Last couple of weeks there was a minor dust-up in-guild over performance in T12 raiding, and part of that bled out into the blogosphere. Zel had her say regarding two-healing at Murloc Parliment, and then Lono had his say over at Screaming Monkeys, and then things got interesting.
The thing that most people didn’t understand was that both are in the same guild, raid together, and generally spar with each other in a light-hearted way. There is mutual respect all around between them, as well as between them and fellow guildies and raiders. Oh, sometimes the humor’s dryer than even I am prepared to follow, but it’s humor nonetheless.
Unfortunately, someone walking in from the outside – say, linked from a widely-read omnibus WoW site – didn’t have this background on the two. And some of the reactions were unfortunate.
The biggest shock, however, were the comments from people that know better. Lono actually had to post something chiding readers about personal attacks, and Zel certainly backed him up on that. It’s not cool, and some of the not-so-cool ones really have outlived their welcome in my eyes. I don’t care how popular they are.
Here are the issues in a nutshell.
- On Baleroc, we’re having problems with the enrage timer. We are five-DPSing the event, three-healing, two-tanking. There is a dance, but once you get that down, it’s more or less a DPS race.
- The suggestion was made that we try two-healing it, because the one time we DID get him down, was when we two-healed.
- Team Heal, that heavily unionized group of healers in our guild, sees this as punishment for doing a good job. Zel has voiced her objections in guild and I believe she speaks for
her unionthe rest of the healers on this matter, so move along, we’re done here.
- Zel also blogged about it because, hey, it’s a good topic and she happened to need one.
- In return, Lono posted (IMO) a good-natured rebuttal.
Okay, first of all. Two-healing.
Jasra, Clan Grimmtooth’s resident healer, two-healed all of ICC that we ever saw, except that one fight where you heal the green dragon. So, drawing from her experience, we are no strangers to two-healing from an intimate perspective. And, frankly, it sucks. One healer goes down, you’re going to wipe. Or you’re going to have to carry out triage to determine who lives, who dies, when things get dicey. So from a healer’s perspective, three-healing seems to be a great idea. I prefer knowing the team has no worries about heals.
I’m not saying that Jasra would still be an active raider if we had three-healed, but she’d've been a lot further away from the breaking point.
While flexibility is a good thing, and dual specs give us that ability more than ever, I think two-healing this would make it a miserable experience for our healers. And surly healers give surly heals. Penance even has a sharper sting.
So I agree with Zel (sorry, Lono), two-healing to free up a slot for DPS is not a great idea, in this case.
Besides, it ignores the real problem
The real problem was already stated clearly. This is a DPS race. If your DPS isn’t falling over, and the boss enrages, then the DPS just isn’t bringing the pain in sufficient quantities.
Mostly, I’m the problem here.
First, as a hunter, I have range issues. We HAVE to group up tight to control where the crystals spawn, and then I need to scoot back to be able to fire. This eats a bit of time, but hardly enough to make that much of a distance. If I’m charitable it’s 1-2K DPS that it accounts for.
That leaves around 5-6K difference between my performance and where my performance needs to be. I’ve been fighting it for a few weeks, now, even being as desperate as to shift to MM. No matter what, though, I still come in a lot lower than I should.
It’s not gear, either. I first thought it might be, but I’m seeing MM hunters with lesser gear and similar talent specs pull at least 5K more than me on a routine basis.
I’m forced to face the probability that I’ve hit a wall here. In T11, I was upper bracket DPS for our team, but in T12 I have been bottom of the stack routinely.
So my current task is to figure out what I’m doing wrong and remedy it, if possible (and if it involves a macro attached to the scroll wheel – sorry.).
Et Tu soon, Executus?
The other possibility is that we’re just ahead of the curve a little bit. Shannox and Beth were both difficult at first but as we’ve learned the tricks, we’ve more or less got them to one-or-two-shot status. Obviously, they’re not going to put a boss that so clearly outclasses the rest unless it’s a gating boss (which I believe he is). So maybe we just need to focus on the others for now, get them down, then come back.
This keeps occurring to me but it has the foul taste of excuse-making for myself. Raid leaders can read the strats same as I.
People are too nice
My guildies are a bunch of awesome people that are supportive and encouraging and, for the most part, fairly patient. But maybe there’s times when we have to say, "we can’t take you until you improve." Certainly, I feel bad that we’re held back on this boss on the raw numbers. But numbers don’t lie. If boss has X health, and you have Y minutes, then you need to bring X/Y/60 DPS total, or X/Y/#DPSers/60 per DPS. And we’re not there. To say otherwise emphasizes the fantasy element of this game a little too much.
While two-healing may make it easier on the DPS to get the boss down, bringing the *right* DPS is probably a better solution. Barring that, we go off and beat on something a little more beatable.
There are no pushbutton solutions
PvPer wisdom to the contrary, every raid encounter is different, even when it’s the same boss on two different nights. My situation is a good example of that. I have what are considered all the recommended spec and equipment and gemming and enchanting and reforging steps covered, and yet I’m doing worse, relatively, than I was when I was an undergeared noob in T11 raiding. I’m going to have to find my own way on this, make it work for me, and unfortunately it takes more time than a leetsauce contingent might like.
Well. Don’t have to invite me. No reason we both can’t own our mistakes here.
In a way the upcoming nerfs make me sad. I suppose I’m one of those wannabee leetists for wanting to overcome the content through hard work and patience, rather than the hammer (or nerf bat) of God.
On the other hand, Blizz has access to numbers that we don’t. If they say that they don’t feel that progression is where it should be, they may be doing so because that’s the truth. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m going to accuse anyone at Blizz of lying about it. They didn’t, after all, have to say anything other than "making some changes to tune some encounters to more appropriate difficulties".
I’m not going to lament the change. I’d've preferred a thing similar to the ICC buffs, so we could tell the crybabys to STFU and turn off the buff, but it is exactly what it is. Either adapt, or find a new hobby.
But, I know many in the guild will feel that the whole thing will be cheapened if we march in there and roflstomp the guy next week.
On the other hand, as Flora and Illume remind me, my old guild, the Vorpal Bunnies, just downed Mags for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and they were absolutely bursting with pride over that. This week, Flora went in with the group and they got Omnitron down to 23% on our second try ever. Even nerfed, satisfaction is there to be had, if you work for it and put in some honest effort. The Bunnies have a lot to be proud of – that was an amazing second try. My second attempt on Omni, we died on the third Tron.