For all intents and purposes I wasn’t going to replace my Boomkin spec and go Tree Heals with the second part of my Dual Spec until Level 70 (once I hit Northrend) but as it turns out, I did at Level 63. Who knew?
I have always thought of Druids as the red-headed step-kid of the Warcraft family, to be honest, a jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none type, which was part of the appeal to me: I wanted to do EVERYTHING. I wanted to Tank and Melee DPS and Ranged Caster DPS and Heal and playing a Druid character allows me to do all of that, dependent on how I’m specced for that particular day, and not only that, do all four WELL. Atually, like any Ranged DPS, I really wanted to Tank (like any actor I wanted to direct…lol) or Melee DPS or SOMETHING other than stand waaaaaay back from the action and drop bombs on it. Having played a Hunter all the way up from Level 1, I needed the change.
To be honest, I had been feeling a little out of sorts with my Druid because it seemed that up to Level 58 that there wasn’t a lot of demand for a tanking Feral Druid. Razorfen Downs and Scholomance, it seemed, were better tanked by Paladins (with their buff against Undead) and other instance runs like Sunken Temple seemed to do better with Warriors than Druids (because of the Warrior’s wide-range AoE Taunt). Rolling a Druid, it had appeared, was looking like it might’ve been a wasted role as I was relegated to, you guessed it, Ranged Caster DPS (OOMkin FTW!).
Turns out I’m more in demand for Burning Crusade content than I thought, which ain’t a bad thing. Typically it’s not more than 5 minutes after I log in on Dreddnought, and someone is messaging me asking if I’d like to run HP: Ramparts or HP: Blood Furnace, or Coilfang: Steam Vaults or Coilfang: Slave Pens, or even Auchindoun: Mana-Tombs. I’ve been getting runs on a consistent basis (translation: If they were Dailies, I’d be making MAD BANK) through HP: Ramparts and HP: Blood Furnace as a tank and CR: Steam Vault and CR: Slave Pens as a healer and it’s been a LOT of fun so far. I’ve finally found a Race and Class that I enjoy playing that can do what I want it to, and that’s deal goodly amounts of damage while keeping clothies from tanking and also spread the love and keep people alive. I think I’m going to apply to be a contributing member of Angry Healers on WordPress though. I’ve only been healing for a little while but I think I get EXACTLY what they’re talking about.
There’s only so much I can do as a Hunter and quite frankly, it’s kinda depressing when the only action you seem to get is from folks that want shit to die quickly because you bring 3.4K – 3.6K DPS to any given situation. I’m tired of getting asked to come into an instance for one boss, not having other DPS that can keep up and then getting locked to that particular instance after one pull. It had gotten to the point where I was deliberately trying to avoid playing my Hunter except for times when I KNEW no one was on in Guild (translation 4AM…) so that sort of thing wouldn’t happen. I still LOVE playing my Hunter and I’ll farm mats and pug 5-man instances ALL DAY LONG, but getting pulled in for 10-man and 25-man raids for one boss before it all goes to shit is just not fun. Those of you out there that play a pure DPS class like Mages, Warlocks and Hunters will know what I mean. We are there for one reason, and one reason only: to do shit-tons of damage in as little time as possible so that runs go faster. That’s it, that’s all. I’ve been in so many raids where if there isn’t a Hunter or Mage or Warlock at the top of the damage meters, the Raid Leader is going around whispering each one of us: “What’s wrong? Where’s the DPS? STFU and bring it, n00b! WTF did you get your account? eBay?” and man, I tell ya, there’s no days off.
This was the major reason I decided to level lowbies again instead of sitting around looking for Heroic runs on my Hunter.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, unless I’m Tanking, I’m a piss poor excuse for a raider.
I’m not sure what it is, but rotations when it comes to DPS seem to be totally beyond my abilities to handle. Even if it’s laid out in a nice “PUSH BUDDON HEER!” fashion, or buttons are spammable to the point of face-roll, I seem to find ways to screw the pooch and I mean royally, tanking on meters and basically looking like a n00b, even though I know I’m not. It’s almost enough to make me despair of ever raiding at a higher level again. Seriously.
10-man is awesome and it’s a total hoot, but I’m grinding it out week after week on my Druid, wishing I could bring in my Hunter, Shaman, DK, Warrior or Paladin, but they seldom get used. My poor Hunter has been languishing in such a mish-mash of LFR, 10-man and quest gear that it makes me wonder if I’m just totally wasting my time. I’ve been pugging LFR to try to get my alts geared so I can be competitive, but it just doesn’t seem to be there for me. The spirit is willing, but the clock and flesh are weak. My only real hope of a toon at this point would be the Paladin, and even then she’d have to be used as an Off-Tank, because what does every Guild need? Tanks. We have Healers and under-geared but over-achieving DPS out the wazoo, but Tanks? Man, worth their pixels in gold, apparently. Sure, other people have toons that CAN Tank (and thank you, Whippree, for stepping up when I can’t be there) but not everyone who has a toon that can Tank wants to Tank, so why should they be made to?
It’s kind of a waste to try gearing Palahitski, to be honest, because there’s already a really good Paladin Tank in Guild (Yay, Kann!) so Palahitski would be relegated to “Well, we really need a tank, so I guess you can bring her…what about your Bear?” status. My only other options at this point are to either gear out Kuiril (DK) or level Shawtey (Warrior) to 85 and gear her out. Even then, I’d STILL be Tanking on both of those toons, but at least I’d get different toons into the Raid instead of Dreddnought all the time. This typically happens when we near the end of an expansion. It was like this at the end of “Burning Crusade” and at the end of “Wrath of the Lich King” too. You reach a raiding saturation point, I think, where you’ve done the normal modes until your eyes bleed, but even the added challenge of Heroic Mode just seems like a tired retread of what you’ve already done to death.
I suppose for variety’s sake I could try leveling some Alliance toons, but at this point I’m thinking of just taking Shawtey out and grinding instances with her until I can transfer her to “Two Kings” from “Gold Diggaz” (though I REALLY love that Guild name and I don’t want to lose it, just like I love “Functioning As Intended” and “Of Smeg,” even though there’s only one toon in each Guild). ONWARD!
To start: I love my Guild. I really do. They are awesome people, great fun to play with, and a really unique cast of characters. We all have our roles, Tanks, Heals, DPS, and we perform well together. There is a but coming, as you can all tell from the opening sentence…but the petty part of me wants an opportunity to bring more than just my Tank for the majority of the Raids we do.
Yes, Ponfarr has gotten in on a few Guild runs and he’s netted some really nice gear, but that’s only because everyone else in Raid at the time already had everything so he won loot rolls practically by default (well, almost by default). The same goes for Palahitski. WANT LOOT! I know it’s selfish of me, and childish, and I know that everyone wants loot for alts, what I suppose I’m really wondering is why we haven’t run an Alt raid yet…they all need the gear and I think it would be fun to take alternate toons into DS with the 25% nerf in place. By alternate toons, I mean not the ones we run on all the time and doing DIFFERENT ROLES. I’d like to bring Palahitski in as Retribution instead of Protection, and Ponfarr as straight up DPS, instead of just Dreddnought as Feral/Balance.
Sorry, whining, I’ll shut up until I have something more than just “Waaaaaah, I wants loots!”
Dear Blizzard – I am ready for Mists of Pandaria now. Really seriously ready.
Now, I will be honest: I have not done many Heroic Modes in Cataclysm, and I feel absolutely no desire to. Tweaked confrontations that double a bosses health and increase the damage output and number of adds to be managed are not my idea of fun, and if that makes me a Raiding heretic, then so be it. I’ll be honest: Cataclysm, while fun, did not tweak my dials nearly as much as Wrath of the Lich King did.
Let me clarify that last statement: The Raid encounters in Cataclysm did not tweak my dials as much as Wrath of the Lich King did. The questing options and different zones? FABOO! The Raids and new Instances? Not so much. I miss those Lich King Raids, tbh. When Ulduar really did take a week to get through, and so did ICC. I dunno. I guess THIS IS MY ROSE-COLORED GLASSES POST!
Having IceCrown Citadel open one wing at a time was really exciting, and the patches that added the different Raid content was, as far as I’m concerned, perfectly timed for a Raider like myself. I’m not hard core, not going 6 nights a week, 4 hours a pop. I Raid with people I have gamed with for, quite literally, years and we all get along and know what we are doing. For being a non-hardcore Raider it was perfect timing that my old Guild dropped The Lich King shortly before Cataclysm came out. It meant that we did not spend a lot of time between getting our titles and the next round of fun stuff to do.
With Wrath of the Lich King dropping when it did, I rushed to 80, ramming myself through Heroics to get geared enough for the first Raid of that expansion, Naxxramas. Toting 187 blues and running into that place was pure awesome. I had a pure DPS class toon, a Hunter (Ponfarr – Mug’thol (US)), and getting those 200s was AWESOME. By the time we had downed Kel’thuzad and everyone had 200s, Flagrant, my Guild at the time, was ready to roll on the new Raid: Ulduar. OMFG ULDUAR!
Ulduar was, to me and a few of my Guildies, the BEST Raid we had ever seen Blizzard put together. Vehicle combat, tiered difficulty, hard-modes that were unlockable and optional mid-Raid, a whole bunch of different areas to explore and what we all felt was a good Raid. Sadly, 200s weren’t enough in Ulduar, we needed to get 213s and 226s to properly roll through that place. Ponfarr was as geared as he could be and was pushing 2,500 DPS in some fights in a mish-mash of 200s and 213s and that was AWESOME as far as most of us were concerned. Sadly, after beating our heads against the wall on Ignis for 6-10 weeks, Flagrant started to break up when some members went to play “Aion” (remember that supposed WoW-killer?) leaving the rest of us to find new Guilds. We did, and I started to level another toon to fill the new Guild’s need. Enter Dreddnought. Dreddnought got to see more Raid content than Ponfarr in short order. The Guild needed a tank, therefore they got one. Ulduar had a couple hard modes I really enjoyed, like XT-002 and Mimiron, and the sheer chaos that was Flame Leviathan, not to mention the sheer madness that was Freya and Thorim. Good times, man, good times. Especially the music that some folks like Vedrim and Mr. Voletron came out with on YouTube (techno remixes of Ignis, Mimiron, XT and Algalon) provided an awesome soundtrack when Raiding in there, and I STILL love going back.
Once at 80, Dreddnought (Mug’thol (US)) joined Ellevehc (Mug’thol (US)) at the front, tanking. I PvP’d with Tamiwi (Mug’thol (US)) in 2s as Resto, but his Primary Spec was Feral (Bear), and as a Warrior/Bear combo we were soon leading Raids with a new Guild, Infinite Destruction (Mug’thol (US)). We rampaged through Ulduar and just when we were getting really tired of it, Trial of the Crusader dropped. Trial of the Crusader was a whole other kettle of fish. Man…gimmicky as Hell, not as well planned, I felt, as Ulduar, but still fun for the responsibilities it placed on DPS, the PvP fight and just the mobility I got to use as Off-Tank.
Enter ICC. The Citadel. Imposing as all get out, massive, dark, foreboding, and just constant chatter from the NPCs in the background. That instance spawned a couple really good mixes from some songmakers on YouTube (Bound By Bone and a couple others that I always wanted to play whenever I was in there). That the different wings of the instance opened gradually, in a tiered fashion was good. While you still had to grind out the first wing every time, being able to choose between Putricide, Syndragosa and Lana’thel added a bit of variety, and dammit, LootShip was just fun as all get out when the graphics still put the rockets on Dreddnought’s butt. It was there that Dreddnought really came into his own, topping out at 65K HP in 251s and 264s. Coordination was key, requiring constant target switching and movement, and we were all on our toes for Defile and Valks. More good times. Still not as fun as Ulduar, but closer, I felt, than TOC had been.
Where was this going? I have no idea. I guess it’s just ramblings on past Raids. I dunno, rose-colored glasses, definitely, I think, but Ulduar…I still get shivers. :-)
Hello, Gentle Readers and welcome back. For those of you that are not my regular readers, welcome! (Disclaimer aaaall the way at the bottom. Scroll down. Scroll waaaaay down. J )
We’re getting into that season again.
The normal and hard modes have been nerfed, the main toons have been as geared as they can be and it’s now time for the “casual debuff” to be upped as high as it can go.
It’s that dead zone between the push that hard-core raiding Guilds make at the start of every expansion (and where their gearing choices screw everyone else up – contrary to popular opinion, Stamina is NOT the best stat for Bears, no matter what that dude in that Guild is doing) and the time when everyone else finally catches up. I know the debuff is optional, but it’s a crutch that so many Guilds rely on now to see progression. It’s Blizzard’s way of “leveling the playing field” for those that don’t spend their lives raiding. Let’s be honest, though, when is enough raiding enough?
I really thought I wanted to raid more and knew my toons well enough to perform at what I thought was a reasonably competent level. I say this because I had NO idea what I was in for when I decided to spend a chunk of change and both server and faction transfer for an opportunity to raid with some theorycrafters and gamers that I look up to. Transferring servers to raid with a bunch of people I only knew over Twitter and through their blogs, while seeming like a good idea to start with was, in retrospect, not the brightest idea I’ve had.
The Guild I joined (Undying Resolution/Elune (US)) is light years ahead of the rest of my Guilds with respect to gearing and progression and it blows my mind. There was so much that I didn’t know I didn’t know. To say it was a rude awakening would be the understatement of the last decade. Going from Guilds where Raids were casual, jokey, fun experiences to a Guild where Raiding is taken as seriously as it is there was a huge wake-up call for me. These players that I transferred to Raid with are GOOD. I mean SCARY good. I mean freakishly frakking good. I mean they scare me, they’re so good. That and they’re deathly quiet in Vent until someone fucks up. It’s not what I’m used to, Raiding in silence, and it kinda freaks me out. @slowpoker aka Ponerya has been kind enough to help me tweak my gear and gemming to optimize my DPS and thank the Gods for her patience, man, and I’ve been working on the rotation but for some reason (and I’m inclined to believe it’s because I just frakking SUCK at my Destro ‘lock) I can’t touch her DPS. I mean I’m not even within a country mile of getting close to her DPS. It’s not an RNG thing, no way, I refuse to blame that, and I KNOW I’m trying, but the DPS numbers don’t show on the meters and it’s really frustrating for me and for the Guild Leaders who were kind enough to admit me in the first place. Undying Resolution has been really good to me, sparing their time to help me fix what’s broken with my play and helping me to become a slightly better warlock and I owe them a HUGE debt of gratitude for that, I just don’t want to drag them down, be the anchor, ya know? It’s unfortunate, but that’s sometimes how it plays out. There is no doubt in my mind I can take that Destro lock and be top DPS on either of my other two servers. No doubt at all, thanks to Undying Resolutions players and officers. They’ve made me a better player, no doubt, but they still scare the frak outta me…
On the other hand, there’s my other toons (Death Knight – Charlton/Scarlet Crusade, Shaman – Twofangs/Scarlet Crusade, Druid – Dreddnought/Mug’thol, Paladin – Palahitski/Mug’thol, Hunter – Ponfarr/Mug’thol, Death Knight – Kuiril/Mug’thol) and the only one getting any love is Dreddnought these days. What with seeing a new lady IRL and Saturdays designated as date nights, it means I’m letting down my Guild on Scarlet Crusade server because I’m not there to Raid with them because I’m out on dates and that’s a whole other kind of situation, because I like Raiding, but I also REALLY like my girlfriend, so guess who wins and who loses? Kind of a no-brainer. The rest of the toons languish, get paid very little attention, and there’s not a lot I can do but log onto another Tank toon.
As it currently stands, I raid 4 nights a week on Mug’thol, and try to raid 2 nights a week on Elune and one night a week on Scarlet Crusade. The nights I DO raid on Elune I raid from 8-11 and after that, thanks to an arrangement with the REALLY accommodating Guild Leaders on my other servers, I go from Raiding on Elune to Raiding on Mug’thol, swapping from DPS to Tank for a total of 6 hours worth of Raiding on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The rest of the Raiding I do is for achievements and hard modes typically on Mug’thol and those are 3 hours a night as well. There are scheduling conflicts, I ain’t gonna lie. It’s a pain in the ass when you can’t see scheduling conflicts and I have double booked myself on occasion, which sucks because then it comes down to the question of: Do I raid with the hard-core progression types and see content I haven’t seen before, or do I raid with Guildies I’ve known for almost two years? It’s when I come to crunch points like this that I wonder if it’s worth it.
Is it worth the time and effort to try to gear out toons for Raiding this late in the expansion when everyone is going for achievements and no real gear upgrades, per se, or is it more worth it to level other toons to 85 so that when Mists of Pandaria hits I’m ready to hit the ground running? I mean that’s 21 hours of Raiding a week that I try to do. That’s almost a FULL DAY of playing Warcraft, plugged in, staring at a glowing screen late into the night, getting up at 5:45AM each weekday for work (I ain’t lyin’ when I say that, people. I Raid from 8PM-2AM some nights and am up at 5:45AM the next morning, and I’m getting older, so it ain’t easy).
Should I call it quits on Raiding? I don’t know. I know I’d miss it, and I’d feel bad logging in and NOT raiding, but lately that’s all I seem to do. Log in just in time for Raids, log out shortly thereafter, go to sleep, go to work, Raid, repeat…it doesn’t seem like much of a life and here’s the kicker: I feel shitty if I try to skip out on a Raid even if I’m feeling like 10 pounds of shit in a 9 pound bag. It’s not like I owe money and Raiding is a way to work off my debt. It’s a frakking game that should be fun, but because of the schedule I have myself on, it’s becoming more like work than my work. That’s a real concern for me, because it’s crossed that line, but re-crossing it to the casual side is just not happening, not yet. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn to throttle it back once Mists of Pandaria hits, but for some reason I doubt it. All I know how to do is muddle through. Put my head down, brace myself and keep pushing forwards until what needs to get done gets done. It’s no way to live, it really isn’t, and I KNOW better, but I just can’t break the habits.
There needs to be a therapy group for this…seriously…
Disclaimer: I am NOT a theory-crafter or number cruncher. I am NOT a professional. I am what some would call a casual player, others a dedicated player and still others (well, the non-Warcraft folk at any rate) a nerd/geek/gamer. I play the game because I, for the most part, enjoy it. If you came here thinking you’d get deep thoughts and insight into Blizzard’s game design, yeah…not happening. This blog is mainly about my thoughts on the game and my feelings (that fuzzy-wuzzy shit that some other types like to go on about) on the game and sometimes on life in general. This is a catch-all (no, not Pokémon, you idiot!) blog.
I want to apologise to everyone. Two posts in one day while the blog has gone neglected for months on end is not acceptable posting, I know, but I’m working on it. I’m basically trying to muddle stuff out in my head, and I’m taking all of my readers (all 5 of you…yeah, you…) along for the ride. I apologise, I know it’s selfish, but that’s me. So I hit up http://askmrrobot.com the other day, loaded up my spec (it does recognize that it’s a Bear build now, apparently) and this is what I got after mucking around with the reforging: Hit capped (8.03%), almost Expertise capped (23), and rocking 37.3% Dodge in Bear. After all of that, I’m almost wonder if Dreddnought (Horde-Mug’Thol) hadn’t picked up the wrong set of gear at some point. I mean Tanks aren’t supposed to be Hit or Expertise capped, right? The majority of people that I’ve played with say “Oh, you don’t need to be hit or expertise capped or anything remotely close to capped, they upped your threat to 500% so it’s lolfacetank now!” but after seeing @Reesify (http://theincbear.com) put up a number of tweets about the Thrash debuff not being applied correctly because she wasn’t expertise capped, trying to grief her about it over Twitter and getting shot down, it got me to thinking. This is never a good thing. So with a little pen and papery goodness and some unused maths dredged up from the corners of my mind, and a little reforgeration, I ended up with those stats. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to try my hybrid build soon and we’ll see where it goes. In the mean time, my healers say (and Gods bless ‘em, they’re awesome) that my Bear is easier to heal than ever and they still can’t figure out how the Paladin goes squish while I survive, so maybe the gearing strat I’m going with isn’t all wrong. In all seriousness though, as I’ve pointed out in almost every other post, I’m NOT a theory-crafter, and I’m not an expert, just a player trying to navigate through the rules that the Devs have set up. A lot of my success is through following the work that others have done before me. I’ll never be math-y enough or dedicated enough to hang with the really cool kids, but every once in a while I get to Raid with a few of ‘em and it’s all good fun (you know who you are).
Thoughts on raiding as Bear/Oomkin:
Just gotta say, tearing the hell outta DS as a Bear/Oomkin with Two Kings has been a lot of fun in 4.3.2. I appreciate the trust that they have placed in me by allowing me to tank for them, and allowing me to zap stuff as Oomkin, but I’m finding I can’t squeeze as much out of my Oomkin set as I’d like. The Bear is pretty well situated right now with his 4-piece T13, but I find I like running the Oomkin 2-piece T13/2-piece T12 combination more to my liking than the 4-piece T13 for some reason – which will make anyone who is competent at playing an Oomkin probably go “Whaaaaa-???”
Please bear in mind (get it…LOL) that I’m NOT a theory-crafter, I’m just your average player who knows hit caps and what I should be stacking based on spec (well, for the most part…just don’t ask me about warlock-y stuff, I leave that to Poneria (http://felconcentration.wordpress.com)). Using the tools available and looking at http://www.wowreforge.com and http://askmrrobot.com and even looking at guides like http://www.noxxic.com and even http://www.elitistjerks.com, I come across a problem – with Insect Swarm and Moon/Sunfire as pretty much my only instant cast spells (OK, OK and Starsurge when it procs, FINE, otherwise I’m hard-casting that sonofabitch and do NOT talk to me about how Starfall is an instant, that shit has fucked up more often than Mike Tyson’s bitten ears) any fight involving movement, which is basically ALL of them in Dragon Soul, kinda hampers my DPS.
I doubt any other Oomkin (like Opalbreeze and Lissanna (http://www.restokin.com)) are experiencing these issues as I seem to be good at finding the wonky and esoteric stuff to fail at, so I’m sure once I log into Undying Resolutions vent tonight I’ll hear all about how n00bish I am, but there you have it.
I find the biggest obstacle I face is Haste. I can’t seem to get enough of it.
Wrath-spam is fine, the GCD I have for that is about as fast as I can get it, but it’s that frigging Starfire that kills me…that spell, while it hits like a truck, takes for-EVER to cast. I mean, I could /afk for a beer and a smoke in the time it takes from button push until in-game cast. It’s not a latency problem, my internet is awesome (yay http://www.bell.ca!) but at current gear level I can’t seem to wring as much out of my Oomkin as I’d like and that makes me a sad Panda wannabe.
Basically I’m asking for help, any help at all, to get that furshlugginer lazerchikkin performing like I KNOW it can. I want to try to maximize spell-power and haste after hit-cap, and the +Int part isn’t, I don’t think, the issue, it’s the lousy Haste I currently have.
Sadly, if anyone armories me, they’ll see my Bear set because that’s what I logged out in, but I’ll try to get that fixed ASAP.
Uh-oh…moar diversimification! Let me toss shammy heals into the mix now…I call it bucket heals for variety’s sake and y’all are in trouble. I’ll have some more updates shortly…seriously…I promise…
Testing…trying this new blogging from my phone thing…maybe I’ll blog more if I can do it on the fly instead of waiting until I get home and losing the inspiration.
Hey, everyone! If you found your way here through my Twitter posts (@awetitu) welcome!
Apologies in advance, as we’ve recently been slightly inactive. I’ve only begun running more of FL and other raids in the last month or so, and I’ll be posting more stuff later. I’m currently working on a guide, of sorts, for Moonkin as I’ve recently switched focus in my Guild. I still tank occasionally, but I’m finding Mookin DPS is a welcome break.
DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT a theory crafter, wizard with numbers, log parser or genius. Far from it. I’m just a gamer who loves World of Warcraft and likes to try to get the most out of his ‘toons as he can.
More to come!