Sunday, June 30, 2013

Knocking on Lei Shen's Door

  I pugged with <Egalitarian Misanthropes> on Proudmoore last week for a Dark Animus kill (and a few Iron Qon attempts) and they invited me back this week. We did up through Megaera Thursday night, with only some trouble on Tortos, and tonight we went up through Twin Consorts. We even 1 shot Primordius. After the run, they made me Haunted Steel Greathelm. One person expressed reservation, wondering how long I'd stick around, but it was overruled. I gave them 32k for it anyway. A solid tanking helm is worth the investment, and I'll be upgrading it ASAP next week along with the well itemized legplates that dropped. They initially offered to make the parry/mastery helm, so I had to have the "Conversation" about Prot Pally stats. No one called me a noob right off, so far, so good.

  They post logs, so tomorrow I'll be able to start critically assessing my performance. This is something I have not been able to do up until now. My computer can't handle logging. Mostly I'll be looking for how well I mitigate melee damage. The big hits have big cooldowns, and I have plenty of those. Cooldown usage is not an issue. How well I actively mitigate the real tank killer, spike damage from melee, depends on how well I generate and spend Holy Power.

  I'm hesitant, since I've been burned before, but what's different about this group is that, though they call themselves casual, they progress. I checked them out on wowheroes, and they have plenty of raiding experience, not just 6+ kills on Jin'rok and 2 Horridon this tier, or just 1 kill of the last boss of previous raids. There isn't any bad DPS being blatently carried, and mistakes are owned up to immediately. I know a good group when I see that fingers don't have to be pointed.

  So wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ignore the Trolls, Have Fun

  First, I'll have to admit the inherent hypocrisy of saying "Ignore the trolls" then launching into a review of a troll.

  It's getting about that time in the xpac cycle that all this crap gets recycled. When I started back up mid-Wrath, all this was in full swing: "Catering to casuals, dumbing down the game, welfare epics". Then mid Cata, with LFR on the horizon: "Catering to casuals, free epics for everyone, class homogenization". Now in mid-MoP: "Catering to casuals, raiding made easy for noobs, talents mean nothing anymore". OK, so I'm a hypocrite here too, since I bitched about Tier gear dropping in LFR.

Like a dog returns to it's vomit:

  What brought this to my attention was Big Bear Butt's post, and he reams this guy a hell lot better than I could, so check it out. I also want to ream him a little myself, so here we go with a few quotes from the video:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Second Horridon Kill

  What I anticipated being the main/alt setup is now reversed. My tank was on a weekday ToES run, my Rogue did this weekend's ToT run. Neither are a proper 3rd group, and both are in a state of flux. Uncertainty is present.

  Anyway, onto the Horridon kill numbers:

  My DPS continues to be low during the gate phases, jumping up from #6 to #3 during the end burn phase. I was intentionally not using cooldowns at all during the gates, since I was focused more on surviving. I'm the only DPS that has to worry about 110% threat threshold as opposed to the 130% threshold ranged gets. I die a lot, almost always to melee attacks. Sometimes from debuffs, but that hasn't been too much of a stumbling block for our group.

  Tricks only can be used every 30 seconds, so I try to use it for sure on every pair of the high priority adds each gate, again on large packs. I hit Tricks and spam a few Fan of Knives ending with a Crimson Tempest. This actually drops my DPS since Fan of Knives is usually replacing Mutilate only when there are 4 or more adds and Crimson Tempest is not a part of any standard Assassin AoE rotation that I know of. I'm considering taking it off my bars and just sticking with Envenom. The goal instead is just to help establish threat on multiple targets. When I don't have Tricks up, I try to single target only the highest kill priority until dead, then spread 3-4 point Ruptures on adds that the tank has good threat on, then Marked for Death> Envenom on adds that are about to die.

  Marked for Death is working out well, but it's best benefit isn't actually it's small but visible DPS increase. I observe that there are less stragglers to deal with after crashing a gate and moving to the next one. Killing off these lower priority adds has been an improvement for the whole group of course, but on my end of it, I think the extra 5 point Envenoms are exactly what's giving me the little bit of burst to contribute to that part of the fight.

  Overall DPS on adds, however, is not improved greatly. All through the fight, my DPS is between 50k-60k DPS. It more than doubles during the burn phase, since I'm synching up cooldowns with good effect, so perhaps gate phase DPS can also be improved with judicious use of cooldowns. Typically one would want to burn the Dinomancers, but I'm actually on orb duty, so no burst there. I suppose hitting a cooldown on the pairs of adds would help, but still, survival is paramount.

  Which leads me back to my initial problem: I die a lot, almost always to melee attacks. Every time I die, I think it may be decreasing the likelyhood healers will heal me. Raid healers prioritize, and people who die a lot tend to be seen as bad investments of mana, which is a finite source for them (tank healers, not so much). I use meters to gauge how healers respond to relatively higher damage taken by DPS players by comparing Damage Taken with Healing Taken. If the place on the list is within a position or two, no problem. Healers are responding proportionally to damage taken. If Damage Taken is much higher than Healing Taken, then there may be a problem.

  In each of our attempts and in our kill, I was in the same relative place on both meters, and I am encouraged by this. This means that if I focus my efforts on what I can control, i.e. better burst DPS and better survivability, then what I can't control, i.e. healing received, will continue unabated.

  There's still the uncertainty concerning scheduling and grouping to address, but that's something I have very little control over, and is too close to airing out laundry. I only hope that soon a group or two will settle into a steady routine. I don't care who leads, or which team gets my DK or Rogue. I just want to raid.