Why Does My DPS suck? – Add Ons

I have a love/hate relationship with addons. Some are extremely helpful, some clutter the screen, some make life convenient until a patch breaks them. I think the important thing to remember about addons is that they are not required for you to play WoW.

This topic can turn into a monster, but lets look at it from the starting DPS point of view.

The first thing you need to do is to know why your DPS sucks. While a friend linking you (or that Pug that topped the charts) the meter for the last fight will give you some idea, it will not give you the real picture. Enter recount.

Recount is an addon that can provide a lot of information. Before the tooltips on the character sheet were updated to display a little more information about what the numbers meant, recount was the place I would look to see if I was missing with my abilities.

So step one is to download an addon that tells you where you stand DPS wise.

I think the following numbers will stay true until the end of Cata. These are the numbers you should be hitting to be on par with that content.

7K-9K – Dungeons – Greens and blues
10-12K – Herioc – Entry level – All blues
13-15K – Troll Heroics – T11 – Mostly Purples
16-18K – Firelands – HoT Heroics – T12 – iLvL 360+
19-22K – LFR – 1st half of Normal DS – iLvL 372+
23-28K – Normal DS – iLvL 380+
30-35K – Heroic DS – iLvL 390+

I am sure some people will think that those numbers are in the low side. I have seen people hit ridiculous numbers on greens and blues, and vice-versa, seen purpled out people not do more than 12K. I think the above are realistic numbers to look at.

Keep in mind that those are not dummy – static numbers, but sustained DPS. What that means is the DPS that you can sustain during a fight including moving and repositioning. A mage can hit 30K in the beginning of a fight blowing all his cooldowns, that does not mean that they are a 30K mage. A good way to look at meters is to look at Damage Done and see where your DPS stacks compared to other classes. So look at the numbers and compare them with the chart above but not as a high water mark, more of as an average.

If your numbers don’t seem to hit the above or even be close to it, there are also addons that can help you out.

One of the biggest problems with DPSers that are starting out is that they don’t know about uptime of dots and debuffs. Most classes have a debuff they need to keep up, some have several. Finding an addon that will display it for you will give you a constant reminder while in combat of keeping that debuff up. For a warrior for example, their shouts and rend are very necessary for the DPS to stay up. Druids with their Fairy Fire, DKs Diseases, etc. I use Power Auras for displaying what I need to keep up, and the cool think about it is that you can import auras from people that already built them. There are other addons like Tell Me When that might be a little easier to set up for a beginner. The WoW UI will display them for you, and it is now a little more configurable as well.

Keeping track of your Dots and Debuffs (as well as buffs) will affect your DPS greatly. Just keeping battle shout up is about 2K DPS for a warrior.

When starting out with addons a little way to cheat is to download an addon pack. The downside to going this route is that there might be too much going on, or it might be too different than the regular WoW UI. You also have to keep in mind that your computer has to be able to handle the added workload that more addons will put on it. I say to start out with just keep it simple and work with a couple of addons at a time.

All of this is not required to play the game, but if you want to raid and don’t use the tools you will certainly be at a disadvantage. While Blizzard has gone a lot further down the path of making things more configurable, addons are still a part of the raiding game.

Why Does my DPS suck? – Computer

I am starting a new mini series of post geared towards helping people that are searching for the reason that they are told that they suck. Hopefully some of the people that don’t suck still read this and are maybe a little more patient with the people that are not topping the charts.

One of the things that made WoW ultra-popular was that even if you had an older computer you could still play. The graphics engine was very forgiving and let you turn the settings way down without taxing older hardware.

I know a lot of people complain about the shitty graphics that WoW has, old models, etc. The reality is that it being behind on the graphics allowed for a lot of people to play the game. You did not need a gaming machine to run WoW… that is until Cata came out.

One of the many things that hurt our guild quite a bit when Cata hit was that a lot of people were playing on older computers. I have been a gamer for a long time, so even though my computer was not the latest, I had the ram and video card that WoW could run fine if I played with the settings turned down a bit.

If you have never seen WoW run on a high end machine, you probably are playing a different game than most. The spell effects and water effects are not on par with other games that have amazing graphics, but they are not all that horrible either. That said, it will also affect your DPS or your healing if your machine is a little older. Not to mention that you probably stand in a lot more fires.

While the easy answer is, go get a better computer if you want to play end game. There are ways to fix the issue.

The first one is to make sure you maximize your memory both physical and virtual. Do a search for your operating system and how to increase your virtual memory. The more the computer can keep in memory, the better WoW will run for you.

Second is to make sure your computer is up to date or at least optimized when it comes to drivers for your graphics card. You can search for your graphics card model and world of warcraft and get informed on what the best set of drivers is. You will be surprised at how specific sometimes things get. You might find a post about your card that says, hey WoW works best with this set of drivers. (sometimes it is not the latest drivers available.)

Third is to make sure you are using the correct Direct X. While WoW supports that latest and greatest your computer might work better with the older version.

Fourth is to play with your graphic setting inside of WoW. There are a couple ways to approach this. If you want the best graphics possible with your set up, you can turn everything up and start turning things down gradually. Make sure you read the tooltips of each one of the settings. The one I recommend is to turn everything down and then slowly turn things up.

Fifth and last is do you run a lot of addons? Some addons can really bring WoW to a crawl, specially in raids. I stopped using Recount and switched to Skada for tracking numbers… but I used to advocate turning all addons off during raids. I think if your computer is older, there is really no reason for you to run a damage meter during a raid. You can have someone else whisper you the numbers if you are really that curious.

The first step towards better DPS is to play in the best version of WoW you can. You might be trying to ride a bike with flat tires… no wonder you cannot get up the hill.

When to NOT Need or Greed at all

When a player is used to solo play they don’t ever have to really make many decisions when it comes to what they pick up or not. As soon as you group with others, there is that annoying little box that has a dice, a gold coin and now a nice little disenchant icon. Then the player new to grouping asks, what do I do? The lazy response that I have heard before is, “need on everything you have a dice light up for.”

That is how a warrior ends up wearing spirit gear.

The LFR has tried to curve that a little making things a little more specific to classes. Basically if your class can wear it, you can roll for it. On top of that you now get a nifty little bonus for the job you are performing, tanking, healing or DPS.

I think this removes something out of the game in the name of convenience. That is basically how I first learned about what stats were good for me. Those rules are now second nature to me, but from time to time I encounter people that don’t know why an agility ring is not good for a plate tank even though it has dodge.

Gear and stats are intricate parts of the endgame, but they do affect play way before that. It is also why people now enter the dungeons or LFR with resilience gear. They look at the iLvL and some quite don’t understand why people look down upon them. I remember the term “welfare epics” used to describe PvP gear being used in a raid environment. Now we can all go to the AH and inflate our iLvL to circumvent the system. Most players new to end game don’t understand how much difference the sacrifice of dropping one stat for resilience really hurts.

So it is a numbers game!

Yeap, all over WoW we deal with numbers. DPS check, iLvl check, its all about the numbers! ROAR!

Warriors have it rough. While everyone jokes that everything is a hunter weapon, a warrior can equip pretty much anything in the game. It makes it very annoying to page through gear vendors and not have stuff shaded red because technically you can wear it.

But how do we as a community continue to pass down the knowledge to people that might have never visited MrRobot or Elitist Jerks?

We teach them when to need or greed depending on their spec. We teach them why a Greed is considered an OS roll. We pass down the knowledge that we either read, but in many cases was passed down to us.

The Need Roll – Main Spec

You roll need whenever an item drops that you can use on your main spec. To continue with the warrior team, if you are a protection warrior, you want Strength, Mastery, Dodge or Parry. For the most part if a plate piece has haste or crit in it will be a DPS piece. Hit and Expertise are different from tier to tier, but without a primary stat from the first list, it is probably not best for a tank. So if you have a slot in your gear where you are wearing a piece of gear of lower iLvL, you will roll need on that piece.

The nice thing to do in my opinion with tier pieces, is to only roll need if you don’t have them for your main spec. However we all know that most see their tier token and roll need. I think this is just being too greedy. Which brings us to our next roll

The Greed Roll – Off Spec

You roll greed on any piece of gear that you CAN use, but is not part of your primary spec. (Or spec that you are participating on the raid with) So our friendly warrior tank can then roll greed (or roll during an OS – Off Spec call out) on any plate item that has haste, crit on it. Some raid leaders are even nice enough to announce what the piece they are about to link is for (Tanking Plate – DPS Plate, etc).

What a warrior will never need is intellect or spirit. Whenever you see that pop up, you can either pass or click disenchant.

The important lesson here is that when you need on everything when that dice lights up you are truly cheating yourself on one of the coolest aspects of the game. You don’t get to click shift to compare the stats of the two pieces of gear to see what kind of difference it will make. I have always found that part of the fun playing WoW.

Stats are an important part of the game, and it is the reason why so many people get up and arms when someone does not enchant or gem their gear. Those +30 +40 to stats really make a huge difference. Being hit capped and stuff like that… but that boys and girls is a story for another day.

Dragon Soul Getting Nerfed

Last night I read the news that Dragon Soul is getting nerfed! and I went Yey!

I’m in a small friend guild. We don’t always end up with the best raid composition. We don’t always have the same healer from one night to the next. Sometimes our tanks get stuck at work. We raid with 2 awesome hunters, in 10 man.

We are all competent players and individually could join a progression guild and do well. But we like playing together, because we know each other. We know the jokes, we push each other, we die, get frustrated one night to one shot the same boss the next night. We are currently 5/8 with some solid attempts at the ship… we just always seem to run out of time. We are casual raiders, we know it, we don’t pretend to be anything else. Individually I think some have already cleared DS with pugs. I have cleared up to Madness on an alt.

/rant

I read Kurn and listen to her podcast. I enjoy the banter and enjoy reading from the perspective of her and many other progression raiders I listen to. I am however quite disappointing, because what I have seen kill many WoW communities is what I am reading on her post.

My toons grew up in a PvP server that had population issues ever since I started playing. I never experienced the life of a larger server other than making a toon to talk to a friend there before real id, or to pass the time if our server was down for whatever reason.

When I first started to raid lead and lead a guild I started to bump into “progression raiders.” I quickly saw that they enjoyed trolling others establishing superiority via their achievements in game. That really does not mean much to an adult. Then the groups in this small server introduced me to the systematic dismantling of other groups. A raiding guild would move in, or progress and they would do what they could to poach players, not to help them but to slow the other guild down. I saw what a competitive environment can do, and how it hurt the overall community. I am hoping that this was an outlier of the community, and not the norm with progression raids.

I looked up to people like Kurn, progression raiders that seemed to just want to play the game at a higher level. Willing to share tips and help the overall community. I admire their dedication to their guild and the game. I even went as far as to be ok the calls of foul play when T12 was nerfed. I felt I was part of her community, the WoW community… I guess I was fooling myself.

Cataclysm arrived and with the T11 content nerfs, my faith in Blizzard was shaken. When the Firelands nerfs arrived, I was furious and my trust in Blizzard eroded. And now, with the announcement of Dragon Soul nerfs, despite the fact that Looking for Raid exists *for* those people who will not make the efforts needed to raid seriously, I have to admit that my faith in Blizzard is shattered. My trust in the developers of World of Warcraft is gone. I am obviously not the type of player they want playing their game. And that’s what’s so very shocking to me. I am a good player. I am a community asset. I am a guild leader, a raid leader, a healing lead. I write a blog dedicated to the game that has had hundreds of thousands of visitors and pageviews since December 31st, 2009 (and more before then, but I don’t have any data before 12/31/09). I co-host and produce a podcast dedicated to the game.

Read the whole post, it is a great way to get perspective. A perspective I don’t agree with because it uses word like incompetence, laziness, and “this game is no longer for me“.

Before I continue with my thoughts on the subject, lets be clear about something. Blizzard is a company that makes a game. They are there to MAKE MONEY because it is what businesses do in a capitalist system. They are above and beyond one of the places that is the most sensitive to their customers and keep millions of them happy.

This is not the first time I see these kind of diatribe about the game. The moment a person starts to feel above others, to me it is the moment that they show they feel insecure. I don’t know Kurn personally and that statement is not directed at her personally. It is directed to all of the progression raiders that have yet to kill Madness on Heroic, that never Killed Ragnaros Heroic per nerf.

There is no reason to take a crap on top of the community because the allotted time to accomplish what others do in hours, days, weeks, you ran out of time to do. If you can be that awesome, then why aren’t you done already.

I’m tired of the people in the community acting like if the game is not for the top raider, the game is garbage.

WOW is in the BEST state a game can be. There is so much to do it is unreal!

Stop acting like the game has to be tailored to just YOU or it is garbage and you won’t play anymore.

If you are truly a part of the community and want to report and serve that community, think of the WHOLE community and not just your very small percentage of hardcore raiders that need 4 months to clear an instance on heroic instead of 1 or 2. The nerfs affect you only because now you cannot compare yourself with those that did it before you… the reality is that you could not do that to begin with.

I am not a top 100 player, probably not even top 1000 either. But every night I log on and kill a boss with friends I have FUN! if the game is not fun for you, by all means, quite playing.

There are so many people in the community doing creative things to have fun with the game, that it pains me to read that the people that do what I like to do in raiding, don’t even consider me a part of the community.

If you hate pandas, do it! If you want to quit playing the game, see ya! But stop acting like the game is not for you, simply because the game is not JUST for you.

Why I love the LFR

The Raid Finder (what most people are calling Looking for Raid, and then shortening it to LFR) is a new feature introduced in WoW that throttles the difficulty of the raid (first out being the Dragon Soul where you kill DEATHWING! – yesterday I LoLed when someone called him DoucheWing.) and automatically groups 25 people to complete the content. It is divided in 2 parts, so you get 4 bosses at a time. There are still game mechanics, but for the most part they don’t penalize you if about 5 people are under-performing. I would say it is like doing Naxx 25 with 20 people on Ulduar or ToC gear.

If your group has about 10 competent players, the whole experience is a breeze and easily completed from top to bottom in less than 90 minutes.

The Dragon Soul gear is itemized above the current dungeons but bellow the normal version of the raid. Firelands normal was 378 and so are the new dungeons, LFR is 384.

As an added bonus for raiders to do the instance besides valor capping if you are not yet clearing dragon soul (500 valor points from running which is half of your weekly cap) is that the raid also drops gear tokens that mix and match with the normal and heroic versions of the gear, so it is very manageable to actually achieve your 4 set bonus. Something that was previously challenging for casual raiders or infuriating for guilds that had a lot of people on the same token.

First lets talk about the bad.

Because it is a place where you can complete your set (or quickly valor cap.) raiders of all experience and dbag level come to play. You easily get into BG type of discussions about “FAIL vs e-PEEN” and “Carebear vs Troll.” Reason being that even though there is a “Go Go Go!” mentality, there also is a little bit of down time (unless someone ninja pulls… actually more Leroy pulls… which reminds me that I should find an addon that spams who the heck pulled.) when in between bosses you lose and add players. I’ve had a couple of awesome runs (probably because they were filled with guildies) but in most cases you lose between 3-5 after every boss. There is a great discussion going on in Manalicious about how this is eroding the community aspect of the game.

I however find the LFR a complete success.

I think the community creation part is up to you with your guild and other guilds you have a relationship with. I don’t remember BC or even Wrath as fondly as some others do. Sure it was nice to be known as a good tank or healer to group with people, but at least in my server there was tons of raider poaching between guilds… or casual guilds used as farms for the more serious raiders. The whole server community thing for me did not exist. Now the new more populated where we reside does feel a little more like a community (still now, in the days of LFG and LFR) and we have been able to mingle and have fun running things with other guilds.

The LFR to me fills a huge gap for the people that want to experience the thrill of killing the dragon, but don’t really care to itemize themselves and work towards being part of a raid team. While you would think that would erode a guild like ours that has mostly casual players, it does quite the opposite. It gives the opportunity for people to gear more alts quickly. It also satisfies the needs of our members that want to still raid, but not on a schedule. They can be part of a community, fill gaps when needed and not feel any presure. That in the past was a pipe dream. Every time you lost a raider it was a setback. Now, there is no excuse for people not to be geared and valor capped when you can do it in one night a week.

I also don’t think that raiders see how much the truly benefit from it. They will still be able to do their normal and heroic modes, and if that unlucky shamman does not get his should drop week after week, or you have a token heavy group full of priest/pallies/warlocks, they can just go to the LFR and complete sets. I know in the past, whenever there was a gear check fight in an instance that required gearing it meant weeks and weeks of pain. Now with just 3 weeks of raiding we made it past the first gear check (Ultraxion). We have about 60% with 2 piece sets and even a couple of 4 sets. Heck we might even be able to not just kill Deathwing on normal but actually do some heroic modes while they are still relevant.

The LFR is doing a lot for a guild like ours. I know a lot of people in the raiding community maybe see us as not being deserving of the loot we are getting because of how easy the LFR is. Sure, our 4 sets might be 3 LFR pieces at first, but it will allow us to play the game at the speed we want without having to hit the reset button every time one of our raiders gets a different work schedule or wants to take an extended break.

If you want to enjoy your LFR experience, que with your friends, set up an LFR night, reach out to your server community and create groups for it. Don’t fall pray of the negative view of the world and enjoy the game for how awesome it is right now. You are in control of the communities you build and play with. So if you decide to just que on your own and end up in the ultimate dbag group, just do your best… besides, its always over before too long.

4.3 and what I am playing

My first character was Logtar born during the burning crusaded. He is the protection warrior that later started to PvP and DPS as arms, but he seems to always be a tank. During wrath I finished leveling my priest, druid and a warlock. I raided with all of them to some extent but by the beginning of Cataclysm I seem to go back to Logtar and he is the one that raided the most for tier 11. While the priest was geared and capable of doing tier 11, he was relegated to alt runs.

We moved servers while firelands was on their way and our new home realm seemed to be lacking healers more than tanks. The priest and the druid saw a lot more use and they both got to see a lot of the orange instance. Logtar was not raiding with any of the guild we were a part of during that period but found a weekend raiding group that got him to kill Ragnaros. I also ended up also bringing over the DK for his blacksmithing capabilities. So right now I have 4 toons that are doing dragon soul using the LFR and the priest doing the normal modes with our raiding team.

Priest healing is not as fun as it was during the Firelands. While discipline did see a nice buff in 4.3 and it seems easy to play, I still don’t find it as cool as I did towards the end of wrath when I was a bubble spammer. I am still not sold on the new healing model at all. I have 2 healed a couple of 10 mans, but still feel more comfortable in the 3 healing environment of current 10 mans.

The bear is really a beast right now and feeling very competent both in number output and survivability. Being able to hit trash packs harder than some DPS is fun, and even on single target I can pull ahead of other tanks. However, the druid seems to be more needed for healing than for tanking and I am getting more proficient at it, at times finding even a little more fun than priest healing.

The DK is just ridiculous. He is the last geared of all my toons but the ones that seems to hit the hardest. He ends up tanking LFR and dungeons but does not seem to find many current raids to do. I wish we had a full time blood DK (I miss you Phaetel!) again, their 4 piece during this tier is all kind of ridiculous.

Last but not least is the warrior. The arms DPS is just amazing right now, but he is not seeing much more than LFR right now. He finally had a decent shield and he seems to be the one I want to transmog. I think he will be PvPing more this patch than actually raiding. He has not had the luck in LFR than will give him his 4 set, and having a full time protection warrior on the raiding team makes it that he is almost exclusive for alt runs.

That is the summary of 4.3 probably the perfect time to get back into the game if Cataclysm was not your cup of tea. It feels almost like Wrath did towards the end. The dungeons are easy to do, the gear is dropping like candy from the heavens above. So come and join the fun. We are actually going to recruit a bit to see if we can get a rated BG team going and our raid team should be killing Deathwing on normal in the coming month!

Elite>Raider>Casual>Bad>Elitist

If you have ever read my regular blog you know that for some reason I have issues with labels. They do seem to come in handy though. This topic though is one that is coming up a lot lately. Elitism in WoW.

The reason that this is going to become a hot topic in the coming weeks is because Blizzard introduced a new feature where you can do the latest raid in this patch with 25 other people in a easier than normal difficulty setting. I went there with two characters now and it is faceroll for raiders… not sure it will be for casuals or bad players.

Like many other posts this one will be all over the place, but I think I do have a point. Lets first define the labels.

Elite to me is someone that has killed Ragnaros pre-nerf. The 1% of the population that is not just a raider but actually has seen results while content is relevant. There are not too many of those in WoW.

Raider is the person that only plays WoW to raid. That is their primary focus and they are part of a progression guild. They might not get world or even server first, but they do get their achievement drakes and probably went 7/7 HM.

Casual is a person that enjoys the game and might even raid, but it is not their primary focus. They might have the skills but not the time, or enjoy people rather than progression. I put myself in this category.

Bad is the person that does not try. Grumpy elf has an excellent post about it, go read it. To me a bad is someone that refuses to take advice and does nothing to improve their gameplay. They are the ones that expect to be carried to shinnies.

Elitist is the group of people that look down upon others because of their achievements in game. They are the people that forget where they came from and feel the entitlement to verbally abuse others because of their “superiority.”

In a way, this post could also be looked at as a form of elitism as well, because I truly don’t like playing with either bad players or elitists.

I’ve had people tell me that I have the wrong attitude towards the game. I personally play to just see content, so to me 7/7 non hard modes in Firelands is ok. I will go back and do the heroic modes, but it is not my primary goal. Now if Deathwing kills over on regular very easy and I can do some heroic modes, awesome. I will not lose sleep over my gear not having the little “heroic tag.”

I jumped back into the whole leading a guild thing. Once Bea and I transferred over to a new server, we were joined by most of our friends. The ones that chose not to come for their own reasons are still our friends and hopefully we will get to do more with them if they open up cross server raiding. (Cross server BGs are already a reality!)

The point of this post is that I really don’t want to play with elitist or with bad players anymore. It makes me feel bad sometimes, but if someone does not have the decency to either respect others by not belittling people or at least work on their characters before they step into the raiding game, I feel like they are wasting my time.

I would not DPS for a long time, I could do it but not at the level that I thought a DPS should. I feel that a DPS should be able to move out of the fire and keep their numbers up, but for a long time I felt that was just not going to happen for me. Recently I have tried and been able to do it with some consistency. I don’t think I am all that good at DPSing in the game, but I do think that I can bring something to the table when it comes to healing and tanking.

I don’t think expecting this same self evaluation from the people you play with is too much.

The point of this post is two fold. Where do you see fitting in this scale? Would you be willing to play with people lower than you on that scale?

I ask because I think that Blizzard might benefit from instituting something along these lines. Almost like a badge system. I know you will be able to get medals of some sorts in MoP. Imagine being able to get even a bronze medal and say, I only want to play with bronze medal level players. What do you think of a feature like this?

TH to both Windsoar and Grumpy’s discussions for sparking this post.

The Nerf Bat

I didn’t have to look up “I got nerfed Brah,” I understood the concept immediately because Nerf stuff has always intrigued me. I never thought that the toys and games we played were all that dangerous and that scars were just part of growing up, but Neft took it to a whole new level. So I knew it meant that you probably did not hit as hard as he did before. The term is used in the WoW community to describe any game mechanic change that might be looked at as making the game easier (or players weaker) and buff is the opposite.

With Cata Blizzard screwed the pooch. They released a lot of content that was consumed rapidly by the seasoned players (not just raiders) and screwed with gameplay a whole lot. In an effort to make things more accessible (something I wanted myself) they wrecked havoc with balancing. They thought that gear would fix everything but I think failed to calculate the rate that alts would raise, I mean its just 5 levels no matter how steep they are. The dungeon finder and guild perks made it so that leveling was quick and the bulk of the time was spent on dungeons or raids… and believe it or not, that is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Making people happy is an impossible job. As a GM making 40-50 people happy was impossible… imagine trying to keep 11+ million subscribers being probably a little more challenging.

Firelands sucked for me from the time it was released. The place has a horrible color scheme (yea lets make a place full of fire, where you will die if you stand on the fire, and the mobs have fire based abilities) Oh, but the bosses should be HUGE and make tanking them horrible while trying to stay out of the fire. I am sure plenty of people fell through that spider web wondering what the heck happened… its simply hard to see everything that is going on there… even on a good computer with a decent sized monitor. It really had made it hard for people that don’t have the latest and greatest machine to enjoy the raiding part of the game.

However, the gear curve (probably for the first time) made raiders who had conquered tier 11 heroics leapfrog directly to heroic content. I think most hardcore raiding guilds cleared firelands normal modes in a week and then started progression. I find it amusing that people asked for things to be more challenging only to hit a wall when blizzard did. Many raiders, the serious but still wannabe hardcore kind (several hours a week) started to wipe on content… all the Wrath of the LK “heroes” that still cannot down Ragnaros on heroic started to say, heroics are not worth it.

I experienced that myself when Ruby Sanctum came out. The hassle of explaining the fight and possibility for mayhem made it that I killed it once with a toon and that was it, I did not want to go there again. Heck I don’t even what to go there now. All the mechanics I hate are there… and they suck. People also forget why they hated ToC so much, and it is mostly that people just could not complete it on heroic because Anub, even now tiers later can still wipe a 25 man. Some people love mechanics, but its hard to find 10 or 25 people that are in love with learning mechanics and executing at 100% every single time. They make things not puggable.

I am excited that they are nerfing Firelands. I will get to see all the bosses, I might even be able to do some heroics and gear up for the final tier of this expansion. I am glad I did not leave the game altogether because I am getting excited about killing Deathwing.

Why WoW is losing players

I have debated whether or not I should post this for quite some time. Its a very touchy subject because I don’t want to send the wrong message to my guild. So I start by saying that the opinions here while coming from your guild leader, its from the point of view of a player.

I love playing WoW. I think it is one of the most complete games, but what makes it even more compelling beyond the great development effort that goes into creating fresh content it is the community. However, the community is losing members faster than I have ever seen, and not just in my very low populated server but all over.

I real a lot of blogs, not just about WoW but other subjects. When it comes to WoW most of the people that I loved to read are gone or have switched to other games. Once you start losing people that support the community beyond the game, you start losing players as well. I am not a doomsayer and when Rift came out I was very much a defender of WoW and blizzard. However, the more time passes, the more I think they are failing to provide a service for most people.

The reality of what is going on right now is that trying to please everyone with this expansion they ended up screwing everyone over.

Firelands is a big failure in my opinion, as well as the molten front. Not even when I was going back to grind some rep for an alt did it feel like I was simply grinding. The firelands raid has done nothing but highlight that the raiding in this tier is at best annoying and at worst a waste of time. Some of it feels so out of touch with what makes raiding fun that I wonder if any of the developers are actually playing through the game. Raiding always felt like leading an orchestra… now it has turned into an exercise of paying attention to an endless amount of things that can kill you, but can be easily trivialized by either knowing the fight well or gear trivializing it. It brings down the replay value of that aspect of the game a lot.

If I did not play with a group of friends that I enjoy quite a bit and make me laugh every time we get together I don’t think I will be playing this game anymore. I feel like I have seen the content I wanted to see, and even killing Deathwing does not feel like something I would enjoy if I am going to have to dodge fireworks that I cannot even clearly see.

Most casual players that don’t raid have already stopped playing. They did everything that there was to do, and the ones that continue to play are doing so via alts. It is not like back in the day that everyone had tons of stuff to do on their main… now almost everything feels like an endless grind and when you do get the rewards they are not that exciting anymore.

Blizzard had the opportunity to do so much, but instead of making some things excellent and well polished; so much of the game feels incomplete. Guilds hit 25, and even those weekly challenges are not something that we are having to coordinate to do as a guild, they just happen on their own. PvP is so all over the place and unbalanced that fight are either done in seconds or take 30 mins + or until someone simply gives up. So I see more and more people kind of think the game is not fun to play and I really have nothing to point out as a fun thing to do… I used to be full of, have you tried this? this quest like is lots of fun, this class has some new cool mechanics… this is where you find x or y and it will make things awesome.

Maybe I am completely crazy, but I think that if raiding was a lot more like the mega man series, where you would find things along the way that would really help you with other bosses it might change the game a bit. Right now there is no reason to get more gear because the gap between normals and heroics is too big, and for non hardcore raiders the grind of learning a fight and then having to deal with the annoyance that it was the normal now double in damage and with more “pretty lights” just feels like an insane endeavor.

I really hope that the next patch comes out soon, because even though I have only raided 4 bosses in firelands, I am sick of the color palate already.

Cata So far

I know I had promised to talk a lot more about Cataclysm since it was released, but truthfully I have spent more of my free time actually playing. I think this expansion is a mixed bag for all types of players. Many are going to hate the changes, but blizzard really tried to please almost everyone… which is a very hard thing to do.

As a guild master I think they did an excellent job with the guild leveling system. Never before since the inception of the guild have we bee more motivated than every day when we hit the experience cap. Its a common goal that has been growing in popularity as we become one of the top two guilds in the server to always reach the next level. Top on the alliance side and neck and neck with a horde guild.

As a raid leader, the content is fresh and does not feel rehashed. Every fight has its own unique twist, and the ones that are somewhat complicated because of multiple abilities seem to have a mechanic to make it possible. The enrage timers have not been too constrictive and everything that we have learned we have been able to down. The stuff that we have struggled with have been things we don’t get to practice or things that we just attempt after a full night of raiding. We are getting quicker and quicker with the initial bosses which will help speed things up a great deal in the coming weeks.

I have leveled almost all my toons to the cap now, the experience buffs from the guild make things very easy which is convenient, but also sometimes makes it feel too quick. Being able to level just using the dungeon system makes it that you don’t get to quest unless you really want to.

I have a couple of alts ready to level as soon soon as we reach our guild cap and we can take the time to enjoy the quest lines a little more. Everything seems fresh and new and I seem to never have enough time to do all the things that I want to do in game!