Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How the Deathwing Fight Should Have Been.

A friend that stopped playing at the beginning of cataclysm recently came back and asked what the deathwing fight was like.  After a short explanation about how the fight goes he asked me, "so do we ever fight deathwing?" and I was left to answer, "no, we don't".

The idea of having deathwing being two fights was kind of nice but why could they have not made it more?  With all the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff going on I think that the entire dragon soul event could have been done so much better.

It could have been just as it was for the first four bosses and then added a chunk of new content after that before we finished it up as we know it.

When arriving at the top of the temple again after the fight at the EoE we could have went back in time to attempt to stop deathwing at multiple points in time and fought him in different stages like in his humanoid body, where we would have actually had the chance to fight him and not his corruption, his tentacles and his chin.

Deathwing was two fights, but what if he where 4 or 5 or even 6.

We could have had one fight where we needed to save him from being totally absorbed by an old god, where he escapes when we kill all the old gods minions trying to infest him.  A fight where we are basically assisting him in trying to save himself.  Of course he would have still been infected so to speak, but the fight would end when we beat the big baddie he was fighting.  For story line purposes, we succeeded in defending him because if we had not he would have been that much more powerful later.

We could have had another fight where we needed to fight him back from the oceans with the help of neptulon as he tried to sway neptulon to assist him like he did with rag.  Once we fight him off and break his hold on neptulon it would give some closure to the story of what happened to neptulon in a way.  Neptulon was being held by the old god as it waited for deathwing to come sway him.

We could have had a fight where we actually got to fight Ozumat while he interrupted us trying to follow deathwing after his escape from the previous battle where we freed neptulon.

We could have went into the wibbly wobbly timey whimy thing again and encountered a future without deathwing where there is an old god ruling in his place.  We would have to defeat the old god before we could return to a previous moment where we could try to set things right again so deathwing will be there for us to defeat, again, instead of the old god. (yes, taking a few pages from the heroics)

After that epic old god fight there could have been fight we go back to a time where the other aspects and thrall cornered deathwing and killed him leaving the old god to take his place and in a wild turn of events we need to fight the aspects and thrall, just to stop them from killing him.  We would get a nice cut scene explaining what could have been if we let them kill him and explain to them that after they kill deathwing they will lose their powers and if they do that, at that time, there is no one to take up the mantle yet to fight the old god.

This would bring us to the next phase of the raid where the aspects now know they will lose their powers so they ask us to assist them in each taking out their greatest nemesis's before they will never be able to do so again.

We would go on a series of battles to fight big baddies that even the aspects could not handle.  Each battle, for each aspect, would have to be epic in its own way and teach us a little about that aspect and their realm of power in the world.  A great place to build some lore and have some fun.

Once we had finished assisting the aspects they will once again agree to help us take down deathwing even knowing they will lose their immortality and powers.

The we can move to the top of wyrmwrest and instead of fighting a slew of dragons we would fight, yet once again, deathwing in humaoid form.  Just as he is about to die, he would turn into the dragon and fly away giving us his speech about dragons and such and unleashing the dragon we now know as patchwork 2.0. 

Basically from that point on we can leave it as is and chase him after we beat the dragon fighting the last of his cultists on the ship and then landing on his back and then fighting the last left of him before he finishes the channeling of cataclym.

Once we are done jumping up and down with all our excitement and see the end cinematic we will be thrown into another battle, a battle with the old god that possessed deathwing and has been the bane behind this whole thing in an epic battle where he tries to possess thrall, being we killed his other vessel, and we need to stop him from doing that, while keeping all four weakened aspects alive at the same time.

Now that would have been a lot more exciting in my opinion.  We also would have got to do the one thing my friend was upset never happened, we would have been able to actually beat deathwing and not just his corruptions, his tentacles and his chin.

Not to mention, it would have been one hell of a huge raid and I would love that personally.

Well, it might not be perfect, it might not fit all the lore, but that sure seems like it would have been more fun.  For me at least.

5 Ways I Hurt My Raid Team

Every one of us can write a post about what we do well.  Every one of us can talk about how we heroically solo tanked a two tank boss, rocked the DPS charts or solo healed something we thought we couldn't do.  It is easy to remember the things you did right and it is fun to share them but does it actually help you any?  In an effort to help myself get better I am going to look at the things I do that I believe hurt my raid team.

5) I Spread Myself Too Thin
- I am always there to help anyone that needs it.  It means that if someone has a quest in some older raid, I will form a run just for that.  If someone wants to get some meta achievements, I will make a run for that.  Need dungeon achievements.  We can arrange that too.

For a group that basically only runs once or twice a week at most for current raiding we always seem to be doing something and I always feel as if I should be helping everyone do everything.  This means it cuts into my time greatly.  I do not have hours on end to be online like some people.  My time is limited so if we are always doing something and I am always helping people it starts to cut into my "me" time playing.

Being I am always running I seem to burn out quicker than most from doing certain things.  I am sure it shows in my performance when the only actual real raid time comes around even if I have never noticed it and no one has every mentioned it.

How can I fix it?  Let other people do their thing and I will do mine.  Learn to stop feeling like I need to help everyone with everything.  I am good with doing this sometimes, bad at others.  Right now is a time when I am bad at it.  Once there is nothing I can do for my main I tend to over help.  The only time I have any real me time is when I am working on something for my main.

4) Sometimes my gear is lacking
- I can try and rationalize this and write it off as it is not my fault.  I am always helping others so I rarely have much free time just to gear up characters other then my main.  This is a fair rationalization but I can make the time.  I am usually trying to keep at least 2 healers, 2 tanks, 1 ranged DPS and 1 melee DPS fully raid geared which is impossible when we only run one day a week and one alt day a week.  This is a fair rationalization as well to some extent.

My main, my hunter, is always geared.  Don't ask me how I do it, I have not clue.  I never win any rolls, I have no luck in the raid finder and for me winning something is like a national holiday, something that only comes once a year, but my hunter is always well geared.  Even if I do not get to raid with him often... which brings me to #3

How can I fix it?  Who says I need to have all those characters geared and ready to go?  I don't need them all geared so I need to learn to stop stressing over it.  I can gear who I want to and if we need the extra tank or extra heals I can just say I don't have one ready.  I need to learn that I do not have to be the answer to every question.

3) I fill every roll
- A few weeks ago we had a run that went something like this.  I was melee DPS on my rogue for the first boss, tanked the second boss on my warrior, healed the third boss on my shaman, range DPSed the forth boss on my hunter, tanked the 5th and 6th boss on my druid and healed the 7th boss on my priest.

I could once again rationalize that for a seriously casual group getting to the 7th boss when you don't raid much is not bad at all.  I could rationalize that in the end, we did well and I did what needed to be done to make sure we did not get stuck and I let everyone else play the roles they wanted to be.

How can I fix it? I could demand that the paladin gets a healer offspec and gets geared for it.  I could demand that the shadow priest gets a healer offspec and gets geared up for it.  I could demand the DK gets a tank offspec and gets geared up for it.  We have the people, there is really no need for me to switch whenever all the time.  As a casual raid guild however, I try my best to let everyone play what they want to play... except for me of course.

2) I am way too nice
- I don't force people to have an offspec we need.  I don't yell at people.  I don't complain when people fail, I explain so they don't do it again.  I rage sometimes behind the screen when people make the same mistake they just made, I hate it with a passion, but I am nice to everyone.  I say, we will get it next time.  I try to keep people motivated and continue using the mantra that once everyone gets the feel for the fight it will be a piece of cake.  While true, I do not get on people that are taking too look to understand it.

How to fix it?  I could just be a little more raid leader and a little less of a friend.  That would make things better but I won't do that.  If I wanted hard core I would go to a hard core guild.  I just need to learn to not let it get to me so much.  As much as I hate wiping to stupid things I would rather wipe to a stupid things with decent people then be the jerk who will insult people for making a mistake.  I don't think I can fix this one even if I tried.

1) I am not a raid leader
- Okay, I am a raid leader.  As someone once explained to me I fit the raid leader profile perfectly.  I know all the fights before we get to them.  I can explain them from a melee, ranged, healing and tank perspective.  I know all the little tips and tricks for every class for every fight.  So forth and so on.  That is part of what a raid leader is.  I am also someone that is willing to make those snap decisions like should we use the battle rez now or wait.  Should we switch or burn, when to blow cooldowns, when to pop hero, etc.

The problem is I don't like being the raid leader.  I just want to pop on my hunter and pew pew.  I want to rock the meters and be #1 every time in every raid even when hunters are usually dead last in what is expected of them.  I want to play my role and be proud that I can do it well.  I want to prove that in every fight in the game I can be #1 damage done while being dead last in damage taken.  That is what I love doing.  I don't want to lead.

But that is where the problem is.  Even in raids I do not assemble I end up leading.  Like the ulduar run the other week that someone else assembled and asked me to tank.  It was their raid, I was just another player and I still ended up explaining how we would get every achievement.  I still ended up telling people what to do and how to do it and and where to do it and when to do it.  I still ended up as the raid leader.

Maybe the person that told me I was the raid leader not because of some appointed role but because that is who I am personality wise is right.  The thing is, I do not like being that person.

How to fix it?  You can't fix something like that.  In a way however, other people can fix that for me.  When I go on a run with people that know all the fights I never raid lead.  I never have to call out for something.  I never have to assign people.  When everyone knows what to do there really is no need for a raid leader.  That means, the people around me can fix me hating being a raid leader but being better themselves.  I can not fix it myself.

So with that all said, everything I said that I think ends up hurting my raid team could be fixed if I did just one thing.

What would that one thing be that could fix everything there be?  Something that most people would say is a bad trait really.

The 1 step program goes as follows.

Step 1:  Be selfish.

#5 Being selfish would mean I don't burn myself out helping others and I can work on what I want to meaning I am more focused for raid time when it comes.

#4 Being selfish means that with that more time I can gear up my alts better so they will be better prepared if needed.  Being selfish would also mean I can pug on my druid to try and get my four piece set instead of saving her for only the 5th and 6th bosses each week.  Things like that.

#3 Being selfish would mean I would play only the one role I wanted.  While I do fairly well playing every role I am sure I would be better at any one of them if I where to invest a decent amount of time on it.  Being able to fill any role and be good at it is nice.  Being great at one role is even better.

#2 Being selfish would mean I wouldn't care about being nice to other people.  I would blast someone for making stupid mistakes instead of being nice and explaining to them.  If I where selfish I would accept nothing less then perfection from people I know could do better and I would get angry and share my anger with them when they interfere with my game play by making a mistake.

#1 Being selfish is the one thing I am missing as a raid leader.  Not being selfish is the reason I do not like being a raid leader.  I don't feel like these people are there to play "for" me, they are there to play "with" me.  A good raid leader, or so I am told, leads in a way that everyone is there to play "for" them and to do as they say.

So basically does this mean that because I am not a selfish jerk I am holding my team back?  I think so.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MoP Talents: Is No Choice the Best Choice?

I've made it known that I am not a huge fan of the super cookie cutter design that talents will be when MoP comes out but lets not fool ourselves.  In one way or another, even if they gave us a billion choices the people in the know will always end up with a cookie cutter spec.

When it comes to spec there is always a best option.  Always has been and always will be.  This just takes out the guess work on which is which by making it that there is no real choice.  If you want the perfect spec for a marksmen hunter now all you need to do is choose to be a marksmen hunter and you got it.

The main reason it seems blizzard is going this route is to make sure everyone at least has a fighting chance.  Everyone will have the same, hopefully viable, spec.  You will not run into three different marksmen hunters with three different specs. 

As an added bonus from a design standpoint by taking away peoples choices it should, in theory, make balancing the classes a lot easier as no one can end up choosing things that the design team did not anticipate.

Back on task.  You might run into three marksmen, one a pure raid DPS spec, one that decided to throw a point into silencing shot and a third that seems to have just picked anything.  Those three styles of players show exactly the reason why choosing your spec and having it all given to you on a silver patter with absolutely zero need for choice is a good thing no matter your level of game play and choices you might normally make.

Lets look at those three hunters right now:

The pure raid DPS guy most likely read everything they had to offer at elitist jerks and even if he does not understand it he can be 100% sure that the spec he has is capable of giving the most DPS.

The silencing shot guy is the person that probably also read everything they had at elitist jerks but made a conscious choice to bring a little utility to the raid at the cost of a small amount of DPS.

The pick anything guy can have one of a hundred different specs.  It could be good, it could even be perfect, but it is picked at random which means it can also be horrible.  If life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get, picking your talents at random is sort of the same.  You might end up with the perfect thing or something horrible.

With the changes to the talent specs come MoP all three of those marksmen will have the exact same spec.  Even if they wanted to be different they can't.

Some argue that people will be allowed to choose the 6 extra talents meaning it is not cookie cutter it is just making sure everyone has the basics before they let people play around with the flavor.  This seems to be completely true, for the most part.  All those 6 extra things can be ignored if someone wanted to being they are usually support abilities or ability modifiers.

However, those 6 extra things is what seems to make the no choice spec a plus for all three of the previously mentioned people.

Lets look at how the MoP talent changes effect those three hunters:

Mr raid DPS had the perfect spec.  Now he still does.  Of course it is the only spec but if it is the only one it has to be the best one.  So the only thing that changed for mr raid DPS is that he no longer needs to read tons of posts where people debate the best spec.  It saved him time spent outside of the game.

Mr utility made the choice to sacrifice a small amount of DPS to add the silencing shot.  Now he does not need to.  He now has the perfect spec just like mr raid DPS and can choose his silencing shot for flavor without having to sacrifice DPS to do so.

Mr pick anything usually was one of two types of people.  One that didn't care about the perfect spec or one that didn't know about the perfect spec.  Both would never look things up because one didn't care to and one didn't know to.  Now they both have the perfect raid DPS spec like mr raid DPS and both have the utility like mr utility and neither of them had to care or know to get those things.

So not being able to pick a spec made everyone's life better.  It made everyone's life easier.

We will lose a lot, a hell of a lot, not having the choice to make our own specs but there is a great deal we will get when it happens as well.

Things will still fall into a what is the best choice for the 6 utility abilities and those 6 will usually be posted in places like elitist jerks and the such.  Things saying, silencing shot is a good choice for this boss or ironhawk is required for this boss and things like that.   All of that will be to assist however, I doubt any of it will ever be make or break because at least in theory that is not what those abilities are meant to be if the advertising is to be believed.

Everyone having the same spec means, more then ever before, that people have no excuse for lack of ability.  You have the same tools everyone else does.  You have the same skills everyone else does.  You have the same cooldowns as everyone else.  Being there are no choices, you are always 100% the same as everyone else.  If someone is doing better then you in the same gear then there is no excuse except for it is you.

For the assorted 6 abilities, which could play a factor it will also be easier to correct people if indeed best case is decided upon by the theory crafting crew.  It will be a lot easier to tell someone, switch that point to rapid fire than telling someone they need to completely respec.

There is the second reason why no choice is the best choice.

With our new no choice option we only have the flavor points and from what it seems to be those flavor points can be changed on a whim and one at a time.  Whereas before when you might have needed silencing shot for a fight you needed to completely respec and research which spec that has silencing shot is also the best DPS spec now you can just move a flavor point over and you have silencing shot.  No research needed.  No complete respec needed.  Just nice and easy and simple.

Respecing for a single fight because it is needed for only that one fight is now a million times easier as well.  How many marksmen have went into concussive barrage just for beth or a fight like that?  No need to any more. 

If you have an ability that is really needed on rare occasion, one you used to have to completely respec for, it is either baseline in your spec now or it is as simple as changing a flavor point.

Another bonus to the new cookie cutter style is no deep research needed.  If you are a marksmen hunter and want to try out survival just pick the survival spec and you got the perfect survival spec.  No research needed.  You pick it, you got it.

Now go find yourself a rotation (or priority) guide and you are ready to roll.  You might not break any world of logs records as soon as you switch but you can be 100% sure that you will have the exact same spec that the person that is #1 for hunters on world of logs has, so you are starting in the right place.

There is one other thing that the changes to the talents in MoP is doing that, for me, is huge.  Beyond huge even.  Insanely huge.

No need for dual spec any more.  No no, not like that.

My tanks tank and my healers heal.  My warrior was prot and my priest was disc.  When they finally got the ability to dual spec my prot warrior got a second prot spec.  My disc priest got a permanent PvP disc spec.  My tank was still only a tank and my healer was still only a healer.

If I really wanted to get into it I could say that my priest could have easily used trispec and still been only disc.  I could have an atonement spec, a non atonement spec and a PvP spec.  Heck, I could have even had a different spec for soloing old content.  Yes, it is something I have looked into, soloing old raids in disc for fun to see how far I could get.

No longer is that needed.  Disc is disc is disc.  All I can do is change the flavor points.  Whereas respecing completely could be researched each time I wanted to do it I don't need to any more.

I mourn the loss of special specs for special tasks but I do not mourn the idea that I need to constantly respec every time I wished to do something different.

Do some dungeons with atonement spec being I don't need healing only spec for randoms and then switch to PvP spec for a few battleground and then to a pure healing spec for raid night.  I needed three specs for one days worth of playing.  Not even dual spec helped here.  No longer.  Disc is disc is disc as I said.  All three of those things are the same exact spec now and changing the flavor points is a lot easier then completely respecing.

My warrior will no longer need to go deeper into fury for piercing howl just for my add tanking spec.  Piercing howl is now a flavor thing that I can switch on and off as I need it.  My life has entered ez mode when it comes to respecing.  Maybe my warrior might actually have a DPS spec for once?

How about my hunter?  At the moment I am MM and SV on my main hunter but when I go out and about in the world I would love to have a BM spec in case I run into a BM only rare tame.  I never switch because the cost of switching and the time to respec just isn't worth it to do it every single day.  Now, switch to BM and no worries about having to build a spec even for temporary use.  Once I spec BM I am ready to roll with it.  Nice and easy.

As much as I really hate losing my ability to make some seriously strange combo specs, was even better in wrath when we where not locked to one tree for a certain amount of points, I am starting to think that this no choice option is really the best choice.

For all I loss not being able to choose my spec I gain something else.  In some cases, I gain a lot more.  Like my disc priest will be able to be all disc things in one spec.  Now I need to decide on holy or shadow as a dual spec.  A decision I have never needed to ever face before because both specs where always used for disc.

So while I have less choice in making my spec, having only one spec means I now have more choice because my warrior is no longer prot/prot and my priest is no longer disc/disc.

Less choices gave me more choices.  Who would have guessed?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Random Thoughts

- Today I am mostly thinking about achievements.

- I was looking over some of my alts and seeing who I've done things on and who I didn't.

- It is funny how you can see what alts I was using at different times based on achievements.

- My paladin has absolutely zero wrath dungeon achievements.

- Not even one normal done.

- I do have nearly every raid in wrath done with her.

- Oddly enough my paladin shows as having never beaten hodir.

- My paladin has the achievement for beating all keepers, which includes hodir.

- My paladin has a slew of achievements from hodir like coolest friends, buffed all winter, cheese the freeze, etc but shows as having never once downed hodir.

- How exactly is that possible?

- Ulduar has a whole slew of fun achievements.  I like going back just to get them even now.

- Some of the achievement are actual achievements too.

- I hate those achievements that are achievements for doing it right.

- Like its not easy being green.

- An achievement for not getting hit by things you shouldn't get hit by to begin with.

- That is not an achievement.

- What has the game fallen into when doing things the way they should be done gets you an achievement.

- Ready for raiding is another one like that but then again there is something funny about that achievement at least.

- It really isn't an achievement to do it right but it is funny to think that doing it right makes someone ready for raiding.

- Some ulduar achievements are actually achievements.

- That is because you are doing things to make in intentionally harder.

- Like saronite in the morning, leaving the vapors up is intentionally hindering you making it more of a challenge.

- Now that is an achievement.

- Maybe its not easy being green should have been to have every member in the party hit by all those things and survive.

- Now that would be an achievement.

- It would really put all the stress on the healer, but to have everyone get hit by everything and have no one die, now that is an achievement.

- And it would really make sense to say its not easy being green because it is not easy to get hit by all that crap and live, nevertheless have everyone hit by all that stuff and live would be a real achievement.

- I like doing achievement runs for fun.

- With all the alts I have there is always someone I can bring to get achievements with if I am not needed to help on one of my other characters.

- There is something about the "ding" of an achievement popping up that I love.

- I think that is why I love alts more then anything else.

- A whole new chance to get new achievements.

- A whole new chance to do raids.

- My main hunter might have done it a 100 times, but my alt hunter hasn't, so it is all new and all exciting again.

- Not to mention I get to see all those achievements pop up.

- I love that.

- And that is another reason to love ulduar.

- One raid, 30 achievements minimum on one run.

- I love bringing alts through there.

- And you can go back again and again and again because there are dozens more achievements.

- Some achievements are just downright impossible to get at the same time.

- Can't choose steel, mo and burn at the same time can you?

- It takes at least three visits for that one.

- I like achievements.  I like the pop ups.  I like that some take many trips to get.

- I guess that is another reason I like ulduar so much.

- Speaking of ulduar, there is nothing more exiting then sharing ulduar with someone the first time.

- Every time I do a run with someone that has never been there before all you hear is oohs and aahs.

- It reminds me of my first time through there.

- They look at the raids they see now and wonder, why can't they be like this.

- After seeing the scenery of ulduar you can realize that they spent a lot of time on it, they loved what they where doing when they made it and it showed.

- We need more raids like ulduar.

- People would not mind waiting 9 months between patches if they had 9 months of ulduar to do.

- 9 months and I might have finished it when it was out and not old.

- We where on mimron, the other 3 keepers where down, when ToC came out so sadly we only beat ulduar when we where out gearing it with ToC and ICC gear.

- They say they will not do something like that again because so few people got to see the whole thing.

- Excuse me blizzard but I don't mind.

- Anyway, the reason I did not see the whole thing is two phased.

- One being I am in a casual guild and two being that you released ToC three days after you released ulduar.

- Okay, three days is a huge exaggeration but you get the idea.

- If we had more time with ulduar as the top raid we might have finished it.

- Might still have never seen Al, but that is fine.

- Al could be saved until we over geared it or over leveled it.

- Nothing wrong with a casual guild only getting there at 85.  Nothing at all.

- I did get to see it in wrath, but I did not beat it until 85.

- I am completely fine with that and I would hazard a guess that most of the players would be as well.

- We had so many different achievements to do.

- We had some great scenery to see and always introduce new people too.

- We had a huge raid that actually felt like a raid.

- There was only one mistake with ulduars design.

- We did not have enough time with it to really truly enjoy it as an end game raid.

- At least we can still go back and do it for fun, which I love to do.

- I've got 2 new hunters at 85 that have never been there.

- I have a new DK and a new priest that will be ready for their first time there as well soon.

- I am going to enjoy every minute of it when I go.

- There is one thing I was thinking about when doing these old raids that has me wondering.

- With the change to all melee interrupts becoming 15 seconds there are a lot of bosses I hope they change or they will make even old raids hard.

- Can you imagine nef in BWD without being able to interrupt those guys on the stands?

- I can see it now, level 90s wiping on an old raid because they can not interrupt them.

- You know how we get talent changes before the new expansions come out?

- I can already see 85s in all DS heroic gear wiping on that fight once the talents change.

- Makes you wonder if there is anyone in blizzards office that pays attention to these things and asks these questions.

- I am thinking of making another achievement whore character just for fun.

- I love having something to aim for and I really love when I can do it solo for the most part.

- I've four manned all the hard modes of ulduar but there is no way in hell I am good enough of a player to solo them.

- But that still makes them fun.

- Have to love the high life totals we have now when doing older raids.

- It makes things once thought impossible possible.

- I hunter tank some stuff in ulduar.

- Would be even easier if we still had our old agility converting to dodge thing with the huge agility we have now.

- That and aspect of the beast and I would have more dodge than a bear druid.

- I think a hunter tank spec is long over due.  Let our pets tank or let us tank.

- If I make another achievement whore it would probably be a hunter.

- I am thinking of transferring one of my hunters to the server I have my priest on.

- The hunter I would transfer is inscription and jewelcrafting.

- Would be ideal for my priest.

- My priest is enchanting and it is really expensive starting on a new server.

- Will be nice when I can have all the key things I need for end game that I can make myself.

- With gems, enchants and glyphs all self provided life is good.

- A guild will usually provide the flask, so that is not much of a worry.

- But that would defeat why I have my priest where I have my priest.

- I wanted the starting all new feeling again.

- I got it.

- Too bad I am on a server that sucks for leveling players.

- I am always short on cloth being you level so fast so my tailoring, and in turn my enchanting, are lagging behind.

- I buy the cloth when I can off the market and have been selling everything that is not nailed down to try and make some cash.

- Still it is hard on that server.

- 60 gold for a stack of mageweave, I will never catch up.

- On my main server mageweave is 5 gold a stack.

- I'll make due, I wanted the feeling of starting new and I got it.

- While I might have the experience to work the market and to make it work I can imagine how hard it is on a new player being professions lag so badly like that.

- I feel really bad for the new players and honestly can not say that if I started now I would have continued playing.

- I could not even afford flying at 60.

- I loved it.

- Yeap, you heard me right.  I loved it.

- I actually ran around on a ground mount questing.

- It is taking me twice as long to level as it normally does, but I am loving every minute of it.

- So it will take me 4 days played to get to 85 instead of 2.  Big deal.

- I am more concerned with gemming up when I hit 85.

- More on my priests adventures can be found on the grumpy gnome, linked on the side, a blog made for his leveling only for fun, if you are interested.

- I can't wait until I hit 85 and start to run everything again.

- Lots and lots of achievements every step of the way everywhere I go.

- That is why I love leveling alts I think.

- I also think I said that already.

- Is there an achievement for that?

- Have a great day all.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Playing WoW "IS" Being Productive

Seems like a topic I have seen a few places today, like over at MMO Melting Pot, is about people playing WoW and feeling as if they are being unproductive.  They seem to be missing a point about gaming however that actually goes to show that in a way gaming, in this case playing WoW, is productive.

While I am willing to accept that too much of anything is a bad thing and there is a line, and that line is different for every person, gaming is not as bad a thing as people try to make it out to be.

Everyone needs to have something to stimulate the mind.  The mind is like any muscle, it needs to be used or it will deteriorate.  That alone makes playing WoW a productive thing in and of itself.  It keeps the mind active and in many cases way more active then other common hobbies people choose to pass the time.

If someone watches three hours of prime time television a night, which actually is the number the average person watches, it is considered normal.  Even if they watch 5 hours a day when you include some talk shows, or news shows or any other sort of entertainment it is considered fine.

I don't know about you as I can only speak for myself but I find playing a game that requires interaction a lot more mentally stimulating than watching TV.

Many studies have found that people that have hobbies in which they are actively using their mind have better mental health further into life.  So exercising your mind playing WoW would indeed be a productive thing.  Just like doing some exercise is good for your physical health and eating right is good for your medical health having an active hobby to stimulate your mind is good for your mental health.

Everyone wastes time during the day and most do not consider what they do unproductive.  Watching TV, reading a book, going to the bar, going to the gym, fixing up old cars, posting auctions on ebay, etc, these are all things people might do on a daily basis.  They are all things people do to relax, to unwind, to have some "my" time with.

How is it that you doing what you want to do with your "my" time is unproductive yet someone else doing what they want with their "my" time is productive?

As long as your hobby (WoW) does not interfere with your normal day to day life and responsibilities you are not being unproductive, you are just stimulating your mental health.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cataclysm Miscues: IX: Leveling

This is the ninth in a series of posts about the little things that cataclysm messed up on this expansion.  These little things are things that mostly go unnoticed or are easily overlooked because they are usually not game breaking but they do leave you having that feeling of something being off.

Past posts:
Cataclysm Miscues: I: Healing & Mana Potions
Cataclysm Miscues: II: Hemet Nesingwary
Cataclysm Miscues: III: Targeting
Cataclysm Miscues: IV: Professions
Cataclysm Miscues: V: Flow
Cataclysm Miscues: VI: The Gap
Cataclysm Miscues: VII: Stats
Cataclysm Miscues: VIII: Gems

Isn't Leveling Supposed to be Fun?

Cataclysm made many miscues that can be summed up in one word but none where that one word means so many different things all at once.  Leveling is one of those words.  The revamped leveling of 1-60.  The leveling of 60-70 left as is, and then adjusted.  The level of 70-80 left as is, and then changed twice.  The leveling of 80-85.  The leveling of professions.  Every step of the way, anything you can pin the word leveling on was a miscue of cataclysm.

Let us start at the beginning.  While the old world revamp is not actually a part of cataclysm content like people like to think it is because you do not need the cataclysm expansion to experience it, it was introduced in cataclysm, so all the problems that are attached to it are cataclysm problems.

The leveling speed from 1-60 in the revamped world is so out of whack that you can basically level and miss the entire story they are trying to tell.  If you are a once a week player and queue up for a dungeon when you come on one Saturday you can conceivably get up to three levels in one dungeons effectively missing nearly an entire leveling zone in the matter of a 30 minute dungeon run.

The experience offered in low level dungeons is out of line.  It makes you miss out on the whole history of the game.  You do not get to experience any of the story, of the beautiful landscapes they designed, of the travel that makes you feel as if you are part of the world.  Leveling is just too fast.

Even if you are a daily player that does not do dungeons you are missing out on a lot leveling now.  Questing is effectively the best way to level.  The quests offer huge chunks of experience and if you kill everything too and from the questing area then each big quest area you work on could be a level in itself.

With no rested, no guild bonus, no heirlooms and no experience, you will still out level a zone well before you are anywhere close to finishing it.  They decided to speed up leveling but they did not adjust the zones to keep with the new faster leveling pace.  The zones should have been redesigned to not have half their quests left undone, or done as limited experience quests because you out leveled the zone.

Now add to the speed leveling that is offered in the old world now with the advent that they have added what seems like 100s if not 1000s of rare creatures to the world, all that gives more experience then turning in a quest does and a respawn rate that allows you to camp them to level if you want to because they reappear so quickly.  Makes one wonder why they call them rare creatures when they are anything but.  Perhaps they should be called what they really are, level jumpers.  Kill a few rares and jump right past a level.

Another side effect of leveling that quickly that cataclysm seemed to have missed was the leveling of professions.  Lets start with gathering professions.

Picking the right gathering professions, skinning in an area with lots of animals, mining in an area with lots of mountains or herbalism in an area with lots of grass and you are fine, you will level that as fast as anything could possibly level.  Pick the wrong one and you will be stuck behind for a while.  You might even need to go back.

For example, roll a tauren and skinning and you will be 75 before you can even train to get the next level.  Pick mining and you might be in trouble unless you go out of your way to level it.

When leveling took more time every gathering skill, even if you did not pick a starting area that is advantageous to it, would keep up with your leveling.  Now that the speed of leveling is so fast, if you pick the wrong profession for your starting zone, you can find yourself in the pinch of needing to go back to gathering in an area that offers no experience just to catch your profession up.

That is not as bad as it sounds when you compare it to crafting professions.  There is no crafting profession that can come close to keeping up with the speed you level now.  When we got the patch that changed the leveling speed of characters no patch was given to changing the leveling speed of professions.

None of the crafting professions is worse than leatherworking.  Do to the absolute insane amount of leather it takes to make one piece of gear to level and you leveling so fast that you never actively build up a stock pile, if you wanted to level straight through you would be stuck leaving your leatherworking behind and coming back for it later or spending gold on the market to play catch up.

Most other crafting professions are like that as well.  Of all of them the only two that are not totally horrible with keeping up with it as you go are inscription and alchemy.  Unless you happen to dungeon or PvP a lot, then no herbs for you.

There is another little miscue with profession leveling in cataclysm most might not even notice.  It goes back to the gather professions on your first trip through the basin in wrath content.  You can, and will, level any gathering profession to max 525 while in the basin doing the Nesingwary quest line.  I don't mind it at all really but think about it for a moment.  Is there any reason why you can level to the maximum of cataclysm content, or very near it, in an area that is meant to be 4 levels before the end of the previous expansion?

When leveling was changed it was left untouched in BC and wrath content.  This left people, even more so new people, with a bit of a culture shock.  Going from the blazing speed leveling that the old world was to a more balanced and intelligently designed questing scheme could throw some kinks in the works for people.  Lets not even get into the fact that there were elite quests in those areas that where meant to require skill and thinking, something the old world completely removed from the leveling process.  That is a whole different story.

So that as well was one of the miscues of cataclysm.  Develop a new leveling standard and then not make it game wide.  They should have released catalysm with an updated speed of leveling in BC and wrath at the start, there was no reason not to.

When they finally noticed their mistake they made two changes over time. One was a blanket reduction to the amount of experience needed to level and the other was removing all the elite quests by making those quest mobs normal mobs.  This was another miscue of cataclysm.  It would have been more effective to change the experience awarded by the quests instead of making a blanket reduction to experience needed.

For an example of how this was a major miscue all we have to do is look at BC content currently.  Being BC and wrath still use the hard quest designation that seems to have been removed from the old world questing that meant you get too many levels in one area.  If they wanted to speed up leveling the best bet would have been to adjust the quests themselves.

It is quite possible to get to level 64 or 65 in hellfire alone meaning that you might do a few quests in nagrand or terokkar and be at 68 and moving on to northrend.  It was, and is, quite possible that you would level through BC content now and never even notice that zangarmarsh, blades edge, netherstorm or shadowmoon was even there.  Even in the few cases that you might have ventured into zangermarsh or blades edge it is quite common for someone that is leveling in this new design to have never even entered netherstorm or shadowmoon.

The last leveling miscue of cataclysm was the new cataclysm content itself.  We where told that even though we would only be having 5 levels it would be the same experience as leveling 10 levels where in BC and wrath.  We where lied to.

Even after two series of nerfs to BC and wrath leveling, one for experience needed to level and one removing all the elite quests, it still takes longer to level 10 levels in BC or 10 levels in wrath than it does to level 5 levels in cataclysm.

The 5 levels that felt like 10 that we were promised was about as off target as saying that elton john is a ladies man.  It is a flat out lie.  Cataclysm content seems to follow the idea of the redesigned old world, where leveling is merely an inconvenience and no longer a meaningful part of the game meant for fun, lore and exploration.

So if you are playing cataclysm, like it or not is irrelevant, and you ever felt like some things just did not seem right then perhaps this is one of those things you subconsciously noticed.  While not game breaking the leveling process is one of the miscues of cataclysm.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Evaluating My Numbers

Last night I got myself three new pieces of gear so I will have to see what happens next week but for the last few weeks I have felt stuck with my DPS while making the switch from marksmen to survival.  I know I can get more out of the gear I have but I am just not doing it.

I usually use the looking for raid as a training tool to try and get better.  It is ideal for me to get comfortable with a new spec.  I will test things there like using cooldowns at a different time or messing with my rotation some like pooling focus at certain points.  Trust me, it might not always be ideal for DPS numbers but pooling can make target switching and downing a lot easier.  Again, none of that is needed in the looking for raid but that doesn't mean I don't try to do the best I can do.

I've got my shiny new bow, 397 tier legs and a 397 chest too so no doubt my DPS will go up next week but that does not mean I have to start evaluating my numbers all over again.  I still know what I was doing, I still know how it ended and I can still figure out what I was doing wrong.

That is one of the reasons I feel DPS is the most exciting role in the game.  It is a never ending battle to do the best you can do and at the moment I know I can do better which means I have a lot of work ahead of me.

All the fights in the looking for raid I've seen a steady increase on each week since switching to survival even though I have not gotten a new piece of gear in three weeks but each of the three weeks I saw an increase.  Only one boss did I see a decrease on in those three week and that was the 5th boss.  Oddly enough, the DPS race boss is the only one I saw a loss on.

Madness is the one that seems to get me.  I think when the new raid was released and the first time I had ever done it I was 44K.  Each week that passed I got better, one week about a month ago while still marksmen I broke 60K for the first time.  Since then I have not been able to do it again even though from everything I read survival is supposed to be leaps and bounds better on that fight.  The last three weeks with the same gear as survival, which is better then when I did 60K as marksmen, I have done 56K, 56K and 56K respectively.  Notice a pattern there?

Admittedly I can do much better but 2 of those 3 times 56K was enough to be top dog DPS wise by at least 8K.  It might seem odd but I run a lot of characters through there and it does seem like 48K is where everyone tops out.  There are usually 2 or 3 people above that, but never more.  Only once did anyone beat me and that was a DK that did 67K but his damage done was 1/2 mine so that means he capped out and then just hung around so his 67K looked good.

Sometimes I have to wonder about people like that.  Don't they realize that anyone with a brain knows they are not really as good as they are trying to pass themselves off as?  Anyone can pull off some sick burst numbers if they know what to do.  Saw a mage do 120K on that fight once in a wipe attempt.  He blew everything, capped out, got himself killed and then bragged about how awesome he was.  The group kicked him, I love when stuff like that happens.

It is kind of like an OS 3D run I did the other day.  I had 28K and someone else had 41K and they asked me why my DPS was so low yet we had almost the same damage done.  I said, because I killed the adds after the boss went down and you didn't.  My DPS dropped because of it where yours stayed at your burn numbers when the boss went down.

That is one of the reasons that just looking at DPS numbers is not where it is at.  You need to look at the bigger picture.  So when I am saying I did 56K on the last three weeks I also mean that my damage done was nearly the same all three weeks.  I at least attempt to look at the bigger picture.  If I can push to 60K but do the same damage done, it does not mean I did 4K better, I did the same.

One mistake I always seem to make it with my rapid fire.  I am so used to a 3 minute cooldown and readiness where I would use it often.  With survival it is a 5 minute cooldown and that is killer.  I can use it twice during the fight as survival as opposed to at least eight times in marksmen but always seem to only do it once.  I seem to have it as part of my normal thing in marksmen but have not really gotten into using it as survival in the same way.

It is not because I forget but it is because of the time I feel it is best to use it does not fit well with the wanting to use it twice.  I am considering blowing it at the start of the first platform which would allow it to be available for when I want to use it but I always feel like it is a waste there.

The question to ask there is this, is more DPS ever really a waste in a fight like that?  Just because it is not needed doesn't mean I shouldn't use it.  So I am blowing away something that was the easy part anyway. 

Damage dealing is not like healing or tanking.  Wasting a huge healing cooldown even if it is not needed because no one is injured because it will be back when you know you will need it later is useless, it won't hurt you, sure, but it is useless.  Wasting a defensive cooldown when you are not taking any damage just because you know it will be available when you need it later is a waste just like the healer thing.  But wasting a DPS cooldown is not really wasting, as long as it is there when you really do need it. 

Laying a big heal on someone with 100% life = a waste. 
Using a 50% damage reduction for 12 seconds when you know you are taking not damage for 12 seconds = a waste. 
Using a damage dealing cooldown when it does not interfere with when you need it later = a huge plus.

There, I convinced myself, now I just need to remember to use the damn thing at the start of the fight, even if it is not required, it will still be a plus.  The little things like that do make a difference.  The thing is to remember them.  Rapid fire just does not seem to have its place in my survival world at the moment.  I need to force it into it.

My other issue with the fight is something I think most people over look.  I have herbalism as a skill.  Herbalism has lifeblood.  Lifeblood gives you 480 haste every 2 minutes.  It is off the global cooldown.  It is something I should be using every single cooldown but never do.

It is nice to realize the errors you are making.  It is another thing to correct them.  I need to correct them.

There is one other thing I think I need to work on being I have switched to survival.  Should I use the wait half a second thing or fire an arcane between lock and load free explosives.

The way I am currently doing it is this.  Lock and load procs.  If I am low on focus I wait half a second between explosives.  If I am high on focus I fire an arcane between them.  I never fire a cobra between them.  While on paper this seems like a fine idea I can't help but feel there is something off with it.  As if I am doing something wrong.

I've never been a fan of survival.  I know many people swear by it and say it is fun or the best hunter spec but to each their own.  I am a marksmen.  That is what I am good at, that is what I like, I like that it feels like a challenge to do correctly.

I like survival because it is not like marksmen in one major way, you make one mistake in marks and you see it with your over all numbers but with survival you screw up left and right and while your numbers will reflect it the actual drop in damage done is miniscule when compared to screwing something up in marksmen.

I think I like marksmen because it feels like more of a challenge whereas survival seems more like the play for fun sort of spec.  I am getting used to doing it but I am still not 100% comfortable with it.  I won't be happy until I can beat my markmen numbers while in survival being survival is supposed to be the better spec.

With three new pieces I am sure I will not have 56K for the 4th week in a row, I should blow that away now but can I do it while using a second rapid fire and using my herbalism bonus?  That is what is the most important change should be.  That is all damage that is easily available to me.  That is all damage that requires zero skill.  That is all damage waiting for me to use it that I am not using it.

I can surely tie up rotation up better.  I can surely make better shot selections.  I can surely pool focus when I know bloods are coming.  There is a lot I can do to get better but none are as easy as making sure I use the skills available to me that I have not been using.

So when I evaluate my numbers I notice that the biggest problem with them is that I am not using all the tools in my toolbox so the fact I was doing okay means nothing.  I was not doing all I could.  Have to love DPS.  No matter how you do, you can always do it better.

Survival is supposed to be the better spec yet I did more as marksmen.  It goes to prove what I always say.  You will always do better with what you are comfortable playing.  The thing for me is, if survival is showing it is best, I'll just have to get comfortable with it.  I might not be in a server first type of guild but that doesn't mean that I can not give 100% all the time.  I play for fun, doing good is fun.  I want to have fun.  I want to do good.  Survival is supposed to be better then marksmen yet I have still never beat my marksmen numbers.  I will get there, no matter how long it takes.  Maybe using my toolbox better might be the difference.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Perspectives Based On Roles

Each role has its ups and downs.  Some I like better in circumstances more than others.  Having played all three (four of you count melee and ranged as two different ones, which I do) I can make a personal judgement on them based on situations.  We all have our personal opinions, these are mine.

Low Level Dungeons:

Tank: I dislike being a tank in low level dungeons because there more than any place else you really need to know the dungeons.  They are not like BC, Wrath and Cata where everything is easily set forward.  I still get lost in some dungeons and that is why I do not like tanking them.  It usually ends up one of two ways.  Way one, you need to lead and know where to go or way two happens.  Way two, some idiot DPS or healer will run ahead of you and pull everything for you and then complain if they die because you did not get aggro off of them.

Also, low level dungeons seem to have more "we are invincible" attitude than high level ones from many of the players.  Low level dungeons are more often to turn into a wipe at a moments notice for no good reason because of people that do not understand that tanks do not have as many aggro generating tools and healers do not have as many heals and most definitely not quick heals and AoE heals at lowest levels.  Any failures here always fall on the tanks back when in truth 80% of the time wipes in low level dungeons have more to do with the DPS then the tanks or healers.

Healer:  This is hit or miss really and it usually depends on the tank more then anything else.  If you have a tank that notices that most heals are something along the lines of 3 second casts and that mana is a very limited resource then healing low level dungeons can be really easy and fun.  If you get a tank that never lets you drink and keeps pulling or pulls too much, incoming wipefest, and there is nothing you can do about it with your long cast heals and even more limited toolbox.

One good part about it is that as a healer, if you speak up and do not act like a jerk 99 out of 100 times the group will side with you.  One line like, I am sorry but there where too many mobs and I only have so much mana at this level.  Or, could you please let me drink next time before pulling the boss, I burn through mana so quick at this level.  Either of those politely said lines and the 3 DPS, unless they are grouped with the tank to begin with, will always be on your side.

Melee DPS: Low level dungeons can really be fun for melee.  Things die so quick but you have no cast time moves which means you get maximum up time.  Also, if the tank goes down and you have a remotely competent healer combined with knowing how to play your class and using whatever ability you have to adapt to being the tank now you can tank nearly anything at low levels as a melee, yes, even as a rogue.

Ranged DPS: This is both good and bad.  Ranged usually get some decent AoE early on and in low level dungeons you can live with AoE only for the most part.  The bad is that everything dies so fast, which means if you try to actually do anything even remotely resembling a rotation you will do nothing.  It will go like this.  Pick a target, start casting, just as cast is about to finish, mob dies, cast interrupted.  Tab to next mob, start casting, just as the cast is about to finish, mob dies, cast interrupted.  It is completely annoying and frustrating to the 10th degree. 

Even worse if you are a hunter.  Casters can do instants and drink when they need mana.  When hunters need focus, they need to steady to get it back.  Most mobs die within the cast time of a hunters steady.  This means auto shoot only most of the time but if you are an experienced hunter, you can easily compensate, but like all casters in low level dungeons, it is just no fun.

Learning The Role:

Tank: Learning to tank can be a very daunting task.  You can only really do it in a group setting which means unless you assemble the group yourself any failures are for everyone else to see and ridicule you about.  This could very well be the reason there are not many tanks.  Unless you pick up really quickly on things and can move from reading to implementing smoothly and quick, you will fail and you will need think skin to deal with all the fail tank remarks.

One good thing is that if you are somewhat lacking most of the times a melee can handle a few hits before you taunt back.  In many cases the healer can compensate while you are learning the best times to use cooldowns.  You can make some failures along the way and not have any ill effects from it because there are others there to compensate for you.

While learning to tank can be amazingly difficult in ways that non tanks will never be fully capable of understanding it is in the same richly rewarding once you do it right because you get to feel like the superhero of the group once you got it down.

Healer:  Tanking is hard but can be learned with people around you being bad.  Healing is impossible to learn with people around you being bad.  Tank pulls to much you try to cast your long big heal, tank dies.  Tank pulls to much next time, you try to cast an instant, an HoT, and anything else fast you have, tank dies.  Tank pulls to much a third time and you try to cast something instant, something fast and expensive and then roll out the long big heal, tank dies.  See, you just went through the entire learning process and tied a few different ways to deal with the situation but the tank died every time. 

It is not your fault, it is the tanks.  Does he have a stun he can use, an interrupt for the caster he can use, CC he could have asked for, the ability to pull less?  If any of those are true, and I am sure at least one is, the tank is a bad tank and you can never see that learning process you just went through actually work because at the moment you are incapable of doing it.  It is not possible with your gear and abilities while learning.

If you have DPS that are pulling aggro and running away from the tank.  If you have DPS that are all attacking different mobs.  If you have a group that does not notice you are being attacked and no one helps.  If you have bad players, it is nearly impossible to learn.  Side note, yes, bad groups later on teach you to become a better healer, this part is about learning, learning with bad groups makes you pull your hair out.  It makes you quit.  This could be part of the reason we have a healer shortage just like we have a tank shortage.  Learning at the start is really hard sometimes.

DPS Melee & Ranged: Without doubt it is the easiest role to learn.  You attack what the tank is attacking and has the most aggro on.  Even if you are someone that rides the short yellow bus you will get the idea that if you attack things the tank is not attacking or the tank does not have aggro on you will die. That is your learning process.  Hit buttons, do damage, don't do something that gets you killed.

Perfecting Your Craft:

Tank: Once you know your role perfecting it as a tank is probably one of the easiest things.  Once you know how to pull mobs, all mobs are the same.  Doesn't make a difference if it is 2 casters and 3 melee at level 35 or 85, you will pull them the same, just with more useful abilities at higher levels.  Also, at higher levels when you get new abilities they are easier for you to identify as a tank then as a healer or DPS.  This basically means, once you know how to tank, you know how to tank.  You will just get better at doing things cleaner.  You will get better with interrupts, with stuns, with cooldown usage, with integrating DPS into your tanking.  Once you know the role you know the role.  Once you can do it, you can do it.  Bare minimum is can do.  You can do the job with bare minimum.  So you have time to perfect your craft.

Healer: Healer is like the tank in one way.  Once you can do it, you can do it.  If bare minimum is keeping people alive and you can do that you can get by with bare minimum.  From that point on it is just a matter of doing it more efficiently and making it less stressful for yourself.  Unlike tanks where new abilities are usually a clear cut what is better healers do not have that luxury.  Some abilities might seem like a good thing but really are not.  Some things just don't scream out at you how to use them like they do with a tank.  Perfecting your craft as a healer is much more involved then it is for a tank.

Melee & Ranged DPS: As easy as it is to DPS to start with is as hard as it is to master it later on.  Like healers they do not have the luxury of an upgrade to an ability being as clear cut as possible.  Where a tank and a healer don't use a rotation, they react, a damage dealer needs to use a rotation, or priority if you will.  There is a perfect way to do things and that will always offer the best results.  There is a perfect way to do your rotation, or priority.  There is a perfect way to time your abilities being it spamming or waiting a half a second.  There is a perfect way of using cooldowns.  There is perfection and there is you.  You will never meet perfection, ever, even if you play for a million years.  That is why mastering the craft of DPS is the hardest part of the game. 

Simplest way to explain the perfecting your craft differences it to join up in a pug on your local server.  If you tank or heal and say you have done the fight before, 95% of the time it is an instant invite, no further question asked.  Like I said, if you can do it, you can do it when it comes to tanking and healing.  For a DPS they will ask what your DPS is and if they do not feel it is up to what they want you do not get an invite.  Saying, I've done it as a damage dealer is just not acceptable.  Damage dealers can not just get away with having to have done it, they need to have done it well.


Tank: Leveling as a tank in today's world is a beautiful thing.  Walk into a zone and start pulling, round up half the zone, 20 minutes later take a breath and get read to spend the next 5 minutes looting.  There has never been a better case for AoE looting then tank questing.  Even more so if you are questing as a warrior or a bear.  The more mobs the better for them.  One on one killing can take time but twenty on one killing takes almost the same amount of time as one on one would.  Some can argue that tank questing might be in a position right now where it is the best way to level, at least if you are a melee class that has the option of a tank spec.

Healer: Healer questing means you hate your life and you want to make things as hard as humanly possible.  With the exception of discipline priest questing, which is quite effective, healers are not exactly built to quest.  Can they do it?  Yes.  Should they do it?  Not unless you are Disc.

Melee DPS:  If you are a DK, warrior or paladin spec for tanking or you are bound to die a little more often then you might like.  If you are a cat, make good use of bear if you want to survive.  If you are a rogue, too bad so sad.  Recuperation makes life bearable as a rogue in today's world, but no one wearing leather should be getting beat on and more so beat on my multiple mobs.  Melee questing can be very effective.  One on one and you will speed through it no problem what so ever but once you get a few mobs you might be in trouble.  Good thing for melee that all those elite quests where changed in outlands and wrath because unless you where extremely good at your class there was no way a non tank could get that close to one of those melee mobs and not die.

Ranged DPS:  Always has been and always will be the best leveling role in the game.  Keep things at a distance and hopefully kill it before it gets to you.  All ranged classes can be OP when it comes to questing but none more so then hunters with the personal tank.  Ranged got it easy when it comes to questing and hunters got it easy when it comes to being ranged.  Being the game has changed so much however the hunter advantage of having the personal tank is evaporating.  Any ranged class can burn down any mob in mere seconds making the need for the personal tank a great deal less.


Tank: It depends on the content you are soloing but all tanks can easily solo a vast majority of dated content out there.  At least all old dungeons.  Only blood DKs however can go all psycho with their soloing content.  paladins might be able to get some extreme soloing done but warriors and druids are a no go.  If you want to solo content as a tank, do it as a blood DK.

Healer:  You're kidding me right?  They might be able to solo some classic dungeons at 85.  Disc can even solo some classic raid content.  I don't think any healer spec can even get past BC normals and if they do the skill involved most likely means the people capable of doing it are few and far between.

Melee DPS:  They can solo a fair deal of content but not nearly as much as their tanking counter parts in most cases.  Some melee classes can pull off some really interesting soloing but the skill level and preparations  required means that not many could do it leaving melee and soloing just a step above healers.  This means they can do some but it is not exactly practical.

Ranged DPS:  If you read a lot on the forums you will see some new ranged DPS soloing something insane nearly every week.  Just like they are the best questers they are also the best soloers.  While blood DKs get all the press ranged classes have been doing it for a long and and it is a lot easier to do it with them.  While the skill level required for a blood DK to solo some of the content they have soloed is insane, the skill cap for many fights, not all, for a ranged to solo some harder content is not anywhere in the same ballpark.  I am an average hunter and was soloing 85 heroics a few months into the expansion.  Good ones have soloed nearly all the original ones.  There have been mages, warlocks, hunters and shadow priests soloing insane stuff all expansion. While there are many things they can not solo when you look at the average player and what the average player can do, if you want to solo you can solo as ranged a lot easier then you could solo stuff blood DKs are doing.  No other role can come close to it.


Tanks: Crafting and crafting only here.  Jewelcrafting is ideal here but not talking about bonuses here.  I am talking about practicality.  Your dungeon queue will always be instant.  If you have a healing off spec your raid queue will be instant too.  If you have a DPS offspec it will be a small wait and in that time you can make some crafts to sell on the market.  If you are tank only, like I usually am, perhaps a gathering profession might be in order.  Usually mining if anything for me.  At least you can mine some while waiting in the raid queue.

Healer:  You will never wait for the raid queue.  You will never wait long for the dungeon queue.  This means crafting and crafting only.  A gathering profession on a healer is a waste.  You will never have the free time doing nothing to actively go gathering.

Melee & Ranged DPS:  Unless you have a tank or healer offspec to work with to speed up queue times you are going to spend your life waiting.  Might as well put that time to good use.  Get a gathering profession.  Unless you are in a hard mode server first type guild where you need to maximize your profession bonus it is really no big deal to have a gathering profession.  While waiting in queue for the raid finder and dungeon finder, which you will have to wait for, you can be out and about gathering.  At least you are making money doing something while waiting instead of sitting in some city letting your brain rot reading trade chat.


Tank: I find raid leading as a tank much easier then in any other role.  I have my task and that is what I am focused on and like I said earlier about tanking once you know how to do it you know how to do it.  This gives me more available time to keep track of life totals, timers, when the big moves are going to come, etc.  Not to mention, I am facing the raid when tanking and usually there is nothing behind me.  Sure, I have this big thing in front of me but it is not as bad as having your back to all the action.  Being many of the annoying mechanics never target the tank, this also means I am in the position that is the least likely to require moment which once again allows me to control everything that is going around and announcing any strategic changes on the fly.

Healer: I hate raid leading as the healer.  While I am in a much better position to see what others are doing and unlike the tank I can see the entire raid easily instead of just some mobs crotch and whatever is visible around it. Then again I tend to take healing a great deal more serious which usually means I get more focused and can sometimes miss things I should be calling out.  With an experienced group that does not need anything called out, this is fine, but while learning a fight or teaching it to new people, this could serve as a problem.

Melee DPS:  I don't know why, I just can't raid lead as melee DPS.  Maybe it is all the spell effects.  Maybe it is me not being extremely good at any melee class to the point where I do not need to even think about my rotation.  Maybe it is the stink coming from the bosses butt that distracts me.  Maybe it is having my back to the raid.  It could be a million things but I just do not feel like raid leading as a melee DPS gives me a good position to do it.

Ranged DPS:  Next to tanking this is the best position to raid lead from for me.  You can see everything that is going on, more so then the tank even.  While it does give a little added difficultly because you need to keep optimum rotation for maximum DPS, move as needed and call out everything, it is a lot easier then doing it from a healers standpoint which is the same basically.  If I make a mistake in my rotation I might drop 1K DPS which in most cases will not cause a wipe as opposed to if I make a mistake in healing it could drop one player, which could in most cases cause a wipe depending on who that person is.


Tank: When you want it nice and easy this is the way to go.  Just like a healer always trying to be better and a damage dealer always trying to do more damage you will always be trying to do more damage, to better time your cooldowns, etc.  The one main difference is, if you group can do the fight at your current skill level, it is not required.  You can sit back and relax and get the easiest job on the way to loot.  I always like to improve but it is nice to do something once in a while where you don't feel like you have to because there is no pressure on you.

Healing:  I love healing when the fight is new.  I love learning a new fight and healing on the fly before I know all the patterns for when damage is coming and where it is coming from and who it is going to.  I know my tools on how to heal so it is basically just doing what I know how to do in a different way.  Sadly a great deal of fights are only exciting that first time or two.  Once you got it down and everyone you are with got it down it gets boring fast really.

Melee & Ranged DPS:  This is where the action is when it comes to raiding.  Once the tank is tanking it fine and once the healers are healing it fine they can just chill out and collect loot.  However, as a damage dealer that is what you are all about.  If you did 28K today you want to do 28500 next week and 29000 the week after.  While it is not required, you could use the same argument about DPS as you do about tanking and healing and say once you can do it you can do it, it is not the same.  13K was faceroll if everyone was doing that in ICC back when it was out but you do not see people doing that now.  Nope, they are pushing it to see how high they can get.  Tanks and heals can rest as soon as they can get it done.  DPS can never rest.  There is always room to get better and always new heights to reach when it comes to doing damage.  DPS is where it is at, it is where good enough is never good enough.


Tank:  The large majority of the fights for tanks are pick a spot, tank the mobs there, and use cooldowns at a set time that never deviates.  Hence the reason I say tanking is the easiest job in the game when it comes to raiding.  I find fights like that boring as sin.  I love add fights.  I love having to run around and gather things up.  I love having to move the boss in a manner that keep it in range of the ranged as well as move it at a pace that melee can keep DPSing it.  I love active tanking fights.  There are not enough of them if you ask me.  If I am going to have just stand there I would prefer DPS tank fights where I DPS more then I tank.  It makes it more fun for me.  Nothing fun about standing in one place popping cooldowns at 30, 60 or 90 second intervals and never moving so might as well think of them as DPSing tank fights to spice it up.

Healers:  I love the newness of fights like I mentioned before.  I love the feeling of the sense of urgency.  I love feeling like anyone can die at any given moment.  I love healing like a mad man hoping, praying that my mana does not run out before the boss dies.  I love the pressure, it invigorates me.  I dislike just healing the tank and having to deal with huge damage spikes. Healing like that always seems to feel luck based more then skill based.  I dislike having raid damage that is instantly deadly.   I like it when I have a chance to respond and it is cast, cast, cast non stop. This is how healing should always be.  Everyone getting damage all the time, you going crazy keeping people up, it is a race to the enrage timer and the enrage timer is you mana bar.  Now that is exciting.

Melee DPS: I love stand still fights where I can just practice my rotation like on a target dummy.  I hate movement fights and target switching fights where I need to run all over the place.  It always feels like I am starting all over from the beginning when I have to do that.  I am not saying I just want to stay on the boss and pad my DPS numbers when I melee.  I have no problems with needing to interrupt, disarm, etc.  I do not mind if there are tasks that require me to do things other than damage but I hate running all over the place.  The run distance between where I am and where I need to be always feels like wasted time where I am doing nothing and it makes me feel basically useless.  If you noticed my comment about DPS having gathering professions so they can put their time waiting in queue to good use you will see it is not just a DPS thing.  Wasted time doing nothing is wasted time.  I don't like wasted time which means I don't like running all over the place to get to mobs.

Ranged DPS:  I don't have the same problem I do with melee.  Target switching, no problem.  Boss moving, no problem.  I enjoy most fights as ranged.  The only thing I really hate as ranged is when we are forced to move every two seconds.  Cast, move, cast, move, cast, move, that crap is for PvP, not raiding.  Otherwise, ranged is fun, no matter the mechanics.

I think I babbled enough for today.

Do you see things differently depending on which roll you play like I do?

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Item Slots: Accessory

With the emphasis being on PvP in MoP I started thinking about how to add a little spice to it.  I love patterns which is why I love raiding.  Once I see something I can start figuring out where I will position myself, when I can use my cooldowns, so forth and so on.  That, in my opinion, is really what separates the good players from the great players.

PvP does not have those patterns because people control the character you are fighting but it is not really all that different.  The more you do it the more you learn how to react to things you see.  Visual triggers if you will.  Where for raiding it is all about maximizing what you can do while dancing the dance PvP is about reacting faster to the other person.

While there are no patterns in PvP, unless you fight the same person over and over and they don't change things up, there is a skill set that is somewhat the same.  Instead of preplanning your attack against a raid boss knowing when to use your cooldowns, you preplan what you will need to beat certain classes.

If you are a good PvPer then you know what classes have what abilities and you adjust to fighting those classes by keeping your fingers over the keys that are bound to the relevant abilities.  Blah, blah, blah.  No need to go any further, if you have stayed reading for this long you know what is required to be a good PvPer or you think I actually have some point to make.  Time for the point.

New Item Slots: Accessory

Each player would have three accessory slots which you can put accessories in.  Accessories would all have abilities, either timed, on use or triggered and would all have resilience on them.  By having resilience on them only it will be known that they are meant for PvP.  While some of the trinkets abilities would have PvE uses they would never be make or break for the PvE environment.

Some trinket abilities would be as follows.

Equip: Whenever you fall below 20% of your maximum life all debuffs and DoTs will be removed and you become immune to any new DoTs or debuffs for 5 seconds.  This ability can not be triggered more then once per minute.

Equip: As long as you remain over 90% life you can not be the target of any CC abilities.  If you are under 90% life and CCed as soon as you are healed to over 90% it will break the CC.

Equip: Whenever you are hit by a critical strike the player that landed that hit will be slowed by 70%  for 2 seconds.

On Use:  When triggered the next melee attack that hits you will be reflected back for 100% unresistable damage.  1 minute cooldown.

On Use:  When triggered the next magical attack that hits you will be reflected back for 100% unresistable damage. 1 minute cooldown.

On Use:  Teleport yourself 50 yards from your current position.  Direction is random, if no 50 yard direction is available you will be teleported to the furthest possible distance.  1 minute cooldown.

Equip:  Whenever you take damage you gain 20 resilience.  This effect can stack up to 50 times, 20 second, refreshed on hit, buff duration.

Equip:  Whenever you are hit by a magical ability for damage you gain 100 resistance to that school of magic for 5 seconds.  This resistance does not stack or refresh.  You can have more then 1 resistance on you at a time.

Equip:  Whenever you are CCed the person that CCed you is also CCed by the same ability for the same duration.  This ability can not be triggered more then once per minute.

Equip:  Whenever you are slowed the applicant of the slow takes 1000 x duration of the slow in unresistable damage.

Equip:  If you are hit by three critical strikes of any source that causes damage in a row your mana, focus, rage, energy, and chi are filled and your runes refreshed.

On Use:  The next damage you take will add a bubble on you as a shield to protect for the amount of damage instead of taking the damage.  The shield will last until enough damage is done to remove it, until you leave active battle or until this ability is off cooldown.  One minute cooldown.

Equip: Whenever you land a killing blow your main stat is increased by 30% for 10 seconds.

Equip:  If you die your corpse becomes a bomb.  3 seconds after death all enemies within 10 yards take damage equal to 30% of their total life.  If you explode in this manner you can not be revived in any way.  If you kill 2 other players by your explosion you will return to live with 10% health.

The possibilities are endless on what could be done with accessories.  It would bring skill in PvP to a whole new level.  You might know the class you are facing but you won't know the accessories they are wearing.  At least not until they are triggered.

In arenas you can have all your accessories lined up and ready to switch at a moments notice as soon as the match begins.  Not only would it add a whole new level of skill, it would add a whole new level of unpredictability.   Where raiding is predictable PvP is not and with these it would not be even more so.

Some of these accessories would probably have to have it say spell or ability "from a player" because if not they would become way to powerful for PvE.

While the accessory slot would be basically for PvP only that does not mean we have to leave PvE out completely.  There could be PvE accessories as well if they so wanted.  They could also add a whole series of accessories that are for cosmetic purposes only.

Could you imagine the fun things like the orb or the money in a ball being accessories instead of being trinkets?  It means you can leave them on all the time and trigger them just for fun.

The accessory slot could really be a great addition for PvP and for everything else.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Can't People Grasp The Basics

The healer baggie came up yesterday so it was time to do a run with my healer.  I am the total opposite of what they expected to happen with adding the baggie.  I used to cap out my healers every week.  Now, I only run if there is the baggie.  If a week goes by and there is no baggie, I do not run dungeons, simple as that.  I run less now because of the baggie, not more.  But that is another story.

My first adventure into healing a random yesterday, or should I call it misadventure, was not completely horrible for the most part, nothing I couldn't handle, but it did get me thinking about dungeons, fights, mechanics and the roles people play.

This post will contain nothing involving peoples skill or lack thereof.

This post will contain nothing involving peoples knowledge of fights or mechanics.

This post will contain nothing involving people gear level, gear choices, gem choices or enchanting choices.

This post will only contain things that are complete and total common sense.

I enter into well of eternity on my shaman.  The dungeon is already in progress and it seems there was just a wipe or a near wipe being the four people there are at the entrance with low life.  I see the body of the guard at the entrance is still there so I know that this just started.

We get to the first pack and the tank runs in.  Common sense failure alert. The tank faces them toward everyone and they start breathing fire in everybody's face.  Okay, I can accept he is new, did not notice it and sometimes it is hard to turn mobs around but he did not even try to turn them around when he noticed this happening.

We get to the second pack and the tank runs in.  Common sense failure alert.  You would think that he would have figured it out being this pack is the same as the others but he didn't.  He did the same thing he did before.  This is not a skill issue, this is not an ability issue, this is a common sense issue.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If stuff is breathing fire at you and you are the tank, face it away from people.

Okay, so we have a tank with no common sense.  Lets check out the rest of the group.  One melee and two ranged DPS.  Common sense failure alert.  The two ranged DPS just stood there getting hit by the fire.  I noticed the tank did not turn them the first time so I made sure to stand where the fire would not hit me the second time in case he did not turn them again.  The ranged did not seem to have that same level of common sense.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If you are getting hit by something because of where the tank has positioned a mob and the tank won't move, you move.

The tank has no common sense, the ranged have no common sense so what about our friendly neighborhood melee DPS?  Common sense failure alert.  The melee DPS didn't give me a break healing either.  He stood right in front of the mobs taking all the damage.  Lets remember, this post is not about skill or knowledge.  So lets forget that it is basic knowledge that melee should not be in front of the mob.  This has nothing to do with skill.  It has to do with common sense.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If you are getting hurt by something that is coming from a mobs face and you are not the tank, get out of their face.

I'll give credit where credit is due however to the melee, a feral druid.  He might have been lacking in the common sense department but he actually did have a grasp of his class, as this story will show.

The only reason we did not wipe on those trash packs with everyone taking damage except for me is the fact that my shaman is way over geared for this content and that 100%+ crit buff makes healing as a shaman like super healing, every cast is over 100K heals.  I can handle a little stupidity here and there.  Not a lot of stupidity, but a little.  Next fight, the boss, we settled into a lot of stupid, but not completely stupid.  It was a combination of lack of fight mechanic knowledge and a bit of common sense failure.

Apparently the only person that knew about the flame circles was the melee DPS.  Common sense failure alert.  The ranged DPS just stood in it.  I tried healing them through it but being the tank was seriously under geared he required a lot of healing which meant I lost the two ranged DPS in time.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If there is any ground effect under you and you are tanking damage from it. MOVE!

Again, this is not about not knowing mechanics.  I do not mind they did not know there where flame circles and they where taken by surprise by it so they took damage.  I can handle a little extra healing for a short period of time.  It is not about the tanks gear.  While under geared, the tank was more then geared enough to handle the fight.  It is about the complete and total lack of common sense.

That attempt ended in a wipe because the tank made two mistakes.  Common sense failure alert.  Instead of kiting the boss out of the flame circles, he kited the tank to them and stood in them with the boss.  Common sense failure alert.  So he saw he was taking insane damage and did not have the common sense to move, you would figure he would at least use a cooldown or something.  Nope.  He made no efforts to save himself even.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If you are about to die, try to save yourself.

This was the first showing that the melee actually had a clue about the abilities his class had.  When the tank went down he switched to bear and taunted the boss out of the fire.  To bad the damage was done, it was a wipe.

We go at it again, no one said a word, I started to type out that they needed to step out of the flame rings while my rez was loading on the tank but never really had the chance to finish my sentence.  Common sense failure alert.  The tank charged right in the second he was revived.  He did not wait to be healed, he did not wait to be buffed, he did not wait to even ask what went wrong.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If something is going to hit you and hurt you a lot, be healed before you enter combat.

I kept the tank up, no biggie.  Everyone moved from the fire rings this time without me ever getting my post out about it which proved they learned something.  Maybe they had some common sense, it just moved really slow.  Like an old lady that can't see over the steering wheel drives.  They get there, but slow as hell and they might injure a few people along the way.

I can go on and on with this run. 

I could tell about people standing in bad on the second fight even if the casters usually give you more then enough notice to move.  Heck, one of the images no one could miss with his huge swirling lights everywhere before they land.

I could tell about how the melee was so good with his timing that he stopped fighting and headed to interrupt the boss the second the cast started, even if I said I would handle it before the fight started. 

I could tell how I died, not once but twice, on the last boss because the tank was too busy DPSing the boss to pull the adds off of me even though I was standing right on top of him and all he needed to do was an AoE tanking rotation to save me.  I self rezzed and had a druid battle rez and almost died a third time.  All while standing directly on top of him and not even once did he try to take the mobs off me.

Common Sense Pro Tip:  If the healer is taking damage, save them.

The whole run left me wondering what is wrong with people.  None of this stuff is skill related.  None of this stuff is not having the knowledge of the fight related.  None of this stuff is gear related.  All of this is complete and total common sense.  All of this is something that anyone would be able to figure out even if they never played warcraft or any other game before.

If something hurts and it is in front of you or under your feet... Move from it.
If you are the tank and someone that is not you is being attacked... Get them to attack you.
You know, common sense things like that.  Those types of things have nothing to do with gear, ability, skill, knowledge, just common sense.

Stuff like that annoys me.  I have no problem with people that have never done a fight before.  We all need to learn at some point.  I have no problem with people being lesser geared.  We all have to go through the gearing up process.  But people failing to things that someone that doesn't even play games could figure out on their own annoys the crap out of me.

Why can't people grasp the basics?