Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bad or Smart?

Gevlon's post here has got me thinking so now it's storytime... about some things I used to do that makes me think I used to be bad and me now having second thoughts about said judgement. Thanks Mr. Goblin.

Long long ago in the age known as "Classic" and in the places of "Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Zul'Gurub, and Ahn'Qiraj", I raided on a Mage, a Warrior, and a Priest.

My Mage wasn't the best DPS but I had something special about me: I was frequently the last man standing. Sometimes I passed on items that others thought were upgrades and people asked me why.

I told them point blank my reason:
Me: It doesn't have any stamina on it.
Raid Leader: Why do you need stamina?
Me: Because a dead Mage does no damage and is useless.
Raid Leader: You don't need stamina, you're a Mage. You shouldn't be getting hit if you don't pull agro.
Me: I like having hit points.
Raid Leader: Well ok, suit yourself.

I actually had stamina enchants in classic because a little extra int felt useless as I already had so much of it.

A little raid discipline (don't pull agro), getting out of the stupid, and the extra health kept me alive much longer than the other Mages who died from incidental AOE before a healer could get them, the stupid, or because they pulled agro.

So in BC, during the very early Karazhan era my Priest wore the Primal Mooncloth set, as did our other Priests. I ran into a problem that the set had no stamina.

Some of the first mobs in Kara were ghost ponies known as "Chargers", and they would charge a random person and deal them some damage before returning to the tank. We would CC them and deal with them last, but sometimes CC broke, or even when the tank grabbed them they'd charge, and if they charged our all Primal Mooncloth clad Priest healing core, angels would suddenly appear.

I jammed stamina in the slots of my crafted Primal Mooncloth gear, which prompted lots of questions from people. But when Chargers charged, I didn't die and I kept on healing the tanks and the raid.

People asked me why I was using stamina gems.
I said I wanted to be able to take a hit.
They said I didn't need to take a hit, that if everyone is doing their job right and everything goes right I shouldn't need to take a hit.
I simply said: Things don't always go right, I'd rather be prepared than wipe.

Even through Wrath I wouldn't pick up the starter gear that didn't have Stamina on it and still look upon such pieces with scrutiny and only gem for stamina on my tanky alts.

I've always felt it was a bit of an irrational behavior until now, that I was just simply "bad" in that regard. Looking again, I don't think I was bad, I think I was smart but unable to eloquently explain my thoughts.

What I've always been concerned with is what tanks now call effective health.

From what I understand, effective health is a combination of health and armor which add up to how much damage (physical) you can take without heals before you die. It's constant, not RNG based like avoidance is. Tanks want to be able to take a few swings and not die in situations where things go awry.

For a non-tank, having enough health to survive a tick or two of incidental AOE while a healer is incapacitated or to survive an add from a boss fight taking a two swings (in fights like Thorim, Mimiron, Lady Deathwhisper) may mean the difference between success and a wipe.

Stamina is important for every class, it usually comes on your gear but sometimes our inner min-maxers get tempted gear that skips out on the Stamina, this is especially true for some of the Wrath crafted gear. For someone starting out, a little more stamina may mean the difference between staying up the entire Toravon fight in a VOA pug. For a young healer this may mean the difference between a wipe and success.

Min-maxing is great, but remember that a character who is dead is not doing their job.

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