Tag Archives: dungeon finder

Some Things Never Get Old

Some folks have been bugging me to spend more time Alliance-side.  At the same time, the dedicated Horde players that I know have either been threatening to assassinate my poor lowbie spacegoat or stalk my paladerp if I do.  Ah, faction conflict!  Shows up even at the Friends List level.

As far as I’m concerned, playing Alliance-side more frequently has several issues (not including any charges of favoritism on the part of the game designers):

  1. No goblins.  Goblins would have made the best cross-faction race, not pandas, since we’re loyal to the wallet first and foremost, and our competing cartels would work right into the faction divide.  But it’s a bit late to go back and change that design call, I suppose.
  2. Gnomes are not goblins.  Let me repeat that: GNOMES ARE NOT GOBLINS.
  3. After so long being short and green or arthritic and rotting, it feels downright unnatural to play a character that has a pulse and is considered sexually attractive.
  4. They don’t label the damn docks down at Stormwind Harbor or tell you what boat goes where, so I’m always wondering if I’m getting on the right boat, or waiting at a dock that’s just there for show.
  5. The game designers flipped the sides the bank and portals are on in the Alliance’s Vale shrine.  I’m ALWAYS going to the wrong side.  ALWAYS.

There are some advantages, though.

So Tall, So Weird I fear no puddle.  Which is good, because I don't have Rocket Jump.

So Tall, So Weird
I fear no puddle. Which is good, because I don’t have Rocket Jump.

  1. I’m tall!
  2. I don’t have to swim to clear puddles or shallow bodies of water.

Despite the cons clearly outweighing the pros, I have been spending time on Niremere and Daschela anyway.  What’re friends for, right, if not confusing you with their unpredictable stature and getting you killed on a regular basis?  Daschela’s still leveling, of course:

Feign Death at Skill Levels 1, 2 and 3 1: Elevis, my pet, has failed to Feign.  (Why can't pets Feign?) 2: Daschela Feigns fine. 3. Soc "Feigns" by hiding all his HP.

Feign Death at Skill Levels 1, 2 and 3
1: Elevis, my pet, has failed to Feign. (Why can’t pets Feign?)
2: Daschela Feigns fine.
3. Soc “Feigns” by hiding all his HP.

Things frequently go wrong in the classroom at Scholomance, so I’m ready at a moment’s notice to drop to the floor and wait for sheeyit to clear.  (And why can’t pets Feign along with their owners yet?  I mean seriously.)

On the 90’s side, Nir’s running been some LFR for gear:

Not My Fault Niremere.  Party leader, tank killer, raid wiper.

Not My Fault
Niremere. Party leader, tank killer, raid wiper.

When she’s not causing her beartank to plummet into the void, Nir has been having some semi-brilliant and mostly obvious ideas.  For example: using Vuhdo’s Buff Watch to tell when Inquisition is off!  Theoretically, she’ll hit a bit more like a dry noodle and less like a wet one now!

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Gimme a Super Soaker and I’ll Heal You

Electrika is now in the 60s, which is actually past the point where each and every shaman I have ever made has fallen face first into the delete button.  This is my first shaman ever that can actually FLY.

I’m starting to like shaman healing, mostly because I envision myself doing two things:

  1. I am throwing buckets of water at people.  Lots of buckets.
  2. I am making it rain on their heads.  SAD STORMCLOUD FOLLOWS YOU EVERYWHERE.

I like picturing my party looking like soaking wet cats by the end of the dungeon.  And if I’m sometimes secretly pretending to drown everybody in my party, does that make me a bad healer/person?

ALL THE WATER, YOU'RE IN IT

ALL THE WATER, YOU’RE IN IT

I gotta say, leveling a healer from scratch helps immensely in feeling comfortable with that role, even if you take a break for a few weeks and come back to it later.  For example, Ailabeth has leveled to 89 completely in Shadow.  Whenever I use her Disc spec to heal in transmog runs (because Holy has too much going on for me to handle), the feelings are not good.  I am pushing buttons that seem like good buttons to push, but not enjoying it because there are probably better buttons to be pushing and/or a better order to push them in, and we’re all getting a little too close to death for my tastes.  Also, I inevitably look for Dispersion when I’m low on mana.  NOT HAPPENING.

But Electrika shows that increased competence leads to slightly less panicking, which is immensely beneficial.  I had a couple of “AMAZING! IT’S LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!” moments in Blackrock the other day, which of course I failed to screencap.

After clearing the Grim Guzzler of all the bargoers, we exited out the back onto the small, circular platform that rises above the anvil you use for Dark Iron.  We had an overenthusiastic enhancement shaman DPS who noticed Lord Incendius down below and decided to engage him by jumping there.  Perhaps predictably, he aggroed the mobs on the opposite half of the circular platform.  In a scene somewhat reminiscent of Gnomeregan but with way more fire, those mobs proceeded to run through the rest of Blackrock to find us, dragging along every additional monster they could find.

I saw them running for the door when I followed the tank down, so I knew sheeyit was coming.  In the chaos that followed (Dark Iron dwarves!  Golems!  Lord Incendius!  Fire elementals!  ALL THE THINGS!), the DPS shaman died.  Everything attacked him first and all at once before the tank could get aggro on some of it (and I inevitably got aggro from the rest of it by SPAMMING ALL THE HEALS).  One other DPS was a clothie, and the poor chap went down almost instantly while I was focused on keeping the tank and myself up and running so we could get control of the situation.  When all was said and done, I somehow managed to keep the last DPS standing too.  We stood proudly atop a pile of corpses!

I will probably never be so badass again.

Similarly, when we jumped into the Ring of Law, I somehow aggroed the spectators in the ring above.  I don’t recall them ever doing that before, but the moment I saw my portrait go red, the “OH CRAP” warning bells went off.  Indeed, All The Things from the nearby area charged me just as we were fighting the first boss there, but Reincarnation was off cooldown, so I popped back up and kept on going LIKE A PRO.  ONLY the DPS shaman died that time, and I have no idea how I did it – I was so low on mana!  Possibly the tank was better prepared for the sheeyitstorm?

Electrika’s now transitioned into Burning Crusade dungeons and Death Knights.  I always thought the party of “all DKs all the time” was something of a joke, but I actually had a party of all Death Knights the other day, and every last one of ’em was in Blood Presence and Death Gripping crap until I said something.  One was still in Blood Presence even after that!

The real big shift that I’ve noticed, however, is how tanks now pull a lot of crap all at once.  I swear this started pretty suddenly in Hellfire Ramparts.  The first big pull is from the door to the guy who calls the warhounds.  Then they pull everything in the middle + first boss.  There’s a bit of a breather when they drag the two guys at the foot of the stairs up to the small group upstairs, but then the open area is a huge pull of ALL THE THINGS.

Have we gotten braver?  Have we gotten dumber?  Has Blizzard placed more mobs more closely together?  I don’t know, but it’s such a huge amount of damage all at once, even with platewearers, that I have to be ON THE BALL or they die when they do that.   Now that I’ve gotten Healing Rain, I start casting that before the tank has gotten everything grouped up tightly, targeting the approximate spot where I think the tank going to end up.  Once that’s up to cover for the DPS getting aggro and to buy me a bit more time to get a massive heal off for the tank, I start churning out those big buckets of water (Healing Wave/Greater Healing Wave/Chain Heal).  If I’ve misjudged whereabouts the tank will stop running and/or the tank runs JUST out of range, tank will likely end up dead.

Dancing With Spirit Wolves I'm the one with Water Shield.  Not like you can really tell ...

Dancing With Spirit Wolves
I’m the one with Water Shield. Not like you can really tell …

People say that healing is boring, and I do see lots of healers jumping around and/or pulling crap.  I can’t say the same, since I find I have to pay much more attention to what’s going on than I do as a DPS.  Maybe it’s just because I’ve leveled so many DPS classes but so few healers?  In any case, I have pretty much zero screenshots of Electrika, because OMFG THE TANK OH GEEZE.

p.s., I’ve written before about totally colluding with the healer to get an annoying DPS killed.  I’VE NOW BEEN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THAT REQUEST.  It was so WEIRD.

Pour A Little Healin’ On Me Baby

I didn’t have a healer Hordeside, since my Shadow Priest only uses her Disc offspec if and only if a very good friend asks for backup on a transmog run.  So I started up a shaman (YES AGAIN WTF) since I have plentiful mail heirlooms and no surviving pre-existing shaman of either faction.  (Also, goblins can’t be druids yet.)  So far, I’ve come to the conclusion shaman healing reminds me of throwing buckets of water on people … in slow mo.

MY JOB IS ORLYYour job is to shut up, stop pulling crap and start nuking sheeyit better.

MY JOB IS ORLY
Your job is to shut up, stop pulling crap and start nuking sheeyit better.

I’m told that level 22 is too early to decide that I hate shaman healing.  I’m told that it gets better.  There’s AoEs, there’s Earth Shield, you get haste so casting sheeyit doesn’t take so long …

But I don’t have any AoEs yet.  Earth Shield doesn’t show up until level 26.  Aaaaand I have pretty much zero haste of course, so my spells take a Very.  Long.  Time.  (And if I try to quest by myself, killing things also takes a Very.  Long.  Time.)  To me, this doesn’t make sense.  Why would you make something suck at first?  This isn’t raiding here!  We don’t need to weed out the weak before we’ve even seen Gnomeregan!

Because the only other character I’ve done a lot of healing on recently is Daschela (my druid), I associate Riptide with Rejuvenation.  They’ve both got an instant cast, provide a bit of heal at first and more healing over time, and make another healing spell more effective.  You get it at a low level and it’s pretty much a standard thing to use when you are a nooblet, so they’re totally similar, amirite?  Actually, this comparison only contributes to my frustration, for Riptide has a stupid cooldown that Regrowth does not.  It basically means I can’t hit Riptide two or three times in a row like I can with Rejuvenation to get the squishy babytank out of the red bad danger zone.   (But six seconds isn’t much, you say.  Well, when you have a tank with a few hundred HP, those six seconds can mean death.)

At this point, I have two healing spells, both of which feel like they’re taking FOREVER when I NEED them RIGHT NOW.  When in combat, I’ll start casting one of these before the squishy babytank needs a heal, but it’s not uncommon for the squishy babytank to die RIGHT before I get the heal off.  If I hesitate, or if there’s a sudden swell of damage after I already started casting the less powerful healing spell, the babytank is pretty much effed.

This usually results in the entire party dying, because I’ll get flustered (I WAS SO CLOSE OMFG), go a;lsfdkjas;ldfkjas;lfkja;slfdkjasl;fdj, and proceed to heal the wrong person.

GO ME.

On the other hand, sometimes I get a nonsquishy babytank who might even pop a Word of Glory in here or there, and I can actually eat dinner with one hand while healing with the other.

I’m told I need to learn how to blame the tank for bad gear and the DPS for not killing stuff faster.  (Secret: I only look at the tank’s gear if there’s something Obviously Wrong, like the time that one DK showed up in part leather with Resurrection Sickness*.)  Ok, sure, I’ll work on my blaming others skill.  Still, the true test of my endurance will be to see if this shaman lasts past the 50s.  This is traditionally when my shamans kick the bucket.

On a lighter note …

Physics, Don't Question ThemBecause the moment I do, their failure will fail.

Physics, Don’t Question Them
Because the moment I do, their failure will fail.

*Makes you wonder WTF that DK was doing.

Vote Kicking in LFD

TL;DR VERSION:

Ideal world: all people in the party respond to each other, thus coming to a pace that is acceptable to all.  Tank pulls faster than he or she was before, so the guilty puller stops pulling sheeyit when that’s the tank’s job.  Everybody learns their roles, gets to 90 and performs admirably in raids, instances and whatnot.

Real world: Tank pulls faster than he or she was before, but the guilty puller keeps on pulling sheeyit when that’s the tank’s job because he or she wants to go faster still and there is no consequence for not working at the pace others would prefer.  Tank quits tanking since DPS is going to tank anyway, healer develops psychological issues, DPS lols and says “I can [insert role here] better than you.”  Everybody ever QQs over LFD wait times and the jerks who ruin the community.

Or they just pull crap and dump the party.

Some of this stems from the LFD votekick, which is the only immediate and effective reprisal for idiocy.  Its mysterious inner workings seem to be something like this: if there’s a group where someone is disrupting the party equilibrium and/or getting everybody killed, I cannot kick him if the system deems me to be too votekick happy and/or if he’s already been kicked ninety million times and/or anybody is in combat which we probably are because the person pulls crap ahead of the party (which is probably why I wanted to kick him in the first place), and/or while there’s a loot roll going on for even the merest green which is made worse when said person is AFK and, you know, not rolling.

There may even be secret rules like, “You can’t kick Trollolololman on his aunt’s birthday” for all we know.  Also, if it takes like ten minutes to complete the dungeon but you can’t kick Jerkface for another fifteen minutes, you’ve just experienced the very definition of futility – that is, votekick has absolutey no useful result whatsofreakingever.

This is stupid.  It’s time for a new setup where we let people kick people – in essence, let people police themselves.

More Words Version Behind the Cut

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If There Are Five Stages of Tanking …

She's a Smashing Good TankIrony, I has it.

She’s a Smashing Good Tank
Irony, I has it.

Because I don’t really do Retribution so well and I’m not really temperamentally suited to be the healer (just because I can doesn’t mean I should and all that), I haven’t bothered to set Violaryn’s alt spec.  Therefore, she’s been tanking constantly.  I kinda like tanking; I envision myself plowing ahead FOR THE LIGHT AND STUFF WOOOO, smashing things left and right like some sort of sickly, extremely short Viking with fantastic hair.  And on the upside, the tank queue is OMG amazing even when you have to wait seven minutes for a heals.  On the downside, if there really are five stages of tanking, then I’m probably somewhere between anger and depression – which is just super.

Denial
I deny that denial exists.

Anger

I Can See Clearly Now, the Death Knight's GoneAfter dealing with him pulling and Death Gripping for 98% of the dungeon, I finally had it.

I Can See Clearly Now, the Death Knight’s Gone
After dealing with him pulling and Death Gripping for 98% of the dungeon, I finally had it.

I would occasionally tell him not to Death Grip that, not to pull those and res him when things went wrong (among those guys you pulled is one that summons a totem that charms us, which would be why you died), but for the most part I spent my time giving up on all that because stupid is as stupid does.  He finally got on my nerves right before the last boss, so I had to say something.  I probably would’ve let it pass again after making my point – it was the last boss and all – but then he had to go start being a smartass on me.  Hell no, boy.

Bargaining

Dancing is No DeterrentHe kept on pulling but only danced once.  I am le sad.

Dancing is No Deterrent
He kept on pulling but only danced once. I am le sad.

So they keep on pulling.  They pull with Death Grip.  They pull with Moonfire.  They pull with pets, with arrows, with Frostbolt and arcane power.  You ask them to stop please, then they do it again; as soon as you get one LFD group to stop pulling all the sheeyit, the next LFD group pulls it all once more.  If this is going to be a regular thing – I might as well get some amusement out of it, right?

Depression
Y U DO DIS.  WHY DON’T YOU LEARN?  I AM NOT SLOW, YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE AN ADDICTION TO ENERGY DRINKS AND THAT’S NOT MY PROBLEM.  I ONLY HAVE SO MANY SKILLS TO PULL CRAP WITH ANYWAY.  WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Acceptance
Eff it, man.  I’ll do what I do and they’ll do what they do.  Hey huntard, if your pet dies, your pet dies.  Warlock doesn’t know how to take the threat generation off their Felguard?  It dies.  If a mage takes the aggro, they can have the freaking aggro.  You may laugh now, but some day, a mob will smash your face into the ground.  You won’t say “Darn, I wish I had learned my proper party role and left the pulling to the tank.”  No, you won’t.  But at that very moment, I will know that you have gotten crushed into itty bitty little pieces, and I will silently rejoice.  Karma, people.  Karma.

Wait, that doesn’t sound so much like acceptance as it sounds like mostly restrained frustrations.

My Rules for Lowbie LFD Tanking

NO TAMPERING WITH THE MAILNOTHING you can open in Strath contains something good. NOTHING.

NO TAMPERING WITH THE MAIL
NOTHING you can open in Strath contains something good. NOTHING.

RULE NUMBER ONE: KEEP ONE AOE SKILL HANDY AT ALL TIMES
Because if it’s there to be pulled, somebody’s probably going to pull it, intentionally or otherwise.  Whatever it is will almost certainly come with friends.

RULE NUMBER TWO: HE CAN’T HELP IT …
If you have a feral druid DPS in the party, he or she is most likely experiencing an identity crisis and will be shapeshifting for most of the dungeon.  As long as he isn’t actually trying to tank while in bear, he’s harmless.

When you see him switch between tree and cat forms in the middle of the fight, be glad all you do is tank crap, and that’s pretty straight forward at this stage of the game since you are a paladerp and all you do is faceroll in your unsurpassable natural (and only) form.  And just disregard the fact that really, only one of the druid forms is useful for his current spec/role.  Dude’s just confused.

RULE NUMBER THREE: … BUT THEY CAN
Huntards and other ranged classes (but mostly huntards, since they’re not AS squishy as mages) like to shoot sheeyit before you get to it.  Save them if you want to, but a little damage would probably do ’em good.  Just sayin’.

Maybe ...Except the druid wiped too, which makes me think that either 1.) he didn't plan his revenge well, or 2.) he didn't intend to have us die at all.

Maybe …
Except the druid wiped too, which makes me think that either 1.) he didn’t plan his revenge well, or 2.) he didn’t intend to have us die at all.

RULE NUMBER FOUR: MAKE SURE THE HEALER’S GOT YOUR BACK
Because sometimes, the huntard’s got to die.  Also, a good healer who doesn’t panic can save your ass when everything goes to hell – a.k.a., the room in Scholomance with Professor Slate.  Said healer can also save your ass when the chronically confused catbeartreemanbird gets distracted with all the shapeshifting and pulls crap on accident.

Take It Or Leave It'cause I'm stayin'.

Take It Or Leave It
’cause I’m stayin’.

RULE NUMBER FIVE: STAND YOUR GROUND
If you don’t want to run the dungeon like someone who’s hopped up on six venti expresso machiatto chai latte whatevers, then don’t.  You are the tank.  They can take it or leave it.  (As a side note, I’m at full mana because I’m a level 40-something with a mana pool about thiiiiiis big, so I regen what I use in a second – a.k.a., about the time I finish sassing you for pulling half the stuff in Janice Barov’s room.  Being right on the internet is OBVIOUSLY more important than your schedule.)

After all, if you won’t take the damage and the healer won’t heal it, they’re not likely to get very far.  And if they do, then hey – it’s EXP you didn’t have to work for!

RULE NUMBER SIX: IF YOU WANT TO KICK THEM, WELL, YOU PROBABLY CAN’T
If the annoyance they cause is not worth the EXP, then leave.  You’ll get another party because LOLZTANKQUEUEISAMAZING.  If Deserter status occurs, well, you just saved some brain cells and that’s good for you.

He Touched My HAIR!THAT'S IT.

He Touched My HAIR!
THAT’S IT.

RULE NUMBER SEVEN: ACT LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING
Almost nobody knows where to go in Dire Maul, anyway.

RULE NUMBER EIGHT: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN CLAIM IT WAS AN ACCIDENT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD
Positioning Instructor Chillheart so that your DPS is at imminent risk of Ice Wall death is considered cruel, even if you do find it enjoyable.

I’m a Barbie Girl! In a blood elf woooorld!

Is It Just MeOr is trying to kick people getting a little ridiculous?

Is It Just Me
Or is trying to kick people getting a little hard?

“I need another platewearer,” I said.  “One who is ridiculous and revels in it.”  It couldn’t be a DK, due to Blizzard refusing to let you have more than one per server.  It couldn’t be a warrior, because I like Charge and am pretty much bored with everything else.  That left paladerp, and my eternal conundrum of Tauren fingers and no hairdos vs. the “oh God what have I done it’s a blood elf” feelings.

Dreddies mentioned wanting to make a warlock, and he always makes blood elf men since they have superfab hair.  I figured if I was going to do this, now would be the time, right?  I can get a pal to help me endure the mellow, unchanging starting zone music!  Hence, Violaryn came into being after some failed attempts and discussions on how blood elf names need to have a certain amount of self-satisfaction and ridonkulousness. (Dreddies became Resenthic, since he made me come up with a name for his new char too.)  Oh Gawd, what have I done?  It’s a blood elf!

"RAWR" is good.A really strained kinda shouted statement is not.

“RAWR” is good for a /roar.
A really strained kinda shouted statement is not.

I don’t know how long Vi will last, so she doesn’t even get a Category lest she fall under the long list of “The Alts Who Didn’t Make It.”  So far, she lives under several restrictions:

  1. She is not allowed to emote except under extreme duress, such as a bad hair day, which blood elves never have.  (Otherwise, I fear I will delete her in a fit of annoyance.)
  2. She must have the most ridiculous and fabulous hair possible.  Screw realistic!  Forget functional!  (Because that’s what blood elves are for, right?)
  3. She cannot be Retribution at any time because I am not interested in attempting to recreate Niremere’s action bars.  (Oh yeah, and she can’t use Niremere’s hairstyle EVER.)
  4. When she wipes, she has to play /violin.  (Alas, there is no /viola …)

Because I care SO MUCH (actually, it’s not so much laziness/cheapness as it is a desire for super quick, relatively painless EXP and a total lack of surplus JP), she is wearing the random castoff heirlooms from everybody else.  There’s the agility mail helm and mail legs … the intelligence mail shoulders and chest that were originally for, you know, a shaman … and dat sword with parry from when I had a short lived cowtank.  With this gear setup, she’s clearly destined for healing.  YEAH!

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY NEXT CONUNDRUMMMM

See, on the one hand, I hate responsibility in game.  The nice thing about being DPS is that you are generally only responsible for your own incompetent self.  On the other, I also care very much about my own personal convenience, so being DPS totally sucks because tanks and healers got the queue GOOD.  Tanks, of course, have the queue the best, so maybe I should tank and claim that all that agility gear is for dodge.  Yeah.  LIKE A BEAR.

I healed one dungeon and then switched to Protection because waiting twenty minutes for a tank who wasn’t even level 20 seemed kinda stupid.  This led to a string of parties where I was never able to successfully kick the huntard (and it was ALWAYS a huntard) who insisted on 1.) pulling, 2.) not turning Growl off, and 3.) leaving his pet dead, which, I guess, was probably for the best anyway.  I don’t remember huntard having such a high learning curve at level 20, but what do I know?

Since I couldn’t kick them, I made friends with the healer and we let them die instead.  Best death witnessed was in Wailing Caverns.  Huntard pulled a boss (Verdan the Everliving), and I didn’t take the aggro because I asked several times quite politely to stop doing that.  Of course, the healer wasn’t healing him either, so he started doing the standard hunter thing of backing the boat up while shooting.  Only thing was, he backed up off the edge of the cliff, took severe fall damage, ran into another mob down at the bottom and died.

JUSTICE.