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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

[WoW] How to be a d**k on the Timeless Isle

As my somewhat perturbed tweets indicated this morning, I encountered an unfortunate exercise in dickish-ness this morning while doing my Shaohao daily. Another player acted in a way that fell somewhere between callous cruelty and outright selfishness. Before I judged I tried to apply Hanlon's Razor, and yet the blade couldn't seem to cut it.

So here is the story as I experienced it, which might inform you how you might take advantage of others on the Timeless Isle. I'd hope you won't, but the power is there. After finally getting my Jademist Dancer, I started doing my "Kill 20 Elites" Shaohao daily in the nearby cave with the Foreboding Flames in hopes of eventually getting the pet. Every so often the Spirit of Jadefire spawns, one of the island's rare spawns who also drops a little fire-spirit pet. So there I am, killing things, when I notice the spirit has spawned so I begin making my way towards him.

I clear the mob in my way and notice a druid has shown up but is fighting a Foreboding Flame. I wait a moment until he kills his target, the he pauses and turns to the Spirit. Assuming that was a sign of readiness, I engage the Spirit. He then turns and runs off to fight another Foreboding. However, midway through that fight he turns around, charges the Jadefire and hits it once, then runs back to his Foreboding. Remember, the druid charge is an ability you specifically target and use; for him to charge the Spirit of Jadefire, he had to intend to if he was already in combat.

I should mention that Foreboding Flames do not have a fantastic spawn rate and there are about 8 points so when people are there, it can be competitive. Now, this druid might have believed that the rare mob had a person-specific tag, but when the name did not turn grey and remained red one would think he was put on notice. Alas that is not the worst of it.

The druid proceeded to kill a Foreboding while I was taking down the Spirit of Jademist. After that kill he came over to attack the Spirit a little more. The spirit began using it's post powerful ability, a "Get out of the circle or die" sort of thing. I ran to the edge and turned around, and on my screen appeared to be clear, but suddenly I took more damage than I had health and died. So there I lay dead with the Spirit at about 50%; easy to kill for someone who is taking on Forebodings. Alas the druid does not continue to engage; he backed away and used Shadowmeld. Now...there is no reason to do this, he had a tag, I did too, he would only have needed to kill it to get credit and we both would have a chance at the pet. Instead he de-aggroed the creature, which removes my tag because the creature reset. Okay, maybe he wasn't sure he could kill it on his own, but his gear (mostly Timeless) suggests otherwise....

Seeing this I release, and find myself at a nearby graveyard. After a few tense moments of waiting I am resurrected and I make a bee-line for the cave. I arrive to find him re-engaged to the Spirit and it's down to 50%. I leap down and engage, and together we defeat it and both get out loot.

So story complete, you might be sitting there thinking "Ok so what are the dickish things I can do?" well the first is taking advantage of the "many tag" trait of Timeless Isle mobs. See people fighting a boss? Hit it once or twice, then go kill other things until it dies, and collect your loot; you've had to do no work and have benefited from the damage of others (course, if EVERYONE did this, the mob would not die). The second, is that you can "deny" people the right of a multi-tag if they die by disengaging the mob.

Personally, I think the inconsistent "single-tag" and "multi-tag" mechanics of the Timeless Isle are its downfall. A brief digression, but one thing WoW needs to genuinely embrace from Guild Wars 2 is the universal multi-tag system. Everyone who touches or pokes or sneezes on a mob needs to get credit and loot. You see the flaw of the inconsistent system is that if others are distracted by a multi-tag, I can hit it once then go after the single-tag mobs we were competing for.

In hindsight, another thing you could do is make up false Rare Coordinator claims, or lie about the spawn/death of rares in General where most people share information. I mean, given that the rares are on timers and drop things RARELY it kind of gives an unfortunate incentive to control the spawns and who comes after them.


  1. Other nasty stuff:
    Kite crabs around the horde landing place. They do heavy melee damage. You can kill a lot of players this way. Works in other places too.

    /1 Jadefire/Huolon up. You wait until players arrive. Additional bloody coins for your PvP group!

    Pull as many mobs as you can. Tag them. Kite them through aoe. See if the group can deal with all the additional mobs. Worst case, wipe.

    It is bad on a empty server, while helpful on a full server.
    I hit something once or twice and then I kill other stuff. If you let people solo it, others can join in. I intervene if someone struggles though.
    You might make 5-10+ happy if you do not dps.

    1. The blitz people make for the hill when someone shouts that Huolon is up is kind of hilarious

  2. While in that particular scenario what the guy did probably qualified as dickish, that wouldn't even make the top 10 dick moves that I've seen on the island. The fact that what he did wasn't specfically designed to KILL YOU immediately makes it one of the less impressive dick moves available.

    The only reason why what he did is even memorable is because by poking your mob, he increased its health... I don't like that in situations where I'm soloing a mob either. However, in the process he's actually providing a service to OTHER people... making it live longer so others can arrive and get tag credit. Under other circumstances, he may have been trying to keep it up longer for a buddy. That isn't cool from your perspective, obviously, but it's a natural extension of the way the multi-tag mechanic works on the lesser rares.

    In terms of my own personal guidelines, the only mobs where I'll do the "poke and avoid" are ones that have a fixed health pool and that are more than 95% likely to kill me (for example, Acherus on a melee toon). In that case, I'm not hurting anyone by doing it, the small amount of dps I do is still helping. Otherwise, I'll normally try to kill things ASAP so I can move on to other things.

    There is definitely an extra ring of hell for those who grief in ways that will kill people, though. As Anon mentions above, players kiting the crabs to the flight paths and one-shot folks who went AFK while flying over (which considering the very indirect path isn't uncommon). Players kiting mobs below Ordos over to join the Ordos fight itself, often causing a wipe in what was otherwise a clean attempt.

    I get that the Island is supposed to be dangerous, what I don't like is that at this point 90% of the danger is caused by other players, even of my own faction, who generally aren't PvP flagged so I have exactly zero potential for any sort of payback. What can we do, complain in General? Not likely to help anything. Plus, most of the grief/troll things could theoretically be caused just by sloppy play... getting a bit too close to a mob while running by vs intentionally getting too close. Kiting the crabs into the group so you get help from the guards rather than doing it in order to kill other players. Intent can be hard to fathom even when you saw exactly what happened.

    1. I'm on a PvE server so I don't have to deal with the PvP side of things aside from the occasional flagged person who will try to bait me into flagging myself.

      And the memorable part actually was the Shadowmeld after I died; it's what made it stick out.

      I will count myself lucky that I haven't encountered any of the "Specifically intended to kill you" issues aside from someone kiting Jademist guys around Vasuvius (though I am pretty sure that was accidental from rushing to the ship anyways)

  3. Fighting Huolon, 5-6 Humanoids + 2-3 Red Dragons is quite a challenge!