I spent some time yesterday running instances with Elentari. She’d recently hit 85 and was all shiny and ready to hit heroics. I ran her through Ahune the Frost Lord (hello haste cloak!) and then thought “I have time to run my daily heroic” and queued up. I notice that healers have the call to arms buff (or whatever it’s called) and figured that I shouldn’t have to wait too terribly long for my queue to pop up and get started.
Sure enough, within a couple of minute my queue flashes up on my screen and I find myself looking at the Grim Batol loading bar. Now, this instance can be a nightmare if the group is careless/doesn’t know what they are doing, but I’m down with it. I mean, I’m a fresh 85, but it’s not as if I don’t have experience healing this zone as a new druid. We start the instance and the third pull the tank falls off the edge. I have no idea how this happened, but there you have it. Of course, PuGs are now too good to use CC *ahem*, so all of the mobs are running rampant and we naturally wipe.
Everything is fairly uneventful and we get to the first boss. It is fine – except the entire time they are killing the boss I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off asking people to kill the troggs and praying I can survive until nature’s grasp comes up off of cooldown again. All the while, I am continuing to heal the tank and not one time (as I am frantically kiting the troggs that no one can be bothered to kill) does the tank drops below 50% health.
We move along to the next boss, the big thing with the swords and the shield and the mace. As we pull the hunter disengages himself off of the ledge. I cannot make this shit up folks. It takes me a while to realize this as I search around to combat rez him. All of the while this is happening the DK not only stands in lava pools, but doesn’t move from the falling rubble on the ceiling. No matter how much I heal, I cannot save him. I combat rez him up, for him to do the exact same thing again and die…again. While all of this is going on, the mage doesn’t move from the flaming shield breath and dies – declaring “I got no heals”. And the tank, the tank stands there and tanks the boss while he is encumbered, and I somehow manage to keep him alive. For the next five minutes, with the three dead DPS, I manage to keep that tank alive before I am so out of mana that there is nothing for me to do.
As we release and run back, I ask the DK “do you understand how this fight works”. There is no response. And as I am reaching the zone in I get a message telling me “you have been removed from the group”. My jaw hit the floor. I had never, ever been vote kicked out of a group before. Ever. And I’ve been having the kind of emotional roller coaster week that the action of four people who played poorly and then blamed me really shook me up. I wasn’t even going to be given a second chance after one wipe? A wipe that wasn’t even my fault?
I sat there for a minute staring at my screen, somewhat in denial that this had happened. I went through the fight in my head, I started going through Skada doubting myself – “did I really not heal the mage”? But the truth was there – I hadn’t done a bad job. I fact, the mage had a WG and a Rejuv running on him that ticked as he was standing in the flame dying. I can’t heal through blatantly bad play. Nor, frankly, should I be expected to do so. Had I been on Beru, I might have been able to save it – but I might not.
So there I was, standing outside of the instance, summarily removed from my group by the four people who were responsible for failing the fight. And I was pretty hurt by that. Eventually I shook it off. I knew it wasn’t my fault. But it took me a good 10 minutes to muster up enough chutzpah to queue up for another heroic.
And then it hit me.
The real tragedy wasn’t really that I was vote kicked. What if I hadn’t been a veteran of the game, the LFD or healing? What if this had been my first experience with healing a heroic or the LFD tool? What if I didn’t know about the mechanics of the encounter and couldn’t know where people were making mistakes? What if I didn’t know about tools like Recount or Skada that I could use to see exactly what killed someone? What if I was kicked from that group and believed that it was my fault?
I mean, here I am not only a veteran of the game but this is my second druid and I’d like to think that I know what I’m doing. Being voted out of the group had a pretty negative effect on me – I can’t imagine what the result would have been if this was one of my first experiences healing. I imagine that I would have perhaps felt dejected and I am not entirely sure that I wouldn’t have logged out at that point rather than queuing up again. I mean as it was I damn near logged out and started up Portal thinking “I don’t need this shit”.
And as I thought about that, it made me pretty angry.
No wonder people don’t feel any longevity in this expansion. Part of that disconnect is because right now WoW is filled with players that lack accountability and are less interested in helping other players improve than they are with doing what’s easiest and fastest for them.
I mean, I got one pull. One. And then it was decreed that I wasn’t good enough and instead of giving me another opportunity I was told, by these four people who don’t know me, that I wasn’t good enough to play with them. And the kicker is that their mistakes that killed them, I really had nothing to do with it. But forgetting all of that for a moment, the real question to ask is how on earth a new player supposed to improve if they aren’t ever given the opportunity to learn? If people write them off after one or two wipes?
I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that before you hit that vote to kick button – make sure that they player in question really ought to be kicked from your group. Don’t kick a new player just because they are new – explain encounters to them, help them learn to become a better player. Don’t kick a new player because you wiped once or twice, especially if you don’t even know for fact that they are to blame. Don’t assume a player is just “bad” – take a minute and try to understand that player, maybe this is the first time they’ve ever tanked. If you are a tank and your healer is struggling during trash, maybe ask yourself “is part of this my fault?”. If you are a DPS that dies constantly, ponder if you are making mistakes like standing in the bad or pulling threat.
Whatever you do, don’t be so quick to hit that vote kick button.
Honestly, part of me wishes that the vote kick was never given as an option. Sure it’s nice to be able to kick that guy that’s being an asshole or the guy that went link dead 10 minutes ago or has been AFK the first half of the instance – but more often than not it’s being used to kick someone who probably doesn’t deserve to be kicked and just wants the chance and opportunity to improve. And it’s disheartening to think about how many people find themselves staring at the zone in of a dungeon wondering what they did wrong when they were trying their best.