Posts Tagged ‘Dungeon Finder’

Arrogance In Random Groups

Since coming back to WoW I’ve been running random dungeons (and raids) quite a bit and I’m gradually reaching some conclusions about a lot of the people that I encounter.

 

The Problem

The problem seems to stem from the fact that a lot of people don’t want to heal or tank. Both roles are, generally, more work than simply going DPS…

  • Gear choices are more critical
    While you can probably get away with slightly sub-par gear as DPS who wants a tank that gets one-shot by the first boss they meet or a healer that goes OOM on the first group of trash you pull?
  • Situational awareness is arguably even more important
    There’s any number of boss mechanics that are designed to catch tanks and healers out. Massive (AoE) damage spikes, debuffs that require tank swaps etc.
  • Lack of “measurable” performance
    DPS have tools like Recount or Skada to gauge their performance against each other. Healers can arguably use the same tools to see how they’re doing, but healing assignments in 25 player raids often make this less clear. Tanks on the other hand have nothing.

What this causes is a notable imbalance in the population with significantly more people electing to play the “easy” (*) option of DPS. Because there are more DPS in the pool when you come to queuing for a dungeon tanks and (to a slightly lesser extent) healers are always in demand meaning that DPS have a significantly longer wait time for a group. A LFD group requires five players with a ratio of 3:1:1 (DPS:Heals:Tank). In reality, I’d guess that the population is probably closer to 30:2:1, maybe even worse. (I’ve waited for an hour on Wizzbit only to alt over to Jezebelle/Wizzadora and get instant queues.)

 

(*) I refer to DPS as being the easy option but I acknowledge that this isn’t always the case. Many players put in just as much effort playing DPS as tanks and healers do, in a few cases possibly more. For example, a well played Hunter can off-tank adds, crowd-control mobs, taunt stray mobs off other party members and misdirect them to the tank all while doing significant damage to the boss.

 

The Solution

In an attempt to combat this imbalance, Blizzard incentivise whichever role is currently most needed in LFD by using the “Call to Arms” system, offering Satchel of Exotic Mysteries as an additional reward for completing instances. I’m really not sure to what extent this works. If I’m queuing for a random it’s because I want something for the alt I’m queuing with and  I’d guess the same could be said for a lot of people.

Since I generally queue as those roles that get offered bags anyway and I hardly ever think “Oh, that role is on Call to Arms. I’ll alt!” so it’s not really an incentive at all, just a nice extra reward for something I was going to do anyway. For example; Yesterday I logged in Jez to cap out her Valor Points for the week. I checked LFD and tanks were Call to Arms, bonus! I finished the dungeon (End Time), thanked the group and checked my bag… 55g and Parrot Cage (Hyacinth Macaw) (the least common item to get in the bag) – Current market price on Eitrigg? 20k gold. Thanks Blizz!

 

The Outcome

What happens is that you get people who (for whatever reason) want to play DPS but realise that the queue times are significantly longer. While people complain about this on forums, they generally suck it up and go farming or do dailies while they wait. Unfortunately, there are a few that don’t and instead queue for roles they’re not really suited for. Here’s a few examples I’ve encountered recently:

  • Hour of Twilight: Pally tank in full DPS gear with a 1h sword, no shield and Ret talents. This guy didn’t even attempt to pass himself off as a tank, he literally queued as a tank and tried to get away with it.
    Outcome: Vote Kicked after wiping on the first boss.
  • Well of Eternity: Druid healer in feral (cat) gear. His guild-mate was queued as DPS but insisted on running around in bear-form taunting off me. The original tank had seemingly left after the first boss and we wiped on a trash pack between the first and second bosses.
    Outcome: After wiping again on the second boss I left the group.
  • End Time: Priest healer in full crafted PVP blues. First boss; he went OOM part way through the fight and died at around 10-15%, boss died anyway. Second boss; he went OOM almost immediately and died. Druid battle-res’d him and he promptly died again. (I don’t know how but we managed to kill the boss without the healer). Final boss, I died right after the pull as I didn’t get any heals at all. We did (just) manage to kill the boss, but we needed to use all 5 turns of the hour glass mainly due to the healer going OOM.
    Outcome: Completed, but painful
  • End Time: Unholy DK, it’s not all tanks/healers either as this guy showed. The first trash pull he popped Army of the Dead and still managed to be bottom of the damage meter by a significant margin. First boss (Sylvanas) he died early on, got battle res’d and almost instantly died again. He then spent the remainder of the fight begging to be res’d rather than releasing and running back in.
    Outcome: Vote Kicked after a repeat performance on the second boss.
  • Hour of Twilight: I joined a group in progress (never a good start), clearing trash between first and second boss. The tank had seemingly left mid-pull and the healer left just as I joined, instant wipe ensued. As we were running back a Priest joined, his first comment on seeing us all dead was “Oh, another fucking Pally tank, that’s why you’re all dead!” Someone mass-resed us and the priest got agro just as I hit accept. With no possible time for me to react, he died and immediately started spouting off further:
    He: “Tank, wtf was that? You just fuckin stood there and let me die!”
    Me: “Umm… I was dead?”
    He: “No you’re not fucker”
    Me: “…”
    He: “Fucking tank is shit, probably not even geared for this, VK his ass”
    Me: “Go fuck yourself kid” (Uncalled for I know, but he got my goat)
    Outcome:  I left the group, took the 30 minute LFD cooldown and alted to Wizzadora. I’m not about to spend my Sunday afternoon having someone talking shit to me.

 

My Conclusion

In general, I have encountered more bad groups when I’ve been queued as a tank than when I’ve been queued as a healer. This leads be me conclude that there is more arrogance in the healer population than any other group in WoW.

I realise that this could be a personal problem and that I might actually be a bad tank. However, without wishing to sound arrogant myself, I don’t believe this to be the case. I’ve been tanking for 5+ years, I read as much as I can about fights, I ask questions of more experienced players if I’m unsure of certain aspects and I spend (an obsessive amount of) time ensuring that I’m in the best gear I can be. I take pride in my knowledge of the game and try to pass this knowledge on to others when I can.

Generally, I see more healers giving people people shit in party chat than anyone else. Tanks and DPS seem to get on with their jobs while I frequently see healers pointing out low DPS or calling people out for missing mechanics. I admit that, when I’m healing, I do tend to notice people standing in fire a lot more (I’m the one that has to keep them alive after all) but I at least try to relay this to them in a constructive way: “Can you try and move when the boss casts that” rather than “Get one of the fire, idiot!”

 

I still absolutely love tanking, but I’m gradually moving towards the possibility of making my Priest my main when MoP rolls around.

It Happened

We reactivated our WoW accounts!

We had last week off work as holiday and decided to take advantage of the Scroll or Resurrection promotion. The free 7 days you get with that finished on Sunday morning and we paid for a month. It’s probably not the best decision we’ve made (we both have fairly addictive personalities) but I have to say that I am enjoying playing again.

 

As I’ve previously mentioned, my wife is all about levelling alts and some things haven’t changed. A day or two in to our free time, she said she wanted to create another Hunter (she already has 2). I suggested that she try another class and she agreed to give a Warrior a go. She’s tried Warriors in the past and always deleted them because she didn’t get on with the class mechanics, this time she’s really enjoying it and has already got to 51.

I’m really glad she’s liking her Warrior better this time around, I love playing Wizzbit so it’s good to see her enjoying the class. She’s gone with a Fury build and, while I’ve given her a few pointers, I’m letting her level and discover the class at her own pace running her through dungeons when needed. (Next up, I need to get her to embrace the dungeon finder!)

 

As for me…

I’ve been busy gearing my Priest through LFR. I did a full run on Sunday afternoon where I didn’t win anything, then went again on Wednesday which was much more fruitful. I won the tier leg token and a set of bracers in The Siege of Wrymrest Temple and then got the tier shoulder token and off-hand from Fall of Deathwing. Three really solid upgrades and one (the bracers) that was kinda meh. Mr Robot rates the bracers as 5th on the BiS list, just above my existing 378 set, so I’ve not bothered equipping them as I really want the get the crafted ones only I’m too tight to spend 10k gold on them. If I see a pattern going cheap I’ll snag that for my Mage and make them myself (the pattern’s been as low as 500g on Horde side so I might have to work something out if it comes up for that price again.)

I’m 200 VP short of a new helm, which I’ll get today or tomorrow and then it’ll take me another 4 weeks to get the belt, ring & neck (probably in that order, though I’m not totally sure yet as they’re all about equal upgrades).

I realised that I’d never taken my Priest to Deepholm, so I spent a few hours and quested through the zone to get access to the Therazane dailies. I should hit exalted here in a couple more days and then have access to the epic shoulder enchants.

I used the Scroll of Resurrection level boost perk to skip my Shaman over Northrend, which was handy as (to be honest) I wasn’t really that excited about levelling her. She also got free epic flight and a full set of gear, frostweave bags and some other stuff out of the deal, so that was nice.

Lastly, I dusted off my Hunter and levelled her to from 77 to 80. In doing so, I discovered that I actually rather enjoy playing her so I’ve carried on levelling and hit 84 last night. I’ve run around 6 LFD groups with her in the last couple of days and have been able to top the meters in every group so I don’t know if that says I’ve had crap groups or that I’m playing her well (I’m spec’d Marksman currently). I’m going to go with the latter as it’s better for my ego!

 

Oh also, I’ve made around 20k gold in the week since we’ve been back, so that’s good. The gem market is still moderately buoyant, even this late in the expansion, though there’s a lot more competition about with a few new names on the scene. This said, I’m still turning good profit with Jewelcrafting accounting for half my income. The rest has come from a combination of Enchanting scrolls (~2k), the questing I’ve been doing (~2.5k in quest rewards) and selling random crap I’ve been lucky enough to pick up.

Elitist Jerk

Madness…? This is SPARTA!
 – King Leonidas (300) 

Time to put on my Gevlon hat again and lament my encounters with the Dungeon Finder.

Last night I took Jez to run a random regular with Varian & Yalena to help Varian finally get to 85. We got Vortex Pinnacle, which is a beautiful instance by the way, and were joined by two PuGs; a Priest and a DK.

The Priest: Bittersweetz @ Bronzebeard

I’m going to prefix this by pointing out that Yalena had queued as heals and performed this role throughout the instance. This said, within a couple of pulls I noticed a Penance spell effect whiz past me. Having never noticed this in VP before I panned my camera around to see what was casting it; it was the Priest, she had queued and was DPSing as Discipline!
For the run, she averaged just under 3000 dps.

The Deathknigth: Darthfang @ Drakar

I thought it was a little odd when the DK popped Army on the first pull, though I attributed this to maybe having clicked the wrong button. He was Frost but had taken things a bit literally and was only using Frost spells; no Plague Strike, Pestilence or Blood Boil even though we AoE’d most of the instance. But it was his spec that astounded me the most; he had 3/3 Nerves of Cold Steel AND 2/3 Might of the Frozen Wastes two talents that are mutually exclusive in use.
For the run, he averaged around 3500 dps.

This is Madness!

Right before the final boss I decided to call them both out, maybe I was wrong to have done so in the way I did, but I can’t very well go back now and have a do-over can I? I spelt out very clearly that Discipline is a healing spec and not DPS and that the DK’s spec was, quite simply, screwed up.

The Priest I could kinda forgive as, despite the fact that she was using a healing spec to DPS, the spec it’s self was fairly solid. Though I really don’t get why she didn’t just queue as a healer since that’s what Discipline with Atonement is all about. Having looked her up on Armory today though I see that a big reason her DPS was so shocking is that she has 0.00% hit and does not have the Glyph of Divine Accuracy. Simply glyphing correctly would probably increase her damage by 1-2k. I’m actually thinking I’ll create a toon on her server later and send her an in-game mail to 1) say sorry for being a jerk and 2) suggest this to her. One thing she said that did annoy me though was, after dying on the last boss, “It’s my first time here” while her Armory profile shows that it was her third Asaad kill. After three times through an instance, one would hope to have a fairly good idea of which boss ability will one shot you.

The DK however really annoyed me and I honestly don’t know why. He explained his reason for having 2h & 1h specialisation in the same build was that when he’s solo he uses a 2-hander and when he’s in instances he dual-wields. To which I responded “Dude, that’s what dual spec is for!” His response to me saying this was to further explain that his off-spec is Blood, but that he doesn’t like tanking. You have to ask yourself, if you don’t like tanking why have you got a tank spec?! Make your offspec Unholy or, even simpler, MS Dual-Wield Frost, OS 2 Hand Frost. The evidence available would suggest that he’s one of these people who mindlessly dumps all his points in to one tree without any though. On top of this, his gear was all over the place. He’s wearing a mixture of plate-tank and plate-dps items, which is forgiveable since he’s still levelling, however he’s also wearing agility items in several slots and a trinket from a level 65 instance. This is all topped off with empty gem sockets, no enchants though again, this is forgiveable due to levelling perhaps.

The Morning After

I admit that this encounter annoyed me far more than it probably should have and I apologise again to Yalena for allowing my frustration to spill over into our conversation afterwards. She did ask if I think the same about her (as she’s often concerned about her own damage) but the difference is this; She asks people for help and she reads everything she can get her hands on to help her improve. The only way I can suggest for her to up her damage is to try and get in to using keyboard shortcuts. She’s a mouser and I understand that, for some people, it’s simply not natural or intuitive to use keyboard shortcuts so I help her as much as I can with the tools she’s comfortable using.

I had some really good PUGs on my own Priest & DK yesterday gaining two levels and one level respectively. Sure, there were a couple of “bads” along the way but never really more than one in a group. To carry two people through an instance just really riled me up and Yalena was probably right to suggest it was time to call it a night.

The Joys of the Dungeon Finder

Wizzbit

You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
 – The Operative (Serenity)

I have many alts that I’m gradually levelling. Last night I was playing on Wizzbit, my Gnome Warrior (lvl83), not  to be confused with Wizzadora, Gnome Priest.

Anyway, last night I ran a couple of leveling instances with my wife on Yalena (lvl82 Resto Shaman), my sister Varian (lvl82 Destro Warlock) and our friend/guild master on Codemonkey (lvl81 Prot Paladin). Wizzbit is Fury, so all we needed to do was pick up a third DPS and we’d be good to go. There was no one on in guild in the low 80s so we hit LFD, got Blackrock Caverns and picked up a Hunter, who seemed nice enough.

We proceeded to clear to and downed the first boss with little problem, though Varian did manage to get herself killed (it was my wife’s first time healing as a Shaman so she was still figuring out all her abilities.) One boss down, we headed on to the second.

Now, anyone who’s run BRC before knows this fight, stand in the beams to stop the adds transforming. Before the pull, we paused to explain the fight to Varian (she’s just come back to WoW after a two year break) and to the Hunter, who confessed he’d never been here before. No problem, I appreciate honesty and respect people for saying that they’ve never done an instance before rather than rushing in blindly and potentially getting you killed. Varian was to take the beam on the right and the Hunter the left, step out at ~80 stacks, let them fall off then step back in.

Everyone happy with their assignments, Code executed the pull. Varian ran in and blocked her beam. The Hunter just stood where he was and started shooting, he didn’t even attempt to move towards his add. Naturally, the add quickly evolved and started running around. Code picked it up and we killed it, then returned to the boss who died in due course. Varian, despite never having done the fight before, had her add under control the whole time and managed to come second on damage. There was a brief post-mortem discussion, during which the Hunter apologised saying he didn’t understand where he was meant to stand and us pointing out that now he’d know for the next time.

The rest of the instance was fairly non-eventful, until two pulls from the end when the Hunter sent his pet after the wrong group and we ended up with ten mobs on us instead of five. Code rounded them all up and we AoE’d them down. It was a tense 60 or so seconds, but Yalena acquitted herself rather nicely on the healing without anyone dying.

Ok, so the Hunter wasn’t that bad I guess. He was from our server and, based on the conversation in party, this was his only toon. No hard feelings, he just needs to learn to pay a little more attention in future.

Round Two, Fight!

The Hunter departed and we rolled again, this time getting Throne of Tides along with a Balance Druid. One pull in and the Druid asks for an afk, we continue clearing trash and after almost five minutes he returns explaining that he had to put his 6 week old son to bed. We reach the first boss, set up add assignments and engage. She goes down, maybe a little slowly but not overly so. After the fight I take a peek at my damage meter; I was doing about 7k, Varian & Code about 6k each and the Druid? 338dps! Seriously? I inspected him; His gear looked fine, mostly quest greens, right stats even a few enchants. Talents looked about right for Balance based on what little I know of the spec. What the hell? In hindsight, we should have vote kicked him right then and there, but we didn’t.

Instead, we moved on to the second boss where, just as we’re about to pull, I have to remind the Druid to put on his chicken suit. “Oh, LOL, I forgot!” Why/when did he even come out of Moonkin form in the first place?

We engage the boss, I get hit with Curse of Faitgue followed by Squeeze and finally dumped right slap in the middle of a Dark Fissure. I died. The fight continues and eventually the boss falls over, Varian topped the damage meter and the Druid improved… to 660dps. Cerith Spire Staff drops, a solid upgrade for Varian and a decent upgrade for Yalena (she’s main spec Elemental) but the Druid out-rolls them both.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an elitist and I don’t expect someone in lvl80 quest greens to be posting 10k, it just doesn’t work like that and I’m fine with it. However I do expect them to post more damage than a lvl60. Given his gear, he should have been able to pull 4-5k easily and 5-6k with a little effort.

A vote kick is initiated in the middle of the next pull, the Druid gets the boot and is replaced by a friendly Gnome Death Knight who actually knows how to play and we finish up the second half of the instance.

It’s times like this that I can understand where Gevlon is coming from. I don’t mind helping people out with gearing up an alt, but by the time you hit lvl80 you should have a pretty good idea how to play your class. If not, ask your guild mates for a little advice or do some reading online (Elitist Jerks comes to mind). Don’t zone in to an instance and expect four complete strangers to carry you. WoW is a team effort and you need to play your role or you’ll be replaced.

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