Illusory Superiority

Alternate title: My overconfidence is my weakness.
Alternate, alternate title:
Jasyla’s ego takes a massive hit.

Over the last 2 weeks, Apotheosis has spent a lot of time working on Alysrazor. A LOT of time. We ran into many problems along the course of our progression through the fight: members of the flight team plummeting to their deaths, tank deaths, people standing in Lava Spew, and the tornados – sweet Elune, the tornados. As we learned the fight we’d get further and further, and eventually everything would come together in the first phase, the tanks would live and kill their hatchlings in good time, the flight team would soar like eagles and the rest of the raid would avoid Lava Spew and Brushfires. Then the tornados would spawn and BAM! 70% of the raid would spontaneously combust.

As a healer, I always felt extremely powerless at this point. When someone takes 135,000 damage over a span of half a second, there’s not much I can do to save them. When 15 people take 135,000 damage over half a second all I can do is cry silently into my branches and hope people will get better at dodging for the next attempt.

As our Alysrazor attempts went on, we ran into problems with tornados again and again, but it got a little bit better every time. Instead of 70% of the raid exploding, only half the raid did, then only 25%, then only a couple of people. In the 28 failed attempts I took part in over 3 nights I only died to tornados once, the very first time we got to that phase. Though my healer ego wept over the people I couldn’t save, my raider ‘peen skyrocketed over how awesome I was at living until the bitter end.

On our most recent night of Alysrazor attempts we wiped 14 times, and though we were greatly improving, we still had Tornado deaths every time they spawned. I, who had yet to die to a Tornado that night, began to feel superior and have uncharitable thoughts about those who were dying. And I got cocky. As soon as tornados would spawn I’d run around, chase and strafe, while trying to continue to put out as much healing as I could to help the people who were getting hit. I knew I was clipping the tornados occasionally, but figured as long as I’m not dying, who cares? Then came attempt 15, which would turn into kill #1. Tornados spawned and I got sloppy –  I got hit by 6 of them and dropped like a sack of potatoes. I got a rez once they were gone and we got through another set of phases. Tornados spawned for the second time and I got hit 4 times while healing everyone but myself. Dead again. Luckily, though people started dropping like flies, 3 members of our awesome flight team managed to live and proceeded to take Alysrazor down from 20% to dead while the rest of the raid lay massacred on the ground below. (PS. I love you flight team <3).

I was ecstatic about the kill, but pretty upset with myself for dying twice after 14 attempts of what I believed to be near-perfect play on my part. I got over it though, I told myself “Jasyla, you were so awesome on the first 14 attempts, you can’t blame yourself too much for getting a little tired and sloppy on the 15th.” I even believed myself – until I looked at the logs for total Tornado damage:

Alysrazor - Tornado damage

Umm...my cat jumped on my keyboard?

When I saw this I was torn between 2 reactions. First, I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. Then I wanted to laugh hysterically. The mental image I had of myself deftly dodging every threat in my path was shattered. I wasn’t better at tornado dodging than anyone, I was worse than everyone. The only thing I had on my side was the fact that I’m a healer and could powerheal through my avoidance failures. If I had been a dps, I probably would have died on every attempt.

So, what’s the point of this post, other than to embarass myself? I’m actually not sure. I guess I just wanted to communicate that while I think it’s great to be confident in your abilities, everyone is susceptible to screw-ups. Before you start feeling too proud of yourself make sure you’re playing in a way that is deserving of pride. When you do screw up, accept it, learn from it and do better next time. I promise I will not be hitting so many tornados next time I face Alysrazor.

In the words of Han Solo, “Don’t get cocky, kid.”

25 Responses to Illusory Superiority

  1. That’s a really honest acknowledgement, Jasyla. Sometimes we are not playing as well as we THINK we are, I know I’ve definitely been there!

    • “Sometimes we are not playing as well as we THINK we are”

      That’s a much more succinct way to put what I was going for in the last paragraph, thank you.

  2. Nights like that happen! I hate them.

    In the interest of giving you a partner to commiserate with, and hopefully make you feel better, I will also follow your lead and share some misadventures!

    Last week I gave the raid this HUGE (I mean REALLY huge) lecture about how it’s unacceptable to be hit by flame walls and not get out of the way of smash. And you know what happened our very first pull? If you guessed “Beru stood and got hit by smash” you’d be 100% right. Lord if I wasn’t embarassed as all hell.

    Even better than that one…know why I’ve not gotten video of Heroic Shannox yet? Because on both of our kills I’ve managed to trap myself in an ice cube. Yep. No matter how many pulls I do on the fight (and I do it on an alt weekly too!) everytime we’ve taken a kill on Heroic Shannox I’ve stupidly been paying more attention to the raid and not enough to myself. I feel like SUCH an idiot, because I’m really NOT *that* player. Honest! It’s almost a joke now that if I don’t get trapped in one of those stupid ice traps we aren’t going to win.

    But sometimes humility is a good lesson, and lord knows I’ve had my fair share of humble pie this expansion. :)

    • Thank you for sharing Beru :) I actually was considering adding a plea for people to share their embarassing stories to make me feel better.

      I don’t know what it is, but I think as soon as you point out someone else’s mistake, you are much more likely to make that same mistake yourself.

      I’ve had a few “oh my god, I can’t believe how badly I’m playing” nights in Firelands so far. I’ve always considered myself very raid aware (and unlike my tornado example, that’s usually backed up by the logs), so when I do make mistakes, especially repeated mistakes, I feel awful. On our first night on Rhyolith, I was near the top for Magma flow damage. It was mortifying! On the bright side, once I saw that and was sufficiently shamed, the next time we did him I was right near the bottom. Hopefully I’m near the bottom on our next Alsyrazor night too.

  3. Kudos for publishing :)

    You could have always put a spin on it, something like..
    Chuck Norris would also bravely walk into the path of tornados , and you’d totally beat him because he can’t heal himself :)

  4. Man, if I bothered to write down all of the times I opened my mouth and inserted my foot. No joke, same night of attempts you’re talking about, I comment on how I have yet to die to a tornado (that wasn’t on purpose, say, on a wipe call), I go and die to tornados next pull. It’s embarrassing and humiliating. But humbling.

    And just think, if it weren’t for those 3 airborne folks, we all wouldn’t have watched happily from our happy dead position on the ground. It’s much easier to play if you don’t have to do anything. ;)

    • I had no idea that the air phase worked like that when everyone on the ground was dead. I thought that was a wipe for sure. Now I know that if shit ever hits the fan late in that fight I should just heal the air team and let everyone else die (sorry everyone else!).

  5. You may also be able to take a little of the sting out of the numbers if you factor in that you remained standing longer than others and had to dodge for a longer period of time.

  6. Thanks for all the honesty guys, but how bout some tips on how to avoid the tornados?
    I’ve tried strafing, and chasing but I still get hit. The problem is that 2 or 3 come around at the same time and there is no avoiding them.
    Help!

    • I find chasing is the safest method (though I know others find strafing much easier). One important thing to know is that you can run in the tornados fire trail without getting hurt. Just follow a tornado for 7 or 8 seconds and once one passes you on either side, turn around and chase it. There are a number of videos demonstrating, here’s one of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNj6Y0MeDT8

  7. Hehe…it sucks when that happens. to be fair, in some fights it is somewhat different to be a healer or not, but if it results in needed time and/or mana wasted on self-sustenance, then yeah – not good.

    so, you know now and got a nice reminder for yourself. on with the show! :)

    • Well, I think living is the most important thing, and mana didn’t really matter at that point since you can completely regenerate it by dpsing right after the tornados. But still, I got hit 42 times, that’s just embarrassing.

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  9. You should make a macro to /y Don’t get cocky, kid! and bind it to your defensive CDs. :-)

  10. I’m glad I can’t remember all the times I’ve done amazing all through a night, until a kill where I’m flaceplanted the majority of the fight. So many times, lol. I just /facepalm myself.

    …and say lots of bad words to myself.

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  12. Happy ending to this tale – on my next Alysrazor kill I hit 0 tornados! Huzzah!

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  14. I completely understand. I don’t die to the tornados and I hardly notice myself taking damage. Yet, apparently, I am clipping quite a few because I am in the top 4 of tornado damage! I think I’m going to strafe until I find a good path to start chasing and see how that goes :-) I’m glad I found this post as it helps with my dodging-tornados-paranoia!