Deserter buff just needs to go

These last two weeks have reminded me more than I can remember just how big the disparity is in the player base. I don’t consider myself a hardcore player, yet I’m someone who doesn’t like to do something without doing it right. And I’m competitive by nature. Like everyone else I carry my personal traits into the game with me, so I prepare for whatever it is I’m doing. I’ve been reminded over and over again these last two weeks that just simply isn’t the case with so many in the game. I’m of course referring to those I come across in the LFG system, and as I’ve been running countless dungeons on my Druid getting healing practice in, and pick up badges to update my healing set I’m on the receiving end of those who are really not all that prepared. Particularly the tank and or healer who has ungemmed and unenchanted gear and really has no business tanking or healing yet. I mentioned how annoying that was before, but it’s a completely different experience when you’re just a DPS in the group watching this, and when you are the healer who has to heal a tank who isn’t even defense capped.

I’ve decided on a personal rule that I’ll follow whenever I’m healing, and that simply is that if the tank has less than 4k gear score I’m going to inspect them. And if I see any items that are unenchanted, or ungemmed, or they’re wearing items that aren’t for a tank, like plate gear with spell power on them then I’m simply dropping group on the spot. If I don’t see anything like that I’ll hop over to the armory quickly and check their defense stat. If they aren’t defense capped I’ll also drop. I figure if the “tank” can’t bother with actually being prepared for what should be an easy run then I can’t be bothered with healing them. Those sorts of situations usually end up being messes as the dps gains agro repeatedly and you have to perform some serious healing to keep everyone alive. In any event it’s simply more work that I want to bother with, though I could most likely do it. The question is why should I? I want quick runs, and I’m not looking to make it any harder on myself than I need to. Sounds awful elitist doesn’t it? Yet it’s simply a reaction to the situation as I see it.

Mathew Rossi at WoWInsider.com agrees in principle, I believe, with the feelings I hold for these people, yet he has a different take on the matter.

I’m arguing that you have no reason to hold the other four people to a standard of play they haven’t signed up for or agreed to.

I already know from listening to him on his podcast that I don’t always agree with him, and this is just such another example. While I can certainly agree that random pug members should not, and can not be held to the standards that you would typically hold in a member in a raid, that really isn’t the point. A great many people might not mind undergeared or unprepared players on a run, but what about those like me who do? It has nothing to do with an elitist desire to remove all less skilled players from the game, or a lack of understanding that everyone has to start someone at some point. Rather it has to deal with the fact that many just want to play with like skilled and like minded players. I would simply say that “I’ve put in my time” in those kinds of PUGs and I have little interest in going forward with them any further. To me it’s all about the emblems per hour now and I’m really sorry if others can’t see that point of view. If you can’t see my point of view, please don’t expect me to see yours.

All of this has got me thinking that the deserter buff is more punitive to those in my situation who are prepared, than it is to those who aren’t. The tank that isn’t defense capped, has gear that isn’t even for tanking, or who hasn’t bothered to finish off his gear with enchants or gems isn’t punished at all for subjecting the group to what is often wipes. Yet those who don’t want to be subjected to it are punished if they drop group. Therefore I call upon Blizzard to remove the deserter buff entirely from the LFG system.

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