A study: Stereotypes in the LFD

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While it's kinda messed up to do that to those poor groups, this is really fascinating.

And also helps me get over my fear of trying out Resto as an off spec. I'm used to being DPS, but if we're the least valued and worst treated then hell... what am I worried about learning to heal?
Awesome work! The results are actually a little scary for Cataclysm if people don't learn to adapt but instead expect the same sort of frantic rushing through instances. The amount of times healers got blamed, abused or kicked in your runs is a little frightening... and it's surely upsetting to learn I'll probably be blamed for mistakes the tank could make.

I guess I should be flattered I've never been kicked by a group!

There are times when I kind of expected it though, like once recently the tank pulled before I'd even zoned in (was stuck on a pilgrim table) and he died. When I got in I was able to keep up the dps without problem, so maybe they realized what'd happened.


One time I did Heroic Pit of Saron (before 4.0) with a pally tank who had just 23k, had trouble holding aggro, and his health simply plummeted when hit. To make things worse the tank and DPS didn't run away from the poison Nova of the second boss! I felt really bad about not being able to keep all the DPS alive (and I did lose a couple to poison nova and the fire guys aoe) even though it was a struggle to keep the tank up. Right before the last boss though, one of the DPS mentioned how amazed he was we'd gotten this far with a tank in caster and pvp gear. Pretty stunned, I inspected the tank and sure enough he was in BoAs, with one or two tank pieces, several holy pieces, and some pvp ret gear. On armory his defense rating was just 462!

I felt better about myself after that (Hell, I was even proud of myself!), but I remember being very surprised that the DPS knew the tank wasn't remotely geared for H PoS and yet there was no move to vote kick him! I guess this study helps illuminate that... apparently DPS are just terrified of the few minutes they'll have to wait if they kick the tank.
Another one you could try is the tank who must clear everything vs the speed run tank, though with people after JP the former isn't that uncommon now.
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Wow, this was actually very interesting. Thanks for posting this!
I find, depending on the mood of the persons in question, that people tend to follow a very submissive role in groups, especially if they are chain running things.

Case n point: Its easier for tanks and healers to be less accepting of the DPS because getting rid of one of them in no way hampers the groups rhythm. You can easily just keep pulling while the spot is filled up, which is usually very quick.

Its easy for other dps to go along with what a healer or tank says, including for vote to kick, since they dont lose anything the same way the tank or healer does by booting another dps. Even if the tank/healer decides to take route B instead of A to a boss, its really only going to add a few minutes maybe to the run, if they are even watching the time. If they argued the decision, they would probably look at longer pulls while they argue it, no pulls at all, or removal from group. So its usually in the DPS best interest to just "go along with the crowd" so that the run stays as smooth and quick as possible.

Many people just want the run to be over with as soon as you all enter. So in many cases mistakes are overlooked or very seldom talked about alot, in preference of just making sure the run ends quickly. As a healer, you can have a really bad or under geared tank, or lousy dps that stand in fire, but if the run is still going quickly, you just press on.

The same can be said about having players in the group with low DPS. If 1 or more other dps are pulling a big chunk of the weight, and they dont really want to bother, they just keep going since the run is still going quickly. Its not uncommon to have 1 "straggler" dps in a group that doesnt do or need to do anything, and the group finishes just fine. The other group members either dont pay attention, dont care enough, or dont want to be "that guy" that starts into people about how much dps or whatnot they are doing. So they just try to ignore it.

Tanks can easily fall into this category too if they are confident of the instance and/or way over gear the place. There are plenty of times where the tank basicly makes up 2/3 of the group dps and doesnt need much healing if any at all for just about all of the pulls. In this situation the tank more often than not will just "tunnel vision" the entire run, ignoring things that would just slow the group down, like bad/low dps or healing issues.

Some tanks are also never confident with their job, and as such tries their very best to make light of every pull and boss encounter. If someone dies, pulls aggro, pulled the group wrong, etc. , the tank would probably blame themselves enough to not speak out, even if it wasnt their fault to begin with. In such situations the tank is focusing entirely on their actions and role, so much that they cant or wont focus on if everyone else in the group is really doing their best or not. IF someone speaks up in group about something, the tank is just glad that they were not the focus of discussion. Healing and dps roles can slip into this category just as easily.


Id add more but its late, but i definitely enjoyed reading the OP's statement, along with Tesabi's anecdote about how more and more unfriendly people get as you reach the level cap.
This post is Truth.
I made my tank because of exactly what I saw in instances as described in these statistics. Tanks and Healers are the stars and the DPS are the ground they walk on.

My first character was a rogue and I did considerable DPS leveling up. I managed to not only do the highest DPS in any instance run, but also maintain my threat below the tank as well as going above and beyond the call of duty, interrupting casters, sapping difficult pulls, and before level 60 I even emergency evade tanked when the tank somehow died. I was basically running around the whole place performing at my A-game. But, the only comments I ever heard were directed towards the tank for his awesome tanking. I felt unappreciated. And a few times I was kicked because I was the default scapegoat for a situation gone wrong (at least when a hunter or DK wasn't around).

At some point I decided to roll Sentri, my Protection Warrior (at the time Prot Paladins were kind of the FotM tank, but I wanted to be something that suited my energetic playstyle). And I suddenly received a ton of attention for my tanking ability. I became really good at tanking and my rogue atrophied, now reduced to collecting dust.

I'd hate to admit it, but I rolled this tank for the glamor, as apparently its a job no one wants to do (also partially for instant queues, they are delicious). However, for the most part I made my tank because I was tired of grouping with horrible and mean tanks who don't deserve that glorified position.

- I've seen tanks demand repair bill coverage when another member of the group was in the same realm.

- I've seen tanks sell their instant queue for absurd amounts of gold.

- I've seen tanks that threaten to leave unless they got their way.

- Not to mention all the bad apple attitudes and behaviors as described in this post.

- Don't get me started on how they are such spoiled brats. They will drop group if they don't get an item to drop, or even win a roll, and they blame everything on other members, even if it was their fault.

So I succeeded in making my tank, and I made him a rare class combo even, it's called a Nice Tank. Although after tanking for this long in various instances and heroics, I can kind of see why so many tanks have become so bitter...
Interesting, if slightly cruel idea for a study. Not surprised by your findings at all.

I'm a little concerned about the way Blizzard seems to be transitioning into Cataclysm right now with these gong show heroics where the tank/healer are largely unnecessary and doing things the "right way" just slows everything down too much. If more plate DPS were clever enough to catch on to just how absurdly easy it is to "tank" a heroic these days, they'd realize they don't need to sit in the queue for 20 minutes with their HP and armor which makes the the stats those heroics were meant to be run with look pathetic. I've been seeing shadow priests elemental shamans and moonkins "healing" for months though.

I'm a little concerned about the way Blizzard seems to be transitioning into Cataclysm right now with these gong show heroics where the tank/healer are largely unnecessary and doing things the "right way" just slows everything down too much.


Interestingly, since 4.0.3 I've been seeing tanks wiping groups more often during instance runs on my alts because they still think they can pull the whole cathedral in the Scarlet Monastery.
Dazwaz you are my hero.

This post is full of win and truth.
[quote]What classes were you using? Did that have any influence on your results?


That's a good question.

As a tank I alternated between a warrior and a druid, healer was shaman and a druid and the damage dealer was shaman and mage.

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I strongly believe that the results would have been different if your tank was of the Death knight class.
Yeah, hate to pour ice water on your love fest but you came up with three preconceived notions per class and ran some decidedly unscientific test runs based upon your own flawed thesis. Invalid, simplistic and irrelevant all spring to mind.
I have run through lots of LFDs, and I have watched my husband's tankadin run through tons of LFDs. Each time it pops 2 seconds after he hits the queue I tell him how much I hate him, lol, and compare it to the 15-20 minute wait time I have. I have also seen him play drunk and screw up atrociously quite a few times and never get kicked, while knowing if I screwed up 1/10th as badly I would have been kicked and abused. People will wait patiently while he mines a node, but will leave my ass to fend for myself and cuss me out if I stop to skin.

This is why my alt is a DK tank- I need something to play while my dps is nursing her black eye and sore behind. And I don't even have to be very good to get treated well.
Good stuff... I don't find it at all surprising that the results turned out the way they did... Though I don't find myself falling into those groups (thank goodness... I'm generally a nice guy), I've run into those types more often than not.

Side note: I find that the more crap goes wrong when I'm tanking, the funnier I get... its like my sense of humor works better under fire. Most times when I queue as DPS and the tank is a complete waste of a spot, I'll offer to swap and boot them out (yeah, you come for the instant queue and can't tank I will drop you and replace you) and move along with business as usual.
I think your study would be more useful if it also tried to profile typical reactions to stereotypes by class and gear level, as I would imagine geared fury warriors would be more likely to shove the rude or slow/undergeared tank aside (intentionally or not) than any other class or spec with the possible exception of frost dk. So, groups that have one of those class/spec combinations in them would be more likely to not treat the tank overly well.

Either way, interesting information.
I LOVED your post. :)
@Dazwaz

Could you kindly list the names of your tank, healer and damage dealer, as I wish to put them all on ignore? While I approve of intellectual inquiry, research projects are usually subject to ethical constraints. IMO, this project is unethical in not seeking the permission of those inadvertantly taking part, nor of the owners of the system hosting your project (Blizz).

When I join LFD I assume I am playing with natural people (ie. people who are who they say they are). I am spending time in a leisure activity, not to be someone's research subject.

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