Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Field Report - Yeah I killed the raid

It's time for me to vent some random thoughts. I don't promise that there will be a point in the end of all this. Things don't always have to have a point right?

How's the heroic grind going?

Not so well unfortunately. Well actually I'm having great luck when it comes to the quality of the groups I've joined so far. For the most part I've been able to convince a couple of friends of mine to do my daily run with me, and the few times I've done pugs they've been great. Like I mentioned I've even managed to get the meta achievement for the mount just by doing my daily heroic. So maybe I shouldn't complain. But in all honesty I am already getting bored with the heroics. No wait, that's not entirely right. I am getting bored with healing the heroics. I am still having fun when I do the instances on my alts (although they're not high leveled enough to do them on heroic yet). I did try shadow for a short while, but that was even more dreadfully boring, and I am experimenting with disc healing of course, but the boredom is sneaking closer. I am not bored with my priest and I am not bored with the heroics, I am bored with the combination of my priest and the heroics.

Being axed in the face is no fun

Ok, that sounds...special
Yeah, I'm a complicated person you see. There are some things I really enjoy in this game and for some reason they're extremely specific, but I guess that's the way most people are. I love healing with my priest, but basically only in raids. I don't enjoy doing anything else on her. Maybe healing is such that if it isn't really challenging, it just isn't much at all. I don't know. Remember how healing heroics was in Wrath? You mostly just stood there. I'm not saying that's what heroics has become in Cata yet, but it's not far from. Maybe having a good group for heroics is the problem? But going with fail pugs doesn't sound much fun either. When we fail in a pug it's not so much because I need to learn how to handle the situation, but because we've got people who just don't know what to do. It's the wrong kind of challenge, because all skills in the world won't save someone from being one shot because they didn't move from fire (Life Grip has 1,5 min cd unfortunately). For heroics I enjoy tanking the most because there is always a rather high level of challenge to tanking, no matter how good your gear gets or how well you know an instance. Tanking resembles pvp in that you're really fighting other players rather than the mobs. Does that sound horrible?

But don't you get nice purplz for doing heroics? Isn't that an incentive?
Believe it or not, but I seriously don't care about gear. I haven't bought a single epic item of AH, I haven't crafted any and I am already considering using my VP on my alts rather than buy those minor upgrades I can get for my priest. As long as I can do my job within reasonable limits I am happy. Better gear is only a stepping stone for more content right? I know the whole thing about "everything adds up" but I just can't feel excited about an item that gives me 10 more intellect and 15 more spirit. There isn't anything left for me to buy from JP and nothing good enough to buy with VP. The tier chest gives crit and the shoulders haste and that makes me want to keep the pieces I have rather (because they have mastery).

So your gear is too good? That makes me really feel sorry for you.
That's not really it. Blizzard have put a nice cap to the amount of good gear you can get and it is quite easy to reach. Yes I have been extremely lucky to get the Darkmoon Card: Tsunami, but the rest of my gear comes from the first bosses in raids, something most people will have access to. Maybe if I started collecting a special disc gear? It's always been a dream of mine to keep a separate gear for the two specs. In wrath disc and holy used very different stats, but I don't think that's the case anylonger. Crit is slightly less bad for disc than holy and mastery is slightly better for holy than disc but overall they cope alot better with the same stats than they did back in Wrath.

Burning gnomes is loads of fun!

What will you do then?
I'll have to level my warrior, won't I? Unfortunately I refuse to go anything but prot on him and that actually makes leveling rather slow. Add to that that I'm an easy gank target and the double frustration makes me take breaks all the time. Not that prot warriors are bad in pvp, but I sure am. Maybe I should level through instances? Nah that would probably burn him out too fast. I probably get to suit myself however for wanting to make things the hard way all the time.

Speaking of hard way, I heard you wiped your 25 man raid the other day?

So you heard about that eh? Word travels fast around these parts. Might as well admit it. Yes I wiped the 25 man raid. And I do that now and then but this time I had a moment of extreme fail, it's actually quite funny in hindsight. Although I do occasionally just plain suck at something, like you know I don't move from fire and stuff, I do have an excuse for what happened during this particular raid. My computer doesn't seem to cope very well with 25 mans. For most fights this isn't a big problem, but on some fights the amount of spell effects just makes my computer keel over. Valiona & Theralion is such fight. It's a really small room and both the dragons and the 25 raiders will do alot of pretty looking spells. When it got really heated my computer and I turned into pen pals;

Computer - "Dear Zinn, hope you are well. I'm not feeling so well, and I would like you to know that the huge dragon is aiming his Dragon Breath at your face. Love Computer".
Zinn - "Dear Computer, I am sad to hear about you not feeling well! Dragon Breath you say? Is there any way I can get out of the way from that? Get better soon! Love Zinn".
Computer - "Dear Zinn, I'm getting worse by the moment. Should go and see a doctor about it. I must unfortunately tell you that you are dead. Love Computer".
Zinn "Dear Computer, I am sorry to hear that. At least we'll have to go to the doctor together. Love Zinn".

And so on. Playing the game as a Power Point presentation turned out to be lethal. Thrice. First I died from not moving from the Dragon Breath from Valiona in the first phase. Then I got a combat res and before I had managed to do anything I was killed by a meteor due to my low health. Then I got another combat res and managed to run to the ranged group who had stacked up for phase 2. Remember now that I am playing on 2-5 fps all the time. Then I hear someone say on TS that some idiot is standing in the raid with Engulfing Magic. Guess who that idiot was? I managed to run away, finally, but I had killed off half the raid and died myself, again, seconds after. I said I was very sorry and that I had to lower the graphics to minimum or I wouldn't be able to play. The fight was still going on (though not for much longer) and when we released and flew inside someone again said on TS "well we all died because someone didn't move from the debuff" and I said "yeah, that was me". No use trying to deny it - we all fail sometimes! At least my track record is half decent.

Another victim of the Elevator boss in Blackwing Descent
But a bad computer isn't really a good excuse, is it?
No definitely not. It's always annoyed me when people wipe a raid or group and then say "well it wasn't my fault, I have bad lags". If your lags are so bad that you can't play successfully I am sorry, but you should consider doing something else. Don't join a car race with a bicycle. I do forgive disconnects (unless they come regularly) and the occasional crashes or lags. I've never had this bad performance since I bought my computer, and it's just above a year old for gods sake. I knew the computer industry moved fast but that's just ridiculous. And this fight in particular was worse than anything else so far.

So did lowering your graphics work?
No. In a way it actually made things worse. Did you know that at lowest graphics you've got the visual range of a blind molerat? Bastion of Twilight is in the air, and finding the entrance is impossible with the lowest settings. You have to hope someone else is nearby so you can tag along, because you can't see the instance entrance, or the pillar it lies on from the graveyard. 2 yards from your nose everything just turns into white fog. I was flying around randomly for a couple of minutes before I, out of pure luck, managed to find the entrance. And I still didn't get my fps above 10. I really hope this was a one time thing or just extra bad this time. Otherwise they'll just have to replace me for that boss or I'll have to focus on 10-mans for now. Buying a new computer isn't really an option.


  1. Your letters to/from your computer made me laugh. Also, so did random Katamari gnomes quest screenshot! I love that quest as well. I think everyone does, really!

    That is a bummer about the computer requirements on 25's. Mine sometimes chugs and churns merely on 10's, and I remember a few times doing ICC25 pugs where it would just stumble and wheeze as if it were crying and asking me "oh god why, why are you doing this to meeeeee D:" Hopefully you are able to find a decent settings compromise that lets you raid without destroying your enjoyment!

  2. Hmm. Are you sure it's not the graphics card on that specific fight? I have an nVidia 9600 with only 2 gigs and everything runs great on ultra. My computer is over a year old now and was only about 500 to build. Maybe it's just inherent to that dragon fight?

  3. Guide to making heroics more fun as a healer:

    1. Tell everyone to act like retards: "Please take as much damage as you can and pull 2 packs at once for god's sake". This is sure to spice up your dungeon experience. Because, if it's not challenging, it's not fun. :)

    2. Switch to green gear, without gems and enchants.

    3. Limit yourself to only allow certain healing spells. Instead of using the efficient heals and AOE heals like you are supposed to, force yourself to only use Flash Heal that drains your mana faster than a camel drains a pond.

    4. Try to outdps a dpser while healing.

    These are some of the things I enjoyed doing in WotLK heroics while healing (which in all honesty, rarely even needed a healer). I've healed some normals on my druid so far, but no heroics yet. On normal mode the healing hasn't been very challenging, I'm hoping that'll change once I get to 85. :)


  4. @Rades & Natalie
    I did go in there some days later and fortunately we had alot less issues. That time we actually managed to down them so maybe there was alot of lag going around overall. I've since then also heard somewhere that that fight in particular is nasty this way, so maybe I'll be fine!

    Haha, thanks for the nice tips ;) I have been trying to heal on my resto shaman, and it follows those tips pretty much to the letter, unfortunately unvoluntarely. But it's still fun!

  5. If your computer just recently starting slowing down, I do have some tips:

    1. Clean dust out of all fans/ports. You would be amazed at what a difference a little bit of heat buildup will make. I clean all of mine out about once a month to keep things running smoothly. Occasionally, I pull out my video card and clean it out as well. This applies doubly if you have pets.

    2. If using Windows, clean out your startup programs and services. I've found that WoW will allocate itself about 50% of your available memory, and the more random stuff you have sitting there in memory, the less WoW has available to use.

    3. Check your addons. Some addons, especially those that are out of date, can sap a surprising amount of processing power and lower your frame rates. I tend to run a lot of addons myself, but I also run fairly fast hardware and keep it upgraded. I could add 50% more fps if I dumped several addons.

  6. @Kess
    Thanks, those are all great advice. Interestingly enough they're probably all good reasons to my bad fps.

    1. I took a pic of all the dust in my computer. Horrible. Embarrassing. I might put it up here, but I am sure you'd never forgive me for the torture I've put my computer through through negligence and incompetence <.<

    2. This is something I never do, but fortunately enough Love does that every now and then for me. This is often overlooked and a great way to speed things up.

    3. I go without Recount for the worst fights, that's the real memory hog. Can go up to 30-50mb. That's just crazy.