Editor’s Note: I’ve been debating whether or not to write this article. On one hand, it could potentially come off as “elitist” (and I will be the first one to say that while I am a a capable player, I do not have the ground to stand on to be an elitist)… But on the other hand, I thought that the experience in and of itself was a prime example of both the best and the worst parts of an MMO community (or any online community) for that matter. So, weighing the pro’s and the con’s I’ve decided to let my fingers loose (see folks? That’s the proper usage of the word “loose” – take notes) on the keyboard and hope for the best.
What: Hard Mode 55 Flashpoint – Cademimu
Where: The bowels of the Group Finder
Why: Because the Group Finder is not unlike the Mos Eisley Cantina – “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
A little bit of backstory, so this can drive home the point I am trying to make: Many of you may remember that several weeks ago, my guild (Hellbent – Jedi Covenant) had a bit of a nasty rift with another guild on our server. (Alpha Strike Force) It was over the conquesting system, and so-called exploits, and there was much mudslinging and a gazillion-page thread on the official forums, as well as a blog post by me on this website. I’ll admit that my intentions in that affair, were never to try to push Alpha Strike Force out of the competition for the conquest. They were never an accusation, and in hindsight, I personally could and should have gone about what I did a bit differently, and I would have done it differently if I had it to do all over again… HOWEVER – What’s done is done, and at the end of the day, this is a game and we should all be trying to have fun, and we are all a part of the same community. I had a bit of a back and forth with a few members of Alpha Strike Force on the official forums, and I do believe that we “buried the hatchet” so to speak, but when tempers run high and emotions start flaring, who knows what can pop up later.
That said…. The simple, seemingly unimportant actions of a player or small group of players, can go a long way to form opinions and change attitudes.
Last night, I got on my fresh 55 Shadow to try to score some conquest points. My guild is going after Balmorra this week, and as fate would have it, so is Alpha Strike Force. The way this week’s conquest objectives are setup, it does HIGHLY seem to favor not just large guilds, but large guilds with many alts. A lot of the objectives are repeatable, but only based on Dailies for individual characters, which is going to benefit players/guilds with either large numbers, or medium numbers with a lot of alts and people willing to do a lot of Flashpoints including running the bonuses.
Anyway, with that in mind, I logged on last night with the intention of doing a Group Finder operation on my fresh 55 Shadow, and then get a random Hard Mode flashpoint in the Group Finder for the Daily bonus, and then select the flashpoints I wanted to run after that to get the conquest points for each, and get my 3 Flashpoint Weekly.
Now, I’ve been 55 for a week on this toon, but because of the legacy system and some pre-planning I did while leveling the character, I have a set of 2,400 mitigation tank gear, a decent dps set (parsing around 3k) and a full set of augmented Obroan dps gear for PvP. I’m not min/maxed or fully geared out, but I’m definitely capable of running any sub-nightmare content in the game right now and pulling my own weight. I decided that since I was hitting the Group Finder, going in tank spec was likely going to be my best bet for the shortest queue’s and off I went.
After having some fun in Dread Fortress, and then running both Czerka Hard Mode Flashpoints, I was one flashpoint away from the weekly, and decided to run Cademimu. Selected that in the GF window and got an instant pop. Into the instance I went…
Before we pulled the first trash mob, I decided to throw my guard on the healer (who was a 32k HP Commando) to make his life a little easier… One of the DPS in the group asked if we could do the bonus for the conquest points. I said “Sure!” and then noted this player was in Alpha Strike Force. I immediately was a tad concerned, not because it was someone that my guild was competing against in the current conquest, but because it was someone in a guild that both my guild, and myself personally had recently had bad blood with, and I was hoping that wouldn’t affect the overall fun-factor of the flashpoint ahead of us. I chose to hope for the best, and pulled the first group of trash.
Healer: Dude, your gear is shit.
Me: Are you talking to me?
Healer: *types something in French* – I am a stupid American… so yeah, it was gibberish to me.
Me: I’m sitting at 2400 mitigation, we should be fine.
Healer: **Links my earpiece and both implants in the chat** – Dude you are in greens?!?!?! WTF.
Me: That’s a bug, I’m not wearing greens. (linked my actual gear which are Level 54 Veracity crafted pieces, which for tanks, have more mitigation on them than any implants in the game until you get Dread Master pieces from Nightmare DF) – “They are BiS until Dread Master, we’ll be good.”
( I should note: I build my tanks for Mitigation/Threat/DPS/HP – in that order. So I use the dps versions of Hilts/Barrels and all non-set-bonus armorings are DPS instead of tank. I use Power crystals in my mainhand/offhand instead of Endurance, and I typically bypass Endurance % boosts in the skill tree in favor of dps boosting abilities. As a result, my tanks have relatively low Hit Points compared to some – For Example, I have a 2700 mitigation Vanguard who only has 40.4k HP… In this case, as my gear on my Shadow is a mish-mosh of Legacy’d gear and things I could throw together to have a tank set at Fresh 55, I have 2400 mitigation and I am sitting at 40,036 HP.) – As a result of my “low-HP” on my tanks, I get mistaken as being “undergeared” a lot in the Group Finder or in PuGs. – For what it’s worth, I went back at looked at my combat logs later, and my tank required 647 HPS to stay alive at the final boss, and 700 HPS to stay alive at the Bonus boss…. The healer never re-applied Trauma Probe, because in no fight in the entire flashpoint, did a Trauma Probe heal me more than 9 times. So… Not to sound like an elitist, but I don’t think I was the “bad player” in this scenario.
Back to the story – So I tried to just ignore the comments from the healer, because he/she was being relentless during and after every pull. Complaining that I was squishy, and that I couldn’t hold aggro, that I wasn’t geared and that he couldn’t wait until the Flashpoint was over so he/she could put me on their ignore list so they’d never have to team with me again. I was super confused by this, because I’m actually a decent tank, and I’ve tanked all of the Hard Mode Operations content up to and including Fortress and Palace on my Vanguard, even though my typical raid progression role is as a healer. I just figured it was a troll, and kept steamrolling through the flashpoint, because the DPS were taking very little damage, I was keeping trash mobs grouped up nice and tight and we were progressing with ease. (I’ll admit, I did an achievement inspection on the healer, and noted that he/she had 8% on Operations, and was wearing gear without a single augment…. So, I still just tried not to let it bother me.)
The healer just did not let up though…. It was over and over and over. Until finally, I got a whisper from one of the DPS on the team (the person who was from Alpha Strike Force) and was apologizing for the behavior of this healer, who wasn’t even in their guild! The DPS was agitated and couldn’t understand why this healer was being such a jerk, and that I didn’t deserve it, and said that I was tanking the Flashpoint better than most of the tanks they come across in the group finder.
And at that point it hit me: This player, from a guild that just a few weeks ago, had mutual HATRED with my guild, and more specifically, ME as a person/player was hated by this guild…… This player saw something happening that regardless of who the person or guild was that was on the receiving end of the spewed negativity – Tried to let me know to not let it bother me and they supported me, and ultimately before the end of the flashpoint, this player stood up for me in the group chat.
By the end, we cleared the Flashpoint in a clean and fast way, the healer put me on his/her ignore list. But more importantly, I walked away from that flashpoint, thoroughly impressed with the positive things that I saw from the community, and specifically from Alpha Strike Force – Standing up, being a force for the betterment of the community in a bad situation, when no one could have blamed them for chiming in with this healer to “get back” at me or my guild for what happened before.
Good on you Alpha Strike Force. #respect