Monday Musings: Exhausted Edition   15 comments

Folks, I’m tired.  Literally exhausted – as opposed to metaphorically exhausted.  Although I suppose that there is a a little from the later as well.  However, I was up most of the night with a toothache last night and so if I seem slightly incoherent or completely off my rocker, it’s because I’m pretty much fueled on 100% caffeine right now.  I am also craving a calzone, but have no clue where to obtain said desire from my office.  Anyhow, let’s move on to the musings, shall we?

On Raiding

We are currently working through out last Hard Mode – Heroic Ascendant Council.  And I’m going to be brutally honest here, I’ve about had it with the fight.  To the point that I almost don’t even care if we kill the damn thing.  And here’s the kicker – our failing is 100% our lack of execution in phase 2.  I find that I’m completely out of words to say to people short of “please just stop fucking up and pay attention to what is going on around you, because if you fail this mechanic one more time, I swear to christ I’m going to reach through my monitor and chew your ass in person”.

I mean, I’m at a loss.  The second phase of the encounter is 100% about personal responsibility – and there is no one that can control that aside from the player responsible.  And it’s frustrating the ever living hell out of me.  And you know what, I’m going to just go ahead and say it: phase 2 of this fight is just fucking stupid.  There.  That felt pretty good.  I get that fights should be challenging – and I enjoy that.  But there gets to be a point where too much is too much, and encounters cross the line from fun and a “challenge” to ridiculous and frustrating.

I feel that this encounter has reached that point.  Any fight where one person’s error can irreversibly fail your raid, is not fun.  It’s just not.  Should there be consequences for failing a mechanic?  Yes.  Should the failure of one individual cause the entire raid to end up on their ass, and running back for another attempt?  No.  I do think that consequences should be devastating - but I also think that you should have at least a chance, even if it’s tiny, to succeed with strong teamwork should an error occur.  It is not fun for the person struggling with the mechanic (and knowing they were the reason the raid wiped), nor is it fun for the raid.

Not only that, but with Firelands breathing down our neck, I’m feeling incredibly pressured to push us through this monstrosity of a fight (pun intended, har).  And to continue being honest, it’s taking its toll on me and I’ve found myself not only growing increasingly negative – but becoming a person that I don’t like in the process.  After last night’s raid, I literally needed to step back and re-ground myself.  Remind myself of my own goals, who I am as a person – and how I want to be as a leader. 

I’m all ears if anyone has tips or tricks they use to keep people from blowing each other up during Phase 2.  Lord knows I’m neck deep in frost orbs and chain lightning right now.

On Recruiting

We have a couple of spots open on our progression roster, so I thought I’d just bring your attention to that here (after that fabulous rant on raiding…).  We currently have an opening for a hunter and a resto shaman.  I would also consider a warlock applicant.  If you are interested in applying or learning more about the guild, please visit http://www.monolithwow.com or feel free to shoot me an email with any questions that you might have about the guild.

On Alts

My mini-me, Elentari, hit 85 this weekend.  I had a whole slew of gear ready for her that I had been saving up and having crafted.  I was able to enter into heroics as soon as I reached 85 – however my first (and only, to date) venture was an experience.  I ended up having to have Brade hop into come tank for us after a paladin tank really struggled with, well, tanking.  I drew heroic deadmines - and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why a relatively undergeared tank refused to use CC, especially when he was clearly struggling with controlling the mobs that he was trying to tank.

I am hoping that Elentari will be able to get some raid time, if not now when 4.2 hits and the T11 content is nerfed and more puggable.  It’s been a lot of fun revisiting the struggles of being an undergeared resto druid, and I’m looking forward to learning more about my playstyle through her errors!

What alt is next?  Who knows.  I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to my rogue goblin that I started at the beginning of Cataclysm.  I’ve also toyed with dusting off my shaman or priest.  Or perhaps it’s time to take my worgen druid through a spin and see the new alliance starter zone.

On Other Games

Brade and I picked up Portal 2 this weekend, and I spent a few hours entertaining myself with that.  However, I will admit that I became somewhat irritated as we played the game and he was just blazing through puzzles miles faster than I was.  I pretty much made me feel like an idiot as I struggled with this he clearly found simple.  I know, I know – brains work differently and all that, and I’m sure there were some puzzles that just clicked for me that took him a bit longer.

But I began to grow flustered as I was trying to keep up at his pace, and just couldn’t.  I mean I was the one who wanted the damn game in the first place, and I found myself wishing that he hadn’t picked up a copy because his quicker success was spoiling my enjoyment (regardless of how insane that may sound). So I took a step back and just let him go.  I found when I came back and he was 20 boards ahead of me and not 5, it was much easier for me to enjoy the game at my own pace and struggle through the puzzles in a more relaxed manner.

And now, I’m working my way through with an insane eyeball and some robot that seriously has it out of me.  And it’s a lot of fun!  I don’t know if/when I’ll try the co-operative play, because of my early frustration is “playing” with Brade, but perhaps we will see how it pans out.

On Books

So I finished the War of the Ancients Trilogy and I absolutely loved it.  Although I found myself hollering across the house “What the hell happened to Azshara!” upon my completion.  I mean, I know that she was turned into a Naga.  But really, we’ve not seen her again since.  (I am having serious Deja’vu here – so if I’ve already had this conversation, my apologies!)

I took a break from the WoW lore to crack open the new Sookie Stackhouse book, and I really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t the best in the series, but it was far from the worst as well.  So I was pretty pleased with it.

I am not reading some of the Harry Dresden shorts in preparation for his new book coming out in July.  I cannot wait!  I really enjoy Jim Butcher’s writing, and I’ve yet to read one of the books in this series that wasn’t a page turner.  To say I have high hopes is an understatement!

I think that’s about all I’ve got for now!  How about you, what have you been up to?

15 responses to “Monday Musings: Exhausted Edition

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  1. In some ways I’m tempted to app for your guild, I sort of miss being in a high progression environment. I even looked through the app and formulated answers to things. But I’m happy with the social environment of my guild and my RL friends in it, and if I’m honest with myself I don’t really want to raid 3-4 days per week. I also haven’t used bandages since, sheesh! Archimonde. Leveling first aid would be a pain. ;p

    Speaking of, though, Archimonde was the same sort of thing you’re describing for ascendant council heroic: 8-10 minutes where one person screwing up wipes the raid. Man. I still kind of can’t believe that the mage (!!) that cratered wasn’t gkicked.

    • We actually created a “bounty” for Archimonde. If you were the cause of wiping the raid – for whatever reason – you had to pay 50 gold into the pot. At the end of the night, the bounty was split amongst those in the raid to help recoup repair costs. We actually had a very short learning curve for Archimonde. Perhaps we should bounty this as well. Although with gold having become superflous, I’m not sure it would be nearly as effective.

  2. I couldn’t disagree more about AC. Mechanics that encourage personal responsibility and punish failure are good. Frustrating, yes. Fun? Also yes. It makes your raid into better raiders.

    It’s also worth noting that you can, with sufficient warning, survive an exploding frost orb. Stack up AM, Raidwall, and Rallying Cry (or whatever the warrior shout is called). Use external cooldowns on anyone that’s out with Rods.

    • I have to respectfully disagree on this. I do agree that there needs to be a level of responsibility associated with raiding, especially at this level. However, I also don’t think that one error from one person should cause an entire meltdown of your effort. It should punish it, for sure, but there should be some chance of recovery with proper team work as well. Your team should absolutely feel the error that a person makes, but it should not destroy your efforts. One individual does not make a team, nor should one individual be able to destroy the efforts of a team. There are plenty of ways to make content challenging and require personal accountability without one individual person being the lynchpin of success or failure.

  3. On raiding: I forget if you raid 10 or 25, but we just got council last week on 25. Much like teron gorefiend in BT, there’s always someone who ends up being “that guy”.

    Anyway, for lighting rods we did it like normal but if they needed to change buffs when they had lightning we told them to gtfo from the tornados or gravity wells because we’d rather lose one person (and brez them) than 5 or more when the lightning killed everyone nearby.

    Priests are your best friend for people who cut the orb path too short and are about to blow up. They were invaluable to us. It took a few reminders not to run immediately to the fire when it hadn’t spawned because trying to cut back around there was usually when someone would eat an orb.

    Once people get past that and if your transitions are good you’re all set. I hear you on the frustration though; we had a 4% wipe early on and then screwed the pooch for the next 3 hours of raid only to come in the next night and get the kill our first attempt. I’m really not looking forward to al’akir.

    Oh, and for phase three we did end up assigning 5 spots for 10 of our ranged to stand so they could maximize their dps.

    • We raid 25s.

      We actually had a 5-6% wipe on Thursday night. I honestly thought we’d go in last night and have it in the bag, only to not see phase 3 once for the duration of the evening (17 pulls). We’ve told people if they have lightning rod, they need to stay out regardless and if they die it’s better than chaining and killing a chunk of the raid.

      We’ve got phase 3 positions all worked out, and if we could just push into phase 3 another half dozen times (if that) we’d have this done – hell it might even only take once. If our melee hadn’t of frozen themselves to death in the first seconds of phase 3, we probably would have had our kill in that one pull. I’m just not sure what to tell folks other than everything they’ve been told. And from a leadership standpoint, it’s frustrating to know there is nothing I can do other than hope my players do their job.

      • Yeah, I thought you did, but couldn’t remember and after swyping most of that there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to look it up and lose it all. No internet access through my work machine is just miserable; swype is better than nothing, but just can’t compare to a real keyboard.

        Don’t you hate it when you get close and then everyone gets cocky so the rest of the attempts go to hell?

        Do you have your melee group split into two for p3? We ended up doing that with me & our other druid in each melee group healing as we ran around with another healer and dps out in front of the boss running with us as well. The pools don’t show through the stairs though if you’re up on the stairs when you’re running around the room. It shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but if the pools get a little big, then people need to know that they can’t see the edges there. I definitely found that out through experience. : /

        We also ran into issues with our dps not being more aware of the boss percentages. We had a few attempts that night where we died at like 1% or 2% and it was always on a pull where we had a shitty push from one phase into another. Another time we had an aggro pull at the start of p3 since another tank takes over then.

        If you’ve got people staying out from lightning rod, then that should take care of that once they’re used to it (personal cds definitely help there to and BoPs also keep people from taking damage (at least from one of the auras, I don’t remember if it’s one or both though)). What are the issues you guys are running into with the frost orbs? Does everyone have runspeed to boots or in their meta and are the priests using body and soul on the person who’s being chased? We had to remind people not to try to run in tight circles and to call out early if they saw they were going to need help so that the priests could lifegrip them closer to the fire. We had iffy results when people would kite the orb through the fire patch as it was spawning – sometimes it would work, other times it wouldn’t; far better to have people kite it through after the fire spawned (and don’t get hit by the fire ball as it lands and explodes.

      • We don’t have healers with the melee, but that might not be a bad idea. Healers are always in range of the melee, but I’ve not given them a dedicated healer – rather put the raid healers in the middle of the room where they should be able to reach the melee 100% of the time.

        We had a 2% wipe just a few pulls in last night, and really stressed focusing P2 mechanics during the phase. We didn’t lose anyone to orbs or lightning rod and things were going very well and people were doing amazing with not getting hit by the orb or chaining people – and then the damn door bugged out as we were running back and we couldn’t get in and had to soft reset the zone. We went and killed H Al’Akir and then came back, recleared the trash and spent another hour or so on the encounter, only to not see phase 3 again. And I am ashamed to say that in the last 30 minutes of the raid I ate 3 frost orbs. For the first time since we started the encounter. Although one of them I got screwed on and asked for a grip.

        What does spliting the melee group in two do?

      • We had melee split into two groups so that there were fewer of them together to get chained when the lightning goes out. I think that’s the same reason why we put the two healers in with them. We don’t have any healers in the center of the room; we left that to the ranged dps and their assigned spots. The aside from the two in melee and the one running in front of the boss, the other three are spread around the room.

        Oh man, that sucks that you guys had to do a soft reset. I hate the trash before that boss. :(

  4. Toothache ouch, I feel with you! =/
    I can’t comment on the encounter I’m afraid, but I just meant to say sometime that I really enjoy your more introspect musings on the both bright and darker sides of being a raid leader, your openness about issues or dilemmas and how you frequently question yourself. it’s very refreshing in my opinion and very honest (without coming across as a forceful attempt to win sympathy points)! I wish you the very best of luck with your current challenges.

  5. Between you and I (and everyone else here), it may honestly be time to take a break from raid leading. I’ve been in the exact same position as you many times, and every time I stuck through and ended up burned out on the guild, on raiding, or on WoW for months. I’ve been a lot meaner to people during raids than basically anywhere else in life (barring perhaps the guy in the DMV who told me my watermarked official college transcript was not acceptable proof of my birth date but a high school transcript would be. I’m in my 30s. I’ve moved three times since I graduated high school. I DON’T HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT LYING AROUND. I’m sure a fake, dot-matrix printout of an kind would have sufficed. I was lucky the police weren’t called).

    Anyway, one of my memorable moments was me telling a raider who had YET AGAIN failed the Thaddeus jump that they’d made my heart shrink three sizes. It was around Christmas, so it was relevant in a Grinchy way, and typing it here it doesn’t seem so bad, but it was mean when I said it. I still regret it (or at least part of me does. Part of me knows that moron deserved it).

    The point is that if it’s not fun anymore you need to take a break or that feeling’s going to infect the rest of the game. I know that giving in seems like failure, but the guild would be better with you still playing than not, I’m sure, and the path of bitter resentment (which is probably what you’re just starting to feel about guildies/raiding/WoW) is a long, dark one.

    Whatever you decide, good luck, mate.

  6. I have been wanting to start reading WoW books for a while, but I don’t know much about the lore (and don’t want to spoil it by just reading wikis) so I was hoping you would have a recommendation for which books to start with :D
    <3 Maenfalyn
    aboutthestory.wordpress.com <- my book blog :-)

  7. I feel your pain on having that “stuck” moment. We’re working on Nef. right now. We got into phase 3 on our first hour of attempts, and last night spent most of the night in phase 1 & 2. I was ready to start blowing up people’s computers.

    Fortunately (and hopefully) either way, you’ll be cleaning up Firelands soon giving you a much deserved break from a totally frustrating fight! And if for some reason your force of will doesn’t make people shape up, there’s still time to kill him.

    Best of luck Beru! <3

  8. I completely agree with you. I always felt like the most fun fights are the ones where my skills could make up for someones elses failure, and vice versa. Nothing makes people more sad and frustrated than when everything they’ve fought for get completely wasted just because someone wasn’t paying attention for a teeny second. Even if you’d allow every person to do one such minor mistake each raid, it means 25 wipes on 25 man. We are human and I think we should be allowed to do minor mistakes and have to work around them. Right now fights are designed to be best played by robots, not human beings who can react and adapt.

  9. Not to buldge in and give unnescessary advice (I don’t even know if you didn’t kill the boss by now).
    What really improved our trys on council was one simple thing.
    IF THERE IS A BLUE CIRCLE SPAWNING ON THE GODDAMNED GROUND MOVE YOUR FAT LAZY ASS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM.
    When you got that down the fun-part starts, enjoy your first few 0,X % wipes due to people grilling 3 camps saying “but I was out of range!”. When our Guild Master pulled out the minus-dkp-stick it helped aswell…sad as it is.

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