Epilogue: Monkey see, Monkey don’t

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.

  1. 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.
  2. The suggestion was made that we try two-healing it, because the one time we DID get him down, was when we two-healed.
  3. 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 union the rest of the healers on this matter, so move along, we’re done here.
  4. Zel also blogged about it because, hey, it’s a good topic and she happened to need one.
  5. 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.

Goddamn Batman The Goddamn (Nerf) Bat Man

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.


Posted on September 16, 2011, in Blogosphere, How to huntard, O teh dramaz!, Raiding. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry man.

    I’m sure you are doing the things you need to do. I’m sure you’ve read all of the elitist jerks hunter patch commandments, using the right pet, the right stats, the right gems and enchants. It sucks that you think you’re the problem.

    While I won’t give any current advice about pet/enchants/gems; I would like to give you one point of encouragement.

    BRK has been toping the dps meters using a TANKING GUN, running as BM!

    You can do it. It may be unorthodox. It might not be according to EJ’s standards. But, when you figure out what works best for you, you’ll be at the top of the charts.




    • Oh, that man is such a DIVA.

      I’m probably going to go back to BM since I can’t seem to get MM to tick well for me. And if anyone questions that, I’m going to point at BRK and say, THAT guy. That’s why.

      Unfortunately the pet is kinda limited to what bring the right buff (I will NOT rant about that. I WILL be good.) . Though, I have to say, BRK’s bringing a spirit beast, and that’s not generally regarded as a DPS diva pet.


  2. I’ve been reading the whole thing, and I know if we’d been knocking our heads on a boss this long, we’d have tried spicing things up by trying someone else. We knew Alysrazor was going to be our roadblock so we left her for last. It worked well for us. You guys, go play with Ryolith! He’s fun and not so demanding on heals, dps, or tanks – everyone has to do their job but the enrage timer doesn’t matter. And he makes you work as a team. Try Alysrazor. Yeah, her dps requirements are tricky but it’s a fight that demands everyone do their part perfectly, so you can’t worry as much about other people. Hell, take a night off and go kill Cho’gall.


    • That’s actually what we’re doing now, is giving Ryo a call. First night in we got to phase 2, so that’s something. I was helping with the steering so DPS values are pretty skewed thanks to that armor. But still. Was a nice change of pace.


  3. We run Balroc with 2 hunters and here is what we do to help them with their damage/dps:

    The crystal will hit the person who is the closest to it. When it is your turn in the rotation stand out at the minimum range you need. Everyone else will NEED to make sure they aren’t close to you. We always make sure that melee are far away from the crystal every time it spawns. This way our hunters are able to continue to pew pew while tanking the crystal. It takes a bit for people to learn where they need to stand but it isn’t that bad.

    As it was mentioned on Zel’s blog, the 1 tank strat works well too. I don’t remember if I saw if you guys have tried that yet or not.

    Another positive for having the tank switch to dps is that you as a hunter (or your top dps if you prefer) can sit out from the crystal rotation.

    Our current top dps is a hunter and we like to let him sit out the crystal rotation just to see how high he can get his numbers.


    • @Koala

      Better placement on the crystal WOULD help, and that’s an issue under development. If a melee is closer than my min range, I’m not going to get out far enough, though, so we’re still working that out.

      While my inner huntard LOVES the idea of keeping the hunter out of the rotation, I have to admit I feel somewhat guilty over that impulse. Huge amount of satisfaction is derived from getting that sort of thing right, at least for me (send help). Still, it is a DPS race. Maximizing DPS is part of the game. Interesting idea.

      While the one-tank option has been discussed, I’m not sure it’s getting a lot of traction in our raid forums. I can fairly see why that might be.


  4. You are NOT the problem and I’m very sad you would think so!

    We tried one tanking last night and the results weren’t spectacular. We tried with a few different tanks in there and just couldn’t keep either of them alive. We then went back to our typical setup and it was just a no dice sort of night.

    I’m very much looking forward to the nerfs.


    • @Alas – Oh, I’m open to the possibility but the maths are pretty clear, if we need 100K DPS and the highest among us is 21K, and I’m at 13K, and there’s a spead, the the low numbers need to come up a bit. It’s possible that as a group we need more punch, but I’m more concerned with my part of the puzzle than nannying anyone else 🙂

      Shift to BM may be a lot more helpful since my main nuke is only dependent on (a) having a pet and (b) having a pet within bitey range of the target. This week hopefully I’ll have the time to repec and get used to the rotation again.


      • Well, if we were in there without you and failing at least as hard as we usually do, I am pretty sure we can’t pin it on you. Sorry. 😛

        If switching to BM and using a pet you like (eff the buffs, within reason) is what it takes for you feel an increase in your performance, then I say go for it. We’ll get em dead whenever we get em dead.


        • @Alas – that’s perversely comforting, but I still wanna get my s#!t together, as it were. And I’m ad that Ryo didn’t get downed, of course.

          It’s a tough call on the pets, but the good thing is that exotics generally carry two buffs for the group rather than a single one, so I’ll have more luck finding a max DPS pet with helpful buffs.


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