Friday, October 29, 2010

Will Someone Remind Me I Suck At Tanking

Out of shear boredom I decided that I would run a random with my 57 Prot Warrior.  Mind you that I have not tanked since the change.  At 57 I really did not see anything really different.  I needed to replace most of my skills on my bar and needed to keybind some things being that seems to have gotten lost on some of my characters.  Not all mind you.  Some characters have all their key bindings in tact, others have none. 

I set things up.  All macros across the board disappeared from my bars so I needed to put them back as well as many skills.  I get into UBRS for my tanking run.  Mind you that I am not great to begin with and now I am stuck here?  I had not tanked in months on this character and with that said not since the changes either.

I go in, make a few pulls and am surprised by my increased damage.  I don't remember being the #1 DPS in the group at this level.  Lower levels I always was but in the late 40s I noticed that the DPS started to catch up.  I was nearly double the second DPS.  Not a bad thing.  Made keeping aggro a lot easier.

I round up one pack.  No problem.  Round up another pack, two pats are coming close to I grab their attention as well.  No problem.  3, 4, 5 mobs.  No problem.  I am on cruise control.  Next pull we somehow manage to get something like 13 packs.  I round them all up, which was an adventure in UBRS.  If you have ever tanked it you know what I am talking about.

Somehow I must have gotten out of line of sight of the healer or the healer just had a fail moment.  No one else was taking damage at the moment so it was either me or the healer that messed up here but lets not argue who messed up because in a second you will see it was all my fault anyway.  My heath is going down faster then a thai hooker when I hit my keys for by oh shit buttons and nothing happens.  Oh crap I forgot to put them back on my bar. 

I can not even think of why I wouldn't.  I start looking at my bar thinking maybe I put them in the wrong place and can just click them really fast.  Scanning over them... nothing.  Then I finally see them.  They are keyed, why did they not go off?  (maybe it was that new stupid query system they are using)

I hit my oh shit buttons, quite frankly amazed I am still even alive.  However, in that 3 or 4 seconds that I was in panic mode I lost a few of the mobs and they ate the healer.  How the healer had aggro when they sure as hell where not healing me and no one else was taking damage is beyond me.  Either way.  I charge to try and pick them back up and round them up.  Hit, quick turn. Back peddle one step, left one step, just to get them all in front of me of course.  We have about 4 or 5 of the mobs left.  By some miracle I am still alive and make a mental note that I need to add my bandages and potions back on to my bar as well.  Did not even notice they were missing as well since the change.

Then the unthinkable happens.  Well, only unthinkable if you have never tanked UBRS before.  A pat come by.  God damn I hate this place.  There are like 36 mobs in a 3 inch space.  How the hell am I supposed to control that.  One of them targets me and charges.  Throws me against the wall stunning me for, well who cares how long, with my low life I was dead.  Within seconds the DPS were dead as well.

I really suck.  I apologized to the group and explain it was my fault.  I must have missed setting something up after the changes and asked them if they can wait a few while I sort out my issues.  They where understanding and said no problem.  I moved a few things around and rebound a few things that seemed to not be working.  I think that is a bartender issue that made them disappear.  I add my little JC healy thing, bandages, potions, etc to my bar.  All on a side frame I use specifically for things like that.

All seems well now, lets give this another shot.  We head back in.  Same area where we all died a horrible death just minutes earlier.  I wait for the pats to walk away and pick up the few remaining mobs from that huge pack that killed us.  We down them easily.  I wait for the pats to come close enough, we kill those two nice and quick.  Now I survey the lands and see huge packs on each side again. Knowing that if I pull one and we get a runner it will surely run into the other pack.  It always works that way right?

I tell them I am pulling them out, back to the doorway.  They go back in the door.  I fire a shot and run behind the door and wait for them to come.  4 come, I round up 4 and as soon as I get my threat rotation rolling I am a frog.  They start going after other people and those other people run.  As soon as I can I go and round them up again I do and suddenly as soon as I do that, I am a frog again.  It feels like ZF all over again.  I hate this crap.  This goes no for a while.  Seems like forever. We finally down them with 1 DPS lost.

I apologized again, sorry, I was a frog.  Next pull, same thing happens again, this time we lose 2 DPS but still pull it out and once again I see myself saying, sorry, I was a frog.

The next few pulls go well and then suddenly I make a pull that apparently I did not see was that close to another and instead of 5 mobs we have 10 mobs on us and 2 pets.  Things are super crazy at first as I try to pick up the others I did not notice before.  I get them all gathered up but apparently did not notice a little imp that blended into the background had decided that he did not like healers.  The imp toasted the healer nearly instantly.  We continue along and were really doing well, got almost all of them down before we wiped.

As is becoming a habit I apologize on the way back because I had not meant to pull two packs.  Everyone once again is rather nice about it.  The healer said they had to leave however.  I know it was my fault, they where just being nice about it.  A DPS leaves as well.

When new people come they say, you are supposed to be doing LBRS not UBRS, the mobs in upper are all 2 levels above all of us.  Well that does explain a little about why it was so difficult.  We did make it pretty far into UBRS so maybe I should be impressed instead of feeling bad.

We head over to LBRS and start or trek through there.  Lots of the same stuff happens.  Extra packs that were not intended, me being a frog, you know, all types of stuff that has me apologizing again.  More people come and go, 2 more healers a few DPS here and there.  Nothing much changes.  Once we get a boomkin that is doing huge DPS things start dying fast enough that is not a great deal of an issue any more.

We are flying through things now and I am apologizing a lot less because there is less to mess up on when everything is dying quickly.  However, somewhere along the line things start to go wrong again and it is all the same stuff all over again.  After the third complete wipe I all but give up.  We have been in there an hour and a half, we are basically lost as none of us know our way around and it does not seem to be getting better any time soon.  After the healer and one DPS dropped I said I am sorry but I am going to go as well, hopefully you will get a better tank next time.  Good luck and have a nice night and I left.

I leads me to believe that I seriously suck at tanking.  There were a few bright spots.  Such as making it as far into upper as we did with only one wipe when the lowest mob was 2 levels higher then I was and the few times where we had adds all over the place and I was able to pick them all up and being able to hold aggro on all those packs while the DPS did their thing and never needed to worry about being attacked. The dark spots however were far to many for me to think of it as a good run however.

UBRS/LBRS owned me big time.  I am sure in time I can get better if I try again.  I am sure that with a more disciplined group of DPS I would not have as many issues.  I am sure with a better healer I could have lasted longer.  But for the moment after that run all I can say is that I feel like I suck at tanking and in the end I can not blame the DPS or the healer.  As a tank it is all on me.  I need to control the situation, if I do not do that I am a fail tank.  It is really that simple.  Bad DPS will be bad DPS, I need to adjust to that.  A bad healer can hurt however.  Still, it was all on me.  I need a lot of practice.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If you can't beat them... Part 3

... join them. (Fix edition)

This is a three part post.  The QQ, the Like, and the Fix.  One for each of what I forever see on the forums about hunters.

Okay, the balance of Hunters is completely off.  Everyone got a buff and the Hunters are exactly where they where before in terms of damage in PvE and are basically screwed in PvP.  There needs to be some fixes that would adjust want is needed for and from Hunters.

First off.  Damage.  It is insanely low.  As I used an example of my Mage doing a standard shot does with no gear against my Hunter doing his big shot in end game gear it shows that the damage is not in line with the way it should be.

Kill Shot:  Double the damage, at least.  So my 17K is now 34K.  Sure it is not the 50K+ that I used to hit all the time but 34K is still a hell of a lot better then 17K.

Aimed Shot:  Remove widow venom or change it.  Put the healing debuff back on aimed shot and at 50% again, not the crap 10% they have widow sitting at now.

Aimed Shot:  It also needs s light boost in damage if they ever want us to use it outside of the free shot.  Not a great deal.  20% boost would be more then ample.

Widow Venom:  If you are going to keep it change it to something else.  Being the healing debuff should be back on Aimed now this one can be a combo tranq/silence/concussive shot.  Very powerful yes, but now it might actually be useful.  Raise the focus to adjust for the mutli use in PvP that this would have.

Chimera Shot:  Up the damage about 30% and add the instant serpent damage back to it and it will be worthy of its much higher then arcane cost and 10 second cooldown.  There is no reason a signature shot that costs twice as much as a shot that all specs have should hit for nearly the same thing at twice the cost.

Anything Melee:  The loss of Volley not only made us lose our only AoE ability it also made us lose one of the only things we had to deal with multiple mobs in melee range.  Maybe make raptor strike hit all mobs in melee range and slow them for 3 seconds, cut the damage in half as well.  It is not like we really need a damaging melee shot.  That is more then ample, when tied to a disengage and/or a trap to give hunters enough to deal with multiple mobs in melee.

Cast Bars:  Hey Blizzard, you said we are not casters.  Remove the cast bars.  Make Steady an instant with a cooldown for whatever the "cast" time was.  Make Aimed an instant with a cooldown for the 3 second "cast" time.  See, still won't be able to spam them and they no longer have a cast time which means they are no longer magic feeling.  The only thing a hunter should ever have to "cast" is revive pet and even that can be debated.

Trap Launcher: Just fix it so we can macro the damn things to either drop or shoot.  That way they work on one click like the old arrow used to.  Should not be that hard to let us macro the thing.  As it is now it is really not worth it to do, let others with real instants CC. 

People complain about focus regen but I can live with it as is.  It is slightly slow and that is what ties us into a rotation because we have no ability to ever do anything on the fly because we really do not have any resources to spare.  I can live with a boring rotation to some extent as long as it is doing the job.

At the moment, it is not doing the job. Mages in all 200s can out DPS any T10 Hunter in the game even if that Hunter is executing things perfectly and it is not just mages it is every class in the game that can out do Hunters in much lesser gear.

Doing these few fixes will help Hunters in PvE and PvP.  It does not address even half the issues we as Hunters have but it does at least make the Hunter class once again viable.  At the moment, they are not viable for raiding or PvP as any other class can do the same thing they do better and not only do it better but do it better easier.

If you can't beat them... Part 2

... join them. (Like edition)

This is a three part post.  The QQ, the Like, and the Fix.  One for each of what I forever see on the forums about hunters.

Soloing as a Hunter has taken on a whole new meaning now with the changes. I can easily think of a few things I love about the new system that helps with me with my soloing and only really one glaring loss.  The loss of volley does hurt some for sure but with a little thinking it is easy to overcome.  Just can't steamroll some things like we used to because of it.

The new glyph for misdirection on our pets is a god send.  As long as you control the battle area you are assured that you will never have aggro issues being you can MD between every single shot if need be.  I have my trusty turtle go round up some packs and then MD/Multi away until everything is dead.  Just make sure to /assist your pet.  You always want to have those extra power shots hitting the target your pet is targeting or you might create a situation you do not want.

The new trap launcher is great for soloing as well.  While it is clunky and not very efficient for on the fly use you have more time when soloing as you are setting your own pace.  You can trap a mob that might cause some trouble like the one mob that fears just to save it for last.  You can throw your explosive to help with some damage with little chance of that ever pulling aggro.  You can throw an ice trap to make sure none of those runners get very far when the time comes.  So many uses and you are not worrying about damage really, you are worrying about keeping your pet up and letting your pet keep aggro so the clunky nature of traps is not much of an issue.

Multi shot might hit like a wet noodle but each one of those multi shots ca proc a free auto shot at extra damage if you are MM.  MM was never considered to be a soloing spec but now it is viable.  In Sv with serpent spread you can do some serious damage with mutli as well, but that might cause a few aggro issues with DoTs running on all those mobs.  MM will be safer and SV will be more powerful.  Speaking soloing without BM is strange huh?  Each spec will have its strengths and weakness when it comes to soloing now.  I like that there are more options to solo beside just BM now.

The new mend pet is fantastic.  Our pets health pool is huge because every ones is now.  The ticks from a mend pet and the T5 2 piece set with mutli shot on a dozen mobs means your pet will be getting some serious healing.

Multi shot also has become a fun kiting tool now.  Being it is an instant you can actually kite a few mobs at once.  Oh the fun I could have with that.  Heck, just the fact is an instant alone is reason to celebrate.

Being every class in the game got a huge buff and the hunters got the shaft we can complain and rightly so but it does open a door that hunters have not had as long as I have played.  The ability to just play and not stress anything.  If you were a Hunter and you were not #1 on the DPS list, you where doing something wrong.  It caused me to spend countless hours deciding on what gear to use for what stats worked best for me.  Working on target dummies for hours on end.  Playing with procs to squeeze out every last bit of DPS that I could.  Reading for hours per day trying to see if there are some tips out there I did not know about.  Being top DPS was never easy.  It was stressful.  I would have to say it is more stressful to try and stay #1 after you get there then it is to try and get there.

Now, Hunters have less stress.  We are not going to be topping the DPS charts again so we do not need to worry.  If you are number 7 in DPS doing 9100 who cares if you can get 9300, no one is going to notice you moved up 200 DPS.  When you are number one with 12500 and someone is creeping up on you with 12300 that 200 extra DPS is what keeps you on top.  To stay on top you always need to be at the top of your game.  Trust me, it is stressful.  I can't tell you how many times I actively got pissed off that I was the only person that pulled over 10K in a raid.  It felt like I was doing all the work.  Now there is no longer any stress involved.  You can just hover in the middle with everyone else.  Sure, you might be kicking some serious ass and getting the max out of your character but when the max out of your character is #7 no one is going to realize that you are basically doing great.  So why even stress over it any more?  Stress free living for hunters now.

Another great thing I have seen in the wow community is the other classes actively feeling bad for the hunters.  For all my time playing all I ever heard was huntard this and huntard that and it seemed that everyone hated hunters.  You where #1, it was only because you where a hunter.  You where not #1 it was because you where a huntard.  There was no in between.  Everyone was always bitter toward hunters for whatever their reasons might have been.  No more. 

When I run on my other characters I sometimes see people talking in the dungeons about how bad hunters got screwed over.  I keep my mouth shut and just listen but it is nice to see people say they might not play a hunter but they feel bad for how bad hunters have been treated.  It is one thing to think you have it so bad and it is another when everyone else agrees with you.  Nice to see that all the hunter QQ is not only from the hunters.

Questing is so much easier when you can basically burn and keep moving and never need to stop for mana.  That is a great change that came with the move to focus.

Lower levels are fantastic with arcane shot being so powerful. Leveling in general is so much more fun now.  Partly because of the changes and partly because I am not a noob anymore so I know what I am doing now.

Starting a hunter is now great because you start with your pet.  No more melee hunter until 10.  That means less hunters growing up thinking that they are supposed to melee.  This change is like 6 years over due.  About time if you ask me.

The aspect bar.  For the longest time I have asked for one of these.  Only gripe there is that we need to re hit an aspect each time we die.  Other classes do not need to worry about that, but at least we have an aspect bar now.

Having more then one pet with us.  Okay, call stabled pet did the same thing.  So we kind of always had 5 with us.  But now having a few with us and more room back at the stables.  Have to love that one.

While I do still feel uncomfortable being a Hunter and I second guess myself all the time when doing things I had done 100 times before I do feel more Hunterish then I did before without the need for mana.

Over all there are a lot of good changes that came along with the bad ones.

However there still needs to be a few things done to the class to fix it up.  So lets move on to part 3.

If you can't beat them... Part 1

... Join them. (QQ edition)

This is a three part post.  The QQ, the Like, and the Fix.  One for each of what I forever see on the forums about hunters.

More and more it seems that Blizzard does not want people playing hunters any more.  First they change us to an entirely new resource system.  On it's own, that is fine.  We can adapt.  A good hunter will always adapt to change. 

Then they take away volley because of three reasons. 

One was that they did not want people to have to make the choice between using multi and volley which is a bull shit reason because no good hunter ever even once in his life actually had to decide which one to use.  Each one had its use and only got used when it was best to be used.

The second was that they did not like the feel of a channeled effect being used by someone that is not a caster which is another bull shit thing.  If they do not like hunters having a channeled effect then how come steady shot, our most used shot now mind you, has a cast bar?  Sure, it is not a channel but it is very magic like.  Only casters have cast bars.  Don't want us to have the caster feeling, stop making use us caster effects.

Third was that volley felt like a magical spell and they did not want hunters to be magic users, even more so now that we do not use mana.  If that is the case then why do we still have arcane shot?  If that is the case then why is the mastery bonus for survival something that increases their magical damage?  It is another bull shit reason.

Then they change out multi shot to help replace (their word, not mine) volley.  Not only does it not do anything that volley did it now hits like a wet noodle.  Check that, I think a wet noodle will hurt a lot more.

They removed the damaging portion from Silencing shot.  Was there ever even a reason given for this?  Am I the only person in the game that actually misses it? Well, I do miss it and I want it back.  It never hit for much anyway, why take it out?

They changed Aimed shot to an insanely long 3 seconds of cast time.  Wait, weren't we supposed to not have cast times any more?  They also removed the healing debuff it put on someone we hit with it.  Another annoying move there is no real reason behind.

So they decided to give us something to limit healing again.  Instead of putting it back where it was, they made it a new spell.  Now that new spell will make us waste more focus and another GCD and do less of a debuff then Aimed did to start off with.  So their big replacement to that was making us waste focus, time and not even get as much usefulness out of it?

With the new focus system we were sent to sit at the kids table during thanksgiving.  We can no longer play with the big boys being we no longer can do any considerable burst damage.  We are now a supporting character at best.

They took what was once a good skill with the freezing arrow and turned it into something where we could fire any arrow at range.  Nice move, to bad it does not work even half way decently.  It is clunky at best and is no longer something that you can respond with in a split second.  Now it is a key mashing joke to try to get it off fast enough to be helpful.

Shot selection used to be responsive.  Hitting your big skills when they are available.  Saving them so you can stack them with a right set of procs.  Being able to maximize how you do things by playing smart.   Now there are no options what so ever.  You can do this, or that.  That is it.  Usually it is not even this or that as a choice, it is just do this because our focus level will always dictate what needs to be done.  They have taken all the skill out of being a hunter.  Hunters how have an actual rotation and it is boring.

Shot power is a joke now.  Chimera, Arcane, Aimed, whats the difference?  Hell, even add kill shot to that.  It does nearly the same as the other shots.  Where is the shot selection when everything hits for the same amount?  Arcane seems like the only option when compared to chimera costing twice as much to do the same damage, even refreshing the sting does not make up for the lack of damage.  Aimed takes 3 seconds to cast so unless it is free it is not worth casting and if it were not for the fact Kill Shot is free also it would never be used.  What type of kill shot hits for the same as all your normal ones do? 

Since the change my max cirt on a kill shot is 17K, before I used to pull out the occasional 50K+ one and not in ICC with the buff.  My mage was hitting 20K crits by the time it was level 72.  Now at 80 it hits with 28K crits and I am only wearing 2 blues. Lets compare the two.  Arcane Blast is a 2.5 second cast and hits for 28K on a mage that is not even geared for heroics dungeons yet with 5 man buffs only.  Aimed Shot has a 3 second cast and hits for 12K on a hunter who is end game geared with 25 man buffs.  Who at blizzard is doing that math over there?  Apparently someone that never got past the 3rd grade.

It seems more and more that the designers do not want people playing hunters.  There is no other reason for these changes.  None of them make sense.  Like removing volley because it was too magical?  Like comparable skills between a mage and a hunter not hitting for even remotely comparable damage?  Like taking a possibly challenging priority system that separated the hunters from the huntards and turning it into a boring do this and that rotation?

All in all Hunters did not get nerfed.  I'll repeat that in case I stuttered.  Hunters did not get nerfed.  They got changed.  A big difference.  We got changed and as a result we saw a small drop in DPS.  Some of which we can make up with learning the new rotation and new skills and how they interact.  We can come really close to doing the same as we had done before.

The only reason it seems we were nerfed is because every other class in the game got buffed.  We just got left out of the all you can eat buffs they where handing out.  That is what we get for being stuck sitting at the kids table.  We are low man on the totem pole now not because we got nerfed but because we missed out on all the buffs that were flying all over the place.

Until now that is...

Now we are getting some actual nerfs.  As if we needed it right?

Steady Shot is being changed to scale 2.1% of ranged damage, down from 10%.

Holy shit Blizzard listened to us... only half way.  We where complaining that all the shots only hit for a tiny bit more then steady.   We meant to beef up the other shots.  Not to lower steady you fucktards.

Now we will see a huge dip in DPS.  Steady is our most used shot.  Dropping it from 10% to 2% will be noticeable.

You know blizzard could have buffed the other shots and put us back on par with every other class in the game now but why would they do something like that when they do not want people playing hunters any more.

I guess enough hunters did not quit so they decided to lower steady shot some more.

Then they changed the healing debuff from widow venom from it's already useless 25% down to 10%.  It was very useful at 50% debuff when it was part of Aimed shot.  Maybe it might have had some really limited use as a 25% debuff as widow but now it is totally useless as 10%.

It is just sad that they are doing this so blatantly to the hunters and will not even respond to them on the forums when they ask why.  Buff a class and it is fine.  Nerf a class and they will complain.  But buff every class in the game except one and that needs some answering in my opinion.  And do not give me that balanced at 85 bull shit.  I am not 85 so the game at 85 does not mean anything to me.  When I get to 85 I will worry about 85.

It is completely unfair to buff every other class in the game to the point where they can do triple the damage they did before (yes triple, I've seen it many times already) and they change hunter and we lose roughly 10%-20% of our potential.

Okay, end rant.  I feel better now.

Time to go roll another Hunter.   Leveling is so much fun, even after the changes.  So lets move on to Part 2.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mssing The Tree and Other Healer Stuff

I've run with a few druid healers since the changes and it just feels wrong.  I will get used to it in time but not seeing a tree around is really bugging me.  I know it is only a cosmetic thing but seeing the tree stood out.  When I am on my Hunter I usually stay toward the back near the healer.  I keep second guessing myself when I stand next to a night elf.  It just does not feel right.

The think my biggest gripe is that Druid healers do not really look much like healers in my mind when they are not in Tree.  A Priest you can see it a healer.  A Shaman, less so and a Paladin less so but they still look different enough.  A Druid without a shape just looks wrong.  It just looks like you have a night elf tagging along not doing anything.  Sure, I know they are healing but they just look horrible doing it.  We need Tree back.  I do not like these elves trying to pass them off as healers.  It is not right.

So with the need to PuG for 2 healers the other night the absence of healers is glaring lately.  With 3 possible healers away at the moment and no certainty that they will return come Cataclysm we are going to need to get more healers.

With the plans Blizzard announced to make healing and tanking more difficult to make it more enjoyable I do not see there being many new healers coming up.  I also see a lot of healers quitting over it.  I understand the challenge of things and how that can make it exciting but there will not be enough people that like that to keep the servers stocked with enough healers (and tanks) to make raiding viable for many guilds.

The thing blizzard does not understand about making things more challenging is that not everyone likes a challenge and not every challenge is the same.  While I DPS on my Hunter I had looked to the simulators and saw that with all possible raid buffs and debuffs my best possible DPS should be around 9K based on my gear.  So it becomes a challenge for me to try and get the most out of what I have.  Managing procs and such I have been able to toast what the simulator says is the best I can do.  I've done 11K (outside of ICC) even if the simulators said that I would top at 9K.  See, that is a fun challenge.  The reason it is a fun challenge is because in most cases if I did not meet the challenge and only did 8K no one would complain.  It is still good enough. 

With adding challenge to healing they are creating a situation like I mentioned with my Hunter but for a healer.  However the huge difference is that if the healer makes the wrong decisions on which heal to hit and which person to heal then people die.  For my Hunter the options are limited.  Shoot single target, AoE, or target adds.  All of that is usually not an opinion sort of thing.  You know what you need to do.  You follow your rotation or priority, whichever your class uses, and you move along.  Sure there is a lot of adjusting to do so you get out max DPS and it can be very challenging to do so but it is not like the challenge that a healer deals with.

Why are they adding difficulty to something that can very well be extremely difficult to begin with?  If me as a hunter needs to move and it lowers my DPS for a few seconds it is no big deal but if me as a priest needs to move and it lowers my options to heal then someone can die.  Healers have enough challenge as it is.  Why add more?

Lets talk ez mode, so to speak.  Back in BC hunters where ez mode, just hit steady shot six thousand times and you will be fine.  Whatever finger was over that one button will probably be swollen but you did the best you can do easily.  Paladins while level were ez mode and some say end game where. I have not personal end game experience with it but I can surely say leveling a paladin is/was ez mode.  Never below 95% health, never below 95% mana, and you kill everything in your sights, even things 7 or 8 levels higher then you without breaking a sweat.  Mages are ez mode now and before.  I am still in all quest gear with the exception of 2 drops I got from heroics and I am already leading the DPS charts in the dungeons I am in.  Pressing 2 over and over is just so freaking hard you know.

Why not make an ez mode healer or an ez mode tank?  I know now that we over gear things it is like that to some extent and that will always happen when we over gear things.  What we need are the flavor of the month healers and tanks.  People hate those face roll flavor of the month DPS characters and I can understand that.  People roll them because they are easy.  However, when things change and they are not easy any more you get some of those people that stick with it and become truly great at the class.

There will always be good players and bad players.  Good players play what they like to play or what their guild needs.  Bad players play whatever is face roll.  Being most of the people that play the game would be closer to what is called a bad players that means that most of the players are DPS.  That is the reason you always find people looking for healers and looking for tanks.

Make a healer class face roll for a while and let the bad players play that.  It is not a bad thing, hear me out.  Healers have enough to do as it is right now.  They need to decide what spell to use and it seems like there are more healing spells for a healer then there are damaging spells for a DPS.  They need to decide who to heal, the type of heal they need, the mana required for it, how long the fight is going to be so you know when to heal right away and when to conserve, when AoE will be coming, priority on who to heal once the AoE hits, etc, etc, etc.  Anyone that has ever healed will tell you that there is a lot more going on for a healer then for any other class in the game.  A tank gets beat on, DPS beats on the one that is beating on the tank, they all have a singular focus whereas the healer has to worry about all of them as well as themselves.

Making a face roll healer is also not the same as making a face roll DPS.  My Mage can pull upwards of 4500 DPS in all quest greens just by hitting the 2 button.  That is face roll.  A healer can never be that face roll.  They still need to watch all their fellow adventurers but it can be made to be much easier.  Make a healing class simple.  One HoT that has fast, large ticks.  One powerful direct heal.  One AoE heal.  That is it.  Simplify their life.  No more choosing which spell.  It will make it easier for them.  This will make more people want to be healers.  Sure, this class should not as effective as the others but it would really help with the lack of healers around to begin with and the major lack of healers I am expecting once Cataclysm hits and they make healing more challenging like they want to.

After some time you can change things up some and make it harder and maybe but they enough people will have fallen in love with the class that they will keep playing the class and helping the balance.

Back to what made me think about healers and the lack of them in my guild at the moment.  I've leveled my Priest to heal for the group but that is not my main.  My main is my Hunter and that will not change.  I am invested in my Hunter.  Time played, achievements done, mounts collected, pets collected, etc.  While there are some really annoying changes with it that I would rather never had happened it is still my main and will remain that way.  If I could transfer achievements to another character then maybe I would consider moving over to a healer full time.  Being that will never happen, I will not be changing.

If I was to change however what would I do?  I love my Priest.  Disc is amazingly fun and versatile but we have a priest in the mix so for best buffs and options I would need to choose one of the other three.

Shaman:  I am enhancement and have no resto gear what so ever.  So not only would it be learning something new it would be gearing something new.  From what a few resto shaman friends told me resto healing is like one of those "for dummies" books.  Resto healing is healing for dummies.  So maybe it is face roll and I just do not notice it?  I can say one thing for sure.  My Enhancement Shaman would occasionally throw a heal and its heal is usually on par if not great then my Disc Priests heals.  Imagine what it would be like in resto.  I might be willing to try it but would not look forward to gearing up for it with only a few weeks left in the game so to speak.

Druid:  I have all my resto gear already.  Have my spec all made.  Have no desire to ever use the gear or the spec.  No tree means no interest in playing it for me.  It is really that simple.  I wanted to be a Druid healer to be a Tree, not to be an Elf.  I already am an Elf. When I play something else I do not want to be an Elf.  I want to be a Tree, that simple.  If they bring Tree back I would gladly be a Druid healer again.

Paladin: I'm only level 49, what can I say.  I am Ret.  I can tank as Ret.  I can heal as Ret.  I can DPS as Ret.  So having a dual spec this early for that character has not even come to mind yet.  Getting to 80 before Cataclysm would not be a problem if I actually tried.  My Pally is a dual gatherer so I would be leveling like lightning.  Would I want to heal?  From what I hear it is not a lot of fun like the other classes can be and add to the fact that there is something wrong with a character wearing plate and being such a pansy ass that they stand away in the back. At least getting gear would never be a problem.  Gearing up a Pally healer is the easiest gear ramp up of everything in the game.  Not sure I would like the style.

Priest:  This is my healer.  It is Disc and Holy.  I really only heal Disc.  Holy does not appeal to me.  I like preemptive healing and not responsive healing.  With that in mine Druid might have worked for me with it's myriad of HoTs, to bad it lost tree and is no longer an option.

If I were ever to switch to a full time healer for my guild I would PuG with my Hunter which would still create problems because my Hunter would be my first priority.  I just do not have a good outlook for healer recruitment being the changes that are coming.  I do not see many healers coming up the pipes.  The only ones I do see are Disc Priests because in truth when it comes to enjoyable play as a healer there really is no other option.  They can DPS, Heal, Assist and PvP well in one spec.  Why would you ever want to play another type of healer?

The future of healers looks really bleak and unless Blizzard does something to make healing ez mode there will never be any sizable amount of new players taking it up.

In all honesty I do not care if my healer had it easy because they are so over powered and only need to hit one button.  All I want are a few freakin' healers so I do not need to be one full time.  I should not need to switch to be a healer, there should be more in the game.  If the lack of healers around is not a glaring design flaw on the part of Blizzard I do not know what is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Only Phase 3

We only made it to phase three.  Got a solid 5 attempts out of it and then 2 half ass attempts in later.  While we did not do great we ended up going there with only 2 people that have ever been there before from the guild.  That, plus we decided to do the three healer approach and had to PuG 2 extra healers.

I did my whole explanation thing and then we headed into battle.  Our first try ever and we made it to phase 3.  For as bad as the night was with wiping I told the group to be proud of themselves because I'm willing to bet that there are very few groups that made it to phase 3 on their first ever attempt even with the buff.  I think that was a fantastic way to start.  We made it to phase 3 four of the five attempts before one of the PuG healers had to leave.

Someone had a tank friend that had done it before so one of out tanks, the DK, offered to switch to his druid to heal so we could get another few tries in.  The new tank that came in wanted to change everything up.  That did not go well.  He said to do positions differently and that he would be MT and the other tank that was MTing would move to OTing.

It did not work well.  Two attempts with him and trying his way ended in disaster.  We did not even make it to phase 2 either of those attempts.  I guess that goes to show you about knowing peoples strengths and weaknesses.  The reason I had the positioning the way I did and the set up of tanks the way I did is because I know what my crew is capable of and what they excel at.  It worked my way, did not work the other tanks way.

While it was not a success over all I think we came out of there with some bright spots.  Even if I did not do a great job as a leader I seemed to get a lot more out of the people then the new tank that had done it before.  Which means apparently I did something right.  And like I said, I was very proud of the crew of making it to phase 3 the first time ever seeing the boss.  Not bad at all in my opinion.

Assessing my own work I know I slacked a bit here and there.  Getting used to the focus thing caught me off guard a few times when I needed to fire off a tranquilizing shot and was not able to do it instantly.  On a few occasions I needed to wait to get enough focus back.  I adjusted to basically just firing more steadys and less arcanes so I was basically sitting on max focus often but was never missing the tranq shot any more.  Not ideal but until I get used to the focus more and the fight more I will need to over compensate that way.

We are going to give it a go again on Thursday and see what we can get done.  I am going to watch a few more videos and read a few more things to try and see if I can pick up any more tips.  Mostly about the OT dying in phase two after all the plague jumps to him.  Seemed he died every time to a hit from the plague for over 500K each time.  Makes me think we are doing something wrong or just not quick enough to dispel.

I think we are in a good place however.  We can get to phase 3.  So that is where our next step to learn is.  Phase 4 is just another phase 3.  So for argument sake we are almost at phase 5 already.  Just need to get to phase 3 in better shape and start working on that.  Once we can do that a few times I am sure getting to phase 5 will not be an issue and then we are good to go.  From what everyone that has done it tells me is that if you can get to phase 5 with everyone alive and in good shape then it becomes easier.

I like easier.  I look forward to easier.  I look forward to getting this done and can see it happening sooner then later now.  After such a solid first attempt the future looks bright for getting this done.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Explaining A Fight

Tonight I have so try and explain the Lich King fight to my guild and this is really my first big chore as a raid leader.  Since I became the raid leader most of the fights everyone knew to some degree already.  This fight no one knows.  Only a few in my guild have done it and maybe only 2 or 3 more have seen it.  I am guessing that tonight we will be running with no kingslayers and only 3 people that have seen it before.  Being I have never finished the fight myself it makes explaining it a bit harder.

That is where I think my make or break moment as being a raid leader will come.  Can I lead a group into battle when not even I know the battle?  I have to sound confident and sure of myself.  I need to convey the feeling that it is going to be easy and that I know everything that is going to happen.  Kind of hard being I don't.  I've seen, read and studied the fight many times which we were close enough for me to need a brush up on it.  So I know what is going to happen, I just do not know how it is going to happen.

I always say that you can see it a million times and you can read it until your eyes bleed but until you do it you will not actually understand it.  So for my own purposes I am going to list here how I plan to explain it to my crew so we can get this done.

I am going to leave my post open to go back to for reference so that way I do not need to go looking all over the place to find things when I need to.  I try to keep explaining fights down to a minimum.  The less information you throw at people that less likely they are to mess up.  No need to say this does xxx damage over xx time and blah blah.  Just tell them what to do with it if it happens.  Do not overload them with information.

Now, a reminder to anyone reading this.  I have never done this so how I plan to explain it might be wrong.  I am only doing it based on stuff I have read and seen.  I've only done 2 phases myself.  So this is about me pretending I have a clue what the hell I am doing and hoping I can convince them that I know what I am talking about.

This is more for me so I have something to come back to here to read during the raid.

This is a 5 phase fight.

Phase one will be tanking LK here. (will show them on the map)
All melee will be behind him.
All ranged will be here. (will show them on the map)
The off tank will tank the adds here. (will show them on the map)

Every 20 seconds or so LK will cast infest.  It is a DoT that can only be removed by healing people to over 90% health.  It will never drop the DoT if the infect does not drop people below 90% to start off with so keep people topped off if you can.

Adds will come out during the fight and the OT will pick them up.

LK will cast Necrotic Plague every 25 seconds.  Whoever gets it run over to the off tank.  Stand behind the big add the off tank is tanking.  You want to be closer to the add then to the tank.  When the disease is dispelled off you go back to your position.

The Shambling Horror is the big add the off tank will be picking up.  It enrages and does more damage but I will be handling the enrages so just pay attention to your job and do not worry about that.

At 70% phase one will end.

LK is going to run to the center of the room and we all need to run to the outer edge.
All ranged help the OT kill off any remaining adds.
Melee, stay away from there.
Once the adds are all dead the OT will have all the stacks of Plague on him.  Once he is dispelled and there is no one close enough to him for the plague to jump to it will disappear.

We need to stay on the outer edge to avoid LKs AoE pulse damage thing, remorseless winter.
When LK summons Ice Spheres all ranged need to kill them.
When LK summons a Raging Spirit they need to be picked up ASAP by a tank and tanked with your back to the edge so their frontal cone they do shoots out to nowhere.
The second Spirit will be tanked here by the off tank who should be clear of all adds by now.
The third will be picked up by the main tank and the first should be long dead by now.
After 3 of them are cast LK will begin to cast quake.
We need to start moving in.  Be sure to not go anywhere near Ice Spheres should there be any as we go in and tanks should try to strafe inwards to keep the spirit facing away from the rest of the raid.
Once quake is finished casting the outer ring will crumble and anyone left standing on it is dead.

Phase three begins with LK back as our main focus now.
Finish off the spirit if it is not dead yet before you move on to LK.
First thing to watch out for is Defile.

Defile will leave a pool of black stuff under your feet when it is cast. NOT when the cast starts, when it ends.  So if you are targeted stop what you are doing and run to the edge, do not worry about squeezing in that last hit, just move. Keep running so when it does finish the cast you are already running to get out the pool it leaves behind.

Be aware of your surrounding.  Help the person running by moving away from them if need be.  Because of this effect we should all be spaced out a little bit being the black circle leaves an 8 yard radius.  It only lasts 30 seconds but it is cast every 35.  So there will most likely always be one on the ground.

The tank can be the target so the off tank needs to be ready to pick up the LK if need be.

The LK will summon Valks this round.  They will pick people up and drop them off the edge.  Because of this when they pop out slow them however you can and burn them down fast.  If they make it to the edge we will be down one raid member.

Last thing of note for this round is for tanks.  LK will cast Soul Reaper on the tank.  After 5 seconds it hits for a huge amount so you want to switch tanks so you are not tanking when the 5 second debuff hits and the damage spike comes.

Okay, now to phase 4 which starts at 40%
Remember that outer platform that used to be there.  Well, it is coming back and we need to get on it the second it comes back.  Phase 4 is exactly the same as phase 2 was.  The only difference is there are 4 spirits this time instead of 3.  If we were capable of handing phase 2 then phase 4 should not be a problem.

Remember, when he starts to cast quake it is time to start moving in again because that outer platform is going to go bye bye again and anyone on it goes bye bye with it.

Now for phase 5 and what we have been waiting for.

LK will use the infest, reaper and defile just as before.  Same tactics as before on all of them.  Keep infests healed, tanks switch on reaper and run out for defile.

Now we need to look out for two additional things.  Vile spirits are one of them.  LK will summon a pack of Vile Spirits.  The will stay together for about 15 seconds before coming after someone.  Where ever they are summoned, we will move to the other side as a group. Ranged get on them instantly.  After 15 seconds they will start to come toward us.  If they reach us, they explode.  Explosions are bad.  Do not let them get to us.

The second is Harvest Soul.  Whomever it hits it will do huge damage too.  If that person lives, and I hope they do, they will be transferred to Frostmourne.  Inside Frostmourne you will see a friendly and an enemy.  The friendly will help you kill the enemy.  He does more damage with the more life he has so healers can heal him to get out quickly.  DPS need to burn the enemy.  Once it is dead you will be transferred out.

Two things of note.  If you die from Harvest Soul or in Frostmourne LK gets a buff.  So don't die.  And when you get transferred in tanks need to keep an eye on you.  If an add tries to follow you they need to taunt it off.  You do not want an add in there with you, you will not survive.

When LK reaches 10% he will cast the Fury of Frostmourne.

We will all die.  Do not release.  It is over, we won.  Sit back and enjoy. 

I think that works okay for someone that has never done it.  I'm convinced we can do it.  Lets hope they are.  Does that sound like I know what I am talking about?

It is a lot more information then I am used to giving.  I try to keep it short and sweet and this seems like a lot to feed people.  Lets just hope they all did their homework and watched the videos and read about the fights as well, that will make it a lot easier.  However, if they did that type of stuff we would have downed this fight 10 months ago like we should have.

People seem motivated now that the end is near.  Maybe that will help them make the effort to get better with this and make it so I don't feel like I am the only person that ever does their homework.  A few wipes are fine while learning mechanics, but a few wipes to mechanics you should have known if you ever looked up the fight before hand is getting on my nerves.

Here is to hoping that our healers do not get targeted.  That will be the downfall is they have to do most of the running.  Also, here is to hoping I do not have to end up healing this.  I really do not want to heal this even if my disc priest will help a ton of defiles.  I want this sucker dead on my main.

Now that I have this all here I am ready to roll.  When raid time comes tonight I just come here and read what I wrote.  It will make it sound like I know what I am talking about.  I think the success of this will depend on how capable I am of making these people believe in themselves that they can do it. It is not like leading a raid where everyone has done it before.  That is easy.

In truth.  If we get a second healer that is competent I know we can do it.  We have super DPS, two quality tanks and one super healer.  It is just that second healing spot that has been suspect and the reason I have been running my healer lately.  Not that I would mind doing it on my healer as well but I do not think a two priest setup is optimal.

Now, what pet to bring.  I need to find what buff we will be missing.  We should have a Hunter (me), 2 DKS (one tank), 2 Pallys (one tank), a Priest, a Warlock, a Enhance Shaman and then one open DPS and one open heal spot.  So I will work on my pet decision based on that. I want the DPS to be ranged.  Hell, on this fight I would rather go with all ranged.

Just wish that it were not so late in the expansion or we would have more available to us.  A DPS warrior, a tank Warrior, a cat/tree druid, a boomkin/tree druid, a second hunter and another priest maybe.  See, we always had the tools.  Just never tied it all together.  I think this set up puts us in a nice place heading into Cataclysm but we have some unfinished business to attend to now.  I hope I have some good news to post tomorrow.  If not, well, at least we will all have some more experience.  That alone will help us move along.  We still have a little over a month to get this done and I want to get it done while it is still the end game.

Ding! Another 80

Last week after considering the over powered nature of Mages right now I decided to give my Mage a shot.  Might as well take advantage of the broken system before the fix it right?  My Mage hit 63 then and was consistently pulling over 2K DPS on single target boss fights.

Over the course of the week I played my Mage a little each day and got some levels up.  Leveling was easy because everyone died in an average of 2 shots.  Sometimes one shot and sometimes 3.  Questing was the way to go leveling being the experience to time ratio was through the roof being I killed everything so damn fast.

Having a gathering skill did not hurt at all either.  Was up to 2725 per herb I picked.  Which basically means picking 10 herbs was roughly equivalent to one quest.  When the time came for me to get to the nessingwary quests in the basin I was flying through the quests being the supreme killing power of the Mage and I was picking herbs left and right.  I could have honestly leveled from 76-80 just flying around the basin picking herbs if I wanted to.  There are so many there and they offer so much experience it is crazy.

Could you imagine leveling through gathering.  If you pick the spots right and the time to do it right you can level quickly and make a fortune doing so. It is almost unfair.  The combo of questing and gathering however is the way to go.  Doing two things to get experience at the same time is always the best investment for time.

I maxed out herbalism and alchemy late Friday and was quite upset to see I can not learn any epic transmutes.  I can get the cardinal ruby quest but can not train any epic designs to make epics.  I put in a ticket and they replied saying they know about the problem. 

What type of service is that?  Sure, you know about it.  I know you know about it.  Tell me what you are doing about it or better yet, just add the designs to my alchemy book so I can do them.  Would take 2 minutes for any reasonably competent person.  Guess that is why these people work customer server in a video game.  They are not competent enough to get a real job.

Either way, I continued on and grooved my way to 80 in no time at all and get this for a fun and interesting fact.  I hit 80 turning in the same exact quest I hit 80 on my Shaman with.  What are the odds of that?

By the time I hit 80 I was doing 4000 DPS single target while in my questing gear.  Seems like they still have not fixed the Mage yet.  I am glad I took advantage of the system while I could.  Can't complain with easy leveling.  It is just stupid crazy that a Mage can do that much that easily with no gear.   I am sure they will fix this really soon. 

What next?  Pally?  Warlock?  Warrior? or Rogue?  Might go Warlock, level 37 now and stupid over powered just like the Mage is, at least until they fix it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Intellectual Theft.

While doing my daily blog bouncing I came across an interesting series of posts over at Tree Bark Jacket where it seems that someone has been taking liberties with postings from many resto druids and claiming them as their own and they are calling them out about it.

I've experienced this before many years ago back when I ran a rather successful fantasy RPG chat system.  It was #1 on all the search engines and as such it was copied.  All my images, text and layout was copied exactly as I had it.  No changes where made what so ever.  Even the same font was used.

I can say from first hand experience that it is more then just a general annoyance to have someone copy your work and claim it as their own.  It goes deeper then just "r u mad bro", it really bothers you on a personal level and is something that can effect you offline.

Some people seem to think that the internet is the wild west and anyone can do whatever they want and it is not like that. Sadly, on the net just like in life, there will always be people that will try to take advantage of you.

I must admit I enjoy reading the drama of it.  Makes a boring Friday at work go by a lot faster but it also makes you think about the effort some people put into making the game so much better for us by putting the hard work and effort into these guides. My thanks to each and every one of you.

Keep fighting the good fight and try not to let it get to you off the net as much as it does while on the net.  Trust me, I've been there.  It sucks when someone steals your work.  A lot more then others might understand.

Now this is how someone is supposed to share a guide they like when the see it.

Hey, there is a great Resto 4.0 Guide over on Tree Bark Jacket.  Check it out here.

One Step Closer

Finally downed Sindy in 25 man last night so only one more boss to go in 25 at least.  It has taken me longer then it should have for sure but any step forward is a good step.

My DPS was crap but that is not because of the changes that is more a factor of me getting used to it still.  Only broke 10K a few times and that does not sit well with me.  I did feel myself getting more comfortable with it however.  The query system for abilities is hurting my DPS a lot more then the change to focus is.

Focus is a good thing actually for longer fights even if it does kind of kill my burst damage.  Not much burst you can do when three shots and you are out of focus.  AoE damage is still a joke too.  A priest spamming holy nova rocked both hunters in the raid by a good margin.  If there were ever proof that hunters need a boost it is that right there.

There is no reason that a healer should ever be doing more DPS then a pure damage player.  Neither of us hunters were slacking off either.  We are both experience enough to at least beat a healer if we were capable of it.  We are just not capable of it any more, we do not have the tools. A few people did over 60K DPS on the trash before sindy.  Nice to see they totally nerfed AoE damage for everyone across the board.

Focus actually made some things a lot easier really.  I used to do the aspect switching every time sindy went airborne.  Now with focus there is no need to worry about it.  Focus takes care of itself.  No switching needed.

That damn query system was killing me.  I was leaving a lot of DPS on the table when it was all said and done.  Twice last night I double clicked aimed which made me waste 3 seconds of waiting for nothing.  While steady and aimed love to set themselves up in query it seems arcane and chimera does not.

Took me a while to notice that. Because of it I was over focus often.  Double clicking 4 would get my two steady shots in a row.  Double clicking 3 only got me one arcane.  And get this.  If I clicked the 3 before the steady fired off then the arcane would never fire to begin with.  So my double clicking arcane and going back to steady actually ended up getting me 6 steady in a row because the arcanes never went off.

If they are going to use this totally retarded query system for shots then at least query them correctly.  I had to actually slow my reaction time if that makes sense.  Not clicking anything at all until after the previous shot was finished.  After doing that I saw an instant increase of 1500 DPS.  However, I know I am losing time between shots because of that so while waiting seems to be the way to go now it is still not ideal.

Please Blizzard, get rid of that shitty query system for shots.  It does nothing for the game and if anything makes it generally annoying to play.  It has totally destroyed my ability to get off shots as quick as possible while still responding or changing at the drop of a coin.  Now I am always locked into the things I do not want to be locked into or I have to wait so long to do things that I am always missing the things I need to do or losing time I could be making shots with.

More then a few times I lost my serpent sting because while I clicked 2 to fire a chimera and refresh it, it never went off.  Why steady gets into this query thing and no other shots do is beyond me.  If they are going to do this, do it for all shots.

I think I figured out a way to fix this and it would be to do something I always hated.  Cast sequence macros.  Make a standard steady, a double steady and a triple steady.  I am guessing click, shift click and alt click would work.  Now I need to figure out how to do that.  It would still hurt in a way but it will help me get over my extra click problem.  Blizzard won't fix their query system so I need to do something to adapt to it.

Either way, back to sindy and her broken bone body.  We took a few tries at the LK and phase one is a joke, anyone can do phase one.  Not a lot really going on there.  The phase change, we died.  All three times. Oh well, transitions are the hard part and we will get to it.  We only had three tried on it.  Monday we down the king.  I am sure about that.  All that matters are transitions.  Every time I have ever had issues with bosses it has always been during transition phases.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guild Applications. What questions to ask?

The time will be coming soon when we will be looking for more people.  Our raiding has been sporadic lately at best but we are not making any major efforts to try and recruit because we know that everything is changing soon and we will all be leveling.  Most of us have never downed the LK because of various reasons such as being on a crappy server to begin with to being able to find dependable people that can show every week.

I think about what the application process will be like come the time I hit 85 and we in the guild leadership look to start raiding again.  I do not want to be stuck worrying about getting enough people to raid.  So I would like to start recruiting now with hopes they grow with us an stay with us.

I have this idea that I think could help the guild some and it that is to work on at least two 10 man teams running raid content.  With the new raid lock out this would actually help us greatly.  Being you are not locked into just one raid but are locked to bosses we can skip over the one issue we always had as a guild.  Getting people to show up on the second day.  That is what always killed us.

So running two raids of 10 gets 20 people geared up and if we get only 14 to show up for the continuation we can pull out 10 people and move on together even if we were split into two raids.  I like this but it comes to the idea that how do we leave out four people that were deserving.  It is not like now where I can say something like you where not here Thursday so the people that where here have the first spot but if something opens up you can come. The thing is, they will have been there on Thursday even if they were in a separate group.

So here is my idea, admittedly I have not spoke to anyone about it yet, that I think could have some serious potential.

We get as many people as we can to fill two full 10s, hopefully a few extra for the off chance of a 25 here and there for fun. We run a four day raid schedule where people that show first get the spot first.  Even if you signed up, you come on late you now need to wait for the next group.

Wednesday 7:30 PM - 10 PM server time.
Thursday 7:30 - 10 PM server time.
Friday 7:30 - 10 PM server time.
Saturday 7:30 - 10 PM server time.
Monday 7:30 - 10 PM server time.

Yes, I know that is 5 days but here is now I would envision it working, will use ICC for a code as an example only.

Wed, ICC 10 fresh.  Thurs. ICC 10 Fresh.
Now we would have 20 people invested in the ICC 10 runs.
Fri, Sat, and Mon are all first come first serve to continue. 

Everyone has different work schedules and real life commitments so now we can play "just take whoever shows" attitude.  If we get enough for both, we do both.  If we get enough for one, we do one and hope we have enough for the other the next day.  Myself and a few others have plenty of alts which can play fill in should the need be.  All we would need are people that would be accepting of a set up like this.

Hence the name of the post, Guild Applications.

How exactly would I try and advertise something like that to applicants?  It takes a certain type of person that would be willing to sit or wait until the next day.  What always killed every guild I have seen die is people not showing or being left out when they did because they did not want to wait until the next day.

I do now want that to happen.  I am the type of person that would gladly sit out and let someone else get in.  I do not need to be world first or even server first or even get the goal finished as fast as humanly possible.  I want to have fun doing what I am doing and can have fun running every day.  I can have fun rooting for the team from the outside.  Hell, I even have fun wiping on the same boss over and over sometimes because that is what progression is all about and that is how we get better.  But how do we find people like that on a small server that basically only has one or two good guilds on it to start with.

With the coming changes to guilds those one or two good guilds will be filled in no time because of guild rank I am sure.  Good players, the ones that show up every day, they will already be in those guilds and will not want to leave because of the time invested in the guild and the perks they have because of that time invested.

That is why I want to recruit now.  Recruit hard.  Recruit fast. 

No one is going to be raiding much for the first couple of weeks into the new expansion and not many are really raiding with anything other then alts now.  So this is the perfect time to recruit and the fact that as a group we have not downed LK will not hurt us.  No one cares about LK any more.

We would need to promote our guild attitude for the flexible raiding schedule that I am thinking about.  If we can make it appealing to the masses then we can get them to join now.  And then maybe those good, dedicated, on time and prepared players will stay with us once then hit 85 because now they have so much time invested in the guild.

It can work against us, it can also work for us.

Possible idea for a forum post to follow.

Do you work weird hours and normally can not find a guild that raids on your days?
Are you available at least 2 or 3 days at week between the hours of 7:30Pm-10PM server time?
Are you willing to work toward a goal that encompasses an entire guild and not just 10 raiders?
Do you have alts that you often end up pugging with because they do not fit in otherwise?

Then we might be the guild for you.

We raid almost nightly.  We take those that show up on time and ready to roll.  We work dynamically. With the new flexible raiding system put in effect from blizzard we can now juggle our raids around our raiders. 

You can make the Wednesday team but can not make their follow up on Friday?  Then jump in on the Monday follow up from the Thursday team.

You are only on during the weekends?  Then sign up for a few bosses in the Saturday or Sunday groups to fill a spot.  Just check what boss those groups are on and feel free to pug everything up to it so you do not miss any bosses and still get some raiding time in with the team.

Or maybe start a guild run earlier in the day on any day to do those few bosses with some alts from other players and then when raid time comes and you are a few bosses in everyone can rotate in their mains.

Dynamic Raiding always allows for the most possible experience for everyone but we also expect our raiders to work with each other.  The first four bosses no longer drop anything you need?  Let someone else take your spot and join in afterward for the bosses you need.

Have an alt you just leveled up that needs some gear?  Not a problem, with the flexible raiding system we can have them join us for the fights we have down to easy mode so they can get the chance at a loot drop and then you can bring your main back in.

If there are more on during a set run day and we are all at the same point we can all group up and switch to 25 so we can move even further into the raid on later continuation days.

We work flexible but we work as a team.  Everything is easier when you know you have people to back you up.  Dynamic Raiding will back you up as we all succeed as a group.

This is a new raiding concept and we want dedicated players that are willing to learn with us how to maximize the raiding system to the most we can get out of it and to have some fun doing so.

How does something like that sound?  I know I like the concept of it.  It seems like it will give everyone more of a chance to move up in progression then we presently have with this system. 

So often, in the guild I am in now and the guild I was previously in we would not get second runs in because person A, B and C where in raid team one and person D, E and F where in raid team two and everyone else joined a pug because they where not in raid team one or two.  So we never moved on anywhere because we did not have enough in any one raid ID to continue and no one ever likes to pug.  Now, those people can all get together and continue.  I really like that idea and I would really like to take advantage of it.

Now what will I ask on application?

I'll have to work on that but one thing that always bugged me about guild applications is when people ask "do you bring your own food and flasks". 

Firstly, if you don't you have no business even looking to join a raiding guild so there should be no reason to ask and secondly, if you don't you are not going to say you don't, you will say you do. 

So never ask a question like that on a guild app.  It gives you no information about the person and they will either be offended by it because they always do or they will lie because they never do.

Asking "what flasks and food do you use" is better.  It can show if they know their class and what they should be using and then you just have to hope they are smart enough to bring their own.

Need Before Greed

Where exactly is the line drawn with need before greed?  I know what the system designs are and I know what my personal option on the matter is but my opinion is just that, an opinion. 

The perfect example are the Frozen Orbs and how some servers hit need on it while others hit greed.  Blizzard stepped in for this and made it so that while in a LFD you can only roll greed on them, which worked for me being that is what I normally rolled to begin with.

The Frozen Orb thing only touched the base of what needed to be done and I recently noticed that being the books of glyph mastery are suddenly going for 250 gold each.  I've seen 3 drop recently where I most likely had only seen 2 in my entire playing time drop before that.  I am sure they upped the drop rate because of the inscription change but it seems people are rolling need on them.

I was in a dungeon when one dropped, or course I was hoping I would win it because I have a scribe that is still missing a great deal of glyphs.  I rolled greed because I wanted it for my own little greedy reasons.  Someone else hit need and won it.  Someone called them out on it and they said, "but I have inscription" and it was dropped.  They had inscription so it was fine for them to roll need, at least to the people in this group.

Another group I was in one dropped and the same thing happened.  I rolled greed and so did everyone else except for one person who rolled need.  Of course someone asked why they rolled need and they responded "I am a scribe" to which everyone once again let it go.  Until a few minutes later when someone said, "no your not".  I guess they went to the armory and looked or maybe he just figured he would call him out.  The guy did not miss a beat, he just said, "my mage is my scribe".  I said, "my DK is my scribe and I did not roll need,"  There we no answer but it left me to think about what exactly is the Need Before Greed moral center in the game.

Hitting Need on something that the character that you are currently playing can use is universally accepted and no one will really complain.  As seen, someone that is a scribe hitting need on a book of glyph mastery is fine with most.  Someone hitting need on a book of glyph mastery when one of their other characters has inscription is not fine with most.  It was not fine with me either.  If I knew that someone was going to roll need on it that did not even have inscription I would have as well.  In that case I needed it as much as that person did.  They needed it for another character, I needed it for another character, seems we had equal claim on it to me right?

So what exactly is this Need Before Greed system?  It doesn't seem to take into account that for the most part everyone needs everything.  Unless it is a BoP pattern for something you do not have the skill for and has a 0 gold sell price then you can reasonable make an argument that you need anything that can be used or sold.

I need that plate armor even though I only wear cloth because I am broke and it can sell for 22 gold.

I need that book of glyph mastery for my mage.

I need that damaged necklace because it sells for 200 gold.

I need the battered hilt because I can still get 5000 gold for it.

I need the frozen orb because I have a jewelcrafter/tailor/etc that can use it.

I need the frozen orb because it seems for 25 gold.

I need the frozen orb because I need an eternal fire and I can trade it for it.

So how come we can not hit need on the frozen orb when all the reasons we would want it are really for greedy reasons while we can hit need on other things that are only wanted for really greedy reasons?

I know in lower level dungeons I often have someone in my group that hits need on everything that pops up.  Need it or not.  They always hit need.  Most people do not even notice it until something they needed actually drops and the need freak wins it.  They call them out and I just point out that they have been hitting need on everything all dungeon.  If you had something to say you should have said it the first time the tank rolled on the spell power cloth item.

I think that is why this mentality gets by with most people not noticing.  I personally notice everything but notice that others never do until it effects them.  I even saw a few posts on the forums that people say they roll need on everything that they can because what is the worst that could happen, they get kicked and then query up for another dungeon and do it all again.

The perfect character to do this with is a Pally Tank.  Anything plate that drops they can roll on.  Spell Power plate?  It's for my offspec.  Attack Power plate? It's for my offspec.  Tanking plate?  I am the tank after all.  Plate also sells for the most usually.  I've seen a few Pally tanks post that this is what they always do.  Their idea is that they will not get kicked 99% of the time because people do not want to wait around for another tank and they get the best of both worlds because plate usually sells for more.  They do not even need an offspec, they just say they need it for that.

Then we go to the next thing.  I needed because I needed it for my offspec.  What about the Pally healer that is in the run with you.  Well, he needed it and I needed it.  I won, fair and square.  You see, LFD does not have the main spec first attitude, they have an "I Need It" attitude.   Even the ones that are not trying to ninja everything they can hit greed on still hit need on things they need for offspec.

With all these changes I think it is time for me to adapt to the new world.  So many people abuse the LFD system with rolls because they know they will never see these people again.  Tanks and healers more then others being they know their numbers are smaller so people let them get away with more.

So the new Need Before Greed attitude is this.

If the option for need lights up.  Hit it.
If the option for need is not lit.  Hit greed or disenchant.

If anyone argues then explain to them that you needed it because...

... It was a BoE green item you need for your Enchanter to disenchant.
... It was a BoE green item you need to sell for gold being that is worth more then what it would disenchant into.
... It was a BoE blue item you need for your new xxxxx that is hitting 80 soon.
... It was a BoE blue item you need to sell for gold being it sells for a lot.
... It was a BoE purple you need because it is purple, do you need any other reason?
... It was something your class can roll on and you are going to disenchant it anyway being you are the Enchanter in the group that is allowing everyone to disenchant everything else.  You need at least some sure drops for letting them get Enchanting materials for free.
... It is something your class can roll on that you need because it sells for the twice the price of the dream shard it would have disenchanted into anyway.
... It is a leather working pattern that you need for your leather working alt.
... It is an alchemy recipe that you need for your alchemy alt.
... It is an engineering pattern that you need for your engineering alt.
... It is a blacksmith pattern that you need for your blacksmith alt.
... It is a jewel crafting design that you need for your jewel crafting alt.
... It is a tailoring pattern that you need for your tailor alt.
... It is a material you need for making xxxxx.
... It is something I can sell for gold that I need.
... You get the idea, basically, you can need anything.

Need is more an opinion.

I needed those books of glyph mastery because I did not want to play 250 gold for them on the auction house but I did not roll need on them?  No.  I rolled greed on them.  My reasoning was that I was on my Priest which is a tailor/enchanter and a tailor/enchanter does not need a book of glyph of book mastery.  If I were on my DK who happens to be my scribe I would have rolled need on it because that character needed it.  As in actually needed it and would use it the second I won it.

That is how I decide need vs. greed personally.  If it is something I can use on that character now or in the immediate future (like a level 39 rolling on gear that requires level 40) then I feel rolling need is acceptable.  If it is not something you will use immediately or in the immediate future then you should never roll need on it.

Even if my jewel crafter needs one frozen orb per day for my daily prism I never rolled need on it.  I rolled greed on it.  I was being greedy needing it to save myself gold so to speak.  So greed was an appropriate roll in my opinion.

The sad part is I think I am the last of my kind when it comes to Need Before Greed.  I actually follow the spirit of those rules whereas it seems so few do any more.

Perhaps it is time for this old dog to learn a new trick and start playing by the new breed of Need Before Greed rules.

If you can hit need, need it.
If you can't, greed/disenchant it.

Seems like this is the way the game is turning and in all honesty I do not see a way that is could be fixed outside of making everything professions based greed only which I would be against as if I were that profession I should be able to need it. 

If we allowed people that need if they where that profession however it would get abused in time.  Example, once someone learns all the glyphs they could still need on them just for the purpose of selling them.  So even making things profession linked is still not fair.  This all means the death of the old Need Before Greed mantra and the birth of the new Need Before Greed mantra.  

I would just feel so dirty needing on something that I knew I was only hitting need for because I am being greedy.  I know.  It's just a game. Even at that it does not mean you have to play without any morals.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Tank and a Healer is really all that is needed now.

The whole looking for dungeon system has just become a version of carry the DPS now.  I've always been one to day DPS is needed for various things and it sure helps but with the advent of the recent changes to the game mechanics, the new skills and the over gearing that happened, DPS is really just not needed any more.

Any half way decent tank and a disc healer can clear any 5 man dungeon in record time with some serious DPS, more then really is needed to clear a 5 man.  I remember back when I first started doing dungeons they considered 1200 DPS to be acceptable and 1500 DPS to be good or even really good. 

With the setup I just mentioned and the tank getting vengeance stacks and the healer playing smite healing the two will combine for, at worst, 6K DPS which is way more then what was originally needed for dungeons at level 80.

While it is possible for many classes to solo heroic 80 content, my hunter has been doing it since before ICC gear even, it is faster for sure when you have a healer backing you up and of course some DPS to burn down the mobs.

Being the healing will be DPSing mostly and the tank has increasingly huge attack power because of vengeance the DPS spots are more then filled.  The tank is not only tanking but it is filling the spot of 2 DPS and the healer is filling the spot of one DPS.

All the tank does is what their job is, hold aggro by beating on the mobs and all the healer does is what I healer does, heal.  The huge difference here is that now a disc healer using smite healing can be pulling off amazing damage as well as healing the tank.

With the new set up whenever a disc healer casts smite it heals the closest friendly target for an amount equal to the damage done by the smite.  So my smite hits for around 3K and crits for 6K.  That means that my tank, as the only friendly target near the mobs, is getting healed for 3K and 6K with every smite I make.

I had some fun doing some smite healing yesterday in the horseman event.  You know the bug that always disconnects people, well it happened in the run I went on.  The only people that did not disconnect was me and the tank.  The tank was worried, I said, don't worry and started casting smite.  It healed him.  We moved along nicely and HH went down in record time even.  We did not need any DPS to speed things up, they went fast enough as it is.

I did a violet hold run as well.  Smite healing all the way, even on bosses.  I did throw shields on everyone between pulls but it was more of a precaution, it was not actually ever needed.  I would hit my archangel every 5 smites to give myself wings because you know wings freaking rock and there is no reason to to have them on.  When the dungeon was done I had only cast 2 direct heals, both on the last boss.  I had 2400 DPS, more then ample, and everyone was healed well enough to never question the fact I was DPSing.  Oh, and I had wings the whole time so that means I was regaining mana the whole time.  When the last boss bit the dust I was at 100% mana.  Nothing wrong with that is there?

Then I had some friends that were working on collecting souls for shadowmourne that wanted to do a rep run so I volunteered to heal for them.  It was fun.  Even thought not many where over geared the 30% buff make it a quick rep run.  I did my shielding thing, mending thing and then started my smiting thing.  Woohoo, wings again, and damage, and healing.  I am so loving healing now.  I am sure it will not be like this on content that I do not over gear but for now it is fun.

One problem however in a raid environment is that you still need to keep and eye on heal bars being the smite heal is not a smart heal.  It does not go to the closest person that needs a heal, it goes to the closest person even if they are at 100%.  Usually that is the tank.  In a raid environment it might go to the tank that does not need the heal.  So while it is fun, you still need to pay attention to things.  If the smite healing was smart healing then I could see healing only that way which would be exciting for sure.

For leveling or doing elite quests when the time comes it seems like working with a tank and disc priest will be all you would need to tackle anything at the moment.  It is a really over powering combo with the smite healing.  Just remember if you plan to run a smite heal duo, group or even raid to put on your glyph of smite which increases your chance to hit with smite by 18% which more then assures you will never miss.

With the lack of fun hunters are at the moment and the increasing amount of fun disc priests are now I think for the rest of this expansion I'll be running as a healer more then a hunter. 

The hunter system is just too damn clunky now and the whole 3 button thing is rather annoying.  Where is the skill playing a hunter now?  Where are the options?  With focus as it is you really never have options.  It is either A or B depending on where your focus is and what skills are available. Not much fun in just following an instruction booklet so to speak where as the addition to my priest of the smite healing now gives me something else to do while healing besides just being bored and hoping someone gets hit so I have something to do.  Disc healing got more dynamic and I love it.  And did I mention I also get wings with it, yeah, awesome, I know.

On a side note.  DKs are more over powered then they were even when they were first added now.  I am seeing DKs, good and bad ones, pulling double the DPS they used to while doing less.  No wonder I see no whining on the forums from DKs.  They don't want the programmers noticing that they can now pull 10K DPS in quest greens.  Seems every class got huge buffs in damage, tanking and healing and hunters (with rets too maybe) being the only ones that took a hit. 

And on another side note. While I have noticed they toned down the AoE of all classes they increased the single target of all of them so much that hunters are no longer even being invited to raids.  Yesterday I saw it in trade twice already and I expect to see it a lot more.

/2 LF 3 DPS for OS 3D, no hunters.
/2 Looking for 1 tank, 1 healer and lots of DPS for ICC 25 fresh run, no hunters.

Yeap, both real things I saw from trade.  See, it is not only the hunters complaining, everyone else knows it already too.  I am pulling close to the same DPS I did before the patch after some work on my rotation but now I am clumped with the rest of the hunters that are not getting invited.  So I am guilty by association.  Sucks to be a hunter now-a-days even if you are a good one because the name hunter alone means you are not going to be getting any invites.  No invites, clunky system, even if we could do the same DPS as before or more, it is just no fun playing a hunter right now.  Unless you are soloing, that has really gotten better believe it or not.

A Small Hunter Fix

We have pushed a hotfix to improve hunter damage.

Specifically, we increased the damage of the signature abilities (Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot and Kill Command) by 15-25%. This will both improve overall damage-dealing and make sure that these abilities are prioritized higher than other shots. We think this will bring hunters to a good enough state until they hit 85. Aspect of the Fox and Cobra Shot solve some specific issues at higher levels. Marksman hunters may still trump Survival and Beastmaster hunters until they’re 85, since their rotations rely a little on Cobra Shot.

Well, it looks like someone got the memo and of course it was not the clueless ghostcrawler.  Notice how ever other class hotfix is posted by GC but this one wasn't?  More anecdotal evidence that GC hates Hunters.  The tin foil hat is working over time now.  Someone else on the developer team must have just got sick and tired of us complaining.

I still go back to what I said before.  I think over all Hunters are fine, just slightly off.  My issues where with some shots, namely Chimera and Kill Shot.  As I mentioned before they are almost so low that it makes them useless to fire.  Kill shot being only 1K more then any other shot was a joke.  Going from critting for 50K to critting for 11K was just plain wrong.  My 63 mage crits for that high almost.  No reason a T10 geared 80 hunter should be critting for the same amount that a 63 mage does.  Simple as that really.

Chimera was really an issue and I can't wait to see how they fixed it.  It costs double of what arcane shot does and only does 800 more damage give or take.  Now I do not know about you but would you rather fire off 2 arcane for 8500 each or 1 chimera for 9300?  Sure, the chimera refreshes serpent sting but that was the only reason we were even still considering it.  Not enough theory crafting had been done yet to prove we should drop it or tell us if we should keep it.

Some tests I read online in various places such as mmo, ej and the official forums have all had threads about it and the usual outcome was that a rotation including chimera refreshing serpent and just spamming arcane and steady were basically equal.  Chimera is a signature shot.  Signature shots should never be that close to being dropped from a rotation.  A signature shot should be so damn good that you just have to use it.

Could you imagine a frost mage not using frost spells or a fire mage not using fire spells or an arcane mage not using arcane spells?  That is what a marksmen not using chimera and a survival not using explosive was like.  Arcane blast to an arcane mage is effectively equal to chimera shot to a hunter.  There are other things you can do but that is a big boy that you fire whenever you have the chance.  We both should use that shot as often as we possibly can.  For hunters we could have dropped it and seen no difference in our DPS outside of the odd 200 maybe which could always be written off as RNG.  It should never get to that point.  Lets hope that they fixed chimera enough to make it a no brainer for the rotation again.

On a side note I saw the argument about hunters using the tanking gun again.  It amazes me how little people know about the hunter class sometimes.  For many people that did not reach the high end game or hard modes the gun was (and still is) best in slot for them.  If you are not a raider at all then without a shadow of a doubt that gun the best best gun in the game for you.  Who cares if it has dodge on it.  People that keep calling it a tank weapon don't know anything about hunters or anything about the game in general really.  If a weapon makes you do more damage it is an upgrade.  End of story.  That is the same for every class.

I wish people would occasionally open their mind a little and think of the bigger picture.  Unless something like that drops in a raid and a tank needs it, then hunters are free to roll for it as a main spec as it is a direct upgrade.  However, as always, being it is not ideal because of the dodge if a tank needs it then it should always go to them first.  If no tanks need it however, it should not go to an open roll, it should go to a main spec roll to a hunter that it would be an upgrade for.

If someone did not roll over a tank for it, or bought it off the auction house, then more power to them for being smart enough to use the best weapon for them at the time.  Insulting someone because they have dodge on a weapon when the weapon ups their DPS is stupid.  Sure, I will change my weapon and do less damage just so I have a weapon that has no dodge on it to make you happy.  Tard.

Personally, I never used it even back when it would have been better then what I had.  I am an elf, elves use bows and crossbows.  That is just nature.  Dwarves use guns.