Death Knight Tier 14, dress wearer’s set

Why is the DK t14 set wearing a robe/dress? (source)

It’s creepy, has skulls, and will be immediately recognisable. It does not suit the rest of the Death Knight style gear. Heck the Hunter gear looks more like DK gear than this. Perhaps there was too many Warlock sets crafted and they thought the feminine side of DKs needed a spin. I hate that dress.

Still in other T14 news the Monks are wearing lamp shades, the Priests have funny hats, and the Warlock looks awesome.

What non-tanks need to know: CC

Dangfool/Kallixta from the Blog Azeroth shared topics created this thread, and its darn topical to me:

It was a little change and we’ve had some time to adjust. What’s life like now that Tanks need not worry as much about threat? What should tanks be aware now they have one less thing to stay aware of? What bad habits have DPS been freed to pick up?

While the change to threat is the obvious inspiration for this topic, it could just as easily be “What non-tanks need to know about tanking?”/”What tanks need to know about non-tanks?” We’ve never had that as a shared topic either.

The TLDR version of this post is:

  • Crowd Control is critical to a successful run – this has not changed since day one, and the threat change has nothing to do with it.
  • Interrupts are not optional. Dps need to do them, and so does the Tank. ZG is a bastard if nobody uses interrupts on trash and bosses.
  • If you don’t understand the fight script / mechanics, then ask beforehand. There is only shame on you if you ask afterwards, or don’t ask at all.
  • If you can’t do more than 7k or better dps on a single target, non-moving fight then do not sign up. You’re not ready. By comparison I’m wearing a jumble of gear that is basically similar to tier 11, and I can do 8-9k as the tank. You had better be able to keep up with me.

It resonates as the Tanking change has made Tanking better for threat but had no affect on the overall skill in the LFD community. It even looks like some dps have taken the stance that as Tanking is now easier then the fights are easier. No! The threat change means that it is much harder to pull threat, but all other constraints and limitations still apply.

I Tank the ZA/ZGs regularly to try to cap my valor points each week. Typically this means spending 45 minutes to 1.5 hours in a single run, hammering my way through the instance. Often I’ll do these back to back, as I get a few nights a week to play, and I don’t want to “waste” them on other activity when I have Valor to earn. This provides me with a wealth of experience on what it is like as a Tank in the LFD system.

For example recently I tried to complete ZA three times.

Group One:

  • The first Shaman healer left straight away, and I suspect he/she didn’t want to run ZA. The second Priest healer stayed until I left.
  • One of the dps (Warrior) insisted on pulling, and wiped us on two occasions. He was kicked, just after the first boss.
  • Nobody killed the Scouts, even when they had a Skull icon over them.
  • The Mage dps did not want to CC, and had to be told every time.
  • I quit after the 4th wipe, which due to battle res was my 5th death. We didn’t successfully kill the 2nd boss. Apparently a key fault was mine for not gathering up all the small birds, although I was regularly dying due to the amount of damage from the same birds…I’d say they we not being dps’ed at all.

Group Two:

  • We started in ZA again, with two Hunters from the same server, but different guilds. They were clearly friends, and both hated to trap. One didn’t seem to understand the idea or a re-trap at all. The other was slow, but generally polite.
  • The Hunters left just before the 3rd boss, both quit without explanation. They were replaced by a Mage and Hunter from different servers, who also didn’t know how to CC properly.
  • That team also had a Rogue who didn’t like to sap or interrupt, and just responded with “Lol” when asked. I decided early that he was a waste of oxygen, but was at least more useful than the Paladin dps who stood in front of the bosses next to me and did less than 5000 dps.
  • I quit just after the 3rd boss when the dps started insulting the healer. Now the healer was doing an average job, but to my read was busy keeping the fire-standers alive more than herself, so perhaps not valid criticism.
  • So many deaths.

Group Three:

  • Polite. Everyone said hello when we started.
  • I joked about having a metal head suited only to tanking, and the healer (priest) thought I was cake to heal and we started a casual banter through the rest of the run. Even when we had the odd death, it was ok as the mood was lightened.
  • The dps Shaman and Mage used CC regularly, with the Mage never being needed to be told. The Shaman was not as good, but got better as we went.
  • We lost a Warrior to a disconnect, but gained a DK who was basically the same. Both did what they should have, and despite them having average dps (~10k) they were still useful.
  • We completed the run after a long time, but we finished. Even the otherwise silent players said thanks at the end, and I would contemplate recruiting that healer if she was not on another server.

Now I know that a few examples do not create a rule, but the disparity of attitudes seems to be present in almost every session I sit down to play in.

What needs to change:

  • Crowd Control is critical to a successful run – this has not changed since day one, and the threat change has nothing to do with it. If your class can CC then you must learn when to use it, how best to use it, and how to reapply mid battle.
  • Interrupt the casters, mobs, bosses…etc.
  • Don’t be told every time to do it. Just use it and assume it’s needed.
  • Don’t face pull through moving, stay aware.
  • Don’t pull if its not your role. A tank may ask for a Mind Control or other affect that starts a fight, but nobody should ever take it upon themselves to start a fight when they’re not the tank. You just look like an idiot when some or all the group wipes.
  • Ask for help if you need it.

It is not a revolutionary concept to think that people should know what their role is, and do it without complaint. Further I have more respect for people who are less skilled or unsure, but will ask a question than those who will proceed regardless and just make a mess.

Asking questions and making mistakes is how some people (like myself) learn. I respect it. Staying silent just gives the impression that you are OK, and don’t want or need advice. If you are silent in a group I assume that you will be quick, efficient, and not screw-up too much.

Happy fighting, and may all your LFDs be graceful, educational, and error free.

From Death Knight to Hunter

After a little angst and wonder at the new Cataclysm expansion, I’ve decided that playing a Death Knight with basically no crowd control has only a small role in raids. As the guild is flush with Tanks, has plenty of melee, and I prefer DPS most of the time – a change was in order.

So I’ve started mucking about in a somewhat serious way with another character. I am pleased to introduce Agmundur, a recently morphed Worgen Hunter.

headshot of Agmundur

He's a little bit country, but then the choices of hair were dreadful.

Now he look harmless enough, and certainly well matched with all the heirloom gear and the Ironforge kit. But don’t be fooled as his real appearance is a tad more intimidating.

Agmunder as a Worgen

I'll huff and I'll...grrrr

Somehow I think Worgen were designed to appeal to the violent, strange, and somewhat feral side of human nature.

And I think the model designers got it pretty close to perfect. In fact they nailed it.ump shots, md, traps, feign, etc are all new to me.

Insane alt-a-holic rules

There are some things I’ve been doing with Alts that will drive me insane eventually.

Having one DK character active was a tad dull, so I added a Priest as another. Then I found that my second choice of toon was interesting for a short time, but not fun overall, so I added a Druid instead. Then decided to add a lowbie alt Hunter to be silly on; and then was impressed by a Tank I saw and added my old Pally.

But having seen a DK, Druid, and Pally tank, I felt like I was missing out on having a Warrior, so pondering starting a Warrior. But my Shaman also has ok gear as heirlooms, and the Mage will get some play soon.

So Death Knight, + Priest, + Druid, +Paladin, + Hunter, + Warlock, + pondering a Warrior or Shaman, + Mage afterward…

Yes, I’m an Alt-a-holic again. So now I need a rule set for what to play. Continue reading

The Erosion is getting worse

My toon called Erosion was an Undead Rogue. He was bad and I loved the fact he was built for the purpose of killing Topper McNabb. But that is history and we all know that (a) Erosion gets worse of over time, and (b) I love a good experiment.

So to make Erosion worse I’ve re-rolled the character name as a Dwarf Hunter.

Erosion - Wearing shirts is for pansies

Erosion - Wearing shirts is for pansies

I’ve always bitched about hunters. A lot. Its not that I didn’t like them per-say, but I always found that 40% of the bad players were Hunters (I know that they now all re-rolled Death Knight, but hey).

But I have a confession…I rolled one. [ insert dramatic music ] Well I’ve rolled them before, but this one is potentially different. Usually this means getting 3 levels of Huntery goodness and deciding that I hate it and stopping. Sometimes I get near level 8 and think it might be ok, and once I got to level 10 and then couldn’t be farked.

This time though I’ve reached over level 10 and tamed a pet. By god that makes a difference.

Anyone who thought the Death Knight was easy had better re-roll Hunter and see what a click-to-kill experience farming is like. A typical combat goes like this:

  1. Target mob with left click
  2. press 1 to start macro for Hunter’s Mark and PetAttack
  3. press 2 for Concussive shot
  4. press 3 for Arcane shot
  5. let the autoshots flood by
  6. loot

It could not be easier than that! If I fart around with a cast sequence macro, and use tab targeting I’m sure I can get this down to something that a Drinking Water Duck can do.

The worst part fo all this: its fun.

Continue reading

BBB speaks to new DKs

Go have a read of Big Bear Butt’s post on death knoobs (name gave me a chuckle). Totally agree with him, and all DKs should take heart and think. However my comment to his post stands:

Last night we did Halls of Lightning with a DK Tank, a DK-Unholy (me), a Hunter, Rogue (or something), and Resto Druid. At least 3 separate occasions the Hunter pulled aggro on the off-target before either Skull or X was dead. At the end of the last boss only the two DKs were standing. Hunter died really early in, and the Rogue contributed almost nothing on DPS – to the point that I’m not sure he wasn’t an NPC in disguise.

DKs may be new and bad, but the Huntard name stands proud. They’re all still out there, and after years of playing they still suck harder than anything else.

It’s like they have a hidden bag of fail that cannot be emptied. Continue reading

Hunters, I love’em and hate’em

Begin Rant.

Honestly I don’t hate them. Jez from DPS We Deliver is a Hunter, and while I enjoy stirring her about how imba or irritating the class is, I really feel they have a niche spot in the game that is both valuable and enjoyable. Yesterday however was a swear jar day.

The context is over the weekend I spend a bit of time online and burned from 65 to 67 on my death Knight. So when Monday night came up, I thought “you beauty” time to ping level 68. However the universe has a sense of humour, and put a number of players in the environment to make the experience a tad more like a personal growth session.

The Good…

A Hunter last night helped be with a few quests in Nagrand. She and I had an unspoken agreement that our pets would dps and not pull aggro, we’d watch our threat, and I’d tank. For the 35 or so kills it worked a treat, we thanked each other and de-grouped. I saw her moments later at the hand in and we both /waved. Nice really, and a fast way to burn through the Nessangwary kill quests.

The Bad…

Not healing yourself between battles, not having any buffs applied (even the hunter ones), and starting the 2nd last stage of Nagrand Ring of Blood when you have 15% health, and the Druid healer has said he’s taking a bio break. We said wait, he kicked off anyway. We all died, he implied it was his pets fault. I had to ask if his pet accepted the quest, but I think it went over his head. Thankfully the healer didn’t drop group when he returned from the bathroom, and we got it done. Dumb arse, stupid player!

The Ugly…

Two Hunters and my DK doing some of the tough elite demons in Nagrand, all of us level 67. I tanked as best I could, and honnestly when the pets yanked aggro off me (growl?) I just let the stupid animal tank it for a while until its health went to zero. Given I was doing 45% of the damage, its shocking that they were able to, and I don’t know why it happened twice in a row. The second time I even taunted, only to have it taunted back off me. Yawn.

One also gave himself more room mid-fight by walking backwards into a set of mobs, and then later stood directly where the patrol walked, rather than where the other Hunter stood. I swear, these guys should tour the comedy circut.

In conclusion…

Its been said to me that there must be a truckload of bad players on our server, and while I can accept that statistically we may have a higher ass-hat ratio, I can’t really accept that the stats are skewed so far to allow this to continue to this degree for so long.

That, or I have some hell inspired curse that means that any odd, bad, or just plain strange players will gravitate toward the zone I’m in. Like the guy in the Douglas Adams book who was “blessed” to always be in rain. Some of the guys I meet are total wastes of oxygen.

Surely all the idiot players re-rolled Death Knights and are now lol-wat’ting their way through Northrend? I mean unless playing a Hunter is still easier, or creating new macros would bend their reality too much.

End rant.

btw – I’m not the only one to notice this recently.