Home Editorial Relay Rant: You can’t spell “stupid” without DPS

Anyone who keeps a keen eye on our Facebook or Twitter feed knows I recently got talked back into playing World of Warcraft. I first started playing a few years ago back when Wrath of the Lich King came out; a couple of friends said I should play it with them, and it was pretty fun.

Leveling was fast, and Blizzard had just introduced a feature that allowed players to queue up to play in a random dungeon instance with other people. It seemed like a better version of the exact same feature they introduced to my beloved Guild Wars so hey, what’s not to like?

Seeing new stuff, meeting new people, getting phat loot and pimping it like a… uh, pimp with my awesome array of cloaks. Sadly, it wasn’t long until I started to notice flaws in the system.

 

But first, the basics of MMORPG balance

In MMORPGs, there are a number of classes which can perform different roles. Over the years of simplification of a few things in RPGs, a class is typically limited to one (or two) of three roles: Tank, Healer and DPS. Tanks are big hulking meat shields who charge in and make sure the enemies are whacking them instead of everyone else. Healers primarily try to keep the tank alive, but also watch out for the other players. Finally, DPS (Damage per Second) are the guys who help whack the enemies without drawing too much attention to themselves (also known as drawing aggro or pulling).

In theory, a balanced party of these roles should be able to quickly take on most challenges and can storm through things when working as a cohesive team. In WoW, the Dungeon Finder puts together a five man team including one tank, one healer and one DPS which, when working together, can easily just blitz through stuff. Depending on the game and the party sizes determines how many of each role you’ll need; Guild Wars usually went quite well with a tank, an off-tank (someone who can help tank and do damage), two healers, a couple of nukers (mages who blast the shit out of something with lots of damage very quickly) and then a couple of random DPS to fill up the eight man party.

The principle is the same. When everything goes swimmingly, a WoW dungeon will take around twenty minutes and everyone’s happy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

 

When everything started to go wrong

As I was leveling up my mage character, I started to notice that not everyone I found through the Dungeon Finder particularly liked to work in a team. Being a mage, I was a DPS class, so what I should have been spending my time doing was hurting stuff and not drawing aggro. Instead, I spent most of my time just waiting to get into a dungeon.

You see, World of Warcraft has ten classes, of which four can do nothing but DPS, four can DPS or tank, and three can DPS or heal. Healing or tanking takes a fair bit of effort, so most of the time players just go with the “hit stuff” option of their class which means that there are masses of DPS classes, a fair few healers (healing doesn’t take that much effort, but players can be extremely nasty to healers) and hardly any tanks (it’s difficult and other players act like dicks to them).

On average, I would have to wait at least half an hour on my mage character before I could get into a dungeon. When I finally got in, I was either so gleefully happy to finally be there or so pissed off at the wait that I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do it any more. Both of these situations can lead to group dynamic problems. I’d find myself either saying “Oh, we died. Never mind, let’s just try again” or “Oh, the tank failed to keep aggro again like a retard and I shall now announce this in every chat channel.” Multiply these mindsets by three, add a healer who gets nothing but verbal abuse if he/she slips up, and a tank who will almost always get in a party instantly, and things can start sucking very quickly.

There’s no nice way to say this, but most World of Warcraft players are assholes. I’m not just plucking that out of thin air because I don’t like them or anything, but most of them are just generally not nice people. I don’t know why this seems to happen with games that are marketed as “YOU ARE PLAYING WITH OTHER REAL PLAYERS” but it seems that some WoW subscribers would rather just grind by themselves with bots filling in the missing roles.

If something goes wrong, they flip their shit like you wouldn’t believe, no matter how trivial it was and, no matter what happens, it’s never their fault. Sadly, in my experience, most of these players are DPS classes to boot. If they pull a mob and things get delayed by a couple of minutes, they complain that the tank doesn’t know what they’re doing. If they charge in ahead of the tank and die because the healer wasn’t expecting an act of ritual suicide, the healer is the worst healer in the world and should kill themselves. If another DPS player isn’t quite doing as much damage as someone else, they’re “shitty noob fags” who should just “uninstall right now.”

Gamers like these can single-handedly make the experience a bad one, but given the role numbers I mentioned above, things get ugly quite often. Due to their long wait time, DPS players won’t leave. Healers, with their relatively short wait time, often quit out of the party, which leaves the remaining players waiting for a new healer. Tanks do whatever the fuck they want because they can join a new party instantly. Basically, you get to choose whether your douchbag of the day either doesn’t go away, sticks you with a waiting period, or fucks you all over completely just before quitting. It’s a grab-bag of frustration.

 

When I started to get mad

Playing as a DPS was fun, but I really couldn’t stand the waiting times and seeing other DPS players drive our tank and/or healer to quit the party. After I quit and got roped back (again), I decided to make a completely new character on a new server: Willthebeast the Tauren Priest. I wanted to be a healer because more healers are always wanted (but hard to find). I’ve played healers in other games with huge success, plus I didn’t want to wait as long for dungeons any more. I leveled my guy up, got into my first few dungeons and thought “You know what? This isn’t as bad as I remember it.”

Then I got a few more dungeons in and started to regret my decision. In one particularly difficult dungeon, I barely met the level requirement to gain entry, and the other guys in the party all boasted higher levels than me. What this meant was that the enemies here would really quite hurt if they hit anyone at all, and my spells won’t be as effective because the other players had a larger health pool than I’ve been used to before. I would have my work cut out for me, but hey: I’m always up for a challenge.

Whilst we were waiting to set off, the tank said he was going to get a drink and be back in a minute. That’s fine, this happens all the time so I don’t really see this as a problem. What I did see as a problem was that the three DPS guys just charged all the way forward into massive enemy groups. This was the third time that this had happened that day, and I had finally had enough. I stood next to the AFK tank, emoted out a joyous dance, and let the DPS die. Immediately the abuse started coming in. It went something like this:

How mad was the group's DPS? Find out on the next episode of World of Warcraft!

“YOU STUPID FUCKING HEALER, WTF ARE YOU DOING?! FUCKING HEAL US YOU DICK!!! I SHOULD FUCKING FIND WHERE YOU LIVE AND RAPE YOU YOU PIECE OF SHIT.”

“Can’t hear you, dancing.”

By this point, the tank had returned and was quite naturally shocked that the entire party was dead save for one dancing minotaur.

“THE FAGGY FUCKING PRIEST DIDN’T HEAL US WHEN WE MOVED IN SO WE ALL DIED BECAUSE HE’S SOME KIND OF COCK SUCKER, KICK PLEASE!!!!”

Apparently, it was my fault that they had ran in whilst our tank wasn’t there, bit off more than they could chew, got surrounded, and promptly died. There’s no way that they could have thought that the tank was right behind them because otherwise they would be yelling at him, too. They only had themselves to blame.

“HEY HEALER, YOU GOING TO RES US OR NOT?????”

Wait. No, you didn’t just say that. Really? You hurl abuse at me for something which is your fault and then demand that I bring you back to life? No fucking way. In World of Warcraft, the healer can resurrect you, or he can leave you to separate your soul from your body and walk back into the instance, then catch up to your party. I was not going to resurrect them. I told them this in my own special way:

“Fuck that, I’m not healing you until you learn how to play nice.”

More abuse exploded. But if they were so mad, why didn’t they throw me out? You see, you have to vote to kick someone out of the party in the Dungeon Finder, and you can’t vote someone out in the first few minutes or during combat. In this dungeon, you’re pretty much always in combat, so it would be a long time before they could kick me out. Until they could do that, I was making damn sure that they didn’t have a chance at staying alive whilst they were being abusive.

Was this childish of me? Probably. I’d had enough of idiots just running around and slinging verbal diarrhea at others for their mistakes; my protest was in the only language they’d understand: I’m going to ruin your game and waste your time until you can be nice.

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Time for a relay!

You’ve gotten your share of the rage of Binerexis, but what about next week? Should Space Hamlet drop the Space Hammer, or would you prefer to see if FC2000 has the anger management issues necessary to work at Top Tier Tactics?


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12 replies to this post
  1. I lol’d. Binerexis. So calm in the face of rage. So, basically, Bin wants the WoW people to stop being assholes right?

    • Yeah, pretty much.

      I wouldn’t mind them getting angry or frustrated if something went wrong but to be outright abusive at someone for something which was YOUR fault is just unacceptable. Could you imagine if someone were to mount the curb and run you over only to have them blame it on you and demand that you should compensate them for denting their car?

      • Well first and foremost he was a character created to make fun at the number crunching obsessed players in WoW who would only let people in their party if they had very specific numbers in their stats back in the older days of WoW…… but yeah, maybe he was a DPS. It really isn’t clear.

  2. Oh man, you just brought back so many memories.

    I played a priest for about 4 years before giving it up. So much hate from randoms. After playing with friend and guild mates for so long, it’s soooo painful to go back to PUGs.

    I did enjoy having the power to decide whether someone lives or not, though. :)

    • I’ve sadly never had a big guild experience in WoW to really have enough fun with it. A friend of mine told me a brilliant story the other day about a guild raid run where all the rogues transferred massive amounts of threat to one of the healers just to watch the tank panic. Would love to have been there!

      • And THAT is why I quit healing and respecced Boomkin/Bear, so that I’ll only run instances with my favorite discipline cow along in the group.
        But, first things first. You miswrote the WoW dungeon system, it takes THREE DpS, not one.
        Also, tanking is WAY easier than healing. This I am saying from having tanked with drood and Paladin and having healed with both AND a Priest.
        As a tank, pretty much all you have to do (unless you are playing DK, which I would pity you for as stands right now) is optimize gear, which *might* require some basic reading skills to do right, then stand in front of the mobs, hit CS/Hammer, mash the filler castrandom macro, and hit the castrandom CD macro when your life drops below 90% or you are about to get a high damage period.

        Well, as a Paladin, that is. As a drood, you have to micro just so many abilities, which about EXACTLY fill up your rotation. No chance for flaws, you have to execute it all one after another, or your mitigation will suffer. Still, it is a matter of mashing buttons, which will get instinctive after some time.

        As a healer, you have to be constantly aware and (re)act at the right time with the right spells. I’m sure whoever I am adressing can think of what I mean, so I’ll just leave it.

        Also, Bin, I hope the honor of your epic facial hair prevented you from speccing your mage arcane. Because that plainly sucks in being not op for minimal work.

      • Yes, I noticed that typo myself when re-reading this before. You see, I normally write when either in a fit of incoherent rage or blitzed off my face or both. In fact, I think my articles are the most heavily edited in terms of rejigging the order of paragraphs so it makes some kind of sense. What I’m boiling down to is that it’s the editor’s fault but they have their job cut out for them when I hurl my shit at the wall.

        The reason why I say tanking is difficult is two-fold. Firstly, I made one Paladin many moons ago and the talent trees just confused the hell out of me for tanking and had no idea what to do. Secondly, the DPS in my battlegroup are so idiotic that you really have to be on your toes as a tank and I just didn’t want that kind of hassle.

        My mage was a Frost Mage all the way up to around level 77/78 when I HAD to change to Arcane. If I wasn’t arcane I would be voted out of dungeons, people would quit and I couldn’t get into a guild. It was quite interesting pressing two buttons and destroying everything, though.

  3. I always found healing to be the most fun role, and sometime during WotLK (Had been playing since BC, quit now since I just can’t afford it) I could announce to the party that if everyone does their job properly and a minute was taken to discuss target markers (I’ve seen people try and use skull for poly, that shit doesn’t work without a warning), all would be well. And hell, since I played Druid (When ToL wasn’t a cooldown… Boy, those were the days), all would be well anyway.

    Moral of the story, take a minute, make everyone realize that if they fuck up, it’s their fault, and move on. If they fucked up after this and tried to call out any one person (Namely, me) the entire party would then proceed to tea-bag his/her corpse and then promptly move on, while he ran back.

  4. You hit the nail on the head. The logic is actually simple, but since the inescapable conclusions are so damning to the MMO tard crowd, nobody talks about it much.

    To DPS requires no more of you than to be a selfish asshole. You do not need to consider other players, you do not need to step out of the limelight for a second. You do not need to do any of the things that would make you a polite member of society. And it’s easy enough that even a republican can do it.

    By the laws of supply and demand, there will be many selfish assholes playing DPS. It’s math.

    It gets worse.

    MMOs put a numeric scale on something that is easy as shit: pressing a button until something dies. Then they trick an average MMO basement inhabitant into thinking that this represents an accomplishment. In rality, all they have done is grown fat and useless staring at a a computer screen, but hey, it’s probably better than the rest of their lives..

    Here’s the thing, when you put a complete fucking loser in this situation, it’s like he’s that guy in high school who never had a girlfriend, then became an insufferable asshole when he finally did land one.

    These losers are not used to success in any form, even an artifically constructed lie like “character level” or “gear score”. They do not know how to succeed with grace because they’re basically incapable of succeeding at anything.

    In short, MMOs are explicitly marketed to losers. That is why they are no fun to play with. That is why they all play DPS. That is why they are fucking crybabies.

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