How The Other Half Live

Posted: 13 June, 2010 in Mage, misc, Raiding

It seems I owe you, my readers, an apology.  After starting work at a new posting, one where I actually have to work for a living, I’ve come to approeciate just how much of my time at my previous post was spent wasting time on the internet.  Most of it, it turns out.  I’ve also been upgrading my various characters’ gear at a frantic pace, all of which leaves precious little time to update the blog.  It’s a shocking state of affairs, I’ve neglected you all for nearly a month!

So anyway, what’s new in Calli World?  Well quite a lot actually.

Calli’s been slogging her way through Icecrown 25 man Heroic modes.  So far only Professor Putricide, Sindragosa and Old Lich Face himself elude us, although we’re making solid progress on the Professor.  Lady Deathwhisper was a barrel of laughs.  Not.  What is quite shocking is the level of difference between people geared in Icecrown 25 man heroic gear and…  well..  everyone else.  It’s one of those things that you know to be true in an abstract kind of way but until someone with that gear level joins your group and proceeds to stomp your ego into a snotty heap with their dps output, you don’t begin to realise just how massive that gear divide is.

Take the raid weekly quest for example.  This week on Hellscream it’s Anub’rekhan in Naxxrammas.  Not particularly challenging, it’s one of the easier Tier 7 content bosses, and given that most new 80’s these days are going to be sporting mostly Tier 9 gear with the odd Frost badge reward, getting him down is something of a snoozefest.  I’d downed him 9 times this week on various alts until I decided I should drag Calli along too, I can always use the badges to buy Primordial Saronite or something.

So most PuGs for the raid weekly use one tank and one or two healers, not the two tank/two or three healer combo you used to need.  And he’s usually dead in under a minute.  Well under a minute, in fact.  From start of trash pull to portal home, Anub’rekhan takes five to ten minutes these days.  Enter Calli, who is not, I should remind you, the best geared or skilled dps in our 25 man raid group.  Not by far.  We pull the boss and Calli pops her cooldowns.  Mirror Image with the four-piece Tier 10 set bonus, trinket, Arcane Power and Icy Veins all go off, Calli does fifteen thousand dps, three times the dps of the next two highest dps in the raid and the boss drops flat on his face thirty seconds later.

Seriously, three times the next highest on the damage meter.  And these guys weren’t scrubs, just your average-geared players farming badges.  Of course, being an Arcane Mage on a fight that lasts exactly thirty seconds it’s easy to shine, but come on!  The difference in damage output between a player in 10 man Tier 9 gear and 25 man heroic Tier 10 is just ridiculous.  You can begin to appreciate how worried Blizzard were getting with the unexpected extra tiers of content they had to shoehorn into the game before Icecrown was released.  Makes me slightly concerned about just how tough the Ruby Sanctum is going to be, too.  Are we talking about Sunwell levels of difficulty here?  I hope not.

“Ah Sunwell…” you all reminisce, “What a great raid that was….”   Bollocks.  It was bastard hard and an absolute nightmare to build a raid around.  Most of the fights may as well have had a sign over them saying “You must have x number of class y to enter or don’t even bother”, yes Priests on Felmyst, I’m looking at you in particular.  And all of the fights were “No mages or Holy Paladins required, but leave your paladins at the entrance in case we need rebuffs.”  So go poke yourself, Sunwell, we don’t like your kind around here.

So yes, it’s ridiculously easy to impress as a dps class, not so easy to impress as a tank or healer with equivalent gear.  Most of the weekly raids can easily be solo healed, even some of the Ulduar ones.  And as for a 264+ geared tank…  well a tank is a tank.  You either hold aggro and don’t die or you don’t.  Having 60k health or 30k health is pretty much the only difference and a decent healer in just about any level of raid gear can keep a 30k health tank up for 30 seconds.  If you can’t do it with Rejuvenation alone and have to spam Greater Heal continously, no-one cares or even notices, but fifteen thousand dps on a single target, not aoe spam?  Yeah, people notice that.  The funny thing is, that much dps isn’t out of the ordinary in ICC.  Difficult to sustain, sure, but not impossible.  It’s just when one of these Icecrown Raider dps demigods deigns to mingle with the mortals that it becomes apparent just how out of control it really is.

Speaking of absurd dps.  Shinano recently specced Laser Chicken for her offspec and got into an ICC10 PuG over the weekend.  It was a really nice little PuG, two excellent tanks in particular and we got 7 bosses down.  Shinano’s boomkin gear is pretty much just her Resto gear with some bits of 10 man heroic +hit and crit gear thrown in, not really optimised for boomkin, but she’s hitcapped now and her crit is improving.  Anyway, there’s a trash pull at the entrance to the Plague Wing where you get a couple of Plague Scientists, a couple of big nasties and a whole mess of geists.  Ready for this?  Strap yourselves in, it’s a big number.  A REALLY big number.

68,000 damage per second.

Yes you read that right.  Sixy-eight thousandGlyphed Starfall and Hurricane really need a nerf.

Meanwhile, The Daddies finally got Old Lich Face deaded on Friday night.  I was overjoyed, truth be told, they’ve worked so long and so hard for it, they really deserved their Kingslayer titles.  Long-term readers will know who The Daddies are, but for the benefit of everyone else, they’re our third regular 10 man raid group, composed of decent folks who don’t have the time to put in to regular raiding or for whom our normal raid times aren’t convenient, with a scattering of the alts of other raiders to help fill gaps.  The Daddies are not about heroic modes or achievements, just killing bosses at a nice comfortable pace and collecting loot.  This weekend they finally got the Defile mastered and Arthas dropped like a rotten kebab.  Askara got her Kingslayer title into the bargain, which is nice.  Loot?  Oh Tainted Twig of Nordrassil and Warmace of Menthil, both of which went to very good homes.

And last but not least, Calli got one step closer to the 100 mount achievement and got her X-53 Nether Rocket, which means Tinuviel no longer has any excuse for being late to raids again!

Cya next time!

  1. Analogue says:

    Woot, missed seeing posts from you in the last month. Glad you weren’t a Wow burnout victim!

  2. Crofe says:

    That’s one of the things that pushed me back to a DPSer from Tanking at the beginning of Wrath. There’s no where for me to go for feedback as to how I was doing. Like you said, it boils down to if you can Hold aggro and not die, then you’re good enough. That leads me to no (explicit) incentive to get better gear. How much does that extra .5% dodge really help when it’ll cost me 10hrs or 6k gold to get?

    Additionally, everything you do as a tank is reliant on other people. Sure a tank can take a hit or two, but they still need to be healed. Same goes for Threat. DPS has tricks they can use to help you with Threat, stuff that adds to your threat (Tricks, MD) or stuff that reduces their own (FD, Fade, uh, other stuff…), but that’d take a GCD that’ll lower their personal DPS.

    DPS gets constant feedback. We get Recount. And as much as I hate what people use Recount for (comparing different classes to each other), I can use it as a tool for myself that says “This upgrade gave me this much more DPS on this same fight” It gives me the incentive I need to get better because it shows me I’m not where I know I could be and it allows me to compare myself to other Elemental Shamans in similar gear and content.

    • Calli says:

      All true. Tanking and healing are jobs that no-one notices or comments on until you get it wrong. It’s rare for a tank or healer to get praise for doing their jobs right, but the second they get it wrong, standby to recieve criticism, port side!

      You do, however, need to watch out for the crappy dps masquerading as good dps. Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. What I mean is the dps who make themselves look good by just doing dps on the boss, nothing else. They don’t interrupt, they don’t debuff, they don’t purge, they don’t switch to priority targets, they just dps the boss. These are the guys who do 8000+ dps on Gormok the Impaler but when he dies you suddenly realise you still have three Snobolds in the raid. These are the guys who do 12000+ dps on Toravon the Ice Watcher without doing a single point of damage to the Frozen Orbs.

      A casual glance at Recount/Skada and you’ll think these guys are superstars because they’re sitting at the top of the damage meters either linking them in raid chat themselves or fluttering their eyelashes innocently and asking if anyone can link Recount. They are in fact bottom – feeding scum more interested in looking like demigods to the gullible and easily confused than helping the raid down bosses by doing their job properly. They should be taken behind the chemical sheds and shot quietly in the back of the head.


  3. Benthai says:

    Fellow Hellscreamer says you should post moar often. Do eeeet!

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