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!"
"Tank, USE CHALLENGING SHOUT!"
"Let him go," the Hunter said. "He's doing okay."
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.