Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Type of Player Are You?

Not taking hard core or casual here.  Talking about the over all type of player.  Like I call myself a pattern player.

What is a pattern player?

A pattern player is good at recognizing patterns and reacting to them when they happen.

I guess that is the best way I can explain it.  It is, in part, one of the reasons I fell in love with being a hunter.  They have changed a lot over the years and not for the better in my opinion, but that is only because I am a pattern player.  I liked having to keep track of the swing timer so I could stutter step for maximum DPS.  It made me feel as if I was cracking a code, a simple one being it was a pattern, but I enjoyed it.  I liked having to balance what I did based on movement because there was a lot I could not do while moving.  So it became an effort of seeing a fight and working out my pattern of when I would need move so I lined it up perfectly, like a pattern.  Being able to DPS on the fly has taken away some of that but all raid fights are still patterns basically.

I love that crap and I pick up on it rather quickly.  I remember one fight last expansion, I did 12K on the first time I attempted it.  Three attempts later I was doing 19K.  All because I saw patterns and worked out how I wanted to do things, when I wanted to do them and how I would need to move to maximize doing them.

I think that is a telling sign of the pattern player.  They might not seem like they are doing that well first attempt but each attempt they will get considerably better as they work out their pattern to how they do things.

Think of the first boss in the ZG dungeon when that came out last expansion and how many people died to that green slime.  I did not die on it the first time, I guess I had better reactions than most, but after seeing it a second time I noticed it was the same exact path, third time again the same.  Once I noticed that it was always the same I never died to it on any characters, I never even thought about it again.  A good memory and knowing the pattern meant it was not even a mechanic in my mind.  It was just... there.

People would die to that over and over.  I had been in some randoms where it took a few attempts to down it and the same person would always die to it.  I would tell everyone it is a pattern, it is always the exact same pattern.  Once you see it, just remember it, that is where it will always be.  It is impossible to die twice to it unless something strange happens or you have lag or you are not a pattern player at least in part.

Every time someone would die I would think, how can anyone die to something so easy.

The thing is, it is easy for me, because I am a pattern player.  Not everyone is a pattern player.  Every player can have some pattern recognition ability and will pick it up, but a pattern player notices these things instantly and even more so other things that non pattern people will never noticed even in a million tires.  Like the two spaces you can stand in that fight that assure you will never be targeted by anything and never need to move at all.  Only a pattern player would ever pick those up.

What is a multitask player?

The type of player that can handle multiple things in various different areas at the same time.

I don't like playing a feral druid or a rogue because I do not like the combo point thing and keeping various buffs and debuffs up all while waiting on energy and then letting it pool to use to its best effect instead of using it right away.  That is just too much stuff to follow for me when I would rather be playing than watching buffs, debuffs and energy.  People that like playing them are more multitask players.  Sure, I can multitask, as is proven by the fact I can do decent on both of those classes, but I do not like to and being I do not like to I can never reach my maximum potential and my time is wasted playing those types of classes.

Some people can monitor their combo points, the buffs they put on themselves, call out important things on vent, talk to a friend on skype and eat lunch all at the same time.  I am not one of those people.  I "can" do it if forced to, but it does not flow natural for me which means I am not a multitask player.

What is a rhythm player?

A player that is good at redundant and/or responsive things.

When I think of a rhythm player I think melee DPS.  They have set rotations and the occasional proc that is a modifier.  It is doing the same thing over and over and responding to special abilities once in a while.  While from the outside looking in that sounds like the easiest role in the game it is not.   It also does require a type of person that can handle that rhythm while, what seems like, constantly moving at times.

Again, this is something I can do, I've done it before but I can easily prove I am not a rhythm player by being placed in a long fight.  I get bored easily by the standard rhythm of doing that type of DPS.  In a two minute fight I can keep up with the best of them but the longer the fight goes on the more I, for lack of a better term, lose my rhythm.  My numbers start to slide because I just can not keep up.  Redundant does not mean easy, but it does mean you need to have the type of person that can keep up with it without getting easily bored or distracted like I do. Sadly for me, hunters are turning more and more into this type of class.

What is a numbers player?

Someone that follows all the little things to add them up for something much bigger.

A numbers player is not someone that asks for the DPS meter after every fight.  Not even in the slightest, they are not obsessed with numbers but they are great at playing with them and knowing how they interact with each other.

Casters usually fit this area, even more so DoT classes.  Fire mage would be the perfect example of playing the numbers to maximum effect.  Anyone can fire off a combustion when they think it is best but a numbers person knows when it is best and doesn't just think it is best.  Yes, you can use addons for this effect but the numbers players, the ones that love to play that type of class can do it without the add on, they just know when the right time is because they are following the numbers.

It is a reactionary type of play in a way as you are waiting for the right moment when the numbers benefit you best to use a skill or ability.  You often need to change how you are doing things and basically restart a rotation from time to time based on what the numbers say are best for you.  Just like all other types of players you can do fine with these types of classes even if you are not that type of player but someone that embraces the power of the numbers will always be better at it.

What is a rotation player?

Someone that can follow a required series of ability on an as best when used basis.

Do not confuse this with a rhythm player even if they do seem similar.  Everyone has the ability to be a rotation player no matter what type of player you are but there is more to a rotation player than just following a rotation.  While it is without a doubt the simplest type of player to be we do not see many classes that can simply follow this any more and as such the type of class that a rotation player would be no longer has a true home in the game.  The old arcane mage was close to what would be a rotation player but the addition of stacks and needing to keep mana up changed them more to being aimed at the numbers players.

From what I read around many people call the caster feeling melee types, monk, shaman and paladin the closest thing left to classes that rotation players might feel comfortable with most.  Sadly the rotation type player needs to adapt and embrace another style of game play because they will get left behind quickly if this is the type of game play they are best at being there is no class or spec left that fits it perfectly.

Someone that is a rotation player however will be able to play all classes a lot better than any other type of player.  They might simplify every damage dealer down to a rotation and they might be able to do decent at each and every one of them, enough to fill in as the 10th or 25th person in a raid without hurting the raid, but they will never be able to excel at any of them to the point of ever being considered extremely good.

Most altoholics that consider themselves raiders will usually be rotation players.  They can do it all and do it all well but are not exactly what anyone would call exceptional at any of them.  For example, when I play a rogue or a feral druid or a warlock of any spec I am playing them more as a rotation player and less as a multitask or numbers player.  I can do okay with them and to many on the outside looking in I might be doing fine but I am not doing really all that well in reality if you look at what my potential could be.

What is a by the book player?

A by the book player is someone that does what they are supposed to do because they are supposed to do it.

A by the book player could be any one of us and we do not even know it.  I think of myself as a pattern player but I could be a by the book player and not even realize it.  Maybe I am reacting to those patterns because I am supposed to and not because I notice them faster than non pattern players?  Playing by the book, if you will.

The numbers player that knows that exact right moment to hit combustion could be doing it only because he is playing by the book.  Sometimes we can think we are one thing and we are not, we are playing by the book.  Doing things because we are supposed to be doing it.  If someone can tell you why they decided that exact moment to hit combustion in detail they are a numbers player, but if they just say that they hit it because it was the best time to hit it for maximum effect, they are playing by the book.

There is one problem with by the book players.  Even if they are absolute perfection in how they play and doing whatever it is they do, by the book players are not very quick to respond to things that happen that are not exactly by the book, usually, unless they also excel at being reactionary.   A by the book player will get completely thrown off if something happens they did not think was possible.  Like if a boss fight bugs out they will usually be the last one to adjust and you can see by their performance that they have been thrown off their game.

When nothing goes wrong and they get to do exactly what they are supposed to be doing a by the book player is without a doubt the absolute best player in the game.  They will be the ones on the top of world of logs because everything went by the book and they did everything they were supposed to do by the book.

What is a reactionary player?

A reactionary player is someone that not only knows the right thing to do, but knows the right thing to do right now even if it normally would not be considered the right thing to do.

Most PvP players, at least the good ones, are pure reactionary players.  Even raiders are reactionary players to some degree.  Getting out of the fire is a reaction and if a player is not even in part a reactionary player they can't, or shouldn't, be raiding.  All players should be at least in part a reactionary player.

A reactionary player is the exact opposite of the by the book player.  The by the book player might think they need to use a finisher with five combo points whereas the reactionary player will do it when it would be best for that particular moment knowing that even if five would be better mathematically, it is not better in the situation they are in.  As I am sure anyone can see, for player vs player this is a huge advantage and no player can be good at PvP unless they are in a large part a reactionary player.

Do not discount it for PvE however as reactionary players have their place there as well.  Knowing when to burn is reaction, knowing when to save up for burst or adds is reaction, all the little stuff matters and it is reaction.  So it is important there as well, just not as much as in PvP.  I consider myself a reactionary player in PvE but not in PvP, hence the reason I am not as good at it as I could be, I lack the reactionary ability to excel at it.

What about tanks and healers?

Good question and just like damage dealers fit into all different categories tanks and healers would as well.  

I would consider tanks to be, for the most part, pattern players.  I think this for two reasons.  One being the active mitigation which means they need to notice the patterns for when best to use it to minimize the damage they take.  The second reason is because I am a pattern player and embrace tanking since the changes a lot more than ever before because of active mitigation.  I am loving it because it is a pattern.  When to use your mitigation more important then just using it.

A pattern player will use it when it is needed, a non pattern player will use it when it is available.  As such, a pattern player will be much easier to heal because they are using it to help avoid or decrease the 120K hit whereas the non pattern player might not be able to use it because it is on cooldown from using it when it only avoided or decreased that 30K hit.

This is also why, for the most part, I think healers are pattern players as well.  A good healer will hit abilities when they are most effective.  Usually, when a heal is most effective is after a huge damage spike or wide raid damage and that usually comes at predictable times or in reaction to events, both of which are patterns.  So good healers will always be pattern type players.

The difference with tanks and healers over damage dealers is that they are often more likely to be two types of player rolled into one.  The good ones will always be pattern players but they will be pattern players and something else.

Although it might not seem like it on the surface the best combination for a tank or healer is a pattern player and a rotation player.  But why?  Tanking and healing have never had a rotation, it is always reactionary you might say.

Not exactly, even if tanking and healing never had a rotation so to speak anyone that has ever healed or tanked will tell you they have a rotation, many of them in fact.  A rotation of cooldowns for spike damage.  A rotation of mana regeneration for healers,   A rotation for threat or damage as a tank, although not really different any more.  It is just that their rotations are not the same as damage dealer rotations.  Throwing your prayer of mending and shield on a tank as a disc priest every chance you get might seem like part of the job, but it is a rotation even if most might not view it as such.

I am...

A pattern player.  Just like all players I also have some ability in other areas, but the type of player that best represents me is a pattern player.

What type of player are you?

Choose only the one that represents you best.


  1. What kind of a player am I? LOL, not a very good one, if the truth must be known.

    Really depends on where my head is at the moment. It's hard, I can be any one of those that you talked about depending on the time of day, weather, light, sounds, smells around me. (I have a small brain tumor, there I finally told ya) and it affects whether I play that day or not and whether I can reconize patterns, etc, etc, etc. A lot of the time it is patterns (I was a photo interperter for a lot of years when I was in the AF (combine USMC and USAF service was 22 years)and we relied on patterns to spot the enemy thru the camo.

    But you know GE, you can come up with some of the craziest stuff to blog about : )

    Did heat arrive for you? Are you guys propane, oil, coal or gas? I'm thinking oil or coal

    as always may your arrows find the rump of the target!

    -roo "and right now I am trying to find Waldo"

    1. Sorry to hear about that. Thanks for your service.

      I guess you would be a pattern person first and foremost as you were used to that in your job.

      Yes, yesterday I finally got it back after 3 weeks without it thanks to the storm. Still I was better off than many because of it, so I am not complaining, but happy to be warm again.

      Not sure where my ideas for topics come from. I just think of something and start typing. I'm a writer and as they say, writers write.

    2. well keep it up. I am trying to start a blog, but I cannot figure out what to write about and then when I do and re-read it, I go "huh!", then send to trash. Glad you got 'warmth" back. I remember when we patroled along the DMZ in Korea during the winter and getting our feet,legs,and hands warm was better than anything else in the world!

      So, if I don't read this site in the next few days, Happy Thanksgiving to all who come here and to you Grumpy.

      "Stay by the fire, pull up a spot, plant your ass and grab a pint."


    3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

      If I wrote about everything I wanted to I could do 20 posts a day. I just wing it and do whatever feels right to write about that given day.

  2. When I was doing H DS as BM, I feel like I got into the pattern mode.

    When I would do a new encounter on my hunter then, I was more reactionary until I figured out the pattern.

    On alts, I'd say rotation for sure. I map my keybinds in basically the same way on them all and just kind of hit the same buttons.

    However, now, I can't get comfortable enough with my hunter to be a pattern player. I feel like I'm trying to multi-task and not being very successful at it.

    I've been trying to do the burst openers but it just doesn't feel right and it's not fun for me.

    In Cata, I could pay attention to the fight and barely paid attention to my dps (I just did it with little thought). I knew to save Bestial Wrath for this part and Rapid Fire/Lifeblood for that part. Move this ability to a quick button for this fight, and that ability for that fight. Launch a trap here in this fight. Keep my pet on passive during this phase so it stayed on this boss/add but assist on that phase so it would target switch with me. Saving Fervor to have lots of focus for BW for this burn phase. And so on. I didn't follow any BM hunter boss guides (not that there really were any; everyone was MM or SV). I just did what felt right and I was doing good for BM; I even ranked a couple of times.

    However in Mists, I'm just reacting to abilities coming off CD and trying not to stand in shit or get focus capped or miss a kill command. Serpent Sting falls off all the time... I do 'ok' dps but it just 'feels' messy. I don't like watching all the CDs and buffs to stack them and time them. I don't like having so many abilities with different CDs that I can't get into any sort of pattern/rhythm.

    I don't want Readiness. It's on too long a CD to be useful in my opinion except for situational things. It shouldn't be required for our "rotation".

    I want Stampede to be a defensive CD; not an offensive one.

    I don't want Glaive Toss or at least take it off the GCD so I can macro it to something else. But that basically defeats the purpose.

    Lynx Rush/Murder of Crows can go as well.

    Blink Strike/Fervor are fine. We had Fervor before anyway.

    I like sustained dps with potential for burst by timing things right if you need it. I don't like roller coaster dps; huge burst for a short period and then mediocre dps until you can do it again. It averages out but it's not how I like to play.

    Long comment and I went on a bit of a rant, but anyway...

    Nice topic, Grumpy!

    1. You seem to point out what I was saying about hunters in my post. They used to neatly fit in the pattern type class along with tanks and healers, the only DPS class to do so, and now they don't so much any more and neither do they fit anywhere else. Hunters right now are a little lost. They do not fit any one style of game play any more.

      All the new stuff they added made us cluttered. Passive abilities, at that competitive DPS wise, would have been nice but that is too much to ask I guess.

      BM is all roller coaster. Did sha yesterday on mine, was at 110K still after a minute, in the next 2 minutes I watched myself fall to 68K only to spike back up to 82K for a while and then down to 60K again. It is an up and down game constantly falling from the beginning and when the fight ends will make it look like you were doing great or average or bad.

      If it ended at 100K or 82K I was doing great, if it ended at 68K or 60K I was doing average.

      I want more steady.

      I used to joke last expansion that what I start a fight with I end a fight with. If I was 44K 30 seconds into the fight I would be 44K 1 minute 30 into it, 44K 2 minutes 30 into it and 44K when it was done. I actually like that. I like steady but then again, steady is a pattern that is easy to predict and I like patterns. :)

  3. Oh hmm... well that's a hard one. I would've said rotation player I think because I've always taken pride in doing a 'perfect' rotation. Now in mop that means never pushing back a holy power generating ability, always pushing buttons in the 'right' order.
    But then there's that - cooldown usage. On some fights (Stoneguard for example), where there is constant damage from the beginning to the end of the fight, I use ShoR whenever I have the holy power to do it. But on other fights (Garalon for example), I use my shield only before a Swipe. That's actually how it usually is with cooldowns, you learn when to use them. Big heal after breath at Elegon, mitigation before hit at Blade lord so on and so forth. So that's pattern player, I guess?
    And then there's this thing called protecting your raid. Hand of salvation, hand of protection, word of glory, lay on hands - all of those can be used in a pattern mode (like Vizier, always hand a healer), but there's a lot of those going off to save someone. So reactionary?
    I think it's hard to put someone into one category only.

    1. Everyone is a little bit of everything but one more than others. Good healers and tanks need to be pattern players in my opinion first and foremost. Without knowing the patterns people would be dead so being reactionary on other things would mean nothing.

    2. I don't think you can have reactionary without pattern. Pattern - you see after every breath you take a spike, so you know to mitigate it and / or have your holy power up to immediately self heal. Reaction means I throw that WoG on the rogue and he lives 6 more seconds and we have our kill. Taunting even with 4 stacks of something to save your offtank's life. Hand of sacrificing the plater healer this time because you see the clothie is already in his position under hi bubble.
      I think with practice anyone decent can learn both rotations and patterns. Reactions, not so much.

      How should I put this? I never miss an opportunistic strike on Will of the emperor. That's nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. I have 5 holy powers up when the dance starts, so I have extra speed enough to benefit even the slowest person.
      What I mean to say, learning patterns is what makes you able to do your job, it's mandatory. But that's not what takes you out of the ordinary.

    3. I think a decent player can learn to be reactionary. While I am not a main healer I learned to be reactionary on some things.

      This is the only example that comes to mind at the moment even if it is a lame one. On the trash to the second boss in end time there are those hunters with their frost traps.

      I've seen healers that would let it catch the person and run its course and never get them out. I've seen healers that would get people out few seconds after they got hit. I've seen healers that would get people out in only a second or two and then there are those awesome reactionary healers that were dispelling it the second it landed meaning it never really did anything. That is reactionary. Not pattern. There is no pattern to who he will hit. How do you learn to be reactionary like that?

      But I must admit, seeing it done that quick I took the time to think about it and figured out how they managed it. If the hunter would target a person for a trap they would light up as having aggro on heal bot even if they did not have aggro, you dispel instantly and they are taken out of the trap the second they get hit by it. You are basically dispelling something before there is a need to dispel anything by being reactionary. I learned that.

      What you describe is more so situational awareness which is what makes any player a better group player. Anyone can learn what to do, anyone can learn how best to do it, but situational awareness can not be taught. You can teach people to react faster if they are a good player. You can teach people to make decisions quicker, if they are a good player. You can not teach people to look around themselves and see and understand what is happening with others even if they are a good player. You either notice things around you or you don't. You can tell someone to look around but that doesn't mean they will see it.