As I’ve already said, in a previous post, I tend to avoid PuG situations where I don’t know people. But tonight late on, being on my Horde characters, and on the whole finding Horde players somewhat more mature than those found in the sewers of Alliance PuGs, I thought I’d risk LFD on my level 41 Druid tank. I have a level 85 Druid tank on Alliance, so am used to playing the class. I thought it won’t be too much of a trial to do a lower level dungeon on this character: I know the class well, what can go wrong?

Enter: humans.

I found myself thrust into Dire Maul in the middle of a fight, literally. Their previous tank must have left in a hurry. Perhaps a bad sign? OK, got bearings, sorted it, recovered and fought. Told the group, it’s been a long time since I was here, guys, really can’t remember the way, and I know a lot has changed, so please guide if you do know it. Seemed to be no problem. No one actually answered, but also no one actually swore at me.  We went our way through the place, a rogue also saying he was not sure of the way, and we went to a place where something used to happen, but doesn’t now, but still all was good. Then there was this one team member. ‘Why aren’t you keeping up, tank? You are a slacker. FFS’. And so on. At first I said, jokingly, my bear’s legs were too short, I was too heavy, but humour simply bounced off this delightful player with no effect. I wasn’t deliberately slow, but this guy was zooming ahead like there was no tomorrow. After a few rather heated exchanges I just said, ‘look, you are rushing like this is the end of the world or something. Chill, maybe? Wait the 3 seconds for me to catch up?’ Then, after more abusive comments, I simply quit group with the remark to the silent other team members, who had elected not to stick up for me, or even to agree with my detractor: ‘really can’t play with adolescent males, cheers guys and good luck.’

I wouldn’t mind if I was crap as a tank. I’m not. I wouldn’t mind if I stood in the fire, did stupid things, pulled unwisely and all the rest of it. I am a competent tank. But being competent is not enough now. I didn’t rush fast enough in an instance I didn’t know. That was all.

All this just goes towards my opinion that Hell is Other People. I love MMOs. I actually do want to play with others, not all the time, but a good part of the time. If I had a lot to learn, fair enough, I’d be armouring my back for the abuse, but even if you know your class and perform well, it’s still not enough to ensure an easy, insult free run. Now I’m feeling like I won’t poke my head above the ramparts again and dare to PuG on my Horde tank. My thicker-skinned friends tell me I should ignore the occasional knob you get in PuGs, but sadly I find it hard. I want to enjoy playing, and you can never guarantee the team you end up with in a PuG comprises decent human beings. At least this recent event is pale in comparison to the one where I had to endure a whole instance of expletives against me because I tried to help a team member with an achievement.

But I’m still here, still playing. Our guild is tiny on Horde, so if I want to progress PuGs are the only way. I expect my skin will thicken again over the next few days and I might try again. Erm, this is supposed to be fun, a game you play for pleasure, right? I know what my Alliance guild mates will say. ‘Why the hell are you bothering?’ I’m bothering because I want to believe MMOs have more decent players than sociopaths. I want to believe we don’t have to exist in gated communities, i.e. guilds. But, by all the gods, it’s hard to keep that belief alive sometimes. Referring back to my earlier post: something has to change, surely?

On a more positive note, have seen the good side of Cross Realm intimacy tonight. Our guild went to Ironforge after our mount runs, and typical Friday night old raid stuff, because someone told us this city was open to Cross Realm. We found players from several different realms there, who were mostly pretty open to interacting, chatting, having fun. At one point we had a little camp of cooking fires, parasols, archaeology toys, other gizmos, and so on, with everyone dancing around them. Made a few new friends too. Really like this aspect of X Realm and hope it stays. Someone told us the quieter cities being X Realm is a bug that will be fixed, but I hope not. There are several things I really don’t like about X Realm, but this new sociable aspect in the quieter cities makes up for it. Hope it’s here to stay.