I pride myself on being a non-judgemental member of the FFXIV: Online community. We’re here to have fun, and I aim to make that happen. Furthermore, I, too, was once a noob. Heck, I still am. I don’t ever truly know what I’m doing, and I fail a lot until I figure it out.
To put it simply: I make goofs and don’t tend to criticize others when they do the same. Everyone does. That’s how you learn.
However, there are limits to my MMO patience, I’ve finally found out just what they are, and I think discussing the root problem has merit.
By penning this example, I hope to help others understand why some people act like freeballing players are consistently shitting in their salads.
It’s also a rather funny story, actually, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for a chuckle.
That’s what I’m actually here for anyways: to make you laugh, often at my own expense. Marketing? Who’s she?
Palace of the Dead: What it is, and why it can suck
In a nutshell, the Palace of the Dead is like a Persona 3/4/5 dungeon. You have to scale through a yuge randomized dungeon equipped with special weapons and armor that also randomly get stronger. You can also ‘save’ your progress so you can go take a nap or whatever.
PotD is the easiest way to get a class from literal “baby with a stick” to “level 60-ish badass”. As I’m trying to level up my pleather-tights clad Red Mage, this is where I’ve plopped my arse recently.
But there’s a problem: in PotD, everyone starts at level 1. This attracts noobs. Not only that, but it matches you with basically anybody that’s available. That can mean no tanks and no healers.
This has always been a fun challenge for me, and up until now, I’ve never really had any complaints.
That all changed when I queued for higher levels with Mr. Hot Pants McRedMage Dude. The Palace is now my necessary evil.
Mr. Hot Pants has a healing spell on later floors, and tanks expect to be healed even when they suck. Especially when they suck.
And this, my friends, is where our tale goes from ‘oh, sounds tough but fun!’ to ‘oh my fucking God what the fuck’ in a matter of minutes.
What Even Are Red Mages?
Well, they ain’t healers, full stop.
Red Mages, ahh. Gotta’ love ’em. Black magic, white magic, and fencing, oh my! We’re a DPS class with a small healing spell; an HP doot, if you will. This HP doot keeps us from licking pavement because we have the defensive stats of a head of soggy lettuce.
I snagged Red Mage to do Big Booms, fence, and also to wear pleather tights. I also snagged Red Mage so that if people die, I can instantly resurrect them, and also maybe heal just a little bit. I like being helpful.
However, I did not snag Red Mage to be the Full-time Party Healer/Babysitter, because Red Mages aren’t really built for that.
More importantly, I’m not built for it.
I apprise literally everyone before a dungeon run that, although I have a healing spell, I suck at it. One reason being that I use a controller which has yucky targeting.
Another reason is that trying to keep people alive who clearly want to lick the floor is difficult as heck…when you can’t target them.
Sadly, during this agonizing run through PotD, the tank, she did not care.
She was going to tank poorly, I was going to be forced to poorly heal her, and that reality broke me in half.
Let’s use a simple comparison for those of you who have no goddamn idea what I’m even talking about:
Let’s imagine you’re working on a group project. The group decides to split the tasks involved. You’ve picked something that you’re very good at: making PowerPoint Presentations. Seems like you all agree on your tasks, neat!
You get your computer set up and you’re awaiting the research to put into your little slides. You’re expecting a Google Doc or whatever.
Now imagine that the person in charge of compiling notes hands you a chewed-up piece of paper with a bunch of illegible scribbles on it.
You tell them you can’t work with this shit, and they just smile at you and press the crumpled paper into your fist, maintaining eye contact the entire time, and smiling like a McCreep.
With the paper in your fist, which is slowly being crushed to death by this heathen, you realize that the inevitable has descended upon you:
You must work with this. You must be the MVP. Because clearly, the person breaking your knuckles will not be helping you.
Group projects fucking suck.
The Palace of Derp: Red Mage Is Big Mad
The other players understood when I told them I can’t heal for shit. “No pressure”, they said. The lie detector test determined that was a lie.
The pressure was on, and pretty soon the tank had decided that she’d face-plant into a giant group of monsters in an attempt to die as quickly as possible.
She also didn’t feel like holding enemy attention, which is called enmity, and that means everyone doing more damage than her was getting kicked in the scrote.
Tank did not care. Tank went in, crappy shield/weapon soaring, and suddenly…I was the healer, along with another Red Mage.
And at some point, I was also the secondary tank, because reasons.
And, at some point further, I was also the one doing the most damage.
Thus, I had to heal…everyone, myself, the tank, and take out the enemies.
What. The. Fuck.
Red Mage Is A Cursed Class
As the party went forward, it became very clear to me that my pleas of “pls pull smaller” were falling on deaf ears. Each pull was bigger than the last, and the excuses were flowing.
“The monsters just spawned on top of me” is a clear favorite here with crappy tanks. PotD may spawn monsters willy-nilly, but that excuse doesn’t fly when your tank has an obvious death wish.
I clapped back at this excuse and told them: “No, you are pulling too hard. Please, pull smaller mobs.”
They. Did. Not. Care.
I did my best, but when the tank won’t tank and now you’re the tank, and everyone is a weak little baby but you, the “group project” of completing this dungeon becomes literally impossible.
We died, hard. Right in the middle of the dungeon. Of course we did.
Wiping in PotD is a special kind of hell, however, as you have to start back at the prior set of floors. All that progress, lost. No EXP. Nada. Zilch.
So, I thought, well…okay. The next run will be fine, because the chances of this shitbird showing up are slim.
Time to go again; one last attempt before I go into the other room to watch anime. It will be fine. Everything is fine. We’re fine.
The shitbird won’t show up. We’re fine.
Red Mage Was A Mistake
Of course the shitbird showed up. She showed up, as did the same party as before, and I lost my cool. I did. I have never once lost my cool in a dungeon, but after dying in the same 10 levels for over an hour, my patience was spent.
I had 0% chill left. I was tired. It was late. I was not very friendly.
I became Red Foreman, and threatened a boot up an ass if pulls kept spiraling out of control. My red boot, the tank’s big old butt.
At some point, when it was painfully clear the tank still, still, still thought both the other Red Mage and I were only there to heal them through their death wish, I stopped healing them.
I deliberately healed everyone else, but the tank.
Then, I was scolded
Excuse me, what the fuck?
The party member who scolded me (not my new friend, and not dickhead) had been here last time, with us. He knew the tank didn’t want to actually help us “finish this project”, yet I was the one who was scolded. Fine.
I relented and said I’d try my best, but being real, we made it out by the skin of our teeth.
But I did not apologize to the tank for my words.
I did not apologize for being aggressive. I had asked, kindly, to not draw a huge mob. They made an excuse, I called them on that excuse, and we found each other again. Then, I got aggressive.
Because I am generally a very nice person, even if people frustrate me greatly, this has given me pause.
Why was I so angry? Why did I feel the need to pull a Red Foreman?
Because the tank didn’t care about anyone else involved, and expected others to compensate. This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the entire world, and it’s one big thing that keeps me out of real-people employ in favor of freelancing.
This PotD run was just like every group project I’ve ever had during my entire schooling career. You know how it feels. You’ve been there too.
This run was just like every problem-project I’ve had as a freelancer, where nearly everyone else involved had the competency of a broken cheese grater paired with the ego of America’s POTUS.
Ok, so maybe the bad tank didn’t deserve my 1 angry sentence. Maybe my fatigue, general psychic malaise with the world at large, and my hangriness took hold.
But maybe, maybe she did
Red Mage might not have had any chill this day, but I stand by my convictions that bad actions have consequences. And sometimes, people really shouldn’t be given a free pass to not care about others. Maybe being apathetic to how your actions affect other people negatively really is the big issue here.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s actually worth getting pissed off about.