standing at the back in my sissy robe

May 29, 2009

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster

Filed under: Altaholism,Vainglory — Tamarind @ 7:05 pm

I was running around Tanaris on one of my (admittedly many) vanity alts last night, when I received a whispered invitation to run ZF. Sure. Why not. Now, as it so happens, this particular vanity-alt is inadvertently twinked. I wasn’t trying to; he’s dressed entirely in things that struck me as being and looking cool. Yes, I am that shallow sometimes. Often. The thing is, well, it might just about be the case that some of these things that struck me as being and looking cool … well … they might be epics. Cool-looking epics, dammit.

So, yes, my vanity-alt is (wait for it) imba.

In short, he does about as much damage with a flick of his perfectly manicured nails as poor Tam at level 70.


Although, in some ways it’s a kind of tragic feeling. A sense of power that is as fleeting as cherry blossom, withering with every step towards the next level you take.

So there I was, bored and imba, and embarking on ZF with a group who actually seemed kind of promising at first. “Can somebody mark?” asked the bear-tank and, in the flurry of people stepping back that followed, I said I would. I was genuinely impressed by the guy actually. I’ve always found bear tanking annoying and hard, I like it when people mark and I like it even more when the tank doesn’t automatically equate leading and tanking. So I talked through kill-order, mentioned that I’d be using cc aaaaand…

What’s the first thing that happens?

Go on.


Yes. Of course. The hunter pulls a bunch of mobs.

There’s a flurry of activity. The tank manages to get the situation under control, I mark things up, sheep the appropriate target aaaaand…

What’s the next thing that happens?

Go on.


Yes.  Of course.  The hunter uses multi-shot.

Do these guys take an oath to be dicks at hunter school or something? Seriously? Do they not get a pet until they sign an official contract to live up to stereotype?

So I give up on cc. But that’s okay. I like cc but most of the time it’s nice but not necessary. And the mobs are dying like confetti anyway.

(thak that you sandy bitch)

Then we play a small game of musical PUGs as various members of the group fuck off and are replaced.

We’re just about to embark upon the next pull when the hunter starts whinging that we’re not going fast enough and he could be getting more XP from questing.

Well. Duh.

I’m halfway through telling him that he’d probably get the most XP by simply grinding mobs of the appropriate level when I’m struck by a blinding epiphany: it really doesn’t matter. I’m DPS. I don’t matter.

The group, by now, was comprised almost entirely of “hurry plz” wanktards (I’ll complain about this type of player at a later date, I’m sure) and so we basically charged through the instance playing like a bunch of idiots. But we were all a touch high level anyway and my DPS is insane so nothing mattered. We blitzed through the whole thing in about an hour. It’s not the way I like to instance but there’s a base and vulgar pleasure in face-rolling; and there’s a genuinely glorious sense of liberation in the knowledge that, had I been trying to tank or heal, I’d have been having a nervous breakdown over the keyboard.

The two druids both go in bear form, the hunter uses his pet as his own personal tank, god knows what the shaman does but I know I’m being bloody careful about drawing aggro so maybe it’s not as bad as all that. It was everything I hate about crap, selfish, heedless instancing rolled into one beach side vacation. But the wonderful thing was I didn’t have to care.

I don’t DPS in instances as a general rule, despite having a couple of DPS-specced characters. Because I used to run all my instances with a group of friends, I tended to fill the roles that needed filling (tank or healer, usually) and, consequently, I’d formed an impression that DPS was, as a general rule, rather dull.

Dull. What a naive, subjective perspective! What a fool I was.

I can see now why DPS have such a bad reputation as selfish fuckwits. I played like a selfish fuckwit myself. I kept out of harm’s way, made sure I didn’t attack anything that wasn’t already being attacked by someone else, essentially turning the whole party into a slew of tanks just for meeeee, made sure all the abilities I used were centred on keeping me safe and topping the DPS meters, turned myself into a fridge at the slightest sign of trouble, only kept an eye on people so I knew what they were in a position to do for me … in short I played like an arse.

But I survived. I thrived, even. I did bloody well. I didn’t die once, barely took damage, and topped the DPS meters by a good long way.  Other people got into trouble a fair bit (as is likely to happen when you don’t bother to coordinate your efforts in the slightest) but, hey, what could I, poor little DPS that I was, do about that?  In terms of pure personal gain and glory I’ve never had so successful an instance.

I guess I’d like it say it ultimately felt hollow.  In some ways, it did.  Instancing is, after all, about teamwork and I would argue it’s more fun if you give at least a passing toss about each other.  But in others ways it wasn’t hollow a all.  It was nice to be absolutely careless, devoid of responsibility and concern for the welfare of other players.  I felt like it was a kind of vengeance for all the crappy runs I’ve ever done.

I think there’s often a fine line in WoW instancing between sensible and selfish behaviour.   I mean “stay alive” is generally the number one rule (unless, of course, you’re a hunter who decides to feign death, displacing a slew of angry mobs onto the poor bastard healer who has been frantically trying to keep you alive) but it often comes down to split second decisions between yourself and others, especially when you’re healing.  But with DPSing it’s easier than ever to plant yourself firmly on the you-orientated side of the line and forget it’s even there.



  1. I completely agree, that hunter was a asshole

    It is IDIOTS like that one that give us all a bad name.

    I am a 80 hunter, and firmly believe EVERY hunter should go through an instance ediquette course, including me! Wat the hunter did is UN-acceptable, and im sure you will NEVER group with him again, am i right?

    I am not trying to defend the bad players, just trying to point out there are some of us that do care about the group and if we wipe. I NEVER use multi-shot in a group without misdirect on the tank, and then it is only if s/he is having trouble pulling aggro.

    that hunter is the type i would have bitch-slapped if he had been ANYWHERE near me.

    i try to always folo the marking, and let the tank pull if at all possible.

    If i pull aggro, then it is MY fuck-up, and i die.

    that is why i live by the saying:

    “tank dies- hlr fault,
    Hlr dies – tank fault,
    DPS dies – DPS fault”

    if a dpser cannot see they are pulling off the tank and kknow when to tone it down, then they have no spot on my raids or dungeons. i play dps, and a tank (hlr only 12 atm 😦 )

    Comment by bldavis59 — May 31, 2009 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

    • Hello and welcome to my little ranting corner. Sorry it took me so long to approve this, I was in a different country which I think is sa fair excuse 🙂

      You make me feel a little guilty – it is, after all, very easy into lay into hunters. But I think as a general rule they’re a class it’s easy to play selfishly – hence the saturation of idiotic hunters in the game. I have grouped with several perfectly lovely and competant hunters who have been assets to the group – but they tend to be eclipsed by morons running around with their pet on aggressive, multi-shotting like it’s going out of style.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 8, 2009 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  2. “Vanity alt” is right 😛

    Comment by Claire — June 10, 2009 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

    • Well, he is the prettiest elf…

      Comment by Tamarind — June 10, 2009 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  3. Again I can’t stop myself from commenting.

    I mean, you played selfish, but it really doesn’t sound like you played a fuckwit. Actually, it sounds like you were damn smart.

    One tank: Do as much DPS as you can without drawing aggro, and don’t pull (unless requested).
    Multiple tanks: “I kept out of harm’s way, made sure I didn’t attack anything that wasn’t already being attacked by someone else, essentially turning the whole party into a slew of tanks just for meeeee, made sure all the abilities I used were centred on keeping me safe and topping the DPS meters”

    Sounds like you were doing the proper thing, just taking advantage of the tank-rich environment.

    Now I gotta finish reading your archives. Too awesome. Cracking up in the office might be a little odd, but people start giving you Lots of Space when you can’t stop laughing on the subway.


    Comment by boris — July 1, 2009 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

    • I don’t know why you keep resisting any commenting urges you might happen to have – I appreciate your comments, thank you 🙂

      Truthfully I’d rather not play selfishly – it makes the game less interesting.

      I think the other thing that make me a little uncomfortable was the fact that it wasn’t like the group was comprised of actual tanks, in which case I was behaving perfectly within expected parameters … it was the fact I was taking advantage of the stupid, self-destructive way the others were playing in order to protect myself.

      But then it would have been really annoying if I’d have died on a crappy run like that.

      And thank you for your kind words about the blog – I’m glad to have enlivened your subway journey. (subway journey? ye gods, technology is advancing, the best we can manage around here is crappy, slow internet on the Oxford tube).

      Comment by Tamarind — July 1, 2009 @ 11:28 pm | Reply

      • Wow, a month goes by before I go back and check for a response. Shame. Anyway, supposedly commenting on old posts is bad form. The post was already a month old then.

        The subway unfortunately isn’t technically advanced, it’s just the expedience of loading the reading material before going below ground so as to have something to do.


        Comment by Boris — August 4, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

      • Commenting on old posts is bad form? I didn’t know that. Well, not as far as I’m concerned. I’m touched to know that people occasionally browse my archives.

        Ah, I thought you had some kind of wild, full coverage subway thingy or something 🙂

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

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