Sunday, June 27, 2010

Don't Be THAT Pally

I've heard stories from various websites and people I've pugged with about a peculiar breed of Ret Spec Paladin, the Retardin.  Apparently this breed, like the Huntard and others of his ilk, has an overinflated sense of ego coupled with a lack of understanding of how to play the class.  When you throw in tendencies to tell everyone else how to play their class, you've got the makings of a real ass that can give Huntards and Boomkin a run for their money.

Having played WoW for less than a year, I've not found that many Retardins out there using the LFD tool.  Probably Cassandri's speculation over at Hots and Dots about how the tool matches people up is correct after all, since I rarely see another Paladin in the PUGs I've been in.

All that changed yesterday in Tomakan's run through Razorfen Kraul.  I've been in Kraul a couple of times, but that's only at L80 working on Loremaster.  Like I commented to Souldat while I was in the run, it's sure different when you're not steamrolling through here, and you've got competing egos to deal with.

The setting started with a Warrior tank, myself as healer, and Paladin, Hunter and Mage as the DPS.  Almost from the get-go the Ret Spec Pally started on the tank. 

"Use Challenging Shout!" 


"Let him go," the Hunter said.  "He's doing okay."

"He's L26!"

After the first boss, the tank had pretty much had enough.  "I'm leaving," he said.

"Oh, the poor baby didn't get the helm?"

"No, my friend is on and I get more XP with him."  And he dropped.

"That's okay," the Pally said.  "I can tank while we wait for a new one."

Normally, you'd think that a four man group would slow down a bit to recover some more in between pulls, but the Pally kept going.  I was doing okay, keeping my mana up by Judging Wisdom, until the pseudo-tank spoke up.  "You're interfering with my buff," he said.  "You Judge Light and I'll Judge Wisdom."

I bit back what I really wanted to say, and instead said "Just as long as you let me drink from time to time."

For the record, he did stop to let me and the Mage drink.  Once.

We kind of limped along until we got to the area where the mobs can use silence.  The first couple of mobs were okay, but the third mob was massive and nasty.  The first time I got silenced, I stepped back, getting out of their range, but the pseudo-tank was at the far end of the mob, so I couldn't heal him without going back into range.  And on that second round of silencing, the pseudo-tank bit it.

I then became the target of his ire.  "Way to go standing in melee with mobs that can silence you," he sniped.

I ignored him. 

"Why don't you learn to stand out of range?"

I ground my teeth and let him simmer.  With this guy, it was like mud wrestling with a pig, and I wanted to spend my energy on finishing off the mob --which we did.  Besides, with the profanity filter on, my barbs wouldn't have quite the same sting.

"Will you stop your whining?" the Hunter demanded.  "We survived."

"But I lost my buffs, and you don't know the cost of repairing Heirloom gear."

If the Retardin had actually paid attention and inspected everyone in the group, he'd have realized that we all had Heirloom gear on before sending that little zinger out.

"Oh be quiet," the Hunter said.  "We're almost at the end anyway."

We got to the last boss, and naturally I couldn't heal the Retardin because he ran inside and didn't pull the boss back out to where we all could reach her.  I ran inside and slapped Naaru on him before I could get silenced or stunned, and then we finished the boss off.

Instance finished, the Retardin vanished.

"Why am I not surprised?" I asked nobody in particular.

Moral of the Story:  Don't be an ass.  The instance went fine for the most part, but the antics of one guy didn't make for a fun time.

Yes, I could have done some more smack talk in the instance, but it would have done me no good.  Believe it or not, we were queued the entire run when we went 4-man, but no tank appeared.  If I'd harassed the Retardin enough to where he dropped, we'd have been waiting a looong time to finish that instance.

Also, a corollary:  silence does not indicate assent.  Sometimes it does, when people ask if we're ready before a boss fight, but other times people might actually be running the instance rather than talking smack.  When I'm DPS, I can talk smack all I want, but when I'm Healer or Tank my first responsibility is to the team.  And I'm least interested in responding to an overblown windbag trying to tell me what I can or can't do when he drove one pugger out already.  I've never stopped healing someone in an instance before, but don't tempt me into letting you be the first, buddy.


  1. Your silence may not indicate assent, but I guarantee it doesn't make the jerk think twice about being a jerk. I understand not wanting to talk smack during an instance, but when blatantly attacked for no good reason, I think you have a right, nay a responsibility, to respond.

    If it had been me I would have at least responded to the bit about staying out of range of silence, that perhaps tank could have been in range for heals so I could stay out of silence.

    These are the kinds of folks I kick out of dungeons. I don't care if it's gonna take us another 20 minutes to finish the dungeon. I don't cope with people who are blatantly rude. No one should have to put up with this just to get through a dungeon. If the group won't kick him then I leave. Simple as that.

    Then again, maybe I'm just a bit too much of a paladin irl.

  2. Oh, I was tempted to say something. After watching him in action for the better part of 40 minutes, I knew that no matter what I or anyone else said he wasn't going to change his tune. Like that line in Cool Hand Luke, some men you just can't reach.

    There was one point that I thought that if the Hunter could sic his pet on a party member, he'd have done it. I knew who I would have been rooting for.

    I figured that five more minutes of shenanigans was worth it, because I didn't want to wait for another run. The late 20s seems to be a weird LFD range where even a Healer has to wait about 20 minutes to get in an instance, but a Tank can pop right in whenever. (At least on Ysera, that is.)

  3. I think Tamarind wrote a post about why people don't speak up/create conflict ... essentially because if you don't believe their behavior will change you end up wasting both your time and theirs.

    BTW love the new site design!

    Honestly the reason I give Ret Pallies so much grief is because I played during BC when you always were desperate for Holy and Prot Paladins... and the Ret breed usually had this stubborn "I'll goddamn DPS if I feel like it" mentality that would have been suffer-able if their DPS was really worth having.

    I always thought that all hybrid DPS were aware of the unspoken rule: NEVER EVER complain when another player playing your class to heal/tank sucks. Seriously I never say boo if I see a Priest fail at healing (which I do see occasionally). It's a huge no no.

    Unfortunately Ret Paladins are the most likely hybrid to bitch about another Paladin's healing or tanking. Although I've seen DPS DKs bitch at tanking DKs a bit too.

    PS the Born Again Ret vid from BC days explains a lot of the "LOL Ret" attitude.

  4. @Cassandri: Soul and Satyana deserve the credit for the site changes. I tweaked the font colors for the sidebar and added some unseen code, but that's it.

    I suppose I should be fortunate that I missed out on the heyday of the Retardin. Such behavior makes me wince, because I learned long ago that that sort of thing reflects badly on an entire class.

    One thing I've tried to impress on my kids is that when they wear clothing with a school logo --or something else that they're affiliated with-- they represent what they're displaying. If they behave badly, it will make others think that their school is filled with jerks. On the flip side, if they behave well, people will think well of their school.

    It's a lesson that more than a few Retardins could use.

  5. Baaahahahahaha... a quick Google image search for the word "retardin" turns up a tube of cream, that's an actual product named Retardin.

    It's a "Desensitizing cream for men."

  6. Hey, as long as there's not an image of Quint there using the cream....

  7. BTW where is Satyana? WTB a Stellah post. I guess no news is good news? Things must be good with the server transfer?

  8. I saw her log in on A-52 just as I was logging off, so she must be back from her vacation. I'll have to track her down to see how things are going.

  9. I'll be honest with you, Red. I used to get people telling me things like that as I was writing "pug leveling" stories. Like "You should have said xyz to this person," or even "You have a *responsibility* to say whatever to whatever person," and the fact is, no. It's your call. I know I've bit back stuff I would have liked to say, mostly because my dedication to the group in general outweighs my own personal vendettas, and pally healing requires such attention. I could be a much lippier druid than a paladin, with that spare "breathing room" time to talk while HoTs are rolling. Paladin healers just don't have that often. So I absolutely hear you there, and as you said, saying something would have likely inflamed the situation rather than ameliorated it - talking to this guy was like talking to a wall. It's his ilk that give us a bad name!

  10. @Vidyala: Yeah, the mage and hunter were decent enough puggers, and I didn't want to screw them over if I could help it. A lot of times, the best a Pally can do is simply be a good example. Kind of like the time I was in an HoR run and I won a trinket for Quint's rarely used Holy Offspec. The Druid asked if he could have it for his Main, and I said sure and traded it to him. "Wow," he exclaimed, "Horde are nice!"

    I suppose I could have skipped a talent point in Illumination and gotten Aura Mastery as well, but a little birdie tells me that the Retardin would have bitched that I had on Concentration Aura instead of Retribution or Protection.

  11. Classic PuG tale!

    Sometimes the baddies are just looking to troll, even in the form of a PuG. I guess they are too chicken &%$# IRL to be rude to someone's face, so they use the game as an outlet to be jerks. I literally had someone in a PuG last week that was so incredibly obnoxious, but when no one responded to his antics, he just dropped group suddenly. I occasionally rebute back, but most of the time I grit my teeth and bare it, as I know what I say will fall on def ears.

    Hey, at least you get a good story out of it!

  12. Gosh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come off like that. Perhaps I've even been one to post on Vidalya's blog about responsibility to say stuff.

    You're absolutely right. It's your call. I just get so frustrated with the jerks, and they don't even realize they're doing anything wrong.

    Then again, perhaps I should take NaturalGamerGirl's advice, and not feed the trolls.

    Stellah can tell you, I love feeding trade chat trolls, so I think maybe it's a personal problem.

    At the end of the day, good story and good conversation. :)

  13. @NaturalGamerGirl: Oh, I know. I dropped Trade Chat on A-52 for a reason; it was much cruder and obnoxious than on either Stormscale or Ysera. At first I thought it was because of the extreme bias in favor of the Horde, but when I tried an Alliance toon there I discovered the crudeness there as well.

    @Loveandwarinazeroth: Don't worry, it's all good. I knew the tone you took, so I was fine with it.

  14. It's interesting, in the entire time I've been using LFG, I have only run into one RetPal in a group (I'm Ret) and that was the other night in the Holiday Boss fight.

    I understand why they do it, but it's a little saddening since I never (or very rarely) get a chane to see other Rets in action so that I can watch & learn, or possibly get to lead and teach.

    I am VERY conscious of the perception that Rets are idiots and stuff, so I try to be a good representative to the class. However, I can say this: with a fail-tank, it's very easy for us to look bad. (or with a strained or bad healer)

    If there's a multiple mob fight, it's pretty common to pull aggro from the tank, even with good tanks, and good coordination.

    With a bad tank, it's virtually impossible to avoid pulling aggro (unless I just stand there and drop AoEs) and I will take a ton of damage and will occasionally die from it.

    "Watch aggro, n00b" is all I get from the tank, healer or other DPS.

    All I can respond with (without getting nasty) is

    "Um, sorry, 2,500 Dps, from an AoE and auto-attack should be easy for a tank to deal with"

    Sometimes I will argue, other times I won't. It depends on my mood, the mood of the others in the group, and if I feel like I can comfortably tank the remainder of the instance.

    It's a choice, and that is as it should be.

  15. @SlikRX: The only times I ever seem to get a Ret Pally (when I'm running Quintalan, my main) is when I queue up with another Ret Pally from my guild.

    If nothing else, pugs have taught me exactly where to stand and how to dial it down so I don't pull aggro. I'd gotten so spoiled having Souldat as my tank when running instances that when I started pugging on my own I began to routinely pull aggro. I learned the hard way, but by now, I know to never bother with Consecration unless I've got a tank that's built like a... well... you know.

  16. I understand and admire your forebearance - and sometimes, yes, agreed it's probably just best not to waste anybody's time but I also hate the idea that somebody could hold a group hostage to dickishness because of the limitations of the dungeon finder tool. Also, yes, I don't think anything you would have said could have made the situation any better - and chances are the guy is just going to dick around Azeroth until he hits 80. Gah.

  17. @Tam: I think he'll dick around Azeroth no matter what I say, because he thinks he knows it all. Since I know he was an alt (heirloom gear), he does this on his L80 somewhere else. And that's a scary thought.

  18. I had a group member - pretty sure it was another ret paladin - call our healer in H Gundrak "worthless" when they missed the last interrupt on Moorabi. Without having been asked to do it. The healer dropped immediately and I felt compelled to ask the guy just wtf was wrong with him (with full profanity, of course). The strange thing is, he said "nothing, what's wrong with you"... but I almost felt a bit of sheepishness about it. Maybe some jerks really could benefit from being caled out on it.

    And regarding Ret as a spec, there isn't a spec or class in the game that had to suffer more abuse than they did mid-TBC. A forum poster mentioned a time where people would /spit on holy pallies in Orgrimmar if they saw them holding a 2 hander. Some guilds would regularly shard plate dps gear rather than give it to a paladin for main or offspec. It was borderline pathological.

    I guarantee your griefer used to pick on them in TBC, being an alt and all.

  19. Oh, but we DO know the cost of repairing Heirloom gear: Nothing. Heirlooms don't have durability, so they don't take damage.


  20. @Anonymous: Worthless my ass. I've known a boatload of people who miss that third interrupt on Moorabi. There's a reason why Less-rabi is one of the last achievements people get in Glory of the Hero.

    Maybe your griefer has been hanging out with mine.

    @Lara: Hahahaha! I never noticed, so that's hilarious. He looks even more the doofus now.

  21. Lara beat me to it! I was about to say "Um...don't heirlooms durability?" That would have been a most delicious comeback, Red. ;D

    "You don't know the cost of repairing heirloom gear!"
    "Actually we do. ZERO NOW STFU."

  22. @Rades--

    Yeah, if I'd have known that ahead of time, it would have been perfect. Oh well; maybe someone else kicked him around for a similar statement another time.