Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thoughts on Valor, Gear, Alts and LFR

Fair warning, this is a post filled with lots of bitching and moaning and complaining and me being, well, grumpy.  After all, that is who I am, but remember this, I am grumpy with a smile because it makes me feel good to let off steam. 

When 5.2 came out I once again started to play my alts.  There were a few sitting around doing nothing for a long time such as my mage and rogue who basically hit 90 and did a few things here and there but nothing much else.

The scouts and warbringers coming out and dropping those tokens that can be used for 1000 reputation with different factions and my ability as a hunter to solo them, albeit difficult at times, made it so I was able to spend a little time killing them and collected tokens and baggies, and netting a mount in the process.

After 100s of combined kills between warbringers and scouts I was able to get most of my 90s on my main server to at least revered with every faction and thus opening the door to buy them gear without having to do the reputation grind on them.  This complete removal of having to do dailies with alts was perfect in my opinion.  There should have never been any reputation gate to begin with for alts so skipping it completely with these tokens was fantastic.

The new island also brought something else into the mix that had not existed before.  The rare mobs that drop books for valor, 15 each, made me want to actually play my alts and do dailies on them.  While doing my dailies I could hunt rares as well to further push my valor gain while getting reputation at the same time.  This is the type of thing that gets people out and questing, or at least people like me.

I could get my easy valor by killing rares and instead of standing there waiting for them to respawn I would do the quest hub.  I got questing done, reputation done, and extra valor.  Add to that the chance to get one key a week, collect stones, look for a treasure chest and content that encourages you to group up, and now my alts feel like they can actually play and advance, at least some even if I am not raiding with them, instead of feeling as if I am locked behind a wall unless I do dailies.  That forced designed never clicked with me.

I still believe that the way it should have been handled was that you were forced to get the reputation and open all the gearing options with one character and once that character had opened the shops all your alts would have access to it.  It would have been a lot more alt friendly.  If my healing, enchanting and tailoring alt wanted the AG patterns they could have bought them after my main had gotten to exalted and not have forced me to do it on that character as well.  Perhaps next time around they will use my idea which is, being bias as it is my idea of course, a much better idea.

While I like the valor of the ancients buff because it really gives a nice boost to alts I do not like the forced feeling of it.  I feel as if I want to get the most out of playing my alts I have to max my main first.  This is counter productive in my opinion because it burns out your main.  I can bust my ass capping on my main ASAP so I get it done in 2 or 3 days but then the rest of the week I won't play my main because I feel I am getting shafted.  Why do LFR, dungeons, quests, anything, if I am already capped?  I am not a fan of wasting time and if I am going to do something once capped on my main, unless my main is needed for it, I will do it on an alt now.

If not for the valor of the ancients I would play my main a little each day.  Capping is not hard if you do that.  And I would play my alts when they are needed, or when I feel like it.  I would not ever hear myself saying, I don't want to heal that run for you until I cap my hunter, once I cap my hunter I will get 50% extra on my healer and then I can heal for you.  Let me just cap this first.

That might just be me because of the way I try to get the most out of everything but I am sure there are many that have the same feelings I do.  If it were not for the valor of the ancient I would be like, okay, let me switch and heal for you.  Now it would be completely ineffective time wise for me to do that.

Some decent questions were asked via twitter:

Doesn't it seem like Valor of the Ancients should trigger when you achieve 1000VP on a realm in a week? Not a specific toon?
Debated that, but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main. (Source)
Current system makes you want to cap one char before touching another. IMO that's worse.
We've discussed whether Valor of the Ancients was a good idea (its intentions were certainly noble). (Source)
Sadly, the answers were nowhere as decent as the questions themselves and show the detachment of the developers from the game players is greater than it has ever been.

Just look at the response to the first question.  I know you can only use 140 characters on twitter but really that answer left off in the middle of a thought and I would have loved to hear the rest of it.  "but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main" and?

Really, and?

Why did your debate come to the conclusion that was a bad thing?  It is a partial thought and really no answer what so ever.  Telling us that we will just do the first dungeon on all our alts so we can max faster just means we are smart.  So why exactly is that a bad thing?  I am not being snarky asking that, I really want to know.  Being this expansion is all about giving us options why not have the option to do that?  So we cap a little faster, big deal.  So what is the whole "but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main" thing about?  I'll give him a but, "but that is a good thing".

The second question had a better answer because in a way they admitted their fault saying that it was, as in past tense, was, a good idea.  Sure, it was.  If it were done the way the first question asked if it could be done it would be a better idea.

I think it is about time they just ditch the entire valor of the ancients idea as another failed idea.  As he said, it was a good idea as its intentions were noble, but it did not work, and just do what I said to begin with, increase the base valor to start off with.

All dailies 10 per.  All dungeons 80 (+ bonus for some) all the time.  All scenarios 40 (+ bonus for some) at all times.  No need for valor of the ancients if the valor system was not offering something so horribly low to begin with.  The only reason they needed to add the valor of the ancients was because there was no decent way to gain valor in a time efficient way.  Instead of adding that, they just should have addressed the problem by increasing valor gain.  Wouldn't that have been the more logically way to do it?  Wouldn't it have been a simple way to do it?  Why would blizzard ever do anything logical and simple when you can add unneeded complexity to it like some buff?

I also think it is about time, being there are 5 raids and soon to be more, for the random raid finder.  Queue up for a random raid and if you get the raid as a random, you get loot from each boss even if you had already looted it before.  You can only get loot from a raid once if you queue directly for it, but if you get it as a random you get loot each time.  Also, like I mentioned no depreciation like with dungeons either.  90 per, no matter what.  Heck, I believe the LFR should give 250 per for the current tier and 150 per for past tiers but I am willing to let them slide with 90 even if that is not even close to the reward we should get for subjecting ourselves to the worst addition ever to the game, the LFR.

Another twitter question really got my attention, mostly after my hour plus wait times for the LFR.

Are there any discussions about how to improve wait times on Raid Finder? Depends on other variables, but seems like 1 hr/Que.
It's often caused by lack of healers and tanks and our suspicion is those players are more likely to queue with friends. (Source)
Again ladies and gentlemen we have an answer that shows the complete detachment from the player base by the developers because they have no clue what they are talking about.

There is no lack of tanks in the LFR.  Do you know the reason I queue as a DPS on my tanks?  Because the queue time for a DPS in extremely low compared to my queue time as a tank.  The problem is healers and healers only.

Yes, people, tanks and healers more so, prefer to queue with guild for obvious reasons.  We did two guild runs last week of the new ToT raid.  One with 1 healer and two tanks in it along with about a dozen damage dealers on day one and we blew through it like it should be done in the LFR.  No problems, no wipes, no worries.  The other run with three guild healers and five dps was no problem as well.

See, we had a healer in the mix, three in one case.  The time we only had one we had both tanks in the mix.  So tanks being able to communicate lessened the work on the one healer, and the three healers could easily compensate for two tanks having some minor issues.

Any run where we did not have healers and/or tanks in, were wipe city.  I had one that I mentioned in my random thoughts that in about 4 hours only downed once boss.  I tried another with three other guild damage dealers and despite us all doing excellent DPS and moving from the bad and following mechanics, we could not get past the first boss and gave up after 4 tries.

It all comes down to healers.  No healers queue for the LFR because healing it is awful.  It should not be hard but it is.  Healing normals are easier than healing the LFR.  Damage dealers that do not know mechanics and stand in everything and drop damage on everyone else.  Tanks that do not know what the hell active mitigation is or taunt switching is.  No one dispelling, interrupting, stunning or doing anything an even remotely organized group would do.

No matter what, you name it, everything in the LFR when done wrong screams "the healers will fix it".  Dropping the bad where it should not be, no worries, the healers will fix it.  Not using your defensive cooldowns, no worries, the healers will fix it.

All crap like that is why there are no healers.  All crap like that is why we have to wait for them because no one wants to heal them because this is supposed to be a quick, fun and easy source of loot and for the tanks and damage dealers it can be but for the healers it can not be because they actually have to work their asses off unless they get lucky enough to get a group that can actually follow mechanics, play their classes and get out of the bad.  And yes, even in the LFR if you do not follow mechanics it hurts and puts all the pressure on the healers.

If they want to fix the LFR queue time issues they have the answer right there.  Healers.  Make the healers want to heal it.  No, do not give them some stupid baggie that has a chance to give a pet.   Lower the damage done to the players in there.  Tanks can get by doing sub par in the LFR playing badly or being slightly under geared.  Same for the damage dealers.

While it is true that no class in the game should be doing less than 60K at a 480 item level you can have 3/4 of the damage dealers doing less than that and still down bosses.  Not to mention, those people doing that 30K are not only making it harder on the other damage dealers having to pick up their slack but they are the ones that are taking the extra damage and causes others in the group to take extra damage and are making the fight much longer than it should be which puts the pressure directly on who, the healers. 

The fix for the LFR queue problem is to lower all damage by 50%, maybe even more.  So bad healers doing poorly can still handle it, just like bad tanks doing poorly can still handle it and bad damage dealers doing poorly can still handle it.

You can down every boss in the LFR with two bad tanks, you can down every boss in the LFR with 17 bad damage dealers, but you can not down even one single boss with 6 bad healers.  And if you have all bad tanks and all bad DPS you might still fail unless you have 6 good healers.  Why put all the pressure on one part of the team?  That is why healers do not queue for it and that is why I only run my healers with the guild runs.

There is a reason that my guild runs have no problems and it is not that we are great or anything because we are not.  But we bring our own healers and while not world beaters they are at least playing at the level that makes it easy and the large selection of other members means we know we have people that know how to avoid the avoidable making it even easier on the healers.  Thus an easy run.

They are designing the LFRs as if they will be run by people that are raiders at a lower skill level.  They need to stop designing the LFR with that thought in mind.  The majority of people that run it are not lesser skilled raiders looking to learn or raiders that do not have time to run with the regular team, they are non-raiders.  Just because it is looking for raid does not mean the majority of people that run them are raiders.

Long story short, too late, let even bad healers be able to faceroll it the way bad tanks and bad damage dealers can and you will see a lot more healers signing up and the queue time will become that much faster.

Want to give healers even more incentive?  Let healers be allowed to get loot drops every time they run it, this would entice them to run it multiple times to get loot or valor or whatever.  Please, no stupid baggie bonus, that is just not incentive enough for most.

Well, that was a long side rant I did not expect to last as long as it did so now time to rant about something different, a question I have that was not asked and therefore not answered.  I really need to get on twitter to bug my good buddy GC myself.

Why do we still not have a 10 man LFR?  Seriously.  I would love to be able to make a few guild groups just to run through it and maybe grab one or two people here and there and not need to deal with these horrible groups sometimes.

I think I answered my own question however.  Those two mostly guild groups I did ToT with this week that were super fast, easy and fun, as it should be, had many people that were not part of my group.  Thanks to us, they had a good run.  If there was a 10 man, we would have never run those two and those people would now be left to fend for themselves and most likely end up having an experience like I had where I wasted 4 hours and only downed one boss.

There is no 10 man because blizzard needs people that know how to play in the LFR to carry the people that do not know how to play.

I say, who cares, give me 10 man, and design the 25 man LFR for the people it was meant for.  People that do not know how to play.  Make it so easy anyone can beat it and please do not say it already is.  While it already is for a group that knows what they are doing, it isn't when you get one that doesn't as my 4 hour one boss nightmare proves.

After that run I don't think looking for raid is the appropriate term for it any more, it should be called looking for nightmares.

Then there is the loot issue and why I said I refuse to ever heal a LFR without guild.  Why should I go through that hell when I have to deal with bad groups of bad players with bad attitudes and bad personalities and still not win anything week after week after week.

I should be rewarded loot just for putting up with their bullshit.  I swear I should be given heroic mode gear just for putting up with some of the stuff I've had to witness in the looking for nightmares I have had over the last couple of years.

I even had one run this weekend were we wiped on the first boss of the second half of HoF six times.  Six times.  Do you believe that?  How is that even possible?

Tanks blamed healers, healers blamed DPS, DPS blamed tanks.  We had a shaman healer that refused to heal because he was top DPS.  We had a DK that was tanking even if he queued as a DPS and the sad part is he was a better tank than the two tanks we had.  Everyone was insulting everyone else.  Had someone complain about the mobs not being marked correctly and instead of following the marks anyway, he followed the way he believed it was supposed to be.  Everyone else had no clue what a skull meant and they all just attacked whatever they wanted.

In the end I won no loot, no loot on the bonus roll and all I had was one hell of a repair bill for something that should be as faceroll as a heroic dungeon is by now.  I should have been given at least one piece of heroic gear just for staying as long as I did and helping these degenerates.

The looking for nightmares needs fixing, lots of it, and it only starts with making the healers life easier.  I think blizzard is attempting to make the LFR into a real raiding experience and that is noble, sure, but it is wrong and it will not work.  Not with random groups and not with people that refuse to communicate anything other then insults.  LFR needs to be what it was intended for, a super easy way to see content and collect some loot.  As it is now, it is neither super easy nor a decent way to get loot.

Again, 10 man please.  I know there are good reasons for there being no 10 man version but screw it.  Either fix 25 man or give us 10 man.  There really are no other options.  Making it harder and hoping the unwashed masses can figure out how to actually play is not working.

Someone asked me in a post last week why I thought that blizzard not making new five mans meant that those people would be put into the last raid and I said it only made sense.  Well, now GC confirmed what I said, sort of.

Hey Greg, why no new 5 mans until next expansion?
4.3 had 3 good 5-player dungeons, but the raid received its share of criticism. There is a connection. Always love to do more. (Source)
See, there is a connection.  They spent so much time making such fantastic five mans, and they were fantastic, the best part of cataclysm if you ask me, that DS suffered because of it.  There is a connection, those are his own words, and that is the connection.  If they spent more time working on the raid instead of those dungeons perhaps the first raid to ever have a raid finder version would have been a more worthy raid to have it.

DS was not horrible so to speak, it was just horrible when you looked at the five mans and saw how great they were with their new zones and new scenes and then we get a raid that went on for so long in basically all recycled areas from last expansion.  Last expansion.  What a huge insult to the player base.  The laid back lack of design would have been fine for an extra raid, a fill in raid, one of the initial three raids, but not for the end raid we would play the longest of every raid in the expansion.  Making the five mans were the reason for DS being that badly done, make no doubt about that.

Hopefully the last raid this expansion will be really epic on the level it deserves to be thanks to the fact that they will not be wasting the creative resources on making more dungeons.  An elf can dream right?

MMO champion mentioned that the estimated drop rate of loot in the old LFRs is now roughly 32%.  There sampling to find this is rather small but seems to fit what I recall reading somewhere once before that the old rate was 15% and the new was doubled to 30%.  So I will believe that number to be fairly accurate.

So who out there is working on something like a 70% loot table right now because my 4% loot would like to get its fair share.  I really hate the luck system.  30% sounds nice but with bad luck 15% or 30% means absolutely nothing.  When I am only getting loot 4% of the time it feels like the content is not even worth doing when I have to do it with random people that make it very unpleasant for me.

I wonder if I can report these people for something?  People that are rude and insulting to everyone in the group.  Can they be reported?  Would blizzard do anything about them?  They just add insult to injury.  I have to wait forever to get into a raid then I have to listen to them and still get no loot.

WTB single player ways to get more loot.  Seriously, they really need to add a way to get loot that does not require group content and does not require luck.

My poor rogue is in more than half 489 or better gear, a couple of 463, 476 and 483 aside.  Not so bad for an alt I play about once or twice a month at most.  But I have had no luck with weapons. I am still carrying around two 450 weapons.  I will most likely still be carrying around two 450 weapons forever.  Lady Luck likes to spit on my poor little rogue it seems and he never did anything to lady luck to deserve such treatment.

You know the worst part of it?  Even if I bust my ass and work for it, I will never be able to buy weapons for him with valor or justice.  Yeah, we need more ways to buy gear outside of the luck system.  Seriously.  It gets to the point of, why even try.  Run a dungeon that drops daggers but they never drop.  Kill LFR bosses and use coins, but never get weapons, please oh please would the makers of this game save those of us without luck and give us more gearing options.

I can go into a zone on better geared characters and pull three or four mobs at a time and not even break a sweat.  I can watch TV and down them at the same time but put more than two mobs on my poor rogue in the new island and he is toast.  Just that little added DPS from some decent weapons would mean the world to me.  So even if I am not raiding, I can still use them.  Some people say if you are not raiding you do not need gear, tell my rogue that when three mogu are beating his ass and vanish is on cooldown.  He can really use those daggers even if he is not raiding.  Not asking for free loot, I will earn them.  Just let me buy them because I am never going to luck into them at the rate I am going this expansion.

Well, I've ranted about this, that and the other long enough for today.  I will give your eyes a break, at least anyone that was capable of reading this all.

Have a great day.


  1. Always like your posts Grumpy, one of my favorite bloggers these days.

    Just a couple quick anecdotes to add. I used to always Q for dps with my tank since it was faster. However I have noticed the tank Q being shorted and shorter lately. Qed for both for the new LFR and got an insta Q on my tank this week. So maybe blizz isn't too far off on saying tanks are scared away from LFR these days as well as healers.

    I agree completely about lowering the damage output in LFR I think they could lower the healers needed to 4 to coincide. If we still have dps Qing as heals and not healing that will be a bigger problem, but that shouldn't happen if the Q times equalize somewhat.

    Oh and I'm 5/6 for loot drops on old LFR with no tokens used, sorry for taking the luck.

    1. Give me some of my luck back at least. Please.

      Last time I tried to queue as a tank was roughly three weeks ago, gave up after an hour and 45 minutes when I did every single daily in the game and had nothing else to do while waiting.

      Maybe it is just the new raid? I did not even attempt to queue for that solo as a tank. Hate getting into it with a tank that does not know what to do. I think all LFR fights should be capable of being solo tanked like DS was. Heck, even DS normal was solo tankable. I like that design, where the second tank just makes it a little easier, but is not required.

      I did an LFR over the weekend on one of my healers, terrace I believe, with 2 guild healers, thank god we were there, the other 3 healers were all DPSing. Imagine what it would have been like if we had not been there? I think entering as a healer and not healing should be a week ban. Maybe more to stop people from doing it.

      They do need a drastic reduction in damage put out. Oddly enough I have seen 3 competent but not really great healers (as mentioned above) have no problems healing one but I have also seen 6 okay, not bad but not good, healers lose people left and right in there as well. They need to be designed for 6 okay healers, in my option, it should not need a raid experienced healer in them to survive.

      Glad you like my posts, hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy ranting in them. :)

  2. how do people communicate while in a LFR? Chat window? If I remember right, WOW's version of vent sucks. So unless someone shares their vent with the group, chat window is it. No wonder they are getting fustrated.

    1. Yeap, chat window, and have you ever seen people of the twitter generation try to communicate like actual human beings? It strains the eyes.

      My spelling might suck but they make me look good. Sometimes I can barely understand half the words people type and other times I can and wish I didn't.

      The people playing the game and using in game chat makes anything that needs communication impossible for most groups. Unless you want to communicate how bad the tank sucks or the healer sucks or the dps sucks or whatever sucks. Seems like the only word the twitter generation knows how to spell is sucks so they use it every chance they get and everything sucks.

  3. yuppers, about the only word I can spell is "scuks".

    And not being fluint in "twit", I have the same hard time as you do. Takes more than 128 or is it 124 characters for me to explain my thought.

    Now, you understand why I don't like LFG or LFR.

    Your post is beautiful as it describes pretty close to why I don't partake in them.

    1. They can be good from time to time, I just rarely talk about the good ones. I did have one LFR over the weekend that went like a perfectly oiled machine. Everyone did their job well, people moved from the stupid, the pace was reasonable, fast enough to keep it moving but not so fast that people did not have a few seconds to drink or something between pulls.

      I've actually had some very good LFR runs, but the 10% of good ones get lost because the 10% of bad ones really weigh on you, at least they do for me.

  4. You are angry today!

    Telling us that we will just do the first dungeon on all our alts so we can max faster just means we are smart. So why exactly is that a bad thing?

    I believe what GC is saying here is that no matter how they design the VotA buff, it will incentivize players into playing a certain way, and that may not necessarily be the way they want to play. For instance, the current way incentivizes you to grind your main until you get the buff before starting alts. You don't like that, but plenty of people do--they're the ones not complaining about the current implementation of the buff (unless of course they are like me and gave up capping valor as a whole). GC has mentioned before that the danger of changing things is that people liked it the old way, and those of us not at Blizzard don't really get that sense like they do.

    That's not to say nothing could be done...the problem GC highlights arises because the first run grants more valor, so why not ditch that and make all runs grant the same? Then the buff can go account wide and you can hit your 1k however you like? Personally I prefer your solution of just increasing valor across the board and making valor capping easier, but after Cata I think they are overly cautious about causing players to run out of things to do.

    The healer shortage in LFR could be mostly solved by allowing healers to collect dps gear. Healing LFR really isn't that hard, my priest can do it almost entirely through smite healing. I haven't even tried Throne though, so maybe it's harder. In any case, if healers could get dps gear then a lot of dps would heal just for the quick queue.

    1. You make a valid point about the valor of the ancients being over all characters but think you missed one point. If they change it to all accounts work toward the 1000 the person that would rather do it on one character can still do it on one character. So the change would not hurt them at all. Sure, they can change and be more effective doing the first run on alts but they would not have to. It would offer a choice. Now, there is none.

      I am with you 100% on a flat buff to valor across the board and ditching the vota totally. It would be better for everyone that way. But buffing it how much, that would be the tricky part as you mentioned.

      Perhaps you had better groups than I have but unless I am with guild I find healing LFR to be hard, very much so. I always am left feeling as if I am the only one healing and even when I am not everyone always seems to be at half life. I am doing the best I can even if "it is only LFR" and I honestly expect the same of everyone else. Why should things be harder on me because someone else wants to take it easy. It is not fair.

      They have mentioned the option of choosing the spec of gear you can get and I do think it would help some, might even help a lot, but I do not see that coming any time soon. From a coding standpoint I can't see it being that hard to implement, just flag them for receiving DPS gear on rolls and healer mechanics during the fight. If they wanted to do it, they would, but they do not want to. Same reason why we still have the 16 slot starter bag. It is an easy fix from a coding standpoint, they just do not want to do it. (unless there is some functionality behind it they we do not know about that makes it difficult that is)

    2. good lord, just because you think something is easy to code doesn't mean it is.. Also your point about giving them the choice to do it on other characters as you've said time and time on this blog before if something is more efficient you are going to do it that way so its not really a choice. You would think you would be pleased that blizzard agrees with you.

    3. I didn't say it was easy, I said it should be easy. I've coded before, I know how to code. If their stuff is written anything like how I was taught and how I coded myself it is easily expandable. Simple flag, check the flag that assigns the loot received. If they coded it some other way then it is their own fault for making it more difficult then it should be.

      Just because you think it is hard doesn't mean it is. See, works both ways thank you very much. (sorry, could not resist that one)

      Yes, I will always go the most efficient way.

      But if things were changed as mentioned I would have that option as I have more than one character at max to do it the most efficient way or play my main to max. Yes, I would go for the most efficient, but I would not "lose" anything if I decided not to because everything gained everywhere counts to the 1000 gained for the week.

      For the person with one character making that change would not effect them in any way what so ever. That is more what I had meant.

  5. At least your LFR group luck and LFR drop luck are in sync. If one ever changes, perhaps the other will as well.

    I can only recall having one actual fail LFR run and it was on the first boss of 2nd half HoF, combination of tanks not knowing what they were doing, nobody cc'ing anything (or keeping them cc'd), everyone just AoEing everything... after 3 attempts and nobody really trying to change anything I just dropped. The new group I got one-shot it. If you're in a group that can only fail, you have an option... drop group. That's the only time I can recall ever dropping an LFR run and it worked out. It HAD to work out, the next run had to be better.

    For tank and healer queues, healers do seem to be the main delay but tanks are next on the list, I've had runs occasionally held up due to not having a tank. Makes sense that they'd point out healers and tanks as the hold-ups.

    Regarding healers who dps (and who aren't Atonement or Fistweaving) instead of healing, if you wipe and someone was doing that, just politely mention it in raid chat and that you'll be voting to kick: "Jonesy queued for healing but was doing a full dps rotation, I'm voting to kick." I've done that a few times, every time the kick has passed.

    Basically, if people are doing things intentionally wrong, you have options. Requesting a vote kick is the first measure. If it's grievous (a dps repeatedly pulling bosses and causing wipes, etc), report it. I've seen mention that Blizz typically won't act on a single report, it takes a certain number to get their attention, so you have to put the ticket in. If you have friends in the group, have them do the same.

    As for the dps who did some tanking in LFR, I'll admit to doing that myself occasionally when the tanks appeared to be incompetent or on pulls that often go badly (the packs of mobs right before the first boss in HoF, for instance, I'll grab one or two mobs and just pull them off to the side so only I have to dodge the cone attack). As long as it works out and nobody complains, at worst I think it's harmless... extra tanks on trash are never a bad thing, in my opinion, especially since they're often top dps on trash pulls as well.

    1. I really hate the idea of dropping group. If the queue time was 10 minutes I would drop in a heartbeat but not after I have waited an hour or close to that. Even if I do play a fair deal my time is limited and I can not just throw away an hour wait time but sometimes, for sanity sake, I should I guess.

      I think the tank reason might be my reason for not tanking them. I will only queue as a tank if I am going with another tank. So that means I never solo queue as tank and that could be what a lot of tanks do. Just a guess. But the tank issue is not nearly as dire as the healer on in my opinion.

      The only issue I have with a DPS tanking is when I am a healer. If I do not pick up on it fast enough then I look bad, not them, for letting them die. If they say they are going to tank or are in tank gear at least it rarely bothers me. It pisses off the other tanks to all ends, but I don't care as long as stuff is going down and only the tanks are taking the direct hits. I actually had to rogue tank a few mobs last week, not intentional, but the tanks could not hold aggro for the life of them, so we all do what we have to do sometimes.

      You mentioned a person pulling and it made me laugh. Had someone do that last night in a run. After they did it, we kicked them. Oddly enough the rest of the raid group complained that we should not have kicked them, it was no big deal.

      End is, tank pulls, when you are in a mostly guild run and do something like that, do not expect to last long. We did not even need anyone else to say yes, they were gone the second after the pull was done.

      This is why I prefer guild runs. We do not kick people that are not doing well but trying because maybe they are there to get better, but we do kick every single trouble maker the second they start crap.

      People like that should be banned from using the LFR. How does someone even get to an item level of 480 and still not understand the tanks pull?

    2. hi GE

      I just read this today and am wondering, did the person you kikc actually did it on purpose, then brag about it, or was it an accident, but you don't know, because they were kicked? I mean I have pulled one or two, by accident, apologized and never pulled another while in that lfg. Or if I did pull, I ran away from the group and went invisible, so they wouldnt attack them. Better I die than the party.

      heck I even remember taking a pair of gloves of loot, without realizing what I did, apologized and we went out and came back in and did the instance over (Scarlet Monistary, the hound keeper, way back in vanilla). My first instance and man was I green.

      SO my question was did they apologize before being kicked or was kicked and nada was heard?

      I can understand the post, but some things make me shiver with fright - as instanting banning if people report people. I am afraid more folks who did not deserve to be banned, would be by asshats in groups.

      "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in a group."

    3. In the case I mentioned something was said and the person that pulled said they did it because the tanks were taking too long. Hence they got kicked, no thoughts about it. Accidents happen and if it were an accident no one would complain.

      What you mention is the reason a player ranking system would never work. People rarely will go out of their way to rank someone they had no problems with but they would downrank people for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with them deserving it. Person beat me on the meters, downrank them. Person won loot and I didn't, downrank them. Person is a gnome and I do no like gnomes, downrank them. Etc. People are more likely to give someone a bad review for something stupid and not really deserving then they are to give a good ranking to someone that really does deserve it.

      So a ranking system could never be added and the ban system would have to be somewhat the same. The GMs would have to look over the logs for evidence that someone pulled on purpose, like my example. A GM could see people said something in chat and the person said they pulled because they wanted to. Ban. Simple as that. No reason for opinion or trying to decide if it were accidental or on purpose. Just fact and ban.

    4. hi GE - thanks for explaining it better.

      What jerk-off. Since that is what he did on purpose, he deserved it. :D

      I always had the opposite - I am the slow one (hunters dont seem to run as fast as others for some reason) for some reason.

      The "go-go-go" is way too fast. I'm more like "hurry-come on dang it - ok, you are here" :D

    5. Just to be clear, if I'm tanking some mobs after queuing as a dps, I'm expecting not to get healed... I'm only taking on something that I can keep myself alive through. I'd also never do it on a boss without checking with the tanks first, there are fights (4th HoF boss, for instance) that can benefit significantly from a 3rd tank. I haven't actually tanked that one but I've been tempted.

      Except for my Atonement priest I only queue as dps so I understand the queue issues, thing is that you don't really have any control over the runs you get... yeah, waiting 45m and having to drop after a few wipes and re-queuing sucks, but a decent number of the runs I get aren't fresh anyway and I have to re-queue. My happiness/time ratio is pretty evenly balanced, I'll sacrifice some time for a significant increase in happiness (or decrease in unhappiness in this case). Probably one of the reasons I never feel particularly burned out.

      As for solo queuing as a dps, I've never understood why bloggers don't, uh, leverage their positions a bit to help with that, even the grumpy ones shouldn't have much trouble generating some interest. Connect via Battletags with a handful of friendly commenters or other bloggers, try to get a few in the mix who will queue as a healer &/or tank and queue together.

      As for how someone could get to i480 without knowing that tanks pull, that's just one of the many things you have to wonder about... ran with a 17K Fury warrior in ToT who hit Bloodthirst (or whatever it's called) 8 times on a boss fight. That's equivalent to a hunter's Cobra/Steady Shot, rogue's Sinister Strike, etc. That's the metronome ability that makes the rotation WORK. How do you get to that gear level without at least a basic idea of the class rotation?

      On the tank pull front, though, I actually put in a suggestion to Blizz through the in-game interface to make at least bosses (I'd prefere trash as well) immune to anyone but designated tanks in any random queue (LFD, LFR) run. I can't imagine that would be hard for them to implement and I've never had an LFR run where the tank asked a non-tank to start the pull. Seems like a no risk, infinite reward kind of thing that would save a lot of grief.

      Roo - the speed boot enchants are pretty much standard for "max" dps these days so a lot of folks are using them who don't have passive class speed bumps, if you're stuck at 100% run speed you might give Blurred Speed a try.

    6. I would love to team up with some people just for some runs but I do not think current content, even LFR, can be queued for with people from different servers, although I could be wrong. Also, I am rather antisocial. Me writing here might make it seem otherwise but I write for me, because I like to write, I don't do it to be social.

      You are right, it is amazing how people can get to max level and not even know the absolute minimum. Did an LFR last night and somehow I died less than a minute into the fight. No one thought to revive me so I sat and watched the whole thing. When ti fight was over I looked at the damage done and there were 2 hunters that barely beat me in damage done. Barely. I was dead for 5/6ths of the fight, they were alive for the whole thing. How can you only beat me by something like a million total damage. It is impossible to be that bad. Even if all they did was autoshoot being alive 6 times the amount I was alive should have done more damage. It is amazing.

    7. I know I'm not replying to a current post, but was linked over by WI. Any raids from last tier (so MSV/HoF/ToES) and earlier can be ran using RealID/Battletags. Same with any LFG dungeon and all LFR dungeons, as well as rBGs (I believe on that last one, I'm not much a PvPer). Basically the only thing that can be ran as cross-server would be current content in normal/heroic mode.

      I try as best I can to run with folks I know, even if no healers are available. It definitely takes the sting out of it. :)

      Great article btw!

    8. LFR can be run with battle tags? Awesome. I was not aware of that. I need to start making groups for it. Darn, I guess that means I have to be social. :P

      Thanks for letting me know that. I was not aware you could. Glad you liked the post.

  6. As a raiding healer, LFR sucks. Really, really sucks. We had a slow start to the patch (transferring off a dead server and having both of our tanks leave us in the middle of the night one night) - so 8/12N for us for now.

    I have never had someone who could come close to me in healing done for LFR this tier (whether I do disc or holy). And I work really, really hard for the entire LFR, get pissed at crappy tanks that avoid trash that the derpy dps pull anyways, get pissed at dps that can't outdamage what I could do on a practice dummy as disc (let alone holy-red), and in general have a terrible time.

    I've mostly decided that I should run guild raids first and anything that we kill I don't do in LFR (ie no rep or legendary sigil chance, no go there). Even the very small chance of a tier token isn't enough to make me suffer through that crap.

    1. I feel your pain. I have not healed much this expansion at all. Just for the LFR and that means I am extremely out of practice, but when I am the only healer over 60K and no others even approach 30K I worry. I know HPS can never be used as a judge, but if I am working my ass off and people are still dying, HPS show that others are not doing their job helping out. If anyone was even doing 40K we would not lose people.

      The only thing more depressing then seeing a hunter in better gear than be do 1/3 of my damage is seeing a healer, with real raid kills, real raid gear, and real practice this expansion not be able to out heal me when they should be able to do it with their eyes closed.

    2. I don't know about the healing part. I have been doing LFR every week and while I can always do about 45K sometimes it is really hard to out heal some lesser geared players. Specially when all they do sometimes is just spams heals in times when there is low incoming damage.

    3. They will usually be the ones that go OOM faster because of it. That is when you look at healing done percentage to judge if that large number is good or bad.

      A friend of mine has an interesting technique to healing the LFR. They do not heal the entire first half of any fight and start later on. They noticed that most healers will be OOM half way through the fight so instead of trying to heal when everyone is spamming AoE heals they will just baby sit the tank in case of an emergency and wait to heal the raid when they are needed and everyone else is on fumes. She said it works wonders and actually had made her LFR healing experience better.

    4. HPS is mostly about who has the most widespread aoe ability. I can only laugh when I see someone talking about the top of the meter when the individual raid members only dropped below 50% hp half a dozen times.

      Sorry one of my pet peeves about LFR Healing is the side effects caused by bragging about HPS. So the top hps healer is talking about how the other healers are at fault when they never cast a single direct heal on the tanks and we wiped because of a tank death.

      As for tank queues i get quick queues on my cluster for all, much quicker then as dps.

      I don't mind healing LFR because I have enough knowledge to know who is in the in the right and who is the idiot and currently I don't have much choice as our normal progession is behind LFR and I want my legendary drops.

    5. That is why on my Disc priest I am #1 on HPS and over all healing. Has nothing to do with my ability to play one, it has everything to do with my shield making it that I get all the healing done before anyone else has a chance too.

      When healing is easy I do not mind, it is when healing is hard, and people are dying, that it starts to bother me.

  7. I know this comment is late to the party, but I thought I would relate what happened this week in LFR on Jin'rokh (we're what... 4 weeks in now). On normal, I have never had to do more than about 75k hps on that fight. In LFR, I was at 125k hps and there were two other healers at about 100k, and the other three were over 75k. I didn't think it was possible to take that much damage in that fight but tanks not taunting, people not moving out of puddles when getting focused lightning, puddles hitting fissures, etc. It was amazingly bad and we had to keep it up for the entire cycle... all four puddles out, 4th lightning storm over... and then he dies.

    Then the propensity to blame healers for wipes compounds the problem. Cave bat pulls before Tortos is a prime example. No interupting = silence = death and the first thing someone says guaranteed is "bad heals".