Monday, December 20, 2010

Am I too old for WoW ?

Cataclysm PvE .. I don't know.

During an extended weekend I started to do PvE in Cataclysm. My druid has itemlevel 345 for tanking/dpsing and healing equip. That equip is well gemmed and enchanted. I've spent quite some gold and even more time and was confident that I am well prepared for raiding.

My equip probably was. But I was not. The first thing we did was tanking Omnitron Defense System. We wiped an entire evening, but got him down the second night. Not too bad for our guild. As a tank you sometimes have to be fast, but it was manageable. You needed to stop autoattacking at some points, which required me to get that autoattack button on my UI. As soon as we managed to disrupt some rather fast spells in a rotation everything went fine.

Then we went to Tol Barad and onehitted that PvP boss there. Easy going. On the next night we went to Halfus Wyrmbreaker in the Bastion of Twilight. After some inital problems with the trash that we sorted out rather fast, we started some tries.


That guy hits like a truck, his dragons hit like a truck and generally, it seems our equip is just not ready. Our healers go oom within 30 seconds without producing a lot of overheal. Maybe the problem was that my tanking partner, has went for maximum life instead of maximum avoid, like I did. He had some 20k HP more, but ate some 10-30% more damage. What is OP in this fight is a paladin that can remove the healing debuff on the tank. Since both tanks get this debuff two paladins would be even better. It is also possible that the debuff is simply bugged. Judging from the tooltip it is supposed to be applied by Halfus attacks, but regardless of those attacks being dodged, the debuff is still stacked!

Anyway, what was very hard here, again, was interrupting the boss in a rotation. Rotations are necessary, because even with the relative short interrupt cooldown that bears have (10 seconds) we can only interrupt every second spell. Even one such spell going through is almost unhealable (massive AoE attack on the entire raid).

After two hours we managed to kill the first dragon, but there are two more to go, a second phase after than and possibly an enrage timer. With our current equip (and the way it was customized by the raid) this seems impossible from a healer PoV.

So we moved on the Blackwing Descend once again. Magmaw would be the boss that would make me ask whether I am too old for raiding. Since you only need one tank for the boss, I respecced to healing and a healer respecced to dps. I would have loved to respecc to dps, but there is only a dual specc in WoW.

Dual specc interlude:
I always was an opponent of dual specc. I want one persistent character in an MMO. Not an entity for my arcade gaming. But since Blizzard already crossed that line, there is no reason to limit the number of my speccs any longer. My character in WoW now offcially is my entity for arcade gaming. So please allow me to use that dps specc without teleporting to town before and changing glyphs. Dual specc is bad, but not better than triple specc, or anynumber-specc.

So I healed and .. wiped the raid.
Thing is that Magmaw does a Pillar of Flame and I missed that pillar. Again. and. Again. and. Again.
Sometimes I saw it on my monitor just the second it would explode. Mostly I wouldn't see it until it exploded! My groupmembers didn't seem to have a problem with it. But my success rate at escaping it, even while concentrating on doing this and almost nothing else, was about 20%.

I don't even think it is about reaction time. On the usual online tests about reaction time I score a mediocre average, but nothing abysmal. It was about the pattern recognition in my brain. That Pillar of Flame effect on the ground would just be ignored by my brain. Among all the green and blue player-made circles, massive sparkle, enchanted weapons swriling and firebreath and fireballs that obfuscated my view I just didn't see that pattern !!

After the like 10th try and getting tired of apologizing to the raid (damn, I have a reputation to lose! :), I just went to the melees. The thing is that we have had only one melee in the 10-man raid and the event is (as usual) seriously scripted. There is a predifned area for melee where they are not hit by that Pillar of Flame. Since Wow is unable to see that I am actually a healer, just standing where melees are supposed to stand, it worked. At least now we wiped for other reasons.

I have no doubt that we will down this boss within the next few days. But without a better boss mod (will try BigWigs instead of Deadly Boss Mods) that turns my monitor flashing like a rainbow sending thunder to my headphones I don't think I'd ever have a chance to reliably escape that Pillar of Flame. My brain's just not good enough.

Now, of course I more than ever would love to actually find a triple-A fantasy MMORPG that puts those scripted encounters in the trash can. The only fucking (I am european I may write those words) difficulty in these encounters is execution. You know exactly what to do, like in a choreography, it's just that a fraction-of-a-second pattern recognition and reaction is required and one out of 10 or 25 people usually fails at it. I'd prefere to actually talk about strategy more which is only possible with unpredictable encounters (internet). Encounters and dungeons need to be created by a computer on-the-fly.

But that's not the only problem here. I wiped at Baron Geddon in MC with 40 people where somebody ALWAYS forgot to run out of the group when he was the bomb. It wasn't much of a problem for me then. But it was as lame - if not worse, wasn't it ?

I think it is really about my expectations of entitlement. In 40-man MC I didn't exspect the boss to go down. It was a big fantasy fight and even though I'd give my best you would usually lose. You woudn't win any reasonable amount of epics, anyway. I didn't do MC to play WoW, but did MC while playing WoW. Nowadays endgame is what I do in WoW and if I fail at it I get .. sad.

I also did not organize these things in MC. I was just one of 40 people hitting some buttons. I don't organize our raids today, either, but I usually have a lot of smartass ideas about how to handle encounters better and thus I do take responsibility. It's that things go wrong that I feel responsible for to not go wrong. It is even worse if they go wrong because of me. But what's really, really bad is when you fail repeatedly without any hope to do better the next try, because you actually have yet to see that pillar of flame in un-exploded form!!

I'll get over it. Fortunately for Blizzard there's still PvP to do. Even though those 45 minutes rated BG queues for Horde are a bit silly. I'm pretty sure Titan won't have factions the way WoW had. From a gameplay point of view they are a pain in the ass and, surprisingly, even Blizzard hasn't crossed the line yet and allowed Horde to fight against Horde to take control over Warsong Gulch for the ... Horde.

1 comment:

  1. You can adjust your settings to make things easier to see. I remember we had the whole raid adjust settings for Sartharion last time around.