Friday, October 30, 2009

Anger Isn't Helpful

We were doing ToC 10, and by "we" I mean me and another guildy were in someone's PUG ToC 10, me on Sugar and him on his Tankadin. Group got together, entered the instance, and we downed it without wiping. I got a pretty new sword and thus was rather pleased with the whole experience.

However, during the process of the raid, there were some issues. A certain Mage within the group had never been there for more than Beasts before, and kept having some issues. Many of which were loudly pointed out and bashed upon.

On Beasts, he died in the beginning in a fire. Which, you know, is generally bad. After the fight everyone seemed to be rather upset with him, telling him not to die the next fight and how could anyone die in a fire? And, since they had apparently missed it the first time I said it in chat and we weren't using Vent, I said, again, "He got headcracked in the fire. That's why the snobold was chasing you on the ground and not humping your face after he died."

Okay, I didn't say the last sentence. But I should have.

Anway, people shrugged it off and we go to Jaraxxus. The Mage speaks up: I've only watched the video for this. Now, honestly, I'm pretty impressed. PUGs without experience generally don't even bother looking up strats or videos, so at least he tried to do his homework before the beginning of the raid.

Here's where the problem enters: since we're not using Vent and the raid leader is trying to get this done as quickly as possible, he gives the Mage the most extreme annotated version of the boss strats. Basically: red fire means stay, green fire means go. And the Mage, suspiciously, asks if we're messing with him (this is legitimate; I have known many people to joke about how "standing in fire gives you a buff"). I whisper him giving him the full details; if he runs out with incinerate he's likely to kill us because he'll explode, but if he stands in green fire he'll die.

Now, of course, having never played a Mage or Shaman on the fight, I forgot to tell him to spell steal the buff. In fact, no one told him to spell steal the buff until we were halfway through the fight and suddenly my Tankadin friend is raging at him in raid warnings. And just at him, not even at the DPS shaman who could have been purging.

It is rare to find a PUG who tries to prepare before a fight and readily admits "I don't know this boss, please explain." So, once again, I jumped in and said how it was not only his responsibility to purge it off, and no one told him to do it when he asked about his job for the fight.

What in the world does yelling at him for it do?

The rest of the raid I spent the time between bosses whispering the mage to explain the boss fights in more extensive detail than what the raid leader was managing. After all, expecting someone who has never done Twins before to understand "switch colors and shields when you're supposed to" is possibly putting too much faith in their psychic abilities.

The Mage never messed up for the rest of the raid. Afterward, he thanked me for my help; apparently a lot of people weren't even willing to give him a chance.

I've gotten angry at PUGs before. It's pretty easy, especially when they challenge you when you point out their mistake, or are annoyingly obtuse about their own failings. Hell, I fail plenty of times, but I always try to admit it, as I'd honestly rather own up to it myself than have someone else point it out. Sometimes they won't even tell you they don't understand the fight and just assume they can pick it up as they go. That, really, is probably the most annoying thing a PUG could do.

So what made this PUG different?

They had tried to learn before the raid. They had admitted that they didn't know. And when they were given proper, detailed instructions? They did well. They never blamed their problems on someone else, nor did they whine or pout because they were being yelled at. They didn't make excuses; telling someone "you didn't tell me I was supposed to" when they had specifically asked pre-fight what their job was is not an excuse, it is a legitimate point.

Getting mad at them was pointless. Just a waste of energy and emotion that could be channeled into actually helping them, and therefore helping the raid overall.


Wooglie said...

I'd invite the mage to your guild, anyone with that amount of patience and common sense would be more than welcome in mine.

Jiyambi said...

Great post, and I just wanted to say the smileys in this post are win :) they cheered up my morning, even if the topic was about senseless anger! Agree with the OP, this mage seems like a good player, I'd at least friend them and try to run more stuff with them!

Armond said...

I love the smileys.

And yeah, I'd send him a ginvite if you can.

Com said...

The angry Tankadin was Montt, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

I concur.

I have to pug all the time now, and I am absolutely amazed at what anger does to a raid. The raid always disbands/fails after a wipe/s when folks yell, blame, and carry on incessantly. The raid never fails after a wipe when folks get back in and do what needs to be done, explain and fix mistakes.

Anger wipes the raid. The ruthlessness is astonishing to me.

Bell I bet you made that mage's day! I'll bet that mage will turn around and be nice to someone else too.


Anonymous said...

Agreed - anger does not solve the issue.
Agreed - if the PUG was guildless, invite her.

Lets be honest, watching videos is never the same as actually doing a fight. Taking a minute to explain the fight to someone who has not done it, but is clearly intelligent and trying to learn, will only save you time and repair gold.

I run with pugs quite a bit - being an altoholic - and making sure that everyone is on the same page at the beginning of a fight can make the run much smoother and fun.

Bell said...

@Com - like Montt would PUG ToC 10. :P No, it wasn't.

Also, for everyone saying to invite him, he was already guilded, and my guild has an application process for membership unless you're a friend/family member of a current raider.

Jong said...

That was nice and pro of you bell. What an amateurish mean fail pug.

Conrad said...


Armond said...


JC said...

Agree with post completely. I've spent many a raid /w to a newbie (to that instance) explaining the fights. They are invariably grateful. I only wish someone would do it for me once in a while.

Cornyo said...

So much good in this post. Not that that is unusual...

I PuG a lot of stuff, from heroics to 25s, always have, I find it very fun. I always make it my rule to let the raid know what level of experience I have in a raid, from "I could do this without a monitor" to "OMG this was released yesterday, I know nothing, but I will fail no more than once."

I used to raid pretty hardcore, so I do know more fight mechanics than some pugs, but overall, I find that underestimating my dps, knowing my class, and being upfront is totally the way to go.

I get on friends lists, which is a big deal for a non-hybrid dps...

Cazenovia said...

Long-time reader, first-time commenter.. /cower!

Completely agreed. I may need to post up a story of my most recent Ulduar pug that felt very similar. People frustrate me when they claim they know the fights and then make every mistake in the book, or when they boast about their DPS and have both sub-par DPS and a bizarre spec. If they state outright they don't know the fights, that it's an alt, whatever.. I'm much more sympathetic and likely to help them out.

My reaction to pug wipes or deaths is usually to ask what happened - even if I know what happened already, it's more productive to have people figure it out themselves than to yell at them for it.