Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category
It has been a steamy, but sunny, few days here in Seattle. Heat is an unusual thing here in Seattle, largely because it is uncommon. Usually summer peaks somewhere around the lower 80s, and generally resides at a nice seventy-five to seventy-seven. The biggest problem with the heat is that the city is largely ill equipped to deal with it. Most residences lack air conditioning, and at the first mention that it is going to be warmer than eighty-five degrees there is a run on fans in every store in the city.
For me, I grew up in the Midwest without air conditioning. While I can kvetch about the heat with the best of them, I fondly remember summer days where my brother and I just laid on the living room floor in front of the fan because it was so hot you couldn’t move. And well, I survived! Except now that I’m older, and am a seasoned pacific northwestener, I have a little less tolerance for the heat. So yesterday, during our heat wave, I gladly went out for dinner and spent some time at our local game shop playing board games for a few hours while enjoying their air conditioning.
Of course, you probably didn’t come here to read about how I spent my Sunday afternoon. But since I couldn’t think of a better intro for this (bound to be babbling) post, I figured it was just as good as any! In fact before we get any farther in it, I’ll even share what is playing on the radio as I type right now!
God I love Paul Simon. So much. I am pretty sure I’m going to have his Graceland album on repeat for like…a week, since I just downloaded it from iTunes after fretting that I lost my original copy of the CD. Anyhow, let’s talk a little bit about WoW, shall we?!
Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these types of updates. I could probably tell you I didn’t have much to say – but since I often did updates that were almost completely devoid of WoW information, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I think it would probably be more accurate to say that I’ve been busy…and lazy. I mean I could have easily offered an update on any number of things, but when I had my down time I simply found I wanted to do something other than write! As harsh is that might sound…honesty is best! (Right? RIGHT?!).
Whatever! I have both time and desire to write at this moment, as well as things to say! So I suppose that we should get to that before I lose any of the above.
Wait, what?! (It’s okay, I know that you are probably thinking it, I can hear the wheels turning from here!). Remember that post about the 5.3 PTR I did the other day? The one where I said I had reason to believe that I’d probably have a little more to say about druids as we moved forward? No? Okay, perhaps we should start from the beginning here. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever played any of those word association games where you see a picture and spout out the first thing that come to your mind? I’m pretty sure there’s even some psychology test with ink blots that is functionally the same idea. You see a picture, you have a reaction.
Now that you understand the rules, let’s give it a try! I’m going to post a picture below, tell you it’s from LFR and you are going to have a reaction. Let’s see if it works!
What was the first thing that came to your mind? If it was “how many times will we wipe to this” or “I wonder how many people will die” or “UGH DURUMU!”, then I would speculate that you’ve experienced this encounter in LFR and had an experience relative to mine. But never fear! Because I’m here today to tell you how to stop the madness and guarantee a one shot Durumu kill each and every time.
Ok, maybe not, but I promise you less people will die!
How to Succeed at Durumu Without Really Trying
So I was in a LFR this weekend with my shaman, and as is typical, we got to the eye beam phase and 3/4 of the raid died. We wiped and had to start it over. Only before we pulled a second time I decided to have faith in LFR and the players there, and I asked if anyone would like me to explain how to know which side of the eye beam to stand on. I was a little surprised by the overwhelming response of “YES PLEASE!” – especially when I was expecting something more like “lol just don’t be bad lol”. So I took two minutes to explain it, and wouldn’t you know it, in the two eye beams we had only one or two people died.
You see, the problem isn’t the “maze” part of the phase as much as it is solving which side of the eye beam you need to be on to start the maze.
After we finished, Brade looked at me and said “you have just planted a seed that will save hundreds of hours of LFR pain for many people”. So with that thought in mind, I thought I’d go ahead and share the message with more than just the 25 folks who happened to be in that LFR.
It’s All About the Purple Squiggles
The trick to being on the proper side of the eye beam to find the maze is actually really simple! Basically what happens is the following:
- Durumu will announce that he is pre-casting eye beam and lasers will start shooting out of his eye.
- The eye beam will always start facing the entrance of the room (look for the staircases that you came down to enter).
- Immediately to the left or right of the eye beam the floor will have little purple lightning squiggles shooting through it.
- These squiggles indicate the side of the room the eye beam will move, and which side of the room will subsequently reveal the maze.
- You want to stand in the squiggles (they are safe!), and then move with the maze.
- Collect Loot.
To help better illustrate, here is a graphic! (Be in awe of my mad paint skills!)
I was honestly shocked at how many people understood the maze, but simply just didn’t know where to stand as it was starting and died as a result. Once we fixed that, the fight was simple!
So, in the interest of everyone’s sanity, please share this and take the time to educate and help your LFR compatriots! If enough people do this, Durumu determination will be a thing of the past and we can save our energy for trying to convince folks that Dark Animus really is easier if you don’t AE all the golems down at one time ;)
While I am still quite disappointed with the state of druid healing, I thought I’d take a bit of a break on my continuing evaluation on the state of resto druids to talk about something else today. Progression. (Don’t worry, I do have a two week follow up coming this week and I will get back to it, I just need to talk about other things for a bit). I’ve had a few people ask me how we decided to approach progression this tier, so I thought I’d go ahead and give a few thoughts on our decisions with regards to progression as a guild for this unwieldy first tier in the expansion.
However, before I get to that, I thought I’d spend a few sentences talking about something else that is related in a tertiary fashion and has been on my mind: the T14 gating.
When the gating was announced, I remember being very excited about it because the amount of content being released as T14 was staggering in the number of encounters presented, and subsequently overwhelming. I still like that there was gating for it, but it the execution of this particular gating was a little…clunky. Which, in turn, means that I didn’t care for how this content was gated. What ultimately happened was that when Mogu’shan Vaults was released there was a large period of time before the next zone was released. This meant that your above average guild was able to clear the zone, and then subsequently work on a few heroics while waiting for the new content. However, when the new content released, you stopped your heroic progression push to clear the new normal mode zones – and then two weeks later had another new zone to tackle. And then, only after that, would your progression push be back to heroics.
The problem I had with this was that the long period of gating with the first raid disjointed what is normal progression, that is to say that most people would push all of their normal mode content and then start heroics once that was cleared. And I’d wager a fair bet that most heroics are tuned with the expectation of having gear from all three of the zones. This meant that everything with progression was just thrown off by the awkward way that the content was presented. In hindsight, I wish that the gating was more fluid and smooth or that heroic content was approached differently. Should Blizzard opt to gate content this way again, I hope that they make that decision from the outset of the development of the content so that progression isn’t quite as disjointed.
Planning for T14 Progression
Ok, so now that is out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about how we decided to attack T14 progression. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago I wrote this post, were I took an early look at how Resto Druids were faring comparatively to the other healing classes, and addressed a glaring issue in our toolkit (lack of ability to deal with the very prevalent burst raid wide AE damage in a 25 man setting) that was causing us to start to fall behind. In my last post I stated that this gap in our toolkit would continue to become more noticeable.
As the weeks have passed and other healers have obtained more gear and become more comfortable with their toolkits, the discrepancy only continues to become more noticeable. This is only further exacerbated by the fact that every other healing class received abilities permitting them to be stronger at dealing with this type of raid damage.
Today, I want to take another quick look at how Druids have done after two more weeks of content, two more weeks of gear, with more knowledge of the content and presumably more people being able to see the content. For the purpose of this I have again only pulled 25 man normal parses, and I have looked at both the top 100 as well as all parses. I have again not pulled out heroic data, as there is still not a particularly large sample size – but I will talk about what some of that data shows us later in the post.
As an additional note and reminder: I am not looking at 10 mans. I am a 25 man raider, and I am interested in fixing my class in my raid format. If you think Druids are awesome in 10s, that’s great! I don’t raid 10s. I raid 25s, where my class is currently not great. Which is, subsequently, why I am focusing on 25 man numbers.
Top 100 Parses
Now, in looking at both of these sets of data, we can see a few things. Firstly, in the past two weeks Shaman, Priests and Paladins have closed the gap some and are all relatively competitive amongst each other while Monks remain the outlier and continue to remain miles ahead of the pack. However, while priests have picked up some, Druids have fallen to the bottom and continue to decline. A move that is attributable to my thoughts in the last post – in our current state, as other healers grow stronger, Druids will continue to underperform and fall further and further behind. Read the rest of this entry »
Now that we are a few weeks into the raid content, I thought it would be an appropriate time to have some discussion regarding the current state of the Resto Druid. I am going to offer some numbers and data below to support what I am about to say: Resto Druids are currently not in a good place. We continue to deal with the same issues that we struggled with for the majority of Cataclysm – we lack the toolkit to deal with burst AE healing. As the weeks have passed and other healers have obtained more gear and become more comfortable with their toolkits, the discrepancy only continues to become more noticeable. This is only further exacerbated by the fact that every other healing class received abilities permitting them to be stronger at dealing with this type of raid damage.
I have a few thoughts on how to fix this that I will discuss later on in this post, but first I thought we’d take a look at the numbers.
I went ahead and pulled all of the healing numbers from the past three weeks of raiding utilizing Raid Bots (an amazing too in so many ways!). I only pulled numbers from normal 25s for the purpose of this analysis. I did this for two reasons: 1) 25s are my preferred raid style and what I am passionate about fixing; and 2) there is simply not enough heroic data yet to look at (although I will tell you from the data I pulled, Druids are a bit worse off in heroics). I understand that three weeks isn’t a huge sample selection, but it is all the data we have at this time, and throughout those three weeks is fairly consistent, leading me to believe it will not appreciably change in the weeks to come if things stay as they are currently.
I have taken a look at the content as a whole and then drilled down to each of the six encounters for a more in depth look. The first set of data that I’m going to share is an overall view of how the healing classes are comparing as a whole.
Here you can see a few things. Monks are undeniably the strongest healers at this juncture in the game with none of the other healing classes coming close to them in performance. They are followed by Shaman and Paladins, with Druids and Priests bringing up the rear. You can see the bump in Holy Priests when they got their buffs to PoM and (I think) PoH. As you can see, Druids and Priests are trailing behind the other three healing classes by a fairly appreciable amount.
Let’s take this one step further, and examine how we are doing on a fight by fight basis to see if we fare any better on the individual mechanics of certain encounters. Read the rest of this entry »
We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?
Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.
Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever had one of those nights where everything just went wrong? And the harder you tried to make it go right again, the more it went wrong? Yea, that was my raid night last night. Y’all I was so off my game, that I shit you not, I didn’t use swiftmend on the first two encounters we did. Just…didn’t use it at all. Yes, I am now wearing the cone of shame.
In the hopes that this post can work something like confessional and wipe away my sins, let’s start. Read the rest of this entry »
Heroic Scarlet Monastery
I finally had some time this weekend to get into a couple of LFR groups and do some raid testing. Having been unable to participate in almost all of the other testing because of the times testing was available, I was excited to get in there and see how druids played out in a raid setting. Even though this was just LFR, and the weakest of the 25 man raid settings, I was able make a few observations with regards to our stat priorities and our toolkit. As such, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I felt we fit into the overall picture.
I did two front half LFRs comprising of three bosses. The first one I did we couldn’t get past the second boss – as in grand LFR fashion a wipe meant half the raid dropping and having to refill (even in beta!). The second one I was able to kill all three bosses in the first half of the zone. Overall I found the bosses to be fairly fun; however I strongly suspect that the second boss will see a nerf to phase 3 in its LFR version before it goes live.
Let’s move on and talk a little bit about the healing. If you have any specific questions about the raid or bosses themselves, let me know and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability! Read the rest of this entry »
Have a video of Heroic Scholomance.
Yesterday Blizzard’s devs dropped a bit of a bombshell on the raiding community that was met with mixed reactions. Namely, they revealed that while there are three instances comprising Mists’ first raid tier, only one will be open at launch. Not only that, but they alluded to the first instance, Mogu’shan Palace, not being opened until the second week the game is live. There was talk about how second two zones in the tier were tied together in a story arc, that admittedly looks kind of cool, and would be released a few weeks after Mogu’shan Palace became available.
These announcements were met with a combination of sighs of relief from some and anger from others. I wanted to take a minute and explain my thoughts on the topic, which may well be a minority opinion amongst progression raiders. I like that the instances will be gated. Let me see if I can articulate why I feel this way. Read the rest of this entry »