Regrets Part 3 – The Healer’s Story

Ok it’s time for the third and last regrets post. Not sure what anyone is going to think about this one. I was put in a difficult position and wasn’t sure what to do. I sat on the fence as long as I could then made my decision which I immediately regretted (otherwise it won’t be here – this is not the post for evil things I’ve done and still chuckle about- that’s for next week).

Anyway it was when I was playing my paladin healer Androse.We were in Scarlet Monastery. I was doing well …surprisingly. Well to be fair I can be a competent healer- my obsessive nature helps since I refuse to take my eye off the green bars and neurotically top them up at every opportunity (as a paladin I am liberal in my use of mana – as a shaman healer I tried the same thing and everyone died).

So it was all going well apart from one thing- we had a badly behaved ninja tank who – although being rebuked by the DPS several times – (I wasn’t getting involved – too busy staring fixedly at  green bars) was carrying on regardless and ignoring them. For some reason they didn’t boot him (possibly enough time hadn’t elapsed- can’t remember). But they started telling me not to heal him so that he’d die and leave of his own accord (they hoped). I was very uncomfortable about this. Surprisingly so. Obviously what he was doing was wrong (rolling need on everything) but still- deliberately letting him die seemed bad. I don’t want to be over the top and say it felt like murder or anything but allowing someone to die (albeit a cartoon someone) when I had the power to prevent it felt low – very low. In fact let’s just say I knew at that point I was glad I had chosen not to be a surgeon who might have had to face a similar decision at some point in their career, perhaps  whether to operate on someone they knew for a fact had stolen several post-it notes from the reception desk – the nice square ones too.  (Incidentally I was urged to be a surgeon by my careers advisor when they saw me playing the Operation game – they couldn’t believe my nerves of steel and how infrequently I made his nose buzz. My operation death rate would have been like 1 in 10 I’m sure.) Anyway….although the DPS were telling me not to heal him, now and again I confess I sneaked him a few heals – hoping they wouldn’t notice. Of course they could see his green bar rising so my “clever” plan was not particularly successful (Blizzard – introduce a Secret Heal spell that does not show up on the green bar- you have no idea how many of us are trying to secretly heal people in our group. What? There’s only me doing it. Oh ok). They got increasingly annoyed  (probably deep down at me but kept it civil since I was the healer and still retained a certain amount of power). So they kept on telling me not to heal him but were relatively patient- thinking perhaps that I was so professional a healer it was hardcoded in my DNA and they had to undo years of training – MattDamon/Bourne identity like. But eventually I buckled (you knew it was coming didn’t you). I felt like I had no choice. So I let him die. I LET HIM DIE (capitals so you understand the emotional agony behind these type written words). And through it he said not one word- which somehow made it worse. It made him seem like some mysterious entity – something put in the game to see how far we’d go – what would make us turn? Turns out it took four ninja rolls for his life to be meaningless. We were willing to kill him. How feral had we become? Azeroth’s Lord of the Flies moment – I think I even rubbed some mud on my face at one point (I tell a lie – it was chocolate actually). Anyway since it was only Scarlet Monastery I seem to recall he ran back in 2 seconds after dying (I of course didn’t resurrect him either  – by then I’d turned fully to the dark side and was practising a devilish hand rubbing action with accompanying cackle) and he carried on doing more of the same. So it was all a bit pointless. The DPS were impotently seething by this point. Don’t know why they just didn’t leave. In the end we finished the dungeon, they called him a tosser and left, leaving he & I (me & him, him & me?) in the dungeon alone. We fell into each other’s arms and…No we didn’t …it’s not that sort of story but it would be fun if it was (some Bonnie & Clyde affair where the healer was actually in on the ninja looting scam from the start…I sense a screenplay!!!) No the truth was I didn’t know what to say to him. He was in the wrong in regard to his behaviour, but I had bowed to peer pressure and let him die. Not a shining moment for either of us. So I just left the dungeon as well. He was annoying it’s true. He behaved like an idiot. But life- even WoW life it seems- is important and letting someone lose their’s as a form of punishment felt a step too far – for me anyway. Wish we could have just booted him.


11 thoughts on “Regrets Part 3 – The Healer’s Story

  1. I agree with Fael. Probably a bot. They are more common at low levels than they are at higher levels. Hence why he charged ahead blindly, rolled need, and did not respond to anything. You should have whispered to ask if he was a bot. Maybe the coding would have caused him to log off.

    Never feel bad for letting someone like that die in game.

  2. The DPS shouldn’t tell you what to do, tbh. It’s your decision if you want to heal him or not. Vote kicking him would’ve been the better option, but I don’t really think you were wrong to let him die. All it does is cost him a tiny repair bill and a few seconds of running anyway.

  3. Bot tanks? I think it’s pretty difficult to program a tankbot to actually tank to the point where you can leave them alone to do their thing. (Google break)… Well, blow me down. It is apparently possible. You can buy a computer program that plays a game for you, saving you the trouble of playing it yourself. Honestly. What is the *point*?

    I honestly think that player interaction in online games can be (possibly has been, you’re not getting me again, Wikipedia!) the subject of someone’s doctoral thesis. This is a fine example of peer pressure, and giving in to it.

    There are many, many example of basically good people doing very bad things. Did you (Generic Reader, not Bravetank specifically), do the quests where you had to torture someone for information? Did you tell Thisalee Crow to kill the Harpy? Did you rough her up a bit to make her talk? You needn’t have to, I found. She’ll happily talk as soon as Miss Crow grabs her. Does that make it worse?

    There is a large number of fairly depressing psychological experiments (Milgram, Hofling, Asch, Zimbardo) that show how easy it is to put a magnet next to one’s moral compass. A game like WoW has elements of all of them. Peer pressure, de-humanisation, the banality of evil, moral detachment, it’s all there in miniature.

    1. You’re right. I always like to think though that I wouldn’t succumb to those sorts of things – that I’d be the brave, heroic and uncompromising one that would stick to my principles. Yet even in game I can see myself compromising them – sometimes for reasons I can logically justify – but isn’t that what happens in all those other cases too. You are right- it is all there in miniature.

  4. Your last paragraph was a bit of a wall of text, just thought I would let you know 😉

    On topic. I have come across the same scenario myself. A guy kept needing on all the random drops, and when asked, he said he needed the money, and in his eyes that was his justification, so we all needed on the loot after that. Problem solved.

    As far as letting someone die without trying to heal them, I have done this a couple of times with dps who deliberately pulled mobs rather than let the tank do it. I don’t think I have ever let a tank die on purpose though; I hope not anyway.

    @Bannog: No I didn’t kill or torture the Harpy. I also won’t do any Nesingwary quests; killing animals for fun is something I would never do, even if they are just pixels.

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