Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Etiquette

Dungeon Etiquette 101:

Even before starting, this post feels somewhat redundant. Preaching to the choir, if you will. I do hope that, possibly through retweets, this post makes it to somebody who might actually change a few bad habits.

The inspiration for this entry comes from a dungeon run I did the other night on my druid tank. I was in the midst of a fairly smooth Heroic Shado Pan Monastery run, enjoying tanking things with my face, when one of the pugs said something exceedingly rude to me. We had just killed the Sha of whirlwinds, random add spawns, and ground spikes (Sha of doubt? I’m not sure :P,) and loot was done. The boss dropped a healing neckpiece, which I was hoping to pick up for a resto set I’m building. Prior to needing, I simply watched the roll frame (not the /loot frame) for any other need rolls. I waited a good 15 seconds, saw none, assumed the healer was one of the other rolls, so I went ahead and needed. I won the drop and ambled on out the door to maul some more mobs into submission.

That brings me back to the rude thing the pug said. I responded, asking if there was a problem. He proceeded to say more rude things on the way to informing me that the healer actually needed that neck. I explained that I’d waited for other need rolls and saw none, so I went for it. While I was explaining, I went over to the healer and traded them the neck. I’m not about to be that guy stealing loot from people filling other roles. I guess the healer must have just waited longer than I did to roll. The rude pugger and I exchanged a few more choice words, we killed the last boss, and that was the end. All the healer ever said was “thanks.”

The whole experience made me think of how many spoken and unspoken common courtesies there are to observe in a simple pug dungeon group. Truth be told, there’s a good amount of little things you can do to make a run either great, or horrible. I’ve decided to take it upon myself to hash out a list of do’s and don’ts, from each of the three possible roles you can fill in a dungeon. These are, of course, my opinion. Please take the lists with a grain of salt. Throughout this blog post, the word “dungeon” can be used interchangeably with “LFR” or “Raid.”

DPS Do’s:
-As much DPS as possible without getting yourself or others killed.
-Attack the tank’s primary target.
-Use threat dropping abilities if available/if you pull threat.
-Ask questions about fights you don’t know or don’t understand them.
-Provide courteous tips when you observe a group member who requires knowledge.
-Roll need on gear you absolutely need, greed or pass if you don’t.
-Minimize the amount of damage you take from avoidable sources (i.e. the same as “don’t stand in bad.”)
-Obey fight mechanics
-Utilize your interrupts

DPS Don’ts:
-Stand in bad.
-Pull for the tank (unless you’re a hunter and you have been instructed to pull.)
-Need on gear that is, black and white, for a role you’re not filling unless nobody else needs it (see rude pugger story above.)
-Need on gear inappropriate for your class and/or spec (i.e. a death knight needing on an agility polearm just because it’s a 2 hander with more weapon DPS.)
-Say abusive things to players for underperforming or any other reason.
-Drop group after getting the item you came to the dungeon for.

DPS do’s and don’ts make up the majority of dungeon grievances I’ve witnessed. Learning to heal and/or tank dungeons is something I encourage everybody to do at some point. Seeing things from all perspectives can make certain things in these lists make a lot more sense. Things like “don’t say abusive things” apply to all roles, so just assume that’s in every one of these lists. Same goes for standing in bad or being a greedy little loot pig. Healers and tanks aren’t perfect little angels either, so here are their lists:

Healer Do’s:
-Use the cooldowns Blizzard gave you. Don’t save them for a rainy day, they’re there to save people when you need them. I don’t care if its trash or that you won’t have archangel up in time to smite the crap out of the boss.
-Know the fights beforehand, where possible (“where possible” really only applies at the start of expansions when stuff is totally new to the majority, imo.)
-Ask questions if you’re uncertain of a fight’s mechanics. It’s much harder for the healer to cheese certain things.
-Come prepared to be a healer. Don’t heal in DPS gear or come wildly undergeared for heroics.
-Communicate with your group/tank if you need mana or time for some reason.

Healer Don’ts:
-Go AFK without announcing it
-Be stingy with cooldowns (see above.)
-Show up without out-of-combat mana replenishment. If I have to wait for you to regenerate 300k mana before the next pull, I’ll flip all the tables.
-Be wasteful or overly conservative with your mana. Most fights should be short enough that, if needed, you can use all of your healing tools. Even the mana inefficient ones. Just don’t use them exclusively

As the healer, you have an extremely important job. If you suck, the entire run will most likely suck. This is one of the things you might have to prepare for a little bit beforehand. I like to arm myself with knowledge so I don’t feel entirely unprepared. Sometimes I will do a dungeon as a DPS before I go heal it just so I know a little bit more about the place.

Tank Do’s:
-Observe the importance of your role and come prepared with tank gear and tank knowledge.
-Use your survival cooldowns, even on trash. A dead tank is usually a dead group. Your main job is to live.
-Be mindful of how fast you do pulls. Watch your healer’s mana. Pay attention to group chat and stop if/when you’re asked.
-Avoid standing in bad. This is doubly true because you’re already taking damage others aren’t. Also, if you’re keeping mobs in bad, you’re probably keeping melee DPS in there too.
-Use interrupts, stuns, and other CC to smooth out incoming damage.
-Watch for casters you don’t have threat on. They’re probably attacking your healer.
-Come prepared with addons that help you make sure you have threat on everything. Tidyplates is great for this.
-Keybinds. Make sure you can quickly taunt or blow survival cooldowns. Tank deaths can happen rapidly.
-Assume the DPS in your group don’t know about these lists.

Tank Don’ts”
-Chain pull if your healer’s mana can’t keep up
-Play like a DPS. Be observant, watch threat on groups of mobs. Don’t hump the DPS meter, even when you have 80k attack power from vengeance. You’re probably going to need to target swap and actively manage certain groups. You aren’t in the group to top the DPS meter.
-Tank in DPS or PVP gear. If you’re a guardian druid or a brewmaster monk, you still need to gear appropriately.
-Ignore mechanics you think your healer should just heal through. One of your jobs is minimizing the amount of damage you take.
-Ignore a bad healer. Communicate with people to see if there is something going inhibiting their performance. If you know you have a bad healer, play conservatively.


These lists aren’t always going to be simple to put into practice. There are all kinds of people who play the game, so you may just have to tolerate certain kinds of bad. If you are new to the game or to dungeons in general, observing these rules will make dungeon runs a much happier place. Pug is a pejorative term, but it doesn’t have to be.

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