Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chaos Orb

In case you did not know or are living under a rock Chaos Orbs are the new Frozen Orbs with a twist.  They are Bind on Pickup.  What the hell was Blizzard thinking?

Blizzard has basically said, hey you, yes you, the Mail/Leather wearer that is not a leatherworker, bend over while we give it to you without even greasing you up first.  It is not just Mail/Leather wearers.  It is cloth wearers that are not tailors, plate wearers that are not blacksmiths.  Anyone that might need a pattern that does not have that skill on that character or a character that runs heroics normally to get the orbs.

I originally made an alt, a Rogue, to be a skinner and a leatherworker because it could make gear for itself and it could make gear for my Hunter.

I made another alt, my bank alt DK, an enchanter and scribe so it could make my enchants and glyphs.

I made yet a thrid alt, my druid, a miner and a jewelcrafter so it could make my gems.

Before I went into complete altaholic mode my first three alts where made for the specific purpose of being support characters for my main character.

I had my enchants, glyphs, gems and gear all made for me.  This lowered my costs considerably (buying mats is almost always much cheaper then buying the item) and made me independently capable of making sure I was always raid ready without ever needing to spend extra cash for over priced items or finding someone else to make something for me.

While the fact remains that I can still get my gems, enchants and glyphs from my other characters I can no longer get my gear from my Rogue because blizzard made Chaos Orbs BoP for some strange reason.

I do hope this changes and changes quickly.  At least make them BoA so my Hunter can roll on them and send them to my Rogue to make me gear. 

Even if my Hunter could not roll on them as they do not have a profession that needs them my Priest could.  If they were BoA my Priest could get them and send them to my Rogue.

While I am aware that anything I craft with Chaos Orbs will most likely be replaced in a raid, there is no reason I should be forced to pay 16K for something I could get for 3K worth of materials because I could not get the orbs myself.

Some will say I should just take my Rogue into dungeons.  While that is an option it is not something I should be required to do.  It was made for the profession.  It was not made to play.  I would need to gear up for heroics, then run heroics, then hope to win rolls, all to craft gear for another character.  That is way to much time invested in an alt I do not really enjoy playing to begin with and based on the time that would take it would actually be cheaper to make the money and pay the over priced listing for the item.

I might not need anything made from my Rogue now, but it is the principal that I stand on that Orbs should not be BoP.  There is no reason for it.

Frozen Orbs worked just fine as a tradable item.  Primordial Saronite worked fine as a tradable item.  I see no reason why Chaos Orbs would not work just fine as a tradable item.

I am sure Blizzard can do something to fix this.
I am sure Blizzard will do something to fix this.

If the past proves anything however, by the time Blizzard addresses the problem no one will give a crap about the orbs any more anyway because you will be getting much better gear from points.  Now is the time to address this, not later.

Pro Tip:

For anyone with a crafting profession.  Always roll need on the Orb (because if you don't someone else will).  You might not need it now but maybe some day you will need it to make something for an alt or a guild mate and it would be better to have 40 sitting around collecting dust then to have to go run heroics hoping to win rolls to get them. 

Not to mention, when the time comes that they are not BoP any more you will make a small fortune selling them.

Q: Who is CC for?

A: Everyone

Wrong!  Okay, it is right but it is also wrong.

Lets see how it helps the tank.
1) Single target threat is so much easier.
2) One/Two mob(s), 3-5 seconds alive means no need to ever use cool downs.
3) Most servers do Skull first and X second so there is no explaining needed to keep people on the same target.
1) Positioning takes more work so you do not break it.
2) It takes more time to assign CC and mark.
3) You have to pay attention to anything that might hit more then one target.

So it helps the tank and it hurts the tank.

Lets see how it helps the DPS.
1) Lets face it, single target DPS is all that really matters.
2) You can prove you know what your doing if you are good at CC.
3) Less mobs means less chance of getting hit and that means lower repair bills.
1) No huge AoE numbers to inflate your ego.
2) You might actually have to have more things keybound to remember.
3) You have to pay attention to anything that might hit more then one target.

So it helps the DPS and it hurts the DPS.

Lets see how it helps the healer.
1) Less mobs on the tank means less damage and an easier to heal tank.
2) Single target means it is less likely DPS will pull aggro and need heals.
3) Smaller pulls means less need for expensive heals and less chance of having mana issues.
4) Less time spent drinking.
5) Less chance to need cool downs.
6) Possible chance to do some DPS as well for fun. (Smite healing rocks)
7) Money saved from not having to have 40+ waters for every run.
1) ...

CC is for the healer.  That is the concept behind CC.

So the real answer is

A: For the healer.

From the perspective of a Hunter I personally like having a happy healer.  A happy healer means that I will always get heals when I need them and I never have to look to using a pot or a bandage and that means I get more DPS time in.  I like a happy healer.

Bonus points for any Hunter that leaves a trap at the healers feet at all times.  They might never say anything but the ones that notice it and understand what you are doing will love you forever.  Sadly some healers have no clue why you do that.  It just means they are stupid.  Lets hope they can at least heal even if they can not understand precautionary CC.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ideas to Fix Heroics.

This has absolutely nothing to do with difficulty, I thought I would get that out of the way first.

The LFD system is critically broken at the moment.  Unless you go with guild mates the success rate is low.  Even now a few weeks after release there is still a huge turnover in groups and there are still people that have no business being in heroics.  Blizzard has the ability to fix this and I wish they would.  Here is a short list of things I would love to see added to the LFD system.

1) Real Gear Check.
- The Hunter wearing Resto Shaman gear, the Ret Pally wearing Holy gear, the healer with hit on all their items.  Do not just check average item level, check what the items are.  If the items do not match the spec then count them as 0 in the average..

2) Spec Check.
- Speaking of spec.  A simple check to make sure that the person queuing for Tank or Healer is actually a tank or healer with actual tank or healer gear would be really nice.  If someone is not in Tank/Healer Spec at the moment and not in Tank/Healer gear at the moment then they should not be allowed to queue as a tank or healer.

3) PvE Check.
- PvP gear is named PvP gear for a reason.  It is for PvP and not PvE.  While it is okay to some extent it is not correctly itemized for PvE.  The Holy Paladin I had healing in 4/5 PvP gear did a great job, he would have done better if he wasn't trying to cheat the system. 

4) Anti-Griefing Enforcement.
- Rogue is doing tricks on the healer because it is funny?  Boomkin bringing entire rooms into the fight and laughing?  People being continuously rude and offensive?  Someone porting out and refusing to leave when they know you can not kick them?
When you kick them there should be a check box for griefing.  All griefing kicks should be reviewed.  Griefers should be locked out of heroics for a week for each offense.  Filing a false griefing kick would get the person that started the griefing kick a week off from heroics, this way it polices itself and will not be misused.

5) DPS Check.
- While I am normally 100% against this type of stuff it is needed.  A Warlock pulling 3K, a Ret Pally pulling 4K, a Shaman pulling 5K.  They all have no business being in a heroic yet.  Make a three strike system that warns the person.  If they do under 6K DPS (which is still low) on a boss fight the system will let them know they get a strike.  If they get three strikes in one day they are banned from queuing for heroics for a week.  This way they can police themselves.  They can choose to keep going after they sucked it up on two bosses and take their chances or they can drop group and try again tomorrow after they think about what they were doing wrong for a while.  (I know this would be the hardest one to implement but something like this is needed)

Doing some simple changes like this will really help the LFD system.  The major problem with the system the way it is and the reason all heroics are hard is because you have people in there that have no business being in there.  Blizzard needs to implement something better then this horrible (and inaccurate) item level garbage they have. 

Anyone can get a high enough item level without ever stepping into a normal dungeon.  The problem is many of these horrible players never tried the normal version.  That is why they suck.  I go back to an old suggestion I had before.  Require everyone to do every standard dungeon at least 3 times before they unlock the heroic version of it.  There is no way to make them learn but if you force them to try it on normal at least something has a chance to stick.

Fix the LFD system and that is all that is needed for those people screaming to fix the heroics.  The heroics are not the problem, the idiots that queue up for them is the problem.

Adventures in Priesting.

I started to level my Priest last night.  It was level 81, just a hair over it, being I had healed two runs in blackrock and was also doing the cooking and fishing dailies normally.  So I had a 1 level head start so to speak.

I played for a couple of hours and got 2 levels already.  The leveling experience is a complete and total joke now.  I never thought I would say this but they really need to do something to slow down leveling.  It is just moving so damn fast.

Think of it this way.  When a healer can get two levels by questing in less then three hours you know something is wrong.  Yes, I am leveling in Disc.  I don't have any desire to level Shadow even if it would be more effective time wise.  The leveling process is so quick to begin with.

I am also old school mentality when it comes to Priests and Warriors.  Priests should heal and Warriors should tank.  If you do not heal or tank as main spec you are doing it wrong.

Of course while leveling I am using the AA Spec.  The Archangel really seems to keep me going.  Never once did I need to stop for mana and I heal myself for an ample amount even if the self healing portion is smaller then the healing portion would be for others.

I did notice the penalty of hitting level 82 as soon as I leveled.  With the AA build I could chain pull for years on end and never be out of mana.  At 82 I actually noticed it starting to go down.  Slowly, ever so slowly, but it if I were to do 8-10 mobs in a row I might even find myself at half mana.  Something I have not experienced since healing heroics when I first hit 80.  It is something I will have to get used to and I guess this is a moderately good way to start getting used to it.

At level 82 the shield is still godly.  It would last entire fights.  Once I hit level 83 that was now a thing of the past.  Most mobs one shot the shield.  This does not bode well for leveling Disc.  Not at all.  The penalty for hitting 83 was even more noticeable then the penalty for 82 was.  The good part however is I was now leveling in Deepholm.  Mobs are mostly few and far between there so I could not exactly chain pull even if I wanted to.  So the larger mana drain was really never an issue.  The time between pulls got me back to max anyway.

Being I am leveling like lightning I set an idea in mind.  Quest until I get tabards and then move on.  Quested Vashj'ir until I opened the port, then moved to Hyjal until I was 82, then Deepholm until I got Earthern up and Thrazane unlocked and up to friendly. After hitting 83 I just did the lead in quest to Uldam so I could open that up as well.

Will quest there until 84 and go to Twilight Highlands just to do the opening quests there and unlock the port there and then I will go back to Uldam until I hit 85.  I would guess that even as a healer I could do the next 2 levels in less then 5 hours.  Maybe even 3 1/2 hours if doing 81-82 in around 2 hours is any indicator of how ridiculously stupid and easy the leveling is now. 

I imagine that on a DPS character with full rested I could get from 80-85 in less then 4 hours no problem, possibly even get it in 3 if I do not have any gathering professions to distract me.  Is it just me of does there seem like there is something horribly wrong there?

I don't know about others but I really like leveling as Disc.  It is slower then Shadow would be but it allows me to not have to have another set of gear and all I really need to make it work is have the Glyph of Smite on and it is smooth. 

I have noticed one little issue I have with things while leveling however.  The amount of healer gear from quests is extremely low.  I got two pieces in Deepholm yesterday and that is all.  I replaced some other pieces with items that where just so much better but they were not what I would call ideal healer gear.  Good thing my Priest is a Tailor.  I am capable of making a piece here and there to cover the gaps.

The drop rate of cloth seems to be better for my Priest also.  Maybe it is my imagination really or it could be because I am not leveling first aid on that character and using all the cloth for leveling my tailoring but it sure seems like I am seeing more cloth then I did while leveling my Hunter or my Rogue.

Looking to the future and the dungeons that are going to be my next step after 85 and I am beginning to question being Disc a little.  As normal mobs are destroying my shield in one shot now I am left to think how useful a shield will actually be in the damage mitigation department.  Is it really going to be worth wasting the mana on something that will not even completely stop one hit?

Shielding was usually my way of raid and dungeon healing.  DPS would take AoE damage here and there and 90% of the time a shield would be more then ample to handle anything that came their way while I concentrated on keeping the tank up. 

From my experience in heroics on my Hunter there is a lot more AoE that is unavoidable or even incidental and that damage is not just tickling people.  Like the second boss in GB when he turns and decides that he wants to shoot his fire at you.  Even if you move instantly you will get hit by 2 or 3 ticks of it and that is 20K per tick.  A shield is just not going to cut it to get someone into a safe health position if that happens.

Using my experience as a DPS for these fights I will decide what I believe to be the best healing practice.  On something like that an instant shield and renew will buy some time for the person to move and then I will have to decide on if I want to throw a heal or something else on them based on their life.  But having better shields would be nice.  A shield that would at least last long enough for them to get out of the fire would be a god send but I do not see that happening until I completely over gear heroics.

I am liking the prospect of the challenge that heroics will carry with them but I am worried about the quality of DPS in the game.  The same people that I dread running with on my Hunter will be the people I have to run with on my healer.  That is scary for more reasons then one.  The one being that if I am healing I know that my DPS is not there.  I do not want to get into a boss fight and see everyone 8K or less on boss fights knowing that I could do more while half asleep. 

The better the DPS are at their job the better I can be at mine healing.  The difference between me going oom causing a wipe and a successful run is the difference of having 3 DPS doing 10K each and 3 DPS averaging 7K. 

Even in the laughfest that WotLK was I would see DPS doing 1K in heroics.  So far Cataclysm has been no different.  I was in a group with me doing 12K (no heroic gear remember) and the other two DPS doing 4K and 5K in heroic gear.  If I am healing then my 12K DPS is not there and sorry, but I am not going to heal for people that can not pull at least 8K.

One run where we had people coming and going we went through an Elemental Shaman doing 5K, a Ret Pally doing 4K, another Ret Pally doing 5K, an Enhancement Shaman doing 3K and finally a Mage that rocked at 6K.  I am not shitting.  By the point the Mage came along I was happy to see 6K.  If it where not for me pulling 11K and a DK pulling 12K we would have never finished that dungeon.  If I see DPS on a boss fight like that I will have no issues leaving the group.  At least as a healer I know I can be back into one instantly.

That instant dungeon queue is also why I said while leveling I want to get all reps to at least friendly.  No need for more, the tabards will get me all the rep I need the rest of the way.

My one worry about healing is AoE healing.  I have never felt comfortable with it.  I've read on how to do it and I have tried it in practice and I always feel like I am doing something wrong.  I always feel like I could be doing better.  I always feel like there is something I am missing.  I get nervous when I heal.  I mean real life nervous.  As if these people really did depend on me.  I think I take healing way to serious.  I never want to see anyone die and it bothers me when I lose someone and when there is huge AoE I always seem to lose someone.  I need to work on that one area more then anything else.

I am guessing that this weekend I can get my Priest to 85 and maybe even my Druid to 85 which also has healing as an offspec.  Then it becomes time to start working on gearing up my healer(s).  My druid is a bear but I will not tank in a random.  Ever again.  Tried that in the easy LK content and it was horror story after horror story so I am never even going to consider attempting it in Cata.  Not even if you paid me. 

You could offer me 500 bucks right now to tank just one heroic and I would say no thank you.  The retards that play this game could not do what they where supposed to do when it was easy, I have no faith in them being able to do the right thing when it requires more then 2 brain cells.

I will gear my tank this time the same way I did last time.  I'll run full guild five mans once in a while when I have some time.  I won't gear up fast but the piece of mind I gain from not running randoms is well worth being slow to gear up.

Ever since a healer refused to heal me because I was hogging all the mobs and if I wanted to fight all the mbos myself I could heal myself.  But I'm the tank?  That doesn't mean you can't let other people fight any of the mobs.  I have hated tanking in pugs since.

Healing is just so much easier.  Step out of the bad.  Keep everyone alive.  No DPS epeen to worry about.  No aggro monkeys to worry about stealing my threat.  Just heal.  So much easier.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Relearning Healing.

Being it is dead at work today (snow day in new york) I've been doing a lot of reading.  I want to get back into healing so badly but the mana issues with priests have been scaring me away.  To compensate for this I am going to ask my guild for some assistance.  Helping me relearn how to heal.

I was never a great healer but in LK it was a lot easier due to the mana regen being through the roof.  It made up for a lot of mistakes on my part.  Now those same mistakes could very well be a wipe if I make them as I need to make every point of mana count.

I like to play as Disc.  I tried Holy and I did not feel very comfortable with it.  It felt like a much stronger healing spec but it went away from my feeling on how I personally like to play.

I play every game I've ever encountered defensively.  A solid defense wins battles every time.  Once you can create a solid defense then any added offense just makes it easier.  This is why I seemed to gravitate to the Disc spec.  It is, as I consider it, a defensive healing spec.

A shield stops damage before it comes.  In my own opinion it is always better to not receive damage then it is to try and respond to damage.  This is the reason I love Disc.  This is also not as possible as it was in wrath.  In wrath I could shield anyone that lit up red and most likely they would take one or two hits at most before the tank got the mob back and I never needed to worry about them.  That does not seem like it will be the case any more which means I need to change my train of thought.  It is why I must relearn how to heal.

While reading on the forums and over at plus heal and a few blogs I go to that are Priest or Disc blogs I've seen that there is not a lot of love lately for the Disc spec as a whole.

Some people are swearing by the AA spec with smite healing while others are saying that while gearing up it is not a very effective way to heal.  I can understand that.  Running out of mana seems to be an issue for every Priest out there and throwing some smites here and there becomes harder and harder as people are taking more damage and the heal is not exactly what we would call a smart heal.

As a few people stated they can go completely AA spec in a 5 man with no melee DPS.  The smite heal will always get the tank.  With a shield and a prayer and smites flying left and right their numbers prove that they are doing the same amount of healing as they would when direct healing but they are also doing damage at the time time. 

This type of healing makes your offensive ability a defensive ability in a sense.  If you are constantly spamming smite you are creating a situation where you can pop your angel when you need the big AoE heal with some extra power and regenerate some mana at the same time.  If you know the big AoE heal is not going to come you can pop it any time it is five stacks just for some mana regeneration.  Being it is not on the GCD you can pop it mid smite and not lose even a moment of cast time.  That is the biggest plus.

What the problem comes is when there are some melee in the group.  The smart heal is not exactly smart and it could start healing melee or even worse, healing melee that do not even need a heal.  This would keep the steady flow that is going to the tank from happening which means time for more direct heals.

Being I can not make sure that I get a good party, and by good party I mean all ranged, I am going to have to shy from that type of healing for the time being.  This will be another time to relearn how to heal.  After the changes I was doing ICC as all smite heal most of the time.  With unlimited mana it was never and issue.  In dungeons when I would do a random just for fun I would sometimes even pull top DPS while healing everyone.  Now that is really fun.

I have two specs for my Priest.  It was Disc/Holy and it was Disc/PvP Disc but now I am thinking of making it Disc/AA Disc.  This would give me both options when I enter a dungeon.  I get to see the make up and decide how I should play it.

The problem I seem to be having on the forums right now while trying to learn is the same problem I mentioned about the AA spec.  People love it and people hate it.  No one has any concrete data on if it is good or if it is not.

What I see most often is people saying the make up of their group and the gear level of the group and the awareness of the group and so forth.  Being all those things are potential wild cards I can not exactly go out and choose a spec and hope for the best.  That is like betting on a horse race.  If everything goes right the favorite will win and if everything goes wrong the horse will break its leg when it steps out of the starting gate.

Everything is still so new that no one knows what would be best to learn with.  Every guide talks to people as if they were light of dawn healers before the buff came out.  I need to find a guide for me.  A guide for someone that only started healing in the last 6 months of wrath.  A guide for someone who can learn and does learn quickly but does not assume that I already know everything they are talking about.

I read one post that had such fantastic information but everything was prefaced with lines like "when you would do xxx back in BC but have not used it since you need to go back to doing it that way".  Thanks for the fantastic information but don't you understand that not everyone was healing in BC?  If you are going to make a statement like that then please explain what you mean by it for the noobs like me.

I do not want it to be like wrath.  It was not a great deal of fun just shielding and throwing a flash heal once in a while.  That is why I loved when the talent changes came.  It gave me something to do again.  I could smite.  I was not just sitting around waiting for things to happen, I could do things.  Now healing is all about doing things all the time but with limited resources.  I like that.  It gives me a chance to prove to myself if I can do it or not.  I like the challenge.  Kind of like how my most hated character, the rogue, was my second 85.  I did it to prove I could do it. 

I like a challenge and sadly I can't get that any more as a DPS.  First off it is impossible to get into groups as a DPS because of various reasons and secondly it loses its fun when I am running as MM (which is considered the worst Hunter spec) and I am still destroying everyone in highest damage, lowest damage taken, most interrupts, etc.  There is no challenge there any more.  Focus was a huge challenge for me.  I hated it, still do really, but I met that challenge and it is time to move on.  If I could raid it might be different but on my server, which sucks about more then any other server in the game, that is not going to happen for at least 3 months.

So with the want for a challenge and the desire to find something fun about this so far horrible expansion I am going to try to pick what is hardest and that is heal.  And my Rogue, I hate the class mechanics, energy is worse then focus.

I might even go full tilt and make all four of my healing classes healers.  Number one however is that I want to heal with my Priest.  I like healing with my Priest and as I always tell people that I raid with that have offspecs I want them to do what they enjoy.  People always do better in the role they enjoy.  So I think I would be a better Disc Priest then I ever would be a Resto Shaman or Druid.

I just need to get used to the fact that I can no longer heal like I used to.  I used to heal preemptively.  I was able to mitigate all damage from everyone save the tank which needed more work some time.  I love that defensive style of healing and I will miss it being as effective as it was but I welcome to challenge.

Now to just find some Disc guides to relearn from that are aimed at LK healers and not life long healers.  I know I am at a disadvantage but I believe my desire to learn will make up for a lot of that.  Not to mention having one hell of a great Priest healer in my guild that I can pester with questions once in a while.

I am however convinced that for the start at least I will go with the Standard Disc Spec and the AA Disc Spec to start out with.  Maybe I might have a future in Holy but that is unlikely.  My Paladin would be my Holy healer, not my Priest.

Now to try and find more sites to read from.  Damn it is boring as hell at work today.

WTB: Truegold Cooldown

There are a lot of ways to make money but there are none easier at the moment then Truegold.  When you see people advertising in trade that they want to buy your Truegold cooldown do not be a moron and sell it to them.  Use it as a reminder.  It is reminding you that you can easily make huge money for mere seconds worth of work.

People are routinely offering 200-250g on my server for the cooldown for Truegold and idiots are selling them left and right.  If you are an alchemist I implore you not to ever sell it.  If you are not an alchemist then I implore you to buy it off of every alchemist that is stupid enough to sell it.

The reason you do not sell it is easy enough.  Lets assume that you have no materials at all.  I had enough just from leveling to make Truegold for a week but that is besides the point, lets say you have nothing.

Making Truegold takes requires 3 Pyrium Bars, 10 Volatile Fire, 10 Volatile Water and 10 Volatile Air to make.

Prices on my server are as follows.

Pyrium Bar - 20g (x3 = 60g)
Volatile Fire - 12g (x10 = 120g)
Volatile Water - 5g (x10 = 50g)
Volatile Air - 15g (x10 = 150g)

That is a total of 380g for all the materials.

Truegold sells for 1200g.  That is a 820g profit for less then 1 minutes work making it yourself.

This is why a moron will be the only one that sells their cooldown for 200-250g.  Why make 250g when you can make 820g? 

There are, gladly, many really stupid people that play this game.  As a matter of fact most people are stupid enough that if if you post WTB: Truegold Cooldown 250g you will most likely get 10 whispers in a matter of seconds even on a small server like mine.

Go to the action house and buy the mats and have them make it.  Even adding the 250g you are paying for the transmute your costs are only 630g for you to sell for 1200g.  You are still almost doubling your money.

So get moving, there is a small fortune to be made with Truegold right now and it doesn't take and time or effort.  Time is money and this takes little time.  For 3 minutes time you can make 570g minimum.  That sounds pretty good to me.

Burnt Out

I've been feeling a bit burnt out lately with the game.  So much so a friend of mine even said maybe I should just take some time off and come back in a month.  The new expansion has basically left nothing in the game that is even mildly enjoyable.

Questing as a whole is retarded now with its linear design.  It gives so play room.  You have to do what you are told to get the next batch of quests.

Loremaster for the new zones is a joke now too.  You will get it because you have to do quests in order.  As long as you finish the zone you get it.  Why give an award for something you are doing to do anyway?  That is like giving an award for waking up in the morning.

Archeology is tedious.  You fly all over the world to dig three spaces.  Sometimes you get lucky and a dig site will appear near you and sometimes they are all the way on the other side of the continent.  Sure, this isn't required but it is supposed to be a small mini game within the game for fun and it does offer a few vanity items and BoA goodies.  That is not exactly fun.

Then when you reach 450 you can start doing digs for Tol'Vir but there is one problem there.  You need to clear other dig sites in Kalimdor to get to dig sites there and hope you are lucky enough for one of them to pop up.  You basically spend two hours to get one dig worth digging. 

Add to that the fact those most of those digs you have to dig up just so you can get Tol'Vir will give you fossils.  The most useless type of item you can get.  There is nothing there worth even getting and you will end up with thousands of them if you want to try and get everything from Tol'Vir.  Archeology is the worst.

Check that, it is the second worst, the worst is trying to get the finishing achievements.  Seven hours trying to catch one fish and still not getting it?  My god who the hell would think that is fun?  If it were not for the fact I was busy talking to people and time passed fast basically because I was doing it while otherwise occupied it is something that is not worth doing.  It is not fun to just cast and catch for seven hours trying to catch a fish for a few achievement points that are not worth nothing.  Things like this are supposed to be things you do for fun to pass time.  This is not fun.

Leveling alts used to be something I got into when I was bored.  With the questing as crappy as it is and the new areas all horrible (with exception of Uldum) I've no desire to level any alts.  Yet when I did, I leveled my Rogue to 85 believe it or not, the leveling process goes by way to fast.  It does not even take any effort to level now.  Talk about two extremes.  We have to waste time doing nothing (read archeology and fishing) and something that should take time like leveling and learning your character you burn through without even much thought.

Next weekend I will bang out another 85.  It is not like it takes any effort any more.  That is if I can bare with the fact I have to do those same quest over and over again.  I want choice people.  What choice is there.

Phasing is the worst game advancement ever.  Try mining or herbing after completing all the quests in twilight highland.  It goes something like this.

1) See node.
2) Land on node.
3) Node disappears.
4) Mount up and fly away.
5) Node reappears.
6) Go back and land.
7) Node disappears again.
8) Mount up and fly away.
9) Node reappears.

Either the node is there or not.  Phase should not matter.  What this is doing is making a ton of phantom nodes.  Once you do that land and fly away thing a few times you just stop trying.  I've made a little game out of it.  I try and see how close I can get before it disappears.  Once in a rare while I am able to tap it from max distance.  While leveling my miner I tapped the same one three times that way.  I got no ore from mining it but did get 12100 experience from it all three times.  That was fun.  Phasing sucks.  Say it along with me everyone, phasing sucks.

Now lets get to what should be the fun.  End game.  Don't even get me started here.  Pugging heroics is still something only a sadist would do.  While doing it with the guild is getting easier and easier and almost to the point we do not even need CC any more and only do it for fun to see who can CC faster.  I love putting the frog in a trap.  It is not something you can do just for fun yet.  I liked that when I was bored I would run a heroic for the hell of it just to pass the time.  Can't do that any more.

Now lets get to raids.  Alliance won Tol Barad for only the second time since the game was released.  Everyone is in trade saying they are making groups.  Must have achievement.  WTF???  Must have achievement?  This is only the second time we have had control.  So you are saying that people that where not online or did not get into one the first time we had it can't run it now?  I hate my server.

That is another thing that has be burnt out.  My server sucks.  I do not mean in the extent that it is just behind the curve.  No one is even raiding on my server yet.  One of the top guilds was trying their first ever raid last night.  That sucks for sure but what sucks even more is that being there are so few that are doing it or even trying it there of course will not be a lot of achievements because no one will be doing it.  So in about 2 or 3 months when the rest of the server catches up you will have more people with link achievement for invite.  How?  We are on a crap server where maybe 30 people will have the achievement.

I could go on and on but it is quite evident that I am burnt out on the game.  Maybe I am just grumpy, well of course I am just grumpy, that is what I do.

I've thought about ways to bring life back into the game.

Switch servers to a better server.  I should be raiding already and not sitting around listening to idiots saying whisper achievement for something no one has had the chance to even get the achievement for yet.  I hate the fact I am still sitting doing dungeons.  I want to have some fun and that is not happening in any aspect of the game. Dungeons are not even fun when you can't random them other wise I would do that to pass the time.

I don't want to switch servers however because I enjoy playing with the people I play with.  Not to mention I do not like crowds to begin with so I would not like having that many people around.

I figured I would level my healer.  Healers are easy mode when it comes to having fun.  No one ever asks a healer for an achievement.  No one ever even gives a crap what their gear is like.  Can you heal?  Okay, here is an invite.  The thing is, I can not do this whole linear questing crap again so soon.  My healer is not a gathering character or I would level them like I am leveling my Druid, by mining basically.  Also, my healer is a priest and priest mana issues are quite discouraging. 

At least if I leveled my healer I would have the solution to my problem.  My problem is I am bored with the game because there is nothing to do.  With a healer there is always something to do because everyone wants you.

I also get to whip out a little bit of revenge against the whisper achievement assholes that I see spamming looking for a healer for two hours.  I'll make my list of people that did not invite my hunter because I did not have the achievement even if I said I know the fight and then when they need a healer I will whisper them telling them I am a healer but do not have the achievement (even if I do) and when they whisper back saying it is okay I do not need the achievement I will say, cool, let me switch to my hunter. 

Now that could be a lot of fun.  Oh, I have another I could do.  Join the group and let them get all ready and all buffed up and just about to go in and say, oops, sorry I have to leave.  Just to waste their time like they waste my time by not sending me an invite on my hunter.

I am just bored to sin.  There is nothing left to do in the game.  I leveled.  Doing it again is useless because it will be the same thing.  I worked on professions.  Nothing more to do there really.  I am not a sadist so the fishing and archaeology stuff will take a while and I will only do them while waiting on raid time or while doing something else like watching football or talking to people.  I refuse to do dungeons outside of guild just for something to do because the player base over all is still way behind me and while I do not mind helping a new people I hate having to deal with four people that never even read about the dungeons online before joining one. 

My server sucks so I can not raid as there is no one to raid with.  Even the top guilds would not invite me if they had a space open because they all have hunters and I might win something one of their hunters need.  I can bring my healer if I want to, or so they say.  Nope, you don't take my hunter then you can't have my priest.  Kind of simple there isn't it? 

I think it goes back to a long time ago.  I was invited by the top guild on the server at the time to run with them.  I said I never did the fights before and they said it was okay.  Not only did I never die once, I took the least damage and was top DPS by a long shot.  I was beating people 500-800 gear score higher then me by 2-3K.  I never said a word on vent so it was not like I offended anyone.  I never talked numbers or posted recount because I think anyone that does that in a group is an asshat.  I just never got an invite to another one.  Reason being.  I totally embarrassed all the DPS in the top guild on the server by having never even done the raid before and still destroying all of them in every possible way. 

Maybe doing the best you can do it not the right thing in this game, at least on my server.  Maybe I need to feed the ego of the people in the top guilds and tell them how great they are and make sure I never do anything to show them up.

Yeah right... better chance of me winning the lottery without even buying a ticket then that.  I would rather not play at all then kiss anyones ass.  I am a noob as far as I am concerned.  If you have been playing longer then me, have a better gear score, a better spec, and better people to back you up normally and I still beat you in DPS then you suck.  Plain and simple.  I am not going to kiss ass.  I am average at best.  You should be better then me.

I am just burnt out.  I log in and do my dailies and then what?  There is nothing left to do.

Switch servers to a server that pugs some?
Level a healer even if I hate the leveling process now?
Take a week or two off?

I don't really think any of that will help.  The problem is with the game and not with me.  So many people are in the same position as I am right now.  All dressed up with no place to go.  That is the games fault, not the players.

All I want to be able to do is to have something to do when I come online to play.  At the moment, be it my server or the game as a total, once you are done with your dailies there is nothing to do in the game any more.

Has every expansion been so horrible this shortly after release? 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Heroics are Hard/Easy.

I am amazed that this still seems to be the number one topic on every forum I go to.  People complaining that heroics are hard and another person calling them a baddie because they are easy.

The thing is they are both right.  It is true. 

Heroics are extremely hard right now.

Heroics are still easy.

Both statements are completely true and what separates the two statements is who you do the dungeon with.  If you do the dungeon with people that communicate, or even better, are on vent together then the dungeons are easy.  Sure they still take a little time with CCing the trash but they are over all easy.  If you use the looking for dungeon system then it will be hard most of the time.  Hard is actually an understatement, impossible would be more like it.

Everyone with half a brain knows this is the fact.  Some of them even find their way to the forums and give suggestions like trying to go with guild mates or pug on your own server. 

I know that from experience myself.  I do heroics with guild mates and I make it through no problem usually.  Sometimes it takes a while when everyone is new but it isn't a great deal of an issue.  With my bad luck I have yet to find a group through the random dungeon finder that can get more then one boss down.  At least it is getting better.  Last week I would have been overjoyed to even get 1 boss down.

What bothers me is that no one seems to have any respect for the way other people play any more.  If someone says heroics are hard they immediately will be called a bad player and told they need to learn to play.  This amazes me.  How is one person out of five a bad player because their group does not succeed?  You could be the absolute best player to ever play this game and if you are the only one in that group who has a clue the dungeon is destined for failure.  Do not prejudge people because they say dungeons are hard.  They are only speaking from their own personal experiences.

Another of the big ones is people telling everyone to run with their guild.  For some people that is not an option, they do not have enough guild members on at the time they are on.  They might choose to stay in that guild for various reasons but that is not really an option. 

I will take me for example.  I have a reasonablely sized guild to draw from and most of the people are on around the same times I am.  After all we recruit with the idea that we raid from 7:30 to 10:00 server time so most people are around during those times. In my guild I come on my main first to do my dailies.  When I log on I will start up my queue for my random heroic for the day.  I like that I can do things while waiting for it.  If it pops up, I attempt it, if not, then when I am done with my dailies I make the decision to move to another character or continue waiting.

You see what I am getting at?  I have a guild I can run with.  They are on the same time I am on.  We do clear heroics with no problem at all.  I still go into randoms by myself.  I will still say heroics are hard when I PuG and I will still say heroics are easy when with my guild.  Both are true.  People just need to understand that not everyone runs with their guild all the time because they either can't or don't want to.

Then there is the other way around.  People that call the ones that say they have no problems with heroics no lifers.  Someone does not need to have no life to be able to down heroics.  They just need to have 4 other people to run with that are capable players with enough gear. 

Getting enough gear is easy.  With rep rewards being so great.  Point gear easy to grab to start if you has some saved up.  Dungeons that offer 333s on normal and the seemingly endless supply of awesome BoEs that are dropping way to much it should not take more then a few hours from 85 to heroic ready.

The hard part is getting four other people capable together to do some chain runs to really gear up nicely.  That was my problem.  I am a casual player.  I am not hard core in the least and I was able to be heroic ready before the start of day 3 after cataclysm came out.

Do not call people elitist or no lifers just because they are geared and going and you are not.  All that means is that they put more effort into the time they spent on.  I am not a very social person.  While people where carrying one conversations in guild chat about this new thing and that new thing I was leveling and running dungeons.  That is the reason why some guild members that play more then I do are 2 weeks behind me. 

It is not about the time spent playing the game it is what you do with the time in the game.  I enjoy being effective leveling and gearing up and they enjoy working on professions, chatting in guild and just taking their time with things.  Neither one of us is wrong and I am not a not lifer because I was ready to go 2 weeks before them and they are not a baddie because it took them two weeks longer to catch up.

These dungeons are hard/easy conversations seem to bring out the worst in people.  It is honestly horrible for the community and sometimes I can't stop reading them no matter how horrible they get with the name calling.  It is like when you are driving down the street and see an accident and you have to slow down to take a look at it.  You know you might see something you really do not want to see but it is some morbid curiosity that makes you stop to look.  That same thing happens with these threads. 

Another one I love is how people love to lie about everything to make themselves look better and how people love to insult people for being wrong when they are the ones that are wrong.  The best one yet is the one person that said they do not know what people are complaining about, they can get two or three heroic runs done in one hour usually with full LFD pugs.  That has to be the most outrageous lie I have seen yet and if it is not a lie I am officially the most jealous person in wow right now.  I would love to get even 1 done in an hour.  Hell, I would love to get even 1 done in a pug, just to prove it can be done.

Either way, people need to remember, not everyone is you.  So when someone says it is hard that does not mean they are a baddie and when someone says it is easy that does not mean they are a no lifer.  That just means they are not you.  Be more respectful of your fellow human beings once in a while.  I hate everyone and if I can be respectful then you can to.

Adventures With Gear

Gear Scaling:

The best part of this super gear is having fun and a few laughs while doing lower raids with this stupid gear we have now.  This weeks weekly was Flame Leviathan and we still do the weekly every week for fun and for those people that are still leveling.  When I saw it was Flame Leviathan I thought it would be fun to do a four towers up run just for fun.

We jump in the vehicles and mine is at five and a half million.  How stupid is that?  We go straight in and straight for the boss and just burn it down like it were a heroic boss.  Heck, even heroic bosses are harder.  We completely ignored all the crap on the floors and just when into kill, kill, kill mode.

I don't remember it being like that before.  I remember it being a little bit of hell when I did that the first time.  Must admit, it was sure a hell of a lot of fun to do it like that.  Maybe we should do it again and try to see if we can get it down in less then 30 seconds.  That would be the challenge.

Have to love bosses that scale with gear like that.  Makes for some nice brainless fun.  You need that sometimes.

Item Level:

Okay, I might not be a rocket scientist or anything but if I replace a piece of 325 gear with a piece of 346 gear shouldn't my average item level equipped go up?  I was sitting at 341 (don't laugh, not my fault 90% of wow sucks so bad I can not spam heroics) and when I upgraded my gear from a 325 piece to a 346 piece my average item level went down.  I am now sitting at a 336 average.  It just makes no sense at all.

I lost 5 points by getting a piece that was 21 points higher.  Even if it counts stuff in your bag I was at 341 before I got the 346 item so the items in my bag went up too as soon as I got the 346 item.

Does Blizzard fail at math?  I'd like to present this as evidence that Blizzard does indeed fail horribly at math.

Spec, with gear:

Doing some playing over at femaledwarf with numbers and such last week I saw that as MM I would max out at a potential 8800 DPS and as SV it would be 9100 DPS.  Mind you that these are generated numbers that consider a perfect situation and does not include buffs and such.

With such a small difference I figured I would stay with my MM spec for now.  I love having silencing shot being it seems I am the only person that ever tries to interrupt things when I am in heroics and the heal from Chimera really takes a lot of pressure off healers while they are still in gearing up mode.

However, after a couple of new pieces when I test it my MM spec is up to 9200 and my SV would be up to 9800.  I am guessing that hinges more on mastery then anything else but the gap is starting to get wider.  I think once I am in all heroics gear if this rate keeps up the difference might be as high as 1500-2000 and it might leave me with no choice but to change over.

I am tempted now to switch over because it would give me a nice little boost in DPS but I am very fearful of doing that because, as I said, the silence shot and chimera heal do work wonders and so far it is still nearly impossible to clear a heroic with a complete PuG.  My other spec will always be BM however, so I can tame and use exotic beasts.  Trust me, when you are in a dungeon and someone says I wish her had a heroism they do not mind if I switch and I lose 500 DPS because my corehound and his heroism is a welcome addition.

I guess once I start completing heroics on a regular basis with PuGs then I will worry less about being helpful healing myself and silencing mobs but until that point comes I would rather do less DPS and be a team player and be more helpful to my team. 

Not to mention as I've said before, the survivability of MM right now is so much better then the other specs and in at least four occasions I needed it on trash pulls gone wrong and twice I was the last person alive on a boss fight where it would have ended as a wipe if I had not been MM.  MM is just to good to give up now with the 600 DPS difference but as that moves higher and becomes 1500-2000 difference it might be a lot harder to convince myself I am doing the right thing staying MM.

The thing is, gear sure as hell seems to play a huge part in DPS scaling for hunters.  I only moved up a few pieces of gear and they where all minor upgrades.  The increase in DPS seems to be rather large for such small upgrades.  I can only imagine how I will be doing in raid gear if this type of scaling keeps up.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enjoy The Power. (DPS)

Right now where things stand in Cataclysm at the start the most important role in a five man is that of the DPS classes.  Now is our time to enjoy this position.  It will not last long.  Once everyone and their mother is raid geared or the second tier of raiding comes out then DPS will move back down the order of power.

When the time comes that tanks can take seemingly unending damage making life easier on the healer and they can keep threat just by giving mobs a dirty look or two meaning they can work more on damage and less on threat as it is no longer an issue then tanks will move up the power list.

When the time comes where healers can just spam one heal over and over without anyone ever being in danger of dying and can heal through bad DPS not moving, their position will move up on the power list.

Don't believe the hype that Cataclysm is a different WoW.  It is only like this because it is new.  It is only like this because we are all gearing up and all experiencing things for the first time.  It is only like this for a short time more. 

Once the masses enter raids and once people start getting the point gear things will start to change.  As more people become geared better then each problem boss will become less and less of a problem until they get to the point where they are not even an issue at all.

At the moment DPS is the power player in the game.  It might not seem like it all the time being we have a 45 minute wait for a dungeon.  It might not seem like it because we can get kicked for anything from not saying hello to saying hello when they did not want to hear it.  In the end however the success of all dungeons right now hang on DPS directly.  Without good DPS the dungeon is a complete and total failure.

Tanks and Healers right now are turning red in the face and possibly calling me every name in the book but they need to understand who I am referring to here.  I am referring to good DPS, not all DPS.  Let me explain how good DPS holds all the power now.

A Tanks job is to Tank.
A Healers job is to Heal.
A Damage Dealers job is to deal damage, crowd control, interrupt, target switch, help the tank manage threat, help the healer manage mana, etc.

You see where this is going?

At the moment there are some pulls that can not be attacked with brute force.  You need CC otherwise the tank can not round them all up.  You need CC otherwise the healer will not be able to keep up with the incoming damage to the tank.  Who does this fall on usually?  The DPS.

At the moment there are some bosses that can one shot a tank so they need to watch their defensive cooldowns like a hawk.  This means, while they can interrupt, it is a better idea for the DPS to interrupt.

At the moment there are a lot of trash mobs with some serious AoE style spells, the DPS makes sure those spells never happen.  This makes the healers life easier.

At the moment if you do not move instantly and I do mean instantly you can get hit with amounts of damage that can really hurt a healers mana pool.  Of course the only one that can help with that is yourself.  Moving quickly and thinking preemptively can save the healer loads of mana.  You being better makes your healer better.

At the moment every last bit of damage you can put out means the fight will end that much sooner.  That means less hits the tank has to take.  Less heals the healer has to toss out.  It basically makes the fight easier the faster you can burn it down.  This all falls on the able hands of our friendly neighborhood damage dealers.

When the time comes that the Tank no longer needs CC.  When the AoE damage doesn't mean anything and is just ignored and burned through.  When the healer does not care if you move from the pool of fire any more because they can heal through it as the boss will be dead in less then 30 seconds anyway.  When all that happens.  And it will, mark my words.  Then DPS will once again be a dime a dozen.  The good from the bad won't make a difference.

Until that point comes when you get into a dungeon as a DPS you have all the power in the world.  If you (and the other 2) DPS are good DPS then the run will be smooth.  No matter how completely and totally awesome the tank and healer are if the DPS suck the dungeon will fail.

Enjoy the power while it lasts because it will not last long.  I give it 3 months at most before the good DPS can not be told apart from the bad DPS any more. 

What is now "that hunter was great, he kited all three of those mobs for 2 minutes and never got hit even once while still doing 10K on the boss." will turn into "WTF where you doing kiting them you noob, you should have just burned the boss L2P".

Good DPS are the true power players in the game right now.  Do your best to be one of the good DPS.  Enjoy the praise while we can still get it.  Our place in the sun will soon fade.

And now a public service announcement for all your damage dealers out there: 

You can always get better.

As soon as a tank can control all mobs and hold threat like a pro... he is done getting better.

As soon as a healer can finish any fight with everyone alive and never in danger... he is done getting better.

Sure, they can both add doing damage into their arsenal but that is not their job.  Once they max out doing what is their designed job, they are done.  They can not get any better.  They are doing their job perfect.

DPS classes can never be perfect.
DPS classes can always get better.

You can always move with the environment faster.
You can always switch to adds cleaner.
You can always line up your priority/rotation tighter.
You can always arrange for priority/rotation changes on add switches to be more effective.
You can always respond with CC on the fly more alertly.
You can always interrupt more timely leaving less room for lag error.
You can always put out more damage.
You can always get better.

Once a tank can hold threat like a pro doing more threat is useless.
Once a healer can heal everyone without issues healing more then what is needed is useless.
Once a DPS can burn down a boss in 30 seconds, they can always strive to do it in 29 next time.

We can always get better.  Don't just be another DPS.  Be a good DPS and always strive to be better.  No matter how amazingly super fantastic you think you already are you can still be better.

Use this time, when damage dealers are the power players in the game to make a name for yourself as being a good DPS even if it is only for your own personal ego because as soon as everything becomes face roll again in a few months you will just be another idiot DPS that is being carried (as all tanks and healers seem to always think) through heroics and the only people that will know that you are really a good DPS are the people you raid with.

So go grab your favorite dwarven ale and give yourself a toast because this is your time to shine.


Droping in Dungeons

We did a few guild run heroics last night and had to pug a healer being we are still not healing ready so to speak.  If you are going to need a 5th person ever the healer is the one you want as your 5th. 

Pugging a DPS could mean you always have a dead DPS because they do something wrong or a dead group because they do something wrong.  Same goes for pugging a tank.  As long as a healer knows how to heal and step out of stuff on the ground they are fine, there really isn't anything they can do that could mess anyone up.

I just noticed that healers, like tanks, drop groups for no reason.  Even when there no one is wiping.  I don't get it.

First run was BRC heroic as our random.  No problems there, even got the achievement on the first guy.  We had one wipe on the 3rd boss because he bugged and did not want to leave the center.  Anyone else have that happen sometimes?  Annoying I tell you.  Otherwise it was a smooth run.  Thank god for guild runs.  Every PuG I get into can not get past the first boss and even if we do, the second boss is a dead end.

The healer was a good healer.  Priest, so they had to drink a lot, but they did a fantastic job.  When we were done we told the priest we were going to do another one and the priest said they would love to come along.  I guess for them finding a good group is as exciting as for me finding a good group on a random.  The priest said that they needed 5 minutes.  So we said we would take a 5 minute break and then go for another.

Have to admit, finding a group that can run through a heroic without wiping (except for that bug) it is a group you want to stay with.  I know I would not leave if I was the fifth and someone said to me they wanted to do another.  Finding a group like that is rare at this moment in wow, or at least for me it is.

When we were ready to choose another random the healer dropped.  This is 2 seconds after he said he was good for another.  No big deal, we will grab another healer.  We enter the next heroic. ToT.  I've never done that one on heroic and was worried because the trash there is worse then any of the bosses on normal so I knew heroic would be interesting.

Needless to say, we wipe on trash.  I saw it coming.  We come back in, finish the trash and move on to the first boss.  Down the boss no problem.  One person went down early but it was no big deal, we were still able to down the boss easy.

We go along to the second boss, down it no problem.  Healer leaves without saying a word.  Okay, maybe they were looking for a drop from that boss.  We get a new healer.  Tank runs into the first pack and gets his butt handed to him and dies.  We somehow manage to hold them all off only lossing one of the DPS and the tank zergs back in and joins us to down the last one. 

Wow, that was interesting.  Did the tank really get hit that hard or was the healer really that slow?  Who knows and we did not get a chance to see their healing ability any more.  The healer waited for the tank to pull the next trash pack first before leaving of course. 

Why do all assholes do that?  They could have said, I have to go.  They could have said  you suck because you wipe on trash I am out of here.  They could have said anything.  Why wait until someone pulls before leaving?  I will never understand that concept.  I guess you need to be a special type of stupid to understand what retards like that are thinking.

We get another healer, decked in all heroics too.  Okay, we might be able to get this one done.  Healer comes in like he owns the place.  Tells everyone what is happening and so forth.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We go in and pull and start downing stuff. One person drops. Then another.  It is just me, the tank and the healer now.  I drop.  The healer drops.  It is just the tank now.  He is doing damn good all by himself too.  We zerg back in and the tank dies just before we get to him.  The mobs had like 2% life left.  Damn we where close.

Healer of course, leaves.  That one was a good thing for us.  The healer never healed anyone but himself and the tank.  That is why we all dropped so quick.  That thing lifting people in the air and dropping them causing them to take damage must be the DPS's own fault and that is why the healer did not heal any of the DPS.  I only lasted longer because I always disengage when dropped.  That way I take no fall damage.  Some heroic geared healer.  That guy sucked big time.  As a healer your main job is to heal.  When you do not heal anyone you really are not useful at all.  We are lucky they left.

Next healer comes in.  We move along the hall and come to that guy that throw everyone up in the air again for our revenge this time and everyone dies.  Healer said, I'm sorry I did not know he would do that, never been here.  I say, no worries, now you know.  We all need to learn some time.

We down the trash and get to the boss and give the healer a quick run down.  I love explaining fights to a healer.  In most cases they are as simple as "stay out of the bad stuff and heal people".  This is one of those fights.  He gets it, we down it with no problem, we move on.

On the route to the last boss we wipe on the trash not once, not twice, but three times.  Holy crap.  What the hell was that?  Healer could not keep up with the AoE the water guys do.  Hey, it is his first ever heroic and he has never even been in this one even on normal.  We all cut him some slack.

We get to the boss and explain it to him again.  Stay out of the bad stuff and heal people.  Healing is so easy to explain to someone that has never done the simple bosses before.  Running with rookie healers is a hell of a lot easier then running with rookie DPS.  We wipe once.  Come back and blow it away no problem.

I knew it before we even started.  I said it to my guild mates on vent.  I said I bet we wipe on the trash more then bosses and that held true.  We wiped so many times on trash and only once on a boss.

I must say I am glad that I was able to get a few heroics in with the guild.  Doing them on randoms is frustrating as hell.  Heck, even normals are still frustrating sometimes.  I got HoO as my normal random yesterday with a group of all 85s and a tank that did not realize that keeping those guys in the puddles on the ground healed them.  Oh joy.  I hope I do not run into that tank in a heroic if he can not handle basic tactics in a normal.

I just wonder what the problem with healers is?  They leave for no reason.  They leave at the first sign of trouble.  They leave because they do not get a drop.  I had always thought of healers as the selfless ones.  The type of people that sacrifice their own personal glory for the betterment of a team effort.  Lately healers seem to be the new tanks.  All self centered and everything is all about them. 

Why is it that healers leave so often and usually for no reason?  Maybe the instant query is what makes them do it.  I think being healers and tanks are in such small numbers that they take advantage of that.  I think there should be very stiff penalties for leaving right after a boss fight that was not a wipe.  Something like a 48 hour cooldown where you can not enter any dungeons or any raids.  That would keep people from dropping group for no reason or because they are pissed their item did not drop.

Actually, that is a fantastic idea.  If anyone ever leaves at any point in the dungeon that was not directly preceded by a compete wipe gets a 48 hour debuff that will not allow them to enter any instances (raid or dungeon) until it is off.  That will keep people from leaving mid pull or if their item does not drop.  Great idea, problem fixed.

Could you imagine some top end raiding guild not being able to run because their top healer was acting like some elitist prick leaving a random group mid pull?  That would make my day.

Yes, I am aware that would never work.  People would just close the wow window and wait until they where kicked for disconnecting to avoid the debuff, but it is still a nice idea. 

I just do not get why people drop so quickly.  Even more so after a successful and easy boss fight.  That makes no sense.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time to work on the healers?

My Bear is leveling as a Bear of course.  Resto is not really great for questing.  My Shaman will level Enhancement.  Again, Resto is not really great for questing.  My Priest is Disc and will level Disc however.  When it comes to questing you might kill things a tad bit slower but you will never get hit if you control your battles.

When thinking of which healer to level first I have to figure out which one is the best route to go.  Priest has the obvious advantage of not needing to gear up for two different specs.  However, with Priest mana regen being nerfed as bad as it has I do not look forward to healing as a Priest at all.  That is why I am locked at 80 for now.  Until I decide. 

I heal for guild mates on the low level dungeons and do not have to worry about taking the penalty of leveling.  Really, leveling as a healer makes people cringe in pain.  Each time you level you think to yourself how much harder it just got.

That harder part is one of the reasons I think I want to level a healer now.  After tons of failures in dungeons I know as a DPS with the wait time and failure of groups it feels like it is going to take me a year to finish them all.  With a healer I still get to be challenged with mana issues but I get instant query and basically if I wanted to I can hand pick who I run with for premades to assure I do not have run with people that will make mistakes.

Based on seeing the healers I had yesterday in the GB I was in, the ones that could not move from Blitz over and over, there is proof positive that you do not even need to be good to be decked out in all heroic and raid gear already.  They were all horrible and they all had fantastic gear.

As a healer I can be decked out in full heroics in less then 1 day.  That seems almost too easy if you ask me.  Instant query.  More tolerance being everyone knows mana issues are bad now. Being able to pick my own groups.  Not having to worry about so much in dungeons.  I don't know about you, but that all seems good to me.

As DPS you wait forever and then all the pressure is on you.  You need to burn the boss before the healer goes OOM.  You need to switch to adds.  You need to interrupt.  You basically need to do everything. 

As a tank you need to keep the mobs off everyone else which can sometimes be harder then other times but you also get instant query.  You are also expected to mark all mobs and make all assignments.

As a healer everything is easy compared (when not considering mana issues). 

Boss does not go down fast enough?  Not the healers fault.
Adds not getting killed?  Not the healers fault.
Mobs all over the place?  Not the healers fault.
CC not used?  Not the healers fault.
CC broken?  Not the healers fault.

Anything that goes wrong is usually not the healers fault.  Not in this day and age where everyone knows that  all fights have an unwritten enrage timer on them and that enrage timer is called the healers mana bar.  As soon as that mana bar hits 0 everyone dies.  It is not the healers fault they went OOM, it is the DPS that are at fault.  If they downed the boss faster you would not have run out of mana.

The "hard" part of cataclysm dungeons are avoidable damage, cc and interrupts.  Avoiding damage is easy once you do it a few times, CC is more about someone assigning it and interrupts are not the healers problem.  So all the healer has to do is heal the people around them.  Stressful for sure but more often then not if there is a wipe it is not the healers fault.

So I would get to fill the role no one else seems to want to play, I would get to finally see content on a more then one dungeon per day rate and I would not be the one with all the pressure on me.  Not to mention that with no healers in my guild now really (only 1 at 85) I can run randoms all day long AND help my guild out by helping gear them up.

Like I said, the mana bar is the only real pressure on healers if they are running with competent people.  So if you think about it that way, there really is no pressure.

Now back to what I was thinking.  Which healer should I level?

I think my Disc Priest is the best option because I enjoy playing it and in the end, even with the issues they have now, I want to have fun playing the game and I would like to enjoy what I do.  I find Disc healing fun and I really want to find something fun in this expansion because so far there is too little to enjoy about it.

I've never healed as a Shaman however.  My Shaman does not even have a second spec.  I've had three people tell me however that Shaman healing is easy.  One person said he rolled a Shaman healer so his dog can take over for him when he had to go to the bathroom.  Of course it was a joke but that kind of explains how easy he thought Shaman healing is.  I am not entirely sure I would like that however.  I want some challenge even if minimal.

As for my Druid I am still depressed that there is no tree any more.  If anything that is reason enough not to play a Druid healer.  I also need to work on my Druid anyway because I need to level my jewel crafting.

Now to see what happens tonight.  I'll go on my Hunter and do my dailies and hope that I get a group that does not suck.  2 days in a row without a heroic now.  Then I will see how much time I have left and decide on a whim.

So far everything in this expansion makes no sense what so ever.

Like my second highest leveled character is my Rogue.  What the hell is that?  Why am I even playing my Rogue?

This expansion makes no sense and everything around it makes no sense either.

I've already got my excuse for letting stupid DPS die in heroics.

I'm sorry, you must have been out of my range while standing in that avoidable damage when I moved away from it.

Yes, I'll let people die if they do the same mistake more then twice.  See, I am nice.  I give them two times to learn.

Heroics need a leader.

I got into GB as my heroic yesterday and it was a total disaster again.  Never even got a dungeon in yesterday.  I did not have a lot of time and wasting over an hour trying to get one boss down left me not even wanting to try again. 

I had about an hour left before I was going to head off and with a 30-45 minute wait time and the knowledge that getting in a pug that last less then 2 hours is still a major miracle it seemed it was just not worth it.  There were a few groups from the guild doing runs but only normals and I did not want to hijack the 85s helping others to make a heroic group just for me, I am not selfish like that.

So they ran their normals and another day goes by where I do not get a heroic done.  It is a really sad state of events still.  Sure I could get lucky and get a good group but with my bad luck that is like a one in ten chance at best.

The biggest thing I have noticed is that a 5 man dungeon run needs a leader.  When I am in a heroic with someone that is chatty (usually the tank) things seem to go smoothly.  Even if no one in the group has even one piece of heroic gear you can clear a heroic with a little communication.  I know that for a fact, I've done it.

I've also been in groups where everyone (except me of course) was in all heroic and raid gear and they wipe over and over and over.  Needless to say it is not because they do not know the fights, they have heroic gear so they have to have done heroics you would think.

It is the fact there is no leader.  When you are in a group with four other people you do not know then there is no "normal".  Like in GB, the druid will normally hibernate one of the dragonkin.  If you do not tell the druid to do that, or if the druid does not say "I am going to CC this one" then no one knows.  It breaks down and becomes a mess.

Broken CC because no one said who they were CCing.  Targeting the wrong focus because no one set an attack order.  It becomes a holy mess.

Mind you, a holy mess can sometimes be fun.  One of the trash pulls two DPS and the tank died and it was just me and the druid healer against 4 mobs that had not even been touched. 

I multi kited, shot when I could, double trapped, concussived the one I was working on while throwing a silence shot over to the caster whenever it was off cooldown and the druid rooted one melee.  It took a whole mess of me moving like a rabbit bouncing all over the place.  Some excellent healing and a little bit of luck later and we downed all 4 of the elites and the healer went on to revive the three people that died.  Exciting, I loved it.  That is some fun stuff there but there where two huge problems here and they are both because of lack of communication.

First problem is why was the CC broken? Lack of communication.  If there was a set order for CC everyone would have known who it was on and who was doing it.  That way they would have been less likely to break it.

Second problem is why where mobs up so long and targeting DPS?  It is because nothing was marked and the whole assist thing that everyone says you need to do it about as retarded as banging your head against a wall because it gives you a cool buzz

When mobs are all over the place like that and the tank is trying to gather them up the tank is not focusing on one target, he is focusing on all of them to build threat on them.  If DPS 1 targets him while he is on one target and DPS 2 targets him while he is on another target then you have 2 DPS hitting 2 different targets.  Do not assist tanks, but then again, when nothing is marked, that is the correct way to do it I guess.  Just a clusterfuck.  Communication would have fixed this.

Personally I hold off DPS for a few seconds until the tank gathers them up and then go after his focus.

I could add another thing here but I understand why no one did it.  It is not a boss fight, why did they not just released and come back in to help.  I know why.  They thought it would be a wipe.  One lonely hunter and a druid healer against 4 elites that we are still under geared to beat as a 5 man team?  That has wipe written all over it.

Either way, we finally make it to the first boss and the healer leaves.  They do not want to get saved, they figure if we had trouble getting here then we are not finishing.  Lame excuse but okay.  Another healer comes in and they say they know the fight.  We go in, they get charged, they die, wipe shortly after.

We try again, same results, healer gets charged and dies and we wipe.  A DPS leaves and the healer leaves.

Third attempt, different healer, same results.  Do healers understand that mechanics are not just for DPS and that the healer needs to pay attention to them as well?  None of the ones I've seen recently seem to know that.

Forth attempt, with another new DPS.  Now I am the only ranged.  No fun going after that add alone.  Either way, not much of an issue.  The new DPS dies to the first charge.  I get hit by the second while kiting the purple guy and end up dying when I kill the purple guy and the wipe comes shortly after because without me doing the purple guy they figure no one has to now.  It was my job and if I am dead that means the job is done.  Doesn't make a difference, they were not doing it with 1 tank, 1 healer and 1 DPS.

Fifth attempt ended with a reset, how the hell I did that I do not know.  The healer did what it is healers seem to do in this heroic and died to the blitz and the tank went down shortly after followed by a melee DPS.  The boss focused on me and I did what a good hunter does.  I ran.  Well, kited sounds better.  When I got far enough away, he reset.

Sixth attempt was something different.  No clue what hit the tank but he went down like a ton of bricks and we all followed.

Seventh attempt.  More healer failure.  Do you have DBM?  Why?  Because it will tell you when to move because the blitz is coming.  I know when to move.  Dead healer.  Wipe.

Healer leaves because we are taking to much damage.  Excuse me?  Who is the one dying because they refuse to move.  DPS drops and then me, the tank and the other DPS all stand around.  None willing to hit the button to find more.  I wish them well and go about my day.

It all comes down to communication.  No one was talking, even on the boss fight.  No one asked if everyone knew the fight.  No one said anything to the healer until they died a few times from the same thing.  No one understood that I was drawing the purple one away for a reason.  One person even yelled at me because I was making it harder for the tank to pick up adds because I kept drawing the purple one away.  No one said anything useful.

As bad as that looks we got it down below 50% nearly every time.  It was not like we were totally horrible.  It was just that a little communication would have helped.  If we spend 10 minutes talking before the pull we would not have had to spend 1 hour wiping on it over and over.

Heroics need a leader. Anyone, usually the tank.  Just someone to step up and take charge.

The only heroics I have ever been in where we downed bosses had someone step up and talk.  They would say, okay when he does this do this.  Hunter I need you to do this.  Warrior you stay on the boss but step away when he casts this.  Blah, blah blah.  Most of the time, if someone takes the time to do that it means one or two wipes at most.  Usually down the first time.

I guess I just need to wait until I am lucky enough to find a group with an actual leader.  You might ask why I do not lead and I have the perfect answer for that.  One dungeon I was in someone said has anyone ever done this before.  Everyone said no except me, I said I have.  I started to explain the fight to everyone and someone said I am not the leader and I should shut up.  So I left.

For some reason, even if a Hunter is the only one that knows the fight no one wants to hear how to do it from a Hunter because Hunters are always idiots as far as they are concerned.  Thank god for Death Knights otherwise Hunters would take even more abuse.  Death Knights take the most now.

Heroics do need a leader however or until we all woefully over gear them they will never be a nice easy run.  Without a leader or guild run however, they seem nearly impossible still.  Very sad.  Every time I end up with another fail group it makes me start to wonder why I even play this game.  If the skill level of people does not greatly increase soon I can see many people quitting.  It is no fun not being able to run a heroic for fun whenever you want to.

I miss the good old days of doing a random for something to do.  Just for the hell of it.  It was fun sometimes.  The fun is completely gone from the game at the moment.  It is no fun knowing that 9 times out of 10 you are going to get a group of people that can't tell their ass from their elbow.  I would like to see the fun bought back into the game but the only way that is going to happen is if people get smarter. 

Being that is not going to happen I do not see this game being any fun in the near future.  I guess I will continue to work on my Archaeology trying to get my alchemy recipe.  That, is not fun either. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tips and Tricks: Trap Pulling

With the minds of men, women and children all wrapped up in crowd control lately I thought it would be a nice time to teach some new hunters some old tricks.

I might not be a vanilla player but I love to solo stuff and doing that I picked up a ton of experience using skills that Hunters where never asked to use in the LK era.  So here is a little guide to trap pulling.

#1 thing to remember.

When you trap pull you are basically body pulling all mobs connected to mob you are trapping.

With that in mind it is best to stand on top of the tank when you shoot your trap (or behind him/her directly).  That is so when they come for you, they are coming right at the tank.  This makes it easier for the tank to pick them up.

#2 thing to remember.

If any of the mobs not being trapped are ranged (caster or hunter) put your pet on passive or dismiss it before trapping.

If you trap a mob it will aggro on you.  If all the mobs are melee they have to run to you to hurt you.  They will be picked up by the tank before that happens of course. 

However, if one of the mobs not being trapped are ranged, as in a caster or hunter, then they will hit you with a ranged attack before coming after you.  If your pet is on defensive then your pet will go after them. 

This could really screw up a pull because now the mobs will not come all the way to the tank for the tank to grab aggro.  They will go after the wild animal that just came running toward them.  So unless all mobs not trapped are melee make sure you pet is on passive (and away from you) or dismiss it before sending in a trap.

#3 thing to remember.

You can always reset the mobs if something goes wrong, but only if you do it right away.

If you Feign Death the mobs will go back to what they where doing beforehand.  For some reason mobs are stupid.  They will not even remember that their buddy bob was not sitting in a giant block of ice a few seconds ago.  They won't even think to look around for the reason he is frozen.  If you are in mid fire and the tank says wait or the healer says AFK then FD instantly.  You will still have trapped your target and you will have stopped the battle from beginning.  If you wait too long to FD they might get close enough to notice someone else.  So FD sooner then later.

Now you know how to trap.

Max range.
Trap launcher on their feet. 
Step back.

Now, for advanced trapping.

Depending on the group you are in you might be short on good CC.  Survival is a master of chain trapping two mobs but any spec can trap two mobs to start a pull.  Here is how.

Get at max range.
Fire first trap.
Wait 30 seconds for trap CD to end.
Fire second trap.
Let tank pick up the mobs that come.

Thing to remember.  That first trapped mob will be active in 30 seconds, the second has a full minute, and there will be a small gap before you can trap it again.

If you are survival and speced into trap mastery you will get extra length on your traps.  This, in effect, gives you an extra 18 seconds on the traps if maxed.  Which means as survival can keep two targets trapped indefinitely rotating traps between them.

Other tips.

If you are on trap duty, even if it is for only one target, do not wait until the trap is about to fall off before applying another one.  About 45 seconds in find a place in your rotation to put another on under the mobs feet.  That way when he unfreezes he will refreeze instantly.

Let the tanks know you are willing to trap.  Sad as it might sound many Hunters, and players of all classes in general, make Hunters look bad.  Also, most people do not understand the useful

Happy trapping all.

Hardest role in new Heroics?

We hear it all the time.  Heroics are hard.  Then of course we hear people say the opposite, Heroics are easy you just need to learn how to play.  I've said it before and will say it again.  It is a learning curve.  For some people it clicks fast and for others it takes a while.

Example:  Yesterday I was in Heroic Shadowfang Keep and we are on the last boss.  Just our luck as it would be we have no one that can cure curses.  So the tank says lets just try the fast burn and the healer will have to try their best to keep up.  Two wipes later someone says "Can the curse be interupted?" and another person says "Yes, but it has a 1 second cast time so you need perfect timing".

I'm MM, which is against the grain right now as it is the lowest DPS spec at the moment but I know that gives me silencing shot.  I proclaim "Don't worry about it then, if it can be interrupted he will never get a cast off, leave it to me."

We start the fight and low and behold the person was right, it can be interrupted.  He never got a cast off.  My DPS was a bit off being I had to make sure I was not in the middle of a steady when it was time to interrupt but I managed to pull 11.5K DPS and interrupt every single cast.  The boss went down quickly and no one but the tank took any damage.

See, learning curve.  We where dying horrible deaths in pools of cursed blood the first two tries.  Once it clicked for us and the learning curve caught up the fight went from difficult to laughable.  Personally, I wonder how that boss even qualifies as a heroic boss now.  If you interrupt that cast he is basically a tank and spank boss, no more, no less.

But we are not talking hard in that sense.  Anything is hard when first learning it and anything is easy once you get good at it.  So hard, in that sense, is your personal learning curve.

I am also currently saying that healing is hard because of the mana issues and such.  I say it at least 10 times a day it seems.  But that is not the type of hard I am talking about either.  As healers work on their own learning curve they will handle the healing issues.  Just like a tank has to learn how to be move the mobs and a damage dealer has to learn their rotation and that can be different from fight to fight, a healer needs to learn their new way of healing.  So that hard (even if blizzard has said they screwed up on priest mana regen and will fix it) is something that also fits into the learning curve.

I am talking about hard by the perspective of those around you.

Hard, based on that, is more of an exact science.  Hard otherwise is all about the learning curve as I mentioned and that is different for everyone so saying something is hard that way really does not fit as a blanket statement.

What do you look for in a tank?

Do they hold threat?
Yes... then they are a good tank.
No... then they are a bad tank.

Do they have good avoidance making it easy on the healer?
Yes... then they are a good tank.
No... then they are a bad tank.

Do they have high hit points? (yes people still look at this as a sign of a good tank for some reason)
Yes... then they are a good tank.
No... then they are a bad tank.

So see, basically, looking at it that way, it comes down to, if the tank can hold stuff and take a beating they are a good tank.

What do you look for in a healer?

Does everyone live?
Yes... then it is a good healer.
No... then it is a bad healer.

There you go, when looking at healers that is all anyone cares about.  With the known issues of healers as it is there is even some understanding when people die and you could have 1 or 2 people die almost every pull and the healer would still be called a good.

Funny part is that if a healer ends with everyone alive on 0 mana they are now called an amazing healer instead of a good healer.  Weird how doing bad mana management makes you better at what you do?  But I can understand it.  Spells are just way to costly and most healers have not adjusted from over healing everything.  I know that for a fact because I am one of them sadly, only difference is I admit it.

What do you expect from a damage dealer?

Do they do high DPS?
Yes... then they are a good damage dealer.
No... then they are a bad damage dealer.

Do they know how to focus target?
Yes... then they are a good damage dealer.
No... then they are a bad damage dealer.

Do they know how to use (and not break) CC?
Yes... then they are a good damage dealer.
No... then they are a bad damage dealer.

Those are the basics.  If you notice there is more involved with doing DPS then with tanking or healer.  A tank needs to tank a healer needs to heal and a DPS needs to do everything else, including winning the fight.  Seems like more pressure is on them.

Lets take some examples:

Failed attempt on a boss fight (with no adds)

Tank says... Wow, that boss hits hard.
Healer says... I went oom trying to heal through it.
DPS says... I burned all my cool downs and it looked like his life was barely going down.

Verdict:  DPS kicked, we need more DPS.

Failed attempt on a boss fight (with adds)

Tank says... the adds became to much for me.
Healer says... it became impossible to heal through that.
DPS says... that big add has a crap load of life.

Verdict: DPS kicked, we need more DPS.

Failed attempt on a boss fight with no adds but heavy mechanics.

Tank says... Aggro is harder to hold while moving, DPS need to watch threat.
Healer says... It is harder to heal on the move.
DPS says... Mobile fights always lower DPS for me.

Verdict: DPS kicked, we need more DPS

Failed attempt on a boss fight with adds and heavy mechanics.

Tank says... You have to burn adds faster.
Healer says... You have to avoid add damage, I can't heal you through it.
DPS says... We could burn them down faster and without damage if the tank picked them up to buy us a few seconds of uninterrupted DPS.

Verdict:  DPS kicked, we need more DPS.

Failed attempt on a heavy AoE fight.

Tank says... I'll hold everything, you just burn.
Healer says... You need to burn him faster I can't kept up with this healing long.
DPS says... I'm doing 15K in blues and greens what more do you want from me.

Verditc:  DPS kicked, we need more DPS.

I've noticed one trend in heroics lately.  The answer for everything is "we need more DPS".  I am not kidding either.  Even if we down a boss nice and fast someone is bound to say, that would be super easy if we had more DPS. 

Like in H SFK the yesterday after we down the last boss someone said, if we had more DPS we could have just ignored the curse.  Excuse me?  It was easy as sin as soon as I started interrupting.  It would have been easy the first time if we had someone to cure the curses.  It was an easy fight.  Why the hell do we need more DPS for it?

It just seems that DPS have the hardest time in heroics because they have the most expected from them.  A tank just need to hold packs and a healer just needs to heal people.  If stuff does not go down, for whatever reason, it is the DPS fault.  Tank lost threat... DPS fault.  Healer when oom... DPS fault.  You name it... DPS fault.

If we flash forward 30 days, maybe even 15 days.  Once all DPS have all heroics gear, some points gear and some raid gear and go back into all those instances with the same tank and same healer all in their same gear all those instances become laughable.

Remember that it is a tanks job to get beat on and it is a healers job to heal them and everyone else as needed and it is the job of the damage dealers to kill things.  The faster the damage dealers kill things the less a tank gets beat on and the less a healer has to heal. 

So who has the hardest role in new heroics, even more so while first gearing up?  DPS.  Hands down DPS.  Not even an argument DPS. 

They have the most expected from them and being there are millions of them and they are easily replaced they have to not only be good but they have to be great all the time every step of the way.  They not only have the hardest role in the dungeon at the moment but they also have the understanding that even one little mistake or not doing enough DPS they can be replaced in a split seconds.  Now that... is hard.

The greatest kick to DPS is that a tank in blues and greens comes into a heroic and people say he is here because he needs to gear up.  A healer comes into a instance in all blues and greens and people say they are there because they need to gear up.  A DPS comes into an instance with blues and greens and they get kicked instantly because "we need more DPS".  Wow, just wow.  Hardest role in the game right now... DPS.

At least is it getting closer to the point where people can do random heroics again.  With kids off school for the winter vacation I expect them to gear up which will mean many more casuals and even more importantly kids.  While I hate playing with kids at least there is one thing you can count on them for.  They are less likely to kick a DPS that is trying to gear up because the other DPS that are kids as well will look at it as someone that can easily beat and you know, it is all about being #1 on the DPS charts right?

It is taking longer then I expected for the masses to catch up to the heroics but at least they have started to now.  No more first boss wipes, thank god.  Still seems all runs are 2+ hours in pugs however.  At least I was not in my friends pug on Saturday.   4 1/2 hours to do deadmines.  I would rater have dental surgery then endure that.