Save the Date: LEGION

Legion DropWith little fanfare or hype building, Blizzard announced the release date for the highly anticipated Warcraft expansion Legion.  The 6th expansion is set to come out August 30th, 2016, giving players a few more months to wait.  Here’s what Fussypants and Yotaan thought about the announcement!

Fussypants: I will admit, I was really surprised by the lack of build up.  Just last expansion, Blizzard had a huge announcement at a fancy venue (which Yotaan and I had the infinite luck to be able to attend). The hype levels were off the chart! And then we get this drop announcement which feels almost like an after thought.  It’s just this strange disconnect.

As for the actual drop date, I’m a bit bummed but not entirely surprised by how late into the year it is.  Legion drops right around the beginning of school for me which means I’m going to be spending all summer languishing in WoD.  Bleh.
But this also means I have 4 months to plan and get ready! Here’s what I want to accomplish in that break.

  • Finish upgrading Fussypants’ legendary ring.  I’m 3 weeks away from ilvl 795 so I doubt this will take very long
  • Finish the ring quest on both my mage and my priest.  Both characters are at the tomes and shipyard part and I’ve been getting those tomes to drop like crazy.  However, due to my intense aversion to it, the shipyard part always takes me significantly longer.
  • Get my druid to level 100.  There will likely be a slight delay in this as I plan on stopping her at 80 for a bit to do some Herald of the Titans runs but my end goal is to have her at max, ready to venture into Legion for those spiffy druid artifacts.

All in all, I don’t have a ton of things I want to accomplish in those 4 months which worries me a little bit.  Hopefully I’ll find more things to do or else I might be spending a lot less time in game come summertime.

Yotaan:  I was expecting release date closer to the film premiere, so I suppose I was hoping for a July date.  For my schedule is somewhat the opposite of Fussypants’ so the August 30th is actually quite convenient for me. I did really enjoy our fortuitous cinematic premiere for the last release and its too bad there is no similar event this time around.

As for future plans, I have played WoW sporadically at best.  I’m not quite the raider the Pants is. But I have been steadily leveling a few toons.  I have a death knight at 81 and a shadow priest at 67 – my goal is to get them both at 100.  I might even transfer some 90’s toons from other servers to our current home server.

Additionally, I’ll be maxing out blacksmithing for the first time.  As it happens, this is the one profession we have never maxed out on any toon ever.  I’m probably doing it wrong as I’m leveling it while I level the death knight.

My only other goal is get more mounts.  Yotaan traveled back to his old farm back at Halfhill and bought up a bunch of goats.  He then went way back to the Argent Tournament and used up some ole’ Champion Seals.  Since Yotaan was Yotin the troll back in Wrath he never got the Alliance mounts.  We are edging closer and closer to 200 mounts and it would be great to hit that by Legion!

My biggest challenge may very well be to play Wow as Hearthstone has grabbed my attention.  Standard play comes out in 2 days!  New cards!

Apparently, I’m a Raid Leader

ArchiHello my name is Fussypants and apparently I’ve been a raid leader for several months now.

Well ok, I wasn’t completely in the dark about this.  Actually, I knew exactly what was going on when I stepped up and offered to lead one of my guild’s raid teams.  But it just boggles my mind that I’ve been doing it for several months now.  Like whaaaaa?  Are we sure this isn’t just a hallucination?

Ok ok, let me explain how this all happened.

So as many of my readers know, I am one of the core officers in a rather large guild.  Well, I guess rather large guilds because we actually have two of them now.  Long story short, we’ve grown explosively over the course of the expansion and are now sitting at somewhere around 1200 characters? Hence the two guilds.

I also have talked a lot about raiding and as you can probably guess, I do that through my guild.  With a guild of over 1000+ folks, we kind of ended up with a rather large raid team.  It started off innocently enough, about 20 or so people who logged on twice a week every week.  But as the expansion wore on and the doldrums began, the opposite of what was expected happened.  Instead of our raid team shrinking, it actually grew.  We went from 20 of us to 25 of us to 30 of us until finally there were more people wanting to raid than there were spots in a raid group.

We had to do something fast.  The absolute worst thing in the world (at least in my opinion) is to have to sit folks, so we needed to find another solution.  And after much, much deliberating, it was decided that two raid teams was the way to go.

A raid leader for each team was decided upon but before we could even pull the first boss in our respective teams, one of the raid leaders decided that he didn’t want to commit to that level of responsibility.  And suddenly, we were left with a team without a leader.

Like I’ve mentioned before, my absolute worst fear was that we would have to sit some of our raiders.  And now with one raid leader gone before the ink was even dry on the page, there was a legitimate risk of this happening to one of the teams.  I couldn’t stand by and watch that happen to a group of people I knew had worked so hard to be where they were at.  So I volunteered.

Now, I had raid lead some pug raids before, explained a couple of mechanics, organized some healer rotations, the like, but never had I done anything quite to this level.  As I was about to find out, there was a whole lot more to raid leading than just telling the DPS to get out of the fire.

Xhul
THE FIRST LESSON OF RAID LEADING: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
I’ve always tried to maintain a positive and friendly attitude while online.  It just seems like the right thing to do- so many people use the internet as their escape from real life drudgery so who am I to bring negativity into their happy place?  But I will admit, this even tested me.

Wipe or kill, I found that I needed to remain positive and cheery the entire raid night.  If something was going well, fantastic!  Congratulate the group and particularly anyone who went above and beyond.  If stuff isn’t going quite so well, don’t get discouraged.  We all know something is going wrong, no need to harp on it.  A simple “what did we do wrong that time and how can we fix it?” goes so much farther than a “why are we so bad?”.

But with attitude, I found I also needed to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to cheer everyone up every raid.  Sometimes a night of wiping is going to get people down and there’s nothing you can do.  But this shouldn’t stop the raid leader from being positive, encouraging, and above all, focused on improvement.

THE SECOND LESSON OF RAID LEADING: YOU GOTTA KNOW YOUR STUFF OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES
I thought that I knew mechanics when I stepped up and offered to raid lead that first time.  Boy, was I wrong.  You see, it’s not good enough to just know one aspect of the fight. I can’t just know how to heal Kilrogg, I need to know every single part of the fight.  The Heartseeker mechanic.  The interrupts.  The adds.  The visions groups.

I’ve probably spent the better part of 20 hours just reading up and practicing mechanics so I could better lead my group.  I watched videos, read strats, combed logs, you name it I did it.  And in the end, it all paid off.  I can lead a Heroic Hellfire Citadel Raid in my sleep, I know the mechanics so well (not saying I would do this though).

There are some mechanics however that I do not know all the intricacies of.  For example, I know that the tanks need to taunt off for Zakuun when one tank gets Soul Sliced but as to what happens inside that spirit world, I haven’t a clue.  I can’t possibly know every minute detail.  As a raid leader, I learned all the mechanics but I leave it up to my raiders to find the tips and tricks of their class best suited for handling the mechanics.

When there is someone in the raid who has a better strat or understanding of a specific mechanic, I let them take point on it.  Heroic raiders have to use every advantage they get; I would be silly to turn away helpful advice.  Raid leaders lead, not micromanage.  I have a responsibility to know the fight as a whole but if someone knows a specific part in better detail, then I am going to let them take charge of that specific item.

Mammoth
THE THIRD LESSON OF RAID LEADING: YOU NEED A SECOND IN COMMAND
There’s a reason ships have First Mates- the Captain doesn’t always catch everything.  This is the same for raid leading, I don’t always remember to call every mechanics or to change the loot before raid.  And sometimes, I can’t even make it to raid on time or at all.

I am so very lucky to have a responsible and observant second in my fellow blogger Bodhirana.  If I miss something or can’t do something, I know I can count on him to catch what I miss.  I trust him completely to lead raids when I cannot attend.  And I can bounce ideas off of him when changes need to be made.

Fast forward a few months and a few raid team shuffles and here I am, still raid leading, still in one piece. It’s been an incredible journey- from Heroic Assault all the way to Heroic Archimonde but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I’ve learned so much about raiding, about leadership, about the people on my raid team that I don’t think I could have ever learned otherwise.  I’ve been trialed and tested, but in the end, every single one of us got our mooses and every single one of us can call ourselves ‘Heroic Raiders’.

So there you have it! How I accidentally on purpose became a raid leader!  I guess I can add this to my growing list of ‘Stuff I Never Thought I’d Do But I Ended Up Doing Anyway’.

Until next time, stay out of the fire!

Gaining Closure

HammerDeath is… difficult. It’s the waiting and the news and the disbelief. It’s the silence oh the silence the silence that no one can break. It’s that hole where someone used to be and the ones left behind. The ones, not quite whole, left behind. It’s confusion and anger but with no one to blame but maybe yourself because you should have done more but what could you do? The world has stopped and gone too fast.

We got the news last Sunday night. A guildie of mine, by the name of Hammerstein, had passed away. He had been fighting Stage Four small cell lung cancer for months and the whole guild had been rooting for him. But then he has dropped communication for a couple weeks and then the fateful text on Sunday.

Hammer was one of those people who quietly made the world a better place. He wasn’t flashy or dramatic but he brightened the world just a little bit for everyone he talked to. Hammer helped anyone with anything- he aided another guildie set up her entire gaming rig over the phone. He was there, supportive, cheery, and optimistic.

Hammerstein was a good guild member, but he was so much more than just that.  He was a human being, thinking, feeling, suffering.  Hammer was a part of us, the human part of us.  The part that found joy in all aspects of life.  We supported Hammer with his medical expenses and difficulties and he supported us against our every day toils and troubles, a listener to confide in.  Hammer was real.

And in pain. The little bit that Hammer described to us seemed almost unbearable. He couldn’t stand, couldn’t move, and was undergoing intense chemotherapy. And yet he still found the time to log in and chat with us.

We set up a Go Fund Me account to help with transportation (since he could not drive) and sent him all the support we could.  And I hope that what we did helped, if even a little.

And then Sunday, oh that fateful Sunday.

 

There seems to be this misconception that the immediate response to the news of a friend’s death is big and dramatic.  The waterworks come out and the world seems to end.  In reality, it’s… it’s not like that.

It’s emptiness.  This feeling of vast, wide, and unmovable emptiness.  Like all you do is futile. It’s quiet and private but it hurts more than anything else in the entire world.

And then you see the messages from the other people in your guild. And that’s when the tears come.  But they aren’t satisfying.  It’s like the emptiness manifested.  Streams of nothingness down your cheeks.

It’s a problem but there’s nothing you can do to fix it.  You can’t talk it out, reach a compromise, nothing. The worst part, you can’t talk to the friend.  And in my case, I never got to say good bye.

I’ve been blessed in that I’ve never experienced death first hand.  It’s always been people I knew of or people I knew distantly.  But this one was close.  This one was someone who I used to talk to every single day.  And now, this horrible feeling of nothingness and lack of closure.

The following week was rough. I was dealing with my personal feelings but on top of that, I also had to break the news multiple times to multiple people.  How can you tell people something like that? What could you possibly say? I was also very worried about another one of my friends.  She was closer to Hammer than anyone else.  They had called each other almost daily.  When her and I were talking about it, it was the only time I’d ever heard her cry.

More bad news, we learned that Hammer didn’t have very many family members.  They were trying to track down his step brother, who he had never met, to help put together some sort of burial service.  It was beginning to look like we were the only ones who could give Hammer some sort of memorial.

Back when, as a guild, we had first started offering moose carries, one of the first people we wanted to get their moose had been Hammerstein.  We knew about his condition so we wanted to do something nice for him, something to cheer him up and show him how we were rooting for him.  Unfortunately, we never got a chance.  Hammer never logged in and his spot remained reserved.  We ticketed a few GMs about this but there was nothing that they could do.

Then suddenly one night, my friend who used to talk to Hammer all the time gets a call.  It was from Hammer’s cell phone.  Just a bit apprehensive, she answered and found out that it was the step brother.  He had been tracked down and had found the texts from her.  The two talked for a long time and a plan was decided upon.  We were going to get that moose for Hammer.  His step-brother would log on and we would carry him through a Heroic Archimonde kill.

Saturday night arrived and Hammer’s brother logged into his toon.  The majority of the guild was informed that this was not Hammer, this was his step-brother and we were going to finally get Hammer’s character the moose.  Led over phone by a woman he had just met, playing a video game for the first time in his life, carried in a raid by a team of 20 people, cheered on by a guild of over 1000 people, Hammer’s step brother defeated Heroic Archimonde and earned the Grove Warden.  Hammerstein the Dwarf Hunter mounted up onto his majestic moose and leapt into the sky, never to come back down.

Hammerstein

This was the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of.  It didn’t magically solve all the problems, didn’t revive Hammer from the beyond.  But it provided closure.  It was the final salute to a brave man who fought so valiantly and touched the lives of so many.  It was our final good bye.

Our lives are like sound. We come into contact with each other and resonate uniquely and then eventually fade away. We create beautiful chords and melodies and songs with thousands of emotions but in the end we end like we begin. Loved.

In memory of Hammerstein <oTQ>

There will be a memorial service held at 8pm CST (server time) tomorrow on the realm Nesingwary/Nazgrel/Vek’nilash in remembrance of Hammerstein.  If you would like to say a few words, please contact me or any of the other officers before the service.  The service will be held both in in-game chat and in the guild’s mumble.

A Mythic Experience

Not actually the Mythic raid because, as always, Pants forgot to take a screenshot

Not actually the Mythic raid because, as always, Pants forgot to take a screenshot.  But still, this was the area I was fighting in (sans cool sky and portal)!

There are very few things in game that I tell myself I will never do. I love challenges and trying new things so I’ve done everything from Herald of the Titans level locked raiding to pet battling to unrated PvP. But I’ve always told myself that I wasn’t going to raid at Mythic difficulty.  It was just too hardcore, too time intensive, too unreachable for me.  I have the utmost respect for mythic raiders, I just knew that it would never be me.  And I was wrong.

STORY TIME!

There I was, logged onto my holy paladin with two and a half hours to kill. I still needed my Archimonde kill for the week to upgrade my ring and I decided I would pug it.  Since I have the AotC for Heroic Archimonde (side note: woot!) and a rather bloated ilvl of 722, I figured I’d give pugging Heroic Archimonde a shot.  I signed up for a couple of groups, linking the AotC, legendary ring, and added *jazz hands* at the end of the message.

One of the raid leaders whispered me back ‘lol’ and shortly later I was invited to the group. I zoned on in and right away I noticed that it was primarily a guild group.  So either I’d happened into their progression group and this was going to take a number of wipes or I’d lucked into a quick clean up group and this was going to be one shot.  I had two hours to kill so I was prepared for either.

What came next was beyond what I could have expected.  One of the members posted their guild’s vent information.  I was about to ask if vent was required when the raid leader explained that the puggies (i.e. non guildies) only had to join the vent if they planned on continuing on for mythic HFC.  Mythic HFC? This group was bound to be good!

As we were setting up to pull, one of the other healers, another holy paladin, whispered me.  They told me that they didn’t need any loot and would give any pally loot they got to me.  I thanked them and we chatted for a bit about drop rates and whatnot.

Then after a short rundown of the fight and a timer, we pulled. Other than the fact that I was playing my very best to try to impress these mythic raiders, the fight was very run of the mill.  We downed first phase, stacked up on the boss, and killed adds, ping ponging all the while.  Chains were broken and banish groups went down and came back up again. We got all the way to the last couple percentage points when an ill timed chain break right before the rain of infernals took out several members of the raid, including the tank who was tanking Archimonde.  But since the Demon Lord was so low in health anyways, we were able to kite tanking him the last couple of percentage points.  A one shot.

While loot was being handed out (I sadly did not get any) I glanced up at the healing meters.  I had top healed that fight! Probably because this fight was cake for the other healers and they didn’t need to put 100% effort in, but still! Maybe I was on par with this mythic heals?

Loot was finished and everyone was ordered out.  My holy paladin friend from earlier whispered me, asking if I was going to stay for mythic. Excited and just a touch nervous, I told them I would. I then alt tabbed out and fired up vent. It took a while like it always does but I finally joined in and entered the channel.

And it hit me.  I was entering a Mythic Raid.  Mythic.  This was no Heroic, with it’s somewhat forgivable mechanics.  This was a whole new level of difficult.  And that brings up another point, mechanics.  What were the mythic mechanics? What were the strats? Oh no, what had I gotten myself into!?

During the first trash pulls, I frantically whispered several mythic raiders on my battle tag list while google searching the strats for Mythic Assault.  With the help of Ambermist, my guildies Syandle and Zanima, and Icy Veins, I put together a pretty solid idea of the fight. Trash was cleared and the raid leader then did a brief but thorough run down of the fight.  I was as ready as I would ever be.

Also not the mythic raid.  I didn't even fight this boss this night!

Also not the mythic raid. I didn’t even fight this boss this night!

The main difference between Mythic Assault and Normal/Heroic Assault seems to be the split. At specific timed intervals during the fight, identical siege weapons would roll down on both sides of the room (as opposed to Heroic and Normal, where there was only one vehicle) and the raid would split to take down these dual menaces. I was assigned left side with another healer and let me tell you, I followed that shaman to the ends of the earth.

The first couple of pulls ended with wipes. I can’t tell you definitively because I was concentrating so hard on healing myself and executing mechanics properly, but it seemed to be that the adds that needed to go down weren’t going down fast enough. All I knew was that I hadn’t messed up a mechanics too badly.  Yet.

The raid leader reorganized the split again and we pulled a few more times.  One thing that was very different from my other raiding experiences was that as soon as we lost more than 3 people and we were out of battle rezzes, we would purposefully wipe it.  Thus we wiped a lot of times but turn around was very fast.  We wiped, we popped back up, we buffed and ate and within 3 minutes we had pulled again.  It was beautifully efficient.

After about forty five minutes, we finally had our breakthrough pull.  Previously, the lowest we had wiped at had been 35%.  But this time, we hit 35% and the percentages kept dwindling down. 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10% we were almost there.
Then one of the tanks blew up.  Frantically, the healers popped all of our cooldowns.  But the delicate balance had been shattered.  The left side collapsed and the adds began streaming right.  The raid leader bellowed for the last couple ammunitions to be fed to the cannon.  As members of the raid dropped one by one, overwhelmed by the sheer number of adds, the percentage of the boss dropped as well.

8%, 6%, we had just a couple mages and shaman up. 4%, 2% it was down to one mage.  And right as that mage’s iceblock broke and the adds overwhelmed them, the boss ticked down to 0%.  Achievements and loot rolls flashed up.  We had done it!

I quickly used my bonus roll and rezzed.  A shiny new shield, proudly bearing the word Mythic, plopped into my bag.  I glanced at the meters and again found that I had top healed.  And then I was barraged by the grats from my guild.

Sitting back for the first time in 50 minutes, I took a deep breath and tried to stop shaking.  We had done it.  And I had helped.  The threshold had been crossed, I was now a mythic raider.  Holey moley!

Loot was distributed and we took a quick break.  I used this time to again frantically whisper my Mythic raider friends and find a new guide. Reaver it seemed was not very different for healers on Mythic which was reassuring for me.  Everything just hit like a truck.

We again began our pulls, but it was not to be.  Barrage is an instant kill on Mythic difficulty and unfortunately too many people were getting hit by it.  Myself included, I was hit an embarrassing 2 times over the course of 11 pulls.  In addition, several members of the raid began to experience terrible latency.  We got the boss to the first air phase a few times before the raid leader ultimately called it a night.

After  the raid, I whispered the raid leader for a bit, thanking him for the invite.  We shared btags and I offered my services should he ever need a healer for anything.  I’m not hold out to be re-invited for Mythic HFC again but hey, the door is still open.

Even though we did not get Reaver down, I still consider the night to be a huge success.  That raid was the first time I had felt nervous in a raid in a very long time.  I had kinda missed that feeling.  It was a completely new and satisfyingly challenging experience and I’m so glad I got the chance to partake.  And I got a mythic kill and a shield to boot! Woot!

Huge thanks to La Familia on Sargeras for bringing me along! And big thanks to all the people I whispered for fight advice!

Happy Noblegarden 2016!

Easter Eggs 2016For the fourth year running, Fussypants has created her signature Warcraft inspired Easter eggs.  This year featured the Demon Hunter Egg (with fel tattoos to match), the Hearthstone Egg, and the king of all eggs so far, the Murloc Egg. Despite the fact that Pants will probably peel and eat these in less than 5 minutes, she spent the better part of the day working on them, devoting 1-3 hours per egg.  You are looking at real, egg-shaped, works of art!

Happy Noblegarden everyone!

Whether you celebrate the out of game holiday with family, hang out in game with friends, or just relax by yourself, we here at Growing up in Azeroth hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable Sunday!

Leveling Guide: Detention Block Rush

(Continuing with the theme of leveling dungeons)
Today I learned a new trick.  You would think, that as an 8 year veteran of the game, I would have learned all there is to learn about this game, know it inside and out, and have discovered all it’s secrets.  You would be thinking incorrectly.  In fact, I only discovered the true use of alt-tab a few months ago (true story, the raid thought it was hilarious).

And today, I’ve learned yet another new trick.

Setting the scene
So you’ve reached the dreaded level 47.  You know Blackrock Depths will soon be looming in your dungeon queues.  Over and over, you’ll be forced to run that long and tedious instance.  But what if I told you… there was another option?

I call it the “Detention Block Rush”.

You will need
A toon in the level range between 47 and 57
A group that will listen to your advice (or a pre-made one)

Detention Block Rush: How does it work?

Guide all together
In order to use this trick, you must queue up only for the instance Blackrock Depths: Detention Block.  It should become available to queue at level 47 and phases out at level 57.  I guess you can queue for random and only use this trick when the dungeon happens to pop, but trust me, it’s  a lot more XP a lot quicker if you solely queue up for this dungeon.

Once inside the instance, you and your group need to take the Dark Iron Mole Machine directly to your right.  Select the option “Just past the Grim Guzzler”.  Then, jump down over the railing to the walkway leading to the fire elemental boss, Lord Incendius.

Go ahead and take down the elemental, do a complete 180, and start working your way back through that door way and the adds that lie beyond.  Take down a couple of packs of mobs and you will find yourself fighting Fineous Darkvire.  If you notice, Darkvire is the last boss in this wing of the dungeon. Once you kill him, you get a nice chunk of XP and the instance is over.  And this took you, what, 5 minutes?

That’s right.  You’ve just skipped 20+ minutes of trash and unnecessary bosses.

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

Tips and Tricks for the Bold and Brave
If you get into a particularly strong group, your tank can chain pull everything from Lord Incendius all the way up to Fineous.  It’ll take a good amount of tank and healer cooldowns and some coordination but it’s perfectly doable.  If your tank pulls quickly, this method can reduce the run to only 2 minutes.

If you get an even stronger group, there is a third option that you can take.  Once you take the mole machine down near the Grim Guzzler, have the tank target one of the adds in the pack that is across the divide.  Throw any sort of ability at them (Taunt, Faerie Fire, some other ranged pull) as you jump over the edge.  And then brace for impact!

Guide 4The mobs you have targeted will run all the way down, dragging Fineous and a large pack of mobs with them.  Grab Lord Incendius real fast, get to the doorway, and start AoEing! Once the dust has settled, the two bosses will both be down and the entire instance will be complete.

This option requires a very strong tank and heals because the damage from all those mobs can be very intense.  But again, if your healer and tank coordinate you will have no problems handling all the mobs.  This method further reduces the run to a whopping 1 minute.  One minute for two boss kills and a large chunk of XP for completing the wing? I’d take it!

So there you have it! Pants’ super fast leveling trick!  With good groups and fast queues, you can speed from level 47 to level 57 in under an hour.  Happy rushing!

(Note: Special thanks to Zanima for protecting my low leveling bear butt!)

Out-trolling the Trolls

WoWScrnShot_010116_150125 (2)I think it could be pretty easily argued that some of the worst behavior in WoW shows it’s ugly face in leveling dungeons.  You have the dps who pull rooms before the tank, the tank that constantly LoSs the healer and the healer who hurls abuse at the rest of the group.  And a million other scenarios.  Sure, there are good apples in the barrel but there’s no denying the toxicity of some groups. I’ve been in heroic Hellfire Citadel pugs with less blaming than leveling dungeon groups.

Like I’ve touched on before, I’m a pretty fast tank.  I’ll run a dungeon in 5 minutes if the healer can keep up.  But that’s the catch- I go as fast as the healer is capable.  If the healer can’t heal me through all of that damage, I slow down.  Unfortunately, when I slow down for the healer is about when the dps start pulling even faster.

You pull it, you tank it.  If you’re going to run into a room when I as the tank am waaaaay far back, you can go ahead and take all those mobs down yourself.  Typically, I whisper the healer to not heal the offending dps, and I move past to pick up a different group.  If the dps lives, good for them, hopefully they won’t do it again.  If they don’t make it, too bad so sad, I pick up the adds and continue on.  I understand wanting to go fast but  I’m not going to pull any faster than what the healer can manage.  I don’t go slow.  There’s really no reason to pull for me, I’ve got plenty of ranged pull mechanics.

So the other day, I was chain running a bunch of leveling dungeons with a good friend from my guild, Vall.  I was tanking on my druid and Vall was healing on a mistweaver monk.  Vall’s a pretty good healer but he and I both know that mistweaver isn’t very strong while leveling.  Thus, I couldn’t pull everything at once- I needed to be more controlled with my pulls to make sure I wasn’t taking too much damage.

We zoned on into Dire Maul West and I right away began to pull trash.  The group was pretty silent  but that was nothing out of the ordinary. We worked our way through the dungeon, eventually getting to room with all the spirits in it.  At that point, one of the dps, a mage, decided I wasn’t pulling fast enough for his tastes.  He blinked ahead and proceeded to body pull a large group of mobs.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt and picked up the mobs as Vall healed him up to full again. But then the mage did it again.

This time, I was a lot less merciful. I sent Vall a quick tell to not heal the mage and pulled a different pack of mobs.  Being a mage, the guy went down very quickly.  I picked up those adds and the rest of us quickly burned them down.  Vall rezzed the mage, and we continued on.  Chat was still silent at this point.

We got upstairs and the mage, I guess he was just thick-skulled or something, proceeds to pull again.  He managed to survive this group but Vall stopped healing him entirely. We finished up downstairs and jumped down to the tree boss.  Then after killing him, we moved to the most interesting part of the run.

You know that big circular room in Dire Maul with the elementals all around and the demon boss in the middle protected by a blue energy wall? As a tank, its one of my least favorite rooms.  The adds are spread out and they run from all directions so it’s a touch difficult to make sure I’ve got all of them gathered. It’s one of those rooms where the group is best to stick together so we can finish it all as quickly as possible.

The mage was having none of that.  Again, he blinks forward and pulls a whole big pack of storm elementals.  They smash his face in.  The rest of the group and I continue on and the mage starts his long run back.  But for the first time, he finally speaks up in chat.

“Faster this way” he explains, despite the fact that we were heading the same direction he was.

Vall responsed “Not when you die”.  And he’s got a point.

At this point, the mage totally loses it.  I’ll just let you all read the chat as it happened, but let me tell you, it was wild.

Troll DialogueThis, my friends, is how you out-troll a troll. I’ve seen trolls  handled before, but never have I seen it done so masterfully. I was DYING at the end of the dungeon.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time.  Mad, mad props to Vall.  That was beautiful.

Once the mage left the instance, the rest of the dps piped up and agreed that the mage had been way out of line. We were all rather shocked by how angry he managed to make himself.  But Vall’s responses had turned a potentially stressful situation into one that was humorous for all (except the mage).

I guess I was a little unfair to the mage in that I didn’t warn him in chat about pulling before me.  I (wrongly) assumed that it was a well known rule that the tanks set the pace and pull the mobs.  But really, given his explosion of vitriol at Vall’s calm responses, I doubt that it would have made a difference.

The lesson I learned that day was two-fold.  Firstly, trolls can’t handle people telling them they are right.  They just can’t.  Something inside of them breaks.  The next time I encounter an abusive player like that, I think I’m going to try the Vall method.  Tell them they are right.  Agree with them.  And watch them blow up in frustration and confusion.

The other lesson was that I should never get on Vall’s bad side.