Pop the Bubble

Yesterday afternoon, I read a great article by Ambrosine on I Like Bubbles. Her post focused on why some Paladin tanks ask a Discipline priest to not bubble them O_0 

Wait, wha? 

Yup, I do understand that there is an issue of the bubble actually being “too” powerful, scaling too well, and preventing any damage from actually getting to the tank, and in turn not requiring any heals.  This effect, causes the paladin to not regain mana from Spiritual Attunement. This, apparently, is what these tanks are complaining about. Now, to be fair, most, if not all of these Paladin tanks that complain are found using the LFD system, they may just be starting out, and are running 5 mans. However, if  you actually plan to tank, and fulfill that role, then it would be best for you to learn your class. 

Popping the Bubble - Learning your Role

Popping the Bubble - Learning your Role

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The Aftermath before the Cataclysm

Yes, that title is a bit dyslexic, but oh well. I promise that this will be my last RealID post, now that it seems to have cooled a bit, and is now easier to handle and examine. As of this afternoon, about lunch time, Mr. Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, denounced his robot overlords, and with a level head and group discussion renounced the usage of real names in the Blizzard forums. It will instead be using CharacterName.CharacterCode. This will obviously provide the same functionality, in that it gives a central alias that all characters branch from, allowing more folks to know who is actually posting; however, I don’t think that it will really remove the abundance of trolls that roam under the bridges of the Official Forums.

It seems that Shade’s Internet Dragons have won the day!

After following several conversations, and threads on the subject, I don’t believe that it is over. This is likely only the beginning. You see Activision is still that dark cloud hovering over Blizzard.  They still have a say in the decisions made by the boys in Blue. There is still the possibility that contract changes can be made, giving Activision more power, and making Blizzard have that much less control over the content they provide. However, they must be vigilant, just as we must. I believe that Linedan said it best, when he cast Vigilance on Mr. Kotick (CEO, President and Board Member of Activision Blizzard), as it is likely that there will be some ninja aggro being picked up by him.

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Addons, Bane or Boon

It’s a topic that a lot of people ask. Are addons required, or not?



This all came up after my brother came home for a week to visit, and wanted me to help him with some character tuning. He’s got a Blood Elf Priest on Area 52, level 80, and decked out in 10 man T9 gear. While he was visiting my house, he asked if I minded if he did a quick daily dungeon to get his frost emblems. I didn’t mind, I was busy watching the baby, so I told him to go for it.

First thing he asked… “Do you have Vuhdo?” I told him that I had downloaded it once, but never got around to using it, and instead told him that I’ve got some other addons that should hold him over till he gets a chance to download it.

So, we real quick logged him on, and got Grid/Clique and some of the bar addons in there, just to give him something to work with. He started it up, and hopped in the LFD to heal, and waited till the queue popped up. I was still trying to get him acquainted with the addons, and he didn’t get much of a chance to “customize” it to where he might be used to it. Well, ToC5 popped up, and he hopped in. It was crazy, he was lost as to what was where, and who was who. He had grown so accustomed to Vuhdo and his bar layout (default UI with Vuhdo over it) that he just couldn’t figure out what all was happening and freaked out.

I’m sure he’ll hate me for saying this, but he freaked out a bit quick, and probably could have regained composure, but instead just quit the group and hopped out. Sadly, he’s also used to his mouse which has 2 extra buttons I’ve just got 2 buttons and scroll wheel), that he just couldn’t heal without it.

Here’s where my point comes in. I subscribe to the notion that if a patch comes through, and all your addons blow up, you should still be able to do your job in a group or raid. Sure, it’ll be more difficult with less of the information coming your way, and you’ll have to get used to some slightly differently placed buttons, but it shouldn’t be the end of the world.

I myself have a few addons that I use:

  • FuBar: Simply to place some info addons like AtlasLoot, etc.
  • SpartanUI: Cause it looks cool
  • Dominos: Only because Bartender4 was still broke and Dominos worked at the time
  • PallyPower: Gotta love it, though I’m sure it’ll be void by the time Cataclysm comes out
  • Clique: I like being able to map some of the spells directly to buttons, and it handles it well.
  • Grid: It’s just the right size for both group and raid content, and lets me customize that shows up where.
  • PowerAuras: Haven’t really used this to its full potential, but is helpful in keeping track of some buffs I have on targets
  • SexyMap: Cause it’s sexy
  • Omen: For when I tank, I want to be sure that I’m at the top of that list.
  • Recount: Just for shits & giggles, I don’t usually use it much, except to measure how effective a new piece of gear is.
  • Deadly Boss Mods: Cause noises and text during a raid can sometimes be helpful
  • ElksBuffBars: So much cleaner than what I had.

All these are used in unison to provide the extra info that I need to keep my focus on what’s important. If these blew up… oh well, I’d probably put a couple mouseover macros together to help with the casting, and be on my merry way.

I do feel, though, that there are several folks who depend all their abilities on the addons. This is what I would consider a crutch on your actual capabilities. It should be possible, though fortunately not required, to do all that can be done now with the default WoW UI, and in all reality, it can. We have the tools and the abilities to successfully complete an instance without freaking out cause you couldn’t figure out which way the health went when it dropped (ya he wasn’t sure and people died). I also feel that you should be able to tell who is fulfilling what role in your group, by simply looking at them, and if needed inspecting them. I wholeheartedly feel that a knowledge of the other classes as well as your own can increase your capabilities and allow you to adapt much quicker when things go awry.

Now, in contrast, I do feel that Addons are a wonderful addition to any UI. I have probably 3 or 4 different versions of my UI that I use for my Paladin, Shaman, Druid, and Mage. All this because you need different information for different classes. I have come to love the look of SpartanUI, as well as the versatility of the Grid/Clique combo, and will say that it is very beneficial in making quick decisions on who to heal and when. I try not to inendate myself with information overload, though keeping Omen and Recount up have never hurt my performance. I also like to keep things asthetically pleasing, and the combo of SpartanUI and SexyMap do that well. Without Deadly Boss Mods, I don’t really think that I would have learned some boss encounters as quickly as I have. I really consider it a very helpful tool in getting used to fights, and more often then not, I’ll turn it off once I’ve gotten a fight down pat.

<open rant>

Basically, it doesn’t really matter if you have them or not, but be sure that in the case that the GUI blows up, and all addons are made moot, don’t blame the addons if you can’t complete something. Your abilities should be determined by your skill, not the usability that an addon provides.

</end rant>

What do you use as addons? Do you require them to function?

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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Tank Validation and Accountability

Tanks make mistakes too.

Tanks make mistakes too.

I’ve decided to continue this series on my observations about how different roles are treated. I’ve already hit the big one to me, and that is healing. Next, I plan to point out some of the faults blamed on tanks, including a story from a fellow tank and friend of mine.

Like healing, tanking is often a required role in a group. Not always, at least 98% of the time in 5 mans, but 100% in raids. The short and sweet is that if you do not have a meat shield on the front lines, you are going to become that meat shield. That mound of flesh wrapped in plate (or furry leather) armor is there to get punched in the face repeatedly so you don’t have to. Because of this, they too should be treated with a certain level of respect. In addition to their normal duties, Tanks also often are placed in a position of leadership, whether they like it or not.

For nearly 6 months, I would tank on my Paladin. It was a nice change of pace, but also changed my view of how a tank’s job works. I remember when I first started the dungeon crawl, that the tank was allowed a certain amount of time at the beginning of a pull to gain aggro. This was before threat became such an easy thing to come by. Back when Warriors had to get a certain number of Sunder Armors off before the raid or group even thought about casting anything. Now-a-days, from what I’ve noticed, that is no longer the case. It is now a race to the end of the dungeon, and a test to see who can kill the mob faster. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, as quick runs mean quick rewards, but it can cause problems as well.

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