Saturday, February 27, 2010

CC Oh Playmate

This is one of those posts that is going to start as one thing and lead into another...just to warn you :)

I have been wondering why no one uses CC any longer? I've been contemplating this for a few days now and have come up with a couple of reasons.
1) Time - It takes much longer on the front end to coordinate target marking, it also takes time between mobs to coordinate pulls. In BC, unless you were with a group that knew all the pulls you were left explaining every mob to every one, or, to one person. Many times this just became frustrating. Now with LFG, it is almost a gimme that an instance will last no more than 45 minutes if that. Many now are reduced to 15-20 minutes per run and people have gotten used to that. Instances that run longer are seen as a waste of time.
2) Ability - We now have the ability to pull whole mobs or multiple mobs at once. Tanks have been given the skill set to deal with large groups as opposed to single targets.
3) Skill - In my opinion, due to the increased leveling time frame, many classes with CC abilities just did not learn how to use that particular skill in a group situation.

When I first started my Wrath path I got into groups with new guildies. Those that had just leveled their toons in this expansion. I tried running groups where we taught hunters how to chain trap and mages to sheep etc. It was not a great success. I wonder if it's a long lost art at this point.

On the flip side, we ran Old Kingdom a while back and decided that everyone would CC if they chose. It was fun. However, being that that was my first tanking experience with CC, I myself found it uncomfortable and was unsure what to do. I was hoping that the CCer's would pull the mobs far enough away, and had to mentally force myself not to cleave, thunderclap or shockwave in that direction in order to not break it. It was challenging but it was a cool exercise. I would love to try it again just to learn more about functioning in that situation.

So this line of thinking took me in another direction. I remember, long ago and toward the end of BC I got into a PUG for a heroic Shattered Halls. I think I got picked up simply because I was a warlock with AoE capabilities and fairly decent gear, though not tier. The tank was a pally. For the first time we did an entire AoE instance. Even the dreaded 7 pull was pulled all at once and me and a mage promptly AoE'd them down. No CC! It was so cool! I really don't care much for Seducing with my Succubus. I never thought I was very skilled at it, though I can do it successfully. It was refreshing to just do damage and not have to juggle several tasks at once.

Looking back on this instance I wonder how we did it? I don't remember who the players were but this is my take on it. OP. We had enough gear, damage, HP and heals to pull it off.
So how does this translate to today? It seems that Wrath was designed that way. The class changes that occurred in Wrath have allowed us to do it. We have higher HP in proportion to the mobs we're faced with. We have a higher damage output that allows us to be able to run through instances and wipe the floor with our adversaries.

What does this mean now? In order to keep progressing with gear and spells and HP pools we need to redesign and tool down a bit what we have. To keep the obstacles as obstacles Blizz  has had to make bosses that are so overpowering that the fights become totally out of whack. A prime example would be the debuff you get in ICC that I believe reduces dodge. The debuff was put in because in order to get around how often a dodge occurred yet still make the boss bossy they had to pack a ton of damage into one boss attack. Thus making it nearly impossible when the boss did land a hit to heal it and continue. From my understanding the encounters were so damage spiky they were too tough to complete.
It seems I have come to my own conclusion in a round about casual way that I think Blizz has reached. In order to continue on this path stats have to be modified. We cannot continue to be OP or the fun will leach out before we even realize it.
Honestly, we all want to go in and blow away raid bosses. Realistically if we one-shot everything we would literally be done with the game. The fun is in the battle, and the logistics. Figuring out how to win and feeling like we've worked for it. How many of us would get bored very quickly?

To that end I wait with baited breath for Cataclysm if only to see how this all comes out. I am excited about the stat changes, (not only for the math aspect) but to see how it resets all of us. Will we be doing more CC in the future? Who knows. Sometimes I miss it and sometimes it's nice to just faceroll through an instance. I don't think Blizz will be able to go back though. We've all been spoiled by the 15 minute instance. If we are now forced to take the long road the forums may light up with QQ. (LULZ)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Someone took the words...

Right outta my mouth....

World of Matticus - Raiding 101

If only we were as prepared as we should be. The amount of preparedness should not be left solely to the raid leaders. It is something everyone is responsible for.

When I began to set up Ulduar everyone who signed up received a message from me. Go check out the fights, with references to WoWHead, Tankspot and YouTube. I had set up an expectation that everyone be prepared. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of references that were thrown around in guild chat shortly after, and happy with the results when we did make the attempt.

Anyone can tell you what to do, but don't you think you should know?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RP Moment

Whenever I have to go into the water in Northrend I always think, "OMG, that must be cold!"

-this RP moment brought to you by Icecrown Icecubes Ltd. because everything here is frozen.
"Don't mind the eyeball dear. It will melt."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And the QQ Follow Up......

Since I started this rant I might as well finish it up with some prot warrior QQ.  Yes I know.... Then I'm done.
Really I am.... promise.

Who the heck decided that there should be no CC in Wrath?

That's the gist of it really. Warriors have a heck of a lot more to do when it comes to tanking than pally's or DK's from what I can tell. Now, I'm not an expert on either tanking or pally's or DK's but man I have to put in a lot of work, and you people sure know how to keep me on my toes. AoE is going to drive me insane. I cannot speak to druid tanks at all. I hardly see them and I understand there is an issue with gear scaling and all that, as well as everyone seems to think that resto is the way to go. I don't know, I don't own a druid personally and can only rely on second-hand or make wild ass guesses. So, sparing myself further embarrassment, I won't.

Also, I'm tired of running around, quit pulling. You may think it's because I don't have enough threat (see previous post), I say it's because you are over eager and over zealous and are not paying attention.

OH! And now that I've been tanking, when I'm not tanking I'm watching you. All you other tanks out there. I wonder what you're doing, why you're pulling that way instead of this, and sometimes....I wonder what the heck you're doing. That seems to be another down side. In the back of my mind I'm criticizing others. I will never say anything because everyone does their own thing their own way, and I just let it go. As long as I'm alive we have conquered and that's really what it's all about.

That's it. Just had to throw in that 2 cents. Maybe when I've been tanking for longer than 3 months I'll have more to say.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Who Left My Lock Out in the Rain?

I have never really bitched about my class before. I am not one to QQ a lot. I believe that Blizzard is always trying to do the best they can with class balance and believe that eventually it will all even out. What is a nerf for you today will be a nerf for me tomorrow and that sort of thing.

However, this has gone on far too long and I've something to say about it!

Back during BC I noticed this trend. For some reason people decided that warlocks were just too OP. Fears and DoTs were just too much for everyone else to handle I guess and the complaining began. I guess those rogues in AV just couldn't stand it any longer. Hah!
Thus the steady decline of the warlock began.

Now I look around and I don't see very many of us. All hail the mighty paladin, the cunning rogue and the ever lurking shadow priests.
Alas, where did all the warlocks go I ask?

So let me share with you my little story from this past week that has led to this verbose and exasperated post...
With the ready availability of tier gear I had decided that now was the time to truly delve into my evil destructive lockiness and really attempt to pull some higher dps.
I began to really read up on stats, gems and enchants.
Hit vs Haste. Haste vs Crit. Int or Spir. How much spell power is enough?! (ad infinitum actually)
After all this research I went out and applied my knowledge. I ground my little warlock ass off and procured a tier 9 set of my own. I laid out gold by the hundreds for the right gems, the right enchants...the right food for god's sake!
And I tweaked! I read some more, and tweaked some more til I my head was full of visions of warlock goodness and my eyes were full of the grand numbers my crits would be throwing up on my screen!
Do you know what? It sucked. I stopped. I stopped for a week or so and thought. Then I went back to reading. Back to hit caps and spirit. Back to trinkets and gear and 4 piece set bonuses. Until at last I thought I had it figured out....again.
But no.  Oh FUCK! (and lots of other cuss words...oh and some stomping and desk pounding in for good measure)
I backed up to step one. Visiting videos for new warlocks. Pouring over my spec point by point. Believing that if I really understood what each talent point gave me I would be better for it. And really I was, there is always something new to learn...but...FUCK!
The only thing I have not done at this point is start theorycrafting and crunching numbers. Frankly I hate numbers and it's not going to happen. I rely on those of you that have the patience for that to help us poor misguided math losers. Oh, and I haven't done anything like plug into a SimulationCraft. (article about said program here)

Ok so...after all this munching and crunching and chewing on information I went back and looked over my toon. I realized some basic things that were a little off and again replaced gems. Some gem guy on my server has made a ton of $$ off me. Though some I have been able to make myself on my warrior. Luckily the enchants are free huh?
2 days ago I went to Exodar and found the practice dummies. It is nice and quiet there and I don't have to worry about some random warrior coming along and standing in front of me.
I'm working here, shove off!
I pulled up the stopwatch, added my normal fel armor, a firestone, and a food buff, and turned off recount so I would focus. Then I proceeded to wail away on this dummy for 2:30 sec. Enough time for my CoD to proc twice. Then I stopped. I waited for it to finish its 3rd we're talking 3 minutes and a bit here. Then checked the numbers.  (thinking back I should have recorded my number right then or finished up the 3 minutes completely)
I was devastated. Barely 3k! So I'm standing there pouting in guild chat, and thinking I've had it! I can't believe I can't produce decent numbers, and what the fuck are all these people talking about with 4-6k dps? WHAT IS GOING ON?! I just must be a totally crappy player! Against a target dummy!
If I have followed all the recommendations and all the proper this and thats. If all my attention to every fucking detail was not paying off then it must be has to be right? I am one of those people that Blizzard doesn't think you should be playing with.... oh god nooooo! Not after all this time, and all this MONEY! Are you kidding me? All that stuff about you can lead a camel to water....and isn't there some saying about a thoroughbred or show dog or something? I don't know.  /sigh

In the mean time....

There were other wheels turning. I had listened to an episode of  The Instance, where they talked about this.

This is a chart that Blizzard created showing an average of dps during the Festergut fight in ICC. I don't know if it is 10 or 25 but I'm going to assume 25 because of the numbers.

16th!! Would that make YOU happy? Surely not.

Now, I don't think that I can reasonably expect to be doing that kind of dps in a 5 man heroic, but apparently I can't reasonably expect to be anywhere near the top in any raid situation either. I should expect that 15 other specs will beat me out. So in a 25 man I might come in before the tanks. If they're not pallys that is.

In the mean time back at the target dummy fuming....
I begin to solicit my guildmates help.
"Please" I beg. "You must help me figure out what is going on!!" I am reviewed. My armory data is scrutinized. The result is there is no reason why I should not be putting out wonderful stupendous flames of dps goodness, and thoroughly burning the shit out of anything in my path. So again it must be me right?

Actually...somewhat is the answer.

*First, I learned that I clipped my DoTs and that doing that is very very bad. And I did it a lot! Not allowing that extra tic is tre importante. (No I don't speak French or Spanish but it worked in my head so let it go)
*Second, I never set recount to merge me and my pets dps. In my head it seemed logical to keep my imps info separate. I guess that is not right. The end numbers did show a difference worth mentioning.
*Third, I wander. My fingers wander, my mind wanders, my toon wanders. I do not always keep everything flying at a steady rate. When I need to be there I am, but in the mean time I might miss cast something, clip something etc.
These things do add up to a significant portion of missed dps, but when you're flying through a heroic it doesn't much matter. When I spend the majority of my time in 5 mans I am not as regimented as perhaps I could be. Am I a lousy player? I say nay nay. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

So what does all this rambling add up to? In the end, I think that my class as a whole is just not able to generate the numbers that come so easily for a few others. I think Blizz has some work to do and I want, no I DEMAND! some Warlock love.

I hear wonderful snippets of promise coming from Blizz about this for Cataclysm. I am hopeful and afraid at the same time. The complete overhaul of the shard system has me shaking in my demon booties. I do not want to be a Death Knight in cloth. I really really hope this system doesn't turn into a runic type one similar to DK's. But OMG I will be so thankful to get rid of a bag of purple things. Really would love to have a bag back, gee wouldn't that be nice. /sigh

Please please Blizz, make me a blazing bad-ass again that everyone thinks is OP and everyone wants to be! I really do miss the days of "oh shit its a warlock".