Tag Archives: fail

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Last night, Apotheosis killed Will of the Emperor on 25-man Heroic mode. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult fight we had encountered this tier. Hell, it was probably the most difficult fight we had ever encountered as a guild. I know it may just seem that way since it’s fresh in my memory, but I’m pretty sure it was tougher to execute than Heroic Spine or Blackhorn by the time we got to them, and nothing from T11 or 12 that we tackled (we didn’t really work on H. Ragnaros) sticks out as being this hard.

It took us more than 100 attempts over 7 raid nights to get this boss down. We changed strats often. Kill Rages 8 at a time, kill every pack, now back to 8. The strategy that finally worked for us was to kill packs of 4 or 8 during the first round then CC and kill all 12 at a time in between each add break period.

Heroic Will is a complex fight that requires a ton of organization. We need a CC order any time we’re controlling Rages. We need 4 tanks (2 on bosses and 2 on Strengths). We need slows assigned to Courages. Every dps needs a primary target (Rages? Courages? Strengths? Bosses?), then they need a secondary target when theirs isn’t up or is being CC’d. We need assigned Spark soakers. Hunters can soak every pack of Rage Sparks, the Strength tanks can soak their Sparks, a Rogue and Moonkin can soak the Courage Sparks – oh but wait, the Moonkin’s won’t be up for the middle one, he’ll need externals or a backup soaker. Then we need extra backups to Soak in case anything gets missed. The only part of this fight that did not require an inordinate amount of organization was the healing, for which I am grateful.

On top of the organization, execution needs to be pretty close to perfect. Lose focus for one second and stand too close to a Spark – you’re dead. Dance with the boss and mistime the swings – you’re dead. Stand next to a pack of Rages who are rooted – you’re dead. Pop your cooldown a second too late or early while soaking Sparks – you’re dead. Strength gets away from its tank and does a smash – a few people are likely dead. A second late on your Ring of Frost or Gorefiend’s Grasp on the Rages – they go everywhere and soon everyone is dead.

The thing about this fight I didn’t like was that it really required some degree of class stacking. When I asked people for tips when we were going into this fight, having a couple DKs for Gorefiend’s Grasp to control the Rages was always mentioned. Problem – we have one DK on our roster. I’m really not a fan of bringing alts into raids. I don’t think we should have to, and I don’t think it’s fair to anyone. However, after nights of failed attempts, I finally gave in and we had one of our Monk healers switch to his DK (whom he had raided on throughout Cata). We still had a ways to go after this, but controlling Rages got much better. Killing the Rages and soaking the Sparks is 100x easier when each pack can be gripped into one spot – which is something that couldn’t be done with only one DK. The fight also requires a lot of Spark soakers. Hunters are optimal since they have a 100% deflection every minute. Shadow Priests are good too, though their cooldown is longer. Rogues can soak well. Feral Druids and Monks are good for soaking single Sparks. Through Symbiosis, Resto and Balance Druids can soak as well. Apoth has 2 Hunters, 1 Shadow Priest, 1 Rogue, 1 Feral, 1 Resto Druid, 1 Balance Druid. One night, both of our Hunters were unable to raid. Result? We were unable to even attempt to do Will. We probably could have worked out a complex rotation of Rage Spark soakers but it would have left us no backups and no room for error. I really wasn’t a fan of the roster restrictions this fight put on us.

This fight really wore on people. Spending whole raid nights where our attempts didn’t progress past the 4-minute mark because of a couple mistakes got frustrating quickly. The fight was exhausting and tired people make more mistakes. There was one point when I even considered whether to not we were capable of succeeding on this fight as a guild. Had we met our skill cap? When Bashiok said 5.2 was going to be released on February 26th I thought about how absolutely soul-crushing it would be for guild morale if we spent all this time on this fight and didn’t get a kill.

Thankfully, we had not reached our skill cap, and it felt pretty damn amazing to finally see those bastards go down and see the Cutting-Edge raid achievement pop up on my screen. I’m really proud of my guild for their persistence – fighting through a non-optimal roster, adapting to strategy changes until we found one that worked for us, not losing focus after a heartbreaking 800k wipe.

For me personally, Heroic Will was full of ups and downs. At first I was excited about the amount of utility I could offer the raid. Aside from knockbacks, and options for CC, HotW could let me help on dps during breaks, I could Symbiosis a hunter and Deterrence would let me help soak Sparks. But there was a problem. I was bad at soaking Sparks. No, I wasn’t just bad – I was fucking terrible. I’d use Deterrence too early and it would wear off before I hit the last Spark. Over our first two raid nights this happened a lot. Way too much. In my eagerness to help, I was only succeeding in killing myself half the time. I felt awful and like a complete and total failure. Hearing our raid leader sigh and say “Please rez Jasyla” so many times was terrible. Thankfully, I got better. Actually, that’s probably not the truth of it. The thing that made the biggest difference was that our controlled killing of Rages got much better. They died closer together, Sparks spawned closer together, Hunters were able to get them all without the need for backups. By our latter attempts I only occasionally had to soak 1 stray Spark on its own, and that I could handle.

If I can put aside my Spark shame for a moment, I’m pretty happy with how I did on our actual kill. (However, if you’re watching our kill video, ignore the part where I need a rez). I felt really useful. My healing was good. I never stopped moving as I bounced between our two Strength tanks, healing them up when they soaked a Spark. I was able to do a couple million damage with HotW during one of the break periods (in between running between the Strength tanks). I picked up Mass Entanglement and helped to control the first set of Rages after each break, affording our Mages some more dps time on the boss before they had to start CC’ing. I used Ursol’s Vortex to help CC later on. I even soaked a stray Spark (on purpose, without it killing me).

It was certainly a rough ride, but I’m so happy we managed to complete this really challenging fight. I feel more confident and more excited about entering T15 with Heroic Will under our belts. 

Dead Sexy

My baby priest is growing up. She’s now level 62 and is trudging through Outlands. I love some of the Outlands zones, but there is one major thing in Outlands that I do not like: The leveling gear.

Outlands leveling gear

Forget hide cloak and helm, I want to hide it all. Yech.

Now that I’ve decided my priest will be my Horde main I’m reconsidering my choice of undead. Generally I like my characters to be either pretty females or male Taurens. Perhaps a race change is in store for Pasiphae?

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?

This is what failure looks like

Failure on Sindragosa ice tombs

 

Failure on Sindragosa ice tombs 2

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.

Where are all the good tanks?

Last weekend I logged onto my level 70 ret pally for the first time in ages, hoping to do a random dungeon or two. After a queue of almost 40 minutes, I finally get into an Utgarde Keep run. I’ve barely zoned into the place and the tank is already pulling. It was only one mob, so I just ignored it and buffed everyone. Then he pulls another pack and the raid swiftly dies. The ranged dps pull aggro, the tank dies, I die, then the healer dies. Not a very good start. I release and run back to the instance. The healer is offline and the tank has not released. I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt and toss him a rez. Nothing happens. About a minute later, the demand comes:

Tank: rez
Tank: me
Tank: now
Tank: pl0x
Tank: pally rez me

Well, I had already used up my piddling ret pally mana pool on the first, unaccepted rez, so I sit down to drink. One of the other dps tells the tank that he should run back. What does he do instead? He leaves the group. Sigh.

We’re now without a tank or healer so we re-queue. It takes another 20 minutes or so before the group fills up. Everyone stands at the front of the instance and buffs. The mage seems to be afk. I assume that like me, he had now spent a total of 1 hour waiting for a tank, so I want to give him a minute or two to get back. Then the tank says:

Tank: Leaving in 5
Tank: 4
Tank: 3

I’m assuming what he means is that he’ll either be vote kicking the mage or start pulling in 5 seconds.

Tank: 2
Tank: 1

Well, how silly am I? He doesn’t kick the mage or start pulling, he leaves the group.

That’s how some tanks show their appreciation of having <1 minute queues, by acting like complete and utter tools. At this point I’m rather disgusted and log off to play a game where my experience can’t be ruined by other people being inconsiderate douchebags. Really, is a little bit of patience or a tiny bit of decency that much to ask?

To all those people out there who think the mere fact that you are a tank (even a bad tank) makes you better than everyone else and means it’s your way or the highway: May your healers be crappy and your repair bills be high.

And to all the patient, competent, friendly tanks who protect my healer and dps toons from harm: Thank you!