3 healers and 3 dead. Pug shrouds are always surprising. Sometimes you have this amazing group that have done it a million times and everything is like clockwork. No one have to say anything and when you do it’s a corny joke while beating down the red named Orthon as you simultaneously kite the Trog. That’s the kind of group that gets it done in about 30 minutes or less.
Then there are the ones who struggle, but you have the confidence you’ll get it done anyways. There are some bruised elbows and a mutter here and there but for most part everything is okay enough and it’s more than 30 minutes. But survivable. Like the run where my ranger and a fellow monk ended up being the only DPS left for round 2 and 3 in part 4. I didn’t panic. One of the dead barbarians dropped out. Meanwhile round 2 hit, I multi arrowed Harry down to about 5% and in round 3 beat him dead while the monk smacked the gnolls around. It really doesn’t matter that the 3 healers let 4 DPS die. It could have been anything and it’s irrelevant. The relevant part is that we got it done. You take your loot, move on, say TY for group and think of the next thing you want to do.
Then there are nightmares that never start out good, never runs smoothly and seldom end great. Those are the ones where every single step feels like a gauntlet. It’s like running the portal beating in part one with a bunch of old people who can’t remember where the bathroom is. That’s a metaphor for a leader that don’t lead (or are abusive), there others are simply being selfish and the first or second timers don’t feel like listening to simple instructions.
Any quest can be like that, but it’s more than frustrating when it’s round 4 and things are falling apart. There you are after 40-45 minutes of just mindboggling, mind numbing hardship and as you’re about to knock down the gates on that quest you get a big smack in your face. Denied. Battered, out of the really good materials and a handful of vendor trash and massive cost to repair your stuff, you sit down and wonder what the heck went wrong.
There are no easy answers. Only that the stars wasn’t aligned and what should be 30 minutes routine turns out to be over 30 minutes of groans, moans, teeth gnashing and frustrating defeat.
Mind you – the second example or even first can still end up in defeat. But it won’t be the players and everyone will laugh in the end.