No, there is not a misspelling in the title of this post.
I went back into SFK last night to finish the quest line and get my shoulders. Belmont was kind enough to give me the quest to kill Lord Walden (again) as soon as I walked in, and we didn’t speak to each other again until it was time to trade that in for a quest to kill Godfrey. I realize I shouldn’t spoil the story for you this early in the post – since we all know the shoulders are what this is really about – but it turned out the breastplate was better for me, and I eventually ended up buying some shoulders from the Auction House.
Apple queued with me for this (and could tell her own tales about going into SFK for a piece of equipment) and says I did a wonderful job as healer! She’s done the Holy pally thing, so her opinion means more to me than sumd00d_deeps or WTFtanXXorz. (Not that those are actual names I’ve come across… but I suppose it’s possible.)
The good news is that I got the best random tank I’ve ever had in a group! That orc warrior really knew what he was doing, and he even told me at one point that I was doing a good job on heals. That bad news… Well, the orc warrior was actually one of the dps. It was a Tauren druid who was the tank.
I’ve got a point to get to with this that springs from last night’s dungeon, but isn’t really about last night’s dungeon, so I’ll give you the short version of how the bear failed. He just seemed to be super clueless. In every freakin’ possible way. And the orc was pulling some things, though it seemed to be a cooperative effort between the two of them, and was stepping in at some point to tank most things (even when the bear didn’t die), so it was like healing two tanks and two dps, rather than the standard one tank and three dps. I wouldn’t have thought there was a real difference until I decided to try healing. There is a difference. Trust me.
I got to thinking about FailBear and his pet orc later, though, and I’m not sure he’s really a FailBear like I thought at the time. I think he might just be a NewBear. I was busy kicking myself last night over people dying. I lost the bear twice and the whole group wiped once on Godfrey. It was when I was looking at what I clould have done different in there (Hey, self: Remember the one point early on in there when you wanted to put Hand of Protection on yourself? Next time, DON’T TARGET THE TANK WHEN YOU DO IT!) and I got to the Godfrey fight that I realized something about the bear and the orc.
The orc was leading the bear.
After the wipe on Godfrey I said, “If you would pull Godfrey to the floor, please, that might help. It’s difficult for me to keep you in my line of sight on the stairs.” The orc then said, “<TankName>, pull Godfrey to the floor”. As I said before, it had clearly been a cooperative effort between the bear and the orc when the orc pulled trash early in the dungeon. The orc had never once complained about having to step in and tank things, and had always been ready to do so in a split second. And when we all got back in and I re-buffed the group, the bear started casting Nourish on me. I don’t know why exactly, but I think he just… wanted to help?
I think FailBear was not just NewBear in the sense of being new to his class or role, but I think he may have been a new player. I’ve come across a few lately, and it’s always been a case where I had to figure out they were new and offer some friendly help before they would admit to it. They aren’t just saying right up front, “Hey, I’m new to this, so be patient and let me know if you see something I could do better.” That would have helped last night. It would have given me a better idea of what to expect… like having to approach things as if we had two tanks instead of one. But I can also understand not wanting to say anything. I don’t usually tell a group that I’m new to healing.
Why not? Take a little trip to the Hillsbrad Foothills with me…
The lovely undead woman with the beautiful purple hair is Araneae, and the vicious eight-legged monstrosity is her dear friend Anansi. They’re my…um… other healers. They heal each other. Don’t argue with me. That’s not the point, anyway… look at the bony twerp in the middle. That’s Captain Keyton.
There are three NPCs you meet during the quest that has you acting as a questgiver. Orkus is no less a hero for having never taken swimming lessons, Jenny Awesome should go work on her archaeology so she can get a doll to cheer herself up, and not many people seem to mention Dumass again. His story isn’t so epic. He’s just… Dumass.
After I lead Dumass out of trouble, Captain Keyton gave me some advice on how to handle these things. “Have you ever heard the saying ‘survival of the fittest?’ What you’re doing conflicts with natural law, lady! This idiot should have died in the mines.”
Okay, Dumass is dumb. He thinks Tarren Mill is in the Barrens, for Light’s sake! But Dumass is a newly minted Forsaken who is as eager to help as he is clueless. Not the best combination, but it’s something we can work with. And at least Dumass tells you how new he is.
That’s not so likely to happen in a dungeon group. Not when Dumass the Party Member has run into Captain Keyton the Part Member a few times, or fears running into him. I’ve been in groups, both as dps and healer, where an experienced player who was new to tanking said so right up front. Knowing they’re new to it makes it easier for me to adjust what I’m doing. I perform better when I’ve been warned that their performance may not be the best. Yet, I’m afraid of letting people know I’m still an inexperienced healer. That’s because I’ve also been in groups where a tank or healer admits to being new to this and the group immediately becomes hostile to them… assuming people don’t just start dropping out of the group.
Being new is not the same as being “bad”. But we, as group members, can take a new player and easily mold them into a bad player with how we treat them. Now, I’ll be honest… things were said outside of the party chat last night that were not very kind about the tank. I said some of them myself. Sure… you may need to vent your frustration when a new player is really messing things up for the group. But within the party chat, nothing abusive was said. Anything that was said was said politely. Hopefully, that means the tank will learn from last night’s experience. Personally, I don’t think tank or healer is a good role for an inexperienced player to choose. There are plenty of mistakes a new player can make as dps, but a lot of them are mistakes that it’s easier for other members of the group to make up for. But sometimes part of being a new player is having no clue that the role you chose is going to be the wrong one for you at this time.
The tank might be a Dumass. The healer might be a Dumass. One of more of the dps might be a Dumass. This is not the best you could hope for, but it can be worked with. They don’t have to be a Dumass forever. What a group really doesn’t need is a Captain Keyton.