Tag Archives: lfr

I Give Up (on Tokens, Not in General)

Last week, Ignitine was still wearing a quest robe (item level was like, 603 or something), and what I wanted more than anything was a robe that was just a little less embarrassing – that one that Tectus drops would fit the bill real well.  Unfortunately, last week’s LFR loot results were as follows:

Kargath Bladefist: Shoes I already had
Everybody else: Gold

You Shall Not Haz Oh.  Okay den.

You Shall Not Haz
Oh. Okay den.

I didn’t have any extra rolls, because one of the challenges altoholics have is how we never seem to have quite enough of any one resource to get the full three tokens.  Ignitine is still maxing out her garrison buildings, so she’s low on both Garrison Resources and gold (for eff’s sake, why are those plans so expensive!?), and I don’t really PvP unless there’s that ONE perfect transmog item I NEED that cannot be substituted for anything else.  But by golly, I wanted to up Ignitine’s gear score and I was fixated on that awful robe, so I finally scraped together enough gold and got myself a shiny token.  SWEET, I GOT A TOKEN.  TIME TO RUN LFR AGAIN.

Ready Check for Murder Ok, ok, so this is a dungeon ready check and not one for LFR, but I found it on Pinterest and was like, IT'S PERFECT FOR THIS

Ready Check for Murder
Ok, ok, so this is a dungeon ready check and not one for LFR, but I found it on Pinterest and was like, IT’S PERFECT FOR THIS (despite the pixelation)

The queue finally pops, but then we wipe because they pulled all the trash without tanks.  Okay.  I’m not upset yet.  I’m not gonna leave, I really want to try for that freaking robe.  That was just a derp, really, and you gotta assume that LFR is gonna derp (despite how easy it is these days). We get Tectus down, and it’s time for my extra roll squee!

Given the title of this post, I’m sure you know the result.

BUT LO!  What’s this!?  My followers got a rare mission for a single token!  SQUEE!  ANOTHER CHANCE!  TIME TO DO IT AGAIN!

The queue pops, and we make it to Tectus without wiping.  Alas, the tank pulls Tectus too far out of the area and resets him at about 35%.  Okay.  I’m not upset yet.  I’m not gonna leave, I really want to try for that freaking robe.  We get Tectus down, and it’s time for my extra roll squee!

Yes.  Gold again.

Given that RNG and I are now obviously estranged, this is not a new problem for me.  I realize they can’t just hand us loot, or people would moan about LFR being even more of a gift-giving trainwreck than it already is.  But it’s like, dude, for the time I put into identifying that low piece of gear as THE PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED, getting the extra token, queueueueueing and killing the boss all the while getting my hopes up that the SOLUTION IS AT HAND – and repeating the whole shebang on multiple alts – that gold just sucks.

After cursing the name of RNG through Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar, I believe I have enough experience to conclude that the only real protection against dashed hopes is to stop inviting hope in the first place – so no more tokens for me!  If they happen to come my way via follower mission, that’s fine.  But I’m sure as hell not going to actively pursue getting three tokens per week.  The satisfaction of knowing that I did everything possible to improve my gear is nothing compared to the annoyance of knowing I did everything within my power and still ended up with no gear to show for it.

 

 

(p.s., I think I rather preferred the ubiquitous bags that you opened rather than looting the bosses, for two reasons – one, you can open on the run, which is important in LFR, and two, you had a small chance of random crap like belts and pets that made the gold seem somehow less stupid.)

 

Yawnmaul

So last week I moved, and it was A Week, which essentially means that every single day was written off as total crap.  I’d decided that as soon as we got the internet working in the new place, I had to play WoW.  Therefore, I set myself up on a little end table (my desk had not yet been moved) and dinged my knee pretty hard so that I could try out at least one wing of the new LFR.

Nope nope, outdated.  Start over.

So last week I pretty much had a meltdown

Let’s rephrase that.

So my various families observed the holidays last week, which essentially means that every single day was devoted to things “in the real world” and not the digital.  This is me, though, so I snuck away for a little WoW time here and there!

Oh wait, it’s outdated again!

So last week was New Year’s and the Significant Other got the flu, which essentially means that every single day was

You know what, forget it.  This, children, is why you should publish your blog posts before a million things happen, because otherwise you do more things and you’ve gotta revise.  Repeatedly.

I also recently switched to a new computer.  While my four year old CPU was literally a tower of processing power at one time, it has now been eclipsed by a creation capable of showing reflections on water surfaces, and ripples on the water, and dramatic views off into the far distance, and light beams and all that fancy visual crap!  Alas, I was too excited to transfer all my screenshots at that time, so while they are not exactly lost, they are unavailable at the time of this posting.  GIFS FOR ALL INSTEAD.

Derp Derp Derp Derp Don't mind me.

Derp Derp Derp Derp
Don’t mind me.

While waiting in the long DPS queue, I pondered why you had to get a silver in the proving grounds for heroic dungeons, but not for LFR, even though incompetence would inconvenience a far larger group of people in the latter.  To me, the “natural order” has always been something like Dungeons (Normal > Heroic) > LFR > Real Raiding™, but guildmates insisted that heroic dungeons are supposed to be harder than LFR nowadays.  So now it’s more like Normal Dungeons > LFR > Heroic Dungeons > Real Raiding™.  Oh, and LFR is obsolete because of flex, or so I’m told.

How LFR Works Now After all, it requires little skill these days.

How LFR Works Now
Well, kinda how it always did.

Anyway, I was assured that the first wing of Highmaul LFR would be a total faceroll, and indeed, it was.  On the upside, there were only three bosses to the first wing, which I think is the darn perfect number for an LFR session – not too brief and therefore unsatisfying, but not too long and therefore irritating.  On the downside, the “challenge” level of LFR has been scaled to a point where even I, consummate lazy bum that I am, think there maaaaay be a problem.  If you make most things this easy,  you are guaranteed to get at least one or more stacks of Determination when the group reaches a boss that can’t simply be smashed to bits like the bosses before it (see: Ko’ragh, I haven’t tried that wing again yet).  Also, I get a feeling of “uh, wow.  Was that it?”

Kargath Bladefist
So I guess Kargath hooks some people with chains and throws ’em into the audience (I’m told it’s a random selection in LFR).  That didn’t happen to me, though, so I was bored.  It felt kind of like the Sha of Fear LFR fight, but with more testosterone and less fleeing in terror.  There were these “Flame Pillar” fiery skull-things that popped up and disappeared throughout the fight.  They’re apparently very important for interrupting Kargath’s Berserker Rush, but he didn’t target me for that, either, and I wasn’t dumb enough to stand next to them, so shape of the burning pillars reminded me of those round tube-like brushes you see in car washes.  Suddenly I was thinking of cleaning things …

How to improve: Get Kargath some shampoo and open the freaking Tiger Pits, and maybe have some tigers with blades on their paws pop out of them!  Yeah, that’s a great idea!

The Butcher
How was this even considered a boss?  I’ve met snails tougher than that!  Oh wait, he gave me loot, therefore, he is a boss.  Somehow.

How to improve: Get rid of this guy, or at least give him his primary mechanic back.  I mean, seriously, he is embarrassing right now.

Brackenspore
This one seemed more fun with the different kinds of adds spawning.  There must’ve been a handful of experienced folk present, because otherwise I cannot explain how the group went in swinging and came out alive without any stacks of Determination.

How to improve: First, add more flamethrowers.  Second, replace Brackenspore with Thok v2, and instead of mushrooms and plants appearing throughout the fight, have a bunch of mini raptor-sized Thoks show up instead.  Their bites would debilitate you in different ways!  If you got “Lose a Leg,” you’d experience a 35% reduction to mobility.  “Nomming on Your Noggin” would slow your casting speed, and so on.

I Am a Mighty Lion Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

I Am a Mighty Lion
Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

All in all, I do appreciate the move away from encounters where one person doing something stupid at the very start can screw the whole thing up, a la talking to Lorthie or Wrynn and beginning the Galakras fight before a tower team has been chosen (or before everybody’s zoned in).  Still, I kind of miss the LFR ToT level of challenge.  Okay, okay, I miss the LFR ToT level of challenge minus Durumu and Lei Sheeyit.  I definitely miss the snails.  I hope there’s something quirky like them in one of the later wings that gives this raid some character.

 

 

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.

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.

Avoiding Death by a Thousand Snarks in LFR

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This The "raid leader" took his group-arrangement very seriously.

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This
The “raid leader” took his group arrangement duties very seriously.

Since the new raid is just about done rolling out in LFR, I figured it might be too late helpful to share my “mental survival mechanisms” that enable me to make it through repeat exposure to LFR.  Well, I guess my unsolicited advice could be annoying as hell too, but hey!  That shrill, insistent quality of mine should be nothing new.  /grin

Warning!  TL:DR.  I spend a lot of time thinking about LFR.

1. Don’t tell folks you don’t know what you’re doing.  No, seriously.  Nobody wants to know.

Don't Tell Me This Lalalala I'M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Don’t Tell Me This
Lalalala I’M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Trust me, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, we’ll figure that out soon enough.  They say ignorance is bliss, and I want my last few minutes of it before my idealistic dreams and my poor body lie shattered upon the ground.  If you are a tank, take a moment to talk to the other tank instead of telling us all that it’s your first time here.  If you are a healer, you might find it helpful to do a DPS run beforehand.  And if you’re DPS, nobody really cares unless the group wipes repeatedly.  Viva la DPS!

2. Always dress for the occasion!

Go Home and Try Again And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Go Home and Try Again
And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Whoa whoa whoa.  Why are you in Heart of Fear wearing Firelands gear?  That’s like walking into a nuclear reactor dressed in a bathing suit!

3. This is not 10-man normal.  Or 25.  Or heroic, even.  Or whatever it is you do in your spare time.

When In Rome ... You never touch the freaking blue head.  We hate that one.  IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

When In Rome …
You never touch the freaking blue head. We hate that one. IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

Assuming that LFR will do things the “Normal,” “Right” or “Your” way is highly likely to be fatal.  Because 25 strangers are not likely to become a cohesive raid team with solid communication anytime soon, LFR develops standardized methods for approaching every boss and area within an instance.   These defined roles and routines increase everyone’s chances of survival, including yours, whether or not they are wrong and/or inefficient.  Case in point: Megeara.  NO NO NO NO NO WE WILL NOT DPS MEGEARA’S BLUE HEAD IN LFR BAD NO STOP.

4. Don’t turn into a freaking elitist.

Why Not to Be an Elitist Because sooner or later you'll end up saying something dumb like this.

Why Not to Be an Elitist
Because sooner or later you’ll end up saying something dumb like this.

Sooner or later (most likely sooner if you’re attempting the new, fancy LFRs), you’ll encounter the LFR elitist.  The LFR elitist is always unhappy because he or she feels unfairly burdened by carrying everyone else.  At the same time, said elitist is subconsciously aware of his personal inadequacy, for if he really WAS carrying everybody else, the group would’ve cleared the content!  This person typically manages to have a morally superior tone despite lacing language with profanity.   The LFR elitist has no problem detailing every way everybody else is failing, but be aware that he or she may experience issues with grammar and spelling while absorbed in self-righteous fury.  The LFR elitist is a fair-weather player and prone to temper tantrums when things aren’t going so well.

Don’t be that guy.  Remember, numbers don’t justify being an asshat, especially because …

5. Recount is a lie.

Recount is great for getting a sense of where you stand in general, but very bad for getting a sense of where you stand relative to people in this particular LFR.

Take, for example, my Recount screencaps above.  The DK was clearly rofflestomping the living daylights outta everything ever, but the rest of it is a bit more hazy.  Consider Mr. K.  His Recount was showing him “in the top 5,” but what, exactly, was he looking at?  DPS?  Damage Done?  Was he looking at overall data or for a specific fight?  And even if we are looking at the same thing, everyone’s Recount will show something slightly different.  When I looked back at my screenshots, I had one showing overall DPS (including trash, Galakras and Iron J.) which put poor, unhappy Mr. K at #8.

6. Have a Stupidity Limit.

Everyone has a limit to their tolerance, some line in the sand at which you will go no farther and to hell with those who try to push you over it.  When it comes to LFR, I recommend setting a special Stupidity Limit far lower than your point of explosion, but somewhere above the feeling a papercut gives you.  When your Stupidity Limit is reached, leave the LFR.  That way, you surf past the minor stuff, but you leave before things get to be Too Much.  

The Porcupine Leads The Way

The Porcupine Leads The Way

Sounds obvious, right?  But we hang around for all sorts of reasons, even when we’ve become irritated or angry.  Perhaps we don’t want to queue again, because it took so long the first time around.  Maybe you have a friend or a guildmate in your LFR group who just really wants to down the last boss so he or she can get into the next segment.  Sloppy boss kills may drive you up the wall, but there’s that one piece of gear that you really, really want from the next boss, so you’ll stay a little longer anyway.  Maybe you think these people aren’t putting in the same kind of effort that you are, but you need valor for upgrades, so you feel like you’re S.O.L. and have to put up with it.

But once you’ve reached a point where you feel nothing positive or even feel like a victim of the “bad community,” you end up contributing to your own hate of LFR.  You’re forcing yourself to do something that upsets you, and there’s no way that can possibly end with you feeling happy about much at all.  Additionally, if you act poorly towards others as a result of your feelings by snarking or pointing out how you’ve never wiped on this boss before el oh el, you contribute to their hate of LFR.  Either way, you have become part of your problem.

So when your Stupidity Limit is reached, take a break.  Go away.  Do something else.  You will be happier for it.  My personal Stupidity Limit seems to be somewhere around three or four keyboard warriors actively attempting to prove their righteousness and/or that they’re right in instance chat.  That’s when I reference a nope.jpg to remind myself of the solution, and leave the group.

7. Have realistic expectations.

Normally, when people say this, they mean something like “what were you expecting, a real raid group?”  It’s got an additional meaning when it comes from me, which is, “don’t assume this group is a piece of sheeyit before you even get into it.”  LFR is merely a bunch of strangers who may or may not share your priorities.  They are likely distracted by something somewhere, which could be anything from a pet or child to dinner or a recent breakup.  They will have varying levels of skill and knowledge.  Some will come in well experienced and some will come in expecting to learn by doing.

For the most part, they are average people of average intent.  They’re not necessarily there to coast on your skills, eff you over by mucking up the mechanics or intentionally racking up the stacks of Determination.  They’d like to land some loot, get some valor, or see some “content.”

They are, in short, like you.

The Dream vs. The Reality No matter what you say, it still won't have 'em.

The Dream vs. The Reality
No matter what you say, it still won’t have ’em.

Obviously, overestimating the capabilities of strangers will set you up for disappointment.  But consistently underestimating them doesn’t mean that you’ll be pleasantly surprised, either.  It guarantees nothing more than you coming into the LFR with an attitude that’s already kinda lousy and prone to getting worse.  So you think the community sucks and you pretty much never try talking at all anymore?  You’re not the only one, which may be why nobody ever tries talking at all anymore, which may be part of why the community seems to suck and … well, you get the idea.

This is my roundabout way of saying “People, I love you, but not every LFR EVER sucks, and your constant complaining is annoying me while simultaneously contributing to your own unhappiness.”

8. If today is not the day, well, today is not the day.

RNG is Not Your Friend And RNG delights in your misery.

RNG is Not Your Friend
And RNG delights in your misery.

There are days when you just can’t win, and forcing yourself to try is both an exercise in self punishment and a study in futility.  If you are already cranky, angry and tired, don’t even bother queueing.  If the game/RNG seems to have it in for you, don’t go jumping from the frying pan into the fire!  One of the nice things about LFR is that it will be there later.  It took me three runs to complete “Last Stand of the Zandalari” on Daschela, for example.  The first party was just too derpy to live, which didn’t jive well with my general brokeness (repairs ack).  I requeued the same day, but the second party had some jerks that I just did not feel like dealing with.  So I left it alone for a couple days, and the third party I had?  We made it through with no problem.  They were even friendly!

Remember, there will always be a next week, and sometimes peace of mind is more valuable than shinies.

TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT Or something like that?

TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT
Or something like that?

The Moment No One’s Been Waiting For

In the past, I’ve always waited a week or more to try “the new” LFR.  This allowed time for strategic nerfs (see: Durumu, Lei Shen), as well as sufficient time for me to buy into the idea that my fellow LFRers were now reasonably familiar with the relevant content – or at least, familiar enough to smash our way through with a couple stacks of Determination.  Thank you, Determination, for existing.  Other people may regard you as a brand of shame, but I?  No!  I LOVE YOU!

When it came time to take on the Siege of Orgrimmar LFR, however, I decided I was just gonna get this DONE.  I’m not really sure what happened to my former caution.  Perhaps going through it beforehand via flex raiding made me feel more competent in general, or maybe my new “real raider” cred infected me with overconfidence?   Or it could’ve been the way LFR seemed old hat now, like I’ve been through The Bad a dozen times before, so there’s no way THIS could be any worse.  I’m experienced.  I’m tough.  I’m resolute!  NOTHING CAN FAZE ME!

On Second Thought I'll never be ready for all the things.

On Second Thought
I’ll never be ready for all the things.

As it turned out, in order for me to get from start to finish on the first wing, I wound up having to kill Immerseus and the Fallen Protectors three times each and Norushen the Amalgam twice.  So much effort (and so many repairs) for so little loot (one Purehearted Cricket Cage).

First Attempt
Bosses downed: Immerseus, Fallen Protectors, Norushen Amalgam

My first go was on Tuesday, and accordingly, this was the most competent group.  We got through the first three bosses without too much trouble, though the way LFR handles the “Look Within” mechanic on the Amalgam felt way awkward.  In LFR, “Look Within” is completely random.  It’s much like closing your eyes, waving your hand about and then pointing to an item on a restaurant menu!  As a result, you gotta pray to Gawd that somebody who has previously been selected to “Look Within” (and is less Corrupted) also happens to be looking for and is willing to soak the bad orbs.  I don’t know if I have that kind of trust!

The first attempt on the Amalgam, I didn’t get selected to “Look Within” at all and remained at 75% Corruption for the entire fight.  The next time around, I got selected to “Look Within” … twice.  Say what?

It just so happens that my guild does Flex on Tuesdays, though, so I had to leave while the LFR was still figuring out the mechanics to the Sha of Pride.  That was probably ok by the LFR group, however …

How Could I Resist Such a big, fat and obvious pun simply begs to be made.

How Could I Resist
Such a big, fat and obvious pun simply begs to be made.

Second Attempt
Bosses downed: Immerseus, Fallen Protectors

Welp.  Since misery loves company, I decided to make my next queue a grand affair, and I invited as many people as I could possibly drag along.  This, of course, meant that it ended badly and I wound up apologizing to everyone for getting them horribly maimed.  Oops.

Seems About Right I'm dead, that's par for the course.  Everybody else?  Weeeeell ...

Seems About Right
I’m dead, that’s par for the course. Everybody else? Weeeeell …

It wasn’t awful at first.  We kept getting slammed with damage during the Immerseus fight, but we still made it through (yay for healers!).  We managed to flail our way to victory over the Fallen Protectors!  But that’s when a tank dropped.  Then the second went.  After a long wait, another tank showed up, but he/she dropped instantly upon realizing we were already part way through the instance.  People came via the queue, but more people dropped.  Our numbers were slowly decreasing as we stood there, waiting, unable to take on even trash but unwilling to drop ourselves because 1.) we’d already been waiting for who knows how long, and 2.) I don’t know about YOU, but I really don’t want to fight those bosses AGAIN, since I can’t loot and have no tokens for extra rolls.

Remembering The Good Old Days You know, back then.

Remembering The Good Old Days (To Pass Time)
You know, back then.

In hindsight, I should’ve teleported out of the dungeon right then and there.  Done something else, maybe, like mining while we waited.  But I didn’t, because I didn’t want a tank to miraculously show up and then chain pull, rendering me unable to enter the instance.

So of course, that’s when the rogue decided to be a freaking asshat.  Let’s pull trash and get everybody killed!  Yay!  Your death is my fun!  Ha ha at your repair bills!  Look at me, all vanished and at full health!  Trollololol!  He failed the first time, since he died himself, but (since my attempt at a votekick failed) he succeeded the second. Dear Blizzard: please put an easy-access escape ramp to the spot where you jump down into the Fallen Protectors area, so I can get the hell out of Dodge when someone does this, instead of getting stuck on a dang rock and dying because I can’t teleport out while in combat.

Good For You You still got nothin' on the guy who told people to stack on the snails.

Good For You
You still got nothin’ on the guy who told people to stack on the snails.

And so, we decided to abandon the effort and call it a night.

Third Attempt
Bosses downed: None

Tried To Get Other People But as you can see, they were otherwise engaged.

Tried To Get The Same People
But as you can see, they were otherwise engaged.

Cav got back from leave the very next day, which is when I decided “we” should try again!  I’d say that it’s one of the worst decisions that I’ve ever made, but I know I’ve made worse.  I dragged Cav and Goa into the queue, and pop!  There we were, in front of Immerseus.  Splendid.  Why is it that you never get a partially completed run when you actually want one?

Unfortunately, this party was full of derp, and I mean FULL OF IT.  Somewhere between the tank deciding to pull the boss with only one tank present and somebody deciding to blame Cav for another premature pull (which I don’t think he did), our hopes for a bearable run vanished.  We gave up and left.

This happens to be the inspiration I had for downloading and installing “Who Pulled,” an addon devoted exclusively to (surprise!) telling you who the heck pulled that crap.  Don’t blame my buddies!  I’ll find out who the real jerk is!  /detective

Fourth Attempt:
Bosses downed: All of them, thank Gawd

So, with my fancy addon up and running, I felt confident that I could identify and publicly point out whatever dastardly evildoer pulled before everybody was ready!  Alas, the addon isn’t very specific.  By “pulled,” it means whoever got whatever’s attention, and I do mean WHATEVER – anything goes.  It has an “ignore” list that you can add things to, but the list is very small to start off with.  The generalness and the small list combined means that your chat is suddenly overwhelmed with warnings, somewhat like, OH MY GOD!  PEOPLE ARE PULLING WILD MUSHROOMS!  …. wait, what?  That’s that druid thing!  Oh my GAWD!  ALL THE PEOPLE PULLED ALL THE IMMERSEUS BLOBS!!  WE’RE GOING TO DIE … uh, actually, they’re still oozing towards Immerseus like normal.  Huh.  Here’s an example from a HoF LFR Daschela was in:

Wild Mushroom?  Really? Also, I don't CARE about the rings!

Wild Mushroom? Really?
Also, I don’t CARE about the rings!

So I wound up putting it on “Silent Mode,” in which it does nothing whatsoever and it’s like I never installed it at all!  Sigh.

Don't Worry, I Got This (I Think) On second thought, go ahead and worry.  The flashbacks may be unnecessary though.

Don’t Worry, I Got This (I Think)
On second thought, go ahead and worry. The flashbacks may be unnecessary though.

Anyway, this particular LFR wasn’t a perfect run, by any stretch of the imagination.  We were either taking a CRAPTON of damage in the Fallen Protectors fight or had more than one healer who was undergeared and couldn’t keep up with the onslaught, so I actually ditched elemental and switched to resto.  Given that the idea of healing LFR on the first week filled me with terror, I performed quite respectably.  I didn’t die, AND I made it into the top three healers!  (By my standards, this is nothing short of amazing.)  Accordingly, I was given a reality check when a derpadin insisted he was beating the hell out of the HPS, though my recount showed him at #8 overall.  Numbers do not matter.  Two things matter: what’s inside your own head, and whether or not we survived to win the fight.

Sha of Pride Lisa Frank + Sha = The happiest looking Sha I've yet seen.

Sha of Pride
Lisa Frank + Sha = The happiest looking Sha I’ve yet seen.

Skipping ahead to the Sha of Pride, I gotta say, there is one thing that bugs me about the room in which it resides – those dang blue swirlies.  Do they look familiar to you?  They should, since they’re pretty much the same blue swirlies  from the Lei Shen fight.  But do not be deceived, my friends, for standing in these will not prevent adds and will just get you nuked dead.

Surprise!  Last Tier Lied This time, it'll kill you.

Surprise! Last Tier Lied
This time, it’ll kill you.