Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Fine Art of an Epic Quest Line

There are quests we remember because we laughed.  There are quests we remember because they touched us.  There are quests we remember because they annoyed us.  There are quest we remember because they where fun.  Then there are quests we remember because they where epic.

Over all, most quests we do will be forgotten seconds after we turn it in and in some cases disenchant that beautiful family keepsake, that had been handed down for countless generations and means so much to the quest giver that they felt it was the sincerest form of thanks they could ever offer, right in front of their very eyes. The pain they would feel if only they were not just NPCs. 

Personally I am one of those people that can't do that.  For some stupid reason I feel bad.  I'll take a few steps and then disenchant it out of sight.  Poor quest giver gave me the most important thing in their life and I destroyed it.  At least not in front of them.  But I am still a horrible person because of it.

What brings that feeling about is the quest itself was a good quest line.  It made me feel something enough to know that what I was given mattered and was not just a reward.  To me, that is a good quest line.  I am sure you have all experienced that in one way or another, at least if you read the quests.

There have to be close to 5,000 quests that could have been done in the past and present.  Most of them are basically useless filler.  Some of them however take the fine art of an epic quest line to a whole new level.

What makes a quest stand out to you?

So far, from my experience, I like quests that tell a story, involved some challenge, some gathering, some time, some travel, and basically a little bit of everything.

I've experienced one epic quest line in my time and that was making the scepter of the shifting sands but there where many vanilla quest lines that where fantastic. 

The epic hunter quest line was the perfect example of making something a challenge.  I've heard stories of some hunters even running into a problem or two at level 80 so could you just imagine doing it at level 60 when you where supposed to be doing it?

It taught hunters how to play, at least if they wanted that rocking bow.  It was removed from the game. 

Most good quests where removed from the game.  I went out of my way to get my mage his polymorph pig before cataclysm came out thinking it would be removed.  It was, the quest that is.  It was fun doing it and it was even more fun because I was doing it at level.

The concept of an epic quest line seems to have been removed from the game.  All past quests we would consider epic are gone never to be seen again and no new ones are being added.  Some might say the legendary quest lines are epic but not really.  At least they do not feel that way to me.  Maybe it is because I have not been doing any being they don't make legendary items for hunters.  The one they did, was a drop, not exactly a quest, just luck really.

The new Thrall quest line was, eh, at best.  It was not very exciting, there was nothing epic feeling about it, if anything it came off as more of a I'm doing this because I feel like I have to sort of quest line.  Life would be fine, even if you never did it.

While I am loving the new hyjal quests to open the new area I am loving it for a completely different reason which has nothing to do with story or feel and my feeling for them are not because they are epic at all.  Maybe more on that at a later time to explain why I am loving them.

I'll look back at what I felt was the most epic quest line that I liked and see what it was I liked about it.

The scepter of the shifting sands was, without doubt in my mind, the best quest line ever.  The story was compelling enough.  The quests included some lore, some minor cut scenes, some humor, and there were many quests.  The quests took me all over the world which meant lots of travel, long travel, not nearly instant transport anywhere travel or flying where I needed to go travel, actual travel.  It involved some huge fights in areas that were often never visited or if so, rarely.  It involved going to areas of the maps where it was quite easy to die if you when in alone.  It required me to do so many raids it was crazy.  It required me to gather odd things from odd places for odd people.  It involved fighting mobs that you would only ever see if you where on this quest.  It forced me to go places I never went before.  It even surprised the crap out of other people when suddenly nice quiet places like moonglade became a war zone, so to speak, which was fun in its own. All that, and so much more.

Now for some reasons Blizzard will never give us anything like that any more.

Quest itself:
- Blizzard seems to have adopted the sense that everyone should be able to do everything quickly and seems to shy away from long quests now.

Questing from area to area:
- Along with the previous Blizzard seems to think that the only time a quest should lead you to a different zone is when it is a lead in quest that is sending you there.  Otherwise, all quests are contained within one zone.  Look at the Thrall quest line.  The perfect chance to make us go from place to place and they decided to port us instead of making us travel.

Travel, in general:
- Even if they did do a quest line that made you go all over the world there are way to many ways to cut down on making it from one end of the map to the other now, so travel in and of itself not longer feels as if it take effort and by that makes the quest feel less epic.

Special areas in zones:
- They made an effort to remove all of them in Cataclysm.  Changed some a little, sunk others, totally redesigned the rest into something completely new.  They are gone.

Cut scenes:
- They are just done differently now, it is something you see only.   Admittedly the new style of cut scene can rock as we saw in the veteran of wrathgate quest line.  Too bad that is the only cut scene I think was ever worth seeing more then once.  Most where not even worth watching once.  Also, people around you got effected by your cut scenes.  I thought that was kind of fun.  While doing the shifting sands the gates to AQ closed while some people where trying to get in.  They were stuck waiting for the scene to end so they could get in.

Big battles in non traditional zones:
- You won't be seeing a major battles in moonglade like the one from that quest line ever again.  You will be in a phased area.  Oh well, the wonder and awe that some young druid that was new to the game got to see, and die to, will never be experienced by another new to the game player again.  Accidently being in the wrong place at the wrong time, sometimes can be an amazing thing.  That druid gushed in awe of what he saw and didn't even mind dying to it.  He immediately said, this is amazing, I've never seen anything like that happen, I love this game.  Well, no other young druids will ever love it like that again for sure.  Next time I'll be in a phased area.

Elite zones within zones:
- I remember as a young hunter walking out of forest song in ashenvale and making a wrong turn at albuquerque it seems and right into the loving arms of three dragonkin that wanted to hug me and squeeze me and call me george.  Well, not exactly, but it taught me to watch where the hell I was going.  I think new players need stuff like that in the game.  It was a great little area that forced people to get out into the world some at max level and it seemed a little more... real, for lack of a better word, that sometimes in low areas there are high level mobs.

Cross raid collection:
- Seems Blizzard likes to keep things nice and tight and clean now.  Everything has its place and everything is in its place.  A great thing for keeping your desk in order, a bad thing for a game in my opinion.  I doubt we will see much of that any more unless the raids are tied together to begin with.  Sad, but true.

Insanely pricey quest:
- Some might say the embers now and saronites before where pricey but they were easily attainable, even to a casual player.  Not to mention, making money now is easier, that is why everyone considers having 10,000 gold being broke now.

Oddball rewards:
- A cooking recipe from a quest line like the shifting sands?  It has no place being there but it is and it is awesome.  It makes people that might want the recipe get involved in the quest just to get it.  That makes people more involved in the game, even on levels they might not have wanted to previously, and that is good for the game.

Insane dragons and lonely gnomes:
- Okay, so we still have them but they just don't seem to have the feel they did there.  They seem as if they are trying to hard now to make funny people.

In the end, they might be able to make an epic quest line in and of itself again but unless they change the way they decided to do things now a quest of that epic feel can never be made again.  With travel being so easy, phased areas, easy linear questing, no risk in low level zones, flying and containment to single zones we will never see something with that feel to it again.

That does not mean there is no hope left.  There are still ways to make an epic quest line with the new way of doing things but does Blizzard have it in them to make one any more is the question.

Even the most epic of quest lines in the game at the moment all end with, woohoo, I got a new shiney, and not a, damn that was great, feeling any more.

The quest itself, and completing it, should be the reward.  True epic quests will end with a feeling like you have just finished a great adventure and not just a new staff or something else.

Think about some of the most enjoyable quests you have ever done and you will see, most of them you do not even recall what the reward was.  Doing the quest was its own reward.  That, is an epic quest line.

Blizzard once knew the fine art of an epic quest line.  I would like to see them delve back into the past and drag some of those designers back.  They are what made this game addictive, at least for me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Undocumented Change and New Shineys

Hunters did not really see a lot of changes this patch, which is good.  It seems each time I get used to something they change it.

There are changes we call good and changes we call bad.  Some changes however are just what we call quality of life changes.  Usually those are good ones and this time it is a good one I've been asking for.

When you die and come back you now have the same aspect on you had when you died.  It is an undocumented change but it is a good one.  I am glad to see they finally did that.  Now if only our pets where out automatically like they are in battlegrounds when we come back life would be so much better.

I know they removed aggressive stance from pets which I greatly disagree with, it does have uses, and replaced it with an assist stance, which is actually rather useless.  Any good hunter knows how to assist to begin with so it is a redundant ability that we do not need.

If they really wanted to add it they could have added it as a forth one and left aggressive in.  I still see no reason to replace something that actually had uses with something that has no use except for bad players.  Screw bad players I say.

What I did not realize is that they also removed defensive stance.  Or so it seems.  I am going to guess it is just a bug right now but defensive stance does not work at all.  Well, not at all isn't accurate, sometimes it does, most of the time it doesn't however.

My first dungeon with the new stances I left my pet on defensive, the same thing it has been on since the beginning of time except for the rare occasion where passive or aggressive was needed.

My pet just stood next to me and did nothing.  He did not attack.  Okay, seems like you need to do assist now for a pet to attack?  That really seems completely useless.  Assist does not help me in any way, shape or form.  I am often attacking one target while I have my pet on another, for various reasons, good hunters will understand that.

Now with assist it will switch to my target, so I have to put it on passive and micro manage it to go to a different target.  So they made this change to make things simpler, yet it makes more work.  How exactly is that simpler?

Please say the defensive stance is a bug.  It worked perfect when questing.  I attacked something, it attacked it as well.  If I attacked something and switched targets, it stayed on the target I first attacked.  Just like it is supposed to.  Defensive worked fine alone.

It was in a group that defensive went to all hell.  Defensive means a cross between, useless, retarded and aggressive when in a group however.

Useless, it will not attack what I attack.  I have to manually send it in.

Retarded, it does not attack things that attack me.  Well, sometimes it does, sometime it just looks at me and wonders why I am taking damage instead of trying to protect me.

Aggressive, I thought it was removed but apparently defensive stance is bugging out sometimes and in some completely interesting ways that I never even saw aggressive do. 

My pet took off twice, out of nowhere to go after mobs that where just standing there minding their own business.   Once it ran past 3 mobs to go after another mob 20 yards behind them pulling 2 packs and a boss all at once.

Thanks for making me look like a huntard blizzard.  Making defensive not work when I want it to and making it work like aggressive at the least opportune moment.  I am glad it was all guild, we got a laugh out of it.

I am going to hazard a guess and say defensive is supposed to work just like it used to, which if that is true I am fine with it, and that it is just broken at the moment.

It would not surprise me, misdirect and feign death where broken after 4.1 came out.  Glad it only took them one day to fix that however.

Over all, as far as changes go, hunters got it easy.  The multi shot nerf doesn't look like much on paper but it was huge in effectiveness.  I went for each shot hitting for between 10K-12K to each shot hitting between 6K-8K.  That seems like a bit more then lowering it from 137% to 120%.

New patch, new raid, new shineys.

I got myself two new shineys last night and they are awesome.  Too bad it was my warrior running and not my Hunter.

Sometimes I think my Hunter will never get to run ever again.  I am seriously considering  finding another guild for my Hunter so he can raid some.  I'll tank and heal if need be for my guild on raid night but I would rather be on my main.  Being my main gets no face time, might as well move him along, he serves no purpose in my guild any more.  Not even sure why he is still there.

Have to love new loot, it sometimes seems to be the only reason we play.  You grind to get best in slot, you get there, you get bored, you wait until there is more loot for you to aim for (and more bosses to kill of course).

I am going to take it slow this patch and try to gear up more then one DPS, one healer and one tank.  If anything, just as an effort to keep myself from getting bored again like I did last patch.  That all depends on how horrible pugs are however, so being they will be horrible I don't expect much.

I love new shineys.  I am glad to have new dailies to do.  I am liking firelands so far.  It feels like a wide open zone that you need to do with a group.  That is a sweet feel in my opinion.  I was getting bored of the straight line approach, even if that usually fits my liking.

I see a lot of rep runs in my future.  Good thing the trash in firelands is not that bad.  Except for those turtles.  Those turtles are the only things that wiped us.  Oops.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If DPS is so easy...

.. why are so many people so horrible at it?

It is a common thing to hear that tanking and healing is hard and DPS is easy. 

I agree with that to some extent but not enough to actually support the comment as a whole.

Lets look at the evolution of the rolls and learning how to do them.

When first starting...

Tanking -
- You learn to get things mad at you.
- You learn to keep things mad at you.
- You learn to taunt off people that things are mad at instead of you.
- You learn how many mobs you can pull without dying.
- You learn how to limit the incoming damage to you.

Healing -
- You learn what each heal does.
- You learn to time those heals as needed.
- You learn how the heals interact with each other.
- You learn how to heal others while not losing the tank.
- You learn how to avoid damage, so you don't have to heal yourself too.

Damage Dealer -
- You learn to put out damage.

So far, tanking an healing seem a hell of a lot harder.

When moving into the intermediate phase...

Tanking -
- You learn when to use your cooldowns better.
- You learn how to pull better.
- You learn your AoE ranges when there are CCed targets around.
- You learn marking for AoE pulls.
- You learn how to evaluate mobs based on what they do.
- You learn all the classes CC for CC assignments.

Healing -
- You learn how to start predicting incoming damage.
- You learn which classes will need more incidental healing.
- You learn how to better manage your mana.
- You learn when is best to use mana regeneration cooldowns.
- You learn when to leave someone injured and when a heal is required.
- You learn which types of mobs will do what type of damage and what heals to use to compensate.

Damage Dealing -
- You learn how to crowd control based on tanks markings.

Looks like tanking and healing still are a lot more difficult still.  DPS has it easy, that's for sure.

When moving into the beginning dungeon phase...

Tanking -
- Learns how to perfect the use of their abilities.
- Learns how to mix extra damage and interrupts into their tanking.
- Learns how to better position things based on ground effects and abilities.
- Learns how to tie together everything they know for maximum potential.

Healing -
- Learns how to maximize their cooldowns.
- Learns the triage system and when to let someone die.
- Learns how to position themselves so they are both in range and safe from ground effects and abilities.
- Learns how to tie together everything they know for maximum potential.

Damage Dealer -
- Learns that positioning is not only for tanks and healers.
- Learns how to interrupt.
- Learns how to better implement their CC, on the fly if need be.
- Learns how to use their utility tools.

Seems that now is the time that DPS actually starts to learn.  Tanks and healers already have their job learned and now they are just working on perfecting it.

When moving to more complex encounters...

Tanks -
- They know their job already, it doesn't change.

Healers -
- They know their jobs already, it doesn't change.

Damage Dealers -
- Time to master positioning, just like healers and tanks did at the previous level of learning.
- Learns to better time their interrupts for maximum effect.
- Learns to use their cooldowns for more damage.
- Learns to manage their threat better.

Looks like tanks and healers are done learning.  DPS are just starting to get to the meat of their learning now.

When you move into more difficult content...

Tanks -
- Been doing it so long, everything is now second nature.

Healers -
- Been doing it so long, everything is now second nature.

Damage Dealers -
- Learns to tighten their rotation so they can put out more DPS.
- Learns how to interrupt and CC on the fly without it effecting their damage out put much.
- Learns how to target switch based on the needs of the fight.
- Learns how to pool resources for high impact moments later.

Okay, now it is really time for the DPS to start stepping it up.  Tanks and healers have been done with their learning for a while now and DPS are just starting to do everything they need to do.

When you step into heroic content...

Tanks -
- Same as before, just more incoming damage.

Healers -
- Same as before, just more incoming damage.

Damage Dealers -
- Learns how to minimize every bit of avoidable damage.
- Learns how to protect the healer if need be.
- Learns how to maximize the use of cooldowns for damage dealing.
- Learns how to use their own defensive cooldowns if needed.
- Continues to work on getting higher damage output without taking aggro.

Seems like there is still a lot of work to be done for the damage dealers and the tanks and healers have been done for a long time now.

When the time comes for special needs...

Tanks -
- It's still their job to tank.

Healers -
- It's still their job to heal.

Damage Dealers -
- Learns to be the interrupt whore.
- Learns to be the kiter.
- Continues to learn how to get more DPS out of what they are doing.
- Learns when to use tank and/or healer support abilities when needed.

When all is said and done, once everything has been learned from the tank and the healers, the DPS will always be learning because no matter what any one says, you can always do better as a DPS. 

If you can do 12K DPS then you can do 13K DPS, get better.
If you can kite parasites with none getting into the group, try doing it with none hitting you.
If you can do it with none hitting you, now do it getting them down faster so you have some more boss time.
If you can interrupt without even thinking about it, try doing it without your DPS going down because you are doing it.
If you can do 15K DPS then you can do 16K DPS, get better.
If you are a master of target switching, you could probably still be half a second faster.
If you can battle rez, can you do it with perfect timing so it does not totally destroy your rotation where you need to start from the get go.
If you can get four cooldowns into a fight, why not try to get five in by using it sooner.
If you can do 18K DPS then you can do 19K DPS, get better.

In the end, DPS is a harder job then tanking or healing.  This is why most people we complain about in dungeons are the DPS.  If DPS was so easy then everyone would be good at it.  Most are not. 

Remember the list where it said When moving to more complex encounters... and that is where the tanks and healers where basically done learning how to be tanks and healers.  That is only where the DPS started to learn how to do their job.  That is the way to game is designed it seems.  For the average player at least.

Up until that point, being a tank or a healer is a lot harder then being a damage dealer.  Their learning is all front loaded.  They need to learn everything right off the start to be able to do their job whereas a damage dealer just needs to deal damage and not much else.

From that point on, the damage dealers now need to learn everything.  The problem with most damage dealers is that when the tanks and healers are done learning right there, the DPS stop learning right there as well. 

Tanks and healers learn the basic concept of their roles and after they are done the only thing they can do is perfect exactly what they are doing.  Once they do that, there is nothing left for them.

For DPS there is no end game on the learning curve.  I don't care how good someone thinks they are as a damage dealer, they can still get better.

Better DPS makes fights easier.

If you are having problems with something I am willing to bet most of the time it is the DPS that is the problem.

Tanks learned to tank early on.  It is just a different mob(s) that they are doing it on.

Healers learned to heal early on.  It is just different people they are healing.

DPS does not really learn to DPS until they want to.

Who's fault is that?

Mine!  Yours!  Everybody!

Because we all say that DPS are a dime a dozen.

Because we all say that DPS is easy.

Because we do not give the DPS the respect they deserve when they kept learning past the When moving to more complex encounters... phase.

Most DPS you meet in heroics are at that exact stage in the game.  They might get a little better, but not much.  They never really started to learn how to play the role whereas a tank or a healer at that phase is now learning to perfect what they do.  They are done learning, they are now mastering.  The damage dealers then hang on to the coattails of the tanks and healers that already know everything that needs to be done and they think they can skate by as is and do not learn to get any better.

DPS might be easy, but not if you want to master it.

Doing anything bad is easy.

Brain surgery is easy for a chimp.  Doesn't mean they are going to do it right however.

Saying DPS is easy and accepting that as fact means you want a chimp to do brain surgery on you should you ever need it and you are okay with that. 

DPS is hard.  Demand more of the DPS you random with.  Explain to them that when they enter a heroic their learning has just begun.  Just because you are a tank or a healer and you learned everything already and are just working on perfection, they have not even started to learn yet.

If DPS is so easy...

... why are so many so horrible at it?

Because they stopped learning once they got into a heroic.

That is where the learning begins, not ends.

So yes, DPS is easy, if you want to be bad at it.  DPS is hard if you want to be good at it, because you will never finish learning.

DPS can always get better.

Judging from the DPS in heroics, most can get a lot better.  5K in all 346 gemmed and enchanted gear was bad enough.  Soon everyone will be in all 359 gear.  Can they make it to 6K?

DPS just seems easy because people that read this, and many other blogs, forums, etc, are not the people that stopped learning.  We are reading because we kept learning.
DPS is easy for me.  Because I am always learning.  I can always get better.

DPS is hard for the 100s if not 1000s of random DPS I have been with that could not break 5K in a heroic this expansion.

I can count the bad tanks or bad healers I have experienced on my hands and most of those are forgivable.  They are brand new tanks or healers admitting they are learning or they are DPS trying to pass themselves off as a tank or healer and they know nothing so I won't even count those as bad tanks or healers, they are just another type of bad DPS.

You rarely see real tanks and healers that are bad.  You will always see bad DPS.

Think about that a bit.  If DPS was really easy wouldn't it be the other way around?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday's Random Thoughts

- I finished off my Brood of Nozodormu Reputation finally.

- I even got the red mount on my last run needed for exalted.

- That was a nice little surprise.

- I'd seen five drop in the process of getting to exalted.

- Two in my last run.

- I finished off my Thunderfury.

- That is one sweet looking weapon.

- It leaves a trail of lightning behind me when I fly.

- I am so going to have to put this on every time I fly somewhere.

- How come no weapons look that good any more?

- With Firelands coming and 359 gear for justice points I figured I should get some normals in on characters I never really play.

- My Mage was one of my targets to do that for.

- I got him to 85 and parked him basically, he just acts as my elixir master.

- I am now sitting at 3999 justice points on him.

- Can't get much better than that can you?

- Why gear up alts if I do not use them?

- Because I can.

- After doing normals for a day all I could think was this is how heroics should be.

- Why exactly are there people in normals doing 15K+?

- I had one normal where a solo DPS pulled 22K over all DPS.

- I had a guild mate with me that was doing that, but he was helping me power through them.

- I see lots of 15K+ DPS doing normals alone.  So they are not there helping anyone.

- There are no vanity items worth getting.

- There is nothing gear wise worth getting.

- If they where looking for SC or VP for the mount why didn't they just drop.

- Maybe they where trying to be nice?

- Maybe they figure that the dungeon will only take 15 minutes anyway?

- With that DPS there should be nothing they need with justice points so quick and easy points should not be an option either.

- Maybe that is the end game for that person being heroics are hit or miss.

- If it is, they sure as hell rock their end game something serious.

- I wish I could rock raids the way they rock normals.

- Could you imagine doing 45K DPS on a non gimmick raid fight?

- Wait another year and you will be doing it.

- Blizzard has done a bang up job balancing item level with item ability/stats.

- I doubt we will have another greatness card.

- Using a 200 item level item all the way up to ICC and even into it was something I doubt they expected.

- That won't happen again with these cards.

- As proof I am not the only one that thinks that you can look at the market.

- Last week cards where going for 15K-20K on the market.

- Friday I saw them posting in trade looking for 10K.

- By Sunday there was one guy offering them for 3K.

- I was tempted to buy them for my alts like my Mage that I never run as they will never get raid ones.

- But I am too cheap.

- Ran a few heroics with my Priest to try and get her those last few pieces I need to get into Zul heroics.

- Nothing dropped.

- Won't spend justice points being I can buy 359 gear with them tomorrow.

- I gave up on my Priest because the healing sucked at the start, and I had no luck with drops.

- Looks like nothing changed.

- My Priest can still not heal for crap compared to my Shaman.

- My Priest can still not heal for crap compared to my Druid, in 320 gear. (22 points less)

- My Priest can still not heal for crap compared to my Paladin, who doesn't even have a full set of healing gear yet and is still using some strength pieces.

- I've played a Priest healer longer then any other healer so it is not a complete learn to play issue.  It is just a Priests still suck compared to other healers issue.

- Sad really, I love playing a disc priest.

- I can raid heal with it, I can not heroic with it.

- Maybe it is not the Priest but the people I am with when I heal on my Priest.

- That actually seems really likely.

- Still wonder why I have no luck with her and drops.

- When I am with a Shaman in a group that puts down the haste totem my healing ability seems to go through the roof.

- Maybe I should look into getting more haste.

- I honestly see the difference with only .1 less cast time on spells.

- That .1 makes healing much easier then just .1 % easier.

- Not like my Mage is any better getting gear.

- Started my runs with a 319 item level.

- Ended at 3999 justice points and a 324 item level.

- Are you aware how many runs that was to only get 5 item level points?

- I have no luck at all with clothies.

- At least my Priest got the spirit cloak from the holiday boss.

- After running it 15 damn times.

- Are you aware that the 353 neck from Zul is better then the 359 one from BoT for hunters?

- Stat allotment wise that is.

- Won't last long, as I said, blizzard did a lot better this time around with stats.

- A few still slip through however.

- I wish more did.

- There is no better proof to see if someone knows their class then to see if they are wearing a lower item level item.

- If someone is willing to sacrifice item level for what is actually better for them then that is the sign of a good player.

- I don't think I've ever seen a Hunter on my server wearing the 353 zul neck that was a raider that had a chance at getting the 359 one.

- Most won't grasp the concept that a 353 item can be better then a 359 item.

- So hold on to that 359 anyway, for now.

- When will they finally give up on item levels.

- People depend to much on them.

- I want to see people deciding on what gear is best based on its merits and not its item level.

- What the hell am I talking about.

- These people can't even move from the fire.

- How the hell can I expect them to know that you are better off with less of one thing in place of another if the one thing is more important for your class/spec?

- It is like the person looking in trade the other day for a tank for Nef.

- /2 LF tank for Nef, please know fight, whisper with item level and spec.

- If you are looking for a tank I am going to have to venture a guess that their spec will be a tank spec.

- After a few minutes I had to ask seeing it again a few times.

- /r I have a warrior tank that is 356.  I know the fight.  Let me know, I can switch.

- Notice how I worded that?  I purposely did not put my spec.

- Because a warrior tank can only be one spec right?

- His reply, what spec are you.

- /r I'm a tank, means Prot.

- Five minutes pass.

- Not necessarily.

- /r Yes necessarily.

- Are you switching?

- /r No thanks, something came up while I was waiting for your reply, thanks for the consideration, good luck.

- What other spec do Warriors tank in?

- Apparently I do not know as much about Warriors as I falsely led myself to believe.

- I think I am going to try Arms tanking.

- Do I wear a shield when Arms tanking?

- I'm going to go look that up now.

- Have a good day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Secret Compulsion.

I think to some degree each and every one of us out there have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in some degree or another.  A mild case, the one we all have, has no O or D really, it is just a compulsion.

While the fact might be true that there are cases of OCD that can really be debilitating it usually isn't.  I have OCD about many things and you probably do also even if you don't realize it. 

I can't leave the bathroom without washing my hands, even if I only went in there to get a tissue to blow my nose.  I just have to wash them.  Not sure why, it is OCD.  I don't think about it, it just happens.

When I have company and they put a glass on the table and it is not on a coaster I will pick it up and put it on one or slide one under it where it is at.  I even have to have a napkin under my coffee when I am out somewhere, I will not just put a cup down on anything without something under it.  Not sure why, it is OCD.  I don't think about it, it just happens.

That is the type of OCD each and every person in the world has.  Simple things that we do not even notice that we do every day without even thinking.

Have you ever watched the Ellen talk show?  You will notice that she always puts on hand on her thigh when she walks out in the same exact spot every time.  That is a case of OCD.  Sometimes it can be as simple as that.  It is not debilitating, it is not for an actual purpose, it is just something that she does that she quite possibly does not even know she does.

The thing with OCD is that if you do not do those little things they throw you off.  You will feel off all day long because something is wrong.

I think that games like WoW actually encourage OCD behavior by making us develop a pattern and when we do not do our pattern we feel a little off.

Actually WoW, and almost all games really, reward OCD like behavior.  So much so that we develop our OCD in a conscious manner and then it embeds itself into out subconscious after we have done it long enough.

I log in to my Druid to do my jewel crafting daily, then my Warrior for my jewel crafting daily.  No matter what else I have to do that day, that is always how I start my game time.  It never changes.  If I miss my daily on them I feel as if I am missing out on something. 

I even log on to do my jewel crafting daily on days I have no intention of playing.  If I know I will not have time to be on after work that day I will log on before going to work just to do them.  That my friend is textbook OCD.

One night last week I did not show up to raid night until it was just about to start so I did not have the time to log onto my druid or my warrior for their daily jewel crafting quest.  That whole night, although I did not actively think about it, I just felt a bit off.

Raid nights, in their own, develop a form of OCD.  If you raid every Thursday for a year and then do not raid one Thursday you will feel as if something is off.  Even if you knew that there was no raid that night set up you would not be able to shake the feeling that there is something you are supposed to be doing.

Your conscious mind knows you raid that night, it knows you are not raiding tonight, all is rational and fine.  Somewhere in your subconscious however the OCD kicks in and starts messing with you.  It is the reason why you have that feeling that something is wrong.  Like you are missing something.  Even if your rational conscious mind knows differently.

I have pin pointed a few of those OCD moments in my game play outside of the obvious dailies and raid nights.  I am a button smasher.  I always like to have something to do. Any moment I am not doing something I feel as if I am doing something wrong.  That is the OCD kicking in.

I am comfortable with my Hunter because there is always something to do.  I am not so comfortable on my Rogue because I have to wait to do things.  I've tried to get comfortable with my Rogue, I really have.  I can even do quite decently with him now yet I still never feel right playing him.

I am a button smasher, that is part of my secret compulsion.  I like to be doing something at every given moment in time.  It is like that in every aspect of the game.  I hate sitting in a main city not doing anything.  If I am on, I have to be doing something.  I can't just hang out.

This is why all my DPS characters have a gathering profession.  It gives them something to do while waiting in queue besides standing around in a city reading the dribble we refer to as trade chat. 

I always need to be doing something.  Smashing buttons, gathering materials, anything.  I can not do nothing.  Doing nothing is time wasted and time wasted means something is wrong.  That is my OCD, my secret compulsion.  I have to do something.

Dailies, raid night, constant button smashing, these are all habits the game developed itself.  Does this mean the game is at fault?  Not really, as I said all people have OCD to some degree and they will latch on to what they are susceptible to latch onto.

I latch on to things that I am already susceptible to.  I am like that in real life too.  I can't do nothing.  I have to always be doing something.  The game just rewards such behavior. 

What worries me is if it is possible that the game can actually take people that have minor OCD with specific things and push them to the next level.

The game trained me to be compulsive with my dailies.  That did not exist before the game.  It is not hurting me in any way to do them but who is to say that there is someone out there that has a bad case of OCD, not something mild that we all have.

It is not debilitating in any way for me but that does not mean that for someone else it isn't.  I see it as quite possible that the game could push someone over the edge.  Someone with serious OCD, not just putting a hand on their thigh whenever they do something, and push them over the edge.

Ever drop something in the mail box and open it back up to make sure it went down?  That is mild OCD.  We all have it, we check because we feel it is necessary. 

Some people check a few times.  Some people might even walk back to check again after they have taken a few steps away just to make sure.  Some, those with a severe case of OCD, will not be able to stop thinking about the mail and if it went down.  They might wake up in the middle of the night to go back and check or toss and turn all night worrying about if the mail really went down.

Who is to say what it is that exactly tips the scale from you opening the mail box two or three times after your dropped the mail in to check and you not being able to sleep at night because you worry about it?

Should a game, any game, be training minds to think in a OCD sort of way when it could be the tipping point for someone that already had more then just the mild every day OCD we all have?

It makes me wonder sometimes or maybe I should say it makes me worry sometimes.

Is something we do for fun possibly dangerous to us?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Holiday Boss is... Hard?

So far I have done the new holiday boss about 12 times on various characters and I've come to the conclusion that the holiday boss should have an item level requirement on it.

Basically it is an easy fight.  In two of my guild only groups yesterday we downed it after he exposed himself once.  That is how the fight is supposed to go or at the least that is how I expect it to go.

In two of the pugs I did it was okay once and hell another time.  First time was on my hunter with a full pug.  He appeared twice, we got him the second time.  The healer had a bit of a rough patch when he first disappeared and the adds started up again but I have healed it so I know that can be an issue, it is the only real healing challenge there if you do not go to a third phase.

I was the only one that did anything remotely resembling actual DPS. But if you have one solid DPS and the other two are not drooling idiots that can at least move when they need to and do some sort of mildly reasonable DPS you will be fine.

The other, was me healing.  Sometimes I hate when I am not in dungeons on my hunter.  I feel so helpless.  When I am on my hunter and the DPS sucks I know I can handle almost anything on my own.  I'll just step up my game a little and actually pay attention and blow some cooldowns and we will be fine.

When I am not on my hunter I am at the whim of the horrible horrible players that seem to spread through this game like the black plague.  Being I am not there to DPS I am leaving it all up to people that probably can not figure out how to tie their shoes, lets face it, tying your shoes is considerably harder then doing a basic DPS rotation in a random.  I am not talking good DPS here either, just something that resembles them trying.

Next time you see someone doing 2K just imagine them walking around tripping and falling on their face everywhere they go.  It will at least put a smile on your face for a second.

So back to the point.  We go at it, on the first boss phase I pop heroism and they only get the boss down to 67%.  Heroism and still you can only do 1/3rd damage?  Oh crap, this is going three phases.

Have you healed this one yet?  If you make it to a third phase of adds you better be way overgeared because by that point it gets hard.  Really hard.

I healed us through the second phase and we get to the boss again.  They get it down to 40%.  Doing some quick math in my head I am starting to think this is going to take four add phases.  I am not sure I can even heal through three.  Not sure many can.  Third add phase is worse then most raid fights from what I heard.  I had never been to a third phase yet, quite honestly I did not think it was possible to get a group that bad.

Third add phase starts and I am spamming all I have.  Using all the tricks in my bag and a few I didn't even know I could do just to try to keep us alive.  I lost one DPS but we made it to the boss phase again and quite honestly I was a little proud of myself with that.  That third add phase is brutal.

We did not get it down, forth add phase I was now almost oom so we did not last long at all.

We walk back and the tank says we need the DPS to move to the boss when the boss is up, forget finishing the adds.  I agree with the tank and say that they should not worry about the adds, just the boss when the boss is exposed.

One of the DPS drops.  Sad part is that it was our highest DPS that dropped.  This is not going to go well.  We are left with a boomkin doing 2800 DPS and a mage doing 3200 DPS.  The tank was doing 6K and the other DPS that dropped was doing 5K.

Yes, those numbers are for a current 85 heroic and are not me remembering the past of a wrath heroic, when toward the end of the expansion, those numbers would have been bad numbers too.

We get a DK.  He is somewhat geared so this might be good.  The 3200 mage is geared too however.  I did it three times on my mage alt who I leveled to 85 and stopped playing meaning all he has is quest gear and I have done 5K, 6K and 7K in my three attempts in 318 gear.  So it is a learn to play issue as far as I see it.

I do understand that this fight sees lower numbers, my hunter can not break 13K on that fight.  Admittedly I am not trying my hardest being it is just a dungeon but I can break 18K without trying to hard in heroics normally, no cooldowns at all.  So I know that this fight surely does lower your DPS some.

Is lowering it to 2800 really acceptable however?

We go again, I hit heroism on the first boss phase and we get the boss to 50% this time.  Again with the quick math, this is going three again.  I healed it to that point before so maybe we can do it this time.

The one good thing is that the DK was doing 12K.  Some badly needed DPS.  The bad thing was he was also pulling aggro and taking a bit of a beating here and there.  This would really play into making it to a third phase.  Not going to happen unless I get really lucky because I am having to spam heal two people as if they where tanks.  That drains some mana there and the third phase is going to be brutal.

No worries, no need to even care about the third phase.  Adds pop out at the start of the third phase and they all come right for me.  Killing me instantly.  So it is a wipe either way.

Third try we go at it again, more of the same, I do not get add bit in the third phase but start running on fumes and can barely keep anyone up.  We are just seconds from the boss being exposed again when people start dropping because I have no mana left. Oh well, wipe time, lets try again.

The tank gives the DPS some rightful shit about their numbers again, not to the DK, he is doing great and he even protected me the last time, that is the reason the adds did not eat me this time around.  The DK was good.  The other two... not so much.

The mage took the hint and dropped group but the boomkin said he was doing fine for his gear.  2800 is fine for 318 gear?  Fine at level 70 maybe, not at level 85.  Of course I did not say that, but I thought it.

We get a new mage.  He makes food, I like when mages do that.  I don't because I can't be bothered.  Not to mention if you need to ever eat in an instance like that you are doing something wrong.  It is a one boss fight.

We down the boss on the second appearance this time.  Even the druid stepped up their game doing a whooping 3100 DPS this time.

After all my attempts I have come to the conclusion that the item level needed for this dungeon should be around 338ish, maybe 340.

Any time you get into it with a healer lower then 338 it is quite possible you will wipe on the second add phase but skill will get them by.  Third add phase will be completely impossible but then again it was near impossible for my high geared healer too.  Either way, the fight should never get to a third add phase.

Also, DPS is a little lower on this fight as I mentioned before, I can accept that.  But with less then a 338 item level most players have no chance at making it to the 6K mark on a fight like this.  Just because I did it on my mage does not mean most will. 

The way I figure it, 6K per DPS is the absolute least you should have in this fight.  Adding a 338 item level requirement for this would be nice.  Really nice.

Do you think the holiday boss should have an item level requirement?

I mean, it is a holiday boss, shouldn't it be something all 85s regardless of skill or gear should have a chance to do?

If so, then it needs to be toned down some.  There is no way a group of people in all 318 gear can do that boss.  Not possible.

Okay, it is possible.  One of my guild runs yesterday we took all alts and we downed it and only one of the 5 of us were even geared enough for a heroic.  That is beside the point however.  We are a guild, we work together all the time, we know how to play together, how to react off of each other, what to expect from each other.  We can do things at a lower gear level because we are used to playing together.

Pugs are pugs.  These people can not be expected to have that kind of group cohesion.

I think an item level requirement is needed, or nerf the adds phase some, just so we can keep these 2K DPS idiots out of it or at least make it easier on them.  Which in turn makes it easier on me because then I will not need to wipe because of them.

I like that they made the holiday boss into a boss and not a pushover but lets face it, Blizzard has to do something about allowing these people into randoms.  If they will not do something, we need to start doing something. 

Report bad players for griefing.  Willfully being bad is griefing. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pre 4.2 Observations

With 4.2 coming out in a week I take a look back on Cataclysm so far before our first patch.  No, 4.1 was not a patch, it was a snack to tide us over while we were waiting for dinner, nothing more.  The following are just random observations in no particular order.

- The trailer for Firelands has to be the lamest cinematic I've seen yet.  Even the cliche Godzilla, er... Deathwing cinematic was more engaging.

- My immediate impression of Cataclysm was it was lacking.

- Blizzard has made no efforts to change that opinion in 6 months.

- I started Cataclysm with my Priest being my main healer and now my Shaman is.

- I started Cataclysm with my Druid being my main tank and now my Warrior is.

- I started Cataclysm with my Hunter being my main DPS and now my Hunter is still my main DPS.

- I started Cataclysm saying playing a melee characters sucks, Cataclysm made playing them suck even more.

- Thanks to a higher hit point base I can now solo the first boss in AQ40 when I could not before.

- Thanks to upped damage and hit points soloing heroic MgT is no longer a major accomplishment as a Hunter.

- Camouflage has really made soloing so much fun for my Hunter being able to just skip past all the crap.

- Who would have thought I would be able to solo level 85 heroic dungeon bosses before I was even raid geared, now that is fun.

- I love fights that are more about mechanics then about gear, it makes them relevant longer being they can not be out geared so quickly and Cataclysm has a lot of mechanic based fights meaning I like it.

- I hate that most people don't know mechanics and fail at even simple ones leaving me nothing but to say I was wrong, mechanic based fights are a bad idea even if I liked them.

- I've heard Retribution Paladins crying so long about how they where nerfed to all hell that I need a raft to carry me along the river of tears.

- I've seen at least six Ret Paladins that could not break 6K in Zul heroics and blame it on the class being so horribly broken.

- I've seen at least three Ret Paladins in gear no better then 333s doing 14K single target DPS on non gimmick fights proving that Ret Paladins are not bad off, it is just a learn to play issue for a class that used to not need much skill in wrath.

- Mechanic based fights prove even more how important DPS is.  The faster a boss goes down the less likely people will mess up on a mechanic.

- The vast majority of players would probably suffocate if breathing was a mechanic that required them to do something in real life because they apparently can not grasp basic concepts.

- Cataclysm content, in concept anyway, is much easier than Wrath content.

- Blizzard doesn't want healers to actually enjoy the game.  Whenever they start to get comfortable with their mana, blizzard nerfs them.

- PvP balance can not be attained but they continue to screw up PvE in efforts to try and balance it anyway.

- Instead of admitting they made a mistake making heroics more challenging, they are making CC no longer pull. 

- The reasoning is because CC mechanics required communication which is sometimes harder or even impossible in a pug. 

- No shit blizzard, just nerf the content, stop screwing with things like CC because you refuse to admit you made a mistake with heroic difficulty.

- Blizzard overestimated the ability of 5 random people to work together.

- Leveling is now insanely fast and needs to be slowed down, a lot.

- My new Shaman is level 25 already after 4 hours play time.  No heirlooms, no guild bonus, limited rested experience.

- At least starting on a new server gives you the feeling of achievement again.  Buying that first riding and mount without hand me down money is awesome.

- Dancing in battle was such a huge game breaker that Blizzard made sure to take it out as soon as they noticed it was happening.

-  It was also so important to game play that they fixed it immediately and we will be able to dance again in combat.

- Apparently dancing in combat is more important then broken quests, bugged bosses, PvP imbalance, raid content, dungeon content, consumer satisfaction, etc.

- But at least you can dance again in combat soon.

- The Singing Sunflower rocks.

- The mini Jouster has a teddy bear with a lance on it, now that is awesome.

- My warlock is now 82 and still had an elephant following him around from a quest he did at level 69.

- The elephant is bigger then he is, even bigger then his mount.

- Even when it dies, it keeps coming back.

- But in different colors.

- Oddly enough, I will miss him when he is finally gone.

- Is it even possible to get a group that can do the poison boss in ZG with everyone living?

- I once went six times in a row where only the tank am I lived.  Five as healer and one as DPS.

- More I love mechanics based fights and I hate mechanics based fights internal conflict.

- Am I the only one that found the Zuls a thousand times easier at item level 346 then normal heroics where when I was first at 329?

- If I make an effort to not step into a heroic unless I can do at least 8K DPS why can't everyone else?

- How is it possible to do 2K DPS in a heroic?

- How is it possible to do 3K DPS in a Zul?

- How it is possible that I can still do over 70% of all damage done in a dungeon on occasion when I am not even doing that good to start off with?

- I still love the dungeon finder.  Better then spamming trade for what seemed like hours on end for a group.

- I still hate that Blizzard thought it was a good idea to make them require any sort of skill and did nothing to keep the skill-less people out of them.

- If the website can show you item level and item level equipped why can't they do that in game as well?

- Speaking of item level, how come heirlooms count as item level of 1 for the purpose of item level when they are better then the item level 289 you might get while leveling?  Shouldn't it be at least a 289 as well for reasons of item level at least?

- I guess dancing in battle was more important to fix then fixing it so people do not need to carry an extra back and helm to get into 80+ dungeons while leveling because their helm and cloak only count as 1.

- I am not looking forward to Firelands at all.

- I am looking forward to the new quest hub in Hyjal because it will give me something to do.

- I am not looking forward to flying not being allowed in certain areas.  I've become spoiled and I want to fly.

- All the forum hate really rubs off on you if you read to much of it.

- I don't think I've ever seen more varied complaints on the forums then now.

- Even people that love the game seem to have some things they currently hate about it.

- I've gotten both bindings for Thunderfury while doing my solo rep runs in MC, that is kind of cool, and lucky too.  Still need 15 more runs until exalted.

- My luck is awesome.  My Warrior went from a 324 item level to a 350 item level in only 5 dungeon runs.

- My luck sucks.  My Priest ran a ton of heroics and is still only 339 item level.

- My luck is even worse.  My Druid has run 22 normals and only managed to get from a 318 to a 324 item level.  And that is combining my tank and healer gear.  I never get any drops when I run.

- My luck is okay. At least my Rogue only needed 4 normals to get up to a 330 item level.

- I still suck at playing my Rogue, but at least I can pull 9K DPS now, so I am heroic ready.

- My DK and my Lock are the only two characters on my main server not 85 but could have easily been 85 if I actually ever played them for more then 10 minutes at a time. 83 and 82 respectively.

- Maybe I should have geared up my mage instead of just getting him to 85 and letting him sit.

- I've seen Mages pulling insane one button DPS.

- It has to come some day, so when do you think Mages will get the faceroll nerf they gave Paladins that required them to actually do something now instead of having a stupid easy rotation that allowed everyone to pull maximum DPS?

- I love being a caster on the camels in HoO.  Moving while channeling rocks.

- How long before channeling no longer requires standing still?  It is coming.  I know it is coming.  You know it is coming.  You just don't want to admit it.

- I hate that I lose my pet while on the camel on my Hunter.

- I hate that I can not charge on my Druid or Warrior while on the camel.

- But I can move while channeling.  I guess I will accept the trade off for one fight.

- What is with line of sight in some areas?

- I can't charge at things right in front of me.

- I can't put a Hunter's Mark on something right in front of me.

- Atramedes is the size of a three story building standing right in front of me, how the hell is he not in line of sight?  Maybe I am a marksman that can not hit the side of a building, at least not that one with a hunters mark.

- Why do I always get "that would be stealing" when I am soloing raids and try to loot?

- Trust me, I am not stealing from myself, I want myself to have it.

- At least I can dance in combat, so glad they fixed that really fast.

- What is with the random "you can not do that now" messages when you are not even doing anything?

- Does that mean I can not do nothing now?  Isn't that a double negative. I best start doing something then.  I'll go dance in combat.

- Thank god some raid bosses do not hurt my hunter with minimum range.

- Love being able to charge to generate rage at point blank range on those bosses on my warrior too.

- I am really loving focus on some fights for my Hunter.

- I am really hating focus on other fights on my Hunter.

- I still have not taken the time to learn how to PvP all over again on my Hunter.  I miss my burst.

- I always loved healing PvP and now I love it more.

- I still always feel like I am wearing a kick me sign as a healer however.

- One day Alliance will learn that if you protect your healer you win.

- One day Alliance will learn that if you attack the Horde healers you win.

- That is why Alliance always loses the battlegrounds I am in.  They never protect their own healers and never target the Horde healers.  They deserve to lose.

- Is there a secret question they ask when picking a side I missed that makes all the bad PvP players roll Alliance?

- Yes, I am one of the bad PvP players so I am in the right place thank you.

- But at least I know what needs to be done, I just suck at it.

- I have 11 Horde characters and I have never PvPed with any of them oddly enough.

- Maybe the challenge of winning with the underdog is what I find attractive.

- I have still yet to be in even one rated battleground.

- I really want to.

- I even have full PvP gear ready, willing and as able as I can be.

- I am not looking forward to PvPing on my Hunter however but I will do it because I have a ton of achievements I can get from doing it.

- My healer has some luck when it comes to Zul randoms.  Outside of the poison boss always killing everyone but the tank and me I usually end up with good groups with all DPS over 12K.

- How come when I am on my Hunter I am always the only person over 12K?

- How come when I am on my Hunter I would be happy if the other two could even combine for 12K?

- This is one of the reasons I am not looking forward to Firelands, more heroic grinding coming up and I have become so drained from trying to play with these people I can not do it any more.

- Isn't the game supposed to be fun?

- How is being stuck in a dungeon with people that keep getting you killed because they can not do mechanics fun?

- Is someone being bad and getting everyone killed because of their inability something we can report as griefing?

- "A griefer is a player in a multiplayer video game that deliberately irritates and harasses others", not playing correctly is deliberately irritating and harassing isn't it?

- Yes, it is deliberate.  They can learn how to play, they refuse to.  That means it is deliberate.

- Next time you are in a dungeon and you explain a mechanic to someone after they have seen it once or twice and they still get it wrong it is deliberate when they fail at it.  Report them for griefing.

- I guess I am a griefer when I run up that hill with the rocks.  I've only once got up there without getting hit at least one time once.  I suck at that.

- At least I have never died to the elevator boss.

- Best quote ever on Wowhead refers to the elevator boss. 

- A comment on one of the trash mobs was someone saying "be aware that this mob knows how to use the elevator" to which someone responded, "That officially makes it smarter then 9/10ths of my raid group."

- I ramble a lot don't I?

- And soon I can dance in combat again.

- Speaking of completely useless updates.  Was being able to move the order of your characters around on the character selection screen really that important?

- I would rather a bigger then 16 slot starting bag before they did that.

- I would rather be able to buy another row worth of bag slots in my bank before that.

- I would rather my bind on account items being actually bind on account before that.

- Heck, even dancing in combat is more useful then that.

- Woohoo, they added a dungeon journal.  Another thing people will rarely look at. 

- Lets face it, if you cared what a boss did you would have looked it up before you where standing in front of him.

- When will they fix the united nations guild achievement?

- Oh yeah, they did.  Or so they say.  So why does it still only count my reps and not the 57 different exalted reps that exalted people with my guild have?

- Put a ticket in about it, you will love the response you get.

- Working as intended.

- So it is intended for a guild achievement to not count all the guild members?  Interesting.

- Speaking of rep, why doesn't the aldor/scryer frenzyheart/oracle all count no matter which one you currently have.  If you were exalted once with them then you were exalted.

- The achievement says "exalted reputations" not "current exalted reputations".

- I guess it takes more then over 6 months and they can still not fix one simple achievement.  Maybe if it involved dancing they would have put the whole team on it to fix it quickly.

- I don't like how Cataclysm has changed me personally as a player.

- I have less patience then I used to.

- I used to never mind if someone wasn't pulling their weight in a dungeon because it was easy enough without them and there was nothing they could do that could cause a wipe.

- Now I get irritated quickly with people.

- I still give people the benefit of the doubt and do not mind that people need to learn but each week I give less and less leeway when it comes to their learning curve.

- Me being irritated so quickly takes away from my joy of the game.

- Some asshat tank telling me my DPS on my Rogue sucks when I did 9K over all and 11K on the boss fight when I was still in only 330 gear unenchanted and ungemmed was irritating.

- Do you know what I would be willing to actively pay in real life money to make sure that I always got people that could do at least 9K overall and 11K on bosses?

- So it is a lose/lose in todays dungeon system. 

- Do the right thing executing all mechanics correctly and be able to pull your own weight and get insulted by someone that thinks 9K isn't enough for a heroic.

- Or end up in a group where people could not do mechanics even after 10 attempts or for that matter they could not pull 9K even with the 30% ICC buff and heroism.

- You either end up with an asshat that thinks they are gods gift or a bunch of monkeys at the keyboard who just slap keys and hope something dies.

- Don't worry, instead of fixing heroics so the monkeys could handle them they are making CC not pull.

- And they fixed dancing in combat.  I am sure that will make heroics a lot easier.

-  The whole CC thing reminds me of a quote from House M.D., A great show by the way.

- "You wake up in the morning, your paint's peeling, your curtains are gone, and the water's boiling. Which problem do you deal with first? ... None of them, the building's on fire!"

- Heroics are the building being on fire.  Making CC not pull is fixing the boiling water problem.  Screw the boiling water.  The building is on fire, fix the real problem.

- Gladly more gear will be easy to get soon, so now extremely over geared people will be finding new ways to reach new lows in DPS and skill because they think their item level is more important then mechanics or doing their damn job in a random.

- Why are people still buying BoT trash drop items for 15K when they will be replaced in a week?

- I would not have paid 15K even the day Cataclysm came out. 

- 15K for an item you can get something similar by killing a raid boss is insane.

- Even with my horrible luck with drops and even worse luck with rolls, I would rather kill a raid boss every week for a year hoping for it to drop then pay 15K.

- Maybe I am just cheap.

- Maybe I am just reasonable.

- Maybe it is because I do not buy gold.

- Anyone that buys all that BoE gear without a thought is one of two things.  A money maker and they make lots of it, so they buy gear instead of raiding or they are buying gold.

- Sometimes I think Blizzard should do a detailed examination of every account that buys an item off the auction house that costs over 15K.

- How long before they start selling gold directly?

- Blizzard already sells gold as it is. 

- There are at least a dozen people selling the winged guardian on my server for 20K gold.

- They sell all other pets and mounts too.

- Basically Blizzard is selling gold.

- How long before they cut out the middle man?

- I've read one blue on the forums saying that it was allowed.

- I read another blue on the forums saying it was not allowed.

- Sounds like people there do not talk to each other.

- That really sums Blizzard up right there doesn't it?

- I guess that is it for now.

- I guess I'll need to wait until next week to dance in combat.

- So glad they fixed that.  It was game breaking.

- Have a nice day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

10 Reasons Being a Healer Rocks.

Reason #1:

It's Never Your Fault

If there is a wipe the odds are it is not the healers fault.  Assuming you are doing your job, as in healing people, then if there is a wipe it is most likely the fault of someone else.

Even when it is your fault, it is not your fault.  You went OOM?  Well, if the DPS got the boss down faster you would not have went OOM.  It is the DPS that are at fault, not the healer.

If people took too much damage causing you to use your fast expensive heals it is not your fault, it is theirs.

If they tank is taking too much damage where you can just not keep up then the tank needs more avoidance, that is not your fault.

Reason # 2:

Healers Get More Respect

I've tanked, healed and DPSed randoms so many times I lost count ages ago.  No matter what role I've played I've noticed that healers always seem to get more respect in a dungeon, assuming they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. 

A healer DPSing and having someone die will not exactly win the healer of the week award.  Outside of that, healers always get lots of respect in dungeons, even when they are not very good at what they do, as long as it looks like they are trying.

When you get to a boss where someone asks for it to be explained and they are a tank or DPS they might get kicked if the people in the group are jerks, if it is a healer that asks, they will just say to heal people and avoid stuff and move along.

When someone explains a fight, if it is a DPS they get attitude because they are just a DPS they know nothing, if it is a tank they get thought of as being an arrogant prick even if they are not, if they are a healer, people listen.

If after a wipe a tank or DPS says, you need to avoid that spell or it will kill you people will give them attitude.  If a healer says, could you please avoid the spell because it is not possible for me to heal through it, people will make an effort to avoid it and even thank the healer for pointing out that it could not be healed through.

Reason # 3:

Better Players Make You Look Better

While that remain true of all roles, good DPS will make the tank look better, good tanks will make the DPS look better, good players as a whole make the healer look better.  It is more noticeable with healers. 

I've been in runs where everyone was doing 17K and they made me look like a horrible healer because everyone was taking so much damage it was impossible to keep them up (they where bad players, flat out) and I have been in runs with people pulling 8K at most (in a Zul we finished with no wipes) and I ended all fights at nearly full mana because they were good players and knew to avoid, interrupt and anticipate.

Example one, I get called a horrible healer because I can not heal 3 people who all think they are the tank and who all love to stand in bad stuff and never interrupt anything because it might effect their uber DPS.

Example two, I get called the best healer they have ever seen when in truth everyone was just doing a good job, there was little, if anything, for me to even do.  Just heal the tank only and it was actually super easy.  They just made me look like a super healer.

Reason # 4:

Saying You Can't Do Something Does Not Make You Bad

If a tank says he/she can't tank something, they are told to get better. 

If a DPS says they can't do something, they are told to get better. 

If  healer says they can't heal through something the tank and DPS need to adjust to avoid, interrupt or mitigate it.  There are things that can't be healed through and everyone accepts that.

Reason # 5:

No Loot Drama

Most groups have a rule to gear up tanks and healers first.  As such when a piece of gear drops that a DPS might have a need for that a healer has a need for as well, the healer gets it first.  Simple as that.  You might need to role against another healer but it is better then having to role against a bunch of people.

Also, from my experience, healers are much more likely to share among themselves.  If there are three healers that need an item they will usually let the person that needs it most get it. 

Reason # 6:

Challenges Come In All Shapes And Sizes

When you start to over gear content you tend to be more lax about what you do.  Tanks blow fewer cooldowns, DPS don't move as quickly or even at all from bad stuff, things like that.  Which means as you get better gear your work can actually get harder.  No other roles can say that one.

If everyone is still doing the right thing you can now challenge yourself to see how much DPS you can rock while still keeping everyone alive giving yourself another challenge. 

Reason # 7:

Healers Get Cut More Slack In All Aspects

Die to an avoidable mechanic?  Bad tank, Bad DPS, healer just needs to say, sorry, was trying to keep the tank up and they are cut some slack.

Die to some adds eating you alive?  Not your fault, you have to heal, you can not stop healing or people die.  So pulling aggro is never your fault.

DPS dying left and right?  Not the healers fault, they must have taken avoidable damage.

Reason # 8:

You Can Fake It

Ever find yourself in a fight you never did before?  As a tank, it could be deadly if you do not know when to blow cool downs or know what to avoid.  As a damage dealer your DPS will surely be lower when you do not know the in's and out's of a fight yet.  As a healer, heal people, avoid stuff, it is the same as every other fight you will ever do. 

Sure, some tricky mechanics will come into play once in a while but over all the job of a healer is the same in every single fight they ever do.  What needs to be interrupted?  Not the healers job to know.  What needs to be side stepped as a tank?  Not the healers job to know.  Just go with the flow and use basic common sense and you can fake it through any encounter you do as a healer a lot easier then in any other role.

Reason # 9:

Even Small Upgrades Feel Like Big Ones

You get an upgrade as a damage dealer and it makes your expected DPS go up by 30, woohoo.  You get an upgrade as a tank and it makes your avoidance go up by 0.2%, whoop de do.   You get an upgrade as a healer and it has a whole 10 more spirit and 30 more haste.  It makes a difference. Really, I am not kidding.  Even small upgrades are more noticeable as a healer.

Reason # 10:

There Is Always Something To Do

Ever try getting into a pug as a DPS?  What is your item level?  Have you done the fight?  What is your DPS? Gearscore?  Achievement?  You name it, I am surprised they do not ask for a copy of your birth certificate and social security number to apply for a spot in a pug as a DPS.

Ever try getting into a pug as a Tank?  What is your item level?  Do you know the fight?  Less questions than a DPS would have to endure but still some questions.

Ever try getting into a pug as a healer?  No questions, just whisper them saying you are a healer and the invite comes.  They do not look at your gear, or ask if you know the fights, they do not care.  Hell, they do not even look at your level if you are a healer. 

Go test it out, it is fun.  Roll a priest on a random server and sit in trade, when someone says they are looking for a healer for something whisper them that you are a priest and wait for the group invite.  Nice, a level 10 going in to heal Cho'Gall.  I see a real success story coming from this. 

I've had this happen to me countless times.  I would be leveling a different character and say I have a priest and they would send me an invite on that character.  One time my level 36 warlock was invited to heal a VoA run.  Not kidding.

No experience needed, no geared needed, no skill needed.  Healers get invites to everything easily.  Of course, once you get in you need to make sure you do not look like a fool or you will be kicked, but healers will always have something to do, they will always have a shot even if they do not know the content, and they will always be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to run in lesser gear, just to have a healer.

Now that is why playing a healer rocks.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why is it called Welfare Gear?

Welfare is something you get when you do not work.

Point gear is something you get from grinding heroics that you were bored of grinding two weeks after the game came out.  It is work and depending on the groups it can be very hard work.

If you work for your gear it is not welfare gear.

I laugh every time I read the forums and someone is calling point gear welfare gear.  Perhaps we should introduce them to what the word really means.

When you work (grind dungeons) to make money (points) to pay the rent (buy gear) you are not on welfare.

Having someone else pay the rent (get you gear) for you is being on welfare.

So far, I have not found anyone that just wants to give me gear without working for it.

If there is some place to get welfare gear in game please let me know, I have a Rogue I don't play much that can use some epics to make him look cool when he sits around doing nothing.

Where exactly is all this welfare gear I hear everyone talking about?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taking Shortcuts

I've always been all about efficiency.  In game as much as in real life.  Everything that I do I am always thinking if there is a way that I can do it better.  A way to get the job done better with the same effort or less.

Some call that a good trait and others call it is little obsessive.  Either way, I am always looking to find shortcuts in game for things I do. 

The biggest shortcut I have is targeting basically.  I wrote an post a short while back about how I use healbot for various other things and not just for healing.  This is because it created a shortcut for me.  It removed one move effectively from what I need to do.  If I do not need to target someone to do an action on them then it saves me time.  I love that.

So I am always looking for more ways to save time.  Every movement less I have to make is a split second faster my response time becomes.  It is better to right click a name to misdirect to them then to click them and then misdirect to them.  The click them could have just been the right click, this removes a full action.

A friend of mine, most likely one of the best tanks ever, does not use a mouse at all, except to loot, which he normally doesn't do either.  Both hands are on his keyboard at all times and he has every single key on his keyboard keybound to something including an additional 18 special keys, alts, shifts and ctrls for all of them.

I have a lot of bindings but I don't think I could remember what is roughly 200+ keybinds.  Not to mention that I have gotten so used to moving and targeting with my mouse, yet what he does appeals to me greatly.

It is not like he has 200 things he uses all the time but everything he might ever have a use for is keybound somewhere.  When he is tanking he could be running up to a pack of 5 mobs and all 5 are marked instantly at what seems like the exact same moment.  I ask him how he does that, is it an addon, he said it is just that he has all marks bound to his keyboard and is just that fast of a typer. 

Just think about that for a moment.  He has to tab, mark, tab, mark, tab, mark, tab, mark, tab, mark and if any of those tabs go back to a previous target he has to tab until he gets a new one being he does not target with his mouse and he does all of that in what seems like 1 second.

Now that is what I am talking about with taking shortcuts.  I have created a lot of little shortcuts myself, from using healbot for some things on my non healing characters so I do not need to target someone to making macros for misdirecting to doing tricks on my focus.  These are the extent of shortcuts I have.

I am always looking for more shortcurts and I think it is time I try to find some additional ones.  Binding markings might be nice.  Been using quickmark for the most part or just manually marking things but I think the binding idea for them as well is a pretty good idea.

Common Shortcuts:

Targeting A Friendly:
- This removes the step of having to manually target a friendly.
- Most healing addons can do this for you if you are a healer. 
- If you are a tank or a DPS it is easy enough to modify a healing addon for your needs.

- Adds two or more things into one click.
- Anything off the global cooldown can be added to one item on the global cooldown.
- You can put as many things as you want in one macro.
- Instead of clicking two or more keys you only have to click one.

Uncommon Keybinds:
- Keys you might never use bound to do something.
- Perfect for marking, mounts, professions, etc.

Mouseover Dual Functions:
- Having a mouseover macro do more then one thing depending on what is targeted.
- You can have it cast one thing if the target is friendly, one if it is an enemy and one thing if nothing is targeted.  Effectively putting three different actions into one bind without the use of modifiers.

There has to be something else, something I am not thinking of, something else that removes a step, something else that is a shortcut.

Any time you can remove a step you are making yourself a better player.

I am always trying to become a better player.

If only they could make an addon like healbot for DPS.  Could you just imagine if it auto filled a list with all mobs that are currently aggroed, showing the percentage of aggro they have on the character you have selected as tank and you could attack by clicking just like you heal by clicking? 

That would be amazing.  I would use that add on easily.  It would also work wonders for a tank.  You would click the name you want to taunt, or attack, regardless of what mob you are currently targeting.  It would really remove a lot of steps, the ultimate of shortcuts.  I want this add on.

Can this type of addon even be theoretically made?  I don't know much about addons, but this idea really interests me. 

It would really remove a huge step in the game.  Targeting an unfriendly.  I've already completely removed the need to target a friendly, removing the need to target an unfriendly would be a huge shortcut that can not be overlooked.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Is WoW Hard?

We hear it all the time in different ways.  This quest is hard, this dungeon is hard, this raid is hard.  However, at its base WoW in and of itself is not hard at all.  Everything is programmed to be a pattern and even if it is programmed to be in a random pattern you can still easily figure it out.

WoW, as an MMO is actually a very hard game, much harder then it would be if it allowed solo play in what is designed for multi player content.  Take any raid boss as an example.  If you know the fight it seems simple yet when you do it with people that do not know it this simple fight it becomes hard and sometimes even impossible.

The complexity, or difficultly if you will, of WoW is not in the game itself.  Everything in the game is simple.  Move from this, do that, interrupt the other, so forth and so on.  Once you know it, the difficultly is gone and even things that where once deemed hard are now laughable.

Even the most cutting edge of raid content is stupidly simple if you know what to do.  It is all a series of patterns.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Master the patterns and you master the boss.

Any one of us that ever played single player games, which I will guess is pretty much every person on earth, knows that if we try something long enough we will get better at it. 

Even something as simple as pac man was hard when you first tried it.  Maybe you where lucky enough to get through the first level or two but you died.  The more you played the better you got.  You learned how to move, what to avoid, patterns that the computer uses so you can take advantage of it.  Basically, you learned how to play.

Some people will never be good at pac man, it is just a fact, other will start off slow and learn and become great at it.  Both cases are individual, they both progress at their own personal rate of ability.

WoW is just as simple as pac man.  The difficultly arises in the fact that no matter how good you are at learning the patterns and reacting to them in a timely way you can never account for those around you.

The difficultly of an MMO is directly connected to the other people you are with.  No matter how good you are you can not account for the abilities of 4, 9 or 24 other people.  You could know what to do so well that you do not even think before doing it, you just act.  If any one of those other people do not know it then the fight increases in difficulty.

The more people that do not know it, the more chances their will be for errors and that directly connects to the difficultly of the encounter as a whole.

Even if a fight is as easy as stack up, split up, avoid this, stand in that, four simple concepts, if anyone does not know them or does not do them well that simple concept fight is now difficult.

In the end, WoW is about as easy as it gets, if only you could play it alone.  The game itself is not hard at all.

Finding 4, 9, or 24 other players that are on the same level of you in terms of knowing the patterns, now that is the difficult part of WoW.  It is the community that makes a game hard, not the game itself.  The game itself is easy.

If you ever find yourself wiping on a new boss during progression, think for a moment and try to figure out who is not getting it.  Someone in your group just doesn't get it.  There is no reason to ever wipe on any fight in the game, they are all easy.  If you wipe there is one reason and one reason only.  Someone (or a few people) did not get it.   Finding people that get it and can work as a team, now that is the hardest part of WoW.

This came to mind after I was on another server where I am leveling a new Dwarf Shaman, 6 hours 30 minutes in and level 20 now.

Watching their trade chat and comparing it to mine is mind numbing.  Sure they both have trolls but it was reading between the trolls that I noticed something really disturbing that shows how the game is directly connected to those around you when it comes to difficulty.

On my server they only PuG BH 10.  I've never seen a 25, never been in a 25, and only one person I know has even even attempted a 25 and they said all but one were failures.

On my server they can not even PuG normal raids.  I occasionally would see a guild run that needed an extra and they can get down a boss or two with it at best.  It is a nice way to pass time, I like it, but that is where pugging raids on my server ends. 

You can not PuG raid content.  I tried joining one two weeks ago on my Shaman and the group broke up before we even got to the boss, we didn't even wipe or anything, it just broke up on trash.  God forbid you make it to the boss, one wipe and the group breaks up for sure.  Pugs do not work on my server.

So lets move over to the new server I am on, my little dwarf is doing the cooking and fishing dailies and reading trade chat and sees everyone advertising BH 25 pugs.  Not one person is looking for a BH 10.  People looking to join the PuGs are all adverting 364 item level looking, 366, item level looking, 368 item level looking, etc, I do not think I saw one person under item level 360 looking for a run.

Pug heroic raids where going on left and right.  LFM, BWD 25 heroic, 360 item level.  LFM BoT 25 Heroic, on last boss.  LFM to full clear all three heroic raids, must know fights.

WTF?  They are pugging heroic raid content on this server and only 4 guilds on my server have even downed all normal content?  No guild on my server has more then 2 heroic bosses down for god sake, this server is pugging heroic raids.  You can't even pug halfus on my server without expecting 100 wipes.

You want WoW to be hard... come to my server.  From my stand point where I play, WoW is extremely hard.

Personally, I like easy, I want to play with people that are better and can pug heroic content.  I'm thinking of moving some of my characters over to that server or just leveling more along with my Shaman there.

WoW is only hard because of the people around you.  The people on my server make WoW really freaking hard when I know damn well it isn't. 

I never realized how bad my server really was until I saw another server pugging heroic raids where everyone on the server had an item level 360 or better meaning they have all been doing heroic raids for a long time.  It is depressing how bad my server is. 

Maybe some day my server will pick up the pace but I won't hold my breath for it to happen.  My server is bad, nothing much else you can say about that. 

I sometimes wonder if it would really be worth it to move to a server with a better player base just so I can actually do more but then I think of it the other way of how exciting it is to get something down when you actually have to work hard to do it.  Each has its good and bad point.  It is something I need to think about however.

Until then, at least I will have a shaman that can clear content in a timely manner if I continue to level it and do not get bored over there.  I'd love to play on a server that can pug heroic raids.  It might actually allow me to play the game instead of just sitting to raid once a week to get one boss down.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Resto Shaman: King of the 5 Man

The job of a healer is a very simple concept.  Heal the people taking damage.  All healers have the capability of doing that and all can do it well, so what exactly could set one healing class ahead of the others?

For that we need to look at the three biggest things you can do while healing.  At least the three ones people like to point out.

Direct Healing:
All healing classes are capable of doing this.  As a healer you heal. As a healer you have heals.  Nothing to see here really.

Keeping people from taking damage to begin with.  Disc Priests are the king when it comes to this one aspect of the game.  They can mitigate damage on the fly better then anyone else, but an earth shield is no laughing matter either.

Movement is something that you only control your own but it is a huge aspect of healing.  Some healers have more movement ability then others but when it comes to movement as a part of healing it is more the movement of others that matter.  If they move from the bad stuff your healing job is easier, if not, it is harder.  You, sadly, have no control of other peoples movement.

What sets a Shaman above all other classes when it comes to healing a 5 man dungeon is that their healing tools extend way past healing.

Lets take a quick look of all the little things that a shaman healer can bring to the table in a 5 man that other healers can not.  While they also bring these things to a raid it is often not as noticeable because it is not as needed but when it comes to a 5 man with pug people you know you will never have ideal players that know what they are doing.  That is why the tools that are in the Shamans toolbox brings them to a whole new level when it comes to healing.

Wind Shear:
The single most powerful healing spell in a 5 man dungeon.  It is also something only a Shaman healer can do. If it where this alone it would be enough to make the Shaman the king of the 5 man. But is not a healing spell you say.  Sure it is, it is a huge healing spell, you are just not thinking of things correctly.

Take a spell like Whispers of Hethiss, it does some serious damage.  It could take a good two or three large heals to heal the damage it caused.  If you wind shear it instantly it does no, or limited, damage. 

This saves you mana and the stress of trying to save someone.  By stopping the spell you are stopping someone from getting hit for 50 or 60K worth of damage.  Interrupting that spell is effectively a 60K heal for less then one quarter of the cost of a greater healing wave.  Not to mention, it lowers your threat to boot. 

Just looking at the math of it, a 60K heal (interrupt) for 8% base mana as opposed to a greater healing wave that might, if you get lucky, crit for 50K, for 33% base mana.  Without a doubt, wind shear is your most cost effective heal as a shaman and quite possibly the most cost effective heal in the game over all.

Argue as you might that it is not the healers job to interrupt but you'll have to agree that it is the healers job to keep everyone alive.  If no one else is interrupting, then it is in fact the healers job to interrupt.  My last 3 times healing that boss I am the only one that has ever interrupted that spell because in 5 mans you need to remember most people will be really stupid and I can not heal stupid, but I can do their job for them and make my job easier in the process.

Bind Elemental / Hex:
The second thing that a shaman healer has that no other healer has is the ability to CC on the fly.  They can not CC everything but a large section of things.  Just like interrupting a spell is in effect a heal, CCing is also in effect a heal.

Many pulls there ends up being that stray caster that seems to love the healer.  If the healer has to start spamming heals on themselves, you know things are going to go bad, fast.  A simple 1.5 second cast for 8% base mana can quite possibly take care of your problem.  Better to CC it then try to heal through it or hope that a pug tank will even notice that their healer is being ripped apart.

Sure, it can miss being it requires hit rating but it sure as hell is a better option to try when no one else is doing anything.  That is pure mitigation.  A mob that does no damage means no damage to heal.

Lets just forget that a Shaman can bring a whole slew of buffs to your group and being it is a 5 man it is most likely that some of those buffs will be needed.  There are other totems that have huge uses.

Earthbind Totem: Slow a stray mob giving the person it is following more time to get away and the tank more time to pick it up.  This helps limit the amount you need to heal.

Grounding Totem:  Let it take that next big spell instead of you limiting the amount you need to heal.

Tremor Totem:  Everyone just got feared, not any more, and in some cases this could be the difference between a wipe and survival.

Stoneclaw Totem:  Stray mob after you, let it go after your totem while you get away, again, lowering the amount you need to heal.

Fire Elemental Totem: Burn phase?  Help DPS.  Dead mobs do no damage.

Earth Elemental Totem:  Tank goes down, instant tank to the rescue.  Better then your Mage tanking.

Searing Totem / Magma Totem: Might as well help with adds.  Dead mobs do not damage.

As you see, many totems are in effect, healing totems but helping you have to heal less.

Shocks can play a huge part in making your job as a healer easier. 

Frost Shock:  Shock an add in GB giving DPS more time to get it down by slowing it. 

Earth Shock:  It lowers attack speed, does anyone actively remember that?  It can be very helpful.

Flame Shock:  Followed up by a Nova and you can do AoE too.  The faster mobs go down the less you have to heal after all right?

Ghost Wolf:
You might not think of this as a healing spell either but I have had it save my butt more often then I can count.  Lame tank not getting adds?  Wolf out and bring the adds to him.  You move faster, avoiding damage, thus requiring less healing.  Ghost Wolf can be a healing spell too.

Last but not least... Heroism:
Okay, not a healing spell in any way shape or forum right?  Well, not exactly.  The faster a group gets a mob down the less damage it is alive to do.  If something can go down even 15 seconds faster that is 15 seconds less healing you need to do.  You can use heroism to help your team at times when it is needed or use it to help yourself when you know your mana is starting to run low.

In the world of 5 man dungeons with pug people the Shaman reigns supreme.  They have more tools then any other healer, more control then any other healer, and is made to handle nearly every situation in the game. 

Sure, if you are running with DPS and a tank that can interrupt you do not need to.  If you are running with people that know how to CC you will not need to.  If you are running with people that had decent DPS you would not need to worry about things taking to long to go down.  But you are not running with any of those people, you are in a pug.  If you are a Shaman, at least you can do it all yourself.