Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An unfortunate meet-up with the pumpkin leechers

I have a confession to make. I'm a pumpkin leecher. This means that I refuse to click the pumpkin, no matter what.

While I don't go on date with the headless horseman on a daily basis, I've been there a couple of times to see if I would be lucky and grab his mount; the drop rate seems to have increased, judging from the happy reports from other bloggers who have looted it recently. But not once have I clicked the infamous cog wheel. Not me, Sir, oh noes! I know too well what fate awaits the daring clickers. You won't trick me into that!

Game freezes
As a matter of fact I was scared away from it the first night as the event started. I didn't have to even touch the pumpkin at that point. Just entering the instance was enough to freeze the game completely and I had to shut it down in the most brutal way. I did this three or four times before giving it up completely. I don't want to go through that again. Been there, done, that, OK?

It took me a couple of days before I was convinced that they had fixed the worst bug and I was safe to even set my foot in SM without expecting an instant DC. But I didn't want to push my luck. So I left the clicking to someone else. And this strategy worked perfectly well until the other night.

It began as all those seasonal boss PUGs do: with a silent buffing session. For some reason most parties bother enough to buff, but they won't say "hi", because it feels a little pointless for such a short meeting. Little did we know that this PUG would end up as a veritable time sink and that we'd get to know each other pretty well.

You see: after the buffing was done, nothing more happened. Everyone just stood there, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Finally someone got impatient and spoke up, "hey, can someone start the event?", followed by a "gogogo!". This was followed by silence. No one moved as much as an inch and I wondered if they all had DC:d, like I did back in my first runs.

A chicken race
After a couple of minutes of awkward silence someone finally spoke up and said: "I can't start it, I'll just DC". And one by one we chimed in. It turned out that we all had survived in SM, using the same successful leeching "let someone else do it" strategy. Until now. Finally all the leechers had ended up in the same party, and here we were, stuck.

"This is apparently a chicken race", I said merrily. "We'll see who gives in first". And then I calmly lit a campfire and sat down by it, as to show them that if anyone was in a hurry, it certainly wasn't me. I could sit there all night if that was what it would take. This gnome may look cute, but she's tough inside and there was no way that I would click that pumpkin.

No one else moved. "Gogogo!" begged the impatient rogue.

"Well, you certainly don't want ME to click it, since I'm the tank. Just think of what will happen if I'll DC".

The healer tried the same trick, all in vain. You're kidding me? Who cares about tanks or healers when everyone's dressed up in T10 epics and the seasonal boss is a joke anyway?

The first one to give in was the gogo-rogue. He suddenly left the party and we queued for a new member

"Let's hope we'll get a clicker this time!"

But alas, we had yet another leecher to join our group and we were back where we were before: waiting.

The available solutions
Now this had been going on for a ridiculous long time and I was starting to get second thoughts about it. After all I was an enlightened, although a little bit lazy blogger. There was a solution available. All I needed to do was to tab out and copy that anti-cog-DC-macro that I've seen in a couple of places. I hadn't bothered so far, not just because I was slacking, but also because I thought it basically was Blizzard's business to fix this bug. We shouldn't have to make macros and install addons (I've heard there is one around) just to make the game work at a basic level.

I considered doing something about the situation, but at the same time, the chicken-race competition had grabbed my interest. I wanted to see who would give in first. As it turned out, it was a healer. He gave up a little sigh "OK - I'll do it" and then he approached the pumpkin. We waited. And waited. Nothing happened, nothing moved - especially not the healer. And in a minute we saw what we had already suspected. Yep. He had DC:d.

It was at this moment that I asked myself the question I should have asked from the beginning: is it really worth it? Is that mount important enough for me to risk to freeze up the entire game? Is it worth this waiting time, this hassle? And I realized that it wasn't. So I left the party.

It was at this point that I noticed that I didn't get any deserter debuff. I don't know if this was because seasonal events are excluded from this mechanism or if we had spent so much time running our leeching competition in there, that the time for the dungeon debuff had expired. But the fact remained: I could queue up for another group if I wanted to.

So I waited a minute, giving the leeching party the chance to grab two other players than me. Chances were that at least one of them wouldn't shy away from pumpkin clicking.

The end of the leeching
My next group was uneventful. We buffed. We didn't say a word. I held my breath as I waited for someone to click. Someone did. Larísa, The pumpkin leecher had gotten away with her trick once again!

At least the voluntary clicker didn't DC. Silently I hoped his unselfish sacrifice would pay off with a mount reward. I certainly didn't get one. It was just another pumpkin pet, the one I already had, and the vendors wouldn't offer me as much as a copper coin for it.

Thinking about it closer, I thought it served me right. For all the benefit you can get from it, leeching always leaves me with a somewhat bad taste in the mouth.

If I don't dare to share the risk of DC:ing, I don't deserve any award. Deep down I don't want to be a leecher. I'm not George in Seinfeld. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

From now on the headless horseman will go safe from me. There's always "next year" and hopefully they've solved the cogwheel issues by then.


Stumps said...

Step one, Install the addon below


Step two, after zoning in type: /cpt on

Step three, click pumpkin and start event

Step four, type /cpt off

Problem solved =)

tagn said...

Ooh, thank you Stumps. I was about to comment that I was having the same issue, pumpkin leecher that I am, but I'll try that addon.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me about the cogwheel glitch is the sheer randomness of it! The second day of the HH event I was able to click it on my tank and get things going. I had had the cogwheel DC issue for other things but now I was able to summon the HH! Wahooo.

Now it does not work. I can't summon him on my tank or my lock.

Keeva said...

I can honestly say that I've never had this issue because by the time I load in, the event has already started.

It was the same during Brewfest.

Fine by me! :D

Prelimar said...

the protocol i've seen is to let one of the DPS click, so the tank won't have to freeze & relog in, leaving the others at the horseman's mercy. but no matter what, this can totally be done without a tank. i was in a group with another mage from my guild, and our tank froze 2x. he then said we could kick him and requeue, since he kept having trouble. we let him go, and then my friend suggested having him tankamage it with our remaining group, and it worked just fine.

Redbeard said...

Yeah, until the addon came along, I went through having D/Ced four times in one HH run before we got someone who would click the pumpkin without a problem.

Perdissa said...

The problem you had on the first couple of days may be that you moused-over the pumpkin. There's no need to click it. Mousing over it will crash you just fine.

Having said that, I've experienced the worst case scenario where I crashed repeatedly until the boss was killed. It wasn't that bad, as I still had my loot. So while I'd prefer that others click the pumpkin, I usually don't mind giving it a try. Heads I crash (but still get my loot), tails we rock and roll.

Bloodshrike said...

Hey Larisa, don't give up on the HH just yet!

The 2 macro's that Deyneth made up are absolutely brilliant, and have worked 100% for me. I tank with a warrior and DK, and have no qualms about starting the event.

Here's the link to a post I wrote about it.

The way I look at it, it's a small price to pay to remember to click a macro before zoning in, or even after zoning in. I just always keep my mouse pointed to the upper areas of the screen while zoning in, and double check that I clicked the macro, and I've had zero problems.

And yes, the mount drop seems to have been raised. I've gotten 5 drops of it, twice on one character even.

Green Armadillo said...

I ended up taking this event as an Arms warrior carrying a 2H weapon (didn't occur to me to switch to a shield) because of a tank pumpkin DC.

I've also received the loot pumpkin on two occasions on which I did not actually participate in the fight due to having been DC'ed by the pumpkin. If you control+alt+del fast enough you can get back into game in time to be credited. Dunno if that makes me a bigger leech or a smaller one. :)

Demerson said...

This is actually pretty funny. Call me crazy, but these amusing situations brought about by what are normally annoying bugs serve to break up the monotony every now and then!

Also, I think you didn't get a deserter debuff because the party member had disconnected. Or maybe they don't even give deserter for the holiday bosses! That'd make more sense actually.

Larísa said...

@Stumps: Well, I reckon it's handy but it's a principle you know. We shouldn't have to fix Blizzard's failures by making up patching addons for ourselves. And if I become a clicker, I'll miss the chicken race! ;)

: well it seemed to me as if they fixed something since I don't DC by zoning in. But apparently it's not completely fixed thinking of the DC of the healer. Maybe they'll do something about it during the downtime this week?

@Keeva: Sneaky slacker!

: Yep, there's no reason to give the tanks a free card in this case tbh.

: Actually I was careful not to mouse-over, but I crashed anyway. However this seems to be solved now.

: it's a small price, but at the same time I think it's a bit weird that we should have to do it in the first place.

@Green Armadillo: If you DC after clicking on something you're not really a leech but a self sacrificing hero, I think.

: Oh yes, the entire situation was hilarious and I giggled to myself as I sat by my fire. I'm not sure if that came cross in the post? It wasn't intended to be a whiny rant or something, just a silly little story about how emotional and childish we sometimes behave. How a seasonal boss can turn into a chicken race and how I rather would sit there the entire night than download an addon or copy a macro. I'm irrational like that. Suppose I can blame the fact that I'm a human.

Issy said...

Oh dear, I was exactly the opposite. I downloaded Cogfix as soon as it became apparent what the problem was, and have started each of my 8 runs per day with *shall I start it? I don't DC*

Anonymous said...

This morning I was doing my HH for the day. I zoned in, and my son suddenly spilled a cup of juice all over the living room floor. I ran off to clean things up, and the fight was over by the time I got back to the screen.

I was just in time to open my lootbag. One guy beside me said "DC sucks, huh?"

I sheepishly replied "Hell yeah!"

Korenwolf said...

Turning off tooltips has been a 100% fix for me. Oh and I've proved that he's two mannable, warlock and a healer, no problems :)

jeffo said...

I DC'd just from *looking* at the pumpkin. From the other side of the path. Didn't even mouse over it.

Fortunately, the fight doesn't even need a healer these days, either.

Wolflore said...

This post was pretty funny and I confess myself to be a leecher. These days whenever I go in I turn around and not even look at the pumpkin until I hear him laugh.

pugnaciouspriest.com said...

finding dk tanks seem to have the worst time at it - I've not dc'd once *touch wood when clicking it, but one group went through 3 people dcing before it was a sucess.

Saga said...

I was a leecher too cause I'd DC on every char if I as much as moused over the darned pumpkin. So I'd stand with my back to it and camera facing away.

But I found the easiest fix.. which doesn't even seem to impact on the game and no addons or macros needed.

I agree that Blizzard should fix this, but after being in groups like yours where no one can click I gave this a go and haven't crashed since.

All you do, is go into your Video Settings and turn Hardware Cursor to Disabled.

The End :) Not had a crash since, and I have no idea what that thing even does because I don't see a difference in my game *lol* (other than not crashing!)

Shintar said...

Haha, now I almost feel like a hero for always running forth to click immediately. :P (I only crashed once and then never again, even without any macros or addons.) In one group I started the event and everyone but me had DCed! Fortunately at least one person came back in time to help me finish the boss off.

Bri said...

I use the tooltip macros and those work for me, so I always run up to click so someone else doesn't risk DC. Yay me!

I've healed a mage tank through HH. He hits like a wet noodle.

Ngita said...

I dc'ed 4 times that first night, but their was a macro posted that probably worked 20+ times for me. Then one day it just stopped working:(

But yea no real problem to without a tank or heal. The only "tank" that I have to actually heal was a lock.

Ratshag said...

I agrees with ya about the principles. Pricipals? Whatevers; I cain't be bothered with the details. Anywho, is wrong fer us ta hafta fix it with a macro or add-on, is Blizz's job.

That said, I's the tank. Is me job fer ta run in first and take the risk of mousin' the pumpkin. Damn the DC's, full speed ahead. But is fuhggin' embarassings fer ta DC, log back in, and finds they killed the Horseless Headman with no tank at all.

So I runs the macro.

Quiet Kjun said...

Larisa, you must have stayed in the instance long enough to negate the dungeon abandonment penality. I have abandoned twice and been penalized both times.

This boss is easy to 4-man even if the tank is dced. I have started the event on my mage and lock while the tank was out and the groups did fine. We even killed the boss once with no tank or healer.

SpiritusRex said...

See! This is why I always check my cloak for hidden, leeching gnomes!

Hopefully, when I get home tonight and weekly maintenance has completed, Blizz will have fixed this bug. It's especially frustrating when it happens when trying to click mage tables, feasts and whatnot - nothing quite like preparing for a raid by trying to click on the fishfeast and DC'ing and then clicking to receive a Fel Healthstone and DC'ing again - kind of puts me in an evil frame of mind as I begin the raid. Granted, fishfeasts and fel healthstones aren't really needed at this stage of the content, but doesn't change the fact that Blizzard is selling me a product where I can't use all the available items without downloading an addon. It just seems fundamentally wrong to me and, honestly, it pisses me off that it hasn't been addressed by Blizz other than to say there's an addon that bypasses the problem. Nice solution, Blizz, anybody else's job you want us to do for you? And, pay YOU for the opportunity to do so?

SpiritusRex said...

Ooops, forgot to add:

Thanks for addressing this topic, Larisa.

Larísa said...

@Issy: oh dear, now I feel even worse about my slacking. You're the one who has carried me so far!

: that story made me giggle, thanks for sharing! At least one good thing about the dreaded cogwheel, heh!

: 2-mannable, as long as someone has the guts to click! That's why we replaced the one who left...

@Jeffo: Yep, that was what happened to me on the first day. Not lately though.

: Thank you for your confession! I knew there must be more of us out there apart from the party I ended up in...

t: this really is a plague. I wonder if they'll fix it in the upcoming maintenance.

@Saga: that's a good suggestion too. But again: I think it actually is Blizzard's responsibility to fix this bug.

@Shintar & Bri: You're both heroes! Kudos to you!

@Ngita: Amazing how you keep going in spite of the troubles. I figure you're working on some achievement.

@Ratshag: That's what I would call a true tanking attitude!

@Quiet Kjun: Oh, yeah, I figure he can be two-or threemanned pretty easily these days. And I'm not surprised the debuff wore off. Our chicken race went on for ages.

: Well my intention about this post wasn't exactly to call out on Blizzard, but rather to share the amusing situation I ended up in. But yeah, I share your view on this. Referring people to addons to fix their bugs is not acceptable.

Bristal said...

Once again, Larisa, you have totally nailed a topic we've all been thinking about and you've put a voice to.

Personally, I've found "clickophobia" to be the most interesting thing about this whole seasonal event.

I only click it on my tank. But I approach very slowly, whistling nonchalantly. Never make eye contact.

Sometimes I freeze a bit when I get close, but if you just pretend you really don't care, it usually passes in 10 seconds or so. Then I just...click as if it's the most normal thing in the world.

Works about 25% of the time. Or less.

I've seen people try to approach it from behind. I've sat for 5 minutes waiting for someone to come back from Pumpkinland or wherever they go to.

It is amusing, but it's a bit odd that Blizzard can't or won't fix it.

There should be some kind of achievement for running it every day without ever clicking.

It would, of course, be called "Belle of the Ball" and when you get it, your character turns into a pumpkin every night at midnight.

Copra said...

All I can say is that I just cannot understand you people. Pumpkin leechers I mean. You lose nothing, as you get the loot bag anyway. And your leaving the group without even trying?

Besides, I haven't seen the mouse over dc happen to two players in the same run: first one dc's, second one starts the event.

This is the first time I can say I have been very, very disappointed in you Larísa. Raider and all and you take this kind of kiddie route of least of the least resistance.

Shame on you. Really.

C out

Larísa said...

@Bristal: I'm afraid it's over now since they say they've fixed it in the patch. But yeah, pumpkin leeching is an arform :)

@Copra: I said it was a confession, didn't I Copra? I'm not spotless and the purpose of this blog isn't to present an idealized version of Larísa to the world, singing my own praise. I'm as childish and weak as anyone else from time to time. And mind you, towards the end of the post I said I came to insight and decided not to leech on the pumpkin clickers anymore.

iamstillwater said...

Hi there,

Newcomer to your blog. I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this post. :)

It had shades of a really tense game of chicken, along with a slice of Waiting for Godot. :D

Larísa said...

: Welcome to our inn and thank you for your kind words! To be honest I don't often show much of humour in my posts; they tend to gravitate towards melancholy or analysis, which you'll see if you read more here. This was an exception. I found the situation too absurd and amusing not to be shared.

Zy said...

I heartily agree that Blizz needs to fix these things, we shouldn't have to be making macros or downloading addons to make the game playable.

Having said that, I got the macros on day 1 and have volunteered to click on the pumpkin every time to save the group some trouble.