Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Joker's Wild

Ran Botanica again. I haven't checked out the Sha'tar quartermaster to see if he's got anything I like at various reputation levels, but I was one half of a rep bar away from Revered, so why not? Plus, there's a chance at a Beast Lord Curiass, so I'm game. I hope to keep running dungeons that drop Beast Lord stuff until I get my 4 second trap reduction for the 2-piece set bonus.

I was the only party member who had been to Botanica before, so I was party lead. Really pretty basic stuff, with only 1 or two tricky pulls.

We had a Captain America Paladin tank consecrating, a Mage sheeping, and me trapping, so 4 or 5 mob pulls were no brainers. Plus a Shadow Priest DPS'ing and off-healing, so it was basically a 1-shot, with me dying once due to stupidity on my part, and the SPriest dying once due to stupidity on his part.

One thing was a little puzzling, or bothersome or perhaps just food for thought.

Three of us on the team were friends, and 2 of the members were PUGs. One of the PUG'ers was from one of the top 3 progressed Alliance guilds on the server.

This guy (from henceforth named Joker), to be honest, was brutal. After the first pull of 2 mobs, Joker asks if anybody's got a damage meter. I stayed silent, because I really didn't want to encourage any pissing contests.

Second pull is a single mob patrol. After that guy is down, Joker asks if anybody's got DM again. So like a chump, I dump the results out to the party.

I couldn't care less, but it shows a certain BM hunter we all know and love doing about 60% of party damage at this point, and the other two DPS'ers roughly even with eachother.

Joker chimes in on party chat "that's f-ing b.s. reset that sht, cheeter". Admittedly, I had been grinding some warp stalker guys for warp burger ingredients near the summoning stone after forming the party but still waiting for people to be ready, so I think my DM had that data in there to give me a head start. I was planning on making a WWS report of the run, so I wasn't going to be looking at DM at all and didn't think to reset it.

And, it was late, and I really wanted the run, and it had taken a little while to gather this group, and I really didn't want to have to find a replacement, and if it were any earlier, fancy raiding guild or not, he'd have gotten the boot for that. My friend really wanted this run, I also wanted it, I bit my lip and reset the data.

Two pulls later, Joker asks to see the new un-tainted data, I'm on top, only a hair away is Not-Joker, and then not too far, but more than a hair away from us two is Joker. He chimes in with "not gonna stay that way for long, time to get serious" or some other comment leading me to believe that its gonna be a roller coaster ride from here on in. Time to get serious, indeed.

Things go pretty nicely. The 3 pulls are cake with a pally tank. The larger pulls, also cake with pally tank and mage and hunter. We're moving along nicely.

Joker asks again for DM. I publish it again and say "last time until the end". Similar to before, me and Not-Joker right close to eachother, Joker doing well, but a little bit of a gap from the 2 other DPS'ers. Another random comment indicating that he had expected to be on top.

Have you ever run into one of these players? DM stuff aside, Joker is doing reasonably well in the DPS and other utilities of his class. But there's just this edge. He's always standing a step or two ahead of the tank when I'm examining the pack and marking icons. When somebody says something in party chat, he doesn't outright fight them or insult them, but he just has a certain edge that is palpable.

There's a hallway with some rogues in it, and I'm firing flares so we can find them. The rest of the party is standing on my flare, but Joker's got to run up into the hallway to body pull them before we detect them.

All mobs in the kill order are dead, and the turkey is sitting there frozen nicely. Usually, DPS waits for the tank to break the trap. Not joker. He's got to get that extra couple hundred damage in on the mob by hitting first, so he can top out the damage meters.

There's a section where you've got some careful multi pulls. And once those are clear, you've then got a simple 2 pull left in the same vicinity. During the setup of the multipulls, Joker is nicely waiting and then respects the kill order. But then on the last 2, he's got to start casting early or try to body pull. He must put extra starch in his cloth armor to help it protect him :-)

And then there's loot. When we're debating the Prot Pally taking some Healing Pally gear, the whole party is saying to take it in case you ever re-spec, but Joker's got to be chiming in with "DE and roll" remarks the entire time. Pally passes, gear gets DE'd, we roll, Pally wins roll. Karma :-)

It truely was a pally night...later a nice stamina/resilliance cape drops. Good tank gear, but also good PvP gear for anybody. Pally and Healer ask to group "mind if i need?" Joker says "i'm needing too". Little things like that, all night long. Pally wins roll :-) Karma again. I love good tanks, he can have everything if it were up to me. Joker chimes in with "loaded dice".

Warp Splinter goes down. Cape perfect for a Pally Tank drops. He's gotta "need", and nobody else can use this one. And its unfortunate that the first cape was BoP, becuase I know this guy, he's got a warm heart, and definitely would have given up the first cloak. But it's too late. I fully stand by him taking the second cloak as well. And you know it. Joker's all over the party chat with comments. If the tank had gotten this piece first, I have no doubt he'd have passed on the PvP/Tank one. But, outside of the Caverns of Time, I've got no ability to manipulate the cosmos that way.

So in general, the party is performing well and we're stomping the dungeon. But there's just this edge, both in play style, and personality/chat that rubs the rest of the party wrong.

I found it eye opening to observe this type of behavior from a member of one of the top hardcore raiding guilds on the server. I suppose if you take a cross section of any group of people, you're gonna have some Jokers and some Not-Jokers, but really, it just felt like general personal consideration and a little discipline and self-control.

Damage-wise, and lack of wipe-wise, it was by far my best run in Botanica, and maybe even of any lvl 70 instance besides Black Morass. But it did have me wondering if this guy gets to be in a hardcore raiding guild simply by playing a class that's more in demand, and by having copious amounts of free time, rather than being a team player.

After the final boss was down, Joker asks for the DM. I post the results. Me and Non-Joker are about two Steady Shots away from eachother (as stewie would say....victory is mine. /wink, not that I care), with Joker doing well, but a decent chunk behind the other two.

I started counting on my hand to see how long it would take. Wait for it. Wait for it. "that's because i was doing..." such and such utility that my class brings to the table.


Then the icing on the cake. He actually says, and I quote, "who wants to put me on friends so i'll put you on friends".

I actually was glad for that last remark. It gave me closure on the whole event. I sat back and basked in the warm glow of kicking Botanica's butt. And the fact that Joker will never, ever be added to my friends list.

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