Last week, I managed to get all three of my favorite toons Valor-capped. Not only that, but they were all capped by early Sunday.
I want to say that I don’t know how that happened, but I do. Basically, I raced to the cap on Mushan: weekly Barrens quest, heroic scenario (A Brewing Storm can bite it, by the way), some dailies, a heroic dungeon, and a section of LFR, and I had 605 points by Tuesday night. Tuesday night! Soon after that, he was capped, and my druid and warrior were also on their respective ways to the cap.
Saturday night and Sunday night, we raided. But on Monday, I was completely bored; as such, in addition to writing the bulk of three blog posts – two of which were posted on Monday and Tuesday, and the other one is slated for sometime in the not-so-near future – I took Mushan out to the Barrens again and quickly farmed up all the items needed to turn in the weekly Barrens quest for this week. Yes, I was that bored.
Then on Tuesday, I had a weird day at work that caused me to have a massive headache all night. So once again, I didn’t want to do too much. I farmed my Barrens stuff on the warrior, did Sha and Galleon on the druid with a couple of guildies, and called it an early night.
Wednesday, I woke up without a headache, thankfully. But I found myself still not interested in doing Isle of Thunder on the hunter, or waiting in long queues for LFR. I need exactly zero pieces in LFR. The only things I need from there are the Titan Runestones that drop from the final six ToT bosses (supposedly – apparently they are hard to come by, and I saw zero last week).
It’s a very different feeling from last week. For some reason, I just don’t have the energy. So I decided to take a different tack, one that I didn’t ever think I would want to take: cap on the druid first this time.
So, as of this writing, I’ve done just that. On Wednesday, a guildie and I ran three wings of ToT. I turned in my Barrens weekly that night. Thursday night, I did some quests after work, but when Squido asked me to run some LFR with his shaman, I just had to take the hunter in there, because it was likely to be the only chance I had to get relatively quick queues as a DPS. The rest of the evening was dedicated to running the final three wings of ToT with him, and that was about all that I had in me, so the druid got no more attention.
Friday, I finally capped. Some dailies in the morning, and four wings of T14 LFR at night, brought me to 1,000 VP on Anacrusa. Meanwhile, Mushan is at 597 going into the weekend.
He’ll cap – there’s no question there. No problem.
“Now, why would you do that,” you might ask?
The reason I decided to try this different tack is because we raid on weekends. With the reset on Tuesday, capping on Mushan before we raid means that I get exactly zero VP from our normal kills. This normally doesn’t bother me; I just wanted to see if I liked doing it better this way.
Additionally, since all that I need from ToT is the chance at Titan Runestones on Mushan, it seemed like a novel idea to try to be more fervent about getting gear for toons that can actually use it. It makes sense, in theory… in general…
However, now that I’m here, I don’t know if this is something I will repeat any time soon.
Granted, because of the flexible nature of my work schedule, no two weeks are exactly alike. And this week has been somewhat busy, between work and real life responsibilities. So it’s not a truly equal contrast or comparison between situations, but nevertheless, I think I actually like my usual way of going about this better than this experimental week.
There are several reasons…
1) Everything goes better with the hunter. While the queue times can be longer if I don’t go with a healer or tank, the play just flows. And questing is a breeze. I can be farming the Barrens or doing dailies while sitting in queues for heroics and LFR, and make a seamless transition whenever the queue pops.
2) In comparison, the druid, which I quest with as a guardian, is slower. There are advantages to going this route with her: as a tank, I can round up several mobs, build up a lot of vengeance, and survive while I complete quest objectives. However, given the approximately 50-ilevel difference between the hunter and the druid quest-spec gear that I have, there’s still no contest: the hunter blows stuff away with all deliberate speed; the druid plows through it slowly and methodically, like an ox.
3) Healing. Healing is great, and I have a lot of fun with it. However, it comes with its own set of stresses. I’ve already got that ‘I can’t let him die, even if he’s doing something really really stupid’ mentality that healers have, which can lead one to a point where it feels like it’s time to take a break. So while chain-queuing as a healer sounds like a great idea, it doesn’t always turn out to be the most enjoyable option.
4) Bottom line: compared to last week, I’m behind. My warrior has… zero VP. The hunter will be fine, but the warrior is not going to have the kind of Valor I want for him by the time Monday night rolls around. He’s usually the hardest for me to cap anyway, because the way I play him (prot) can get a bit slow and intense. But a week with almost nothing to show for it on that toon isn’t all that fun for me, even though it looks like this could be one of those weeks with him. We’ll have to see.
Maybe “wasting” raid VP isn’t a bad thing when I think about it this way: if I’m going to grind, I’d rather do the lion’s share of it on the hunter – raid VP be damned. Doing it my normal way makes the other toons feel 30% less grindy, which helps me enjoy them more.
As I said, this week and last week aren’t ‘apples to apples,’ but I won’t be surprised if I go back to my normal Valor Point Acquisition Strategy when next week rolls around. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t use take this road again, some other time. I’m just not going to make it my main path.
She isn’t my hunter, after all.
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
This past Monday, Bashiok let us all know, via a Twitter response, that 5.3 would not be dropping this (current) week.
On the surface, this was bad news for some people. People like me, who have been Valor capped on their mains and/or basically done with Isle of Thunder for a little while now, without much meaningful to do without getting into some avenue of the game that they enjoy less (like PvP, pet battles, etc., etc.).
On the other hand, there are people who feel that things are moving too fast, that there is not enough time to do everything they want, who play lots of alts and want more time for them, who want an extra week or two to hit the VP cap before Item Upgrading becomes available, etc. For these folks, it was great news.
I’m among those in the first group, with Mushan. I’ve been max-VP capped since the 3rd or 4th of May, have nothing to spend VP on, have been done with the Isle of Thunder story for a while, and so on. For me, the wait has been frustrating. I went from trying to let go of the grind to having almost nothing in the game that has real progressive meaning without killing new raid bosses. So I was disappointed when 5.3 didn’t happen this week.
For me, the answer is yes. And, this past weekend, I had a certain alt in mind…
Yes folks! I shook a boatload of dust off my druid last Saturday.
This is the same druid that has largely remained parked at the Stormwind Auction House selling leg enchants, or at Halfhill farming motes to make those leg enchants with.
Now why, you might ask, would I want to do such a thing?
Well, you can’t discount aesthetics, for one thing. I mean, just look at that killer transmog she has going on. It’s one of my favorites! (And it took some serious farming to put those pieces together back in the day, too!) Plus, she’s a female night elf, and they look pretty badass anyway, especially with the particular tattooing/facial structure combo that I chose for her at the character creation screen.
Plus, fire trees.
So anyway, that’s settled… it’s been a joy to get to see that gear in action this week.
Aside from aesthetic appeal, playing Anacrusa represented some very new territory for me in MoP. Thus far, I’d leveled two tanks (including this toon), two hunters, and a mage to level 90. Now, this is not necessarily one-dimensional play – I know several people who have four or five max-level DPS toons and nothing else, and that is certainly not me. With those toons, I have three of the four bases covered (yes, I finally put together a Fury spec for the warrior… and it’s NOT pretty, folks): tank, ranged DPS, melee DPS. Additionally, I have my Prot pally and Blood DK in the wings… so in some ways, that’s more of the same. It’s probably also part of the reason the DK is still waiting for me in Grizzly Hills…
Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to do something different. And I may have known that subconsciously, but it took me a while to conjure up an active realization – along with some balls* – that I wanted to do something related to healing.
*I have a rough time jumping feet-first into certain things that require some responsibility that I might fail to live up to, and it’s always been that way. Takes me some internal argument to take a new toon into PvP, for instance. To heal. To tank important stuff. It’s just my nature – I am a timid one at heart, I suppose.
For a while, I thought about my options. I could finish leveling my pally, but I don’t really feel like doing that right now (and haven’t for some time). I could level a priest or shaman, but I really don’t feel like doing that either. Same with a monk. So that left the druid.
Finally, last weekend, I dug her out of the mothballs. I put together something of a really bad PvP set, thinking to myself that I could do some BGs and get some gear. But I never made it into a BG, or at least I have yet to do so. She had over 2000 Valor stored up from doing cooking dailies over the last several months, and was well on the way to some nice reputation with certain factions, so I started working on that a little bit, with the idea that I could build up a set and step into LFR to try things out. Along the way, I made her the 496 crafted pieces, along with the 502 Reborn mace, and I bought her the 476 off-hand, the Darkmoon trinket, and the 522 Valor necklace. I made some more “Crafted Gladiator’s” pieces, and soon stepped into Mogu’shan Vaults.
Over the past seven days, I’ve gotten her ilevel up from sub-450 to 481! All but three pieces are epics as of this writing. Other than a couple of bad experiences (along with the bosses in ToES being very stingy), the T14 Raid Finder raids were fun and rewarding. I grew leaps and bounds as a healer throughout the week – which is good, because I was starting at about as close to the bottom as someone can be without not having actually healed before**.
**I’ve healed before. Not much, though, and not for quite a long time. And never in raids.
The goal, once I got into it, was to be eligible to run some ToT LFR by this weekend. As of this morning, mission accomplished. I ‘stayed Klaxxi’ consistently enough this week to get the Exalted (Shadows of the Empire) ring today, and I also hit Revered with the Kirin Tor Offensive, which enabled me to grab the cloak from their vendor. And getting a couple of Keys to the Palace of Lei Shen enabled me to stay well-stocked in coins, so I was able to roll on every relevant T14 boss and get a few nice pieces that way.
So Anacrusa is now a Resto druid, for the time being. Awesome!
I quested as Guardian, which may seem odd, except for the fact that I already had a full set of guardian gear from when I was leveling, etc. that was good enough to be daily quest-worthy. I found that I was able to pull multiple mobs at once on Isle of Thunder with little problem. It was also much more enjoyable than doing it as a boomkin would have been.
Overall, I’ve had fun with her this week. It was a very fun diversion from the norm and the tedium, and brought new life into my enjoyment of the game. Plus, it was great to get back on my old main and have fun playing her for the first time in many, many months.
Tomorrow, it’s back to the hunter, as we attempt to make some progress in ToT for reals this weekend. I do hope to get Anacrusa through a couple of wings of ToT LFR before the reset, though, because there are a couple of Shado-Pan Assault items that I’d like to purchase for her, but I need to be Friendly with them to do so. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I need to make sure that I can still remember how to play Mushan!
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
One of the topics that seemed to come up a few times in my reading during the past several weeks has been the idea that Hit Rating and Expertise Rating are essentially redundant – which Matthew Rossi wrote about in October at WoW Insider – and that there may be changes in the future around those two stats.
Of course, any commentary by a developer will bring out all kinds of internet people suggesting drastic changes and issuing ultimatums (for example, “if you don’t ________ I’m going to unsub for good” is a grossly-overused classic). Regarding this topic, “Please remove reforging” is one such sledgehammer-to-the-game suggestion, lifted from a twitter exchange on December 6th between Ghostcrawler and @HunterSalty. I picked it up by reading MMO Champion’s blue tweet highlights on December 28th.*
*Not sure why this came up over three weeks later on MMO-C’s blue tracker, but I digress…
Here is @HunterSalty’s tweet:
@Ghostcrawler @Saraphite Amen. Please remove reforging. Also eliminates need to go to external sites to tell you how exactly to reforge.
For the full exchange, click the link above to see how ping-pongy a conversation can go on Twitter… or, here’s me paraphrasing it:
@Saraphite says: Gemming, reforging, enchanting, upgrading is too much stuff to do.
@Ghostcrawler says: We agree. Back in the day, you wore what you got.
@HunterSalty says: Amen. Remove reforging, etc. (see above)
@Ghostcrawler says: Actually we like reforging except for hit and expertise.
@CM_Zarhym says: Actually, I look forward to getting new gear and reforging between stats and hit/expertise.
@Zarasz says: Many people enjoy it. If it’s not fun for you, don’t do it.
@Ghostcrawler says: Can you explain how reforging is fun? Many players use a spreadsheet to make those decisions.
PING pong. ping PONG.
It’s a real conversation, and yet it’s all over the place. Yes, all of that is too much. No, reforging is fine except for hit/exp. Wait, how do you find it fun?
Wait, Greg Street. “Fun” is a broad term. An extremely broad term. I suppose my answer to your question would be that, on a process level, I like the challenge and process of using what parts and pieces I have available in order to come up with the best possible stat combination for me. And on a meta level, I like that the freedom to do so is available. Is that good enough? I’m not so enamored with mathematical challenges that I feel the same feeling – exhilaration, or whatever – that I feel after a new boss kill; nor am I so in love with the look and feel of Mr. Robot’s website that I just can’t wait to go see if I can use it again. So it’s not fun in that sense. It’s interesting, and it provides satisfaction, and it’s currently a (somewhat passive) part of the recipe for betterment, so I like it from those standpoints. But no, I don’t think to myself, “It’s a beautiful day, I think I’ll go on a reforging binge” or something like that, like pet battles or PvP weekends or chain-running heroics with friends on our alts on New Years Eve.
Yeah, that’s what I did on New Years Eve. It was most definitely a lot of fun.
Anyway… when I started this article on Dec. 28, the GC “fun” tweet hadn’t been made yet, and my thought was “Thank God Ghostcrawler is smart enough to take the ‘absolutes’ that people tell him on Twitter as what they are – individual perspectives.” Now, however, I don’t know what the hell to think. At any rate, I started writing this post, and I intend to finish it, keeping in mind the nature of Twitter conversations and their inherent limitations.
The error of a personal absolute
I find it both amusing and tiring when I see people, both in-game and on the World Wide Webinator, get all upset about reforging. I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past several days, and for me, it boils down to this: if you play competitively – that is, whether you PvP or raid or Brawl or extreme solo, etc. – you’re min-maxing anyway, shuffling gems and weighing enchant options and deciding which side-grade has slightly better stats for you and whether last tier’s 4-piece is better than this tier’s 2-piece. Reforging further allows you to squeeze as much power as possible from your set of items by refining your available stat pool to knife-edge perfection. And if you’re not playing competitively, then it matters quite a bit less, and you’re probably not working to maximize your output, because it doesn’t matter as much for quests and so on.
This is a generalization, of course.
However, so is “get rid of reforging” – it suggests a thorough hammer-smash treatment for a game feature that someone doesn’t like, even though that feature is something that many people find fun (O.o, see “fun” part above), interesting, and challenging. Reforging has been part of the game for more than two years now, and is as big of a component as gemming and enchanting and gear selection, more or less, to varying degrees.
We wore what dropped
I remember back in Wrath, when (for instance) I would get a new piece of gear that had Crit and Haste on it, and I would have to make a decision about whether to use it in place of something that had Hit and/or Expertise on it. Deciding either way could at times mean that I sat down with a piece of paper and made a diagram of each slot and its secondary stats and sockets, and figured out whether I could swap in enough Hit or Exp gems without losing too much Armor Pen, or whatever, and still have the piece be a DPS upgrade. Now, I didn’t necessarily dislike this process; in fact, stat management has long been one aspect of WoW that I’ve enjoyed over the years.
However, with the advent of reforging in 4.0.1, things changed quickly. It was like the stat world opened up, and a whole new realm of possibilities with it. Instead of building something with only big blocks and small blocks like before, you now had big blocks and small blocks and blocks that you could cut into two pieces so they would fit better, making for better optimization and giving players more choices when it came to setting up their gear.
If we wore what dropped, today
If reforging didn’t exist today, but everything else remained unchanged, the following circumstances would be real and brutal in my own WoW life:
1. My hunter would be way over the Hit cap, and way, way under the Expertise cap. I would subsequently be missing (dodged) a lot and hitting with less power, less frequently, with less chance to crit, due to all of the stat budget wasted on excess Hit Rating.
2. My prot warrior wouldn’t have a chance in hell of even approaching the soft Expertise cap, making active mitigation much more difficult due to the dodges and parries of even quest mobs, and his passive mitigation/avoidance stats would be extremely unbalanced (not enough Mastery and Parry, too much Dodge).
3. My mage would likewise be way under the Hit cap. See above.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that a reversion to reforging being non-existent would require massive changes that would approach the scale of the gear changes that took place in 4.0.1 and Cataclysm.
Possible required changes
(A tip of the hat to my friend Squido, who reminded me of some key points on this issue when I was discussing this post with him last night.)
If reforging were removed from the game, there would have to be big changes to gear, and perhaps to classes, in order to make things work. It’s easy to imagine that – taking for granted that, for instance, most (if not all) DPS specs need to be at either 7.5% Hit/7.5% Exp (physical) or 15% combined Hit/Exp (spell) – stat itemization would have to be adjusted fairly radically in order to ensure that players had a fair chance of meeting caps. And for tanks, there would have to be appropriate amounts of avoidance stats on gear…
Which leads us to an even greater issue: that of class individuality as it relates to both gear and stats. For example, as many people know, different tank specs prioritize different stats. Regarding secondary stats, my warrior prioritizes Hit/Exp to caps > Mastery > twice as much Parry as Dodge, in general. On the other hand, Squido’s paladin looks at stats very differently, with Haste, which is virtually worthless to prot warriors, having some benefit for prot pallies.
In order to make a non-reforging world work as well as a reforging one does, some combination of these changes might have to happen:
1. They homogenize role specs to the point where they value the same stats. “All Agility classes value Crit over Haste,” etc… I can’t imagine how wrong and how utterly boring that would be. That would be a big step in the wrong direction, in my opinion.
2. They make a lot more pieces of gear available from each boss, as well as from Valor Points, etc. in order to cover all of the statistical bases if they don’t homogenize similar role specs. That way, there’s a chance, however minuscule, that the perfect piece will drop for you. Then again, that means every boss will be a loot pinata with a loot table approaching the size of Sha of Anger’s or Argaloth’s or Archavon’s. How many people will have super pissy-fits in that type of situation, due to the fact that, while their piece drops off this boss, it never drops because there are so many things that it could drop that the common drop chance is diluted? I know, right?
3. They put less passive stats and a lot more gem slots on gear, so that each piece has some level of customization, so that those players that don’t get “the perfect piece” (and there will be a lot of those) can still add stats to make up any shortfalls dealt them by RNG while still allowing them to raid competitively.
4. Absent these things, they make bosses “easier” since hardly anyone will have the opportunity to optimize their gear. Or…
5. Absent these things and keeping bosses at current difficulty levels, there is less progression, leading to less raiders, more frustration among the player base, and, eventually, lower subscriber numbers, due to a massive design downgrade.
Ghostcrawler obviously understands this, and so it’s likely that whatever solution he and his team working on won’t be a knee-jerk, hammer-smash change that certain people in the Internet think will be just jolly-good-fine. At least, I hope that’s the case…
As a side note…
Contrary to the beliefs of some, reforging does allow for choice, even if that choice can be stunted by the need to meet caps for Hit and Expertise.
Jasyla has written about how she doesn’t max out her Spirit on her resto druid, preferring to enjoy the mana management game and concentrate on throughput, whereas many healers I know of are loading up on Spirit like going-out-of-business Twinkies.
Tanks can choose to maximize Hit and Exp to smooth out their mitigation rotations, or they can take a walk on the wild side and max out their passive mitigation stats and ride the spike-damage coaster.
Certain DPS classes can prioritize Crit over Haste, or Haste over Crit, with little difference in results but a big difference in playstyle.
So there is choice, within limits, and it’s not quite as contingent on that next gear drop like it was before.
“Eliminates the need to go to external sites…”
Let’s do a little Q&A…
Q: How many classes have best-in-slot gear lists and rotation/priority advice written about them on blogs and forums for each patch?
A: Come on, really? All of them. In spades.
So yes, if reforging were removed, people wouldn’t have to go to the Internet to reforge, logically. I’ll give you that. But they’d been going to blogs and forums and sims and podcasts for several years before reforging was available. WoW is a game where many people spend a lot of time on the game outside of the game, and it’s been that way for a long time. So it won’t stop if reforging is removed.
In fact, with reforging removed, gear lists – both their sizes and their viewership – would likely go through the roof, along with gemming strategies and other related topics, because of #2 in the above section on Possible required changes. So if there’s a “problem” with people going outside the game for information – which is, by this point, a time-honored tradition – then getting rid of reforging will certainly not “fix” it.
I just don’t see how reforging is so bad that it needs to be removed. I don’t think that most of the progression raiding/PvP playerbase thinks that way, either. Maybe I’m completely wrong. If so, then I’ll just be wrong.
There may indeed be changes on the distant horizon with regard to Hit and Expertise, and when the time comes, I’m interested to see how they solve their perceived issues with it. But I don’t think reforging is the problem. Hit and Expertise are the problem. (Edited for poorly used quotes, etc.)
I see reforging as a very valuable tool that’s preferable to what came before, and I also think that it helps to smooth out some of the RNG issues that, while still frustrating, can be mitigated to a certain extent through “stat-swapping.” I was happy when it arrived, and I don’t want to go back to when it wasn’t.
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
This morning, I read Big Bear Butt’s post from yesterday, about his decision to stop trying to force himself to be a bear tank. I won’t quote it or copy it, so go read it if you haven’t already. Basically, he is letting go of his guardian druid, and his hunter will be his raiding main. Sound familiar?
Anyone who has followed BBB for a while – like I have – knows that he has long been both a passionate advocate of bears and one of the foremost progenitors of furry-bottomed face-tanking, in-game and in the blogosphere. With experience comes wisdom, and he has much of both. I found it very interesting that many of his thoughts echo mine with regard to my own druid.
Once Mists of Pandaria launched, I leveled my hunter in about 30 hours. A week later, my druid hit 90 as well. I’m currently working, off and on, on my warrior, who hit 88 yesterday. The hunter was the most fun. There were very few situations that I had problems with, and it was undoubtedly the toon that I am capable of leveling the fastest.*
*This includes choices that I’ve made; I could have leveled my druid as a feral druid, and I could level my warrior as arms, but there’s no way I could have done so with the apparent recklessness and efficiency with which I approached many of the Week 1 situations I found myself in – not with either toon.
Leveling the druid was brutally slow. She’s a guardian, which was what I had planned. For those who remember my post a while back about leveling her to 90 with my Cataclysm gear, here’s the update on how that went: at roughly level 88 1/2, in Townlong Steppes, I gave up the idea. Item level 387 was not cutting it. Level 88 mobs took a minute to kill sometimes. The damage was punishing. I was missing too much, and reforging put my survivability in even more jeopardy. So I gave up the ghost, went back to Stormwind, rotated in what green/blue gear I had collected, reforged and slapped on cheap enchants (yay profession leveling!), and went back for a much, much more reasonable experience for the final 30-ish bars.
Once I hit 90 with her, I ran Direbrew to get the trinkets, and am currently wearing the Brawler’s Trophy. Her gear has stagnated a bit, though, as I’ve been working on the hunter (of course) as well as leveling the warrior.
Leveling the warrior has been interesting and fun. He’s protection, of course, and his gear experience began a little differently than the druid’s. When I was leveling Blacksmithing on my hunter, I procced no less than four very usable ilvl 415 plate blues that were immediately equippable. One or two of them had Crit or Haste on them, but the Strength and Stamina upgrades over my 378 gear were so nice that they were definite wins. When I got to Jade Forest, I was absolutely crushing stuff, which was fun. I’m still wearing a couple of the pieces, and things have evened out as I’ve leveled him, so the rate of kills has slowed down considerably, which isn’t surprising.
Druid tanking is a cousin of warrior tanking, although the warrior tends to have better movement as well as spell reflecting abilities, while the druid has more in-combat healing ability. When I’m on one, I tend to miss the advantages of the other from time to time.
However, one thing that has been on my mind lately is how different they can feel as classes. By feel, I don’t necessarily mean the differences in abilities, but rather the way that I connect with the characters when I’m playing.
As a druid, there was something inspiring about being there with Hamuul Runetotem and Malfurion Stormrage during the battle against Leyara. Hamuul, burned and broken, shapeshifts – in what must be a painful situation for him – and goes “all-for-the-cause” bear-apeshit on her until she’s dead. Come 5.0.4, we bears turned into guardians, like the Guardians of Hyjal. I felt, and feel, kinship with him to a point.
However, as a warrior, there is something so visceral about what is essentially the most physical class in WoW. It’s a humanoid with plate, shield, and sword/axe/mace, leaping into the fray and taking all comers. Listening to the sounds of combat on my warrior, it feels physical: the slamming of shields and swords, the boom of Dragon Roar, the crash of Thunder Clap. And the visuals are great too: the warrior balances on his toes, slices with his sword, slams his shield in his opponent’s face. It feels very personal.
As much as I try, I can’t make that personal connection with the druid.
As feral, I was a cat. I was a hunter pet with free will. As a moonkin, I was a fat chicken, which is a look I have never enjoyed. As a healer… well, that has never felt comfortable to me. And as a bear, things feel visceral to an extent, but not as much as on the warrior.
As a warrior, you have your gear and your colors. You look sharp and ready to go. When the battle begins, the warrior charges in and fights for his life and those of his friends. He proudly continues to display his colors and fights until victory is assured or until all is lost.
There’s something that feels definite and permanent about my warrior. Perhaps it’s because of the shape-shiftiness of the druid. It can be a bear, or a cat, or a chicken, or a stormcrow, or a stag, or an orca. It can heal or rip or call down nature’s elements for purposes either deadly or life-giving. At the end of the day, a druid can potentially be a lot of different things.
On the other hand, a warrior is a warrior. Mine has never fought or killed any enemy as any other spec but protection. He is a rock, covered in plate and flashing steel weapons. He is nothing more, nothing less.
Right now, all of that appeals to me. And the druid appeals to me much less.
I haven’t started a monk, in part, because I am so happy with my warrior.
And so this gets me to my point, which is that I, like BBB, am also thinking of letting go of the druid as a seriously played toon.
The plan for MoP was to raid on the hunter, maybe to tank on the druid if possible, and to enjoy my protection warrior in limited play. But lately I find myself thinking of making my warrior my main tanking character: gearing him, getting him set up with all of the factions, tanking dungeons, and bringing him along if we ever end up running an alt raid.
With warriors, there is no pussy-footing around. We smash. We survive. We do what we have to do. With my druid, I’ve been gearing as a guardian while also trying to heal BGs because I don’t want to PvP as a feral druid. Neither has been the most fun. The warrior has been enjoyable. And that’s what this is all about, after all.
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In closing… I will write an update as things progress. Right now, we aren’t yet raiding. After I finish this post, I’m going to hit up Raid Finder on Mushan.
I’m a little behind where I want to be gear-wise, in part because I took four days off to go visit with family during the second half of last week. I haven’t completed three of the heroics yet, due to issues such as having Scholomance completely reset on us (and disband the group) after killing the second boss the only time I’ve been in there, as well as a lack of luck with the dungeon finder. Thus, I’m not using any of the pre-raid BiS trinkets, but I am otherwise 463-plus in every slot. I have the Sha of Anger boots, the Valor neck, the crafted gloves and chest, the belt from Raid Finder, and Direbrew’s trinket. So I’m in decent shape, but hopefully I’ll be in better shape after this week’s reset is over.
I’m not sure when we’ll start raiding. Right now, from what I can tell, we have one tank, one healer, and some DPS returning from our Dragon Soul team, so we have some definite needs. I’m chomping at the bit to get at it, but we’re nowhere close to being ready, and as my girlfriend pointed out, the expansion is still new and we have plenty of time to get in there and kill all 16 bosses in this tier. I have to confess that I’m a little jealous of the people who are downing Mogu’shan bosses already – my girlfriend’s guild already has two down as of last week’s lockout – but I’ll just have to use the time to prepare myself as much as possible, and to be patient in the meantime.
I’ll write more when I have more!
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With Mists of Pandaria just a few weeks away, it’s time to stop holding out on you all, and write about one of the fun plans I have for the launch.
As I’ve written before, I plan to start the leveling fun with my hunter, Mushan. And I plan on having a blast doing so. However, it doesn’t end there. I have three toons that I am particularly excited about leveling, and one of them is my druid.
Throughout the course of Cataclysm, Anacrusa morphed – er, shapesifted, I suppose – from a cat DPS-er to a cat PvP-er to a moonkin DPS-er to a bear tank. By June, I had gotten very comfortable with tanking the Hour of Twilight heroics, and also enjoyed questing as a bear, although I did not have much reason to quest other than to farm – I’ve been exalted with every Cata reputation for a while.
At any rate, a plan that I had been cultivating for a while really started to come together around this time.
Here it is:
I plan to level my druid through Mists of Pandaria without substituting any gear until I reach max level.
Now, I know that this may not seem like a very hardcore plan. It’s not realm-first-ing it to 90, nor is it questing naked, or anything like that. It won’t be an Ironman, and it won’t even be a mini-Ironman. However, I expect that it will be much more challenging than leveling conventionally, as the gear typically tends to improve dramatically as we begin replacing it after a level or two (depending on end-of-expansion gear levels).
Anacrusa has an equipped ilevel of 387. It’s all PvE gear with the exception of the Cataclysmic gloves, which have the 66% cost reduction to Skull Bash. I have almost no Dragon Soul normal raid gear, as I stopped raiding on her – due to lack of interest on the parts of other guildies – before I picked up tanking again, so all of that raid gear is balance gear.
I did not participate in the beta, but based on how Cataclysm went, I would imagine that a questing toon would be between 412 and 425 at level 90, and with that would come significant stat upgrades: in my case, Agility, Stamina, Armor, Hit/Exp, Mastery and Crit. I will be foregoing those until I finish, if I can.
I see several benefits to giving this a try.
With the changes to how mitigation works in MoP – active mitigation, as opposed to relying almost solely on stats to reach immunities or at least to minimize damage passively – the DPS-minded bear tank can easily forget about, or neglect to learn, new abilities. I’m finding this out on my less-geared warrior, as I quest for guild rep. I can still take on seven or eight enemies at once on Tol Barad Peninsula without too much trouble, but I’m having to learn to apportion my rage resources properly in order to stay away from coming close to dying.
In a plan to level without gear upgrades, skill must become a factor. Now, my gear is none too shabby, and we will of course gain things like stamina and attack power as we level, but we also encounter the idea of stat devaluation. Each point of Hit Rating will provide much less Hit percentage per level gained, and each point of Agility will provide less Dodge, and so on. As the levels go up, with gear providing static and finite amounts of key stats, I’m going to be taking much more damage (and doing less damage, of course) against at-level mobs.
This is where the active mitigation becomes key, along with crowd control, interrupting, and so on. The tribulations that I expect to deal with as I level will force me to make use of my talents and abilities, and I should come out of the leveling process a much better Guardian druid than I am right now.
Aside from that – more skill needed to survive and progress during leveling – there is the concept of providing myself with a somewhat unique set of challenges by doing this.
Leveling is too easy from 1-60 now – at least that’s a common complaint now, and it’s one I share. I haven’t had much of a challenge leveling my druid for several years now (not that there’s been an awful lot of leveling going on, but…), and leveling of alts has become easier with the introduction of the guild-reward heirlooms that work through level 85.
By leveling this way, I hope that at least the latter part of the leveling process on my druid will present me with some truly epic gameplay situations that require me to draw from both my wits and my skill progression to get through the process without making too much of a bloody, furry mess of myself.
Since I reached the point where I became satisfied that my hunter is my main, my raider, I don’t feel the need to race to the finish on this toon. Keep in mind, I don’t plan on taking weeks to level her. However, I do expect that encounters with mobs (and groups of mobs) will begin to take a bit more time to complete, allowing me to use more of my abilities, test my skills, and be more considerate of strategy while questing. And that is something that I am desperate to experience, and I feel that the Guardian is the perfect druid spec for me to attempt this with.
The one thing I worry about is that this challenge could be a let-down, diffculty-wise. I’ve heard people in past betas say that they don’t start replacing gear from the final tier of a previous expansion until about two levels from max, and that gnaws at me, because if this is too easy, I won’t be satisfied with the challenge.* Then again, I’m ilvl 387, which is a significant difference from 397 when it all comes down to it. And the people I heard saying these things were in heroic gear. So I don’t know if I have anything to worry about. I guess that’s part of the fun: the whole “we’ll see!” aspect of it.
*Then again, if it turns out to be too easy, I can give it a second try with my Prot warrior, since his gear is not as good…
As MoP gets closer to being a reality in everyone’s lives, I’ll finish setting her up with everything she needs (UI, bag space, consumables, and so on – the staples of the somewhat-prepared leveler), and then once I’m well on my way with Mushan, I’ll give this thing a try.
Oh, and that’s the other great thing about this challenge: I’m going into it almost blind. Yes, I’ve seen pictures of the zones. They look stunning, and I’m excited to see them. But that’s just it: I haven’t been in the beta, so I haven’t done any of this before. I know nothing about the quests, the mobs, the general consensus on leveling difficulty, the lay of the land, and so on. Yes, I’ll do them once on my hunter – at a rapid pace, with incrementally better gear – but once through won’t prepare me for every challenge that I could face. And he’ll likely be doing some dungeons along the way, as well. I’ll just be questing on the druid.
As such, that’s why I said I would be a “somewhat-prepared leveler” in a previous paragraph. I’ll be ready, but I won’t be ready to be a star. I’ll be ready to survive, to come out scarred but victorious, and better for the experiences.
So the potential is there for this to be a true and epic adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes down the road, once I’m there (or when I’ve finished)!
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Aka “I’m doing it wrong!” At least, by this topic’s premise. :)
Professions are fun for some and a necessary evil for others.
Some of us have farming professions. Some of us have crafting professions. Some of us have a little bit of everything! Professions are leveled because they fit our style of play, help us in raiding, allow us to outfit our alts, and make us money.
What professions do you have on your main? Do his/her professions fit their personality? Why did you choose them? If you chose professions based on your character and not on gaming needs, would that change some of their professions they use?
(This can include the secondary professions of archaeology, fishing, cooking, and first aid too!)
I have eight toons that are level 85. I won’t be talking about all of them, but several will come into the discussion, even though this BAST specifically asks for mains. Since I like to run my mouth (so to speak), I’ll take that liberty here – I just can’t help myself.
Mushan – hunter (main) – Leatherworking, Blacksmithing
Mushan is a max level LW/BS, and each secondary profession is also maxed with the exception of Archaeology, which I’ve only ever touched on my druid (who is max level in all of her profs).
The Blacksmithing portion of that line was something that came along later – in other words, he didn’t start off as a LW/BS. Rather, he was what I believe a hunter will generally be, and that is a Skinner and Leatherworker who is also skilled in Fishing (and should also be skilled in outdoor Cooking, although that distinction is not necessarily available to us in WoW).
After I had been 85 for a while, I leveled my mage, paladin, and then my warrior to 85. The warrior is a Blacksmith and Miner, and was my first toon to reach 525 with those professions. I tend to be someone who knows the merits of each profession for the most part, but I hadn’t necessarily made the jump to ‘min-maxing’ with professions on any one character before Cataclysm. While I certainly made sure the professions themselves were maxed on my most-played toons, and I applied their benefits properly (extra +Agi to wrists for LWs, for instance), every single character had a gathering profession, which made them all fairly self-reliant.
I made Mushan a LW, even though my druid is a LW as well, for a few reasons: 1) I’m one of the three people total who actually enjoy Leatherworking (which many people view as the worst prof); 2) I feel hunters naturally gravitate toward leatherworking as a skill that complements their main job (hunting and killing prey, and then putting every part of the animal to good use); and 3) I already understood the aforementioned benefits of being a LW from a +Agi perspective.
However, after I leveled Blacksmithing on Droignon, something happened that is completely typical of me: I fell in love with the extra sockets.
I’ve always loved sockets. So much fun to be able to add whatever you want to your gear! Of course, I’ve seen people do stupid stuff with their sockets (like the max-level hunter on my server who has had a Misty Chrysoprase (+5 Crit, +4 Spirit) in one of his/her yellow sockets since 4.1, at least). And of course, for min-max purposes, there are restrictions on what you should prioritize (like Agility for hunters). Still, there’s something about socketing a gem that pleases me a little too much.
Anyway, after re-awakening to the joy of even more sockets on my warrior, I decided that I needed those sockets on my hunter.
So my hunter is a Blacksmith now instead of a Skinner. And he has +100 Agility from that now, instead of the +80 Crit or whatever you get from Skinning. And I’m very, very happy with the way all those sockets look on his armory.
I know, crazy, right?
Silly, at least.
But it also means more DPS, and I love that. Even if the fact that my hunter is a Blacksmith doesn’t make as much sense as being a Skinner – although, to be fair, a smithing-hunter is not necessarily outside the realm of possibility, when one thinks about it.
Being a BS on my hunter is one of the few things that I don’t necessarily love about my hunter from a fantasy standpoint. But I do love those extra sockets, so I’m generally glad I changed it. I don’t know how I’ll feel about that when I have to level both crafting professions up to 600, without the benefits of self-gathering, but I suppose I’ll live – and I’ll like all the extra Agility in MoP!
Anacrusa – druid (main alt) – Leatherworking, Skinning
Anacrusa was my first 70, my first 80, my first 85. But she wasn’t my first 60. That was a hunter by the name of Bloodheim, which I abandoned before Wrath came out and deleted in 2009 at the tender age of 63. At this point, I generally sucked at everything in the game, and the hunter was no exception. I hated mana as a hunter resource, hated managing it, and just didn’t enjoy the toon after a while. I eventually got used to mana when I made Mushan, but I really enjoyed the switch to focus, and have never looked back.
Anyway, Bloodheim was a LW/SK. And when I gave him up for the druid back in mid-07, I chose to make Anacrusa a LW/SK also, since I could make some of my own gear, and since I enjoy LW, as I said before. But I don’t really feel that it fits best with my character from a fantasy or story standpoint.
If my druid fit my idea of what a druid is, she would be an Herbalist first. She would plant, nurse, and harvest herbs as part of the nature concept that is a large part of druidism. I wasn’t thinking about that when I made her, though, so now she’s a bloodthirsty killer who wields skinning knife with her bloody paw.
She would also be a healer (if I were actually good at that), and she would likely be…
I don’t know that I feel that Alchemy is necessarily a great fit for any class that isn’t a warlock, priest, mage or, maybe, death knight, but I can’t think of another profession that is really better. Maybe Inscription, which is tame – you write magical glyphs and tomes and so on. Eh. But yeah, while I think that Alchemy is a great fit story-wise for mages and warlocks in particular, it can be argued that it can be an acceptable fit for classes that can heal, so from that perspective, my druid – were I to make her again – might be an Alchemist/Herbalist. However, like I said, she is a bloodthirsty killer who uses her kills to make stuff out of.
Ah well. I enjoy it, and it’s made me a lot of gold. I enjoy skinning, too. It’s nice to be able to feel like I’m using everything I take off the beasts (and yetis) that I kill.
Droignon – warrior (alt) – Blacksmithing, Mining
Yeah. This one is – while not perfect – very nice both from the standpoint that he’s a tank (extra Stam, etc.) and because he can make his own gear and weapons and harvest his own materials. Additionally, he’s a big strong warrior, so he can carry all of those rocks around with him, no problem. Love it.
Theophilos – mage (alt) – Tailoring, Jewelcrafting
If I go with what I said earlier, I would say that Theophilos should be two of the following: Enchanter, Alchemist, Scribe, Jewelcrafter, Tailor, and maybe Herbalist – in order from most fitting to least.
In reality, he’s a JC because I wanted to have a JC among my stable of toons. He’s a Tailor because that’s an easy connection to make. But if I had to choose again, and didn’t need any professions for practical purposes, for story purposes I’d make him an Enchanter/Tailor, weaving spells into cloth and vellum to make magical items for himself and others.
But it’s not a toon I’m as dedicated to, in general, as I am to the first three on this list. So practical wins out.
Abenadari – paladin (alt) – Alchemy, Herbalism
So here we are, with my paladin, who I actually created before my druid, doing the jobs that I currently envision would be most appropriate for my druid. I wouldn’t think that a paladin, beacon of light that one is, would be getting all down with nature and chemicals. If I were to choose again, I would probably make her some kind of combination of Scribe, Blacksmith, Enchanter.
But she’s my max level Alchemist, and because of that she still exists. I don’t feel like leveling Alchemy again. If I do level another Alchemist, she may go, because I don’t love playing paladins, but I don’t anticipate that happening in the foreseeable future. Besides, I would have a tough time deleting her anyway, for Transmute cooldown reasons.
At any rate, that’s probably too much info about some of the characters I play the most, their professions, why I chose them, and how well I think their professions fit with the characters themselves.
Above all, I have professions because I use them, and sometimes they fit better with the toons than others. Between my eight 85s, I have every profession covered except for Engineering and Enchanting (and my girlfriend is an Enchanter, so that’s effectively covered, too). I’ll likely get to those eventually. I have some toons – like my other hunter Ghilleadh – who are simply gatherers, because that is easy and profitable, and I have less problems with resources than I used to simply because I play those toons and gather as I go.
The only toon where I have redundant crafting professions is Mushan – since I already have a LW and a BS, seperately – and that’s because he’s also the only toon that I’ve chosen professions for based primarily on min-maxing and DPS.
But yes, if I went into the game fresh, with the knowledge I have now, I might choose my profession-toon alignment differently, because I become immersed in my characters to varying levels, and professions are certainly a part of that.
Thanks for the great Shared Topic, Effraeti!
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Update 8/1/2012: It was announced a couple of days ago that Blizzard is moving back Brewfest at least a week, meaning the likely start date will be around September 28th. This is great news for everyone who wants to be able to enjoy the festival while also getting started on leveling and enjoying the new expansion content. This makes me very happy. Great work, Blizzard!
I just read that Brewfest will indeed be going on as Mists of Pandaria releases, and that Coren Direbrew will only be available to players level 89 or 90. This puts a cramp on anyone’s plans – including mine – to use Brewfest to get cheap and easy trinkets out of the bargain.
I was hoping they would move Brewfest back a couple of weeks, in all honesty. It makes sense, and it doesn’t trivialize the holiday, which is a popular one in Azeroth.
Anyway, as the schedule works out, Coren Direbrew will technically only be available for 10 days – the first ten days after the MOP launch – during which time people will be leveling, pushing through bottlenecks, and all of that good stuff. For those of us who plan to level mains quickly, this isn’t necessarily a problem. I see myself having at least five, and probably six, days to farm him for Coren’s Cold Chromium Coaster on my hunter.
However, Mushan is probably the least of my worries (although I really, really would like to have a 470 ilvl trinket to play with that early in the game). I do play more than one toon, and so it would be really nice to have the opportunity to get the Brawler’s Statue for both my druid (especially) and my warrior before it becomes fairly obsolete, and one of the stamina trinkets for each would be nice as well. And the Mithril Wristwatch would be nice for playing my balance druid early in MoP, if I decide to do so. It would be nice to have those options.
As it is, here is how I see the leveling process going after release: I’ll level Mushan (hunter) quickly out of the gate, since my goal is to be ready to run level 90 dungeons with my guild-mates by Friday or Saturday of that first week. Once Mushan is leveled, he won’t stop being my focus, but I will nonetheless begin to level Anacrusa (druid) shortly thereafter. I’m thinking about leveling her as a guardian, although that’s not written in stone. Regardless of spec, I don’t anticipate that it will be easy for me to get her to level 90 before Brewfest is over. But since she is not my number one priority, it would be nice to be able to do so, in order to have the chance to spam Direbrew for those trinkets. The dodge and stamina trinkets would be nice early on, since I won’t be able to chain Dungeon Finder like I will on Mushan.
As for Droignon (warrior), well, he’s basically SOL. I’m not hardcore enough to level three toons in nine days while also preparing my hunter for raiding, so I guess he’ll have to come by his trinket assortment the more natural way. Upon reflection, I’m pretty satisfied with that, but I can’t help but think that it would be cool to be able to get him some good gear early on, rather than relegating him to underdog status when I do get around to playing him as a level 90 tank.
On one hand, toons like that are good to have for the times when things calm down before patches – toons that I “still need to gear up” – and so on. On the other, I’d like to have him be one of my main alts, but since I have so many professions that I will also be working on (spread over six toons for the main ones), that’s going to be difficult to achieve in Tier 14.
Ah well. At ilvl 470, there’s a chance that in September 2013 I will have a toon or two that could benefit from Coren’s trinkets. It just seems a shame that they’ll basically be obsolete well before that point in time. Then again, it’s not like we usually have an expansion launch that falls during an in-game holiday, with a boss that drops usable loot…
Over the past few weeks, I’ve finally gotten off my butt and done some work on the blog, creating some blogrolls and tweaking the format a little.
The main update was creating blogrolls. This happened a couple of weeks ago. For the first six weeks of the blog’s life, I was too lazy to type in the links and set up the sidebar widgets. However, they’re up now, and consist of most of my favorite WoW-related blogs, sites, and resources. I’ve divided them into categories for hunters, druids, and transmogrification, along with a section for more general WoW blogs as well as resources such as Wowhead.
Actually, that’s about all that I’ve really done, come to think of it. I’ve made some other slight tweaks, but they’re probably not worth mentioning – or trying to remember, for that matter.
One thing I’ve been contemplating is importing a few of my posts from my old WoW blog, which I stopped writing a couple of years ago. However, I logged in to it last night, and after skimming through a few dozen posts, I decided to nix that idea. There were two reasons for doing so: a) I just don’t feel like putting in the time it would take to sort through them all – there would be over 200 posts to go through – and b) I don’t really consider any of them to be all that pertinent to today’s WoW blog reader.
So instead of bringing any of those posts over for posterity, I made that blog private – which is just short of deleting it. It was time to put it to bed for good. I’d like to think I’m a better writer now anyway, and so much of the info is completely out of date that there just isn’t much value in it anymore, other than what I learned from the experience about writing and blogging.
That’s it – just an update on the site. If you’re reading this on a reader, feel free to click to my site to check out the blogrolls!
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“Around here” meaning “in game.”
With the release of Diablo 3, the servers have been very quiet. Guild chat has been very sparse; the friends list has been mostly gray.
We managed to get a fairly efficient full clear in with our regular raid team on Sunday night – and I finally got some loot for Mushan after a three week drought – but the alt raids didn’t even get started. People are just more interested in playing D3, or doing other things.
I think it’s just that time of the year.
And I’m fine with that! I’m not playing D3, but I’m enjoying hearing about it from my friends and reading about it on other blogs. It’s interesting, though, that it appears that the only true WoW-killer seems to be Blizzard itself*. Not that D3 will kill WoW at all, but I haven’t seen the server this dead in a long, long time!
*Well, that, and also the twelve years of anticipation. And the Annual Pass. Which isn’t hurting WoW at all, actually.
I’ve been taking the opportunity to do some different things, stray from my habits a little.
For instance, I did no extreme soloing at all last week; instead, I re-specced my soloing spec and took Mushan into a bunch of battlegrounds. I picked up a second resil trinket this week, and I’m saving up for the 397 polearm, which will finally put me more in line with what my resilience level should probably be. I should have that in the next week or so.
I’ve also been running dungeons on Anacrusa as a tank the past several days. Since there’s really nothing else I can buy for my balance set, and I’m still considering making her a Guardian in Mists of Pandaria, I thought it would be fun to jump into the Hour of Twilight dungeons as a bear and give that a try. It was generally pretty fun, although I felt like I was using Thrash and Swipe a little more than I would have liked for the sake of interesting game-play. However, I haven’t really tanked – other than Alterac Valley / Isle of Conquest, once in BWD, and once in Firelands – since Wrath, so I’m not as in the swing of it as I was back then.
I’m not really interested in tanking LFR for now, and if we ever have any alt raids again, I’ll play balance. But it’s fun to go into the HoT heroics and face-tank some Twilight wankers. I probably won’t cap out on Valors each week through the end of Cataclysm, but it’s nice to do something different for a little change of pace.
Other than that, I’ve worked on a few achievements, done some daily quests, opened up a little bit of bank / bag space in preparation for MoP, and made a little gold, as usual. There isn’t much going on to talk about, though.
Perhaps I’ll make the dreaded MoP bucket list… I mean, I’m going to make one anyway – at least in my head – so perhaps I should publish it! We’ll see. :)
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(A bit of a rant-y post.)
Friday night Raid Finder asshattery
Last night, I popped into Raid Finder on Anacrusa to pick up some gear and points to put toward a better feral set than I have at the moment.
Siege of Wyrmrest went fine.
Shortly thereafter, I got into a group that was on Madness of Deathwing.
I should have declined that queue. I would have saved the repair bill, over an hour consisting of four wipes, and some of the poorest playing I have ever seen in there.
For anyone who has done Raid Finder, you know that there are people in almost every group that belittle others and act like they’re pros while they play like complete shit. This is what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about people who are stepping in for the first time, with a character that has just eeked over the ilvl minimum, or who have made mistakes. I’m talking about blatant asshattery.
First of all, when I joined the group, they were waiting for a tank. When one joined, he became the raid leader. He made sure that everyone was ready, blah blah blah, and then proceeded to drop group within the first minute of the fight. So that was nice. We eventually wiped because – well – because of a lot of reasons.
People weren’t switching to the Mutated Corruption. People weren’t switching to the Elementium Bolt. The first two tries, we made it to the 4th platform, but we took the bolt damage all four times. I was scratching and clawing away at the thing while it was in the timey wimey zone, and I watched many people continue to attack the Mutated Corruption – or worse, the Arm or Wing – like it was their favorite thing in the world to do. So everyone was taking more damage than they should have, the tank couldn’t survive Impale and the explosion at the same time, and that was part of the story of this group.
Additionally, some people just decided not to switch to the Mutated Corruption at all. And by some, I mean at least a quarter of the DPS. As a result, the Mutated was taking forever to kill. And because people were shooting the Arm/Wing, we got Hemorrhage a couple of times while the Mutated was still up.
I’ve never seen that before.
After a couple of attempts, we got that sorted out to some extent so that by the third try, almost everyone was switching to the Mutated, and more were switching to the Bolt, but by then we had two new tanks. One of the tanks died on every platform and ate all of our battle rezzes, and the other, who zoned in specced as Arms, didn’t even attempt to change his spec in the 75 seconds or so before we started the fight, and then complained that he hadn’t had time to re-spec after he died on the second platform.
We also had a massive problem killing the Hemorrhages. For instance, during our final wipe, when they popped when there was no Mutated Corruption still up, 80% of the DPS were happily pouring their efforts into the Wing, while a rogue, a mage, myself, and maybe one or two others were desperately trying to AoE them down. What got me was that there was a hunter who was standing about six yards away from the pack of them, completely ignoring them, single targeting the Wing, and afterward he was complaining that it was the “worst LFR he’d ever been in.” Yeah, you pro, I’m so glad you were there, doing things right, helping make a difference.
That guy was just one example. There were too many of this kind of person in the group. So I left.
My first mistake, I guess, was going in on Friday night. But I was encouraged by the Siege of Wyrmrest run. I shouldn’t have let myself be. *shakes head*
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Saturday afternoon Raid Finder griefing
Early this afternoon, I hopped into another RF, hoping that my luck would be better. And it seemed that it was – we downed Ultraxion and Blackhorn with little trouble.
However, we had several people leave after Blackhorn, and things started to get ugly on Spine.
There was an attempt that someone started while we had no tanks. There was one where someone started it with half of the healers still dead from the previous wipe, and there was a third premature start after that. There was one where people were shooting extra Corruptions, and after they were told not to (and they stopped), I watched a rogue (ilvl 397, 4/8H) continue to attack an extra Corruption. After a priest life-gripped him, he purposefully ran back, and when someone said “kick him” he said, “Why? I’m top DPS!”
I tabbed out at this point, typed his name into the armory, and found him. I then typed, “[Name] is a troll. He has 397 gear and is 4/8 heroic. We’ll kick him after we wipe.” He responded with “haha” and “your a retard.” To which I replied, “Yes, I am obviously a retard.”
I hate when people talk like that.
Anyway, we kicked him after the wipe, but there was a new Balance druid in the group who proceeded to do the same thing on the next attempt. The raid composition was fluctuating like crazy between attempts at this point, and I decided that, after over an hour of this kind of crap, I had better things to do on a Saturday.
So I’m blowing off some steam here, and then I’m going to go for a walk and enjoy the sunshine.
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Big Bear Butt wrote a post recently about people like this, and I felt like I was experiencing his deja vu during these debacles over the past 24 hours. His post goes way beyond mine to make the point that this kind of behavior – griefing, that is – makes the Raid Finder system broken. In his words:
We asked Dalra not to kill the tentacles, we begged them, we told them they were kicked the second we wiped if they didn’t stop. They did it anyway, with grim dedication, and in total silence. No taunting, no smack talk, just a dedicated pursuit of wiping the raid.
And when we wiped, we did not kick them, because they left the second we wiped.
We queued, and Dalra was added back to the raid. And left on her own. And was added back. And again. AND AGAIN!
The LFR raid finder KEPT RETURNING DALRA BACK TO THE RAID, because Dalra had succeeded in wiping us once, knew we were going to kick her, so had left on her own and requeued AS A HEALER to find a new raid to screw over.
So, since they hadn’t been kicked from us, we kept getting her right back. Five times, in and left, in and left, with the raid in growing amazement at the way the system was being played.
We finally stopped queueing and did it short a healer.
That’s not just stupid, that’s broken.
Blizzard, anyone out there, I know you care, I know you’re trying.
Please. Just take action, let us find out what it is after you’ve got a plan, but fix this. To have asshats free to wreak havok to this extent on a raid is an embarrassment.
BBB said it, and he has a way better chance of being heard by Blizzard than I do. I just wanted to be one of many who second the motion.
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At this point, I’m glad that I don’t have to run Raid Finder any more.
My hunter and my druid can both raid functionally with adequate gear. If I want to add more gear as a Feral druid, I can grind Valor Points in the Hour of Twilight heroics. I rarely play my other hunter or mage, but I can do the same thing for them. My warrior PvPs for gear, and my paladin and rogue have decent enough gear that, when I begin leveling them in MoP at some point, they should be fine.
I’m also glad that I am on a raid team, and while things are very quiet right now, when MoP arrives we’ll likely be working together to gear up, and eventually will make it past the point of needing the Raid Finder, at least on our main toons.
I think that Raid Finder will be better in the next tier. I also have to admit that Friday night and Saturday afternoon can usually be a sampling of the worst in RF, but I’ve done it before, and this went beyond my other experiences. The one issue that I see is that the Spine fight has a highly grief-able mechanic, which is the one related to the Corruptions spawning Amalgamations. The other fights can handle one or two, or five, people that do the wrong thing. That fight cannot.
I wonder if Blizzard will take that sort of question into consideration when creating the RF versions of the new raids in MoP. Taking out mechanics that one or two people can screw the rest of the group with seems to be the name of the game with LFR anyway, right?
Grief-proofing the encounter in Raid Finder by doing something akin to making it impossible for another Amalgamation to spawn while the current one is still alive would fix many of the problems we see on that fight. Another thing that would be nice would be if only people with Assist or Raid Leader status could start fights like that. This would lessen the amount of trolling on that end.
It’ll be interesting to see how RF v. 2.0 turns out with respect to griefing / trolling issues that break a group’s ability to succeed, finish the raid, and move on.
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!