It would be nice to focus this series on all the GOOD things that can happen in pick-up groups (PUGs). Unfortunately, sometimes a PUG comes along that’s so COMPLETELY awful, you just have to share it.
Take Victaurya’s recent trip through Acid Wit on elite. I’d been on with Acanthia and a couple of Monty’s guildies (MK and LG, both on artificer toons) were looking for some lvl 15-17s to run with. I told them I didn’t have anyone QUITE in that range, but I’d be willing to bring my squishy lvl 14 rogue if they wanted a warm body. They were fine with that and so I logged Vic on.
I was kinda worried that Vic would be a liability, what with being three levels under the quest, squishy and mediocre DPS, plus there are no disarmable traps in AW so there might not be much for her to do. Little did I know when the LFM went up, we somehow managed to get not one, not two, but THREE people who all made hirelings look like geniuses.
The first person who hit the LFM, a lvl 16 sorc, made me cringe just a bit. The only contact I’d ever had with him was when I was standing at the AH one night and he sent me a blind tell asking to “borrow” 500,000 plat. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen. So I cringed a bit when I saw the name but hoped he played better than he begged. Then we got a ranger. With no healers showing up right away, we decided to leave the LFM up and start the quest with a hireling.
The sorc pretty much ran ahead of us right from the start and burned through ALL of his mana long before we had the first quadrant cleared. Luckily – or so we thought – about that time a FvS sent MK a tell asking if we needed heals, so we dropped the hire and added him. In hindsight, we shoulda kept the hire.
Meanwhile the sorc – when he wasn’t typing in baby talk – kept typing “heal her.” It took us a while to figure out that he was referring to his female character in the third person, because we were all scratching our heads going, “Heal WHO?” But then he started dying. I mean, a LOT. Like, EVERY FREAKING BATTLE. We weren’t even halfway through and the FvS was also out of mana from having to rez the sorc so many times (I stopped counting around his 17th death) and from occasionally stacking about six blade barriers on top of each other. I’m not sure why he asked MK if we needed a healer, because he was doing almost no healing – that fell to LG and I, who both had wands and pots.
Just to make one thing clear – I am not one of these people who’s always bragging about how they always carry their crappy party mates to victory single-handed. If I ever start posting stuff about how all the people I group with are idiots and I’m always the last one standing and I have to go in and rez all 11 of them and kill Harry all by myself and all that crap, SMACK ME HARD. If those people were really half as great as they claim to be, they’d be able to find good players to group with instead of the “idiots” they always claim to get stuck with. But that’s a rant for another time. My point is, Vic is gimped and squishy and I am not in any way implying that she’s a great toon or that I’m a great player.
That said, it’s a damn sorry reflection on a party “healer” when the two people sharing party healing duties in a lvl 15 quest on elite are one of the artis and a gimped, squishy lvl 14 rogue with a couple of Cure Mod and Cure Serious wands. Artis can make fine backup healers. Trapmonkey rogues ARE NOT PARTY HEALERS, not even backups… unless the FvS in your group is worthless.
So we get to the room with all the acid jets and MK reminds everyone to be careful and time their jumps so they don’t take damage. The sorc pays no heed, goes tearing through and dies for about the 20th time, then sits there typing, “rez her,” “rez her,” “rez her.” This was how we finally figured out that he was talking about his toon in the third person…
MK: [sorc], do you mind if I ask why you refer to yourself in the third person?
[sorc]: cos i is [sorc]
[sorc]: das is why
By this time we’ve passed a shrine so the FvS still has enough mana left to rez the sorc. We head back through the acid jets. MK reminds everyone, again, about the whole don’t-run-through-because-you’ll-die thing. The sorc runs through and dies… big surprise. I think it was at this point that MK gave the sorc an ice guard outfit because the guy’s robes were all busted from dying so many times.
The FvS, while not as completely worthless as the sorc, reminded me very strongly of a FvS who was in a five-man Schemes of the Enemy PUG with Acanthia a while back. Same guild, same play style, same typing style. The Schemes guy was also a moron, wouldn’t listen to anything (“Don’t talk to the guards because we don’t want to fight them” – he talked to them and started the fight; “Don’t go down that corridor, there’s a fire trap” – he got burnt up; “Don’t attack the door or you’ll start a fight” – he attacked the door, etc.), died multiple times (rest of the party had no deaths), and when we got into the end fight, already down a man because our fighter DCed, he typed, “afk have to go eat dinner” and promptly got killed. Miraculously, he finished dinner about 30 seconds after we took the boss down and then started whining for a rez. I’d have left his sorry ass to hang, but the cleric – apparently forgetting there was a shrine right outside – actually popped a mana pot so he could rez the guy. But anyway. I was pretty sure that the FvS in Vic’s Acid Wit group was an alt of the guy who was in Acanthia’s Schemes PUG, so…
Me: Hey, [FvS], do you have an alt named [altname]?
Me: No, not you, [sorc], I was talking to [FvS].
Miraculously we make it to the shrine before the final fight with a few zillion deaths attributed to the sorc, half a dozen or so to the FvS (we did a lot of carrying stones to shrines), one or two to MK and LG, and – at that point – none for me or the ranger, who up to that point had maybe zerged a bit but didn’t seem too bad. Then again, compared to the other two, Leeroy Jenkins would have been an asset. (At least he had chicken.) MK tells the group that we missed one passage near the beginning (probably when we were carrying stones to shrines), so we’re going to go back and get that before we go to the end fight. The newly-rezzed sorc and FvS immediately head toward the end fight room. There is much “NO STOP! COME BACK!” in both voice and text chat. The FvS reluctantly heads back to us… trailed by a fair number of trogs. The sorc keeps going, falls all the way to the bottom of the room and promptly suffers his 98,390,485th death (give or take a few).
MK: [sorc], can you hear Vic on voice? Did you hear her say not to go into that room yet?
Sorc: yes but i fell
Gosh, you just fell all the way to the bottom of the room you knew you weren’t supposed to go into? You couldn’t have fallen if you hadn’t gone running in there like an idiot in the first place! My apologies to idiots, don’t mean to insult them by lumping them in with this guy but the only other words I can think of aren’t very family-friendly.
So the sorc is dead at the bottom of the room we weren’t going to go into yet, and the rest of us have a bunch of trogs hitting us hard. By this time Vic is nearly out of pots and her last wand down to less than 10 charges, so I can’t keep her healed myself. Evasion keeps the shamans from doing much damage to her, but the melee trogs are hitting her HARD and it doesn’t take long before she dies. The FvS is once again out of mana (mostly from rezzing the sorc), so we ALL start dying. If we’d been anywhere but next to a shrine, this would have been a big-time wipe. Get killed, rez, gulp a pot or hit myself with a wand so I can take at least one or two hits before I die again, lather, rinse, repeat. The others – aside from our dead sorc, who was still sitting at the bottom of the big room going, “rez her,” “rez her,” “rez her” – were doing pretty much the same thing.
Thanks to the death penalties, Vic’s chance to use the last remaining charges on her last Cure Serious wand was only 10%. I fire off about four failed attempts at MK and then apologize to him, explaining that at the moment I only had a 10% chance to use the wand successfully. The (still dead at the bottom of the room) sorc goes, “ha i has a 28 umd.” I had to bite my tongue REALLY hard to keep from saying either, “Yeah, and I can see how much good it’s doing you,” or, “Well, I still have hit points left.”
It took a while and a fair number of deaths for everybody, but we got the wave of trogs that had followed the FvS up to the shrine beaten down and headed back to the corridor we missed to get the Acidstone elementals we needed to complete the optional. Once that was done, MK suggested that we should take turns releasing to go re-buff, repair and get more wands and pots. MK, LG, the sorc and the FvS went first; the ranger said he didn’t need to go, and we agreed that Vic would go last because she’d likely be quickest, having no blue bar to refill.
So there’s Vic at the shrine with the ranger, waiting on the other four to get back in… when the ranger goes running toward the end room.
Me: What are you doing?
Ranger: we can pull the boss up here to fight, we don’t have to fight him down there
Me: Yes, I know, but don’t pull him NOW, there’s only two of us here!
Ranger: *runs down anyway*
Me: *braces for the worst*
Ranger: *runs back*
High Theurge Trassilyk: *miraculously doesn’t follow*
Ranger: *runs down again*
Ranger: *runs back*
High Theurge Trassilyk: *miraculously doesn’t follow again*
Me: *uses dragonmark to go invis and hides behind shrine in case he tries it again*
MK got back in and told me to take my turn with the release/repair/rebuff/buy healing stuff rotation, and off I go. I get the repairing and buying done and am on the ship buffing as fast as I can when MK starts frantically typing, “NO! Don’t kill him yet! Wait for the others!”
I’m fuming now. Three complete morons, we’re taking crap from a fourth-life lvl 16 sorc who has fewer hit points than first-life lvl 14 28-point build Vic, we’ve carried their asses through the whole quest and now they’re trying to get the completion while two of us aren’t back in the dungeon yet? This was probably the closest I’ve ever come to rage-quitting a party. That’s no reflection on MK or LG at all. THEY were awesome (and kept apologizing to me for dragging me into it, which was silly since I wanted to go).
Anyway, I set off for the Twelve as fast as I can, with LG right beside me. The whole time, MK is still in party text chat telling the other three to NOT kill the damn boss before LG and I get in. Just before we get to the entrance, the sorc dies. Again. LG and I make it in and run for the end room. The boss goes down just before we get there, with the sorc still in the form of a soul stone.
Still-dead sorc: i did it
… I guess the boss tripped over the sorc’s soul stone and hit his head.