FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder: Do Some Research!

So a few days back, Zeb and I decided to run an Expert Roulette. Most our FC was busy doing other things, so it was just us two. We ended up running Ala Mhigo with a pick-up Tank and a Black Mage DPS.

It was a pretty typical run. The Tank was your standard over-confident wall-to-wall puller in the beginning. I’m not super fond of this, but we burned what we could and there were no deaths. I was a little surprised the Tank didn’t wall-to-wall after the first boss, because I expected it. Turns out there was a reason.

We beat the dungeon fairly smoothly. I didn’t see a problem with the run at all. We were saying our parting “Thank Yous” after the last boss when suddenly the Tank said this:


This was the first thing the Tank said the whole run. And instantly after he said it, he left, not bothering to give anyone a Com, either.

Now, I don’t really know much about playing Black Mage, but the DPS we picked up wasn’t visibly poor in a Netflix Ninja way. I never felt like I was propping up the other DPS during the run. We got through the dungeon fairly quickly. No one died. Maybe the Tank felt they couldn’t do huge wall-to-walls like they liked because the DPS wasn’t perfect. I don’t know.

The bottom line was there was no reason to suddenly toss out unhelpful criticism right there at the end of the run. The Black Mage didn’t say a word after that, even though we expressed our surprise. She just left.

I felt bad for her. What if the Tank had said that to me?

It’s one thing to nicely suggest some adjustments for a rotation. It’s another thing to tell someone they “have no idea” what they’re doing, so go “do some research.” What a snobby tank! I swear that I’ve seen a lot of diva tanks lately… but… I won’t go down that rabbit trail.

Anyhow, Syn checked her Contact list (as she tends to) and noted the Black Mage was on our server. So, she whispered the Black Mage and told her that she really didn’t do a bad job, and tried to be encouraging.

I didn’t see the conversation between them, but it turns out the Black Mage was an older woman IRL who was just trying to play the game and have fun. She noted she probably needed to refine her rotation and sadly admitted that she “probably sucked.”

Soapbox Time

Really, Tank? Really??

Please, remember: People we group with are people.

Sure, I’ve had my moments of frustration with PUGs, but what happened here didn’t need to be. It doesn’t kill anyone to offer a little kindness, or at least constructive feedback. You never know who’s on the other side of the screen and what they’re situation is like.

Even I’ve found it easier to be jaded and frustrated with folks in my group after playing for so many years. But that just shouldn’t be. I’ve taken a step back from the game, especially the end game lately, and that’s done me a lot of good to put things in perspective.

We’re rolling into the holidays, here. It’s a time to reevaluate where we stand and to love thy neighbor. Sometimes thy neighbor is that older woman you randomly group with who plays a Black Mage for the fun of it, and just doesn’t have the optimal rotation.



  1. Online gamers are generally horrible people. I can’t play online without experiencing hate – be it racial, developmental, or sexual orientation based. Remember, it’s okay because its just the internet!

    1. That’s part of the reason why Syn and I went out of our way to build a FC that was free of that mentality. It helps to pull together players who are also looking for a clean, mature and kind environment. They do exist! You just have to work to find them and organize a place for them.

  2. I want to play a little devil’s advocate here. Was what the tank said really that bad? He stuck it out through the run, didn’t ask to kick the player he thought was playing badly, didn’t include namecalling or extra verbal abuse with his criticism.

    All he really failed to do was give more constructive criticism/specific guidance on how to improve besides the very general phrase of “go do some research.”

    But by actually saying something, which unfortunately may have produced some embarrassment, guilt and other bad feelings in the person being criticised, it may also have provided sufficient motivation to find out how to get just that little better. Which, of course, differs from player to player. Some will give up if they can’t see a way they can do so (which is why I’m more in favor of specific advice personally) but some might go ahead and do some research (granted, they must know -where- to start doing that research.)

    1. While he wasn’t terrible and swearing or super salty, as you noted, there are a LOT nicer ways to tell someone they might want to check their rotation. I think it was really the “you have no idea what you’re doing” snark followed by the instant leave-group he pulled that gave me a sour taste. He knew what he said could be hurtful. He didn’t even own up to his comment. He just dropped the mic and left like he was superior to everyone else.

      I’d understand if we’d visibly struggled through that dungeon, but I saw nothing wrong with our run. When you PUG with folks, you have to accept you’re not always going to get people who are 100% on the ball. I’d understand a frustrated comment like that if the damage output was absolutely bottom of the barrel and the Black Mage was dead on the floor through the whole thing. That was not the case.

      His comment blindsided both myself and Syn. It came out of nowhere and could have been a whole lot nicer. Comments like this are what make people drop MMOs… because they kill the enjoyment factor for others.

      If he had said that to me, I’m the type of person who would have been hurt, and might quit playing group stuff for a while. Some folks have to work up the nerve to group with strangers, and I’m one of them. So, I’m very sensitive to when I see other people’s feelings getting walked on when they were doing the best they knew how.

      This tank needed to remember he was playing a game – Expert Roulette is not serious business – and the words he typed could have consequences for others.

      1. Fair enough. I just like ruminating on this whole meta aspect of how people learn and how others teach (or more commonly in MMO groups, fail to) in games.

        If a player isn’t made aware that there’s more that could be learned, they’ll never get a chance to improve (and possibly enjoy the game more, at more depth or simply not getting overwhelmed by mobs balanced for a higher performance level, or by not having to always be the brunt of the no-tact powergamer’s scorn.)

        Yet sadly, it always seems more common that polite people don’t say anything, for fear of hurting feelings or inviting possible abuse/attacks from others, and it’s left up to the rude people to break the ice and inflict that awareness in a rough manner.

        Then too, it seems like a lot of people could be well meaning but lack any tact or knowledge of how to teach whatsoever… or simply cannot be bothered to take the time to coach a stranger, which leads to totally unhelpful commentary on “just look it up” or “google it” or “watch some Youtube videos.”

        Wish I had some solutions. Welp, will chew on it more, and maybe get enough inspiration for a blog post at some point. 😉

        1. I get what you’re saying.

          I don’t feel like this tank’s intention was to help instruct this Black Mage, or I wouldn’t have written this. This is an extension of the mentality in FFXIV where (leet) tanks seem to believe that if they’re not pulling every group of enemies from one boss to the next (I’m really not exaggerating) into one huge mass, and the DPS and heals can’t adjust and deal with that, then it’s being done wrong. Frankly, it doesn’t make the run all that much faster, and it can get exhausting.

          As I noted here, the tank tried a wall-to-wall pull in the beginning and must not have been happy with the DPS output because they didn’t do it again during this run. Again, no one died. I didn’t see the Black Mage only casting ice spells — I saw her in Ley Lines often. I never felt like I was the only one holding up all the DPS in the group, either. I usually can tell with the other DPS is putting out so little that I may as well be the only DPS in the group.

          This sounded to me like a tank who was frustrated their dungeon run took them 20 mins instead of 16 mins, and took it out on the DPS in the end.

          However, back to your point about teaching in a game. I’m of a mind that a discouraged person is less likely to be receptive or make an attempt to better themselves. Sure, it’s easy to make someone feel bad about themselves, point out they suck, then leave. But it’s going to go a lot further to lift that person up and encourage them to want to make a change. That, however, takes time and effort… which most people don’t want to deal with.

          I consider myself the polite, quiet type. I’ll groan to myself, and put up with a lot in a PUG. But I was frankly ready to defend this person, and I’ve defended people from these kinds of remarks in the past. What I’ve learned to do is reach out to the person and ask them if they’d like some help instead of just throwing help at them. That puts the choice in their hands and usually, they don’t mind.

          There was once a tank, for instance, who was completely new in the first dungeon of FFXIV. She admitted, with a good sense of humor, that she’d never tanked before and was figuring things out. She wasn’t great, but no one died. After the dungeon, one of the DPSs told her she was “trash.”

          She apologized, but they just left. That did nothing but beat her down.

          I stopped and told her: “Hey, I thought you did great for a first time — tanking takes a lot of courage. Would you like some tips for next time?”

          She was super receptive and we spent quite a while discussing aggro, tank mechanics, and all the good stuff… up until the dungeon timer warned us we had 5 mins left before we got kicked. I’d like to hope that she took something away from that instead of just putting down tank and never doing it again because she was “trash.”

          Anyhow, I’d love to see an article on this from you. I know I’m a bit too touchy feely sometimes. 🙂

  3. Back during HW I was leveling up…. one of the tank jobs. Don’t recall which, but I was flying my “Grandmaster of Magic” title. Regardless…. was running the Vault. I moved to avoid telegraphs, but that was it, made sure to point the mobs away from the group, made sure the monk always had a side and a rear on the mobs so he could do his positionals, rotated my cooldowns, and so on.

    We 1-shot the place. Monk never said anything the whole run. Until after we beat the final boss, and the monk said “You should go back to magic, becuz you suck as a tank.” and then exited.

    The other dps and the healer both reacted much as you did up above. “Wait, what?” “That wasn’t nice” etc. Helaer said she appreciated me using my cooldowns on trash and that she didn’t feel like she had to heal me much at all. I looked the monk up and he wasn’t on my server, but I was able to send him a message through the Lodestone. I asked him what I’d done to prompt his reaction, as so far as I knew I was following appropriate tanking procedure, not just from what people say in forums and on reddit, but also from my 15-ish years of experience with tanking in EQ2, Rift, STWOR, etc…. He never responded, though, so…. maybe he was just having a bad day?

    Regardless… kinda weird how similar the situation was to what you described above.

    That said….. BLM in SB is very different than it was in HW or ARR. Single-target maybe not so much, but AE for trash is VERY different. It’s actually counterintuitive. Essentially if you’re casting Fire 2 on trash you’re doing it wrong, yet up until SB, F2 was the way the truth, and the life for AE. But someone who hasn’t “done research” won’t necessarily know that. and using F2 isn’t actually that much less than doing the “real” AE rotation of T4 and double/triple Flare all the time, so quite honestly, only an elitist raider-douche would bother to comment on it, IMO.

    OTOH,. sometimes you find a BLM that is truly awful, like the one that literally only used a rotation of F3, F3, F3, F3, transpose, B3, B3, transpose, F3, F3, etc. No enoch, no F4, no sharpcast, so Foul, and never any AE on trash at all. But hey… he dodged telegraphs, so .. whatever. We still finished the run, so I was happy, in spite of his crapppppppppy dps. I asked him to use AE on trash, but he never did, and I did also make a crack about maybe researching some better rotations after we killed the final boss, but I waited in case he’d ask for more info, didn’t just leave either. He just left without saying anything, though so…. I figure it might have been someone with mobility issues who just used a macro’d rotation or something and maybe couldn’t do anything else, so I didn’t worry about it.

    1. I didn’t want to mention in the post (I didn’t seem to be assuming too much about the tank), but he was on Gilgamesh, which has a reputation for being the raider hangout and somewhat leet mentality. A former FC member, whom remains in touch with us, moved to Greg in order to get that raiding scene… he says it can be really rough over there depending on what crowd you fall in with.

      Again, I don’t want to assume… but yeah. It didn’t surprise me this came from a guy on that server.

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