In defense of FrostheimPosted: November 4, 2010 | |
The post, entitled “Story Corner in which Frost is a Bit of an Ass,” can be summarized in this way:
- Frost queued for a random, and it took forever for him to get a dungeon. Just when he was about to give up, he got into OK.
- The tank was doing fine, and Frost was having no threat issues.
- At some point early in the dungeon, a member asked if they could do the optional bosses, and Frost politely let them know that he only had time to do the required ones. He got nothing but silence in response.
- After the second boss, he and two other party members went up to the trash before Herald, and then he noticed that the tank and the person who asked to do the extra bosses were nowhere in sight.
- Meanwhile, one of the members who were with him drew proximity aggro on one of the Faceless Ones, so Frost sicced his pet on it, taunted, and proceeded to solo-kill the mob while the other two members ran away!
- Once the mob was down, he said “Hey guys, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were doing the optional bosses. I said I don’t have time, and I don’t have time for them.” He received several articulate, mature responses, including “Hunter come here” and “Hunter get down here.”
At this point, with limited time before the podcast went live, Frostheim, a big fan of extreme soloing and testing the limits of his hunter abilities, figured “Screw ’em, I’ll just finish off the instance on my own.”
He pulled the Herald, and when the first insanity phase began, he quickly learned the reality of the fight (which I did not know), which was that the insanity phase is instance-wide. Therefore, the other party members were experiencing insanity without being prepared for it. People started dying, and after a few comments like “WTF hunter?” everyone left the party, Frostheim was booted from the instance, and he didn’t get to finish the boss fight.
Frostheim ended his post by expressing his excitement over the idea that he could have soloed the Herald on Heroic mode.
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Reaction the post has been varied. Extremely varied.
Most of the commenters on the post itself have cited the coolness factor, along with the idea that being tersely addressed as “Hunter” when he had been polite to them is a put-off. A couple of others suggested that he should have dropped group rather than ruin the instance for the other party members.
Today, there are people on Twitter decrying what he did, even calling for him to be fired from WoW Insider. Ambrosine (I Like Bubbles), in a piece called Responsibility., scolds Frostheim for displaying this type of behavior (being an ass) as a prominent member of the hunter community.
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My take on what happened, with some thoughts about Frostheim and opinion on whether he should be fired by WoW Insider, follows.
The LFD situation that Frostheim described is one that many of us have encountered hundreds of times along the way: a group of people who do not put forth the effort to communicate. After Frost clearly communicated that he would not be able to do the additional bosses, he got no response. Being greeted with silence, he faced an uncertainty: either the other group members were resigned to the fact that they would just finish up the instance, or they would willfully ignore this person who was playing well within the group and go their own way. Personality will help determine how a person perceives the meaning of the silence; Frost interpreted it as acceptance of the fact that the hunter only had a short amount of time, and assumed that everyone would simply finish the instance as quickly as possible.
Clearly there was confusion, as half of the remaining party members were with him, and one was even in front of him (as evidenced by the fact that one member drew aggro because he was too close to a mob).
I assume that, if nothing else, the tank had the impression that Frost was simply a dumb huntard, only there to do DPS, and would comply with what the tank silently willed.
Ineptitude followed by asshattery
When the other party member drew aggro, Frost stepped in to save him. Quickly sending his ferocity pet to take the heat off of the guy, Frost proceeded to work on finishing off the mob while the other two ran away. To quote Frost, “Then the other two turned and ran off toward the tank, leaving me and my pet with aggro. Well, with cower and Mend Pet and a lot of DPS I managed to take the Faceless One down…”
Well, that was nice of them. I’m assuming that one of them was the healer, which would have greatly benefited Frost’s pet, and the other was a DPS, which would have greatly benefited both the pet and Frost himself. But no, they ran away, effectively saying “screw you, buddy!” while he did his best to prevent anyone from being needlessly killed.
Responding to respect with disrespect
After finishing off the Faceless One, Frost typed the following (again, quoting his post): “Hey guys, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were doing the optional bosses. I said I don’t have time, and I don’t have time for them.”
This is where he got the responses addressing him as “Hunter”: “Hunter come here” etc.
Frost quote (again): “I had been about to apologize and leave, but these guys had annoyed me just enough. Screw ’em, I figured, I’ll finish off the instance on my own.”
Acting with respect goes a long way toward peace. The opposite is also true.
I know that there are a large number of people out there who are disrespected in WoW (etc.). Some choose to respond in kind, while others choose to overlook the asshattery and go with the flow, “for the good of the group.” This is how I usually respond, although a certain amount of feeling ignored/ disrespected/ abandoned can push me over the edge. On my druid, I’ve kicked tanks who ignored the spoken will of the rest of the group (running past bosses in UP, for instance) and taken over as tank, or pulled bosses who were skipped and tanked them without heals at times. Sometimes, I’ve felt correct in overriding the tank’s silent “I’m the tank” middle finger to people who need badges/points. But this is the exception, not the norm. Usually, I do whatever the tank wants, or whatever the group wants, however much I’m hating the experience, because I am “being mature” about it.
However, even mature people can get stepped on too many times, and I think that this was one of those times for Frost. At some point, a person can reach a threshold where, once passed, he says “screw it, we’re doing this my way, because I just don’t care about you anymore.” Frost reached this point, after being ignored, unappreciated, abandoned and disrespected. In addition, his personality is such that an opportunity to extreme-solo a boss is akin to someone offering you the chance to eat a free, delicious meal – most people wouldn’t pass it up, and neither would he. He also didn’t figure that he was hurting the rest of the party, but simply spiting them. As far as I can tell, these were the major factors that led to his decision to clear the rest of the trash and pull the Herald.
Thoughts on Frostheim, his writing and analysis, and whether he should be fired
There are some people on Twitter and around the flame-net who are calling for Frostheim to be fired, boycotted, or chastised. As you can see above, some commenters are saying that Frostheim promotes “huntard,” that he showed no class, that he “doesn’t represent (So-and-so) as a hunter,” etc.
The post at I Like Bubbles contains comments that seem to cover most of the opinions on it.
My take: it’s probably not something that I would have done. However, as Frost had reached a point where he lost his concern for the other party members’ desire to do the complete instance, and understanding his personality, I don’t think that his actions deserve to be flamed like they are.
If one reads the articles that Frost writes, one finds that they are filled with information, helpful discussion, and huge doses of his personality. In his writing, both on WHU and WoW Insider, he continuously preaches team play, and discusses how to get the most out of your hunter in almost any situation while being the solution, not the problem. As a player, he strives to top the meters while being an indispensable member of a raid team. He is a huge fan of hunters, and his enthusiasm for the minutia of hunter play is infectious. His articles are insightful and humorous, and he is tirelessly dedicated to bringing his readers the best information possible, constantly testing and refining and bringing new ideas to the public. His track record is very good, and so, to me, “being a bit of an ass” in this situation, with no intent to actually kill off the other members of the party, is certainly not one of the defining traits of his play. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a very positive member of, and contributor to, the hunter/WoW community.
He even admitted to being a bit of an ass in the title of his post, so he’s certainly aware that the content of his story didn’t follow purist, conventional wisdom.
So no, I don’t think that he should be fired. I found his story to be funny, and I while I wouldn’t have done it myself, it does not strike me as outrageous that he decided to do it. It definitely was not a low move along the lines of a tank intentionally pulling and then dropping group, for instance.
It’s probably not something that he will do again – that’s not the type of player that he is. In the course of dealing with a lost cause, he found out something that excited him, and shared it with his audience.
And to those who argue that it sets a bad example: I am highly skeptical that this one incident is going to put a bigger black mark on the hunter community. There are hunters who play their classes well and are team players, and then there are hunters who define their unfortunate, derogatory nickname. That’s not going to change as a result of Frostheim’s article.