The Daily Grind: What do you do when an MMO dungeon run goes bad?

While I am generally for quick and fun group dungeon runs in MMORPGs, what I dread are those runs that end up going sour and “trapping” me in the experience.

Let me explain. When you start a dungeon run, either with a PUG or a group of friends, you enter into a social contract of sorts to stick it out and get the job done. At least, that’s how I see it. And that’s fine for when things are going well, but there are always those runs that result in wipe after wipe, or slow down to an eye-twitching crawl, or have you waiting on one member who went AFK to apparently do his taxes, or what have you.

And when this happens, I start screaming inside because I feel trapped and locked into this dungeon run of the damned without an easy way out. Do I stick it out to the bitter end? Do I bail with or without an excuse? Will I ever get to know the comforts of my bed as the hours tick on?

What do you do when an MMO dungeon run goes bad? Do you have some sort of criteria for determining when it’s OK to ditch your group? Do you feel more compelled to stay in a bad run if it’s your guild?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

46 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What do you do when an MMO dungeon run goes bad?"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
Sebastian Shaw

I stick with it till the end, because there is one thing all those BRD, Scholo, MC, and the like taught me…to be wipe-immune. Heck, I find it more constructive to try and use that time (and those wipes) to teach the rest of the group how to overcome the barrier, rather than taking the easy way out.

If you consider your time of such value, as to waste it on wiping on a dungeon, then, why are you not doing something of value with that time, instead of playing a game?

Reader
Tithian

Is it with a group of friends? Then I stick it out.

If it’s a complete PUG then I’m out the moment the tank or healer DCs/leaves. Also I’m out if we’re wiping to trash. If people are AFK or leeching, then I’d rather kick them than leave myself.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Being calm like a python I kick every noob who isnt worth my time . I find replacement and while they walk to a dungeon, I eat good meal to keep me in good mood. Its how it’s done boyz

Reader
Gadgets-4G

I run till my armor falls off and my weapon breaks. If the crew wants to pay for my repair or if I can do it in the dungeon I’ll play till the bulk have dropped out. For me, the losses are inconsequential when and if the objective is attained.

Reader
MassivelyMacD

What do I do when an MMO dungeon run goes bad?
Simple answer: I feel slightly sorry for those in the run. And I feel happy that I decided long ago to not go for this type of content anymore.

Polyanna
Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Polyanna

I’ll give any group three wipes on a boss. After that, I’m out. No hard feelings, but I have better things to do. And better players to do them with.

Reader
Pedge Jameson

Wow, I only came to post to make a joke but I have really seen alot of people posting in this I would not want to find myself grouping with. This turned out not to be a very constructive topic.

Reader
Jeff

Since I never pug I stick it out because they are my friends, if we wipe we all look at what we did wrong and try to do better next time.

Reader
Pedge Jameson

I can’t stand when a dude says “BRB Wife Aggro” such a lame excuse. I always go, “Then /marriagequit”

Reader
Bryan Correll

I can handle wiping as long as everyone learns from their mistakes. But sometimes you get to a point where you know that a pug group simply isn’t going to be able to complete the run. If it’s one player causing trouble and kick votes are an option it may be possible to salvage a run, but there are times I have to say “Sorry guys, but I just don’t see this working out.” Guild runs that aren’t going so hot tend to end based on mutual agreements that we’re just not up to the challenge. The only time I bailed on a poorly going guild run I had started with a mild headache that had reached severe levels after multiple wipes before even reaching the first boss. And I still felt bad about leaving, especially since I was tanking.

Reader
adri

If the run is super terrible and horrible I just rage quit but this only happens in PUG runs.
Wiping on a word first dungeon run is ok for me. It’s a learning curve and I can do it better next time. Dying in a dungeon over and over again all group member should know is frustrating.
I was in a dungeon with a guild mate but he was … not very experienced and doesn’t want to improve and so I bullied him until he left the group. Sorry dude but you have to have the will to improve yourself.

possum440 .
Reader
possum440 .

Games are to waste time, for entertainment and most importantly, for fun. Regardless of the number of times a person or group wipes there should NEVER be any bad feelings among other gamers.

Sadly developers have turned Humans into self centered elitist arses, people that point the finger, people that judge and worse. The developers have made games a job requiring third party programs, scripts, knowledge of the game before you play it or you get burned at the stake.

A person can never jump in a group and be welcomed, totally screw up repeatedly, not on purpose, without being attacked, ostracized and judged before they are stripped of their dignity and will to have fun.

The devs have turned Humans playing games into ……monsters. The developers have, over two decades, created two or three new generations of monsters that play games because of developer game mechanics and developers training these monsters how to play they way they want the monsters to play. The monsters just gobble this up without thinking.

One major reason I do not play MMO’s, not because I do not know what I am doing, but because I cant reach through a monitor and choke the shit out of someone that is talking down, attacking or badmouthing someone. Yes Virginia, sometimes, violence is the answer.

Have I ever badmouthed, broke up a group or let someone that needed help hang? Never. The old days of Everquest, Dark age of Camelot and the like need to be brought back and these new generations of gamer’s need their games taken away until they learn to be Human again. It was very, very rare that a person badmouthed someone because that person would be black listed. nowadays being an arsehole is the norm for the exceedingly vast majority of gamers.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

Man i so agree here. But you will get people who just don’t get this. For us old timers we see this because we were there when this genre started. Those older games were played by a different class of gamer. People were there to help you with anything because it was just PC geeks that played these games. And yes i too blame alot of this on devs listening to gamer’s that spend more time playing arm chair game developer than playing games. Devs think these people speak for all of us. These people keep demanding that things be harder and today we have a crap load of mmo’s that seem like a second job than what should be a fun pastime.

I was at PAX because i live here in Boston. I went with a bunch of people and met many more there. All the mmo talk on this and other mmo sites were not the big excitement for many that i met at Pax with the only one being talked about was Dauntless. Hardly anyone gave a crap about ESO of FF expansions coming out. Most of these people were burned out and tired of the direction that mmo’s seem to be taking. And i was surprised by this. Sure they may have checked them out at PAX but they were no hyped for them. There seemed to be more excitement for board games than mmo’s. Most of them walked out with board games they bought. And these were people that used to play mmo’s.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

“Sadly developers have turned Humans into self centered elitist arses, people that point the finger, people that judge and worse.”

You can’t blame game devs for this Mr. 440. People have always been like this – it is basic human nature.

“Yes Virginia, sometimes, violence is the answer.”

Correct. But this isn’t a video game or internet thing, it is endemic to human nature. In the past if you talked smack you were likely to get stabbed in the neck with a spear or gladius. Even today if you talk enough smack someone’s likely to shoot you, or at least smack you in the mouth. But, on the internet, you can’t get the busted nose that you deserve after shit-posting, and so people shit-post. Nothing to do with game devs.

Reader
Asterei Starcaller

This always happens to me when I think “Oh I have just enough time to do 1 dungeon” and then of course it takes the time of like, 3 of them. It also usually happens when I have to hurry to do something with other people in the game, and leaving will put me on a lockout (as in FFXIV). I dont mind it though if its just inexperience, or lag, or some other reason where the party members are genuinely trying to suceed.

More often than not though it just seems to be that at least half the group is being stupid and thinking its funny to waste time because they entered together (and so I dont want to say anything and get kicked, because by that point I usually just want to get through and finish rather than start all over), or its people that for whatever reason started arguing, and then they continue arguing and insulting each other during encounters instead of actually playing. I try to be patient, but if I think finishing the run will take longer than just starting over with a fresh group and enduring the lockout, I’ll just leave

Reader
starbuck1771

By the third or fourth wipe most players start to bail I prefer to stick with it but after so long I just leave the group letting the group know that hey its been fun but it is time to do something more progressive.

Reader
Armsman

If it goes that bad; I just log.

Reader
Doubleplusgood

If joining a group is a social contract that is binding you to continue playing even when are not having fun then you need to update your contact with some caveats in fine print at the bottom. Such as – the players will perform the role they have signed up for at an accpetable level that doesn’t slow the group down or waste every ones time, will not be abusive or harrass other players, will not continuously go afk, ect.
If any of these conditions are not met, then the group contract is null and void! /quit group
The only time I might suffer through a group is if its with friends, otherwise if its just random players then I stick to my contact with limitations!

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

I start to sing in voice chat.

Reader
Bryan Correll

I’ve only done that in guild chat for a laugh. Surprisingly no one told be to shut the hell up. That’s how you know you’re in good guild. Or maybe they enjoyed my performance, though I doubt it.

Reader
Doctor Sweers

Mute the gomer calling everyone noobs (jk jk Chosenxeno) and go about my day:)

Reader
Chosenxeno .

Hehehe:)

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
thickenergy

Drink, heavily, like any true and salty adventurer.

Reader
Chosenxeno .

I teleport out..but only after I have called them “a bunch of fkn noobs”(Yep. That was me).

Reader
Loopy

If we as a group are actively working on fixing whatever issue is causing the wipes, i don’t mind sticking around for 4-5 attempts. However, if:
1. There is in-fighting
2. People are completely ignoring suggestions
3. There is absolute incompetence
4. Regardless of the effort or willingness, we simply don’t have enough heals/health/damage to beat the content

then i will leave group or initiate a vote to remove the inadequate player (myself included if i can’t keep up).

Reader
Robert Mann

I’ll try. However, when something is seriously wrong, I’ll offer an option to perhaps fix it. If that is ignored or responded to rudely, I’m out.

I had to do this recently with a tank in a semi-gauntlet style dungeon area. The idea is to pull enough stuff to clear, pause, and then move on once the big stuff is dead as the little guys just keep spawning. Instead, they wanted to rush to the end… and after several wipes and being told ‘No, heals is the one failing!’ I left.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mistressbrazen

I normally stick it out. Will try and help assess what the problem is. Sometimes if it’s an under geared member, we will try and figure out whether the content can be done with the skills available. If it is clear that we cannot progress to the end, I try to encourage the group to call the run. If it is conceivably possible, I try to encourage a time limitation for how long we will attempt to finish. My gaming time is limited, so if possible I don’t want to waste it and walk away with nothing. At the same time however, I don’t like to bail on a group I committed to. So, I am always looking for group consensus in order to solve the problem.

On a couple of instances, I’ve been the drag on the group, not usually because of gear, but because the particular dungeon animations are causing vision problems for me. When that is the case, I offer to leave the group so they can get someone in who can help them finish the dungeon.

Reader
Steven Johnson

Make the best of it, but most importantly – RECORD IT!

Reader
rafael12104

I hang in and do my part. Some of the best runs I’ve ever had started as the worst.

I’ve told the story before of how a undergeared and inexperienced group came together, put aside everything, and using team work conquered what seemed like the impossible. The satisfaction in that type of moment makes it all worth while.

But not every potential bad run is that way. And sometimes there is no saving a run. It is doomed for many reasons including and most often because people don’t have any patience or aren’t willing to listen.

Regardless, I’m usually the last to leave. I hate giving up. Sometimes I’m not even sure why. So as long as the group is willing, I’ll stick around.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

For the most part, I just whine about it extensively to my spouse and tough out the dungeon. I rarely bail on a group and almost never because of performance but rather attitude is what will drive me away.

Call me a masochist, but I get some weird pleasure out of completing a challenging dungeon run, even if it takes 2x as long. It’s like doing something suboptimal, but still getting it done. In some ways it becomes a little mini game for me. Can I help or make up enough of what’s lacking so we can finish … When we shouldn’t have been able to to begin with.

All about framing I guess.

Reader
Arktouros

If the group is fixable by removing a particular offender then I’m all for that option. By offender I mean anyone who’s holding the group back to the point we can’t complete the content. One reason (AFK member) or the next (low performance member) doesn’t really matter if we can’t complete the content because then nobody wins.

My understanding tends to be variable on the content. If you queued up for regular and don’t understand the fight mechanics then okay. First time there, yada yada. However if you queue into the “hard” or “vet” or whatever more difficult version of that content without knowing the content mechanics then my understanding is substantially diminished.

However ultimately if the group just can’t get things done then I leave. There’s no point in trying to fix things. Either you get prideful responses where people think they’ve done nothing wrong or you usually end up with people who just don’t understand what you’re saying. Respect is a two way street and you can’t simultaneously demand I respect other people enough to stick it out while disrespecting me and my time by saddling me with dead weight. If someone else is feeling altruistic by all means.

None of this has to go elitist or toxic (albeit people have begun to throw around that word a bit too casually). Sometimes it’s best to just go find another group that’s better suited for your pace.

Reader
Michael18

Usually, I stick it out.

Most of the time, after the first or second round of /ragequits, you’ll end up with a group of patient people who actually enjoy team play and are willing to either explain mechanics in detail (if they are experienced) or are willing to listen and learn (if they are newbies). Sometimes you can even find long-term online friends or guilds that way, if cross-realm instancing doesn’t interfere.

A word of warning, though: in games with a more toxic community, you have to be able to cope with borderline sociopathic behavior. Many quitters fear nothing more than feeling like the weak link in a group and will see someone’s patience as a sign of weakness and wildly throw insults this player’s way. Particularly telling: when they write an insult in chat and immediately leave the group, in fear of getting a response that might question their self-image.

Completing a difficult dungeon with a partly under-geared or inexperienced but friendly and determined group can be one of the most rewarding experiences MMOs have to offer. When, after the last boss, people don’t immediately leave but instead start chatting, saying grats and thank you, and so on, then MMOs are at their best.

quark1020
Reader
quark1020

I just tough it out. Depends on the game, but with WoW, I can kick the problem player or wait for everyone else to rage quit so I can find replacements through the group finder. Hey, I’m currently playing DPS, and I’d rather wait a a few minutes to get replacements for the current run than the 20 minutes or more it takes for a brand new one.

Reader
Bryan Dixon

About the only reasons I leave a group is constant afks and abusive language or attitude toward another player.
I’m an older guy that’s married and has raised two kids. I realize stuff comes up but if you are on your 3rd 10 minute afk you need to drop group.
Automatically will start a vote kick if a player starts berating or belittling another player. I don’t care if the guy can’t find the 1 key on his keyboard. If that doesn’t work I drop with a screenshot and report. I’ve been that guy that didn’t know what to do. Trust me there isn’t much you can say that they aren’t saying to themselves. Heck my first week or two in wow I had no idea how to chat. Until finally my brother called and asked why I don’t ever respond. Asked him how. He just laughed and said hit the enter key.

Reader
Witches

Unless i’m the weakest link (and by mere coincidence this never happened, go figure :P) i stick it out, it’s rare that i have something urgent to do, also i often play at odd hours so i’m already losing sleep time so one less hour isn’t that big a deal.

If it’s the dungeon run from hell that ends up failing and costs a lot i usually do a bunch of dailies right after so i get those credits back, and i don’t have any reason to ruminate on that particular fiasco.

That said, i used to run dungeons multiple times daily and i haven’t run one in several months, so maybe not the best policy.

Reader
Ionut tv

what I do?gif

smuggler-in-a-yt
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
smuggler-in-a-yt

“Bad run” I usually define as one (or more) players who are utilizing bad tactics. After the second wipe, I usually…

1. Sigh.
2. Count to 10.
3. Analyze the last minute or so before the wipe – what happened, why did it happen, were there mitigations that could have avoided that result?
4. If it was bad luck (it happens, I died the other day due to an unusual damage spike that even with mitigation resulted in death), try again unless dealing with resilience issues (fatigue, etc)
5. If there are other mitigations, discuss with group.
6. If there appears to be good consensus on way forward, continue.
7. Else, leave and requeue or go do something else.

I hate wiping. The repair bills make me fume. So I try to approach dungeon runs very carefully. Which is a tough thing to do in today’s casual world of pick-up groups, randos, and loosely-affiliated-factions-with-shields-and-swords-pointing-in-the-same-direction.

No way to run a war. Seriously.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Q. What do you do when a Dungeon Run goes bad?

A. Do it again and get it right (and if necessary with a different group of people) :)

Seriously though it depends why it went bad. If it is because one or more people don’t know their roles and/or don’t get that dungeons have mechanics and refuse to follow the widely accepted strategies of overcoming those mechanics then it is simply a matter of removing and replacing the problem players. (Don’t get me wrong I hate others telling you how to play as much as the next guy but when you are doing group activities you have to put aside your own wants and thing of the group as a whole), also don’t stopp to blaming..that is just tactless and a sure fired way of ensuring NOTHING get done period.

If however it went bad because folks aren’t geared up or levelled enough then its back to the grind until they are.

Dungeons are imo the least PUG friendly group content of all, run them instead with people you know, trust and are on the same page about what is getting done and how.

etc..

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

If everyone is being good about the problems, and shows a willingness to “keep trying until we figure it out”, I’m usually fine with that, and will stick around.

But if people start whining, or blaming, or wandering off to watch some TV show, or whatever, I just leave.

Last night, I was in a group run in Destiny, and the game says explicitly (it even puts a skull icon and a timer on your screen) “Destroy the mines before the timer expires, or you will automatically fall this segment of the mission, and you will have to repeat it until you succeed in order to move forward”. After the third attempt where it seemed like no one but me could actually be arsed to target the mines, I just left.

Reader
Hiir Noivl

/votekick

threeknee
Reader
threeknee

I just leave. It may be a little sad, but the truth is that we are all easily replaceable, so don’t worry about it.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Really depends on the group, if it descends into blaming and bickering then I call it.
If people are cool then I stick it out or atleast sound out the other members and see if they want to continue or reform a group. Some of my most enjoyable runs are from groups that looked like they were destined to fail.

medflash
Reader
medflash

The only frustrating part about dungeons from my perspective is being rejected all the time from groups when I’m trying to do Mythic or Mythic+ dungeons and my character’s ilvl is higher than what’s required. All of my friends quit after seeing what a crap show Cataclysm was when it released. I work 3rd shift and I haven’t been lucky finding a group of people to play with, so I’m forced to play with pugs. I don’t get upset when the group faces adversity. I’ve played WoW since 2005 and seen it all. I’m a fairly competent player and I’ll do whatever I can to help the group succeed. If it falls apart, I’m usually the last person to leave the group. I only do group content when I know I’m available for a good amount of time.

I just recently did Mythic Karazhan for the first time. My group experienced our fair share of wipes and members leaving. I wasn’t so sure that the group was going to keep going, but those that left got replaced, and we conquered that dungeon. I’m sure many people would have considered that a bad run, but it was the best dungeon experience I have had in years. It was so satisfying to complete the dungeon with the other 2 in the group that stuck it out.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Esoteric Coyote

Depends on the time of day and my mood. Last dungeon before bed? Chances are I kill the game and go to bed. But if I have time, I’ll gently encourage or give pointers. I don’t mind inexperienced or bad luck strings. Ill totally stick it out and put more effort into helping such as cc’ing mobs. Everyone starts somewhere, and sometimes you just get a string of bad luck.

Nick Martin
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Nick Martin

I leave as soon as it gets to frustration and anger. It’s my time in the game, and I play them to relax. If that’s getting messed up, I go.

When it’s with guiltiest or friends, it’s far less likely to get to that anger point. It usually goes to frustration and jokes or the like.

Crow
Reader
Crow

1) Blame everyone else
2) Ragequit
3) Re-queue to repeat
4) Uninstall

wpDiscuz