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Archive for the ‘Pug’ Category

Callin’ you out!

So there I was, in Dire Maul, with my little Disc priest Verðandi (it’s pronounced “Verthandy” and it’s the name of a Norn and a reference to the female lead in the “Ah My Goddess” manga), Reversion with his prot warrior Consistant ready for a few hours wandering around killing ghosts and gaining XP. The dps arrive; a mage, a warlock, and this guy.

Our buddy Iceknight starts off just fine, by backing into one of the trees that pat around the place. Oh well, that happens, we don’t wipe. We start clearing and I keep noticing him at the very back of the fight. Like, behind me. He’ll run in at the very end. Is he some sort of weird ranged DK, the counterpart to the fabled melee hunter? Anyway, after a couple fights I ask if he’s paying attention.

“LOL guild chat” he says, having done nothing but jump up and down for the last few pulls. Rev links Recount and we ask him to step it up (note: his DPS was fine, but he was contributing a full 6% of the damage. I was doing almost 1% with reflective shield damage).

Well, a couple more pulls, he’s still doing nothing, so we call him out again and then – he runs over to the next group of adds and starts tanking them. I stand there and we watch as his health dips – then the mage has to spoil it by running in and arcane exploding, so Rev picks up the aggro and the DK lives.

“LOL how’s that” he asks. The “Vote Kick” pops up on my screen, and he’s gone so fast his eyeballs must be spinning.

We got a really on top of it Balance druid who Typhooned appropriately, saved us by battle rezzing me, and did three times as much damage as the tank. Thanks for being such a jerk that everyone was willing to kick you right off, IceknIght!

Moral: people in random pugs put up with a lot, but not even pretending to try will get you kicked fast. Normal human social mores mean that most of the time, someone who tries and sucks will be tolerated long past the point where someone who clearly isn’t trying will be kicked. Since “tries and sucks” makes my life just as miserable as “not trying at all”, I wonder sometimes why that is…

(PS – Verdandy’s armory still looks pretty dire; she skipped the levels between 28 and 54 thanks to Recruit-A-Friend’s level-granting feature and our AH was a bit… weak)

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So there is this bug with trying in off spec, right? Everyone knows about it, I’m sure. Or maybe not…

When you have dual spec and train, two things happen to the other spec. One is that the buttons on your action bars for the other spec are not updated with the new rank of spell. The other is that if you have a spec specific spell over there it does not get trained at all. The trainer will not even offer it to you.

This makes perfect sense to long time players of the game. We can remember when the book showed all ranks and there was no way to hide the low ones. We can remember when the buttons did not auto update. After each training session we had to mouse over each button and check that it was not new. Or just check through our books for the stuff that we had trained.

Because of this offspec bug , someone went and made an addon that detects low rank spells. It is called RankWatch and it is really freaking handy. Any time anyone in your party casts something, RankWatch checks if that spell rank was the max rank for their current level. If it is not it pops up a notice. Depending on how you have it set the warning can just go to you, or it can be whispered to them. You can even set it to spam the notices in party chat so everyone sees it.

The message is pretty self explanatory. It tells you that you’ve used a spell rank lower than the max rank, what the max rank at your level is, and suggests you may have forgotten to train, or have an out of date spell on your bar.It is a great tool. It is most helpful for people still leveling or if you pug with newly 80 players a lot. What is most interesting about the addon is how people react.

A thoughtful and knowledgeable player usually just whispers ‘thanks’ and updates their bars. On the next pull the messages stop and the party continues clearing the dungeon. But not everyone is thoughtful or knows anything about this whole ‘ranks’ think. These people usually whisper back ‘huh?’ or ‘what?’ or something equally responsive. Then you have to explain what the addon is trying to say. This involves repeating exactly what the message Rankwatch sent says. But maybe using fewer words, or shorter ones, so that the person can figure out what was already said to them. The real shining stars of intellectual power have to have it explained two or three times. Sometimes they get it. Other times they INSIST what you are saying is impossible.

My favorite example was a few weeks ago. My wife and I were running something… I think it was HCoS. As is usual for our runs we did a quick mouse-over check of gear score. I know I know people like to rant “GS isn’t everything!!!”. It isn’t, but it does tell you some things. In a Pug it can tell you what you are in for. I guess you might call it profiling. Some of us don’t think that is a bad word. You see I can see that 5k GS hunter over there, with the ghost cat pet, does not take heroic runs seriously, or think he needs to do his best in there. He things having a cooler looking pet is more important than doing the best dps he can for the group. Then again if that hunter with the vanity pet has a GS just breaking 3k I know he is a new 80. This is where RankWatch comes in.

Sure enough, we start the first pull and RankWatch lights up with all sorts of announcements. This guy has not updated his bars. So much so that some of his stuff is more than one rank low. Alright, no biggy, we are used to this sort of thing.

“Huh?” says the hunter.
“Update your bars” I say.
“Wa?”
“You stuff is downranked. Update them from your spell book.” – Me.
“No it isn’t.” – Him
“It is, just drag the new ones to your bar” I say.

Silence. In the mean time I see his pet is growling.
“Take your pet off growl.” I say.
“He isn’t.” The hunter says. I watch the three lines pop up over a mob’s head as he says this.
“Yes he is. I can SEE it.” I say.
“I swear he isn’t. I checked.” The pet does it again.
“We can all SEE it.” I say.

Silence. Mysteriously, the ‘growl’ lines stop appearing. Heh. Meanwhile Rankwatch continues to chatter away about half his spell book. Finally I toggle it to start spamming the party chat.
“What is that?” asks one of the other dps.
“Oh that just means the hunter has not updated his bars.” I say.
“I SWEAR my stuff is up to date.” the hunter defends himself.
“Dude, the LOG does not lie.” I them proceed to give him a third detailed explanation of why the ranks get bugged, how Bliz has not fixed it, and how the addon is using the actual logs to report things.

Silence. By now we are half way through the CoS run. From here to the end of the run RankWatch, still reporting to party chat, slowly stops reporting on his stuff. He is finally updating his bars. At the end of the run he was all thankful for our help getting his bars fixed.
Heh. Rankwatch > liar.

There was another run where the guy did not argue with it but was a new flavor of fail.
I don’t recall if I was tanking or healing this run, or what it was, might have been Nexus. After the first couple Rankwatch whispered spams he says in party, “Can you make that stop spamming me?”
I reply, “It goes away if you update your bars.”
“It says you will make it stop if I don’t want to hear it. Make it stop,” he said.
“Just update your spells from your book. It stops automatically.”

This continued for a couple more exchanges before he decided to put me on ignore. Rank watch stopped chattering after that. I am not sure if he got what I was saying, and updated his stuff, or if it does not whisper someone who /ignores you.

Fortunately the majority of people who see RankWatch spam just say ‘thanks’ and update their bar. Many of them even ask for the name of the add-on so they can get it. Of course it also catches those total morons who started running heroics before bothering to train their 80 skills. But those are stories for another day.

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