Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dungeon Finder's New Bias ... how it forced me to run a dungeon with my guild.

I logged in and checked Dungeon Finder, since there was extra loot for healers, I queued.  Note, I'm not real social butterfly, I don't "/g hello everyone" because I don't care if people know I'm around or not.  So, I'm queued up ready to get my satchel of exotic mysteries when I get a group, and jump into a Random group filled with players from my own guild.  Apparently, their healer left and I got randomly selected to replace him.   We all had a good laugh about it, especially since they hadn't asked me to queue with them in the first place.   It's not like they wouldn't have asked me, if they knew I was around and looking for a group.  I least, I that's what I tell myself before I go to sleep.

The Dungeon Finder's new bias which matches with players from the same realm first is apparently to blame.  I've noticed a lot of people from the same Realm in my groups, and I think it's a great new feature.  It's amazing how many of these players whisper me, "hey you guys are level 25?"  So many new people looking for a high level guild.

If meet some random player from your realm and they are good, add them to your friends list.  These people could fill in gaps in guild runs, be it dungeon or raid.  Make a note, good deeps, great tank, whatever, so when you are looking to fill in a run, you'll have a list of contacts to check.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dev Watercooler -- Number of Abilities - World of Warcraft

Dev Watercooler -- Number of Abilities - World of Warcraft

I've struggled with handling the number of abilities issue, especially with some of the more subtle abilities (hand of salvation, etc). My personal technique for handling this, is to simple focus on a new ability for a few runs. I'll do a postmortem of a past run and notice for example, that I'm not using Divine Protection. Obviously not using an ability that mitigates damage and therefore reduces healing is big no-no. This ability is especially valuable when used in conjunction with Divine Sacrifice, since you can redirect damage a player that is about to get slammed and mitigate it. Using the Glyph of Divine Protection makes it especially powerful when handling big damage spell based abilities. After this research, I make a new macro:

#showtooltip Divine Sacrifice
/cast Divine Protection
/cast [@mouseover, help] Divine Sacrifice

I then link it to a keybind and focus on using that ability in the next few runs. During these runs, I'll be thinking about it, as I let my normal healing routine run on automatic. After a few runs, I won't have to "focus" on it as much, and eventually, it'll just be part of my arsenal. This has a lot to do with learning each encounter and anticipating instead of reacting with an ability. I know the big bad Creep is going to blast the tank with a Giant Ball of Fire soon, so I can am ready with Divine Sacrifice. Once it's in your head as an option, it'll be more natural to react with it too.

I remember on my casual Holy Priest, I'd run several heroic 5-mans, without ever using Guardian Spirit. A 31-point talent with a short 3-min CD that I never used is shameful. I even had a key bind on it. But, now I pop that GS on players all the time, especially in heroics, when running with a Tank that doesn't like to CC.

Like all things worth doing, the room to improve is key to making me come back to the game raid after raid.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The skull of tanking

The standard marks that I use is a simple kill order, skull, then cross, then star, then square, and then moon.  I expect star, square and moon to be crowd controlled.  There are a lot of CC options, but the classic would be rogue sap the star, hunter trap on the blue square, and mage polymorph on the moon.

If you don't have a kill order, then players will split their damage instead of creating a focus fire on a single mob. This will make trash take longer and make the tank scramble to maintain the attention of multiple mobs.  If the players follow the damage order the tank's job will be much easier, the healer will use less mana, and the group will move faster through the dungeon.

I also like the CC to happen after the tank pulls (expect for rogue sap of course), instead of "sheep pulling" as many people refer to it.  There's always going to be the beat of time between the sheep's polymorph and the tank gaining control.  This beat of time, is very dangerous, especially if you have players laying into the targets fast.  Instead let the tank pull, then lay down the CC.  The player doing the CC, needs to worry about where they are going to CC the mob.  Casting polymorph on a mob that is sitting next to the tank isn't a great option.  If the tank range pulls the group, this usually gives plenty of room for the CC to take place while giving the tank plenty of room to cleave.

Friday, February 25, 2011

locked boxes inside boxes

I found this amusing.  A locked lockbox looted from a locked lockbox.