Zan on November 25th, 2011

So The Tank, he was trollin, and he came across an individual on Ye Olde Wow Forums that claims to be a sociology major, complaining about the fact that there’s gender inequality in game due to the fact that Warlocks have a Succubus but not access to an Incubus.

First off, her approach was pretty bad. We didn’t need to know she’s a spoiled college brat named Mayra who feels the need to share with us the stuff she learned in school towards her useless degree. She comes off as self-righteous and her delivery is cargo on the failboat. She could simply write: Suggestion: Incubus Alternative. “Hey. I would like to suggest an incubus alternative be added to the game for warlocks who prefer a sexy male demon instead of a sexy female demon.” I doubt anyone would have had anything negative to say.

Secondly, both genders in modern society are brought up to appreciate the female body. Only the insecure and the prudish can’t see a beautiful woman and acknowledge it without being offended.

But really, come on. Gender inequality? On an online game? Because there are sexy outfits for females and not males. Because Blizzard only bothered to make one model choice for each Warlock demon? (Wtb sexy female voidwalker.) Oh please. The closest thing you’re going to get to actual sexism in game is people making women jokes and some people having prejudice against women due to the frequent practice of e-skanking.

“Girls don’t play wow” is a funny thing, on my server, the people who spout this meme the most are established female players within the community with a reputation of not sucking. The typical response to the meme is insecure females who want to make a big deal about their gender outing themselves. Those girls who feel the need to advertise their gender are the ones who try to e-skank their way into guilds, raid spots, loot, create drama and cause guilds to explode. In other words, they’re the bads, the scum, the scourge of females everywhere because they create a negative reputation and image that real female gamer need to deal with.

My biggest issue is: She makes Gender an issue. Welcome to the internet. We don’t care if you’ve got boobs or balls. We really don’t need to know either way so don’t worry about gender and play the game. Kill the boss, do your job, and don’t stand in fire, win.

Of course, this whiny college girl had a link to a blog, which is why I’m blogging my response, but I couldn’t help but notice something: Her blog has a photo of a female face on there. A little research shows the same image (looks to have had photoshop cleanup on the skin) on her facebook.

It’s a photo of her face. She’s wearing too much eye makeup and her facial features include unpronounced cheekbones and very round cheeks.

The root of her problem is that she’s a heavy-set hispanic girl who is so insecure about her looks that she finds the succubus to be offensive and it’s ripping her up inside.

Some people are heavy, that’s just the way it is. The sooner you learn to love yourself for who you are, the sooner you’ll stop making yourself look like an insecure wanker and an attention whore to the rest of the interwebs. If you can’t do that, just get out. Therapy might also help.

Zan on November 22nd, 2011

I healed 10 man raid the other day on my main. We had an off week and didn’t down Ragnaros in 25 man. Our healing composition was Shaman, Paladin, Priest. The Shaman was used to helping with tank heals and spot heals with a light healing of melee dps. As a Paladin, my group heals are kind of less than stellar at the moment. The Priest? Discipline. Her offspec? Discipline. (I think one is a PVP spec.)

This made Rags a bit more difficult to handle, especially during the seeds phase. Not only was there inadequate group healing, but tank health during the seed movement was fairly anemic. I’d run out of cooldowns trying to keep the tanks up during the movement phases, they died on several attempts. So I talked with this person, who is of the “I want to tank heal as a priest and only tank heal” type, who claimed she couldn’t cast anything but shield and renew while moving (said she couldn’t cast PoM specifically). I had to suggest getting a stack of aegis up on her tank and a prayer of mending before the run phase if she can’t cast the spells during a run. I see Weakened Soul and Prayer of Mending on my raid frames, there was a distinct lack of both.

Eventually we did succeed at killing the boss. The poor Shaman had mana problems healing the group, as was I and I did 9% more healing than the Priest, meaning I wasn’t only doing my job (healing the tanks) but I was also healing the raid and dispelling the lava wave debuff that the priest so often got on herself. In the end I hope to avoid grouping with her if I can. She’s lucky I’m not the guild leader or the raid leader or I would have insisted she go holy or get out. I’m really surprised our GL has patience with her, but it may be that she’s under 18 and playing the “I’m a girl lolol” card. If that’s the case this can only end in tears.

Anyhow. All the above is the last straw to a rant that’s been building up since I came back and started leveling my army of alts. My negative experiences with Disc priests haven’t been an isolated incident.

So here we go.

Anyone who knows me knows of my deep disdain for Discipline priests. I had hoped the dislike would dissipate in Cataclysm but it seems to have remained. I don’t hate all Discipline Priests, but feel that very few people who play Discipline Priests are actually good healers or good players, and that those that insist upon only playing Discipline instead of being flexible are not team players or progress-minded people.

Running 80-85 dungeons has grouped me with countless derpy Discipline dopes that DPS while the rest of the group, including the tank, dies. They’ve never pressed their prayer of mending button, they don’t know that you can PW:S and get a fast cast PoH to top the group off, or that they can even holy nova to apply shields to everyone. In fact I configured my grid long ago to show me who has weakened soul by making the outlines of a person’s happy box be green, and these douchebags aren’t even PW:Sing the tanks.

Then they complain that they aren’t well geared so their healing sucks, especially group healing, and I feel the urge to rage. I politely point out that they can PW:S+PoH for a fast group top off, and that if they feel their group heals are particularly weak they should consider going holy.

Every time these suggestions are made I one of two responses, one being “I want to tank heal on my priest”, which is viable if there’s 1 or less healing Paladins in the raid, but beyond that a Disc Priest is pretty useless in most fights. The other excuse I hear is “But I like Disc because it’s fun.” To this I’ve come up with a canned response: “I like playing a melee hunter.” This means that just because something is “fun” doesn’t mean it’s viable, sometimes it’s not. Suggesting folks consider a holy spec is something consistently offensive.

Discipline is a spec where players trade powerful group heals (Circle of Healing, etc) for better single target (tank) healing. It’s possible for priests to compensate this drawback, but many (most of the ones I’ve seen) seem to ride the fail train instead of compensating. Most of these disc tards have no idea they have Prayer of Healing, that they can haste it with Borrowed Time, or that they have Prayer of Mending, they just tunnel vision on healing their one target and ignore their class’ flexibility. I’ve spent long enough on a Paladin after playing a priest to appreciate the flexibility they take for granted. They can be having all the fun in the world but they’re still sucking and making the encounter more stressful for everyone else.

The point is just because something is “fun” doesn’t mean it’s viable, if you can’t get the job done, then get better, respec, or get out.

Zan on October 3rd, 2011

Over the past few weeks I’ve been running heroics on my paladin (to get raid ready and build offsets) and on my priest (cloth and chaos orbs), and I’ve discovered there seems to be a fluxuating gear and skill level in the dungeon finder.

The best days to run heroics are early in the week: Tues, Wed, Thur.
The worst days tend to be: Fri, Sat, Sun.

My hypothesis is simply that players who want to progress their character will tear through heroics right when they roll over instead of procrastinating. They finish within the first two days, and having invested time into their characters probably don’t need the lower level currency at all.

This leaves players who still need the lower end currency to play together. This would’t be terrible except for folks tend to not be mindful of their gear disparity. They don’t play smarter to compensate for their lower stats. Tanks pull more than they can handle, run off without allowing the healer to drink, folks who could provide replenishment not bothering to change specs to provide it.

I’ve found a higher rate of:
Tanks who quit after a boss doesn’t drop what they want
People who ragequit after a single wipe.
DPS so abysmally low that I could do better DPS in greens. It’s like folks don’t bother to learn anything about which buttons to press.

When I log on during the weekends, I ponder running a heroic, then decide that I’d rather do anything but heroics. I’d fish, level archaeology, level an alt, level a profession, join a pug or do a retro run on a whim, or farm mindlessly instead of heroics.

Zan on September 17th, 2011

What’s small, black, and lost somewhere in the abyss?

My authenticator, that’s what! When I took time off from WOW I gingerly put it someplace safe where it wouldn’t be lost. Then I moved.

What happens when you put something away so it won’t be lost? It gets lost.

Shoot!

Zan on December 29th, 2010

As mentioned in some of my previous posts, the healers who are most unhappy with the Cataclysm healing situation are those running pugs in the dungeon tool. The solution of “Don’t use the dungeon finder” is presented by healers who run only in guild groups and proclaim everything is fine.

People make wild claims how the dungeon tool socially killed WOW, but I think these people don’t realize how much good the LFD did for some players.

For most of my WOW career, I worked nights, and was subsequently online during late night hours.

I was often the last one online late at night, alone with nothing to do and no one to talk to. There were often only a handful of folks online willing to run dungeons at this hour, and chances of getting the right combination of classes was often pretty slim.

If I was lucky, I might find a group of Aussies that needed or wanted my class in a party with them for instances, but most of the time I had nothing to do. It was during these late night hours that I sat up alone and leveled my alts and committed bear genocide in Winterspring, sucked up gas clouds in Nagrand, or fished up an endless supply buff food for the dps.

Even when I was in a late night raiding guild, I sat around alone most of the time. If I actually wanted to run a heroic, it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to go along with me. The only reason I got Champion of the Naaru is because I made friends outside of guild via trade pugs.

We did eventually get a looking for group tool that let us list ourselves as being interested in up to 3 dungeons, but it was often terribly hard to find people using that system. You could set it to group you with others looking for the same dungeon, but you might spend hours waiting for a full group to form. I usually resorted to putting comments like “doesn’t stand in fire” or silly jokes in my comment option on the old dungeon system in hopes someone would pick my DPS to actually go to a heroic.

Enter the new dungeon tool. You set yourself as DPS, Heals, or Tank, and the system looks for others looking for groups, what revolutionized the whole thing was allowing the people from multiple servers to group up together. There may only be 5 or 6 people online on a server looking for groups at odd hours of the morning, but that’s a healthy number when you combine 10 servers together. People like me were actually able to play, enjoy the game, and progress my characters just like the day walkers in guilds that were actually supportive, and to do so in spite of having an odd schedule.

Privileged players telling others to not use the dungeon finder tool is pretty much those players telling people like me to “Stop playing the game.”

Not using the dungeon tool is not a solution, in fact, it’s not even an option.

WTB free transfers for late night players to oceanic realms… or something.

Zan on December 22nd, 2010

Monday night, members of my new guild split off, declaring that WOW is a 10 man raid game.
Tuesday, our guild leader gave up trying to do 25 mans and converted our guild to a 10 man guild.

I don’t enjoy 10 man raiding, I never have and I never will. There’s far too much personal burden, the setup is far too personal, too intimate, a single unskilled person can bring a group down, and things in general are just too prone to drama. I know this from spending almost an entire expansion in 10s. Others just don’t realize it yet.

The new guild leveling system favors huge guilds, so friendly helpful small social guilds aren’t viable anymore, they don’t get perks.
Huge guilds + small raids = lots of people wanting to get into a tiny amount of raid seats = drama. Do not want.

There are few, if any, guilds trying to do 25s on my server and faction. Here, 25 man raiding is pretty much dead, and I don’t have the funds to move my network of alts to a new server to seek a big guild big raid utopia.

I don’t want to play with folks who keyturn, don’t use keybinds, cause lag wipes, consistently preform underpar, and don’t learn from their mistakes in a reasonable amount of time.

Aside from big guilds and big raids, one of the other things I enjoy is healing.

Currently healing isn’t fun. I’ve elaborated on this already. Healing, outside of a guild premade group, is an absolute nightmare. Without a competent raid guild home, heroics aren’t going to be fun.

I also enjoy leveling alts, but without a big guild I don’t reap all the cool benefits to leveling.

We play Massively Multi-Player online games to have fun, we pay to have fun.
I’m not having fun. The things I enjoy the most about WOW aren’t really fun, or are currently kind of dead and not attainable (big guilds big raids).

I’m not having fun. Why do I play? I don’t know.

So I’m going to take a break for some unknown period of time. I’ll let my accounts run out and give blizzard time to get their shit together, I’ll wait and see if 25 man raiding will make a comeback, and if things start to look better I’ll be back.

In the meantime, I’ve sat down and stated cleaning up loose ends. Items that I’ve had stashed in my personal stashes probably won’t be worth much when I come back, but gold is gold. As it looks now, I’ve got about 60k stashed, but will send out some as parting holiday gifts and will probably have a 50k nestegg to come back to.

I’ll definitely be making more posts here, I’m not done yet, as I still know the new boss fights and have some useful insight.

But for now, I think it’s about time I take a break.

Cheers.

Zan on December 19th, 2010

I’ve been hiding from heroics unless they’re full guild runs and have instead been seeking other ways to improve myself as a healer. I’ve power-leveled my engineering, boosted my JCing until I can get my JC gems, have crafted myself an epic shield, and have just been spending the past couple of days in a flurry of profession-leveling madness.

in the past, my self-sufficience driven obsessive professionoholism has resulted in me having every profession maxed out spanned across my army of alts, and with my heroicpugophobia, professionoholism is back with a vengeance.

I dropped elixir mastery on my Priest#1 for mining so I could provide my main Paladin with ore for leveling Jc/Eng. By leveling mining, and mining compulsively for a few hours I got enough gems and things to get my JC to the point where I can pick up useful patterns. Many of the things I made with JC while leveling it were green disenchantable items. I sent those to my enchanter.

As I hit Engineering on my Paladin I realized I needed Volatile Air. The best way to gather said resource is to mine while having a BOP engineering-made item in your inventory… it only works on gathering, not on grinding on things to slaughter.

So I sucked it up, crafted the item on my hunter, and went mining, mined so much the character hit 81. I found that I needed lots of Volitile Earth as well and ran into a low droprate, so I had to keep mining even though I had all the ore I needed.

I broke the excess ore for gems and redirected those to my 3 other JCs, leveling them to 375 so they can do dailies. I did those dailies and jammed 3 Chimera Eye in my gear. I sold a couple of Chimera Eye but the market is already starting to tank. Since then, I’ve gotten to work on getting patterns across the characters and have made a spreadsheet to track who has what so I don’t confuse myself.

From all that JCing I managed to acquire a stockpile of materials for enchanting which pushed my enchanter to about 505. I enchanted my own gear.

Eventually I got Engineering maxed out on my main, as well as my hunter’s mining.

I then sucked it up and went herbing until max on both my Druid and my Shaman. From there I leveled my druid’s inscription (why isn’t there an ink trader in Org?) and my shaman’s alchemy. I switched my Shaman to elixir master so I can provide flasks for myself.

My tailor has slowly been having cloth fed to him and I can make some spellthreads so life is great there, too, and anything crafted either gets sold or dusted.

To progress further, I’d need to start on my blacksmith warrior (belt buckles), level my rogue to 80 and start skinning/leveling leatherworking.

My one disappointment comes in the form of truegold. In Wrath, miners could smelt Titansteel once a day. In Cataclysm, the Titansteel equivalent is Truegold, but miners cannot make it, only alchemists can.

At this point, I’m planning on dropping mining on my Priest and going back to alchemy once my Hunter hits 85 as the Hunter is an Engineer and can get Volatile Air from mining with him and can’t from my Priest.

But I’m questioning the point of having my Warrior and DKs as miners. Sure, they get some stamina from toughness which helps with their tanking, but if I make them into transmute master alchemists then I get a daily transmute on each for truegold or some volatile elements, I get mixology, and a nice epic stamina trinket that also increases how much health I get from potions, which is probably reasonable for baby tanks.

In regards to game finances, I think I’ll get a bigger benefit from having multiple alchemists than multiple miners. With flying in old world, my Tauren Druid’s cultivation skill and epic flight form lets me pick herbs faster than ever before. I’m tempted to put forward the gold for 310 flying.

I should really just go do more heroics, but grinding professions is more fun at the moment. At least with leveling professions I can see character progression. The same can’t be said for spending a half hour clearing to and wiping on the first boss of a heroic pug then sitting around for a half hour while waiting for the deserter debuff to go away.

Zan on December 17th, 2010

In my last post, I mentioned one cause of healer aggravation, the feeling that when we push buttons we aren’t having an active effect on the outcome of battles.

While reading the forums, another thought came to my mind that may contribute to healer ire.

Like several other healers, I’m not enjoying heroics, particularly, heroics in pug randoms.

Some posters say that those having negative experiences are bad.
Some posters say, “Don’t use the LFD tool!”
Some posters say, “You’re just mad because you can no longer carry the rest of the group.”

I’ve killed more endgame bosses than most of the badsayers. I’m not going to stop using the LFD tool. And I’m certainly not mad because I can’t carry a group.

I don’t care about repair bills. I go through a few hundred gold for repairs every progression raid night.

What I do care about is wasted time. Not wasted time in the “we have to wait for someone to mark CC targets” type of wasted time, but time spent on an unproductive endeavor.

What happens when you wind up in a group which wipes over and over again? The tank has bad gear, isn’t using his or her cooldowns, the DPS isn’t crowd controlling, and you take time to explain things and everything still goes terrible?

What do you do?
There’s a 15 minute cooldown on vote-kick, so you’ll be wasting 15 minutes wiping before you can vote-kick a problem member.

What happens if there are several problem players?
You can act like a total douchebag and get yourself votekicked after 15 minutes, but that’s still 15 minutes of wasted time.
You can try to piss off your problem partymates until they leave.
You can leave and have a 30 minute deserter debuff.

There may be ways to leave a group without getting a dungeon cooldown, but I think they’re under very particular circumstances.

The bottom line is: A bad group wastes 15-30 minutes of a healer’s time. During that 15-30 minutes, the healer is trapped in a group with individuals who simply cannot push their buttons. These individuals may be nice, but they may be immensely aggravating and totally intolerable. Because you’re not earning JP, your character is not progressing. You’re just sitting there.

Being trapped in a bad group or stuck in a queue cooldown because you opted to leave before the dungeon cooldown is not fun or cool. 15-30 minutes of downtime make me an unhappy healer.

Zan on December 12th, 2010

When things go awry, I often question myself, and wonder if the problem is me. This was the case with the nightmare that is healing the new heroics, but I’ve heard from guildmates that the WOW forums are exploding with others complaining about the same problems I’m having… and of course there’s people, lowbies who haven’t run heroics yet, and trolls, who are inciting arguments by claiming otherwise. I understand in some situations things may be easier in guild groups but there’s not always folks available for full guild runs.

As I predicted, healers are getting blamed and vote-kicked from groups comprised of people who are unwilling to adapt or ill-informed about the nature of Cataclysm dungeons. Random dungeons are a front for blamestorms and negativity that make folks discontent, and it’s a bit worse than I expected, but that is just one element in the shitstorm.

What’s worse, is Ghostcrawler had mentioned Blizzard wanting to change how healing works, where we wouldn’t have to worry about people dropping dead in a GCD. In some of the five mans, especially in heroics, I’ve found that the AOE damage is so intense and so frequent that I struggle to keep people up, especially when my position-centric cone of suck and radiance abilities. I’m spamming very slow heals to keep the tank up and trying to get the dps high enough that the next AOE strike won’t kill them. It’s still just as fast as before, except for now we’re thrashing with ineffective expensive and slow spells and crap regen.

Folks have compared Cata healing to both BC healing and Classic healing, but as someone who’s been there, I can say there was a huge difference between then and now.

It was pointed out to me that our heathpools have increased, but the size of our heals haven’t, and the cost has, while stats like haste have been diminished. The end result is a slew of heals that all feel slow, ineffective, AND inefficient. Some of the spells actually heal for quite a bit, however, they don’t feel like they do.

We’re paying 15 dollars a month to have fun on the game, for entertainment. When we push a button, we want it to do something noticible. When a DPS hits a button, they see their big numbers, in smaller encounters the mob’s healthbars visibly change. Healers watch their unit frames and press their buttons and are used to seeing things happen. In Cataclysm we don’t see that, we no longer get a noticeable change in our target’s health. We no longer get a visual gratification for pressing our buttons. This combined with the mana problems, the slow cast times, the lack of real change in the way damage is taken, and the shit healers have been getting in randoms has taken the fun out of the game for a huge number of people.

I could care less about how hard heroics are. I only care a little about baddies and being vote kicked, or even spell efficiency, but not having gratifying results when pressing my buttons steals away a good deal of my fun. I think there are many others out there that feel the same way.

TL;DR: I want my instant gratification now!
Edit note: I corrected some wonky English, it’s what I get for publishing articles without proofreading at 2am.

Zan on December 10th, 2010

So yesterday morning I got my little healadin to 85 and began the grind for gear, a day later than other folks. The AOE damage in dungeons, especially heroics, are something else. Tanks still haven’t learned that we need crowd control. My gear is crappy with crap haste and crappy regen. I’ve been vote-kicked several times in heroics, in fact I haven’t completed a single heroic.

I’m feeling very weak both in the single target AND group healing. It also feels like my heals are exceedingly slow and grueling with my 9% raid buffed haste. I’m just not getting the job done.

The slightly realistic solution is to get better gear or better people to run heroics with. Getting better gear is a plausible solution but normal instances don’t give JP except for the first run each day, and there’s no knowing if your desired items will actually drop otherwise, or if the gear you get will make up for things. Gearing is unreasonable unless you’re very very lucky.

The solution to bring better people isn’t attainable by everyone, the idea is simply “kill it fast before the healer runs out of mana”. (Alternately, you can grab another friend who’s a healer and have them queue as DPS and two-heal the instance in hopes that your combined might is enough to make due. This is what some of my guildmates have had to do.)

My total nightmarish experiences with heroics have been experienced by a large number of people, who take the time to bitch on the wow forums. With this in mind, it may be safe to say that heroic instances may have their damage a bit overtuned or healers spells are a bit undertuned.

It should be noted that in the same gear I got votekicked from random heroics in (blues and greens) was worn to a raid later that night. I went into one of the new raid instances and learned and cleared an encounter of the new content. Once everyone understood the mechanics, I have to say the encounter was easier than some of the heroic 5 man dungeon encounters I’ve tried via the looking for dungeon tool.

I think something might be just slightly wrong.