Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Use Damage and Healing Meters Properly

You know I don't think this is talked about enough considering the ubiquity of meters in WoW.

While a lot of players may use meters simply to confirm their existence and dominance over others, the real benefit of meters is to act as a tool to down difficult encounters. Meters are also PUBLIC to your group assuming they have a meter, and hence they can see how efficient or effective you are at managing encounters.

Just as a preface: Meters Do Not Matter for ANYTHING That is Trivial
(But they do help if someone fails at something that is trivial to find out WHY)

For me that is anything including and below heroic (normal aka the old flex aka fake) raids. The difficulty is just not there to even care. And seriously why is it called "normal"? Stop it. Just don't even. Do you EVEN even? UGH.

If running time-walking or a regular 5 man, just turn the damn thing off, nothing drastic is going to happen because someone did not do one of the trivial mechanics.

Damage Meters Example:

P1: 65,000 DPS
P2: 30,000 DPS
P3: 28,000 DPS

If you're just using throughput gauging, it may seem that P1 is the superior player. But it all depends on the encounter.

Example 1:

True: If this was a single target, no movement no encounter Patchwerk type fight.

Example 2:

False: If this encounter required DPS to manage adds. Further details reveal:

P1: 98% Damage on boss. 2% damage on adds.
P2: 75% Damage on adds. 25% damage on boss.
P3: 80% Damage on adds. 20% damage on boss.

You can now see that P2 and P3 have contributed more to the encounter, assuming the adds were a critical piece of progression, if P1 had helped perhaps the encounter would have been more smooth. It all DEPENDS. Perhaps they were ASSIGNED as the boss nuker. In that case, just compare P2 and P3, and you'll see everything was fine.

So the next time someone tries to flaunt their amazing abilities, maybe see if they even helped with any critical components of the encounter.

This is also why classes that can simultaneously blow up adds AND the boss seem to always do better than those who can't. If your class can, figure it out.

Healing Meters Example:

P1: 40,000 HPS
P2: 35,000 HPS
P3: 30,000 HPS

Hard to say right? It all depends on the class and the role. If someone is assigned to solely heal group AOE damage, they'd have a bit more heals than the healer assigned to perhaps a very geared tank.

Example 1:

P1: 40% pure heals. 60% overheals.
P2: 80% pure heals. 20% overheals.
P3: 50% pure heals. 50% overheals.

Looking from this example, P1 was probably healing inefficiently or wasting a lot of mana. P2 was on spot and P3 may be under-geared and trying to over-compensate by being inefficient, hence the overheals. If P1 was being a bit more efficient, P3 may also have been able to save mana. Without BEING a healer you can already see the synergy of the three healers in my imaginary raid here.

I found healing meters to be more of a personal measurement than anything. We are interested in total uptime of all heals including HoTs, which is important for resto druids. You should be aiming for 99%+ uptime of Lifebloom and Rejuv. Unless you need the bloom, NEVER let it drop off EVER. If you're out of range, cast it on yourself. Internalize its timing so you don't need to watch those silly heal helper addons.

Mana management also used to be a fun side-game. There are some who prefer being at full mana all the time, and those who prefer to deplete it all. I like both. Make it move with the boss' HP. If things are going well then keep it cool, as the fight progresses, step up those heals a bit, get a little bit less comfortable with low health. Whatever floats your healing boat.

Numbers Lie

Ok, don't, but they definitely do not paint the entire picture unless you are using all the correct numbers. I personally apply a mental metric that weighs all of what I have mentioned above to give "real" performance relative to everyone else.

You're undergeared, but did relatively well for your ilvl AND stayed out of bad? Well I will rank you as someone who pumped out more damage but died before execute phase. EXECUTE PHASE is what you live for why are you dying before it? Go out in a blaze of glory AFTER!

TL;DR

NO F*CK YOU GO READ IT!

1. Use meters more smartlier.
2. Damage TAKEN and mitigated and overall utility factors into performance (just like real life).
3. Have a layout of how the ideal [Role] would perform in any given encounter. And then gauge your performance by adhering to that vision.

If anything, if you're staying out of bad, you KNOW so you don't need meters to tell you that. If you interrupted or dispelled, YOU KNOW. Use a meter if you wish to gauge your progression, see if any tweaks made any improvement.

USE IT FOR IMPROVEMENT. Not dick measuring. Learn to read the different metrics and the next time someone pulls out that obnoxious 10 person list, retort them and tell them to pipe the fuck down no one cares.

Truny the Unmetered

Monday, July 20, 2015

Human Interaction a Core Issue of WoW?

I'm not sure if this entry will end up being a WoW post or a real-life post. Let's see where it takes us.

Just like in human life, things aren't fun without the struggle. A lot of the struggle points of WoW have been removed and padded as quality of life improvements. Some examples include:

Dungeon finder: No need for manual human interaction, if this remained on the local realm, we may still have a reason to talk to each other.

Solved: Long wait times.
Removed: Human interaction.

CRZ: Implemented to "revive" dead zones but I still think this is the single worst decision of the game. More people = more competition, and it also perpetuates the idea that people from other realms are acceptable (eg via Dungeon Finder, except we'll never see them again).

Solved: ??? (See the issue is why do I even care if there are other people since quests are so easy anyways)
Removed: Ability to find any rares. Ever.

LFR: This was implemented well. The fights were still challenging and mechanics still needed to be adhered to. The gear stealing and kidnapping was toxic at best, but it did feel like a mini-raid. Now it has devolved to just existing.

Solved: Allowing more players to see end-game content.
Removed: All common sense, the innate sense of accountability, and human interaction.

Profession Changes: We no longer have to grind useless greens to be DE'd to level up, but now we don't really get to craft ANYTHING but epics which are gated through gated materials so most people just don't. Garrisons also allow you to take on the role of any other profession you may not have. Do you even even?

Solved: Useless greens making?
Removed: Professions itself. Human interaction.

All of those points DO make the game "easier" and when dripped in slowly we don't realize how it is affecting the entire game as a whole once they all come together.

The trend I am seeing is that manual human interaction is a burden that needs to be resolved within WoW. Perhaps if this was the core issue, then we should have designed for improving human interaction, giving richer experiences (whatever that means), rather than try to push them under the rug.

If We Start Fresh

We need to remedy the "pop in pop out" attitude that has shown a massive increase since the inception of LFD and LFR.

Even with the group finder for a RAID we see people just leave group when things aren't going their way. We've seen people stealth leave to repair without letting anyone know. Is the excuse that they are REALLY uncomfortable typing? This is the perfect place to start practicing!

I usually try to thank everyone for good times. This still exists luckily. Even so, I know I'll never see these people again UNLESS they were in our realm!

We have been running dungeons in complete silence for far too long. No longer do we need to explain mechanics. I used to have copy and paste mini paragraphs for each and every Cata heroic dungeon boss. It may have been excessive but people were learning and questions were asked. There was some "rich interaction" going on up in this bish.

If you remove the struggle as I was saying before, there's nothing really to talk about. We no longer see endearing progression posts about struggling on a raid boss or trying to gear up or learning to excel in our classes. I am part of the problem.

Just with the latest raid, I could care less what the bosses are called and all the mechanics are "seen this done that", our only struggle is not one-shotting the encounters going in blind.

The argument is "If you don't need LFR, leave it alone and let the people who do utilize it be". But my argument is that the current LFR does not exactly perpetuate or support a high-skill-base requirement. I'm not saying everyone needs to be extremely skilled, but if there isn't any content that ENCOURAGES stepping up one's game (which is what raids are here for right?) then what's the point of the game (which you and I just lost dammit).

What confuses me is if you aren't coming out of any encounter, be it a quest or a dungeon boss or raid boss asking yourself "how could I have improved, or what could I have done differently" then what is even the point?

WAIT!

This is interesting: Has recount ruined WoW? Recount is the issue!!

If you down a boss, that's good right? No! You have to be the person who contributed the MOST with the lowest burden to healers. OH MY GOODNESS. It IS recount!

Why must we derive "fun" out of "winning" against our own companions? This is gross!

I've always asked "why do people even play if they aren't top DPS/HPS?", because I AM THE PROBLEM!

Perhaps It's Too Late

Just find a good guild and hide and don't utilize anything that takes away your ability to manually interact with others. And uninstall all recount/Skada type damage meters. I shall uninstall it the next time I log on.

Turny the WTF

Monday, July 13, 2015

Patch 6.2 A Month Later

Let's get right into it. 6.2's been out for about a month and a lot of people are already done with the island content. This is scary.

Shipyards

I apologize to the shipyard. The thing is, the old command table set such a bad precedent that I say that the shipyard SHOULD HAVE been what was released at 6.0. A side-activity that requires a bit more thought, not the MAIN attraction. I don't mind it, except why is the boat command table now down by the docks? We are lazy. Come on.

Timewalking

I did one, healed it with Valany'r. Seems easy peasy and yeah it's for alts who need 660. Which means this is for 2nd tier alts.

Mythic Dungeon

Did it once as a 663 Boomkin, it was rough. Then we did it again on our main raiding team of 690+ and it was fairly cake-walk. But it rewards 685-700 so, not that great vs raid. They are "challenging" in that there's a lot of damage everywhere and you have to follow mechanics....which is what heroics SHOULD have been??

The Dailies

Honestly I don't mind them now. They are a bit repetitive but its better than nothing. I hit exalted with the bird and faction faction, just waiting on this week's Saberon quest to reset and I'll be ready to fly. But why?

Apexis

Going into 6.2 I started to hoard apexis crystals about a week prior. Only ended up with 10k so as of this weekend I finally saved up enough gems to buy the pretty bird. Now what? It was definitely easier than grinding out Emperor Shaohao's mount?

Hellfire Citadel

Actually I should do a quick guide on it even though I barely pay attention. We are I think five or six bosses into flex and progress is progress so we can't ask for too much.

So here's my mini guide on what I remember:

Boss 1: Lots of Stuff
Kill the thing, then the dude, then the machines and do it for like 45 minutes and try not to fall asleep and you randomly will just win.

Boss 2: Metroid Prime
Kill it and dodge things. Lasts for like 20 minutes, put on a good show you like.

Boss 3: Dodge Rune Stack Hands AOE.
Name says it all. Fall asleep until you get to cast your amazing AOE.

Boss 4: Council of Trolls or Something
Kill the big one, bring others low, kill the blade one then kill the caster one. And dodge things. Pet classes are nice, make your pet do all the work as you clean the house.

Boss 5: Adds Bloods Go In
Kill adds, go when you are marked and leave a clear projectile path, and go in if you have to go in. Look for the adds spawning by the side and the debuff on you and the bloods. Dodge the green thing. Ezpz.

Boss 6: Adds and together and stack and drop it good and tank add 2-3 seconds get out.
And also dodge the swirl while doing all that.

That's about it for this patch.

Truny the That's It

Friday, June 26, 2015

Obvious Gating is Obvious: Two Bonus Objectives

On the day of patch 6.2's launch I logged in with awe and wonder and was excited to tackle all that has to offer in Tanaan Jungle. We were getting quests to go here and go there and do this and that and in the confusion I thought something felt a little strange but couldn't really figure it out cause I tend to miss exclamation marks that are right up in my face.

So I worked out a battle-plan on how to tackle our new "daily" quests:

1. Get the kill 20 demon/Iron Horde quest.
2. Get the bird quest for 10 things. Look out for rares and treasures.
3. Get the thing in the building to do an apexis quest.
4. Fight the Tiny Terrors if I run by them.

Ok. So I'll start with #3, cause apparently you come back, THEN your faction person gives you a quest to go do two MORE apexis bonus areas.

On the first day I thought I was missing some rep or requirement so didn't think too much of it, but I realized it only shows up AFTER the first apexis quest is done.

Why didn't you ask me to go earlier?

Obvious time gating is obvious. There's no narrative to why he has to give this quest out later. It doesn't add to the immersion of "invading the Jungle", why are we running back and forth? Why not merge the two quests and then add in an extra one where we go pick up extra armaments/supplies on the way?

I don't know what else to say.

These are no good stinky poo tactics.

Turny the Stinky

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mandatory Patch 6.2 Launch Post

The Story

The Promised Patch, the Resolver of Woes, the largest content patch in the history of WoW has been released and we have been sent to infiltrate and invade Tanaan Jungle. The Iron Horde has been broken and Gul'dan is up to no good and has erected Hellfire Citadel as his bastion of destruction.

The Narrative

What narrative? We are first sent to the Iron Docks to embark on a thrilling adventure to recover shipyard plans from the now disbanded Iron Horde to build our own fleet in our invasion of Tanaan Jungle.

This quest boils down to running around and clicking things until you are done, then in about five minutes you hearth back to your garrison.

We "invade" Tanaan jungle by building a boat which we can't interact with and literally running past mobs until you are told to create the foothold.

That was a pretty simple invasion I'm sure we could have done it sooner.

The New Factions

There are three new factions: Birds, Faction, Saberons. The birds just magically appear beside you once you've opened up your Tanaan base. No story, or lead-in, just exists and you automatically go and do some grindish treasure quests for them. Interesting enough but I'm not sure how I feel about wandering around the entire island for an hour waiting for treasure/rares to spawn to finish their quest.

Faction specific faction, Vol'jin's Headhunters: where did they come from and why do I care?

Saberons: Why is a Saberon telling me to kill other Saberons and where are the rest of the Saberon when one guy is dolling out all the weekly quests?

Factions are...weirdly handled in WoD, they kind of just...exist as a means of grind.

Think back to the Argent Crusaders and Knights of the Ebon blade. Their story line was amazing.

Demons and Pets and Immersion

The new island is fun to explore, except when I see treasure I wonder if I should wait for the bird faction daily to click them? I'm pretty sure most contain crappy 655s anyways? Our demons got prettier, gear looks amazing out of HC, and the new Legendary pets are a "challenge" but most boil down to spamming Sleeping Gas or using the Pandaren Water Spirit + Chrominius Combo.

See, it's nice that there is SOMETHING to do, but this is all based on the fact that there was almost NOTHING to do for current progression. Then again, the factions and rep grind don't really help us out save for the world boss dropping 705. Baleful gear can proc as 675 but I'm already 692 and I refuse to do this grind again on my alts.

The Shipyard

Another command table. Hate it.

Mythic and Timewalking Dungeons

Eh we almost already out-gear mythic dungeons so this is possibly an event for alts. Timewalking dropping what 660s will probably never be touched?

Demo Nerfs?

The buff to mastery makes our non-25% reduced spells quite potent, but I'll update you again on how crappy we do in HC "Heroic" this weekend.

The Short and Sweet

Beautiful jungle, look forward to exploring it more. Not sure how long it'll last except for the raid content of course.

Truny the Cautious