How Not to Recruit Healers

Our server, like many others, seems to have a bit of a healer shortage at the moment. I took advantage of this by leveling my priest first, and managed to see a lot of instances on the way from 70 to 80.  It has also meant running a lot of heroics at 80, as I developed a small group of tanks that regularly called on me as their pocket healer.  Doing very well in the pick-up groups began to earn me raid invites, as guilds found themselves short of healers, which has meant fairly easy gearing up.  It has been great fun, as I’ve always loved running dungeons, and I’ve gotten a lot of practice healing now.  I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I think.

So, a few of the guilds that I’ve run raids with have extended offers to join their guilds.  I have no intention of leaving my little casual guild, especially if those larger guilds will still have me along to fill out their raids.  It is nice to be invited though.  Nothing like a good ego massage.

I always thank the raid or guild leaders that ask me to join them, but explain that while I’d be happy to fill in that healer spot any time, I have no plans to leave my guild.  They’re usually very cool about this, thank me for the time I am able to raid with them, and keep adding me to the calendar.  The invites are made with the understanding that if they get enough guild healers to sign up, I won’t be going, and this is totally fair, I think.

All that said, there are some folks in these guilds (one in particular) that are not doing themselves (or their guilds) any favors by recruiting very aggressively.  Recruiting is like a courtship.  There is a bit of social finesse required; it doesn’t pay to smother the healer you’d like to recruit.  You should do just as you would with someone you’d like to date.  You should be respectful of their time, give them space, and let them get to know you.  Playing hard to get can make one a little bit more attractive.  Coming on too strong reeks of desperation.

Here are some things I would NOT suggest doing, if you are trying to recruit a healer to your guild.

1. Whisper them the second they log in.

I confess, it is nice to be wanted.  Who doesn’t enjoy this?  I usually get several whispers shortly after I log in, asking me if I’ve done the daily yet, whether I’d like to heal a heroic, etc.  Personally, I usually give a friend a good 5-10 minutes before I whisper them to make sure that 1) they weren’t just logging in to check their mail for just a sec before logging again, and 2) they didn’t have something else planned.  I realize this means I could miss out on a group or two, but I like to give people their space.  Usually, I get whispers within the first few minutes of logging in, while I’m saying hi to the guild and checking my mailbox.  This is fine. Lately, however, I’ve been hearing that “plink” that lets me know a whisper has arrived before Dalaran has loaded… uh…

If it’s a friend or someone just saying hi, that’s no problem.  If it’s someone asking me for something?  Please just give me two minutes to figure out what I’m doing.  It’s sort of like watching your neighbor’s house until they come home and calling them before they’ve even managed to put their bags down yet and asking them for a favor.  It’s kind of rude.

2.  Whisper them every time they log in.

So, this person that has been whispering me the second that I log in has been doing this for the past several days.  Really… is it necessary to whisper me every single day?  I have gotten the picture — I know they want me to join their guild.  I’m always polite about the recruiting part, and tell them I appreciate it, but remind them that I plan to stay with my guild.  (Are they hoping to wear me down?)

Also, they’re usually asking me to heal something at that moment for them.  Because they ask me every day, I find myself much less inclined to run with them.  I don’t want to do anything to encourage this behavior.   If you were hoping to build a relationship with someone, would you really call them every single night and ask them to do something?  Hopefully not.  It sends bad signals, suggesting that you are high maintenance.  This is a definite turn off.  It makes me wish there were some sort of invisibility setting so they couldn’t see me when I logged in.

3. Suggest that what they’re doing instead of healing your instance/raid is not worthwhile.

I am honest with people if I’m turning them down.  “I’m sorry — I’ve just signed on for another heroic.”  “I’m sorry — I’ve just logged in for a few minutes for some fishing.”  “I’m sorry — it’s getting late and I’m too sleepy to heal anything now.”  Normally I get a “kk, thanks!” or something like that.  This aggressive person instead says things like, “Fishing is a waste of time.”  “You’re not really tired, or else you would just go to bed.”  The most obnoxious was last night, when I’d passed on a raid with their guild because my husband and I watch Lost on Wednesday nights.  I had already mentioned it to the raid leader and guild leader, but of course, this person asked me if I was going to the raid.  I said no and explained why.  Their response?  “That show is stupid.” /sigh

So, really… insulting someone is going to make you more appealing to them?  I don’t think so, bub.

4. Stalk them.

A few nights ago, they whispered and asked me to come heal something for them.  I said that I couldn’t, that I was getting ready to log out soon.  “What are you doing now?” they asked.  I said I was helping a guildie for a few minutes.  Seconds later, they showed up and were standing right between said guildie and I.  They danced, they flirted, and as if that weren’t enough, they whispered my guildmate saying I said that my guildmate was awesome, making up a bunch of crap.  Wtf?

And then last night, as I mentioned, I didn’t raid with them because I couldn’t be on much past 9.  We DVR Lost, however, so that gives me a bit of leeway (and allows us to skip commercials).  After an Obsidian Sanctum run with my guild, I ran a quick heroic, which we finished up around 9:20.  Just before pulling the last boss, I got a whisper from this person that said, “LIAR.”  I responded, “STALKER.”

I know, I know, I need to put this person on ignore.  Before I do this, I think I’ll discuss it with their guild leader and let them know the issues I’ve been having.  I would still like to keep myself available for their raids (even if it means raiding with Stalky McGee), so letting them know directly could ensure they won’t get a twisted interpretation of what has happened over the last week.  I’m not sure how they’ll be able to muzzle this guy to prevent him from scaring off healers who may actually be interested in joining the guild, but I sometimes wonder if this is part of the issue they’re having.

Really, it’s worth treating potential guild recruits with respect and at a respectful distance.  Otherwise, there’s no way they’re going to join your guild.  (Plus, they might post about you in their blogs!)

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The Do-Not-Party List

Last night, while questing around Desolace with my priest, I got two unsolicited tells from a certain jerky paladin whose name is on my Do-Not-Party list. The first time he just said, “RFK?” The second time, just “SM library.” Of course, I recognized the name immediately and turned him down. In each case, I thanked him for asking, as I always do, and wished him luck. I really was busy questing with my husband’s warrior toon, but after my last experience with him, there is absolutely no way I would have joined his party even if I had the time to spare.

After his second tell, I was browsing my blacklist a bit. It’s a short list (which may surprise you given all the whinging about pugs here so far), scrawled on a pad of paper next to my computer. It’s arranged in the order I ran into each person, and next to each name, there are just a couple of words to describe why they’re on the list. Ninja. Jerk. Yells at everyone. Runs ahead and wipes the party. Not too many details, but I hoped that in each case that it would be enough to make me remember why I wouldn’t want to party with them again. It looks a little worse for the wear, given that the cat has overturned at least two glasses of water on it, but I can still make out most of the names.

With the jerky paladin, his name is weird/recognizable and my memories are fresh thanks to writing the blog entry, so the decision will always be clear on that one. For others, I found that the memories were hazier. What instance did I run with them, and what, more specifically, bothered me? I’m pretty sure I don’t add a person if they are simply annoying. They need to be a special kind of annoying to make the list, a kind that says I could not stomach another instance with them. Some offenses are definitely worse than others though. For example, take “runs ahead and wipes the party.” What if the leader was very good, and they were able to keep the person under control? Or, what if they’d learned some better grouping practices since our last meeting? It might be ok to party with someone like that again. On the other hand, I absolutely want to steer clear of the loot ninjas, because I know I’ll just get mad if they do it again. So, it seems I need a better way to keep track of people, perhaps something better organized (and more cat-proof).

After reading Nibuca‘s thoughts on WoW player ratings, I casually looked into addons for keeping track of other players and storing notes on them in the game. One that intrigued me was DiggKarma, which also allows you also to share notes on players with others who have the addon. I wouldn’t mind being able to warn others about the jerky paladin, but I’m not sure that I’d really want to share my friend/ignore lists. I’d have to see what kind of settings it has for privacy.

Really, I just want a way to keep notes for myself. NotesUNeed seems to be a rather popular download, but perhaps something simpler like Player Notes or NoteIt would be sufficient. Oooh, wait a second, I just found a WowAce one that’s FuBar compatible: AuldLangSyne. I’ll give that a try this weekend and report back.

Now, the other issue… It’s easy enough to avoid these folks if they are the one asking me to join the party, but what if I join a party invited by someone else, and find that someone on my blacklist is in the group? This is not something I’ve been faced with yet… would I politely excuse myself? (Sorry guys, gotta log…) I don’t think I’m confrontational enough to actually say why I’m leaving to the person (unless they -really- pissed me off), but would I whisper my reason to the leader? (Look out for the rogue — he’s a ninja…) I think I’d have to say something to someone. I always find it annoying, even if it’s clear that the pug is terrible and going to be unsuccessful, when people leave the group without saying anything, especially if you’re already inside the instance. I genuinely hope I won’t be faced with this, but I’m curious to see how I’ll react when I’m actually in the situation.

How do you keep track of players you’d like to avoid? And if you find yourself in a group with one of these folks, what’s your next move?

The Magic Word

Last night, our paladin/shaman duo was running through The Barrens and as we passed by a Tauren standing on the road, I buffed him. “Wait,” he said, and started chasing after us. “Wait up,” he said. So, we stopped. “U want 2 do rapor horns.” Hm. “And stolen sliver.” “get lots xp.” My husband responded, kind of pretending he didn’t know what quests he was talking about at first, hoping that if the guy thought we were idiots, he wouldn’t want to group with us. Turns out that this Tauren was not that discriminating (in addition to being illiterate), so he kept describing the quests to us in his broken chatspeak. We weren’t thrilled about the idea of joining up with this guy, but finally relented after a few minutes since we needed the quests anyway. I invited him to the group and started heading toward the quest area. “Folo” he said.

We followed him a bit, but he was meandering so much that husband decided to take the lead instead, since he definitely knew where we were supposed to go. He said that if we went to the bridge and then followed the dry riverbed east, it would take us right to the raptors. The Tauren followed until we got to an area for a different quest, the one where you have to put the feathers in the different colored nests. He ran off the road and started attacking the raptors. “Come” he said over and over. Wrong quest, dude. Then, “help.” He was level 13, and the raptor was level 17, I think, and he was getting his ass handed to him in a major way. We helped kill the raptor, but he died anyway. I resurrected him, and told him that this was not the quest we agreed on before, and that neither of us had this quest. “Help” he said, and charged in to get another raptor. Gah.

As my husband helped him with the kill, I nicely explained that this was the last raptor in this spot that we would help him kill. If he cared to join us for the raptor horns and stolen silver in the other area, he could follow, but if he stayed and attacked another one here, we were leaving him behind. Almost immediately, he went after another raptor. I removed him from the group. “Help.” “Come help.” I don’t think so. Good luck. We made our way toward the nearest oasis to kill some centaurs and take care of the seed quest.

He did manage to get away from it, but then something else started attacking him. We disappeared into the oasis, and lost him.

Ok, a few problems…

1) I’m starting to get used to this type of person’s inability to spell, but I hate it when people order me around. “Come.” I don’t think so. I am not a dog. Say “please” and I will be much more receptive. (This was one of the same issues I had with the paladin I described in my previous post.) Even “plz” would show good intent.

2) We agreed to help with specific quests. These quests were orange for us, and he was several levels below us, so I can only imagine they were red for him. What the hell was he doing running off and initiating a totally different quest of an even higher level? I suppose it’s possible he just wanted to collect the horns of these raptors, but there’d be plenty more in the other area where the stolen silver was.

3) He told us to follow, and he had no idea where he was going. Maybe this is our fault for feigning cluelessness when he first approached us, but come on…

4) He was not listening. Not that someone in a group with me has to do what I say, but if you disagree, perhaps do so verbally? Acknowledge me? Seems like most problems in pugs would be solved if people spent more time listening to each other. Some of the biggest frustrations I’ve had in pugs were with my priest, when I needed to stop for mana. “Please wait while I drink — I’m out of mana,” I’d have to repeat myself over and over, as I watched the tank go run into another group of mobs. Very annoying.

5) We are associated with a guild. This isn’t a problem, except for in a situation like this where we find ourselves having to hold back quite a bit. I don’t think this particular kid would remember our names, much less the name of our guild (nor could he probably spell any of this), but I’m ever conscious of how I am representing my guild when I encounter other players. It means that I don’t tell people off when they’re being jerky or a pest or whatever. I really want to call people out when they’re barking out orders like that though. If we’re in the middle of a fight and there’s no time for please, then fine, but when you approach me for help in a non-combat situation, politeness will get you further.

All of this probably makes me sound like a cranky old lady. Maybe this is how kids out there in the Barrens interact with each other all day long, and I’m just from a different generation. I think there’s still room for pleases and thank-yous in the virtual world; just because we’re not sitting face to face doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show each other some respect.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sit on the front porch with the hose and threaten to spray kids who run through my yard. *creaks her bones* “Please get off my lawn.” *squiiiirt*

Oi, Ninja!

I was quite familiar with ninja behavior long before I learned the term for it. My first encounter with it was during questing. I was in Thousand Needles collecting plants in a water elemental infested area, and there was another guy in the area working through the very same quest. Twice, I cleared the elementals from around a plant, and he ran over and grabbed it as I was finishing the killing. Grr… I relocated to another part of the lake to get away from him, but he was back in my view before long. I remembered there were a few plants on shore, and I only needed a couple more, so I headed toward them. As I collected one, I saw him swimming toward the other, so I ran over and grabbed it before he had a chance. Take that!

Last night our paladin/shaman duo was collecting boxes from around the docks in Eversong Woods, and there were enough people doing the quest at the same time that the competition for them was pretty fierce. We were getting tired of looking for them, and were tempted at one point when we saw a guy fighting right next to a box… “Should we ninja this guy?” “Nah…” We didn’t. This guy didn’t hesitate to take boxes near where we were killing though. Oh well… We did finally collect them all and turn them in, and then a subsequent quest asked to kill a dude at the top of a building. We’d seen him when we were up there looking for boxes, it looked easy, so we started running up there. The box ninja, who’d just gotten the same quest, was running right behind us…

What ensued was a game of leapfrog. You think we’d just party up and help each other, but somehow, it just wasn’t happening here. We’d run and kill stuff and he’d pass us. Then, we’d pass him on the way up the ramp as he was stuck killing something. Boing, boing, boing, all the way up the top. He did beat us up there by a few seconds, and there was already a dude standing up there, too. At first I thought he was waiting for the respawn, so we’d have to wait in line a bit, but when our box ninja friend drew a mob, the waiting guy jumped over the edge. Well, ok.

I wasn’t paying much attention to what the box ninja was fighting, whether it was the quest target or not — I just decided to help him with the kill to speed things up. I dropped a judgement on his head, and the next thing I knew, I was being attacked by the dude we’d been sent up to kill. Ooops… so, my husband and I went ahead and killed him. To my surprise, his head dropped for us and not the box ninja, so I guess we ended up beating him to the punch. I guess we were the ninjas that time.

Anyway, the whole thing kind of sucked. I guess any time an area is crowded, and you’re competing for quest items like that, this kind of thing is bound to happen. I think we’re going to move to the Barrens soon.

We’ve both hit 11 now, and I’ll have my paladin quest to do soon. I need to read up a bit on the mechanics of playing a paladin correctly. Right now, we’re wildly overpowering the enemy in almost every battle, so if I’m not laying down the smartest series of moves, it really doesn’t matter. I don’t want to get into bad habits though.