Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is Raid Rep for Gear a Good Idea?

I've been thinking more and more about this with all the issues with the ToT LFRs.  I just do not have the time to be running all my alts through them to get reputation so I can buy valor gear to keep them slightly up to date should I ever need to use them in a raid.

I can valor cap two characters in the time it takes me to run the ToT LFRs on one character and that one character not even be close to capped.  Doing the LFRs is not an effective way to play.

The concept that you need to raid to buy valor gear which is subpar to the real raid gear makes no sense. 

On my raiding characters I get raid drops, which are better than the valor gear.  So that is a fail on blizzards part.  They should have at least had valor gear for every single slot, weapon included, so perhaps you can use the valor gear to fill that piece or two you are having issues with.  It is almost like you are saying, you need to have better gear to be able to buy this lesser gear.  Excuse me?

On my non raiding characters valor gear has always served the purpose of being there as a catch up mechanic because they are not raiding and thus do not have the better gear.  So they get valor gear where ever they can to catch up should I need them.

But now, I need to raid to get the valor gear.  Okay, they have the LFR but is that really a reasonable option.  Even with 100% smooth runs it will take up at least 6 hours to do all four and most likely a hell of a lot more if you want to include wipes which you know will happen and wait time.

Is 6 hours really worth it?  You have no choice if you want to gear up those non raiding alts.  You not only need to valor to buy the valor items but you need the reputation and the only way to get it is in the raid. 

What was the motto for this expansion?  Choice.  All about giving us choices.

Hey blizzard, where are my choices?

Right now the only choices are to do the raid and shut the fuck up or to not gear up.  Sorry, those are not acceptable choices.

I want to be able to pop on my mage twice a week, do 15 minute heroics, build some valor slowly, and buy a new piece every few weeks.  I do not want to be forced to spend 6 hours a week in the LFR to get reputation and valor so I can buy them.

This is extremely alt unfriendly.  When will blizzard get the idea that valor gear is a catch up mechanic.  Valor gear is NOT for raiders.  Maybe to fill a spot here and there, but being it does not offer every slot it fails horrible at that role too.  Valor gear is for alts.  Valor gear is for non raiders.  Valor gear is for casual players to build up slowly.

So why make valor gear require the LFR for those people?  Why make it require a reputation that if you actually had that reputation from raiding the real raid, you wouldn't need any of that gear really?  Why make it so those non raiders, those alts that do not want to raid and those casual players that do not have hours on end to spend in the LFR can't get the gear that is meant for them?

Did blizzard once again totally miss the concept of what valor gear is meant for?

Maybe it is just me and my assessment of what valor gear is, is wrong.  When I talk about valor gear this is what I think of it as.  A way to fill in spots you have had bad luck with in a raid, or a way for non raiders, time restrained player and new players to catch up so they can start to raid.

Maybe I am wrong with my definition of it.  Because according to blizzard valor gear is only for raiders.  I do have one question however.  If valor gear is only for raiders, how about making it better so it is worth buying.  If it is not better than raid drops, then it is not for raiders.  Common sense there if you ask me.

Give the valor gear to the people it is meant for, the non raiders, and remove the need for a raid reputation to get it.  That is what I think.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- A monday to a monday with no posts in between.

- I don't think that has ever happened before.

- I think I will be coming back from my self imposed sabbatical this week.

- Or maybe next.

- I took some time off, I needed it.

- Of course time off for me still meant capping my main.

- It just took 5 days instead of 2 like it normally would.

- It also means my alts did not get much valor work in and guess what, it really doesn't bother me.

- I am starting to understand why people sometimes perform poorly or do not try.

- It is not worth it.

- Why try?

- No matter how good I do, no matter how well geared I get, no matter how much time I spend reading about a fight and mastering how I will do it, you are still going to wipe in the LFR.

- So why stress myself about it.

- I can work my ass off and try my best and wipe, or just tag along and not give a shit like everyone else and wipe.

- Perhaps it is about time I stopped caring.

- Doesn't seem anyone else does.

- Good new everyone.

- I won my weapon this week.

- I guess it is better having 6 tries each week, three bosses and three rolls.

- It was one of those things where even if the game did not want to cough it up, it had to.

- You can not let someone go deep into 40 or 50 kills on a boss that drops the weapon and not give it to them.

- I understand random, but when you go that long it doesn't seem random at all, it seems like the game doesn't want you to have the damn weapon.

- My rogue is still experiencing amazing luck in the ToT LFRs.

- For every bit as horrible as the last tier LFRs were where nothing ever dropped for him and it took a year and a day to get daggers, he gets something every ToT run.

- I only did one on him and got a new piece.

- Not only that, but it was one of my most needed pieces, replacing a 483 with a 502.

- Funny how I went from an also ran to top DPS whenever I go now.

- Up to 122K on the first boss.

- I know it is a gimmick boss, I know I can do better, but for someone that hates playing melee and has never been all that good at it, it feels nice to see some reward for my effort, even if that effort is minimal.

- Must say I like that fight as melee a lot better than healing, tanking or doing it at range.

- Although I must admit healing it on a shaman the way the cooldowns line up perfectly with the stack up parts of the fight means for some insane numbers if you know how to time them and that is kind of fun.

- It is just that it is so super easy as melee and you just get to pew pew and forget about everything else.

- If every fight were like that as melee I would not mind playing melee.

- I did a terrace run also, because I need one more wisdom and I stay away from HoF like it was the plague.

- Did not get the token I needed but did top the meters on all fights there as well.

- That is one of those raids where everything is easier on melee.

- Unless you get tanks that like to keep flipping the third boss around.

- Dude, I need to stay behind it because it does lots of damage to anyone in front of it, spinning it around like a top is only going to get me and all the melee killed.

- Had this tank duo that were dragging it all over the place, I should have never been first in DPS,  I could not DPS the boss half the time, but I was and at only 64K.

- Do you know what that means?

- We wiped to the enrage timer.

- Did you know there was an enrage timer?

- I actually did, I've been in groups that hit it before.

- But now you know too.

- I think the time off has done me well however.

- In two ways.

- One is that I was able to show myself I do not need to rush to get it all done, I can take it easy and move slower.

- Two is that being I was not stressing over it, I actually accomplished stuff with the time I played instead of just trying to valor cap people.

- My guild has just joined with another.

- Or they joined us might be a better description.

- Had a meeting with them earlier in the week and they joined this weekend.

- Our intention is to try and do 25s at some point but it will bode well for both teams.

- They were right behind us progression wise.

- And they raid on a different night.

- So their alts can help out our team and our alts can help their team.

- It will make for two much stronger 10 mans.

- And then of course, a bigger base to try to move to 25s.

- Lets face it, 25s are the way to go for the casual guild.

- 25s are just so much easier than 10 mans.

- I don't care what anyone says, I have done both and I can say without a shadow of a doubt 10s are much harder than 25s.

- But 25s do have the one problem that I hate more than anything.

- Organizing 25 people.

- It is a nightmare.

- And getting 25 people to remember their positions and run to them and do the dance is a lot harder than getting 10 people to do it.

- But outside of logistics and assembly, the actual fights are easier on 25.

- Can't wait to see if we can get back to doing them, it has been 3 or 4 years since we had a regular 25 man team.

- It was all the way back in wrath I think.

- You know, back when raiding was fun because we had two lock outs and could run one with guild and pug the other.

- But that was too much fun for us peons that pay their bills, so blizzard had to take it away.

- Morons.

- So not only did my guild take a step forward, so did a few of my characters.

- Did some reputation work with my horde hunter, I figured I need to get those older reputations that are horde only up on one character at least for the mounts right?

- Leveled my monk some and they have now landed on the island and is 86 already.

- Leveled my lock a bit more, that 88 stat crush really hurts when mobs start one shotting my minion.

- I have not quite gotten used to kiting as a lock, but I got a crap ton of experience yesterday when my minion would die every other fight.

- Stopped even trying to heal it.

- I noticed if I try to heal it, it dies anyway and I have a near full health mob on me.

- If I just attacked and let my minion die, the mob would be almost dead because I was attacking it.

- So every pull is attack, hope my minion does not die, and if it does revive it.

- No more even attempting to heal it.  Just not worth it.

- Decided to try some rare hunting on my monk when I first landed on the island at 85.

- Wow monks are insane.

- I spank anything I run up against.

- The dude with the void zone that bought two of his friends, no problem.

- Little miss spin and heal when you first enter the valley went down faster than a thai hooker.

- That bug dude at the top of the hill in the forest with his blade thing can can rip you to pieces is a push over if you know how to move from it.

- Some of my abilities hit for more than my hunters kill shot, in 510 gear at 90.

- Monks are just OP.

- Every rare I ran into I beat the hell out of.

- And I do not even know how to play a monk yet.

- Not like I need to when all my abilities hit for 50K+, or at least it seems like it.

- I can not wait to see what it is like when I start to learn all about them.

- Funny when I was fighting the panda and she went to heal and I was like, oh crap, what do I have to deal with that.

- I let her get her first heal off while I started reading my abilities while kiting her as she spun.

- Woohoo for being able to multi task.

- Found two abilities that would work nicely.

- Dropped one in Alt 2 and the other on - and she never got a heal off again.

- Alt is my modifier of choice, whats yours?

- Not sure why, I just find it comfortable to hit.

- Did they nerf mining nodes again and I not see it in the patch notes?

- Was running low on bars for my daily ingot making so I figured I would do a little farming and went to my favorite spot in the valley by the mountain where they are plentiful.

- Even after the nerf they were all over the place and had a solid respawn rate, as long as there were not many people farming.

- I was the only one, and there was nothing.  I could clear it and run around for 20 minutes and find nothing.

- Had to be nerfed again and they just decided not to say anything in the patch notes.

- Ever notice how they hide shit or just omit saying it, when they know people will complain about it.

- Perhaps they should think for a moment, if it is something people will complain about maybe you should not change it.

- If it is not effecting the game in a bad way, and it wasn't, why change it?

- Because someone that works there needs to justify their paycheck so they make up some bull shit data that says, we should adjust this a bit and that a bit more.

- When nothing needed adjusting.

- Don't worry, the rate will go back up when the guy that needs to justify his paycheck needs to pretend like he does something worth paying for again.

- He will say, my data shows that there is a slight absence of ghost iron ore and the prices are starting to be a bit higher than we would like so perhaps we should up the spawn some.

- And no one that works there will ask him why he said to lower it two months ago.

- Data = Just numbers people spin to make them get what they want.

- You could take one piece of data and find two different results from it, depending on how to look at the numbers.

- One person will see ghost iron ore cheap on the market and say the data suggests that it is fine.  It still sells for well over vendor value, people are still farming it just to sell or to avoid having to buy it, and everything is just fine in oreville.

- Another person will look at the data and say, the resell numbers on the market show that is it not in demand as much as it could be and some people are deciding to buy it instead of farm it themselves.  If we want to keep them in game we should lower the spawn rate so the price will go up and push them out into the world to play more and gather it themselves.

- One situation, same data, two different opinions.  One is looking at what I like to call the bigger picture and the other has an agenda.  Both are right in their assessments.

- That is why data is always a touchy subject.

- Either way, I mined for an hour, I know because I did it for the length of my buff, and ended up with 6 stacks.

- 6 stacks. :(

- I used to be able to get that in 5 minutes, 10 after they nerfed it.

- Now, being the only person that was there farming I get that in an hour.

- I hope that guy that handles the data tells them to up it again soon.

- Have to ever played the card game Mille Bornes?

- Used to love that game when I was a kid.

- Tanking Horridon this week I just could not help but think of that game.

- Every time he would hit me with triple puncture I kept thinking I could throw the puncture proof safety which keeps your tires from being punctured.

- I might not be a tire, but I would like to not be punctured.

- Coup-fourre Horridon, take that.  I can't be punctured again.

- Have a great day all.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- I think last week was the longest I had ever went without a post since I started this blog.

- I guess not being happy with the game means I have little desire to talk about it.

- Even if I always complained it was because I like the game so I complain about the things I don't like in it.

- At the moment, I am not really enjoying the game, so no reason to waste my energy complaining about something I really do not care about is there?

- Not like I would quit.

- I still like the game and still like the people I play with.

- I am just feeling a bit fed up with it and blizzards desire to push everyone into raiding.

- Are they aware that the reason only 5% of the player base raided was because only 5% wanted to raid?

- There was nothing that kept people that wanted to raid from raiding except perhaps time.

- It takes an hours wait and many hours wiping to finish the LFR now, how does that fix the one issue people had with raiding, time?

- Making gear easier to get is how you make raiding easier for the people that time was an issue with.

- Forcing everyone into raiding is a bad idea.

- It is why the LFR is such a nightmare.

- Making people raid does not make them raiders.

- Just like making PvE players PvP as part of the legendary quest line does not make them PvPers.

- If anything, it makes their option of something they do not do normally even worse.

- I can't repeat here some of the things I have heard people say about having to do the PvP part of the legendary quest line in my guild.

- Ouch, those words scar the mind.

- Blizzard needs to work on making the content more accessible and then letting people walk into it on their own.

- That is how you make non raiders into people that raid.

- That is how you make non PvPers into people that PvP.

- Opening the door for them.

- Go back to 10 and 25 lock outs, and make normal modes easier.

- And start debuffs right away.

- 5% one month after release, 5% more every two weeks after until you reach 30%.

- You would see more server activity.

- You would see more pugs and more people running alts and helping new people into the raids.

- That is how you get the community raiding.

- Forcing them into content that was not intended for them just so they can get gear is not how you do it.

- I say screw you to the people that say gear only matters to raiders.

- I raid but it matters to me on my non raiding characters.

- Gear makes my rogue kill things faster so I can skin more effectively.

- Gear makes it easier for my DK to solo stuff.

- Gear makes it easier for my healers and tanks to stay ready in case they are needed even if raiding is not my main intention with them.

- I should not need to raid to get gear with them, they are not raiders.

- And they do need the gear even if they are not raiders.

- And that my friends is why there are so many bad players in the LFR.

- They are not raiders, they have no intention of ever being raiders, they are just players that just want gear to make whatever it is to do that they do easier.

- Please do not make those people come into a raid.

- They are not raiders and forcing them to raid will not make them raiders.

- That is why the LFR, and now locking valor gear behind a reputation from it, is the worst idea blizzard has ever come up with.

- That is why I am sick of the game.

- That is why I have not been writing much this last week.

- I needed a week away from thinking about it.

- I needed to not stress about the fact that blizzard wants me to quit.

- I did end up running them all on my main, over time this week however.

- It took me three times queuing up for the last one to complete it.

- Over an hours wait twice, near an hour the third time.

- I entered a raid that was on the last boss that first time that was already at 10 stacks and proceeded to wipe another 6 times.

- I entered another after a whooping hour and a half plus wait that was on the last boss at 7 stacks.

- I already did the last boss.

- I am already valor capped.

- Why the hell would I stay and wipe again for another 3 hours for something I have no chance at loot on, will get no reputation from, and can not get any valor from.

- Are they fucking serious putting me in this group?

- They really do want me to quit.

- If there is an insult to injury this is it.

- After the nightmare on the last boss I just had you make me wait an hour and a half for the same thing I can get no benefit from.

- What ever happened to if you did the last boss you will get in on a fresh run the next time?

- Third time I did get a fresh run and we one shot the first two bosses and I left.

- Sounds good right?

- Nope.

- Zone in, one tank leaves, wait 15 minutes for another tank, he zones in, he leaves.

- Two healers leave, we wait 20 more minutes to get out two healers and one tank but in that time, the other tank gives up.

- 5 minutes later we have our tanks and healers and pull trash.

- One healer DCs, we wait 5 minutes for a healer before boss.

- Down boss, both tanks leave, wait 25 minutes more for tanks, one zones out the second he comes in saying he wanted a fresh run.

- Over the next 20 minutes three tanks zone in, leave group.

- Finally down the trash to the second boss and the second boss.

- A nice clean run of the two bosses I needed.  No wipes.

- Still took three hours when you include wait time.

- So NO, it was not a good run.

- A good run is you wait 15 minutes to get in, zone in and kill stuff, hopefully collect loot and leave 30 minutes later at max when it is done.

- That is a good run.

- That is the absolute longest you should ever need to spend with random people to get random content done.

- BTW, Speaking of loot.

- Three bosses with a weapon, three bosses that did not drop a weapon.

- Three coins used, three coins wasted.

- One run with 4 other hunters, two had a 502 weapon, one of them had a 522 weapon and one had the 483 sha touched weapon all set up.

- All better than my 489 normal mode will weapon.

- Boss one, me 108K, the three that over geared me in every slot including weapon, 49K, 44K and 43K and the one with lesser gear and the 483 weapon, 66K.

- The lesser geared player deserved a weapon, I deserved a weapon, the game gives it to three horrible players that do not deserve it.

- And people wonder why I get frustrated with this game.

- I'll try not to think about it.

- Hope you have better luck then I do.

- Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Are You Prepared?

Today (tomorrow in the UK) the last part of the looking for raid version of throne of thunder is due to be released.  Are you prepared?

If the past can teach us anything we can only guess that this last part could very well be the biggest nightmare that random content has ever seen.  A bigger nightmare than the fabled 6 hour runs of deadmines that first week of cataclysm while trying to find a group that could do, well, anything right.  A bigger nightmare than the maze that ate the majority of the player base that we first experienced two weeks ago and it still eats people that have done it a few times because even if it is more visible now most people just don't get it.

There is something to be said about difficulty.  While it is fun to be challenged I doubt there are few that would enjoy being challenged in a situation they do not feel like they can win.  Random content makes people feel like they do not have any control.  They do not choose who they play with and they can not effectively teach people that do not wish to learn.

One of my guild mates that told me about that 6 hour deadmines run explained in gory details how they failed as a group here, there and everywhere.  He explained about going through a revolving door of damage dealers while trying to find some that could meet the minimum requirement that was needed to down ripclaw.  Spending 10 minutes per pull to assign CC only to have the damage dealers screw it up because one would CC before another and pull and wipe, of course this was when CC still pulled.  And then there was my run of deadmines.

My run was a guild run.  We did not wipe on any bosses.  The run still took a fair deal of time because of the length of the dungeon, the amount of trash and the fact none of us were over geared enough to just blow through things.  But we had the one thing that random my guild mate ran did not.  Communication.

We were most likely not better players.  I am sure out of the over 18 people he said came in and out of his run there were people of equal or more skill than the ones I had in my group but without a quick way to communicate, and text is not ever a decent way to do so, they failed were we succeeded.

Same for the newest horror story, the maze.  Even with a group willing to learn it takes some time.  Even typing it out seems like you are speaking greek to some people.  They just do not get it and that is the reason it usually takes a few tries.

Random content needs to have abilities that can be explained in one line.  Saying stack for rampage is excellent LFR design.  Simple, one line, easy to understand.  Saying to wait for the beam, look to which side the fog starts and run to that side, then look for the hole in the fog and run through it but be careful not to over run or you will run into the wall, but be quick enough so the eye beam does not catch up is not.  It is just too much to type, it is too much to explain, it is too much to comprehend for someone that has never seen it, or is just not that good, and then add to the fact it was amazingly hard to see meant you had everything that should never, ever, in a million years, be in a LFR. 

Long explanations, hard to understand, and very dependent on the computer system and visual abilities of the player base was about the biggest failure ever added to random content.  While myself, and many others, nailed it by the 2rd attempt, it is still unfair that others were forced to wipe that first time we did not know what we were doing, even if we did read it, watched the video and were prepared.

This newest adventure is horrible misjudgements of design should teach something to blizzard I have been saying since the beginning.  Do not add anything that needs quick and clear communication in random content.

Do runs with guild?  Awesome.  Do runs with pugs?  Nightmare.

When the math is that simple you can only say that the one missing factor between the two is communication.  Remove the need for it in random content.

So what should be expected when we log in today (or tomorrow) and try the newest version of the LFR?  Your guess is as good as mine but I will tell you one thing for sure.  The more communication that is needed, the harder it will be for random players.

Blizzard needs to learn to remove anything that requires communication or long explanations.  Once they learn that then random content can be fun.  No need to nerf, you can even buff, just remove the need for communication.

So are you prepared?

I am.  I am ready for more nightmares because I have completely lost faith in blizzards ability to create decent content meant for random player groups.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- I took some time off this weekend from my alts.

- I did not go LFR crazy like normal trying to get everyone in.

- I needed a break from the newer LFRs and the nightmare they have become.

- I did do the older ones on my rogue as I am still trying to get daggers.

- Would you believe I was still rocking double 450s this far in?

- This is why they need more valor options.

- For people with bad luck.

- The even sadder part was not that I could not get better weapons but that when I went into the new LFRs I was still top 5 in damage even with 450 weapons.

- I stuck at my rogue, have crapy weapons, am a leather worker that did not even waste a thread on my pants and bracers for an enchant nevertheless any other enchants and I was still doing decent.

- It goes to show you how horrible this player base is when I can shine on a character I definitely do not shine on.

- My big random thought of the week is not the LFR or how bad some people are.

- It is about my daggers.

- It was dagger week, finally.

- I won the 476 and the 483 one.

- Both with the bonus roll.

- And I saw me going from doing roughly 50K-60K to 100K-110K.

- Holy mother do weapons really matter.

- I did not just suddenly become more skilled playing a rogue because I got the daggers.

- So it would be safe to assume that the daggers being upgraded almost doubled my DPS.

- Gear is way too important this expansion.

- Why should one piece in one small jump like that, make that much of a difference?

- Upgrading from a pair for 450s to a 476 and 483 should have made me go from 60 to 65 maybe, not 60 to 100.

- And this is more reason why there needs to be valor weapons as well.

- If weapons are really that huge and play such a major part to being able to do your job well there should be a net to fall back on for people will bad luck.

- Valor gear is supposed to be that net.

- So why not have valor weapons, even at 3K each it would be worth it.

- I also snatched up the shado-pan trinket this week which puts my rogue at a 491 item level now.

- Just a little more and I will be ToT ready, in my own opinion at least.

- Take a look at world of logs and you will see that there are groups doing it with sub par numbers but I don't care what other people do.

- My guild was short a damage dealer because I had to tank but we still downed it this week with only 4.

- Helps the lowest was 135K.

- I believe 100K is a fair mark to aim for on the first boss.

- So if you can not pull 100K, minimum, on the first boss of ToT you have absolutely no business being in there.

- I did 109K in the raid finder version with my shiny new daggers.

- Still not enchanted however, waiting on at least 502s to waste the good enchant on them.

- So I might be ready for it, DPS wise, but I want a little buffer and I think that 495 is an acceptable starting item level for ToT.

- That is assuming you know how to play.

- Or can at least fake it.

- I fake it on my rogue.

- Did the second half of MV to try and get the last sigil I needed and after we downed the celestial dragon guy someone said, how would we ever downed that guy without the rogue.

- I was a full 50K higher than the second placed damage dealer.

- Have to love them daggers.

- Sad state of the game if I can be #1 on my rogue.

- I have fallen back into my bad habit of spamming keys.

- I need to stop that and be more deliberate with my clicking.

- I will sit there spamming 2 over and over waiting for energy because I know that is coming next.

- It is a bad habit.

- And even worse is that doing tends to distract me after a while.

- Planning things out is fine.

- Preemptively hitting your next ability is actually a great idea.

- Spamming keys, while it seems sound, will cause your DPS to drop like a rock.

- I saw that happening and had to start holding off again.

- I finally did the dance on will perfectly as a melee.

- Once

- Had done it on my tank no problem, but never a melee.

- I was so excited.

- So excited that I promptly went and got hit by 4 of the next 5.

- Yeah, that is more like me.

- They say a man of true strength knows his weakness.

- That dance is my weakness.

- Kind of like the safety dance.

- I sucked at that on my main.

- Did it fine my first time on my priest.

- How strange is that?

- I am better at my hunter, more practice and all, yet I could not do the dance but on my priest it was no problem.

- For as over powered as I was on the first two bosses of that run, I was useless on will because I kept getting hit.

- I was second in damage done, sure, but damage done and DPS mean nothing when you get hit by the avoidable.

- So I was one of the worst on that fight, in my opinion.

- It follows one of my rules of warcraft, that applies even to the LFR.

- If everyone does the exact same as you, would you have downed the boss?

- In this case it would mean that everyone got hit with four out of the five arcs more than half the times he did it

- In this case even with my higher DPS, we would have wiped if everyone played like I did there.

- So that is why I say I did badly.

- It is a line I like to use for hybrids that sign up as heals and just DPS hoping no one notices.

- If everyone does the exact same as you, would you have downed the boss?

- Nope, because you would have 6 people using the healer queue when they have no intention to heal and it would be an instant wipe.

- So next time you enter the queue, think about that.

- If the answer to the question is no, we would have not downed the boss, do us all a favor and not queue up.

- I will never queue for that one again on my rogue.  I mean I did not do horrible by any means, but if everyone was me on that last fight, it would have been a wipe.

- I just get hit far too often.

- I have had enough chances to learn it and am willing to admit that as a melee I just can not get it, so I will not abuse the community with my lack of ability to play melee on that fight again.

- I would love to ask those two mages, one hunter, one lock, one rogue and two warriors if everyone was them, doing under 20K, do they think that bosses will go down?

- Do us a favor and reroll, learn to play or just stay out of group content please.

- Even in MV with its 460 item level requirement doing under 20K is unacceptable.

- How can I say that?

- Because if everyone played just like them, under 20K, they would not beat the enrage timers.

- Also, if the healers and tanks played that badly as well, you would not need to worry about the enrage timer.

- You would be dead way before that happens.

- First boss of the ToT raid, super shaman with 110K, priest in second with 102K and me third with 96K.

- The other three healers, combined, did not do 40K.

- I know you can not judge healers by their HPS alone, but if every healer there was doing 15K HPS it would have been a wipe.

- But perhaps they are the reason that the top three were all around 100K, because there was something for us to heal.

- But I still say it goes back to one of the rules of warcraft.

- If everyone does the exact same as you, would you have downed the boss.

- If the answer is yes, you did good, if it is no, you did bad.

- Aim for good, even in the LFR because if everyone was you, would the boss die?

- Have a great day all.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Follow the Jumping Bikini.

I have a habit of jumping around, even more so when moving as a hunter.  Guess a little comes from it being a hard habit to break from when you needed to do the jump shot to kite.  Now we have such a wide range we can shoot sideways and everything, well almost everything, can be shot while we are moving.  Hasn't changed me from my old habits.  I like to jump around.

In one of my LFR runs yesterday I got a very understanding, even if not skilled, group were we were wiping on the first boss of the 3rd section of throne.  The people in the know were trying to explain to people what to do so I did not need to chime in.  I only mentioned that I turn particle density down to low and it helped me.

After the first wipe and seeing as I was the only person to survive the maze someone put a marker on me, the bikini if you will.  It was after another of the DPS so proudly explained to everyone how to run the maze and told them to follow him.

I will give him credit for stepping up and offering to lead the mad mad dash through the maze of death.  He explained it perfectly too.  He told people to look for the beam and then head to the side of the beam where the shadows begin and that will be the direction we will be running in.  Perfect explanation, not so perfect implementation.  He quickly lead everyone to their death.

While the marker was put on my head for the second attempt nothing was mentioned in raid and honestly I did not even notice it was on me.  I enter the "zone" when I am on a boss and sometimes don't notice little things like that.  I am thinking about where I am going to position myself, when I am going to use cooldowns to maximize what I get out of them, where I am in relation of the healers, all those little things that I would like to think are what make me a good raider.  Yes, even if it is only the LFR I still try to be prepared.  I might not use a flask there or care if I eat but I will be damned if I am not going to at least hit my buttons in the right order as best I can and move to where I need to move as quickly as I can.

After the second wipe I noticed the tank and two healers had been following me on the outside ring with one other hunter.  Amazingly enough, that one tank, two healers and us two hunters where the only ones that survived as the helpful DPS that explained everything to everyone promptly lead everyone to their death once more.

On the third attempt the tank said to follow the dancing bikini as I stood there jumping in place.  That is when I noticed I was said bikini.  It was also when I noticed that there are some people that really want to learn and just have a hard time understanding things.

Why I say this is that I saw people run to me like lightning.  I mean they dropped everything and in no time I had a pile of 12 people on top of me, maybe more.  They actually were trying.  There was one issue however.  I position myself, being I do not know what side the fog will spawn on, in the middle or off center a little bit more precisely.  When the fog did spawn, I moved, most of the others did not.  A few that followed me tried to do what I did and keep with their rotation while moving.  The hunter did just fine, but the non hunters fell behind and died.  At least they tried.  I will give them credit for that.  Need to teach them, damn the DPS, move, survive, that is all that matters.  Once you know how to do it like I do you can DPS, but while learning, stop DPSing and learn.

On the forth attempt I explained that I do not know which way I will need to go until the fog starts, so if you are running to me and see me running... follow.  Don't just go to where I was and stop there.  We did a little better that time around, might have had a shot at getting it too if only we had two tanks.  Only one survived and no one that could revive the other did.  But we were getting close.

Before the fifth attempt someone asked me why I am always jumping while we are running around the circle.  I said, because it is partly habit from doing jump shots and partly to avoid the purple junk on the ground.  I also like to do the jump, twist, disengage, turn back trick so I can basically blink.  Which on this attempt I had decided not to do because I could see it was confusing the shit out of some people seeing me turn around but still go in the direction I was originally headed.  Someone said in raid, stop jumping around, you are confusing me.  We got a chuckle out of it.  I said I would try.  Old habits are hard to break.

We wiped again on the first attempt but more people made it through.  Lost too many to finish it however.  Sixth attempt was that much better, we wiped at less than 10%.  On the seventh attempt however we nailed it.

Both tanks followed me, the healers and a few DPS did as well.  Between one DPS joining the group on that attempt that kicked some major butt and destroyed me on damage done and DPS, and enough people including both tanks making it through it was enough to get the job done.

I did not want to be the person everyone follows, it makes me change how I act.  I become a little uncomfortable with it when people I don't know are depending on me because I do not want to let them down and it reflected with my output. 

While I had usually done full DPS while running the circle I did not.  I paid a lot more attention on where I was and where everyone that was following me was so I did not lead them to their death.  But I still did the spinning jump shot here and there, because lets face it, I am a hunter and that is what I do.

That one kick ass DPS that joined had done 14% of the damage and I did 11%, like I said, he destroyed me.  But between us we did 25% of all damage done that fight.  It goes to show you that all you really need to do that fight is have the right people survive.   We had two tanks, three healers and a few DPS including the top two and we did it.

Not a great run, but only one person called anyone names and they did that when the left so them being gone was really all that mattered.  Even if it was not a great run, it was not a bad run either because people were understanding that not everyone has done this before.  It took me a wipe before I understood what to do and three wipes before I could basically say I knew exactly where the spot would be every single time.  I would never insult someone else for having their time learning.  As long as they are willing to learn and this group was.  Not a great run like I said, but not a bad one at all.  People explained, people learned, people tried.  That is all I ever ask, is that people try. 

I dropped after that boss, I was just there for another shot at the ranged weapon but I hope the rest of their run went well.  They were a good group of people, even if not the best players, and they deserve smoother runs.  They do not deserve to be put into random content like this, where they need to be lucky enough to get an understanding group willing to wipe.  Now all these people, hopefully, know how to do the boss and there are more players that will do it better next week out there and maybe some that will take up the mantle and dance around with a bikini on their head while leading people around.

Becasue, at least on this one day, the secret to success was to follow the jumping bikini.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- Are you like me and keep forgetting the darkmoon faire?

- Someone mentioned it yesterday and I said, oh yeah, I forgot about that.

- I still have so many of the ruins back from DS when those dropped in the LFR and I was running it at least three times a week on normal/heroic and seven or eight times a week in LFR.

- I go there just to turn them in.

- Hey, the gold you get from turning in the quest is more than the gold you get from selling it on the auction house.

- Seriously, you won't get rich but you can still find them for 2 gold sometimes on the auction house.

- Not as often as you used to of course, but they are still cheap here and there.

- I could also solo the first boss of DS to get more if I need it.

- Word to the wise for hunters out there, it is easier to solo on heroic.

- No stacking debuff on the tank in heroic and you can FD to make the other version disappear.

- Then just pew pew away.

- I did that to get the achievement for that part, was one of the two I was missing for the meta.

- The other, holding hands, I will most likely never be able to get.

- You need 10 players for it.

- Try getting 10 player to do an old raid that actually are smart enough to follow instructions to get an achievement like that.

- Not happening, so meta will never happen for me either sadly.

- How many PvP patterns are there for leatherworkers?

- I have been doing the hide crafting every day since the patch and all I get every day are the PvP ones.

- I want the damn hunter helm and hunter boot ones.

- I figure sooner or later I will finish getting all the PvP ones.

- Just sucks the only ones I want are the ones I will get last.

- But at least I did get the shaman healing ones.

- Speaking of healing, healed the last part of the LFR this weekend.

- If you thought weekday crews were bad, you need to take a look at weekend ones.

- We wiped on the first boss, the maze of death one, and people blamed tanks, people blamed healers, no one noticed that it was every one dying to the maze that was the problem.

- The tanks can do nothing to stop that from happening.

- It is not the job of the healers to heal you though that.

- It was not the tanks fault.  It was not the healers fault.

- After looking closer after the second attempt it occurred to me, it was someones fault.

- Or should I say would be.

- We were at 3 stacks of determination before a third person was over 60K.

- Yes, only two players were above 60K, so even if we got to 10 stacks, they still could not down the boss.

- Not unless they get the maze.

- There are two ways to beat that boss, kill it before the maze phase or get it so low only a few need to survive, or the other way would be to have every one survive the maze phase.

- We did not have the DPS to do option one, so we needed people to survive the maze phase, not once, but twice.

- Yes, it took this crew of horrible damage dealers two maze phases to get it down with 7 stacks and still we almost hit the enrage.

- Myself and two other healers that survived were trying to delicately balance doing damage and keeping everyone up because we knew out damage would be the difference even if so little.

- It was not an easy job, running on fumes the whole way really at the end.

- We got it as he was about to enrage.

- Maybe 10 seconds away.

- If this is the third wing of LFR I am dreading the 4th.

- I am really thinking I would rather quit than experience that.

- Blizzard needs to get their act together and fix the LFR by making it so the people that use them can actually do them.

- The LFR is not the right place for progression raiding.

- When you have someone say "lets just wipe a few times first" you know there is a design issue here.

- If wiping is an acceptable strategy there is a real issue here.

- People should not need to get 10 stacks for it to be 50% easier, it should be 50% easier from the get go.

- My DK is now up to 32 bosses killed in the older LFRs, with 32 tokens used, still have only won one item.

- Not sure what is more surprising, the fact that with an increased drop rate I am 1 out of 64 on my DK or the fact that the one item I win is something I do not need when I only have 2 decent pieces to begin with.

- Have to say it again, increased chance to win my ass.

- As long as luck is still the deciding factor there is no way to increase it.

- Bad luck is bad luck, and random is random.

- Put the two together and you get nothing (worthwhile) in 64 chances.

- This week was the first week I did not raid.

- We have 13 people on our 10 man, with some people rotating so we can give everyone a chance.

- It also helps so if someone can not make it we already have a skilled person ready to play fill in.

- But this week 6 of those people were a no show.

- Half the raid team did not show at all.

- Problem is, no one wants to raid any more.

- And I can't say I blame them.  Raiding just isn't want it used to be any more.

- We all get fed up by the fact that holy paladin thunder forged gear drops and we do not have a holy paladin.

- Or worse yet, the first boss we downed, nothing dropped that was needed.

- Second, only one of the two pieces was needed and that was was only a side grade, not really an upgrade.

- I always say I raid for fun, and I do, but when loot never drops that people can use, or never drops at all like in the LFR, it starts to make you feel like, why even try?

- And I am starting to agree with the other people that just got frustrated with it and do not want to raid any more.

- The game needs to feel as if you are making progress to make it worth playing.

- When I ran 7 characters through the LFR, 5 through the newest one, and none of them won anything and none of them won anything with their coin, and it costs me more in repair then I get from the baggies, I start to wonder, where is my sense of progress?

- There is none, none what so ever.

- Perhaps it is time for me to take a break.

- Seems like everyone else I play with has.

- Have a great day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The ROI of The LFR

For those that have never seen the acronym ROI it means Return On Investment.  More a financial term but just as fitting for in game.  You invest time to do things and expect something in return from it.  Be it doing a quest and being rewarded with an item and gold or valor and some lesser coins.  You invest time, you get something in return.

I think the current issue with the LFR is not so much a difficulty issue for many people, not directly at least, it is an ROI issue.  Even more so for people that use it as their primary source of raiding.  The ROI for the LFR is negative.  When you are done with it you are felt as if you just wasted your time, even when it was a good run.

Why would someone continue to invest in a stock that continues to go down when they can invest in another stock, even if it isn't making money, and not lose?  Or even better still, invest in a stock that goes up.  Why do anything that has a negative ROI?

The perfect example, and only one currently in game that I can think of as good ROI design, is from a holiday event, oddly enough the one that is going on now.  The noblegarden event is actually to as close to perfect as you can get in a game like this, ROI wise that is.

You need noblegarden chocolates to buy items, but you can also get those items when looting the brightly colored eggs.  What it comes down to is this, if you want the mount you need 500 eggs.  Or you can get lucky and get it before you get to 500 eggs.  Your basic ROI here is that you have to invest enough time to collect 500 eggs and are guaranteed the mount.  Best case would be you get lucky enough to loot the mount from the egg before you get to that 500 number.  Finding it that way would make it an incredibly good ROI but working your way to the 500 means you got what you wanted to get for a set investment you knew it would take to get it beforehand.  That is a good ROI.  You invest the time to collect 500 eggs, you get the return you wanted for doing so, the mount.  Perfect design.

The bottom line is that in a game you invest something, namely time, and expect something in return for the time you have spent.  There are some factors that can skew the ROI that you would not have with business, such as "fun".  If you really enjoy doing something the reward does not need to be big, or even exist.  Doing the task itself is the reward.  Think PvP for the most part.  Winning could be all the reward you want.  Even with losing you can still have fun killing some people.  Unless you play on the competitive edge like RBGs or arena there really is no return once you have all the gear you can get with honor but if you enjoy doing random battlegrounds you enjoy them.

The issue is, at least as I see it, there is nothing enjoyable about the LFR.  So we can basically remove the "fun" factor from there and look at it from a pure time investment standpoint.

Is the time investment you spend doing the LFR worth the reward?

Lets take the new LFR wing that just came out and add up your investment, if you happened to get into the group I had at least.

90 lesser charms of good fortune needed for three coins for extra rolls.  The average quest offers 2 lesser charms and lets say the average quest takes 3 minutes.  That means 45 quests need to be completed at 3 minutes each.  So we are 2 hours and 15 minutes into our LFR run just to get coins before we get into it.  Add the average 45 minute wait time and we are now at 3 hours.

Now for the horror show, if you get unlucky.  Three hours on the first boss puts us up to 6 hours invested.  Lets say boss two, which people seem to have fewer problems with is another hour and the last one, until you can get people to stop AoE, which will be hard with people that like to whore on recount, could take an hour and a half.

That means your time investment to do the new LFR would be 8 1/2 hours.  Now, if you are anything like most people I hear from, you won nothing, all three of your coins won nothing, and you will spend well over 400 gold for repairs in that time frame.  Is that really worth your time investment?  What is your return on investment here?  You lost time, and lost gold.  And lets not forget the lingering feeling that the two hours and 15 minutes you spent to get those coins was wasted time too now.

Would any business man still be in business if they spent all their time with nothing in return for it?  Would anyone that ever invested in stocks have any money left if they got no ROI and lost money?

Even with a smoother run, considering the time it takes to gather enough coins and the time it takes to wait in queue, even a super fast 1 hour run for the LFR with no wipes it would still works out that you spent 4 hours on it.  To win nothing.

You can say, but I got some gold from doing it and I got some valor as well.  ROI wise the LFR is a horrible investment of your time if gold or valor is your intention.  There are many better ways to make gold.  You could make triple what the LFR gives you in less than 5 minutes with ANY profession in the game.  For gold the LFR has a horrible ROI. 

As for valor, you can run a dungeon which has a much faster queue, and is much quicker to run and could, if you get the right one, give you the same amount of valor as the LFR.  You could quest and in the same time you spent in the LFR you could make more than 90 valor and not have to deal with random people that basically suck all the life out of the game.  So for valor the LFR has a horrible ROI.

So what does the LFR have to offer?  Gear.  That is it, that is all it is there for, it has no other purpose.  At least not the current ones.  They exist to get gear.

When you run them over and over and get no gear they continue to get worse.  Even if you get a good group and not a nightmare like I had, you still wasted your time unless you get gear because there were better ways to spend your time to make gold and valor, which is all you ended up with from it.  Without gear dropping the LFR serves no purpose.  It does not offer a good ROI.

So what could make the LFR have a better, more appealing ROI?

Brightly colored eggs.  No, really.  Use the noblegarden design.  Where you can collect 500 eggs to get a mount or get lucky and get one sooner.  Have all bosses drop a token, and sell gear that drops from the raid for 10 tokens.  So, even if you do not have any luck with drops or coins, you will know that every 10 bosses you can get one piece of loot.

You would effectively be working for your gear and thinking, 3 more bosses until I get my bow, instead of just bitching and complaining that it never drops anything.  If it does drop something, bonus.  You got it faster and easier all thanks to luck and that means your ROI in very high now.  Either way, it changes the entire experience because now your investment is no longer just investing for luck, it is investing for a goal.  You want to kill 10 bosses to buy something, just like you wanted to collect 500 eggs to buy something.  You agreed to invest your time for something and that is your ROI.  My return would be my bow for killing 10 bosses.  Seems fair enough to me.

The ROI for the LFR is negative the way it is.  The LFR is there for gear and gear only.  Nothing more, nothing less.  There needs to be a better ROI if they want people to do it.  People would be more willing to deal with wipes if they knew they were getting something from it.  Even if that something was only one brightly colored egg, so to speak.

In the end the LFR takes too much time for too little reward.  It is a horrible investment of your time, even with a quick and easy run.

Personally, the only characters I like doing the LFR on are my enchanters.  So if I win something I do not need I can disenchant it for a sha crystal.  Sadly, I am on three weeks now with one of my enchanters doing every LFR and using every coin I had and only saw 1 piece.  Increased drop rates my ass.  The ROI for the LFR is horrible.  Worse than horrible actually.  We need a brightly colored egg system added to it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dear Blizzard, I Quit!

The new looking for raid part is out and last night I decided to get it in before my guild would run their version with as many members from the guild as wanted to go.  Guild runs are usually better because you are going with a group of people that are communicating.  Even if we are not the greatest raiders the fact we all at least go into it knowing the fights and what to expect and have the ability to communicate with each other even if we run into some problems we can usually get through anything the LFR throws at us.

Without my guild it is a different story.  It is a nightmare.  And the nightmare keeps getting worse with each new release of a raid in the LFR.  All I want to do is wake up and find out that this was all a dream, a very bad dream, but that is not going to happen.  The looking for raid is now officially progression raiding for randoms.

I have to say I am done.  I quit.  I just can not do it any more.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with 24 people I have never met and will most likely never meet again.  I have no desire to do progression raiding in a group with 5 people that all think they are the leader and have different ways to go about the fight.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with random people that all think they are better than everyone else even if they are the first one to have died to an easily avoidable mechanic.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with people calling each other names and insulting each other instead of doing what they were there for, you know, killing things. 

I have no desire to do progression raiding with no communication.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with damage dealers who think DPS is more important than doing the right thing.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with healers that think doing an AoE heal to increase their HPS is more important than keeping the tank alive.  I have no desire to do progression raiding and have to explain everything all over again every attempt because people leave and come in and none of them even consider taking 3 minutes to watch a video or read a post.  I have no desire to do progression raiding in a random setting that is intended to be so easy and it was for seeing content, getting loot and collecting valor in a quick and easy way when there is nothing quick and easy about it.  I have no desire to do progression raiding with random people.  I quit.

The looking for raid was intended for people that could not do real raids because of time or skill reasons by being something that was easy that they can do at any time of the day in short doses and it has failed miserably at being that.

Last night I waited in queue for 42 minutes and entered a raid that went on to wipe 10 times, could have been more, I think the determination buff stops at 10, but I guess it was 10 times because we had 10 stacks when we finally lucked into killing the boss over two and a half hours after I entered the raid.  I say lucked into it because when it ended only 3 of us were still up thanks to nearly the entire raid dying from one mechanic.

Over three hours, including wait time, to down one boss?  This is not easy, this is not something that people that can not dedicate a lot of time to raiding can do.  Three hours on one boss is ACTUAL raiding.  It is not LFR.  I do not even raid three hours a night with my guild and yet I get stuck in a looking for raid, when including wait time, is basically three hours to down one boss.  Then, just to add insult to injury, I win nothing and end up spending over 250 gold for repairs to get a 25 gold baggie.  Yeah blizzard, you win, I quit.

I want to ask an honest question here.  How exactly is playing for three hours to down one boss something that people that do not have time to really raid work? 

People want to use the looking for raid for something quick and easy.  Three hours is not quick, 45 minutes to an hour total, including wait time, would be quick.  That is all any section of the LFR should ever take.  No more than 1 hour, including wait time.  Even if filled with player lacking skill it should never take more than 1 hour total.

Instead I waited forever to get in.  Then waited after each wipe when people left.  Some of those waits upwards of 15 minutes between pulls.  Then twice the boss bugged out and would not come down so we spent 10-15 minutes jumping up and down trying to get a shot in on it to aggro it so we could continue.  Then when we did start the fight it was a guaranteed wipe because the melee could not hit it and the visuals were not exactly excellent when the mob was hanging out in the air which caused more to die.  But we had no choice, we had to work it and wipe, so we had a chance to get back in and do it right.  Either that, or drop a group that we had already invested hours in, just to have the attempt to down one freaking boss.  I quit.

Now for the adding insult to injury part.  I had to drop group because I had guild commitments to deal with.  This means I now need to wait in queue for god knows how long again if I want to try to finish the raid.  I might even get stuck in on the first boss again and have to deal with that hell again.  Or even worse, I might get put in on the last boss, be forced to deal with that hell, and then need to queue up again so I can get the second boss.  Waiting for yet a third time in queue for one freaking raid I should have been able to do on three characters in the time it took me to down one boss yesterday.  That third time it will most likely put me in on the first boss, unless I am really super luck, which I rarely am, and I will have to spend hours wiping on that again just to get the chance to experience the hell of the second boss.  I quit.

More insult to injury is the fact that my entire game day play time was spent doing one thing, for nothing.  I ended up with a repair bill 10 times the amount of gold the game gave me for putting up with this shit.  I did not win any gear, which I should have been given just for putting up with all this crap.  It should not have been some random chance to drop it.  I should have received everything that is suitable for my class as soon as the boss was downed as a thank you for sticking it out in this hell they think is fun.  It is not fun to wipe with random people blizzard, not ever and it should be near impossible to wipe with random people.  I quit.

Tuesdays are the good days.  I have always said it, tuesdays are the best day to do the LFR because that is when the better players do it.  That is why I log on as early as I can on tuesdays, that is why I play a long as I can on tuesdays, so I can get the content done faster when the better players are there.  If these were the better players, and this was what the LFR was like, what chance do my alts have of getting in a decent run when I do it on the weekend and there are lesser skilled players?

WTF was blizzard thinking with progression raiding in the LFR?

I quit.  I can't do this any more.  If blizzard does not want me playing why didn't they just say so.  When I get over my anger of this issue I will be the fool that will go right back into it trying to finish it on all my characters because I am an idiot that way.  But for now, I quit.  I will not do the LFR any more.  Not without at least a dozen guild mates.

I am not quitting the game.  No, I am too thickheaded and stubborn for that.  I also would not quit over one thing.  But I quit giving a crap about the LFR.  I quit trying it the day it comes out and will wait for my guild now.  I will probably quit doing it on alts until most people get a hang for it and it is a push over, the type of push over it should be from day one.  I quit going into there being the only person that watched the damn video.

Now for two little side bits.

Looking for a new guild for my non raiding alts.

I want to find a guild for my alts to do the LFR with.  Because going solo doesn't cut it any more, it is way to hard for the average player so I want to go with a group that I know is capable of doing it.  I don't ever want to be caught at the mercy of randoms any more.  At least not unless blizzard learns how to make content intended for random groups.  This release proves they have no clue how bad their average player is.  Are there any guilds out there that just do the LFR a few times a week that I can tag along with on my non raiding alts?  Can we even cross realm queue for LFR?  I honestly don't know.

Side bit number two, I will leave you with some fun stuff from my nightmare run.

Warlock:  You guys suck, this is so easy. ( posts achievement for doing this quarter on normal)
Tank:  Says the person 14th in DPS.
Rogue:  And 19th in damage done because he was the first to die.
Healer:  He was the first to die every time so far.
Rogue:  Guess that means you got carried by your guild.
Warlock:  I am better than any of you.
Rogue:  Just because you got carried does not mean you are good.

Hunter:  Put a star on my head so people can follow me.  I know the maze.
(during the fight, talking to me.)
Hunter:  Over by me huntard.
Hunter:  You are going to die if you don't follow me.
(I don't respond, I do not move to him)
Hunter: Kick him after this run, he is an idiot.
(We wiped, but I was the last ranged alive as he lead the entire group that followed him to their death)
Tank:  Seems like the huntard was the only one that knows how to do the maze.
Me:  I figured I was safer doing it on my own.  Seems I was right.
Healer (and others): lol
(hunter drops group without a word)

Mage: gogogogo
Tank:  We only have three healers.
Mage:  Who cares, we are going to wipe anyway, lets build some stacks of determination while we are waiting.
(I must admit he had a good point)

DPS:  A mob just spawned in my beam of light, what do I do?
Healer:  Kill it.
DPS:  Good idea.

DPS:  First time here, anything I should know?
Tank:  All you need to really know is where the closest repair vendor is.

(After four wipes)
Tank:  Sorry guys, I give up.
(Drops group, and three minutes later)
Same Tank:  Oh crap.  Well, lets try this again.
(After the seventh wipe)
Tank:  I am leaving again, not going to queue up right away, maybe I will get a better group, sorry.
DPS:  See you in a few minutes.
(A few minutes later)
Same Tank:  This game fucking hates me.
Entire raid:  lol

Healer:  Lock, you there?
Lock:  Yes.
Healer:  Why are you not taking the rez?
Lock:  We are only going to die again and I am running low on gold, can you just rez me when we get to 10 stacks.

Warrior:  How hard it is for people to find the clear path?
Rogue:  Judging by the stacks of determination I would say very hard apparently.

(Shaman zoning in at 10 stacks)
Shaman:  I did not know this went up to 10, this does not bode well.
Healer:  It stops at 10, we are actually on our 23rd try.
Shaman:  Please say you are kidding.
Shaman cries.

See, there were a few funny moments, but was it worth it.  Absolutely not.  The LFR needs to be tuned down to LFR players with LFR skills and LFR abilities.  If the best players, those first day players, can't do it, what chance to the weekend warriors have?  Yeah, that is why I quit.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Class is Easiest?

I am asking this not to start an argument, but for an opinion on what makes things easy.  For me playing a hunter is easy because I have been doing it so long but that does not change the fact that looking at it from the outside looking in a hunter is probably one of the harder class in the game to get the maximum out of for a new player.  I am sure many disagree, but I will explain my theory for that in time and I would like to hear opinions anyway.

From the Damage Dealing perspective...

Having recently played a few specs I had not played much of in the past, shadow priest, elemental shaman, and demonology warlock among others, it has me thinking, which class is really the easiest for a new player to get the hang of.

Each class has its respective issues that add difficulty to it.  Like the reason I think hunters are a lot more difficult for a new player than people give them credit for is because they have so many abilities it leaves it open for many mistakes.  When there are a lot of things on your priority list all off cooldown at the same time the chance for hitting the wrong one is a lot higher.  Being hunters have so many abilities and there are always multiple ones available to press at any time, that means that every single cooldown someone can press the wrong one, even if they know what is right. However, with hunters, even if you do hit the wrong one you can still do respectable damage, hence the reason for the belief that they are easy.  Even when you hit the wrong things you can still do okay.

But who wants to just do okay?  Maybe most people seem to be fine with it but I am not.  Okay is fine when you are alone but in group content people need to try to be better than just okay.  Lets face it, a hunter with a 500 item level doing 40K is not, repeat, not okay.

So what class is the easiest to be more than okay with?

The hardest, in my opinion, are feral druid, enhancement shaman and hunter of any spec, all for their own reasons.  None of which those three classes share.

The easiest used to be an arcane mage but the addition of mana being an important factor for them it has actually bought a little complexity to what would otherwise be an extremely easy rotation.  Like I said however, every class has its points of complexity and I think what it all comes down to is what we, as the player, can handle best. 

Some people are great a multi dotting and other suck.  Some people are fine with watching mana and others forget about it and it hurts them.  Some people have no issue managing combo points and others lost track of them.  Some people can manage multiple debuffs as if it were second nature while others easily get distracted by doing things that do damage and forget the debuffs make that damage higher.  It is all about what our minds have an easier time handling and we are each different.

If we wanted the easiest rotation for any human brain to handle it would be the three button rotation.  1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, and do that over and over, nothing ever changes.  Even if it were extended to a five button rotation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 over and over, it would be easy for anyone to get a handle on.  The problem is that there is no rotation in the game that simple.

But which one is the closest to that?

In my opinion it would be the assassination rogue.  But even if it is that simple, in theory, it isn't, there is more to it.  For example I can give you my assassination rogue rotation, in numbers not names, and any assassination rogue would be able to tell you what I am doing skill wise.

Open from stealth with 5, hit 5 again, then 2 or 4 if it proced then 3.  Now I do 2 three times, or 2 times if 4 procs which makes it 2 times and 4 once, then 1.  Then 2 twice and 3 and back and forth between the 2 three times then 1 and 2 times then 3 switching out 2 for 4 when the target is under 35% and doing twice as many 4s and I did 2 each rotation.

See, 5 buttons basically.  But I did that rotation completely wrong.  There is so much more to it.  I have 6 and 7 as cooldowns and Alt 5 to put me back into stealth and what about Alt 2 if I need to interrupt or so many other utility abilities I have on alts and shifts or other numbers and letters.

See, even the easiest rotation, as I see it, has a lot more to it then just those 5 buttons.  Even with only those 5 buttons did you see all those conditions I had on it.  Three of this ability but only if another does not proc and if it does then only two of that ability and the one proc one.  So it is not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  It is not easy.

Sure, it is really easy once you do it enough and it is second nature.  But it is not easy to just jump in on.  I have a sense for the game and for me, even not playing a rogue well, I was capable of learning it quickly.  But I am not a fresh player.   So me saying assassination is easy would not help a brand new player.  It is still hard for them.  So it might be the easiest to learn for someone that understand the game but not for a fresh face.

So what is next on the list that I consider easy?

Elemental Shaman.  Start with 2 and use on cooldown, 1 on cooldown, 3 on cooldown, fill with 4.  Hit 1 and alt 2 when lit up, alt 2 replaces 2 only when lit up.  5, shift 5 and alt 5 are all cooldowns.   With this rotation there are also other things you could do, many other things, but that simple rotation will get you more for less buttons than any other class in the game.  All that, and it really is simple.  You have a 4 button rotation, 3 with cooldowns and one filler.  So it is nearly impossible to press the wrong one.  If it is lit, press it, if not, use the 1, 2, 3, priority and 4 if none of them are available, simple as that.

What rotation would you consider to be the closest to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and over again?  That would be the easiest rotation in the game.  At least for a new player that knows nothing about the game.

Just tell them hit 1, 2, 3, 4, whichever is available, and hit whatever lights up over that and then go back to doing that.  Yeap, without a doubt, in my opinion, elemental shaman is the easiest rotation in the game currently.

From the Tanking perspective...

Active mitigation was a game changer and made it that you needed a lot more skill to play a tank, or at least play one well.  Before the advent of active mitigation you could roll a shield tank, gear in tank gear, and just DPS the boss as long as you had the right spec and right gear and unless you where doing pressing content you would be perfectly fine.  Tanking was as easy as hitting your attacks and taunting once in a while when someone pulled.  The hardest part of tanking before active mitigation was finding damage dealers that gave you enough time to round up the mobs.  Outside of that, you really did not need any skill or ability, your spec and gear and the healer behind you of course would be enough to keep you ticking like a well wound watch.

Now with tanks being responsible for keeping themselves alive, which tank is easiest comes down to which tank has the easiest time keeping themselves alive.

While I do believe I enjoy the new active mitigation design and find my warrior and druid more fun to play the survivability award has to go to paladins and death knights in my opinion.  I will not mention brewmasters as I have no experience outside of some time on beta with one playing them.  So I will hold my opinion on them, feel free to add yours.

So looking at the paladin and death knight you now have to go back to what is easiest with the human mind of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 mentality.  While paladins have, in my opinion, superior survivability thanks to all the abilities they have, the skill cap needed to get the most out of it is a lot higher than that of a death knight.  The paladin tank is kin to the hunter damage dealer.  Twelve million buttons to do what other classes can do with 5.  For that reason and that reason only death knights get my vote of easiest tank to play in the current design.

Perhaps my opinion is tainted by the fact that DKs have always been active mitigation tanks from the get go and I've had the most experience playing them that way but I do not think that is it.  I think the reason they are the easiest is because they passively heal themselves so to speak.  Even an unskilled death knight will hit their self heals while just doing damage and the more damage they take the more they heal themselves.  So add in a cooldown here and there and they can take care of themselves a lot easier than any other tank class and really do not need to do anything different than an old school tank did, hit the mob.

From the Healing perspective...

I have two schools of thought on what is easiest from the healing perspective and one of them is contrary to what I said earlier, that 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the staple for easier.  But first, the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 rule.

All healing classes have their collection of heals.  There is a small and cheap heal, the big, long and costly heal, the big, fast and extra costly heal, the AoE heal and an HoT.   Five types of heals for our 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 even if healers do not work like that. 

So which class closest resembles that?  We go to the shaman again for that.  Druids just have too much going on all over the place, even if they are the best class on the move and priest have way to many options for healing, some might say they have at least 2 of each of those types of heals, which could lead to a new player getting easily confused on which one to use and paladins are the opposite of druids with lots going on in one place and not nearly as much mobility.  Again, I will refrain from commenting on monk healing as I have yet to try it.

While shaman might also have some of those mobility issues that every class not named druid do they also have only one of each of those direct type heals.  One small heal, one big one, one expensive one, one AoE one and one HoT one.  Yes, there are other ones that could fit those bills, lots of them really with totems and ground effects and the such but the basic heals someone needs to learn to start healing are a no brainer.  There is one of each and more importantly they are all useful.  Unlike the disc priest that will never use their HoT so someone learning to play disc could easily be confused and using it when it really is not the best for them to do so.  Shaman do not have that issue even if they do have a slew of additionals.

For part two of what I think makes for the easier heals is more buttons, in a sense, not less.  This goes completely against everything I said about the other roles.  And I do not mean two different small heal options, I mean utility abilities.  Shaman have more of them that any other class.  They can dispel, they have two sorts of CC, they can interrupt, they have a pet that can DPS a pet that can tank, CC breaking totems, group debuff totems, and so many other little tools that make your job as a healer easier. 

Interrupting a cast that does 100K to everyone in a raid is the most powerful heal in the game.  Isn't it better to interrupt it than to try to heal it?  In a 25 man raid that means 2.5M heals that do not need to be cast in 1 second.  Unless your healer can put out more than 2.5M HPS for the mana cost of one interrupt that makes a interrupting better.  That is just one example of why healer utility, more buttons for healers, is good and makes them easier.  It is easier for a new player learning to heal to not have to heal that 2.5M in damage.

So oddly enough I consider the easiest healing class to be the one with the most buttons, but they are most non repetitive buttons.  There will still only be one of each type of heal which is what makes them easy to learn.  A heal for all occasions.

Kind of funny that shaman, in my opinion, rank tops on ease to learn for two specs, but enhancement ranks near the hardest to learn.

What class do you think would be the easiest for a new player to learn for each role, damage, tanking and healing?

My three winners are Elemental Shaman, Blood Death Knight and Restoration Shaman.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- The last couple of years I would usually do an April fools post but being it is a monday I will just go with my standard random thoughts.

- Check out "Character Copy Hitting Live in Mists" from last year.

- Or check out "New Addon: Easy Button" from the year before.

- Maybe I will write one for this year later.  For now those are my only two April fools ones if you are so inclined.

- Now to some random, not so random thoughts.

- Back to the LFR for another story but my end random thought about it might not be what you would expect.

- Forgotten depths.  2 wipes on first boss, wipe on the way to second, 3 wipes on second boss, 3 wipes on the way to third boss, 5 wipes on third boss.

- Decision about the run?  Excellent.

- What?

- No one bitched, no one complained, people worked together, explained, did not get uptight or fustrated and start calling people names.

- See, it is not the wiping in the LFR that is the problem, it is who you wipe with that is the problem.

- Wipe with some decent people and it is bearable, even if their playing skills might be something best called lackluster.

- I still say that the LFR is way to hard for the people it is aimed at.

- I still say that spending that much time with a group of people I will never see again is a waste of my time.

- But I will also say I have nothing to complain about with that group.

- How is that for a random thought?

- Wipe city and it was still a good run.

- I would like to thank the people in that run for restoring my faith that there are some decent people in the game.

- Was amazing to see people ask what happened, explain what happened, and work together to make sure it did not happen again.

- BTW, after as many attempts as I have had doing nests I can say, with some degree of certainty that the nest spawns are not random.

- Jump down at the start point go clock wise twice, the go to the lit upper one and clockwise once from there then to the one dead center over the boss and back to where you started.

- Three attempts doing it with my priest and six doing it with my shaman both being the nest healer and it was always that order.

- So either I was oddly lucky getting the same order 9 times in a row or that is the order they always take.

- Should make being on the nest crew so much easier.

- They still need to nerf the ever living hell out of that boss, I do not think I have ever wiped on an LFR boss that often.

- I've been rotating pets to make some cash on some of my lesser played servers lately.

- The new raptors, that I have over 10 of each still, sell for over 2K on one of my alt servers, I am selling at least one per day it seems.

- Even when I run out, they only sell for 200 on my main server, so I will keep flipping them between servers.

- My gold capped main server can easily gold cap an alt server in time if this keeps up.

- I started a guild on that alt server and have all my bank tabs and 4K left over in just one week of flipping pets and not trying all that hard.

- I wonder what other pets I can flip like that.

- I think I will make my second horde character to reach 90 a DK.

- I am really loving the OP nature of blood DKs.

- Doing the quests on the island is insane as is soloing the rares.

- Of course with my luck it is still woefully under geared because in three weeks of doing the 6 LFR bosses I can, 6 coins each, and I have only won one item and it was something I could not use.

- One for 36 might as well be zero for 36.

- So much for increased drop rate.

- Either way, at a 462 item level I can pull 20 mobs on the island and do roughly 140K DPS mowing them down.

- I can not wait to see what will happen when I start to get some gear.

- At the moment I am gearing with all DPS gear.

- Being I do not actually tank randoms or raids with it I do not need actual tank gear.

- And I am starting to think with active mitigation working as it does I do not even need actual tank gear.

- If I need some dodge and parry I can reforge into it.

- Even with only four tank pieces I see no survivability issues with the content I am doing.

- That is what I call over powered.

- It is a lot of fun too.

- Going from under 20% life to full life and back down and up again while I deal with the incoming damage from pulling 20 mobs and try to even it out and get a few down is exciting.

- I have not died yet doing that.

- Cross my fingers, because I just jinxed myself.

- Thinking of race changing a few of my characters.

- I am starting to really dislike the shorter and taller characters a lot more lately.

- Gnomes are the worst offender.

- Being line of sighted by a pebble.

- Having to swim in bodies of water everyone else just walks over.

- Doing the first boss in HoF messes with me big time thanks to camera angles from being so short.

- And so many other things.

- It might be time to kiss my gnomes goodbye.

- But what to change them all into?

- Panda's maybe?

- Humans might be better being it seems reputation is all everything is about lately and that 10% really does make a huge difference.

- I was thinking about it for new players, they would still need to do that reputation grind.

- Why have they not removed it from the first tier yet?

- You can get to the 480 item level a lot faster with some valor pieces, but you need the reputation to get them.

- So while spamming randoms to get to 460, then hoping a praying for drops to get to 470 and hoping and praying for drops to get to 480, you will be capped, over capped, with nothing to do with that valor all thanks to reputation.

- Yeah, they should just remove the reputation requirements for gear from the last tier.

- Just look at my DK, I do not play it often, sure, but it will never get to 470 at this rate.

- And I refuse to waste my spirits to make it 476 gear or 496 gear.

- And I refuse to spend 18K for the 496 pieces and 8K for the 476 pieces that will just be replaced by even the lowest of LFRs if and when I get lucky enough to win something.

- Buying stuff from those item selling sites is starting to look like a better idea every single day.

- For less than 50 bucks I can have both 496 pieces and a few assorted 476 pieces.

- Odd how 50 bucks seems less expensive to me that spending 50K in game gold for all the same things.

- I guess that is because it takes a lot shorter of a time to earn 50 buck real life than it does to earn 50K in game.

- Not to mention I can earn that 50 bucks while typing this at work yet I can not make that 50K gold while sitting here at work.

- While I have never used a site like that, I am starting to think I should.

- I can actually see a lot of new players or players with less time using those sites a lot now to help skip the need for the reputation grind.

- Or maybe I should start buying pets and selling those, that is legal in game.

- I've seen people on multiple servers selling the card game pets anywhere from 25K-200K and you can buy them for 3-5 dollar at amazon.

- Seriously.

- Actually I think that is what I am going to do when I am done here.

- Buy a few 3 dollar pets and sell them for the gold to buy the items.

- But I know me, I will just hoard the gold and not want to spend it.

- I have the gold but I just hate spending it because I always think, what if I need it for something later.

- But later never comes.

- When all my alts are sitting between 30K-90K and I do not do anything on them, you know I am a penny pincher.

- I guess I can get the pets to keep them, I do need a lot of those card pets.

- I have bought card mounts before.

- The two hippogryphs, corrupted and blazing, I bought them both.

- I love them, they are my favorite style of mounts, I could not resist.

- So why not buy the pets too.

- Speaking of mounts, I must say I love those new bubbles on the isle and hope they add them everywhere there are quest hubs from now on.

- The instant dismount is awesome.

- No more will we have Mr check out my humungous mount standing on quest givers.

- And the added bonus of getting away from mobs is awesome.

- I can not tell you the number of times I was on a mad dash saying, make it to the bubble, make it to the bubble, with a trail of mobs ready to rip me limb from limb on my tail.

- You've done it too, admit it.

- Those quest giver bubbles are a stroke of genius.

- One word to the wise however, if there are no quest for that bubble that day, that bubble is not there.

- I found out the hard way.

- Run, run, run, safety is in my reach, oh crap there is no bubble there, keep running, we can do this.

- It was rather funny.

- Even funnier on a gnome because they really have that cartoon character running for their life look about them.

- Gnomes are great for funny characters, I also notice that I tend to be a lot more free spirited when playing one of them.

- Said thing I am going to race change them all thanks to their height and game play issues bought on by that height issue.

- They are really fun to play if you live them up to their hype as the silly ones.

- No race plays silly and fun better than a gnome.

- Or a human named budd.

- Did the entry to cata again and it amazes me budd is still alive.

- He is so stupid.

- I leveled my monk to 85 this weekend.  And lock to 88.

- First time doing some leveling in ages it seems.

- Speaking of ages, I do not think I have used my farm in months now.

- I could be using those to my advantage, but never have the free time to do so.

- I have a friend with 11 maxed farms on the same server.

- He never needs to farm for materials any more because he actually farms for whatever he needs by using them now.

- He can do up to 300, with luck, golden lotus a week if he wanted to, which is beyond awesome.

- I was upset when I read that the farm was actually intended to be a one expansion thing.

- I thought it was just the standard blizzard bad planning and bad design that was the reason it was tied in the way it was, I was hoping it would be a new part of the game that grew with us.

- I like the idea that my horde characters, that do not have a maxed alchemist or herbalist could farm their herbs for flasks up.

- Was such an awesome money saver and as I mentioned, I love saving gold.

- Perhaps they will change their mind.

- I mean at one point they said there would never be flying in the old world and there is now.

- It would surely be easier to update what you can grow on the farm than it was to update the old world so we could fly in it.

- Like I said in one of my suggestions a long time ago, they could have done better with the farm and made it throughout the game.

- Farming those motes of air in BC would have been nice wouldn't it?

- But nooooo, they couldn't do that, that would be fun and useful and nice to have.

- I said it with my starting review of the expansion and it seems I was right, the farm comes off as a one expansion thing, and it is, now we know that.

- Sad time, very sad times.

- For farmers at least.

- Amazing how I have not farmed in months but I would still miss it if it were gone.

- See, when I talk about options, that was the perfect example.

- If I needed the herbs or something else, I had the option of using my farms or going out herbing.

- That is what options are, blizzard needs more of that design and less of this grind this or get nothing.

- What options are their for 522 gear?

- Raid for drops or raid for rep to buy some, but not for all slots, valor items.

- Raid or raid?  Not really any options as I see it.

- I always joke that blizzard and math do not have a friendly relationship.

- Well, I don't think they have a friendly relationship with a dictionary either, otherwise they would look up what the word options means.

- Well that is all for today, try not to get fooled and remember to read my old april fools stuff for some fun if you have the time.

- Have a great day.