Category Archives: LFD

Gone Hunting

Anyone remember waaaay back when this used to be a blog about Druids and Hunters? For a long time my hunter (whose name was also Jasyla because I’m creative like that) was my second main. I spent a number of years raiding with two guilds and my Hunter was my Horde main for tiers 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 (spent a couple tiers as a resto shaman before getting mad at class changes and going back to the hunter). Then, at the end of Wrath they took my mana bar away and poor Jasyla2.0 was abandoned and pretty much forgotten about.

A couple months ago I decided I wanted to get to max level with all professions so I could get the Master of All achievement. Since my hunter was my only LW/Skinner, I began playing her every once in a while. Mostly just killing and skinning dragons whenever I had nothing better to do. Then came the character services sale. Since hunter!Jas was just sitting in some random guild I didn’t know anyone in, and most of my other characters are Alliance on Eldre’thalas, I decided to transfer her over.  Then came the hard part. I stared at the character screen for so long. What race do I want to be? Female or male? And what will my name be? I hummed and hawed, I asked Twitter for their opinions. Finally, after way too long, Jasyla the Blood Elf became Jasy the Draenei (just can’t resist those booberific space goats).

As I leveled my way through Pandaria, I remembered how much I love my hunter. I love my old pets – Kitty the wolf, Toby the tiger, Guybrush the monkey and Trouser the snake. I love traps and kiting. I love Deterrence and Disengage. Finding new pets to tame was fun, though almost everything I wanted for a pet was couldn’t be tamed – no elder pythons, beavers or giraffes for me. But I did find some new pets I liked. I got a glowbutt bug and a t-rex (Don’t move! They can’t see you if you don’t move!).

I think I’ve spent more time playing WoW in the last week and a half than I usually do in a month. I quickly leveled to 90. The day I hit 90 I did something like 12 random dungeons, in which I had the worst loot luck possible. That first day only 2 usable pieces of loot dropped for me. So I bought Justice gear. I did some random BGs and bought PVP gear. My friends made me crafted gear (or loaned it to me so I could carry it around and cheat my ilvl), I bought gear from the AH. Finally I made my way up to 470 so I could queue for MSV. I did all 6 bosses, used coin rolls on every one of them and got… absolutely nothing. Clearly the gearing process was not going to be easy. My hunter has always had a bit of a curse when it comes to getting loot and it looked like that was going to continue.

This weekend I did LFR for HoF and Terrace (with an awesome guildy who  queues on his tank or healer – whichever makes it faster, whenever I need someone for LFR or dungeons). Finally my luck started turning around, to a ridiculous degree. I got 3 pieces of tier and some OS pieces. When it came time to fight Lei Shi, she gave me a trinket and a gun. I was getting gear from drops and coins (a few times I got the same piece twice). After all these drops I must be able to queue for ToT now, right? ilvl 478. /sigh. So it was back to PVP and dungeons. Purchased more honor gear, upgraded my gun (even though I really wanted to save my Valor so I could buy the 522 neck asap). Finally I was there – 480! I did the first part of ToT and got another new helmet (because I like having to buy 3 meta gems in 3 days), then I got distracted by other things and have yet to do the rest of the instance.

So that’s what I’ve been up to this week. For the first time in a long time I have a somewhat up-to-date alt that I enjoy playing. I may even go to my guild’s alt run sometimes. Now I just need to re-familiarize myself with SV so I’m comfortably bi-spectual and get all my gems and reforging done right, now that my gear is somewhat less likely to be so easily replaced.

I’m really liking how hunters play right now. I remember how I used to loathe BM in BC (steady shot, steady shot, steady shot) and went Marks or SV for raids out of spite (and because I could still beat the other hunters even in a sub-optimal  spec). Now BM is a lot of fun. All the cooldowns! I need to tweak my UI to make it more dps-friendly and find some good hunter addons (suggestions anyone?)

Happy… hunting?

A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Usually when I use the phrase in the title above, I’m referring to the official WoW forums. But today I found another place that fits this description perfectly: Looking For Raid.

My experience in LFR has been extremely limited. I’m not really the target player, and I’m somewhat opposed to being expected to do it. When Dragon Soul was released, a bunch of my guildmates ran it frequently to get their four-set bonuses quickly, but I wasn’t one of them. I would rather gear up a bit slower than run the same content each week on two difficulties (TotC, anyone?). I always considered LFR as a way to gear up alts when I’m bored, rather than something I’m interested in doing on my main.

Anyway, I haven’t done an LFR in months, but the topic came up yesterday and I decided I’d give it a go on my warrior to try to pick up a piece or two of gear. I queue up as dps and quickly get pulled into a group that is on Zon’ozz.

Immediately upon zoning in, I could see that this wasn’t going to go well. My first hint? No one would shut the fuck up. Raid chat was full of obscenities, people berating each other and stupid ASCII macros. And what are people not doing when they’re spamming raid chat with inanities? Any damage or healing! Though we killed Zon’ozz without any problems, after he dropped I was quickly reminded about one of the other qualities of LFR: loot drama. I started thinking about the groups of people who do LFR, and I think pretty much everyone can be put into one of four categories.

The people who just want it to end

These people are quiet and unassuming. They know what they’re doing, they do their job adequately, or even very well. They don’t talk down to the bad players in their raids or try to create drama. They just want to kill some bosses, maybe get a piece or two of loot, and get out of the raid before the people in the other 3 categories drive them to violence.

The Loot Whores

I’m going to go ahead and assume that loot is the driving factor for most people who do LFR, and boy can people behave badly when they don’t get it. There are the people who curse out anyone who outrolls them, and those who beg for people to trade them gear.  There are the people who roll need on absolutely anything they can, even if they’re already wearing it, or something better. There are also a number of people who feel they don’t need to put in any effort in order to get gear, they AFK or just stand around doing nothing while the rest of the group does their work for them. The worst case I saw of this was a Shaman – they had queued as dps, were in a healing spec and gear, and spent the whole time in ghost wolf with someone on auto follow. Until they were kicked, that is.

The assholes

These are the people who just like to cause trouble and make everyone else’s time less enjoyable. They spend all their time beings dicks to everyone else in the raid. They’re always sure to tell people, in the most rude way possible, how terrible they are. Then there are the griefers – like the dps who pull all the trash packs or pull the boss before the trash is clear. In the first LFR I did we had a Mage who kept blinking around, pulling everything in Yor’sahj’s room, then blaming it another Mage. The two then mages argued in raid chat through the entire (8 minute) fight, rather than doing any damage to the boss. In another LFR we had a Mage who thought it would be clever to put a portal to Theramore over the portal to the Eye of Eternity. Charming!  In the short time I spent in LFR I put 5 people on ignore because of the ignorant, offensive language they used. My report button got a nice workout too.

The Utterly Clueless

This group is what makes every boss fight take 4x longer than it should. I’m not expecting top-tier play from people in LFR, I’m really not. But I do hope for at least a little bit of effort. The damage or healing some people put out is just astoundingly bad. In the first LFR I did I managed to do more damage than all but one or two people on most boss fights. This is incredibly sad. My gear wasn’t great – no raid gear, I still had a couple of pieces of tank gear (I levelled as Prot) that I hadn’t been able to replace. I’m also just not good at melee. I see the error messages “Target must be in front of you” or “Target is out of range” pop up on my screen more often than I’d like to admit. But somehow I doubled the damage of half a dozen of the dps. A ran with a group of 4 Moonkin who couldn’t cast their way out of a wet paper bag and seemed averse to using any spell with a cast time. In one of the LFRs I tanked, the healers couldn’t switch healing targets worth a damn. Every time there was a tank swap it was a white-knuckle moment where I needed to use all my cooldowns as I watched my health start dropping and didn’t start receiving heals until I was almost dead.

It’s not just low damage and healing I’m complaining about either. So many people know nothing about the fights. The first time I fought Morchok four people died in the Black Blood. There are so many ways to avoid that. You could read your dungeon journal and learn that it is bad to stand in. You could ask somebody before the fight. Or you could just look at your health bar, see it dropping, see your screen flashing red, and run out of the goo on the ground. But people don’t do any of these things. On Yor’sahj, half the dps ignore the incoming slimes and stay on the boss, despite repeated raid warnings telling them otherwise. Switch to the Bolt on Madness? Stop damaging the Amalg on Spine? Not happening. It drives me up the wall that people come into a raid unwilling to work, unwilling to listen, but expect to be handed shiny new gear.

The most clueless person I saw was, unfortunately, a Druid. He was Feral (0/40/1). He was wearing an agility dagger with a Demonic Skull in his offhand. He had a number of pieces of blue pvp gear. The rest of his gear seemed to be anything that he happened to win a roll on in dungeons, be it a strength helm or an intellect trinket. He didn’t have a single gem, enchant or a lick of reforging.
I don’t think he ever used Shred, possibly because he never attacked the boss from behind. When I see people like this (and I’ve seen quite a few) I often wonder if they’re just trolling – I sometimes hope they are, because the alternative is so sad.

So…

Why do people put themselves through this!?

LFR came from Blizzard’s desire that everyone be able to see raid content. I’m not the target audience, but I have to ask those who are – those who don’t have the time or desire to be part of a regular raid team – is LFR an acceptable solution? Is it really worth it to spend so much time with random jerks who treat everyone badly or can’t be bothered to try?

LFD: How to Fit In

In the process of leveling my priest I’ve done dozens of random dungeons. While my usual strategy is to be polite and perform my role to the best of my ability, I’ve discovered that this makes me stick out like a sore thumb in most groups. If you want to make a good impression on people in LFD, you need to fit in. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about how to act in random dungeons.

Dungeon Finder

Tanks

  • Rush towards the first pack of mobs as soon as you zone into the instance. Do not wait for buffs, do not wait to make sure everyone else has zoned in. Don’t let the fact that you zoned in with 20% health stop you either.
  • Don’t ever look at your healer’s mana. This is something they need to learn to manage on their own.
  • If your healer gets behind you or sits down to drink, keep going. It’s their job to follow and heal you. If you wait, you’re just encouraging them to slack off. If the healer is behind you because they’re looting their corpses, kick them from the group.
  • Never pull less than 3 packs of mobs at a time. People are in a hurry to get this dungeon over with and will play better under pressure. Bonus points if you go around corners or through multiple rooms while pulling all these packs. You’re teaching your healer the importance of line of sight.
  • When pulling multiple packs you only need to run past them. If people get attacked they need to learn to manage their aggro.
  • Tank in your dps spec. The dungeon will go faster.

DPS

  • If the tank is pulling too slowly help the group out by pulling groups yourself. Alternatively you can try to speed things up by yelling “Tank gogogogogo.”
  • Attack any mob you want. The one the tank is hitting will die too quickly and you won’t have time to ramp up your damage, so dps something that hasn’t been hit yet.
  • If you have an AoE spell use it exclusively.
  • Keep your pet on aggressive, it will speed up the pulls.
  • Keep your pet’s growl on auto-cast, it will take some pressure off the tank.

Healers

  • Go AFK without saying anything, it will be a good test for the rest of the group.
  • Help the run go faster by dps-ing throughout the whole instance.
  • Don’t bother buying water before you queue for a dungeon, you won’t have time to drink anyway.
  • If you are a priest, make sure you use Psychic Scream if a mob so much as looks at you, especially when trash packs are tightly packed. Fade is for noobs.

For everyone

  • If someone dies, continue to pull so the person trying to rez never leaves combat.
  • If your group wipes, take that time to catch up on your email or go get a drink until the healer comes to rez you. If you have nothing else to do, just spam party chat with “Rez me,” “Heals, rez me now.”
  • Call people by their class name or by “tank” or “heals”
  • If you have to leave before the dungeon is finished, do so without saying a word about it. Also make sure to aggro a trash pack or seven before you leave the dungeon.
  • Never admit you’re at fault. Everything that goes wrong should always be blamed on someone else.

When it’s okay to let someone die

This topic was discussed a while back as a Blog Azeroth shared topic. As a healer, my first reaction was “It’s never okay to let someone die.”  However, over the last little while that opinion has been changing. I’ve had more bad pugs in the last two weeks of leveling my baby priest than I’ve had in 2 years of randoms on my various level 80s.

At level 80, 95% of my LFD experiences (with a couple notable exceptions) are great. Quick, with people who are either pleasant or silent. In the low level randoms at least half of them have one obnoxious jerk.

Last night I joined an SM library run. As I zoned in, I saw the group was mostly dead and had cleared almost to the boss. As soon as everyone was alive and buffed up, the rogue whispers me and tells me the tank has a habit of ignoring the healers mana and pulling whole rooms at a time. He had raged at the last healer when he died and the healer had left. Oh goody. The tank, true to the description given by the rogue, proceeds to pull a whole room of mostly caster adds, which attack everyone. I spam heal my little heart out, using up most of my mana bar in the process.

Once the mobs were dead, I announce “drinking,” sit down and see the tank charge into the next room. I watch his health drop to zero as I enjoy my delicious sweet nectar. For some reason this makes Mr. tank angry.

Now, I admit I’m not completely innocent in this. After all the bad pugs I’ve been in lately and hearing that the tank had raged at the last healer, I was spoiling for a fight. You want to rage at me for something that was your fault? Bring it on.

Tank: Jesus Christ healer are you really that shit?
Rogue: The healer was drinking.
Me: I said I was drinking.
Me: Which part did you not understand? The “drink” part?
Tank: You’re terrible, I only pulled one room and you had half mana.
Me: 700/2400 is not half. I see you’re no better at math than you are at English

Then he left.

As a healer I take pride in keeping everyone alive and making a good impression on people I group with. When people die on my watch I feel guilty/inadequate/bad. However, if people die because they’re morons and then have the gall to give me shit for it, it turns my frown upside down. I could watch those people die all day.

Do you think it’s okay to let jerks die? Also, does anyone have any insight into why low level randoms are so rife with jerks?

Trick or Treat

Last week I mentioned that Hallow’s End was my favorite WoW holiday. I take it back. Fourteen HHM kills on my druid, zero pretty flying horses. Also, apparently Halloween is “be an asshole in randoms” day. I must have missed the memo. I did two random dungeons on my new priest this afternoon. First up was Gnomeregan. We got to the floor with Electrucutioner on it, the pally tank bubbled, pulled 4 packs, pulled the boss, ran down and pulled more packs, then left the group. Asshole. Then I did Razorfen Kraul. A rogue pulled 3 packs of trash then left. Two minutes later the bear tank – after winning a new weapon – pulls a pack and drops group. So: Pallykingz of Kil’Jaeden, Raviny of Silver Hand and Ahbwa of Kilrogg, congratulations you are the tools of the day and prime candidates for the Bee Pit.

On a more positive note, I finally got Less-Rabi on my druid and finished off Glory of the Hero.

Red Proto Drake

Finishing that put me at 8910 achievement points. As long as I do all of Pilgrim’s Bounty I am going to make it to 9000 before Cata. Hooray!

WoW graphical glitch, hole in head

Help, there's a little man in my head1

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you get lots of treats and much better PuGs than I did.

The Worst PuG

I was just in the most painful random dungeon I’ve EVER been in. I hadn’t done randoms on my alts for a while so I decided to do a quick run to get a few emblems for my warrior. Quick…ha!

I queue up and within about 10 seconds Halls of Stone pops up. “Oh good”, I think “an easy one”. My party consists of myself (prot warrior), a rogue, a death knight, a frost mage and a druid healer. Everything goes fine at first. Things die a little slowly, the rogue never once attacks my target on multi-mob pulls, but I can live with that. Then we get to Krystallus. As he’s about to do his first shatter the healer runs into melee. The healer and melee die, I’m left with a couple thousand health and we inevitably wipe. The healer asks if he did something wrong and I explain how shatter works and that we must stay spread apart during the fight. Honestly, if you don’t know how a boss fight works, ASK! We try again. I don’t notice if people are standing too close this time, but somehow the healer and melee die again. The mage and I proceed to 2-man the boss from about 40% health. Gotta love all those warrior “oh shit” buttons.

We continue on to Maiden of Grief and that’s when I realise just how bad the dps is. The death knight stands in front of her to dps and the mage seems to be spamming Blizzard. It takes us 1 minute 22 seconds to kill her. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. I really can’t remember any other kill in the last year or so that wouldn’t have qualified for the 1-minute achievement.

Tribunal of Ages is where shit really hits the fan. The dps and healer refuse to stand behind me, making the adds kinda hard to pick up. Again, the dps is hurting us and the adds keep piling up. The mage stands in something bad and dies. Soon we have a good dozen mobs running around and the healer is running out of mana. We fail, but try again. The same thing happens. I ask everyone to stand behind me again, this time everyone but the mage complies. The adds just won’t die. I take a look at recount and see that I am first on damage done, doing 37% of the groups total damage. Fantastic. Adds keep swarming, people stand in bad shit, we die. “OMG” exclaims the healer, who then leaves. A quick look at recount shows that half the druid’s healing came from Lifebloom. Good job, you didn’t need that mana anyway.

We get a disc priest as a replacement healer and gave it another go. Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…there might be something to that. The healer does well but, if it’s actually possible, the dps seems to be getting worse. At then end of the fight there are at least 18 mobs alive. Everyone but the healer dies. Somehow a miracle happens, the healer runs down the hall and draws the fight out just enough for us to complete it. Finally. The priest says “Now I know why the other healer left” and leaves the group. The shitty DK and mage follow (huzzah!). The rogue and I stick it out and soon our group is filled with a new healer along with 2 dps who actually do more damage than me. We kill the last boss without incident and finally, after a good hour in Halls of Stone, I get my stupid Frost Emblems.

After this terrible, terrible run I try to analyze what caused all the fail.

Exhibit A

Recount of PuG

This is the total damage done for everything from the beginning of the instance to the completion of Tribunal of Ages. I more than doubled the mage’s damage. I almost tripled the DK’s damage. I’m the fracking tank!!!

Why was their dps so bad? I took a quick look at their armory profiles to find out.

Let’s start with Mr. Mage:

  • Gear is a mix of high-level 70s blues and a few ilvl 200 epics. That’s fine. Dungeons are where you go to gear up.
  • Zero enchants, zero gems
  • Spec is 2/0/69
  • Of the 69 points crammed into the frost tree, he only managed to put one point into Empowered Frostbolt. I’m no frost mage, but that talent looks kinda important.
  • Has only 2 major glyphs

Then the Death Knight:

  • Zero enchants, zero gems (obviously – gems are so passé)
  • Spec is unholy 0/0/71 (also has a frost off-spec: 0/71/0)
  • Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever saw a ghoul up
  • Zero glyphs
  • His gear was the best part:
    - Full Icebane Set
    - Spellpower shoulders, cloak and bracers
    - Tanking gloves
    - 2 sub-level 70 rings
    - 1 level 70 trinket and 1 level 60 trinket
    - His weapon miraculously had a rune on it

Just for fun, I also looked up the resto druid:

  • Spec is 1/0/70. Of course it is.
  • Has two major glyphs, both of which are complete shit
  • Has completed HoS 6 times and therefore should know about Krystallus’s shatter.

After seeing the DK’s gear I was momentarily convinced that someone was playing a joke on me. No one could possibly make such bad choices unless it was on purpose. I don’t understand. This isn’t a difficult game. How can people be so bad? You’d think in the process of leveling to 80 they’d gain at least a shred of insight into how to play.  These people should do us all a favor and quit. Or at least abstain from LFD.

Tank Abuse

My baby prot warrior dinged 80 last weekend and I’ve been doing a lot of random heroics since then. I’m finding tanking a completely different experience from healing or DPS. The tank is at the forefront and is the one who usually gets the blame or the credit for how well a run goes, whether it is warranted or not. I’ve run with all sorts of people with varying levels of skill, gear and social etiquette. I’ve gotten compliments on my tanking when runs go smoothly and I’ve gotten outright abuse when they don’t. Do my tanking skills fluctuate wildly from instance to instance? I doubt it. The quality of the rest of the group makes a huge difference. I have no delusions that I am the best tank ever – my gear isn’t very good and tanking hasn’t yet become instinctual like healing is, but I try my best and the dungeons I tank generally go quite well. Every once in a while though, I get a group where everything goes wrong. Who gets the blame? You guessed it, the tank!

The thing that gives me the most trouble is large trash packs with casters. The trash in Forge of Souls is the absolute worst. I run around and throw out taunt every time it’s off cooldown and try to gather all the mobs, but I still find it difficult. I accept that gathering the mobs is my responsibility but how the rest of the group acts can either help me or hinder me.

How to help the tank on tough pulls:

  • DPS the mob the tank is attacking
  • Use abilities like misdirect and tricks
  • If you get aggro, move towards the tank
  • If you are capable, silence or Death Grip a caster so that they move into the group
  • Crowd control a stray mob (hahaha – fear or sheep when you could be spamming AoE? I’m funny)
  • Heal the tank

How to be completely unhelpful:

  • Ass-pull the trash packs
  • Start AoE before the tank has even touched half the mobs
  • Every DPS attack a different target
  • When you get aggro, run away
  • Occupy yourself with telling other members of your group how much they suck rather than dps/heal

I had a particularly bad heroic Forge of Souls run yesterday. We wiped on a trash pack (where every member of the group subscribed to the unhelpful tactics listed above) and two people in the group just railed on me. You suck, your gear sucks, you can’t hold aggro, you’re retarded. The fact that people in an anonymous environment like LFD can be complete assholes shouldn’t surprise me but I’ve never been abused like that in a group before. I came away from the run (which obviously fell apart) torn between two thoughts: “Those people are assholes, fuck’em” and “Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t be doing the Icecrown heroics quite yet”. I queued for another heroic and got Pit of Saron. I was a little wary at the beginning, but it went very smoothly. At one point the healer asked me to stand in more bad things on the ground so he would have something to heal and at the end two people in the group complimented my tanking.

People are so quick to cast blame in randoms when things go wrong, often without really knowing who is at fault or examining their own performance. People make mistakes, things go awry. Instead of the generic exclamation of “u suck” in party chat when things go wrong, try giving a helpful suggestion. Or do what I do and yell obscenities at your computer. If things are really bad, just leave the group. Does verbally abusing some random person you’re probably never going to run into again accomplish anything? Is there an Asshat achievement I don’t know about?