WoW: Healer Performance in MoP, Tiller Love, Final Achievements

We’re moving to doing game-specific roundup posts here at the Pot for a while – let me know what you think, or if you prefer the old grab-bag style.

Today’s game is WoW – from Reasons To Love The Tillers, to some seriously hardcore graphing of healer performance so far this expansion, it’s all interesting stuff for those of us in the Land of Pandas:

  • Erinys writes a quick post crowing about three little fluff items that make her love the Tillers farming faction“This wonderful set makes your character don a chefs hat and start chopping as if you’re in the final minutes of a closely fought Iron Chef battle. You swiftly reduce your kill to a pile of blood red guts such is your enthusiasm”
  • Beruthiel is back on the case with some serious graphs, as she looks at the state of the various healing classes one month into the expansion“Monks are undeniably the strongest healers at this juncture in the game with none of the other healing classes coming close to them in performance. They are followed by Shaman and Paladins, with Druids and Priests bringing up the rear.”
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob writes about his experience completing his last-ever WoW achievement as he leaves the game behind” The account was cancelled and would no longer be a worry. Around 5am today it was closed. But last night, when there were still a few more hours left to go, I decided to log in one more time and bang out one last achievement.”
  • And Lono is embarking on an ambitious-sounding research project to figure out just why and how raids work – and he needs your help to do it.“To put it simply, people are keen to say that they loved some raids but not why.”

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Let’s keep the tanks, the healers, and the DPS!

There’s been a bit of a revisionist movement of late in the MMOSphere, with various people – very nearly including Blizzard – suggesting that the Holy Trinity of tanks, healers, and DPS should be revised or removed, that it’s passed its sell-by date, and that it’s hindering our gameplay.

It’s a popular suggestion – so popular, in fact, that I haven’t really heard any dissenting voices, until today, as Gazimoff eloquently speaks up in favour of the Trinity :

“This proposal cropped up recently on WoW Insider, where pure DPS classes would have some of their abilities replaced to become tank/DPS or healer/DPS hybrids, or even all three. This would mean that everyone would be able to perform at least two out of three in the trifecta.

I don’t like this.

If you play a class that can heal you get pressured into healing. If you play a class that can tank you get pressured into tanking. If you can do both then you get pulled all sorts of ways and spend your days keeping everyone but yourself happy. All this peer pressure is a bit crap considering that I want to play the role I enjoy, and that role is nuking the crap out of a monster and seeing big yellow numbers.”

Gazimoff makes several very interesting points within this short article, from his personal views on the role he wants to play to his suggestion at the end that the entire flap might well result from a misattribution of the entire problem. It’s an interesting thought – after all, the lack-of-tanks issue has always primarily been centered around PUG groups. Is it, perhaps, not that people don’t want the responsibility of tanking, but that they don’t want the responsibility of tanking for people they don’t like?

Are you a Holy Trinity abolitionist, or do you think they’re fine? And does the problem lie elsewhere?

Quote taken directly from Gazimoff’s article .

Find Gazimoff’s blog, Mana Obscura, at http://www.manaobscura.com/ .

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Why don’t people protect healers in PvP? Seriously?

Vidyala at Manalicious has been getting a kicking. In Battlegrounds, that is. Every time she sticks her healing nose out of the door, someone tries to chop it off.

Everyone knows that a healer’s pretty much your most powerful weapon in Battlegrounds. So why is it that random PUG groups continue to fail to, you know, protect them? Vidyala would very, very much like to know, because it’s starting to drive her out of PUG BGs:

I mean, let’s be frank here. I don’t think I’m the world’s gift to BGs. I don’t expect accolades or for anyone to act like I’m a big deal because I’m healing. I like healing! I want to heal. It’s just that, by virtue of what I’m doing – I need a little help from you in order to best help you. When you ignore my existence, I’m vulnerable. You see, the opposing team, they aren’t like you. They know who I am. Believe me – in seconds. They converge on me like a plague of locusts.

I always appreciate a good rant, and this is one. And it’s interesting – and surprising – to learn just how much the role of healer continues to suck in a Battleground. I mean, we all know that PUGs tend to bring out some pretty idiotic behaviour – but you would have thought that in a 15-person battleground, at least a few people would be capable enough to defend the source-o-healing.

Is there a good reason for this? Is there some strategic reason for not protecting healers that both Vid and I aren’t expert enough to get? Do more PvP oriented games like Guild Wars have this? Or is it just a truly epic case of PUG FAIL?

_Quote taken directly from Vidyala’s post.

Find Manalicious’s homepage at http://manalicious.wordpress.com._

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How To Get Better Healing In Cataclysm

Last week we asked whether healing was too difficult in Cataclysm. Whether or not it is there are healers aplenty sprinkled across servers, forums and blogs who’re finding healing to be a Cataclysmic disaster. So it’s a good thing that Ttrinity’s written a post to help those healers, and I wish you folks all the best with it! Annnnd if you’re not a healer – pass it along to someone who is, you might be doing them a huge favour.

Ttrinity says she’s not qualified to write guides on this kind of thing but she makes up for that with a post that’s full to the brim of healer camaraderie and helpful advice.

We’ve all been there, hell we ARE there in Cataclysm. Wrestling with the mana demons; DPS standing in the bad; soft, unenchanted tanks; expensive fast heals and not much mana in our bank accounts which yield us OOM during a boss fight, helplessly standing there with purpley – grayed out spells, unable to case anything. This becomes especially painful right at 85 when stats magically weaken our heals and mana pools.  Healing at 85 is different. It is challenging. But it should not shoo you away, scurrying into only pursuing achievements, respecing out of heals or falling back to roll another alt.

Is her advice useful? Yes. Most of it’s practical advice, like things you might’ve forgotten about enchants. She’s got tips that’ll help you plant your feet firmly back on the ground, rather than getting upset when things go wrong. And to round it off, Ttrinity suggests some things that might take you out your comfort zone – but she’ll help you grow into a leaner, meaner healing machine if you take her advice.

Now it’s down to you. If you’re a healer, give her post a shot and let us know what you think of it. If you’re not a healer – do you think there’s anything you’d add to Ttrinity’s post from your role/perspective that’d help out a mana-deprived healer?

_Quote taken directly from Ttrinity’s post

You can find Ttrinity’s Healer Aggro homepage here_

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Roundup: Reactions And Thoughts On The Healer, Tanks, DPS In Groups Debate

…Right. So today the blogosphere’s lit up with a range of posts on roughly the same topic after Tamarind’s post from yesterday, where he talks about the LFD system dehumanising us, how much effort we expect from strangers, and how DPS are disempowered and none of us should be okay with this.

A chunky post.

Some of today’s posts are responses to it, some of them look to be happy coincidences. Some of them are about the LFD system: some of them are about the tank/DPS/healer roles. But they all share a common feature. They’re about being part of a group. So, rather than picking and choosing one to stick a seal of epicness on and present you with, I’m rounding them all up, nodding my approval and letting you choose which opinions on the topic strike the most epic chord with you.

  • Shut Up And Follow The Tank: Analogue over at Looking For More says that both healers and DPS should be happy to follow the tank blindly in an instance. Wait, before you get the pitchforks out, go read why. Her post is very grounded. It’s from her point of view of both a healer talking to DPSers and as her recent experience being a DPS in a group where things went a bit haywire (largely because of a nitwibbler of a tank).
  • For good or evil… the LFD tool…: Lady Erinia over at Moments in the Life of a DK is casting her eye back over her WoW career and comparing the times when LFD wasn’t around to now. She says her gaming experience has really changed since LFD turned up and I’d reckon she’s not the only player who’s found that. I wonder how many of us are in similar shoes to Lady E?
  • LFD: How To Fit In: Jasyla of Cannot Be Tamed has a hilarious recount of the worst possible behaviours of any role in a group and needless to say is just what is worst about the dungeon finder and we shouldn’t do. Brilliant, tongue in cheek, and had me laughing out loud. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen most of the things on her list and maybe even done a few ourselves. Still, keeps the topic at hand lighthearted and fun.
  • A Quick Note and I Am A Damage Dealer: our resident pancake lover Traxy and Vidyala over at Manalicious are both coming to the same conclusion but in very different styles. They’re picking up on Tamarind’s point that DPSers shouldn’t be treated as “less” equal to tanks and healers in a group, and are both saying that DPS should take pride in themselves. Vidyala is very obviously proud of herself and the role of DPS, when she or others do it well and say that DPS should be proud of each other, too. Traxy, on the other hand, wishes she saw that kind of attitude more. Either way – gogo, DPSers.
  • Ancient roles, and non-negotiation in instance groups part 2: Spinks of Welcome to Spinksville has some brief thoughts on traditional roles as handed down from older games and how they interact with the ideal of everyone being able to express him or herself in a group setting. I was more convinced by the first half of her post than the latter, but the whole thing’s an interesting read and something I’d not considered in this debate yet.

That’s all on the topic – hopefully something’s grabbed your attention. Someone’s mentioned it’s no surprise this topic’s come up in the last days of the pre Cata lull and we’ll move on from it as soon as Cata hits. That’s quite true, though LFD probably isn’t going anywhere.

What do you think – are LFD and role ideals going to adapt with us to the new game, or is LFD going to be a worse place in Cataclysm?

You can find…

  • _Looking For More’s homepage here_
  • _Moments In The Life of a DK’s homepage here_
  • _Cannot Be Tamed’s homepage here_
  • _I Like Pancakes’ homepage here_
  • _Manalicious’ homepage here_
  • _Welcome to Spinksville’s homepage here

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Righteous Orbs: On “Acceptable” Standards In Group Settings

Wow. Okay, my brain feels like it’s melting in a fuzzy, warm chocolate sort of way. Why? I’ve just read a very long but incredibly cogent post from Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs on the subject of rights and acceptable behaviour in groups.

He’s taking his subject from the “Frostgate incident” a couple of weeks ago. While Tam refers to it throughout his post you don’t need to know the ins and outs of the incident to make sense of what he’s saying, though if you want to get the background you can find it here with various links onwards. Tamarind is looking at that incident as an example of a much wider problem: how we as a community are falling into various social traps, the worst of which is passively supporting the unnatural right of tanks and healers over DPS in a group.

Tam’s post is long, but he covers a lot of ground. He also talks about calling teammates by their class name and why it’s unacceptable, and goes on to say that we should think about why the apparent acceptable standards in a dungeon are both low and actually unacceptable.

And you might say: what does it matter, Tam? We go to LFG to get stuff we want with the minimum of fuss, not to get respect from other players. But ultimately the more I think we allow ourselves to dehumanize others, and be dehumanized in our turn, even in small ways like this, the more we slip into treating other players as resources to be used, and the more we create a culture in which that is perceived as being is entirely normal. And I know this is what makes me such a hopeless social but I genuinely believe it damages all aspects of the game – it’s not about creating a “nice” atmosphere where people are “nice” to each other, it’s about creating an expectation of acceptable behaviour in a group setting.

Yes, all the things he’s covering are things that have been talked about for ever and a shattering. But Tam’s article builds up through his points and culminates in an entirely sensible point. His whole post serves as a varied warning and a rant for anyone who’s been in a group setting. Well played, priest.

I gather from my twitter stream a little earlier a few folks are thinking to write their own posts in response to this one, so I’ll be interseted to see those and maybe do a further update tomorrow. But for now, what do you think? Is Tam right on or is he going overboard and doomsaying?

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Quote taken directly from Tam’s post

You can find Righteous Orbs’ homepage here_

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