Archive for Ulduar

The Problem with WoW

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Masscis

In a series of post, I’m going to tackle what seems like a re-occurring issue…”Is WoW too easy?”

First off, I want to say I have taken a short hiatus from Wow. Some time away from the game to get some time with Star Trek: online, Aion and Dragon Age. This break has to do with me really wanting to play these games a bit but also because of a sequence of events that stems directly from my last post, where I talked about FBI breaking up and our raid team joining AA.

Now, I’m not going to slander AA, they are a great group of guys but I’m not happy raiding with them at the moment. I decided to shop myself around and see if I could land a raiding spot somewhere. In my search, I find that one of the top guilds on the server is looking for a protection warrior. I filled out an app. and waited. A few days later I got a message from the GM saying my app. was denied. At this point, I shrugged and just blew it off thinking I don’t have enough raid experience.

I’m nosy though, I had to know who they picked up instead of me. They did indeed sign a prot. warrior. I compared our achievements to see where I needed to be to gain acceptance in a top guild like that. He has cleared Kara a few times and has a few kills in Black Temple but no clears. So he’s been around since BC. Around the same number of Naxx clears as me and at the appropriate times. That’s where our likeness ends though.

In Ulduar, he’s never killed General Vez. in 10 or 25. He’s never killed Mimiron or Thorim in 25. He has a couple of hard modes achievements but no where near a rusted-proto drake. Moving on to TOC, he’s cleared it in 10 man and 25 man but only gotten as far as FC in 10 ToGC and 0 kills in 25 ToGC.

I’ve cleared Ulduar and have all the 10 man hard modes including the rusted drake. Cleared 10 ToGC in 45 attempts and am 3/5 in 25 ToGC. The kicker is, this dude has a higher gear score than me. They had to have chosen this guy based strictly off of gear score. I can’t imagine his application being more thorough than mine. In the business world, this would equate to selecting a new employee based on where they went to school instead of actual work experience. If you’ve spent any time in the working world, you know degrees only get you in the door and when it comes down to it, employers are going to grab the guy with the most experience…unless they’re cheap and want someone “green”.

In this case, we know this late in an expansion a guild shouldn’t want somebody “green” to step in and tank for them. They shouldn’t want to have to train this guy up.

So, “What’s wrong with WoW?” A few months ago I would have said nothing major. Since I’ve been playing Aion I’ve noticed people who play other MMOs think WoW is for the noobs. I figured it was jealousy, since they’re MMO of choice didn’t have the player base that WoW has. After spending some time in Aion and STO, I realized that they really don’t like us. In Aion, if you ask in general chat where the AH or Auction House is and you’re going to be met with jeers of “Go back to WoW noob”. On the flip side I’ve seen it asked if Aion had “Guild Housing” and a huge discussion broke out on how awesome Guild Wars is…Granted Aion and GW are made by the same developer but still why are we considered noobs because we play the big boy on the block?

There has to be something there. Looking back at my failed app to guild I spoke of earlier, it’s not like the guy they picked had me beat by a lot in GS either. I broke the top 10 in GS for Prot. Warriors somewhere in the middle of Ulduar and I haven’t left the top 10 until shortly after ICC was released. Currently I’m sporting 3 pieces of ToGC gear. At the time of the app, this guy was beating me by 75GS.  The week ICC was released, I was a trinket away from being the top geared prot warrior.

Is this the problem here? A guy with no real raiding experience can come from absolute obscurity and take a raiding spot from someone who’s cleared pretty much all content in an expansion? I believe I’m on the right track thinking this.  Basically what Blizzard is telling us by making gear so easy to get is that our prior achievements mean nothing.

What I think needs to happen to fix this: There are a few routes that Blizzard can take.

  1. Badge gear should be there to fill in the blanks for gear you didn’t get in the last tier of raids. To put in the current tier’s context, no piece of Frost badge gear should be better than a 25 man drop from TOC. Example would be the tanking frost badge cloak is better than the cloak that drops in 10 man ICC when in fact it shouldn’t be better than a cloak dropping in 25 TOC. It’s a fact you don’t need ICC gear to raid ICC, you need probably a full set of TOC gear to raid it. Any pieces that are missing from you’re set should be filled by frost badge gear. The same thing goes for gear bought with badges of Triumph…they shouldn’t be better than gear dropped from Ulduar.
  2. You can’t say that people shouldn’t be allowed to gear up for current content by running heroics. After all, if you been raiding WotLK since it was released…you geared for Naxx by rep farming and doing Heroics. That being said, I’ve got a lot of time invested into my toon. To see somebody who hasn’t put that time in achieve things that I can’t at this time, feels like a slap in the face. This guy took the easy route in my eyes. If Blizzard wants to keep Frost Gear BIS until Hard Mode gear is available, I should have an easier time getting it or the guy that hasn’t raided should have a harder time getting it. I go for the second option…Lets take tier gear for example. Make it actual tier gear. In order to get the tier 10 head you must have the tier 9 head, in order to get tier 9 you must have tier 8 and so on. Of course there would have to be a break somewhere, you can’t expect someone who wants a full Tier 10 set to start at Tier 1 and work their way up…go by expansions and have all the tier gear in WotLK linked in this fashion. Go one step further and do the same thing with badge gear. If you want to buy the ilevel 264 tanking trinket from frost badges, you must have an ilevel 245 trinket (it could be pvp or a caster trinket) which can be bought for triumph badges and to get that one you’d need a ilevel 226 trinket.

Either method you pick would still make it to where someone who is un-geared for the current tier of raiding has to put in a bit more work but can still gear for current content. I know Blizzard is on this kick about how they want everyone to have access to all the raid content and that’s all fine and good but I think “The Problem With WoW” is that they’ve taken it too far and made it to where you have to totally re-gear your toon after every content patch.

The rise and fall…

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by Masscis

This post is more for my own benefit than anything else. Some may find it interesting with the lack of drama on WoW.com these days. *NOTE: I like the way Larisa formats her post, I’m going to make an attempt at replicating her formatting…*

THE BEGINNING:

I was a noob. I’d never raided and had spent around 6 months leveling to 80. I did manage to hit 80 with most of the others coming from BC although I never hit the level cap during BC’s reign. I was in a few guilds on the way up. Most were with RL friends who played, none of them were raiders though. They all played socially. I knew during leveling, I wanted to raid. When I hit 80 I decided to leave my little group of RL friends and find a raiding guild. At this point I had no idea about wowprogress.com or wow-heroes.com. I saw a guild in trade chat looking for raiders so I sent a tell to the GM. I hit 80 while in this guild. While running a heroic, a DK guildmate of mine ninja’d a tanking helm from me. The helm was a huge upgrade for me but he claimed the guild wanted him to tank Naxx, so he needed it. I left that guild that night.

I found Krazy, GM of FBI, spamming trade that same night. After a few weeks of getting to know the awesome members of FBI, I got in my first raid with them. It was an OS 10 with zero drakes up. I was lucky enough to be in the run with the guild’s main DK tank, Port. He was awesome, I explained it was my first time in a raid and he took the time to give me a few hints and tips. He got me to tank Sarth while he collected the adds. The result was the guild’s first 1 shot of OS. He told me to sign up for the 10 man Naxx run on Tuesday and he’d get me in his group.

The guild had over 300 toons at the time and we had no standards for Naxx runs. If you wanted to go, you signed up. Port would invite all who signed up to a single raid and we’d split up from there. Usually into 3 or 4 10 man groups. We’d PUG to fill in the gaps and 9 times out of 10, the PUGs would become new members. In fact, looking at our raid today, I’d say 90% of our main raiders PUG’d with us before they joined.

Port was a great raid leader and tank. I learned a tremendous amount about tanking from him but he had a little secret. He hated tanking. He tanked because he could and pretty much had to. His true love was his warlock. I basically became his project. He wanted to turn me into the guild’s Main Tank so he didn’t have to do it anymore. By the time Ulduar was around a month out he achieved his goal. I was main tanking all bosses in whatever 10 I got put into and also our 25 man. I also was MT for the guild’s first Mally kill.

THE RISE

When Ulduar finally dropped. FBI held a ranking in the low 30’s on server. At this point, we didn’t really care. We just wanted to kill shit and kill shit we did…in 10 man. We had the 4 keepers down and were working on the General within the first month of release. The problem was it was only 1 10 man doing it. The other 2 or 3 10s that we got together rarely got past XT and never past council. Also, in 25 man, we struggled for what seemed like weeks on each new boss. Finally after a month of Ulduar, Krazy called a meeting of officers. While I wasn’t an officer at the time, I was included in the meeting. At the meeting we were instructed to start keeping tabs on raid members and see who’s just not pulling their weight.

Finally after a few weeks of collecting data, FBI began really recruiting raiders instead of casuals. We began replacing some of the “slackers” and it showed in our rankings. Before we knew it, we had 3/4 keepers down in 25 man and Yogg fell in 10 man. Our ranking reached 19th on server and we were starting to turn some heads and the more our rank improved, the better the recruits became. By the time TOC came out we were competing for top 10 on server. We had about 15 people with rusted proto-drakes and were killing bosses in TOC as fast as Blizz could put them out. We even scored a couple server first achievements along the way.

I think the highest we got on server was 7. Some of the top guilds even started shit talking us, which made us really believe we had arrived. This continued throughout the reign of TOC and into ToGC where we got 10 man insanity and ended up 3/5 in 25 ToGC. Good enough to finish tier 9 content in 8th on server. Just as a side note, we play on Hellscream which is one of the top PVE servers around. Usually ranking top 20-30 in the US. The server’s top guild is usually in the top 100 in the world.

The Fall

It wouldn’t last though. In the time while working towards insanity and trying to down heroic FC in 25 man. Krazy’s personal life kicked the guild in the nuts. I don’t know all of the details but I will try to piece together what I know. Basically, as I understand it, he was playing WOW at work. He got fired, his wife left him and took the kids. Instead of backing out of the game and fixing his life, he threw himself even deeper into the game.

Krazy has always been a bit of a hot head and on occasion would throw a tantrum on vent if we wiped where we shouldn’t or somebody was slacking. It usually worked though, he’d yell and we’d get a kill. We began to joke that we weren’t really raiding until we got yelled at.

He used the game to get away from the divorce but instead of leaving it in the real world, he brought in game with him. His tantrums increased and the moral of the guild as a whole diminished. I think the breaking point was a ToGC 25 where we had a “guest”. This was no ordinary PUG. He was a good friend of many of the guild and GM of one of the guilds that were ranked above us. Krazy absolutely blew his shit on vent in front of this other GM and began ranting and cursing at one of our top healers for no apparent reason. No more bosses were killed that night. Most logged off immediately after the raid ended.

In the days that followed that incident, I began getting tells asking if I was leaving the guild. It seemed like nobody wanted to be the first to leave but everyone wanted to stick together. The officers decided to put some pressure on Krazy to see if we could get him to leave the game for a few weeks to get his life in order. It was met with a stiff “fuck you, this is my guild. I built it, I’m going to run it as I see fit.” I knew at this point it was over, it was just a matter of time.

Upon the release of ICC, we rolled in and quickly put the first 4 bosses on farm in 10 and 25 man. We managed to keep our ranking in the top 10 and it seemed like we were going to clear the place despite krazy. When the plague wing was released we hit a brick wall in progression. To date we have not killed Festergut in 25 man and not downed Professor in 10. No bosses are down in newer wings. Our ranking slipped to 19th on server and Krazy flipped his shit once again. He went on some rant that pretty much ended in him saying if we didn’t kill Festergut and Rotface in 5 attempts, nobody would get any DKP for the night. This rant occurred before we even stepped foot into the raid, needless to say everyone was on edge from the get go.

Flash forward to Rotface. 2nd attempt he falls. Move to Festergut, 1st attempt we get him to 5%. 2nd attempt Krazy dies on the pull somehow. Shortly after another dps dies. We asked a druid to BR Krazy and Krazy to BR the other dps. Krazy took the BR but didn’t rez the other. The attempt ended in a wipe and when asked why he didn’t BR the dps, we got no reply from Krazy. It was then that we realized that he had dropped to another vent channel to talk with his new “girlfriend”. The raid leader “death gripped” him back to the raid channel and gave him a lecture. Krazy in typical fashion began to argue that he didn’t need vent because he knew the fights. He then began to pout. We put one more attempt on Fester that ended with him about 75% and we called it.

The “core” raiders all logged onto alts, got in a group and later into another guild’s vent. We discussed the situation and decided we were done raiding with FBI. We knew we had a solid raid and wanted to keep them together. We discussed the idea of starting our own guild or merging with another. By the end of the weekend, it was decided that we would merge with another top 10 guild, Athena’s Avatars. We would become their second core group. We’d have our own raid, leaders, loot system like we were our own guild but have to ability to pull their alts into our runs to fill in any gaps we have.

THE FALLOUT

The following Tuesday, everyone logged on and /gquit. The carnage was amazing. I was one of the last to quit because I just wanted to watch the fall out. FBI went from a strong 350 plus members to 77. Of the 77, only 27 are level 80, about 10 of them are alts and the other half are either inactive or never raided.

For the core group, we managed to keep about 20 of us together and move to AA. In the process, we lost our top dps rogue. Also, AA’s core group has begun picking our top guys to join their 1st core. We’ve lost our #1 dps to them, our warlock and it looks like we’re losing our best paladin tank.

Personally, I’m not going to sit by and watch our best members get picked off one by one. I’ve got numerous applications out atm. I guess we’ll see where I go from here.

My Eleanor

Posted in gear, General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by Masscis

If you’ve seen “Gone in 60 Seconds“, you know it’s a movie about stealing cars. Memphis is a retired car thief who returns to the car stealing game to save his brother’s life. There’s a bad guy who’s going to kill his brother if he doesn’t steal 50 cars by some random deadline. The cops are aware that Memphis has returned to town and are sniffing around, so the crew decides to steal all 50 cars in 1 night. They research the cars and give each one a lady’s name. Eleanor was the name given to the 1967 Shelby GT 500. The crew said Eleanor was Memphis’ Unicorn.

Why am I going into detail on a movie the majority of you probably saw 10 years ago? Memphis was the king of thieves. He could steal any car…except when it came to the Shelby GT. It has a direct correlation to the World of Warcraft and our pursuit of Phat Loots. What’s the first thing that we, as raiders, do when a new patch comes out? Yeah, we go look at the new loot that’ll be dropping in the new dungeon. You update Rawr or a spreadsheet or you may write it down on a napkin. Don’t lie, you look at the loot then try to figure out how to kill the boss to get said loot.

I’ve played WOW for about a year and a half now…I’ve been at the level cap for around a year. Do the math…that means I couldn’t have raided in BC. My experiences with loot began at 80. I knew I wanted to raid, I knew I wanted to tank. I did what any want-a-be would do, made a gear list. #1 on that list….The Red Sword of Courage, which I believe is still one of the coolest looking weapons in wrath. Anyway, I started running heroics crossing out pieces on my list 1 by 1 until only 1 remained….yep, the Red Sword of F-ing Courage. 10 days in a row I had run Heroic UP and still it evaded me. It had become my first Unicorn. That mythical piece of gear that evades your grasp until you’re sure there’s some sort of conspiracy against you. There are times when you believe even wowhead is lying about it’s very existence.

Finally after 13 straight days of running the dungeon, I looted the boss and there it was…my Eleanor. I was ecstatic, all that work had finally paid off…yeah, I was a noob. I had no idea that it was just the first of many. That unicorn was quickly replaced by Essence of Gossamer (10 runs to get) which was replaced by Last Laugh (17 runs) and Wall of Terror (never dropped for me). Then Ulduar came out and with it, you guessed it a new unicorn. Heart of Iron was the tier 8 version of Eleanor. It took me 13 runs to see it drop, lucky I had the dkp to win it.

Then came patch 3.2 and with it TOC and of course a new unicorn….Satrina’s Impeding Scarab. This ones a little different, see the unicorns in the past were mine before they dropped. I either was the only tank that needed it or had the dkp to get it. After 13 Faction Champ kills, I have seen the Scarab drop twice. The first my off-tank had 5 more dkp than me and won it. The second was this past week. My guild had an alt/new 80 TOC 25 run. I volunteered to tank it for a chance at the trinket. Guess what…it dropped…guess what else…I rolled a 14 off-tank rolled a 22. Since it’s now old content, dkp doesn’t matter, all loot was open roll.

This newest Eleanor has by far been the hardest to swallow. Twice now, it’s been in my grasp, yet has failed to land in my backpack. It makes me wonder if she will show up in ICC…as of now, no gear really jumps off the page as “I gotta have that”. Most of the really sweet gear is either from badges or craftable. Although, I can see the tier armor tokens being a pain. This tier I’m running with 2 shaman, 2 hunters and another warrior. I’ve already lost 2 dkp battles for a token but at least there’s more than 1 boss per week that drops them…I guess.

Lets hear it, what’s your Eleanor? I know most tanks I talk with have a problem upgrading shields. I’ve been fortunate in that respect, for me, it seems the fabled unicorn will always be a trinket….maybe this one will take the scarab’s place?

UI of a Main Tank

Posted in User Interface with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by Masscis

A shot of my UI

I’ve talked a little about stats and gear, I figured I’d spend a little time with addons and UIs. I recently spent a good bit of time cleaning my UI up a bit and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out. The basic design I was going for was to have the most important parts of the UI closer to the center and the least used towards the top and sides. At the same time, I wanted comfort to play a big roll.

I’m going to detail a bit of my UI for you. First, I’ll let you in on which addons I use…First are the ones you can see in the screen shot above:

  1. Elkano’s BuffBars
  2. Prat 3.0
  3. Bartender4
  4. X-Perl Unitframes
  5. Cooldown Count
  6. Recount
  7. Omen
  8. Deadly Boss Mods
  9. Sexy MiniMap
  10. MiniMap Button Frames
  11. IceHUD
  12. Scrolling Combat Text
  13. SCT – Damage
I have a few others that you can’t see.
  1. Gearscore
  2. Auctioneer
  3. onebag

Above, I’ve labeled the location of each visible add-on.

I’ll start with my buff bars.

Elkanos buff bars

As you can see, I have 3 columns set up. The first column shows general raid buffs. The second column shows my debuffs. These 2 columns set up automatically when you install the add-on. The third column is a custom one I created. It shows my “important” buffs or the buffs I want to keep an eye on. This column includes self cast buffs, food, flask, shouts cast by me or others and any procs I may have. In the screen shot you can see that mongoose has just proc’d. This way, while in 25 man especially, I’m not having to search through a list of 50 to 100 buffs trying to find how long my flask, shield wall or last stand has left. Having the shouts in the “self cast” bar, lets me quickly see if a fury warrior may be using commanding or battle shout. It’s also in the upper left corner, out of the way but yet there when I need it.

I have a fourth buff bar setup. This bar is scaled really big and sits in the middle of my screen. The only buff that it’ll list is when I get an instant slam while I’m dpsing. It’s by far the best warning I’ve seen to announce proc ablilities such as instant slam.

Above the buff bars I have a couple action bars set up. This is mostly none combat stuff; flask, food, hearth, professions and mounts. I do have a couple attacks up there though. I use a 9 button mouse and have these up there for special key bindings mapped to different mouse buttons. They include charge, autoattack and shoot/throw. I also have heroic throw, shield wall and last stand mapped to my mouse but they aren’t on the top bar.

Continuing on to the right top….Sexy minimap.

Sexy Minimap

This is really just for looks. No real function except the coords below the clock. I just like the looks of it really. Some may argue that the square map gives a little more viewable area but it’s just a light weight addon that looks good.

Speaking of looking good. Just above and to the left of the minimap is a little bar.

Minimap Button Frames

If you want a good looking UI, this little gem is a must. Every add-on has it’s own minimap button. This addon takes those buttons off of the map and puts them in this little box. Right click the box and it reveals all the icons inside….”It’s a secret to everyone!” It really cleans up the UI nicely. It’s small and can be dragged anywhere and with just a right click you have access to all your add-ons.

We’ll jump to the bottom left now and talk about Prat.

Prat

I downloaded Prat out of necessity more than anything. Last year I built a new computer. It was awesome. I built it with what I could afford and upgraded as time went on. When I upgraded the video card, while the graphics were amazing (Ultra FTW), I couldn’t read the chat anymore. All text whether they were tells, general chat or guild chat, had lines through them. Prat solved that issue, guess it was something with the wow font getting corrupt? I enjoyed Prat and never tried to actually fix the problem because I though the color coded class names was sweet. I later found out that you can change that in the default UI but whatever, I like my UI and I ain’t screwing with it.

To the right of the chat window….the 1 add-on every Protection Warrior should have.

Bartender 4

Face it, default UI just does not give you enough room to put everything close at hand like it needs to be. Enter, Bartender. This is probably the add-on I can’t live without more than any other. It gives you easy access to key binds…/kb, then mouse over the spell, esc to clear the current key bind and hit the key you’d like to assign to the spell. So easy. As you can see, my key binds are a little “odd”. I will be doing a follow up to this soon to explain them in full.

I have 4 bars cut into 2 rows. The top left bar has all my main abilities on it. The bottom left bar has lesser used abilities and need shift to modify. The top right bar is my shouts and in this screen shot my trinkets. On the bottom right bar I have my saves and heals. Notice the lack of key binds on the saves. I usually pull this bar up towards the middle of my screen during a boss fight. This allows me to click the spell I need while still keeping my left hand “home” for other abilities.

To the left of my main bars, I have recount and omen. I’m sure almost all know of these and don’t need any more explanation. I will say, yes, recount is helpful for tanks. I use it to see what kind of damage I’m taking and how hard a boss is hitting me. It also helps spot when that pesky warlock starts creeping up the treat table when his dps jumps up…lets you quickly call for a hand or intervene on him.

X Perl

I really only use XPerl for it’s ability to move my frames around. Being able to see the whole raid and whose dead is helpful but I don’t use it during a fight too much. I really like the focus frame which, when used, is situated a little below and to the left of my IceHUD action bars. I didn’t have a screen shot, sorry. I usually put the off-tank or highest threat dps as focus. Off tank when we’ll be switching up on the boss, that way I can watch his de-buffs. If there’s no boss switching involved, I’ll put a mage or warlock or whoever is giving me threat issues as focus. I have intervene macro’d to /tar focus /cast intervene. Works well…if they’re in range. All in all, if I had to change 1 add-on, it’d be XPerl. I want to be able to turn off my frame and my targets frame but can’t seem to find it in the options.

IceHUD

If yo look to the center of the screen shot, you’ll see IceHUD. This addon gives so much info, right in the middle of your screen it’s unbelievable. First, it has my health as the green arc on the right. My target’s health just outside of that. Below those 2 arc is where the bosses buffs show up. On the left, you’ll see my rage arc and just outside of that is the bosses mana/rage/energy arc. Below the rage arc is the bosses debuffs. I love this part of the add-on, it always puts debuffs I’ve applied first, followed by all other debuffs. Very easy to see when to refresh something. Below the arc in the middle you’ll see some basic info about your target…boss/elite/level etc. Just above that, you can see the number 5….this is awesome, it tells me how many sunders are on the boss without even searching for the de-buff!

Just to the outside of IceHUD, on the left you’ll see the outgoing scrolling damage text and on the right is the incoming damage text. Makes it easy to spot a bit hit or if I crit…fun to watch all those blocks and dodges stack up too.

I hope you enjoyed a look into what I see every time I sit down to play. Hopefully, next week I’ll have a write up on keybindings and why you should use them.

The Burn

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Masscis

My typical “wow” night starts off with me logging into my bank alt. I collect the gold from the previous days auctions, returned items and new stuff to auction sent from my various toons. Then I start a full AH scan using my AH addon. At this point I usually pull up the net and read some blogs or watch a movie of a boss kill or something until the scan is finished. I post whatever new auctions need to go up and buy some gems to cut if the price is low enough.

Then, I log over to Mandalus. I pick up the JC daily and knock it out real quick. At this point, I either choose to tank or dps a random for the frost badges. If I feel like getting on my alts as quick as possible or I’ve got a raid coming up, I tank. If not, I pick up the fishing daily and que for the random while completing that daily.

Before the LFG tool came out, the decision was whether or not I felt like doing the fishing daily. Now though, it seems more and more, the decision is “do I feel like tanking”. I like leveling my mage because it feels like that’s what a video game should be. Mindless repetition, blowing off steam….killing shit. When I tank, I have to be ontop of my game for the most part. Mostly because of M&S DPS that can’t follow my lead.

I am fully capable of leading a group. I don’t really like to but I can and have done it successfully. In my guild, I’m one of those elite ranks….not quite an officer/raid leader but more than just an average raider. My GM wants to make me an officer. The problem with that is that I would pretty much be pushed into raid leading on a weekly basis. I don’t want to. I do enough leading just tanking.

Deathwhisper is a perfect example. I like to LOS pull the trash in her room. Yeah, that usually takes about 5 minutes to get everyone from in front the door to stack on the Star or whatever icon I have on my head at the time. Really, how hard is it to just stand here and let me bring the trash to you? Why do I have to ask 10 times to get everyone where they should be?

This is it for me, this is what’s going to burn me out from tanking…As it is, I don’t want to lead, so when I step up and do take control of the situation…please follow me. It’s not that hard.

It’s not just the raids, the random pugs are worse. I usually just mark a skull on your first target to kill. Kill that one first, by the time it dead, I’ll have solid threat built on everything else and you can pick whatever you want to kill. Yet these boneheads will just randomly pick a target and blast away. Hunters won’t MD, mages won’t ice block….whatever, from now on you die if you pull something before skull is dead.

When I’m DPS, I don’t notice the idiots. I don’t. I don’t have to deal with them, I just hit the ability that heals me, then hit the one that spins me in circles and hit the one with a cast bar when my addon tells me to. Oh and HS over 50 rage. That’s my dps rotation. That’s all I think about….target skull>heal thingy>spin thingy>heal thingy>instant no cast thingy>cramp your finger thingy>start from beginning. On a boss I do the same but add in the 2 that make me do big recount numbers….

Tanking is more like, ok where’s the caster…mark skull….wait the hunters got his mark on “not skull” ok, switch skull to where hunters mark is. Charge skull>shield slam>switch to caster>heroic throw>TC when caster gets to range>intervene mage because he’s not hitting skull>target mage>cast vigilance>switch target to skull>taunt because hunter won’t feign death>shield slam>try to get everything in front of me and shockwave>TC>repeat until everything is dead>get whiskey>spill some trying to get back before rogue pulls the next group>get yelled at if someone dies….

I really can’t decide if tanking is worth putting up with this shit. Don’t get me wrong, tanking is fun and what I want to do when everyone in the group is working together. Trust me mr. 10k dps….I’ll vote to kick you in a heartbeat if you can’t follow suit. I have no problems with a guy learning his toon, doing 1.5k dps and doing what he’s supposed to. I’d much rather have him over the L337 DPS that hits everything but skull guy.

Hopefully we’ll have some new bosses to take out in Icecrown tomorrow and invigorate me a bit. Otherwise I may change the name of this blog to Ice Block and start writing about mages….or just wait for Star Wars

What about it? Are you an ex-tank? A current tank getting burnt out? We’ve had tanks just vanish without a word, another who one day just said he wasn’t tanking anymore. He went ret and ended up totally shelving the Pally for a warlock.

Tank Experiment: Update 2010

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Masscis

The past month I have been of course bogged down with christmas/new years. Lots to do on the family front and work is at an all time high. I’ve never seen any engineering firm this busy during the holidays. It’s even more suprising that our company isn’t even 8 months old yet. Which maybe actually why I’m so busy, I’m the only one here to do any work…

You’re not here to read about that crap and I don’t feel like talking about it. So, onto the update. I got some more work done on the DK. She’s somewhere in the ball park of level 63. Unholy ATM and have yet to tank with her, dpsing is pretty fun though and I’ll probably wait until I hit northrend to begin tanking. I’d rather go in as a tank just trying to learn the class and since I know the northrend dungeons pretty well, it’ll make the learning experience much easier.

I haven’t gotten a chance to mess with the druid or paladin at all. Instead I’ve been working on my mage….wait what? Yes mage! Maybe it’s because every single toon I have is melee but I’m loving the encasing mobs in blocks of ice while slinging more blocks of ice at their face.

A little background on Masscis the mage. He is the very first toon I ever created in WOW. I picked some random server, created a gnome mage….I was thinking gnome because I planned to pvp with him and figured it would be a nice slap in the face getting pwned by such and innocent little creature. Little did I know, I hate pvp on him. I later found out that a friend of mine played wow, so I made a hunter on his server. The hunter was way too easy. I just owned everything. I transferred Masscis to Hellscream so we could level together. Shortly after, my wife began playing. Since Masscis was already in his late 20’s. I re-rolled Mandalus and my buddy started a level 1 alt so we could all 3 level together. My thinking was if we were on at the same time, I’d level Mandalus with them and if I was solo, I’d level Masscis. Of course I fell in love with the warrior play style and tanking and never looking back.

Going back to level my mage now was supposed to just be about changing it up. Getting away from everything and just blasting shit. However, I have found a use for him and it actually fits quite well into my tanking experiment, especially since the new LFG system is up and running. That use is, I get to see some dungeons I missed while leveling Mandalus….Mara, while too long and confusing to navigate, is beautiful. The big thing…I get to see many tanks in action. I’ve been doing this on Mandalus….queing up as dps, just so I can see different play styles and maybe learn a trick or two. The problem with doing this on an 80…a geared 80 anyway. Is that I’m usually with others that are well geared and we just blow right through the dungeon. I don’t really get to see anything that I didn’t know from the tank.

Masscis, however, is level 46 now and the 5 mans take some work. I’ve run around 6 dungeons using the LFG tool now and have gotten a variety of groups….some awesome, others not so much.

ZF – group make up, 4 pallys and me. They were already through the first 2 bosses when I joined. Best I can tell with this group was we had 2 tanks, 2 healers and I was solo dps…1 tank would run through the room and agro as much as possible and the other tank would collect them and I would blizzard the crap out of everything. Surprisingly, we only had 1 wipe and I think it was because the round up tank wasn’t ready. The only problem I had was being out of mana quite a bit. I pretty much used enervate every time it was up, drank when I could and kept my mana gem on cooldown.

Mara #1 – Group 2 druids with almost identical names, 1 was tank the other healed, a hunter, warrior and myself for dps. This was the best group I’ve had. I was the highest level toon in the group and doubled everyone else’s dps. That being said, there was nothing I could do to pull agro off that tank. I’d set my blizzard reticule down and wait to see the swipe animation. Then let loose. A simply amazing job. This guy knew what he was doing, as did the healer. I don’t believe we had a single death. We actually ended up clearing the entire place, even though to get the bag of goodies we only needed to down 2 bosses. I got some nice loot from it also. Very fun time.

Mara #2 – Tank, druid….the group didn’t last long enough for me to even remember who else was here. I think the healer was a priest and we had a rogue. I know it was a rogue because I followed him to the entrance, which I would have never found, after we wiped. 1st trash pull, I counted to 5, watching for that swipe….never saw it…/shrug, maybe I missed it….so I cast blizzard and pulled the entire group off of him, including his focus target. Oh, did I mention he was 2 levels higher than me? Yeah, I died…then the entire pack went straight for the healer. On the run back (nobody quit, amazingly) I got the “wait for me to get agro, don’t use you’re biggest dps attack” speech. Yeah, I’m specced frost….I got blizzard and frostbolt pretty much. I use frostbolt on 1 guy and blizzard on a bunch of guys. Then cone of cold if they get too close.

2nd pull, I didn’t even cast anything. Healer pulls agro almost instantly….Since I was not dpsing, I inspected the tank. Lets see, intel gear. There was some spirit too….and yep, balance spec…if you wanna call it that. I was about to tell the dip shit not to pretend he could tank in whatever gear/spec just to get a group but he left before I got the chance. Oh well, he’ll either learn or get kicked from a lot of groups, I guess.

Summary:

All in all, I didn’t learn much I didn’t already know. I realise the druid from mara#1 was watching mana bars very closely because she was chain pulling until the healing druid got below 1000 mana then abruptly stopped so we could drink. I also learned, I’m a dps I would love to have in my group because I wait a few seconds to start dps, especially in a group pull with AOE. I also find myself completely stopping dps when I get close on omen and I tend to watch omen a great bit more than recount. I think blizzard did a great job with the new LFG system and I’m thinking about maybe healing a few runs on my druid, just to see what it’s like.

I will definitely encourage any tank out there to dps as many runs as possible. #1 it gives you a break from the tanking grind (which will be the subject of my next post) #2 It lets you see how others do it. I know I get comfortable doing it one way and the dps just has to come along for the ride. As dps, I’m the one along for the ride and I get to watch how other tanks pull and position groups. As well as, maybe pick up on what spells and abilities they are using.

I’m definitely glad I’ve decided to take up this project, I’m definitely enjoying the game much more now than when I had just Mandalus with no real other options. Now, I can log on and work on professions or set a goal for a particular toon….like getting the pally his mount, a flying mount on the DK or just hitting 50 on the mage….I wonder what will happen first.

Any input? Have you all of a sudden gone back to a toon that you haven’t touched for a while and just been like “WOW, I can’t believe I haven’t been playing on this guy”? What about any stories, good or bad, from the LFG tool?

I’ll leave you with this quote….”Water?…Like in the toilet?

This infuriates me

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Masscis

I’m pumped for Icecrown. I’m so tired of ToC / ToGC that I could scream every time I see it on the calendar. Tarsus knows what I’m saying. We need Icecrown now and by all reports from Wow.com, it’s coming today.

That’s not what is making me mad though. Read some of the comments in this post. I’m a hardcore gamer…notice I say gamer, not raider. I play all games with the same hardcore, I want to completely dominate this thing mindset.

Zelda, I beat it in an hour. Fresh character to downing Ganon in 1 hour. I would have the white sword before I went in the first dungeon.

I never finished Oblivion because I min/max’d my fireball slinging warrior so thoroughly that nothing could kill me, the game actually became quite boring.

I beat Contra without the Konami Code. Yep, just 3 lives and I didn’t need them all.

I played and was ranked in Chess, Age of Empires and was captain of a Halo team that traveled to tournaments, put on tournaments and was ranked in 40’s (50 max level) on the MLG play list.

In Wow, my guild is ranked in the top 5,000 (at the time of this post) in the world. I’ve got my Ulduar 310% drake. We’re 3/5 in 25 ToGC.

The reason for the diatribe on my gaming history is to show, I am a hardcore gamer. I am competitive to the max. It’s not just in gaming, it’s in everything I do. I’m one of the best in my field. I was selected All-State from my soccer team in high school. We only won 3 games that year. I am still the only person to receive such honors and come from a team with a losing record.

I also have a job in which I put in 45 to 50 hours a week. I have a wife and 2 kids…4 and 5 years old. I do not have time in my day to play video games “18 hours a day”. I have set nights that I raid and I am extremely lucky to have such a wonderful and beautiful wife that “takes care of things” on my raid nights. My raid schedule at the moment; Tuesday 10 TOC, 10 Ony, 25 TOC, 25 Ony. We run 5 groups for 10 mans then combine into 1 25 man for Tuesday night. We begin at 7:30 and we’re done by 10. Thursday or Sunday 10 ToGC – we run 2 10 man ToGC raids. I usually lead the Thursday night raid, it begins at 8 and we’re done at 11 or 11:30. Friday night is ToGC 25 man. We spend from 8 to 11:30 getting our hacks in there.

8.5 to 10 hours a week raiding…that’s it. That’s all I do. Now explain to me why the commenters in this post seem to think that “hardcore” means raiding 18 hours a day?

The post itself is news most already know. In the comments hardcore raiders show up to bash the gated content. My stance on the gated content….it’s gay. It truly is Blizzard’s attempt to keep the hardcore raiders accounts active before Cataclysm releases. It happens every patch, hardcore go in, finish raid, cancel account until new content releases. Blizzard doesn’t like this because they lose money. Answer: “let’s not let them finish it for a while”. They can’t make the content too hard, then casuals won’t ever complete it. I don’t like it but it doesn’t affect me, I have yet to cancel my account even in the mist of the boring TOC raids we’ve been dealing with.

The subject of the article is not what’s got me angered though. It’s the idiot casuals in the comments. They’ve down rated every single hard core poster in the comments and are sighting things such as, you play 18 hours a day or it’s only fair because it lets less skilled guilds compete to clear content at the same rate as uber guilds….wait WTF? If you’re fucking less skilled, you don’t deserve to clear at the same rate as someone more skilled. You don’t, you’re not as good as them…that’s it, end of discussion.

In sport, if you lose, you go home you work harder than you did in hopes of winning next time. In raiding, it’s no different. When a hardcore gets his ass kicked in a raid, he looks at his gear, gems, enchants, etc. and sees if there’s room for improvement. Then he looks for new strats online, he watches videos of encounters, examines recount, WWS, etc. Apparently when a casual gets his ass kicked in a raid, he goes to the forums to bitch and complain about the raids being too hard. And complains hardcore raiders are making him look bad. Did I get this right?

My guild has casuals as well as hard core raiders. In my experience, the casuals log way more hours than the hard core raiders do. They have to, to complete all the holiday achievements or to make gold to get their 1,000 mounts or whatever it is.

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