standing at the back in my sissy robe

May 21, 2009

stop objectifying me

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 12:23 am

The other thing that annoyed me, perhaps unduly, during the PUG I wrote about yesterday was that the Preppy Paladin kept calling me “healer.”

Reddy healer? U have shite mana healer.

Now, given the myriad things I’ve been called in WoW since I began playing, “healer” is completely benign and almost certainly an improvement.

On the other hand, it drives me up the wall.

Bring back “prozzie fag” (although shouldn’t that technically be rent boy, I suspect these are the kind of observations that make me a prozzie fag) – all is forgiven.

Now, I know Tamarind has slightly more letters in it than “healer” but I answer perfectly happily to Tam which has significantly fewer. And it has the added benefit of being my name, whereas “healer” is merely a role I’ll feel increasingly disinclined to fill if you keep conflating it with my identity.

It’s not like you can refer to the DPS as “DPS” – it would just be confusing for everyone.  The whole group would be like “You mean me-DPS or him-DPS?”

And I don’t think anyone would dare call the tank “tank”. I mean, yes, you might say, oh for example, “let the tank pull you stupid fucking deathtard” (or words to that effect) but you wouldn’t be all “hey, tank, I need a mana break now” or “u have shite mitigation, tank.” Perhaps it’s just that cloth-wearing classes are inherently more polite but ultimately I think it comes down to the fact that when a guy (or gal) in full plate armour is standing between you and everybody who wants to lay the smackdown on your slightly more fragile arse, you accord them some respect.

Of course, symbolically speaking, I Healer, am standing between you and certain death as well. It’s just I’m doing it quietly at the back. And, assuming the tank is doing his job right, I’m doing it … kinda … vicariously … y’know … through the tank.

All right, all right. I see why you wouldn’t notice.

Temitope, over at I Deathtard, has an interesting post about superstitious WoW playing – the idea that people (and, by people, you know I mean stupid people) understand that you need certain roles in to be filled in order to be able to run an instance effectively but haven’t really given much thought to how and why those roles interact the way they do. No matter how little comprehension you may have of how to let your tank tank, there’s still a strong visual element to the idea:

That’s your tank, standing at the front, surrounded by mobs.

That’s you wiping a grateful tear from your eye.

Ultimately, you don’t piss that guy off because he’s, like, the tank, man. He’s saving your ass and he could kick it too.

Healing on the other hand … well … I have a theory that everybody (and I’m using ‘everybody’ in the same sense that I previously used ‘people’) secretly, or not so secretly, believes they don’t really need a healer. Because they’re just that awesome.

You can readily see when tanking is going well because you’re not dead.

You only see healing when it’s failed because you are dead.

And then you get to scream and yell and stamp your feet and blame the healer (not that the healer will like you very much for it, just so you know).

Also this is more than me being over-sensitive. I have empirical evidence. I’ve run more than one instance in which, while I’ve been mana-breaking, the leader has turned to the nearest hybrid class and said, with the sort of blithe insouciance you just know precedes a TPK and said: “okay, you off-heal.”

The group then invariably dies. And what’s truly surprising about it is that they’re always so bewildered.

What happened man? Dunno.

Just to bring this crazy carriage ride of a post back to where it originally began: the standing-at-the-back-in-a-sissy-robe nature of healing means that people in PUGs are more inclined than ever to treat you as you an NPC, whose only purpose in being there is to facilitate their progress through the game.  I know it’s the internet and nobody believes in the existence of anybody else on it anyway but, dammit, I’m a person not a role.  So stop calling me healer and maybe I’ll deign to stop you dying.

Because we do that you know.

Standing at the back in our sissy robes.



  1. As a tank all my life I can tell you that tanks do get called “tank” in instances. Personally I don’t care since, well, they aren’t real so I can’t expect them to use my real name… 😉

    More seriously though I think the main reason it happens is that usually you want to type messages quick and in all honesty as tank I often get very confused as to who the heck is doing what back there. I know my heals are coming in (and trust me, nobody appreciates a healer more than a tank) but I never have combat logs up so often am not sure which character is doing the healing. It might be shallow of me but I’m often not great with names and so often have no idea who the healer is. And of course with hybrids about I often can’t tell just by looking at the classes who is healer.

    Admittedly though having said all that I never say “healer, you’re doing it wrong” or “warlock, DPS moar!” or anything like that because I generally trust people to do their job. I know that the only reason I am likely to not get heals is because I lost agro and the healer is being munched by one of the many mobs (though that is damned hard to do) or I lost agro and nobody is hitting me any more in which case I put my shield and sword down and leave the instance…

    I think I strayed off the point but I guess my view is that although calling somebody by their role is a little dehumanising I’m not sure I’d be making any better effort to get to caring about their names so I’m not going to complain. 🙂

    This is of course only on pugs. On guild runs I’ll care a lot more but I’ll know the people and of course likely be running with them more in future.

    Comment by Kester (of Agrammar) — May 26, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  2. My God … what is this alien thing in this empty space? A comment. How blessed do I feel, although I think my random observations hardly merit it.

    You do, in fact, make completely fair and sensible points. I think it’s all context. I generally don’t care all that much what people call me (well, as long as it’s not horribly insulting) if they’re being competent and at least moderately nice to me. But since it was *that* group and *that* guy, I think he could have called Monseigneur throughout and I’d still have found a reason to hate him.

    I suppose the reason I actively try to remember some vague approximation of the names of the people I’m playing with (assuming they’re not people I already know in which case I have no excuse) is that it’s a minor way of showing that you have some concept of these people as individuals with agendas of their own beyond supporting your game (which is something a lot of the people comprising random PUGS seem to forget).

    I don’t actually have an enormous healing chip on my shoulder or anything; this is just blissful catharsis.

    Comment by inmysissyrobe — May 26, 2009 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  3. Well, if we’re going for catharsis then may I just say one thing: people pulling without being asked to by the tank. This usually just means other people pulling since I don’t think I ever ask these days…

    There I am, a good tank, waiting on my healer to get their mana back when over party chat comes “Come on!” and then the DPS starts pulling…

    Why do they feel a need to do this kind of thing? I’m a warrior tank, I thrive on being hit, and kind of suck on not being hit. So when they pull they get initial agro not just from that one mob they hit but from all their mates who sympathise with the poor little mob. So there is the rage based tank desperately trying to get agro back from all the mobs without any actual rage to spend… no shockwave, no thunderclap, not until somebody starts hitting him… So there is taunting to try to get somebody to hit him for rage while the other guy is dying… Oh, and doing as much DPS as he can making the job of getting agro even harder…

    Oh, and there’s the other situation where I’m not waiting for the healer’s mana but for a patrol to move on. And then somebody pulls. With the patrol. And no matter what I do we are screwed, rage or no…

    DPS are stupid.

    Comment by Kester (of Agrammar) — May 27, 2009 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  4. That’s because you’re too kind and generous. I’m I’m PUGing with a DPS who persists in doing that, and doesn’t respond to “please let the tank pull”, I tend to gently encourage the rest of the group to stand around whistling and polishing their shields while he dies. Of course, it does go against all your instincts, especially if you’re a tank, I think, because tanks are kind of hardwired to rush into the fray and Get Hit In The Face For The Team.

    So, yes, in short: I hear you and I feel your pain.

    And good tanks are hard to find so I’m sending you some appreciative healer vibes in order to take the sting from the general stupidity of DPS.

    Comment by inmysissyrobe — May 27, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  5. Its ok, I very very rarely pug these days. I’m in a large active guild and if I ever get online (not happening much at the moment) then there are usually cool people to group with so the pain is mainly distant memories (to give an idea it was running Mechanar a year or more ago that the memories of the pulling DPS came from).

    I actually can’t face having to PUG. I would much rather solo some dailies or other stuff than get into a PUG with asshats. 🙂

    Comment by Kester (of Agrammar) — May 27, 2009 @ 10:53 am | Reply

    • I’ve never really found a guild worth sticking with – they tend to quietly fade away, or perhaps I’m just so monumentally unpleasant nobody wants me.

      Comment by Tamarind — May 27, 2009 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  6. Hmmm well i disagree about the dps not experiencing this. When i raid on my warlock, theres this tank who doesnt know how to pronounce my name (pfft, like its hard..) so he just calls me ‘warlock.’

    That’s always bothered me slightly, and i could never put my finger on it as to why..

    but i feel this summed it up perfectly:

    “it has the added benefit of being my name, whereas “healer” is merely a role I’ll feel increasingly disinclined to fill if you keep conflating it with my identity.”

    so thanks, you managed to articulate a budding thought in my mind in a much better and more eloquent way then i could ever hope to 😛 kudos to you!

    Comment by uke — June 15, 2009 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  7. oh and looking over kester’s comment, i have to disagree about his attitude to pugs.

    pugs are where i learnt to heal. Guild runs are where i learnt to make delicious treats on my USB powered mini-muffin maker, pressing the ‘greater heal’ button only when necessitated by crumbs falling on the ‘3’ button which needed to be brushed off.

    I liken this to the film dodge ball: ‘if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!’

    Those PuGs are my wrenches. And i love them for it.

    Comment by uke — June 15, 2009 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

    • Yeah. That is a fantastic analogy. My main thing is that I enjoy the game and I enjoy a challenge. What I don’t enjoy is things being ten times harder than they should be and indeed need to be for no good reason.

      I don’t mind a challenge of the things but losing agro from the five mobs you are trying to tank because the DPS went AOE crazy before you’d even charged. You’ve already used your AOE taunt on the last pull and its on cooldown and so you run around frantically trying to taunt mobs where you can. The DPS of course keep DPSing so any time you get a bit of agro on one mob and move to try to pull the other off the unsuspecting healer (or whoever) they just pull that first mob back off you…

      Its fun occasionally and I don’t mind doing it occasionally. I just don’t have enough patience for basically watching the same people do the same thing over and over and generally give other people grief about it goign horribly wrong.

      But yes, you are right that I suspect if you can successfully tank/heal/whatever a PUG then you can do guild versions very easily… 🙂

      Comment by Kester (of Agrammar) — June 15, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

      • Hehe, yes, that is an excellent analogy. And you’re right that PUGs can be baptisms of fire but ultimately, to expand upon the Dodgeball quote, you are rather left wondering at the end of it all: “why are these people throwing, wrenches, bananas and penguins at my head when there are balls for them to use right there.”

        Comment by Tamarind — June 15, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  8. […] know I whinged semi-frivolously about this in my previous post but I genuinely believe that if you aren’t used to different classes or you spend all your time […]

    Pingback by Real Men Wear Purple « standing at the back in my sissy robe — July 9, 2009 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

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