Friday, October 30, 2009

Loremaster of Northrend

I've decided to get the Loremaster of Northrend achievement for Vurnak so I get the recipe for the Deathchill Cloak. That means doing tons of quests on every Northrend area (save Wintergrasp). I checked the amount pending for all areas and on most of them was only one or three left, so I got these easily (Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Zul'Drak) then came the Fjord (missing like 20) and the hard ones: Scholazar Basin (about 15 done of 75), Borean Tundra (15/130) and Icecrown (75/140). I grinded quests all the sunday and managed to complete the Fjord and Basin and also gave a big thrust to Borean Tundra. Ironic that the achievement is called "Nothing boring about borean", because doing these quests at level 80 is something more than boring. Obviously by the end of the day I was really tired of questing. Luckily I won't do it again with another alt, it's only useful for tailors plus when 3.3 hits the street they will make reputation earning faster and also items like the Sons of Hodir shoulder enchants will be treated as heirlooms, so you can grind rep to exalted on one char and forget about the rest since you can buy the item and mail it. Only head enchants will remain as they're now (not entirely confirmed, need to double-check when definitive patch notes come now).
Although doing quests you've already done before is certainly boring, doing them at level 80 has two advantages: the first one is obvious: you already know the drill and quests are easy to complete. The second one is gold. Tons and tons of gold. In just one day I did about 1000 gold entirely of quest rewards (also since Vurnak is enchanter I got my bags flooded with Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essence). I think I'll purchase Vurnak the artisan flying so he can finally craft and ride the Magnificent Flying Carpet. Right now I have money to buy artisan flight for 3 chars but since normal flying mount speed was enhanced to 150% is not so mandatory anymore. Also I like to keep some gold for any contingence (as in real life) that may happen and I want to have a good amount of cash ready for Cataclysm to purchase all the skills, spells and recipes for all my chars.
Update: yesterday finished the Borean quests. Now I hate the zone with passion.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Healing Questionnaire

As a faithful follower of Righteous Orbs I can't but provide my own version of the Healing Questionaire created by Miss Medicina and linked and answered by Tamarind in his last post.
Since my main healer (well, he's the bets geared) is Turnak I'll hand the keyboard to the blond paladin to answer.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Turnak, holy paladin. For the Light!

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I'm a jack-of-all-trades. I can go anywhere, but I prefer to play him on raids. Certain 5man dungeons are a pain for me (lots of splash damage, group poisoning...), so I prefer bringing the resto druid to 5mans.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Flash of Light. Cheap, short cast time and can pack a good punch... I mean heal!. Combined with Beacon of Light does wonders. And can be cast as an instant after you critically hit with Holy Shock.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Lay of Hands. Most of the time I keep forgeting it exists :) It's a "panic button" but I usually use Holy Shock before. And if shock is on cooldown then it doesn't matter because surely by the time I remember where it's placed in the actionbar we'll be all dead.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Single-target healing. Paladins have a burst heal (as well as a burst damage if specced ret) that can restore a player from almost dead to full health in a split second.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Group/Area healing. We don't have that and places where there's a lot of splash damage are a pain for us. The only simmilar things we have are the glyphed Holy Light and the Beacon of Light. But that means we can heal two targets correctly only, since the effect of the Holy Light is too small.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Tank healer, no matter MT or OT, or any single-healing target like the hateful eaters in Patchwerk.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
Restoration druids. They provide great healing to everyone via hots so our job is very complementary. They also have some nice area healing (Wild Growth) that we lack.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
I don't think there's any. It's not a matter of taste, it's a case of effectivity. Maybe if the other only healing in the raid is a holy paladin then we'll have more pressure when there's area damage, but I can team with any healing class/spec.

What is your worst habit as a healer?
Not caring about my health. I'm so worried that the group may die that I always put myself last in line for heals. And sometimes this has caused problems, so I'm trying to establish a healing priority that doesn't forgets myself. The second bad habit, if that's one, is overhealing. Since mana is usually not a problem I don't care throwing heals at a target that's just at 98% (and is not a tank)

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
People I don't know or who doesn't know me yelling for heals. I see your health bar going down, if you're not getting any heals then surely threre is a good reason (out of range, healing priority, being a dick who needs a lesson for standing on fire...). Healing is very stressing, I don't need extra pressure, thank you.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Healing classes aren't designed to be balanced amongst them, so question seems a bit out of place. Pallys deliver good heal nukes, while druids on the other hand provide excellent heal over time to fill gaps or replenish everyone's health easily. Everyone has a different "heal target". I'm happy with the holy paladin, but I find it lacks some better area healing.
If you wanted to know if I think my class is well designed I say yes, it's neither overpowered nor nerfed.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
None, as long as everybody (or most of the group) is alive when boss is down, it means I've done my job properly. I don't care about overhealing as long as that's not a problem (running oom, stealing aggro).

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Mmm not sure, but I'd say that people thinks we can survive without healing ourselves just because we're covered in plate (or should be), so they should get a heal always before us in any circumstance.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
First thing, and this affects all healers, is to keep calm, don't panic if someone's health is falling down like a meteorite. Know your UI/keybinds so you don't have to waste time looking for the place of a specific heal spell to click it/press the correct key.
Specifically to the class, although it's not a big problem nowadays specially when you get some good gear, is to be mana conservative. Know the rhythm of the fights (soft enrages, special attacks, etc) so you know when to unleash your healing-fury and when to reserve that special spell or keep mana for later.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
Lots of overhealing, but as long as nobody important dies I don't care :)

Haste or Crit and why?
Depends on the gear you currently have, but as pally I'd say haste. Holy Light takes ages to cast. Also I think relying on random numbers for big heals is very risky.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I've never played Holy Priest, mine is Discipline, but I think I'd get the grip quite fast.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
None healing-specific. I just use X-Perl for the raid UI. Then I just click character and press the corresponding heal key. I'd like to try some like Clique, Healbot or Decursive, but I'm very used to click and press. Oh, I remember now, I have LibHealComm, that let's me see the estimated healing amount a certain target will receive, but doesn't modify my playstyle.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I always try to balance, I feel it's the natural way to go, no matter if at pure numbers it's better to stack a specific stat.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Idle times in Azeroth

Rememeber the old times in vanilla WoW when you had to walk to get to new areas or discover a whole zone? While it was good to see places "on foot" for the first times it quickly got boring since the amount of time you had to invest to reach certain places was too big to be worth the reward (like being sent from Stormwind to Stonetalon Mountains to kill some basilisks and being awarded a simple green object and some silver, or that damn quest in Dustswallow Marsh, Tabitha's request, what a pain!). Yes, we had flight points to ease things, but that ment also investing time in doing nothing but travel. We'll get back to this point later.
As your char progressed you were allowed to buy a mount (level 40 yeehaw!!) that made things a bit easier. Back then the mount alone was expensive as Hell, while skill was very cheap. Again you gained more levels and at level 60 you were able to purchase the swift mount that duplicated your travel speed. Of course only if you got the amount of gold needed for it. And back then wasn't easy to get.

Game evolved and travel was slightly modified. Flying mounts added in TBC (working only there) and prices were changed so the mounts were cheap and the skills expensive. We got also a reduction on prices for normal and fast riding, while the price for fast flying was (and still is) very high (if you have several chars you're screwed). Nothing else was changed. Ships don't really need any change, once you hop in you get transported to the other continent in a pair of minutes. The underground tram and gryphon/wyverns kept their speed. And this is what mostly annoys me nowadays. Yes, in some points the game has turned too easy. But one thing is putting up an epic farm like Trial of the Champion and another is having to waste 15 minutes of your life if you're in Darnassus and want to reach Tanaris. Fifteen damn minutes of doing nothing. It's ok the first two or three times while you gaze at the ground below, seeing new places and monsters, but as they say, time is money (our money every month) and during that time your character can't do anything. At least in Outland and Northrend you can fly with your own mount, a bit faster than the taxi service, and you can stop anytime (if the guild needs you for anything). If you're on a gryphon/wyvern you can't do a single thing, not even creating bandages or combining low leather pieces into higher ones. This wouldn't be so bad if flights took a maximum of 5 minutes, but come on! 15 minutes to cross a continent in a world full of magic? Big fail! come on Blizzard, it's not that hard to implement a teleport service, more expensive than air taxi, that takes you to the destination in almost no time (depending on how long takes your computer to load the new zone).
Thanks to how quest hubs were designed since TBC came out it's now almost impossible to see a quest that sends you to the other continent/Outland and then back to multiple other places just to obtain a stinky green item. I'm not against traveler/exploration quests (in fact the first title I ever got was "the Explorer"), it's good that you're asked to leave the zone you usually stroll around and embark to new places, but reward should be equally satisfying and quest fun to complete, not a "go there, pick X, go the opposite side of the world, do some nonsense quests so you can deliver X, get Y in return, deliver Y where Christ lost his left sandal. Here, take your reward: [Silly Hat of Worldhopping]" absurd questline. And if so, at least make the journey enjoying and profitable. Sitting on a gryphon while twiddling your thumbs is not fun. More realistic than crossing a continent in 2 minutes? sure, but we're not dealing with a real world, it's a fantasy world. And we pay for that fantasy, so at least make our money worth.
Why am I ranting now about the amount of time traveling takes? Because Cataclysm is coming and again we'll have to face a place where getting to places like Feathermoon Isle could mean wasting a lot of time, even if you were already in Feralas. This could be linked to Shintar's entry about questing in Feralas. While he loved Feralas I highly hated that place and it's twisted design: flightpoint in one side already hard to get to if you're Alliance, since you had to jump on a ship, cross the sea, cross the entire Marsh, cross the Barrens, dodge some Horde guards to get into a lifter, cross half Thousand Needles, then cross all Feralas, dodging an entire Horde post in the middle of the road, and finally wait for another slow ship to take you to the isle. Phew! And when you get there you're asked to go half way back and kill some yetis, deal with gnolls... no thanks, I had enough bouncing back and forth. Give me a shout when you install some portals.
Although Azeroth will be revamped in Cataclysm I still fear these situations will still happen. I don't want to lose 15 frigging minutes on a back of a gryphon watching the world passing by under my feet. I already switch windows while flying from Dalaran to Howling Fjord so I can invest that time doing other things. Now imagine the amount of things you could do while going from Darnassus to Tanaris. And I'd prefer to do things in the game. So the solutions are: either implement a fastest way of traveling, no matter if more expensive, attach some rockets to gryphons/wyverns so they fly way faster or allow you to do some useful things while flying, like crafting items or (this would be really great, but irrealistic), accessing the Auction House (gryphons with satellite connection? I'm buying!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy guild raid

The Guild hasn't been raiding lately. Always we lacked enough people to put up a raid and pug the missing spots. Plus people was tired of going always to Naxxramas. So yesterday (friday, the usual raid day) we were 10 or 11 online and someone asked if we were going to raid. As usual my answer was: if we get enough people. That means not only getting 10 players willing to raid but getting the right classes.
After some minutes a raid starts to form and we manage to get 8 guildies plus one tank from Sempher Fi, a friendly guild we've raided with since the times of Molten Core. People is fed up with Naxx and also few items would be useful since all of us are covered in good gear thanks to badges and ToC hc runs, so they want to try Ulduar. Only me, the tank from SF and maybe two other players knows the place or at least have a slight idea of tactics. The only two times we tried an Ulduar run was an utter disaster (epic fail!), with everybody running around scattered and pulling everything that moved, so I was afraid this would end in the same way. At least we had a maintank who could run the place blindfolded and single-handed. Still there's a spot that could be covered by any class since I was willing to tank, heal or dps. Finally our tank friend (an imba tank, with whom I did Trial of the Crusader 10man) brings another tank from another top guild and I switched my pally to healer.

Everybody hops on their vehicles (I choose siege gunner since it's the one I know best) and the run starts. First beacons go down smoothly, big giants are tanked correctly. Wow, this works! There was a moment of panic when we got two mecha tanks firing at us, but we could manage it and headed to the Flame Leviathan (aka Golf Caddy) place. And down it went at first try! People cheered and danced over the Leviathan remains. My confidence grows, but the Leviathan isn't a complicated fight, now is when serious business starts. All to Razorscale, who also was killed at first try without anybody dying for standing on fire (hey! seems we turned pro finally!). Next one was XT-002 Deconstructor, where we got the first "oh shit!" moment of the night, since somebody pulled XT while we were still finishing some trash. Doors closed before people could run out and reset and we wiped. Ok, don't panic, was just a mistake with the trash. We ress everybody, clean the scrapyard and engage the giant robot with Michael Jackson's voice on helium. Maintank mistakenly assigned to clean the trash from one side to our guildleader who was playing his shaman. He didn't check he was enhancement, not elemental. Hello shaman, let me introduce you Mr. Boombot. BOOM! Ouch. This is what I call an explosive salutation. Anyway, XT was downed without much fuss (nobody died due to light and gravity bombs, hooray!) and we headed to Ignis. We had the second wipe with the trash since the flame cyclones decided to play ping-pong with us. Anyway we came back on our feet and engaged Ignis, who was tanked the safe way (maintank in the water) and killed for the joy of the entire raid, who got the Siege of Ulduar achievement.

I was happy things were going so smooth, but happier because people was seeing new content and getting some gear (although several items ended disenchanted!). The next fight was Kologarn. I always liked that fight, it gives you a great feeling of bravery when the colossus goes down. We even got an unexpected achievement, Disarmed, since the left arm (which nobody was dpsing) was also destroyed due to aoe fire when right arm and body were killed at the same time. So deeper we went into the antechamber to face the crazy cat lady, Auriaya, a frantic fight with that damn fear scattering the whole raid and kittens everywhere. Tank explained tactics and the plan was executed in a clockwork style (even nobody got damage from the void explosion) and she died doing what women know to do better than men: screaming.
It was a bit late and maintank announced he had time for only one try at the Assembly of Iron. Again tactics were briefed  and there we went. I wasn't confident enough since this fight can turn very messy if people doesn't pay attention. Brundir's the most dangerous with the Overload and Lighning Whirl attacks, followed by Steelbreaker and his Fusion Punch that must be dispeled asap. Fight started and we had the second "oh shit" moment of the night when a combination of Overload and Fusion Punch left the maintank at 1%. But from the deeps of the chamber a shining flash of light struck the tank restoring his life enough to survive. A brave paladin called Turnak (*wink* *wink*) had saved the fight with his Holy Shock. We kept pressing on and we lost our restoration shaman, putting more pressure on me and the restoration druid, but thank goodness he had reincarnation ready and again joined the fray. One by one the Assembly of Iron went down, awarding us two new achievements. We had cleared the siege and the antechamber and I couldn't be happier.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We've usually posted about failpugs and how pathetically funny can be, but there's even a highrer level in this particular world: the failraid. If gathering 5 random unknown people can cause anger and shame, imagine now getting 10 or even worse, 25. We jump now to the epic level of retardness, a place only for the bold who don't care about their health.
Failraids introduce a new aspect that in 5man dungeons is usually not present: the leadership, or should I say leaderfailingship. While a 5man has a very simple setup, things escalate in 10man and specially 25man raids. And since this is a pug you never know beforehand who'll come for dinner.
Things a fail-leader usually does:
- Asking for the achievement to join the raid. Excuse me sir, this is a pug. That means random unknown people. It's ok that you want a minimum level for the people, but relying in the achievement system is stupid. I may have a certain achievement just because I was dragged in a raid by guildmembers with better gear and knowledge than I, or joined a pug-raid where my contribution was lame but still the raid succeded. Does that mean I am qualified for the place you want to raid? A big no-no. Also I could have got the achievement one year ago and never stepped back into that place. Again I may have forgotten all the tactics so I'm not qualified for the run. Even more, on the other hand I could have raided that place ad nauseam with other characters and now I'm playing an alt. I may know the tank, heal and dps roles and specific tactics but this char doesn't have the achievement. So in the eyes of the raidleader I'm not qualified for the raid. Great.

- Enlisting people without forming the backbone first. You stand in the middle of Dalaran and yell "going to X 25man, /w me for inv", and then the raid spots fill FIFO mode without any consideration to what class are you bringing. Then when there're 23 people inside you ask "how many tanks and healers do we have?" Then come the cries, laughs and people quitting en masse. Brilliant.

- Not imposing your will. A raid leader must give orders, and the first thing is keeping the raid a calm place so orders reach the people. This means kicking out the annoying players, like the ones who constantly demand for a summon, or water, or a specific buff. If you don't put some order expect people to leave before starting. Make also sure the roles are clearly assigned and every one knows what to do. Put up a MainTank list, marking tanks with raid icons is stupid (plus it annoys a lot bearing a mark upon your head that distracts the player). If anyone does not have a plugin to see the MT list is their problem, not yours.

- Be fair with loot rolls. Ask first for current spec roll, not main spec. If no one is eligible for the loot or nobody rolls (difficult that happens, but hey, this is Sparta! ops, I mean, pugland), ask somebody to disenchant the item and raidroll the shard.

Players are the main source of lameness in fail raids. Aside the typical problems you find in 5man (undergeared, not bringing food buffs and flasks/pots, being an ass) the most usual are:
- Asking for a summon when everybody is inside and after the leader has asked several times who needs a summon. Now people has to run out to the stone or a warlock waste a shard to summon your sorry ass. Mister, you should be kicked out for being stupid. Since anyway the raid will lose time summoning, it's better to get rid of a stupid before the run starts. Raid will runs smoother without you.

- Asking repeatedly for a certain buff, without checking if any other buff is overwriting it. It's ok to ask one time for certain buff, but if nobody casts it on you maybe there's no need to, so don't insist. Instead of yelling "BUFF BOM ON ME NOW!!!1" you could ask why aren't you getting Blessing of Might. Maybe there's a warrior using Battle Shout.

- Leaving without any warning. This is very common and can happen anytime. The first "batch of flees" happens before raid starts. While it's ok to leave if you don't feel confident the raid will take place, at least you could first wait 5 minutes and whisper the leader about this. Same if it's taking too long to start. Keep in mind you're in a pug, things don't happen magically when you snap your finger, even if you're playing a mage. It's specially sensible if you're a tank or healer. The second batch happens after the first problem encountered, usually ending in a wipe. You're in a pug. That means run won't go smooth as oil, so expect problems. If you want a perfect run raid with your guild and quit joining pugs.

- Being an ass. This may seem obvious and was mentioned before, but now you're not annoying four people. You're annoying nine or twentyfour, so the risk of provoking a bunch of quits is higher. Shut. Up. Your. Mouth.

- If you don't know certain tactic don't be afraid to ask. If you think it could end with you being kicked out of the raid whisper someone playing your class. It's better to appear as a noob before someone than ruining a whole raid because you went the wrong way or pulled the wrong target.

- Failbuffing. This is specially for paladins. Leaving Crusader Aura on (or hunters with Aspect of the Pack), buffing warlocks with BoM and rogues with BoW, overwriting other pallies buffs... please coordinate if there're more than one pally, make sure you're giving each class a correct buff. There're addons that will help you with this, like PallyPower or ZOMGBuffs (I really recommend this one).

- Lying on roll results. The peak of stupidity. Unbelieveable? it happens, I've seen it. There're addons that record the roll results, but even without these they appear in the chat frame. How can you be so fucking idiot to lie about a result everybody sees and can scroll up to check? If you think the main looter will be as stupid as you, trusting your dirty lying mouth then you should stop playing. Any kind of game. Same goes for the main looter if he trusts you.

Now that you've got a peek at what you'll find in pug raids, are you brave enough to dare into unknown territory?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thanks for the run

Since the addition of badges to buy gear, pugging has been more common everyday. And since the last big patch (3.2) the amount of pug runs has escalated through the roof and beyond. It's now quite common today to see pugs formed by highly geared characters, who would fit better an Ulduar25 run rather than going to UK hc, and while several of us has got bad experiences with such chars now and then, it's more common that if you find several high-geared chars they know how to play properly. Then you usually get an eerie feeling of underperforming or slacking when you see your dps is way behind (despite playing correctly) or if you're the healer you feel like you could go dps because the tank seems indestructible. On the other hand if you're the tank you're screwed. You better work hard on aggro-grabbing or prepare to see all the mobs heading to the dps. Anyway these badge runs tend to be lightning fast, becoming more like an easy daily quest rather than a harcore dungeon run.
Even being an easy and fast run, it's nice to see that everybody say thanks at the end of the run. Even the über-geared. This also makes a difference between good players and mediocre ones, not only gear or class knowledge. I think it's important in pug runs to say thanks to the rest (we're assuming the run went ok, not ending in an utter disaster). As in the tips displayed in the loading screen, being polite to the rest will get you invited more times. Maybe this is not so true in pug runs, where it's difficult to reunite almost the same players the next day, but if the run goes smooth you'll surely do more after finishing the current one if you're a kind person. The same happens for the rest of the party, seeing an end-game geared character saying thanks demosntrates not all of them are fucktards in high ilevel purples, but rather humble players who don't brag about how leet is their dps or how über they are.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Porky Set

We can now see some of the upcoming Tier 10 armour sets. And again they confirm what I've been suspecting for a long time: Blizzard designers hate warriors. I mean... see this! A frigging boar head on shoulders!! Usually warriors have followed the boring themes of spikes and blades (since skulls have been reserved for death Knights), so when they try to strife out of that what do they come with? A swine with tusks on shoulder. Oink! Oink! The set looks good on Horde, specially orcs and tauren, but for Alliance just looks horrible. The helmet isn't bad and reminds of a yeti, but shoulders are a big design fail. And the rest of the set doesn't have any remarkable features. At least they could have followed the boar motiff on the rest of pieces, like a belt simmilar to the one Sláine used in the comic by Simon Bisley. Would be more 'porky' but at least it would had been more coherent.

I'm too sexy for my gear, too sexy for my gear

The rest of the available sets are ok. Rogues look like geists, death knights follow the skulls-everywhere design, hunters' helmet make them look like Dagoth, the horned demigod from Conan the Destroyer and druids... well, seems somebody drank too much because the set seems more fit for evil warlocks than treehuggers.
See them in motion:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is the end... for now!

Leveling is no more! Jurnak got early today to 80, so now all *urnaks are top level. He still needs to do some questchains (Shadow Vault, Sons of Hodir) but right now priority is to get some decent gear. I still don't know what to do with the spec. I always was Assassination, but I switched to combat to finnish the leveling. Combat has been always the dps raid spec, but with the last changes to Assassination (no more Hunger for Blood stacking before the fight) the dps has come very close to Combat output. Also I've always felt daggers are the best suited weapon for rogues. I could go dual-specced, but being a pure dps class I don't see any advantage in one over the other. And I don't feel like going Sublety, just to bring Honor Amongs Thieves. Also I don't expect to raid much with him.
Anyway, I'll try to level leatherwoking first. I'm still below 440 and some crafter epics would be good for him.

Post soundtrack: 'This is the end' by The Doors

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New level cap (WTF!)

Just take a look at the Looking For Group channel. Haven't you seen lately low level people (1-20) in subchannels like Trial of the Champion (normal and heroic)? Well, i just saw THIS:

Talked to her and asked if she was a GM :D

On the other hand, I just had another example, this time in a ToC hc pug, of a dickhead healer. We got a druid who couldn't stay 2 seconds without jumping around and the tank (a paladin with 30k) was always below 20% health. He didn't cast almost any nourish or regrowth, relying only in lifebloom/renew. Of course we didn't manage to get the Black Knight down and after several fails the group disbanded. What a piece of crap!

The new noobs

As I expressed in some of my comments in Pew Pew Lazers! and Righteous Orbs there's a new kind of player that seems to enjoy ruinning any pug run. Usually called fucktards or dickheads, these aren't poorly geared players or people who just landed in the game. They're usually wearing top tier armour, have ran the dungeons more times than they can remember but yet they FAIL at playing properly. And they do it in an epic way. They think their 'imbaness' puts them above all and they shouldn't follow the group mechanics (don't overaggro, don't overpull, wait for the party to regain mana, etc) but should be the rest (usually players with lower gear or less experience) who must follow their playstyle. And of course, if someone dies it's never their fault, they prefer to blame the tank for not holding aggro ("l2tank noob!" is the typical yell) or the poor healer for not keeping everyone alive. This really burns me out. I can forgive someone who has never been in a certain instance or does a specific boss for the first times. I can forgive having someone lowly geared if the rest can compensate. I can forgive someone who's playing a new class or spec and doesn't have the grip on the mechanics, rotations or skills. But I can't forgive a fucktard who's been playing a character/class/spec for several years and thinks he's above all and everyone just because he has 'imba gear'.

Since Blizzard made so easy to clad somebody in epics in just some days this has been worse. Aside the typical arrogant goons now we have an army of noobs who think they're 'leet' because they're covered in purples. Instead of improving playstyle, identifying how can they improve both boss fights and personal performance they prefer to follow the path of the arrogant goons and brag about how superior are they and blame everybody after a wipe in Utgarde Keep... after they pulled half of the instance in one go. Brilliant, Mr. Dickhead!

How to identify an arrogant dickhead
Most of them will be dps, although each class has its distinctive. As a common trait they will ask for a fast run or to keep speed up at the start. Another trait is the equip they wear. If you see T9 shoulders all around you, start praying, specially if any of them asks for a quick run.
Tanks: the dickhead tank will pull like a machine-gun, grabbing half of the instance in one go. He won't wait for the party (specially the healer) to recover mana. He will also stand in fire and yell the poor healer to spam-heal.
Dps: the most common. Main traits are to be an aggro-monkey and not to follow marks in the pull/kill sequence, targeting mobs randomly, no matter if tank is holding their aggro. Turns the tank's duty into a nightmare since suddenly half of the party is getting hit by mobs he didn't pull. Healer's life becomes hell too, trying to keep everybody alive.
Healers: difficult to find some dickhead playing healer, but still the're ways to turn Mr. Responsible Healer into Mr. Noob Fucktard, like going into an overhealing frenzy and pulling aggro or the worst one: over-confidence in their gear/skills and then not managing to cleanse poison/remove curses/dispel magic.

When you find yourself in a group with one or more dickheads there're three ways of dealing with them:
1. The easy. Just leave the group, telling them to stop being dickheads and learn to play being polite. You'll be flamed but will save your health, both physical and mental. Just ignore them. If they keep insulting you for leaving just report them.
2. The difficult. Just carry on, trying ot overperform their dickness with your skills. Only for the brave.
3. The creative. Only if you have certain control over the group, that's it, if you're the tank or the healer. Set your irony to 'kill' level and just let the fucktard die everytime he's on the wild. Don't taunt mobs off him, don't heal him when he stands in the fire. You'll be flamed, so be sure to have your ironic answers at hand. Don't worry if you get kicked out of the group, there're lots of pugs out there and not all are formed by stupid assholes.

Now that the bile level has gone down after venting my frustration, a brighter note: Vurnak got inside Ulduar for the second time and even he didn't get any loot this time, it was a great and funny experience plus he got a bunch of achievements, killing all the mobs of the Siege and Antechamber. While heading to the Antechamber I whispered the raidleader that I was amazed I was standing solid at third place in dps (above a warlock, woot!!) since I'm still a bit new to arcane spec and my gear is mostly ilevel 200 to which he replied "well, what it amazes me is that we're all alts and nobody died yet!" We had only a pair of wipes but the important was having fun and learning tactics for the new bosses I didn't play the other time (Ignis and Auriaya).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pugging ain't bad sometimes

Pugs aren't always that bad, specially when you know several of the members. And more specially when you know they're good players. Last week I was invited by Sempher Fi (a guild we've been playing with since the times of Molten Core) to play Trial of the Crusader 10man (normal) as dps and brought Kurnak since he's the best geared. Coliseum is serious business, so I didn't want to bring someone who wasn't truly prepared (well, Vurnak could do well but I wanted to bring a char that didn't seem it was slacking as dps). I thought it was a guild run but when I arrived I found people from other guilds. Ops... a pug. But people seemed well geared and the game was already started, with Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus already down, so the pug didn't smell like failpug. New content to see and the possibility to get some gear were enough :) so there I headed in my trusty Onyx Nether Drake.
The Faction Champions was a very tricky fight, were a good strategy is needed and everyone has to squeeze the most out of his character. After a pair of wipes we got them down and faced the Twin Val'kyr, another tricky and crazy fight that we also did after a wipe. Then came the Lich King (again the boring Arthas... sometimes I think he's going to appear while I'm grinding mats around Northrend to brag about how powerful he is and how squashable I am) and we faced the last fight: the revamped Anub'arak 2.0 (yes the last boss of Azjol-Nerub is back and on steroids) who was killed on first try. Everybody was happy with the group and agreed to do it again this saturday, hoping to convert this pug in a stable weekly run.
This time the game was a fresh run so I was hoping to get the achievement. And after some wipe here and there... you can call me crusader!
Not only that, I also managed to snatch three items to boost my dps: Girdle of the Impaler, Victor's Call and Legplates of the Silver Hand, so today I'm a happy warrior :) Waiting for more next saturday!
Post soundtack: Crusader by Saxon