A Call for Change

You may have noticed I’ve done a few posts recently about PuG groups, and my experience in them.

Luckily I’m fairly thick skinned and, even when something REALLY annoys me in a group, I try not to let it show in my interaction with other group members.  But boy, it’s sometimes difficult!

My general policy is that, if it is possible to live with the person causing the problem until the end of the instance, then I will, for the good of the group.  However, at that point I will generally tell them that they are going on “ignore” and have lost a potential healer for future groups.  If they’ve been particularly bad, I’ll report them too.  Admittedly this means that I reduce the pool of available group members, but I’d rather wait for another 10 minutes than have to deal with a torrent of abuse, etc, from a bad PuG.

Unfortunately, the /Ignore option in WoW sorely needs an overhaul.

Why, for example, when I ignore someone on say, my shammy healer, does that person also not become ignored on any of my other characters?  It’s not like they’re going to be any better to be around just because I’m on a different character, and why should I allow them that benefit?

Looking at it another way … why, when I ignore someone, am I only “ignoring” that one character?  It’s not that character that is a horrible person, or a bad player .. it is the person in control … and they’re not likely to be any more polite just because they’re on a different character.

They don’t know me … I could be their next door neighbour, their school friend, their mom, their dad, their grandad, their nan … I could be a new player to the game taking my first gaming steps, I could be 12 or 13 … I could have some severe disability or suffer from depression … we’ve seen the stories before, we know that all sorts play, and one of the massive benefits of WoW is that it doesn’t matter WHO you are … what matters is HOW you play, how you interact with people … and how you do that can affect people in dramatic ways, for good or bad.

Taking the point further … that when you click that “ignore” button, you should be able to ignore an entire account, with your entire account … this action should also be noted against each account.  There should be a note against the person being ignored, and a note against the person doing the ignoring.  Over time, as that “ignore” button is pressed, there should be some result … those who have a large amount of notes against their account should feel the consequences .. especially for those getting a lot of ignores against them.  And they should be able to see these rack up .. there should be a viewable section on their character or account screen, that shows how many times that button has been pressed, the current consequences (say, lower in queues, or only being placed with others of a similar “rank”) and where the next consequence is likely to happen (ie, “after 2 more ignores against this account, you will no longer be able to queue with any random players”).

There should also be a wearing-off period, where, over time, the earlier ignores drop off .. so that, if they behave themselves, slowly their “ignore” rank will head back towards a neutral setting … what do you think?

Slacking … again

Yes, I know. No excuse. Well, I’m going to make some anyway … but first …  I got a surprise visit from Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf. Apparently she’s been stalking me for a while, but I’m a hard woman to track down 😛

Unfortunately I’d just gone into an LFR with a couple of guildees when she contacted me, so I was conscious of her sat waiting for me to finish, but things were going smoothly and I get very little chance to run LFR’s due to work and other real life stuff – as well as our normal guild raid night(s) etc.  Unfortunately things started going downhill when we lost tanks, then people forgot the tactics (or got distracted *eek!*) … so when we wiped on the last one, and one of my guildees (who also happened to be my OH (erm … Other Half .. for those not in the know!)) had to leave to fulfil his duties as a taxi service, I left too.  Massive apologies to the remaining guildee who I’d forgotten about!!

Anyway, we managed to have a brief chat before she had to go off to work, and I got to show off my new pet:


She also gave me a talking to for not updating my blog 😛

So … what have I been doing to keep me away from blogging?  Hmm .. gardening (is that a bit sad to confess to?) is one of the main things.  Not that the actual planting of seeds and tending them took a huge amount of time, but we splashed out and had some raised beds put in the back garden, and we perhaps overdid the produce .. so we’ve been frantically trying to eat it all!  We grew: potatoes, beetroot (3 types), courgette, salad leaves, turnips, runner beans, celeriac, garlic, sweetcorn, leeks, strawberries and raspberries.

This little lot was all collected on one day …

DSCF3547So we’ve spent many hours trying to work out what do to with them all .. the beetroot, beans and courgette have all gone bonkers.  The beans especially have grown triffid-like, to the point where their “wigwam” has buckled under their weight and we’ve had to prop it all up in a Heath Robinson method.  It has survived through several very windy days and nights, torrential rain .. we’re just waiting to see if the onset of winter will finally kill them off, or if we’re going to have to go in with machetes!  On the plus side, the bean relish is lovely, only takes 30 mins to cook, and can be eaten straight away 😛

I spent an entire day one weekend making a silly amount of spicy green tomato chutney .. I won’t know if it worked for a few months though.  In the next week or so, the remaining beetroot is getting the same treatment.  If we find enough jars 😛

Other than that .. it just seems to have been a constant round of housework, shopping, ironing, filling in various forms, birthdays and trying to fit in a bit of relaxation on the computer as well.  Oh .. my printer died as well, so I had to do some research on buying a new one (which is brilliant, by the way .. new Canon Pixma IP7250 – it actually prints out photographs that look like I’ve had them developed “properly”.  Well chuffed 🙂 )

Kids are happy too, as it means their homework doesn’t look quite so bad anymore.

When I have had time to get into WoW .. well, one day a week, minimum, is raid night.  Three nights a week I can only spend an hour or two maximum on, on an evening (sometimes manage to sneak on during the day though, for an hour) .. the remaining three evenings are taken up with LFR, helping guildees or just farming.  I have soooo many projects half finished it’s just not funny any more.  I had set myself a project of making the various engineer mounts prior to having to save for the new Golem one, but only got two of the oldest done.  I’ve been trying to collect all the pets, and have nearly all of those tameable from the wild, but still many many to go that drop off bosses, etc.  I’ve also been trying to collect mounts, but I’ve only managed to make a half-hearted attempt at farming Kara and Auchindoun.  Then of course the Timeless Isle turned up … *sigh* …

I’ve just started to attempt the Celestial Tournament – mainly because I really want those cool pets, but it has made me aware that there are still a lot of pets that I seem to need, that I haven’t got to level 25 yet …. so back to BBB’s method of levelling them.WoWScrnShot_101113_085501

I’ve also been having a bit of a play with my User Interface.  The default one had been annoying me for a while .. I think primarily because of those graphics either side of the spell bars at the bottom.  Icy Veins had been pushing people towards Elvui, so I had a crack with that, and it is a really nice interface … immensely customisable but not particularly pretty.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying Spartan UI for a while – I first considered it years ago, but at the time I just couldn’t get it to look right on my fairly small monitor.

I’ve upgraded my monitor (probably more than once) since then, and I spotted it on a screenshot elsewhere recently and was reminded of it again.  I looked into it, but found that the original authors no longer seemed to support/update it.  However, someone does seem to have taken it over, so I’m giving it a go.  I’m having a couple of problems with it, which primarily boil down to not being able to set how I like the layout on one character and then being able to copy that over to another.  For example, I tend to offset the interface slightly to the right, so I have more space for my chat window.

Sure .. there is the “copy profile” option there, but it doesn’t seem to work.

The other problem I’m having is almost the opposite .. sometimes when I sort the bars out for one character, it affects the location of spells, etc, on another.  So still trying to break it in, at the moment.

I would also like to be able to use my standard key bindings as I did with both the Blizzard and Elvui interfaces .. in that those buttons on the bottom left row were assigned to numbers.  I have done this, but I suspect that, in SpartanUI, the “bottom left” bar from the other interfaces is actually the “top left” .. meaning that when another vehicle bar pops up I can’t use my number buttons any more for the vehicle buttons.  And another thing .. in pet battles, the SpartanUI disappears, as it should, however, it is still there when I’m on my farm weed wrangling … ?

I guess I’m just going to have to spend more time staring at my screen scratching my head ….

The good and bad of LFR

I’ve had an interesting week or so in LFR.

A guild member had got a new character to 90, and he’d decided he’d like to give tanking a try.  He’d run a few guild instances and done well, and decided (very bravely) to run an LFR.  Myself and a couple of guild mates went along as moral support, and we all chipped in, in guild, with hints and tips along the way.

He had asked me for some advice prior to going in, and I said that the best advice I could give, other than to do his best, was to be honest.  When he joined the group, he should tell them he was new to tanking it and would welcome any help or hints.  The worst that could happen was that people would leave .. and it’s easy enough to get more if you have tanks waiting for them.

So .. when we zoned in, he put up a message in raid chat telling them just that .. to take it easy on him, he hoped he didn’t make a mess of things, he welcomed help.

Now .. this is LFR.  It’s pug gone mental.  You’re expecting the mentality of heroics x 5 … yet it didn’t turn out that way.  It was one of the most enjoyable LFR runs ever .. we had lots of people who didn’t say anything, which is fine, and one or two who were exceptionally helpful and gave good basic tactics of every pull.  I really should have made a note of their names .. there should be a way of giving people in random groups a “thumbs up” (or down, I guess!).  There was also the other tank.  He was your traditional “gogo” tank .. he replied to the initial request for clemency with something along the lines of “I’m gonna do what I like .. you just keep up”.   He didn’t swear .. but he was one of those that just puts your back up .. makes the whole feel of the raid rather unfriendly and aggressive.  If there was a problem he blamed someone else, if he died, it was someone elses fault …

He died on Elegon .. as we were running back in he was slating the “noobs” who had failed, and then said he would “brb .. going for pizza .. I can’t miss watching this!” … his dead body still on the floor.

Someone, I can’t remember who, said something about the now Missing in Action tank .. and a “kick” was initiated.  By several people.  Its the one time I’ve wished I was on vent in LFR .. I could almost hear the cheer going up.  Suddenly, the entire group was happier, everyone was chatting, having fun, having a laugh .. we got a replacement tank virtually straight away and got rid of Elegon with the previous tank’s remains still underneath .. and then finished the raid with no problems.  It was the most fun I’ve had in LFR for ages and a lot of others in the group commented on it.

It is a pity more can’t be like that.

In contrast .. a few of us went into the first LFR tonight … everything went smoothly .. you have the usual suspects that can’t be bothered moving (or move in the opposite direction!) on chains on the first boss fight, people stand in puddles, etc – second boss you end up with fires all over the place .. although luckily we had a couple of good tanks who were excellent at keeping the various raid damage stuff at bay .. most people outgeared the fights so it was pretty easy regardless.  I did take exception to one guy “needing” on a blue BoE drop .. but I hastily apologised once I’d inspected his gear and realised he was wearing a mix of mainly blues and greens.  Too used to people needing on stuff just to sell or DE.

Unfortunately we wiped on the last boss .. the troll guy where you need so many dps and a healer to go into the spirit realm to kill the adds there.  On the first attempt, at one point a guildee (as it happened, my OH) went into the spirit realm (he was very used to doing so as he’s one of those assigned to do so in guild Normal runs) – unfortunately he was the only one there, took tons of damage and, as he came out, he died.

I went into the next one to heal anyone who was in there, but I was alone as well .. and was quickly overwhelmed by the number of attacks I took.  The place was almost covered with adds.

Soo .. inevitably, we wiped.

A shaman who was doing fairly decent dps stated that not enough people were going into the spirit realm, which was entirely correct .. they said that only three had gone in .. they could tell that from their recount addon.

Well, I knew I had been in .. I and my OH knew he had been in .. so we both stated as such, and I said that, in that case, we were assuming he/she was the third.  They then confirmed that, however, stated very firmly that my OH was a liar and used a recount output to prove it.

We left it there for the remainder of the fight, as we wanted to get it finished, although I did state that we definitely went in, and weren’t being deceitful.

Anyway … when the boss was down, and everything was sorted, we checked this Shaman and realised they were actually from our realm.  I know it’s probably pretty sad, but we’re quite possessive of our realm, we enjoy the atmosphere and generally the people we meet there .. we weren’t expecting such hostility from, in effect, one of our own.

My OH, because he was rather indignant of having being called into question, whispered the said Shaman to say that he wasn’t happy about being called a liar and that he definitely had been into the spirit realm.  The Shaman replied very dismissively, basically stating that they were right, but they would agree with him, just to get rid.  “Whatever makes you happy” was the quote used.  Oh .. and “little boy” …. haha .. he was even more annoyed about being called a little boy ..

My OH did the only thing he could then, and simply put the Shaman on ignore.  At which point, the Shaman started whispering me!  She (for that’s what I later discovered she was) told me that I should rein in my little boy and that she knew he had been lying.  I did not give away the fact that I actually spent the raid sat next to him, and could see both mine and his monitor, but I was polite and said that, as I knew for a fact he wasn’t a liar, perhaps her addon was misleading her?  She stated that it wasn’t, it was correct, and that it showed everyone who had been in the spirit realm and caused damage .. and that he hadn’t.

Now I don’t know why this was .. perhaps it was because she was in a different phase and it therefore didn’t track out-of-phase damage, perhaps, as they seemed to be suggesting, two totems were up at once and one of them was in one, the other in the other realm – perhaps it failed to track that.  I don’t know what was possible/impossible.  All I know is that this particular person, after a smooth LFR run and then one wipe on the final boss, felt the urge to assign blame, to check her addons, and to thrust that blame at the first person available .. indeed, one of the few who had actually had the temerity to state that they were trying to do the boss using the correct strategy.

I had a pretty long conversation after that with her … not throwing blame or swearing (on my part, anyway) .. I know she swore at least once as I have the “naughty word filter” up, at which point I commented on it and stated I couldn’t read such words so she might as well stick to proper ones.

I suppose most people would probably have just pressed ignore, or report, or had a slanging match .. but i was (a) curious to discover WHY she had thought he had lied and (b) why she had been so aggressive and persistent about it ever since.

She told me that she hated LFR, she had never had a good experience in them.

I asked her why she did them then?

“Valor Points” was the reply …

“but you can get them from dailies, heroics, scenarios … if you hate LFR so much, why do them?”

“because LFR is quicker, and tanks always shout at me in heroics for pulling aggro”

“well, perhaps if tanks are always shouting at you for pulling aggro in heroics, you should stop pulling threat? … after all, it is probably because you outgear the tank, and the tank has no way of “over-gearing” you suddenly, so the only other option is for you to rein it back a bit”

“but then I wouldn’t be able to use X and Y spells so much … ”

“well if you enjoy tanking so much, perhaps you should roll one … our guild is always looking for tanks, feel free to apply!  Just make sure you do actually apply WITH a tank character 🙂 “

“but I enjoy pulling threat off the tank, it’s fun … ”

“in that case, we don’t want you applying to our guild .. we prefer people who consider others and know how to play their role”

I then finished our conversation stating that we were simply rather shocked that someone from our realm was so immediately negative of someone else.  She stated that we shouldn’t be so surprised .. at least 50% of the realm was made up of horrible people …  I just said I was really sad for her, that she had obvious met an awful lot of the wrong people and been really unlucky … but that if she went into random groups expecting everyone to be really horrible and acted accordingly, she would generally find that people would react in exactly the same way back to her.

In the end, rather than being upset and angry about the whole situation, I just felt sad that someone could play an MMORPG and yet find the majority of people they encountered “horrible”.

Strangely .. writing about this particular person brings another lady to mind who was fairly similar.  I don’t know if she felt the same way about the realm in general, but she spent some time in our guild and, on good days, was a very nice person .. chatty, funny, helpful.  However, she was also a “glass half empty” type of person … in game or in real life … she often started talking in either guild chat or whispers about stuff that annoyed her.  Initially people would try to see the positive, cheer her up, show her the “glass half full” side of things .. but at the end of the day we all log into the game as part of our relaxing “after work” time … if we logged out feeling more stressed out than when we logged in, then it wasn’t working.  And that what was happening with more and more regularity.

I know that people like this exist .. I have personal experience of it, indirectly .. but we only have one life to lead (depending on what views you have!) … you have the choice of either going through it miserable or happy.  Personally .. I choose happy every time.  I realise it isn’t possible to be cheerful ALL the time .. but why not make the effort?  I find that, if you make the effort to be happy, even if you’re not .. it tends to be catching and soon more people around you are more cheerful .. which cheers you up.  It’s just like yawning 😛 *yawwwwwnnnn*