Archive for January, 2010

Dude!

Posted: 25 January, 2010 in misc

Short post time!

So..  welcome to sunny Gibraltar.  Except it’s not.  Sunny, that is.  Yeah, apparently Winter means the same thing even in Gibraltar.  Not that it’s snowing at all, but man it can RAIN here!  Can’t remember the last time I was here, it was well over 10 years ago, but I recall I was on HMS Coventry at the time and I found one of those new-fangled internet cafés.  Within a day I had half the Ships’ Company in there playing LAN Quake II.  The place was owned by a couple of Danish guys, it was a nice place.  Proper furniture, an actual bar with beer on tap.  So anyway I’m wandering down main street and the thought occurs to me to check if the place is still around in the broadband age.  I eventually find it completely by accident and it’s not changed one bit.  They still have a pound coin glued to the floor near the bar so the greedy and unwary can make assholes of themselves.  Not that I would know anything about that.

*cough*

So anyway, I’m downloading the latest patch for Diablo II (hey, it runs on any laptop, don’t knock it) and I’ve not brought my USB memory stick with me.  The owner gives me one to store the patch on, tourists are always leaving them behind apparently.  “Just bring it back next time you’re in”, he says.  I just can’t see this sort of thing happening in mainstream business.  You’re at the checkout at the supermarket and you forgot your wallet.  “No worries, just bring some cash along next time you’re in”.  Of course.  Happens all the time.

Now this sort of thing may happen to you when you pop down to your local store, the sort of place where the owner knows your first name, but to a total stranger?  Based on nothing other than a chat over a beer about old games?  That’s gamers for you.  We’re a strange breed.  We have our own language.  Hands up those of you who’ve called someone a “noob” in real life?  Yeah, me too.  I even said “lol” once, when someone said something that patently wasn’t funny, in a sort of ironic, post modernist kind of way.  Oh yeah, I totally pwn3d him.

You can’t fake your Gamer credentials either.  Get two gamers together and they start talking retro gaming in an effort to see who’s more of a geek.  You start with Swordfighting insults and if you make back as far as docking at Lave without a nav computer you win.  You cannot fake that stuff.  What’s wierd is that on the basis of establishing that I was just as big a geek as the café owner I scored a USB memory stick because a fellow gamer will bring it back right? 

Wait a sec, I’m a GAMER.  Sure, I’ll feel guilty about it but I’m trying to get this Amiga emulator to work, dude!  And the last time I came to your café was 10 years ago, man.  We established this in our opening conversation!  Ah he probably won’t even care, he’s got a business to run after all.  Just as soon as he finds a decent site with a ROM for Bubble Bobble.

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Over the Christmas Holidays I spent an awful lot of time playing WoW. I’m not a massive fan of chasing achievements for their own sake, but when you’re running a random daily and a weekly raid quest on 10 different level 80 characters, some achievements just sort of happen whether you’re shooting for them or not. It was while running these “old” level 80 dungeons (and a few even older raid instances) that it was made abundantly clear to me just how stupidly overpowered we all are these days.

Example time. One achievement I am chasing is the 40 Exalted Reputations for the title “The Exalted”. 37 down, 3 to go. Already Revered with the Ashen Verdict, I figure I’ll get Exalted sooner rather than later. Revered with Ogri’la and working on it whenever I can be bothered. Oh, what’s this? Revered with the Hyrdaxian Waterlords? I was a little late to the party at level 60 and we’d moved on to Blackwing Lair before I hit Exalted with the Hydraxians, so whenever the urge took me I’d been running back to Molten Core and facerolling all over the bosses in there to grind out the last few thousand rep I needed (after Revered you only get rep from bosses, and at 20999 rep
you need to kill Executus or Ragnaros himself for the last point. Bah!). Now you have to bear in mind that Ragnaros, the last boss, was a step up from the regular bosses in Molten Core, he dropped Tier 2 loot, not Tier 1 loot, after all. The fight required two tanks (because he knocked back one of them and started one-shotting people if there was no other tank to pick him up) and a broad mix of dps with healers mixed in to burn him down and cover the aoe damage he kicked out. If you were really, really, REALLY good, you’d get him down before he submerged, because if not he’d summon the Sons of Ragnaros and swarms of Fire Elementals would emerge and start eating everyone. You needed to gather them up and get rid of them fast, because Ragnaros would re-emerge soon and need to be tanked again. It was a simple fight that went to hell very fast if you didn’t keep up. Bear in mind a few things. To get Ragnaros down before his Sons emerged, you need 40 raiders at the top of their game, pushing out some serious dps.

Or one level 80 Arcane mage, one tank and a very bored healer. You could actually probably skip the healer.

Ok, so Ragnaros might be 40 man raid content but he’s level sixty 40 man raid content. I get that. It’s only 20 levels but I get it. How about something a bit more recent?

Less-Rabi seems to be the achievement that most people get stuck on when grinding out the meta-achievement for their Red Protodrake. It certainly seems to be the most popular one in trade chat anyway. People always want an Enhancement Shaman for the Reverberation talent which gives them an interrupt on a 5 second cooldown and yes, I can see why that would make sense. The boss will periodically try to transform into a Mammoth, and to win the achievement you have to ensure he doesn’t. The problem is that every time he starts the transform it gets cast faster and faster, until by the 4th cast it’s very, very hard to interrupt it in time, hence you take an Enhancement Shaman with Reverberation.

Except, you don’t need one. Not at all. You just need an average group of tier 9-geared players and the stupid amounts of dps they push out. Last week I joined a random on Shinano, my resto druid. We got Gundrak, came to Moorabi and the tank, a paladin, asked if I had a dps offspec. “Sure” I replied, “I’ve got a reasonably well-geared Feral Cat offspec”. So I switched to Cat and we nuked the boss down before he even got to try his third cast, let alone his fourth. Healing? Pfft. Judgement of Light and Leader of the Pack did more than enough healing. This is not level 60 content. This is level 80 content. It’s level 80 heroic content. Healer optional, dps preferred.

Sheesh.

Some of the other so-called “achievements” aren’t even remotely worthy of the name any more. When Wrath of the Lich king was but a wee babe in arms, Loken in Heroic Halls of Lightning had killed more players than any other level 80 dungeon or raid boss. He’d killed more players than the rest of the top 5 combined! There is an achievement for killing him in less than a minute and I can remember the sense of victory we felt the first time we did it, not because we were trying to get the achievement, we were just trying to kill the big bastard before he killed us! Actually, I wasn’t the first person in my guild to get the achievement, and I can clearly remember seeing it pop up in guild chat and sitting there in awe of the dps that managed put Loken on his arse in less than a minute and the healer who managed to keep the group up throughout it, because in order to do it, you pretty much had to stay in and eat his Lightning Novas. These days my best Loken kill is either 18 or 28 seconds, not sure which. No big deal though. Loken is a cakewalk. You fire up your Mirror Images, blow Arcane Power and Icy veins and spam Arcane Blast. Depending on your buffs and crits, that’s 20-24k damage every 1.5 seconds. Any dungeon boss is usually face down and pushing up daisies before the Mirror Images expire. These days if you see a “kill a boss in under a minute” achievement pop up you’re not thinking “awesome!”, you’re thinking “noob!”

Some more random facts for you.
Calli, my mage, now has more health in a dungeon than Gorn, my Warrior tank, did when he started tanking heroics.
Jingles has so much spirit on his gear that Fel Armour grants him over 400 bonus spell power, more when raidbuffed.
Calli didn’t even have 400 spell power in raids at level 60, and Jingles, an alt, has more than that as a bonus.
The big dps check at level 70 was Brutallus in Sunwell Plateau. On average, your dps had to be pushing out at least 1500dps each to have a hope of downing him. Sunwell Plateau, let me remind you, was the pinnacle of bastard-hard raid content. These days, a mere ten levels later, you can do at least that much dps in quest rewards. Calli does 9000dps on dungeon bosses, and has nudged 14000 dps on certain raid bosses, almost the equivalent of 10 superbly well-geared level 70 raiders. She’s not even the best mage in our raid group.

Of course, there’s some old content I wouldn’t dream of pugging, even in Tier 10 gear. Twin Emperors in The Temple of Ahn’qiraj leaps to mind, as does Kil’jaeden in Sunwell Plateau. Some fights still have mechanics that will knock you flat on your arse if you try to faceroll your way through, gear will only take you so far.

So where does that leave us? Icecrown Citadel 5 man dungeons, that’s where. I’ve complained in the past that the gear requirements for them, Halls of Reflection in particular, were ridiculous. I’ve played through them with some ridiculously well-geared and competent raiders, players who in no way needed any of the loot that dropped from them, and gotten roflstomped by the trash.

Now you can ascribe this to a lot of things. I ascribe it to the sad fact that due to all of the reasons listed above, people no longer respect 5 man dungeons and if you treat the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection like another Nexus badge-farming snoozefest you are pretty soon going to find out who’s never made their way manually to the instance before and can’t find the entrance while in spirit form. This is why a tank with 45k health buffed, a healer with Heroic 25 man Coliseum gear and the Legendary healing mace and 3 dps all capable of soloing Loken from 100% to nil in 30 seconds are getting kerbstomped by waves of trash. People in level 258 gear should not be faceplanting in any instance that drops 232 gear. But you WILL faceplant in these places if you go in there treating them with the same level of contempt reserved for the likes of Loken and Cyanigosa.

You can ignore the tank target and nuke whoever you like in Violet Hold and get away with it. You can AoE packs of Dragonkin down in the Nexus and live to tell the tale. The tank usually won’t even notice and the mobs certainly won’t. Selective targetting and crowd control are simply not needed most of the time, unless the tank either a) sucks b) is massively undergeared compared to the dps or c) the dps are just being collossal pricks. Wait a minute.. crowd control? Selective targetting? What are they? Well usually crowd control is what the mage or the priest try to do just before the Rogue spams Fan of Knives and the Warrior pops Bladestorm. Selective targetting is what everyone ignores right after the tank marks the target. Seriously, I regularly tank instances where the one with the skull on its head is the last one to die. No shit. Wait, who am I trying to convince, you must see it all the time yourselves.

Yes, selective targetting and crowd control! Remember those? I know level 60 was a long time ago for some of us, but please, try to remember the skills you learned in Upper Blackrock Spire or even Magisters Terrace because you’ll need them in Icecrown. You can still faceroll to an extent in The Forge and Pit if sufficiently overgeared, but the vast majority of people in those instances don’t have loot accounts at the Royal Bank of The 25 Man Heroic Coliseum and using stuff like Repentance and Shackle Undead to even the odds in your favour on the slope up to the Ice Tunnel in the Pit are completely alien concepts to the majority of people. Why? Because with the lone exception of Magisters Terrace at level 70, no-one has needed to use them since Upper Blackrock Spire required a key to get in and Rend Blackhand was considered badass. Go on, how many of you had to look up Blackhand on Wowhead? Yeah, it really has been that long.

This is why I love Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection. They’re the only instances you can’t autopilot through and the only ones I feel a geniune sense of foreboding for when I see their loading screens. Of course I’m talking about when I’m doing the random daily on Calli or another dps character for Badges of Frost. They’re also the reason I never queue on Gorn or Sithica as a tank unless I’ve got a pre-made guild group. They’re fun for all the family if you’re on a healer, though. Hands up any healer who’s never placed mental bets as to which smacktard dps is NOT going to run out on Krick and Ick’s poison nova? Or which one is going to kill themselves on Scourgelord Tyrannus when they have Overlords Bane?

No, it’s not always the Deathknight. Sometimes it’s a Deathknight on his Rogue alt.

And if anyone catches the reference in the title you’re far too old to be playing silly videogames!

Caution – This Post starts off all fine and dandy, but rapidly turns into a rant of epic proportions. There is swearing. There is lots of swearing. If that offends you, unlucky, I’m a sailor. I’ll summarise the post for you here: People suck. There. Move on, read something else now. Take care.

You know, you have to take your hat off to Blizzard.  If there’s a glaring problem in their game design they don’t mess around.  You have to realise I came to WoW from Star Wars Galaxies and after suffering under Sony’s horrific mismanagement of that title I tend to lean back in my chair and laugh so hard I cough up a lung when I hear people moaning that Blizzard don’t respond to players’ concerns.  Seriously, you have no clue how well looked after you are.  Take one small example.  I have a friend who came to WoW from Lord of the Rings Online. Apparently over there they have quest items sorted into their own bag so you never have to mess around finding them when you need them.  Why, he asked, can’t Blizzard do something similar?  I had to admit he had a point, as I scoured my bag for that damn Tualik Prayer Book I needed to get my current quest underway.  Less than a month later Blizzard have the relevant quest item pop up ON SCREEN when you need it.  You don’t even need to OPEN a bag, much less look in it.  Quest item bag? Pfft, that’s so 2008 darlings!  When Blizzard fix something it stays fixed.

The Dungeon Finder tool and badge reward system is a similar innovation, but this doesn’t just fix the one obvious problem (finding a group for an instance), it fixes problems you didn’t even know you had.

Blizzard’s current raid design is two-tier.  The normal mode boss fights are simple enough that any cack-handed monkey can muddle their way through them with enough determination.  The Heroic modes are where people go when they want an actual challenge.  No seriously, they are.  Put your ego aside, stop the bullshit hardcore vs casual argument for half a minute, take a step back and look at it again.  Ulduar had some challenging normal mode fights with the Keepers and Yogg-Saron but Blizzard’s design philosophy was slightly different back then.  Move on to Crusaders’ Coliseum and even a room full of monkeys could down The Twin Val’kyr if they stayed at it long enough.  Try Coliseum on Hard Mode and things are slightly different.  Normal mode is for everyone, Heroic Modes are for the top raiding guilds on your servers.  Doesn’t mean only the top raiders are allowed to do them, but they’ll be the only ones completing them.  You can probably count on the fingers of one hand the guilds on your server who’ve done Anub-arak in 25 man heroic mode and still have enough left over to order a round of beers.  But who hasn’t done him on 10 man normal?

This isn’t one of those hardcore/social posts by the way, I couldn’t care less if you raid in 10 man or 25 man flavours.  10 man Anub’arak on heroic was tough, I’ve done it so trust me, I know.  25 man heroic Anub’Arak is an order of magnitude harder, and no, I’ve not killed him yet.  It’s just the way Blizzard design their content after past experience taught them that it’s not good business sense to spend millions of dollars developing level 60 Naxxrammas when less than 2% of your player base have the gear necessary to step inside without getting brutally slaughtered on the first trash pack.   They don’t spend vast sums of money developing content for the sole enjoyment of the raiding elite anymore.  Now everyone can at least get to see where their subscription money went, raid it, beat it, have fun and come away with some loot.  For the so-called raiding elite, there are the heroic versions, both in 10 and 25 man flavour.

But the core of this post is really about how you get the gear to compete at whatever level the current 10 and 25 man bar is set.  Thankfully, Blizzard have finally realised the dream of ditching the old model of raid x, gear up, move on to y, gear up, move on to z, etc… This linear progression does still apply if you’re at the leading edge of raid content on your server because that’s what leading edge raiding is about.  But let’s say you’re not. Let’s say you started playing three months ago and just got to level 80.  Back in vanilla WoW there was a long, hard slog ahead of you before you could get to the level where you were in a position to be able to make a valid contribution to a 40 man raid.  Despite their sworn aim to fix this, they actually made it harder in The Burning Crusade with the absurd attunement requirements to the various raid instances.  Let’s say you’re raiding Black Temple and your top Resto Druid healer suddenly gets pregnant and decides to quit playing (yes Phaelia, I mean you).  Or your Main Tank has a heart attack, or whatever.  You lost a key member of your raid team and you need to find a replacement, pronto.

You can either poach someone from a competing raiding guild or scout some up and coming talent and get them geared up. But getting people geared up was as far from simple as common sense and decency are from the average page on the official forums.  Let’s say a long-term guildmate who hadn’t played since Karazhan returns to the fold and would be a great asset to your raid with the benefit of some better gear.  First, they couldn’t even step into Black Temple to raid with you and get the gear they needed to contribute without being attuned.  And that meant they had to start a pain in the ass quest chain from Akama in Shadowmoon Valley that consisted of 10 quests, some of them group quests.  Then you had to sacrifice multiple raid nights going back to Serpentshrine Cavern to kill Fathom-Lord Karathress to open up the next part of the attunement chain, followed by killing A’lar in Tempest Keep, then back to Serpentshrine Cavern again, then a swift jaunt to Mount Hyjal to slay Rage Winterchill, followed by a raid battle outside Black Temple itself before your new raider could even set foot in the place, and THEN they had to take their chances with the loot lottery to get to the level of gear necessary to not be a burden to the raid.

Blizzard took the first steps to fix this utter stupidity by slowly removing the attunement requirements, one step at a time until eventually any idiot could form a raid and waltz into Black Temple, and believe me, any idiot did.  Sadly (or happily, depending on your point of view), any idiot didn’t usually have the gear required to survive the first trash pull.  So Blizzard got around this by introducing the badge reward system, and it did fix the problem.  You could get decent gear in the most critical slots purely by farming heroics and Karazahn for badges, and so that’s what people did.  But it introduced its own problems in that as each new tier of content was released there was no corresponding tier of badge that came with it, you just needed greater and greater amounts of the same badges that always dropped in heroics.  Remember those 40 badge offhands that every man and their tennis partners bought in early Wrath?  Imagine that the tier 10 versions still cost badges of heroism, except they now cost 160 badges each and you’ve got some idea of what it meant. It meant doing Karazhan for about two months just to get a pair of pants.

Put all of that experience together and we end up where we are today, with last seasons’ badges dropping from regular heroics, allowing us to gear up in the kit required to start this seasons’ raid content.  The hardcore are all wearing heroic versions of last seasons’ gear anyway, so they get a head start in the new content, and they’re happy.  Everyone else not only gets a fast track to last seasons gear without having to do last seasons raids, but they get a reason to go back to clear all that old dungeon content they never got round to or could never get a group for.  Everyone’s a winner.  Well, almost everyone.

There’s still one glaring problem with the way things are, but it’s not something Blizzard are ever going to fix unless they start mailing full epic class sets to people as soon as they hit level 80 and despite what the retards in trade chat would have us believe, that hasn’t actually happened yet. The other solution would be to ban the accounts of all the whiny little failures at life who plague this game and leave our servers populated with only those who might concievably be able to pass themselves off as civilised human beings, but this would write off at least 40% of Blizzards subscription revenue so that’s not going to happen anytime soon either.

Yes, something got me pissed off, and I’m having trouble finding adequate words to describe just exactly how pissed off I am. I’m not sure even swearing would begin to cover it.

Last week I was doing a random daily heroic on my priest, Aluriel. 9% of these dungeon runs are the three new Icecrown 5 mans which are always interesting to tank or heal.  50% are swift, efficient, and utterly, utterly boring old dungeon runs.  You throw a Shield on the 40K+ health tank, toss him a Renew every now and then and only stop to hit the Disenchant button when the loot window pops up.  40% of them are the old heroics but mildly entertaining as you do all of the above as well as decide whether or not to throw a Flash heal on the moron dps who think that their inability to control their own threat is somehow the tanks’ fault, or let them die in the vain hope that they might actually learn something from it.  And this brings me swiftly on to the last 1%.

1% of the time, you end up zoning into a heroic with a tank who has 24k health unbuffed. And it’s here where you often meet the most repellent scum the human race has to offer. Nine times out of ten the healer will immediately drop the group, because… you know, healing someone at the appropriate level of gear for an instance is hard isn’t it?  If that doesn’t happen, the dps will either leave or someone will initiate a vote to kick the tank from the group.

Let me just put this into some kind of perspective here. People would rather spend 15 minutes with the deserter debuff, then a further 20 minutes queuing as dps, then a further 30 minutes clearing the instance again for a grand total of at least an hour spent dicking around waiting for a tank you like (who you never met before and never will again) than spend 45 minutes going with the tank they currently have, simply because he or she isn’t covered in purples from head to foot, but is instead, and let’s be absolutely clear about this because it’s 100% fucking true, perfectly well geared for the level of content in which they find themselves.

How the fuck is this poor bastard supposed to get to the level where dps and healers are going to condescend to allow him to tank for them if everyone runs a mile rather than spend an extra fifteen fucking minutes taking things at the pace they were intended?  “Oh noes, I want my badges without any effort at all!”

Fuck. You.

Quite aside from the whole “not being a failure at humanity” thing, you think there are so many tanks around in LFG you can afford to be choosy?  You want to ensure this one never makes it into the tank pool after having her enthusiasm crushed by your being a selfish prick more concerned about shaving fifteen minutes off the next soulless badge farming session than being a decent fucking human being?  It’s only Heroic Violet Hold for fucks’ sake!  I tanked this with 24k health buffed when Gorn hit level 80!  This tank’s got 24k unbuffed! She’s actually overgeared for the instance and you’re going to leave or have her kicked because she’s not overgeared enough?  Fuck you.  Not when I’m the fucking healer you don’t.

This Deathknight tank already got brownie points in my book simply by virtue of being a lolknight who was willing to tank.  Her gear was fine, it was all gemmed and enchanted sensibly.  She’d actually put a lot of gold, effort and research into gear that, with the speed of upgrading these days, she was going to tank with for maybe three days, and she was proud of her gear, as she had every damn right to be because she was putting in an effort!  Can you remember ever doing that you soulless pricks who turn up in my heroics with 5/5 unenchanted, ungemmed Tier 9?  Can any of you mouth-breathing window-lickers actually remember making an effort?  Fine, drop the group and take your deserter buff, pieces of shit like you are along every five seconds when you already have a tank and healer.

At the rate of acquisition of Emblems of Triumph you can go through these days, this tank is going to take away an average of 5 badges per instance, at maybe an hour per instance taking into account breaks for toilet/refreshments between dungeons.  6 runs gets the first piece of tier 9 gear, and they’ll be picking up incremental upgrades in almost every instance they run, too.  I know a friend who hit 80 on his paladin on Friday and by Sunday he had all five pieces of Turalyon’s Battleset.  In two or three days time this tank is going to be just as faceless as all the other anonymous tanks you bump hips with.

And you know what the first thing she said was, when she zoned in to see us all standing there, in her broken English, right before the dps started a vote to kick her?

“Sorry for my bad english, I try to be good tank, we have fun, yes?”

And right there the hunter started the vote.  Whoever you are, if you’re reading this, I sincerely and honestly hope you die in a fire before you get the chance to teach your life values to children.  Two of the dps left the group when I refused to kick.  That’s fine, I told them both “The tank stays or I leave” and they made their choice.  Fuck them both, enjoy your deserter buff and queue time, pricks.  You know something else?  Healing was a challenge, but no more a challenge than trying to keep some fuckwit dps alive with no concept of personal threat control, and I do that on every other dungeon so what’s the difference?  The tank maintained aggro on multiple mobs, never once let the healer come under threat, taunted off when the dps opened up too early with AoE, didn’t die and cleared the instance in the regular time.  Then at the end, actually apologised again for her poor English and lousy tanking gear.  Skilled, competent, talented, multilingual AND humble?  I’m just sorry she wasn’t on my server.

Seriously folks, wake up and smell the coffee, and stop being such utter self-absorbed shits.  And if you’re ever in a group with one of these cockmongers, don’t let them get away with it.  Call them out for the complete shitbags they are.  Do the decent thing.  Please.

You may recall a while back I posted about a truly appalling Lolknight I had the utter misfortune to be grouped with in a heroic.  Well Aarthas has nothing on the clown with whom I was in a random heroic yesterday.  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

So I’m grinding out Emblems of Frost on everyone from the random daily heroic and Henriksen, my hunter, gets The Old Kingdom.  My first indication that something wasn’t quite right was when I zoned in to find one of the group already dead.  The deathknight, whom we’ll call Wilbur, was lying around waiting for a rez and everyone else was on varying degrees of low health.  This usually means one of two things.  Either they just narrowly avoided a wipe with one casualty; or everyone died and ran back, except the bottom-feeding scum who believed that healers exist purely to allow them to go make coffee while they run back to rez their lazy arse after wipes.

Actually, going off-topic here, if you want to wind me up when I’m playing a healer, say “rez pls” after your lack of control gets you killed and we’re still fighting the mobs you over-aggroed on! Even better, if you want to see me turn green and start tossing cars and fire hydrants around, go afk after a wipe and after I and everyone else have done the long run back from the Spirit Healer, say “rez plz” once I return to find you still lying dead and un-released.  Add a “lol” if I’m not sufficiently incandescent with rage at that point, because clearly I exist for no other reason than to do the corpse run so you can go make coffee.  And remember, when I ask if your release button is broken, the correct reply is “No, sorry, running back now”.  This guarantees you get stuff like healing and other good shit.  Not “yes lol rez plz”, which guarantees you get a /votekick.

*cough*

So anyway, our friend Wilbur.  Clearly our group healer was a lot more forgiving than I am, as he was rezzing Wilbur’s lazy arse at about the time I caught up with everyone just after the first boss.  Now, Wilbur’s gear isn’t spectacular, but it’s not crap either.  He’s got a couple of level 245 epics he pretty clearly got in Vault of Archavon or with Badges of Triumph, everything else ranges from level 200 to level 232, but it’s all pretty good stuff, except for his weapons which are the less-than-optimal dual-wielded Avool’s Swords of Jin from the Auction House.  Oh wait a minute, he’s wearing Black Spire Sabatons?  Is he the tank?  Well with 26k health he could be a new level 80 Frost spec dual-wield tank, but considering that paladin sitting drinking over there has 38k health, probably not.  But all his gear has stamina gems in it…  this is wierd.  He’s wearing a tanking cloak and it has a 16 Defence enchant on it, he’s wearing the Triumph Badge reward tank shoulders but he’s got a dps enchant on them.  But he’s also using the Triumph Badge dps helm and a dps Sigil And he’s in Blood Presence.  So no, he’s not the tank.  Oh, and he’s got all 71 points in Blood.  So he’s dual-wielding with none of the dual-wield talents from the Frost tree.  Which means he also doesn’t have Howling Blast, yet he’s got the Glyph of Howling Blast which is therefore 100% completely useless.  He’s also using the Glyph of Blood Strike and the Glyph of Chains of Ice, so he’s at least put some thought into his choices, for an extra 20% damage from Blood Strike on snared targets, but he’s got Heart Strike and he’s using Blood Strike as his primary dps move?  Really?  People do that?  And then despite all that, I never once see him using Chains of Ice.  On anything.  So nothing is ever snared anyway.

The answer, of course, is very simple.  He doesn’t have a clue.  Not one.

We deal with Prince Taldaran and our friend Wilbur does the massive total of 350 dps throughout the fight.  I think most of this was from Death and Decay and autoattack.  We get to the Befouled Terrace and the tank has a bit of an “oops” moment and causes a wipe by jumping over the edge to take out a group without a) telling anyone or b) waiting for the healer to get there.  He apologises and everyone runs back to rez up except me (because I feigned death) and Wilbur (because healers exist to run back and rez him while he reads comics).  Once everyone’s back and Wilbur’s been rezzed, he instantly Death Grips the nearest patrol and puts us into combat.  Bear in mind a couple of things here, he’s just that second been rezzed so he’s got about 3000 health and dies instantly.  Also, he’s just been rezzed so the healer has about 3000 mana, and if not for the herculean efforts of the Paladin tank we’d have wiped again right there.

Nornally at this point you’d go straight to the /votekick but I want to finish this run with Wilbur!  I find I now have a sick, morbid fascination to see what he’s going to do next.  On Jedoga Shadowseeker I get my answer:  not a whole lot other than Death and Decay and autoattack.  Wilbur beats his previous 350 dps on Prince Taldaran with a whopping 210dps this time!  On the way up to Herald Volazj I say in party chat “Wilbur, can you suck some more so I can blog about this, please?”

He doesn’t disappoint.  They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s the picture.

The numbers you can’t see off the top of the screen were me, the Rogue and the tank, in that order.  Point to note: Wilbur was out-dpsed by four of his own Army of the Dead ghouls.  To be fair to him, he did substantially more dps than the healer or my Viper traps.  Later on I found to my eternal joy that Wilbur’s on my server, and you will NOT believe the name of the  guild he’s in.  Seriously, you couldn’t make this up if you tried.  Ready for this?

He’s in the “Special Guild”.

I shit thee not.