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A Dragon's Best Friend

T'alitha Koum

Louisoix [Chaos]

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(Opinion) Ableism and Big Pulls in Dungeons

Public
This post is a venting of my personal opinion that I just had to get out of my system. It will annoy some people and maybe encourage some others. I am critical of behaviours - I don't get personal.


My Situation
For context before I launch - I have chronic pain, which affects pretty much everything. On top of that, I am on anti-seizure meds and I struggle with "digital claustrophobia" - actual anxiety if my character is surrounded by too many things. And I take failure really personally, even if no one else is annoyed that I messed up. Okay, here I go then.

Huge Pulls are Horrible
I love playing a lot of classes/jobs in FFXIV, many of them melée in one form or another. Where I am having massive issues is, since a year or so ago, the expectation that dungeons will be rushed and a "drag through" is, quite frankly, stressful.

In the screenshot above, I am playing Samurai. Now, excluding the fact that, if you sprint ahead with a group of mobs I can't do anything about them until I catch up, I cannot even see my character in all that...mess. I don't know when this became okay - expected even, but it has put me off group dungeons when I prefer to level that way. I do Levelling Roulette, but I can't do many people-group dungeons in a day as it's overwhelming due to this "strategy".

Running a huge-pull dungeon without checking everyone is okay with it, assumes everyone is as good as you are. I am not. I am distinctly average - maybe even below average. But I perform worse if you're burying me between bosses. But expecting everyone to be as good as you are is Ableism.

I Want to Tank But You Put Me Off

Until I started Stormblood I used to main a tank in a group context (I always do in Solo duties, but that's not relevant right now). I wasn't great, but I mostly held my own, while apologising for screw-ups. But then the group dynamics changed - from a "go steady, there's no rush" message to "pull more please" meant I reverted to ranged DPS for Stormblood, ShadowBringers and Endwalker. I wonder how many potential tanks have been put off this way.

Don't Collect Groups of Mobs For the Tank!

This especially annoys me. It happened to me on a character I created specifically to relearn tanking. And it happened two days ago on a low-ish level dungeon for a different player. The tank should be the one leading the charge and it's not up to a DPS (or worse, the Healer) to collect more enemies for the tank to fight. An uncomfortable tank will likely be a bad one.

Sensory Overload
Before you tell me to turn all special effects off - all group member effects are already off. Unfortunately, SE do not allow me to apply that setting to enemies. This means that large groups of mobs may actually cause me real visual issues. I am on anti-seizure meds, but that doesn't stop me from being sensitive to visual overload.

Not everyone is as healthy as you, dear Big-Puller.

Not Unique to ShB/EW
My primary concern about the trend of rushing and pulling huge groups is not for me. I am concerned about new players joining - especially new healers. Sastasha and Tam-Tara may feel like long dungeons, but they are low-level dungeons to ease new players in. They're not there solely for your levelling roulette. Not everyone is levelling alts. It would be good for all of us to remember that.

Why Not Use Squad/Support/Trust?
I do. But there are two issues:
1. If you are defeated the whole group is defeated and you're sent back or have to restart a boss fight. So that's actually more pressure for me than knowing a healer can rez me.

2. There's nothing yet for StormBlood dungeons and very patchy support for HeavensWard (anyone seen how silly your Squad is on the second boss of The Vault, where I inevitably fail?!).

One Simple Solution
I have one answer to all this.

Ask your group before setting off if there is a reason they don't want to do big pulls.

If everyone is happy, then go for it. But it should not be a majority vote. If your preferred methods make one member stressed or uncomfortable, moderate your approach slightly. We all want to enjoy playing - even you, Big-Puller.

But don't let your impatience rob other people of a great experience in a dungeon.

So please, I humbly request: ask your dungeon group what they're comfortable with and focus on an enjoyable experience for all.

A dungeon taking an additional 3 minutes will not ruin your life. But doing it 3 minutes quicker may put players off grouping.

Thanks for hearing me out.

- Ali
Comments (16)

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

Agree 1000%

Sooooo HATE rushing, even if I can do it, I STILL hate it. Honestly, the only real cure for it if you don't like it now is either, as you say, ask first to see if they will go slow or just play a DPS class.

DPS classes don't really affect the big pulls much if you are slow since the tank and healer are probably already over there in the pile tanking and healing. Just get there when you can, people are probably ignoring you anyway since you are not affecting their health. ;-)

T'alitha Koum

Louisoix [Chaos]

Thanks Annabel. I main Red Mage for any higher level content which puts me at ranged, at least. The problem is levelling melée DPS - and, if I were to pick tanking up again, how much would I annoy people going at my own pace?

That's a question I shouldn't have to ask, to be honest! XD

And yep, except in some circumstances I tend to give my vote to the other DPS as we can be quite "invisible" (until I mess up doing a stupid thing).

Kupo Warkson

Siren [Aether]

Big pulls have been a thing certainly for a lot longer than a year. It's been the norm pretty much since the beginning of the game, even way back in 2.0.

As for asking how people would react to you tanking at your own pace, most people really wouldn't care. There certainly are a few bad apples every now and then but for the most part the XIV community is pretty accommodating to everyone. Especially in dungeons, people are pretty chill.

Kupo Warkson

Siren [Aether]

You just have to be able to speak up for yourself. You must understand that people are not expecting someone with sensory issues to be in their party. You are just a random stranger to everyone and outwardly seem just like any other person. The only way they are going to know about your sensory overload issues is if you speak up about it.

Yeah, it may be somewhat rude to not make sure everyone is okay with big pulls but 95% of parties are. It sometimes isn't worth asking for that 5% chance.

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Jin Yoake

Phantom [Chaos]

They should just implement a ratings based matchmaking system for Duty Finder so players can just be matched up automatically with players of their own skill level.

Steady Styrmdraga

Faerie [Aether]

Depending on what job your playing, big pulls are at times the only thing that makes dungeons remotely interesting. I play Warrior, and often I do dungeons with 3 dps and without a healer because Warrior has so much regain that it doesn't need a healer. Infact none of the group needs a healer if folks are doing mechanics properly. Whether with a healer, or without a healer, a well equipped warrior doesn't need to do small pulls.

Nix Tempestas

Louisoix [Chaos]

@Steady I think you're missing his point. His circumstances are not typical, he's fighting horrible chronic pain, anxiety, and sensory sensitivities. Having those completely changes what fun is. Also, nobody should slip outside their role, if you're healer or dps don't pull.

T'alitha Koum

Louisoix [Chaos]

@Kupo Yes, I will try to speak up for myself. I find doing so very hard, but it may be the only way for me to get my confidence back. Thanks.

@Jin that would be interesting, I wonder how that would work - like me saying I think I have 3/5 skill level or something?

@Steady what you also won't realise is that I struggle to play Warrior solo. I do, but the perma fire is really offputting - and can't be turned off so it adds to the sensory clutter XD

T'alitha Koum

Louisoix [Chaos]

@Nix that "role slipping" I have so far only experienced once as a tank, and it threw me because the number of mobs I thought I was dealing with, like, doubled. Made me think I had misplaced myself and aggro'd more - which puts the "safety" of the group at risk. Knock-on is actually _less_ confidence because I'm second-guessing my ability to pull, when it was actually done "for" me.

Jin Yoake

Phantom [Chaos]

@Jin that would be interesting, I wonder how that would work - like me saying I think I have 3/5 skill level or something?

It would use the rising star system from Crystalline Conflict. Have a full party wipe and you lose a star. Clear a dungeon, gain a star. Multiple clears, clear streak. More stars. Wiping multiple times a run severely punishes you so you are immediately taken out of the current league and out of that league's matchmaking pool, so you stop ruining other people's experience.

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Kupo Warkson

Siren [Aether]

If someone else tries aggroing mobs for you while you are tanking it is common courtesy to not take the mobs and let the person die.

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie [Aether]

Boy, if they had a dungeon skill rating system, I would be in the lowest of the low. LOL

And considering how slow I am, if I was healing and a dps pulled mobs, they would probably be dead before I got to the group. ;p

And yeah T'al, just tell the group at the start. "Sorry, I have health issues and need to tank slow.' Or some variation of that. If they don't like it, they can leave and requeue. And if they try and pull extra mobs, let'em die. HA! ;-)

Lolo Menehune

Siren [Aether]

I'll be real, unless you speak up I'm pulling as much as my healer can keep up. It's no offense to you, or anyone else it's just what I've been conditioned to do after many years. NOW, if someone informs me pre-pull they have a medical condition asking me ABSOLUTELY I will accommodate that request...given the rest of the group complies is a different issue however. I've done that in the past where the healers asked for two packs MAX please, and the Dps pulled more adds.

Lolo Menehune

Siren [Aether]

That being said, I give you props for fighting through your health conditions and anxiety to still enjoy the game! I hope there is enough content to still keep you happy, and you can make a macro with a brief comment of your condition when you're tanking/healing randoms. I think for the MOST part many will understand if you pick up two packs, breathe, work through each pull. I wish you Good Fortune T and hope you can have FUN!!

Nel Tera

Spriggan [Chaos]

it does not matter what issues somebody has the rushing is awful regardless, so is the bullying in dungeons if you dont comply with the expected speed. i usually enjoy tanking in mmos just to get better understanding of the mechanics of the game as an alt character, but not in ffxiv.
for my sanity sake i can not deal with the constant rush either.
it is not a question of incompetence of playing fast, it is a matter of preference of enjoyment.

Bree Asryles

Brynhildr [Crystal]

I understand you so much. I agree that the question of "do you want big pulls or small" should be stated before the start of the dungeon, perhaps in the starting rush they are not letting your healer do a small shield or Regen that might've save the party later, or that might allow them to dps with more leeway. asking what everyone is comfortable with will make the experience more enjoyable and it doesn't take a lot
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