Drama Mamas: Dungeon Finder advice

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Most of us have been having a great time with the new Dungeon Finder. (And if you haven't, then you really, really should. It's a gamechanger.) We have our good PuG stories and, of course, the bad PuGs. My first experience was in a dungeon where all but the main boss had been downed. I got in because the rogue whose place my mage was taking had quit in order to turn in a quest. None of us could figure out why he didn't want to wait the three minutes, get the random dungeon rewards and then turn in the quest. But his loss was my gain. He was a bad PuGger (PuGgie? PuGinator?) because he left his team hanging and waiting to pick up a 5th person before they could finish their dungeon and move onto the next one.

Here are some more examples of bad PuGgers that I think most of us can agree on:

  • The player who puts the tank on follow and doesn't participate.

  • The tanks who don't pay attention to healer mana and then complain when they die.

  • The players who don't manage their aggro, regardless of role.

  • Rude and/or spammy chatters.

  • Players who make careless mistakes and repeatedly wipe the group. (One mistake does not a bad PuGger make.)

But what about the player in blues and greens who doesn't make mistakes, is perfectly pleasant and cooperative, but isn't putting out the numbers you think he or she should?

Dear Drama Mamas: Like most people since 3.3 came out, I've been running with the new Random Dungeon feature pretty frequently. It's been a lot of fun, but last night, I had what I would consider my first bad experience with it.

I'll preface this with the following: I'm a power gamer. Most of my friends are power gamers. We spend a lot of time trying to get the most out of our characters, be that tradeskills, talent specs, gear choices, addons... I understand that we are far from the norm, and in most cases, we don't expect people to play at the same level we do. People play the game for different reasons, and everyone has a right to have fun in the game.


or most of the heroics that shipped with WotLK, they're not difficult at all for my group of friends. Since the new LFG tool came out, we've had lots of cases of people doing sub-1K DPS in Violet Hold, Culling of Stratholme, whatever. These instances are still very easy to complete for my friends, so we have fun getting people new badges, gear, drake mounts, whatever. The problem however, comes with the new instances. They are a step up in difficulty, and the new gear can be upgrades to those who are not only fresh level 80s, but also those who may have had bad luck with gear drops in their raids. Which leads us to last night.

We had our tank, healer, and DPS (me) queued for a random dungeon. We got Pit of Saron as the random, and a random mage and DK joined. After the first boss, we noticed the DK had very low DPS (about 1100). He had joined as DPS, but he was in mostly blue-quality tank gear, with a couple PVP items. The first boss dropped plate DPS gear, which he won, and made a comment about how it w
as such a great upgrade over his green DPS bracer. After the second boss, his DPS actually decreased, but the boss still died. After this, I made a comment that if he's going to queue as DPS, it would probably be best to at least have a DPS spec (he had 68 points in Unholy) and be able to at least be able to match the tank for DPS. I suggested he visit some websites such as ElitistJerks (mentioned that it was an unfortunate name, but a good site) to find information on better DPS specs, rotations, gear, etc. The DK was quiet, we continued the instance, and dropped the final boss. The DK won the DPS BP, told us to f-off, and dropped group.

So my question is, was I in the wrong? Should I have kept my mouth shut? We had the DPS in the group to carry his sub-1K DPS, but most groups may not. We were trying to help improve his game, so he'd be more effective, and not be such a liability. Should we have not even tried, and just vote-kicked him for not being effective? I realize I could be classified as being elitist for this, but is it really being elitist to ask that people meet some minimum level of effectiveness? Signed, Looking for Advice on Looking for Group

Drama Mama Robin: Hey Looking, the new Dungeon Finder tool has brought a lot of casual players to PuGs. Players with limited time to play WoW used to not have time to find groups for instances. Now, if players can play during primetime on their realms, they can find PuGs in a matter of minutes (instantly if they are healers or tanks at max level) and chain run a few of them in an hour or two. Because of this, you are going to get players who are used to a more relaxed style of play and not practiced at speedy combinations of keypresses for maximizing damage output. And yes, they are geared out in green world drops and quest blues... at first... until they get the better gear in the heroics... as you noticed.

But here is my question to you, Looking: If your group is downing bosses the first try, then what do you care what some PuGger's spec/gear/skill level is? Sure, that DPS isn't going to cut it in a hard mode raid, but -- and this is the important point -- it actually is enough to help you power gamers down bosses in random dungeons. Admittedly, I have a bit of a casual chip on my shoulder and I'm protective of my fellow casual gamers, but I really don't see why you need to force your opinions on them if they are doing enough to get you through.

And, let's be clear on this, you and Elitist Jerks and all you other power gamers out there have differing opinions among yourselves as to the best specs. You say Unholy isn't a good DPS spec, but the DKs in my raiding guild were all discussing after patch 3.3 that Unholy is now the best spec for DPS. I don't know who is the "most" right, but my guess is that there are a few combinations of talents that give comparable results. Regardless, you don't have to invite "baddies" to your guild. You don't even have to play with them again if you don't want to -- anyone on your ignore list, which is now cross realm, won't show up in your random groups.

Here is my suggestion for your enjoyment as well as the enjoyment of the players with whom you PuG: disable Recount for the random PuGs, forget about the Inspect feature and just be tolerant of those gamers less leet than you. These instances don't take very long, after all. So after you've "carried" a player through one, you can just disband the party, reform with your friends and take your chances on the next random. "Bad" players don't have to affect your fun for longer than 15 minutes or so that way. But feel free to have fun abusing them in guildchat. What they don't know won't hurt them.

Drama Mama Lisa:

Grouping via the dungeon finder can feel like grouping with a bunch of Ferengi, all intent on enumerating the Rules of Acquisition. Can't we stop talking about stuff and numbers long enough to enjoy the game? Do we no longer WANT a challenge, an opportunity to demonstrate how our own skill and ability can make a weak group shine?


Very well. If we simply must handle relations with other players in this mercenary manner, I'm willing to play along.

Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #7: Keep your ears open.
You can't listen if you're too busy talking. Instead of telling others how to play, ask a question or make an observation: "I notice you're running Unholy. I didn't think that was a strong DPS spec anymore ..." Now shush – and listen. Starting a conversation with players is a great way to pave the way for new ideas. Dropping crit(icism) bombs on people's heads? Not so much.

Rule of Acquisition #17: A contract is a contract is a contract ... but only between Ferengi.
Your groupmate is obviously not a party to the Ferengi high-DPS clause. No need to try to serve him papers. Contract null and void – let the guy play in peace.

Rule of Acquisition # 22: A wise man can hear profit in the wind.

You're downing the bosses regardless of one group member's DPS. If you'll put a lid on telling others how to play, you'll be able to hear the tintinnabulation of coins pattering into your bags.

Rule of Acquisition #23: Nothing is more important than your health ... except for your money.
You say that weak healer's letting your HP bar ride a little low? You're beating bosses and raking in the latinum. Carry on, and profit.

Rule of Acquisition #31: Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother.

... or his gear, or his spec, or his skill ... and you should probably be sensitive of the other races, too.

Rule of Acquisition #33: It never hurts to suck up to the boss.

Who cares if you're doing more than anyone else? Seal the deal. Profit.

Rule of Acquisition #34: War is good for business.
Rule of Acquisition #35: Peace is good for business.
Make war on the mobs; make peace in your party.

Rule of Acquisition #48: The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
We'll say it again: A conversation between equals goes a lot farther than "advice" from "betters."

Rule of Acquisition #59: Free advice is seldom cheap.

Is "helpful advice" really free if it comes at the price of an uncomfortable run packed with groupmates criticizing your play?

Rule of Acquisition #62: The riskier the road, the greater the profit.
You knew the risk of being grouped with weaker players when you queued up. To reap the random dungeon reward, you must accept the risk that you may have to shoulder the responsibility for the group's success.

Rule of Acquisition #125: You can't make a deal if you're dead.
But you're not – so keep the deal rolling.

Rule of Acquisition #168: Whisper your way to success.
If your groupmate asks for feedback, show some tact. Use /whisper.

Rule of Acquisition #190: Hear all, trust nothing.
You can't make an accurate judgment about your groupmate until you hear his side. Is he experimenting with his spec? Is he a knowledgeable player playing an alt? Listen to what others have to say; don't trust your own first impressions.

Rule of Acquisition #194: It's always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door.
Inspect others all you like, but you'll never know the whole story until you play with them and talk with them.

Rule of Acquisition #203: New customers are like razor-toothed gree-worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back. You can count on the latter being the case if you open up a can of unsolicited "advice" on their heads.

And finally,

Rule of Acquisition #299: After you've exploited someone, it never hurts to thank them. That way, it's easier to exploit them next time.

Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.