Tag Archives: raid finder

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?

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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.

Noobhealing Lookback

So Much Going On Things can get a little chaotic.

So Much Going On
Things can get a little chaotic.

Healing makes every fight feel far faster to me (until I run out of mana), as I am intensely focused on that task and have an immense dread of seeing stacks of Determination upon my person. It’s not that I mind the wipes, because sometimes sheeyit happens.  I’m just allergic to the jerks who start talking sheeyit in response to repeated ones.

The Secret to Success The One Habit of Highly Successful LFRers

The Secret to Success
The One Habit of Highly Successful LFRers

My cats will tell you that when I am healing, they get no love.  I will, horrifyingly, refuse to even pet them, because I simply can’t sacrifice that much attention (or spare the limb).  As it turns out, I like having to care, because it makes things more interesting … but at the same time, my capacity for caring has its limitations.  There’s only so much I am willing to put myself through, because having to care takes a lot more energy.  I can deal with caring + mechanics, or I can deal with caring + the total whining nincompoops that often show up in LFR, but I can’t deal with all three at once.  So at this point, unless pressed by friends who are looking for a faster queue, I will not heal for:

Terrace of Endless Spring
Reason: Tsulong

I.  Hate.  That “night” phase.  Hate it.  It’s a mana-sucking void of quasi-doom where people either stand in the Sunbeam and drop puddles of fear into it, or they never go into the Sunbeam and the stacks deal increasing amounts of damage while I am getting ever lower on mana.  It’s not impossible, and my best buddy Tremor Totem helps out, but it’s not fun, either.  Somewhere between the rising sense of “OMG, OOM” and praying for the DPS to kill faster plzkthx, I got a passive-aggressive thought going, “Well, I SAW ’em make a healthstone, so they should USE IT.”  This inevitably collides with a sudden realization that I am glad I don’t actually know how many stacks of the debuff everybody has, because then I’d get depressed.

I hate having to heal Tsulong too.  FIRST you put me through the wringer with constant raid-wide damage that increases with each stack of the debuff, and NOW you want me to heal this mother trucking NPC too?  Look, I say we heal him to death with swords some more.  What does he actually do when he’s not terrified of the dark anymore (because we beat the sheeyit out of him), anyway?  I STILL DON’T KNOW.

On the upside, healing Sha of Fear is easy as … well, taking candy from a baby doesn’t do it justice, because the baby cries and throws a fit.

Forgotten Depths
Reason: Tortos

@#$%ing ninety million @#$%ing turtles and ninety million @#$%ing bats and the turtles ricochet EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE and they interrupt me ALL THE TIME and it’s just, AUGH, GAWD I CAN’T STAND IT I HATE MY LIFE CASTING CRAP SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD.  Yo, I’m gonna Riptide you and toss out a totem, but that’s about it until Spiritwalker’s Grace is off cooldown.  Stop standing in sheeyit, will you?  Oops, there goes the bat tank.  Well, @#$%, there goes the raid, the bats are chewing everybody’s faces off.  @#$@ing turtles.  @#$^ing bats.

Bleeping Turtles, Bleeping Bats THEY'RE EVERYWHERE

Bleeping Turtles, Bleeping Bats
THEY’RE EVERYWHERE

Halls of Flesh-Shaping
Reason: Durumu

Because being dead does such wonders for your numbers.

Purple BS I agree.  Of course, in stopping to take this shot, I died.

Purple BS
I agree. Of course, in stopping to take this shot, I died.

Pinnacle of Storms
Reason: Lei Sheeeeeeeeyit

I’ll be honest: I haven’t tried to heal this one again after the last time.  I can’t bring myself to do it because healing the Lei Shen fight just seems about as fun as jamming your hand into a hot toaster.  If it’s not me feeling antsy about my numbers to begin with, it’s me dreading the fact that I’m an obvious target for sniping because my numbers are, “at this stage of the game,” considered le suck.  As DPS, my numbers can be le suck and little to no attention will be paid to me, unless:

  • I screw up in an epic manner, such as the rogue who Shadowsteps off the platform somehow
  • The LFR wiped and people want somebody to blame it on, but the tanks are capable and the healers say they were healing, so everybody below a certain DPS threshold is a target
  • I was a jerk and pulled before everybody was ready or even back from the last wipe

Frankly, this can be a huge pro in the favor of DPSing, even if the DPS spec has the longest queue.

p.s., Did you realize that there’s “ham” in “shaman” …?  No WONDER I like it!

The Day LFR Failed to Fail

Politically Correct And of a different raid, but whatever, it was win.

Politically Correct
And of a different raid, but whatever, it was win.

Thanks to the magic power of Battletags, Kash, Neri and I got a group together for LFR purposes.  I selected Electrika for this occasion even though she’d already done her LFR rounds for the week because LIGHTNING HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LAVA WHEEEE I mean, uh, I’ve been having fun with elemental shaman-inating.  I queued as DPS to derp around since LAVA TO THE FACE it was rather late by my grandmotherly standards I’m scaaaaaaaaaared both Kash and Neri were healers, yeah, that’s it.  I perform somewhat unpredictably in elemental spec at this point.  There are times when I surprise myself with my even-though-I’m-in-resto-gear DPS, and then there are times when I’m SO bad, I’m like #32 or lower on Recount.  Yes, this number requires more than a handful of people to leave/join LFR, but trust me – it’s possible.

I invited Cal and we queued up, expecting the worst.

So There!

The scene: Forgotten Depths.

We were both shocked and pleased to make it past Tortos without a single wipe.  Indeed, we were thrilled to discover that we had landed in an LFR group that was, amazingly and wonderfully, NOT trying to win on the internet.  How did we know that we were part of such a group?  Well, because I pulled trash.  Oops.

The expansiveness of the huge cavern in which Megara lives has always posed a problem for LFRs.  Without being guided by hallways or something equally as obvious, people who don’t know quite where they’re going have a tendency to spread out a little too far for comfort.  Folks also run face first into patrols or trash quite often.  Because I’m generally too paranoid about pulling All The Things and will refuse to budge without a large number of bodies surrounding me, this is usually not my problem.  (After all, it’s easier to spread the blame if there are more possible culprits.)  This time around, however, lack of sleep shut down my typical “OMG WHAT IF” function, and I thought I could safely make it to that one area by the river without waiting for everybody else to move at the same exact time.  I was, of course, wrong.

I don’t really know how many shale spiders and fancy rock-circle-worm things I pulled, but I did die like whoa.  Because I am who I am, the first thing I did was spaz to the party.  The second thing I did was announce in instance chat that there were “Adds,” and I said I was “Sorry,” because I was.  Third thing I did was the run of shame from Spirit Healer back to the raid, as I knew full well that since I pulled trash, I probably didn’t deserve/wouldn’t get a res.  Then this happened:

LFR Got Your Back I'm stunned, pleased and very confused.

LFR Got Your Back
I’m stunned, pleased and very confused.

Well, hot damn.  I’ve seen it all.

So Close!

They say hope springs eternal, and indeed, Kash decided that she was going to teach me how to live through Durumu’s maze phase.  I’ve been getting a little better, to be honest, but I’ve not yet made it through on any attempt.

What The There was a camera illusion right when I happened to be discussing visual settings ...

What The
There was a camera illusion right when I happened to be discussing visual settings …

We determined there several things were impeding my survival.  One, I have projected textures turned off in order to improve performance, which may well improve performance but which is bad for surviving because it means you don’t see all the bad.  Two, there’s a gigantic beam of death that was beaming me to death and which I wasn’t seeing, probably because goblins are short as hell.  So, yes, purple bad, but laser exists too and is also bad.

WELL NO WONDER Also it's dark down here, that may be a problem too.

WELL NO WONDER
Also it’s dark down here, that may be a problem too.

It was kinda like Alice in Wonderland following the White Rabbit, except instead of a rabbit, there was a tree.  And instead of falling down the rabbit hole, you just fall down daeeeed.  But really, it’s pretty similar.

Follow the White ... Treant? Not quite a rabbit, but it'll have to do.

Follow the White … Treant?
Not quite a rabbit, but it’ll have to do.

Even under her tutelage, I failed.  BUT THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW.

And Yet So Far!

The LFR abruptly started to derp out around Dark Animus.  There were a couple guildmates from a server who recommended the AoE-all-the-things method, saying that the DPS was high enough for us to survive it.  Well, guess not, since we wiped.  This seemed to trigger their inner smartass, which conflicted with the crankypants tank’s personality, and BAM!  Spiral of bad started to happen.  This wipe also made somebody develop a case of premature pullation, which proved to be awkward for everybody involved.

The moment somebody triggered the encounter, the two party members with hair-trigger reflexes and connections (Cal and Kash) backed the boat up outside the door RIGHT before it closed.  As a monk, Cal can roll backwards, of course, and as a druid, Kash did some sort of unnatural earth magic thing and, as they were then locked out, they were saved.  Those of us who were farther from the door and slower to respond wiped again.  There was some votekicking of certain smartasses and some smartassing from those who thought kicking the highest DPS was probably bad (I think enduring smartassery is worse).

Then somebody prematurely pulled AGAIN, but the LFR apparently decided something to the effect of, “IT’S NOW OR NEVER AND WE WERE NOT GOING TO WIPE AGAIN DAMMIT.”  Except for Cal, that is, who managed to Roll right back out the door the moment he saw somebody make an errant move while everybody else was rebuffing/eating/etc.  We weren’t wiping, though, so he felt a little sheepish.

Miraculously, he somehow got into the room for the fight.  In the heat of the moment, nobody quite knew how he got in past the locked doors.  Then I died, so I took the opportunity to scroll up and look.  It was Matter Swap.  As it turns out, if you’re just outside the locked doors, you’re still a possible target for getting swapped with someone else in the raid!

Matter Swap, Master of All It was amazing.

Matter Swap, Master of All
It was amazing.

BRILLIANT.  Think of all the potential applications!

Matter Swap Potential This could be both so good and so bad.

Matter Swap Potential
This could be both so good and so bad.

p.s., Therm actually got a GUN gun from ToT and is weeping with joy over her improved firepower and also over finally passing the 500 ilevel barrier.  She’s safely in at 505, leaving Ele in the dust (still) at 491.

Healing LFR

Selecting, or Getting in the Groove
So far, I only have the “basics” in terms of addons updated and refunctioning since the patch.  I haven’t gotten around to installing Vuhdo, partially due to time (I’d have to learn it), but also because I find myself wondering if it would actually speed me up or not – I would still need to move my right hand away from the keys and to the mouse to mouse over someone, and then back again to heal.

No Russian Allowed Either While we're at it, I ban the speaking of French in front of Dark Animus.

No Russian Allowed Either
While we’re at it, I ban the speaking of French in front of Dark Animus.

As a result, I’m debating redoing my keybinds.  All my healing spells align to the right of the keyboard due to leveling via LFD/heroics.  The thing stopping me from doing this, however, is the fact that I keep the same “pattern” across multiple characters.  It helps when I’m reduced to blind button mashing (say, when in a PvP rage), because I’ll generally be hitting the right “type” of hotkey.  Any class that has any sort of healing capabilities will always have those abilities towards the right of the keyboard.  Priest, Death Knight, it doesn’t matter.  The order is typically Damage > Healing > Panic Buttons.  Relearning muscle memory for one character is bad enough, but all of ’em?  Eeeee.

I’m just going to have to keep practicing the motions and hope I get a little smoother at it.

Recount
I always think Recount should be taken with a grain of salt in an LFR setting due to the wide variety of gear that people show up wearing, not to mention the large gap in caring capacity that often exists.  The guy fresh out of heroics just isn’t going to do the same as the guy in ToT LFR/raid gear even if he’s some sort of magic miracle player, you know?

When I am DPS, I primarily use Recount just to keep an eye on whereabouts my DPS is “in general.”  Seeing it in the top 5 (or even in the top 10) is a nice ego boost, but, again, it’s LFR – a lot of that total is either my gear talking or the simple apathy of the team I wound up with.

When it comes to healing, my standards are generally quite simple.  Are we alive?  Then you did good!  Are we dead?  Well, then you did bad.

An Inch from Wiping Does this count as a photo finish?

An Inch from Wiping
Does this count as a photo finish?

But that sort of standard is dependent upon me being the only healer.  I can only attribute the fail 100% to my healing capabilities if I’m the only one in that role, after all.  When there are others, it suddenly becomes harder to determine whether I’m even remotely competent or if I just got lucky and was lumped in with some druid who drastically overgears the instance.  I find it kinda difficult to judge “where I am” in terms of capacity because if we’re alive and if I can probably thank other healers for that, then my only other option is to look at Recount – which is rather meaningless for the reason noted above.

My numbers are low to start off with, and I am making it worse.  As I’ve complained about that whole 300k mana limit before, I’m purposely avoiding Casting All The Damn Time, and I’m trying to choose smaller heals if at all possible.  I want to keep as much mana as I can so that if sheeyit hits the fan near the end, I’m not SOL – I can still pull out the big guns.  If we’re not taking big damage, I’ll toss some spells or a totem at the boss instead of more heals.  This means, however, that my HPS score is, uh … well, let’s just say that I’m generally the second to last healer in the line of numbers.

Dispels?  Close to the top!  General activity?  Practically number one.  Keeping up HOTs like Riptide or even Earth Shield on the main tank?  I’m pro!  Overall?  NO CLUE.

Wipe Paradeeeeeee
And then sometimes it just seems like there’s NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up If I keep on praying for it, maybe they'll do it.

Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up
If I keep on praying for it, maybe they’ll do it.

Even if I healed out the wazoo, I shouldn’t be the top healer – not at 484 gearscore.  Though I’m almost fully gemmed, I’m only partially enchanted at this point in time.  So imagine my surprise when Recount was showing me as #2 for most healing done during my last attempt at Durumu.  I was swamping the tanks and the DPS with all the heals I had, the tanks especially because Oh My God the DAMAGE – one moment they’d be fine, and the next you’d look at ’em to find they’re at 24% HP AND SHEEYIT HEAL CAST FASTER O CRAP!  SOMEBODY BATTLE RES THE TANK, FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD.  Fortunately, I never ran out of mana because we wiped constantly.

What Got Me This Time My combat log was helpful.  It said, "You died."  Thanks, but what did it?

What Got Me This Time
My combat log was helpful. It said, “You died.” Thanks, but what did it?

If it wasn’t one tank or the other suddenly kicking the bucket, it was the first maze phase wiping out over half the LFR.  I personally know that I AM going to die each and every time on the maze phase, because I Just Don’t Get It.  I get dodging bugs with tornadoes now, even if I have iron feet (and I actually made it to the end in Ghost Wolf form last time I tried woooo for progress), but I Just Don’t Get the “maze” of death that Durumu has.  I see the little jumpy purple electric lines on the floor, but somehow, those don’t ever tell my brain where it’s safe to stand.  It’s like in a different language.  I see the lines themselves for themselves, if that makes sense, but I don’t see the shape they’re meant to outline – once my brain DOES see them as outlines, it’s of a different shape, and I invariably wind up standing on the wrong side of things.  My plan (or at least, what WAS my plan) was to die as expected, and then use Reincarnation when the Purple Badness of Gawdawful Painful Death disappeared to pop up and keep on healing.

Except … what’s the point when half the raid or more went down on the same phase?

The third wipe was spectacular, as somebody pulled before the raid was actually ready to go.  We lost like a third of the group and we hadn’t even gotten to the color wheel phase yet!  After that, I just left.  Wiping is one thing, but wiping plus sarcastic better-player-than-thou type commentary is just more than I want to deal with.

Clearly, We're Going to Go Far Together Communication contributes to a cohesive group!

Clearly, We’re Going to Go Far Together
Communication contributes to a cohesive group!

Better-Player-Than-Thou Incoming
Warning!  Danger, Will Robinson, danger Will Robinson!  There’s a priest with a 509 item level who thinks that you suck and you should learn your class!  (484 item level and first time trying to heal Pinnacle of Storms not withstanding.  Actually, it was my second attempt vs. Lei Shen EVER, since he still terrifies me and Therm’s only gone in there once.)

Good Thing You Corrected Yourself Would never have guessed who you meant otherwise.

Good Thing You Corrected Yourself
Would never have guessed who you meant otherwise.

I don’t know what it was last night, but it was like somebody put industrially contaminated mud in the world’s chocolate cake or something – LFR was just filled to the BRIM with self-satisfied, superior players who were all too ready with a snappy retort to put down all the sucky, crappy, incompetent morons like the Rest Of Us.

Lord Forbid We Trouble the Mighty Raider This type of player is just a real big pisser.

Lord Forbid We Trouble the Mighty Raider
This type of player is just a real big pisser.

It’s the first time I’ve ever been a target for this type of behavior in LFR.  As a huntard, nobody really cares what I do as long as I don’t pull the boss or otherwise troll people.  I’ve certainly Said Things Back to this type of player before, but it’s always been in defense of other players, LFR in general or the perceived reason for this wipe or that one – not myself.

I wish I could report that I handled it with both sass and class, but after the second wipe on Lei Shen, I said “#%$& it” and left.   Worse, I started to tear up even though I know – I KNOW – that this kind of sour grape is full of certified bullshit.  It’s just that I been having actual fun in LFR up until this point.  I’d flown under the radar and hadn’t gotten called out by an asshole up until the last damn boss.  I thought I was doing ok – not great, certainly, but getting better – and I was honest to Gawd trying.  And then suddenly here’s this prick with his/her panties in a twist and a bad attitude the size of Jupiter, and the reality of LFR (hey yeah, there are asshole strangers!) intruded again.  @%$# you for raining on my parade.

So then I switched to Therm, thinking well, let me try to get a bow from Tortos or something.  Nobody gives a crap about Therm, right?

Urge to Burn Sheeyit Rising Maybe I should level my warlock next.

Urge to Burn Sheeyit Rising
Maybe I should level my warlock next.

She zoned into a group that had, apparently, wiped on trash.  Ok, whatever – this is current content, so yes, trash CAN still kill you if you aren’t careful.  But this group was also full of the same kind of person that I HATE, all ragging on the new tank for not quite getting sheeyit right (like grabbing the bats but not standing close enough to Tortos), beeyitching at DPS for not attacking this or that and/or sucking in general, DPS making snide comments about healers not healing, such as, “oh, you were?  Guess I didn’t notice,” etc. etc. etc.

What the ever living frick is wrong with people?  I hate this type of player so goddamn much it almost hurts.  If things aren’t good enough by their standards, they ruin every damn thing with their corrosive acid spit and then they feel good about it.  If I could reach through the internet and punch them in the mother trucking face with a jackhammer, I would.  Just what the mother trucking truck do you think are you accomplishing by being a %@#$, jackass?  Do you feel better now that you’ve pointed out how everybody else has effed up except for you?  Do you feel good now that you’ve magically proved your point and superiority with sarcasm?  Go shove a stick up yo…. wait, this is supposed to be a comedy blog.

I just don’t want to listen to their sheeyit.  So I dropped that party too and went to play Animal Crossing, because at least in Animal Crossing, things are mother trucking happy.

All A Matter of Perspective Gotta keep it in mind.

All A Matter of Perspective
Gotta keep it in mind.

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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