Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Random Ramblings: My Last Complaints About That One Thing (srsly), Guild Hopping, Judging Performance

  I've been working on the rest of my Mogushan Vaults as a Tank Training Course articles, but I'm making sure they get more polish than the first did. After getting them all done, I'll link them all with headers. These are mostly points of reference for myself, but anyone else who wishes to see my brain droppings is welcome to criticize them. Most of my raid experience in Mists has been tanking, and I haven't healed in a while, but I did heal 10 man normal mode all the way through Cata. I'm considering leveling my Shammy and getting back into that part of the game. I mention this since the natural progression of thought (for me at least) is to write about  MSV as a Healing or DPS Training Course. I might do that too. Anyway, one thing I've been thinking of lately is how the three raid roles are judged. More on this later.

  This all is sort of prompted by me being dropped from the last raid my Pally tank was in. The other tank was saying the healers said I'm squishy (hearsay?). I have at other times heard healers (not these ones) remark "It's like he doesn't take damage" in reference to my performance on Spirit Kings. I'm able to mitigate almost all of the cleaves on the first King by over 50% using Shield of the Righteous. I am, as a matter of fact, not squishy. Prot Pallys cap hit and hard cap expertise. Get over it. (So do Monks, I hear.) Pally tanking is mostly about maximizing Shield of the Righteous uptime (hit, exp, haste), increasing it's potency (mastery), and timing it's use based on incoming damage.

  Spirit Kings is not Horridon, however. Good tanking cannot carry DPS that doesn't kill adds fast enough, doesn't interrupt enough (leaving the tank stunned, I can only interrupt 1 Stone Gaze at a time), and a healer that heals less than my Battle Healer and Seal of Insight. It's easier to blame the new guy rather than tell your friends they need to improve, so the fault was put on me. I was told to reforge to dodge and parry, and I said no. (Ironically, I'd been considering reforging for avoidance for Council of Elders, since avoidance slows the rate Frigid Assault stacks up. I wasn't certain, just considering it) I was asked to switch to either DPS or Heals, and I said it's not happening, since my DPS set isn't that great (viable, though) and my Healing set (my off-off spec) is definitely not up to it. The fact is, my tanking was rejected. My character is a tank first and foremost, so my character was rejected. I was not in that guild socially, only there to raid, and the second I was dropped from the raid, I quit the guild.

  This leads me to my thoughts on guild hopping. I'm all for it. Yes, that horrible sin that people deride. I've had my Rogue called a guild hopper, when my Rogue was in Eutopia for the first 6 months of Cata, (I was with them for over a year total) then Ephemera for well into Mists, until I finally decided to start raiding Ally side again. The very first guild I tried after that, I turned down. It's okay to say no. It's my $15 a month. I'll play with who I want to play with, and that turns out to be Tiyospaye. Yay, I got a good one on my second try! (*Edit* Wrong again.)The fact is, Eutopia wasn't my first guild in Wrath, and Ephemera wasn't my first guild in Cata. It takes some searching, and that requires being in a particular guild chat for a certain amount of time, and, as applicable, going on a few raids with a group. You have to get a feel of the atmosphere to decide if you like it or not, and if you're not satisfied, go somewhere else.

  Anyway, all of that aside, let's think objectively here about judging performance.

  DPS seems easy to judge, as long as you look at overall performance, not specifics. Let an expert in any particular class/spec quibble over details. What I'm looking at is the big picture. For DPS, I propose:
  • Rule #1 Obey the fight mechanics.
  • Rule #2 Don't die.
  • Rule #3 Have crazy burst DPS whenever applicable.
  • Rule #4 Be on top of the damage meter.
  Pretty straight forward, I think. Easy to judge. Special tasks like interrupts or killing adds fall under obeying fight mechanics. It's very much a catch-all term the way I use it. I add rule #2 because sometimes the fight mechanics are in conflict, e.g. if an add that needs to die is free-casting from the middle of a sand trap and you are melee, then leave it alone. Don't. Die.

  After the complicated parts are figured out, the task becomes simple. DPS is there to kill the boss as quickly as they can. This requires sustained high DPS, but at certain times, burst DPS to push a phase. Holding off on offensive cooldowns is sometimes necessary, and really this is just a reiteration of Rule #1.

  For tanks, Active Mitigation is the new thing, and this in particular gives a tank a way to judge performance that is not arbitrary and (mostly) not subject to RNG. A Pally tank's log can be inspected to see how they are using Shield of the Righteous, and whether or not they are optimizing their Holy Power generation. DK tanks can be judged by their effective use of Death Strikes. The tanks' lives used to be wholly in the hands of the healers, but now tanks have a great amount of control over their health.

  For tanks, I propose these rules:
  • Rule #1 Obey the fight mechanics.
  • Rule #2 Don't die.
  • Rule #3 Position the boss/adds and hold aggro.
  • Rule #4 Reduce incoming damage, particularly spike damage.
  Again with the fight mechanics, following them is always paramount. It can be simple, like Patchwerk, or it can be the worst council fight ever, all of the fight mechanics must be followed above all else. Again with not dying, whatever you do, don't die. If something you do causes you to die, don't do that.

  Positioning and aggro are a matter of keeping your team alive. If people are dying to breaths, cleaves, melee swings, hordes of adds, ect. while they are following their rules, then that's the tank's fault. Only the tanks can handle sustained damage, so be quick to get aggro and position correctly. Technically this also falls under Rule #1, but I think it bears reinforcement.

  After being sure that your teammates are protected, then consider the matter of your own health bar. Meters will lie to you, in this case. Overall damage taken is almost never relevant. Reducing spike damage is what's important, as well as carefully using defensive cooldowns to good effect. This is where it can get into class specifics quickly, but all tanks have their own tanking model, for the most part. Using that tanking model effectively will reduce the rate of incoming damage, allowing healers to sustain your health much easier.

  Healer performance can be a slippery thing to grasp, but the first two rules are probably the same as for DPS and Tanks. But I'm burnt out on this topic.

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