Archive for January, 2011


WoW! Amazing Thread!

[ALERT: This post contains some adult language. If you don't like it, I hate you.]

As much as I dislike some of the random bitchy, not-helping posts that people put up on the official World of Warcraft forums (and that I’m not even at home, on a mini-vacation with a special friend)…

This thread has so much potential for greatness and it’s a shame Zarhym locked it.

The title of it is “if you only do 3k, 4k, 5k dps, don’t queue”.

Now, a majority of the posts within this delicious 4-page sandwich of a thread are of the “lol this is great” and “two thumbs up” variety. A few even went the distance to say “unless you pay for my subscription, don’t tell me how to play”. And of course, the GREATEST answer was…

If you suck at your class, don’t queue for heroics (I assume that’s what the OP means).  Plain and simple.  If you’ve leveled 84 times, you’re not a new player.  They’ve had 85 levels of time to learn how the class works, how to gear, how to play, how to stay out of the fire, etc.  I don’t think a player has to be a min-maxing stat-obsessive spreadsheet-analyzer, but at the same time I don’t think people should queue for heroics when they have no idea how to play their class.

On the flip side, I’ve grouped with epic-clad, enchanted, achievement-ridden people that can’t do 6k dps to save their life, and I’ve grouped with cheated-the-item-level-system players that can only just do 5k but know what to attack, how to interrupt, how to CC, pay attention, and try earnestly to do well.  Guess which one of these players I’d rather group with and will have infinitely more patience with?

The OP, while having atrocious grammar and spelling “everything” wrong, unfortunately has a great point that people end up ignoring due to the lack of being able to communicate!

I am also, as defined in this post (and our guild) as “that guy”. I’m the one who will kick a bad DPS in a heroic PUG. I am the guy who will belittle, mock, and scream in caps while 3 other guild members help (or if you’re my favorite feral druid ever, name being withheld, you are the guy who goes for it).

If you cannot pull minimum 5k DPS and be unable to perform the required tasks for an encounter or for trash, you should just get out. You are actually wasting my precious $15 a month. Yes, you are. Don’t say “well I don’t know how to play the game” or “I’m new”. If you are either of them, please use your powers to remember your previous 84 levels. You also can use something called “THE INTERNET”, which supposedly has knowledgeable sources everywhere. While you shouldn’t use Wiki to write a paper (or cite it directly), you can use Elitist Jerks or the MMO-Champion forums, or even the World of Warcraft forums to better yourself.

I firmly believe, especially as an educator, if you don’t put in the time to just learn how to do something at its minimal, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you can’t show that you want to be good at something, then don’t do it. You end up wasting not just the time of others, but your own! Anything can give you the keys, but you have to turn it.

To those who are complaining about the OP in this thread, especially this guy:

If low dps bugs you, don’t pug.  By using LFD, you’re acknowledging that you’ll take what you’re given and at least attempt to work with it.

Also, everyone seems so focused on dps.  Where’s the concern for damage mitigation?  I always see dps posting their numbers for dps, but rarely do I see numbers posted for who did the most interrupts, or who took the least damage.  As a healer, I could care less how much your crit was if you’re the guy who gets slammed on a blitz because you’re so focused on your rotation.

Well, first of friend, you’re in luck. If you were in a PUG where we needed a healer and you sucked? You’d get the same treatment. The fun thing is, at least for healing, it’s easier to measure when everyone is dead because you decided to not dispel! Or maybe even just not healing right at all! I’d argue it’s harder to learn how to heal through leveling, so if you’re going to cheat out the normal dungeon grind and go right for heroics through buying PvP blues? I’d punch you in the throat.

Also, I’m not acknowledging anything. I’m not saying “please give me a terrible (insert role here)”. I’m not saying I want the bottom of the barrel. Our guild alone has gotten so many compliments and praise and acknowledgement by the people we PUG we don’t suck at the game! Even when I DPS and I pull my ~10k sustained, a PUG’d healer was like “oh my god you guys are awesome”. If anything, I’d like to thank the failures of WoW for making me look fucking rad.

So yeah. This thread is great because it’s saying something about the general base player of this game— too lazy to learn, too quick to jump into harder content through heroics, and not ballsy enough to admit that it’s not my problem or my guild’s problem, or even the OP’s problem. It’s that guy who is pulling 3-5k DPS, expecting me to carry him literally through an entire instance.

You’re welcome.

First Glance: Cho’gall

Lowered Expectations takes down Cho'gall after 2 nights of attempts!

 

This won’t be as in-depth as previous ones, but to more or less give some information about the fight that helped us finally drop the big, two headed jerkwad that coughed up the 2-handed axe (went to the Death Knight), some mail kilt (went to a Shaman), and the T11 shoulders (that went to yours truly)!

Lowered Expectation’s raid composition…

  • Protection Warrior
  • Protection Paladin
  • 2 x Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration Druid
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Combat Rogue
  • Feral DPS Druid
  • Destruction Warlock
  • Shadow Priest

Here are some tips for each of the archetypes of raiders:

For everyone…

  • Conversion is bad, do something about it! No matter your role, you can have a huge impact on the fight if you can interrupt/stun/fear/anything to prevent stacks of “Twisted Devotion”. Each stack increases damage by 10% for Cho’gall. This sucks when combined with moving around to kill adds of the oozing and corrupted variety, and especially if it’s interrupters or healers.
  • Conversion After-Effects: What you do to break conversion will affect the raider after the MC is broken. A stun will keep them stunned, a fear will still follow through… Desecration can still slow you, an Earthbind will too. Be careful about what can happen when a specific person gets Converted.
  • Conversion affects pets and totems! Be careful. You may want to make sure you are not getting the wrong target with the conversion.
  • Two types of orders: Flame’s Orders will cause Cho’gall to deal additional fire damage and spawn fire circles on the ground. Shadow’s Orders will make him use three pulses of AoE shadow damage to the raid. Both are extremely healing intensive.
  • What are Corrupted Adherents? Cho’gall will summon them after/before every Fury of Cho’gall cast. They have an AoE shadow damage attack called “Depravity” that must be interrupted, or the raid takes damage and Corruption.. These adherents will also use a Shadow Crash-like ability where a shadowy vortex will appear and a missile will hit there soon after. They cause Corruption. When killed, Cho’gall will use their dead bodies to spawn oozes that must be killed by raiders.
  • Maintain corruption levels… more corruption means more attention and more damage taken in general. Every point of corruption increases damage taken by 3%. This means during “Festering Blood”, where oozes spawn, you must avoid being hit as much as possible to make the Burn phase (at 25%) much easier.
  • What does corruption do? At 25%, you get a debuff that can be dispelled. 50%, you start barfing on raiders… healers can just turn away to avoid hitting people with it. Melee should be the most careful, followed by tanks— communication is key to staying alive. 75%, you grow a tentacle— this can be outranged. 100%, you do double damage and spell casts are all instant! This is a soft enrage mechanic that really impacts your raid during the burn phase.
  • The burn phase, what is it? A t 25%, Cho’gall starts spawning eye stalks from the ground called “Darkened Creations”. They can be stunned, interrupted, and killed… which they should be, as they channel an ability called “Debilitating Beam” which reduces healing and damage done by 75%. It is paramount that your raiders take care of these… we had the most mobile (e.g. less affected by moving in terms of DPS) damage dealers take care of them fast. In 10-man, there are 4. Recognize that during this phase, Fury of Cho’gall still happens— tanks need to keep swapping!

For the Tanks…

  • Fury of Cho’gall: A debuff that increases fire and shadow damage taken. You should rotate your tanks. Keep in mind during around this time, he will spawn an add the other tank will need to pick up quickly and prepare to interrupt.
  • Rotate cooldowns while you have Fury of Cho’gall! When the tanks have to swap after the first Fury, each tank will end up taking a bit of overlap from the previous Fury. If you are able to, make sure to rotate cooldowns to help your healers, who will be healing a lot of damage in this fight.
  • Positioning is key. Note that the adds you find in this fight, the Corrupted Adherents, should be moved to the back of the room at the base of the stairs to give your ranged and melee the chance to DPS those oozes efficiently and quickly. Cho’gall, himself, is best placed in the outer-most pattern (you see it in the center of the room, two patterns of different shades). Know that you will need to move the boss if a flame circle appears during “Flame’s Orders”.
  • Use abilities to interrupt Conversion! I would save my Shockwave for this purpose only— to stun our raiders as we were all clumped up at Cho’gall’s feet. This made keeping those nasty stacks of damage-increasing debuffs low.
  • During the burn phase, take care of some of those Darkened Creations! Warriors can keep one locked down completely via stuns and interrupts and silences… and kill one almost, too!

For the Healers…

  • There’s a lot of damage to be healed. With two tanked mobs at once, a raid spread out, massive AoE damage, massive tank damage… yes, you have to make sure you are picking the right heals for the job. Everyone has to do their job very well! Be aware of the tank that has Cho’gall and that swapping occurs perfect… and not to stand in fire, or face the raid during the burn phase to keep damage low.
  • Yes, you can too help on Conversion. Shaman have Wind Shear. Priests have Psychic Scream. Paladin have Hammer of Justice (which can be dispelled soon after). Druids have… well, at least Horde, have War Stomp. Blood Elves have Arcane Torrent.
  • Shaman, help out with slowing the slimes down with your Earthbind Totem! We had one in the back by all of the dead Corrupted Adherents.
  • Mana cooldowns— rotate them! If you have multiple Shaman, have them alternative their Mana Tide totems. Druids of all flavors, priests of all flavors can help from a little to a lot with their own mana cooldowns. Make sure to communicate when to use them.

For the DPS…

  • Cooldown usage is key! Use your personal cooldowns early to use them during the burn phase later. The fight is long, roughly 8-9 minutes or so if you do it properly, so most classes can use their cooldowns 2-3 times in a fight.
  • Conversion! Interrupt, stun, fear, do something. Silence is good too. Know that once the MC is gone, they will be hampered by those same effects. So if you stun a friend, they stay stunned the entire time until it runs out. Think carefully!
  • Melee… be aware of your surroundings at all times. If your corruption level is past 50%, you are going to vomit on others and hurt them if they are in front of you. At 75%, your new-found tentacle buddy will shoot bolts at people close enough to get hit. With slimes/oozes up, don’t get hit if you are helping the ranged drop them. Also make sure you interrupt on the Corrupted Adherent to prevent AoE damage and corruption!
  • Ranged… those oozes are a huge priority. Huge. Your positioning can also prevent a lot of damage taken by the raid, if you are in the right spots.

This fight is extremely fun, and by fun, I mean requires a lot out of your raiders. So enjoy it. Take it in. And kick his ass.

Have any comments, questions, concerns, additions? Comment! Shazaaaaaaam!

My Tauren Priest!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty focused on leveling alts already during Cataclysm. My priest, shown here, has actually been involved in a few raids. I’ve also PUG’d Baradin Hold a couple of times on my hunter (shown below, but he’s a Tauren too).

I actually have been loving my characters, and luckily, there is a good reason to actually have multiple alts ready for raiding (and with the achievement Ready for Raiding, too): because we are a 10-man raiding guild, and having that sort of flexibility is pretty great.

The problem is, whether a player (and not just me) can fit in multiple roles and succeed in them! I think that some people level alts and expect to raid, but then can get crushed when they realize they may not play as well as they think they do as them. This is happened to me before, too, but I suppose I am fortunate in that I don’t really suck too much as any of my current alts.

I think that people should find ways to make a class, or group of classes, similar. One way that I’ve been able to do this is through my hunter and my warrior. At first, the comparisons are extremely slim— one class uses the Rage mechanic, based on hitting and getting hit. The other relies on a slowly building resource that can be filled up through crits or using a different type of castable shot.

The one way that these classes end up being similar is through the use of a dump mechanic. For Hunters, Arcane Shot seems to be the big focus dump right now (with Marksmanship possibly using Kill Command with a talent called “Resistance is Futile”, requires a mob to be running for a KC to be used for free). You use it at a certain threshold, usually when you have an excess of Focus outside of being able to use your major abilities.

The same idea can be found with Warrior DPS: Heroic Strike is a rage dump, for those times when you may have too much rage from actually hitting the boss (see: Fury Warriors), or when you use “Deadly Calm” as an Arms warrior, an ability that makes all attacks cost nothing for rage. Heroic Strike is also great when you have “Battle Trance” up as any DPS warrior, which allows you to make a special attack at no cost (as long the cost is greater than 5 rage).

Other than those two, hard to find any other ways to relate the two DPS classes. I believe every class has a way to manage a DoT of some sort… though, some are easier than others to maintain (Arms warriors have to keep up Rend, while Hunters in general can keep up Serpent Sting through Cobra Shot or Chimera Shot for Marksmanship; Shadow Priests can Mind Flay a Shadow Word: Pain up forever, but still need to re-apply Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch… just some examples).

I would suggest the following to those who are looking to play multiple characters that may raid at any time:

  1. You still need to prioritize one character. If not for your sake, for your raid leader’s and guild master’s. It’s hard to build a raid group around two separate characters. Pick one and be done. If you are asked to play your alt for a specific role, make sure you can do it, but don’t ask to use an alt over a main. I end up DPSing on my warrior to ensure the success of the group sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I will DPS and force someone who DPSes as a main role to tank.
  2. Don’t be *that* guy. If you’re going to play multiple characters, as stated earlier, make sure you are beyond just competent. You can’t be doing so poorly in DPS or healing that you force others to have to push their expected limits. Be able to keep up with the rest of the pack.
  3. Think about the buffs and debuffs you may need for the raid. If you level an alt, see what things your guild may need when it comes to raid composition. If you bring a necessary one on your main, but not on your alt, see what you can do to compensate.
  4. Professions! It’s great to level an alt for professions. I’m always okay with this. For example, my priest is an alchemist and herbalist while my warrior is a blacksmith and miner… and my hunter, a leatherworker and skinner. Many other people in Lowered Expectations have similar ideas with their alts. Not only does leveling a profession give you more things to farm for and save gold for raids… but you can also get some fancy guild achievements!
  5. Have fun and learn! I think the best thing for me, especially as a raid leader, is that I can understand how to correct certain things with the raiders in our guild. I know how to make things better and people can ask me questions on the classes I have some knowledge on. It makes my job, their job, and the raid’s job a lot easier— bossing bosses for fun.

And below, here’s my hunter! Thanks for reading.

Hunter!

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