Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bears that like to tank..or kitty..or moonkin..or tree!

My last post summarized talents and glyph choices that a bear could take if they were to dedicate one of their trees to just being a big ole bear! There are enough talent points and (just about) the right number of major glyphs to build a full on bear..well build.

What if you don't have dual spec? What if you want to be a competitive kitty, still be able to take big hits, and also pop into tree or moonkin form for extra versatility and overall hybridnessess. The nice thing about the feral tree is you can successfully pull off a respectable feral DPS and tank spec all in one! Here's how I'd do it:

A word or two on gear first

Being a druid is unique even more so than other hybrids. We can do literally everything. Both "forms" of DPS, tank and heal. We are also unique in terms of tanking and melee DPS in that we can use the same gear to do both. The idea that that awesome new staff you just picked up can double as a DPS weapon, or that crazy huge kitty DPS glove upgrade could also double up as a nice boost to your tanking set is a unique ability that druids and druids alone possess.

Some items don't always make great two-for-one pieces. For example the meta socket in a helm certainly needs to reflect the actual spec you are planning on using the helm for: RED for kitty and AED for bears. Trinkets are also (most of the time) specialized to work for one type of feral spec at a time. Bears naturally go for large amounts of stamina or possibly avoidance in the form of agility or straight dodge rating. While kitties would probably prefer armor penetration, crit rating, or something that's random and awesome.

Gems and enchants are also tricky sometimes for a druid that needs to share a piece gear between his two feral specs. Gems can be tricky because top of the line kitties need a lot of armor penetration if they have the gear to support it and bears generally shouldn't be stacking much besides stamina unless the situation calls for it or they are hurting in a different tanking stat area. As far as enchants, mainly bracers where the difference is a large loss of attack power or stamina depending on which way you are going, can be a tough decision.

Nevertheless the point to take away from this is you may not be the BEST kitty DPS or the strongest tank in a given situation, but combining specs gives you the opportunity to add to your raids options. Whether they need an extra healer tonight, or could really use extra ranged on a particular encounter you can be THAT druid.

One last thing about gear before I move on. Gearing up a druid for more than one role is essentially like gearing up multiple toons at once. It can be daunting and mistaken for actually being "unfair" by other classes. As far as being daunting, keeping your priorities straight and knowing what your guild or yourself expects from you should be the top of your lists when you make gear decisions or decide to roll/use DKP/whatever. As for the latter I've always taken a particular stance on hybrids and what exactly is fair and unfair when it comes to their versatility but that's for another post.

Overall thoughts and considerations

Before I get into options as a Bearkitty decide which comes first. Although like I said you would be able to do both and do them reasonably well you still need to choose what is more important. Some talents are more important than others. If you are a bearkitty you might use those points to pick up a tank oriented talent, but if you are a Kittybear than you might get away with skipping that to pick up some extra DPS in your spec.

This is also important for enchants and gems when sharing gear as well as glyphs which I will get to later. It's an important thing to consider and do so before deciding talents, glyphs, and gear.


The two things you are sacrificing as a bear for the extra damage are Improved Leader of the Pack and Infected Wounds. The two things you are sacrificing from a full kitty spec are Feral Aggression and Predatory Instincts. Honestly the big "losses" if you would even call them that are for bear. Improved Leader of the Pack is nice for numerous reasons, but does have it's limitations for being useful in a raid environment so it can go. Infected Wounds is incredibly useful and important unless you have a Warrior (Thunder Clap), Death Knight (Icy Touch) or Paladin (Judgements of the Just). For 10 mans it may be wise to pick this up instead of something else if possible, but in 25 mans it should be okay to skip. Below is my recommendation.



Glyphs can get kind of hairy. One solution before would be to carry around a whole bunch of feral tank and DPS glyphs and swap them when necessary. This is expensive and bag consuming, so here are my suggestions.

The biggest thing to remember is what I said earlier in this post. Which is it Bearkitty or KittyBear?

For BearKitty go with:
  1. Glyph of Survival Instincts
  2. Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration
  3. Glyph of Shred / Glyph or Rip
The first two make sense if you prioritize Bear over Cat and they also work well together and basically are one powerful extra oomph on your survival cooldowns. Glyph of Shred is probably more beneficial than Rip because it gives you one extra tick compared to Rip; however, if for some random or odd reason you can't shred than the shred glyph would be a bust so at least you could get some benefit and a boost to Kitty DPS.

For KittyBear go with:
  1. Glyph of Survival Instincts
  2. Glyph of Shred
  3. Glyph of Savage Roar
I feel like in terms of survivability increases Survival Instincts is a better option than others. You could go with Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration in it's place if you would rather have those bigger heals land. Originally I wanted to say go with Shred and Rip, but Rip is more of a creature comfort. Rip costs 30 energy and 3% more damage over the long haul is probably more beneficial. No math backing that up by the way, just throwing it out there. Also you still get the added seconds on Rip from the Shred glyph which should help out a lot with your kitty "rotation."


I hope this helps the druids out there that want to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to being a druid. Remember if you are doing progression and it's new stuff for your guild, consider being a full on tank or DPS. In a game where min/max is possible and often times encouraged in high end raiding, every little big counts.

Our 10 man ICC group one shot everything up to and including Blood Queen last night. All we have left is the free emblem, Dreamwalker, and then progression.

We had consistent 8k+ DPS from all our damage dealers last night, and our tanking/heals were spot on!

Hopefully we have the same group on tonight! I'll be sure to update..

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's chat about talents (and glyphs)

I'm still trying my hand on informative posts. I'd like them to be more frequent than less because chatting non-stop about less useful stuff is just that - less useful. I'm choosing talents (and glyphs) because it's an easy subject and I have a solid reason to back up (most of) my talent and glyph choices.


There is not a whole lot of controversy in my talent choices to be honest. The only thing I've seen in full on bear specs that varies is removing points from Shredding Attacks and King of the Jungle in place of points in possibly Improved Mangle and Feral Aggression.

I've never been a fan of Improved mangle, I remember reading a post by the oh so knowledgeable and semi-retired Kalon on the value of improved mangle and although the article is from January it's still correct (unless for whatever reason you are using the Mangle glyph, maybe?). The points I save from using Improved Mangle are helpful in Shredding attacks. More often that not if I know I'm only DPSing a fight (very rarely) I'll switch to my second feral spec which has Shredding Attacks, but with feral tanking there are more than a few occasions where popping into Cat Form and shredding for some extra damage certainly doesn't hurt, also on the extraordinarily rare situation where I'm rage starved, 2 rage off lacerate doesn't hurt.

Now Feral Aggression on the other hand is a bit trickier. To simplify things let's completely ignore the cat aspect of the talent because I'm far away from needing to worry about filling my cat "rotation" with spare ferocious bites. Back in patch 3.2 (I think) they updated the four main attack power reduction talents to be on equal footing in terms of strength. Here are the possibilities:
The real change here was Vindication was reworked to apply the same debuff to bosses as the talented improved version of the other three. If you have someone in the raid with any of these and they are fully talented into improving them, then your regular Demoralizing Roar is no longer effective or necessary. For 25 mans it's almost a given that someone will be able to put up the attack power reduction debuff; however, in 10 mans it may be something to consider using and even improving via talents since every boss nowadays hits like a semi carrying a truck with a load of nails in it's bed.

So if I were to remove points to get Feral Aggression - what would I remove? The only controversial talents I could give up easily are the 3 points in King of the Jungle. Here is my justification though for King of the Jungle in a full on bear spec. First the burst energy for cat is great when I get to pop into cat for a bit of DPS. Normally I can get in cat, put up rake, shred to 5 cps, and throw up a rip before popping back into bear to taunt. The best example of this is Saurfang when you get the Rune of Blood debuff. The second reason for having King of the Jungle is for the damage increase when using enrage. I don't really need it until I have 4 piece set bonus of tier 10, but even now when I'm at no risk of dying, enrage is a decent bit of extra damage and threat while in bear form.

Overall I'm pretty happy with my spec and it's served me well till now. The only talent I don't get that I wish I could have is Brutal Impact. Come on...everyone LOVES stuns.


Here are your options for tanking glyphs:
If you are using one of your two (or you only have one) trees for tanking and kitty DPS I'm afraid you will have to take into consideration different glyphs - and possibly a post to follow will give some insight on how to tackle that. For those that are going pure bear for one spec I would suggest Survival Instincts, Maul and Frenzied Regeneration. It's also a good idea to carry around a few or a stack of both the Maul and Growl glyph to switch when taunt resists can spell disaster. I don't really think the Mangle glyph is necessary unless you are having threat issues, but even then ask the rogues and hunters of your raid to use Tricks and Misdirect more often.

The combination of Frenzied Regeneration Glyph and Survival Instincts is extremely potent when you use them in sync and Maul is useful for all situations with more than one mob.

The hardcore min/maxer in me says to swap out the Maul glyph for Mangle on single target bosses, but that can become costly and it's not an enormous increase in threat anyways.

10 man ICC starts up tonight, hopefully we can clear past plague and blood in one night, but we'll see how it goes!

Staying efficient while still having fun is a balancing act of sorts, but unavoidable things like people having internet issues and maybe not one shotting everything could slow us down tonight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oxheart makes everything better (almost)

Ooooh shiny!

Last night isn't considered a set in stone raid night for our little casual 10 man ICC group, but we had most of the people on so we tried to make a push for Sindragosa. All we had was trash, free frost emblem mini-boss, then the Dreamwalker.

We tried out a couple new DPS we recruited over the weekend and they definitely held their own. We tried a new strategy for Dreamwalker and instead of two tanks and splitting DPS in half, we used our paladin tank and I switched to kitty for some rusty feral DPS. Only wiped once and it was because mob priorities weren't 100% clear.

Easiest way to handle the adds that we saw is:

Suppressors (Hunter kite Blistering Zombies) > Blazing Skeletons > Gluttonous Abominations > Risen Archmages

After the second attempt, she went down with no deaths, easy and clean kill. So next we had the good old...spi

OH YEAH! [Oxheart] dropped! It kind of caught me off guard, but its become almost a perfect solution to my hit/expertise woes. The weapon of course has a boat load of expertise which allowed me to swap out my neck for this. So now I'm sitting at 11.5% expertise and 7.53% hit which is awesome! I'm using the wrathful neck and bracers which is making my threat stats suffer a little bit, but I haven't had any issues whatsoever with TPS so I guess Oxheart really does make everything better!

der room. Luckily someone in guild chat was nice enough to mention that you don't just stand in the middle of the room until the end of eternity killing wave after wave of spiders. We made our way to the other side of the room and once the gate (door?) opened we happily stepped out onto the Frost Queen's terrace.

Let me just take this opportunity to complain about the two 3.2M HP mini-boss dragons you have to kill before you engage Sindragosa. I'm guessing it's a lore thing which I don't mind, but 3.2 million HP each...ugh!

Anyways, we took sometime explaining the strategy and everyone seemed to understand. Honestly we probably could have killed her sooner, but we were trying to handle frost tombs in the middle of the room, and the frost bombs kept spawning practically right underneath the tombs making them nearly impossible to LoS. Per suggestion of a friend in a different guild that was hanging out in vent, we moved the frost tombs to the stairs that lead out onto the terrace and I have to say it really simplified the frost bombs. Our priest kept having computer issues and between having to wait for him to reboot and since it was already pass 10:30, we gave it a couple more attempts (one of which we saw phase 3 and the boss to 21%), we called it.

I'm fully expecting this new reset to make a run for Arthas and start putting in attempts there. Go go Kingslayer incoming!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Round 2: Professor and that's just the beginning

We showed Professor who was boss after our less than successful run in with him on Friday. Completely opposite composition from Friday, we had the same rogue we brought last week, except this time he was the ONLY melee! That's the funny thing about casual raiding with friends, never really know who is and isn't available. So I'd like to say we one shot Professor but no, not quite. We actually ended up wiping for around an hour. The DPS just was not there. We even had a couple of really nice transitions to phase 3 with no oozes out, but couldn't get him down before we'd be overwhelmed by the debuff or slime pools. Finally (our savior) warlock logs in and we sub out our under performing mage.

Smooth sailing one shot right after that! Amazing how much one person can change an encounter like that, but I guess that's the nice part (bad part?) about 10 mans. So not only do we one shot Professor, but Mr. Warlock brought his A-game and we one shot (progression mind you, first time kill) Blood Princes! Everyone did such a fantastic job in their roles. Our hunter only missed one disco ball, which you can't really blame him, he handled them all except that one perfectly. Our OT did a fantastic job keeping Prince "huge fireball" (new cataclysm mage spell?) Taldaram out of vortexes and what not. And like I said our Warlock...absolutely awesome job picking up the shadow orbs and keeping aggro on Prince Keleseth. We run with a holy Paladin (girlfriend), a resto Druid (the hunter mentioned above's wife), and a MS resto/OS elemental Shaman (friend of mine from high school). They all did a really great job and congrats to the guild on 9/12.

We weren't done yet though. We had every intention of beating Blood-Queen Lana'thel and after a few attempts and trying to figure out why people were dieing on her 5 second air phase she went down!

Now that we are 10/12 we are hoping to sneak in some time tonight and see if we can get Sindragosa down. Should be interesting.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Complete Banner, What happened on Professor last night?

Firstly, I'm pretty happy with the way the banner has turned out. It only took a few steps, required only free software, and the result was much better than I expected.

Mostly to give credit where credit is due, but also because I like the process and haven't messed around with graphics much here's how I went about it:
  1. Wow Model Viewer (

    I started messing with the "Load Character from Armory" feature. I wasn't happy with the Tauren form because it was too tall and to be honest my gear doesn't really look that great, haha. I kept coming back to the bear form model though because obviously it's the most fitting and I think Blizzard really did a fantastic job with the new models.

    This is where my girlfriend saved the day with positioning the model like it is above. We cropped out most of the body so we could get close enough to the face and then I hit a road block. Clearly we know which one of us in the relationship is creative; I'm completely lost, she comes along and shows me a unique way of looking at the bear model face, she stops giving input, and I'm back to being completely lost.

  2. to the rescue (

    Can I just say I love this software! I'm an avid user of MS Paint and believe it or not I actually use it quite frequently at my job to show people why they fail at reading directions, but is just a whole different animal. I started off with just the bear face on the right and planned on the blog title taking up most of the extra space to the left:

    While messing around with the "Magic Wand" which by the way really is magic if you were wondering, I selected the bear face and went up to Effects > Artistic > Ink Sketch and voila a cool comic book effect. Well the comic book effect on the bear face got me thinking about how I'd like the title to show up so I googled " speech bubble" and downloaded a fantastic plug-in for that was created by dpy called appropriately enough dpy's pack.Couldn't have been easier to add the text and speech bubble to the image.

  3. Finishing Touch (thanks WoWWiki), as I'm sure most rich-featured graphics software, has the ability to layer things really quite well so I brought the image in and when nicely asked if I wanted to re-size my canvas or crop the image - I chose the latter.

    Finally I adjusted the opacity on the face/speech bubble layer and that my friends is the finished product you see at the top.

    Pat myself and of course my girlfriend on the back, haha, I'm happy with it.

Last night our ten man got together and I was pretty stoked because we had some really solid DPS. Flew through the first 6 bosses and dinged exalted with Ashen Verdict as soon as Festergut went down, promptly got my new tanking ring and headed over to Professor for what was shaping up to be a 7/12 clear.

Problem with our ten man composition last night? We had two, count em, two ranged DPS. A hunter and mage. I figured we would be just fine because we could have melee switch off to the oozes, boy was I wrong. It was taking too long to get professor to phase three. The green ooze - at least every other spawn got to it's intended target for explosion shenanigans and things really seemed doomed mid phase 2. Against all odds, we managed to get to phase three and even had a clear transition with no ooze out. I drop out of the abomination I was piloting around the room, switch to bear, and rocket boots my way over to the table for a clean pick up of the Professor. I taunted and I went down like a sack of clue. Luckily our druid healer was quick to get me up and we somewhat recovered. The DPS was actually pretty solid and we got the boss to 20,000 health, I'm guessing our paladin tank died, because I was still tanking, and the boss healing back up to 12%, BUST!

Had to call it, after a couple more attempts we lost our rogue and didn't have a range to replace him with, but come Sunday it's Round Two!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The lonely face

Late post before I go to bed..

I really like the header in progress...just need to fill all that white space!

Any suggestions?

Expertise is a helluva drug!

I've been thinking a lot recently about how much I value expertise as a bear.

Like 100 years ago at the beginning of Ulduar I put it above everything else and I shot for the expertise hard-cap of 14%.

The weird thing about shooting for a hard-cap with me is I pretty much know I'm not going to actually reach the cap; however, shooting for it allows me to prioritize it correctly when making gear decisions. So like I was saying, in Ulduar I wasn't happy unless I was above let's say 11.5%. I don't feel like I know much more about the benefit I'm gaining from expertise compared to what I knew when Ulduar was top tier, but I do know that now that I have less choices when it comes to gear that is available to me it's becoming more of a nuisance to feed that expertise hunger.

There are a couple of things expertise does for you as a bear (and any tank for that matter), but the number one thing that always pulls me in for whatever reason is TPS. Do I have threat issues? No. Do I require Tricks and Misdirects? Sometimes, but it depends on the fight and of course how geared the DPS I'm running with are and honestly I'd lean towards no most of the time. So what's wrong with me? I'm trying to break this habit of refusing to change out a piece of gear because I lose some expertise.

As a quick side note of sorts - it took me a surprisingly long time to give up my bad habits of gemming for bad socket bonuses. I'm not going to dwell on this or bring it up again because it was foolish, but I've learned my lesson and I feel the benefits I have now because of my health pool.

Anyways besides threat, expertise helps with those annoying parries. Now obvious you don't want to parry because once again, you don't get much threat when you parry, but the other reason you don't want to parry is because if you parry on a boss the boss basically gets a free attack (Technically I believe it resets the boss's swing timer, so say the boss hits you, then 1/2 a second later you parry, then instead of 2 seconds after your parry you get hit, you get hit immediately. Meaning the boss just hit you twice in a 1/2 second span instead of a 2 1/2 second span). Now here's the thing with parry haste - some bosses do some bosses do not. One inconsistency that is kind of annoying, but in some cases practically required. If the boss is a tank gear check and hits exceptionally hard *cough cough...Festergut* you really can't afford to get parry hasted so naturally that just so happens to be a boss that has parry haste disabled. So here is the kicker and Festergut is a great example of this - after 5% your attacks won't be dodged by the boss, and although you will probably parry quite a bit if you are low (around 5%) on expertise so your threat will suffer, you get a stacking debuff that increases your damage on Festergut. Not to mention tricks and misdirect and it's starting to sound like expertise is kind of useless on Festergut. Well..not useless but it certainly diminishes in value.

I don't have the luxury of swapping out gear for less expertise and more survival stats just for a given boss, so how many people do?

This is all culminating into a simple conclusion. Parry is important, very important even, but not as important as I once thought it was or more correctly still think it is. Currently Ampzilla has 43 expertise rating (including Primal Precision) or 10.75%, I'm happy with it and don't want to go any lower, but if I have to now that I've thought about it a bit more, I'm going to.

I think the best part is the experimentation. I'm probably going to follow up this post with a specific issue I'm having with making gear decisions that largely effect my expertise and hit rating, but a smaller example of where I'm struggling it with my neck piece.

Currently I'm using this. It's actually pretty good still, but its one of my last iLvl 226 pieces and since GS is king (sadly) it's cramp'n my style. So what are MY choices?

First thing I checked out was PvP gear and I might end up going this route for a temporary fix - [Pick] [your] [flavor]. Or this beauty from 25 man Onyxia. The last two options are [Legionnaire's Gorget] from ToC 25 or hope Rotface drops [Bile-Encrusted Medallion].

Needless to say I have options, and while I'd like to get the Onyxia neck to keep my expertise in the 10% club, I'd settle for just about any upgrade now.

I also want to say before calling it quits - GF came up with a fantastic beginnings to a header for the blog so all I/we need to do is pick a nice background and it should be up in no time!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What makes successful PUGs fail?

Before I get to the title of the post, I want to toss out some quick player history. I'm going to keep it short..promise.

I've been playing on US-Drak'thul since the beginning of my wow career; which started a couple months before Burning Crusade came out. Drak'thul is close to one of the lowest population servers in the US and it's reflected in everything on the server. Non-dynamic auction house market, no (successful) pugs of any sort, no real progression guilds. Anyways you get the point. Best move I've ever made and forced my lovely girlfriend to make was to leave the server the second the opportunity arose. We had a lot of in-game friends from previous guilds and what not and leaving is always tough, but more so now than ever I can tell it was the right decision.

Mal'Ganis is completely different that Drak'thul. The population is enormous and while this has its downsides the upsides far far outweigh them.

Every week now we both get the maximum number of Frost emblem a casual with no 25 man guild can get and although the server lag is sometimes fairly bad I can honestly say its worth it. Here is what I base a successful week of frost emblem farming on:
  • VoA (25/10) - 4 emblems, easily pugged on Mal'Ganis
  • ICC (10) - Ran with real life friends in our own little guild, we got 8/12 last week so that 16 emblems plus 5 for the weekly raid, so 21
  • Daily heroic - For a week, 14 emblems
  • Weekly Raid Quest - 5 emblems
So total that's 44 emblems and to be honest with all the things you can do with them it's not nearly enough. So now to the original purpose of this post. I decided to run my own pug 25 man ICC last night.

If you've never managed your own 25 man pug raid it can be a daunting task; however, it can be quite rewarding and I don't mean by ninja looting gear to friends or taking all the BoEs or saronites. It's rewarding when you get in the instance and start pulling and you can just tell the group has potential.

So what made my pug successful last night?

A number of things, but here is how I went about it. Created a macro and began peppering the ever so busy trade chat with the following: "LFM 25m ICC, must have 5.5k GS and 7/12 ach, pst with GS/Spec/Ach or ignored". Two things on this for anyone actually reading this - First, I know it's annoying gearscore gearscore gearscore, this is for a different post but let me at least say I by no means use it to judge a player's skill, just as a marker for overall gear level. Secondly I say in the macro that you have to have 7/12 which sounds elitist considering I only have 6/12 in 25 man; however, I use it simply to weed out people that don't have any experience at all in 25 man ICC. Anyways back to creating a seemingly successful pug..

It takes a while to fill but after about 25-30 minutes the roster is complete (and balanced) and we're starting summons. Here are a couple things I think can help any pug no matter what the content or size.
  1. Vent
    If you have it available tell everyone in the raid to join you in vent. Make sure you or someone you know has vent admin in-case someone obnoxious joins, but having a vent is key.

    The first four bosses in ICC in no way require the use of vent to complete. However, last night is a prime example of why getting people in vent and being chatty can help create a successful pug. We had a lot of chatter last night in vent and a lot of jokes and goofing around and funny things happen, but it was completely functional at the same time. It get's people more connected to the raid..there is no other way for me to put it. We had 23 of 25 people in vent and we simply had a blast.
  2. Loot Rules
    From the start of the raid, and actually even before it was filled, I repeated whenever it was asked by someone that recently joined.

    "Loot rules are simple. MS > OS, and there are NO reserves."

    People are more comfortable when they know how the raid is suppose to go down. I'm not saying to be successful you have to exclude reserves or give everyone a chance on BoEs or saronites, but having clearly defined rules from the start will go a long way in attracting people to join the raid and to stick around when that first BoE drops and 10 people ask who gets it!

    Another important thing to decide early on is deciding what gear tanks get to roll on. More specifically the 2nd OT/OS tank who is actually DPS for 85% of the raid. I gave ours some leeway with loot. Basically he was rolling on DPS gear for MS, and tank gear was his OS. You can handle it in a different way, but I feel that's one of the fairest.
  3. Lead
    This one is pretty obvious and a given, but more importantly than just being the person that put the people in their groups and recruited them in the first place, have a plan and stick to it. Don't let the tank or the healers (and especially the DPS) lead the raid. This is extra important if you are using vent. I'm not saying you need to talk over everyone, but your word is final. Remember that. Use ready check enough but not too much. Don't pull if someone doesn't understand what they need to do, nothing good can come of that.
  4. Have fun
    Not to be cliche, but calling people out for doing things bad can help everyone understand what is right. I have a knack for being able to tell who can handle the heat and who it might be better to let ride. Call people out for doing stuff correct too. For example we had a hunter last night, a fairly geared hunter, that was doing 11k DPS on Marrowgar. While tanking and echoing DBM over vent for people that are  let's just say 'less focused', I also toss in..."Hey does your back hurt a bit?". The remark got a few lol's in /raid as well as some chuckles over vent, including the hunter who responed by saying "Nahhh". Humble I'll admit, but the next person was doing 8.5-9k, that's a substantial gap and I felt he deserved some recognition. Things like that just plain help the raid. It can kick the other DPS into gear if they were auto-piloting their DPS rotations and gives people something to laugh at. Another great example of this was a priest we had in the raid last night. High geared discipline priest that was in vent but using /raid to talk. He kept complaining on the trash before Marrowgar because we pulled the 'optional' trash groups for the Ashen Verdict rep and because honestly it's hard to avoid them. Here is how the convo when, me talking on vent and him in chat during trash.

    QQ Priest: "Stop pulling extra, this isn't a rep run"
    Anon on vent: "yeah, who still needs rep anyways"
    RL buddy of mine (plays a resto shaman): "Oh didn't Ampzilla tell you all we are resetting after we clear trash for some extra rep before we move on to Marrowgar?"
    *Hysteria over vent and /raid ensue.*
    Me (over vent): "haha yeah, sorry everyone I still need the rep so looks like we are resetting"
    Me: "Only kidding, but seriously I'm pulling the side mobs because if I don't some fail DPS is going to"
    RL buddy (mocking priest over vent): "Why didn't we skip that pack!"
    Me: "Okay hunters one of you LOS pull we don't need to do this last pack, everyone get ready to run past them, happy ?"

    It was funny, but possibly one of those you had to be there moments..regardless..have fun in PuGs, trust me in helps.

    Me: "Now, now , don't leave we all love you!"
    QQ Priest: "I don't leave unless 6 people do, if that happens then the raid is falling apart and I'm gone."
    Me: "Oh good then I'm gonna harass you all night"

    After we one shot Marrowgar, the priest got loot and I said over vent: "Now that you got loot, you aren't allowed to leave unless 8 people leave"
We clear trash fast, we one shot Marrowgar, we one shot Lady Deathwhisper, we have a debate over doing heroic gunship that I shoot down for fear that we might wipe and people will leave, we proceed to one shot regular gunship, we then move on and one shot saurfang. After Saurfang we get the Residue Rendezvous weekly ICC quest and the priest from earlier gives everyone insight that you can get the weekly done without killing the bosses. I'm willing to try it and we manage to pull it off. Which is great because after collecting our Sack of Frosty treasures is when things start to go down hill.

Finally to the point of the post. We could not kill Festergut and here's why. The concept of keeping the three spores separate was just a bit too much to ask of the Pug last night. Most of the time like I said you can just tell when a group has the potential. I thought the group we had last night was going to be making attempts on Professor at the very least. As luck would have it, we had the same couple people get the spore in a row for a couple attempts and they simply did not know what to do with the spores. We had the DPS, we had the heals and the other tank and I were on point with using cooldowns to live and swapping aggro and using salvation so we could DPS, but a couple inexperienced ranged DPS simply couldn't grasp the spore mechanic. Well one thing leads to another and after a couple wipes people start coming up with reasons that have to leave. It was getting late and we lost a healer and I wasn't about to go to Dalaran and try to find a competent healer that would want to get saved to 1 possibly 2 bosses in 25 man ICC on a Tuesday, so I called it. I could tell the group was respectful of the effort put into making the group and realized we didn't have much option besides calling it because most peacefully departed with a "had fun" or "thanks for the run" remark. I also took the time and whispered a few individuals who were extra helpful (including the priest I harassed) and that was it.

I think it's more than just some people not knowing the mechanic though. I thought about it before going to sleep last night and a bit more this morning and the issue wasn't always just one individual misunderstanding what to do with the spore. Honestly the fight reminds me of Mother Shahraz and the mechanic fatal attraction. Three people get ported and need to read each others' minds to run in 3 opposite directions as quickly as possible. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Mother was a bit more forgiving than Festergut, but the idea is the same. We had a clearly defined strategy. DBM marks three people. Skull, X (Cross), and the blue Square. If you get skull you go to melee, if you get X you go to the door we start the pull from, if you get the square you go to the right were we had a shamans totems down. The issue is when skull would spawn by the door and x and box would spawn in the melee. X would try to run to the door, skull would assume X knew to stay in the middle because why move, or vice versa, and box would assume one of the other two would run to the totems or would run to the totems and that would throw off X who then assumed skull would definitely run to melee.

It's easy on paper to assign spots for each spore, but the fight by the nature of RNG either someone who had no clue what to do would get a spore and stack them, or the situation above would repeat itself in some variation and coordinating it over vent just wasn't happening last night. I feel like if we got pass that with some luck or had the two extra people gotten in vent that of course got the spore repeatedly we could have moved on and possibly got a chance to work on professor, but alas 4/12 is as far as we went.

That's it for now, if you are still reading, I sincerely thank you and put a comment about what peeves you about some boss mechanic or PuG story, and also I desperately need feedback on what YOU like to see in a blog and what you don't like.

Also I'm thinking of ideas of a banner, hopefully something worthwhile will pop up sooner rather than later.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let's get this out of the way..

I've always wanted to start a wow blog. I'm not entirely sure why I've waited until now considering I've been playing since the end of vanilla, but I suppose late is better than never.

Now that I've seen the formatting (and how bad I am at choosing colors), I will tinker a bit more and hopefully get an appropriate picture up as well.

More to come!