Archive for December, 2010

Lightwell from a tank perspective

Today we get into the gritty bits of tanking and healing and specifically, I want to talk about lightwell. Now, I know all of you holy healers got this awesome spell that’s incredibly efficient in terms of mana/healing and that you love us when we click it to heal ourselves. Blizzard even put a tip in the loading screens telling us to use lightwell… must be one awesome spell right?

Well no… or rather not all the time and especially not for a tank. Even if some of you I’ve met in Pugs insist on it I will not as a tank rely on clicking a well to heal myself. It’s not to spite you or because I’m lazy, but because of well tought reasons. So why would clicking a well to heal myself be such a bad idea?

1. Movement

There’s a huge probability that in order to use a lightwell I will have to move to it when I need it. Even if I start out the fight right on top of the lightwell and try to stay there, the realities of a fight will probably require me to move during it. Any tank worth his salt will tell you that you want to minimise movement as much as possible during a fight and that for numerous reasons. Every time you move a boss you lower the overall dps of the group, you risk an AoE boss ability to be badly placed and thus hit people you didn’t want to. You risk being out of LoS or range of the healers. Plus, if you make a mistake while moving you can end up taking a lot more damage or even wiping the fight. Good tanks move only when they have to.

Obviously, this mean that the benifits of moving to have the lightwell versus the risk of moving are not worth it. Risking a group wipe or an enrage timer to save the healer trouble is not a good tradeoff.

2. Being able to click

The second reason is a bit more practical and revolves around my ability to click on a lightwell at the right moment. Because of threat, cooldowns and numerous other little factors its possible I might not be able to spare the 2 seconds needed to click at the right time. 2 seconds can be the difference between life and death in a fight. This all make the Lightwell unreliable when it comes to tank healing simply because I might not be able to click it when needed.

Final thoughts

Ligthwell has been debated to death in previous expansions and it’s been generally agreed upon as being a bad talent, or a situational one at best, it’s unreliable for tanks and often make dps lose a lot of dps. While one might argue about being meter focused, I’ve seen enough dps be pressured to top the meters to understand them not wanting to lose a precious few seconds on very tight rotations.  I haven’t seen significant changes to it so it would stand to reason that the usefulness of the talent has not changed.

However, with the recent changes to healing, priests are desperate for mana and I understand their want for us to use Lightwell wich is very mana efficient. And I will use it.

When the situation allows.

That is the main point I want to get across. If I’m able to I will use lightwell but only if it doesn’t affect negatively my tanking. That means I should not have to move to go reach it and it’s going to be when I have a moment for it.  I am truly sorry for you priests that Blizzard is ramming down your throat such a crappy talent.

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First of all, happy holidays everyone and sorry I wasn’t around the past few days.  The holidays are usually a pretty busy time for me and what free time I have I want to kick back and enjoy being with friends and family as much as possible. Wich is not the greatest for blogging… maybe someday I’ll train myself to pre-write blog posts for when I don’t have much time.

Today, Kaozz told me I had been listed on Massively as a blog to watch out in 2011 as part of their article on the top blogs of 2010. Most of the bloggers on this list are people I greatly admire when it comes to blogging and to be listed among them is quite an honor. But don’t worry, despite the ego boost it should still fit through the doors.  I’m a bit surprised honestly because most of the time I feel more like I’m ranting rather than saying something useful but obviously, I must have my moments of clarity… or you’re all having fun with me as we all go insane. Still trying to figure out wich is wich.

So a big thank you to all you reading this, whether on this site or from your readers, I am deeply grateful to all of you and I hope to be able to keep entertaining you in the following year.

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I may have lost my cool…

I take great pains since the spring disaster of last year to not get emotional about WoW or any game for that matter. I always tell myself it’s a game and that the little frustrations like dumb players are part of the game and that ultimately, it makes for good story telling.

Readers and fellow guildies know that I’ve been trying to make the jump to tanking in heroics and that it’s not been an exactly easy process. My gear is mostly there, I’ve gotten most upgrades I could from dungeons and reputation and it’s now a matter of getting a few heroics drops to put me firmly into Heroic territory.

But the main issue has been mostly my fellow puggers who are most of the time grossly undergeared and scream at me and the healer to cover for their own mistakes. It’s been getting under my skin and slowly building up for the past week.

There I was the other day, in Lost City of the Tol’vir, farming some reputation with the Therazane faction so I could get the rings at Revered when some piece of gear cloth that I didn’t care about dropped. I chose enchant and was proceeding to the next pull when the dps shaman pipes up.

Can I have this so I can raise my gear score and do heroics?

This guy had been a pain all run long, constantly complaining, constantly demeaning the healer who was healing her heart out in her leveling green and blues, never CCing when asked to… a future wiper of heroics.

Not only was this dumbass being a pain in Normal mode he wanted to make the jump to heroic as soon as he could so we could gear him up. I my mind, I saw a not too distant day where I would be queuing for a heroic, stressed out about simply surviving the place and this shaman would be there, fully expecting me to carry his butt through the instance and insulting me and the healer when he would cause a wipe.

I lost it. Big time. Some choice comments I made to him.

…No you cannot have this! In fact you cannot have anything. The longer I prevent you from going to heroic the better the world will be.

…It’s because of dumb f*** like you that groups wipe. I’m impressed that you even know how to breathe, you probably had to watch a video on youtube to even start to lean how. 

…Your mom jokes… that’s original… I got one for you. Ur Mum shuld hav thrwn u off a kliff!!11!!1. Did I spell that right?

And on it went for a good 5 minutes… I must have typed a novel. After I was done, he simply ran into the next group of mob, died alone and left the group. Someone joked about me using some sort of voodoo tank talent to kill off dumb people but I wasn’t paying attention.

Later tough I got a tell from a GM. Basically I was told that making death threats and outright insulting others is not looked kindly upon. However he did look at the entire instance logs and said he did understand however where my frustration came from and I got off with a stern warning.

So yeah… not my best moment… but it did feel incredibly good.

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Walk the Plank, Cataclysmic update

Since it’s been two weeks since Cataclysm release and because I feel like doing a shameless plug for our guild on Silvermoon-US, I figured I could do a quick update on what’s happening with our little crew of casual, but murderous, pirates.

Recruitment, wich has been my main worry for the past few weeks, has picked up a bit thanks to a few bloggers and real life friend who has joined us. I did manage to recruit a few locals from Silvermoon but the retention rate among them is very low for reasons I will touch on later on. Still, I feel we have gained valuable members over the past two-week, people who won’t jump ship for no reason and people we can build an awesome guild upon.

On the guild progress side of things we now have a few 85, enough to field a full 5 man wich hopefully, should allow us to do a few guild heroics in a week or two once people have geared up. With people like Pid (The Meatshield) and a few friends leveling characters at a nice pace, I’m starting to see a day not so far away where we’ll be able to do groups run of heroics without any real problem and even 10 man raids if it’s something that people are interested in, wich they are if I go by what I’m being told.

For the killer question now, wich level is Walk the Plank? Level 2, getting close to 3. I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not. Since we have quite a few people leveling up right now, since we are not doing instances runs as guild group on a regular basis yet (read heroics here) and since we’re being true to our casual, no pressure approach, the guild experience suffers as a result.

And this is where our retention problems with local recruits come from. Unlike bloggers, readers and real-life friends, these people don’t know us and for them we are but one in many casual guilds. Even worst, we actually mean it when we say we’re a casual guild and we’re not promising raiding or pvp. When a member asked earlier this week if we would be raiding and how often, I gave him my usual answer that I would try putting a group together once I felt people were geared enough but it would be completely optional and only once a week. He left the guild later in the week.

So does it mean that our casual guild is doomed to disappear? Quite the opposite in fact. It will take us a lot more time to get those levels and all these nice perks but I feel like we have a much more solid foundation, one that is built on great people who understand that WoW is a game and that the point is to have fun. I know that when people log on, it’s because they really want to, not because they feel forced to.

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We, the Tanks

I had this long post about why “us”, tanks don’t want to tank heroics in pugs right now and why the queue for heroics is getting ever longer( upwards of 2 hours now).

Instead of the long post I’m going to leave you all with a simple message to mull over

We, the Tanks, are not born with the infinite knowledge of how to perfectly tank everything and are not born with the gear of the gods. Your constant demeaning, insulting and outright aggression of would be Tanks will not create more or better tanks but only less tanks.

Those of us who will survive this crucible of hatred you are putting us through will emerge as your new Gods and Overlords. And we shall be as cruel as and as merciless as you have made us. You shall kiss our feet, speak only when allowed to and above all, obey our every command to the letter, lest you shall be sent to the voids of the groupless, there to wait for as long as your gods please.

Be warned that unless you change your ways henceforth, the next two-year will be a living hell for you.

Signed Morehnai, Tank of Silvermoon

PS: If this doesn’t apply to you and are one of the few kind and good souls to Tanks then I love you more than you can know.

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