Archive for the 'pugging' Category

Why you should never doubt yourself too fast


I’ve got some kind of “curse”. Every time I try something new, things go horribly wrong, or just extremely difficult, while I feel it’s not supposed to be that way. Yet, I rarely find out what the reason for that is right away. In the past this has made doubt my own abilities.

Luckily I don’t believe in nonsense like curses. Bad luck just happens. Especially the first time things tend to seem worse than they are.

Why am I telling this?

I just finished a very rough HoR run. I still hadn’t healed that place on the paladin, and now I got it for the daily. While I knew she was geared more than enough for that place, and I didn’t have any problems with the other ICC dungeons, I just didn’t like the thought of having to heal it without any AOE spells.

When I entered that place I first made extra sure there weren’t going to be any surprises, so I checked the tank quickly to see if he was any good. This guy’s gear was looking great. Everything was nicely enchanted and gemmed, his spec seemed fine too (as far as I can tell from a DK, the only class I barely know anything about). The rest of the group seemed like decent dps too, except for the warlock who immediately started tapping and took no effort to drink/eat  *sigh*.

I didn’t heal the warlock and we started the fight.

Ouch, this was harder that I hoped. I was spamming holy lights constantly, while getting knocked back, stunned, interrupted, frozen. The tank got to dangerously low levels quite a few times. I know DK tanks can be spiky, but this wasn’t fun anymore. Also, compared to my Shaman, the greater heals seemed to take forever, which was weird in a way, because I remember healing this place when they were just as fast on my shaman (1.5 seconds). I didn’t remember me having to use that many greater heals before. Earthshield and Ancestral Healing are powerful abilities, though, I wondered if those made the difference.

A tragedy happened: we wiped on the 4th wave. I had a hard time keeping the tank up, and he went down to 5% in the short time I got stunned. I didn’t have time to finish the cast after the stun wore off. The tank died.

I can’t remember wiping in HoR anymore. That hadn’t happened in ages, at least not when I tanked or healed it, so I felt kinda shitty about it. And even though I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t be able to heal this place, there was absolutely nothing I could think of that could be wrong, I double, triple checked.

The group wasn’t complaining oddly enough, so we tried again. I politely asked the tank to use a cooldown when I was stunned. I knew he would be too busy to notice that and I don’t even know what kinds of cooldowns a DK tank has (he was blood spec I think), but I felt I had to try something.

So we tried again. This time I prepared myself for heavy heal nuking and mentally switched over to my 25Mans tank healing mode. I only focused on the tank, healing others using full holy lights as soon as the tank took the slightest bit of damage. I also used holy wrath every cooldown to create some short time-outs. Every single thing I did was necessary, because I had a real hard time keeping this guy up.

We got to Falric. In contrary to other healers, this is actually a great one to heal as a paladin healer. That might sound strange, because he does massive AOE damage, but having Shadow resistance aura + Aura mastery, and Bubble + Divine protection makes mitigating his AOE’s a joke. So, we downed him without too much effort.

Second set of waves.

Oh no, wipe at the 4th wave again!

I’m slowly starting to doubt my ability to do this. Are there any more abilities I can use? Would hand of sacrifice be a safe thing to do? I didn’t know it anymore.

We started again. I decided to use my bubble as soon as I noticed a rogue, in the fourth wave, because I clearly couldn’t afford one single stun.

I was hating the spikes. This damage was abnormal! I gave it all I had, blowing every cooldown I had, and we got till Marwyn, though I was OOM.

I used Plea while I drank  in the short time that boss came running to us. This boss was never hard to heal, I didn’t need much mana for this.

A few seconds into the fight. Tank loses 70% of his health in one shot! Whaaat??

I heal him up. Bam, again, 20% HP left.

What is this? I heal him to 80%, but now I’m out of mana.

Tank dies, we wipe.

“Ok guys, I don’t get this. I’ve never seen tanks take insane amounts of damage like this on that boss before. Something is wrong, but I have no idea what it is. Everything seems to be ok”.

A moment of silence..

“My gear is broken”.

You’ve GOT to be kidding me…. That never even crossed my mind even ONCE!

I only had such a thing happen to me one time, way back in TBC, after a bunch of wipes on Prince and then Nightbane. I was just as surprised back then as I was now. I always repair every chance I get, mostly because it’s done automatically by my addons (I believe titan panel has it build in). It had never happened to me before also, so I even wrote a ticket about my stats being wrong. Recount was covering the location where the “broken gear guy” was located, so I didn’t have the slightest idea something obvious was wrong.

Since then it never happened to me again, ever. And besides the random “lolwut” dps in pugs that asks for a repairbot after the first wipe, something that always annoys the crap out of me, I never even slightly considered this to be a thing that would happen to a decent player at the start of a raid, let alone a heroic.

But it did.

This whole run I was slowly beginning to doubt myself, even though the voices of reason, wisdom and experience were shouting to me: there is something else wrong, and you know it! You just haven’t figured out what it is!

I knew these “voices” were right, because they’ve always been right, yet without a good explanation I feel very uncomfortable, I have to know everything: I hate guessing.

Anyway, after the tank came back from fixing his gear, his health had shot up with 4000HP compared to when we started the instance. He must have had multiple pieces broken even back then.

Healing got much more relaxed, like it should with our gear. I didn’t have to stress anymore. We ended the waves and fight with me still having 85% of my mana.

The rest of the run was no problem as well, and I didn’t even break a sweat on the final battle. This all made a lot more sense to me.

It’s funny how after years of experience with healing, different classes, specs, roles, basic game mechanics, but definitely also a lot of experience with this particular encounter, I was still able to start doubting my own abilities. I’m always telling other people to never do this, but I still do it myself. Yet again, I got proven that there is no reason to. Will I end up in a similar situation again? Most likely. Will I doubt myself about things in the future? I hope not, but it can always happen.

I just hope this experience shows once again, that whenever things just seem like they aren’t right, they probably aren’t.  Some call it instinct, others call it intuition, but it’s in fact just your own logic being suppressed by momentary fear (doubt), or other clouds covering your judgment.

Addon of the week: RaidBuffStatus


First off: I wondered why I didn’t get one disconnect in the 2 raids I did yesterday.  For the past few weeks this has been the standard I was getting used to (ok, not really).

I was always blaming my addon mania for this, as I figured a few of them were probably fighting over who got to place their useless information in some unread tooltip first.

But this morning I got the joyful message from my internet provider that they secretly upped my internet speed!

Now, I can hardly believe that the lack of speed was causing the problems before (8Mbit should be more than enough, right?), but I wouldn’t be surprised if those sudden DC’s were caused by them tweaking their routers.

Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It could just be temporary luck and my addons could still be plotting a huge chain-DC on my next run, right after I see the message: “Mainspecs, roll on [Trauma]“.

However, a faster internet connection for the same price is never a bad thing 🙂

And I think I already payed my due’s to murphy.. because to be absolutely safe, I decided to updated my router firmware as they suggested. Having my router protected as good as possible, this caused some undocumented updating problems: my password got reset, which not only caused me to not be able to access my router, and internet until I figured out how to reset it to factory default. It also resulted in me losing all the configurations which I meticulously tweaked over time. It took me 2 hours to get everything back as it was *sigh*

But I’m back in business, like everyone’s favorite VH boss would say.

Anyway, enough screen clutter, on to the addon of the week:

RaidBuffStatus

This addon came to replace my previously used BigBrother a while back, and it’s a must have if you’re perfectionist like me.

Unlike the name suggests, this addon does more than just check the status of buffs in the raid. However, that is one of its main purposes.

Who would want it?

Raidleaders mostly of course, but anyone with a sense of responsibility will like it very much. For tanks this can also be very useful. Even in PvP this is useful for the deathwarnings and the CC breaks.

Why would you want it?

To “spy” on everyone and quickly notice if they ate their plate clean, took their (right) medication.. I mean, have their (correct) food buffs and flasks/elixirs, buffs, aura’s, presences, or stances, but also who’s been slacking in giving the rest buffs (yes, I’m looking at you, slackadins!) and who is n0t even inside the instance yet even (regular slackers).

These are not it’s only functions.

For tanks it has the special function of showing interesting information about taunts used, and breaking CC’s. It can give text and sound feedback when your taunt fails, or when someone else taunts your target. When someone else taunts your target, it also recognizes if this is a tank or a non-tank. For example: if a hunter grabs your aggro, it will explicitly mention that it’s not a tank that taunted your target.

The options for taunt warnings are many, like you can see in this configuration screen, there’s not a single kind of taunt not covered. It’s close to too much information, but you can choose what you wanna see and what not, that’s the good thing.

For those that aren’t raidleading or tanking, it’s still useful besides spying on others. It can be configured just to show your buffs, and helps you buffing the right people by simple clicking your buffs in the main overview. CC breaks are also good to know if you’re a CC capable class. If you’re a dps druid it’s also interesting to get deathwarnings too, so you can quickly battleress f.e.

The operation

The main overview screen looks like this if you’ve got it full option:

This page shows the overview of all the information you can get about the current raid. It might look confusing, but once you know the reason for the way this is ordered, it’s get much easier to use.

The screen is split into 4 parts.

First part, the top row of buttons shows basic “readiness” problems, like people not in the same zone, people AFK, low durability, having useless aura’s, people using low level consumables or ammo, or people who are dead… Personally I think 2 things in this list don’t really belong there, but you can all change that.

The second part is a list of bars that show the health of the raid. Average health of tanks, average mana of healers, etc. Personally I only care about healer mana, and healers/tanks alive, but you can choose what you want to see from the configuration menu.

The third part is a grid of all the standard buffs, kings, mark ot wild, fortitude, seals, presences, etc.

The fourth and last part are the buffs that you would use for progression raids, and are interesting if you really want the best from your raid. These are basically consumable buffs like foodbuffs, elixirs/flasks, stuff you wouldn’t use in heroics f.e.

The buffs have colors on them, these colors say something important about the buffs too:

  • Yellow means that somebody in the raid is missing this buff
  • Red means that somebody in the raid is missing a buff you’re responsible for
  • Blue means that you’re missing a buff that someone else is (or could be) responsible for.

You can configure click actions on these buttons. By default they are this:

  • Left click turns checking for the particular buff on and off
  • Right click buffs people if you’re capable of buffing it
  • Shift-Left click reports this to the raid chat (if you’ve got the authority to do so)
  • Ctrl-Left click whispers the buffers about what they forgot.

There are also 4 buttons. The scan button on top refreshes everything, nothing spectacular. The bottom 3 buttons are only usable if you have raidleader or assist status, and can be used to report to the raid about the missing buffs (if you don’t have this status, it can report to yourself only, but that’s a bit senseless, as you have the overview in front of you). The Trash and Boss button do basically the same, except that the Trash button ignores the fourth part of buffs. The Boss button shows everything. The R button is simply a readycheck.

Sometimes it’s a shame that it only allows you to report to the raid as leader/assist, especially in pugs. You can however always make it whisper to the responsible people what they’re forgot to do.

Update:

I forgot two windows that pop up if you press the little two arrows on top of the addon.

The left one gives an overview of your group, showing what specs and abilities the players have. Very useful to quickly see who are the tanks, healers, melee, and ranged dps, and what they bring to the raid in abilities.

The right one let’s you configure which buffs you consider a buff, or a warning, and which ones you want to show, or report. This basically configures the RBS display. Here you can change the buffs that you think are wrongly placed, or are just not interesting to you. Those slacking buffs that were wrongly placed in my opinion can be replaced or removed here.

The options

The latest versions comes pre-configured for three options. Just press the button and the configuration will be adjusted to your role:

Personally I would’ve liked to see the “tank” option too. but it’s not hard to configure that manually.

Manual configuration is simple btw, even though there are lots of options.

Consumable options configures whether you’re ok with lower level consumables or not.

Reporting configures to whom you want to report the information, and how.

Raid Status Bars show what bars you want so see in the bars overview.

Mouse buttons configures the click combinations you can use

Tank/CC/Misdirect/Death Warnings (see pictures at the begin of this post) configure if you want these warnings, and if they should be audial, visual, both or even reported to the raid.

Food announce can automatically throw a raidwarning when a fishfeast or any other interesting buff source is dropped. You can configure it to whisper people when these items are about to time out too if they still haven’t used this. I like this option a lot, because especially fish-feasts are easy to miss.

The other options are quite self-explanatory or just small operational options.

…And finally

I think it’s a very useful tool. As tank I love the taunt warnings, the misdirect/cc warnings. Simple functions like who is still not in the zone is great for summoning people to their raid, you don’t need to have them all ask for it.

The authors claim it’s lightweight, but it’s still a pretty big addon (1.2 MB). Processor usage seems to be low though, and that’s most important with wow being such a CPU hungry game.

Oh, I haven’t tested this yet, but if you would like to be able to use the reporting function even if you’re not a leader, the following “hack” should fix that *evil grin*

Open the Core.lua file in the RaidBuffStatus addon folder, and add this to the end of it:

function IsRaidLeader()
    return true
end

Good luck raiding!

P.S. Funny picture of the day

…after he dropped from his mount into the depths 😉

Updates: I completely forgot to write about 2 very interesting views. Weaved it in the middle of the story. I also got a new DC again *sigh*, though I can’t complain, because a wow bug caused me to be able to do the weekly raid twice, how nice!

Another update: I discovered the proof reading option in wordpress, which pointed out quite a few mistakes. I was actually a bit shocked by the amount of errors it found. English isn’t my native language, but I still thought I had a better grasp of it. Guess I can use it’s help. It’s not unusual for me to revise a post a few times after I updated it (I’ve got a mild form of dyslexia, which makes me put words in the wrong order sometimes, or simply skip them), but this one needed it badly a few times. My apologies for the bad English I used before, I hope this will improve it a little in future posts.

Elitist Armory


For a while I’ve been a big fan of the addon Elitist Group. STOP! Don’t panic right away my casual friends. Don’t let the word elitist scare you. Put down the garlic and wooden spike. If you don’t know it yet: it is a gear checking addon in the gearscore category.. WAIT! Don’t run yet! It’s not at all like gearscore in functionality. There is no silly mouseover-number that says as much about performance as engine displacement says about the quality and performance of your car (sure, a little, but it’s just one factor).

EG checks gear in a way that is meaningful. It’s aimed at PVE, and checks if you know what your doing gemming and enchanting wise. In a quick glance you can see if somebody is geared in pvp gear, hasn’t skipped gems/enchants and has used the correct ones. A good gemmed/enchanted character with correct gear choices is much more likely to be a decent player, because it shows dedication. The higher gearscore player that didn’t care, might still have better stats without, but the “didn’t care” is leading in this, it tells a lot about someone, like what to expect.

Of course, it’s not perfect. If gems/enchants are considered acceptable by a class by the addon, doesn’t mean that it’s a smart choice. A tank gemming nothing but strength is still not a very smart one, unless he plans on just playing heroics his entire career.

Anyway, I’m not going to write an aweful lot about the addon itself, since wow.com has done that a while back, and they were very thorough about it too. Read it if you want to know more.

This was actually a lead-in to what I have been playing around with yesterday: the new Elitist Armory site (WARNING: alpha state), created by EG addon developers Shadowed (also known from: Shadowed Unit Frames, Quick Auctions) and Antiarc (also known from: Sexy Map, Sexy Cooldown). When I first heard about it, I thought it would be like wow-heroes, or be.imba.hu. In fact, it is actually. All those sites check your gear, and look for correct choices in gear, gems and enchants. Still, it can still be a useful addition.

Shadoweds’ own description:

Since some people have been bugging me for this, here’s what it is! At its core, it’s a more advanced version of the Elitist Group addon.

Primarily it’s intended to give people a better idea of other players gear, but in a more concise fashion. Seeing a list of 300 achievements that are mostly irrelevant, or seeing what a Feral Druids spell power is, isn’t particularly useful.

Some of the planned features are better resources for groups, I’ll be looking very closely at tying Elitist Group into Elitist Armory (and vice-versa). One idea I’ve been toying with is the ability to quickly queue up everyone in your group on Elitist Armory by copying a link from Elitist Group.

Elitist Armory will end up being better than Elitist Group, just due to the fact that I have access to a ton more information than I do in-game.

As always, I’m interested in hearing what people think. If you have a suggestion, or perhaps you hate me for whatever reason send me an email at shadow@elitistarmory.com

I haven’t done a thorough research, or comparison. That’s not something I’m planning to do either, it’s much simpler to just try these things yourself. My first goal was just to show the existence of this site, because it just shows potential. I have done a simple check though.

What’s there to like?

Things equal to the other two sites:

  • Like both other sites, it shows gear, enchants, gems. Shows where good choices and bad choices are made.
  • Like be.imba, it’s a lightweight interface.
  • Like both other sites, it shows progress based on achievements. Even if it’s graphically much less appealing, it’s much clearer for a quick idea.
  • Like wow-heroes it shows health, mp5, spellpower, just a few stats, but the most interesting ones (oddly enough, it doesn’t show intellect, but then again, it’s still alpha). It also shows if a tank is uncrittable.
  • Like wow-heroes it shows professions.

Things different than the other sites, missing:

  • It doesn’t give a rating in the way of one single number “that fits all”. This is intended. It does show average ilvl.
  • It doesn’t suggest content where the gear is good enough for, but since the EG addon does, this is likely still work in progress.
  • It doesn’t suggest enhants/gems when wrong or missing.
  • It doesn’t show as much in terms of stats as wow-heroes does (last point previous list), I very much miss the expertise stat on my tank f.e.
  • It shows the 2nd spec, like wow-heroes, but it doesn’t remember it, so you can’t switch between them online (I personally love this about wow-heroes).

Things different than the other sites, improved:

  • It shows glyphs. These don’t seem to be rated, but I couldn’t find an example with bad glyphs, so not sure about that. It’s nice anyhow.
  • What I liked very much is the fact that you can link directly to a character by URL editing. Like: http://elitistarmory.com/<Region>(e.g. EU)/<Realm>/<Character name> This is very useful for direct linking, quickly checking, etc. This seems simple, but for me this could be the reason for me to use this most of all three sites.

Again, this site is still alpha, and comparing it in it’s current state isn’t really fair. Still, for its current state is already a strong competitor for both other sites. The sites strong point is it’s ease of use. It gives a fast, clear overview of what you’d like to know about a character, no bloat. I’m looking forward to the first beta version of it.

Check it out!

Oh, this pisses me off


Just 30 minutes before the 3AM reset I realized that I still needed to do the daily heroic on both my characters. Not sure what the trigger was, entering it, or downing the boss, I chose to take my healer first, because that wait time is longer. I just really hoped the trigger was starting the instance.

Of course, I got Old kingdom. But it could have been worse, like pit of saron, or halls of lighting. The tank took off pretty fast so I figured it would go well.

There was a minor slowdown when all the others in the group realized they were from the same country and started chatting in (to me) gibberish. The worst part was when I saw the term Amanitar in between the gibberish. I so hoped that was some swedish word, or whatever the language was..

A few seconds later the tank jumped of the ledge towards Amanitar.. Noooo!

“Sorry, can we please skip the optionals, I really really need to do another char before 3AM, this is the only time I need a fast run, please guys”.

“You’ll never make that anway”

Well, 15 minutes, I think that could be done. And I wanted to find out for myself if it couldn’t be done. At least I could only blame myself then, which isn’t that bad.

“Sure I will”, I responded, “I can do most instances in 15 minutes easy, unless the dps is real bad”

I didn’t know if that was true, but I see people brag all the time, why not me for once.

“Nah, we wanna do this, we’ll do it fast”

Damn, I hate it when I have no control over things. Do it fast, my ass. As if they were holding back before, I don’t believe that. I just tried to dps myself, but that didn’t make a real difference. The lock was constantly lifetapping and the druid was constantly getting aggro, so I didn’t want to risk switching to dps.

Then they wanted to do the achievement for Jedoga too. Ok, that doesn’t really slow things down, but the discussion alone annoyed me. And I couldn’t swap to dps for sure now.

I was watching the clock all the time, 8 minutes left.. There was still a small chance..

I literally took off towards Herald before Jedoga hit the ground, the rest following far behind.. 5 minutes left..

Trash down, 3 minutes left..

We downed Herald..

Server message… everything was rest!

-CENSORED-

Since I’m not tanking icecrown yet, with the insane requirement people expect these days, these dailies are my main income of frost emblems. Nobody really likes Old Kingdom, everyone always skips the optionals. I seriously haven’t seen those two bosses in 3 months or so.

I usually always like to do the optionals, I don’t mind a slow run. I like to do achievements. I don’t mind doing anything special in a daily run… Usually.

But the only time that I do care about a fast run, the one time since I’ve been playing wow that I REALLY want a fast run for a change, THEN I end up with the only group in 3 bloody months that wants to do it ALL!!

MURPHY I HATE YOU!! YOU OWE ME 2 FROST BADGES!

…Or perhaps it is triggered by downing the boss, in which case I wouldn’t have made ie either way… For now I just like to keep blaming Murphy.. 😉

UPDATE: I checked it out, it’s triggered by killing the boss. Which makes nothing but sense, because it’s basically a daily quests, which ends when you finish it. The other dailies only are considered done after you turned it in too. Stressing myself seems to turn of my logical thinking apparently.