Archive for the “Rants” Category

Where in your lovable Sar goes ballistic about something

I was beginning to write this all in a comment as a response to your comments on the last post (which were all fantastic by the way, and I thank you all from the bottom of my blackened heart that you read this… even if some of you may not anymore).  However, I was talking for WAY too long, and I thought it might just be easier to knock this over as a post while my internet is cooperating and life is good.  So, as you read, keep in mind this is basically a glorified comment on the last post, which can be found here, and which some people have interpreted to be directly related to my badge post, which can be found here.  Hell, I may as well publish it as a series, and say “Sar rants and raves about shit being too easy and badges being handed out like candy and RAAAAAAAAAAAGE!!”

The thing is, I really don’t care that people get their shinies.  I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll say it again – loot is just bloody loot.  Sure, I’ll drool over a piece here or there.  I’ll feel a little sad when someone else beats me on something I really really want.  But, eh, it’s just loot, and clothes do not make the man (to a certain extent, but we will touch on that later). Not to mention, this post was not even about badges, it was merely inspired by some comments I have seen justifying the badge change.  As a quick reminder, although it is irrelevant here, I do not like the badge changes because:

1.  It makes no logical sense to be rewarded in heroics with Conquest badges.  I have seen so many better ideas around (a logical trade up system was one good one… where is the logic in a 1:1 ratio?)  Imagine what people would say if ‘Naxx bosses now have a 10% chance to drop a piece of Ulduar quality gear’.’  I can guarantee the level of QQ would be much higher than it is here.

2.  I giggle in absolute mirth when people say this will make getting Naxx runs easier, especially for new characters/undergeared alts.  Seems we all forget the Kara farm days of "LFM for Kara.  Must be in full epics/have over 1000DPS".  Sorry, your newly levelled alt isn’t going to be getting Naxx runs unless they are guild runs.

3.  Seeing the content is fine.  The big end of BC nerf helped my guild at that time a LOT… we went from 3/5 and 4/9 to into Sunwell.  In my opinion, that was kinda a nice way to do it – I know at the time it felt a bit over nerfed, but it did help people see content.  People were happy with that too – sure, some people still might not have made it into Sunwell, but they were happy to make the next jump.  It was a fun, giggle filled time, just like going to the circus.  However, nerfs/things to make life easier/etc should happen at an appropriate time.  Many people feel that this will be too early.   Fair enough, Blizz wants all the playerbase to see content.  I am down with that.  However, does it mean we all need to keep well within range of each other at all times?

4.  For me, the best part of seeing new content is a) the work it takes to get there, and b) the challenge of getting there.  Handing out badges likes this removes challenge.  I remember it making life a lot simpler when I saved up my many hundreds of badges (easily obtained through a daily heroic and a weekly Kara run) and got myself significant upgrades from the new vendor as soon as it was unlocked.  As the rest of my guild did the exact same thing, we suddenly downed a couple of previously tough bosses like rolls of squishy toilet paper.  I felt robbed of a big chunk of progression.  We didn’t win because we could play any better.  We won solely based on gear.  Where’s the fun in that?

5.  Elleiras (although she disagrees with me in the end) raises an interesting point.  Many people are claiming the gear one can equip off badges will not be comparable to the current BiS.  Elleiras, being much more logical minded than I am, does a direct comparison.  Her post in its entirety is well worth a read.

6.  Another thing which makes me giggle is the hypocrisy between valuing gear as a hardcore player and valuing it as a casual.  It is the ultimate in heinous evilness to value gear for the sake of gear as a hardcore player.  Admit it, most of us think this is true… hell, this is what people are firing back at me for thinking the badge changes are whack! You just don’t want anyone to have your gear!  Your gear makes you think you are special!  etc etc.  Well, we can say that’s unacceptable… but we can’t then go and say this is fine for the casuals. (Quoted, again, from Elleiras) “My mom has no desire whatsoever to raid, but she still gushes over each new epic because obtaining it was an achievement in and of itself".  Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing that Elleiras’ Mum feels that way… but how can we simultaneously applaud it in the ‘casual’ player base and decry it in the ‘hardcore’?

OK, so there’s my 2c on badges right there.  I don’t think ANY of those reasons relates to ‘OMG Noobs getting shinies!!’  Hell, it’s not like I am the best geared Warlock out there and have nothing better to do than bitch that ‘everyone else is getting what I got, but they are getting it more easily!’  I just think this is way too much, too soon.

Now, on to responding to my last, actual post.

OK, so I may have slightly understated the difficulty of Ulduar.  Natch, 1 point to you guys in the stands right there.  However, Ulduar being difficult does not mean that the game itself is not easy.  However, the rest of the game was horrifically undertuned, and that was a HUGE mistake which in effect makes the game, wait for it, too bloody easy!

Not everyone wants to raid.  The game is way too easy for those of us who do not raid.  Who would be happy doing the occasional 10man, but mainly hanging around in heroics and doing other odds and ends.  My old guild here is a case in point.  These are the people Blizz is (in my opinion) aiming the game at and changing the game for: the small guild that generally only has a handful of people on.  The guild who may have the numbers online for a raid, but not the right classes.  The casual players who still want to play a lot but just aren’t that in to progression raiding… hell, who treat raiding as casually as the rest of the game.  These were the guilds that were hit HARDEST by this sort of thing.  First they hit 80, after a fun whirlwind ride of levelling.  Huzzah!  Then, they venture into Heroics… and are sorely dismayed.  This is where I saw a lot of my old guildies saying ‘I’m taking a break, the game is too easy now, it’s not fun anymore, and I miss my trapping!’

How is making loot more accessible going to help this part of the player base?  Not to mention, according to statistics and what people say, it is actually a HUGE part!  They are saying the game is too straight forward for them.  They are saying ‘Blizz, we don’t want to raid, but we would LOVE something challenging’.  So, we give them better gear?  Is this meant to make them get into raiding?  If you are the ‘supremo casual’ who doesn’t want to raid, well… you’ll get a little pleasure out of getting something nice and shiny.  Hell, we all do.  Then you’ll do more DPS, down things even more quickly… and be bored again.  Making things EASIER is not a good response to undertuning the game in the first place.

If you REALLY want to give out Emblems of Conquest in 5mans, well, that’s cool I guess.  But, if you are doing that, un-nerf (is there such a thing?) the content.  Tune it to be just a little more difficult.  Sure, people will whine at first, because we get scared when we can’t do things like we used to be able to.  But you might lure back some of those “I miss CC, so I am taking a break’ people.

Now, unless someone comments and inspires me otherwise… I think this might actually be my final say on the matter.  Yay!  Now I can get back to benting my rage at my incompetent phone company/ISP/whoever keeps breaking my internet!

Comments 5 Comments »

There has been a LOT of discussion around the place about the badge changes.  There’s some ranty stuff like what I wrote, there’s some less ranty stuff, and there’s people who have ranted in the complete opposite direction to myself.  What can I say, giving away loot in a simpler manner causes lots of emotional babbling!

One comment which I have seen coming up here and there is the argument that the changes allow people who are in, shall we say… less able guilds… to see the content.  For guilds who are carrying people doing sub-par DPS, or underperforming in some other role, they now have the opportunity to see new content because they can carry guildies through it.

For some reason people get up in arms when this idea gets thrown around, so I am just going to get this out in the open right here, nice and early:

Some people just suck at WoW.

It’s true.  It might not be politically correct, or even NICE to say this, but some people just don’t know how to play the game.  Some of them improve with research and practice, others just suck and nothing will fix it.  They might be lovely people, great to talk to, but they can’t play the game.

So, some people are saying ‘we have people like this in our guild.  They might even be RL friends.  Now, I can’t just tell them they suck and not take them on raids, but they hold the rest of us back and we can’t see the content.  This new badge gear will help us overcome that.’

That’s just bullshit.

Take a single player game…. I don’t know, Duke Nukem or something.  Now, I used to play Duke Nukem a lot as a kid.  I was also bloody horrific at it.  I couldn’t get past things, I died all the god damn time, I was hopeless.  Never been good at shooters, what can I say.  However, there was nothing to get me ‘through’ the game.  I just had to practice a lot to get past it, or suck it up and admit that I was not ever going to be good at it.  No one was going to drop an awesome gun into my hands or anything and say ‘Here you go, now you’ll be fine!"  So why do MMORPG’s do this?

Simple: Money.

Any ‘regular’ game, all the money is made at the purchase point.  If the person then sucks at it, well, too bad for them.  The developer already has their cash and they are happy.  If someone buys WoW and sucks at it and can’t progress, well… they’ll quit.  That’s a lot of money lost right there.  Blizzard want to keep their subscribers, so they want to make the game accessible to everyone.  Unfortunately, it’s slowly killing the fun for those of us who can play.

Euripides claims that WoW is not any easier than it has ever been, it is just that the playerbase is getting more skilled.  I have to disagree.  The largest indicator of this to me?  Hands up who uses crowd control.  Come on, there must be someone out there who uses crowd control.  In a heroic?  In a raid?  *looks around* OK, I think there’s a little hand up there in the back corner.  That’s it though.  CC went the way of the dodo when Wrath came out, along with most situational awareness (seriously?  How hard is it to dodge a big black pancake?)  Not to mention the fact that I find the game easier, despite having a much more complicated rotation than my ‘lolSBspam’ BC rotation.  I have to actually THINK about my rotation and the game is still easier for me!

I have not seen crowd control used in Wrath at all.  Oh, sorry…. once or twice in Ulduar.  Instances?  Nup.  Heroics?  Hell no!  Who needs to crowd control that puppy when the tank can AoE tank, the healer can heal em right through it and the DPS can just mow them down?!  I remember pulls that went horribly awry in BC heroics, where someone’s CC failed and you would almost always wipe.  Anyone remember chain seducing those mobs in Shadow Labs?  Banishing, enslaving AND tanking demons in Mechanar?  Having Mages designated solely as chain sheepers on some fights (Lurker, anyone?)… the ability to crowd control effectively in BC was hugely important.  Bosses were less forgiving of errors, and you died if you screwed up even marginally.  In Wrath, thus far all the content I have seen has been roflstomped fairly comprehensively up to Ulduar, and even partially into Ulduar. 

Euripides says that the game being ‘not easy’ is proven by Ensidia taking 204 tries to kill the hardest boss in the game.  Let me just think this through…

1.  Hardest boss in the game currently.  That immediately implies that this is content people SHOULD be butting their heads against.  The hardest boss in the game should take a hell of a long time to get down.  How long did it take people to down Kil’jaeden?

2.  204 tries.  That’s chicken feed, quite frankly.  If you raid, think about the number of times you wipe on progression content.  If I think back to BC (and I hate to harp on it, but if we are going to say the game is easy, then we need to compare it to something) I remember wiping for weeks on end on Vashj.  At about the time I started this blog, my guild was beating our collective heads against the wall on that stupid Medusa looking creature.  So, minimum of 8 hours of wipes a week.  Weeks on end.  I would say that added up to well over 100 wipes.  I was easily going through a stack of food at LEAST on a ‘wipe on Vashj’ night.

Now, I don’t blame Blizzard for making the game ‘easy’ and accessible to everyone.  At the end of the day, they want to make money, and it’s the best way to do it.  However, the minute something more challenging and interesting appears on the horizon, I for one might just jump ship.  WoW isn’t a challenge anymore… it’s just far too easy for anyone with a pinch of skill.  I for one am tired of wipes feeling more like “Who noobed it up this time?” than “Wow, this is a HARD fight!”

Summary

Heroics – Wrath is FAR easier than BC overall

Entry level raid – Naxx is definitely simpler than Kara was.  Kara was a nightmare of an entry level raid… Naxx is not much more difficult than a Heroic.

Single Boss raids – I would say Gruul’s Lair is about on par with Malygos, but OS is much easier than Mag’s was.  Except for maybe 3 drakes, which is slightly harder, but then, that IS ‘hard mode’.

Next level raiding – Ulduar is a weird mishmash of difficulty levels: I would say that the bosses on average are harder than the easy bosses of TK/SSC (let’s face it, TK was fairly easy overall), but the more difficult bosses of SSC/TK were more difficult than those of Ulduar.

 

 

Irrelevant post script: This is my 300th post!  Yay!

Comments 19 Comments »

So, after a week or two of what was essentially Radio Silence from Sar-land (issues with Telstra, surprise surprise, they managed to bork my internet without even being my ISP!), I come back with a totally Warlock-irrelevant, emotionally charged angry rant.  But, hey, you guys should totally expect that now, right?

Blizzard have announced that in 3.2-orwhateverthedamnpatchnameis Conquest badges will be dropping like a hooker’s panties.  Do Naxx?  Get Conquest badges!  Do heroics?  Get Conquest badges!  Of course, these will be tradable for the other various forms of badge, but essentially you can get the best form of badge for the least amount of work.

There has been discussion of this here there and everywhere.  Some people like it, some people don’t.  I put myself firmly in the ‘For heaven’s sake Blizzard, what WERE you thinking?!?!’ camp.  How bloody ridiculous.  And no, this isn’t a ‘they are making the game too easy for the casuals!’ rant.  This is a ‘lets devalue the value of badges and gear’ rant.

I thought that it was a fricking fantastic idea that Wrath saw the introduction of different levels of badges.   5 mans, entry level raiding, and end game raiding are not equal to each other.  Each level is progressively more difficult, and should be recognised as such.  Having different types of badges should allow for this, but by basically wiping the other two types out of existence, the whole system and idea of this is gone.

Now, I am not one to bitch (well, I am…) without offering some suggestion as to what would be a better way of doing things.  So, well…. here goes nothing!

1.  Eliminate the difference between 10 and 25 man raiding badge wise

While it is impossible in reality to make 10 man and 25 man raiding equally difficult across the board, both levels of raiding are as hard as each other over all (in my humble opinion).  Why should you get a lesser form of badge for 10 man Naxx than 25?  It’s ludicrous!  10 man and 25 man raids should receive equivalent badges.

2.  Attach the badge types to the appropriate raid/instance level

Badges should drop as follows

Heroic Instances:  Emblem of Heroism

Naxx/OS/Malygos/VoA: Emblem of Valor

Ulduar: Emblem of Conquest.

I think that doing this would mean people are able to get content appropriate badges, which would be tradable for content level gear (see below).  You do NOT need gear that is vastly better than what drops where you are currently running.

3.  Make the bloody gear commensurate with the content level it drops from! (that includes improving the quality of badge gear where appropriate)

If people want to only do 5 mans, that’s fine.  They will NEVER need the sort of gear that is obtainable with Conquest badges.  The people who do only do these may cry ‘But why can’t we get shiny loots too?’  My answer: because you don’t ever fricking need it!  If you want to stick at that content level, that is just fine.  Peachy even!  Do what the hell you want, but for heavens sakes, make the damn gear you get out of it appropriate!  You don’t need to massively overpower the content.  Same thing goes for Naxx etc.

One thing I remember happening in BC was the massive Kara farms.  Let’s go spend a couple hours in Kara, grind out 21 badges, do that for a few weeks, and get ourselves some T6 quality loot!  Then we will barely need to even set foot in the T5 content… we can just skip over most of it!  When they announced the new gear that was obtainable with badges, I (along with masses of other people) spent weeks before hand grinding away at heroics and Kara to be able to kit myself out as soon as the gear was available.  Sure, that won’t be able to be done now, but the principle is still the same.  I can foresee a lot of ‘lolKara Farm Nights’ in the future.  Frustrating for people who are tired of the content, and equally frustrating for guilds who are still running it and have to hear people bitching about ’EZ mode lolKara that we clear in 2 hours just for badges’.

If you decide you want to raid a higher level of content than what you do now, that’s fine as well.  But you have to do it the honest way, the way it was intended to be done, and work your way through the content to progress to that level.  Why should you be rewarded with gear which is far greater than anything available from the content level you are currently doing?  That just devalues the gear and frustrates a great deal of the player base.  Sure, it ‘might not hurt the raiders’ to have other people have the same phat loots.  It isn’t fair though to have some people work hard on difficult content, just to have others get equal gear. All it does is make people raid content they don’t particularly want to raid, and cause even more tension between the ‘casual’ and the ‘hardcore’ players.

/end rant

P.S. – perhaps make Emblems of Heroism/Valor Bind on Account?  That might keep everyone happy, AND be practical!  You are essentially making the damn things worthless anyway!

edit P.P.S – So, I managed to miss that there is a new type of badge coming out.  However, I don’t think this makes my original point invalid.   All forms of content should be rewarded appropriately, not just ‘OK, we have decided this is obsolete, so new badges!!’  THAT makes no sense.

Comments 15 Comments »

I’ll admit, I enjoy being prepared.  I like knowing that I am ready for any situation, that no matter what happens, whether it be everyone dying in a gigantic fire (happens a lot), me blowing shards putting up summoning portals when one is already there (also happens a lot), me being asked to put up a summoning portal RIGHT NEXT TO THE GOD DAMN DOOR (also happens a lot!)  … well, no matter what pain in the ass situation happens, I like knowing that I will have enough shards to see the raid through.

Then Blizz came along and stomped on my shiny little world with their ridiculous 32 shard limit.  Bastards.

Yes, I realise this is old news.  ‘But it’s been like this for AGES now Sar!  Have your knickers been in a knot about it for this long?  You’ll do yourself an injury!’

Well… I’m just mad about it tonight.

This here is how I used to raid

That’s 59 shards right there.  Enough for summoning, for pet killing, for soulshattering every time the cooldown was up, for healthstoning and soulstoning… you name it, I could do it.  Sure sure, shards are easier to come by now… but if we sit there wiping on a boss all night, I don’t want to have to gimp my damage and hurt the raid by having to drain soul for 5 fricking minutes on a fight!

Tonight, I kept running out.  We wiped a few times, and all of a sudden I was down to 5 shards.  That wont last me 5 minutes in a boss fight! 

I’m a lock.  I like souls.  I like collecting the souls of many people, and keeping those souls in my bag, waiting for me to put them to nefarious uses.  Now I feel like I have been getting ripped off for all these years.  My total belief system has been undermined.

Those shards must not truly represent a whole soul.

Think about it.  If I can get multiple shards off one mob (or person!), then either they have more than one soul, or I am getting just a minute fraction of it.  Talk about being totally unevil.  That’s merely an inconvenience!  A flesh wound!  First Death Knights get the monopoly on evil, and now this?

I’m going to kill some kittens until I feel better.

Comments 8 Comments »

So…. I am working relatively diligently on the next installment of Casual Guilds…. but I just can’t quite get into it at the moment.  What with the silly season catching up to me, the stress of still trying to organise a house (Moving on the 19th of January, the agency who organises the accommodation is closed until the 5th, and I still haven’t heard anything about a house… fun times), trying to squash in a trip to Bourke before I head to Melbourne for a week… yeah, it’s all catching up to me.  Not to mention the small fact that I just can’t seem to bring myself to level past 78.  Very odd indeed.

I have been level 78 now for, oh, two weeks at least.  I log on, I contemplate doing a quest… and just can’t be bothered doing it.  I am sure that my guildmates are beginning to think I am moderately insane – heck, I am starting to wonder if I am myself! – but I can’t level.  It’s almost like a weird block is there preventing me from hitting 80.  Even the most casual of casual players I know have caught up to me and are poised to race ahead.  I really don’t know what it is.

So, what have I been doing instead of levelling?  I have to be doing something in game, right?  Well.. I have done the Christmas quests…. tried to do some BG’s to get the achievement (and spent more time cursing at the screen than anything else while doing so), levelled cooking a little… run out of snowflakes to throw at people for other achievements, danced like a snowman, and put off doing the bombing run.

Dancing as a snowman was probably the most time consuming part of the whole thing.  I parked my butt in Lagcity, donned my outfit, and waited…and waited…. and waited.  Finally, someone came up to me and said they would put their costume on if I gave them a snowball so I could get the achievement.  Sounded fair to me… until I tried to open trade.  Well… duh – the snowman costume is a stun effect, so you can’t trade while wearing it.  All good, I’ll just click the buff off me… or not.  What?  I can’t  click it off!  I can’t move to get it off?  I am stuck as a snowman forever!  Oh woe is me.  What a fate, to be a snowman in the middle of Dalaran for all eternity.

Of course… it was just a UI issue.  I have known for a while that one of my mods was interfering with the ability to click off buffs, so I just had to turn them all off.  Still, it was annoying!  At least I got the achievement though… and randomly got surprised with ‘Tastes Like Chicken!’.  Yay!

Other random crap which has gotten on my nerves:

  • People mounting over the presents… stupid jerks
  • I hate double demerits!  Everyone is driving so slowly because they are scared of being booked – 20kph under the speed limit is NOT necessary people!
  • By the time I got to the sales there was hardly anything left, which means all my towels are mismatched.  Entirely my bad, but annoying nonetheless
  • I got my brother a guitar for Christmas.  Unfortunately, at this point the only thing he knows is the chorus to Smoke on the Water.  It gets tiresome after a few times.  Silly me should have given it to him right before I moved out

Well, hope you all had a great holiday season.  I promise that installment of Casual Guilds is incoming… tomorrow perhaps?  Yes, I will get to it tomorrow, I swear!

Comments 1 Comment »

OK, before you begin reading this, you really do need to read Vonya’s post over at Egotistical Priest.  What I have written here was originally a comment on her post, but I discovered that I was nattering on for WAY too long, so I decided to make it a blog post.  As this is a response, I am not going to talk about the things Vonya has already discussed: that would just be boring and silly!

First and foremost, I have to admit that I am not even 80 yet (shock horror, I know!), so I don’t have personal experience in either of the Wrath raiding frontiers.  However, I have to say I have always found the ‘elitism’ that sometimes happens in the raiding community to be mildly revolting, and what Vonya is talking about here falls right into that category.

10 man raiding has always been viewed with an un-necessary level of condescension.  The ‘lolKara’ phenomenon does NOT take into account the fact that Kara was actually a difficult raid for people who were not overgeared for the encounters.  As many people have stated, 10 man raiding requires a level of co-ordination which many people do not give it credit for.  People can slack off in 25 mans easily (I myself have been guilty of that on some occasions – shhh!), while it becomes very apparent in a 10 man when someone isn’t pulling their weight, and it has a huge effect on the raid.  Does anyone remember the trouble of Moroes when the raid wasn’t in full epics?  The crowd control, the healing… it was not an easy fight.  Tanking the fight in itself was difficult at the time.  I don’t think I have ever been more frustrated with a raid boss, bar Felmyst (why did the middle have to look the same as the top or bottom!)

This ‘lolKara’ attitude has well and truly carried over into Wrath.  10 mans are viewed as PuG material, and a guild is not a true ‘raiding guild’ in most eyes unless they are raiding 25 man content.  This may just be a carry over from when most raid content WAS for larger groups, but it is a disturbing misconception that really needs to be rectified.  10 man raiding is not explicitly easier than 25 man.  This is bleedingly obvious when people are reduced to spouting ‘x encounter is harder on 25!’; ‘y encounter is harder in 10s!’  Clearly the encounters can not be perfectly tuned to be of equal difficulty in 10s and 25s – there are too many external factors.  It’s not about particular encounters, it’s about raiding as a whole.  People zoom in on specifics and lose focus of the argument at hand.

I have to say I agree with Aelinna (see her full comment on Vonya’s post) regarding drops being of a better quality in 25man raiding:

“I must say I think it’s a managerial reward. If 10s gave equal loot to 25s, most people would stop doing 25s and those that did want the larger setting and (arguably) greater challenge would find it very hard to do so. It isn’t about dissing the 10s, it’s about survival of the 25s. Blizz love the 10s, after all that audience is larger => creates more revenue. The 25s, especially the insane ones like old Naxx or SWP, are a PR piece in comparison.” 

Basically the greater reward is there for the ability to get 25 (sometimes more after swap outs, etc) people together into the same room and have most of them focus for a few hours.  It isn’t necessarily because the difficulty is that much higher.

My totally uninformed opinion – i.e. based upon what I have read and heard rather than what I have done - is that both levels of raiding are equally difficult.  Each presents its own challenges.  I arrived at this conclusion simply because too many people are vigorously stating that their level of raiding is harder (and therefore requires more skill – a less explicit form of epeening).  25 man is not the sole haven of good players, nor is 10 man the home of noobs.  The difference lies entirely in the amount of people a guild or PuG can field.

Edited to remove an errant apostrophe.  I so hate finding the wrong ‘its’ in something I wrote!

Comments 5 Comments »

…Or, the correct use of Damage Meters.

Damage meters can be a wonderful tool in raids.  With the more complex meters being able to provide detailed information at the click of a button, they can be used as an effective diagnostic tool to tell when someone is slacking, and when someone is perhaps not using the best rotation.  It can also show who works the hardest in your raids, and who is performing their job well.  Excellent examples of this include showing top decursers, crowd control breakers, and DoT Uptime displays.

However.

Damage meters can also be used for evil.  Their beautiful intent can be turned to the sole purpose of epeening in front of the raid.  Examples of this include the people who consistently link the meter while they are first (often at any random point), and people who truncate the link to one or two people for the sole purpose of showing off.  Want to know something?  It doesn’t make you look good.  It makes you look like a douche bag.

Personally, I have some very strong ideas when it comes to damage meter linkage.  You want to see how you went, that’s fine.  Either run your own meter, or ask someone to whisper a link to you.  Straight damage meters should not be linked in raid chat, unless at the request of a raid leader.  Why?

They encourage people to not do their job.  All of a sudden people start slacking on critical aspects of a fight such as positioning and crowd control in order to increase their damage output.  Others forget that they should be watching the threat meter (which is infinitely more important) and pull aggro and wipe.  Of course, some people could increase their damage output.  Others are doing the best that their gear, abilities and the encounter will allow for.

So, how do we use a meter correctly?

1.  I would strongly advise having someone run WoW Web Stats.  While meters like Recount are useful for on the spot assessment, WoW Web Stats allows for a complex break down of a fight.  This is much more useful than a damage meter.  It also shows where people were afk’ing (to an extent), and what buffs they had on at what time.  For example, the ones linked below dob me in for not having flasked or foodbuffed until Bloodboil.

2.  Raid leaders should be consulted before public posting of a meter.  It keeps everyone in line, and prevents a lot of egotistical garbage.

3.  Run your own meter, but don’t use it to compare your performance to other people.  Compare your own performance from fight to fight, and note where you have improved and where you could have done better.  Always remember to allow for differences in the fights!  Example:

a) This is a WWS report from a Teron Gorefiend fight.  This fight is a simple stand a nuke (when you don’t get killed and turned into a ghost, anyhow).  My DPS is always higher on a fight where I don’t have to move around or watch for AoE.

b) This is a WWS report from a Supremus fight.  This fight requires a fair amount of movement, which makes nuking very difficult.  Yes, my DPS is overly low (I did horribly this fight).  However, most people also had lower DPS, because you spend a great deal of the fight dodging volcanoes, fire, and running from Supremus himself.  You also have to ensure you don’t have a stack of DoTs running during his phase shift back to Tank ‘n’ Spank, just in case the tanks don’t get him in time.  All this allows for a lot of lost damage.  Don’t beat yourself up too badly on high mobility fights!

4.  Don’t just look at damage meters.  Remember other useful information contained within them, such as ‘friendly damage’, ‘CC breakers’, and ‘debuffers’.  These are just as important as damage done.

5.  Please, Please don’t tell everyone to copy the spec of whoever is top of their class (especially if you don’t play that class!)  Quite often there is a reason for them to spec the way they are, and if you aren’t very familiar with their class you can come out with egg on your face.  I know someone who likes to make these sorts of comments all the time, and sometimes sounds silly because he forgets to make allowances for gear differences and other factors.  I am a firm believer of letting people play what spec they like (within reason – most raiding guilds want you to have a spec that works!), and not having all your classes specced identically.

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We all knew it was coming. I hinted at it the other day. Well, it’s time…

QQ Festival!

That’s right, your beloved purveyor of all that is evil, corrupter of all that is holy, is going to indulge in the largest complaint fest to ever adorn these pages. Of course, you should all have an idea what it is about:

dude

Warlocks all over are complaining vigorously about the nerfs that we have suffered. Warlock damage appears to be down across the board, with Destruction PvE locks being hit particularly hard. Horns has written an excellent commentary on the effects the patch had on PvP locks, and I am going to take a look at locks from a PvE perspective.

1. Conflagrate and Backdraft.

I have decided to eliminate Conflag from my rotation. The GCD on Conflag was still eating up DPS, despite the increased speed of your next three casts. I also found it messes with your spell rotation, and is just all in all difficult to manage. So far with testing I have found this to be more effective, but I have not had much of a chance to test this in a raid environment unfortunately. Not casting Conflag meant no points in Backdraft.

2. Empowered Imp

Yes, Empowered Imp is lovely. Unfortunately, the imp is still very fragile, and requires a lot of monitoring. Also, either my game was being buggy (a mod screwing up, perhaps?) or you can’t phase shift your pet in combat. That makes the imp and the talent senseless on fights like High Warlord Najentus, where everyone takes damage. My imp was toast in about 5 seconds. When I rely on him so heavily for my own DPS, it’s frustrating to have him die.

3. Shadow Bolt

Is now completely useless. Shadow Bolt, you are dead to me. I refuse to waste points in a nerfed ISB, and my Incinerates hit for more than my SB’s. SB’s may only be cast when I get an instant (when I bother to Glyph for it).

I really don’t mind having a spell rotation. I have said it before, I will say it again: Shadow Bolt spam was boring. Boring as all hell. I do object to no longer being a viable choice in raid groups. ‘Sorry, we have our one token Healthstone lock. Have fun!’

I will admit, I have seen people report significant damage increases. For the most part, these people had the following pre-patch:

a) 0/21/40 spec without the crit to effectively support it.

b) An Affliction spec

c) No raid experience past Kara or Gruul’s and Mags.

d) A lower DPS spell rotation

There is nothing wrong with that, by the way (well, except for maybe point a. That is bad). However, the single target damage that I now have is not the same as what it was. Why has everyone else gone up when I have gone down? What am I doing wrong? Heck, what is the community at large doing wrong? People in T6 gear are saying they achieved 1.7k DPS, 2k on boss fights. I could hit 2k DPS on boss fights pre-patch in my much lesser gear. I would see this as a drop.

Commenting policy

This post will probably need a reminder of my commenting policy. Feel free to state your opinion of the ideas and information in this post, and in comments. However, comments which are rude, insulting or hurtful to myself or another commenter can and will be deleted. Likewise, epeen stroking is generally frowned upon. You have a spec or rotation that works? Excellent, please feel free to share! However, do not seize upon that as an opportunity to put down other people.

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Today I ventured into Black Temple with the old guild for a bit of a run around. As you can see on my ‘progression’ list, pre-patch 3.0, we were at 4/9 BT. Respectable enough in my opinion for about 8 months of raiding, at any rate. Not the best of the best, certainly not high enough to escape the scoffing from those on the server who were venturing into Sunwell, but higher than most.

Today, that all changed.

gorefiend In we went, expecting things to be somewhat easier. Knowing full well that everything had been nerfed and that we wouldn’t have as hard a time of it as usual. However, things were much easier than we had thought. The first 4 bosses went down easy as pie, no wipes. It was easy to the point of total carelessness – on Teron Gorefiend we had two groups of constructs get into the raid, and we still managed to down him. We had people dying to spines on Najentus (myself included) because people were too lazy to pull them out of people, and he still died within 2 shields.

On bosses which you have already downed, it is merely amusing to watch them die so fast. On bosses you have struggled with however, it is outright annoying.

We downed 2 new bosses today: Bloodboil and Reliquary of Souls. We died on each of these once and once only. Bloodboil was a total balls-up from the beginning, with no one calling out group rotations and people dying of the debuff. Despite this, we still somehow managed to get him to 13%. The second attempt was much easier, with only one death. On RoS, the tank managed to walk down the ramp a bit before we had AoE’ed the mobs down along the way and started the event. This of course led to confusion as half the people were still killing mobs, while others were on the boss. The first and only real attempt on it went much smoother, to the point where we were confused when the fight ended.

Now, I can say in all honesty that no one complained about getting loot. Of course they didn’t. However, I also can say that I wasn’t able to take any pride in downing those bosses. There was no challenge, no real ‘fight’, and no fun in it. I was raiding well below my usual standard when it came to damage output (which I suspect had to do with issues with my new spec, spell rotation and having a new interface to adjust to while raiding), and everything was STILL disappointingly easy.

The reasoning that I have heard for the nerfs does make some sense. Yes, people need to adjust to new spell rotations and specs. My damage went down significantly (as I suspected it would – a subject for another post), but most people’s went up equally significantly. Our Boomkin and I swapped places on the meters, with myself coming towards the bottom and him at the top. The nerfs also give people an opportunity to get through some new content and see what everything looks like. However, it is difficult to take any pride in being able to down nerfed bosses. I truly feel for guilds who were struggling with Sunwell content. Sure, they might finish the raid now, but it can’t feel good knowing that those bosses would most likely still be standing if they weren’t nerfed. I am totally devastated that we got bosses down with people making horrible errors, people afking, and all in all just doing sloppy raiding. High end raiding is supposed to be about skill, coordination and team work. Today, it was about being ‘over geared’ for the encounters. Sure, our gear didn’t change. The bosses have just decided to take off their big girl panties and don clown suits. And while clowns may look scary to some people… they just aren’t that hard to kill with their water pistols and big hats. Unless it’s the clown from It perhaps.

Quick irrelevant note: I have noticed for quite some time that my posts look incredibly… odd in a reader.  Unfortunately, while they format to look all nice and pretty on the actual page, they come out looking really odd in a reader, with pictures moved all over the place.  Apologies to those who view this in a reader.  I am trying to work out a fix.

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I have noticed a disturbing new trend in WoW.  Achievements, something which to me signified a more fun, flippant side of the game, have become serious business.  People are running around like mad grinding useless rep, farming totally bizarre items, and collecting very expensive mounts in order to gain as many achievements and titles as possible.  Some of the titles are not especially exciting to begin with! 

When achievements were first announced, I viewed them as a way for people to enjoy the lighter side of the game.  "Sure, I may not have raided Sunwell… I wasn’t playing when Naxx came out – but I sure as heck managed to /love every critter in Azeroth!"  There were achievements that people of all progression levels could look forward to attaining, as well as some which rewarded the people who completed the more difficult things, that sometimes can’t be attained anymore. 

Unfortunately, the WoW player base seems to be forever determined to take a relatively fun idea and then suck every ounce of enjoyment out of it.  I don’t know what it is about us, but we manage to do that all the time.  The friends I have who have been grinding TOTALLY useless rep for silly titles aren’t enjoying the process as a rule.  Who does enjoy doing the same old quests over and over, or farming immense amounts of runecloth?  What for?  An achievement and an unexciting title.  Yay… all those hours of work to become Saresa the Diplomat.  Too bad most everyone else and his dog has that title as well!  How suddenly unexciting.

Then we have other achievements, which serve to demonstrate how much spare gold you happen to have lying around.  Got 50 mounts!  Good for you!  What did that little achievement there set you back at, about 3 or 4k gold?  Or the one that I myself am currently undertaking, which is collecting non combat pets (or companions).  Not quite as huge a gold sink yet, but I’m running out of pets to get that aren’t in the 500-1000g range.  All to get an achievement for other people to gawk at.

                        cower

I will admit, there are some achievements which I am excited about.  The Feats of Strength excite me simply because I can get something which demonstrates the rank that I had achieved under the old PvP system.  Sure, it wasn’t a great rank, but it’s more than what some people I know got to.  I think these might be a bit unfortunate for people who are new to the game and don’t get to ever achieve them, but there is little that can be done about that I guess.

Most of them though are just a way for Blizzard to create gold sinks.  I guess it’s a plus that most people seem to be spending their gold on them before the expansion, which means we may see a healthier economy with everyone on a level footing (*fingers crossed*), but they demonstrate very little to me.  I foresee a nasty future where people will be using achievements, not only as a point of pride, but also as a point of ridicule for other players.  I am not looking forward to hearing people yelling ‘Noob you haven’t even got achievement x yet!’

Perhaps it is merely that achievements represent more senseless grinding added into the game… but I very suddenly do not like them at all.  So much so that I may very well aim for ‘Achieving at Not Achieving – has not completed one achievement that required grinding something useless or unfun’.  Wish me luck!

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