Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Four Newbies Walk Into An LFR and...

The title of this post is actually a little misleading, the four people I am talking about are not exactly what you would call newbies but they were new to what they were doing, so I guess it sort of fits.  I think a more appropriate title for this post would be "It is not hard to not be bad."

The four newbies were as follows.

Me, on my druid healing with a total of one days healing experience on a druid in the last 5 years.  Our resident DPS beast attempting his hand at a hunter that he hit 90 on a month ago because he liked the idea of me saying I had so many key binds for PvP and he wanted a challenge.  An extremely dedicated player who saw what our resident DPS beast could do as a feral druid and wanted to see if he could ever be that good on his druid that was a boomkin up until two weeks ago when he decided to try feral and started to gear for it.  And last but not least a player who was well versed as a ranged DPS and healer but had never played on a melee class who used his boost to 90 on a warrior less than a week ago in his first raiding experience as a melee.

So we were four experienced player all in roles we were experienced in.  If we were to do poorly it would not be that surprising.

We started in ToT even if we could all get into SoO because, lets face it, with our experience on those respective classes we might as well start on something we were a little better suited for.  A place where we could learn a bit about how to get better at the roles we played.  Even if we were geared enough for SoO there are already too many players doing poorly there that should be in lesser LFRs learning how to play their class and/or roles, why compound the problem.

In the end none of us ended up being LFR heroes, we did not carry the group, this is no story about how awesome we were, but it is a story about the fact were were not horrible.  None of us did anything you would consider well above and beyond our ability.  None of us will be looking to steal a slot in a real raid team on these characters any time soon, heck, we might not even be ready to steal a slot in a flex on them yet.  None of us excelled at playing in a role we were not used to.  But all of us did decently.

I was number 1 or 2 in healing done, while never being higher than third in over healing (which is weird for a druid), on all the bosses we managed to do except for one where I was 4.  The new hunter who was a month old that had never played one before was top 5 in every fight.  The druid that just switched from boomkin to feral two weeks ago was also top 5 in every fight and the warrior that was a boost to 90, while finishing a little lower, was never less than 10th in damage done despite having never once played a melee class and only having timeless island pieces mixed with the instant 90 green pieces.

We might not have been great, but we were not bad.  Not even by a long shot.  But looking around us showed that most people were exactly that.  Bad.

There is no reason to be that bad.  Sure, we all start off not knowing how to play, but there is a difference between doing badly and being bad.  It is not hard to not be bad.

Each of us could have had someone that knew how to play the classes well look at us and say we were doing badly, they could pick out that I was letting lifebloom fall off, or I was not using wild growth on cooldown, or one of a million mistakes I made, but they would not say we were bad.  We might have not been doing as well as we could have, but that is different from being bad.

The 4 week old hunter spent some time asking me questions and I answered them.  He spent some time on the timeless island killing things, in battle grounds killing things, and even doing the LFR a little in the last few weeks.  He might not be ready to challenge me on the charts, but he is already starting to shape up to be a damn good hunter because he spent some time playing with his character, learning his abilities, figuring out how they interact, and asking questions.

The 2 week old feral druid asked a million and one questions, spent some serious time on the target dummy, and showed that he is willing not only to learn from people that know how to play the class but he listened to them, he did not just ask the questions and then still do his own thing.  When weak auras were mentioned to him by me and another he stopped what he was doing instantly and downloaded it and spent a while trying to get it set up to his liking.

The boosted to 90 warrior went to noxxic and read about the priority system, visited some other web sites for tips and tricks, even contacted an old friend that does not play warcraft any longer but used to play a warrior.  But not only that.  Having never played a melee before he spoke to a few people about how to play in melee so he would have a better understanding of what he would need to do and what he would have to expect.

Then there is myself, and I already said in another post about what I did on my druid.  I went to the proving grounds to practice some, asked a lot of questions and spent some special alone time with my healing addon so we could get to know each other better in terms of druid healing as well as visiting more than a few how to heal as a druid web sites and forum posts.

We might not have been great, we did not bring anything to the group that anyone else couldn't have, but we were one thing for sure, and that was not bad.  We were most definitely not bad.

All it takes is a desire to do well and a little bit of time to attempt to learn and while you might not become a great player you surely will not be a bad one.  There is no reason anyone should be bad, even more so when in group content.  Nobody is asking for everyone you run into in the LFR to be a great player, not even the elitist jerks, they just want everyone to try, to at least not be bad.

Moral of the story.  If you want to play solo, who cares if you are a beast mastery hunter that never uses bestial wrath, you are not hurting anyone but yourself and you are not even hurting yourself as long as you are having fun.  But if you are going to play in group content you owe it to everyone else to at least seek out a basic understanding of what it is you are doing there.  Not just for the group, but for yourself as well.  You do not need to be bad because it is not hard to not be bad.


  1. "Nobody is asking for everyone you run into in the LFR to be a great player, not even the elitist jerks, they just want everyone to try, to at least not be bad."

    Nobody? My experience in LFR, which I feel like you've stated, to some extent, here also, is that the people who make LFR miserable aren't the bad players, it's the asshats. When DPSing, I'd rather be in a group with 17 DDs who can't deal damage, who don't use major CDs or don't know when to use whatever ability, and when I'm healing LFR, I'd rather play with people who stand in the fire, rather than then average LFR player who spends half the time belittling the "bad" players to cover up their own mistakes.

    I've actually asked people to stand in the fire before, because healing lfr is so boring.. :-P


    1. The people that make LFR hell are not the bad players, they are the asshats. This is about people not doing well, not about bad LFR runs.

      I did not say the runs were bad. Thankfully we were asshat free, for the most part, had to kick one person for refusing to come to the instance and telling us we should just kill the bosses without him while he sat in stormwind.

      I just wonder why people can not do better, I wonder why they do not take the time out to at least look over a guide or at least visit noxxic.

      I am thinking of them as two different topics. Asshats make the LFR bad is one topic (not this one) & bad players should be better is the other (this is about that).

      I think you confused the topics. Like you, I would rather the groups I had yesterday with some bad players in it than a group with even a couple of jerks in it any day.

    2. I want to reply to that :

      "I wonder why they do not take the time out to at least look over a guide or at least visit noxxic."

      They do not take time because they should'nt have to to pull the numbers needed in LFR. Most people aren't aware there are guides out there, most people doesn't even assume ppl would write guides for a game.

      The game should give you the tools to do your job at an acceptable level (for LFR that is). Going to an external website to get the most out of your toon should only be needed for advanced play (current normal/HC and coming HC/mythic)

    3. I agree, you should not have to know anything to do the LFR. The LFR should really be sight seeing mode. But if you have ever done the LFR and wiped, wiped over and over, due to under performance or people not doing specific mechanics, you would know that is just not the case.

      LFR could be used as a learning tool. I use it to practice. But it should not be designed to be such because of the people that use it.

      Blizzard could do better to give some sort of guidance in game. Let people use the LFR to get better and make all fights interactive training dummies, so to speak. I hope that is what they are doing when they say they plan to make it easier next expansion.

  2. It was sad to me the other day when I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to try flex and he was honestly (pleasantly, I think) surprised that I already had DBM and some other addons to help me with raiding, even though I'd mostly done LFRs and nothing else.
    Just because it's LFR I don't see any reason why I shouldn't put out my best effort in it if that's what I am mostly doing for end game. But his surprise that I actually knew some stuff and was relatively prepared made me think about some of the runs I've been in. I guess not everybody sees LFR as something worth trying in. :P

    1. Perhaps I just do not understand that line of thinking. If this is what I am going to do, might as well try to do it decently. I might never do anything higher than LFR in difficulty on my druid healer but that doesn't mean I shouldn't do as well as I could while there.

      Not for any one else either, but for myself. I would rather think "I tried my best" than think "I hope I get a good group so I don't need to do anything".

    2. @PlaidElf

      A personal anecdote for you. Back in times of ToT at least three guys that I knew "raided" LFR on their alts almost completely in semi-AFK mode. They'd do something from time to time, but - going out to get a cup of tea right before pull or even mid-battle? Sure thing. Alt-tabbing to watch a movie? Of course! You get the idea...

      All of them were doing this - according to them, anyway - because LFR is so stupid, it matters little what exactly you do there. Yes, if you give 110%, it will go smoother than if you give 50%, but the amount of "smoother" is relatively small because there are 25 people yet fights are so easy they can be done with 15. In the end, even if you only do 20% by semi-AFKing, it pays off because you can do that in background (eg, playing WoW for real in another window on a different account, or just doing something else).

      These guys were part of the problem, of course, but I can totally see their reasoning. LFR is... I don't know, it's just bad. The worst thing is, I am not seeing LFR getting good going forward. Neither in WoD, nor after it.

      Do flex+normals, they don't consume that much time / don't require a schedule these days.

    3. LFR is bad partly because of those people, Saying you AFK because LFR is bad is kind of stupid when you AFKing is what is making the LFR bad. (not you personally, just using the word you).

      It is amazing that the vast majority of people that say they troll in LFR because it is bad, they AFK in LFR because it is bad, they insult people in LFR because it is bad, they do this, that or the other in LFR because it is bad, all don't realize that the reason it is bad is because they do these things.

      If people want LFR to start being better they need to stop acting like jackasses and using the excuse that because it is the LFR it is okay.

  3. This matches my experiences lately with my DK and Mage that I never play. I was surprised that my crappy (by my standards) dps was still pretty decent compared to the other people in the world boss groups. If I did LFR on them, I'd probably see the same thing.

    So I definitely agree: "It's not hard to not be bad."

    1. Funny part is even some decent players otherwise seem to have a hard time picking up new classes. A DK from my guild who is good at being one has been working on a mage. Last week we dragged him in on garrosh on his mage and was was pulling 160K-180K on the attempts, and remember numbers will be inflated because of the starting AoE and he said he is reading everything and he is trying everything but he just can not get anything going. When I told him my mage is pulling between 130K and 160K single target with no AoE he said he might as well just give up on it.

      I wonder if it is a design flaw in how procs and luck play into it as well as a player fault.

      Heck, even on my hunter I have done the same fight with the same gear and seen results from 225K to 350K depending on the luck of procs. It just seems like too much depends on gear and luck.

      Sometimes it is hard to see if someone is doing poorly or is just unlucky unless you look deeper into the numbers.

    2. On picking up new classes: I honestly don't like picking up new specs. I used to like it, but the novelty weared off a couple of years ago and now, when I have to put in the time in order to understand a spec, it actually bothers me. It feels a bit useless, I guess, because you know that the next time you revisit that spec, everything will be different again. I still do it, mind you, for competitiveness and whatnot, but it feels like punishment, you are constantly chasing that train of changes and it gets tiring.

      I wonder how it would be if they stopped making big changes to classes and specs, Really. What if we had an expansion with NO changes to classes and specs, bar bug fixes and maaaaybe small (small!) fixes balance? What if in WoD we'd continue to be level 90, there'd be no new spells, no new stats (I like some changes there, but what if), and instead we'd get more instances, more zones, maybe another feature like garrisons or pet battles, etc. I'd be happy to try.

    3. There is a need to change a lot of design aspects in the game (hence button bloat and stat squish among others).

      They could have definitely set it up in WoD though that we didn't get 10 new levels though.

      The problems with that idea really come into how Blizzard puts so much emphasis on gear rewards and exponentially increasing player power. I don't think that's as necessary as Blizzard makes it out to be.

    4. @PvP Anon

      I hate going back and having to relearn a spec all over again too because they keep changing things for nothing more than the sake of changing things.

      Blizzard needs to spend more time fixing what they have and less time changes things for no reason.


      I agree that the increasing power is not as big as blizzard makes it. Even had a whole post on it when GC said that upgrades needed to be big. They do not grasp that and upgrade is an upgrade. There is no reason my normal chest should have 1200 more agility than my LFR one. They are in the same tier. I would have been happy if it had 40 more because guess what, 40 more is still 40 more.

      It is their stupid ideas like that which made the stat problem become what it is. I swear the people that design the game do not play it.

  4. if your friends are looking for some advice on how to play their class.
    noxxic is only good for some really basic stuff.... like what abilities are my attacks. or whether a warrior is a range or a melee class...

    their warrior guide is infamous. for their bad "custom service", tell peopel who write them how to improve their guide to "f*ck off".
    Infamous for thing which can be misleading.

    Their reputation among people are really really bad.

    BEst sources are WoW Class Forum, there are good class speficig guide thre.
    MMO-Champion forum. One of the best WoW community. Most people hanging around in the forum are top- and hardcore raider. at least people who cares about how to maximize their character's potential.

    i personaly would never use noxxic just because it has a "fuck off" attitute towards the rest of WoW community.

    and yeah. they are also infamous for having wrong basic information which will stay in their guide for a long time.

    oh btw. Icy-Veins is also very good. and they are open to every suggestion.
    credited and als has a own small community.
    compared to whoever write the noxxic guides(no info, no names, whatever)

    1. My friends did fine. I am talking about the rest of the player base. Noxxic is perfect for them. Some basic knowledge to get you started at at least doing respectable.

      You know, I never even knew there were comments on noxxic until you just said that. lol

      Icy Veins is better but reading it I would only suggest it to someone that had basic knowledge. Sending someone from LFR to that would not help them at all. Noxxic would.

      While looking for druid stuff when just recently trying to pick up healing I looked at a lot of guides. I personally did not look at either of those, I wanted something more in depth and you are right MMO-C had one of resto druid guides I came across.

      Anyone serious about doing decent already knows where to find better data. I was referring to people that have no clue. Noxxic is best for them, attitude or not. Just my opinion of course.

  5. I understand you.

    It would be ok if Noxxic is always reliable.
    But it is not.

    If there is a error it will stay for a long time.

    Also a quick glance a their fury warrior priorities.

    Someone new would really gem after Strength. Which is just wrong.

    Worst is. Noxxic are already very compressed. They never explains why you need to do what they tell you to do.

    This doesnt help newbies at all.
    If Noxxic's guide have flaw(as stated they have flaws from time to time which takes long tine to correct), newbies are going to follow the guide without knowing and they wont be able to see the flaw because they are just blindly following noxxic.

    They wont improve themself. Because they never learned how to do things by themselfs.

    I think it is especialy important to give newbies informations which are correct. And show them places where they can further get in depth into the class.

    I personaly will take icy vein over noxxic any time.
    Also because i habe experience with their guide.
    I wrote mails with icy veins as they started to write the class guides.
    And they do response to help and integrate the improvements.

    Everyone can write a short sum-up to a class if they read into it.
    There are many blogposts abd forum posts about noxxic how they seems to dont play the class at all.
    Thats why it is bot reliable.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. I would hope that anyone that wants to get better would only use something like noxxic as a stepping stone. To really learn how to play any class well you need to read around, no one guide is perfect. No matter how much people say the game has gotten so easy, compared to most games it is still quite complex and takes a a fair bit of effort for someone picking it up the first time to learn.

      Like I said, if they really want to get better, they would look further than just one site anyway. Sad thing is, most people do not want to get better and those are the ones you see 70% of the time LFR and even flex groups.

      Heck, I get new people joining my guild all the time and wanting to raid and I tell them I will take them on a flex first to see what they can do. They just say, I am well geared, let me get in on a garrosh kill. I say no, not until I can see what you are capable of. When I finally do they are sitting at a 565 item level having a problem even putting out 100K DPS. And this is the person that has been bugging me to come to garrosh. If you can not pull 300K or at least close to it in 565 gear, sorry to tell you, even flex is too advanced for you. I just so want to tell people that sometimes. Instead I just try to teach them. Maybe 1 in 20 I pull aside to teach ever actually learn anything. Which is why I say for most people even a simple list of abilities to use like noxxic shows is still way to complex for them.

    2. Better to direct them to a good and complex guide.
      Give them the full-course.

      Let them see how they are compared to what a "average skill" player should be like.

      Many would use Noxxic as a full guide. saying they are optimized, they are doing everything right.Wont even notice if Noxxic used wrong priorities.

      Let them see from the start the gap between bad and being average. And average is all you need to clear non-HC raids.
      Do 70% of the possible DPS. and you are the MVP in most of LFR.

    3. We can agree to disagree here. I know people. If they can not understand "use these 5 abilities" there is no way they are going to understand complex, or even bother reading it. They will load the page, see a lot of words, and say I am not reading this. Trust me, I have taught more people to play than I can even remember and I know that the majority of players even noxxic listing 5 abilities is too complex for them.

      I would love to let them see how they are compared to others, but they do not grasp the concept. I told one person his DPS was fine, his response was the boss went down so it was fine. I had him load recount and then after a fight I showed him what he did and what everyone else did. He was doing 25% of what anyone else did and he still said, but the boss went down. He did not understand he was doing horrible.

      Maybe you play with a better quality of player but as the raid leader of a casual raid team I have seen more bad "raiders" than you can ever imagine. People who think they are good.

      You can not, repeat, CAN NOT, clear normal with average. You must play with a much higher quality of player or have lost touch with what average is because you are so much better than that. You are not alone. I consider myself average and I pull 300K-350K in mostly normal gear with one piece from ToT still. However, people with the same gear as me usually top out at 120K. THAT is your average player. Your average "raider" can do 120K in 560ish gear.

      Don't kid yourself, you are over estimating what the average player is capable of. Now remember, if the average "raider" is doing 120K and these are the people who supposedly know what they are doing how low do you think the average player is?

      I think you are really over estimating the skill of the average player by a hell of a lot.

      Had a rogue join my guild a couple of weeks ago, 568 item level, took him on a normal clear to see what he could do. The best he did on any fight was 87K. Not kidding. He is your average player.

    4. seems like you do meet with many bad players.

      and ignorant players.
      stupid players.

      no offense.
      but it is just against common knowledge to say "it is fine because boss is dead".

      If you play with 3 hunters. you are only doing 30% of what they are doing. and you all ahve the same gear. then its written black and white saying: you are bad.
      if people are ignorant. still saying the boss died. doesnt matter. well.

      it also doesnt matter to find a replacement for you then. because i personally dont like such asses. want to take a 522 hunter who want to improve himself, who is willing to learn over a 580 guy anytime.

      I am amazed at how many "Avarage" players you are encountering.

      On my server if someone is bad. then he is bad. no argueing shit.

      maybe i am just spoiled with good friends. and good players

    5. I know that, you know that, many people know that. But the average raider does not understand that if they are 30% under everyone else they are doing poorly.

      I think you have just had a lot of luck if you have not ran into many of those bad players. I get at least 2 or 3 people a week applying to my guild that want to raid normal and after testing them out I would not even bring them to a flex. Hell, I don't even think some of them are LFR ready and that is saying a lot.

      The average player is bad. The average player does not want to get better. The average player can not learn.

      It might be hard for people that do better to believe this but we are the minority. People who can pull 80% of their potential are in the top 2% of the game.

      If all the people you ever run into fit into that category, I would really love to run with you some time because I can use a break from teaching and just enjoy some playing for a while.