Thursday, January 21, 2010

So many choices... so little... good choices...

I know I already bitched about the gear situation in Icecrown, so I'll keep it brief. Basically, because losing my 4 piece is a big deal (until I get another armor token), I'm looking at one of the cloaks. The ap cloak has all the right stats, but the strength cloak is actually really nice... only if I need the expertise. The real problem is I can't see far enough into the future to tell whether or not I could use it, or not. Upgrading my boots or belt would make the cape attractive instantly, but there are other things to consider.

Which brings me to my next bit: The upcoming Ashen Verdict Strength Ring. They've talked about implementing it, but they haven't shown us what kind of stats it'll have. Crit and ArP rating would be ideal, but what if it has haste and (fuckin' a) expertise on it? I'd be fucked. Actually, if the damn thing has haste on it, I can safely say that most players will stick with the ap ring. And that'll just set me off.

I mean, why make a ring just for warriors/paladins/death knights, and not give us the stats we need? You'll see me all over the forums if it happens. I'll be the idiot getting banned from the forums for calling the development team fucktards.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Musings During Maintenance

It's been a pretty slow week. Festergut looks like he isn't budging for our little casual guild, so I've been concentrating on leveling an alt. Mage is my class of choice, and I've gotta say that questing and grinding is full of suck. At least, leveling a fire mage is full of suck: All the mages I know are sure to let me know exactly how retarded I am for not leveling frost. What can I say, I really like lighting things on fire.

Any class can look awesome on a harpoon-surfboard!

The thing I hated more than the fjord is having to arrange every pull so that I don't get gang stabbed and die. It feels like I'm in the Barrio. If I piss off the wrong local, fourteen mother fuckers come running, and I die horribly. It wasn't like that on my paladin/warrior. Just faceroll the aoe abilities and they're all dead before they have a chance to eat your face.

This isn't to say that all of my leveling experience has been bad. I'm actually really enjoying the lfg system (20 minute waits aside), in that I can actually do at level content, instead of just waiting to hit it up on heroic mode, which is sort of what happened with all of my other characters. I can just queue up as DPS, knock out a quest or 20, and temporarily pause my questing trend to do a random dungeon if it ever actually happens.

Although, even at my level, there are plenty of people who really should've stayed home. Just last night, a hunter and druid pair were picking on the lucky bastard that had queued up as a tank for not having full +def gear at level 77. It's level fucking 77! My gear looks like shit too. Be glad the LFG gods gave us a tank, and try not to scare him off by being an insufferable fuckwad.

I really hate myself sometimes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DPS Tracks 17: War is the Answer

I've got a few things on my mind, today. First, is Saurfang. Well, it's not that I hate Saurfang (although, he isn't on my fucking Christmas list or anything). But I kinda hate that our guild has a tendency of... slipping back down the difficulty slope. We get a kill, we make it look clean, and then the next week it's /smack! back to progression style wiping.

I know we only killed the big stupid orc once, but I suppose I have a case of wishful thinking, and hoped that we could, y'know... get through him before he got to 10 FUCKING MARKS!

Obligatory rant about Guild/Raid night aside, I found out that FFDP put out a second album. Sure, it came out in September, but sue me, I've been busy. I don't know if I talked about how much I like Five Finger Death Punch...

I like it this much!

Before I get to that, I've been noticing a large amount of (additional) QQ in the blogosphere about dps in Heroics. And while I already threw in my two cents on the matter (I really don't give a shit), I thought I'd share an encounter that tickled me pink.

I actually was not a member of this pug, but experienced it vicariously through guild members. I suppose some of you remember huntards. There aren't nearly as many as there used to be, since most of them rerolled Deathtards, so it is really a sight to see when you catch a glimpse of them in the wild. And this one was no different.

Clad in spellpower gear (possibly even a few cloth pieces), this Hunter came in at a low 500 dps, and the entire guild was giggling at his gear and his performance. We didn't bother to tell him in party chat, mind you, that he was possibly the worst player we'd seen since Braylon Edwards. We just thought it was funny to see someone two entire expansions behind in class knowledge and damage output.

Which is what brought me to my next thought. The next time I am actually watching the meters in a pug heroic, and someone struggles to break 1k dps, I'm going to stop and calmly tell them:

Burning Crusade called: They want their DPS back.

War is the Answer
By Five Finger Death Punch

[Verse 1]
This aint a test, fuck the rest.
Time to set the record straight.
Talk your shit behind my back, let's hear you say it to my face?
I've heard the words roll out your lips.
You little trendy fuckin' bitch!
The time has come to get you some, cause I just do not give a shit.

Do you take me for a fool!?
How's it feel to be a tool!?
See to me you're just a cancer!
Motherfucker!, War is the Answer!

[Verse 2]
As of now the end begins,I want to laugh but there's no joke.
To eat with the beast, and run with the wolves.
On the Ashes you must choke.
I know it's got to chap your ass, to think I just won't go away.
Forget me not, I'm writing you off.
I've got nothing more to say.

Do you take me for a fool!?
How's it feel to be a tool!?
To me you're just a cancer!
Motherfucker!, War is the Answer!

(Get some!)
You wanna disrespect me, you little fuckin' punk?
Everything I've done?, And who I am? As far as I've fuckin' come?
I'll slap you so fuckin' hard, It'll feel like you kissed a freight train.
Fuck you!

[Guitar Solo]


Do you take me for a fool!?
How's it feel to be a tool!?
Talking shit behind my back...
See to me you're just a cancer!
The time has come to get you some.
Motherfucker!, War is the Answer!


Monday, January 11, 2010

One mob at a time please...

If anyone knows me even a little bit, they would tell you I'm an incredibly laid back guy. And if you know me even better, you'd know that it takes quite a bit to get me pissed off. But when people say and do things that are so far away from intelligent that it makes you wince, I tend to get pretty annoyed. Especially when said offender repeats these offenses several times. Now when I'm puging the new heroics I know what kind of gamble I'm taking. But there is a limit that even the patient dwarf has.

Since I don't like waiting around in a queue for fifteen minutes, I tend to tank most heroics. So it's common practice of mine to inspect my healers gear to know how fast I can pull mobs. I knew it was going to be a painfully slow Forge of Souls when saw some gear so bad he'd have a hard time healing ten man Naxx. Since I'm a nice guy I didn't want to vote kick him, but my mouse was hovering over the option for a moment. Little did I know, the healer wasn't the problem.

So things get started, I pulled the first two mobs and the amazing happens. The mage in our group dies. I laugh it off to the fact that he probably killed himself to the spell reflects. Healer tosses a rez and we get moving. Next pull, I laugh a little bit more when our little mage friend dies again, almost instantly this time. I was a little confused why he died so fast that time, that is until I checked the combat logs. The little fucker started casting before I had pulled the mobs. And what does he say while lying on his back counting the tiles? "WTF? Again?" I delicately pointed out that if he felt like pulling the mobs it was bound to happen. He denied the fact that he pulled the mobs, but it's hard to ague against combat logs. I had thought the worst was behind us, but the fun was only getting started.

What my little mage buddy said next was perhaps the dumbest thing I've heard uttered in game. "Hey tank, stop pulling so many mobs!" Slightly confused I responded, "Uhh, what?" Certainly he didn't think I was pulling too many mobs? I was pulling them one group at a time, like any tank would if his healer wasn't that geared. "Pull them one mob at a time please!" Now here is where I started to get pissed. "And how do you propose I do that assclown? I pull one mob and the whole group comes with." The other members of the group backed me up and we slowly continued through the dungeon. "ONE MOB AT A TIME PLEASE!" Did he really just say that? Did he not see four people just tell him it is physically impossible to pull only one mob when my dps seem to lack the mental capacity to understand how cc works. "Listen jackass, I already told you, we can't pull ONE MOB AT A TIME. So just shut the fuck up and stop dying." Luckily he got the hint and shut up, he even managed to stay alive for one pull, but only one.

Just when I think his stupidity can't get any worse he proves me wrong, again. We've made it to the first boss. Not a hard fight at all. Before pulling the boss I do a quick glance over the party and notice my healer's mana is under 50%. The dps wasn't stellar so I gave him a chance to fill his mana pool back up. Oh but what's this? Our mage thought that since he was ready it was totally cool to pull the boss. This was right after face pulling a group of mobs, and succeeding in wiping the group. So I did what every smart tank would do in that situation. Let the boss kill the dumb ass then taunt him. He pissed and moaned the rest of the fight while taking a dirt nap.

The rest of the run was pretty much the same too. He'd face pull and die, or attack a mob before I charged in and die. I think my only bit of revenge the group got as a whole was during the Devourer of Souls fight. No one stopped damage when he cast Mirrored Soul on him. And the healer stopped wasting mana on him after the first boss. I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't vote kick the bastard was I got too much enjoyment out of watching a gnome mage die over and over. So please, anyone reading this, if you're a douche bag don't expect the tank or the healer to save your life. No one cares if a douche bag dies.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Retribution Paladins...

I found a new blog that I really enjoy, although it is about the life and times of a couple of ret pallies. I'm gonna send Martana that way so they can go all Discovery Channel on each other's asses. I suppose I can't be too snarky. I imagine they don't like us nearly as much as we don't like them. That, and one of our best players is a ret pally.

Oh, shit, I said it. Yeah, I can respect my guildies when I'm not in the middle of a rant. But apparently, I rip on our resident retnoob a little too much. Why? Because I want him to get better.

That's why I started this blog (That and to bitch about Christian Fundamentalists). I've been improving since I started raiding, and I don't ever want to stop. It's been said that I take raiding a little too seriously, and that might be true for the casual raiding guild I chose to stay with. But I don't think that our "casual" tag should be an excuse to be unsuccessful. And I firmly believe that, with our 6-9 hour/week schedule, we are capable of quite more still.

And that's why I piss and moan when people backpedal out of doing simple things like bringing their own strength food, or flasking for every boss fight, or not installing Pally Power.

Little things, and... fuck it, I'm spent.  Watch a movie or something and leave me alone.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Xi's Guide to Raiding

When coming up with a "commandment-style" list of things that every raider should adhere to, I noticed the first two applied to everything else. Really, it all boils down to two very brief principles.

A. Don't be a douchebag
B. Use some common sense

The first of which is actually pretty easy. It's in the bible, even. Now, I don't know the book word for word, but I'm pretty sure the lesson could be paraphrased into "Thou shalt not be a large sack of douche."

The second is a little bit more complicated. What members of the generation before me have considered to be "common sense" doesn't seem to be very common these days. I suppose a less "PC" way of saying it is: Don't be a complete idiot.

Obviously, given that the above statements are at the very core of this post, a monkey with a grease pencil could construct a guide to raiding. Well fuck that monkey. I got here first.

#1: Don't stand in the fire

This applies to fire patches, poisonous or otherwise "ominous" clouds, lightning lines, etc. Don't stand in the dangerous shit.


If it hurts you, the raid, or even just turns on some dude's porch light in China, don't fucking touch it unless your raid leader tells you to.

#2: Never blame the healer

I don't even care if it's their fault. In a guild setting, you have the opportunity to correct any healer issues through other channels, through suggestions from the main healer and other members of the healing ensemble, or through assigned readings from the wealth of articles online.

#3: Bring your goddamn raid mats 

Seriously. Get some flasks. Your own goddamn food (spellcasters only are excluded if a fish feast is present).  Shut up, sit down and eat.  Every minute, of every hour, of every raid.  Use them.  You know what happens if you do more dps during trash?  You get done faster.  Which means you get more attempts on the boss.  Just do it.

And if I hear one more ret paladin tell me that the fish feast is "just as good" as a piece of strength food, I will explode and take out an entire time zone in the process.

I don't even play your class and I know strength food is better.   /backhand

#4: L2P

I'm sure I'll get shit for this one. See that shit in the side bar? That's for Fury warriors. And there are about a billion other people, just like me, with websites and blogs dedicated to discussing the mechanics which are specific to your role and class. Go there. Learn from them. And stop doing 3k dps in full 245 gear.

#5: Obey your raid leader

Raid leading is a pretty stressful job. I know, I used to do it on the weekends. Nothing like trying to lead a bunch of casuals (some of which don't like to show up on time/at all) to lower your life expectancy. The last thing they need is some ungrateful little pissant to start spewing their filth about how much we need to do better. If we're wiping, i.e. not killing a boss, then yes, we need to do better. Thanks for the tip, asshole.

Do what your raid leader tells you, and shut the fuck up. I don't care if he tells you to go across your street IRL and slap someone's mom in the face. Either do it or leave, because you are fucking up the program by sitting around and arguing. They're leading the raid for a reason. Respect them or get replaced.

And yes, my raid leader did tell me to slap some kid's mom. I've never felt so satisfied.

#6: Wipe and recover quickly

A wise man once told me that the key to progression raiding was quick wipe recovery. Fast recovery means more attempts on a boss, and more attempts etc. etc. If -one- assbag decides to go check his livejournal between attempts, it effectively slows down the whole thing. It only takes one per attempt to make a night of 15 attempts end up being more like 5.

Stop screwing around and stay at your keyboard. Emergencies happen, but if your bladder is that weak, get a goddamned bucket.

I actually started writing this damned thing months ago, and at the time, I thought I had lots more to pour into it.  I am so full of anger and ramen that I thought I could keep it going forever.  But a lot of pieces of advice not on the list are somewhat useless. I could talk about loot, and how to behave during distribution, but if you're talking about loot, you already beat the boss, so there really isn't a problem with the raid.

I'll likely add to this over time, or maybe Gincan will come along and drop in his two cents.  But I'll have to edit it.  I don't think he uses enough four letter words.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Itemization Woes

I swear, it's as if the Blizzard Developers took a vacation during Trial of the Crusader. Because when they came back, they completely forgot how to itemize plate. Hit and haste? Paladin, please. The entire zone is littered with an overabundance of items with these stats. Don't believe me? Let's look at the 2 hander situation in Icecrown.

What two handers, you ask? There's a mace with an obscene amount of hit rating on it, and that stupid Bryntroll that all those paladins are shitting the bed about. Yes, it's high (compared to TOC counterparts) top end damage and decent proc make it more than suitable as a main hand weapon. However, it's fast speed and relatively small top end (when compared with Shadow's Edge and the Cryptmaker), not to mention it's lack of stats make it absolutely horrible for an off hand. Which means, once you upgrade it (and you will), you might as well go back to a Justicebringer in your off hand. It's stats are just that much better than that proc'ing piece of crap.

I'm a little pissed off at the set bonus situation, too. The ilvl 251 gear just doesn't size up to ilvl 245 ToC gear, when the set bonuses are taken into account. I'm talking about -all- the set bonuses. I exchanged every last piece on Landsoul's spreadsheet, regemmed, and the difference is marginal. It certainly isn't worth the 300+ badges you need to gear yourself out. I think it's Blizzard's way of saying 1) Fuck you, and 2) Go get 25 man tokens, and 3) Fuck you warriors, suck your shitty tier bonuses.


Monday, January 4, 2010

That'll Do Pig, That'll Do...

Ever since the Random Dungeon finder tool was introduced, I've done more tanking than ever before. But I find tanking gets increasingly boring. It's also a bit of a thankless job too. Now I don't run these dungeons looking for praise or respect, but it's nice to hear a good job, or even a thanks when a dps is acting retarded and I save their life. Not once has a dps said one thing to me for keeping them alive. I've had a healer or two thank me for the easy run, but that's about it. This is why I often find myself sucking it up, unchecking the Tank box and waiting 10 - 20 minutes for a spot as dps.

Here is where being a good tank and a good dps differs. About every other run someone will speak up and say something to the effect of "Jebus, sick DPS Gin!". As a matter of fact, that is a direct quote from the Warlock in my Forge of Souls run last night. It's something everyone likes to hear. Even if it comes from the mouth of a Gnome Warlock. It validates the fact that all your hard work is something praiseworthy. I put a lot of effort into learning the ins and outs of my class, and getting a tiny bit of praise makes me want to work even harder. And more importantly, it keeps the game fun for me.

The same is true for every job, in and out of game. You can be the best at what you do, but if no one goes out of their way to give you a small bit of praise it all feels worthless. It's simple thing to do but it's something the majority of us fail at. Maybe it's the fact that we've been conditioned to only point out the negative and not the positive in people. Perhaps it's our own insecurities that keep us from speaking up. Or maybe most of us don't run recount. Whatever it may be, I've made it a habit to say good job to anyone who has done an outstanding job. It's not often that I tank for a dps that really knows what he is doing, but when I do I say something.