After 3.3 dropped and everybody started playing with the nifty new Looking For Dungeon tool, which would organize you with merciless switfness into five-man groups with the proper composition ready to tackle whatever random instance (or the instance of your choice) the tool felt like flinging you into, an obvious comparison of the experience in the WoW blogosphere at large emerged: casual sex. You’re all only after one thing, being there means you are, and you pick up whatever strangers can meet the bar and go until you all explode in
As time went on and it became clear that random dungeon runs were full of particular patterns of asshattery owning to the anonymizing feature making it easy and consequence-free to abuse your group-mates, ways in which LFD is not even remotely like casual sex emerged. In casual sex, you’re not usually expected to skip extra
badges climaxes in order to get the whole thing over faster. In casual sex, the chances are vanishly low that someone who claims to be undead will find it hilarious to bring forth an army of taunting ghouls in order to frustrate you. In casual sex, it’s unlikely that none of your partners will ever speak to you voluntarily and that the whole experience will be conducted in monkish silence.
However, there is one thing we can and should extend this metaphor for: the etiquette. When having sex with a person you don’t really know intimately, there are relatively few default assumptions, and the “standard” experience is a safe and predictable one; you whip out your condoms, tab A goes into slot B unless someone volunteers other tab and slot arrangements and the other agrees, you get your
badges climax, and everyone departs amicably.
In a heroic dungeon, the content is tuned to a certain base level of gear and performance abilities. A tank or healer who still has a lot of blues and even some quest greens is capable of doing the content as long as the DPS restrain themselves. The DPS in similar gear is capable of getting the mobs down in a reasonable amount of time as long as he’s at least above 1k. This playstyle is the “standard” the same way “condoms, missionary, everybody gets off, get your clothes and get out” is for a random hookup. It’s certainly not the ONLY option, and it may not be the most fun- but it’s what everyone who showed up is guaranteed to be willing and able to do.
In randoms, meanwhile, it’s not uncommon to yell “GOGOGOGOGOGOGO” (when the tank and/or healer may not even be capable of sustaining a fast-burn grind), for frustrated, bored, or cheeky DPS or healers to start pulling mobs for the tank, for people to try and force the whole group into doing achievements that they have no idea the difficulty level and required approach for, or demanding optional bosses be skipped in the name of time. In terms of casual sex, this is like flinging your would-be lover to the bed, whipping out the Orifice Conquistador 9000 set to “high” and ramming it forth, and then being surprised and affronted when, in lieu of orgasming ecstatically, that person screams in pain, flees, or throws your dumb ass out.
Blendering as fast as possible through an instance can be a lot of fun. I do it fairly often with groups of guildmates. Sometimes the DPS even pulls for me, which I only sometimes notice because I’ve fallen into the rhythm of spreading threat around- and because they know my capabilities and our healers’ capabilities well enough that this can happen seamlessly. The Orifice Consquistador can be fun too if you’re in the mood for it, ready for it, and person wielding it knows your limits very well.
Today in a random I was tanking literally moments after setting up several unfamiliar addons to take the role of the ones I had been using that took up too much screen real estate, the following exchange occurred:
Healer I don’t know: “Please pull as fast and as much as you can.”
Me: “I’m getting to know a UI, I can only pull as fast as is safe given that”
And then I pulled as fast I could and no one pulled for me and we never wiped and we set several new boss kill speed records. The healer thought to ask for the whips and chains rather than just flinging them out, everyone respected my “no”, and then I gave everyone as exciting a time as I could within my limits.
If only all gaming nights went as politely as most hookups.