Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LFR & New Dungeons: Not a Bad Start

Played on the new patch last night and was able to knock out all three new dungeons and half of the new raid in a total of 4 hours.

Yeap, you read that one right.

Of course, there is a valid reason for the first day going so well and I do not expect to see it continue like that.

I did the dungeons with all guild.  Sure, we get no luck of the draw buff but we get to talk to each other on vent and we can work strategy out and change approaches on the fly like that.  Anything is easier when people can work together like that.

Our guild tank however DCed in the first dungeon so we replaced them.  We ended up with a tank that was okay but not great.  They got us through the first one but I think the only reason they made it was that we where killing things so quick. 

The guild healer was having a hell of a time keeping the tank up, they where kind of squishy.  She even said a few times she did not think she could heal it.  We told her to stick it out and she did and we managed.

We moved directly to the second one, so no valor points from it being it was not a random, but there will always be time for valor later, I wanted to get them all done.  When the tank realized that this was not the same dungeon they dropped group. 

I guess they wanted valor now and where not up just for seeing the new dungeons at the moment.  No big deal really.  Well, almost no big deal, they left mid pull when they noticed, so we wiped.  They could have at least waited until the mobs where down.  Like 20 extra seconds would have really killed them?

The replacement tank was nothing special either.  On one of the trash pulls up to the second boss they died, the healer died and one DPS died leaving me and the mage.  We had one mob almost dead and three more up when it was just us two left but leave it to a mage and a hunter to make that into a "no big deal" situation.  We both have CC and we both know how to play our classes.  We CCed, I turned on my pets growl, and used my glyphed misdirect over and over on my pet and we killed them all.  Now that is what I call fun.

We wiped on the boss.  The tank could not really control the mages.  This is also one of those reasons I love having silencing shot.  I was able to take care of Azshara interrupts and not have to count on someone else to do it.  Sure, I sacrifice some DPS but in the end it really does help sometimes.

We wiped a second time on Azshara and the tank rage quit.  The healer once again started to doubt herself and we told her not to worry, we could do it and she could do it.  We pick up another pug tank and go at it again.

Goes to show you that tanking can sometimes be more then just a meat shield.  The tank held the mobs and never worried about Azshara being I said I got that covered and we downed it nice and easy.  What a difference a tank can make when they do not let mobs go attacking everyone all willy nilly.

That tank stayed with us through that one and the next one and we had no further problems.

Arrow of time dropped, me and the other hunter in the group rolled need on it but neither of us got it.  We where the only people to roll need on it.  Okay, looks like a bug, or looks like we might have moved to the new instance too quickly.  Either way, it is not like I won't be seeing it again hundreds of times.  I'll get it later.

One bug that did annoy me is that I won three BoEs from the new heroics.  All three of them I won with a greed roll, all three are now soulbound.  Excuse me?  Since when are BoEs soulbound even when you win them with a greed roll.  What is the use of a BoE if it is not BoE?  If winning it just makes it soulbound then it is BoP, in my opinion at least.  I am guessing this is just another bug but I do hope they fix it and adjust my already won items so they are no longer soulbound.

After I was done with the three I decided that I would join the raid finder for shits and giggles.  There was one thing I did not count on however.  The minimum item level requirement is 372.  No, I had no problem with that.  I think I was 372 five months ago.  But being I neglected to notice that I also neglected to realize that the only people that would be 372 right now are people that where raiders.  Non raiders would not have a 372 item level or it is unlikely they did unless they spent a butt load of cash on BoEs.

This meant that everyone in the raid was a raider, knew basic raid movements, knew basic raid mechanics seemed to have already learned all the fights the way a real raider would before stepping into a raid.

This meant bosses down and bosses down fast.  I finished my first raid (first four) faster then I finished my first ZA or my first ZG.  Actually, in all honesty, I think the raid in the raid finder was easier then ZA and ZG are even now after we severely over gear them. That might be because of the quality of player that was there.

We did wipe two times but two times in a raid and a raid filled with random people and a raid with no voice communication and a raid where no one explained, they just pulled, is pretty darn awesome.

Goes to show you that if you get 25 actual raiders together and put them in a watered down raid they do not need voice chat and it could be easy.

I do not believe that this will be the results of the raid finder for long.  Right now as I write this there are many really bad player spamming the new heroics getting 378 gear and building up justice points getting more 378 gear and they will have a 372 item level by the time I get home from work.

This means the chances of me getting into groups that do not know what they are doing will go up a lot now.  The only reason the new raid was faceroll was because it was filled with people that "should" be there.  Please, do not take that "should" as being elitist.  The "should" just means people that actually looked at the fights before walking into them and people that did not expect to walk in and get carried to gear.

I still stand by what I always said.  If you need to be told to kill the skull, you do not deserve to be in a raid.  The raid leader skulled the slime he wanted killed, everyone switched instantly without ever even being told.  Raiders do that.  People that "should" be there do that.  After today, and people that just grinded their way up to 372, a whole slew of people that "should not" be there will be there and they will not be switching to the skull.  I am willing to bet you on that.

Maybe I should not be making any bets however.  I've been a little off lately.  When I signed up for the LFR and saw average wait time listed as 30 seconds I laughed and said to people on vent, who wants to bet it takes longer then 30 seconds.  Everyone said they are not taking that bet because there is no way it will only be 30 seconds.  I was wrong, we all where wrong, DPS wait time was indeed 30 seconds.

If I can get raid groups like that and 30 second wait times then I love the new raid finder.  I do not expect it to stay that way for long however.  It sure was nice yesterday, really nice.

Something feels wrong about downing the first four bosses of a raid with no effort on release day.  I could even finished the whole raid in less then 3 hours had it not been getting late and me having to work the next day. 

I know all about seeing content and letting everyone see content and I support that 100%, always have, but this is taking things way to far.  Raid content is supposed to last.  Raid content should not be cleared the first day it comes out in any form, even an easy form, unless you are a hard core raid team.  Raid content, even more so current raid content, should not take less time to complete then the heroics did when cataclysm first came out. 

I know people, many people, that spent more time in deadmines their first time there then it took me to complete half the new raid content and 3 new dungeons.  I could have completeled all the raid content and 3 new dungeons in less them then it took many people to complete deadmines on release day if I did not have work the next day.

As far as patch days go this would have to rank as one of the better patch days I remember.  No server lag, up on time, very few bugs, new content being fluid and not hell or broken.  A lot better then not being able to log on on a Tuesday.

Cataclysm might have been a crappy expansion in my opinion but there is one thing they have greatly improved on this expansion and that is patch day.  Each patch day seems loads better then I remember them being.  I guess something good came out of cataclysm after all.  They finally learned how to release a patch right.

If you had to ask me now I would give the new dungeons and the new raid finder an A+.  Ask me again later when there are people in the raid finder and dungeons that really are not ready to be in them and you will surely see a different answer.

I'll just be happy with last night.  The first time doing dungeons since I quit doing them some months back.  I might actually have to start gearing up some of my alts now.  If things are going to be fun again and if the raid finder is really going to be easy enough that it won't stress me out then I very well might have found something to do to waste 2 hours on instead of sitting around bitching that I have nothing to do in game.

The return of actual content that you could do for fun.  Who would have ever expected that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 Reasons to be Excited about 4.3

10) More than 2 Heroics:

There have been a lot of things I disliked over the years but none more then being stuck doing ZA and ZG 100s of times over and over on my characters.  It almost pushed me to the point of quitting the game.  Putting the top way to gain valor, outside of raiding, into just two dungeons was about as horrible a choice as anything they have ever done in game.

This time we get three new, as in actual new and not stuff we had already done dozens of times before they where dungeons, heroics.  Those three new heroics are grouped with every other heroic and they all give the same valor points.  So we are not forced into doing only those three if we want to max out quickly.

It will keep the heroics fresh longer and will give an actual random element to the random dungeon finder.   Not to mention, getting something like VP will now feel like we hit the random dungeon finder lottery.  Maximum valor points for minimum time investment.

9) New Darkmoon:

Some might love it, some might hate it, some might have no opinion about it.  Either way, it is a nice new little quest hub that does not actively require anyone to do it.  Don't like it?  Don't do it.  Do like it? Then go have some fun with it.  Unlike the molten front where it almost felt like you had to do it this won't.  It is a completely optional questing area.

The new darkmoon stuff seems like it has the potential to be like the argent quest hub.  The type of thing where you will do it because you want to do it and not because you have to do it.  That is much better design then making content people feel they have to do.  People doing things because they want to do them means they are happy to do them.  Happy people are good for business.

8) Mount & Pet Collectors:

For the mount collectors out there it is time to rejoice.  There are new raid mounts if you roll that way.  There are some new darkmoon mounts if you don't mind doing the dailies.  There is the annual pass mount if you signed up for it.  Some new trading card mounts if you are willing to spend some green.  There is also a nice little list of datamined mounts that no one knows where they come from yet.

Could one be a new engineer pattern that has not been datamined yet?  Anything is possible.  One might be a new holiday event mount.  If you happen to be alliance and going for the mount achievement, you will also have two new worgen mounts to add to your collection.

With the petemon coming next expansion I expect to see a lot more pets coming out soon.  Soon is now it seems.  Darkmoon comes with a nice small selection of pets, like the argent quest hub did, so the collectors have something to aim for.

Fishing enthusiasts also get the chance to get lucky and fish up a pet too.  Perhaps you will be one of the people that get it on the first cast or perhaps you will be like a friend of mine that has been trying to catch the turtle for three years and still does not have it even with over 20,000 fish caught in northrend pools.  May the random number generator bless you if you are going for it, but at least while you are fishing you have some new pets to keep you company.

7) Transmogrification:

While it surely is not my style because I mostly don't care this is something that can be a lot of fun for a wide variety of players.  Even someone like myself can get some use out of it.  I will surely go looking for the least obnoxious shoulders I can find to mog into them just to not have to look at the horrible shoulders that seem to get bigger and bigger each tier set.

I also do like the fact that I can now tank while using a big stick.  I might even gather myself up the stromwind guard look for fun if I am bored some day but I won't count on it.

If I can find something to do with it and I really do not care about it can you imagine what people that actually do care must be feeling?  It is like christmas came on November 29th for them this year.

Role players are beside themselves now too with this addition and if there were ever a reason to get into role playing this is it.  Now you can look the part you are supposed to look while still being geared for raiding or PvPing.  For role players this is a quality of life addition.  Something that just makes life easier.

This is also a crafters dream if they can get on the bandwagon soon enough and start making those sets that you know people will want.  Those old greens you use to vendor or disenchant when leveling could fetch 50-100 or maybe even 1000 gold now for the right one from a person that wants to mog into it.

6) Extra Bag Space:

Void storage is something people are connecting with mogging but they do not see that it is actually more, so much more.  It is extra bag space.  There are many of us that collect things and hold on to them.  Not because we want to mog them later, we just kept them because we liked them or because of the memories or because it is something that is not attainable any more.

No more eating up my bank space, all those old removed from the game items I have cluttering up the place can now go somewhere more fitting.  Void storage.  I am not about to throw away my thunderfury, who am I kidding?  But I am also not going to use it and I can not mog a legendary based on the rules.  So instead of it taking up one vital space in my bank it can now collect dust in the closet, also known as void storage.

Holiday clothing?  In the closet. Sentimental item?  In the closet.  Silly trinket with silly effect you might have a use for some day?  In the closet.  Legendary that is no longer useful?  In the closet.  Hunter epic bow?  In the closet.  Scepter of the shifting sands reward weapon?  In the closet.  So many things, will 80 slots be enough?

Some will put all their tier sets there.  Some will put the stuff they collect for fun there.  Some will use it to put things they can not bring themselves to throw away.  All will now have a special place that will no longer eat up their bank space.  A+.  Maybe this will show them that we will gladly pay for extra bag space.  Actually, I am sure a lot of us would have paid much more then the 100 gold they set it at.

5) Bag Search:

Please do not tell me I am the only person that has lost things in their bags.  It might seem like a simple addition but it is a good one.  It is what I would call a quality of life addition.  It adds nothing to game play and it really is not something that was needed.  It is however, something that will be quite nice to have around.  Even more so when you lose something in your bags.

4) Achievements:

With new raids come new achievements.  With new dungeons come new achievements.  With new questing areas come new achievements.  We have all three.  We have more achievements for each one.  Achievement whores rejoice.  Not to mention the pets and mounts, which count toward more achievements.  And don't forget that if you have not achieved 9000 achievement points yet, each achievement you get will get you closer to getting an achievement for getting achievements.  I think using the word achievement that many times in one paragraph should get me an achievement too.

3) Dungeon/Raid Design:

Some might hate it, but I love it.  The idea that battles take place in our world and not in some hole in the side of a mountain all the time is a great step forward in group content design.  I would love to see more dungeons and raids take part "in" the world instead of in some secluded place in the middle of nowheresville.

Maybe this will be a step in the right direction for blizzard when they realize that they can continue to use the world for more then just a wasteland of questing that only low levels go to.  No need to design all new areas all the time.  Spend the time making encounters and just put those encounters in already designed areas. 

2) Looking for Raid

I can write my first post about my first experience in the LFR system without even stepping into it.  Here goes, short version.  Lots of DCs, lots of afkers, lots of bad players, lots of good players, lots of wipes, lots of people dropping after wipes, lots of different opinions, lots of insults, lots of rage quits, lots of nerd rages, lots of everything except bosses going down.

Why is that a reason to be excited?  I am the grumpy elf, this is going to be food for writing for a long time to come.  I am going to have to pace myself with all the things I will be left wanting to be grumpy about or I might end up having more posts on it then I have bosses down.

I also believe (or should I say hope) that in time they will balance it better around the below average players so it can become the perfect way to gear up an alt or to waste 30 or 40 minutes when I have nothing to do.  Perhaps in time it might actually get to the point where you will start downing things in a reasonable amount of effort.

I figure it will be like the zuls when they first came out.  Most groups will wipe over and over and suck and after a few weeks it will get to the point that about 70% of the groups will down everything with little or no problem.

Being there are 25 people however I don't think the odds will ever reach zul level but I can see a 50% chance of success rate and that just very will might mean the LFR can be a success.  If it can attain a 50% success rate on bosses after a month or so I will crown it a huge success.  A huge success because I do not believe, my own opinion of course, that there will ever be even as high as a 10% success rate.

There is one other little thing I've heard no one mention about the looking for raid that I am sure someone in the head office at blizzard had to say in a meeting once.  This is going to be one hell of a gold sink.  I agree, expect 25 people to be playing hundreds per day in repairs.  Gold sink?  This could bleed many players dry, and fast.

And now for the number one reason to be excited about 4.3...

Drum roll please...

1) Cataclysm is Over:

The release of 4.3 means that cataclysm is over.

Love it or hate it, 4.3 tells us that new is coming soon.  New is good no matter what your opinion of cataclysm is.  We all like new, we all wish we had new more often.

Deathwing took bigger chunks out of the subscriber base than he did out of azeroth and this patch will be his death.   After that they will release a new expansion to "mop" up the mess left behind by the jay leno of warcraft villains and I am sure we will all find things to complain about then too but for today, we have a reason to be happy.  4.3 is out and deathwing will soon be dead.

We can just enjoy knowing that this expansion is over.  That is the #1 reason to be excited about this patch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Redesign Raids

This patch I have raided with a wide variety of players from my guild.  From first time raiders to raiders that have been doing it since vanilla.  From people that you never need to explain things to to people that you need to explain the same fight to each week because they keep forgetting.  From people with lightning reaction speed to those you hope do not get targeted because they take forever to react.

I guess that is part of being in a casual guild.  We have all types and we let all types play.

It is with this experience that I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot more wrong with raids then just labeling it as simply as "it is too easy" or "it is too hard".

The true fact of the matter is that raiding is too easy and too hard.

Which one is just based on your personal raiding experience.  For me I think it is just right.  I have some raiding experience, not vast amounts, but I am surely no rookie either.  Raids, as they are now, seem to be designed for me and people like me, what I like the call the average player.

Blizzard is adding the LFR to try to introduce an easier raiding experience for the lesser experienced players but I don't think it will work.  It will suffer the same problem as the LFD does and it does not actively address the problem with raiding.

If you are one of those "raiding is too easy" people this makes it easier.

If you are one of those "raiding is too hard" people you have not seen hard until you try to do a raid with 24 other people that have no way to communicate and no desire to work together.

The problem is that the player base is not on the same level.  We are all individuals.  I think raiding is just fine.  Some think it is hard.  Some think it is easy.

Blizzard also seems to have forgotten that not everyone has been playing since vanilla.  They design each raid as if the person playing has done the raid before it and needs something that is more of a challenge. 

This makes entry level raiding a little more difficult for people that never did a raid before. Try explaining all of the council abilities of the elemental monstrosity to someone that never raided before and you can feel yourself talking to the proverbial brick wall.  I can see the deer in headlights look on their characters face even, it is that telling.

Stay out of the fire type mechanics are old school.  There is so much more going on that stay out of the fire goes unsaid, it is assumed that everyone knows that.  You know what they say about people that assume right?  And what about fights like monstrosity of hodir where stepping in the fire is a good thing sometimes?  Can you see the splatter on the wall of the new raiders head exploding from that little tidbit of information?

I think the best way to cater to all classes of player, new and old, skilled and not, is to start all raids at the beginning.

Develop every raid as if it is the first raid ever.  Make all raids have some actual content to them, 15 or 16 bosses.  They can easily be nondescript big baddies just to fill the space.  We are used to that.

How it would be done is the first boss of every raid would be simple tank and spank with one simple mechanic.  Stay out of the fire.  Or move when the ground starts to rumbles under you.  Or stop casting when he yells.  You know, simple mechanics but just one of them.

The second and third bosses might add another little twist.  We will have fire and something that needs to be interrupted.  Or something that requires everyone to stack and then spread back out.

Forth boss would start to teach about phases.  Have them act one way until 75% health then another way until 50% and then back to the first way until 25% and back to the second way for the last bit.  All while throwing in two different two sets of mechanics at the people, one for each phase.

Fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth bosses will fill out the basics of the learning process.  Fifth will go back to tank and spank, but introducing the enrage timer. Sixth shows the enrage timers with two or three mechanics.  Seventh has three phases, all with different abilities and mechanics.  Eighth boss will throw everything the beginner needs to know all together.  Four phases, each with different mechanics.  Stack up and spread out things, while staying out of the fire. An enrage timer and introducing... adds.

Ninth fight could be a council style fight (with multiple enemies) or a machine type of fight (like FL or even alys where people have to fly through the air).  Something that introduces something different or a unique challenge.

Tenth fight is where things start to get a little harder, sort of where the level of raiding is now or a tiny bit harder.  More phases, adds and kill orders, all along with the standard basic mechanics which even a new raider has learned a large majority of from the earlier bosses.

The eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth would all be increasingly complex with higher requirements from tanks, healers and damage dealers, all while doing a mix of mechanics in various phases and transition phases.

Fourteenth fight will be gimmick time.  Every raid needs to have one of them.  Something that is completely new as far as a mechanics go along with the normal array of mechanics.

Fifteenth fight will be complex.  Various phases and transitions just like LK or Rag or basically any well designed last boss should be.  Something epic in the true sense of what an end fight of any raid should be.

But wait, there is more, there is a 16th boss.

The 16th boss has a two hour timer that starts the second you open a door after the 15th boss goes down.  You only have 2 hours to beat him and he makes the 15th boss look like the 1st boss.  He will throw every mechanic at you like they are going out of style. 

His mechanics will also be randomized so deadly boss mods will not help you here.  You need to be the best of the best when it comes to raiding to react.  Will he cast the "stack up or your dead" thing now or will he cast the "be at least 7 yards apart of you're dead" thing? 

This boss will require thinking on your feet, it will require everyone to do their job about as perfect as perfect can be. A world first for this boss will be bragging rights for a long time because if .1% of the player base ever downs him it will be a lot. 

This boss is for hard core only.  Seriously hard core.  It will have no loot, it will have no story line tied to it, it will be purely for bragging rights only.  But it will come with a title because if you are going to brag you need something to brag with right?

The basic idea of this design is that it starts slow and easy and ends hard and challenging.  It gives something for everyone.  Hard core players will mow through the first 10 bosses like a fat kid though his birthday cake but they will be rewarded for doing that by having some real challenge later, a challenge worthy of the best players in the world.  Average players like myself will also go through the first bosses easily and have fun in the 8-14 range before we get to bang our heads on #15 for a while and even when we down it #16 is most likely something we will never beat.  The part time players and the bad players, if you wish to call them that, can still pug and maybe be able to go four deep, maybe even 8 or 10 if people carry them.

Everyone gets in, everyone gets their own level of challenge, everyone is in the same raid.  No "easy" looking for raid version, no "hard" heroic version.  Everything is in one nice package for everyone to experience and the best part is, the learning starts at the beginning for everyone, so if you never stepped into a raid you can learn as you go and if you have been raiding a long time, you just got yourself some nice easy loot.

If they ever want to introduce hard modes again, do it like in Ulduar.  Let them be activated in the same raid everyone raids in.  Nothing better then having fun rolling on who is going to press the "do not press" button on firefighter attempts.  Now that... is how raiding is should be.

Raids can be made bigger and more inclusive without what some call "catering to the bads".  It can be done by teaching people as they progress through the bosses so that even someone new to the game gets a chance to learn as they go. 

In the end they will still have their 7 boss raids like they are doing now but those 7 will be harder and the ones leading up to those 7 will teach people that are new how to better handle those 7, should they ever make it there.

Easier raiding and harder raiding.  All in one raid.  That is what I think raids need to be redesigned into.

Monday Random Thoughts

- The baby hunter is growing up fast.  84 Now.

- It would be 85 but I decided to waste about 2 hours of my life trying to complete a quest that could not be completed due to a bug.

- Spoke to two GMs while putting in tickets about it.

- Proved that both GMs are totally useless.

- It is a known issue but they will do nothing to help you with it.

- Auto complete the quest, done, thanks.

- Nope, they can not do that.

- See, useless.

- Got the standard delete the WTF, disable addons, etc.

- I did all that stuff before I even put in a ticket. 

- If there was an easy fix I would have fixed it myself.

- Then again, not all GMs are useless.

- Did a run the other night with new people.

- It was harsh, real harsh, did not even down shan.

- But one core hound never despawned.

- Enter ticket, receive loot.

- Thanks GM.  Two epics on one dog.

- How many times have you killed something and it did not despawn after a little?

- Should have put in a ticket, that means there was an epic there.

- I know that because that is how I always used to do my baron mount runs.

- I would run through slaughtering everything but looting nothing.

- On the way out, I looted only the bodies that did not despawn yet and collected all the epics.

- Any mob that has epic loot on it will not despawn for at least two hours if it is not looted.

- Rares have a shorter time if not looted, not sure of the exact number.

- Uncommons will despawn at the same rate as mobs that have nothing special on them it seems.

- Don't quote me on that last one, it just seems that way to me.

- Now I can see why they are lowering the leveling speed in outlands and northrend.

- It used to be that the journey to outlands seemed to take forever and once you got there leveling sped up like lightning.

- Now, with the blink and you miss it leveling 1-58 in the old world, once you get to outlands leveling slows to a snails pace in comparison.

- Outlands and northrend are still quick, but not compared to the super speed they made leveling in the redesigned old world.

- I did 1-58 in less then 20 hours play time.

- I don't think they should lower outlands and northrend to fix this problem.

- I think they should increase the time spent in the old world.

- If you remove the time I spent leveling professions and bouncing around doing the holiday stuff I think that 1-58 took actually less then 16 hours.

- As someone that has so many alts that I can't even count them any more that is fine.

- As someone that has leveled every class in the game to max level that is no problem really.

- I worry about the spill over effects for new people, or older people leveling a class for the first time.

- Leveling so quickly gives them no time to get comfortable with the class.

- It gives no time to learn your tools.

- I guess I just have to accept the fact that leveling is no longer a quality part of the game.

- Leveling used to be part of the experience.  It is just a means to an end now.

- Eh, I'll live.

- But if leveling is only a means to an end now I have to change my stance on it.

- I want it even faster.

- If they are not going to make it fun, then please don't even make me do it at all.

- Speaking of fun, why was that quest in Uldum where you roll over Gnomes with the glowing ball never made into a daily?

- When it comes to fun quests this expansion, that one really has to take the cake.

- Even if it was not your favorite quest I can bet it was top 10 on everyone's favorite quest list for this expansion.

- Who would not like hearing all those gnomes scream?

- It is great.

- And the thump, thump, thump, sound when one of them gets caught on the ball.

- Priceless.

- We need more dailies like this and less dailies like kill 10 soldiers of some army we do not even know the name of or care about because they are no real threat anyway.

- They need to remember, this is a game, it is supposed to be fun.

- Killing 1000 gnomes with a giant flaming ball of death is fun.

- Well, for me it is at least.

- I am sure the gnomes are not all that happy about it.

- Had a few new people in the raid the other night that we did not even down shan on.

- One is really going to be a problem.

- He is gung ho, he is excited, he is willing, he has all the emotional desire you could offer.

- He just doesn't get it.

- He died standing in traps almost every single pull.

- The times he lived long enough to last after rage was down he went on rip, not shan, because he wanted to help.

- It was explained.  Move from traps, rage then shan, never touch rip.

- He still died to traps, he still switched to rip, every single time.

- We finally broke him out of the habit.  He started lasting longer around traps and stopped attacking rip.

- But now he would not move from being so far back he kept getting hit with the flame ring.

- Stand near the boss.

- Dies to flame ring.

- If you stand here you will die to the flame ring, stand near the boss.

- Dies to flame ring.


- This is why people get called bad players.

- It is not a matter of having a problem understanding mechanics, everyone learns at their own pace.

- It is a matter of someone saying MOVE, directly at them, with their name, and they do not move.

- Over and over, not just once.

- That is why people get called bad players.

- The wipes where not all his fault, it was standard learning on the part of a few people.

- Once they all learned and he was still standing in traps, it got frustrating.

- So we gave up for the night.

- What is the saying?  Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

- Something like that at least.

- We came back a couple of days later and he did it again.

- First attempt, died in a trap.

- Second attempt, died being to close to the fire ring.

- Third attempt, he finally started to get better.

- We finally downed it.

- You know something?

- There is something really satisfying getting a boss down that we had on farm for such a long time for the first time with people that are not exactly "ready for prime time players".

- And we did it with a shadow priest healing with the few spirit pieces they had.  A rogue that is actually a DK and not even half geared from heroics.  A tank that has only ever tanked trash another tank that joined the guild two weeks earlier and a druid healer that joined the guild two hours earlier and had never been there.

- It was kind of fun.

- Unlike the one guild member we had that was saying we all suck for wiping on such an easy boss.

- He mostly rolls on his horde chars now and is friends with the person that nerd rage quit, so he was just being an asshole.

- Some people forget what it was like the first time they stepped into a fight.

- Everyone wipes when learning.

- If you can't remember that and respect others that are just learning you are either a jerk or an asshole.

- A jerk is someone that does not remember and thinks because they know it everyone should.

- An asshole is someone that likes insulting others because it makes them feel better.

- It was fun to share in the joy with people that downed a boss for the first time.

- While I do agree it should not have taken as long to do and some of them are really not very good players, we still did it, and that is the most important thing.

- About that new druid healer.

- They spoke on vent and I am not entirely sure if it is a little boy or a girl.

- Ever hear someone talk on vent and have no clue?

- Not like it makes a difference.

- I just don't want to say "he will be healing the raid" when it is a she, or vice versa.

- I think I will just stick with "the druid" until I figure it out.

- Or I can call them the sex of the character.

- I've do that often.

- I refer my my own characters like that too.

- Something like, my shaman has 45 orbs, she has such great luck when in randoms.

- Not, I have luck on her, or I have luck, nope, she has luck.

- All my alts are individuals, they are themselves, I just pull the strings.

- Do you think the patch with hit tomorrow?

- I hope so.

- Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guild Loot Drama

One of the best parts of being in a casual guild that is mostly an adults only guild is that there is usually no loot drama.  Unlike kids most adults are reasonable when it comes to loot.  What I don't get today I will get next week.  That is the way most adults think of things.  Not all mind you, but most.

Our guild has some very simple loot rules, as most casual guilds do.  One main spec win per boss, two main spec wins per raid unless no one else can use the item main spec then you could have more, and if something is a much bigger upgrade for someone else the officers have the right to assign it to someone more needing.

The third rule has never been used.  Usually you just mention that it will be a huge upgrade for someone else and the person passes it without even needing to be asked.  Another beautiful thing about being in a casual guild filled with adults.

That rule was put in place if it ever came down to something like someone wanting a side grade, 10 more crit and 10 less haste, even if it is an upgrade, over someone that was wearing something 26 item levels lower.  We have never had to use it, but that is why the rule exists.  Our members are smart enough to know that a side grade for them, even if it is an upgrade, is not more important then a real upgrade for someone else.

So where did the loot drama come from?

Someone that was not even in the raid at all.  This is the main reason it bothers me.  I am not the guild leader so I left it be but if I where the guild leader the offender would have been guild kicked so hard he would land on another server.

If other people left because they agreed with him, then I say good riddance, we do not need people like that in our guild.  Everyone is replaceable, even me as the raid leader is replaceable.  I have no problems waving goodbye to anyone that causes problems.

As I am the raid leader however I can handle it from my standpoint.  Mr trouble maker will no longer be invited to any raids I assemble.  I have no patience for trouble makers.

First the story of what happened, then what he did.

We downed Domo and the warrior, shaman, hunter shoulder token dropped.  I don't think I have seen one drop this expansion.  Might have been one in T11 but I do not recall.  I know none have dropped in T12.

Everyone in the raid had at least 359 or better shoulders except for three people.  Me (hunter), another hunter and the shaman.  See, no warrior, shaman, hunter tokens drop this expansion, that is why we all need the token.  All three of us where in heroic shoulders.  Oh joy.

The hungerer also dropped.  The rogue already has it so me, the other hunter and the feral druid all rolled on it.  The other hunter won it.

The shaman and I rolled on the shoulder token and I won.

I offered the other hunter the option of the shoulder or the trinket.  He knew of the one item per boss rule and I felt I would give him the choice.  Either one would be an upgrade for me so I really did not care.  I also did this in public, so everyone knew.  We do have rules regarding trades or passes so letting everyone know the offer was required.

He decided to keep the trinket.  Same thing I would have done really.  Trinkets are harder to come by but shoulders we will be replacing (or getting if you do not have a 378) in the new heroics next week.  So he made a good decision.

Any other loot is not part of the equation so no need to mention it.

After the raid was over, we did not get rag down of course being we only had one attempt at him being the raid time was done, most people headed off.

I went to turn in my token, threw my agility gem in it and got my enchant and headed off happy to have my four piece set, even if it will only last for one week.

The next day I got a text from the shaman telling me about someone complaining that I should have never gotten that piece and that I should have passed it to her.  He even "backed up" his reasoning for that by pointing on the loot rules that are on the guild web site that state it should be given to someone that needs it more.

He apparently complained about it so much after I left he even convinced other people I was wrong for taking it.  This is why I now say he deserves a guild kick and a hard one at that.

1) It had nothing to do with him, he was not even in the raid.
2) Quoting rules from the guild site and being wrong while quoting them is bad.
3) Trying to create an issue where there was none is not good for the guild.

What it comes down to is the fact that he is a 16 year old boy and the shaman in question is a female.  So you know how all 16 year old boys think.  Come to her defense and maybe he can woo her.  Silly, I know, but he is a kid, what do you expect.

If he ever decides to run his own guild or raids he is welcome to institute the everyone pass to the one that has breasts rule, but we do not roll that way in my guild.  Everyone is an equal.  We do not give loot to someone just because they are female.  Another reason why adult guilds are better.  16 year old boys tend to think with the wrong head most of the time.

There was one little problem with what he did however.  He did not know the connection between the shaman and myself.  I make extreme efforts to never show any favoritism what so ever so no one that did not already know would ever know at all.

I've been friends with the shaman for a long time.  We are not talking in WoW here.  Her and I have been friends for years before I started WoW.  We do the whole phone thing, going for coffee thing, you get the idea.  Our friendship is not from the game, it just happens to carry into it.

So needless to say, she told me everything he said.  If anything proves I do not give any favoritism that sure as hell does.  So much so that he had no clue who he was talking to because I've never treated her any different from anyone else in the guild to make it appear as if I even knew her outside of game.

It is him trying to create trouble that bothers me most.  That is what I dislike.  He is trying to make drama where there is none and that is what can rip guilds apart.  People like him are poison to guilds.

After talking to her I started to think of a list of reasons that would shoot him down.  I have not said them to him but I thought I would share them here with you, the people that willingly listen to me ramble for some strange reason.

Let me point out, all I really need to say is reason one.  Any argument he has was lost after that one alone. The others just popped to mind to point out how amazingly wrong he was to complain.

1) I won the role.
2) I had not won anything this run, so the 2 per raid limit does not apply.
3) We both had equal shoulders, so it was not a "bigger upgrade" for her.
4) If applying the "bigger upgrade" theory, it got me the 4 piece set, it would have been #3 for her.
5) Applying the what is best for the guild idea, we heal things just fine.  If anything we are over healing rag with three healers.  We need more DPS.
6) I never roll when I am on an alt at all.  My warrior, my priest, my shaman, my druid, my paladin, have all been in firelands.  None of them have ever rolled on one piece of boss loot.  I always pass to others being these are not my mains.
7) I've only missed one raid in two years, she has a 60% attendance rate.
8) If we ever decided to two heal rag, she would be the one healer sitting out and she knows that.
9) She would have offered me the piece even if she won it because in her own words, you are here more than I am and will get more use out of it.

She even said that to him.  She told him that it would be put to better use for me.  She pointed out a lot of the things I said like her attendance and he would not give it up.  He kept pushing about it about how I was wrong about how it was bad for the guild that I "take things for myself" that other people need.

Mind you, I do not consider it taking things for myself.  It is only the second piece of gear that I have even rolled on in firelands that was not from trash on any of my characters.  I usually let everyone else gear up first.  If I ever saw the BoE polearm I would roll on that but I have never seen it drop.

He said to her that I decide who gets gear because of something I said last week when we were on Domo.  Someone had to leave so we bought him in as a fill in and I told him that if the polearm drops he can not roll on it, it is going to our feral druid.

Since firelands came out we, as a guild, have agreed that any of the BoE polearms that drop the feral druid would not roll on and if the one from Domo dropped no hunters would roll on it.  I am sure many guilds did the same thing.  It is fair and it is a well known decision the guild is aware of because of the added bonus that the polearm has for druids.  Just our luck we have never seen either of the two drop.

I am guessing this is where his opinion that I decided who gets loot comes from.  Because we invited him into a fight and I told him that our druid would get the polearm.  In my opinion, if that is his reasoning then he is an immature, selfish, trouble making, useless team member.

I was considering telling the guild leader, who I am sure will read this, that they either kick them from the guild or I leave.  That is a harsh response to things and I will not actually go that far but that does show you how strongly I fell about it.

I will however make it well known, should the event ever come up, that I will not team with him.  He will never get an invite to any raid I assemble and when we do our other teams if he is in the raid they will need to find another tank or healer to fill the hole because I will not be in the same raid with him.

If he asks me why, which I am hoping he will, I will tell him everything I posted here.  I will explain that I do not like people that start trouble for the sake of starting trouble.

I will explain that I play the game for fun and it is not fun to have to worry that some immature person is most likely going to cry over someone winning a roll over him or even worse, cry over rolls that do not even involve him.  Bitch about your bad luck with rolls, complain about your bad luck with rolls, but never start a problem about it because you think one person "deserves" it more then another. 

Sure, some people do deserve it more then others.  In T11 we had a new druid healer gearing up that we got a few nice pieces for right off the bat and she has never raided with us since even though she is still in guild.  I did not think she deserved them back then but she won the roll and that means she won.  My opinion of if she deserved it or not is irrelevant.  This is a casual guild, everyone that helps kill the boss deserves anything they win the roll on.  It is as simple as that.

If we where a hard core raiding guild then you can start talking about who "deserves" gear.  I can assure you that no hard core raiding guild on the face of the earth would say that a player with a low attendance rate and a connection so bad they can not even run addons "deserves" it more than someone with a near perfect attendance rate and a rock solid connection most of the time.

I'll give her all the due respect she deserves however.  She is an amazing healer.  She heals all that stuff with absolutely no add ons with a low frame rate and still manages to stay competitive and avoid mechanics.  I know she spends a lot of time memorizing the fights on you tube because as she says, she needs to react as well as if she has DBMs without actually having it so she has to study it to make sure she does. 

I don't think I could do what she does, raid reaction sure, but healing without a healing addon?  I am spoiled, I don't think I could do that, maybe with mouse overs but she does not even use those.  She heals old school vanilla type healing.  She is an outstanding healer, I can only imagine how good she would be with a good connection and a decent computer.  So credit where credit is due.  But that does not means she deserves something more then someone that won the roll for it.

Again, the thing that gets to me the most about this is that he is trying to create problems where there are none and he is actually swaying people into agreeing with him because he will not give it up.  I don't like trouble makers and I would love to see him gone.

He is just lucky I am not a jerk or I would have kicked him already without even consulting anyone.  I am a fair person, about as fair a person you will ever meet in game.  So I did not kick him even if he deserved it.

What are your opinions?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What is "Bad"?

The term bad player gets thrown around left and right and usually it all comes down to the person that is saying it and where they are in the standings.

If someone is less advanced, they are bad.

That seems to be the common thought in the game.  Anyone that is not at least at the same level of ability or progression is a bad player.

I am not sure how many people will agree with me here but I don't follow that school of thought.  In many cases it might very well be true but it isn't always.  Bad players come in many shapes and sizes and they can have excellent ability or end game heroic level progression too.

Just because they accomplished something doesn't make a player good and just because they didn't doesn't make a player bad.

Over the weekend I was listening to some guild mates on vent that where running some heroics being two of them had just hit 85 that day and the concept of what is bad came up because of how someone was acting. 

Admittedly I might have been a little harsh on the guy and it did bring on some vent silence for a good 20 minutes after I went off on him but I stand by my words.

They where on the last boss of VP and they had a pug tank that was getting caught in the static cling as where all three DPS.  One of the just hit 85 people was the healer, so needless to say, it was quite taxing on this fresh healer to have to dispel everyone.

I said to the other new 85, who tanks and heals for the guild, that he needs to jump for the static cling, the least he can do is try to help the healer out.  His response was, when I heal I just dispel it, whats the big deal?

That is when I went off on him.  I said the big deal is that it means you are a bad player.  Bad players think it is someone else's job to take of care of something they can easily take care of themselves.  If jumping makes the healers life easier, then it is something a good player does.

There is no difference between standing in fire thinking the healer can just heal you and not jumping thinking the healer can just dispel you.  If someone stands in the fire and does not move that means they are a bad player right?  Well if you are not jumping and get caught that makes you a bad player too.

He immediately jumped on the "but it will hurt my DPS" and "I am top DPS and I should be concentrating on doing damage and not jumping" bandwagon that seems to infect the whole DPS community and gives the good damage dealers a bad name.

I continued on him with the fact that if jumping really disrupted his DPS that much then he needs to work on his DPS.  A good damage dealer will put out top notch damage and jump at the same time. 

I explained, that is what heroics are for, so he can learn to do mechanics and DPS at the same time.  I also pointed out that he was with a guild mate that barely has the item level to make it into there to heal, he knows better, he can not assume that every healer he runs into will be so over geared that they dispel everyone all the time without having any mana issues.

Basically the gist was I called him out as being a bad player.  He is a great tank and a great healer, but as a damage dealer, he is a bad player.  Plain and simple.

I even said that.  I said, anyone that does not jump is a bad player.  Sure, you can get caught once it a while, it happens to everyone, but if you do not even try you are a bad player.

That is when silence fell on vent.  Nothing was said for a while.

I am guessing that they where whispering back and forth, might have even had some bad words to say about me but I don't care.  I was right.  They can argue it any way they want but there is no excuse for ever getting caught in the static cling and not even trying to avoid it after you know about the mechanic unless you are a bad player.

See, the key word there is try.  Bad players don't try.  That is what makes them bad.

They don't try to avoid mechanics.
They don't try to get the best gear.
They don't try to gem their gear correctly.
They don't try to even gem it at all.
They don't try to enchant their gear correctly.
They don't try to even enchant it at all.
They don't try to reforge their gear correctly.
They don't try to even reforge it at all.
They don't try to master their role.
They don't try to make adjustments after failure.
They don't try to get better next time after success.
They don't try...

I can go on and on but my point was made.  Bad players do not try.

They could have worse gear or better gear.  They could have more progression or less.  None of that matters to me when I judge a player.  I judge a player on their actions and the people that try are not bad players.  I call those people learning players, the ones that do try and are not doing well.  The people that don't try are bad players no matter what they might think.

I can forgive a lot but one thing I can never forgive is someone that does not even care to try.

The rogue that shows up in a random with no poisons and says, no worries, I will just do the dungeon without them because I don't fell like going to get some.  That is a bad player.

It isn't always about the person themselves either that makes a player a good player or a bad player.  But it still involves to word try.

If you are a tank and see an under geared healer you can try to make their life easier.  You can use cooldowns more often even if you have gotten used to not using cooldowns in randoms any more.  You can try to mark for CC knowing that will make the healers life easier.  There are many things a tank can try to do to make a healer life easier.  If they do not try to do that, they are a bad player.

They might be the greatest tank in the world.  Realm first for everything they have ever done.  If they do not try to do the job right, they are a bad player.

Trivial content some might say but I must point out that the only time it is trivial content is when everyone is geared, good, and tries to do things right.  It is not trivial because it is easy, it is trivial because people try to do it right.  If you are with bad players there is no such thing as trivial content.

Then end result is, anyone that does try is someone that has potential.  They might not be a good player right now but as long as they keep trying they have the potential to be a good player.  If they are trying, that also means they are not a bad player.  Bad players do not try.

After my rant they downed the last boss of VP after having wiped on it four times before.  The guild DPS jumped this time.  As did the other DPS and the tank.  They said something in party chat apparently being everyone jumped.

When someone finally decided to speak up on vent again later they said, that fight was much easier when everyone jumped.

I said, every fight is so much easier when people try to do it right.

What is bad?

You might have your own definition but to me a truly bad player is a player that does not even try.

Everyone else is either "learning" or good.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Random Thoughts

- Can you believe that 378 BoEs are still selling for 25K-35K on some servers?

- In a week or so you can get 378s from heroics and better from VP, LFR and raids, why spend that much?

- I always say, blizzard can use the auction house to hunt down gold buyers.

- Anyone that will spend 35K on something they will be replacing with a drop from a random heroic in a week is a gold buyer.

- Or not so bright.

- You know the type, random dungeon finder, 370 item level, 4K DPS.

- Either way they should be banned from the game.

- Okay, maybe that is a bit harsh.

- On the gold buyer, the 4K guy needs to go.

- Just kidding.  If blizzard banned all the bad players my server would be nearly empty.

- Some servers the BoEs are in the 5K-10K range.

- To me that seems more reasonable.

- Embers are still 4K on my main server.

- They are around 500 on two of my other servers.

- Makes sense because progression on my server sucks.

- We just got the realm first on my server.

- For T11 stuff.

- Nope, not kidding.

- By "we" I don't mean my guild.

- We could have, meaning us, but we had no idea no one ever finished T11 on heroic on my server so we never tried, we just moved to firelands.

- If I had known we would have knocked out some realm first stuff.

- Or at least tried.

- If the number one guild on my server could not get realm first for T11 content until T12 was over what makes me think my guild could have done it.

- I am guessing we will get realm first Rag about the second week of MoP maybe.

- Not really, T12 is leaps and bounds easier then T11 was.

- Even at 6/7 heroic I don't see anyone doing rag until they are all in dragon soul gear.

- For such an easy fight it is hard to get people to do it correctly.

- This is why I hate fights with too many mechanics.

- I have no problem wiping 100 times while trying to down a boss.

- I do have problems when there are so many mechanics that one mistake from anyone means a wipe.

- Wish they would change back to the three or four big mechanics and healing, tanking and DPS requirements designing.

- Much easier to teach with only three mechanics per fight.

- Much easier to pug.

- Put the weight on the shoulders of the players to "play correctly" by giving more healing, tanking and DPS requirements.

- Take the weight off peoples shoulders if they have lag, a slow computer, less then ideal reaction speeds or a bad memory for patterns.

- Nothing is more stressful then knowing that everything will happen in a pattern and trying to explain it to people that just can not get it no matter how much you explain.

- Had a new crew last night in firelands for an alt run and one was a new player that had never raided with us before.  On gatekeeper we assigned him to crystals, explained it in excruciating details.   He never moved, caused three wipes.

- I gave up, this is farm stuff, even on alts.  I can accept some wipes to new people learning.  I can not accept wipes to people not learning.

- I gave the job to a hunter that knew the pattern.  Sure, we lost a tiny bit of DPS here and there, but we downed it.  All because he knew the pattern.

- Pattern designed encounters are hard to teach and even harder for people that "just don't get it".

- Like the first boss in ZG.  The poison is always in a pattern.  It is always the same pattern.  Once you die from it you should know the pattern.

- You know how many times I wiped 4 or 5 times on that in pugs and there was a mage that had 4 or 5 stacks of his bones on the exact same space.

- Dude, it is a pattern.  If it went under your feet once there, it will always be there.  Move.

- If ever I rage quit a dungeon or raid it will be because of stuff like that.

- I can see learning a DPS rotation.  I can see learning to heal.  I can see learning to tank.  I can see doing your role poorly and getting better at doing it.  That is fine, that is how you learn, that is how you get better.

- I can not see how anyone can die to the same freaking mechanic over and over and over.

- This is why mechanic fights suck.

- They are just too frustrating.

- My baby hunter just made it to outlands.

- If you blinked you missed the old world.

- Seriously, my skills all fell way behind because I was leveling so much faster then they were.

- Except for skinning.  I ended with outlands level of skinning, 375, in the old world.

- Surprising that they give skill ups that far in the old world.

- It used to be that you wanted to get to outlands/northrend because leveling sped up then.

- Now when you get there leveling slows down.

- Can't believe they are lowering northrends experience required again.

- Northrend, even originally, was the best designed leveling experience ever.

- Great involved storyline.  Quest hubs and not completely linear.  Choices on where to level next.  Sometimes challenging quests.

- Questing is a repetitive thing to begin with but with northrend it never felt like "more of the same", even after bringing 20 players through there.

- If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

- They are fixing it anyway.

- Sad really.

- I used to joke that I had a pattern to leveling so down pat that I could tell you on what quest I would hit 80.

- Two characters in a row I hit 80 on the same quest, and two others after them I got it within three quests of that quest.

- How is that for having a perfect pattern?

- I found it kind of humorous.

- I've been having so much fun leveling my hunter that I am considering doing another right after.

- With the changes to how their abilities work I can do things I could not do before.

- Best one is kiting 10 mobs at a time.

- The joys of a multi shot that hits everything instead of just three things.

- If only fox and misdirect where around at low levels too then hunters would be even more amazing.

- I love that I can move constantly and kill.

- Is there a way to have all loot just automatically picked up?

- That would rock.

- Or at least have something like Rift where it loots everything as one big loot.

- I never pass up loot.  Loot is free gold just laying on the ground.

- I guess there is something to be said about killing a massive amount of mobs and then spending a few minutes looting that mound of dead flesh for goodies.

- I am not an adventurer... I am a zombie.

- At least I feel like that leveling sometimes.

- Have a great day all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Stages of the Difficulty Scale

To each and every person in the game their definition of difficulty is different.  Everyone has their own line they draw on what difficulty really is.

As I see it there are five degrees of difficulty ranging from least to most and I have my own names for them.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

That is the balance of difficulty as I see it.

Everyone starts everything dead center.  The factors of what they are doing, their personal likes and dislikes, experience, skill and desire then swings the pendulum one way or another.

Everything is a challenge to start off with, so all tasks start dead center.  Even crossing the street the first time was a challenge as a child no matter how ridiculous you might think the notion of crossing the street as being challenging might appear to you now.

Things can be challenging and fun, things can be challenging and hard but things can not be hard and fun.  If it is hard and it is fun, then it is just challenging and that is the perfect balance right there.  That is why there is something separating hard and fun because you can not be both at the same time without being something completely different.

Any one thing can hold various levels on the difficulty depending on the previous things I mentioned.

All reputation grinds start at challenging.  The challenge is to get to max reputation.  It remains challenging until you start to enter your personal factors.

Do you like to do it?
How much time is involved?
Can you do it alone?
Does your class have anything that helps you with it?
Does your class have anything that hurts you with it?
How much do you want to do it?


Questions like that then start to swing the pendulum of difficulty.

So while the reputation grind might have its own degree of difficulty once you start it based on your personal perspective you must remember that it can still change.  Once you finish something, no matter what the difficulty for you was, it becomes boring because there is no longer a reason to do it at all. Once the reason for doing something is gone, the difficulty, no matter what it was before, falls to boring.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

For me most reputation grinds are easy to fit into the pendulum without much thought.  For example some BC reps I found to be "fun" on the difficulty level.  Grinding mobs that have a fair respawn rate, are not to hard to beat, and have a decent drop rate of what I am looking for is fun.  It gives me a goal to aim for and it is something I can do without much thought, hence why I find them fun.

It was also fun for me because I could do more than one thing at a time.  I could gather cloth, for alts or making bags or selling outright.  I get items to disenchant which could be turned into enchants to be sold.  Even the grey items sold for a nice amount as well.  There were usually vendors and mailboxes close by to every grind point as well.  Adding all this up, grinding reps in BC was fun.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

Grinding junk boxes for rep however goes beyond hard on the difficulty scale for me all the way to frustrating.  It is not that it is actually harder than "hard" to do because it is not, but it is no fun at all, it takes an insane amount of time, I don't get extra loot like I do with other grinds, there are no close mail boxes, they take up a lot of space in your bags and the turn in point is not exactly close.

It all feels like wasted time even if I am working toward a goal.  So while it could be boring, it does not quite fall there because I am still doing something I want to so I can get to the goal of my task, which swings it completely the other way, to frustrating.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

Tabard reps like the ones that started in wrath and the ones we have in cataclysm now where you buy a tabard at friendly and then just do dungeons is boring.  While all tasks start as a challenge the only real challenge there is to this type of activity is the challenge of remembering to switch your tabard.

The reason this is boring instead of frustrating is because I am doing the dungeons anyway, if I had to do the dungeons and normally wouldn't it might be frustrating, hard or fun.  As I am doing them anyway and there is nothing to actually think about when doing them it is boring.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

So I've visited the "boring", the "fun" and the "frustrating" on the difficulty scale, what do I find hard?

Anything that requires interaction with other people.  Anything that requires someone else besides me to act in a certain way correctly to succeed.  Any time you add a variable to what you do that you have absolutely no control over you instantly turn any challenge dial into the direction of hard.

Raid reputation grinds are hard for that fact.  They are hard because you can not do them alone, they are hard because you have to depend on others, they are hard because you can only grind so much each week, they are hard because your success in the grind directly depends on someone else.

How the other people do their job can adjust it to a different area but all challenges that require other people are hard by nature because you have no control over what others do.

Boring - [{Fun - {Challenging} - Hard}] - Frustrating

Personally I think the game is best when it stays half way between fun - challenging and challenging - hard.  Not quite just fun and not quite just hard.

But then we go back to what I said at the beginning.  Everyone has their own place on the difficulty scale where they place any and all tasks.

Someone that does not like reputation grinds might find the ones I call fun as frustrating.  Someone that does not like reputation grinds might consider the tabard grind as fun whereas I find it boring.

That is why games like WoW are really hard to balance correctly.

There is no such thing as "fun".  There is no such thing as "hard".  They need to design for the middle, for true center, for "challenging" and let the people decide if it is fun and challenging or hard and challenging or perfect the way it is at just challenging..

Each person places each task in the place that best suits them on the difficulty scale.  So there will never be something that is purely fun for everyone or purely hard for everyone. 

The biggest problem with WoW that I have noticed is not in the design so much sometimes but in the people that play the game.

A heroic mode guild might call normals easy, they might even call them boring and consider everyone not doing heroic mode as bad players.  A normal mode guild might find normals fun while getting attacked from the heroic mode guilds as being "bads" and being attacked by the people that can't do normals as "elitist".  Non raiding players would call every raid hard, maybe even frustrating, and both normal and heroic mode raiders "elitist".

It is the player base that makes the system seem like it is bad, from all points of view.  No matter which category you fall into when raiding, heroic, normal, or none, there is always something to hate about the other two.  However, as bad as this might sound, this is good design.  This design is close to center.  The players are the ones that make it appear as if it is bad design.

What people do not understand is that the game is balanced, or attempts to be, around the fact that no matter where you put things on the difficulty scale there should always be something for you to do that falls into the "fun - challenging - hard" area.

The design of a good game is to try to keep things in that section where everything is in some degree, challenging (entertaining).  Once anything becomes too hard it becomes frustrating and once anything becomes too easy (or unnecessary) it moves from fun to boring.

If there is one true failing in Cataclysms design it is the fact that things where not designed to be "challenging" so they could let the players swing on the difficulty scale from that point one way or the other.  It was designed to be either "fun" or "hard".  Because neither "fun" nor "hard" are the true center a lot of players had their difficulty scale thrown out of whack.

For a game to succeed it needs to build the difficulty level around the true center, challenging, and then let the players decide if it is hard or fun from that point.  They can not design for hard or fun.

While I can not speak for others I can speak for myself and try to explain what I mean by the scale and how their design changed, thus changing how and why people feel differently about this expansion.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

When leveling was designed for dead center, challenging, I loved leveling alts.  I found it fun.  Fun is one deviation lower on the difficultly scale.

Now that leveling is designed to be fun, I hate it.  I find leveling boring.  Boring is one deviation lower then fun on the difficulty scale.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

When heroics where designed for dead center, challenging, I enjoyed them.  It was hard, because as I explained everything that requires other people is always hard even if it is easy, but I enjoyed it.  Hard is one deviation higher on the difficulty scale.

Now that heroics added mechanics and where designed to be hard, I hate them.  I find it extremely frustrating.  Frustrating is one divination higher then hard on the difficulty scale.

Boring - Fun - Challenging - Hard - Frustrating

See, that is where the error occurred.  People wanted fun leveling, they wanted hard dungeons so blizzard coded for fun and coded for hard.  You can't do that.  You throw off the difficulty scale completely when you lose sight of the true center, challenging.

Games need to be designed around the center and need to let people decide from center.  If any game moves into the "boring" or "frustrating" areas too often it will cause people to quit.  Out of boredom or out of frustration.

So while we all have our own line on what we consider difficulty to be there will always be only five spots on the difficulty scale we all place everything.

The closer the game designs to the center the less likelihood they will push too many people to one edge or the other.

If something is coded near the edge, someone is bound to fall off when the pendulum swings.

Coding for "fun" and "hard" does not work.  Remember what I said at the beginning.  Fun and hard can never be attained at the same time so coding for it is a recipe for disaster.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hunter Fishing?

If hunters are not going to be able to use melee weapons in MoP how are we supposed to fish?

The Second Hunter

Not exactly my second hunter, maybe my 15th, but it is the second hunter on my main alliance server.  It was created with a thought in mind.  I want to get it to max level so I have two end game hunters.  Yes, it remains true that finding pugs for hunters are few and far between but on the rare occasion there is one I would like to bring my main hunter into them and have a second hunter that I could use for guild stuff.

At the beginning of the expansion I rarely got to use my hunter because I was always needed to heal or tank for the guild and I never pugged with it because I always kept it open should it be needed.  When it comes to my personal ability I am a far better hunter then I am with any other class and that probably comes from the fact I like playing it.

Because of that, and the fact my server is still not capable of pugging T11 content for the most part, my hunter still needs three bosses from T11 to have finished everything.  I need chim and nef in BWD and council in BoT because the only times I have done those three I have tanked or healed them.

A second hunter is going to make sure that never happens again.  My hunter is my main and as such it is the only one I actively care about completing content with.  When I get my second hunter to 85 it will play a vital role in my game play.  It will be part of my main hunter and not really a second hunter.

If raid night comes and I can run my hunter my main hunter will go with guild.  If I am needed to tank or heal then my main hunter will pug the current content on the weekend and I will leave my second hunter to play back up, should it be needed when we continue the raid.

This way I never have to go two months without stepping into a raid on my main again.  Sure, I hate pugs, but when it comes down to it I would rather pug with my hunter then not play it at all.  It is my main and as such it is the one I enjoy playing most and I just want to play with it.

Not to mention, there is the rare occasion that I was asked to come join a pug from some of the top guilds on the server and I always needed to say no because I was saving my hunter in case it was needed for the guild run.  I will never run into that problem again.  I can now run with it and not have to worry about not having a hunter available for the guild runs.

My second hunter might never get close to the gear my main has but based on my ability as a hunter I can still perform quite well even when I have slightly lesser gear so it would not he hurting anyone.  While gear plays a much larger part of the equation now I've routinely done well even if I were a few item levels lower then those around me.

I've been having a great time leveling my second hunter.  Made it a night elf as well, I want it to be a like my current hunter, if I can, with the exception that I made the second one a female and with different professions.  I imagine them as brother and sister.  Yes, I have back stories to my characters even if they are not on an RP server.

I've leveled many hunters but this is my first night elf hunter since cataclysm and I can say that things really changed since I first went through the starting area.  One day I might post about the changes since the last time through there some years ago but that is another story.

I almost forgot what fun it was to play a hunter at low levels being I have been playing with other alts for such a long time.  Starting a new hunter is even better now with the pet before level 10.  Having a pet before level 10 really is over powered.  It seems like they balanced the characters and then added the pet as an after thought.

I kill everything before it gets to me, my poor kitty cat has a taste for blood and it never even gets to attack anything.  Like I said, it is balanced for me to be able to kill it.  Not for me and my pet to be able to kill it.

I think my cat got his first taste of blood around level 12 or so when I pulled two mobs and could not down both before they got to me.  Not like the second one lasted more then 1 second after it did get to me.

My baby hunter is now 21 and still everything is dying before it gets to me.  My cat is starving, it needs to eat, I have started sending it in first just so it could have some fun killing too.  I felt bad for it running back and forth and never getting to do anything, I had to let it have some fun.  What type of pet owner would I be if I never let my pet have any fun.  Not to mention, sending it in first is the right way to play the class when solo.

Sending in pet, concussive shot, stuff like that is what good hunter skills are all about but with the super easy leveling, things being balanced around the hunter only, and well spread out mobs to prevent accidentally pulling to many, the basic skills of being a good hunter get lost in the leveling process now.

For me it feels like a loss, for new players it makes it easy.  I guess it is a toss up.  A new player might still need to do the little things because they do not know any better.  So while I dislike it, maybe I can understand it a bit.

Hunters are like gods when it comes to questing, they always have been.  When it comes to quest grinding hunters are made for that type of work.  I've always said for 90% of the basic grinds out there you can not find a class better than a hunter to do it.  A lot of that has to do with the pet.  Some of it has to do with CC.  The rest is just all the stuff in their little bag of tricks, and trust me if you have never played a hunter they do have a huge bag of tricks.

I think cataclysms redesign of the old world has made hunters even more powerful when it comes to leveling.  As I mentioned earlier, it seems as if all mobs where balanced around all classes being able to beat them and the classes only.  This means the pets damage is all extra, it is bonus, it is not part of the balance when leveling.

Not sure if you can chalk it up to the changes, my experience, or a combination of both, but leveling as a hunter really seems OP.

I guess that is good in a way if I want to get to 85 ASAP.  This is why they made leveling so fast, for people that want to get to the end game as fast as possible.

I feel bad for the new players and the people that like leveling alts.  The changes are great for me leveling my hunter because I want my hunter to get their as fast as possible.  The changes suck for all my other alts I want to have fun leveling with.

The joy of leveling and the learning from leveling.  Both where sacrificed, just so I can power level my hunter.

Not sure that was a good trade off.

Either way, I wonder what will happen first.  Me getting bored of leveling my second hunter or me hitting 85.  Less then 5 hours in so far, level 21.

I might have to side track some, I leveled so fast I out leveled my skinning so I have to go back to killing some mobs I get no experience from just to play catch up.

That is the worst part of fast leveling.  Your skills seem to get left behind.

I figure I can throw a few hours at my hunter a week and see what happens.  I doubt it will get to 85 before the patch and I get distracted on my main doing all the new stuff, but at least I now have something else to have some fun with on my main server.

Maybe I can turn that one into an achievement hunter as well.  Like I said, hunters are the best for most of that stuff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Low Level Dungeons for the Experienced.

I took one of my low level alts into a dungeon yesterday for fun, a level 15 hunter.  We had a bear tank and a shaman healer but this is not so much about my experience in this dungeon.  It is about something the tank said after they died for the forth time.

Tank: What is wrong healer?
Healer:  I only have one healing spell and it is a three second cast.  You are dying in two seconds.
Tank: Why did you join as a healer if you only have one heal?
Healer: I don't know...
Tank: Neither do I, glad we are on the same page.

That little exchange made me think about the idea of older players in low level dungeons and how they are poisoning all the new players around them with the anger and hate they developed from 85 heroic randoms.

I think players with experience need a little bit of a wake up call when it comes to low level dungeons so I have a little list of things they need to remember when doing low level dungeons.

Things to remember when doing low level dungeons:

1) Level
- You might not remember when everyone gets every ability so do not just assume that someone has abilities you take for granted yet.  Sure, a hunter should misdirect on the pull but if they do not have it then it is not their fault for not using it.

2) Abilities
- Don't even take the abilities people do have for granted to act the same as you are used to.  My geared 85 shaman has a 2 second greater healing wave.  A level 15 shaman has a 3.5 second greater healing wave.

3) Experience
- When the tank went down I kited the boss all the way back to the entrance, thank god concussive shot worked on it, and we where able to kill it.  I have the experience to do that, new players don't.  Do not fault them if they do not know advanced concepts like kiting.

3) Direction
- You might know the instance like the back of your hand but older instances are confusing to people that do not know them.  New players can easily get lost in them.  Stay together as a group and if you wipe and there is a new player, wait until they zone back in so you can run back with them.  They might get lost on their own if this is their first time in there.

4) Zoning
- Speaking of zoning in.  New players often find themselves in instances that are in areas they have yet to venture to.  If a new player that plays alliance side gets into ragefire I can assure you they will get lost getting back there.  Have some patience with them.  You might have a horde char and know org like the back of your hand but to someone new a huge city like that is easy to get lost in.

5) Aggro
- Lets face it, aggro at low levels can be hard to deal with.  Tanks do not have all their tools and the DPS do not have all their aggro dumps.  Suggest they click on the tank and hit F, do not call them an idiot because they hit a mob that was not the tanks focus.  Teaching is usually more effective then insulting.

6) Teaching
- Many of us experienced players have learned that no one likes to be told how to do something even if you say it as nice as possible.  New players are different.  If you are nice and respectful they will love the fact you are teaching them.  Some might even actively embrace it and ask more questions.  It is mostly only the older players that feel insulted by someone is offering them advice.

7) Gear
- Never insult a leveling player, even more so a new player, because their gear is not optimum.  They are leveling, when leveling nothing is optimum, heck, usually nothing you wear even lasts long before it is replaced.  My hunter has boots on that have +1 intellect.  It is not optimum but it is also the best pair of boots I have run across yet.  Something with the wrong stats and higher armor is better then nothing at all.  Do not be too critical of a few pieces that seem out of place.

8) Progression
- No one cares if your main is 7/7 heroic and the new player cares even less because they have no clue what that even means.  Your experience on your main has no bearing what so ever on a level 15 dungeon so don't bring it up.

9) DPS
- My hunter was doing 140 while the other two where doing 40 and 42.  It doesn't matter.  Hunters are OP at that level and I have experience with the class.  Do not make an issue of DPS in low level randoms.  It does not matter.  The only reason you should ever bring up someones DPS in a low level dungeon is if it is 0 and then you can follow that with a vote kick if you are so inclined to do so.  People doing 0 are usually experienced players looking for cheap and easy levels.  New players will try, they might only do 20, but they will at least try.  Give them some credit for trying by not insulting them because they do not know optimum rotations for their level.

10) Better vs Bitter
- New players can be influenced easily.  Experienced players are usually the ones that send them in one way or the other about how they feel about the game.  If they are doing bad help them and you create a better player, insult them and you create a bitter player.

11) Share
- You might not think anything of it but some of that white gear you get could be useful to new players.  Offer it to them if you see they could use it.  Same with the 6, 8 and 10 slot white bags that pop up.  If it is white you will get it no matter what when you loot even if you do not need it.  You might not need a 6 slot bag but to a new player you would be their favorite player in the world if you pass the bag along to them.

12) Loot
- Don't rage over loot.  You are the experienced player and you know the standard loot rules most follow.  New players will not know.  Not to mention, you might know that a class can not equip an item but they might not know.  They might roll need because it is an upgrade and they will learn they can not equip that type of item once they get it.  Let them learn.  Don't assume because they rolled need that they are a loot whore, it could be as innocent as they did not know any better.  Explain, don't rage.

13) Help
- You might have done all the quests in there or you might not want to do the quests in there.  New players might want to do the quests because they are following the story, they might want to do the quests because they need the reward, or the experience.  It doesn't hurt you to help them by killing a few extra things that die easily to begin with.  Help them out.

14) Skipping
- Don't skip things or try to take short cuts.  Low level dungeons are about leveling.  Kill a few extra things and get the extra experience for everyone.  The mobs might even have loot someone can use.  Loot everything as well, you might not need coins but that small share of 2 or 3 copper the new player gets really adds up and they can really use it.  Gold is hard at the beginning for new players and taking a second to loot is not going to kill you.

15) Wiping
- Sometimes wiping can be a great learning experience for a new player.  Do not bring the 85 mentality to low level dungeons.  Just because you have done the dungeon 100 times does not mean someone else has.  In 85s people rage over anyone that does not know the mechanics, don't let that happen in low level dungeons too.  Take the shit happens approach and just come back in and explain to the new player if there is something they messed up on.  It will teach them that not everything is as straight forward as attack, kill and loot.

16) The Process
- In the end you need to remember, dungeons are part of the process where people that are new learn, get gear, get money, learn to work in a group.  It might be all second nature to you now and just a way to level but to them it is their first time through.  We all have great memories about our first time doing everything in the game, would it really kill you to forget you are an end game player for a moment and just enjoy the low level experience and let them enjoy their first time there as well?

So next time you are in a low level dungeon let your guard down.  Do not be so uptight about everything being perfect.  Have a little bit of fun.  Sometimes running a dungeon with a new player can bring back that new player feeling from when it was your first time.  That was a good feeling wasn't it?  Live it again with them and try not to deny them their chance to feel it for the first time.

Maybe you should go log on to a low level alt right now and let it all hang loose and just have fun.  Trust me, you will not regret it and you might really make someones day while you do it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tanking Almost Seems Fun?

For the fun of it I decided to run a random on my paladin tank yesterday.  No one in guild wanted to run so I stared at the queue for a few moments trying to decide if I would be willing to run alone.  I don't tank alone.  I kind of fear it.  Okay, not kind of, I really fear it, the people in it that is.

Lets add to the fact that my paladin is still in half DPS gear, has 318 pants and a 305 trinket.  Also my tanking experience at 85 on my paladin is limited still.

After a few moments I figured what the hell, let me run it alone.  I pop the window open and see that tanks have the baggie, surprise surprise right?  I almost hit the button right away when I noticed it was for a Zul.  While I was willing to take the chance I most definitely am not willing to take the chance at a Zul.  Not in that gear, not with my limited tanking experience as a paladin tank in this expansion.

What the hell is wrong with the system?  Why was I even allowed to queue for a zul?  I did not have all tank gear, I did not have a lot of experience, I did not even have all blues.  This is the reason the item level system is not a good way to judge if someone is capable of entering a dungeon.

I know better.  I know my 347 item level is not a "good" 347.  There is a huge difference between what I am wearing and what someone in all 346s that are actual tanking pieces are.  Not to mention my huge 128K life is not exactly a nice sponge for the damage is a zul.  Who cares about my 70% avoidance when I could still go down in 2 hits should I get unlucky.

See, I know I am not Zul ready.  Don't count on any one else in the game to actually look at things the way I do.  Most people will queue up as a tank in the same situation and then it becomes your problem because "the game says I can do this".  Hate to break it to you Mr. "the game says I can do this", the game is wrong, you can't and even if you can with a great group, this is a random group so odds are it will not be a great group.

I switch to a regular heroic and there is no baggie for regulars.  I call bull crap.  If I queue up I will get in instantly, which means tanks are needed.  Happened to me many times on my healers.  I queue up and am in instantly yet I get no baggie. 

When there is a baggie option I have sat for over 10 minutes more then a few times.  So making me wait over 10 minutes means I am in need and it deserves a baggie yet me getting in instantly means I was not needed? 

No wonder I rarely agree with how blizzard does thing.  I think logically, they do not.  I would have guessed the other way around.  If I wait 10 minutes that means I was not needed.  If I get in instantly that means I was needed.  I guess my logic fails.

Either way, I am about to queue up solo when someone in guild whispers me and tells me they will switch.  Cool, do not need to go alone.  Then another person switches.  So I have a DPS warrior and a healing shaman to go with me.  Now I feel a little more comfortable and it was not like I was going to get the baggie anyway.

We get in to HoO and on the first pack the hunter traps one, the shaman frogs one and I get the other and drag it to the big guy.  Not sure who did it but both the frog and the trap are broken nearly instantly.  See, this is why I hate pugs. 

I am not getting any heals either.  I can hear the shaman on vent taking and sounding as if what she is saying was actually said 2 minutes ago.  I know what is happening, lag for her, big time.  I grab up all four, start using word on myself for heals, throw a lay on hands on myself at the last possible moment, stay alive just long enough for three to go down, the forth one was still up with just the lock and the hunter standing.  I release and come back to help but they down it.  Nice work on their part, even if the lock was only doing 5K, they got it done.

The healer apologizes for the lag and restarts her computer.  Amazing we did that with no heals really.  It is not like we had epic DPS or epic tanking in my case.  We just scraped by, but we made it, that is all that is important and that was actually quite fun.

Second pack and pack in front of the boss go off with no problems.  We end up wiping on the boss because the healer DCs.  The lock drops group, no biggie, their 5K DPS wasn't exactly going to make things easier, no great loss.  I tell the shaman on vent I am kicking her, if she can not stay connected she is hurting us more than helping us.  Yes, I kicked my own guild mate because they DCed.

I only kick people for DCs really.  I am not a serial kicker.  I've only kicked one person in a random for being "bad" even if I have run across 100s of bad players.  Goes to show you how bad they really where if I kicked them.

We get a new healer, another shaman, and a new DPS, another lock.  I sense the game wants us to run with this set up no matter what.

New lock seems to be doing less DPS then the other one did. 4K, woohoo.  The hunter is doing 16K and the warrior is doing 10K and I am sitting at 7K as a tank so it is no big deal, we more then cover for the lock doing 4K.  Thing is, the lock actually needs things from there.  Sure, there is no excuse for someone doing 4K in a heroic, even in quest greens, but if you can handle it, let the person tag along and get some gear.  I only really bitch about DPS if things are not going down fast enough causing problems, if they are in all epics and still only doing 4K, or if they complain about everything.  I don't care if you are doing 40K DPS, if you are going to be a whiny little bitch please be a whiny little bitch in another group, thank you very much.

The new shaman healer informs us that they just hit 85 an hour ago.  I did not even bother checking their gear.  Lets roll with it.  Who cares, lets have some fun.

We do pretty well over all.  The healer has a few moments where I know they had to be sweating big time, like on the guy after the four mini bosses, they were oom pretty quick there.  That boss and the last one can really be a major issue, even after the heroic nerfs a long time ago, to healers in just the 329 minimum.

The healer lost a few people here and there but no wipes with them.  I had to use all my cooldowns and help with healing with lay on hands a couple of times and holy radiance a few times as well.  Hey, that is what cooldowns are for, might as well use them.  We did a full clear being both the shaman and the lock needed some gear.  As luck would have it two pieces did drop for the lock and I saw the lock's DPS go up after each piece. 

The lock even did 9K on the last boss, but that boss does have a damage boost so that is not completely telling.  They went from 4K average at the start to 6K average at the end.  They improved.  See, that is why you don't just automatically kick low DPS unless you absolutely have to.  If they are not hurting the group and you can cover for them, let them gear up and get some time in to learn and hopefully you will end up with one better player in game instead of kicking them and ending up with one bitter player in game.

It was not a great run but I had some fun doing it.  In the end it was even just me and one guild mate so maybe, just maybe I might be willing to run alone.  We decided to do another run and one of the DPS in guild wanted to come just for fun.  He is our main druid cat which means he is completely raid geared, so at least I knew the run would have the DPS needed. 

He can carry the spot of all three DPS most of the times.  This means it is challenge time for me.  First pull in LCoTV, trash of course, he shoots up to 70K DPS and of course I lose a few mobs to him but everything goes down fast enough that the healer was capable of keeping him up.  They tell him to let me get some aggro first with that DPS.  I tell the healer that next time she should let him die.  That is how I teach him to chill on aggro when I heal.

He pulls 38K on the big guy there, I never have any aggro issues holding that however even in my, compared to him, crappy gear.  Have to love having DPS like that along, it makes everything so much easier.

Funny side story is that there was a hunter in the group at the beginning, all 391 gear, no kidding, when we first zoned in the cat made a comment that this would be a killer run with him and this hunter being how decked out the hunter was.  After each pull and the cat doubling the hunters DPS on every pull the hunter would grumble something in party chat.  Not actually say anything, just some random letters.  We where joking on vent that he was probably pissed that a cat with not even 1 391 piece was doubling up on him, triple at some points.  The more the cat did, the more random letters he did in party.

Out of nowhere he just dropped.  We were moving fast, things where dying like lightning.  There could only be one reason why he dropped like that after all his grumbling.  He is someone that apparently DPS means everything too and he must have been pissed he was getting out DPSed by someone in normal firelands gear when he had all heroic firelands gear.  Actually, looking at his DPS, I wonder how the hell he managed to even get into a heroic raiding guild.  I was doing more DPS than him before I ever had my first 359 piece on my hunter.  15K with the 15% buff and all 391 gear is actually worse than the 4K lock from the previous run that faked his way to 329 to get into a heroic.

Back to me vs. kitty over mobs. Over all the only real aggro issues I had the whole run was on that first pull and a few of those fruit tossing guys that kept throwing at others.  No so bad.  Of course the cat did wait three seconds before jumping in after that first pull.  Seemed like it was long enough for me to get a threat lead so his 70K AoE spam would not pull off me.

He did die on the last boss and the healer, a druid as well, did not rez him.  He joked on vent that this was the healers revenge.  It was no big deal, we downed the last boss without him, just took a little longer.

I actually had fun running the heroics.  Sure, the second one ended up with two guild mates and the first one had one but as long as I get some half way decent people I think I would be willing to do this alone.

Not sure if it is just that I am getting move confident having tanked all these things on a few other characters already but it seems as if I have more power as a paladin tank.  Paladins always had that feeling about them and it seems even more so now then ever before.

Even with the deaths here and there, the wipes do to DCs, the 4K DPS and 5K DPS locks, the repetitive nature of the dungeons, and not being with all guild mates, I still had... fun.

That just does not seem right.  Not right at all.

Paladins seem really OP when tanking heroics.  More than my druid, warrior and DK.  So if I am going to tank a heroic, for now at least, I am going to use my paladin.  For raids, warrior is still the way to go, warriors are meant to be tanks and that is the venue they where meant to be in.

Just like I had come to the conclusion a while back that Shaman are the best 5 man healers in the game I have come to the conclusion that paladins are the best 5 man tanks in the game.

At least from an ease of play standpoint healing as a shaman is easy and tanking as a paladin is easy.  For me at least, and as I always say, people are better at what they are most comfortable with.  Guess I got comfortable with them in 5 mans faster then I did with my other healers and tanks.

So comfortable I might actually be willing to dabble in randoms solo as a paladin tank.

Be afraid, be very afriad.