Tag Archives: how to lfr

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!

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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.

Maybe NORMAL Raiding Should Die

Because we’re people, and most people like to complain, we’re often bemoaning the demise of one thing or another.  Right now, our most troubled children include rogues, 10-man normal raiding, LFR in general and sometimes life itself.   The decline of 10-man normal raiding is the end of guilds as we know ’em!  It’s the end of the community which sucked since Vanilla anyway!  It’s the end of anyone ever having ambitions!   It’s the end of skilled players and everyone will suck terribad in the future!  It’s the end of our collective dignity!  We might as well just go crawl in a hole and die, like the game’s VERY SOUL.

Well, I’m just going to throw this out there: maybe normal raiding SHOULD die.  Maybe this whole new “Flex Raiding” thing will edge normal out INSTEAD of making LFR obsolete.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While my general point stands, I am often sarcastic in presentation.  Most of my backup is anecdata and the rest exaggeration.

TL:DR VERSION: Normal’s a good idea whose time has come and gone, LFR is not to blame, and also, you’re doing it wrong.

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