Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wintergrasp and the Ruined Ruin

Some of my friends are transferring alts to the Alliance side of my server. Others are talking about going that side on their mains.

Their reason?
Horde always loses Wintergrasp.

Because Horde always loses, no one queues because we're just going to lose anyhow so why bother?

Even I don't queue for Wintergrasp and my healing career started in PVP. PVP healing is my roots. I dislike queuing for Wintergrasp more than I dislike arenas.

Problem 1: Simply outnumbered (WG)
In the beginning, Wintergrasp had no player cap and was rife with lag. Severely outnumbered (I think our server population is 3-1), it wasn't uncommon for us to have stacks of tenacity but still lose to the other team over and over again.

Once WG was capped, we still would lose. Albeit, we actually had a chance but this wasn't an amazingly great chance.

Problem 2: Skill and Caring wealth (WG and BGs)
Limiting the number of players with a hard number doesn't work because it's not just the quantity of players that count but the quality as well.

If 10% of the players on X server are good at PVP and one faction has 3000 active members during peak time and the other has 1000, there's going to be 30 vs 10. Let's say 20% of the population on each side are casual PVPers or PVErs who are dabbling in PVP but do like to win. Suddenly our numbers are 90 vs 30 players who actually care.

Fill out the rest of those raids with people who are there for the free token, some honor to buy a gem, afk bots, and keyturning players who couldn't navigate their way out of a wet paper bag, and suddenly we have a one faction with a raid that's 75% skilled/caring vs a raid that's 25% skilled/caring.

The group with the minority population on a server is still going to lose more.

Problem 3: Gear deficit and slow gratification (WG and BGs)
The team who wins all the time gets more honor. This means the rate at which they get gear is faster. More geared people means a higher chance to win, but it also means that the whole thing is more attractive. Folks get more gratification from getting their rewards faster.

It may take 3-5 times as long for a player on the losing faction (especially if that's both doomed to lose on both server and on battlegroup). That's a really long grind... just to get geared up to lose more.

Problem 4: The Lag Monster (WG)
When I was making attempts in Wintergrasp and doing so with guildmates, we'd take an organized stance to win. We'd work very hard against poor odds. In fights where the battle was close, we mysteriously were subject to extreme lag. Our FPS and game response time would crawl to nearly nothing then lifts as soon as "Alliance has captured / defended Wintergrasp" sprawls across our screen.

By lag, I'm talking a 20-30 second delay on abilities actually being cast, jerky movement. Etc. Our latency and FPS remained normal levels, we could talk in vent and do other things on our connections fine. The problem wasn't on our ends, the problem was with Blizzard's end.

It's a common belief that it's being caused by players of the other faction intentionally by doing things like encouraging everyone to use their AOEs / aura applying abilities. An example would be having all the DKs in their side spam path of frost.

This was disheartening and one of the main reasons why I gave up. If we did well and got the upper hand, the other side would cheat to win.

Problem 5: AFK Bots and AFK players
Since Burning Crusade, if not longer, battlegrounds have had people "AFKing for Honor". Blizzard has put in several ways to attempt and fix this problem, such as letting players mark the person who is botting as a leech and preventing them from getting further honor and marks. The response to this has simply been bots who will run paths around a battleground in hopes of getting attacked (getting PVP combat) and leeching honor from battles.

From my Storm Peaks adventures with my hunter and his moth named Seething, I've discovered that the bots react a lot like real players and will fight back when attacked (albeit stupidly). I would assume this may make them harder to catch in PVP.

Now, in BC I wound up in AVs late at night which were 40 to 40, however, there real numbers active players was very few, though there were typically many more players on the other side (the always wins side).

The cause of this, I figure, is simply that bots run (in theory) all the time. They do a game, they requeue, unlike humans they do not get tired and go take a break / go do something else / sleep. As the number of active players go down at non-peak times, the bot-to-human proportion goes up.

If the number of real players queueing is less than the maximum supported for a BG, the remaining amount will be filled with bots. The less people there are, the more bots will fill in.

If the number of real players queueing is greater than the maximum supported for a BG, there is going to be a chance that each person getting into the BG will be a bot or a human depending on the bot to human ratio.

The problem pretty much fomes from the idea that the less active humans queuing for a battleground, the more room there is going to be for bots, and those bots are being counted as 'players' by the server, spawning more BGs and bringing in a full 40 from each side instead of 20 or whatever the real active number is.

Result: Hurry up and lose!
The end result of all of this is simply that players have given up on trying because no matter what we do (short of using Preform AV Enabler to run premades while bypassing the 'match premade against premade' thing), we're going to lose. The gear wealth, the skill wealth, the number of active players, the lag tricks, and the incredibly slow rate of reward simply make PVP for the minority side not fun or rewarding.

I still I zone in to win in BGs when I play. I still give it my all but I'm constantly getting a "hurry up and lose" attitude from Horde players. In AV, where there is a perceived bias in favor of the Alliance, people just sit in the tunnel and wait to collect their loser honor or go deathmatch in the center of the field while the Alliance blitzes six minute wins over and over again.

The Solution:
Blizzard can do a few things to fix this, though I fear the damage has probably already done and PVP for minority side in Wrath is just tanked.

Rated battlegrounds is a good start. I fear they're going to do it based on guild, which may make it less successful and cause grief for guilds.

Players need the ability to vote kick deadweight from BGs like we can from heroics: Let everyone have the ability to vote to kick with reason. X number of participants in a BG must vote with a reason. When X votekicks with reason are presented an interface comes up for everyone asking if they want to kick with reason (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and options of "Yes. No. Ask later." This would allow folks to say, "Hey this is a bot." but would also let players say "I'm not sure yet" and be prompted again later. If the vote kick is yet, the reasons are logged.

Someone who is vote kicked excessively could be reviewed by whoever looks into bots botting in BGs as it is. They can decide to watch the player and deliver a banhammer. Yes. Botting in BGs needs to be a bannable offence and it needs to be very pronounced and scare people or this madness will continue.

Blizzard should make honor gains for premades for the minority winning side be higher, particularly the honor from doing things (objectives, killing things). This would make it worth it for folks to grab a few friends and hit the BGs. Even if you and your friends with a partial premade wind up going up against the highest tier of gear full premade, it would make fighting back worth it and speed up people who want to PVP catching up to the gear gap and making them feel more rewarded faster (keeping interest).

Unfortunately these changes alone won't solve the problems.
Players on minority sides have to choose to change their attitude towards PVP and actually go out there and do it.

Not only do minority faction changes need to change their attitudes, they need to spread that positivity among their communities and build a pvp community.

My server had a player who was doing the battlemaster grind. We ran over 100 AV blitzes. By the time we were nearing the end of his grind, the rest of the players in the battlegroup that wound up with us would cheer at the presence of the roleplay server because a large number of players from my home server meant that we had a fighting chance of winning.

We can't wait for Blizzard to fix the bot and balance problems, but we can start nurturing our PVP communities, kicking the defeatist attitude in the face and spreading the positive message of "we can".

If a RP server can be the BG heroes so can your server.

What do you say?

I think it's time for me to finish my WSG and AB rep grinds, get my rep title and get enough HKs to become Zan of the Horde.

Monday, March 29, 2010

And then there were seven.

I've long since had the psudo-credibility to say that I've played and raided on every healing class in the game. Recently, with the help of friends, my mental leveling game, and a little work, my Priest is now level 80.

Now I have the luxury of saying that I have a level 80 of each of the four healing classes.

At the moment I have a holy spec and a disc spec because I feel I'd suck at shadow. This may change.

The healer forums seem to be very saturated with QQ. A while ago it was crying from Discipline Priests about not being able to heal as much as a Paladin, and how their throughput causes them to not have tank healer spots over Paladins. (If Discipline Priests had throughput equal to a Paladin while sporting the versatile priest toolbox, why would anyone bring a Healadin?)

More recently, there have been complaints about Holy Priests not having throughput to compete with others. Wake up, healing is not a competition. Honestly, I've seen Holy Priests who sustain 10k hps in TotC25 gear, I don't think they're nearly as bad off as people are complaining that they are. Holy Priests are actually really amazing, they just seem to be overshadowed by the more trendy Discipline spec.

According to the last time I checked WOW Popular, the most popular spec of Priest is Discipline. Mind you, I was disc before it was cool and trendy, back in classic and early BC before people like Matticus suggested folks give Circle of Healing a try. I even remained disc until I wound up solo dualbox healing Vael in BWL. Two mostly single target healers just wasn't going to cut it.

I've decided to go against the trend and stay Holy, as it was my spec through the second half of BC. As I gear up, I'll go ahead and report in on how I'm feeling about healing as a holy priest as well as little tricks I've used along the way.

I honestly think the complaining from Priests on the healing forums comes from folks thinking the grass is greener on the other side. I've been on all four sides and the grass isn't greener. In general Priests are really amazing, they have a fantastically versatile toolbox, though it seems a lot of Priests just don't seem to realize exactly how powerful their toolbox is. Perhaps it takes playing other classes to really appreciate Priest's versatility.

I've utilized one of my favorite addons "Power Auras" to give myself a few notifiers for when certain abilities are upon my Holy Priest.

This code assures I am always aware of a surge of light proc. I can cash it in for an instant cast flash heal or a smite:
Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0.33725490196078; anim1:nu3; g:nu0.62745098039216; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Holy_SurgeOfLight; size:nu0.95999997854233; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; y:nu-94; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu6; alpha:nu1; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu4; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu1; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stSurge of Light; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; spec2:botrue; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu2; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu1

This code notifies me when I have three stacks of Serendipity. With this, I can cast a really fast greater heal, or more likely a prayer of healing:
Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu3; g:nu0.71372549019608; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Holy_Serendipity; size:nu1.3600000143051; torsion:nu1; r:nu0.28235294117647; y:nu-94; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu3; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu59; alpha:nu1; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu4; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:bofalse; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu2; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stSerendipity; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; spec2:botrue; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu2; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu1

Hymn of Hope:
I wanted to use lyrics from this song as my Hymn of Hope macro but it was too long/spammy so I settled for "Set sail for win!" The song is actually, literally, a song about not giving up hope.
(It's from a fantastic, virtually unknown, nerdy as hell, and totally unappreciated musical called "Starmites!" If you like musicals, comicbooks, and other nerdy things you might want to hunt down a local production.)

Now I'm gonna go heal some heroics.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roleplay: A modest proposal for the immodest.

No, I'm not going to propose the devouring of level one humanoids, but I am going to make a proposal that would, in a perfect world, make life a little more tolerable for the WOW RPer who isn't interested in ERP (Cybersex).

It's not uncommon for me to be approached by individuals of ill-repute on a regular basis while sitting in Silvermoon, it happens on a daily basis. They typically don't get the responses they like and storm off in a fuss. Some even get on their high horses and say they're ignoring me for disrupting their RP (... of trying to coerce me into cybersex).

Now, folks who ERP are really not that bad, the problem is that on the server I play on they're very overt. They're out there, shameless, public, are tasteless, and target just about anyone without any sort of prompting. This is probably part of why the non-RPers on the server dislike the RPers.

I know that folks aren't going to stop despite the fact that such interactions are likely against the TOS and being caught doing so with a minor could mean a world of trouble if mom and dad find out and press charges.

I don't think it's too much to ask for folks to target their sexual propositions with educated guesses instead of trying to grind on anything that moves.

I would like to suggest that those who enjoy Erotic Roleplay download and use an addon called FlagRSP2. I've observed that most of the ERPers trolling around Silvermoon are not running an addon like FRSP2.

FlagRSP2 allows users to create character descriptions as well as to classify (flag) themselves as a roleplayer. In character, out of character, casual roleplayer, roleplayer, storyteller, mature roleplayer, looking for contact, etc.

You can hide the descriptions and still see notes on tooltips.
It looks a bit like this:

Now, an ERPer could make it so the words circled above clearly spelled out the type of play they're looking for.

The following options would be ideal:

The resulting tooltip would say "Mature Roleplayer, Looking for Contact" which could (easily) be considered synonymous to "Wanna fuck?"

RPers that don't have "Wanna fuck?" spelled out in their tooltip and those who have no RSP at all are probably not interested and should be left alone.

By installing this or another addon and flagging yourself and looking at other's flags, an ERPer can keep the streets decent, save dealing with those who do not want, and eliminate accidentally propositioning minors.

This would likely also reduce the chance of getting reported, banned, vanned, or winding up face to face someone like Chris Hansen.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Altoholic Progress Bars

Occasionally I get asked how I do those progress bars. I modified some code someone else posted.

The code with names.
Without names.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I don't agree with Anna.

The blogsphere recently rolled on the wrong side of my home server with their "Single Abstract Noun". I warned of two things: AD is FULL and stay away from Goldshire. It wasn't a joke. I also suggested those with RP interest contact reputable groups like Agency.

Now Cranky suggested on the SAN boards that folks ICly do things to confuse or disrupt the bads, and to screenshot and share. Her suggestions were stuff like "Azeroth Vice, here to break up prostitution." She did suggest censoring names to hide people's identities. It's not terrible and AD-US sees much worse with the fact that we get invaded by Blackrock any time it's down. I've considered doing similar things with my return to Silvermoon as my hangout (sans the screenshot/public mocking thing), it's really not that bad.

Now Anna is over in her corner of the blogsphere, not even a member of SAN, totally flipping out over the idea. Anna takes a strong stance that you're never supposed to ever disrupt people's RP no matter how bad it is even if it's through RP, even if that bad is godmoding your character. I don't agree.

If my raid core is having a fun time in the Cybermoon tavern, trashing the town, drinking and brawling like some sort of Buck-o-Nine or Flogging Molly song, and we're disrupting some people having text sex upstairs, great, so be it! They can go download Second Life or some other free MMOSG or even a game made specifically for cybersex and get their jollies there and stop rubbing it in the faces of us decent folks.

There is nothing wrong with mocking the stupid.
In fact, stupid is stressful. Bad RP is stressful. Retarded Twlight vamptards raping canon is stressful and unfun. People telling me that my characters are madly in love with them and we should go cyber is not fun.

Letting off steam is healthy!

Why should I afford any decency or respect to bad rpers propositioning my guildmates and I for sex as we hang around our bench in Silvermoon minding our own business? Is it wrong for my character to look at such cyberwhore in the face and say, disdainfully, "Begone from my sights, whore." How about him looking at the troll, the one breaking canon preaching about Elune and claiming to be an honorary Blood Knight, and hushing him, warning him that if the sentries hear him speaking such heresy that they might throw him out, or worse, kill him. (Which is probably a canon reaction, seeing as how Silvermoon is like a very pretty 1984 with pointy ears. Belves are also kinda racist and I could not see a troll being made a 'honorary Blood Knight'.)

If my circle of friends and I decide we're sick of being propositioned for text sex (and believe me we are) and we start up a group that walks around in runecloth robes, with offhand books and maces or priestly looking staves and preach about the Naaru and the light and telling folks dressed like women of ill-repute that they should cast off their unclean ways and redeem themselves for the lulz, is it really wrong? It might create conflict and *gasp* roleplay beyond text sex!

If people can RP Twilight vamps, werewolves, prostitutes, and break canon, why can't I RP a very devout Paladin with a very religious social circle trying to purify his homeland from women of loose morals? It's my $30/mo.

Again Anna, it's ok to mock the stupid!
Gevlon did it, didn't he?

BUT I do feel that there's a time and a place for mocking the stupid. Single Abstract Noun is not that place. SAN folks are guests on AD. In SAN, you represent a whole community, mocking the stupid is a bit against the spirit of SAN, fucking with the stupid wearing the SAN tag is a Bad Idea™, it makes folks look bad.

Honestly, I don't think people realized that when the idea was first posted it could be considered bad and griefing. I don't think malice was intended. Anna and whoever else going wild with self-righteous preaching on her blog and creating a massive drama shit-fest and driving Cranky out of the blogshere when this could have been handled privately like adults just made this worse.

Why not report the forum post and let SAN deal with it instead of causing a stink? This feels like bullying, a total witch hunt, and like you're whoring yourself out for attention, Anna. I disagree with all of it and with your point of view.

To those who think the lulz would be funny? Make a new alt if you want to mess with the stupid.

Need to vent? Here are some appropriate places.
Go. Vent. Don't give SAN a bad name.

Cranky made a tiny mistake that could have been handled privately.
Anna turned it into witch hunt against Cranky and SAN and drove Cranky from the blogsphere and SAN.
Anna used obnoxious, self-righteous speech in it, making points I disagree with.

I agree with Soph and to a not so extreme way with Rivs on this.

I think Cranky should come back, if anything, she could just say, "Oops, my bad" and let bygones be bygones.

I think Anna owes Cranky and SAN an apology for her self-righteous witch hunt and smear campaign.
I feel Anna should make that post go byebye and mind her own damn business.
If she wanted to tell people to play nice she could have done so in a much less aggressive and much more elegant way. (Very sappy personal example.)

I'm not afraid of you and I do disagree with you, and since everyone is saying their peace, I'll say mine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Babelfish, oh how I love you.

I play on a battlegroup with a server called Warsong. This is an unoffiical Brazilian server, the result is trips into randoms with players who don't understand English. To make matters worse, these players have a reputation for being "bad" players.

So we're in a random normal on our 75 priests, it's brought up to me that the frost mage from Warsong isn't giving replenishment. I look at her talents, she has 0 points in Enduring Winter. She also has 3 unallocated talent points.

So, I decide to send her a tell and point out that she has talent points to spend.

The conversation looked like this.

19:22 [Altoholic]: You have some unallocated talent points. Gonna pick up [Enduring Winter]?
19:22 [Ammaster-Warsong]: nao falo ingles sorry
19:23 [Altoholic]: Hold on. Babelfish.
19:24 [Altoholic]: VocĂȘ tem 3 pontos unspent do talento.
19:24 [Ammaster-Warsong]: nao sei onde coloco
19:25 [Altoholic]: Enduring Winter.

Thanks to Babelfish, I know that "nao sei onde coloco" roughly means, "I don't know where to put them."

Babelfish is actually pretty horrible at translating, especially when it comes to grammar, but it's enough to penetrate the language barrier. For that reason I have it bookmarked and often open when I run randoms. If only there was a Babelfish addon for wow.

The mage placed the talent points appropriately, accepting my advice without hassle, whining, complaining, or attitude. To me, this is someone who is a good player, for that, I salute you, Oh Ammaster of Warsong.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Frostfire... from someone without a clue.

The new random dungeon system has brought out the leveling beast in me once more and I've begun leveling my alts again.

Among the leveled is my Mage, who I race changed from a troll to a belf several months ago. I got him from 70-74 so I can portal folks to Dalaran. Boredom and curiosity drove me to level 75 so I might try out Frostfire bolt.

I decided to give a Frostfire spec (with imp scorch) a try, dropping my Frost survivability spec. I haven't played a Mage seriously since Classic, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I only leveled him to 70 so I could drop tables for myself. After shooting a few bears I took what knowledge I have from playing my Hunter (priority go!) and Warrior (don't forget your slam procs!) and made some power auras to notify me of useful things--like Living Bomb not being on my target, and Hot Streak 'Pyroblast now' procs. (I do the same with Shadow Trance on my Warlocks.)

From what I understand, Arcane is amazing DPS, but it also sounds kinda boring, much like BM always sounded boring. Frostfire feels like it has a priority rotation, more like Survival.

I haven't seriously researched Frostfire rotation or gemming at all. In fact, I can't tell you what procs the hot streaks offhand because I honestly haven't been paying attention. It feels like the ability procs more when there are things like Ignite up on the target.

I vaguely recall that Frostfire Mages stack spellpower/crit, while Arcane Mages stack haste. I think there might be a point where a Frostfire Mage has enough crit that their ignites are always up. At that point, I might see a FFB Mage stacking haste to increase the number of FFBs that can be cast between higher priority spells.

This is, without seriously researching, what I think a FFB rotation looks like:
Scorch (unless someone else is casting a spell that does the same thing), Living Bomb (I've been using it as an extra dot even on single targets), Fireblast, FFB until Fireblast is off cooldown / living bomb needs to be recast / scorch needs to be recast. Pyroblast when Hot Streak procs.

I'm going in blind and making educated guesses based on a combination of my knowledge of OTHER classes and what little I remember from having played a Mage back in MC. (I still have my ToEP!)

So far, I'm doing ok in normal randoms.
I do more damage than the tanks.
I often top the sustained dps meter.
I go from 1600-2000dps as a level 77, that's more than a lag-blaming T9-9.5 geared warlock did on a particular Marrowgar kill. Thankfully, they're no longer in my guild.

At 80 I'll actually go research things, specs, rotation, consider attainable gear, and spec choose accordingly.

It'll be neat to see if I came close to proper rotation priority or not.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Analyzing Healadins

One of my raiders has friends in another guild, I'm talking RL friends or whatever. He has alts in that guild and raids with them on one of the alts. Guild leader of said guild is an ex-raider and friend of a Holy Paladin in some hardcore guild on another server. Said Holy Paladin believes that flash of light spec is superior and that all Paladins should use it. Of course, this idea is instilled upon GL of my raider's alts guild.

So we go into VOA25 and this guild leader and a Healadin from that guild are in the raid with me. I start to get tells after the first boss about how our healing core sucks and that I should be topping the meters (after the heavy aoe of some of the boss fights) because of my gear. This other Healadin, whose gear is not nearly as good as mine did more healing with his 'beacon the tank, heal the raid with flash of light) strategy.

During these attempts fights, I found myself struggling to keep both tanks up. The beacon had fallen off of my focus target so I didn't have my beloved redundancy safety net. In actuality, the paladin beaconed my beacon target and flashed the raid. So, I was healing his tank and mine and he was healing his tank and the raid and sniping heals from our group healers.

It pissed me off to be told that I suck because my meter numbers weren't as high, despite the fact that I was probably carrying more weight than this other paladin.

I'd use my computer being old and having low FPS as an excuse, but it's not a valid excuse. I'm usually one of the top healers and several of my top DPS top out in 25 man raids at 5fps or less.

So what was it? This other healadin was judging light, which is usually what our tankadin does. (Tankadin informed me that tanks no longer get the threat boost from light so they're judging wisdom and I should judge light.)

Judging Light = Padding the Meters.

Who was actually pulling their weight? Really.

A closer look:
Well last night the paladin (Dar) got invited to our run. He had been tanking for us the previous week but we had already had a tank on our first night so he wound up heals. Luckily I was running a World of Logs parse, which informed me that despite his gear, he beat me in healing done (and did a few percent less overhealing).

I know that I'm going to hear, through my one raider, the trash talking of Dar's guild leader who will continue to say I suck, as the numbers say so and clearly the numbers are everything.

Here's the healing done for all boss fights:

Slow is a top notch resto shaman. Tri is a resto druid with ADHD who can kick ass when push comes to shove, but will tend to slack on farm content and pick up the slack when shit gets real. Chi is a disc priest. Bacon is a lesser geared resto shaman alt who probably needs some guidance, but he isn't far behind everyone else. Most of us are shouldering equal burden. If you're wondering where the rest of the healing is? We had four shadow priests (one is a top notch holy priest who went shadow for moar deeps), some non-resto shaman, a ret, two protadins, and some blood DKs that did small amounts of healing.

But let's take a closer look at the Paladin healing:

We see two things:
First, I need to remember to Divine Sacrifice (the green outline... I should also keep sacred shield up better). That is poor performance on my part and I realize I need to stop being bad and utilize my tools. I mean, I thought to hit it but I felt that if I skipped a GCD to pop it, the tanks (or raid) would die. (My Flashes of Light and Holy Shocks were mostly on the raid not the tanks.)

More importantly: A whole 26% of this other Paladin's heals were Judgement of Light.

Compare healing done via Holy Light--I healed a million more than he did (of course we both overhealed like mad, but still.

What happens if we remove the JoL padding?
Dar: 4633901 - 1241990: 3391911
Zan: 4523016 - 19732: 4503284

What happens if we shave off the Glyph of Holy Light padding?
Dar: 3391911 - 1003275: 2388636
Zan: 4503284 - 1100705: 3402579

The real numbers show two things:
  • I shouldered more weight than Dar did... at least where it really counts--on our tanks.
  • We're both pretty close to dead last, Dar is even behind the freshmen resto shaman alt.
We're focusing a majority of our heals on one/two/three targets.
We should be dead last.

What conclusions can be drawn from this information?
  • A lot of Holy Paladin's throughput is, in the words of Pen Jillette, "bullshit!" It's not nearly as high as it looks once you actually break it down.
  • Dar's GL, should he start up with his dissing, should be succinctly informed of the facts and instructed to eat a dick.
And that's that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Good and Bad of Lowbie Randoms

I guess this (and this other post, the one that I got the idea for) could kinda-sorta be considered part of the Blog Azeroth shared topic of sharing some positive dungeon stories.

Now that the Altoholic has settled into her new apartment it's time to write some more.

This weekend I decided to try out the random dungeon tool on my lower level characters. I have two priest/warlock teams and they've fallen out of sync with the level 30 warlock quests, so I'm pushing them all to 35 using the random dungeon tool.

They're not all horror stories. Here's a few good positive stories.

Helping the Lowbie Warrior Tank
In SM Graveyard, I found myself grouped with a Warrior tank who was having a terrible time holding agro on multiple mobs.

He mentioned he was having trouble so I politely suggested he try using 'jumpystomp' and shouts to at least get the attention of things with his initial pulls. This worked out very well and the results were immediately visible. He confidently pulled a good half dozen mobs at once and held them all.

Helping the terribly confused Priest
In RFD, I had the misfortune of being grouped with a shadow priest who's healing. I mean, I heal as shadow on my little lowbies with no issue but this poor guy doesn't have a clue. He struggles to do his job and the result is wipes. He's having trouble peeling off Debuffs that would have turned the tide in some of the battles--such as the silencing disease on my warlock and the Mage.

I suggested, half frustrated, that he get decursive. As the instance pressed on, he wound up asking myself and the other person whose main is a healer for advice on how to heal, about addons and other tools that would help him do his job better.

When the instance was over he said he'd go get those addons right away so he could do better next time. *thumbs up*

The Focus on Meters
I've noticed a huge focus on meters in lowbie (level 30ish) instances on the US Ruin (Battlegroup 3). I know very little about warlocks, but I do know that even at top levels, affliction warlocks tend to not do very highly on trash (in heroics), nor do they manage to get their rotation off on mobs that die too fast. As such, I don't expect to top the meters, I simply throw up my dots, rain of fire, and throw my instant shadowbolts when shadow trance procs.

At this point, I'm not sure how classes damage lines up at the low levels and where I should be preformance-wise. I don't really care that much. I'm there to push buttons, get experience, get my loot, and leave.

I'm stuck in a state of disbelief... People actually care about the total damage done on trash in the SM Graveyard and feel it's a way to measure skill?

I keep getting told that I suck because of my damage done numbers. Apparently while I'm sitting there hitting searing pain on a ranged mob that's nuking the healer so I may have it nuke me instead to prevent a wipe, I'm less skilled of a player than the mage spamming arcane explosion on just one mob because they have higher deeps.

It really makes me want to not instance as a DPS because of the meter pressure. Particularly, that the pressure to do well on the meter is pressure for me to foresake playing well (waiting for agro, preventing wipes, getting out of the stupid) for the sake of big numbers. The reason I forbid meter linking (and to a lesser extent discussion) in my raids is because I'd rather have people worry about doing what they need to do to get the job done instead of having them get reckless for the sake of competition.

This stupidity just hurts my head.

The Reluctant Warrior Tank
I've been traumatized by bad DPS when it comes to tanking using the random dungeon system. The first few times I tanked on my warrior I found the entire thing to be hell. Jerks DPSing before I could get agro on mobs with my tiny DKs didn't help either.

I took my warrior (level 70 currently dps fury in crap outlands pvp blues and boa pieces (dw arcanite reapers, ho!)) into randoms with my Tank's holy priest alt healing. I'm afraid of tanking so I go Fury. We get UK with a paladin tank and a DPS DK.

The tank makes the first pull and almost immediately starts taking huge spikes of damage. My tank is going "OMG" on vent at the spikes. The second pull, the DK autoruns into the two pulls + patrol, getting a good 8 or 9 mobs. My tank goes "OMG" again as the little Tankadin facetanks the floor faster than a heal could be cast.

At this point, the paladin starts playing the blamegame at the healer, my tank. He says, "WTF healer? Why did I die?" My tank told him, "You got two pulls." I said, "You took more damage than you had health." He asked why he didn't get enough heals. We repeated.

I walk over and inspect him and get this sinking feeling, "..." I ask him what his defense is. No answer. I ask him again, he readychecks, I say no, he pulls anyhow. So I go armory him, my tank's still complaining over vent on how squishy this guy is. Bingo!

Our tank has something like 380 defense. I announce it in vent. I "..." he "..."s.

He also has a ret spec, so I throw on my tank gear (Mostly T4ish stuff), switch to my prot spec, and started tanking. I told him he needed somewhere around 490 defense. He didn't put on his DPS gear, instead he left the instance, demanding to know my defense.

I handled things much better with my charging, jumpystomping, and defense capped gear.

I'm still reluctant to tank... though I think I'll wind up being one of those people who offers to do it if I wind up with someone who's not ready.