The “Other Side” of the Bad PUG
So in Rift the other night a guildie put out the call for a healer in a dungeon, saying that their cleric had just had to leave. I have a mage in the appropriate level range with a Chloromancer healing spec, so I offered to join. I’ve healed as a Chloro in the past, but not since their healing spells were changed to be either tank-focused or group focused but not both at once, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge.
So anyway, I join up and find out that the guildie looking for a healer for his group is already playing as a Chloromancer and considers himself to be the healer for the tank. So he used his Synthesis and I used the “other” veil that does more AE heals for the group. The rest of the group was from different servers due to the LFD being used. The tank was a level or 2 low, but talked like he was experienced, and for the level had some rather good gear, so it looked like we had a pretty decent group overall.
On the 1st few trash pulls things went more or less okay, however the tank was having some trouble with AE aggro, so it was a good thing we had me along as group heals. The tank also lost alarming amounts of health in spite of his decent gear, so I was doing a lot of spot healing on him.
Even with all of this we were doing fine until we got to the 3rd boss of the dungeon. This boss does a frontal cone cleave, so you don’t want to be up with the tank, but he also summons adds so you want to be in close in order to allow the tank to pick them up after they spawn. Thus the strategy for the boss is “stack on its ass so that you’re close enough for the tank to grab the adds without moving, but behind the frontal AE.”
The strat was explained before the battle, and everyone ran over to the back of the mob except my guildie. Didn’t matter at 1st, but then the adds came and since he was MH they beelined for him. He went down, and while I was doing some healing, I didn’t have the ability to keep the tank up without the tank-focused buff, so it was a wipe. No one said anything other than “Oops, let’s try again” figuring that the healer’d learned his lesson and would follow the strat this time.
Nope, he stood off to the side again, adds got him again. By now I’m in tells with him asking him why he’s not following the strat, and the group is asking him to please follow the instructions. He says ok he will. . and then doesn’t. Wipe #3. A vote-kick is now initiated, but since I’ve been talking to him the whole run I know he’s new and still learning I voted no.
A dps leaves saying we’re taking too long and he needs to go to bed for work, so as we’re waiting for the LFD tool to grab someone we are all talking to the guy in group chat and explaining the fight again and why it’s so important to stand right behind the boss. He says he gets it. LFD tool adds a cleric healer to the group, so I switched to my dps build instead.
Next pull went bad from the start, wasn’t really anyone’s fault, was just a wipe. The new cleric even claimed responsibility for it and promised it wouldn’t happen again. But even then I noticed that my guildie was again standing off to the side at range, so if we’d gotten up to the add stage it would have been a problem. Still… since that time wasn’t really anything other than a general screw up no one said anything.
But then the next time, yeah. . . . he’s off to the side yet again and it was a wipe. He’s told by the party leader that he gets 1 more chance and if he doesn’t go where he’s told we’re going to kick him. He says he understands and will do as he should.
Tank pulls. He stands at range off to the side. Everyone yells in group chat to get over to where he should be. I’m also yelling at him in tells to move his ass over to where he’s supposed to be. The tank even tried to pull the boss over to position it so that the guy’d be behind it where he should be, but the guy started running away, and then with everyone being out of position the cleave got us and yeah, wiped again.
Vote window appears, and in spite of him being a noob who needed to learn and a fellow guildie, I voted yes this time. The other people in the group actually apologized to me for kicking a guildie of mine out, but I just told them I understood. He got booted from the dungeon, the LFD tool grabbed another dps, so I went back to being “support heals” and we finished the dungeon from that point forward without incident.
Immediately after he was kicked, though, he started whining in Guild Chat that the group was completely ungrateful and he’d been doing yeoman’s work in keeping the crappy tank alive, etc etc. I would have loved to tell everyone what had really happened and that we’d let him wipe us 6 times before finally kicking him, but our guild’s biggest hard and fast rule is “Blades out, not in” so I didn’t want to say anything that could be interpreted as badmouthing the guy, so I just made general supportive statements about how hard he’d been working in the group and whatnot. Still, I started talking to him in tells again and finally found out the issue — he thought that the frontal AE was a true AE and that if he got in close that it would kill him, being a squishy mage. In spite of being told repeatedly how the boss worked, and in spite of seeing me as another squishy mage being the LAST to die and then only after the mob finally killed everyone else and focused on me. Somehow he just had this mental block that wouldn’t let him do what needed to be done. So convinced he’d die if he did the right thing that he did the wrong thing which was guaranteed to make him die, and he just couldn’t see past it for whatever reason. There wasn’t really anything I could say at that point, so I just told him that there’s no “poison cloud” from that boss and wished him better luck in his next group.
And that was it — he was doing a pretty competent healing job by that point, having figured the Chloromancer healing style out, he just got a sort of mental block. But the others in the group only saw someone incompetent in his inability to follow directions who we’d given every benefit of the doubt to before finally cutting him loose.
I’m not trying to make any kind of statement that we should be more forgiving in our pugs — we really did have to cut him loose before we could progress — just more trying to show it’s not always a case of complete clueless incompetence that causes that problems. Hopefully we are all now more enlightened. Or not 😉