So, I've always wanted to play Horde on WoW. I have a soft spot in my heart for orcs and trolls in any fantasy game and I think the Tauren have the only male models that don't look like crap. Unfortunately, I have never really been able to play Horde. There has always been someone in my group of friends that was already playing Alliance, or wanted to play a paladin, or hated Horde or whatever.
Seemingly everyone in my gaming circle has had a similar revelation, because this time through, everyone decided to roll Horde. Cool... so Silfain, the Blood Elf paladin was born.
Man, I hate elves. I hate the ears. I hate the "peace with nature" BS. I hate the Legolas clones. I hate the names where someone has replaced every I with a Y. I hate the "ooooh mysterious" glowy eyes. I hate the "elves are soooo magical" vibe. I hate the naked pole dancing outside of the bank. Just hate everything about them. But, of all the interesting class choices I was eyeing were taken. We had a warlock, a couple of shadow priests, a shaman, a hunter. Pretty much everything I wanted to play or had never played, someone else in the group was doing. That left paladin and that left blood elf. And so Silfain, the self-loathing Blood Elf paladin was born and to meet up with everyone else, made the run to the ...
UNGODLY EYESEARING BRIGHT ORANGE DESERT...
Ugh... miles and miles of nothing but bright orange pouring out of my 24" monitor. So bright and orange that the neighbors called 911 because when they looked out their window, all they could see was a fiery glow coming from my office window and me seemingly passed out at the keyboard... (which I understand is how all of us look on
opium World of Warcraft.) Nonetheless, I got used to the desert as my eyes adjusted to the light (though I am no longer permitted to drive at night in Pennsylvania for some reason) and found the starter Horde areas to be pleasant enough.
One nice thing about the Horde starting regions is that once you get to level 11-13 or so, you can start into Ragefire Chasm which is the first instance. This is great. We have a large group of people playing on voice chat and everyone is into doing the instances as 5-10 mans, so it is cool that after one quick night of leveling (with a few people catching up on their own solo), we could get to something interesting.
We broke into two teams of 4. Our team had one of the more experienced players on it and so he led. Our team consisted of Silfain tanking, a rogue, a druid healing and a mage. Looked decent enough to me, though our leader seemed a little hesitant about going in with my 13th level pally tanking... but as fortune would have it, right before we entered, we got a friendly tell from a 15th level warrior, "Can I join you? Which I took the liberty of translating from this guy's native language. The message was actually something closer to "teamplz".
Even with the warning flags flying full mast, the team leader figured a warrior was just what we needed. The pally was a "weaker tank" he thought and so invited our new warrior friend.
Except our warrior friend didn't really tank. Half the time, he charged ahead and got initial aggro for the most part, but as soon as anything peeled off, he would ignore it entirely and let it eat the mage or druid. If someone attempted a pull, the warrior would attack one guy and allow the others to eat the puller. Not necessarily a huge deal, because I was handling the aggro control duties (though without any taunt-style powers) generally pretty well. It wasn't smooth going... I had to run around quite a bit to corral the warrior's "leavings", but we managed and once we killed our mobs, we would head up to assist the warrior who, as often as not, was already onto the next fight. There were a couple times where our warrior friend jumped the gun a little too much and charged onto the next battle when the casters were out of mana.
Still we were moving fairly quickly and no one had died and it was fun enough.
But at some point, after we dealt with our cultists and ran up to the warrior to help him with his, his true colors started to bleed through.
Warrior: let me solo them a while
Warrior: the mobs. let me solo them for a while.
Warrior: don't you think I'm good enough?
Me: What are you talking about?
Warrior: I can solo here
Me: Why did you ask to be on a team if you wanted to solo the instance?
Warrior: well I can't solo EVERY fight
So we were supposed to sit around while uber-warrior boy fought. Unless, of course, he was having trouble, in which case, we could actually... you know... play. Good to know that our new warrior friend thought he signed on with a group of henchmen bots whose sole job it was to save his butt once he got to the 4 pulls in the instance. I should have introduced him to Guild Wars.
And our team leader ought to have kicked him... but we didn't. Instead, we continued fighting until the next...
Warrior: let me solo these guys
So we figured that was that.
Then came the first boss. Our leader pointed out a patrol he wanted to kill before aggroing the boss. Unfortunately, our buddy had decided he wanted to solo the boss a little before we got there. He charged and we immediately moved in to help. Ultimately, we won the battle and the patrol didn't come down on us. Still, I think the group leader was starting to get annoyed at this point.
And yes, as in any annoying player story, there was the "Need"ing of loot. First there was the needing of the gems, malachite, silly stuff and then a couple trashy greens. I hadn't noticed, but at some point the leader mentioned, "Why did you just need that malachite?"
Warrior: what's wrong with needing
I will spare you the long-winded explanation of need vs. greed; you have likely heard it all before. The point is, we'd already been down the road more than once by the time we capped that first boss (for which I got an achievement, which is cool). A blue sword dropped and our warrior friend needed it.
Leader: Yo warrior-guy, are you going to equip that sword?
Warrior: can't use it
Leader: What do you mean you can't use it?
Warrior: have to find training. can't use it
Leader: You shouldn't need something unless it is an upgrade you can use right now. If you can't equip it, you shouldn't need it.
Warrior: what's wrong with need
Warrior: why you kick... (poof)
We continued as a 4-man team and completed the instance. It helped a bit that I leveled into a taunt power and the mage leveled into his sheep spell. And though I had a good time, I have to admit, I was a little annoyed at our warrior friend. Not because of the sword -- though the sword would have gone to me and it was an upgrade.
No, what drives me nuts is the disregard for the group's etiquette. Regardless of what we said, or his saying "ok", this guy was soloing and we were along for the ride. There was not a moment of teamplay from our warrior friend. Not once did he help with aggro management. Not once did he check on the healer's mana before charging into his next fight. Not once did he pay attention to anything the leader said... and he certainly didn't catch the need vs. greed concept.
Normally, I like dicey groups. Groups where everything goes super-smooth are lucrative, but can also be boring. I like near-misses and double pulls and running out of mana in the middle of a pitched battle. I don't mind the occassional team wipe... yelling, "Jon, nooooooooooooooo!" into the mike while the mage blasts the bad guy from across the chasm and a level down, only to see him and his two dozen buddies clamor around the corner three minutes later to wipe us from the face of the dungeon.
I love that crap.
But I also like good team play and people generally watching out for each other. I like when people go out of their way to keep their teammates alive... and having fun. I like when someone sees an item that would be perfect for them and yet, they ASK before needing it, just in case the group had something else in mind.
So, the next time someone asks if they can solo mobs in an instance... the correct answer is yes, you can solo in instances...(kick)