5 Things I Hate That Raiders Love

30 March, 2010

If life gives you lemons, go find an annoying guy with paper cuts–Unknown

This is an unprovoked rant, but one I’ve been meaning to put down in black and white for a little while now. Everyone that raids with BRM knows these very well, and knows the response (from rage to slight annoyance) when they happen to appear in my field of vision. Only some of these have been detrimental to the point of wiping the raid at an important moment, but all of them just seem to provoke some sort of inner demon (“behold the power” and all that noise). Without further delay…

5. Everyone Has AOE, but no one knows when to use it.

Every single dungeon, every single raid, every single trash pack, you can’t get people to stop AoEing. I partially blame Parrot/MSBT for this. Lumping all of that damage into one giant Mack Truck of a number that is like crack to a DPS. “35k FAN OF KNIVES WTF MAN!”

All of this stroking is in good fun when a gnome or two dies, but when there’s one mob in a pack that requires a moment of focus fire, everyone forgets where their fireball key went. You’re fighting a trash pack for a couple minutes, and you realize That One Mob (let’s say it’s a Darkfallen Tactician for arguments sake) is still alive, killing all of your healers and sapping your tanks. The raid topples over and what you’re left with is 7 mobs at 10%.

This gets completely flipped on its head when you get to a boss that requires quick, well-timed AOE. Rotworms on Heroic: Valithria Dreamwalker is a good example. A perfect candidate for an AoE fest. Eight or 9 little mobs all bunched up, but they need to be killed immediately. The AoE needs to be rolling as they spawn (think: I Choose You Molgheim!), so they don’t have a chance to attack anything.

Naxx and clever combat text mods have made AoE, and it’s proper use a Raid Leader’s headache. Let’s not get too extreme, though, nobody liked Kael’thas trash. That’s swinging too far in the other direction.

4. Battle Rez

You are saying to yourself right now: “Self, how can this idiot hate battle rez” and I will reply: “Here’s a graph.”The Battle Rez rules are thus: 3 strikes and you’re out, everyone starts the fight with 1 strike. The likelihood of receiving a battle rez goes down exponentially as content gets easier, despite the shorter cooldown.

3. Disengage

Times when Disengage has failed in glorious fashion:

  • General Vezax. Disengage to get out of the raid with Mark of the Faceless, hit a rock, don’t go anywhere, heal Vezax for 20%.
  • General Vezax. Disengage to get out of the raid, but instead launch into melee.
  • Sindragosa: Disengage to escape Blistering Cold, but the hunter is turned the wrong way
  • The Lich King: Disengage to get off the falling platform, hunter launches self off the frozen throne
  • The Lich King: Same result as above, but instead trying to be clever when escaping Defile

The response every time this happens: “Disengage always works! I just messed it up that time!” If only the same excuse could be used when someone shoots their self in the face when cleaning their gun. Never point a hunter at anything, they’re always loaded.

2. Heroic Presence

Why Blizzard? Why must you curse Alliance Raid Leaders with this epicly short range, group only buff that is counter to your itemization philosophy? Anyone that raids with no less than 5 Draenei, beware. Those DPS left in the goat-less group will be sending you tells. Probably during the countdown for the pull on the next boss. You gave us one advantage, why did it have to be this one? Why couldn’t we just get War Stomp?

This is purely raid leader annoyance/rant/bitching, but it doesn’t make it tolerable. I thought that group specific stuff stopped with Shamans. The thing is, people generally don’t whine when they’re missing healing stream totem.

And finally…

1. Army of the DumbDead

Where do I even start with this abomination of retardation (forgive the pun). It’s as if the Death Knight literally clicks a button to resurrect every bad raider to come back and haunt my raid. Every tank that could never pick up a mob, every DPS Warrior that pulled aggro all the time, and every healer that stood in range of a cleaving mob are now back in your raid to wreak havoc.

The fix to prevent these mongoloids from screwing your raid over completely (Ghouls cannot taunt Skull Level Mobs), only steeled the resolve of Death Knights everywhere. “They can’t taunt bosses! It’s ok to use Army whenever I want!”

No it isn’t.

Adds on a boss encounter are not skull level. If you still like Army, go do a Tribute to Insanity run and have the DK in your raid hit Army as the Nerubian Burrowers spawn. Hilarity (at least for me) will ensue as your tank scrambles to keep them on the permafrost and above ground. They will fail, your will raid will lose it’s pretty pony, and everyone goes home hating those stupid little ghouls forever. That situation happened to us, except it wasn’t on insanity but it was on 25 man at 5%. We didn’t win.

I’ve seen Army screw up Rotface, Deathwhisper, and just about every heroic that I’ve ever done with a DK. Houston to DK’s, come in DK’s, Army of the Dead is a tanking cooldown.

Lastly, Army pulls on Faction Champions are stupid. You should be doing the opposite of the Army pull and have your MT (in tank gear and spec) pull the Champions. Nobody should cast anything (even heals) for the first 5ish seconds as the tank debuffs the mobs as much as he can. This will make a majority of the mobs stick to one person. Your DPS can focus on the first couple targets before the melee Champions start looking for Mages to stick their weapons in.

There can be no rest until this spell is removed from the game and it’s pestilence lifted from the lives of Raid Leader’s everywhere.

Something I Don’t Hate

One of BRM’s long-time officers and raiders (longer than me even) has started his own blog:

Known As Kro

Kro is an interesting person and player, and I think you’ll find his more off-topic WoW (and non-WoW) musings very enjoyable. He has a very clever way with words and tends to serve as our resident Devil’s Advocate in officer discussions, so he always has an alternative view on things. Go give him a read, he already has plenty of posts ready and waiting.


ICC25 Hard Mode: Power Overwhelming

13 March, 2010

We burn…We need focus…Thorasoh’cahp! — Archon, StarCraft

Our third and final night of hard modes included two bosses that supercharge the raid to ridiculous levels: Blood Queen and Valithria Dreamwalker. Killing off both would allow us to meet and exceed our goal of at least 5 hard modes this first reset. It turns out we were more prepared for both than I originally thought.

“Eradicate”

Leaving a raid with a boss at 4.7% HP, knowing you needed just 12k more raid DPS, tends to leave a good amount of trepidation at the start of next night. You worry of falling into a loop of wiping since your momentum from the last evening’s attempts is all but gone. The best thing to do before starting right in on a boss is get the blood flowing. A warm-up if you will.

For us it was the trash prior to Dreamwalker. We cleared to collect our free single Emblem of Frost and then back-tracked to the Crimson Halls. The message? Once we drop Blood Queen, Dreamwalker could be saved shortly after.

Once again we prepped for Blood Queen. Potions at the ready, food and flasks, a quick double check to make sure all the raid buffs were covered.

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Icecrown 10 (Kinda) Hard Modes: Round 1

9 March, 2010

The difference between a man and a boy is: a boy wants to grow up to be a fireman, but a man wants to grow up to be a giant monster fireman.–Jack Handy

Our 10 man finally got back together after our initial hard mode debacle, and started working on hard modes. The plan going in was to knock out all but the end wing bosses at the least. We ended up killing 8 hard modes, but it wasn’t exactly the eight we had planned on going in.

World of Logs Night 1

World of Logs Night 2

Tuning Fork

Out of all the wings, the mostly oddly tuned was Crimson Halls. It just seemed completely backward as far as what should and shouldn’t be hard.

Blood Prince council introduced several new mechanics that had to be dealt with:

  • Shadow Prison: Reverse Hodir. Every second of movement applies a dot that ticks for 500 shadow damage per stack. Only ticks when moving. Removed if you stand still for 10 seconds.
  • Glittering Sparks: Now more sparkly, reducing movement speed by 40%
  • Kinetic Bombs: Drop like rocks instead of beach balls.

Blood Queen Lana’thel introduced:

  • Stuff hits harder.

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Borsked? The psyche of a player-coach.

19 February, 2010

The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert. –Vince Lombardi

The dynamic of a raid leading position in World of Warcraft is one that I believe is unique among all other team-based games.  Aside from handling loot (and it’s additional overhead, i.e. dkp) and coordinating your bench players, there are several plates spinning even before you reach a boss.  Everything from keeping the pace up through the trash to making sure everything is assigned and in order for the boss coming up soon.

The goal of the raid is to kill bosses, collect loot, progress through the content, and do it all while having a good time.

Re-read that sentence again and note the and. If one of the above tenets fails, then the goal cannot be completed.  You can’t kill bosses, progress, have a good time and not get any loot.  Take out one or many and the raid is not successful.

Sidebar: Wipe nights violate the above goal, but, obviously, are very important to progression focused raiding.  Wipe nights on new/harder bosses are the equivalent to practice in team sports.  You are working on strategy and fine tuning what you need to do to beat the upcoming opponent.  It doesn’t have immediate rewards and isn’t always all that fun, but the first kill on a hard boss always gives that little zing of invigoration that only a first kill can give.

Typically a team engaging in competition will have several coaches, captains (leaders on the field of play), and the remaining players.  Raiding’s twist is that everyone suits up to play.  The raid leader is the coach, the tanks and officers become captains, and the other players look to them for leadership and direction.  All still have an even stake, yet all are now participating equally.  A coach standing on the sidelines can call a play and give it to his Quarterback to run.  If it fails, the coach can find the reciever that ran the wrong route, grab his facemask and give him a stern, spit-laden talk on the sidelines.

But what if the coach was that receiver?  Well, he just got Borsked.

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