlocks, soulstone the healer. Do you know how many warlocks I’ve seen soulstoning themselves in a five-man? What the goddamn hell is wrong with you? If you die, then either the healer and tank are already dead and it’s a wipe in which case your ability to pop back to life does no one any good, or else you pulled aggro and the party will do just fine without you until combat is over and they can rez you normally. Do not waste your soulstone on yourself in a group, please.

Hunters, death knights, put your pets on passive. Don’t even put them on defensive, go straight to passive, do not pass go, do not collect $200. A pet that goes after unpulled mobs or runs off after a caster that poked it is a pet that everyone hates. You must be in control of what your pet is doing. Hot-key his key abilities and his attack command, and keep him where you want him, doing what you want him to do.

Rogues:  Yes, you’re sneaky.  We get it.  That doesn’t mean that mobs can’t see you when you get too close, and it doesn’t mean people won’t follow you.  Also (though this hasn’t happened in a while), picking pockets is NOT, contrary to popular belief, more important than poking things with daggers.

Shamans: We love your totems.  We do not so much love when they snuggle up to other mobs.  But considering that we barely get shamans who use totems in the first place, we WILL forgive you. (Especially if you let Lifebloom snuggle up to the mana spring totem too. Oh, sweet mana spring.)

Moral: If you put some effort into playing your class better, logic dictates that you won’t be quite so bad at it.

aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Entire Group By The End Gorrammit Why Do You All Suck So Much?

Leigh and I have been getting into some of the more serious five-man old-school content lately, and the increased need to not be a dumbass has begun to widen the gulf between good players and bad players. Good players thrive in this stuff. The tank holds aggro, the dps pound away and put up big numbers, the healer gets distracted by butterflies and barely manages to save everyone. That’s how it works, people.

But bad players stay bad, and start to look worse in comparison. We’ve had a few of them lately, including a duo of dastardly ninjas.

A Dire Maul East run found us with a death knight, a shaman, and a hunter. This was our first encounter with a death knight, and we were prepared to be amazed. Leigh readied her taunt for when he, in his Outland-level blue gear, would surely pull aggro. It … didn’t really turn out like that. The death knight did a whopping 150 dps (Leigh does about 350, good dps are rocking 400+, and the best mages are flirting with 700).

This was surprising, but not that big an issue. We can deal with low numbers, it just means longer fights. But the death knight took a turn for the funny when it was revealed that every time Leigh used her taunt macro, which shouts for enemies to get the fuck off her dps, the death knight thought she was yelling at him. He then began to cause troubles by having his ghoul pet on aggressive, which in a place as tightly packed as Dire Maul is a Bad Goddamn Idea.

We explained to him that he wasn’t being yelled at, then told him to put his pet on passive. He left the group. No one tells death knights what to do! I’m not going to post his name though, because his only real crime was ignorance and leaving the group.

After his departure, we were left with two other dps who seemed to be okay folk — Cleenex the shaman, from Alexstraza, and Caylana the hunter, from Spinebreaker. I’ve printed their names for a reason.

In the forested courtyard in Dire Maul East, destiny struck. Literally. We got the epic two-handed sword, Destiny, one of the original epic two-handers in the game. According to Thottbot this still auctions for 300 gold. Leigh and I, being civilized human beings, rolled greed. Both the shaman (who cannot equip swords) and the hunter (who would find the strength proc useless) rolled need. The shaman won.

Well, whatever, we thought. We were near the end, they were assholes, it’s not like we really need the money. But there was still the principle of the thing, so I informed them that this made them ninjas, and that they were lucky they had a nice tank and healer who would overlook this.

They both responded that they knew that this made them ninjas, and said that they wouldn’t normally have done it.

As Leigh then put it, “Oh, so you’ll only fuck over good tanks and healers?”

We then dropped group and stranded them. We know they didn’t finish the dungeon because when we requeued we got the hunter again for a fresh run, and made her leave the group because we refused to run with her. They’re both on our ignore list now. We hope they enjoy their longer queues. And I hope the shaman chokes on his gold.

Moral: I think we already went over this one. Don’t be a ninja. Unless you want to sit all alone counting your shiny loot when no one will play with you anymore. Being a gracious party member and rolling properly will not only help make you friends, it’s also totally good for your karma.

But for a draenei and a night elf, I’m proud to say, it takes considerably longer.

Our guild name, <Too Pretty To Die>, is more than just a clever Firefly-related tag. As a paladin tank and a druid healer, we can be pretty difficult to kill. We’ve been levelling exclusively in dungeons for 40 levels now, dozens upon dozens of runs through instances of increasing difficulty. In all of that time, to date, I believe we have only wiped three times.

The first was in Scarlet Monastary Cathedral, the first time we were there. We entered the actual Catheral portion and began to fight the Scarlet Crusaders inside. Suddenly, by some alchemy of misfortune, there were four or five arcane-blasting enemy mages among us, AoE-ing the entire group, and by the time I realized we were in serious trouble and I should be abandoning the dps to save myself and Leigh, it was too late, and we were all dead. After that experience, Leigh took to pulling the mobs outside the doors until we had cleared a nice section.

After that we went nearly 20 levels without dying. Sometimes we probably should have, such as when a shadow priest went running around in Zul’Farrak and turned an already-tough pull into an utter clusterfuck, with caster trolls everywhere. The priest laughed about it and told us he was really stoned, so, y’know, that was great. At least he got better after Leigh chewed him out a bit. In another ZF run, during the ziggurat fight, just about every troll at the base came after Leigh at once and very nearly took her down while I was distracted by reapplying buffs, but druids have some pretty powerful instant heals when they need them and we were okay.

In one of our first forays into the deeper parts of Blackrock Depths, Leigh stepped through a doorway and accidentally found herself surrounded by two large groups of dark iron dwarves, probably a dozen of them in total. Her health dropped like a rock. Myself, our shadow priest, and our shaman began spamming heals on Leigh, while she and a hunter attacked the dwarves. I have a very impressive mana pool for my level, and strong mana regen, but I ran out of mana, and so did our impromptu off-healers. Leigh tossed herself a couple heals of her own, I hit her with Regrowth whenever I regenned enough mana for it, and we managed to squeak out alive. I choose to believe that our prettiness is what caused the priest and the shaman to spontaneously off-heal. Or at least Leigh’s prettiness. I’m kind of a tree now.

(A pretty tree.)

Directly after the above fight, Leigh went and pulled another group while I was drinking and had my talent window up, which covered my party frames. By the time I realized we were fighting, Leigh was dead and the mobs were headed for the dps. Rebirth saved, and we still didn’t wipe. I love any excuse to use my battle-rez.

Our second wipe came in Sunken Temple when one of the dps pulled the dragons that spawn in the middle while Leigh was fighting a full group of smaller dragons and I was lagging behind in catching up from the Prophet’s room. We blame the dps.

Our final wipe came just last night in Blackrock Depths, as Leigh, emboldened by our success at pulling entire rooms earlier in the run, tried to take on all of the mobs in the Emperor’s throne room at once, at long last living up to her namesake. We made it halfway through the room before the dwarves dragged us down. Paladins. I tells ya.

We did die a couple other times in BRD, but both times we weren’t in a full group. If I recall, both times we were three-manning the place for one reason or another. An accidental two-group fight (caused when the rogue went way off from us to fight a caster and then my heal on him aggroed a second group) and then the two of us and a hunter seeing how far we could get at level 52 and wiping in the Summoner’s Tomb against the seven dwarves who were four levels above us. It took six of them joining the fight before we went down.

I don’t count either of those as true wipes. That’s fair, right? Right! I’m glad we agree.

I don’t plan on writing every time we die, but I wanted to illustrate that in most cases, we really are too pretty to die.

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