Chat Window: It’s there for a reason

WARNING: INCOMING VILE SPEW OF WHININESS AND QQ…. 

Ok, maybe not that bad, but it is a bit of a rant, but don’t worry, I’ll lighten it up. 

The Chat window.  It’s that thing that you start out with in the bottom left of  your UI, it’s where you can see what other folks are talking about in the area, or even what kind of stories or villainous rhetoric is being spewed in Trade Chat. It’s where important information appears, whether it be Blizz GM’s replying to a ticket, or achievement spam from your most recent conquer. 

It's got a purpose

It's got a purpose

 

It is also where instructions are relayed, and information provided to help your situational awareness. Addons take advantage of it to provide you with quick glimpses at information, or even warnings of incoming danger. 

Most importantly though, at least in most cases, it’s where your party or raid is commenting/talking/instructing/YELLING. It’s where your fellow members can inform you that you are standing in the bad, or not standing in the right place at all.  It’s where Raid Warnings appear before showing up in the middle of your screen. 

I went through all of this to get to this point… It’s there for a purpose, and that purpose is to convey information to  you that may be very important to the ongoing encounter. 

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Automatic LFD?

Ever had a strange feeling that another change was going to come along the line, somehow linked to a recent change? I seem to get those a lot when Blizzard announces changes, especially with expansions. In this case, I had a feeling that there was going to be a change to the LFD tool, linked to the new Talent Tree and Specialization changes.

Automatic LFD?

Automatic LFD?

Last night, I had an interesting thought about the new talent trees, and the requirement to choose a Specialization. Since you are required to choose which tree you are going to focus on, it is assumed that this information is stored about your character, including those with Dual Spec. Basically, if you chose Holy as one spec and Protection as the other, those become your specializations for each of those trees.  This is then “hardcoded” into your character.

Now, since the system now knows that you are a certain Specialization, and really doesn’t allow you to create crazy Holy/Ret DPS specs, it can also determine what roles you can play in a PuG using the LFD tool. Basically, is this change going to remove the possibilities that, for example, a Ret paladin can sign up as a tank on the LFD tool, and in turn get a quicker queue, in turn gimping the group? I see this as a good thing, but also can see some setbacks.

First up, DPS specialized characters, can’t “fudge” their way into a quicker queue by signing up as a Tank, simply because the system knows that they are not a tank, and will automatically mark them as DPS. I guess the same goes for Healers or even tanks, signing up as another role.

Example 1: All available, if your class can accomodate those roles.

Example 1: All available, if your class can accomodate those roles.

Example 2: Roles restricted based on the Specializations you have chosen.

Example 2: Roles restricted based on the Specializations you have chosen.

There would be setbacks though. For example, I have often used the LFD tool, but only marked healing, so that I would have a little time to finish up some quests before the instance popped up. The obvious solution for this would be to lock out all other roles dependant on your specialization, and then allow you to choose which of those you really want to queue as. There would be another setback though.  Even though a Ret Pally may have signed up as tank, and can’t tank at all, they at least have a group formed up, and can then drop/pick up as they need.  Time will still be an issue, but not as much as it was while waiting for the dialog to even pop up, since now, your group is at the top of the queue.

Anyway, this was just a quick post to toss that idea out there.  What do you all think, is it a possibility?

One set of Footsteps

Alrighty, here comes a ranty post. Though, I’m unsure if it will come across as condescending or uplifting, but I guess that it will be in the eye of the beholder.

May need to be carried.

May need to be carried.

I used the title of this post because it reminded me of the old Christian saying “When you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, that was when I was carrying you,” an obvious reference to Jesus helping us along the way in life, carrying us when we thought we couldn’t go any further, though it somewhat works here as well.

Anyway, it all started with a tweet from Orithea:

It’s funny how easy it is to drag along a subpar dps, but a horrible healer or tank sinks the ship.

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Ok… I lied

Ok, maybe I didn’t lie, but I wasn’t able to continue the romp as DPS.

No More Ret... For now.

No More Ret... For now.

I did enjoy doing my daily quests as a Retribution paladin, and I did get a few upgrades; however, I didn’t get to use it that often in group situations. More often then not, we’d be short a healer, and I’d have to step in there instead. I think that only real group experience I had was a couple of 5 mans, and a quick Patchwerk fight for the weekly. I did do pretty well on the meters, which was fun, but it’s a bit repetative, and I don’t think that I really enjoy melee dps… and I never thought that I’d feel that way.

The reason for this, is that I don’t feel like I’m able to DPS to my full potential, unless I have a good tank who can hold the mob(s) in place, plus I’m never sure which mob to truly focus on if the tank is going all willy nilly on all the mobs. Usually I’d just focus another melee dps, and attack the target they are focusing on. I just don’t feel that I contributed as much as I could have, and because of this decided to respec back to Protection.

Yes, I do still have all my ret gear though, saved up in case I get the itch again, but for now I’ll be sticking with my insta-queues and the constant vigilence required to tank or heal. I guess another factor that influenced my decision was the fact that I was fortunate enough to get the Neverending Winter shield from ICC 10. This was even while I was healing, and fortunately all the tanks already had it or couldn’t use it. I had been waiting to replace my ‘ol faithful Royal Crest of Lordaeron (which will stay in my bank forever… yes more clutter). I now look even more like an actual tank, with my fancy T9, fancy T10 shield, and emblem helmet, I was looking good.

I think the loot was somewhat of an issue. I had nearly 5 chances to get a new weapon or other piece of gear for my Ret set, over the few times I was in ICC. The Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore dropped 3 times, each time… I was healing, and the other melee dps that could use it were still using the Tyrannical Beheader, just like me, so obviously, to the winner go the spoils. Ramaladni’s Blade of Culling even dropped once, and went to the dps Deathknight in the run, cause guess what… I was healing. Even had the Bone Drake’s Enameled Boots drop as well, but yet again, I was healing, and one of hte DPS could use it over me. I guess it’s an obvious observation, that there are more DPS, and therefore more competition for gear. With Ret Paladins, Fury and Arms Warriors, and Unholy/Blood DKs all fighting for the same gear, it does get a bit more difficult for me to get my chance, especially when I am unable to actually DPS for the run, as my Healing set/skills are needed more. But, as I always say, c’est la vie.

I guess that is a bane of Pugging as well. I am unable to ever make my guild’s scheduled runs, as I can never guarantee that I’m going to be able to make it. I am more interested in helping out my wife, or being with her and the kids, than starting a run at 7:30-8:00. So, the only chances I’ve ever been in ICC are through PUGs that I happen to run across while sitting in Dalaran doing some dailies, and most of those are pretty late in the evening. I guess that’s also why I have never seen beyond Rotface and Festergut (I’ve actually taken them down though, that was a fun run too).

So to close this all up, I’m no longer Holy / Ret, I’m now Holy / Prot once again, and will likely stay that way unless I am requested to come as dps, or get the itch again. So, until then, insta-queues and Emblems of Triumph flowing from the heavens will be my game again for a while.

DPS Validation and Accountability

Well, here’s the final role specific addition to this series. It is also the one role that rew people realize as being as important as it is. The role of DPS is also the most popular role to follow, simply because of this misconception.

More often then not, though, most DPS feel that Tanks and Healers have some sort of entitlement when it comes to grouping. Simply put, they feel that because they are “must-have” roles, that they are more imporant than the lowly DPS. In some cases this is true, as if you did not have a tank, the DPS would get swarmed by mobs, and if you didn’t have a healer, those mobs would slice down the DPS with no resistance. However, without the DPS role, Tanks and Healers would never finish an instance within a single night, nor would they ever meet enrage timers. It was once joked that 2 paladins could almost do an entire instance (at level), it would just take 3 weeks to do it.

Because of this perception, a lot of DPS feel that they have to push themselves into the forefront so that they can get noticed. Hence the rise of Damage Meters, and the DPS ePeen. However, there are those who still stand in the back (figuratively or literally) and work hard as hell to keep the pain flowing, but also help out the rest of the group/raid. It is here that you can separate the real DPS from the twatmelons.

Don't be a twatmelon.

Don't be a twatmelon.

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Healer Validation and Accountability

It’s not easy being a healer.

You get the short end of the stick pretty often, and often get blamed for a wipe. I’m sure this has been said a million times before, but I got a quick lesson in it this weekend.

More often then not, it is a PUG that will bring out the Elitists in people, it will also bring out the most fail in some cases. It was a mix of both during that Friday night venture into Icecrown Citadel. As I mentioned in my last post, this group didn’t look too bad, folks would talk in Raid chat, and keep things somewhat lively while we waited to fill the ranks. I was good to go with consumables, reagents, etc. (forgot to grab some water though). Once we all got inside, we determined who had what role.

1 Prot Paladin Tank
1 Prot Warrior Tank (slightly undergeared)
1 DK DPS
1 Ret Paladin DPS
2 Rogue DPS (one of them being the RL)
2 Warlock DPS
1 Druid Healer
1 Paladin Healer (me)

A decent setup, though a bit melee heavy if you ask me. But with Holy Light splash heals, it should be ok to keep the group together while still focusing on the tanks.

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What a weekend

Happy Monday folks… if Monday’s can be happy.

I was able to get online a bit this weekend, even having a late night raid till about 2:00 Friday night. Lots of stuff happened, just look at my latest Character Tracker. Well, lots of stuff for a very casual player who isn’t able to get on very often.

Orgrim's Hammer

I started out, just messin’ around on the laptop, since it’s got a much lower framerate, I usually only quest and explore on there, so I decided to finally complete my World Explorer achievement. I was only a few zones away from getting Explore Kalimdor which would be the last touch. So I set up a roadmap to start with Talonbranch Glade in Felwood which was so far out of the way that I just got it done first. I then meandored my way into the Stonetalon Mountains and cleared the four last undiscovered locations there, moving my way southwest so that I could move right into Desolace. Once I got there, I took the long western shore, and finished up on the southeast corner, and moved into Feralas. From there I fortunately had only a few that were somewhat right off the road, and completed that zone. I happened to have some Elixer of Fortitudes that I had bought a while back to finish up my Sprite Darter quest, so I took the road into Shimmering Flats, but didn’t realize that I had a time limit on getting the egg back to Hinterlands, so I currently have a dead baby Sprite Darter egg sitting in my bag *sad*. After grabbing that, I took the elevator up to the Southern Barrens and picked up the one spot that I didn’t have in that area, and made my way into Mulgore.  There were a few here, mostly in a big circle from the east side around the bottom of the map up to the northwest corner of Thunder Bluff.

It was a relief to finally see that last flash of swirly light, and the World Explorer achivement get completed. I would consider it part of my Bucket list of things to do before Cataclysm, so it’s now marked off.

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