Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Failure to treat me politely at the start of the instance will result in my chain-pulling as many mobs as I can before I bubble hearth.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
"... but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
So, let's engage in a little foolishness, shall we? Thanks to plowing through Zangarmarsh and partway through Nagrand, Aeven is level 65 now. She's actually just shy of level 66, but for what follows, that shouldn't matter.
The other evening, while I was on, I did a "/who pala" and found a random level 65 retribution paladin questing in Terokkar Forest. Chatted with him for a bit, and took a look at his armory listing. From that, I figured he was probably a reasonable person to compare Aeven to - no heirlooms on him, looks like he had a decent selection of appropriate gear and a reasonable talent selection. He didn't know what gearscore was, so we're definitely not talking about a hardcore raider's alt... just a random player with a level 65 pally, going about his business.
So, let's compare Aeven to Mr. Generic Paladin, shall we? For purposes of the comparison, we'll take whatever MGP has as being 100% - so if he's got a stat at 100, and Aeven has a stat at 50, we'll say she's at about 50% on the scale for that stat.
Aeven MGP Scale
Health 3642 5832 62%
Mana 3077 3947 77%
Hmm. Pretty much what you'd expect, here. Aeven's running at a serious health deficit, because - of course - none of her gear has any stamina on it, except for what she can pick up from enchantments. It actually pretty interesting to note that she's gotten to the point where her rank 10 Holy Light spell is generally enough to give her a full heal. Still, her health situation is better than I thought that it would be at this level.
Mana is surprising. It's still lower than expected, but - probably thanks to talents - it's coming in at just slightly over 3/4 on the MGP scale. So she's running out of mana sooner than she otherwise would, but it's not a huge difference. Given that Aeven can burn through a good dozen mobs before she needs to start worrying about mana, that's not bad at all.
Stats Aeven MGP Scale
Strength 135 362 37%
Agility 67 147 45%
Stamina 141 375 37%
Intellect 75 133 56%
Spirit 81 93 87%
Ouch. That lack of gear is really showing up in the stats. For strength and stamina, she's at about 1/3 of what she otherwise could have, compared to MGP. Agility and Intellect are better, coming in at around 50%. And... spirit? Is spirit still a stat? Huh. Apparently it's not that important to paladins. Yes, Aeven has some enchantments to help make up for these gaps, and her profession bonus for mining gives her a nice little stamina bonus. That's obviously just enough to help keep her from being a complete looser, though. Potions, food buffs, scrolls and the like will obviously only narrow this gap slightly.
Melee Aeven MGP Scale
Damage 125-170 458-563 30%
Speed 1.80 3.50 n/a
Power 560 923 60%
Hit Rating 5 29 17%
Crit Chance 15.37% 14.74% 104%
Expertise 5 0 n/a
When it comes to hitting things in the face with a big ol' chunk of something, Aeven's... wow. Really lagging behind. She's putting out about 1/3 of the damage of MGP, which is going to affect both her auto attacks, and her Crusader Strikes. Fortunately, her attack power is almost 2/3 of MGP, which is good, since that's going to impact the effectiveness of her Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, Avenger's Shield, Seal of Vengeance... and more and more. For Aeven, it looks like attack power is going to be more of a benefit than just about anything else. Crit chance is higher than MGP because of her profession bonuses from skinning.
Spell Aeven MGP Scale
Bonus Damage 168 361 46%
Bonus Healing 168 361 46%
Hit Rating 5 29 17%
Crit Chance 13.55% 10.3% 131%
Haste Rating 0 0 n/a
Mana Regen 20 42 47%
On the "blowing things up with the power of the Light" side, though, Aeven's not doing too shabby. She comes in at about 50% of MGP overall, again with the exception of crit chance, thanks to skinning.
Defense Aeven MGP Scale
Armor 4225 5125 82%
Defense 323 331 97%
Dodge 6.00% 9.43% 63%
Parry 4.92% 10.26% 47%
Block 4.92% 5.24% 93%
In terms of defenses, she's doing much better. Overall, with the exception of her dodge, she's managing to stay very competitive here, at about a solid 2/3 of MGP overall. Keep in mind that she's only upgraded two items of her armor to tarnished plate - if she was in a full set, I think that her armor overall would be closer to 100% of MGP.
Finally, for completeness, a gear comparison. Looking up MGP on a web site, I saw that his gearscore was 914, compared to Aeven's impressive gear score of... zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothin', buddy, just move along. Note that he had not gemmed, nor enchanted, his gear - if he had, the above comparisons would (obviously) have been a bit worse.
Item Name Level
Helm of Natural Purity 96
Pendant of the Marsh 93
Expedition Mantle 93
Red Linen Shirt 10
Gilded Crimson Chestplate 85
Darkcrest Belt 87
Flintlocke's Piloting Pants 87
Expedition Footgear 93
Imperial Plate Bracers 54
Defender's Gauntlets 93
Tourmaline Loop 90
Amaan's Signet 93
Terokkar Tablet of Precision 99
Crazy Cenarion Cloak 96
Edge of Inevitability 99
Libram of Wracking 93
Guild Tabard 1
Item Name Level
Tarnished Plate Helmet 66
Durable Chain Shoulders 24
Squire's Shirt 1
Platemail Armor 50
Platemail Belt 50
Platemail Leggings 50
Platemail Boots 50
Tarnished Plate Bracers 66
Platemail Gloves 50
Argent Dawn Commission 1
Veteran Cloak 12
Ancient Bone Mace 71
Crested Heater Shield 50
Guild Tabard 1
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
"The more I think of it, the challenge just isn't as tangible as it should be. There is no risk involved, only severe repetition to overcome the bosses. Gear makes the effort easier, but doesn't remove any risks."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
While that plan initially looked somewhat balanced, the flaws soon became apparent. While the druid was better to play at very low levels, the paladin got a big boost in power at level 16, and by level 20 was a completely overpowered soloing monster. Even without dual-spec yet, he was what players of previous games would call a "tank mage", that mythical character with no flaws at all, being able to deal as much damage as any other class, while simultaneously being able to withstand far more damage than a pure damage-dealer, and being able to heal himself to boot when things got rough.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
"The first rule of Fail PuG is, you must talk about Fail PuG."
"The second rule of Fail PuG is, you MUST talk about Fail PuG."
Who am I to ignore the rules? Listen, then...
Just about 1k experience short of making level 56, I queued up for Sunken Temple in the LFD tool. Apparently there aren't that many people interested in running ST, so even queued as a tank, it was a bit of a wait. After a while, though, I found myself in a group consisting of Aeven, two hunters and their pets, an elemental shaman and a druid.
I switched Aeven over to her tanking spec, drank up, and tossed off some buffs. Then I warned them, up front, that someone else would have to guide us through the instance. If this seems like a familiar litany of mine, then you'd be absolutely correct. I've run old world and BC dungeons enough that I'm vaguely familiar with most of them, but I'm more than willing to admit the rats nest that is Sunken Temple makes my brain hurt.
Within the first few mobs, Aeven picked up enough experience to hit level 56. Nice! I had gotten into Sunken Temple just under the wire, just before the LFD tool would not let me queue her for the instance. But I was there now, and hey - it's an old world instance, right? How hard could it be, really?
It didn't take long to see the warning signs of Fail PuG. One of the hunters was rolling need on everything. Not a big deal to me - greens and blues are just gold, and I was there to run the dungeon, not find new shinies. It was a point of contention to the other players, though. "Why are you rolling need on everything?" No answer. The druid was our healer, but seemed to spend more time in cat form then actually healing. Well, OK - I've healed as shadow spec on my priest before, when we obviously overgeared the instance and just tossing out a heal every once in a while was deadly dull.
With the shaman guiding us, though, we made our way to the upper ring of the temple. It was there that things started falling apart. "We should all tank everything," said one of the hunters in party chat. I said nothing. And indeed, there were soon bears, cats, and diminutive dwarven death machines running hither and yon. I did my best to hold aggro, but - to my shame - I had forgotten to turn on Righteous Fury, and didn't realize that until it was pointed out to me later. So lest you think that I am just the chronicler of fail in this case, know that I did in fact contribute to the level of Fail we expereinced. A minor contribution, to be sure, but there none the less.
After the second mini-boss, the shaman ran off, unnoticed, to find the next target. By the time I realized she had gone, we tried to follow her, and - lacking our guide - ended up on the lower level of the instance. Yeah, I know. How amazingly hard would it have been to just continue on the path and join up with her? Apparently, too hard for our four feeble brains. We ended up at the instance portal before we realized how mixed up we were, and the shammy soon dropped group in disgust.
One of the hunters says, "pass me lead." I think about it a second, figure that he probably has a friend to invite or something, and pass him the group lead. If he wants that position, it's fine by me - he can't have a worse idea of how to navigate the instance than I do. There's really no real benefit to being group lead, so if he wanted it, well, that was find by me. I'd classify this as my second shame. I was just interested in running the dungeon, but really, I should have stepped in and filled the role of the dungeon leader, whatever that meant. Instead, I sloughed it off and let someone else take up the minimal responsibilities.
We re-entered the LFD queue, and quickly picked up a priest - apparently, when the time came to re-queue, the druid decided that he'd just go full-out feral and registered as dps along with the hunters. Well, OK - we still had three dps, and now we had a real healer with us.
"Hey guys, first time healing, hope that's OK," said Priestly Guy.
"No problem," I answered. I was actually kind of excited. Here we are, in an old world instance, with what seemed like a nice guy trying to learn the ropes of his class. Stepping out of his comfort zone, getting ready to experience an entirely new aspect of the game, and... what?
"A vote to kick Priestly Guy has been initiated."
Before I couild even respond, bam! Priestly Guy was gone. Oh-kaaay. Here then is my third shame: I said nothing. Looking back on it, I should have just dropped group. Vote kicking someone for, say, rolling need on things they can't use? Apparently not. Vote kicking the healer because he's never healed in a dungeon before? Apparently, that's perfectly reasonable.
So, sans healer, the two hunters start pulling again. I shrug my shoulders, and rather than drop group - which would mean having to put together a ST dungeon run by hand, now that I can't use the LFD tool - I just go with the flow and follow along. At this point, one of the folks (the druid, IIRC) chimes in:
"hey aeven what with ur gear?"
Oh, joy. Text speak. I explain that it's intentional, and that I'm leveling and learning to tank using only vendor-bought gear as an experiment.
"aeven ur an idiot"
Sigh. I respond, saying something like, "Yes, the evidence seems to point to that inevitable conclusion." I choose not to mention that I am not refering to my gear - the fact that Aeven is level 56 should, I think, speak for itself - but to my continuing association with the current group of uncouth, over-caffeinated twitch-boys.
By the time we end up overlooking the pit full of dragonkin that will eventually lead to Eranikus, the druid has dropped group, leaving me with the two loot-happy hunters. Well, with their pets, we still have five in the party, right? At least, that's what I tried to tell myself. "Aeven, you can heal, right?" they ask, and I tell them sure, I'm not spec'd for it, but I can try. So they jump down into the pit, I follow... and land in the middle of a group of whelps and dragonkin. They go running off to pull another group, leaving me there wondering where they are, what's going on, and ooh, look, isn't that a cute little whelp that's gnawing my leg off at the knee?
By the time I make my way back to the instance, the two hunters have - not surprisingly - also perished, since they lacked a healer. And a tank. And anything approaching decent dps. At which point, they drop group, leaving my ghost at the entrance to the Sunken Temple.
So now I've died, I've lost my group, I've lost my easiest chance to run Sunken Temple, and my indifference has contributed to all of the above.
Wheh. OK, time for lessons learned.
- Before I head into an instance, I'm going to read up on it, and get out of the "someone else tell me where to go" mentality. I'll know where to go - generally, if not specifically. I'll know what to watch out for, and make sure that I know enough to get everyone (Aeven included) through the instance successfully.
- I took Aeven into the instance essentially unbuffed - no defense potions, no strength elixirs, no food buffs, no other non-class related buffs. Bascially, I've gotten lazy, thanks to the ease of leveling as retribution. Now that she's heading into end-game vanilla content and introductory BC content, I need to make sure that Aeven is as ready as she can possibly be if I want her to do a good job as a tank.
- I'm going to put together a macro that explains my gear choices to the party, and hit it on joining an instance. I don't have a problem with dropping group if people think that Aeven isn't capable of tanking a particular instance. Being forthright from the start will save us all some trouble if Aeven's gear will be an impediment (actual or perceived).
- I'm going to (finally) put together a tanking macro for Aeven that consolidates her emergency taunt abilities, so she can grab and keep aggro, even in the face of hunter pets running amok.
- I'm going to set and adhere to personal standards of behavior. Incivility - rolling need on everything, vote-kicking someone for no reason, foul language or rudeness - will be addressed by me. I won't wait for someone else to be the adult. If the situation isn't corrected, or isn't correctable, then sorry. The group will loose their tank.