I read about a study once. I forget whether it was rats or chickens (or maybe both), but basically the researchers had three groups: one got treats regularly for doing something, one was given treats irregularly for doing the same thing, and one just didn’t get any darn thing no matter what the hell they did. The ones who got the goodness were happy while the ones who didn’t get any became depressed and sad. Most importantly for my point here, the ones who received treats irregularly just turned warped and neurotic, continually doing Whatever It Was just because maybe, JUST MAYBE, they’ll get a treat this time! This accurately describes my relationship to LFR.
Persistence in the Face of Adversity
Or perhaps just flailing in the face of futility.
Last night, I decided I was going to run ALL THE LFR EVER, except for maybe Lei Shen, who still scares the hell out of me. I had a lot of optimism for no apparent reason. But I actually had to wait a day to write this up because I was overwhelmed by a sort of violent befuddlement, the kind you get when your brain just Can. Not. Process. Any. More. Of this sheeyit. You know, it’s like when your computer freezes, but you don’t want to wait for it and you don’t try to shut it down normally – you just say eff it and pull the plug.
1st Queue: Vault of Mysteries
Two out of three bosses were already down when the queue popped for me, but I was fine with that. Elegon lags the everliving bejeebus outta me, and Will of the Emperor is the only boss there that drops what I want anyway. The fight was nondescript, really. We won, everybody who got something insisted on linking it in raid chat because yay for me, life went on.
Roll result: More gold
Sense of Optimism: Not defeated yet
2nd Queue: Terrace of Endless WTF
Raiding relies on a delicate cooperation between allies (where everyone is generally as close to the top of their game as possible), a good dose of what we’ll call “luck” and a lack of lag. LFR, being LFR, relies on a slightly different balance where everybody must accomplish the bare minimum in order to enable the group to coast through safely. This dance of doing as little as possible can be pushed to the benefit or detriment of all. All heals don’t have to be top notch, for example, if you’ve got one guy who’s way above the average and can cover for the others. DPS can coast more if a couple of their number are overgeared out the wazoo. More skill in some players equals greater ease for others.
When the tank faces Tsulong into the party and blasts everybody with Shadow Breath, though, you should be concerned that this give-and-take relationship has gone awry in a way that is not so good for anybody. This is especially bad if the healers as a whole can’t keep up with the increased damage that DPS are taking because said tank doesn’t have Righteous Fury on and can’t keep aggro. (Reason? “idgaf,” since he changed specs and “forgot.” What, are tanks trolling LFR now?) A negative void caused by a rampant lack of
smarts skill actual caring can suck everyone into a horrible spiral of bad, and you’re well on the way.
You know, I actually like Tsulong. His ninety million adds manage to show that your DPS classes are actually important. Yes, I’m talking about those of us who are a dime a dozen, who obviously have the worst damage EVER and YOU could play [insert class here] better than that, and who can’t do diddly squat without a tank or healer. As it turns out, when a majority of your DPS is down and out for the count (“What’s a battle res,” you ask?), those adds become an event horizon. They are a point of no return. They are going to kick your collective ass.
I’ve summarized the pattern of our subsequent conversation for you here. It’s essentially the same thing you hear all the time when nobody wants to blame his or her own actions for contributing to the fail. Insults are optional but add to your overall sense of self superiority.
Did you just wipe? If no, proceed to the next pack of trash.
If yes, are you a tank? Blame the DPS for failing miserably hard and the heals for being totally unable to keep up with your magnificence.
If yes, are you a healer? Blame the DPS, since if those mother truckers would kill the adds, we wouldn’t be in this position. Don’t blame the tanks even when they suck horribly, though, because they’re more useful to you than the DPS and they’re way harder to come by.
If yes, are you the DPS? Blame the tank for gawdawful positioning and being unable to keep aggro while simultaneously blaming the healers for being unable to cover for the tank.
IT TRULY IS AN ENDLESS CIRCLE OF
Roll result: N/A, dropped that party so fast it broke
Sense of Optimism: Busted up but not defeated
Third Queue: Last Stand of the
So the queue popped and everyone gathered for the pre-fighting ritual of Pandaren feasts and warlock cookies. But then, unexpectedly, the main tank asked why he was the tank.
A quick inspection revealed the guy had no tanking armor and was dual wielding, but folks decided to charge ahead anyway, because tanks are hard to come by and they’d been in the queue long enough. On the first pull, Faketank died, which just goes to show you that sometimes, “platewearer” means absolutely nothing. On subsequent pulls, Daintytank often died, but at least Daintytank consciously made the decision to queue as a tank.
It wasn’t long before Faketank got kicked. Daintytank was definitely squishy though and had to be resurrected often, so people breathed a sigh of relief when RealRaidertank arrived in the instance. Unfortunately, RealRaidertank wanted to be all hardcore and sheeyit when it came to the windy bridges in the instance.
If you are not familiar with the LFR way of running these bridges, the DPS stay on the stairs while the tank and maybe a healer or two run ahead and pull the adds back to the stairs. Given the number of people involved whose competence is suspect, this method is much preferred over having everybody try to avoid the weird floaty spirit trolls while getting to a spot where they won’t get blown off into the abyss.
But RealRaidertank didn’t want to do that. No, he wanted to do it the Real Way, so he placed a red marker about a quarter to halfway down the bridge, in a very tiny nonwindy spot. RealRaidertank went running off down the bridge without saying a word, apparently expecting everybody to understand this Obvious message.
The rest of the group experienced a brief, yet TRULY INSPIRING moment of unity and did not move one freaking inch off the stairs. I’ve never seen LFR act as such a cohesive unit before, and I probably never will again. As you probably guessed, RealRaidertank kicked the bucket before making it back to the stairs, because no one went with him – not even a healer. He died FOREVER ALONE.
He then proceeded to insult everyone, because putting others down is a tried and true method of motivating the masses, and also of saving one’s own ego. The group told him something to the effect of “LOL, this is LFR, adjust your stupid expectations,” but he must have missed all that while calling us scrubs. Otherwise, he would have learned his lesson and he would not have repeated the entire thing all over again on the second windy bridge. It was, dare I say, one of the most beautiful spectacles I’ve ever witnessed in LFR.
There was some exchange of words here, in which I participated though knowing better, because I Had Enough of the stupid. RealRaidertank dropped. We hadn’t even gotten to the first boss!
They say that bad things happen in threes, and indeed the third tank showed up and said he wanted to heal. Otherwise, please tell him how to tank. (p.s., he can one tank Horridon until after the third door “if you want.”)
Did he really just ask how to tank?
This was the moment when my brain finally broke completely. I remember only three things:
- He kept on asking how is heals were
- Our margin of victory on Jin’Rokh was amazingly, terrifyingly small (only a handful of DPS were still up)
Roll result: N/A, out of charms
Sense of Optimism: Scarred for freaking life and done for now kthx
As a final note, the waaaaaambulances are needed in great numbers on the forums because Lei Shen got nerfed. LFR needs a challenge, they say. THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES ARE THE CHALLENGE, I say.