Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Damage Dealers Dance Around The Thin Good Line

Last week in a post I spoke about 2 warlocks by the, of course, made up names of Mr. Big Numbers and Mrs. Tiny DPS.  The idea of the comparison was that the person pulling small numbers but doing the fight correctly was a better play than the person that was ignoring mechanics and pulling big numbers.

The example I used was on the General in siege.  Mr. Big Numbers was putting all his effort on the boss even in defensive despite being told numerous times to stop while Mrs. Tiny DPS saw the top receivers of her damage as the warshaman, arcweaver and assassin.  So while one was pulling lower numbers they were doing a better job than the person pulling high numbers and that made her the better player.

While I do believe that to be true there is a thin line.  Mechanics are always the most important thing and anyone that would ever consider themselves a raider should agree to that but there are requirements that need to be met.  There is only so far you can push "but at least they were doing the right" thing.  Just like at a certain point Mr. Big Numbers would not be invited to a raid because he would be a liability that might cause wipes due to his inability to listen to instruction and follow mechanics Mrs. Tiny DPS would also be left behind and not get an invitation to a normal mode raid.

Both those players are flex players, bottom line.  Where one person not following mechanics "might" not cause too much of a problem on some fights and one person doing lower than average numbers but doing the mechanics perfectly will not really hold you back if you have some others picking up the slack neither one of them is actually doing good. 

Both those players, in my opinion, would be placed right under the thin good line.  They are not bad players but they do not quite reach that marker that would make them a good player.

What is that line and more importantly is that line the same for everyone?

The line where people are considered good usually depends on the content you are doing.  While I like to consider myself a good player it is because for the content I am doing I am a good player.  Perhaps if I were in a group pressing for heroic kills as fast as possible, or server, or even world first, I would be a bench player, who knows.

But I believe a good player is more a formula.  Not an absolute.  A balance between doing the mechanics right and doing their role correctly.  Oddly enough what made me think about this was a pug for flex 3 I picked up yesterday on open raid.

They were on the last boss and someone asked for a hunter in the open raid chat.  What the heck I thought, I got a coin and I could use the helm for my 4 set, I whispered them and was sent an invite immediately.  It is odd, make that extremely rare, to see someone asking for a hunter specifically so why not.  Add to that I had spent the better part of 20 hours trying to get the third boss down in LFR, yes, not kidding, but for an extra shot at the 4th tier piece I stuck with it and queued up over and over like an idiot.  Perhaps it would just be better to spend a coin on the flex version now that I have that option.

I mentioned on vent to some of my guild mates that they asked for a hunter specifically and they asked why is that.  I said, have no clue, but I'll take it.  Seriously, I had no clue why they would ask for a hunter on that fight.  Sure there have been some fights over the years that having a hunter makes it so much easier but having done this boss before there really didn't seem to be anything hunter centric about it to me.  At least nothing that I took notice of immediately

It then occurred to me why they might have asked for a hunter.  To misdirect the jailer and tranquilize shot him.  Makes sense, but the odd thing was, it never occurred to me that doing those things are something "special".  I just look at it as part of my job.  Those little things that I take for granted are something I like to consider "the line".  If you need to tell a hunter to MD the add to a tank, they are not a good player, if you have to tell a hunter to tranq shot off an enrage, they are not a good player.

They did not ask me to get on voice chat, they just said the order of what markers they would be stacking on and went at it.  They did not even mention to me to MD or tranq.  Maybe my item level made them believe I already knew what to do.  Maybe they figured that when I said I know the fight that it goes without saying that I do those things. I've done enough pugs to not take that for granted however.  Maybe it was just a bad raid leader.  Who knows, it worked and we one shot it.  Well, one shot it once I got there, looking at the bones there had been a wipe or two beforehand.

After the run someone whispered me, nice work, thanks.

The group was made up of fairly geared players for the most part.  I was near the lowest there.  Most where around 555-560 and I have had no loot love since week one so I am still sucking it up big time gear wise.

I could have considered it was my high DPS that was the reason he said thanks.  I was # 2 in damage done by only 0.2% behind the # 1.  They were at 245K and me 225K.  So maybe they were saying thanks because they needed that extra DPS.  No, that was not it, it was because I played the role of Mrs. Tiny DPS by doing the right thing, not because I played the role of Mr. Big Numbers putting out high damage.

They could have asked for anyone to come in there and just said, over 200K, if they wanted the DPS.  They asked for a hunter specifically and that meant MD and tranq and I did those and that is why he said thanks.  I could have done 125K and he still would have said thanks if we got the boss down.  That is what it was all about.  Doing the little things.

So where exactly does that balance come in where we draw that line of good?

I had done well that run, can't really say there is much more I could have.  My DPS might have been lower than I know I can do, but for flex it was fine.  I did the numbers, the mechanics and used my class abilities to their potential.  So for that run, I most definitely was what someone could call good.

But lets take that run and dissect it removing piece by piece and see when it starts to look like I am a bad player below the good line.  Lets try to find that line between good and bad.  That thin good line.

There is the original obvious things that would ring as a bad player, so let us start with those.

If I said I knew the fight and didn't it would become apparent quickly, even more so if I were being chased, or if I did not switch to the jailer.  So we have to check off "know mechanics" in something needed to be considered good, would you agree?

But does a person need to know all the little things to stay in that good category?  Lets say I knew that I needed to run when chased and ran in the wrong place or a little sporadically making it harder on others to avoid his path.  I would have known the mechanics, I would have known what to do, I just did not do it in the best possible way.  Would I still be considered good?

This is where we approach the line in my opinion.  You can know the mechanics and not do them perfectly and still be a "good" player but at what point does not doing them well move you from the good player to the bad player.  Like Mr. Big Numbers tunneling the General during defensive even though he knew it was wrong.  I know he knows the mechanics, he just figured that the rules did not apply to him.  So just knowing the mechanics is not enough.

Another one of things one might consider obvious was the fact they asked for a hunter.  If they asked for a hunter specifically they must have wanted one for a reason.  It is not like it is a normal raid where they needed a mail agility and ranged weapon soaker.  So like I mentioned, what does a hunter really bring to this fight?  Not much.  A misdirect, a tranq shot and maybe a missing buff with their pet.

When I got there I saw they had no attack speed boost so I switched to my hyena.  Before the pull the raid leader did ask if I had an attack speed pet.  I said, already out, as soon as we attack he will bark and we get it. 

Was I a good player because I had noticed it was missing and got it out without even being told too?  In my opinion yes.  I hate when I have to tell hunters to switch a pet.  It is of the same ilk as having to remind the priest for stamina every single time we wipe.  It is your buff, you should have it ready without needing to be told about it. 

Sure, unlike the rest of the classes in the game that just hit a button a hunter needs to have a brain to know enough to look at which buffs you have and know which ones you need and get out the pet for it, and of course, they need to have said pet as well.  So when it comes to hunters they actually need to think about buffs and not just press a button.  But still, having the right pet out without being asked for it does set someone into the "good" category in my opinion wouldn't you agree?

But lets continue on pets for a moment.  If I had not put out my hyena without being asked and needed to be asked to put it out, would that means I was below the thin good line?  Some people might say yes, others might say no.  I believe that anyone that plays a hunter should know what buffs their pet brings so their hunters union card can be taken away for not knowing something as simple as bring out the hyena.  But others would say, no big deal.

Now lets go further down the line.  Lets say I knew it was a hyena and did not have one on me.  Hunters can only carry 5 pets and most hunters will usually carry around things they tend to need for their raid group or if nothing specific is needed for their raid group they might just carry around the pets they like.

Would a hunter that did not have a hyena on them be considered under the thin good line?  No, absolutely not.  When you join a pug you never know what buffs you need to bring.  So when you notice it is missing you can say, would you like me to get one from my stable, and leave it up to the raid leader.  Or, you could just ignore it and wait to be asked and then offer to get one from your stable.  Or what if you are asked and did not have one in your stable.  Would you then offer to go catch one?

Where is the good line there?  I think the good line is that you should have at least one pet of every buff /debuff type in your stable.  You do not need to carry them around with you.  You only have five spaces on you, but you should at least own one of each type.  Word to the wise, from my experience in pugs.  Always have a sporebat and a hyena on you.  Trust me, I need to call out those 2 so often I just run around with them now so they are already out with me.  Saves lots of trips to the stable.

Just one little aspect of my visit to this pug and there are so many things that could be the "good" line just concerning pets.  Having it on you, bringing it out on your own, being asked for it, being willing to get it from your stable, being willing to go catch one.  Heck, knowing which one you would need to use to begin with.  Where is the "good" line?

Some people might even say that the pets and the buffs they offer do not matter.  If a hunter is good in every other aspect, who cares.  That is why the thin good line is blurred.

Now lets move to listening to instructions.  The raid leader put out markers before hand and said we start on red, stack on blue second, then green, then purple.  Simple enough right?

I have a decent memory so remembering red, blue, green, purple was easy enough.  But lets just say for a moment they used yellow and green and he just said it as yellow and green.  I am color blind and can not tell the difference between them by looking at them and for some odd reason I keep forgetting which symbol is which.  Does that makes me a bad player because I can not know which one to go too first if I am color blind or does it mean I am a good player because I am smart enough to just follow the crew when I do not know, as I know we are all stacking together anyway.

Would someone that does not have a good memory be considered a bad player?  You know the type, we have all raided with them.  You would need to say stack on blue after this ability.  They would always forget.  They could be good in every other way, but they could never remember stuff like that.  Does that make them appear to be below the good line?

How about positioning, which was not really needed in this fight for the most part, but that is a huge piece of information and I can make it relate to this fight in a way.  You know when DBMs pops up a range finder and you know you need to stay that far away from others?  How often have you fond yourself the perfect spot and someone always walks into your range and you move and they walk into it again.  I've always wanted to scream get the hell out of my circle.  I consider little things like that big factors in where a person sits on that thin good line.

For the fight I am mentioning there is something like that, even if not exactly like that.  The pursuit.  Then the dino is on his lunch rush it is really as simple as don't get in his path.  Easier said than done for some people.  It is almost in the same category as stay out of my circle.  Stay out of my beam.

The thin good line does not only pertain to the person with the beam but everyone around them.  If they are in the middle of the pack when it changes to them the "good" player will run in a direction that will give everyone else the quickest path out of it. 

The good player that gets the beam on themselves and is about to be chased will have a few things go through their mind and will need to make a decision in a split second.  Some of those things would be which direction will give them the most current distance, which direction will give them the best path to move, which direction will leave the dino in the best and furthest position from the group when it chooses its next person and last but most definitely not least which way will leave the rest of the group with the clearest path out so none of them die. The good players without the beam will then notice which way the person being chased is running and run the opposite way of it.  Those are good actions the put people above the line.

Many of us don't even think about it when we do it because it had become second nature, but there are a lot of things that go through your mind when positioning and it isn't just where do I stand or where do I go because in a lot of cases in a lot of fights where you position yourself has a huge impact to everyone else in the raid.  Having a giant blood thirsty dino chasing you and killing everyone in its path between him and you shows your positioning really matters.

Some people are slower to react, how slow does someone need to be before they are considered below that good line?  Is the person that is being chases taking 5 seconds to decide where to run taking too long, is even 3 seconds too long.  Should they need to move instantly to be considered over that thin good line.  Is the person not being targeted not knowing they need to move instantly as well mean they are doing badly?  What is their leeway to how long it should take them to decide on which way to move?  Maybe 5 seconds is okay for them, maybe 3 is better.  Or perhaps the second after they see which way he is running they need to start moving to be over that thin good line.

Now back to them asking for a hunter, namely me in this case.  As I said, I figured I was there to tranq and misdirect.  I was never told to do so and at first I did not even think about it.  Playing a hunter as long as I have been it seems second nature to take off an enrage and to MD a loose add to the tanks.  But doing so would surely put me over the good line right? 

What would happen if I did not do one of them?  Lets pretend that I did not misdirect.  Would I then lose my spot over that good line because I did not MD and it is a hunters job to MD?  All tanks have taunts and they will be coming from the boss which means they have nice vengeance, so they should be able to pick up a single add and keep aggro on it without the help of my misdirection.

Lets say for a moment the tanks did pick it up and did keep aggro on it, and it never hit anyone else what so ever.  Then the fact I did not MD would mean absolutely nothing right?  So even if I we bought there with the raid leaders intending for me to do it, it was not needed and not doing it did not hurt anything.  So does that mean I still earned my slot over that thin good line or did I lose it because I did not do my job even if it was not really needed?

I am sure we can debate that one point for days on end.  I personally believe that even if the tanks were on it like white on rice it is still my job to MD it too them.  Not doing it means I was doing something wrong and thus my place over that good line would surely be in jeopardy.

Now to reason number two why I figured they might have asked for a hunter.  While the fact remains I did use tranquilizing shot the split second that the jailer became enraged each time lets pretend I was really slow with it.  Would I lose my spot over the good line for taking too long to dispel it?

If I took too long to dispel it and noticed the tanks were not going down even if it sat there for a bit and decided to just burn baby burn on the jailer and just ignored it thinking the druid could take care of it if it really mattered to them would I then lose my spot over that good line?

I would guess if your healers were not having an issue and your tanks were not having an issue then removing the enrage was really not needed.  There is a very reasonable argument I could make that says why I should not remove it.  Why waste a global when it goes down that fast and when the tanks are never in danger because of it anyway?

Would it move me below the thin good line if I just completely ignored it?  Maybe, just maybe.  But you know what would most definitely bring me below the thing good line?  If I were asked the remove it and said, I can't.  Now that, for sure, shows that someone isn't quite good, when they do not even realize what their own abilities do.  Small one line side story.  I needed to tell a hunter that they could remove it with tranquilizing shot and he said, I have never used it, let me find it and put it on my bar.  Is that hunter below the thin good line?

Now some might say that they asked for a hunter because of the attack speed pet being they did want it out.  But they could have asked for other classes with the attack speed buff and not just assume that a hunter would have an attack speed pet on them.  Being they did not ask for someone with the attack speed buff that meant, I believe, they wanted me for MD and tranq.

Now, with that said, lets say I never MDed and never tranqed.  The tanks picked up the adds just fine without my help and we downed the jailers so fast that there never was a need to take off the enrage.  Would I still have gotten someone messaging me saying I did a good job and thank you after the run?  Would I still have been over that thin good line even if I completely ignored the reason I was brought along to begin with?  I would be below the line, even having done well other wise, I would be below the good line because I did not do what I was supposed to do.  My opinion of course.  Even with success, you could still have done poorly.

Now to the last part I want to discuss about the thin good line.  Damage.  DPS if you will.  Where is the thin good line for that?  Sometimes, most times actually, people get too caught up with these numbers and use it as the be all end all of deciding who is above the "good" marker.  Let me point something out here, and feel free to disagree, but they are wrong.  Absolutely 100% wrong and could not be more wrong even if they tried to be wrong.

Yes, I do believe that damage dealers are the single most important part of downing bosses.  Without the appropriate amount of DPS no matter how excellent your execution is you will not down bosses.  A friends group in ToT proved that one.  His group has some amazing people when it comes to the "little things".  They never made it past tortos.  They could not get the turtles down fast enough, they could not get the bats down fast enough and that all meant that sooner or later they were over run and wiped.  DPS is the single most important part for anyone that plays the role of a damage dealer after they are following mechanics and doing their job of course, they all go together.  But where is the line of how low is too low?

As I made the assessment when talking about Mr. Big Numbers and Mrs. Tiny DPS that the person doing less DPS was actually the better player that does not mean they were above that thin good line.  Both people were doing poorly.  One was doing poorly because they were not doing what they were supposed to do in favor of big numbers and the other was doing poorly because they were doing what they were supposed to be doing but just not pulling their own weight.  Neither of these people are over the thin good line.  Mr. Big Numbers could learn to listen, position, follow mechanics and he could be over the good line.  Mrs. Tiny DPS could practice a little on the training dummy, maybe run some more content to get used to her class, and get her numbers up to par for the gear she has and she too could be over that good line.

If we had someone doing 500K on that run and not standing where they were supposed to, getting other people killed with the chase, or themselves because they ran right through it when it was chasing someone else, they could very well have wiped us.  So while putting up the numbers is awesome, and sometimes needed, it is not the be all end all of being a good player.  Not even close.

Using my run again and my around 225K while doing everything else I was supposed to be doing how low could my DPS go before I fall below the good line?  Anything over 200K is exceptional for a flex pug.  How exceptional you might ask?  I've done a lot of them and with the exception of the people in my guild that have been in them I have only ever seen 2 other people do over 200K in a flex.  So yeah, 200K in a flex is like a god send when pugging.

So we need to scale that back a fair deal, lets take 50K off what I did.  Would 175K while still doing everything else right be the line?  160K, maybe 150K.  How low would it need to go before you said, I don't care if you are bringing the attack speed buff and listening to instructions and following the mechanics and MDing and tranqing, and kicked my below the line butt from the raid?  140K, 130K, perhaps 120K is the mark?

DPS, like many things, depends on the fight in question and this fight, if you want to do it easier can be pushed faster with more DPS.  So more DPS is of course what would be best for it.  So for this example at least I might say 140K would be the number where it went just too low.  Where even if I did everything right, it is just not worth it when we can get someone else to do better DPS while still doing the "little things" I was doing.

So while dealing damage is always a factor on where someone sits on that thin good line as a damage dealer it is probably one of those sliding numbers.   It is not an absolute number.  On fights where specific tasks might be asked for you, ones that would lower your over all damage, you can not judge completely on that.

Where is this all going too?  I have no idea because I do not know where the line is.  The line is in our own minds, where we figure it to be.  It will change on what you want to do.

At what point does showing up prepared put you over the good line?  Is having your own food, flask, potions, and some tomes for talent changes enough to be over the good line or do you also need to be there ahead of time?  Or what if you forgot your flask, does that immediately put you under the good line.

All things like that, all those little things, they all add up for a complete score of a player.  Mr. Big Numbers and Mrs. Tiny DPS would have the same number.  On a scale of 1-100 they would both rank around 60 in a scale that requires 75 to be a passing grade.

Maybe one day I will make a list of things that place people under, on or above the line and people can see where they fall.  But it would never work because everyone thinks they are good.  For all I know, that run I might have not been asked to come along for the MD, the tranq or the attack speed buff.  Maybe they just wanted a hunter and no matter what I would have done they would have said "nice work, thanks." because in the end, all that matter is the boss died and for most people, that is all they need to think they are good.  Even Mr. Big Numbers and Mrs. Tiny DPS probably thought they did good when the boss died.

And that is why I call it the thin good line.  It is really hard to tell which side you are on sometimes.

Good is a very subjective word.  There is on real answer for it.  It is always a dance of a bunch of things happening all at once.  How you judge who is above it or who is below it will always be based on opinion.

Like I say that a good player always has an idea about a fight before you step into it.  Some others would say, who cares, as long as they listen when I explain.  See what I mean.  Always a dance around the thin good line and each of us will have our own requirements on what makes someone good and what doesn't.

What are some of the little things you feel ring good player when you think about it?


  1. Working in a new keyboard? That's a lot of typing lately. :)

    I'll make a comment about that fight in particular... melee are really, really penalized dps-wise in Recount if they try to maximize their damage. By not attacking the dino after the jailer is down, their Recount will "freeze" their stats and will only continue once they start attacking again. However, a melee who tries to put in a bit of dps (a rogue throwing, a monk crackling jade lightning...ing, a pally judging/exorcising) will do more damage but will pay a pretty big price in Recount.

    (Skada and WoL (effective dps) both avoid this issue)

    So, you also have to factor the fight mechanics themselves into dps numbers. Ranged players will get a significantly higher dps (and damage) opportunity on that fight than melee.

    I've done that fight in Flex as well but not on a hunter... I would comfortably claim going into the fight that I "know it" but if I was asked to come on my hunter I wouldn't expect to be tranq and MDing the jailor... I might assume that I'm being asked to provide a buff but I'd expect them to clarify that and if they didn't, I'd ask. Maybe they just wanted a hunter so if there was a wipe you might be able to feign and save them a run-back. Even in your scenario I think I'd have preferred that you ask what they wanted, even if after joining up with them. Never hurts to be sure.

    Also, just a note that you can't flying serpent kick your way through the dino when he's walking. I was, uh, just testing to see if it would work. It doesn't. Die and learn.

    Honestly, in terms of REGULAR playmates, all I'm really looking for is a desire (and demonstrated ability) to improve over time, they don't have to be spectacular first time in, I just don't like to see mistakes repeated more than a few times, especially when it's just one person making them. I also want to see dps go up even without new gear coming in, assuming the player is maximizing on fights the first time in. Improvement. I want to know that fights will get easier over time because of group competence, not just because of nerfs or new gear.

    With pugs, my only real goal is for them to not cause wipes. I also don't ever want to bring in a pug who hasn't ever seen the content... I don't think it's fair to a regular group to have to explain a fight, especially basic mechanics, to someone who they're bringing in, at least in most situations. When I'm occasionally called in to something at the last minute, I'll try to at least sneak a quick boss guilde in during lulls in trash, Icy Veins has started adding some useful Summing Things Up sections to their raid bosses that's very handy for that purpose. 30 seconds of skimming can save a lot of grief.

    As for your claim that everyone thinks they are good, that isn't my experience, most of the folks I run with don't think they're very good at all... most underestimate their skill, actually. That's generally a good thing (beats a bunch of scrubs thinking they're pros) but it also leads to a "well, we aren't very good, wiping is expected" mentality at times. There's definitely a balancing game involved there. As for me personally, I know when I'm good but I know even more when I'm not.

    1. Don't know why, some posts just linger on without even thinking about it.

      So I am taking it you die trying to jump through huh? lol. Hey, someone has to test it out and let everyone else know right?

      People that underestimate their skill are usually the true good players or the ones with the potential to be good.

      Funny for me is no matter how well I do I can not help but think I could have done better. I had an awesome run on one of the bosses last week on normal, beat my old record, and the first thing I said when someone pointed it out. "I let my serpent sting fall off, I need to get better up time."

      No matter what you do, you can always do better. As soon as you start to think you are doing as well as you can, you have entered "the bad player zone". In my opinion, kind of fits with that you said.

    2. Yeah, the usual "avoid front and back" becomes "avoid entirely" during that phase. I'm still waiting for someone to test life grip out on it.

      Also, I may need to correct myself on that fight, I finally got around to checking our logs from that fight and all dps toons were significantly (35-45%) lower on effective dps than normal dps so whatever was affecting melee dps seemed to be affecting ranged equally. That would seem to indicate that Thok has some sort of damage reduction/immunity on him at that point or significant downtime that I don't remember but if that's the case, I haven't heard about it... and Icy Veins only mentions a frontal cone to avoid so I'm not sure why flying through him killed me. Regardless, I may not know what I'm talking about on that fight so just disregard it all.

      Yeah, every now and then it's nice to get into a zone where you do play at a nearly maximum level (when I was ranking back in ToT it was one of those periods, everything just seemed to click into place) but yeah, normally there are things to improve on.

    3. If he was chasing someone then even going through him might have been considered being in front of him. Who knows. I have seen some weird things and maybe it was just a bug that killed you.

      I was zoned in last week, was a good feeling but I was still making a lot of stupid mistakes. I hate when that happens and you had a great run and then think "what could have been" if I did not screw up.

  2. The reason hunters are loved on Thok is because they are a ranged dps so can more easily keep up the damage during phase 2, but also don't have any cast time abilities so can maintain their normal high output rotation while laughing at the screeches.

    Casters are penalised in phase 1, melee are penalised in phase 2 - hunters don't suffer at all.

    1. I hate those things as a caster, they really put the beating on them for that fight.

      It is one of those few fights where it is really fun being a hunter because we are the only class that does not suffer for anything.

      I never thought of that as a reason. Good point.

  3. RE: hunter pet buffs. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think it is 100% the raid leaders responsibility to tell a hunter to bring a specific buff if the raid is going to need one. If you want to lead, you have to do the extra work of looking at what classes are coming. You should know what buffs you'll be missing before people start grouping up.

    However, I, too, always carry a sporebat and hyena just in case. Also, since I've been playing some BM this xpac, I usually have a Brez and Bloodlust/heroism pet on me. In spoils when choosing sides we've had to rely on hunter pets several times to make sure both sides have buffs. And in emmerseus, spoils, and Dark Shammies, we've needed brezes and hero on opposite sides of the fight where it wasn't stretching.

    Though I always bring those pets to raid, i only do so because it's so common to need them. I don't think it should be expected, especially while pugging. And when it comes to knowing how far another class's buff will reach, i think that falls to the raid leader; the hunter shouldn't be expected to guess how far away everyone will be and get out a specific pet accordingly.

    If you can do more dps as SV or MM should you be expected to switch to BM to provide Ancient Hysteria or Eternal Guardian?

    1. I am the raid leader and the hunter. So I am both. But even as a raid leader and as a hunter I disagree. It is the hunters job to take care of his class.

      However, with that said, a good raid leader will let the hunter know before the raid what buffs they might need. My opinion of course.

      As for your question, depends on the difference. As it stands now, yes, switch, BM is even top in many cases. Last expansion, no, do not switch unless we seriously out DPS the content and do not need the numbers. Everyone just needs to get better and not die and live without hero/lust.

      I heard a raid leader of a pug say something one time along those line when someone asked me to switch to BM for a battle rez. "If he is better in SV he will stay survival I am not going to ask him to switch because you can't get out of bad. Stop dying."

  4. RE: the more general line between good and bad players

    I like that it's a blurry line between bad, good and great. I think some of the contrasts you mentioned are differences between good and great players.

    The two locks you mentioned are pretty different from the types of things you were talking about here. I don't know that class at all, but had they been hunters, I wouldn't say Mrs tiny dps was doing everything right mechanically and her only problem was doing poor dps. She was doing one thing right, it sounds like: switching targets at the appropriate time. That doesn't mean she was also appropriately snaring adds, which a good player would do at certain points in that fight.

    While I don't think it's true that people who do high dps usually do things right, I do think it's true that people who do things right do high dps. Almost universally.

    Knowing when to hit tranq shot or when to throw an ice trap, that just comes down to hitting the right buttons at the right time. I can't imagine someone being able to do that with utilities, but not being able to do that when pew pewing. Hitting high dps is also just hitting the right buttons at the right time. HItting the right utilities is of course more complicated. So just doing high dps is easier. But if you get to the point where you can do everything correctly, you should already be able to do high dps.

    As for the appropriate amount of DPS, that is hard. My mage friend often complains in /o, because she spends a lot of her time during raids doing things like placing markers, or, for example, in tortos she was always on the shell kicking team. And that definitely affects her DPS on WoL. In our 25m it's the difference between her being in the top 3 or 4 and being in the top 8 or 9. Because she's an above average damage dealer, it would be more efficient to have her focus on dps and assign one of the less effective damage dealers to those tasks, but then of course we run into the problem that we can always trust her to do those jobs, and the lower damage dealers often also struggle at performing utility type functions.

    Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated about similar things. we're 10/14 at the moment. Of those progression kills I've been top dps on probably 7 of 10. And everytime I find myself having to perform utility I feel like my real talent is being wasted (that talent of course being a mindless killing machine). I realize that is pretty dumb of me, but I still feel it. I think "one second of my time is worth 270k damage, and one second of that other players is only worth 140k, make them do it". I'd like to think that it's because I really believe the extra dps I can do would win the fight for us, but I'm sure that it really has a lot more to do with wanting to get a top parse, which is selfish and maybe that makes me a bad player... hard not to feel that way though.


    1. You make a very good point. Never thought if it that way that if the person is good at hitting utility they are probably better at hitting the right buttons otherwise for rotation.

      We had one of out better players, a mage as well, do kicking on that fight. Because in that case it was the kicking that was more important than the DPS. He was the one that picked it up best and as a mage and all the movement, he was losing a lot to begin with, so he was the ideal person to be the kicker. Would it have made more sense to put a lesser damage dealer in that role? Yes. But he never missed a kick, the lesser player did. I would rather live with lower DPS than die with higher DPS. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made and it seems that is what your made did, sacrifice for the betterment of the team.

      Remember, it is a team effort.

      As for my team, I can never be #1 any longer. Too many good players and too many players getting gear where I am not. I cap around 250 in the right situation now, Bring 260 on a few fights but nothing much. Hard to get anywhere when we have one of the top players in the world in his class doing 350 and he is only 550. I will never catch him, he is way too skilled. But being behind him is nothing to be ashamed of. Just glad he is on my team.

    2. Wow, yeah, I haven't topped 300 in a single target fight... We don't have anyone like that in our guild.

      I occasionally pug in with some good raiding guilds, then I'm the low Damage Dealer and honestly, I feel like I need to perform extra utility so I can make up for not being as good as their normal hunter. In my regular guild, however, I get to play top pew pew'er on many of the kills. Hopefully as we progress and get more gear and get better as a team, it'll be a good fight for the top spot.

    3. The better the team is the better you will be. At least that has always been my experience. I am lucky that in my guild the 5 damage dealers in our 10 man (myself included) are all solid players so we all do over 200K which mean it gives us all the opportunity to do even better. We feed off each other and why I might not be able to beat the top guy I always do whatever I can to try. I've only beaten him on one fight in months, and if you ask me, that is something to be proud of as good as he is. lol

      You mention being the lowest damage dealer, well, in some cases, that is a good thing.

      I did a 5 man, just for valor, last week on my hunter and I was doing an "okay" 270K. Why do I call it okay? I was dead last. Sometimes being last isn't a bad thing, just means you have a great group. We finished the entire heroic dungeon in 3 minutes.

  5. As one of the anonymous's said, they just wanted a hunter because hunters don't get interrupted in p1 and can keep DPSing in p2 easily.

    Casters have problems in p1. Melee have problems in p2. Hunters have problems in neither.

    Nothing to do with tranq or MD or anything.

    1. I had not thought about how easy a hunter had it. Just part of the role that I take it for granted. Just as I do the MD and tranq thing. It is just part of the job.

      He is right, I never thought about how much easier it is for hunters on that fight.

  6. Agreed with above, hunter are not really used for MD/tranq shot for thok.

    If anything in my group, tank are already in position before the jalier spaw (so my MD would be of little to no help) and our tanks even ask for not dispelling the enrage to cheese extra vengeance (and that is with 540-550 gear).

    But the fact that hunter are ranged and can't be interrupted by thok is what make them beast for this fight. I'm willing to bet that the #1 in your group was a mele, and that would be because he was dpsing the jailer.

    IF anything as a hunter (or range for that matter) you should just not even switch to the jailer unless your mellee dps suck hard. Handling the jailer is their job, yours as a ranged is to nuke the boss.

    1. I had not even thought of that. I guess I just get used to being able to do everything on the move I do not think of it as some "bonus", it is just want a hunter does, nothing special.

      Yeap, # 1 was a 560 melee.

      I always switch, out of habit, because we only have 1 melee on our 10 and 4 on our 25. So I often play the role of melee for things where we say "melee on X".

      Habits are hard to break. Just like MD and tranq, I don't do it because it is "needed" I do it because it is habit.

  7. I don't know if you still get notice comments on older posts, but an experience the other night made me think of this post.

    I'm going to be unavailable for my normal raid this weekend, so my raid leader recommended me to one of their raid leader friends who was looking for a pug this week. It was a little late at night, but I hadn't done 10m in a while and thought it would be fun.

    The reason I thought of this post is they had a hunter who was good. And it was quite humbling. He wasn't the best hunter damage dealer ever. But he was definitely the best in their raid. and even though he was maybe 10 ilvls below me, the two of us were competing for top dps on every fight. But that's not really what humbled me so much, it was all the little things.

    For example, I've killed nazgrim 6 times, and wiped on him plenty more than that. It had never occured to me (or any of the four hunters in our 25m raid) that it would help everyone if we through a flare on the spot where the forces spawn from. Flare isn't part of my raiding rotation (it's generally not even keybound unless i'm doing something that specifically calls for it, like rare hunting in MoP, or pvp). But then in this fight I notice he's doing it for all 10 spawns then throwing hunter's mark on any assassin's that pop up. In my normal raid we've even talked in /o about how to deal with people dying when they get assassin's mark... But in this raid everyone else all the sudden was a better kiter, because he would keep concussive shot on the assassin even when focusing on the mage or shaman.

    Anyhow, it seemed in every fight he was not only able to compete for top dps, but also could provide all sorts of utility that had never really occurred to me. And what really made me think he was good, is that his raid didn't realize he was doing all these things (I'm not even sure the RL saw how much utility he was bringing), they just knew the fights were easier when he was there.

    On thok my tanks would be upset at the loss of vengeance if I tranq'ed the jailor... But if that weren't the case, it'd be very similar. I think the differences between an average hunter and a good hunter (or an average player and a good player) are those small things that don't improve their personal numbers, but make everyone else seem a little bit better.

    ~Below average hunter

    1. Those are the little things that really matter. I have all my hunters put flares and keep concussive on the assassin and warrior for that matter. Not to mention scatter shot on the warrior to stop is annoying spin.

      There is always a lot that can be done that most people just do not think of. Does not mean someone is bad, just means they are not thinking about their entire toolbox.

      The game gets people in that rut that damage dealers deal damage. It forgets to tell them there is a lot more to doing damage that just pew pewing.

      On Thok, hit him with a widow venom before he eats the NPCs, it reduces the healing her gets from eating them by 25%.

      Just another little hunter tip. ;)

      It is not just a hunter thing. All classes have stuff they can do and when they are not there you notice their absence. That is the true mark of a good player. When they are not there you notice that things are harder. Apparently, they were doing something that made the fight easier, and it was not just dealing damage.