Archive for the ‘General WoW’ category

You Can Always Tell When I’ve Been Pugging A Lot

May 14, 2011

The tank left, as many tanks do, after Zul’Garub’s raptor boss. A vote-to-kick popped up to kick our warrior. “Shitty fucking DPS” was the reason.

I glanced at Skada. The warrior was doing a bit above 8k. Not amazing, but stuff was dying fast enough and he wasn’t doing anything stupid. Besides, the other two dps were doing 9k and 11k respectively. If the warrior ranked as “shitty fucking“, then they ranked as just “shitty“.

Our three wipes so far has been due to:

Wipe 1: Tank failing on boulders
Wipe 2: Tank pulling more than he could hold aggro on
Wipe 3: Dps who initiated the vote-to-kick being outside the ring when raptor boss was pulled.

The warrior hadn’t caused any problems yet.

Since there were only 4 of us in the group, the final decision as to whether to kick the warrior or not was left to me.

Times I’ll Use Vote-to-Kick

I rarely kick players for being bad. Mainly because I know I struggle to reach 6k dps myself when playing ret. If I pop all my cooldowns, I might be able to reach 7k for a fraction of a second. If I’m lucky. So unless our weakest link is getting in the way of killing a boss (Grim Batol comes to mind), I don’t care about dps much.

Not actual DPS meters

However, when someone’s pulling 4k while the rest of the group, including the tank, is sitting at 14k, I’ll usually agree if a vote-to-kick is initiated.

I don’t know where the DPS benchmarks should be for heroics, but I do think that if someone’s doing under 5-6k, they’re not quite ready for the leap yet and shouldn’t queuing for them. There is a difference between normal 85s and heroics for a reason. But while it can justify a kick, I don’t think it justifies abuse.

I hate when players abuse each other. I know it’s not a big deal to most of the guys I play with, but if I were abused in a pug, and I wasn’t so confident about my healing ability, I’d be really shaken. (I have encountered, um, strange reactions in pugs, but they always started before the first pull and were so very weird that I suspect those players were stoned. Very stoned.) I’d rather see someone removed than witness verbal abuse. When the target of the abuse is sub-performing, especially if they haven’t gemmed or enchanted their gear, there’s not a whole lot I can do to defend them besides kick them and spare them misery.

Initiating vote-to-kicks, though, is something I will do if a player is being a douchebag and annoying me. I don’t mind carrying players, but I have no tolerance for annoying behaviour. Besides, if a person has no regard for the feelings of others, then I really have no regard for their feelings.

An Anatomy of Douchebaggery

The word “elitism” is tossed around a lot. But in my experience, the players who are the biggest douchebags in pugs aren’t particularly good players themselves. It almost feels like they’re people who’ve been picked on in the past for being bad and jump at the opportunity when they’re in a position to do it to others.

Or they’re people who don’t really understand the game or meters, and are looking to attack before they get attacked. (I actually met a healer who spammed healing meters from 5 mans. Yes, you are going to be on top when you’re the only healer. And a high hps just meant people were taking a lot of damage. No damage, no high hps.)

And wannabes. The wannabes. Players from upper-but-not-top guilds who just don’t have the skill, the focus or the discipline to be excellent. Or players from more casual guilds who assume they’re amazing because they’ve always topped the meters in their raids. These guys are quite possibly the worst culprits in heroics. They play badly, are mouthy and are quick to pry on anyone else.

Penny Arcade’s Internet Fuckwad Theory is often referred to explain douchebag behaviour. Which works if you have a Lord of the Flies view of people. But I have trouble believing the person spewing out bullshit and feeling real’ proud of himself for being such a badass is a “normal person”. Oh, maybe he acts like a normal person when there are consequences to his actions, but, really, if someone over the age of 12 gets pleasure from shitting on others or saying “naughty words”, I quite suspect there being something wrong with them to begin with.

Now, I understand anger and raging. I have quite the temper myself, although I’m more likely to get angry about time-wasting or arrogance than about wipes and mistakes. I’m also a lot more likely to get sarcastic and accusatory than swear or name call. But I understand tempers getting heated. Games are like that. You get involved in them, you use them as a safe outlet for stress and, well, I suspect (but have no proof) that the chemical effect games have on the brain trigger short term aggression or crankiness anyway. I’ll never hold outbursts in raids, pvp or even nasty heroics against people.

But gratuitous abuse? Or “OMG LOOK AT ME I SAID A NAUGHTY WORD IM SUCH A BADASS LOLOLOL!!!111one”? Give me a break.

No it doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It does, however, hurt my eye rolling muscles.

Hindsight Wears Rose-Coloured Glasses

I don’t want comments blaming LFD and saying “things were so much better before LFD“.

Sometimes I wonder if the LFD haters ever tried to pug 5 mans before the system got put in. I pugged alone in Vanilla and in pre-LFD BC. I pugged alone a lot.

Back then, pugging a 5 man alone was an all day event. If your instance wasn’t overly popular at that moment, finding a full group took a few hours. By the time you had your group together, someone would have to leave. Before max level, you didn’t always have the luxury of a tank-healer-3dps so you made do with what you had. You’d wipe a lot. People would often have to leave halfway through and you’d spend up to an hour waiting for a replacement while trying to 4 man the instance. I don’t think I ever finished an instance with the same 4 people I started it with.

Where people nicer and did they talk more?

I vaguely remember that they were and that they did. But when you’re stuck with these people for hours and when replacing them was a disgusting task, you either had to be patient or you didn’t pug.

So I suspect the shitty behaviour in pugs is due more to pugging being available to those who wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in the old system. Plus, with the all the incentives from instances nowadays, more players in general are pugging.

And really, I’d rather put up with the occasional douchebag than go back to struggling for hours every time I wanted to do an instance.

ZG, ZA and Wouldn’t it be Cool if there were 5 Mans that Felt like Raids

April 30, 2011

WoW is buzzing with folk talking about the two revamped instances, Zul’Garub and Zul’Aman.

“Too recycled!”
“Too long!”
“Too hard!”

And, of course, the occasional show off: “Too easy!”

Lissanna did a good post on the topic, rounding up some thoughts and getting some substantial discussion going.

I’ve done ZG. I haven’t gotten around to ZA yet.

I loved ZG. It was awesome. I know the recycled material offends purists who are too good for “lazy content”, but not me. I really enjoy the theme of Cataclysm, where I can go back to all those places near and dear to (or strongly despised by) my heart and see what they look like a couple of years after my services.

ZG was no exception. I didn’t have time to read up on the story, but I was very interested to know that more evil trolls invoking spirits have moved in since I cleared the place in hopes of achievements and tiger mounts.

I’m told ZA is a copy-paste of the original, which is a little disappointing (dudes…dudes! I killed you people years ago! What are you doing back here?), but at the same time, ZA was a brilliant instance. I loved the complexity and creativity of the fights. Especially the fire egg boss that took me so long to figure out and that made me so proud when I finally understood. I’m sort of glad I’ll get to re-experience those fights.

Now let’s look at the complaints surrounding the instances:

Too Long

It took my group a little over 2 hours to complete ZG, and we had a patient, kick-ass tank in heroics gear talking us through. We had a group simultaneously do ZA, without an experienced guide, and it took them barely a few minutes more than us.

Contrarily to what Lissanna says, ZG has very little trash. Much less than the other Cataclysm 5 mans. I also don’t recall doing much in terms of CC. The instance has a feel of a modern raid, with just enough trash to avoid falling back into the Trial of the Crusader trap.

What took up our 2 hours, were the wipes as we struggled to grasp the novel mechanics of the fights. Without wiping, I think we could have easily gotten through the instance in 45 minutes, which is pretty much the same time as the other Cataclysm heroics.

I can’t speak for ZA.

How do these line up with the other heroics from Cataclysm? Well. I remember pugging them during the week of their release. Once the hardcore, now-Sinestra killers were finished with them (I loved those runs!), Cataclysm heroics took well over 3 hours to pug with an average group. As the instances became better known, the players got better geared and the fights themselves were nerfed, the average pug run was shortened to about 45 minutes, with Deadmines still taking the better part of an hour.

Too Hard

I recall a tweet saying: “Don’t bring your alt to the new 5 mans!”.

I’d like to make a correction: “Don’t bring your alt to the new 5 mans yet!”

The fights are actually perfect for gearing alts…once you know them on your main. These fights aren’t gear checks. They’re all mechanics. Do the right thing at the right time and they’re a breeze. Trust me. Our DK soloed the better part of the first ZG fight.

But prepare to die a lot learning the fights. The mechanics are more complex (and interesting) than “pick up adds and don’t stand in the fire”. Think Stonecore, but less shitty.

Once you’ve mastered being at the right place at the right time, though? This is the perfect place to gear your alt.

5 mans should be accessible to anyone!

While I don’t necessarily agree with this statement (I think regulars should be accessible to anyone, heroics should involve a minimal effort), I’d like to point out that my guild had two teams complete the instances Thursday night. And we are your casual, chilling, social raiding guild. At 6/12, with anywhere from 0 to 2 raids a week, we’re not Sinestra killers.

And we did ZG and ZA. We wiped, we ran back, we adjusted our tactics, but at no point did we feel like we were banging our heads against a wall.

Which is actually better than Stonecore and Grim Batol the week those instances were released.

Could an average Pug do the instance? Probably not. Not yet. The instances take too much communication and, as social bloggers everywhere constantly moan, communication is difficult in PuGs. But once people run the instances with their guilds a few time and learn the fights, I think ZG and ZA will totally be puggable, and will be comparable to the other Cataclysm heroics in length.

Conclusion: I’d sort of like a raid-style 5 man

I like fights that make me think. I like having a really small team to think with. So I like hard 5 mans.

I thoroughly enjoyed running ZG with the fantastic people in my Thursday group (I was even very tempted to ask our DK out on a date. He was HAWT.). It felt like a raid, except there were only 5 of us and the fights took slightly less wipes than a raid to learn.

The whole time I was thinking, what if there was an epic 5 man designed like a raid? One instance you don’t do often, that you save for an afternoon where you have 5 hours to yourself. A huge instances with twists and turns, Original Stratholme or Blackrock Depths style. A fight were you really need to think before engaging the bosses.

And really, sure, I think 5 man heroics should be accessible to anyone. Anyone with a brain, instead of only a face for rolling.

Shared Topic: Do Your Alts Know Each Other?

April 4, 2011

I’ve been running a writing about WoW drought lately. I think that may have something remotely to do with the fact that when I’m not logging in to raid, I’m only logging in for an hour or so in hopes of finally digging up that trinket. Want to know what’s ruining WoW for me? Tyrande’s Favorite Doll, that’s what.

Besides, if you look at my scale of Important Things in Life, you’ll see faded, used ol’WoW on one side. On the other, you’ll see getting a podcast up and running, planning a backpacking trip in Cuba, finishing up clerkship, studying for pharmacy legal/licence exams and preparing to move to Alberta. WHICH SIDE OF THE SCALE DO YOU THINK IS HEAVIER?

Very good.

For Confused People who've never seen an old fashioned Scale

But anyway, this week’s Shared Topic is perfect for the person who can’t really remember a whole lot about WoW. Because if there’s one thing I remember, it’s how I feel about my characters. Kamalia from Kamalia et alia came up with a Topic I fell in love with: Do your alts know about each other?

Me and RP: A Background

We’ll get this out of the way: I’m not an RPer. In fact, if I tried to do any sort of RP on my blog, RPers all over the world would be horribly insulted and hate me forever.

RP and I just don’t click. Not in real life (the big cardboard box in my closet at my parents’ house that’s says “Roleplay Costumes” on its side is dusty for a reason) and not in games. The few times I tried, I felt silly, followed by embarrassed, followed by bored.

I don’t even like reading other people’s RP. I haven’t gotten though a piece of fanfiction since the last Digimon lemon I read when I was about 16 (hey Mat and Tai were HAWT ok! In my imagination they were older than 11). I’d blame my distaste for fanfiction and RP on bad writing and the overuse of clichés like the word “trembled”, like female characters with hippy names and physical traits like “sky blue eyes”. I’d blame it on that, but I don’t even like the good fanfiction.

But…the Small RPer Within

I think we’ve established that there’s no converting me to RPing. But…sometimes….it feels like my brain tricks me. It tricks me into thinking that Rykga, my paladin, grew up in Stormwind. It tricks me into thinking she was a merchant’s daughter. It tricks me into thinking that she was sort of innocent, but adventurous and resilient.

It even tricks me into thinking she’s got a sense a humour, that she secretly loves to blow up faces but can’t take herself seriously long enough to put a +Strength weapon to good use.

I think somewhere, hidden, I might have an RPer-within. One that will never be completely revealed to the world- if I start writing bad fanfiction and the word “trembled” with any type of seriousness here, I swear I will burn my blog to the ground. But one that graces me with a glimpse of her (decidedly my RPer-within is female) presence once in awhile.

As for the Alts

The alts…my mage, the squeaky Eloise, the cynical death knight Snowfia, the stuck-up but lonely paladin Ophelie… they all trembled- Just kidding! They all seem to have their own little personalities. And my low low lowbies, I feel like they have personalities too, but I haven’t discovered them yet.

Elo's Encounter with the World

But there’s one thing that never crossed my mind – have my characters ever met each other?

No, they haven’t met

There. It’s official. None of my characters has ever met, or will ever meet one another. They’re far too different, or far too obscure, to cross paths.

As for whether they know about each other, Elo and Snow have heard of Rykga. After, she DID kill Arthas, badass that she is. They come across some old stuff she’s left lying around. Snow’s even done some business with her, operating the Auction House and the Bank for her.

Ophelie’s Horde, though, and, even though she’s ready for Northrend, she’s still too unlearned about the world to have a firm grasp of who Rykga is. Other than having heard the name once or twice in Taverns or Inns, she’s got her head up her arse and doesn’t pay much attention to the world.

Doesn’t that just weird you out?

I’m no RPer. Not now, not ever. Yet I know all this stuff about these characters (and their sky blue eyes…). That just weirds me out.

And you know what? I kind of miss hanging out with my toons. Once the real world gets boring again, I’ll probably be back watching my girls grow up.

Want to join in on a Shared Topic? Head over to the forum at Blog Azeroth for all the upcoming Topics. Blog about that week’s Topic and leave a link back to it in the appropriating thread.

My Take on the 10/25 Thing

February 7, 2011

It’s fitting that Naithin guest posted about 10s vs 25s on Thursday. After all, I’m a die hard 25 man raider. A die hard 25 man raider who just joined a 10 man guild.

Bit of background, differences of opinion with (some of) the leadership (understatement) and inconvenient raid times brought me to leave my 25 man guild. Instead of craving a rebound guild, my gquit actually triggered cravings to spend time around people I can get touchy-feeling with. But I didn’t want to lose my skills, or fall too far behind on gear, or to become too out of the loop for paladin blogging (contrarily to popular belief, you don’t have to play at Paragon’s level to read and translate EJ into plain English, but it does helps to step into a raid once in awhile).

That’s when my old healing lead, Vik, put me in touch with Thespius. Remember what Naithin said about backup players being hard to find for 10 man guilds? Well, it was a perfect match. Team Sport gained a backup healer and I got 6 hours a week of scheduled WoW time, which occasionally included raiding.

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Guest Post: Raid Size ~ Two Months On

February 3, 2011

Editor’s note: Naithin from Fun in Games was kind enough to write a guest post for me, and on a very current topic at that! (Someone’s got to write about current topics ‘cos the light knows I sure don’t.) It’s a fantastic post and he sets the bar high for when I finish my post for him. Enjoy!

How do you feel about Blizzard’s decision to, for all intents and purposes, merge 10 and 25 man raids? Is it different to how you thought you’d feel about it when you first heard?

When I first heard of the plans to make 10 and 25m share a lockout my response was immediate dismay. I liked doing both. I did 25-man ‘serious’ raiding with Surreality, and 10-man ‘funsies’ raiding with a bunch of friends scattered across a few guilds on the server.

It was our way to relax and unwind and how dare blizzard take it away!

I read further, and found out they also intended to give equal loot to 10 and 25 man raids. I didn’t particularly have any problem with this; it was about time so far as I was concerned. I mean, I only got into 25m raiding in the first place because you couldn’t finish gearing in 10s alone and I was tired of fail pugging 25s . . . Oh.

Oh.

Sure, I can write this as one continuous thought now but to think it actually occurred to me with such clarity would be to assume a degree of cleverness and self-awareness that, in reality, I didn’t possess. I’d done a pretty good job of tricking myself into believing 25-man raiding was what I wanted and the most fun and that it was the ‘real’ version of raiding.

Where that idea comes from I really don’t know. I’d seen first hand that in many cases the 10m content was legitimately more difficult and less forgiving of error than 25m, but nonetheless, it was how I and many others felt.

In actual fact, reaching the epiphany at the end of that thought process took me at least a month as I alternated between being pleased with how they’d handled the loot distribution between the raid sizes and mad at the loss of choice of doing both 10 and 25m if I wanted to.

The provided reasoning was sound, I could admit, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. The provided reasoning for multi-variable calculus problems are also often sound, and I certainly don’t like those.

In any case, eventually I did come to the end of that thought process, and realised that for me, 10m content was where it was at. This is pretty much in direct contrast with both Ophelie of- well; here, and Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn, who strongly believe it is 25m or go home.

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Cataclysm Heroics Sanity Preservation Guide for Healers

December 28, 2010

You’re pugging heroics? What are you? A sadist?
– Guildie upon discovering that I PuG my heroics more often than not.

I think he meant masochist (my guildies a tough time keeping their fetishes straight)… unless he knows me better than I thought.

Once I got over my initial feeling of being left out (dissolved when other healers got tired of running heroics causing me to receive 3 whispers asking for heroic heals every time I log in), I fell in love with pugging. I’ve also learned to handle myself in PuGs, which has turned me into quite the slave driver, and yes, has really helped developed my sadistic side.

Introduction: What to expect

There are beliefs of varying levels of truth to the rumours going around about PuGs. Let me attempt to clarify them by drawing from my own experience.

Belief #1 – Heroics are too long for casual players.
Answer: Apparently the official forums are overrun with players accusing Blizzard of ruining casual play. Unfortunately, if you’re going to PuG heroics, you need to be prepared to spend at least 2 hours in there. At least. Most people are getting pretty good with the fights now, but during the first week of Cataclysm, I could easily spend 4 hours with a group in a heroic.

Belief #2
- People are jerks in heroics.
Answer: You always run the chance of being paired with the scum of humanity. Stories like this one tell of things you have to be prepared to face. But fortunately, they’re pretty rare. Most of the time, the people you’ll be paired with are just like you: looking to get their valor points and leave.

Belief #3 – Heroics are too hard to PuG.
Answer: They’re not. I pug a lot. And I mean, a lot. It’s only happened to me twice that I didn’t make it to the end: first group tried Corborus in Stonecore a few times then fell apart, second group wiped on Corla in Blackrock Caverns a few times, until I had to leave to run something with my guild. With every other PuG I’ve done, even my very first ones, where I cheated to get a 329ilvl, the final boss went down. Now maybe I’m on the ultimate battlegroup of excellence, but maybe a strategic approach paired with a lot of patience goes a long way.

So how does a healer cope with, as a guildie of mine puts it, “playing Russian Roulette with 5 bullets“? Let me tell you.
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Secret Santa Guest Post: 5 Tips to make your healer happy, applies in Dungeons & Raids!

December 25, 2010

[EDIT by Ophelie] I’m really excited. I received a Secret Santa guest post from Nicegrl for Christmas! (And now I look like a slacker since I haven’t written my Secret Santa guest post yet.) Seems like she spends as much time as I do pugging heroics. I got a good laugh from her post and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Hello everyone I am Nicegrl guest posting for Bossy Pally. As most of you in Blog Azeroth community know, it is time for Secret Santa: Version 2010. I thought “Yay, this is fun” and signed up filled with joy. Until I got my mail: “You’ve been paired up!‏” (with a moderator of Blog Azeroth, so you better write something perfect or we will find you and make sure your blog just.. dies and your druid too) So I went into the fetal position, (as most healthy and normal people would after getting a challenge like this) and thought long and hard what my post would be about. Hope you guys enjoy it.

5 Tips to make your healer happy, applies in Dungeons & Raids!

After having spent sometime in Cataclysm HCs, I thought I’d share some advice that I picked up from my experiences with expert PuG DPSes. Please give all credit to them for the contents of this post, as they were the source of such invaluable tips. Since me and Bossy Pally are both healers, I will explain from the perspective of a healer how you guys (as Tanks and DPS) can help us in instances and raids to make it a much more pleasant healing experience. Consider this your Christmas gift!

Step One: DO stand in the fire! In order to get out of the fire, you must move. Moving is bad, since you might get out of range of your healer. Getting out of range of your healer is bad, so don’t move. Flawless logic.

Step Two: Help the tank by attacking and taking aggro from a ranged mob/add. If one is being crowd controlled, this one is your first choice (see step 3). Remember, less damage on the tank is less damage the healer has to heal! Where might the rest of the damage go, you may ask. No one knows… No one knows…

Step Three: Crowd controlling (CCing) is for wusses. Overpower your enemy!

Take, for example, this great conversation I had in a random Heroic:
Tank: Who can CC?
Priest: ….r u kiddin?
Shaman: I’ll do it.

The Shaman is clearly a wuss. The Priest had Light Of The Dawn (Killing Lich King Heroic 25 man) so he must be right. Because having Light Of The Dawn means you’re automatically right… in everything! Also, your healer will run out of mana if you CC the mobs, because the fight lasts longer attacking mobs one at a time. Again, flawless logic.

Step Four: When a tank marks a target with a skull, DON’T ATTACK IT! Skulls signify danger, so you should attack any other mob but it. This also helps you accomplish step number 2!

Step Five: Tactics are for noobs. Leroy Jenkins got the job done when he ran into the whelp room and survived it all. For example, if the tank says you should concentrate on attacking the adds or move when the boss charges, don’t listen. There is no such thing as an immune boss, so just keep attacking it! If your interface pops up with messages indicating the boss is immune, just ignore it. It’s just the boss tricking you.

Bonus Tip: If all else fails, blame your healer. A wipe occurs when everyone’s HP runs out. It’s the healer’s job to heal. Therefore, the healer is to blame. Use this line as mathematical proof that you standing in the fire did not cause the wipe. If they try to explain otherwise, call them retards and /ragequit.

With the best wishes for a happy Christmas to you all!

Love nicegrl.com


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