Monday, January 31, 2011

Various Observations

Bloated Salmon

It has become my bane.  I need only the Bloated Salmon and Summer Bass for the achievement The Oceanographer achievement.  Summer Bass I have to wait for and that is understandable, it can only be caught in summer.  Makes sense right?  The Bloated Salmon however can be caught year round, or so the rumor goes.  I try a little for it here and there.  So far I am up to 10 hours invested and still no catches for it.  I hate the random number generator.

A Rare Catch

Just from doing the Stormwind fishing daily Thunder Falls I have gotten the One That Didn't Get Away on two of my characters.  One before he was even at 25 fishing skill.  That means they had not even fished up 25 fish yet.  My main character has fished up over 12000 things so far including Turtles All the Way Down, I Smell A Giant Rat, all the coins from the Dalaran fountain, the two raid fishing achievements, hell, you name it and I have fished it up.  I've even fished up blue plate bracers.  Still no rare fish on my main however.  More random number generator hate?

Healer Weapons

Okay, what is the deal with the DPS on healer weapons lately? Scepter of Power has an amazingly huge 31.7 DPS.  That is what my Shaman healer uses.  Now it is all fine and dandy for my Priest healer to have a low DPS weapon, if I need to pass the time while regenning mana I can wand things and wands still have some DPS. 

What about my shaman?  I can melee the mob for 31.7 DPS?  Who had the genius idea to make healer weapons have such low DPS?  I understand there really is no reason for a healer to have a high DPS weapon in a dungeon or raiding, if the healer has to DPS you have bigger issues, but sometimes you just want to lay the smack down on a low level mob while passing by even as a healer.  How embarrassing is it to go melee a 45 mob and it takes you 20 hits to kill it.  Even a healer should be able to one shot low level mobs.

The Worgen Experience

I rolled a baby worgen on the RP server I play on just to see what the starting area is like.  Over all it was a nice story.  I'll do a goblin next on my horde server some day.  I could be wrong, and I most likely am, but it seems as if there is a bug in the quests in the worgen starting area.  I got the achievement for 50 quests completed before I even left there.  Now it might be possible I guess but it sure did not feel as if I did 50 quests before I left the starting area.  Perhaps that is a good thing.  If it did not feel like I did 50 quests and I did, that must mean that it was enjoyable enough to pass the time and not even know that I was questing.  Not bad at all.

Choosing the Worgen

I looked over all the classes a worgen can be to decide what I wanted to make.  At first, before worgens where added, I wanted to make a druid.  Once I considered that I spend most of my time on my druid as a bear I came to the conclusion that being a wolf really made no sense if I would never see the wolf part of it.  So I went with the only true option for any self respecting worgen.  A Rogue.  It just makes the most sense, even more so from a RP perspective.

The Line

I was listening to music when I came up with the idea to make a baby worgen.  It was one line from a Meatloaf song that made me want to make a worgen to RP with.  "Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?" from You took the words right out of my mouth.  So a male worgen rogue was born.  Get some red roses for an offhand and macro that line to use.  I wonder how many people would understand the reference and know what they are supposed to say back to me.  Should be fun.

Best in Slot

It seems somewhere along the line I forgot my own rules.  Reforging is good.  We love reforging.  I even have a whole post I want to write about the fine art of reforging for maximum effect.  That is why it seems weird that I missed my own best in slot because it had 321 hit rating on it.  I am over cap most of the time, what the hell do I need more hit for.  Sure, the proc rocks on the trinket but I need hit about as much as a horse needs sneakers. I forgot I could reforge stuff.  Duh.  Now to save up for it.  1650 for a trinket makes me want to cry.  Even more so when I wasted my last points on a minor upgrade because I had nothing to buy.

Healing Normals Vs. Heroics

I know that healing is supposed to make us have to choose or spells more effectively now but the difficultly level between normals and heroics is so huge that the training phase for choosing spells in non existing. 

When I first hit 85 and started healing normals it was actually some work.  In a matter of no time I was geared enough that normals where less about choosing spells then blizzard would want it to be.  I could cast just about anything and only on some boss attempts would be ever be a problem.

Now when I run a normal on my Priest I DPS the entire run.  My smite healing can heal the entire group most of the time.  In boss fights maybe a shield and a prayer of mending might be required and in the rare event that a heal is needed I fall back on my expensive fast heal (flash heal) because I need to use penance for offense.  I often am number 3 on DPS if I try and can still pull 2K even when I don't try.  Where is my training for heroics?

Now I get into heroics, same gear that makes normals a laugh fest and I pick and choose my spells.  I use everything I can to regen mana.  I do not use my expensive fast heal unless it is a life of death situation and I still run out of mana on nearly every pull.  Boss fights?  Forget about it.  Unless I have a super DPS crew where everyone is doing over 12K you might as well just assume that I will be oom 50% into the fight.

Learning curve anyone?  How can you be 100% mana for an entire run on normal even while DPSing while healing and be oom on one trash pull in a heroic?  I think there needs to be some tinkering with the numbers.

Mana Regen

A few leveling characters in my guild wanted to do a run so I figured I would help out and heal for them.  I pop on my shammy and they invite me to group.  They say they will be back in a minute to queue up and I just hang out doing what healers do when they have nothing to do.  I heal myself over and over.

I do my standard routine for heals.  Riptide and Healing Wave.  1 and 3, 1 and 3, 1 and 3.  While waiting for them that is all I do over and over.  11 minutes later they come back.  11 minutes of non stop healing and I am still at 100% mana.  Awesome.  Now if only those things actually healed enough to keep a tank up that would be nice.

If I did greater healing wave, which does not really do a huge amount more then healing wave, I would be oom in no time.  God forbid I tried healing surge.  I would be oom before I could cast 7 of them.  Balance anyone?  Apparently that word is not in blizzards vocabulary.

Hunter PvP

The patch is coming Tuesday most likely and the big fix for hunters in PvP is supposed to be that hunters will now be able to auto shoot while moving.  Dear god no.  Please say they remove this.  I beg of you blizzard.

First off, auto shot hits like a wet noodle.  It will not be the fix for PvP we need.  Try actually adding a fix and then we can talk.  Secondly, the targeting issues hunters have now are enough to make a person scream.  Good hunters are not pulling the next pack when the system auto targets something else after a mob dies because they are smart enough to move and click off the mob.  Bad hunters, or hunters that are not quick enough in reaction, are pulling more mobs left and right because of the broken system.  Now with auto shot always going it is no longer a case of the good hunter moving to stop his shot.  His auto shot will still go off while moving so instead of the way it is now where the auto will not start again until the cobra/steady ends on switch, so you move to stop it, it will go instantly because the move does not break it.  You bastards.  You are trying to turn hunters into huntards.

Fix that auto targeting thing first.  Fix the tab targeting thing first.  Then we can talk about auto shot while moving.  And for those that do not know, even if you do not have auto target selected in your setting it still does it.

I've gotten into the habit of always being at maximum range so even when I do auto target another mob the other target is out of my range so the shot does not fire.  Doing that will become 100% more important with auto shot going crazy all the time now.

Minimum Range

The idea is old, remove it.  There you go, you just fixed Hunters for PvP.  How hard was that?  Not to mention the number of fights in this expansion that are so filled with Hunter hate because of minimum range.  I've stopped trying to even get the wind at my back against the dragon in VP.  Not worth the effort with him having such a huge hit box.  Sure, I can easily get the wind at my back... and melee him.  That is just one of many fights that really suck for Hunters now.  Just remove minimum range and it fixes PvP and does not hinder Hunters in a way that no other class has to deal with any more.

Life Grip

Also known as Leap of Faith.  I have a guild mate that hates it.  Refuses to use it.  So be it.  He is the one that will end up subject to wipes because he refuses to use all the tools at his disposal.  I used to twice this weekend to save a wipe and saw it used on another person to save their butt once this weekend.

The tank got stuck in BRC and could not get the boss from the center.  The AoE was going to kill us.  I made the split second decision to either try and heal through it or force the boss from the center.  I life gripped the tank to me and now that he was so far away the boss moved from the center and I was able to heal everyone up and the boss died shortly after.  Sure, it was partly the tanks fault for not moving him out enough.  He was doing little steps and that was not enough.  I just did not want a repair bill for no reason.

Second time in BRC and another tank mistake.  They did not realize that the boss was not taking damage any more.  The debuff had fallen off.  I was on the other side of the fire.  I gripped the tank through the fire, the boss followed, was dead as soon as it entered the fire.  It only had 50K life left to start with.

Another time on the last boss of VP a shaman was lagging and could not get into the triangle.  The healer dragged their ass there.  Another life saved by life grip.

Life Grip... not just for saving stupid DPS any more.

Paladin Healers

Paladins seem to be the only healing class not dying from mana starvation every time they turn around.  Don't worry, blizzard is going to fix that.  They are raising the mana costs of paladin spells.  Come on now.  How about lowering the costs of the other healers spells instead of raising the cost of the paladin ones?  Did someone in the blizzard offices notice it and say, oops, we forgot to break paladins and then the boss yelled out, break them now, we can't have people actually enjoying healing without worrying about mana every second of every fight.

Tab Targeting

Have you ever brutally wiped in a normal?  I mean wiping to the point where you did not stand a chance?  I wiped in VP, on trash, when I was tanking and even if I was fully raid geared and everyone in my group was fully raid geared, we would have never survive the pull.

It was the pull before the dragon guy.  I bring the mobs down marked.  Get my threat lead on the skull and start to tab along to get a few hits on the others.  Either me or someone else in the group, we do not know for sure, seemed to have tabbed to the boss up on the top.  Yes, the one all the way up there.  We aggro the boss.  The boss does not like people that are not on his platform.  He one shots everyone.  Took him two shots for me.  Either way, we wiped brutally because of the stupid tab targeting.  It was quite funny however.

Hard Mode Normals

There is a boss in normals that is harder then on heroics.  Or at least you can make it that way.  Take a marginally geared group, one good enough to blow through normals with no CC and limited healing needed but not quite heroic geared, or even close to heroic geared at best.

Now get into BRC.  Pull all the pups before Beauty and then grab runty from around back.  Kill runty and then let the fun begin.

500% increased damage.  150% attack speed increase.  150% movement speed increase.  Immune to taunts.

Holy crap Beauty does not like people that kill runty.  We attempted it for fun.  We died over and over.  Even tried it with two tanks and three healers.  Still wiped.  I could take three hits before I died which was workable but when beauty charges someone it can kill them or come close to killing them.  And if I happen to lose my treat lead then whoever gets beauty's attention is dead.  One shot dead.  Not even a prayer of survival.  I can't taunt back. 

You pass me on aggro, you die. I am going to bring new people I am training into here to teach them to watch their threat once I gear up enough to take a little bit more then 3 shots from beauty.  It would be a perfect teaching tool for new raiders that have issues watching their threat.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The PuG Dream Team Pt. 2

Yesterday did not start out like it would be a good day.  Entered the queue for a heroic and went digging.  I accomplished a lot yesterday with all my digging, up to 99/100 common and 15/20 rare now, but that is another story.

I enter Shadowfang Keep and say to myself, self, lets see who has interrupts here.  Knowing that the first boss is the only real issue in this instance and then the rest is basically a cake walk.  From looking around it seems we will not have any problems.  I do my thing and set the tank as my focus which is my habit for every dungeon I do.  The only time I do anything different is when I am the tank.  Then I set the healer as my focus.

No sooner am I done doing that the tank drops group.  Then the healer follow suit.  Neither says a word.  I hate people like that.  At least say something like I hate this one, sorry, and then drop.  Give us something even if it is a complete line of bull.

The three DPS enter again and start to wait.  About 10 minutes later one of the DPS gives up and drops.  About 5 more minutes later we get a group and someone declines from the get go and then the other DPS leaves.  Back into another 45 minute queue for me.  This is not looking good.

I go back to digging until my dungeon pops and I see it is throne of tides.  I really hate those hallways but over all it is an easy dungeon if people know what to do.  Apparently this crew knew what to do.

We blow through the thing.  The tank marks and I trap, the mage sheeps and the shaman frogs.  Everyone on the fly, everyone with out saying a word.  They all know to wait for my trap to drop.  They all focus on the right targets, they all do exceptional DPS.

First boss.  Ready check.  Everyone is okay.  We pull, no issues, dead boss.  Next boss the tank says, time walk on this one.  The mage says okay.  17K DPS for me.  I like that boss, so easy.  He never even gets to drop a forth circle we down him so fast.  The other two DPS do 14K and 15K respectively and the tank is even pulling 8K.

Hallways... no problem.  Tank dies on one of the goblin pulls but we down everything anyway.  Rare to see that done without the tank dying at least once so that is acceptable.  Ready check, everyone ready, dead boss.

Last boss, down adds with ease.  Even have to sit and wait for more to come they are down so fast.  When the funneler guys come out we all target the same one.  We all move together as a unit.  Wow, stuff like this only happens in guild runs.  We down everything nice and easy.  60K DPS from the lowest, the tank, on the last boss.  Last boss goes down so quick we bugged it out.

Yeap, the last boss can be bugged if you down it to fast.  We lost the buff for more damage, but the boss is gone and we are all still taking AoE damage.  It takes about 4 or 5 seconds before the game catches up to the fact the boss is dead and the dungeon complete thing pops up.  Oh well, we rez the two people that ended up dying, say thanks for the group and all go about our day.

Less then 30 minutes, everyone did more than 10K over all and exceptionally better on bosses, no problems, no brbs, no needing to stop to explain every little thing.  No arguing over who traps what and how to do it.

Doing a random with a group of people that actually knows how to play is pure heaven.  I wish I could get more groups like this.  This has only been the second super star run I have been on.  I wish there were more.  I would gladly pay 100g each time I entered a random to have a group like this.

There are always horror stories about the LFD that I find it fun to post one that is not a horror story.  I will admit however, I love reading about peoples horror stories.  I am sure most people actually do and I am not the only one.  It is nice to know that you are not alone.  Maybe you will not be alone and get a run like this one today.  Good luck.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Avoidable Damage and You!

Don't Stand In The Fire.

Okay, I'm done. 

Is that all blizzard seems to think avoidable damage is?  That is all they ever have in their rotating helpful tips with concern to avoidable damage.  The sad part is that most players in the game seem to think that if they do not stand in the fire/void zone/freezing circle/etc that they are doing their job by avoiding avoidable damage.  They are wrong.

Avoidable damage is way more then just moving from the fire.  There are other forms of avoidable damage that people do not even consider as being avoidable.

1) Don't stand in the fire.
- This should go without being said.  It is the cardinal rule of avoidable damage. If it is under you and it is doing damage, unless you are rooted, move.

2) Avoiding Damage > Mechanics sometimes.
- I'm looking at you VP.  Wind at your back = Good thing.  Taking 100K damage to get the wind at your back = Bad thing.  Less DPS is okay sometimes.  So you do not get to flex your epeen on this fight if you get unlucky.  Don't worry, you will live, I promise.

3) Aggro is not your friend.
- Taking aggro from the tank is avoidable damage, don't think otherwise.  You can avoid getting aggro by getting omen and actually using it.  As ranged I do not grab aggro until 130% and I still set it at 80% warning.  Remember, you can always just stop attacking for a few seconds.  It will help.

4) Move before the fire is under your feet.
- There are many things you can see coming.  The spike on mini marrowgar, the stone spikes from the earth elemental, the fire spout from the fire elemental, all in HoO for example.  You can see them happening before they actually happen.  You do not have to wait until there is fire under you to move.  You can move before the fire gets there if you know it is coming.

5) Avoid Debuffs
- Not all damage is damage in the form of a number.  Some bosses do things that have effects that are not numbers but can hurt a lot in the long run.  Static cling on the last boss in VP.  Casting speed debuffs on the second boss in GB.  Pay attention to those things and avoid them by jumping (VP) or moving (GB).

6) Haul Ass
- Forget DPS.  Sometimes you just need to worry about running.  GB, 3rd boss, run or die.  It is as avoidable as avoidable gets.  No need to try to get in one more shot.

7) Mechanics
- Sometimes just knowing what to expect is enough to avoid everything.  If you have never done a boss and do not want to admit it say brb 1 minute in chat open a browser and take a quick look.  Reading is never as good as doing but at least you now have an idea what is coming. 

Avoidable damage is not always just about damage you avoid personally.

1) Interrupts
- Anything that can be interrupted is avoidable damage.  Interrupting helps the tank and other avoid damage.

2) Stuns
- Something stunned can not do damage.  Easy to avoid damage when something isn't doing damage.

3) Slows
- Slowing down one of the mobs heading for the tank is almost like CC.  A few extra seconds where the tank is taking 3 people hitting them instead of 4 is a good thing.

4) CC
- I think I mentioned something about being easy to avoid damage when something isn't doing damage didn't I?

If you do a heroic and do everything in your power to avoid damage and to help others avoid damage you can take a hard dungeon and turn it into a laughfest. 

The biggest difference between guild runs (which everyone has no problems with) and pugs (which seem to be a world of hell) is people avoiding (or not avoiding) avoidable damage.

I can tell you from my recent experiences healing that people that do not avoid damage make a healers life a living hell and basically doom a run for failure. 

Last night doing GB is the perfect example.  Wiped a ton on it but did not give up.  Every time someone got hit by blitz, we ended up wiping.  Every time the tank did not get out of the ground siege, we ended up wiping.  Every time the purple throgg was not under control, we wiped. 

When we went through it and the throgg was controlled and no one got hit by the blitz and the tank avoided the siege we walked through it as if it was nothing.  They are all thing we all knew to do.  They are all things we all tried to do.  When we did not do them and took all that avoidable damage we wiped.  When we did do them and avoided all avoidable damage it was a breeze.

Remember next time that avoidable damage isn't only about the fire on the ground, there is much more to it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hits and Misses in the LFD

So yesterday I got online and started to do some digging after I queued up for a dungeon.  This is the second day in a row I took off from dailies again.  They are mind numbing to say the least.  I keep having to take a break from them because they are flat out boring.  Not sure what is different between the LK dailies and these but the LK dailies, while repetitive, where not as dreadful as the Cataclysm ones it feels.

After 46 minutes I finally get into a dungeon that is in progresses.  Never know what to expect with one of these.  It is HoO and we are at the start of the hall to the 3rd (2nd if you are skipping mini marrowgar) boss.  We are just standing there.  All the members are there.  They are all buffed. Full health.  Full mana.  Why are we not moving?

Five minutes in and a conversation begins something like this.

Tank: Can you just drop group.
Healer:  No.
DPS: You only have 74K mana.
Tank: Then just log off for a minute, we will kick you and it will not lock us from kicking someone else.
Healer:  No, just go.
Tank: You can't heal this.  Just leave already.

This was getting annoying.  I had to say something but as always I try to be polite.  They got the first boss down.  If this healer was with them on that boss and they did it then nothing else should be much of a problem with exception of the few AoE heavy moments.

Me: I healed this yesterday on my Shaman and it only has 64K mana and worse heals then a paladin.
Tank:  You just shut up, we are not moving anywhere until the healer leaves and you are going to wait.

I just drop group.  I could have tired to kick the tank but I just walked in.  I do not know if the healer had done something stupid or was a jerk or anything.  I can not really make a judgment on if the healer deserved to be kicked based on attitude or performance.  Based on the mana comment I figure it was a performance thing. Either way I will not stay around and be verbally abused by some little boy that probably doesn't even have hair on his balls yet and thinks that he is an internet tough guy. 

Anyone on the internet that comes off with an attitude like that tank in a public setting is usually a miserable person in real life.  Either an adult that gets crap all day at work or home and has to act tough to make themselves feel better or a kid that is the mega geek that gets his ass kicked by everyone at school, even the girly girls that are three grades lower then him.  So when I see an internet tough guy I feel pity for them and just leave them be.  These people are also, 95% of the time, hard core PvPers as well.  Best way to compensate for real life being so horrible, beat on other people online. 

That holds true all over the internet.  There is a study about it that proves that the more abusive people are to others under the cover of anonymity the higher the likelihood is that they are abused in some why in real life, be it physical, mental or social.  Next time you see a person like that, rude and abusive, in a dungeon, do not get angry but instead feel bad for them.

I think I have experienced that myself more then a few times.  While I am always polite I've been known to throw out an insult in public sometimes and it just so happens that those days there is usually something bugging me.  I guess with these horrible dungeons I should be rude more often.  Maybe I am trying to earn my sainthood by not going off on some of these people in these dungeons.  They really do deserve it.  I just am not the type to tell them they are bad unless I can offer a suggestion to get better and my suggestion of learn your class and gear up before entering heroics sounds rude in the ears of bad players, so I don't say it.

Back to the story at hand.  I figure I will have the deserter debuff but look to queue up again and notice I have a 6 minute wait.  Wow, no deserter debuff, just the normal 15 minutes between being allowed to queue again.  I did stand there for 9 minutes waiting for this tank to do something.  I guess they really did not want to run a dungeon.

I start digging again and forget to queue up again after the 6 minutes.  So that is another 30 minutes lost before I notice it.  I queue up again and go back to digging.  42 minutes later I pop into another dungeon.  It does not say dungeon in progress but apparently it is. 

I am standing at the top of the stairs before the first boss in SFK.  Okay, this is really the hardest boss in this dungeon so it might be an issue but at least if we get past it I know the rest of the dungeon is no problem.  We have a warrior DPS, a DK tank and a Mage.  No problems with interrupts here.  This should not be a problem.

We spend 18 minutes.  Yes, that is right, 18 minutes with all these people discussing interrupt duties.  I am not kidding.  I popped a flask as soon as I came in and we did not pull until I had 42 minutes left on it. The tank keeps saying, Hunter you interrupt the mend rotten flesh and I keep saying, I do not have an interrupt in this spec.  This goes on a few times and each time I correct him.  He then says, okay then, tranq shot the mend rotten flesh.  Um, okay, not really sure it will help, but if you really want me to okay.  Tranq removes a magic or enrage effect, it is not an interrupt.  If mend rotten flesh put a HoT on him then tranq would work.

Guess what we got?  A DK tank that says it is his job to tank, not interrupt.  A warrior that has no clue what pummel is.  Being I am a hunter I know nothing about warriors of course right?  A mage that has his counter spell with the long cool down so he can only get 1 thing during the fight.  You are kidding me.  It is a 24 second CD.  I've seen that fight last 6 minutes.  There are more then enough things you can interrupt. Either way, the warrior and the DK should have all interrupts covered. 

First try, one of those 6 minute fights, almost 7 minutes actually before we wipe. The guy is not going down because no one is interrupting the mend rotten flesh.  When we finally do get to the dark angel phase the healer apparently thinks it is better to waste the mana keeping the other two DPS up and letting me die.

Lets do some math here.  I am doing 15K on that boss.  The mage is doing 5K.  The warrior is doing 5K.  So you, the healer, would rather spend the mana on two people, meaning twice the mana, to keep 10K DPS alive then spend the mana on one person, meaning half the mana, to keep up 15K DPS?  Just keep me, the tank and you up and this fight is done in 20 seconds.  But nooooooo.  That would have made sense.  Let the only person doing more DPS then the tank die.  How did that work for you?

Next try I say, I'll switch specs.  I switch to MM with my 20 second silence shot cool down and interrupt mend rotten flesh each time it pops.  It is not even close to being tight.  The mage with their 24 second CD counter spell could have easily handled it.

We get to the same point and this time the healer seemed to learn from their mistake.  I am at 100% life through the whole dark angel phase.  We down the boss.  I did less DPS as MM of course, only 12K but still more then both other DPS combined.

So now we are about 35 minutes into this heroic and we finally get the first boss down.  We are talking that I have been playing 3+ hours and all I got was one boss down that means nothing to me.  I do not need any heroic gear and I've been capped on JP so long I do not remember when the last time I needed them was.

I switch back to SV and we move along.  Every pack of mobs gets marked with a square and a diamond.  Trap square and sting diamond.  Every... freaking... pull.  Only 3 mobs.  Trap one and sting one and we will take them one at a time.  Is this really needed.  Each of the mobs goes down in roughly 5 seconds.  The healer is seemingly at 100% mana all the time.  You can take on 2 mobs at the same time Mr. Tank.  This might amaze you, but some tanks even take on 3 mobs at once.  I know.  Amazing right.

One good thing is that we make it through the run with no more wipes. Everything is slow but smooth.  Even springvale is easy and that one is usually a killer in most pugs.

We get to the last boss and we wipe because the mage starts attacking as the boss is coming down the stairs to be positioned by the tank.  No problem, I am a hunter.  FD, so I do not die.

Second attempt, same result.  This time the wipe is because for some odd reason the boss turns and pistols everyone killing 3 people.  I run up the stairs and FD.  It is a wipe, but it is a good day to be a hunter again.

Third try goes a little better but the mage, who was told to cure curses, doesn't, and we wipe.  Or as the pattern has been, they wipe.  I FD.

Forth attempt.  They remind the mage to cure the curse.  I make a gentle reminder that the spell can be interrupted.  Just interrupt it and it is not an issue.  Apparently they do not have any interrupts in this group.  Oh yeah, I should have remembered this from the first boss.  DK's, warriors and mages have no interrupts.  Remember that next time you are in a dungeon so you do not act like an idiot like I did and think they they do have interrupts.  I was so wrong it seems, they do not have interrupts.

We do a little better this time around, almost get it done even.  Wipe again, this time it gets me too but in all fairness to my FD, I never used it.  I tried kiting him between platforms when everyone went down.  For any hunter, that is an amazing way to solo this fight.  Just have to do it better then I did.  I fell off and I was no longer a grumpy elf, I was a dead elf.  If you are capable of making the jump however, you can bounce from one end to the other.  He will have to go down to the ground to run around.  When he runs around, you jump back, he goes back down to run, continue until he is dead.

That was close, it was only the second time I died.  Over all, not so bad.  With exception to the fact that it has now been more then 4 hours since I started my quest to get my valor for the day.  I figure, one more attempt.  If we miss it again I will switch to MM and do the interrupts myself.  Why is it that every dungeon I am in I have to do everything myself?  Does anyone know how to play this game?

We get it done nice and easy this time.  Cool.  I finally get my JP.

Now I was going to switch to my healer and get my healers JP.  Usually I do a guild run with my healer but a tank that is gearing up and does not know the dungeons asked if I could go with him and explain the dungeon along the way to help him out.  No problem.  I am a team player.  My healer will live without a run.  I need to go on my hunter, that way I assure that we have some good CC and some good DPS to help him out.

One other guild member that is gearing up joins, her DPS will be low, we know that.  We queue up and get HoO.  I remember this place, hours ago I was here standing there waiting for some idiot tank to start pulling.

The run went smooth.  We never wiped, we downed things with efficiency and had a healer that was geared and knew what they were doing and another DPS that was capable of pulling 12K.  The first ret pally I have ever seen that pulled over 5K.  Maybe ret isn't in that bad of shape as it seems.  Maybe most of the people that play it just really suck that badly.  This guy rocked.  Even came close to beating me on a few fights and that is no easy task when it comes to boss fights usually.

None of the fights go on long enough for anything bad to really happen.  Last boss was a pip.  I did 17K the pally did 12K and the tag along DPS from guild pulled 7K.  These types of numbers through the whole dungeon made for a fast run.  A fast run in HoO is still an hour and a half however when you do all the bosses like we did.

This meant that I spent 6 hours on WoW today for just my VP.  Nothing else.  Sure I helped a tank out in the guild but it feels like I wasted my entire day playing for nothing.  I should have not even logged on.  The only time I spend that much time in game is when I am raiding that day.  It should not be 6 hours of work to get just 70 VP.  And the other run where I helped there was nothing what so ever for me.

Blizzard needs to put something into heroics for people like me, people that really have no need to run them, people that are an asset to them, people that make the run easier for everyone else.  This coming update where you can buy junk for huge amounts of JP is not worth it.  Let us buy orbs (non BoP ones), Pristine Hide, Maelstrom's, things like that.  Let those be things we can buy with JP and you will get people like me, people that make those runs go nicely, to run them more often which in turn will make it easier on other players working on gearing up

In all truth, do you think the SFK run I was in, where I was the only one CCing and pulling more then 50% of total damage, more then the 2 DPS and the tank combined,  would have ever finished without me or someone like me? 

Nope, those 4 players would have died lots and lots, dropped groups, got fed up with the game, never gotten their JPs or VPs, and maybe, just maybe, had it be the straw that broke the camels back and quit the game because they could not get a dungeon finished.  With me there, the dungeon was a breeze.  With another DPS that was their equal in skill level it would have meant an unfinished dungeon and 4 unhappy players.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Theory of Hybrid Tax

I had an argument with some guild mates, some agreed with me, some did not, about hybrids and if there should be a hybrid tax.  We all have our own opinion but as the saying goes, but mine is right.

I am a firm believer that there should be a hybrid tax.  Always have been since I first heard of it and always will think so.  There is no reason there should not be.

In theory the hybrid tax is meant to be 3%-5% of maximum theoretical DPS.  3%-5% is minimal at best.  This is what people are complaining about really.  That is roughly equivalent to going to the store and you were supposed to get a 1.09 change and the person gives you 1.08 change.  We are only talking about a penny here.  A theoretical penny at that, not even a real penny.

Why are people that are so against the hybrid tax all so think headed that they rage whenever a pure class talks about it?  They come up with arguments like "But I am DPS and should do the same DPS" or "I can't tank because I am not speced for it so I should not have to deal with a hybrid tax".

The funny part is that if the healer goes down, a good shadow priest will throw off some heals to try to save the group.  Wait a second here, I thought you where not a hybrid?

The funny part is that if the tank goes down, a good feral druid will switch to bear and try to tank for that last 3% of the boss.  Wait a second here, I thought you were not a hybrid?

This is why those hybrid classes saying "but we are DPS we should not have a hybrid tax" are as full of crap as your standard congressman.  Nothing they say is to be believed.  They just want the best of both worlds and do not understand there needs to be some sort of balance.

However, they are missing the real point of what a hybrid is.  It is only a small part that a shadow priest can throw a heal if needed.  It is only a small part that a cat can play bear for a while.  It is about the fact that they can have two different types of specs that to two completely different things.  That is what makes them a hybrid.

They can heal or DPS at will.  They can tank or DPS at will.  Both with full and complete ability.  A rogue is a melee DPS, even if he switches specs between fights he is still only a melee DPS.  A hunter is ranged DPS, even if he switches specs between fights he is still only a ranged DPS.  Sure, a hunter can pet tank for a short time and a rogue can evasion tank for a short time but neither can ever actually tank straight out.  They do not have a spec for it.

The hybrid that people talk about in hybrid tax is that you can switch specs.  Not that you can do some other things with minor effectiveness while in your DPS spec.

Take the ICC daily when you had to have another person tank Donavan.  Hey there Mr. DK, can you switch to your tank spec and tank him in the back of the room.  Okay.  That is a hybrid.  How about dreamwalker?  Even an average group needed a third healer on that fight.  Hey there Mr. Shaman, can you go resto for this fight.  Sure.  That is what people talk about with why there should be a hybrid tax.

Lets say you have a resto shaman healing and a shadow priest DPSing and a certain fight would be easier on a holy priest, they can switch rolls because they are hybrids.  They bring more to the table.  They give the raid leader the ability to choose the perfect breakdown for a fight.

This is why hybrids should have a tax.  As a raid leader myself, given the option and all things being equal, I would never have any pure DPS in my raids.  Sad part is I am a pure, so I would have to kick myself out.

Having more ability to rearrange the crew based on the fight is sometimes very important.

Warrior: Tank / Melee DPS
Paladin: Tank / Melee DPS
Paladin: Healer / Melee DPS
Paladin: Tank / Healer
Druid: Tank / Ranged DPS
Druid: Tank / Melee DPS
Druid: Healer / Ranged DPS
Druid: Healer / Melee DPS
Druid: Tank / Healer
Druid: Ranged DPS / Melee DPS
Priest: Healer / Range DPS
Shaman: Healer / Range DPS
Shaman: Healer / Melee DPS
Shaman: Melee DPS / Range DPS
Death Knight: Tank / Melee DPS

I count that I would have 15 people for 10 raid spots to start off with.  Just in hybrids.  All of these people offer flexability so if we are having issues with a boss we can switch tactics easily.  Add more Melee, add more ranged, add another tank, add another healer.  I can fill my raid with just these combos alone.  If they are all equally capable of DPS as pure DPS classes then where is there any argument to bring a pure DPS class?

The only thing I can see where pures have an advantage is in CC or threat management.  Not that hybrids are useless in CC but over all nothing can ever beat a hunters trap.

The only argument I see there is that one ranged DPS might be a nice addition so you do not have to have 2 of the same type as ranged.  So that might get a Mage, Warlock or Hunter the occasional spot if someone is doing something that might want more ranged.  So where does that leave the Rogue? Five of the six classes that are hybrids can melee DPS.  Why would you ever want to carry more?  Rogues have to take the long trip hope because they just got their bus pass taken away.  There is no reason to invite one at all.

Are you aware how they will most likely decide on which ranged to take, with all things being equal of course?  Who offers the best little extra.  The mage can port us home after and brings food.  The warlock has candy and can summon.  The hunter really only brings some CC and MD which for a raid isn't as needed.  So it is a mage or a lock that will be coming along.  If anything.

So, with all things being equal, pure DPS really get the shaft.

The people that argue against the hybrid tax will say, but if I do 5% less DPS they will take a pure over me.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Do you have a healing offspec?  Then you just earned your spot.  Do you have a tanking offspec?  Then you just earned your spot.  You, as a hybrid, can offer 1000 times more then 5% DPS equals in the end.  In the end, if you are missing an enrage timer it will not be that you needed that 5% extra damage, it will be that your entire group probably needed it.

And lets go back to the hybrid tax being a theoretical maximum potential. 

Lets say my maximum potential is 20K and the 5% less feral druids is 19K.

If I am working at 80% of my maximum potential it would mean I am doing 16000 DPS.  (This is a very generous number too, most players will never even come close to approaching 70% of the maximum potential.) Lets us say the person that plays the druid is a better player then I am.  He is playing at 85% of his maximum potential then he is doing 16150 DPS which is oddly more then I would be.

Do you see now that it is skill that will make up that 5%.  Add to the fact that druid can drop a tranquility if there is an emergency need for it.  They can drop a battle rez if needed.  They can switch to tank spec on the next fight. 

So hybrids that are against the tax, but want to keep all their other goodies, are being selfish.  There is a way to fix that.  When you are in feral spec you should not have access to any healing spells or rebirth or even bear, you get to choose one, bear or cat, not both.  Then, you would be a pure DPS while in feral spec.  Until that point comes, and it won't ever come, then you are a hybrid.  As such, a 3%-5% theoretical max difference should not be a problem.

Remember, game designers said they want to keep all specs within 1%-2% of each other which basically means the hybrid tax would then become a 1%-3% theoretical maximum DPS difference.

Personally, on my hunter, I would gladly give away 3% to have some extra tools.  Lets say you give me a revive for 1% and give me a small selections of heals for another 1% and then add the ability to get instant query for the random dungeon by being able to be a tank for the other 1%.

Yes please.  I, as a hunter, love the hybrid tax and I want the hybrid tax for myself.  Can I have my revive, heals and tanking spec now and you can take 3% of my DPS.

Hybrid tax should be in the game.  It has a place.  It has a reason.  It just needs to be a hell of a lot higher then it was (is, being some people swear it is still in game).  3% less damage for having so many other abilities is not really what someone could call a balanced system.

I would love to see it one way or the other.  Put the hybrid tax back in and make it much heftier then it was originally intended or give me my new abilities.  Given the option, I'll take the abilities. 

I can always get better at playing my class to make up for the 5% I lost by being a hybrid.  I can't heal unless they give it to me.  The choice is easy.  I'll take the tax and healing ability please.

Healed My First Heroic

I finally healed my first heroic, and then a second and a third as well.  I was very excited that I was able to do it on my Shaman as well being I just started learning how to heal on my Shaman the week before and only just started getting gear for it.

Shaman healing is easier then other healers I have tried (with all due knowledge of the fact I've never healed top level on a pally).  The ease however seems to be in direct connection to the power of the heals.  My Disc Priest, in lesser gear seems to top out at 40K crits with her big heal.  My Shaman's big heal might hit 22K in better gear.  So while the Shaman is easier it is also the most dependent on outside factors.

That basically means the DPS.  With good DPS taking no avoidable damage I have faith that my Shaman can heal anything.  As soon as DPS start to take any avoidable damage, it all does down hill from there.

My first heroic was Deadmines.  That was supposed to be the hardest of the new instances. You are kidding right?  I healed it with a group where no one that was in it ever finished it.  We wiped once because no one seemed Ready for Raiding on the first boss.  Second time we did it and everyone stayed away from the beam it was no problem.  That was our only wipe.  I guess it helped that it was a full guild run too.  Can't discount that plus at all.

I lost a few people here and there.  It happens, even more so when someone grabs aggro and does nothing about trying to lose it.  They get killed, there is not much you can say about that. 

I've been trying to impose my feelings on DPS taking less damage to fellow guild members for a while.  That is what this expansion is about.  Some get it.  Some don't.  Like a Druid in the guild has learned to use Bear when he is in trouble.  It is not perfect, but healing a bear is a lot easier then healing a cat.  When he would get aggro and stay as cat he would normally die.  Now that he switches to bear and tries to get some distance he is living a lot more.  Not to mention that a bear/cat or a cat/bear can still do some serious DPS.

The basic idea is that if DPS are smart DPS, good DPS, then healing is a breeze.  If DPS are selfish DPS then things get hard.  Any class and spec combo that has an assessable interrupt and does not use it is a bad DPS.  One of the reasons I hate survival is because it does not have an interrupt but if I am in a dungeon where one is needed I still have my MM spec to switch to and will.  Main reason for that is it makes the healers life easier which means less of a chance to wipe which in turn makes my life easier.

The reason Deamines was such a breeze is because in reality, even if everyone says how hard it is, there is nothing special about that dungeon.  It is all simple mechanics.  Move from the bad and switch to the adds and everything is nice and easy.

My second heroic was Lost City.  That was a bit harder.  Wiped on trash like three times but that is not a bad three times, that is a humorous three times.  All of them where whoops moments.  Kind of our own fault too. 

We had one whoops moment that went very well too.  Accidentally pulled a pack for 4 before CC could be applied, then moved to much to one side and 4 more joined the fight only to be joined later by another 2.  It was crazy.  I hexed on the fly so I could keep one caster that did not want to join the fun out of the fun.  Hey, you do not want to come play with the pack then you can not play, go be a frog.  The most amazing part of it was we did not wipe there.  Oh well, stranger things have happened.

The last boss was hell.  I just could not heal it.  I do not think it was a gear issue.  Most of my gear is 333s now.  One 316 and one 312 along with one 346.  So it was not a gear issue.  It was a skill issue.  On everyone part, not just mine.  We wiped like 6 or 7 times I think, hell, could have been more.  One attempt everyone did everything right.  I entered the main part of the battle at 100% mana almost.  I could have done it but during the main part no one switched to adds and the chain lightnings started ripping us up and there was no way I could keep up. 

I made the mistake of trying to interrupt the chain lightnings myself.  Not a great idea if no one is on the adds.  That made them come right after me and focus on me.  Healer with aggro and no one else seems to want = wipe.  There is really nothing else to say there.

Another time, someone was standing in the swirly thing and I made the mistake of trying to heal them hoping they would move.  They did not move, they died, it ate way to much of my mana trying to save them.  Wipe.  I could blame them for not moving but I blame me for being stupid enough to heal them. 

I have this image in my head of Winnie the Pooh tapping his head saying... think... think... think.
Then I picture my Shaman doing the exact same thing tapping her head saying... let... them... die.

After 4 wipes one of the DPS with an offspec of healing, even if not very good gear, switch to help on the heals.  The beginning part they healed mostly.  I threw my heals out as well, but only the cost effective ones.  We went into the end of the first part with me at full mana.  The other healer went oom pretty quick there being they were at one third mana to begin with entering it.  Remember, their healing gear kind of sucked and the mana cost of spells now a days is not very friendly to healer starting to gear up.  However, that took more then enough pressure off me for two reason.  I did not have to worry about keeping them up at all and I was at full mana entering that phase.  Still, DPS were not going for the adds so it started to be insanely taxing really fast.  However, being I had full mana going into and everyone entered that phase at full health it we made it.  Wow.  That was stressful.

Looking back at it however.  I think with people doing the right thing I would have been able to heal it.  Switch to adds, stay out of the swirls.  That is all people need to do and healing it would be easy.  One time, when the second healer was not helping, we made it to the second part with me at full mana before.  That time, everyone stayed out of the swirls and killed the adds.  I think I could have solo healed it that time if only people had switched to adds in the second phase.  When they did not, that is when things went out of whack.

I do love being a healer with an interrupt however.  When you notice that your DPS is not getting the job done, you can do it yourself.  Having 2 situational CCs and an interrupt is amazing for a healer.  If only the Shaman could reach the numbers my Priest could then she would rule the healing world I think.  On a side note, for fun I got kingslayer on my Priest this weekend too.  Not like you would ever catch me dead wearing that title.

I do think that Shaman healing is a bit broken.  So much so that when on my Enhancement spec if I pop a chain heal to help the healer out whenever I get my free proc it can heal for 10K per jump.  Same as my healer does.  That brings up another subject that I rage about often too.  Where the hell is the hybrid tax when my DPS spec can heal for the same that healing spec can?  Something is wrong there.  Either the DPS heals need to be toned down, which I hope not, or the healing heals need to be beefed up, which I think would be the right move.

Halls of Origination came next.  I remember my last attempt at healing this on heroic.  I could not make it past the first boss.  Not much in terms of gear difference from then to now.  Upgraded my shield from a 316 to a 346.  That is it.  The big difference is about 5 or 6 normals under my belt before doing it again.  I learned how to be a shaman healer better in that time.  One attempt and the boss was down.  Woot!.  We actually finished the instance too.  Did not do two of the bosses up top because of time issues but still finished it out.  The last bosses AoE was a little rough on me. 

The boss after all the elementals did abuse me some as well and can be thanked for 3 wipes but that was more of a DPS issue then a healing issue.  Pretty hard to keep everyone up when the debuff has the tanks health at only 42K max and everyone else is sitting around 20K health.  I had no buffer to heal them.  If I kept AoE heals up, one shot on the tank would kill him.  If I kept on the tank the AoE would kill everyone else.  Two of the three wipes where really close.  One he was only at 16K when we wiped.  How horrible is that?

Over all, the DPS was horrible that run.  Each person was doing around 7K when I know they are all capable of so much more.  That made the dungeon hard for sure but we got it done in the end.  It was not easy at all but it was doable. That could be a huge factor is me having some of my healing issues. 

When I fight goes on longer then it has to... healing gets harder.
When people do not move from the bad stuff... healing gets harder.
When the DPS do not switch to adds... healing gets harder.
When no one bothers to interrupt the big spells... healing gets harder.

This group had low DPS, people taking to long to move, DPS not switching fast enough and big spells going off all the time.  In turn, that made my life hell.  So maybe I did better then I give myself credit for.  I still do not think I did well however.  There are many things I can improve on and I will in time.  It was a great learning experience and I was happy to have had it.

Most of the time learning in a situation like that makes you better.  Anyone can heal a perfect crew with perfect execution.  There is no room to learn when doing that because you can over heal, use cost ineffective spells and basically go hog wild but because things go down so fast it does not matter.  You can't learn like that.  These runs left me a ton of room to learn.  Oddly enough, I look forward to running again with my Shaman.  I am already sick and tried of these dungeons on my Hunter.

While my Hunter has mastered the execution of all the dungeons already and just wants his 70 valor and is screaming for a nerf so I do not have to waste 2 hours of my life every day my Shaman is really enjoying them.  I guess it comes from a stand point that my Shaman has things to gain from them whereas my Hunter does not.

There should be 2 sets of heroics.  One for people who need to gear up and one for people who have already geared up.  If every item in every slot is over 346 (not that retarded item level crap) then you get into a nerfed to hell version where you can get in and get out and just get your valor points.  If all items in all slots is not at least a 346 you get the normal heroics that are still hard and you still need to work on mechanics.

That would be the perfect way.  It lets the people that are done with heroics still get their valor and not have to waste all day in fail groups that have no clue how to play and it lets the people that need to learn, learn. 

So far however, everything I have heard about Shaman healing seems to be true.  It is easy.  With the right group it is very effective.  A little boost due to the fact that 90% of the player base sucks and you will need to compensate for that would be nice however.  I can't wait to see what it is like when I am actually geared and gemmed and enchanted correctly.  I think with practice I will be a better resto shaman then I am an enhancement shaman.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dungeons are Hard? A Response.

I must first start by saying I personally do not believe dungeons are hard.  There were indeed challenging when everyone in the group was item level 329 and none of us had done the encounters before.  They were not impossible, they were just challenging.

Our friendly neighborhood Ghostcrawler made a rather good post here that addressed the whole dungeons are hard argument that has been and continues to be all over the net on every wow related site and the topic of choice on the main wow forums.

There are usually two sides to the argument.  The, they are too hard side and the, learn to play side.  They are both right.  They are indeed to hard.  When you are with a group that does not know what they are doing they are amazingly hard.  Sometimes even with a capable group they can be hard. (bad connection, undergeared, etc) What changes it from being hard is a learn to play issue.

Example.  First boss in GB heroic.  I wiped on it five time in the first group I was in.  It broke up.  A couple of days later I wiped on it three more times before the group gave up.  It was just too damn hard.  The next day I went with a guild tank that was on the PTR and he told me, just trap the purple guy and this will be easy, he never respawns if he is not killed.  Wow, I did not know he could be trapped.  Guess what, I just had my learn to play moment.

So I trapped the guy and guess what.  We wiped two more times because the healer died to the blitz both times.  I guess it was the healers turn to have his learn to play moment.

The healer left because "you are taking too much damage, I can't heal you thought it." and just dropped.  I wish he had stayed for a second so I could have responded.  Yeah, it is really hard to heal when you are always face first in the pavement because you refuse to move.

We got another healer that, guess what, didn't know how to play either.  The tank asked them, do you know the fight and the healer said, yes, just move from the charge.  Healer still got hit by it, not once, not twice, but three times before they dropped.

Next healer must have had their learn to play moment in a previous run because they came in and we one shot it.  I trapped the mob (which I learned from my learn to play moment) and the healer and everyone else moved from the blitz.

So that is how heroics are both hard and also a learn to play moment.  They are hard until you learn the do them.  There is nothing actively difficult about side stepping the blitz and there is nothing amazing difficult about trapping the purple guy.  Yes, I understand some groups will not have a trap, which is the best CC in the world for that, but the concept is still the same.

Ghostcrawler goes into the idea that they want heroics to be a challenge, and they are at first and I really like(d) that.  What Ghostcrawler and the rest of the Blizzard development staff does not seem to understand however is there is a thin line between challenging and annoying.  That thin line usually is in direct correlation to the even thinner line between the skill levels of each and every player that plays the game.

It was challenging when I was first learning the fights.  It was even great fun when I was learning them with my guild.  So Blizzard hit the nail on the head there.  They made heroics both challenging and fun.  For a very short time.

In no time my main was heroic geared and really had no reason to run heroics any more outside of doing my daily.  The daily is basically just the standard grind that the game promotes.  (more on that later)  So I am now running my other characters through the same thing.  I have available at the moment at 85 1 tank, 3 healers, one with 2 healing specs, 2 melee dps, one with 2 specs that I would also like to gear up.

My main logs on and enters the queue and goes to do my TB dailies.  Usually by the time I am done the queue pops and I do my heroic daily on my main alone.  I do not run it with guild because I do my guild runs with one of those other characters that actually needs the gear now.  They are still learning their role, so I keep them in guild runs whereas my main knows exactly what to do in every fight based on how his class can handle it.

This is where the problem in Blizzards design, and what Ghostcrawler apparently did not understand, comes into play.  I am doing heroics that I have now done many times each in dungeons that are bland, boring, and take way to long.  I had my fun learning them.  Now I am there to get my 70 valor points and move on with my game playing experience.  Anything more then a LK 15 minutes, just do it dungeon, is extraneous.

Running into people that are still learning the fights is no fun at all.  I did not mind wiping while learning.  I learned, I do not want to wipe any more.  Also, I do not have any control over the situation any more for various reasons. 

With guild I know the fights so I explain them on vent.  This is 1000 times easier then typing them out.  Not to mention I can yell on vent "get out of the fire" whereas in a pug if I stop to yell "get out of the fire" it might 1) get my kicked because I am sounding elitist, 2) get ignored because the person doesn't realize I am talking to them, 3) get ignored because they are uber and the healer should just heal them through it, 4) just someone that is not capable of learning, 5) takes always from my doing my job by taking time to type out every time someone does something wrong.

It might be fun for them, still learning it, but I paid my dues.  I do not want to wipe any more.  There is no reason to be wiping on trivial things that I figured out how to do the week the game came out. 

There are many learning curves that Blizzard over looked.  One is the fact that the person I am running with might have just hit heroic geared for the first time.  It is absolutely fine for them to be learning a fight.  However, it turns fun into annoyance for anyone that already knows the fights.  Making heroics easier would make them more fun because then I would not have to suffer wipe after wipe because of people that just leveled slower then I did.  Why should them leveling slower then me directly impact my enjoyment of the game?

There is also the learning curve that I mentioned before.  I was told to trap and I trapped.  I used a distracting shot and laid the trap at my feet.  That is how it is supposed to be done.  It keeps the mob away from any possible AoE and is easy for me to retrap being it is not in the middle of everything. 

While on my healer I have seen hunters try to shoot trap it.  I have seen hunters trap it in the middle of a pack only to be broken instantly.  You see, the learning curve for me was 1 try, for other hunters, it might take a while.  Telling me to trap the purple guy got it trapped in the perfect position the first time because I am (or like to consider myself) a good hunter. Just because I consider myself a good hunter does not mean that I have any more right to be doing heroics then the bad ones.  The bad ones have just as much right to be in the heroic and it is their time to learn now.

Blizzard has the right idea, in my mind, of what is challenging and fun for dungeons.  The problem is.  Not everyone is me.  Not everyone knows the fights already.  Not everyone is capable of performing at the level they need to in their efforts to get the encounter down.

Because of that fact dungeons are no longer fun.  They have been no longer challenging for a month already.  Once you master the challenge something is no longer challenging.  Now it is no longer fun either because of the length of time it takes and all the others that fail continually on it.

I remember Fester 25 in ICC.  First time there we wiped, wiped and wiped some more.  It seemed impossible to ever get it down.  We where doing everything we where supposed to, or so we thought.  It was downright frustrating.  However, one attempt, our last for the night as it would be, it all clicked.  We downed the sucker with ease.  No one died and it was a thing of beauty.  It looked like we had been doing it forever.  After that point we never wiped on it again.  Even if it was with 10 of the 25 people being new people.  Sometimes just clicked.

If we continued to wipe on it over and over like that every time we where in there then it would have turned from fun into annoying really fast.  That is where heroics are now. 

Running with the pugs is like that.  You end up wiping over and over on things you already paid your dues on.  You already had your 60g repair bills three times in one run.  Why the hell do I have to still go through that?  This is why heroics need to be more forgiving.  Not easier, just more forgiving. 

Slow tanks with slow connections that can not move from avoidable 125K damage spikes turn what could be an easy run into a nightmare.  Even more so if you are the poor healer that needs to heal that.  There is no need for damage like that in a heroic at all.  This is not a raid.  These are not your top level players.  Those people raid, these are pug people, heroic heroes, casuals, etc.  There do not need to be any mechanics that are one shot and your dead mechanics in heroics. 

Heroics are for people of all types.  From the elitist to the bad player and everything in between.  There are many people that just happen to have contention issues.  They are not bad players at all but if their connection lags for even a split second when they need to move, or interrupt or whatever it may be, it wipes the entire group.  Any mechanic like that need to be really cut down in heroics.

Not because it is hard.  It is not hard.  But because not everyone was done with all the heroics a month ago like I was or even have a solid connection that allows the movement that is needed in an instant on some of the fights.  Heroics need to be more forgiving so people like myself do not need to go through someone else's challenging and fun learning process.  I've been there, I've done that, let me just get my valor points and move along.

I have yet to heal a heroic (with success) on my Shaman.  She is getting close I think but is still 2 blues away from really being ready for it.  I think for me it is still a learn to play issue and I am learning.  I do not bring her into heroics on random at all.  Do you know why?  Because I am still learning and I am still gearing.  Just because she has a 336 item level does not mean she can heal.  Heck, most of the good gear is from the enhancement spec and not the restoration spec. 

The thing is, most people are not like that Blizzard.  Do you hear me?  Ghostcrawler said that anyone that knows that things in their bag are being counted into their item level are smart enough to know they are not ready for the heroics.  I have a question for Ghostcrawler and would love to get an answer from him.  WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SMOKING?

As soon as people noticed that having things in their bag made their gear score go up they were buying cheap things with high item levels to put in their bags.  They were rolling need on items just so they would be in their bags so they could get their item level up.  They were getting PvP gear just for the item level.  As soon as people knew there was a way to cheat the system they, in droves, went out of their way to cheat the system.  If Ghostcrawler did not foresee this happening apparently he does not play the game and contrary to what they say, neither does anyone else on the development team.

People like this are the rule Ghostcrawler, not the exception.  Most people will cheat the system to get into heroics so they can get the heroic gear.  I don't bring my Shaman because I do not feel I can contribute.  I am the exception.  Most people would run into a heroic and then blame everyone else for the group failing when they know it was their own personal lack of gear/ability/knowledge that was the cause of the failure.

I've run with enough agility wearing boomkins, dps wearing tanks, strength wearing rogues and hunters, to know that given the chance to get into a heroic by faking a few items, most people will take it.  They figure they will replace it with the heroic version.  Why waste time farming the normals for it when you are only going to get the heroic version of it anyway.  Just jump into the heroic and get it.

That is a common thought.  Heck, I've even been guilty of it.  I passed on an item to a guild mate because I was heroic ready and they where not.  The item would have been an upgrade for me but I figured, I will just get the heroic version later and they were still gearing up.

It is people like that, the ones who put the work on the shoulders of everyone around them, that make some heroics actually very difficult and extremely annoying.  Either remove the way for them to cheat their way in or make heroics easier.  They are going to come in anyway and I should not have to be subject to failure because you where too stupid in the development phase to realize that people would cheat the system.

This connects to my next point directly too.  Those people with a few pieces of gear that are not ideal do not know they are bad players.  Everyone, even the boomkin that was doing 2500 in a heroic I was in or the mage that was doing 3500 in another, thought they where doing just fine.  Do not allow people to judge for themselves.  Do not fall back on the idea that people will know they are not ready for heroics.  You really do not play this game if you think people will own up to the fact they suck.

I suck on my rogue.  I am willing to say that openly.  We noted the point earlier that I am the exception.  I am not the rule.  I've had people I pugged with a kingslayer title back before cataclysm came out telling me how they downed the LK within a month of its release and they could still not pull 5K DPS with the 30% buff.  They think they are good players.  They do not realize that they suck and they where carried and god forbid you point that out to them.  You will never hear the end of their stories of how awesome they are and that they can play a "whatever class you are" so much better then you could ever dream to. 

Remember these rules.  Most players sucks.  Most players that suck will gladly tell you how great they are.  Most of them are the ones that are on the forums telling everyone that has problems to learn to play, quit and that they suck.  Good players do not participate on the wow forums.  You do the math here.  If good players do not post on the general forums and all these people are saying other suck, what does that mean about them?

People do not realize how bad they really are.  Being a raid leader has taught me a little bit about assessing skill and every thing I am in, guild or pug, without even thinking, I am always assessing people.

More so in these heroics lately.  So much crap on the floor to avoid that finding the bad players really takes no effort.  When asked, these people will, 99 out of 100 times, not realize that they are bad.  They will say, I moved from it and take pride in the fact that they moved from it.  They won't however admit that they saw the effect coming for them 2 seconds before hand and could have moved 2 seconds earlier and avoided it completely.  They will tell you that they are a good player because they moved from it.

So Mr. Ghostcrawler, while reading the forums and hearing everyone tell you how great they are, as it seems everyone that posts on the forums is great, you have to take it with a grain of salt.  Most, and I am willing to wager somewhere in the area of 92%-94% of the wow player base that posts on the forums is average at best. 

With the thought that most people are average and like the person I mentioned before that moved from the bad stuff after it lands you have to make sure to design for people that will not move before it comes.  That player is average.  They know enough to move from the bad but are not quite smart enough to move before it comes.  That is the difference between a good player and an average player.

The heroic dungeons are designed with the good player in mind.  Being there are so few good players, you really need to tone the dungeons down some for the greater masses to have enjoyable access to them.

Oh, and as a note here for all those people that got the achievement for getting all the heroics done in week one and getting all the drake achievements done in week one.  Getting those does not mean you are a good player.  It just means you have a nice guild to work with.  That's all. 5 average people together that always run together will always over perform because they are comfortable with the people around them.

Now to the grind.  Any RPG designer worth their salt knows that the grind is the key to success in any game.  Final Fantasy, single player game, became one of the most revered games of all time in the RPG genre because they mastered the grind.  You where even able to grind past what we required to play the game.  Can beat the last boss at 55, but grind to 99 and cake walk it?  Yeap, they had that.  Can farm seemingly endlessly for things needed to increase your characters potential?  Yeap, they had that.  Lots of side games you could do that were fun but of limited use? Yeap, they had that.

They built the perfect design.  A game where you, the person playing, decided your own level of difficulty. People would try to beat it at the lowest level possible for a challenge.  Without using magic, for a challenge.  With only one character, for a challenge.  If you were not a good player you could grind out more levels to get stronger.  You could go get all the ultimate weapons to make it easier.  You could, in a sense, make the game effortless if you were willing to put the time and effort into the game.

The grind is what gets people addicted to the game.  The grind is the reason I did the baron run a million times trying to get that stupid mount.  It was not hard but it was something that with effort there was a possible reward.  That is what keeps people playing a game.  That is what gets people addicted to the game.  Having something to aim for that, given enough grinding, is attainable.

We grind to 85, to get to end game.  We grind rep to get some good items.  We grind normals for gear and rep to get more items.  We grind TB dailies for trinkets or mounts.  We grind battlegounds for PvP gear.  We grind leveling professions to make things.  We grind making gold to buy things. There are many things in the game we grind but without doubt the biggest grind is the gear grind.

Everyone wants to raid, good, bad, doesn't make a difference, even the most casual of causal players would love to get invited to a raid even if they can only stay for 30 minutes.  To get invited you need to have the bare minimum.  Good gear from reps, crafting, heroics, what have you.

You can do the crafting grind yourself.  You can even grind to make gold to buy the craftables yourself.  You can grind rep yourself, some of them at least, with dailies.  You can get a group for normals a lot easier then heroics and it be a success.  Getting a group for heroics is where Blizzard lost it's way in the grind.

Heroics are part of the grind.  They drop gear and they give valor points and rep if you have a tabard.  At that, they are the largest part of the grind.  Heroics are needed by everyone in the game to finish the grind.  The one difference here is that for this part of the grind you can not do it yourself.  You need 4 other people to grind with you.

That is where the problem comes.  People get addicted to the grind.  That is what keeps them coming back.  That is what keeps them paying for a subscription.  That pays your salary Mr. Ghostcrawler.

When heroics are as they are you are making 4 people have an effect on MY grind.  Part of my grind is to get valor points now.  I do not need any gear from heroics any more.  Have not for a while.  I can get the rep over time other places so I do not need to go there.  I do need my valor as part of my grind.  Part of my addiction to the game.  Even if there is nothing for me to buy with them I need them.  That is the addiction to the game.  That is what keeps people coming back.

Heroics, the way they are, are effectively removing one part of the grind from the game because it is extremely time consuming sometimes and its success revolves around 4 other people with questionable skill levels.  This is why so many people are complaining.  This is way so many people are quitting.  This is why subscriptions are down and being canceled left and right.

You built the system of the grind and then effectively said, we are not going to allow the average player to grind.  Do you remember the fact that 92%-94% of the population of the game is average.  So you are effectively telling most of your player base they can not do that part of the grind.  If you are not capable of doing the part of the game that you are addicted to doing, it weens you off the addiction on its own sooner or later.

How many times have you played a game, any game, and were really into it.  Invested a long time in it.  Then you hit a brick wall and could not get past it.  You would try, over and over, and sooner or later give up.  No matter how much you liked the game.  You reached a point you gave up.

That is what heroics are except that they are worse.  You could be a great player but just not have all that time to invest.  You could be a great player with a bad connection.  You could be a great player that does not have a guild to run with.  You could be a great player placed in with 4 less then exceptional third graders.

You are letting the players of the game hit a wall that you designed to be destined for failure.  Allowing people to cheat the system and get into heroics when they have no business to be in them.  Allowing mechanics that will eat anyone up that does not have a solid connection and good reaction skills.  Allowing DPS to join as tanks or healers when they are not. 

You created the last step of the grind, the one that will keep people addicted even if they do not get into raiding because they will always have new things to spend those points on as new raids (even if they do not get into them) come out and old valor items become justice items, to be a step that is impossible for some people to complete.  When you reach that point in a game where you can not get any further sooner or later you just give up.  You notice I mentioned that before?  Yeah, that is what will happen here.

You need to make the grind more of a final fantasy type grind.  A grind that you make the game how easy or difficult as you want it to me.  You have done that once before.  It is called Ulduar.  That is where the game should be, the end grind.  Not dying over and over in heroics because you got suck with people that are behind the learning curve with you.

The reason Ulduar was the absolute perfect grind is because it was a design based on the final fantasy method of making it as difficult as you want it to be with hard mode.  More importantly, many levels of hard modes.

Check out the many levels of difficulty just on the first boss.

1 Tower up, 2 towers up, 3 towers up, 4 towers up.  Not just that.  Do it in all 200 gear for more levels. 200s with 1, 200s with 2, 200s with 3, 200s with 4. How about all 187 gear.  Mix and match gear levels with towers up and you can create a myriad of different difficultly scenarios.

You see the final fantasy design there.  You make it as difficult as you want or as easy as you want.  How many times have you had your raid leader say put on your highest level gear even if it is not right for your spec.  It makes your machine stronger.  Well, that was you making it easier for your team.

Ulduar was the perfect design.  Every boss has it's own slide bar for difficulty. 

You do notice that Ulduar is not a heroic right?  5 mans are not meant to be the end game, they are meant to be a gateway to the end game.  The endgame is raiding.  Raiding should have a difficulty adjustment like ulduar did.  Heroics should be just another part of the grind to get there.

Sadly, Mr. Ghostcrawler, you and your development team not only screwed the pooch when it came to heroics but you still have not managed to recapture the greatness that is the design of Ulduar.

You can fix it all if you wanted.  Just lower the damage in heroics and everything is fine.  No need to change the mechanics, they are fine.  They will help people learn.  Just make it so damage is not coming from all over all the time in huge amounts.  Healers will start to enjoy the game again because they will not be ripping their hair out any more.  People will stop calling others names (as much) because they took 1 second to long to get out of the fire.  It would greatly increase the attitude of the community if everyone wasn't calling everyone else names all the time.  The mechanics would be the same and failing them too often would still kill people. 

The only thing that would really change is that people will not be so brutally punished for screwing up.  It would also mean that the grind would then be more reasonable to continue, making people happy and still controlled by their addiction.  It will also mean those people that cheat your item level thing will not be as much of a hindrance to the group. The life totals would still be the same so you would still need DPS to take them down and the mechanics will still (hopefully) teach them about what will kill them in a raid.

So, while Ghostcrawler wrote a nice little article he did what all businessmen do.  He tap danced around the subject to try and make everyone he could happy and in the end said basically nothing. Next time you plan to post oh great crabish one, try working on fixing the problem instead of just talking about it.

Nah, fixing it would never work.  Who am I kidding.

The grind, the thing that feeds the addiction... that is what Cataclysm is missing in my opinion.  I knew this expansion did not feel good and it took me a while to place why that was.  It is the grind.  The grind is gone.  Once the grind is done, the addiction fades.  Cataclysm has no grind worth grinding.  That is what it is missing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finally a random as it should be.

I had a random dungeon yesterday that was simply amazing in every way.  I finished 3rd in DPS and I loved it.  I seriously hate being in a random where I know that everything falls on my shoulders.  It was nice to see others that are capable of pulling their weight.

I zone in and see a tank and a healer from the same guild.  Both, barely geared.  I see two other DPS that make me look like I am still in quest greens.  Everything they have is raid gear already.  They are from different servers.

I am sure the tank and the healer looked at 3 DPS that where from three different servers and worried at first.  As I said, they were both barely geared.  This run however proved what I have been saying.  The tank and the healer are not nearly as important as having good DPS when it comes to Cataclysm heroics.

I did 13K and finished 3rd in DPS.  A Warrior was second with 15K and a Mage was first with 18K.  Makes me wonder how a Mage the day earlier could not get past 3500 and this one could do 18K.  Proof that skill makes more of a difference then gear and this Mage had the skills and the gear.

The tank marked.  I trapped, the mage sheeped, we all mowed down mobs in record time and kept moving along.  The barely geared healer could have just put the tank on follow.  Nothing lived long enough to hurt anyone and on the few times that someone took damage it was not sustained damage.  It was damage for a few seconds before the offending mob was dead.

I said before and many times that good DPS is more important then a tank or a healer and this was proof of that.  We all did huge numbers, we all avoided avoidable damage, we all knew what to do and when to do it.  This made the life of the healer easy and the life of the tank easy.  Being the tank marked, we all killed in order which meant that even in his lesser gear he never had a threat problem either.

I wish every run was like this.  While some people would be completely butt hurt knowing they got destroyed in DPS in a run I loved it.  I wish every run was like this.  If I can sit back and relax and not have to stress that I need to do everything it makes for an enjoyable run for me.   I hate that sometimes running my daily heroic is stressful and not enjoyable.

If I can have fun at the game again I would not mind being 3rd in DPS in every run I ever do.  This run proved another thing.  It is the people that have ruined the fun in the game, not Blizzard.  The average player base is so horrible that doing runs is like pulling teeth.  When you get the rare, and I mean really rare, group that can do their job and do it correctly, then dungeons can still be short, fun and effective.

There is absolutely no fun in wiping over and over with a group of idiots that just do not understand a mechanic and probably never will.

There is absolutely no fun in being the only DPS that can actually pull more damage then a level 50 Mage in an 85 heroic.

There is basically no fun to be had in heroics in the game now, with the exception of this one run.  This rare run.  This once in a lifetime run.  I've run so many heroics I can not even count and this is the first one ever since Cataclysm came out where I can say it did not feel like I was working.

I play for fun and I hate that doing my daily dungeon feels like work.  I wish I could get this same group every single day.  They make me want to try and step up my game too.  When you are around good players they make you play better.

I am sure that tank and healer were in heaven.  I could only imagine what they where talking about during that run.  They, like me, are probably used to groups where getting 1 good DPS is about the best you can hope for. 

Your average DPS build in a heroic is one good player, one barely competent player and one barely functional player.  This group was something special.  You rarely hear anything good coming from the LFD system so this is one of those ever so rare runs to talk about.

The reason for that is that the bad ones tend to stand out, they linger with you.  Good ones are just good.  They fade into the distance as soon as they are done and end up forgotten about.  Exceptional ones like that, they are rare, so very rare, that they need to be mentioned because finding one of these is basically equivalent to finding the Holy Grail.

I'd be willing to bet that if I asked 1000 people if they ever had a run like this 1000 would say I was full of crap.  Runs like this do not exist.  Trust me when I say, they do.  I just wish they where more commonplace.

Now, to work on my DPS.  There is no way I should ever be beat by a warrior and a mage.  I am a Hunter, there is no reason I should ever get beat by anyone.  That is just wrong.  Time to step up my game some.  I love that someone has finally pushed me to want to get better. 

I had become complacent with where I was.  I had become bored with even trying to get better.  It seemed there was no need to when I was always 50% of the DPS in heroics.  They taught me that I can do better.

Awesome, I have something to aim for again.  I have a purpose in the game again.  Is it possible that there might be a glimpse of a chance that this game is not as horrible as the expansion has made it feel.  Nah, this expansion still sucks, but at least for one day I actually had fun playing again. 

You do know what this means however right?  I am destine to have a horrible run today.  Have to get back to normal.  One day I was blessed.  It will not happen two days in a row.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Healer Dragnet

"This is the world of Azeroth, there are over 12 million people here, when someone gets hurt they call upon me, I work here, I heal people"

"It was Saturday, January 15th, 4:55 PM... I was healing the dungeon out in Uldum called Halls of Origination, here is the story..."

Me: Move out of the purple stuff.
DPS: I am not in purple stuff.

DPS dies

DPS: WTF?  Why did I die?
Me: Because you where standing in the purple stuff.
DPS: Why didn't you heal me?
Me: I did, enough so you could get out.  You did not get out, I stopped healing you.
DPS: So you let me die.
Me: I was not going oom to keep you alive when you could have moved.


Me: Move out of the purple stuff.
DPS: I am not in purple stuff.

DPS dies.

DPS: WTF? Why do you keep letting me die.
Me: Because you refuse to move.  I am not wasting mana on you.
DPS: But I was not standing in anything.
Tank: Yes you where.  Maybe you need to adjust your video settings.
DPS:  If I turn them up I lag.
Me:  Then you have three options.
Me: 1) Turn them up and lag but live.
Me: 2) Notice that you are taking damage and move knowing that there must be something under you that you can not see.
Me: 3) Stay there and die.


DPS: I am lagging like crazy.

DPS dies

DPS: WTF?  You let me die again.
Me: You where standing in fire.
DPS: I know, but I am lagging and could not move fast enough.
Me: I do not care if you have an excuse for standing in the fire.  I am still not going to heal you if you do not move.


DPS dies

DPS: You know, you can just heal me through it.
Me: You know, you could just move.
Tank: lol
Other DPS: lol
Third DPS: lol

"This is my world, the world of Azeroth.  Sometimes I get called in to heal and there is someone that I cannot heal.  When my job cannot get done because of that someone I turn the offending party over to a higher power."

"The DPS was turned over to Stormwind County Detention awaiting arraignment on charges of complete ineptitude.  A maximum sentence for which is up to six party kicks, high repair bills and a lack of healing from many other healers if found guilty."

I guess I was wrong about LFD.

Yesterday I did my random dungeon and got a guild group of four people.  Sometimes that is a good thing.  Four people together in a guild could very well mean they are on vent and someone knows what they are doing and is explaining it to everyone else.  Guild runs are sometimes the smoothest even if you might hear a lot of horror stories about it.

While it is true that most of the time if anything goes wrong you will be blamed for it sometimes it is impossible to blame you.  Usually if there are four people and they seek a tank or healer the tank or healer is the one that takes the blame.  If you are a DPS it is much different.  As long as your DPS does not suck, you know how to interrupt, know the mechanics and stay out of the painful stuff that can be avoided you will never get blamed for anything. Well, you still will anyway.  No one ever admits they are wrong.

This isn't about that however.  It has nothing to do with blame.  It has to do with what I wrote yesterday about looking for 8K DPS to make heroics nice and smooth.  The run I had yesterday was nice and smooth for the most part.  Only one wipe and the tank apologized because he knew it was his fault.

I got Stonecore as my random.  Stonecore and Grim Bartol are the two randoms I cringe when I get them.  No matter how geared people get, no matter how well they know the fights, these two still seem to beat the level living crap out of randoms.  Sure, they get done, but usually not without 4 or 5 wipes.

I was a little off on my DPS.  For some odd reason I was having a hell of a hard time keeping my DPS respectable.  I was 10K most of the time and that is about 2K under my average.  Maybe it was because I am doing all the work?  If anything I should have been higher then.

See, we had a DK tank that was doing 6K which is awesome from a tank.  That is the tank number that is considered great.  The Enhancement Shaman was doing 5K, which is really bad but compared to the Mage that was doing an amazing 3500 it was awesome.

After the first boss I was a little worried.  But in a way it worked out.  I did not have to worry about the shard adds.  The Mage took them out.  Awesome, more boss time for me and that is where I excel.  When you have to have a Hunter as the only person downing the shards you are in trouble most of the time.  I've learned to over stock focus so I can get two multi shots off on the shards.  It lowers my boss DPS for sure, but most groups I am in I can not trust people to switch so, as always, I have to do everything myself.

In the end, if that was the reason the Mage was so low, I can accept that.  It allowed me to do more boss DPS so I did about 3K more on that fight then I normally would when I have to conserve focus for the shards.  That made up for some of his lower DPS.  The Shaman, well, they had no excuse.  I did the same instance on my Shaman yesterday and did 6K DPS and I am not even heroic geared yet.  So a heroic geared Shaman has no excuse for 5K.

The group had no problem on trash groups.  They mowed them down like pros.  Lots of CC.  Lots of on target hitting.  It moved along nice and quick.  Next boss came up and I figured this is where the Mage would shine.  They can attack the Dragon the whole time whereas melee can't.

We down the boss and the Mage once again sits at 3500.  The Shaman once again a little over 5K.  The tank once again around 6K which is pretty nice knowing that they can't always attack.  The Mage died half way through.  The Shaman died at the beginning and reincarnated.  I did what it is I do.  I murdered the sucker.  This is a fight build for any ranged class.  Did only 13K because of the wait time a few times for hiding.  Otherwise I am sure 15K would have been a breeze.  I was double the damage done of the other 2 DPS combined.  Sad.  But amazing.  We have two DPS doing what 1 DPS should be doing and we are still downing bosses.

The rock guy might prove to be interesting if I did not play the role of the boy scout and always be prepared.  I walk around with stacks of sulfron slammer should I ever get Stonecore as a random.  So I never took paralyze damage even once, every Hunter worth their name should do the same or they are just a slacker. 

We where doing well, even the Mage was up to 4K, when the tank accidentally turned the boss and it surprised us taking me, the healer and the mage out.  The Shaman and the DK tried but there was nothing they could do after we where gone.  The boss did not have much life left but the damage was just not there.  Maybe if I were there doing my 15K on that boss instead of the Shaman doing his 5K it would have been easier.

We go back, we get it done.  Again, Mage in the 3500 area and Shaman in the 5K area.  Last boss, apparently no one cares that the adds are going for the healer so I have to split time between the boss and saving the healer over and over, when it is much easier for a Shaman or a Mage to begin with. Sucks for me with focus and being a Hunters only AoE is Multi and it takes forever to regain focus to do another one.  This meant I was kiting about 25 mobs around while waiting for more focus to do something.  The boss went down, I did a lame 11K but the Shaman stepped it up, they had a whole 5800 that time around.  The Mage was still sitting at 3500.

I wrote yesterday that you need 8K to do heroics.  I apparently was wrong.  As long as your DPS, even if the suck at DPS, can get out of the bad stuff and the healer is really skilled as to not wasting mana, then fights going on longer can still be done with one really big DPS player in the group.  However, I stand by what I said.  8K does make things easier for sure..  I am amazed that we did the dungeon is just over an hour and with only one wipe.  I am even more amazed that things went down with such pitiful DPS.

What bugs me however is that when you look at the end results I did nearly 50% of the damage and not once did I get a thank you for dealing with what on the surface was a completely subpar group.  At the end when I said thanks for the group not one of them said thanks back.  I was not looking for them to say, hey, thanks for carrying our crappy DPS players, I was at least looking for a thanks for coming.

When I do guild runs and we pull one person in we always, all four of us, say thanks for coming at the end of a run.  We are respectful people, that is what makes my guild good in my opinion.  We are not jerks like most people that play the game and I have no tolerance for people like that.  It takes no time to say thanks for the run at the end of a run. 

I can't believe it was done, but as it seems we did that dungeon with 2 DPS because the Shaman and the Mage added together made for what should have been the output of 1 DPS.  So I was wrong, 8K is not needed.  But it sure as hell is appreciated.  I hate being in a group knowing that if I die it will be a wipe because the DPS will never get the boss down.  Who says the tank and the healer are the only important people in a group?  There is proof that the DPS is just as important or in this case, more important.  Without me, they would have never made it past the first boss.

How can you enter an 85 heroic doing less DPS then you could in an 80 heroic the day you hit 80?  I still do not get it.