Posts Tagged ‘raiding’

/flex

July 15, 2010

When the spoilers came out for the Fall of the Lich King, I avoided them. I stopped visiting MMO Champion, I stopped reading the spoiler threads. I was deliberately ignorant of how the game would ‘end’ because I wanted to see it myself. I didn’t want to see the Lich King dead until he was dead by my hands.

(Spoiler: if you’re the same way as me and you haven’t seen him dead yet, might wanna go somewhere else. >.>)

I lost track of how many attempts we made on Arthas last night, but at some point everything seemed to click in Phase 3 and I remember shooting down spirits and thinking, We actually have a chance at this, don’t we? We might really do this!

And then we died.

I stared at the screen, flabbergasted. I even flung off my headset because the Lich King had obviously berserked and killed us all in one hit. It hadn’t felt like 10 minutes since the last DBM warning but time can fly during a boss fight. I heard my raid leader cheering and I figured he was just happy we survived until the enrage. My hands were knotted up in my hair and my husband walked over and laid a hand on my shoulder.

“Grats!” he said.

This made no sense. “…what?”

That’s when I realized Arthas was monologuing. That was weird. Bosses don’t usually do that when everybody is dead on the ground – they despawn. I watched him gloat and felt a twinge of pride at the thought that I was worth resurrecting to be one of his generals. And then I saw Tirion break free, smash Frostmourne to shards, and next thing I know Terenas Menethil wants to resurrect me.

Well, who am I to say no?

I realized after we rezzed that Mahrou hadn’t been brought back, so I took the time to resurrect him myself. If Arthas was going down, dammit, he was going down with my pet – the one I’d had since level 10 – by my side.

We all sat back and watched the movie play out, and then we all went and changed our titles to ‘Kingslayer’ and posed and took screenshots and generally felt amazingly awesome about ourselves.

courtesy of Erinice/Keryn/awesome GL

Then just as we were realizing that there was no safe way -off- the frozen platform, someone had the nifty idea to go knock out Sartharion +3 while we were at it. It took a few false starts, but I ended the night with two new titles and a trophy from the RNG:

And if I can use my blog as a soapbox for a minute here, I just want to thank Annicus, Ceirin, Erinice, Kun, Nguni, Nibaw, Vurgus, Zandivya and Zurasha of Thorium Brotherhood’s Bad Moon Rising and affiliated guilds for being wonderfully awesome to raid with. You guys rock and I’m brilliantly happy that I could see the ‘end’ of the current game with all of you.

…now let’s get him on farm. >:D

(Sidenote: I totally ranked #16 on WoL when I uploaded our logs this morning. It’s like a cherry on top of a deliciously awesome sundae.)

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Commitment

June 21, 2010

I played softball for 11 years back in grade school, and I had always taken a lot of pride in doing my best out on the field. Unlike the girls who had been forced to play by overly insistent parents, I took the game seriously and worked my hardest to help my team succeed.

This year, I signed up to play softball on my company’s softball team. I had to go out and buy a new glove, and try to warm my arm up a bit, but I was excited and couldn’t wait for our games to start.

Yesterday, we had to forfeit because only 6 out of 16 players showed up.

It was beyond frustrating. I leaned against my coworker’s red Mustang as we stared at the ground, scowling at the fact that so many people had deserted us. We had committed to something and we were there to follow through, yet they didn’t find it to be worthwhile. No calls of apology or explanation, just a straight no-show from half of our team.

As one of our strongest members growled his annoyance at the absent team members, something clicked in my head. I’ve been saying it for a while, after all, but it’s far easier to say when you haven’t been on the field for ten years. Yesterday, standing on the asphalt by the softball field, I realized it was true:

Raiding is a sport.

Just like most sports, raiding is a team effort. When you sign up for a raid, you’re making a commitment to be available for that effort. You can have five fantastic players who can perform spectacularly at the drop of a hat, but if the other half of the team doesn’t show, no one gets to do anything.

Obviously some things are more important than a game. Our manager had to step out of playing last week because she’s had surgery and can’t be exerting herself. But she went and found other people to fill in the roster, making sure that the game could go on. If you make a commitment and suddenly cannot keep it, the very least you can do is let the organizer know so that the group isn’t left in the lurch at the last-minute.

The analogy goes further, of course. Depending on the team you play, you can stick your weakest link in right field and still win the game. But if that other team has a lefty, or someone who can place their hits, then your team will get steamrolled. It’s been said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It only takes one dps to walk through the fire and blow up the entire raid.

When I played softball in grade school, the weakest link was traditionally stuck as catcher. All that player really had to do was throw the ball back to the pitcher after each pitch – nothing special or otherwise demanding. But when a nepotistic coach stuck me in that position, I was determined to own it. I flipped my mask off to catch foul balls. I jumped to the plate and made catches at home base. What had traditionally been something that only losers played ended up changing the entire league, because one girl had made that position important.

Old habits die hard, I think. πŸ™‚

I Revel in the Little Victories

May 7, 2010

After a fair amount of drama involving our 10-man runs, I ended up going on one that cleared out more of the Upper Spire than our 25-man group had plowed through. It was exceedingly satisfying in that the ten of us put out a much higher relative rate of dps, allowing us to more or less bat things mercilessly to the side (except Valithria, but hey, you gotta wipe somewhere).

Then our raid leader linked us to this article about the ‘average’ dps for ICC, divided up by spec, and it kicked the gears in my brain into motion. First I confirmed that yes, BM dps is apparently abysmal, and I’m sure countless people will use that as a reason to force their raiders to spec otherwise. And then I loaded up our logs from this week (two bouts of 25-man and the one 10-man) and took a look at my own dps.

Since Festergut hates me (seriously, most fights in ICC hate me, but Festergut was one of the examples in the article), I decided to cut myself some slack and look at Rotface instead. The median dps of the top 200 BM hunters was 6500, and my dps from Sunday night was 8400. So…this? This made me squee.

But not nearly as much as this did, when I went to check out our logs from Wednesday’s 10-man:

That’s, um…that’s a lot of ranking fights. πŸ˜€

Even on Blood Princes, too! When my job is to run around like a crazy woman and keep those kinetic bombs in the air. And Saurfang! I ranked on Saurfang.

All this makes me feel a little better that I recorded a bunch of the fights from Wednesday night, since 10-man means my computer can handle making movies at the same time. I’ll have to take out most of the audio, since I couldn’t separate Vent audio from the game audio, but I’m thinking of putting one or two online with my thoughts on how to handle each fight. What sayeth you, oh faithful readers? Where should I begin? πŸ™‚

Pet Peeves

March 29, 2010

While I’m sure I have a thousand pet peeves about the world in general, and at least a few dozen about World of Warcraft, I’d like to take a minute and sit right there just go over a few I have about hunters in raids. That’s specific enough that I think I can cover it in one post, at least.

1) Hunter’s Mark: Contrary to popular belief, and even common sense, Improved Hunter’s Mark is not immune to being overwritten by a lower-level mark. But that’s just one part of all of this. See, I have a Power Aura that pops up when my target does not have a Hunter’s Mark. I judge, based on the individual situation, whether it’s worth putting up a mark.

My pet peeve? When I throw a mark on the boss, which someone else immediately overrides because they weren’t paying attention, we switch to an add that dies in five seconds, which that other hunter threw a mark on, thus erasing the mark on the boss, which now needs reapplied. Does this sound confusing? Maybe it is, but when you’re constantly needing to reapply a mark to the boss because nobody else can tell if there’s already one there, it gets really simple.

2) Defensive vs. Passive: There was a time when Blizzard’s AI was…well, less than stellar. As a result, hunter pets were spectacular at breaking crowd control on a fairly regular basis. To counter this, hunters got into the habit of keeping their pets on passive in a raid, in order to keep from breaking crowd control and making their tanks very, very angry.

My pet peeve? Blizzard’s fixed the AI, guys. I’ve been running with my pet on Defensive for longer than I can remember for certain, and Mahrou has yet to break any CC. Throw your pets back on defensive, because a lot of you are far too lazy to keep sending your pet out after each add. Your pet may look cute scratching its ear by your side, but it’s not doing your dps any good.

3) Know-it-all Noob: I try to stay informed on things, but sometimes I can be pretty lazy and not keep as up-to-date as I would like. So while I’m more than happy to offer my opinion, I keep my mind open in case I totally forgot something somewhere, or never even saw it at all. And in cases where I am obviously completely underperforming, I keep my mouth shut entirely and try to learn from my peers as best I can.

My pet peeve? Somebody who’s at the bottom of the dps charts, just been raiding with us for the past few weeks, and trying to tell the rest of us hunters how to do a fight when we’ve been doing it that way the entire time. It just shows that you’re not paying attention, and you think so little of us that you assume we’ve been doing it wrong for months. Also? It’s kind of embarrassing for you when I have to verbally remind you to do certain things during that same fight, like dps the adds.

To end this post on some sort of positive note, go check out the Warcraft Hunters Union. It’s more-or-less spec-neutral and generally an all-around awesome blog. πŸ™‚

So, I gave it a shot.

March 16, 2010

I’ll preface this with saying that things have been rough in raid as of late. Not only are we wiping over and over because we’re not pulling enough dps overall, but our raid leader and his fiancΓ©e are both leaving to start a hardcore raiding guild on a newer server. It’s demoralizing, frustrating, and overall not a good thing.

So after I looked at the logs from Sunday night, I made a decision. If no one else was able to step up their dps, and people keep telling me repeatedly that I’d do more dps as MM, I’ll give MM spec a shot and see if I can make up for what we’re lacking.

I spent yesterday reading up on MM, retalenting, reglyphing, and reworking my UI. I set up Watcher for the MM shot priority appropriate for my stats, and ran a few trial runs on a dummy in Silvermoon. Then raid started, and we went straight for Rotface, who’d knocked us down time after time on Sunday.

After the first wipe, I decided to bounce back and forth between MM and BM until we had him down. After three wipes, we downed him on the fourth attempt.

I chose these two attempts to compare because:
a) they both ended in a wipe (at around 10%)
b) they were both flasked (we typically don’t flask on the first attempt)
c) I was far more comfortable with MM at that point

The fourth attempt, the one that we actually killed him on, was done with me as Beast Mastery.

It should be noted that I did not regem or re-enchant my gear for MM. This was partially because I didn’t have time, but mostly because I’m stingy and didn’t want to buy all-new gems just for this attempt. Also, I didn’t use my personal logs, but the logs of one of our healers, just for the sake of neutral numbers.

During my foray into the field of MM, I noticed a few interesting things:

a) All I really had to do to my UI was swap BW with Chimera Shot, and Intimidation with Readiness. I pulled Trueshot Aura onto my bar just in case, but the other three MM hunters already had it up, so I didn’t need it.
b) My personal dps increased by 1000, but my pet’s decreased by 1500. In any fight where you’re moving (are there fights where you don’t move nowadays?), having 40% of your dps always on the boss is a big help.
c) I grabbed aggro fast. And constantly. I’d heard it from one of our tanks before, but MM does lots of damage fast and it’s very easy to grab aggro faster than the FD cooldown is up.

In the end, yes, I’m sure that if I regemmed and re-enchanted and devoted my life entirely to the worship of min-maxing I could do obscene amounts of dps in every raid I’m ever in, ever.

But screw that. BM is where I’m happy.

(Blogger’s note: I realized while I was typing this that I neglected to macro in Silencing Shot to my other shots. Our top MM hunter’s Silencing Shot dps on Rotface attempt #3 was 108.6, which would have modified my MM dps to 6187.7, still 800dps below my BM dps on attempt #2.)