What to Wear: a Shadow Priest’s Guide to Zul’aman and Zul’gurub Heroic Dungeon Gear

Patch 4.1 brings us 5-man heroic dungeon versions of a couple of classic raids: Zul'aman (ZA) and Zul'gurub (ZG), with an opportunity to deck yourself out in ilvl 353 epics, which should help ease more folks into being raid-ready from a geaer perspective.

Thankfully, the loot tables will additionally help fill in some gaps for some of the harder to source items (i.e. wands and bracers.) Personally, I can't wait for my new and improved Will of Arlokk. That was always my favorite staff…

Once the item databases provide more details, I'll subdivide the list by instance.

Note that there is also a trinket, usuable by everyone, that calls forth your own posse of voodoo gnomes: Miniature Voodoo Mask.

The Tyrrany of the LFD Dungeon Leader Tag

no, u stand there, not there

This past weekend, I zoned in to a Heroic Grim Batol that was already in progress, on the second boss. There was a player DC’d who was summarily kicked out. After the next wipe, I started to see what was going on.

The healer, who had the Dungeon Guide tag, immediately started laying down the blame for the wipe. Berating the tank, making fun of his gear including a green or two. The tank dropped.

We went again, with the new tank, and another wipe. This time, the healer started heckling the lowest DPS, who also dropped. 10 min into the instance and I had already seen this person make nasty comments to and bully out the entire group other than myself.

His behavior continued. As the healer, no wipe (and there were several) was ever his fault. It was all the fault of the bad DPS. Or someone standing in something. His tirades went on and on. After one especially nasty run of his mouth, I put forth a vote kick, which did not pass. Apparently, the abuse he was heaping on everyone was OK by the rest of the group.

As we got towards the end of the instance and his name calling and blaming escalated I asked him to chill out. “This is actually a team effort. You have cycled through more than a full group of players so far today; you need to hold up some responsibility on your end as well for the success of the group.”

I detailed for him how if he was running out of mana mid fight, he should consider using his mana replenishment tool at half mana, not waiting until he was out (which was his M.O., and when we would lose a player.) I also pointed out he could ask for an innervate from the druid and a hymn of hope from me — we have a number of mana replenishment tricks, but all need to be managed and planned for — not done at the last minute.

After that discussion, things went more smoothly. Until the final boss. Our little LFD tyrant sprouted an extra head. He changed positioning of players multiple times, and when I tried to confirm which side he wanted me on, I was blasted with 15-rows of “Priest shut up and move.” I’d really about had it with this brat.

We had several tries, and saw his placements were not working– one side was not getting down their add. Somewhere in there, I died early, during a shadow gale (where it looked on my screen and others as though we were all stacked in the middle) and thus started to get a rain of abuse heaped upon me. I was a moron. I should stop playing. Am I blind? And worse. The litany of insults was shocking and left me stunned. I had honestly never encountered this level of nastiness in my five years of playing this game.

Pages of this abuse from some foul mouthed LFD healer who had bullied out almost two full LFD groups worth of players. Who then complained he could not vote kick me because we were on the final boss.I asked him to calm down and stop being a bully, to which he retorted I must be 5-years old. I held my tongue. And I did what any rational player would do when confronted with an extreme case of jerkiness: I put that person on ignore.

I took to whispers to organize strat with the good players. They finally started telling the nasty healer to shut it. And we defeated the boss.

And I avoided the LFD queue for the rest of the weekend. I don’t have the stomach for another run-in of that kind.

What is interesting to me, is that player was the dungeon guide, and clearly felt that he was the most qualified person in the group to lead us through the dungeon. But he was not, despite knowing the fights in a general manner (everything was a tank and spank plus something everyone other than him needed to watch for.) His primary deficit? A total lack of leadership skills and subpar communication abilities.

Shouting down other peopls or bullying them into leaving is not productive in any scenario. Name calling doesn’t help anyone identify how a pull went wrong. Yet in this guy’s mind, he was in the right and we were all a bunch of morons who couldn’t have gotten through it without him.

People like this bully are why I am not a fan of the new crop of player rating tools that are cropping up, both in action and in discussion. From his POV, everyone he grouped with, including myself (and I was doing 11k DPS and kicking ass other than my one death for whatever reason) was a total moron whom should never be allowed in a heroic.

And from my POV, someone who behaves the way he does, with such a negative attitude and a taste for doling out abuse on strangers, should never be subjected on anyone else.

I love the idea of the LFD tool, and its ability to help folks find a group when there isn’t enough interest in their own guild, but incidents like this, make me wish we were grouped only with folks on our own servers, whereby we could have a little bit of recourse if hit up by the crazy rants and insults.

I love to do instances, and my 85s are all at the heroic level from gear and performance standpoints, but I’ve lost my taste for randoming without buddies. Because waiting in a 45 minute queue to have a truly awful hour with some horrible person is just not my idea of fun.

Friday Five: Five Things NOT to Do in LFD Groups

Camel-back Boomkin in Halls of Origination

Cataclysm has marked the return to random dungeon groups for many people. Some of whom seem to to be unclear on some of the common courtesy’s of grouping with strangers. This Friday Five goes out to them…

  1. DON’T queue until you are ready. This is especially true for tanks and healers: you know you will get an instance almost immediately. So don’t queue, come on inside, then tell us you need a 5 minute AFK. We hate you. And will kick you out of there as soon as the timer allows us to for that.
  2. DON’T be afraid to ask questions. You know how right before a boss fight, the party leader will often say “so has everybody done this?” I know it can bruise one’s ePeen to be the only one raising their hand, but if it’s your first time in Vortex Pinnacle, speak up. Heck, even if it’s not, if you are running with a bunch of strangers, ask them how they want to handle the fight. Make sure you understand who is in charge of cc’ing the diamond. Double check if this is a go stand in something or a kite through or a run away from fight.
  3. DON’T run back to the entrance to turn in your quests. No, the group doesn’t want to wait 5 minutes for you to go turn in your quest, no matter how excited you are about that quest reward item. This is a pretty surefire way to get kicked out.
  4. DON’T ignore party chat, especially when it is directed towards you. If someone is asking you a question, you need to respond to it. “Paladin X, are you lost?” crickets. “Paladin X, why are you back at the entrance to the instance?” crickets. “Paladin X you aren’t keeping us all waiting here for 4 minutes now turning in your quests and not replying to us are you?” crickets. /vote to kick.
  5. DON’T be a primadonna. We don’t care that you blew your uber mega DPS cooldown on that last boss 200 feet over there and it won’t be up again for 5 minutes. Your meter humping is of little interest to the group. Really. I promise. It’s up to you to manage your CDs and buffs, not the group’s obligation to stand around waiting for your to feel everything is optimal for you for each fight.

BONUS: DON’T tell the group how every other group you’ve done this instance with has done it faster/more smoothly/without the boss casting meteor/whatever. The expansion has been out for a little over a week. Saying stuff like this marks you as a pretentious git. Get over yourself and learn how to have a good time!

So far I am enjoying the new dungeons. I especially liked being able to run around in boomkin form on a camel in a dungeon, as seen above. Now THAT’s what I call a fun time in a dungeon — boomkin DPSing from a camel’s back.