Has the Tyranny of BOA Gear Ruined Alt Leveling Dungeons?

Need moar boomkins on dragons!

Philosophically, I am neither for nor against BOA gear for your alts. I have a few caster pieces, scattered across the three servers upon which I actively play. At best, on one server, I have head, shoulders, chest and cloak. On another I have weapon, chest and shoulders. Amassing a collection of alt BOAs has just not been a priority for me. I’ve put my badges/points to other uses over the years. But it feels like I’m in the minority on that, at least amongst the leveling dungeon crowd.

Frequently, I’ve been in dungeons with people sporting a full set of BOA gear, down to two trinkets. That’s fine by me. Should mean more gear for my alts who are relying on dungeon drops to improve as they go. You see, I’m a firm believer in having my alts wear what they can make or they earn from quests and dungeons. I just don’t spend gobs of cash on my alts’ leveling gear.

In years past, this approach has gone unnoticed/unremarked. But in the past month, I’ve been on the receiving end of meter spamming, vulgar comments, and being called a bad for my characters in leveling dungeons not being tricked out. Yes, I’m serious: I’ve been called a Bad for not having optimized my gear in leveling dungeons.

The most annoying was in the level 80-85 grind. Therein were positively the worst LFD people I’ve encountered thus far. Until that group I couldn’t fathom why people would drop group mid pull. Which is exactly what I did after I tired of the vulgar comments coming from the three wretched guildies who apparently trolled LFD to show everyone else how leet they were in their full sets of BOA gear and how fail everyone else is if they don’t have it.

It’s interesting to me, as someone who has spent most of her WoW time historically focused on raiding to encounter ruthless elitism amongst people leveling alts. Even when I was one of only three druids on my server, at the time, who had a full set of T2 gear, I was never compelled to go around and talk smack to other people. I was able to bask in my accomplishments and feel good about my character without putting down other people.

What is it about the current state of affairs that would compel people to become obsessed with maximizing their alts for leveling, and more importantly, to look down upon and bully others who are leveling without having that same focus? What happened to the game being whatever it is that you want to make of it? When did we get overrun by the tyranny of the BOAs?

22 thoughts on “Has the Tyranny of BOA Gear Ruined Alt Leveling Dungeons?”

  1. inorite????
    I’ve never had to put 3 people on ignore during 1 dungeon. It became apprent quickly that they were simply not worth enduring, no matter in how long of a queue I’d waited.

  2. I was in an Uldaman run the other day and a fully BoA geared mage didn’t want to wait for the healer to swap specs and drink so they started pulling. The mage alone went through several packs of trash pulls, including pulls with multiple mobs, without ever coming close to dying. Had the same issue in Scarlet Monastery a few days before that (again with a mage) where they were unhappy with how the BoA gear tank was pulling smaller, controllable packs of mobs, and ran ahead, getting to the last trash pack before the boss before finally being overwhelmed by too many mobs and dying. I think that leveling through LFD with full BoA gear breeds a feeling that dps *should* be invincible, *should* be able to pull whatever they like, *should* be able to “gogogo” without concern for the tank or healer’s mana/threat generation, etc.
    I like the benefits of BoA’s as far as letting level capped players quickly level alts through content they have already seen, but while I’m comfortable leveling my hunter through LFD without any heirlooms, I wouldn’t dream of trying to tank without them at this point. I think that this is going to exacerbate the tank shortage as new players are actually unable to learn to tank because of the overwhelming number of BoA geared players who refuse to treat “at-level” dungeons seriously.

  3. I am also a fan of heirlooms letting me expediently level alt #14 without having to do a slow slog through content I’ve done too many times in recent memory (I’m looking at you, Northrend!) It’s a huge bummer that the BOA culture seems to have created a frequently hostile LFD environment, such as the examples you give. I LOVE playing through the lowbie dungeons. But they are a heck of a lot less fun when I am OOM and running after a BOA’d facepuller (which has happened to me far too many times also.)

  4. Ok, so I can think of at least three people *cough*Cyn, Psyn & myself*cough* who do run around in as full Heirloom as we can (as well as other BiS) at least on our main servers. We would PVE twink simply so that we could slaughter dungeons. But none of us do it as a means of showing how elite we are.
    I remember running (low-level) Deadmines with Cyn and Psyn. We pugged in a dps because we were helping a friend who had recently come to the server get gear. It might even have been you. I don’t remember. Was the dps great? Not really. Did it matter? Heck no! That dps loved us because we dragged him along for another three dungeons. He wasn’t an idiot that pulled ahead of Cyn, who was tanking, so we kept him. And he got phat lootz.
    Yeah, we pimp out our alts because we like feeling powerful. But we don’t turn around and bash those who don’t have the gear. We have fun helping them get what they need. It’s not that we do it; it’s the attitude involved.
    Don’t be jerks people.

  5. Honestly, I think LFD is just a cesspool right now. To have a good group is the exception, not the norm – which is kind of sad. I got into a partially cleared Throne of Tides the other night on Elentari, and was greated with one of the players spewing off derogatory racial comments. I politely asked him to stop – which caused him to direct said derogatory racial commentary my direction.
    Not only that but I zoned in as moonkin, and needed to swap specs and refill my mana. The group went on without me, and pulled the boss. The guy with the mouth on him starts swearing at me to do my job – to which I reply “I’m not there yet, you pulled without me”. And got “well be here next time [derogatory racial slang], and stop [explitive deteled] sucking. He then initiated a vote kick for me – telling everyone in the group to “SELECT YES OMG”.
    It was about at that point I thought to myself “I really don’t need this”. I commented on that, told them not to bother with a vote kick, I’d volutarily leave and left the group – seeing one of the other members of the group asking me to please not go, which made me wonder exactly how many healers they had been through.
    Honestly, the attitude that I’ve seen in many groups have gotten progressively worse, people realize that there are truly no consequences for their actions, and some of the behaviour that I’ve seen absolutely astounds me. Who raised these people? Were they never taught manners or tact? Does the facade of being anonymous really build them up so much that they feel they can leave common courtesy at the door when the log in?
    Mostly I just find it an increadibly sad testiment to our generation and those younger than us – it’s really too bad that being polite is something that is so foreign to so many people.

  6. The PVE twinking should be fun in and of itself for folks, like it is for you three.
    I never do understand why for some people they don’t seem to be having fun unless it is at the expense of other people. GET OVER YOURSELVES! And have some FUN already!
    ;p

  7. I’ve run into far too many people who’ve behaved exactly as per your example. I always wonder if they behave that way IRL– swearing at strangers whom they want to do them favors/assist them. It’s an incredible bummer. In a perfect world, we’d always have friends at the ready who wanted to go do leveling dungeons, but that’s not the case and is why LFD was created. It’s disappointing how often LFD groups turn out to be not something you can stomach.

  8. People being dicks in LFG is nothing new.
    Heirlooms didn’t start it, though they do certainly help those using them do this whole “look at me I’m a demigod” crap. So while they didn’t cause the problem, they certainly aren’t helping.
    I’m one of those fortunate souls who very, very rarely has a bad experience in LFG. I certainly have them, but the majority of mine are by far really well done and with a lot of cool people in the group.
    My hatred for leveling in OL/NR still runs very deep, and as I’m currently leveling 4 characters in that very content, I’m sure the burnout will hit me soon to the point that I just stop playing them for a few months and then eventually delete them. We’ll see. For that reason, I really love using heirlooms and I do have full sets of most.
    I also like the heirlooms for PvP, of course, giving me close to BiS gear for any given level so that I stand a fair chance while also being powerful myself. Heirlooms aren’t always BiS at all levels, but any time they’re not they are very close to it.
    But the real root of the problem we’re talking about here isn’t the heirlooms, it’s the players themselves. I think most of the bad attitudes we see in LFG relate to overall enjoyment with the game right now. People who are having a blast with the game probably aren’t going to be the ones talking crap in these dungeons, while those who are unhappy with their normal play experiences probably are.
    A lot of people got frustrated with Wrath, either because their guilds couldn’t down Arthas, or because they downed him so early in the expansion that everything else was just boring. The longer that went on, the more frequently we started seeing jerks in LFG, and reports of them on twitter or in blogs. In comes Cataclysm and now we have new leveling content that takes maybe a week, followed by heroics/raids that are just plain hard. That really pissed off a lot of people.
    Blizzard isn’t listening to their cries for massive nerfs because Bliz doesn’t want the facerolling days of Wrath, and so these frustrated players turn instead to spewing their frustration at other players.

  9. To be honest, this is why I don’t run 5 mans until I am max level. Because I have not run even with a pug in over a year, and I would feel bad asking gulidies to run my newb through:)
    LFG is a cesspool of the worst of the worst most of the time. At this point, I’d rather do something else then suffer through a pug. Wish there were a way to fix this.
    As for the BoA’s, I should not talk my Warrior is level 64 and has every BoA possible:) Just like my hunter did, and DK before that. But that is more a symptom of me being a horrid leveler then it is trying to min max:)

  10. Like Psynister, I haven’t had a lot of bad leveling LFD runs. They’ve been there – the tank who asked my priest to offtank adds comes to mind – but generally there haven’t been a lot of bad ones.
    But, I confess… if I’m not tanking, I’m not really comfortable with pugs. It’s a curious inversion, completely about control. When I’m tanking, I know that I can set the pace, and that we’re NOT going to wipe because of a bad tank. I might get pissy at DPS going off to soon, but I find that if the healer is good, a long stretch of chain pulling will settle the DPS down. (Charge, charge, charge…)
    After I get my warrior and priest up to 85, I will need another class to level. Perhaps I’ll try DPS again. I’m sure I’ll be much calmer in instances.

  11. I agree that LFD at max level has issues as well, but there has been a whole new crop of separate issues this expansion with leveling dungeon attitude from the BOA zealots. Ihave, seriously, been harassed and berated for not having a full suite of heirlooms. To the extent that I’ve left runs. That’s above/beyond the ePeenery we’ve grown accustomed to at max level. I tend to do my lowbie dungeons by myself, without the support of friends/guildies which assuredly makes me more of a target than someone with a support team in tow.
    It’s hard to know what drives people to be aggressively nasty to strangers or to spam damage meters in leveling instances. I worry how people who behave this way in game behave IRL. Regardless of the reason why, however, I don’t consider it to be acceptable or tolerable behavior. I would love to see a way to tag folks like that so they could all be forced to play with each other!

  12. I think overall a good tank is not going to have a bad LFD experience. People are a lot more ready to be horrible to a DPSer as they assume you’ll sit it out versus waiting in the queue again, or they just don’t give a fig since “all DPS are replaceable.”

  13. I’ll admit – I’m someone who has almost every piece of heirloom gear. In my quest to have one character of every class (and having re-done some of them several times), at this point all I want to do is level quickly *lol*
    That being said, I never complain if others DON’T wear heirlooms. I really couldn’t care. The heirlooms is just for myself so I can kill things quicker and get the XP bonus. People whining about other people’s gear always annoys me. That goes for at level 85 as well, but it’s even more pointless to complain about it while leveling.
    It did kind of make me snicker though when you said the 80-85 crowd were decked out in full heirlooms – cause if they are, they’re definitely not optimising their gear, since everything except head and back stop working after level 80. They’d be better off with quest rewards at that point.

  14. ZOMG you’re right– I had a great opportunity to give those brats a smackdown and I missed it! It sorta reminds me of those people who held onto their ZMOGEPIXS until hitting 85 as well, complaining about how teribad all the new gear was…
    I am all for peeps doing whatever it is that makes them happy. But I never have the need to put down others or talk to trash to find my happy place in game. And would love it if there was an easy way for me to avoid such people, other than shunning the LFD tool, which then cuts off that content stream for my lowbies, which is a bummer.

  15. That’s just insane. I’ve been leveling my alts will full sets of heirlooms and I couldn’t care less what happens in dungeons as long as people are trying. I’ve got a friend who is brand new to the game who has been doing lots of pugs, and he has found as long as he tells them he is new they have been friendly and patient with him. It gives me a little hope for LFG in general.

  16. I’d be so much happier if BOA gear had the exp bonus without the stats. I’d like it to be a meaningful choice whether I wanted to wear this tricked out blue dungeon gear, or the shoulders that make me go faster. Even, possibly, something I change out depending on setting. For soloing/questing wear the XP booster, for dungeons, wear the stat-bestowing gear.
    Alas, it is not like that.

  17. I think you’ve just had bad luck tbh. While there’s the ocasional meter-spammer even in low level instances, I haven’t really seen anyone giving out for gear. I only play tanks which are atm 2 at level 85, one at 73, one at 68 and one at 67 and I only level through dungeons. Which means a LOT of dungeons (you know, istant queues and all that). Gear has not ONCE been an issue unless it was pvp gear or some stupid choices (like warr reforging for spirit, dk with intellect cloak etc). Tbh, I don’t even inspect them, if their dps is decent and if the healer can keep me up, they can wear whatever they please. Either that, or it’s a bout grps with jerk tanks of which I cannot speak since I always tank.

  18. I would counter and say that as a tank your experience will always be inherently different. And I wish it was just me having a string of bad luck– but it seems to be a comon recurring complaint amongst a number of players.
    I’ve found in general that in WoW– and in every day life for that matter– until a specific issue hits someone personally, it is often overlooked or dismissed as not being an issue. Hopefully for you your string of good luck continues.
    🙂

  19. I’ve had the good runs, but as you know, 1 really bad run pretty much cancels out a half dozen good runs. Because none of this play WoW in order to be hassled by strangers over the Internet. I’m sad that trash talking and harassing other people is considered by some to be a valid way to “have fun.”

  20. Some people will be jerks, even if they didn’t have the BOA gear. Personally, I haven’t run into too many jerks in the RDF. The times I’ve had, I pretty much laugh at them. I play all roles in the dungeon finder. Regardless, I’m not going to let the few I’ve encountered stop me from doing them. I’ve met some great folks from them, and in a few cases either I’ve made toons on their server, or they’ve come to mine.
    Even before BOA gear, I would try to snap up the best gear I could, and enchant them also. I did that from the time I could enter dungeons, all the way to end-game. Although I knew, that while leveling, my enchanted gear would be quickly replaced by something better. 😉 It didn’t stop me from doing it. 😉

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