What use is tollerance?

I just had a lesson in tolerance, with a positive outcome. So on the back of my posts about bad players, pugs, anger, and frustrating experiences here is something where bad turned into good.

Last night I decided to do something chilled and do an easy run, my plan was to grab the non-heroic daily and do some daily quests on my Warlock. You know, turn the brain off for the eve.

The daily was Arcatraz, which is a long trashy Instance that I dislike. Arc is odd in that:

– Some of the trash is tougher than the bosses. eg. big elemental guys who drop meteors can really crunch a group even when you stack up.

– The first boss you see is considered damn hard due to the shadow damage output, the seed of corruption, and a general lack of shadow resist gear. As a Warlock this is OK as I can buff myself with some resist, and if you have a paladin’s aura thats even better. He’s also often left to last in case the rest of the run is a wash too, which means that you miss out on his drops. Frankly I think this boss is not difficult at all on normal, the group just needs to concentrate.

– Layout is curvy and twisted, without adding flavour. Its a very beautiful place without question though, anywhere that has laser doors can’t be a total waste of pixels.

– You need to kill everything in the place. That makes it easy to follow as you don’t need to remember to skip trash, but that also adds time.

– The last boss is a few mobs in sequence, which means you’re always at risk of dropping a character early, and therefore the boss is harder.

But that does not mean its impossible, and if you have guys who are geared and paying attention Arc can be a good run. I was thinking that a Pally Tank and a healer who can cross-heal well would be the go.

So I jumped in LFG and scooted around doing my daily quests. In short time I was in a group with two Rogues and a Shaman healer, all we needed was a tank. Soon after we chatted about a Pally tank who was not ideally geared, but decided that it would be worth it anyway. Chances are the tank might some some upgrades.

Oh boy, that was the beginning of the bad part of the story. When I looked at the group I noticed a few odd things:

1 ) The Shaman healer was really well geared, to the point where he was just after the rep like me. Gear levels equal to or better than mine is more than plenty for any normal 70 run.

2) The Rogues were both from the same guild, and both wearing a mix of colours. One was obviously better geared than the other, but neither was really where you’d need them to be if they were going to help with an under geared member, and having both down a bit was concerning.

3 ) The Pally was wearing basically Ret and Holy gear, and had been Prot for two weeks at 70. I didn’t know if that meant been Prot for ages and a recent 70, or only just recently re-spec’ed. So we checked out her gear: Def 390, HP 10k, Mana 7k (oh shit, we’re going to die a lot).

So we’re not going to kill the last boss, that’s blinding obvious, but we can get the first few down, and get some rep or upgrades.

Then we played…

a ) Threat generation was spikey, and a little slow to begin. Overall though on the longer kills we were fine for threat. 2nd on threat was either the Healer or my Warlock as you’d expect. One of the Rogues also kept up very well too on threat, but I didn’t see a similar dps increase which I don’t understand (any Rogues out there care to comment?).

b ) I pulled threat early a few times and thought it was because I was being a dick-head Warlock. OK, yes, that did happen once or twice, but only when the mob was so close to death that I was only risking my own neck. We never wiped because of my aggro, and I only died once because of that.

c ) Pally was using bubble during the fights when it looked like she’d die. Um bad! Bubble = threat wipe, which means either the healer or myself will become the new threat target. If its the healer that’s a total disaster, and if its my Warlock then also not good considering that I was doing 35%+ of the damage, while constantly holding back. This is why I was getting lots of face time with the mobs. Kudos to the healer for keeping my squishy arse out of the graveyard so often, and also for somehow healing the Tank without getting threat himself. The Healer also made it clear to the tank that bubble was bad, and he did so without being a prick or harsh.

d ) One of the Rogues was doing less damage than the Tank. Normally thats not a total screw-up as pally tanks do actually output some damage while tanking. But remember how low-spec the Tank’s gear was, then consider the Rogue was doing less… That meant 13-15% of damage (I think I could take my Prot pally in and out DPS that Rogue), which means I now have to question why that person is in the run, as its not like dps is hard to find. And what really sucked was that the other rogue was not exactly keeping up either.

I can’t remember the split, but needless to say I’d duel either Rogue happily and place a 1g bet on myself.

e ) All players were using a threat meter that was compatible. In my case it was Omen 2, and I feel this was integral with us making any progress at all. Without one I’d have no idea where the threat of the pally was, and would have to go so slowly as to be useless.

Each stage of the instance was an experiment in wipe avoidance, and considering the team we brought, we actually did well. The shadow boss went down without major incident, the trash got us killed time and time again. The dual-boss spinners and flame-walker guys were one shotted, and then more trash deaths. Which means that when the fight was simple and the instructions were typed in CAPS, we went OK.

We finally got to the last encounter and survived to the 2nd baddie who used the electrical storms to savage the group. When we called an end to it we were all a little down, and I think the Tank was feeling pretty ordinary.

Over the run I picked up a tailoring pattern for some arcane resist 69 item that I’ll never create, a Pris shard from a DE, and a 17g repair bill. Ho hum, off to Shatt for the hand in and log-off.

But then I randomly started chatting to the Tank about our run, and in particular her gear. I was immediately impressed that the tank asked for advice. Here is somebody who is willing to learn and ask questions, and even better used full sentences rather than mobile-speek.

This was the turn around point for me, and the entire run then seemed like a build up to this conversation.

We were talking about having the right stats on gear, easy AH pick-ups, defense scores, reading some websites, and what the good oh-shit buttons are.

Praise be to the Light! The Tank’s player is the right type of player. Honest and not afraid to ask questions. A bad run was turned into a good experience. Not that I want to do this three times a week, but every now and then is not a disaster.

Hopefully I didn’t come across as a know-it-all-asshat, but I really think that the experience of having a bad run followed by a few tips was valuable. As a closing I mailed her some +def gear I had banked for my Death Knight, and hopefully she’ll start to collect some other gear really soon. Getting Pally Tank gear is troublesome and a string of bad luck can really be off putting.


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