Tuesday, December 1, 2020


I don't often write about failpugs these days for two reasons: I've found them pretty rare in WoW Classic, and a lot of the runs I go on these days are with friends online.*

That doesn't mean those failpugs don't exist, however.

I was reminded of that in AQ20 last night. It was a sponsored run by said guild, and I attend regularly because I want to see these runs --Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraq-- to succeed. And for them to succeed, they need a core of people that the raid leader can depend upon to show up week in and week out. Plus, I really like the raid leader's work ethic and how she runs the raid, and this is my way of showing support.

I've done over 15 or so AQ20 runs, so I know the ebb and flow of these raids fairly well. I've even been both a runner and a clicker for Ossirian**, so you know I've been around a bit. We get about roughly half pugs in the AQ20 run, although about 4 or so puggers are regulars, so the number of "true" puggers number about 6. 

Last night, that included a tank pugger from one of the top guilds on the server. 

I realize that other people's experience may vary, but in my case I've frequently had good experiences with this particular guild, so my first impression was pretty good. And the first few boss events went well too. But by the time we got done with Buru, I began to notice some troubling signs. 

Even though this tank was technically the off tank, he'd kind of muscled his way into the main tanking role. Consequently he marked up Buru's eggs the way he wanted it rather than how the raid leader wanted it. After we cleared the two slimes that tend to wander back to Buru's area, the raid leader found the markings and rearranged them. No extra commentary other than "huh, someone already marked these".

I should have realized this was the opening salvo, but I figured it was a basic faux pas.

After Buru, the road to Moam has Obsidian Destroyers and packs of bugs. The strat is simple: burn down the Destroyers --and let the 305 level miners harvest the mining nodes that drop-- and AOE the bugs (standing in the middle so the bugs don't attack people at distance).

Simple, right?

Well, the pug tank decided to do some chain pulls --because we weren't pulling fast enough, I guess?-- with both bugs and Destroyers in the same pull. Of course, that upset the strategy a bit with some of us AOE-ing and others single targeting the Destroyer. For me, the biggest deal was to AOE the bugs because we weren't stacked in the middle, so to avoid their knockback we needed to eliminate them first. The melee could focus on the Destroyer, but of course with that additional time spent in AOE it meant the Destroyer came closer to getting a full mana bar that it ordinarily would. Still, we managed just fine.

Moam came and went without much incident, and the Anubisaths weren't that much of an issue either, except the tank did do some chain pulls without letting the healers breathe.

Oh, and BTW did I mention that we had at least 2 people who'd never been in AQ20 before? No? Well, neither did the tank, who expected everybody to follow his lead and ignore the raid leader's instructions.

Things came to a head against Ossirian, where the first wipe was caused because one of the runners was new to AQ20 and didn't understand that he was to click on the devices on the outer edge of the room, not closer to the middle. No worries, because it happens, but boy did the tank disapprove. He kind of blew up, saying the dude was an idiot and "let me do all the clicking." The second pull we proceeded to wipe because we didn't get the coordination down quite well enough, particularly because the tank expected to be able to do things his way rather than what was expected of him, and the guy started ripping on the main tank, the clicker, the raid leader, and "you don't know how to handle this boss, don't you!"

Well, enough was enough, and the raid leader kicked him from the raid and got the co-GM to kick him from the Discord. The co-GM joined the raid, and after he shook off his rust from not having tanked Ossirian in quite a while we got the boss down. The rest of the raid proceeded without incident.


At times like this, I am reminded of what I used to tell the (no longer) mini-Reds back when they were in elementary school: People will judge you by your actions, but if you are wearing clothing with a logo on it they will also judge that logo based on your behavior. Doesn't matter if it's a school or a sports team or even something you like (such as Star Wars): if you're wearing a hoodie with your school on it and you behave like an ass, people will judge that school based on your behavior. It's not fair, but that's how it goes. 

From AZ Quotes. Doesn't have quite the zing
as in the movie "Miracle". To spare people
from seeing it again, go watch the trailer for the
2004 movie if you're interested. Bonus points for
Disney using Blue Oyster Cult in the trailer.

I've seen this play out time and again in games and in real life.

If you act like a dick, everybody will associate your dickish behavior with whatever you're wearing or representing. And on the flip side, if you act well toward others people will remember that too.

Hell, Blizz has a version of that on loading screens: "Being polite while in a group with others will get you invited back!"

So why do some people continue to act like jerks?

Hell if I know. I try to always follow the Golden Rule***, so the concept of being a jerk is kind of foreign to me. And when it happens to me directly, I'm more shocked than anything else.

Like the time a week ago while I was farming herbs in Eastern Plaguelands, I stopped to pick up some herbs (want to say Dreamfoil but I'm not sure) and a nearby hound aggroed on me. While I was standing on the node killing the hound, another Alliance toon just rode up, took the herbs, and rode off. 

I even said "REALLY?" out loud in game, but that guy didn't give two shits and just rode off to the next node. I knew the person wasn't a bot because I saw him talking in the LFG channel, and I was tempted to call him out there for being a ninja looter. But the reality is that he didn't ninja it at all, because he brazenly rode up and did it.

What gets me the most about that sort of behavior are the taunts if you do call them out, showing that they really don't care: "Oh, look at the baby who can't handle real life" was once response I saw to a person being called out in Trade chat. "Go back to Retail" is another common refrain when being asked to not be an ass in game. 


I suppose you could say that this is a bit of an improvement from the old days, but when I'm referring to people being overtly racist and sexist in Trade Chat in Wrath, that's kind of a really low bar to jump over.

Still, there's only so much that I personally can do. And most of that is to behave the way I expect others to behave.

And for pete's sake, if you're in a pug or another guild's raid, remember that you're a freaking guest and behave accordingly. Just because you're from a "top guild" doesn't give you carte blanche to be an ass. And I'd hope that if you behaved like that in your own guild's raid/group that guild leadership would do something about that, because if they don't they're basically saying "we're a bunch of assholes and we don't care what you think". In Retail you can get away with that because of cross server grouping, but in Classic? You try that on a server you'll quickly find that you're ostracized.

At least I'd hope so.

Nevertheless, in the words of Bill and Ted:

From giphy.com.

*Yes, that includes the guild I raid with.

**Definitely prefer being the clicker, because if you end up with a Mage as a runner, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

***And no, it's not "he who has the gold makes the rules", even if that is true in real life.


  1. Great post. Bad behavior is sadly more prevalent in retail than in classic, as reputation is worth far less there, but some people are just less nice due to it not being face to face (and some don't even care if it is).

    1. Yeah, I believe it about the bad behavior in retail. It's an unfortunate side effect of LFG and LFR, where you can be an ass without consequences. At least in Classic if you do that word gets around and you find yourself shunned pretty fast, but in retail with the cross server stuff, that's almost impossible to do.

      And the macho attitude drives me nuts. The most macho coach I ever had was the one who drilled into our heads the Herb Brooks quote. And believe me, that stuck, because even though none of us played hockey we were all star struck by the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team. (I was in 5th Grade at the time.)