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Rogue Agent

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

So I got my Rogue to 60, little Sincraft is growing up fast. He’s no longer my bank alt, that responsibility has been given to Shiftstorm, my forgotten and unloved Druid. Seriously what’s with Druids? I thought they’d be one of the classes I’d love but they just don’t work at all. Feral of both sorts is just bland, Buttkin is horrifyingly dull, and Resto is so undeniably faceroll (REJUVEREJUVEREJUVEWILDGROWTHOSHI-SWIFTMEND) that I can’t help but feel like there’s barely any skill involved at all. Anyway, back on track, Rogue is proving surprisingly fun to be honest, it beats Feral Druid by a long shot and although it will never become my main (I love healing too much), it seems like something I’ll put some time into. That said, I felt the same about Shadowgrasp, Totemshock and Squiggle, and all of them are sitting on the bench now, so we’ll see where he goes.

I can’t help but jizz every time I use Killing Spree with Blade Flurry, just seeing a stream of numbers hurled across my screen gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, the same feeling I get when I eat babies with mint sauce, or throw badgers into cement mixers.

Short post, Wrath of Wisdom finally got to Lich King, the one night I wasn’t there too. Naytha apparently went Disc, not sure how that went given that Lhuranan is usually a bit cautious about healers changing specs, but they got Sindragosa down before the 15% so it’s all good.

20% buff starts tomorrow, so we should have no excuse not to have it down within the next two or three weeks, especially if we extend the lockout. That said, I’m not a huge fan of extends but in this case I’ll let it slide, we really want this kill. We really need this kill. I’m just worried that people might get ahead of themselves and think that we’re cut out for Heroic just because we down him once. My opinion? We should have him set to at least “on farm” (as in, five wipes or less) before we start playing with the big boys. We definitely need to gear up the huge influx of trialists we’ve got in the guild anyway, I’m not sure 232 gear is viable for ICC Heroic.

Clash

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

What is my obsession with pissing off every officer in Wrath of Wisdom recently? Admittedly it’s had some short term (so far) effect, TJ actually was optimistic yesterday, something which made my jaw hit the desk, but Gnoor seemed to be just as willing to be a tool in his stead.

Every raid since I’ve joined, he’s been on the healer’s back questioning us constantly about things that he can only theorise, despite the fact we have a healing leader already – Esmi. Hell, if I were in her place and leading a team only to have him muscle in and lead it for me I’d be pretty pissed off too. We were doing Sindragosa last night and people were dying to the most retarded things ever, mostly Bombs and Tombs but some people even managed to get themselves cleaved. A total shambles.

We were running with six healers, a Shaman, a Druid, three Holy Priests and one Discipline Priest. Yes, awful setup, but it was either that or we canceled the raid due to lack of healers. Gnoor immediately muscled in asking if we wanted seven, to which we all replied with “no we don’t”, which he took as a “we’re too proud to admit we need help” as opposed to “we don’t have any other choice”.

Sheepless gets on an hour later, but Naytha disconnects, so we’re down at six still. At this point Gnoor flags me up on something I’d said previous in regards to his muscling in on things that weren’t really his business:

“Unfortunately some of don’t have the luxury of just being able to stand by a leg and spam swipe, this fight is excessively awkward as a healer, especially when our team is so off balance”.

Apparently he didn’t like being considered a one skill class, but in all fairness, he is, and he has to watch only half as much as a healer does, made worse by the fact that this fight is tortuous to do. The only person with a more difficult job than us yesterday was TJ, but tanking isn’t easy any of the time unless you’re dead.

I’m hoping to fail my trial, my motivation to raid is still slim, despite the fact that TJ seems a lot less negative (he gave us a pep talk and actually used the word ‘happy’), which is great, it’s just that one problem falls and another takes its place. It’s not my job to stand up and speak my mind because nobody else will, but to be honest, if it makes raiding more fluid in future then there’s no reason I shouldn’t martyr myself. There are only a few things that annoy me in raiding and right now every one of them has been touched on:

  • Negativity needs to be kept where it’s needed. A blanket of it does nothing for morale.
  • Officers need to communicate. That means all of them. Just because you’re raid leader does not mean you’re right, nor should it mean you get the last word. It’s a crown over your head, you still need to talk to everybody else and make sure you’re working as a team, and not four individuals.
  • Players need to stop making excuses. I wiped the group once yesterday, and made mistakes that got just me killed twice more, I admit that. But when you make up excuses like “my camera was screwy” or (even worse!) “nobody told me to move from that!” then you should consider our position in a raid a little more carefully.
  • Finally, stop extending the damn raids. Nobody, I mean nobody in a softcore guild wants to spend nine hours a week wiping on one boss, no matter how progressive that might be. People will get bored, nine hours is a long bloody time, and we need a bit of variety. It’ll be nice when we get Ruby Sanctum because it means we can mix and match a little bit more, but otherwise what’s the point? Doing the rest of ICC gives the constant stream of new players (and some old players) the gear they need. Gear doesn’t make a person better without skill, but it improves their morale and makes them less likely to cock up when they win something they want.

I don’t know where I stand, I’m just a trialist and I’ve been told that it’s none of my business what goes on in the upper ranks, which is true, but I can’t help feeling that somebody needs to step in and tell them to act like grown ups and act like a team, because this whole “I’m leading today so I’m god” thing is not healthy for anybody.

Not Always Wrong

May 15, 2010 1 comment

I have never claimed I was perfect in any sense or form, I never will, but that doesn’t mean I’m always wrong. What really annoys me when talking about gaming experience is people who claim (and they might be telling the truth) that they’ve been playing for five years, and that those five years means they’ve got three years more experience than I have. Perhaps, yes, but not in the way you want to win your argument.

Imagine this, somebody writes a guide about a class, say a Priest for instance, a guide written for 3.3.3 by somebody who’s only been playing since 3.0.3, which is about 18 months of content. Is this guide any less valid than somebody who’s been playing since 1.0.3? So you have three years more experience with a Priest, but out of those three years, how much of what you know is valid? Game styles change, what was true back then might not be true right now. So you can recite every change ever made to Circle of Healing but that’s not relevant to somebody who wants to play a Priest in 3.3.3. Yes it had no cooldown back in 2.x.x but again, not relevant to now because things change. So those extra three years of experience might mean you’ve acquired a few tricks over the years, but those tricks will be as outdated and useless as the information about a Cooldown-less Circle of Healing.

I’m fine with people being happy that they’ve stayed with the same character in every expansion so far and sure, spread the nostalgia, but don’t rub my face in it because you have three years of worthless knowledge. True, some of it might be useful, but most of it won’t.

With that in mind, I’ll go on with what I was going to say. The above rant isn’t actually something that’s happened to me word for word, though I do have a handful of elitist dicks telling me something similar. The whole reason for ‘going off on one’ is that I’ve got a couple of character guides that I want to post, but for fear of being criticised I haven’t bothered. Some criticism is nice if it’s justified, and my definition of justified is pretty broad, but I just have this awful distaste towards people who’s only criticisms are “it sucks” and “wouldn’t read again” with no justification or recommendation for improvement.

Last summer when I was playing on Horde side with Mist, I was tasked with writing a decent Holy Paladin guide by the guild leader (also a Holy Paladin) so that he could try and improve some of the trialists we had around. I did, and it was pretty shiny and up to date with 3.2 (the current content patch), though relatively untouched after August since I quit for University. I dusted it off and built it again for 3.3, I keep meaning to ask Sheepless for a friendly critical of it but I get distracted too easily. The guide is hosted on my own website so if you’re in a reading mood then feel free to take a look at it and tell me what you think.

I also have a Discipline Guide from way back when too, though I haven’t updated it to 3.3, I will do in the near future but don’t hold your breath.

Categories: Uncategorized

Encouragement

May 12, 2010 2 comments

Raiding guilds have off days, everybody has an off day, and all the off days seem to happen to all of the same people on all of the same days. Think of it like that thing where women syncronize their vaginal bleeding. It’s exactly like that.

Today was one of those off days, we got the first four bosses down no problem (which is something even PuGs can do nowadays), Blood Princes took a couple of wipes, and then BQL took the rest of the evening, and she’s still alive. The problem was this:

  • We had new players, they hadn’t been in this raid before, they don’t know how we work, they don’t know the tactics, they’re generally unprepared for teamwork.
  • It was just generally a bad day, we had disconnects and lag, the usual suspects.
  • There was no team cohesion, the new players hadn’t found their spot in the groups yet, the healing team was working with people they didn’t know, the DPS team was working with people they didn’t know.

Bearing in mind that runs like that are highly frustrating on all sides, one has to question “at what point does one speak up and say ‘this sucks'”? Perhaps I underestimate the job of an officer, but we’re all under the same pressure, we all have our jobs and roles to do in battle and we all get extremely pissed off when people disconnect, or make stupid mistakes that wipes the rest of us.

But there’s no reason to make it worse by throwing anger and rage into the mix. Having a polite word to somebody who messes up is fine, it might put them on the right track, it might not. If it doesn’t, step it up, call them out in raid and make them feel that single sense of utter shame at having screwed up. But by god don’t drag it out and pretend your shit doesn’t stink, and don’t pretend you know everything you don’t and then go nosing into other peoples business about how they can improve.

Yes, the healing team isn’t perfect, but am I the only one who feels extremely patronized by being constantly yelled at over vent “keep me healed!” or “who’s healing during the blood whirl phase?”, as if they’re not completely fucking naive questions. I don’t yell at you over vent “keep tanking!” or “so who’s tanking during the air phase” because they’re obvious question with obvious answers. Sure, if you phrase it as “which healer is healing me“, but when you phrase it was “which healers are healing (generally)” then it’s just downright patronizing, as if we’re all suddenly going to stop and say “here Pendulus it’s your turn!”.

Apart from the stupid questions and patronizing requests (as if I press all the pretty buttons thinking I’m actually tanking?), the whole negative attitude is just downright annoying. Being told every wipe that “we all suck” and our attempts are “shit” does not help morale in any way at all. Yes, we know that that attempt was bad, hence why we wiped, we don’t need an overzealous officer breathing down our necks. And hey, if we do then where’s the officer clapping us all on a job well done when we do something?

So being yelled at sticks better, you remember the negativity, but that’s only if it’s something so directed at you that you want to curl into a ball and cry (and being singled out in a raid for a mistake certainly makes you do that), but being droned at every day for sucking generally just gets tiring, I’m bored of hearing TJ yelling on vent about everybody’s problems except his own, and I’m bored of the attitude of “we say it shut up you scrubby raider” that the officers seem to have whenever anybody disputes something they say.

I called them out on it today, the fact that there’s never any positive reinforcement, that no person ever gets singled out for a bloody good job, only that we’re droned at and fined and hated for failing. Where’s my DKP bonus for being a damn good healer or saving the raid with some quick witted decisions, or my whisper from TJ about being a good player. They’re certainly few and far between, much fewer than the constant whining over Ventrilo that everybody needs to get a grip. We know that, stop wearing out the damn phrase. Keep whining at us and eventually we’ll just be immune to it, we’ll get bored of it and we’ll leave. Raiding will feel more like a chore, it doesn’t help that Cataclysm is on the horizon and raiding ICC feels chore-ish already, we don’t need more reasons to resent raiding. The thrill of “getting the Lich King down” will only go so far, and nobody in Wrath of Wisdom can honestly be deluded enough to think that we’ll be able to manage it on Heroic any time before the release of Cataclysm (at which point we’ll move onto new content anyway).

Out of twenty five people, two of them were officers who immediately spoke down to me in their mighty fashion, twenty one of them said nothing, didn’t read it or just grunted in an uncaring fashion, and one, just one person whispered me saying they agreed that the negative aura was putting a dampener on the guild, which was bittersweet because they also told me to stop wasting my time trying and things would never change.

Maybe they’re right, and maybe I’m just like TJ in that I want the best for the guild but I’m going the wrong way about it. I certainly see the irony in getting annoyed at TJ bitching constantly when this whole blog is just that, but there’s a different: I can see potential and I can be positive about it. Being told you suck and never told you rock will leave you a hollow shell with no self confidence, I get enough of that shit in real life, I don’t need more of it when I go to the only place I really can escape to.