I Was Wrong…

I’ll admit it. A group cannot compensate for a really bad PUG tank, at least not with the Troll Heroics.

Last night I log off after getting my dailies sorted out, doing a heroic and then doing a couple of regular dungeons on my DK tank for my brother-in-law (a.k.a. BIL) along with my sister and John (thanks John!). I poke around a little in Minecraft, just moving stuff around prepping my mine for some building then UFTimmy sends me an IM saying he’s going to do some heroics.

I’m dead tired so I tell him so.

A few minutes later he sends me another one saying it’s mostly a guild group; him, Jason and Bitterdan so should go fast. It’s 11:30pm… I say fine, should only be 30 minutes tops with that sort of firepower. Log in (after a short patch) and queue up.

Dungeon pops in about five minutes, I hit enter dungeon and… fuck. It’s a troll dungeon. You douchebag!

I grumble at him in Vent but stick through it because his reasoning is sound, “We’ll roll through this.”

Until we realize the tank is really damn slow. It was so bad even I was losing my patience. So we starting rushing things, pushing him along using MD and Tricks to get shit on him. Nope, we wipe to bad interrupts. So we start CCing some. Get to the serpent boss (or whatever – the one with the eggs) and we wipe there because the tank stands in the bad and dies. We give him shit (well, mostly Bitter and Tim) and do it the second time. Moving through he’s still damn slow and starting to get mouthy. He then stops tanking (we only slightly noticed because it wasn’t like he was holding agro well before) after a pull.

Tim votes to boot him.

At this point it’s well after midnight so we pop it back into the queue and get a druid tank. The guy was good. We cleared the rest in short time with no other issues.

Bad tanks r bad. n u cant carry dem too far cuz dey too heavy in all dat armurs.

Now I’m dead tired on the last day of work before a long weekend and week off. Focus? Where are you?

4.2 Thoughts

Wow. Logged in and lag city. Disable Recount? Oh. Hey, it’s all better!

Picked up a trinket that was on the Valor Point QM previously and had some JPs left over.

I then started doing the quests in Hyjal around Thrall while queuing up for a regular Heroic. I got partway into the Thrall quest (I was in Vashj’r) when the heroic popped.

It was SFK. I couldn’t tell what sort of DPS I did but my shot rotation hasn’t really changed so I feel the same.

Once that was done, I finished off the Thrall quest and picked up the epic cloak at the end. It’s really pretty simple to do, especially now when there was a lot of people there to help out. Some silly Horde were PVP flagged while in there and so they died… fast.

Once that was done, I popped over to the Shrine of Malorne and ran the lead up quests to open up the dailies. The first set of dailies seem easy enough and they’re gated like the Argent Crusade. You walk away with about 12 tokens and need 20 to open up some more dailies. (Thanks Tim for the directions) I’m going to guess that the last 8 tokens I need for hitting 20 is probably going to take me two more days of dailies… maybe more because you don’t have the initial lead up quests boosting that for you.

 

Raid group gathered and we saw we had Tol Barad so we went to take a look.

Tol Barad new boss trash is ugly. We need to figure them out. Seems they don’t have a threat table and do damage on some weird condition (seems like you’ve got to gather up). Popped into the room where the new boss was supposed to be. Note I said, “supposed to be” because he wasn’t there. We started looking around for a trigger.

Nope. Derp… he shows up with the new Arena Season which is next week, I think.

Our Arena PVP people weren’t there yet.

 

Firelands.

Wow.

Really neat looking (Oblivion jokes aside) and full of trash mobs. It reminds me of the old EQ raids for places like Fear and Growth.  Lots of trash mobs… and they are sorta nasty. Turtles > all. There were some epics dropping from the trash; I think we had a cloak drop and a pair of tailoring recipes. They do respawn after a couple of hours as well so it doesn’t seem like it’s a case of clearing the trash, then coming back and doing bosses. I really hope the trash disappears as some of the bosses die and they stay down or the design is going to hurt casual raiders.

It took a bit to get used to pulling raid trash in a wide open environment again and we had some issues where stuff would path into where we were fighting – so, our bad.

We wandered around looking for Shannox… oh, you have to clear more trash to make him come look for the intruders. Done.

There he is.

Facepull.

Shit.

The new Dungeon/Raid Spoiler feature is neat. Very detailed. Shows loot and all the boss abilities, even to the point of noting some enrage type abilities. Our raid leader sort of discovers this after the fact so the raid relies on my addled memory which processes “what do I need to do” when viewing strats for what they need to do. Here’s an example:

Big boss, two dogs. One has no threat table and will run around raid pouncing on people. You need to hit him hard with one shot to make him stop eating someone’s face. The tanks need to swap agro on the boss and the remaining pooch; one tank has both, gets some stacks of a nasty fire debuff (yes, I was wrong – it’s actually a bleed that stacks). We need to kill the dogs before Shannox reaches 30% or they enrage and wipe the raid so we need to DPS them all down low, kill the dogs then Shannox. Each dog you kill makes Shannox hit harder so we need them all down low.

*Tank pulls. Healer gets stuck in a crystal trap.*

Oh, and Shannox is going to throw out two different kinds of traps; one works sort of like a frost tomb while the other does lots of fire damage. You get a couple of seconds to move away before they activate so move away. Oh and the dogs can trip the traps too.

See? There is a reason I’m not the raid leader.

We sort of muddle our way through figuring out what ability is what and what we need to do but only manage to get about three real attempts on him (we don’t count the facepull wipe). We definitely need to realign our DPS but it’s hard to decide how without an idea of who is doing what sort of damage to boss/dogs – damn you Recount.

Apparently Skada was working, I might give that a try.

 

I am actually considering doing the unthinkable which is to switch to BM (so boring) and use the big, stompy-noise making pets to annoy my fellow raiders and make them petition to give MM its DPS back.

“Stompy is going to be my new best friend until Blizzard gives MM its DPS back.”

Firelands Tonight – Do You Know Where Your Raiders Are?

Blizzard is releasing 4.2 today with Firelands that contains seven new bosses for people to throw their virtual corpses at.

I can’t say I’m overly excited or I’m just a little too tired to be excited. Probably a little anxious because they’ve made some changes to Marksman spec for Hunters. I don’t care how they spin it, it’s a nerf, twice over.

First nerf is Multishot damage because it’s too easy to get a lot of damage with it. Sure, because other classes have complicated AE devices… you know, like Blizzard or whatever it is Druids do to hit 40k DPS in a couple of seconds.

Hey, I’m a DPS class. It’s what I do. It’s all I can do. When it comes to groups I have to way 15-40 minutes to get a random queue. When it comes to raids, I’m the more likely candidate to sit because every class can DPS… but only a few can flip to heals or tanking… so let’s reduce your only capability – DPS.

  • Multi-shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.

This is going to hurt Marksman DPS AE DPS a lot but not really impact SV so much since they get their Serpent Sting ticks applied on impact of Multishot. Excuse me… which is too easy to get AOE damage on now?

On the other hand, traps might be a little more useful now if they’re properly accounting for stats like hit and attack power.

  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.

Second nerf is reduction on Careful Aim. This is a talent that increases your crit chance for the first bit of a mob’s life. Cool. They’re reducing this because Hunters benefit from it too much vs. most raid bosses. Right.

I love how they phrase it:

Marksmanship

  • Careful Aim now grants additional critical strike chance against targets over 90% health, up from 80% health.

They make it sound like it was a benefit. “Up from 80%!” No, that’s a bad. See, we had that crit bonus for the first 20% of the mob health where as now we’re going to have it for the first 10%. “Up from 80%!”, try “up your ass Marksman Hunters!” It sounds like they might have increase the % of crit gained for that 10%. I might find myself moving a point out of this… I’ll see.

Oh wait, but reducing this talent in the Marksman tree has hurt Survival DPS so we have to tweak their DPS because we’ve nerfed a Marksman talent.

Survival

  • Black Arrow damage done has been increased by roughly 40%.

A MARKSMAN TALENT. Excuse me for being irrational for a moment.

Where is our 40% buff? Why not tweak Aimed Shot a little more… maybe increase the instant cast proc rate or allow us to cast it while in Aspect of the Fox?

Sadness.

I won’t lie, I have no love for Survival spec. I can’t stand the rotation, I dislike not having Silencing Shot and Readiness. Having an extra CC is nice… you rarely see SV Hunter actually using it though.

I haven’t had much success at finding raid videos (or time to watch them) for spoilers so it’ll be a nice learning experience and a bit of a surprise, assuming I don’t start to hate being Marksman.

I suspect we’ll have a good turn out of Raiders. I’m not sure how many people played around on the PTR and previewed things. Should be interesting.

First few things I’ll do is rearrange my characters on the character select screen, sort out my macros, pick up  a trinket off the JP vendor and maybe poke around a little to find some of the newer dailies so I can get cracking on that.

 

EDIT: For people looking for raid boss info, you can find the bosses and links to their info under the second heading on this MMO Champion page.

Why Would You

Use Facebook to check out Oceanspray beverages?

I think some people just don’t get it. Or maybe I don’t get it because when I see the Oceanspray commercial for their sparkling beverages on TV and they say, “Follow us on Facebook” my first thought is, “Fuck that.”

I don’t believe Facebook is a suitable marketing tool for EVERY product available and if you’re not one of the products that could work, you’re sort of like that awkward kid that approaches your group of friends hoping to join in.

It doesn’t work. Not for cranberry beverages… they’re not any cooler because they’re on Facebook.

Note that I said, “EVERY” up there. Some products work and can gain steam through social media. Understand your market.

You’re Not a Hero

You’re not doing this for us. You’re not doing this for anyone other than yourselves – stroking your own little egos because, quite frankly, you’re not much of anything otherwise.

Don’t delude yourselves.

That or your some crazy gold farmer data-mining for ‘gamer’ addresses, usernames and passwords.

As in this is either really notification that the account info was hacked – though it’s too general – or it could be a phishing attempt.

We recently learned that hackers gained unauthorized access to the decade-old BioWare server system supporting the Neverwinter Nights forums. We immediately took appropriate steps to protect our consumers’ data and launched a thorough ongoing evaluation of the breach. We have determined that no credit card data was compromised from the servers, nor did we ever have or store sensitive data like social security numbers. Our investigation shows that information such as user names, encrypted passwords, email addresses, mailing addresses, names, phone numbers, CD keys and birth dates from accounts on the system may have been compromised, as well as other
information (if any) that you may have associated with this forum account. In an abundance of caution, we have disabled your legacy Account. To create a new account please visit social.bioware.com.

We take the security of your information very seriously and regret any inconvenience this may have caused you. If your username, email address and/or password on your Neverwinter Nights account are similar to those you use on other sites, we recommend changing the password at those sites as well. We advise all of our fans to always be aware of any suspicious emails or account activity and report any suspicious emails and account activity to Customer Support at 1-877-357-6007.

If you have questions, please visit our FAQ at [redacted] or contact Customer Support at the phone number above.

Aaryn Flynn
Studio GM, BioWare Edmonton
VP, Electronic Arts

That said, if people have an account with the old NWN which uses an active email address (as in  you still use that address for other games) you may want to get a new email address and redirect games to that one. Also if you were dumb enough to use the same password on your email account that you use for game (and OMG would you be dumb), I suggest you change that too… before they do.

Can we ban countries from accessing the interwebs? I mean the ones that are lax with security and legal policies around use of internet services?

Raid Truths

I saw this linked to over at Spinksville and gave it a read and nodded in agreement. It’s actually a short list of hard truths about raiding and raid guilds from the perspective of leadership and raiders. Good stuff, read it.

I’ve been a co-guild leader, officer, veteran, adviser and member through many different MMOs and had vowed to never be more than a good member because there was just too much I didn’t want to bother with as a leader – I just wanted to play. I’m now an officer in a guild. What happened?

Here is my take on the truths.

Leadership:

The truth is: you are doing this for yourself.

Definitely. This is a hard one to remember (for me) sometimes because I get too caught up in trying to keep the peace or deal with issues that I feel like I’m doing it for the good of the ‘whole’. I’m not, I’m ultimately doing it to ensure my play time is fun. I admit, I am playing WoW with some people that have been around for several years, so it’s not as cold and callous as that – I want to play the game with them, but if they leave, I will still want to play the game.

I left the previous guild because a time shift in the raid times collided with another of my hobbies (my weekly RPG session that isn’t so weekly lately). I know a number of people were disgruntled for various reasons (from the guild I was in prior to a merger) so I mentioned it to them targeting Cataclysm time frame with the hopes of running a 10 man raid guild. I quickly realized the only way to avoid having raid times shift into a time unsuitable to me was to control it by having a hand in running the guild.

The truth is: you should not expect much appreciation or thank-yous from others.

As a leader, I don’t expect it. As a member in a non-leadership role but having done it in the past, I tried to post the odd thank you and appreciative tell. The author is right, most members who have only ever been members have no idea the kind of stuff the leadership has to deal with. Some of it might be obvious while other stuff isn’t. Most of it isn’t.

The truth is: you Sir or Madam are replaceable.

Yes. Other people are more adept and capable of running the guild. If I were to leave things would carry on either with this guild or another. I recognized that a long time ago. Still good to note if you haven’t come to this conclusion.

Raiders:

The truth is: raid guilds are a contract.

I like this one. By joining to be a raider you’re agreeing to do the best you can, do the research, do what’s necessary to get the gear for becoming raid viable, staying on top of changes and making adjustments as needed. If you’re not doing that, do something else.

We’ve held back people from being full rank raiders because they were reliant on others to do the research for them, were unwilling to commit time and resources to keeping up and because their performance (overall) wasn’t consistently good.

The truth is: if you have never formed and/or lead a raid guild yourself, you will never know how much extra time and work your guild leaders put into the game, what pressure they shoulder at times and what secret dramas and screwups they deal with that you will never hear about.

Yes.

Best thing you can do for a leader is be as little a problem as possible. Be willing to talk things over reasonably and not bottle things up and explode.

You might not realize it (because it sounds like I’m focused on my awesome DPS numbers) but we do go over logs, discuss performance, discuss survivability and dig into class research that might not be our area of expertise to see if you’re doing it wrong. That’s just a part of it.

The truth is: you are a big fish in a small pond.

I did a double read on this. I misread it the other way around, but yeah, it’s true. You might be the best player in your guild of 20-30 people (or even 200+ characters that aren’t max level or only casual) but the game has a population in the millions… you’re probably not better than everyone else.

Sometimes it’s time to move on or up, sometimes it isn’t – that’s up to you to determine. Sometimes it’s time to try something new or different. I’m quite comfortable with where I am.

 

(read the original article, it was pretty good)

How To: Marksman Hunter Spec AOE Damage

I switched from SV to MM awhile ago because I don’t like the SV spec, it just doesn’t sit right. One of the things I missed was the AOE damage dominance of SV. In MM, running with the spec suggested by Frostheim over at Warcraft Hunter’s Union, I suffered bad AOE DPS.

Rather than suck up the posts suggesting to switch to SV for AOE fights or situations (like parasites on Magmaw or Oozes in Cho’gall), I decided to shirk the norm and figure out a suitable solution for MM AOE.

And I found it. Are you ready? It’s really sneaky and not very obvious… I lied, it’s obvious. Drop iffy talent points and pick up the ones related to AOE… derp.

I took two points out of Termination (I’m not really focus starved near the end of the boss fights anyway) and popped them into Bombardment. This means when I crit, my next Multishot cost is reduced by 50%. With a lot of targets up, this means a guaranteed 50% reduction on the next Multishot. I went from getting off 2, maybe 3 to being able to spam it 5 or 6 times.

I also removed the point in Resistance is Futile (bleh) and popped it into Concussive Barrage which helps for keeping the parasites and oozes at bay – also buys you some time if the tank can’t hold agro or you need to pop some more Steady Shots for more Focus.

Basically spam Multishot until you can’t, pop a couple of Steady Shots and Multishot a couple of more times. Repeat. Don’t bother with Chimera Shot or anything else – maybe an Explosive Trap if there really is a lot of mobs, otherwise, pretend you’re a Paladin and mash two buttons.

This is going to be nerfed next patch when they reduce the damage of Multishot so enjoy it while you can.

NOTE: I also move one point from Beastmastery (Frenzy 2/3 instead of 3/3) to Survival (Pathing 3/3 instead of 2/3) to pick up some personal haste over some pet haste. It hasn’t hurt me in numbers.

I haven’t run any numbers, but I suspect there might be a glitch here with the focus cost reduction and multiple crits off one Multishot – it just feels like I’m getting too many shots off.

UPDATE (11/07/2011): This still works well after the damage reduction to Multishot. It’s extra important to get Misdirection up before you start because you can leverage the extra crit % off the targets being above 90% health.