HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Dealing with Jerks & Dungeon Finder

Dire Maul and Needing Loot for Alts

Jerks never seem to realise they're behaving like jerks.

I was reading Tamarind’s post a while back about the number of jerks that seem to thrive in the Dungeon Finder system and whether or not a harsher penalty for deserting a bad group will punish the jerks or their victims. The dungeon deserter debuff is now a 30 minute ban from using the Dungeon Finder instead of 15 minutes.

I like that the penalty is being increased to 30 minutes. I like that the penalty for leaving a dungeon is longer than the time it takes to complete your average heroic. I like that the penalty – which is exactly the same for tanks, healers and DPS – is longer than your average 20 minute DPSers queue time.

The Jerk in Blackrock Depths

That said, I don’t think the actual penalty is 30 minutes.

Pixii and I (as Caesandra) ventured into Blackrock Depths and then Dire Maul using the Dungeon Finder on the weekend. The queues were amazing – the longest wait was 10 minutes – which really was a relief because the long queue times – upwards of 40 minutes – were becoming a real drawback to our leveling plan. Neither group was particularly pleasant.

The first group, for Blackrock Depths, seemed quite nice and everyone played reasonably well at the start. A few bosses in and things started to unravel. The Rogue commented that they still hadn’t received a Satchel every time we killed a boss – and the tank started to snap “I told you it’s from the last boss – the king”. Unfortunately I had been a bit too AoE-happy and forgotten about Ice Block altogether and had gotten myself killed once or twice. At one point I also wandered a bit too far forward and pulled a pack. I apologised immediately. The tank chastised me for wasting his cooldowns.

Then we reached the Manufactory and the atmosphere deteriorated even further. The feral tank ran into the left hand room – and Pixii and I followed – only to turn around and run back out into the corridor. Recognising that this was meant to a Line of Sight pull, we quickly followed him right back out. I had hit Blizzard and had my giant green AoE circle hovering over the floor when I several of the mobs started taking swings at me. I never dropped my Blizzard. The green circle was still hovering over the floor when I died.

The tank made some comments about how I didn’t know how to LoS pull and pretty much accused me of lying when I replied that I hadn’t cast anything at all. A few pulls and he was having a go at our healer when he ran ahead and pulled a group out of range and because the healer didn’t flag themselves as /afk.

Eventually we reached the Grim Guzzler and the tank dragged us to the upper level, into the storeroom and very sternly told us “do NOT move and, whatever you do, do NOT AOE!”. He then turned around and ran back out. Through the wall I can see that the bartender’s nameplate has turned red and slowly all the bar patrons also turn from Neutral to Angry. The tank drags the bartender into the room and we kill him and his sidekicks – without AoE, of course. Then the tank looks out and perhaps realises for the first time that all the bar patrons are pissed. Pissed off, that is. We’re backed into a corner. A minute passes.

“Which moron did that?”

“Er you did. When you pulled the bartender.”

At this point if he’d been willing to just start pulling, clearing the room, I wouldn’t have a problem. But no, he wanted to stand around and argue about it.

“I didn’t do it. The rogue fucking did something”

Maybe he was right. But neither Lathere or I saw the need to stick around and waste our evening arguing instead of earning XP. We left the party. And only had a 4 minute debuff called Hoarse. So much for the 30 minute dungeon deserter debuff?

More Jerks in Dire Maul

We requeued and found ourselves in Dire Maul. With our first Death Knight tank from the Dungeon Finder. He wasn’t actually as bad as I expected – but my expectations were pretty low. The group wasn’t particularly pleasant but the most surprising thing was the other three party members were disturbingly, well… raw. How you can reach level 55 that inexperienced, I’m not sure.

The Death Knight asked me straight off the bat:
“My brother wants to know what level you get the water pet”

And I replied:
“It’s from a talent. I haven’t had him very long”

“Where?”

“In the Frost tree” I thought that was more than enough information. Surely the Mage brother could just go and look at his talents the next time he logged in.

“Where?”

“Summon Water Elemental.” Blizzard and nonsensical talent names. Complicated stuff, you know! I then did my standard greeting before the first pull:

“Trade me for food/water”

I usually spend my queue time conjuring enough food and water for my party. If you want it, you click on me and open up trade. It’s an etiquette thing I’ve noticed since playing the Mage myself – if you want food/water, you’d better come to me and open the trade window yourself. My offer of refreshment was met with two types of responses:

“You can’t trade items in here” and “Water please.”

Neither is the correct. I didn’t bother responding to the first incorrect comment in chat. I simply opened up a Trade window with the smart ass Shaman and successfully traded him a stack of conjured food and water. The other two parties members didn’t seem to understand how to go about opening up a Trade window on their own, so I eventually gave up and traded them what they wanted. Since they said “please” I figured I’d cut them some slack.

One member of the party, the Dungeon Guide actually, was a Druid DPS. I should explain: I have to refer to him as a DPS Druid because one third of the time he was in Druid form, one third of the time he was in kitty form and one third of the time he was in Moonkin form and whether he was melee attacking or casting spells seemed to be totally unrelated to the type of form he was in. Lathere was horrified. Regardless, there were a few occasions when I witnessed the Druid running up to a group of mobs off to the side, pause to cast a spell, then run after the rest of the party 50 yards ahead of us.

“Help!”

At first I thought this was amusing. I’ve considered “accidentally” pulling extra groups when I want to get extra XP out of a run so I happily told Lathere over Vent, “the Druid just pulled an extra group”.

“I don’t think it was intentional” she replied when we nearly wiped trying to recover. The Druid was the first to die.

At the first boss the tank got extremely excited when a green of the Monkey sword dropped. The kind that you can pick up on the Auction House for a few gold. He announced that he was Need-ing the sword for an alt (screenie above). I found myself wondering how it was possible that the tank had managed to qualify for starting a Death Knight. No way was this Death Knight his second high level character.

Perhaps the Death Knight gave the Druid ideas by Need rolling on an uncommon sword. At the final boss a pair of rare boots dropped and they were Mail. When the Druid rolled Need, the Shaman, who had also rolled Need, said

“You can’t wear Mail armor”

“No, they’re for my very good friend” I scrolled up, surprised to find a Bind on Equip boss drop.

“They’re Bind on Pickup.”

It wasn’t until that point, and when I looked back at the screencapture from the first boss that I realised he had Needed on every single blue item that had dropped. Ninja.

A Better System

A friend once told me “I’d rather group with nice people who can’t play than dickheads who can”. I agreed. But it’s not quite that straightforward. We seem that we rank our fellow party members in two ways:

Personality

  • + Are they nice, kind, well-spoken and polite?
  • – or are they rude, impatient, demanding and lazy?

Performance

  • + Do they keep up with the group, succeed at playing their role (tank, damage or healing) and never cause wipes?
  • – or are they always way behind or AFK, unable to do their job (hold threat, deal damage or keep green bars full) and cause deaths?

Obviously players who perform well and are nice will be treasured party members that you’ll hope to come across again. In turn players who are nasty and perform poorly should be added to your /ignore list ASAP.

But what if the Hunter is nice but his performance is abysmal? What if the healer is fantastic but is a total jerk and spends the entire run bitching at others?

How many times have you read blog comments that essentially say “Hey, as long as the guy is pulling 8k DPS I don’t care if he’s a total asshole”. These are people who value Performance over Personality.

Personally, I don’t think there’s any excuse for behaving like an obnoxious jerk in a group setting – even if the group setting is a virtual one in World of Warcraft.

There is some excuse for performing badly. A lot of performance mistakes are made in total ignorance – most of my mistakes are caused by this! – and is usually solved by time and practice. Some poor performance has to stem from pure laziness though. And that shouldn’t be encouraged.

I just don’t see how, if Blizzard are tracking things like:

  • Number of Vote Kicks initiated by the player
  • Number of Vote Kicks cast by others to kick the player
  • Number of times player left an incomplete dungeon

They can really make judgments on who are good grouping players and who are not. Perhaps that’s what Tamarind is getting at – it’s not just the total assholes with awful personalities that get Vote Kicked. Players who under-perform can get Vote Kicked too. Players who stand up for their principles, but cause conflict while doing so, get Vote Kicked. It’s not just jerks with poor personalities that leave dungeons – nice people leave dungeons all the time. And I think it’s the most assertive player in the group who initiates a Vote Kick – and that is a personality trait that can be found in both nice and nasty people.

Hopefully Blizzard will gather all their data and come up with some winning formula that distinguishes the good from the bad. I already know what I want the solution to be, I just don’t know the best way to get there. This is, in my mind, the only solution to the problem we currently face:

The problem: Players who value a nice Personality > Performance are often grouped with players who are total jerks. These jerks can ruin the Dungeon Finder experience.

The solution: Jerks should only be grouped with other jerks. Nobody else can stomach their behavior and conversation.

How do we get there? Clearly we need to flag who qualifies as a Jerk so we can, for the most part, group them up with other like-minded individuals. Well I have one idea:

The eBay Rating System

Why can’t we steal eBay’s idea and form a rating system for players who group with strangers using the Dungeon Finder? I’m not saying we should take the 5 star rating system and display it under their unit frame in the Party interface or anything like that. I mean, allow players, at the end of a successful Dungeon Finder run, to provide negative and positive feedback about the players they were grouped with. In the same way that buyers and sellers on eBay rate and comment on each other at the end of a transaction.

I think you ought to be prompted with a small, totally unobtrusive and optional survey at the end of a run. Perhaps a button to fill it out could be tucked away in the corner where they stash that “You have an open ticket” button.

Dungeon Finder Group Survey

  1. Tankodeath, Death Knight, Tank
    Performance: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
    Behaviour: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
  2. Shamhealy, Shaman, Healer
    Performance: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
    Behaviour: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
  3. Caseandra, Mage, Damage
    Performance: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
    Behaviour: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
  4. Pixii, Warlock, Damage
    Performance: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
    Behaviour: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
  5. Samshots, Hunter, Damage
    Performance: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent
    Behaviour: o Poor o Unremarkable o Excellent

I don’t think the results of the survey should be made visible. I think the data should be as secret as the data they’re already collecting about Vote Kicks.

I do think that when forming groups players who are often reported as having a record for poor behavior (jerks) should be grouped together whenever possible. Players who are also flagged as poor performers should also be grouped together whenever possible. If you’re still learning to play, even once you’re geared at Heroic dungeon levels, you’ll learn more by being grouped with others like you. You won’t steamroll through Heroics, that’s true, but I think you’d get more opportunities to step up when the other four party members aren’t covering your mistakes before you even realise you’ve made one.

I think the only way this system would work though was if it was a totally optional survey. The problem with the eBay system is that it forces you to provide feedback even when everything went according to plan and the transaction was so unremarkable that you end up writing meaningless nonsense when you give feedback. Remembering nothing about an eBay transaction is the same as remember nothing about the last 4 people you grouped with in the Dungeon Finder: if it’s unremarkable it’s good.

But sometimes you come across a jerk and the occasional how-the-heck-can-he-only-manage-900-DPS? players that you’d do anything for a way to pass that information to future party members: Beware of this one!

19 Responses to “Dealing with Jerks & Dungeon Finder”

  1. Ah, classic, the omniscient tank who doesn’t actually know much.
    The hoarse debuff I think comes from one of the dark irons near the bartender or the smoke cloud by him. Attacking the bartender, or picking his pocket, will make him and the entire bar hostile.

  2. PoneriaNo Gravatar says

    The Elitist Group addon lets you rate your group just like that at the end. But I think you’d have to all have the addon to share scores (if it can be shared at all).
    .-= Poneria’s last blog: Cataclysm Warlock Stuff =-.

  3. KruntakNo Gravatar says

    I don’t want to sound like and get rated as a jerk, but you really don’t need this sytem as there is one already existing. /ignore

    If you find an obnoxious ass just /ignore him and you wont be grouped with him again. I do this all the time and tbh I have found it to actually make a difference.

    • AndyNo Gravatar says

      Kruntak, the problem with /ignore is it only lets you avoid grouping with people you’ve already encountered. The survey system Cass is proposing would mean you can avoid being grouped with useless/jerks proactively (barring getting someone who’s not done enough LFD to get a reputation yet).
      .-= Andy’s last blog: Addon: Satrina Buff Frames =-.

      • CassandriNo Gravatar says

        Yep – it’s one thing if I sit through an instance with a total jerk but I’d like so way to “report” them to protect future party members. The idea would be that the survey data would be used to help match people at the very start.

        I’m assuming that Blizzard match just on gear at the moment but I imagine they have some interesting plans to use the data they’re collecting on Vote Kicks at the moment.

        Why not expand it into something where party members can provide that feedback?

  4. BriNo Gravatar says

    I’m pretty sure the 30 minute deserter debuff starts ticking as soon as you enter the dungeon. It’s meant to make you think twice before dropping group as soon as you enter *cough* Oculus *cough*, or at least until you’ve given a group a fair chance.
    .-= Bri’s last blog: The "Whoa" Moment =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Ah I see. So because I had already spent nearly an hour in Blackrock Depths we didn’t get penalized for leaving at the bar. Surprising how that makes sense.

      I’m still chasing the Blue Drake from Oculus so I’m thrilled when that pops up. To each his own, I guess!

      • BriNo Gravatar says

        I don’t mind Oculus either, and I do have the blue drake (on my druid, go figure!), but last time I did it we lost no less than 4 tanks before the first trash pull.
        .-= Bri’s last blog: The "Whoa" Moment =-.

  5. TamNo Gravatar says

    I suppose the problem with any system like that that, again, as you partially articulate, is that one person’s cockweasel is another person’s awesome.

    I wonder if the seeming unfairness is, actually, part of the fairness – there is no prejudice of any kind in the LFD. And I suspect jerks paired with jerks and learners paired with learners would learn NOTHING, and achieve nothing.

    Isolating problems is not the same as solving them.

    Loved the post though – fascinating, thought-provoking stuff.
    .-= Tam’s last blog: Alternative Advice For Gearing a New 80 =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I agree that isolating problems doesn’t solve them – but in the super speedy dungeon runs at level 80 there is NO opportunity to identify problems let alone isolate them. And no chance (or tolerance) for people to try different things.

      I’m a big fan of wiping until you understand something – I don’t care if it’s a dungeon or a raid. I’d prefer to do something over and over again until I get it. So I guess if I was that learner I’d much prefer to be grouped with 4 others.

      As for jerks paired with jerks… I don’t expect them to learn anything. I just expect that they’d be more tolerant of other people behaving in the same manner that they do.

  6. TruffledNo Gravatar says

    How was the druid able to roll Need on the Mail boots? You can’t roll Need on items that aren’t for your armor type, right?

    • ManbearcatNo Gravatar says

      BoE items are still free roll.

      I suspect that even if a system like you suggest was implemented, it would be either taken advantage of or be made into a mockery. Like in life, you can’t choose who you migh accidentally run into throughout your days. Learning to deal with pattons, teehees and every other flavour of player is part of the whole experience.

      • TruffledNo Gravatar says

        Ah, I thought the Mail boots were off the last boss. I didn’t know Bosses dropped BoEs.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      You’re right, I thought armor types were closed off from certain classes so that kind of thing can’t happen. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

      I’ve gone back and checked my screencaptures carefully and have edited the article to include a link to the item to show that is Bind on Pickup and a screencapture that shows both the Shaman and Druid rolling Need for it.

      I’m relieved that I didn’t mislead you by complaining about something that didn’t even happen as I remembered it! I can only assume that the Class/Armor types are not enforced in lower level dungeons using the Need/Greed system.

  7. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    I think I’ve only bumped into 1 or 2 jerks using the random dungeon finder.

    Maybe you guys just have a lot more bad luck than I do :-P

    I’ve bumped into a tonne of players who were clueless though. Generally I’d prefer someone who’s a bit of a jerk instead of someone who’s just hopeless.

    Since the jerk probably won’t be going off at me, and if they get too abusive to people, then I aways have fun bringing people down a peg or two :) Most of the jerks are prone to rage quitting once they realise you’re not intimidated by them.

    Someone who’s hopeless though…. they might aswell not even be in the instance, since you need to completely carry them through everything. I always /sigh when I beat the dps on bosses, and it’s a pretty regular occurrence (Sometimes even double them lol).

    Although ninja’s I can’t stand

  8. ChastityNo Gravatar says

    I always think Performance vs Personality is a false dichotomy.

    That cockweasel who does 8k DPS – if they weren’t wasting their time and focus typing out cockweaselly comments in /p they’d probably be doing 10k. Or, y’know, interrupting or staying out of fire.

    The lovely guy who doesn’t know what they hell they’re doing – if they’re really as lovely as they seem, they’ll take advice well and they’ll improve, often instantly.

    People who pretend Performance > Personality are just trying to make themselves sound hardcore.
    .-= Chastity’s last blog: Confirmation Bias in Action – Some Thoughts on Gevlon’s Ganking Guild =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I’ve never thought that one excludes the other. But it’s by those two scales that I rank the people that I get paired with. More often it’s simply that someone who is really out-performing the group makes me sit up and notice “hey that Warrior is really really good” and they’ll be quiet or say so little during the run that I won’t actually form any kind of opinion about their behaviour/personality.

      That said, when someone is performing quite poorly and they seem really nice and helpful, I use that to excuse their performance a little bit. So one doesn’t necessarily affect the other, but I think I make allowances when a player is doing one of the two scales “right”, even if the other is totally “wrong”.

      Blah I’m not making any sense today.

  9. web pageNo Gravatar says

    I may not agree on some points but I respect them. It’s always good to people with different views. thanks.

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  2. [...] how we worried that the Dungeon Finder made us too anonymous. That it encouraged players to behave like jerks. And that it was ruining the sense of community that you can just barely feel right now on your own [...]

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