Thursday, December 31, 2009


I wish I'm wrong, but yesterday had a nasty experience, a semi-fail pug, that has the dangers of becoming more and more usual thanks to the Finder system. Ok, the history starts with my mage Vurnak jumping on the Finder system to get some emblems. After a big waiting I get into a pug that's running ToC. I zone in and the joust is in the last phase, but as I setp into the arena one of the bosses tramples me with the horse and kills me. "You spoiled my grand entrance, rat!" is no longer a Black Knight only line. I get back in, mount on a horse and after charging the first boss I saw he dies and we all get dismounted. Well, one death in exchange of all the boring joust isn't that bad. Then the nightmare begins. DK tank and aplly healer. DK pulls, we start dpsing (a boomkin, a rogue and me) and suddenly the orc warrior jumps in the middle of us and whirlwinds. We wipe. The healer starts yelling at the tank why he brought the warrior into the ranged group. With a very bad english the tank tries to explain he got grabbed and pulled by the warrior and also complains about the lack oh heals. We go in again, rebuff and pull again. This time we manage to kill them but the tank and the healer can't stop yelling each other about how to tank and how to heal. I step in and ask to cut down the chatting and go on, which seems to work. We get Eadric the Pure and then the boomkin sits on the floor and goes AFK. And the fugger remains AFK for the whole fight. Pity we didn't get Confessor Paletress this time, because the fucking asshole deserved to die. Not for going AFK without any notification. The son of a bitch stood up when we looted the chest, selected need for the caster cloak (which I also needed) and went afk again. So I issued a vote kick. The healer asked why and they voted no. To add insult to the injury he won the roll and then announced he was back. Fucking leecher son of a donkey's fart. I'm not upset for losing the cloak. I'm upset because the fucking asshole decided not to move a single finger and let the rest do all the work.
Have you experienced leeching players? Because this may become very common. And he wasn't undergeared at all, like other players trying to get loot by playing with overgeared players. He just decided to stay safe in an easy boss fight while others did the dirty job. I swear the next time I see a fugger going AFK on a pug I'll vote kick as soon as his nameplate turns grey. And if the vote is negative I'll drop the group. I rather prefer to log another player (got plenty of them) than wroking for nothing.

Post soundtrack:  Leech - Incubus

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Can't focus

Thanks to the Christmas holidays I've been again playing a lot again. But the problem when you have 10 alts is the difficulty to focus on just one. Sure, I've been able to get some of them great new shiny loot, but after 5 or 6 random heroics with a char I get bored of it and need to switch to another. But then if I go on a dps char I need to wait several minutes to get a run, so I've been focusing more on my druid and shaman healer. The last one specially got 3 pieces of t9 now (when previously only had ilevel 200 gear) but still I don't feel quite comfortable with it. It's good at throwing small heals, but Chain Heal takes ages to cast. And when checking the available totems from the vendors you see all focus on Chain Heal... bugger. So I'm still using the old Totem of the Plains. Anyway once I got the fourth piece of t9 I'll guess I'll get one.
On the other hand we did some Icecrown Citadel raiding, since everybody wanted to grind some reputation to get the ring. After a pair of cleanings (without any rogue to see the traps that spawn these giant skeletons) we decided to try the first boss, Lord Marrowgar. As usual only two or three guildmates had read about this boss, so we decided to try and what was this about. I must say that we did great on first try, bringing him to 14%. Quite impressive for a bunch of casuals. On second try we had a silly wipe at start and I could only hold his damage for some seconds before I went splat!! on the floor. But at the third we did it and kicked Marrowgar's bony ass. Not only that, he dropped a tanking mace and a pair of pally boots and I got both items (yay!). After some rep grinding I also got the ring, so now I'm very happy with my paladin.
Now, on what char should I focus? Decissions, decissions...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Be kind to your healer

First of all I must apologize for publishing this post now. I wrote it before 3.3 hit the streets but a couple of factors made me leave it "in the fridge". Then patch came and non-stop grinding sessions almost made me forget about it. Still what I wrote it's still true, maybe even more now that a lot of people is pugging like mad. Here it is.
Thanks to Miss Medicina's post about the healers I've seen that what ticks me off is very common among healers. I don't consider myself a pure healer, I play all classes (and during old WoW and part of TBC I only played dps specs). So back to the common answer, one of the worst thing for healers is people asking for heals, most of times not in a very polite way. While she thinks usually is caused by a natural reaction I believe it's lack of knowledge. Knowledge of the healer's class, of course. And I say this because in the beginning I was a bit like this. Never yelled for a heal, but it buggered me when I wasn't receiving heals or even worse, I died, specially when I was offtanking some add in Molten Core. And then my thoughts targeted the healer of my group with a "dude, we're my heals?" flashing in bright red.
So, yelling at us demanding heals is one of the worst things you can do. About 90% of the time I'm looking at the raidUI or group healthbars. Unless there's some boss attack that requires my attention so I have to move out of fire or hide behind some wall I'm not checking what's going on. Sometimes I find myself thinking the boss is taking ages to die while other times I feel he bites the dust in a blink. All I see are green bars going up and down and also getting a funky coloration when someone gets a debuff that must be removed asap. I say this so you know I'm VERY AWARE that you're taking damage and your hitpoints are migrating to Tombsville. But you should know that If I'm not healing you is because either someone else needs the heal with more urgency (tank gets top priority always) or there's something preventing me to heal: I'm feared, silenced, running out of fire or I have that funny necrotic aura from Loatheb that prevents all kind of healing.
Of course if yelling for heals is bad, yelling at the healer/s after a wipe is even worse. I think there's no need to go futher that way. If it's my fault I'll apologize and next time I'll try by all means not to fuck it up. And if you're getting healed by somebody new to the healing business give him some credit before opening the can of worms.
Another thing it ticks healers off is players getting damage when they shouldn't, mostly aggro-monkeys who go trigger happy stealing aggro from the tank or fucktards who stand in fire thinking it's our obligation to keep them alive. Sorry mister, I don't care if your dps will be reduced if you have to move, but Blizzard made these attacks powerful enough so trying to overheal that damage is futile. Also this clashes with the healing priority mentioned before. People, specially dps, should carve this in their foreheads with a rusty knife:
Healing Priority
1. Tank
2. Healer
3. Dps
A group or raid can survive if a dps goes down. We can bring you back with a battleress if needed, like bosses with enrage timers, or you can walk back inside the dungeon (like ToC), so in most cases get this very clear: you're the last in line to get our attention. So if you're getting hit and you're not the tank then surely you're doing something wrong (except it's some aoe damage that hits everybody). If you get aggro use your aggro-dropping skills: vanish, iceblock... whatever. And run to the tank so he can snap that pesky mob off you more easily.
If you're standing in fire, gas, poison cloud, blizzard or cyclone area it's simple: MOVE OUT! And quickly. If your dps numbers are lowered then just suck it up and deal with it. Do you prefer a lower dps because you have to move just some steps or do you prefer to die and see your position in Recount plummet? I think the decission is quite simple.
So, after venting some frustration (feeling much better, thank you), just remember that healing usually it's a very stressing role, putting a lot of responsability on you. Adding more stress with bad tempered attitude is the last thing we healers need.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Dungeon Finder and the Human Condition

The Dungeon Finder tool is having comments from all the wow-bloggers. And looks like everyone coincides in several aspects, both in the positive and negative ones:
- Fast group assembly. This is probably the best feature. No more waiting endlessly (specially if you're dps) to get into a dungeon, specially if you only want badges. Thanks to the inter-server assembly now you only wait 5 or 6 minutes maximum (of course it depends on what time do you play, don't expect that at 3:00 am).
- Dehumanized runs. Several of you comment that right now there's almost no talk on the runs, just a fast zerg. Well, there wasn't much talk on old pugs unless you were going with some guildies or there was somethings out of the normal happening (like some epic fail, an unexpected wipe, etc). Maybe i'ts just me, but at least in all the runs I've got everybody says "hi" at start and "thanks for the run" at the end. In some even I've got some funny chatting. At least people seems polite enough to greet and say goodbye.
- Increased dickness. People are too anxious to finish the dungeon in the less time possible to hop into another. Undergeared people or underperforming people are abused and kicked out. Again maybe it's me, but I haven't found more dickheads than before. But since there's more people running dungeons and craving for more, the index of dickness increases also, that's a mathematical fact that can't be avoided: if there's a natural percentage of dickhead players in an always growing community, the bigger the number of that community is playing at the same time, the bigger the dickheads percentage in it. Also the dungeon zerging acts as a multiplicator of this percentage, but as I was saying, this factor hasn't been so big for me.
There are two facts that should be clear for everybody when "aiming guns" against the Dungeon Finder:
1. Dungeon Finder doesn't turn dungeon runs into a collection of retarded actions and behavior. If a player is a stupid asshole, it would be still an asshole without the Finder. I reckon that the Finder may accidentally group several dickheads or someone specially annoying, increasing the sensation of "what a collection of stupid bastards I've been grouped with". Also since more runs are made in less time, more chances to find a stupid asshole. But seems nobody noticed about the Ignore option also working for the Dungeon Finder. Put somebody in your ignore list and you won't be ever grouped with her again (note: I'm not sure if it works with cross-realm players, but it should). Also I know it's difficult you'll ever group with the same char, so this tool isn't that good, but it's better than nothing. Remember there's anything that can't stop dickheads from entering PUGs like antigoldpsam addons eliminating spam messages from the chat window. Would be so great...
2. The Finder is a tool designated mainly to farm. Unless your guild is severely crippled , you play at odd hours when there're few people online or you want a specific dungeon few people wants to play (I can read your mind and I see a big word written in red flashy neon light that says "Oculus"), most of your farming runs will be done along your guildmates. Only if you're badges greedy you'll use this tool (and remember, you can play random dungeons to get extra badges with a full group made entirely of guildmates)
So I don't think the Dungeon Finder will kill "traditional" dungeon runs. If you're not level 80 still and you like the lore bits appearing in the instances you'll surely run the dungeon (normal mode, of course) with friends, guildmates or if you use the Finder, with other not-80 not-overgeared people, so the chances of a silent run full of dickheads are minimal. Also keep in mind the Finder is the new shiny toy and once some weeks pass it won't cause such fuss as today. Sure, dickheads will continue to be dickheads, but I doubt there will be this craving for badges (once everybody is covered in T9 the Emblems of Triumph will lose 90% of its value), so runs can be taken in a more relaxed way, even if talking is kept to a minimum.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Answering Machine post

"Hello, here's Kurnak. I'm sorry but I'm not back to blogging because new patch is keeping me away. Thank you for your patience. Leave a comment after the signal"...

So yes, as you could expect from somebody with ten 80s to maintain, I'm grinding dungeons as much as I can with several of my characters (not all tough, the day only has 24 hours sadly). Several of you already have posted about how great the new instances are (yes, they are), how cool the Dungeon Finder is (yes, it is) and I've also posted comments on your blogs, so I won't go over these themes again. Just some notes:
- New 5man dungeons are greatly designed and bosses finally challenging (at least the first time :D )
- Most of the new gear has horrible names: Braid of Salt and Fire? Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt? Cold Sweat Grips? Minister's Number One Legplates? (to name just a few). Come on guys, stop smoking crack!
- Remember my previous post about Blizzard designing ugly swords? Well, my predictions came true, specially for 2handed swords, with only a few exceptions (and you guessed right, the various Quel'Delar versions). Just take a look at Mourning Malice and try not to puke. A cool evil name wasted on a hideous blade. And what about Ghoulslicer? That thing is 1handed. Yes, you read right. One-handed. And looks bigger than most 2handed swords in the game... seesh! At least the rest of 1handed swords have cool looks
- Reusing old gear with new color patterns. While some items are ok for the reusing, others are ugly, specially with the new color set/texture added. Yes, I'm thinking on gear like Pauldrons of the Devourer. When we had finally got rid of these chunky pauldrons they come back... with a vengeance! Come on! Why not reuse cool looking pvp gear like Savage Gladiator's Dreadplate Shoulders or old gear like Abomination Shoulderblades? Bah!

Well, I'm sorry but I must go back and continue grinding on some alt. What? Oh yes, you're right. I forgot the signal, here it is...

Post soundtrack: Answering Machine - The Replacements