Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Team of Winnarz Actually … Wins?

Over inertia, at least!

Once upon a time when Wow-kemonz were new, I started a level 1 team of three Prinnie-approved pets.  While you should keep in mind that my endorsement has absolutely nothing to do with special skills, pet battle theory or in fact much at all, my selection nonetheless successfully (and somewhat indiscriminately) slew opponents from the shores of Durotar to the forests of Pandaland.  I like to think it’s the power of Awesome in action.

TEAM OF WINNARZ TEAM OF WINNARZ TEAM OF WINNARZ

Still, pet battling did not become a top priority in my day to day doings.  It was more of an “oh look, I just happen to be in an area with opponents of the same level range!” kind of thing, or a “well crap, the DPS queue is going to take an hour” type survival mechanism.  So it was rather surprising when this recently happened:

Acheesements Twice as shiny because I wasn't paying attention beforehand.

Acheesements
Twice as shiny because I wasn’t paying attention beforehand.

Whoa.  You mean they’re like … maxed? 

Wait just a second.  AN IDEA IS PERCOLATING HERE.

Yes, at that precise moment, I had an epiphany.  I realized that leveling a crapton of pets to 25 is now no longer so huge an undertaking, as long as I pick pets that are, you know, closer to 25 than they are to 1.  BUT THEN AGAIN, I could also put a super lowbie pet into a WINNARZ battle convoy of sorts!  As long they survive A SINGLE FREAKING ROUND, they get EXP – why, any one of the Winnarz could then take over the actual job of viciously smacking my opponents.  (Like Crabcakes, for example.  He may be kinda slow, but he does not take sheeyit.)

But Gawd forbid I choose anything based on expectations of performance or useful skills.  Surely not!  That would be almost LOGICAL.

Ailabeth Does Not Care Not now.  Not later.  NEVER.

Standards?  Ailabeth Does Not Care
Not now. Not later. NEVER.

So now I am leveling MOAR.  I will get 400 unique pets!  I shall Safari all the continents!  I shall never attempt to level an undead and an elemental at the same time again!  Maybe I’ll even beat the Celestial Tournament WITH CHICKENS (highly unlikely but MIRACLES DO HAPPEN).  I will … I dunno, but I will.  You know, eventually.

You Know What You’re Doing, Right?

Also entitled, “The Case for People Who Don’t Read the Dungeon Journal.”

While we're in this bubble together ... BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GO

While we’re in this bubble together …
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GO

Let’s make one thing clear: I’m not arguing for the complete, utter abandonment of “personal responsibility,” “independent learning capability,” “initiative,” or whatever you want to call it.  I personally hate it 100% when tanks show up in LFR and announce they don’t know what they’re doing or that they’ve never once been there before.

I am suggesting, however, that our ideal – the LFR player who reads up ahead of time – is a high standard that is pointless to apply to the majority of players, and in clinging to this ideal, we do nothing more than frustrate ourselves and others.  We play in a reality where the available tools simply do not provide the necessary information in the right way for those who would like to run LFR.

Your High Expectations Lead to Disappointment Repeated disappointment makes you act like this!

Your High Expectations Lead to Disappointment
Repeated disappointment makes you act like this!

You know what the most efficient method of gaining knowledge is for most folks?  It’s people.

“BLEEPING HELL,” you yell.  “THERE’S THE MOTHER TRUCKING DUNGEON JOURNAL IN THE GAME!  HOW HARD IS THAT?”

Well, I don’t know if you noticed, but if you consider what the LFR player REALLY wants to know, the Dungeon Journal format sucks.  Let’s break down what each role needs into the smallest, most generalized pieces possible.

If I am a DPS, I need to know the following things …

1. My own damn skillset
Example: Dude, with this Soulstone, I could battleres a tank or something!

2. What to attack
Example: STOP DPSING BLACKFUSE AND ATTACK THE CRAWLER MINES!

3. Mechanics that will wipe me personally
Example: Standing right next to Thunderstruck!

4. HOW TO AVOID IT
Example: Run far away!

5. Mechanics that will wipe the entire raid if I eff them up
Example: Leading Thok through the raid!

6. HOW TO NOT EFF IT UP
Example: Not leading Thok through the raid!

If I am a healer, I need to know the following things …

1. My own damn skillset
Example: Where did all my freaking mana go!?

2. What is dispellable and what needs to be dispelled
Example: OMFG STOP DISPELLING ON SHA OF PRIDE TRASH I KNOW IT’S FUN BUT IT’S MORALLY QUESTIONABLE!

3. Mechanics that will cause periods of intense or raidwide damage
Example: So, when everybody’s got a lot of Pride, and nobody moves for Swelling Pride

4. Mechanics that will wipe me personally
Example: What’s this yellow circle thing on me during the Fallen Protectors fight?

5. HOW TO AVOID IT
Example: My beloved DPS, let me share this damage with you!

6. Mechanics that will wipe the entire raid if I eff them up
Example: Thok hears you like being locked out of Holy magic, and he wants to help!

7. HOW TO NOT EFF IT UP
Example: Wish you were a druid! Pay attention to Thok’s cast timer and pray for some sorta instaproc!

If I am a tank, I need to know the following things …

1. My own damn skillset
Example: Oh, so Death Grip DOES work on those!

2. What number of stacks of what debuff to swap at
Example: Horridon, Dark Shamans, Nazgrim, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

3. What boss(es) and/or adds I need to grab
Example: Dear Fellow Tank, I’ll start with Kardris, and you grab Haromm!

4. Where to stand and what direction to face so I don’t kill the raid
Example: Dark Shamans in Falling Ash = Bad!

5. Mechanics that will wipe me personally
Example: The other tank not taunting!

6. HOW TO AVOID IT
Example: Screaming at the other tank to taunt!

7. Mechanics that will wipe the entire raid if I eff them up
Example: Pretty much everything!

8. HOW TO NOT EFF IT UP
Example: Do everything right, duh!

There are some consistencies here, no?

Inefficient Delivery of Information Also known in this case as TMI

Inefficient Delivery of Information
Also known in this case as TMI

So let’s say I look at the Dungeon Journal to address these basic info needs.  What I get is a long, detailed list of abilities that may or may not be relevant (and which must be expanded/minimized) in a small area, in addition to a couple of tabs which let you look at loot and a large picture of the boss itself.  Okay, so the picture looks cool, I guess.  But really, I don’t need that kinda emphasis on its appearance or the ability to rotate the freaking boss model.  I know what the boss looks like.  IT’S STANDING RIGHT THERE.

Dynamic Interactivity If I were gonna cosplay this box, the ability to rotate the model is sweet!

Dynamic Interactivity
If I were gonna cosplay this box, the ability to rotate the model is sweet!

I don’t need to know that the ability will cause XYZ damage over XYZ period of time.  The numbers are useless information, because in the heat of the moment, I am almost certainly not going to be looking at my HP, reading up on the damage numbers (or magically remembering them?), and making the obviously simple mathematical calculation to THEN conclude that this crap is going to kill me.  No.  Just tell me if this sheeyit will kill me dead and how damn fast it’ll do so.  If it’s not that fast, is it sheeyit I should stand in for some reason?  Yes or no?

Tell me what’s IMPORTANT, not everything.

So, we might then argue that the Dungeon Journal is kinda useless, unless you wanna look at loot.  “BUT THERE’S ICY VEINS,” you retort.  “YOUTUBE EVEN.”

Well, if the Dungeon Journal contains too much crap for immediate reference, then Icy Veins is still far too detailed for most LFR users.  They want only the minimum amount of info needed to survive any given encounter.  The Immerseus guide, for example, has three paragraphs on positioning.  The LFR version would be something like, “SPREAD OUT EVENLY AND DO NOT STAND ON THE SAME PLATFORM AS A TANK.”  Done.

Let’s be real.  Very few LFRers are going to read the entirety of a guide when there’s something better available – their fellow players.  It’s rare to find a group where absolutely no one will say something, especially if it’s one of the tanks asking for a run down.  After all, dealing with someone’s ignorance by giving the silent treatment is kinda stupid.  (That’s not to say that people DON’T do it, but most folks are socially conditioned not to.)  You’ll also have people like me.  I don’t care whether or not I’m enabling idiocy – I’d prefer to take charge of the situation by giving instructions over wiping!  So I’ll often yell the right target to attack during Fallen Protectors, whether somebody’s said they don’t know what to do or not.  I can tell, DPS.  I see you attacking Sun.  I’ll yell when to spread during the Sha of Pride fight.  If telling people to stack or whatever helps me live, then by Gawd, I am going to do it.

If we’re going to go for simple, the best guide I have found thus far is the “DPS Raid Guide – LFR” on WoWHead.  Sadly, there’s so much content and lots of guides, so this is not easy to find if you don’t know it exists or how to look for it.  (I also like the gif guides there, but I like gifs in general.  They often come with cats.)

Let’s have one more cranky curser + sneezing cat shot for the road.

Because, You Know, The Pet Won't Die or Something Also like, it's the little anima golems and I wanted one off my face.  CHILL!

Because, You Know, The Pet Won’t Die or Something
Also like, it’s the little anima golems and I wanted one off my face. CHILL!

SoO LFR Seems Less Fun, But Why?

Good News, Everybody We now have scientific evidence that going AFK reduces the queue time by at least ten minutes.

Good News, Everybody
We now have scientific evidence that going AFK reduces the queue time by at least ten minutes.

I happened to be looking at Bombelina’s SoO LFR kill totals the other day.  They are, in order:

Wing One: Vale of Eternal WTFery

  • Immerseus x14
  • Fallen Protectors x14
  • Norushen x14
  • Sha of Pride x12

Wing Two: Gates of Retribution

  • Galakras x11
  • Iron Juggernaut x10
  • Dark Shamans x9
  • General Nazgrim x7

Wing Three: Underhold

  • Malkorok x6
  • Spoils of Pandaria x5
  • Thok x5

Wing Four: Downfall

  • Siegecrafter Blackfuse x4
  • Paragons of the Klaxxi x3
  • Garrosh Hellderp x1

From this assortment of digits and disappointments, I draw the following mostly unsupported and not necessarily even related conclusions:

1.) The Pain in the Assness Quotient increases substantially after Wing One
And as a result, my numbers begin to drop fast.  Unlike Ye Olde ToT LFR, I no longer finish one wing and queue for the next, and I’ve barely even touched the last wing at all.  Bombelina is the ONLY one who has defeated Garrosh (on LFR and Flex).  In comparison, a good number of my characters have downed Lei Shen, with Bombelina leading the pack at 18 LFR kills.  For Gawd’s sake, I’ve killed Siegecrafter Blackfuse and the Klaxxi more in Normal than I have in LFR.

Thanks to mechanics that require skills like group arrangement, personal restraint and focused DPS when presented with multiple targets, crap gets substantially harder for LFR groups after the Sha of Pride.  How many times have I seen people start the Galakras fight without setting up a tower team?  How many times have I seen people tunnel vision on Nazgrim only to die to all the adds?  (Oh yeah, or that whole DEFENSIVE STANCE business.)  How many times have I seen people attack different Klaxxi Paragons, or ignore Korven’s Amber?  (Answer: more than my number of kills would lead you to believe, since eventually I left and/or every group in question fragmented and quit.)

Blizzard did get smart when they made the Spoils fight require a grand total of FOUR people to start up in LFR, since somebody would ALWAYS kick the box and begin the encounter before everybody was ready.  So why, then, can the Galakras encounter STILL be started by ONE person?  Practically EVERY TIME I run that wing, SOMEBODY TALKS TO LORTHIE, and there’s NO ESCAPE once it has begun.

Yet it isn’t Pain in the Assness alone.  It’s also the fact that everybody’s annoyed as hell by the end of the first boss.

And They'll All Go Down Together If only I had a way to kill the tank without offing myself too.

And They’ll All Go Down Together
If only I had a way to kill the tank without offing myself too.

2.) Four bosses is too damn long
Like that one time somebody was getting ready to sass me for doing the least number of dispels on the Sha of Pride trash, or by the time I get back to Nazgrim after the second wipe – I’m finished, even if the last boss is not.  I am just DONE by then.  DONE.  Many people lose their cool a lot sooner.  Combine long boss fights with four bosses in the first two wings and you get people dropping so damn fast that nearly any group will disintegrate before it even gets to three stacks of Determination.

Or you get people trolling.  “Why are we taking so long to pull the boss,” they say, in a whiny tone with less words, right before they pull the boss and kill everyone.  Not sure which result I like least.

3.) OMFG Trash
I know that this is supposed to be like, the penultimate raid for the expansion and sheeyit, but damn!  SoO trash is like a boss unto itself, only spread out and every-freaking-where you go.  Just run by the blind swordsmen? HAHAHAHA YOU ACT LIKE YOU GOT 25 NOT-COMPLETELY-DISTRACTED PEOPLE TOGETHER HERE.  Bunch up tight so you don’t pull all the adds in the middle of Org?  HAHAHAHAHA YOU’RE NOT MY MOM, YOU CAN’T TELL ME HOW TO STACK.  LFR didn’t know you had to kill ALL the orc engineers who open those boxes, letting out Shredders?  HAHAHAHAHAHA ENJOY THE PAIN AND SUFFERING, MOTHER TRUCKERS.

Speaking of those engineers: WHY is it that the gnomes take care of the trash in those rooms for the Alliance, but we Hordies gotta fight through it?  Why?  It’s like Blizzard is trying to counter Horde favoritism claims by making the last wing suck for Horde.  Or maybe they want us to struggle ’cause Garrosh was our Warchief or something.  Dudes, you put Garrosh up there, not me!

5.) The Midas Touch OF DEATH
RNG.

If ever I meet you in a dark alleyway, RNG, you’d best be prepared to take a plunger to the face.

You have been warned.

DON'T JUDGE Agility.  It'll be the new priest tanking spec in WoD.

DON’T JUDGE
Agility. It’ll be the new priest tanking spec in WoD.

On the one hand, I like having individualized loot because I can’t imagine an LFR group trying to divvy up the goods, and also because I never win the really good crap when I have to roll against somebody.  But on the other hand, it still pisses me the hell off when I spend one of my three carefully acquired tokens, and get more gold.  It still irritates me deeply when I spend my evening hours trudging through Orgrimmar with crankyass, snarktastic LFR groups and enduring painful, long boss fights, only to get gold on every single freaking boss, or a piece of gear I can’t actually use.  YEAH, THANKS FOR THE OFFHAND, RNG.  DID I MENTION I USE A STAFF?

Maybe it’s because it seems to emphasize the unfairness somehow.  I have a limited amount (of course) of Seals (vs. 16 bosses or so if you include Ordos and the Celestials), and must be very choosy about spending them – therefore, when I finally use them and get the same old thing (A TRIFLING AMOUNT OF YET MORE GOLD!), it irritates me.  When I part with one of my precious, precious coins, I expect a damn piece of loot!

Maybe it’s because I can’t necessarily or easily get seals for the LFR that’s the appropriate level for the character in question.  For some of my alts, grinding Timeless Coins to purchase Mogu Runes of Fate is an impossibility.  Depending on my skill or lack thereof with an alt (as well as their gear), it may take too long to be practical, or may result in too many deaths.  Why can’t I choose which dang charm type I get from the quest guy?

Maybe it’s because I want to stomp on the toes of every asshat but can’t, and that impotent anger is redirected into RNG hate.

Or maybe it’s because I keep on hoping that dealing with sheeyit will be worth it because surviving said sheeyit will reward me with this or that thing that I’ve really wanted for whatever reason (getting rid of bad gear/getting a set bonus/etc.).  When it does not, it’s like I’ve gone through the same old sheeyit for no damn good reason.  If I cannot guarantee a replacement or even noticeably up my chance of upgrading my worst slots (why yes, that character is carting around a 450 trinket, thanks), then why bother?

I’ve started writing down what I get, or trying to at least.  I take note of the character, the date, the LFR/flex, what loot I received initially, whether or not I rolled, and what I received for that roll.  The idea here is that I will be able, in times of great gear sadness, to look at the list and say, “but hey, Bombelina got such and such on this date!”  Either that, or it’ll just reinforce my stinky RNG.  Probably the latter.

Heal Me! Quickly!

By now, I have become dependent on the Vuhdo healing addon to a degree where I am almost paralyzed without it.  This has posed a challenge on a couple of occasions when LFR let me zone in while the group was in combat, because Vuhdo won’t load if you’re in combat.  It also won’t update the groups display properly if people leave or join during fighting.  It’ll wait, nice and polite, until you’re done with all that.  BUT PEOPLE ARE STANDING IN BAD, VUHDO!  I NEED YOU NOW!

Now With Extra Derp Sometimes, perceptions differ from reality.

Now With Extra Derp
Sometimes, perceptions differ from reality.

I still haven’t purchased a new mouse with Moar Buttonz.  I might, or I might not.  I generally try to pick out the eight or so most important spells and bind those to clicks, which keeps life simple and so far has worked out more or less OK.  I may not have finesse, but I generally get crap done.  Then again, who am I kidding here?  I’m not buying a new mouse when the old one clicks just fine.

This is my take on the different healing classes, based on the classes I remember healing on.  This is basically anything that’s not a Holy Priest or a Mistweaver monk.  While I technically ran Cata dungeons as Mistweaver, it was mostly to make the queue quicker and I can’t remember diddly squat about it now (other than camera angle problems).

Sometimes, You Just Die Cannonballs and people who want to live do not share the same goals.

Sometimes, You Just Die
Cannonballs and people who want to live do not share the same goals.

Bombelina Says:
As a Resto shaman, you get to wear mail, which means absolutely nothing because mobs will still mess you up.  You do have a chance to survive if you outheal the damage, of course, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on praying for the tank to pull it off you!  Oh, the tank is dead?  Never mind then.  Actually, you should just stop healing now.  Gawd, wipe it up already!

Shamans have lots of advantages, especially if you’re passive aggressive.  Our water-themed spells make it easy to pretend that you’re throwing buckets of water on idiots, or making a sad cloud rain on their heads.  If it’s Earth Shield, you can say you’re throwing dirt on ’em for good luck!  Oh, you wanted like, actual advantages?  Well, goblin totems are seriously the coolest thing since I invented the mechanized sandwich maker on wheels – what, you wanted non-goblin, general type of advantages?  You gotta be SPECIFIC about these things.

Okay, fine.  The BEST thing is being able to Reincarnate after you stand in something, and Mana Tide totem gives you precious, precious mana.  You can summon these elementals to help you out, which is neat.  And you can turn into … a man-thing?  What is that thing, anyway?  Well, you can turn into a Ghost Wolf too, and run fast indoors.  That’s some hot stuff right there.  And you can’t forget Bloodlust, or “Hero,” as the Alliance call it.  You can always tell what faction somebody plays on a regular basis by which one they ask for.

The disadvantage would be the fact that people keep on thinking you got a battle res for some reason, which is cracked.

Legalese Before we zone into the raid, please sign on the dotted line.

Legalese
Before we zone into the raid, please sign on the dotted line.

Prinnie Says: BEST.  CAN BE GOBLIN.  A+.  Shamans are nice in general because Elemental is a DPS spec I don’t suck 100% at.  More importantly, resto shaman doesn’t have like, sixty million healing spells with extremely similar names that I must both distinguish between and use every last one of in order to be effective, which is a HUGE PLUS.  Sadly, I often feel like Riptide is kinda laughable and mostly pointless as a HoT, and unlike a disco priest, attempting to do a wee bit of DPS while resto takes forever and is not happening.  ALAS.  I guess you can’t have it all.

Old Ladies Raiding Guild Don't be fooled by the name, gentlemen, we're open to all!

Old Ladies Raiding Guild
Don’t be fooled by the name, gentlemen, we’re open to all!

Niremere Says:
Should you choose to follow the way of the Light, you will be practically invincible – or so they say.  Do keep in mind that Fate likes to mess with you too, just as much as anybody else.

As we gain Holy Power in our work, so too do our special healing abilities increase in strength.  You must know when to save these holy energies, and yet, you must also be aware that to keep them to yourself accomplishes nothing.  Sadly, mana is a finite resource … but fortunately, we are able to plead with the Divine Light to restore our weary souls.

Done correctly, the Holy Paladin is a healer to be reckoned with.  Done incorrectly, you will regret the plate repair bills.

Prinnie Says: This one is good for shiny buttons.  Even better, you make this big light healy-thing that’s kinda hard to ignore AND you don’t have to get people to stand still in it, which is nice.  This is true even though I’m total crap at screenshotting it, which is why there’s a nice group shot instead!  The biggest problem I got is remembering to use Bacon Beacon of Light, which resets every freaking time you/somebody zones/dies/coughs/whatever.  And the other problem I have is that Horde paladerps can only be blood elves (annoying) or Tauren (have like, three hairdos max).

Let's Be Honest Here Tell me, how do you REALLY feel about your healer?

Let’s Be Honest Here
Tell me, how do you REALLY feel about your healer?

Betheki Says:
Yeah mon!  Follow tha way of the wild, be a Resto druid!  So dere’s dis mushroom ya glyph, and it is da best ting evah, which means it’s gonna get nerfed soon.  So enjoy da magic while it lasts!  Othah than that, mon, just cast Rejuvenate and then sit back.  Relax, ‘cept if there’s trouble.  In dat case, ya gotta make your mushroom bloom!  Don’t ask me if fungus should be bloomin’, mon.  I don’t be knowin’ dat.

When ya be a druid, ya know the skin you in is just one of many.  Fly free, mon, don’t be needin’ those fancy mounts to see tha sky.  Be wise, like a tree of long life, knowin’ dat dese roots, dey grow deep.  Stand strong in da storm!  And when ya be a druid, ya be in tune with tha natural way.  Ya get a fancy battle res.  Sadly, mon, dis one battle res ain’t never enough.  Just like in nature, where da need for tings is greater than tha supply, ya will find people keep on dyin’ all ovah da place, and they be beggin’ you for that res – but ya used it up already!

Prinnie Says:  Are you KIDDING me??  Placing a mushroom has no mana cost!?  BUT THAT’S LIKE … THAT’S … THAT’S LIKE ACTUAL FREE HEALS!!1!  Also related: multiple treants thanks to Force of Nature means I can make lots of pretty Venn diagrams.  (p.s., typing in troll is hard.)

The Harsh Truth Ain't gonna sugarcoat it.

The Harsh Truth
Ain’t gonna sugarcoat it.

Ailabeth Says:
Don’t look at me, breather.  I haven’t seriously healed as a Disc priest in well over a year.

Prinnie Says: I’m not surprised.  I’ll ask Splattini.

Prone to GREATNESS Splattini doesn't have a lot of flattering screenshots.  She doesn't let that stop her.

Prone to GREATNESS
Splattini doesn’t have a lot of flattering screenshots. She doesn’t let that stop her.

Splattini Says:
“The Great” Splattini, if you please.

Prinnie Says: For the love of … you’re only level 60!  You can’t have an attitude.

Splattini Says:
Then I’m not saying a word about how to disco.

Prinnie Says: …

The Great Splattini Says:
Sparkles, check.  Wings, check.  Bubbles everywhere, check.  Out DPSing the DPS, check.  I may be level 60, but I am a level 60 badass.

She Ain't Gonna Take It Oh no, she ain't gonna take it.  /rolls up sleeves

She Ain’t Gonna Take It
Oh no, she ain’t gonna take it. /rolls up sleeves

Prinnie Says: Just wait until you hit 90, kid.  I’m sure it’ll all go to hell.  Usually does.

The Great Splattini Says:
Look, your post-leveling issues mean nothing to me.  Did I mention Mass Dispel?  ’cause I got it, and you know you want it.  Oh, p.s., with Levitate, we’re gettin’ this party started.

Prinnie Says: Okay, so I haven’t hit the late 80s/level 90 “OMFG MANA” crunch yet, and really, until you start LFRing/raiding/encountering crazies, most LFD groups couldn’t care less WHAT class you are as long as they never die.  So although I’m told that Disco is better as a tank healer (which makes the notion of trying to heal 25-man LFR kinda … ominous), Disco seems pretty awesome right now.  Holy seemed like it had too many freaking things going on.  Either way, it’s important to know that as a priest, you can do this:

Step one: Rime of the A.M.  Step two: become lizard.  Step three: use Archangel.  GLOWING PINK PIRATE LIZARD ANGEL THING.

Step one: Rime of the A.M. Step two: become lizard. Step three: use Archangel. GLOWING PINK PIRATE LIZARD ANGEL THING.

Prinnie Says: Regardless of class, some things are just beyond your capability to remedy.

Wat Is he speaking in tank code or something?

I Just Wat
On second thought, don’t wanna know.

Writer’s Block!? RUN AWAAAAAAY

It’s finally happened.  I’ve … I’ve become … boring.

I have to guess that’s the case, anyway.  I’ve found little inspiration in what I’ve been doing as of late, ’cause it’s like I’ve derped the same derps before and written about ’em twice.  Let me roll my three precious, precious tokens for more gold, again.  Let me run LFR to get an offhand I can’t use in one wing and gold on all four bosses in the next, again.  I need to mine more, dink dink dink, again.  It’s not that things are bad, it’s just that the funny parts seem to be missing.  There was this time this beartank in LFR pulled too much sheeyit specifically to kill us all and I … wait no, that wasn’t funny at all.

Y'know ... Niuzao totally sounds like a jerk.

Y’know …
Niuzao totally sounds like a jerk.

I’ve been boring before.  It’s kinda like a personal nightmare of mine, but it always ends eventually.  I usually just chill and sooner or later, something amusing takes place.  It’s just that I’ve never had a blog that people (other than family) actually read before, so now being boring feels kinda bad!  I must post.  I must write something funny.  I must be funny again.  But the more you intentionally look for funny, the less often it happens, or the more it happens in little chunks that don’t seem to be enough to sustain a blog post on their own.

Dr. Bombelina Just because she bought her credentials doesn't mean she's wrong!

Dr. Bombelina
Just because she bought her credentials doesn’t mean she’s wrong!

What to WRITE.

You're So Vain I Bet You Think This Hairdo's About You, Don't You

You’re So Vain
I Bet You Think This Hairdo’s About You, Don’t You

How To Survive Durumu’s Maze

The Full Title At the very moment of inspiration no less.

The Full Title
At the very moment of inspiration no less.

Lately I’ve been surprised by the number of people who perish in the flustercluck that is Durumu’s “maze” phase*, so I’ve written this guide for souls like me who want to survive but sometimes just can’t seem to manage it.   This is the “how to” for the folks who are observationally challenged, situationally incompetent or otherwise just generally confused.   It does NOT in any way instruct you how to do your role properly.  I do not cover other mechanics, nor the potential lore behind why the mogu would want to make an eyeball with teeth attached that also happens to be wearing a hat.  (The questions there really ARE endless!)  No, the sole point of this thing is HOW TO LIVE because IT’S KINDA IMPORTANT.  As written and illustrated, it is primarily intended for ranged players, but hell, since THE GOAL IS SURVIVAL and everybody likes that, melee can do it this way too if they want.

The good news is, nowadays folks are geared to the point where you’ll only have to deal with the maze phase once.  There have been a handful of occasions where I’ve seen Durumu downed even before it started.  But fear not if you must maze it.  Truly, my fellow LFRers, I once was like you.  And you.  And you.  And you, too.  I could not understand or see the maze properly.  It took ages before I figured out how it worked, let alone how to make it to the end of the phase!  Though I still think the maze is a bunch of purple bullsheeyit, I can offer actual, real-person proof that it is in fact possible to survive it on a regular basis.  So here is my Relatively Simple Way of making it.

CHOOSE YOUR BATTLE
(and it’s not the meters)

The key to the whole “making it out alive” thing is truly understanding your priorities during the maze.  So let’s make sure we all got the Most Important Thing up front and center: from the first laser until the last purple crap vanishes, you have exactly ONE THING to do, and that is to LIVE.  I am not kidding.  Nothing else matters.  Are you DPS?  Well, forget it.  Heals?  Obviously, you don’t wanna let the tanks go down, but YOU are the most important thing to heal.  Forget the deeps (unless they’re guildmates and can harass you for it later).  Tanks?  Well, uh, I’ve never tanked this particular fight, so I’m just gonna say, best pray to Gawd you tanks know WTF you’re doing.

In short, during the maze phase, DROP EVERYTHING BUT THE CONCEPT OF GETTING OUT ALIVE.

PREPARATION
(candy and summons are what warlocks are for, amirite?)

Let’s face it, you probably will stand in bad at one point or another, so you’ll want to bring a health potion or a healthstone to the fight with you.  They work instantly, which is ideal.  Standing still to cast a heal can be fraught with danger (for reasons laser beams discussed later).  I suppose you could be a druid with all the instant cast HoTs and so on, but for most of us that would require leveling and gearing.  Buying stuff off the AH or oppressing the warlock class is much easier.

KEY THINGS TO LOOK FOR
(not the purple fuzzy crap, that’s everywhere)

Fair Warning This beam.  This one.  Points back at the door where you entered from.

Fair Warning
This beam. This one. Points back at the door where you entered from.

First, look for this Disintegration Beam.  It ALWAYS points back at the door you entered the platform from, so it helps to keep your back to that door.  (This is also generally why all the freaking purple splotches are always on this side.)

Squigglies, Look For Them This part is very important.

Squigglies, Look For Them
This part is very important.

After a few seconds, these little itty bitty purple squiggly lines will appear on the ground, either on the left side or the right side of the beam.  This tells you which direction you need to run to, but not where specifically the openings will appear.  If you are going for the ranged path, aim towards the outside of the platform.  It’s incredibly important to move THE INSTANT you see these dang things, because you want as much of a head start on the laser beam of death as possible.

Find Your Opening Note that it can be on the far outside edge of the platform.

Find Your Opening (Highlighted)
Note that it can be on the far outside edge of the platform.

There are several paths or openings in the purple fuzz of doom, intended for melee and ranged classes.  These openings sometimes intersect during the phase, but are never together when they first start (so don’t hope for a double wide clear area at the beginning).  The melee circle is very close to the boss for obvious reasons, while the outermost ranged circle will be close to the edge of the platform.  The biggest advantage to the ranged channel is its larger diameter, which makes running the maze “feel” slower.  So if you’re having trouble with the inner melee one, screw that.  Forget DPS dignity.  Seriously, you’re gonna lose it when you die anyway, as death negatively impacts numbers.  When you see those purple squigglies, run your ass out to the outside edge, man.

Find Your Opening 2 Without red thingies added.

Find Your Opening 2
Without red thingies added.

I personally like having my camera zoomed WAY out, but most importantly, I also like having it pointing directly down.  This is because it makes the channels easier to see.  I dunno about you, but I have trouble discerning purple fuzz that’s closer vs. purple fuzz that’s farther away (and hence the opening the purple fuzz is on either side of)  when the camera is at more of an eye-level angle.

The path will open up before you, little by little.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to stay VERY CLOSE to the opening edge, if that makes sense.  Why?  BECAUSE DEATH.

This Is Why You Run FAST Do not dawdle, for you will get zapped daeeeeed.

This Is Why You Run FAST
Do not dawdle, for you will get zapped daeeeeed.

If you delay, you’ll get hit by this laser beam of death and doom, which is following you quite quickly (because purple crap by itself wasn’t trouble enough).  Ideally, you’re far enough ahead that you won’t actually see the laser at all.  But if you reacted slowly to the initial squigglies or channel opening, you may see the laser approaching swiftly from behind – and that’s bad.  Use any movement cooldowns to get further ahead.   (Good news – the laser cannot speed up!)  This is the point at which you are most likely to step in purple stuff.

If you have DBM, it will eventually start a countdown to the end of the phase.  If you are NOT on the cutting edge of path opening, DO NOT STOP when the countdown begins – the laser persists for a bit longer, and it would suck to get zapped at the end.  Only stop when there literally is no more clear “forward” area where you can go.

The purple stuff will then vanish, and CONGRATULATIONS!  You might still be alive!  YAY!

 

* Depending on the day, I normally expect slightly less than half the LFR to die – but it seems as though the number is on the rise!  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.  LEMME SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE.