Know Your Role: Let the Tank Pull!

Ahhh, group finder!  How you have changed the World of Warcraft!  Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE group finder.  It’s super convenient.  It makes forming groups SO much faster, but with that benefit comes a new breed of player.  In ye olden times, it was quite a bit of work to form a group to go plunder dungeons and such.  Players tended to stick around through wipes and be more courteous and willing to work together because of how difficult it could be to actually assemble a group.  Because group finder and raid finder make it so easy to get people together, it’s simple enough to just drop group and re-que.  I’ve been guilty of this myself when the group seems really incompetent >.>

What’s worse than the flakiness and lack of fidelity, though, is the players that have developed a lack of respect for other group members.  It’s understandable.  You’re placed in a random group with random people that you don’t know.  Everyone has different agendas and goals.  Some members might be in this dungeon for the first time or the 100th time.  Some might be overgeared, while others barely meet minimum requirements.  Some people might be in a hurry; others may want to enjoy the scenery.  It can be tough to work well with others that don’t have the same goals.  But, usually, it’s pretty safe to say that everyone wants a smooth run.  No one wants to deal with wipes and arguments.

Yet, time and again, I find myself watching a group disintegrate, watching insults get hurled and people get kicked from group.  Most often, I see this happen based around one main issue that always seems to arise:  A dps class (sometimes a healer) starts pulling mobs and running ahead of the tank.  This, by far, has been the downfall of most of the unsuccessful groups I’ve been in.  It’s like people don’t realize there’s a formula for a successful dungeon run, even with group finder.  You have a tank, a healer, and 3 dps.  The tank pulls the mobs.  The healer heals the group.  The dps attacks the mobs.  Everyone has a role to play.  It’s simple.

However, the non-tank class that is pulling mobs and running ahead doesn’t see things this way.  Sometimes, the tank will point out that he/she should be the one pulling and the culprit will apologize and order resumes.  The dungeon finishes smoothly.  What I see happen most often, however, is the culprit gets defensive for some reason.  He/she will throw out excuses for their behavior like “It’s just heroic Maw of Souls,” or “It’s faster if I pull, too.”  Sometimes, yes, these things are true because everyone is well-geared and knows the dungeon, and if everyone agrees on this play style, then go ahead and burn through it that way.

The problem lies in that this usually isn’t the case.  And, when someone speaks up and points out any number of arguments against it (the healer has problems keeping up, the tank doesn’t know the pulls well enough, the play style is causing deaths, and so on), the culprit starts throwing blame and/or insults.  “Not my fault ur heals are shit!” “The tank isn’t pulling fast enough!”  “Why did I get put in this fail group!?”  I can count on one hand how many times these types of comments have actually had truth to them.  The heals are usually fine, and the tank usually goes at a reasonable pace.  And, even when the heals ARE shit and the tank ISN’T pulling fast enough, following the simple formula of letting the tank pull tends to make it easier on everyone.  There’s a reason crowd control skills exist; it’s for the “shit heals” that can’t quite keep up.

In my decade-plus years of playing this game, following the formula seems to work the best.  Let the tank pull.  It’s not that it can’t be done other ways, it’s just that there seems to be a much higher success rate when the tank leads the group.  What DOESN’T work is insisting that you have a right to deviate from your class role for whatever garbage reason you come up with.  The human mind is phenomenal at rationalizing it’s decisions, but it also tends to be incredibly egocentric.  At the very least, ASK if it’s cool for you to pull to the tank.  Ask the heals if he/she can handle it.  Be considerate.

If you’re determined to have a free-for-all attack fest, make your own group with people that want to play that way.  I’ve done this myself many times.  When you try to impose this play style on a resistant group, it just leads to wipes and chat arguments which ultimately slows everything down anyway.  Nobody’s killing anything if they’re too busy typing responses and rezzing.

Also, if you’re interested in hearing about the incident that motivated me to write this post, I made a video about it here.

 

The Best of Bolvar: Lich King Memes

Lich  King memes incoming!  But first, some backstory…

Lich King Loading Screen History

For anyone that played World of Warcraft since the release of the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion, you’re probably familiar with the original Lich King loading screen featuring Arthas, complete with ice blue color palette that matched the WotLK expansion.  It looks like this:

The Lich King Arthas

When the Cataclysm expansion released, many of the loading screens were changed, including the one for Northrend. Following the story and incorporating more red/orange colors associated with Cataclysm, the new Lich King loading screen featuring Bolvar was released:

Cata Lich King Screen

It is this image of Bolvar in such an odd pose that stirred the imaginations of so many meme-makers.  I, personally, have had many laughs as I’ve encountered the various versions of this meme in my internet travels.  I’ve collected some of my favorites and included them here:

Lich King Meme Gallery

 

Which of these do you think is the best?  Or do you have some favorite Bolvar memes of your own?  If so, please share! I’d love to see what everyone else has found.

Streets of Rage – Sega Genesis

Streets of Rage Game CoverI’ve always been a fan of side scrolling “beat’em up” games, and the Streets of Rage series was one of my favorites.  It was okay to play by yourself, though I rarely finished it on my own after the first complete playthrough.  The real fun happened when you had a second player.

via GIPHY

I have the most memories from the times I was able to get one of my brothers to play with me.  At first, getting them to play was easy.  It was a relatively new game where we got to punch, kick, and even suplex enemies while talking all sorts of trash to them.  And then there were the baseball bats >:}  Fun times!  But after a few times beating it, I had to resort to persuasive methods to get my brothers to want to play it.

Streets of Rage Level 7

I’d tell them that Mr. X (the final boss) was talking maaaaad trash and HAD to be stopped!  It usually worked, but eventually failed after a few times of getting thrown off the elevator by enemies in level 7.  If you managed to not get thrown off in level 7, there were the random dining carts that got thrown at you by enemies on level 8.  Basically, the closer we got to the boss, the more chances there were to get frustrated.  I remember rage-quitting once right before the final boss fight because the ninja girls kept kicking me and I couldn’t hit them back.

 

 

 

 

Also, I usually played with Blaze.  I liked being able to kick people while back flipping.  Who doesn’t, right?
via GIPHY

Streets of Rage Trigger Question

*For  those that don’t know, trigger questions are meant to trigger memories and possible discussion for the game nostalgia posts.*

 

Did you ever play Streets of Rage?  If so, which character did you usually play with?  If not, do you have any memories of the game at all?

 

How Gamers Sleep: The Sleep Struggle is Real!

How Gamers SLeep

The struggle is REAL! Especially with MMO’s.  There’s always just one more achievement or that last bar of experience needed for a level.  These are the enemies of sleep for gamers.

For myself, this is a typical thought process that occurs:

“I’ll get off after this dungeon.  Well, let me clear my bags first.  Oh, and I need to repair.  What’s that you say?  You’re doing a run of that content I really need?  Oh, wow, I should do that now in case I can’t get a group together later.”

 

 

 

7 hours later…..

Gamers Never Sleep

 

 

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Memories

 

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the first game that I ever owned, and I have a TON of memories of it.  The game was given to me as a Christmas present when I was 4 years old.  Unfortunately, I had not developed the timing and coordination to get very far in a game like this at that age.  It took me several years before I could actually beat it, but that didn’t stop me from watching my uncle play it for hours on end.

Zelda II Start ScreenSometimes, after I had gone to bed for the night, I would hear the music that played on the start screen.  That was the signal that my uncle was going to be playing Zelda II.  I’d sneak out of bed, grab a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and go watch and munch at the same time.

 

I am Error. I never understood the “I am Error” thing until I was much older.  But now, I actually have a pin that I keep on my bookbag that has the NPC with “I am Error” above his head.

 

I had the most trouble with this loser from the green palace!  He would throw out his spiked flail and move back and forth, and you had to time your jumping just right.  He held me back from beating the game for the longest time because I kept screwing up the timing. Zelda II Green Palace Boss Fight

So, these are just a few of the memories I have of this game.  I can’t say enough about how awesome the music for this game is, so I won’t go into that now for fear of writing too much.  I would love to hear other memories/stories related to this game, so if you have some to share, please do =D  Until next time….*waves*

Zelda II Trigger Question

*For  those that don’t know, trigger questions are meant to trigger memories and possible discussion for the game nostalgia posts.*

 

Did you ever play Zelda II: The Adventure of Link?  If so, did you think it was a difficult game?  Were you ever able to make it through the first cave without the candle?