Stretching the Metaphor: Casual Sex, PuGs, and You

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 climax badges.

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.

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9 Responses to Stretching the Metaphor: Casual Sex, PuGs, and You

  1. RC says:

    In randoms, meanwhile, it’s not uncommon to yell “GOGOGOGOGOGOGO”…for frustrated, bored, or cheeky DPS or healers to start pulling mobs for the tank…

    I freaking hate that…especially considering I tend to like to take my time when tanking.

    And then there was the time the healer told me to go ahead and pull an entire room, because I quote, “I’ve barely had to do any healing on you so far.”

    Cue wipe in 3, 2, 1…

    Although, I should have told the healer to shove it…

    The only good thing is that it’s devilishly hard for them to go against what the tank wants. Tanks are in high demand due to a short supply (it can take a quarter hour or more to replace) so they pretty much have to sit down and shut up unless the tank is completely incompetent.

    or demanding optional bosses be skipped in the name of time

    For some reason, every single pug I get into seems to think this is an unspoken rule. I don’t really care myself, but it does seem odd (especially considering you can get extra badges off the non-required bosses).

  2. LabRat says:

    I get that healers are bored. Mine has half-jokingly told me to play naked so she has something to do. What they don’t get unless they play a tank themselves is that our ability to hold threat on multiple packs of mobs hits a wall at 4-5- and after that the issue isn’t how much damage we’re taking, it’s that the healer looks yummier than we do.

    I had one tree pull entire rooms FOR me. I informed him he could tank anything he pulled from thereon out and let him do so. He stopped healing me. I was geared enough we survived the rest of the run anyway.

  3. Feets says:

    When I’m tanking I tend to let the Death Kni…I mean uh…”offending party” have the threat they seem to crave so desperately. They usually will either A) get the message and pay attention to their threat or B) ragequit the party. Either is fine with me. I also have a macro that says “Less recount, more omen” that I like to throw up when the Deat…dammit I did it again…DPS get into an epeen waving contest.

    When resto it’s far easier: stop healing them. Sure, I get called all sorts of names but in the end they leave and the whole party is better off.

  4. Kristopher says:

    Mheh.

    My Dk’s gearscore is high enough that I can tank if I have to. And I have full tanking gear in the backpack. I generally don’t steal aggro unless the tank starts allowing mobs to run past him and they try to eat clothies who are simply doing normal amounts of damage.

    When I get a fail-tank who chose tank to get to the top of the queue, I get merciless … but I will drop into low gear and loaf along for a newb tank, provided he warns me he is a newb.

    ( regarding AoD … it is a major portion of DK dps, and can be used perfectly safely … but a competent DK knows which bosses should never be subjected to it [ think dragons and a sprinkler of doom … or anything that mirrors damage ]. Just sit back, and let the ghouls get eaten, it’s their job.

    I have saved parties using that insane amount of taunting … it has its uses. )

    However, when an incompetent DK pops AoD, it can turn into a wipe pretty damned fast … )

  5. Kristopher says:

    Lab: If the 4-5 mob aggro wall annoys you, take up DK frost tanking.

    I can aggro every damned thing within AOE range, and aggro them good and hard.

    The last Ony-25 I was in, I got the trash mob tank duty … the leader just put a raid symbol over my head, and I stood in the center of the room spamming AOE while in frost and wearing def-cap gear.

    If a clothie picked up a herd or whelps or a dragon-kin, they’d stand next to me and the herd would rapidly lose interest in the clothie, and rapidly start dying while making a futile attempt to harm me.

  6. LabRat says:

    Kris: yeah, one of the subjects I intend to write on later is the perception of paladins as the ultimate AoE tank, and how that’s only true within very specific parameters.

    Honestly, I rolled a paladin because I was told they were easy to level; if I could snap my fingers and create a similarly geared 80 to tank on, I’d probably pick a Warrior. I envy the depth of their toolbox.

  7. Kristopher says:

    DK is tanking made easy … I was embarrassing a raid main tank Warrior by being a better tank in pre-Naxx crafted gear, back before the big 3.1 nerf.

    Maybe still too easy.

    I kinda have a hankering to try Bear tanking sometime. As Alamo says: DURID BARES R 4 TANK!”

  8. LabRat says:

    I’ve dicked around with it on my little level 30 druid alt. If you’re used to whanging packs of mobs with Captain America and Reckoning any stragglers, having Feral Faerie Fire as your only ranged ability and no silences whatsoever gets pretty hilarious.

  9. […] content; the implicit social contract is likewise lowest common denominator, as I have discussed before. Guilds have explicit social contracts usually laid out in the charter and policies, and […]

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