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