Category Archives: Raiding

Time for a Raid Leader Change

For more than 4 high school careers, the standard for raid leading role has been delegated to the main tank. It’s not always the case, but it is damn near 99% of it. This is just the archetype for MMO’s and has been around as long as the genre. Tanks have always been the leaders. I can see why. In the beginning, they are the ones that took on the most responsibility. Tanking used to be a hard, think Sunken Temple hallways or Heroic Shattered Halls. Not a lot of people did it. The group lived or died based solely on the tank. Dungeons and raids were very tank centric, and that was a metric fuck ton of weight to carry. Someone willingly accepted the role to be a tank. Some might consider that heroic, but I consider it a character flaw. However, that trait also made this martyr the ideal candidate for even more responsibility. When you found a good tank, you made friends with them. Like, stalker friendship almost.

As you can imagine, there simply weren’t enough people that had this level of motivation, desire, masochism, whatever. Blizzard said that was a problem, so they started changing things around in Cata and well into MoP. They began changing how the tank worked and thus the type of person the tank was. People who never wanted anything to do with that kind of role before began flocking to the new tank. No more threat issues meant that anyone could be a tank now. With a decent healer a bad tank was a good tank. This change had trickle down effects to dps and healers. DPS cared less about CC and threat which in turn made them care less about standing in fire. Healers basically became the catch all for all the fucks that were lost. More and more healers were being blamed for not keeping people alive. So, the dynamic of the healers mentality began changing, picking up the plight of the tanks from a forgotten era. Don’t believe me? Que for a random anything and tell me if the last person to make the group is a healer or not. 91% of the time, it is the healer.

dungeon que

This article takes this concept to the next evolution and I propose the following. Much like the arena scene, where the healer is directing the general flow of the game, the healer should take over the raid leading role in raids in similar fashion.

I know this sounds like heresy, but hear me out as I have some experience with all facets of this idea. I have progression tanked T4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15 and have tanked T10, 11, 14 outside of progression. I have also progression healed T11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. That pretty much covers every WoW expansion ever. Yes, there is that shitty time in Cataclysm where I quit, but who honestly cares about Firelands and Dragon Soul.

Why not Tanks

Tanks have a lot of shit to worry about now. Boss mechanics are harder than ever. The tank’s personal responsibilities have increased 10 fold in this expansion over the MoP raids. This is compounded by the rededication of the active mitigation in Warlords.

Not only do I have solid anecdotal evidence from 2 good friends that tell me this every raid, but I also can see it as I am the one healing them. It is extremely noticeable when they are concentrating on raid leading duties along with the myriad of responsibilities like, tank swapping, moving out of fire, positioning the boss, facing the boss a certain direction, picking up adds, picking up more adds, dropping a debuff away from the raid, taunting, interrupting, laser beams, kiting, bombs, and and more bombs. All this comes on top of managing their resources to be able to manage their active mitigation in order to manage the bosses abilities. So, having them watch others when they are concentrating on not fucking up is asking a lot, I believe.

Why not Deeps

We could ask a dps to do it. However, any dps worth his salt is already concentrating enough to eek out every drop of damage they can. As damage is what actually kills bosses, we don’t want to hinder them. Raid leading certainly will diminish their capacity to fulfill their primary dps role. Let’s just be honest here and point a finger, the only thing dps care about are meters and who is on top regardless of the fire around them. Raid leading just doesn’t fit.

The case for Healers

That leaves us the healers. Not because of process of elimination, but because they honestly have the best grasp of the battlefield now. Let’s talk about this. The Healer’s UI is setup to monitor the Raid’s health and debuffs. It is very easy for them to see who is standing in fire. Healers also have their UI setup for positional awareness and the ability to quickly transition from looking at their raid frames to environment. Healers also must know  a thing or two about incoming damage. Thus, timers, warnings, and Boss HP are extremely important to Healers. All of the main necessities of a Raid Leader are already at a healer’s light filled fingertips.

WoWScrnShot_030815_193324

Healing raid slots are also very flexible. Depending on preference, a raid team can be comprised of 1-4 healers. You can’t say that for Tanks and the more DPS the faster shit dies. I personally like the 1 healer for every 5 raid members mantra. Our group often runs with the 3/15 and 4/15 (healers/total raid members) depending on which healers show up. Even with the 3/15 there is a lot of opportunity to for the Healer to devote time to the Raid Leader role. If you group has a HPally and a Disc Priest, at the very least a HPally, that really frees up a healer outside of the large damage phases to devote energy to telling people not to fuck up. The reason is these classes can carry the load of the healing. In the current healing meta, that is just the reality. They are output classes and every raid should have them. Druids with a 4-piece T18 can also fulfill that role.

This idea hit me in Hellfire Citadel on Iskar, if I remember correctly. I don’t know why or what made it click, but it happened. I guess this zone highlighted these issues perfectly. It is hard to argue that this is not the natural step in Raid Leading. If you do, tell me the last true dps race boss and then we can start our “discussion”.  

Tanking Evaluation with Warcraft Logs – Prelude

I don’t know, nor do I give any fucks how many parts there will be in this series. I can surmise there will be more than 1 and less than 63. Kapeesh?

I do know I will be covering Prot Warrior and Brewmaster’s, as I am inclined to help people, specifically people that I have to heal. However, I am not inclined to let all of the effort I spend on someone not named Knuttgaard go without benefiting me somehow. Thus, we have a blog post, or a series of posts.

Qualifications:

I see the question forming in that brain of yours, and it is something to this affect, “Who the hell are you to give critiques of tank performance. You’re a healer, idiot.” First, do you have a couch? Then go fuck it, as my friend would say, who has also graciously allowed me to abuse his ego for this series.

Second, my very first character was….a Tank. Yes, I used to be a tank, a warrior tank, in fact. I tanked progression raids from Kara in Burning Crusade up until Trial of the Grand Crusader in Wrath until work took me away from a consistent raiding schedule for a period. As tanks should be the most consistent raider in attendance, I stepped down after 3 years of main tanking.

I started my raiding carrier as a tank in the ASS (Azjol Secret Service). It was a startup guild, and the leadership there taught me the ins and outs of raiding and tanking. I am completely beholden to them for teaching me the ropes as they were seasoned raiders across multiple MMO’s. My time tanking in the ASS got me a gig tanking with one of the top Horde guilds on the server where we progressed into Sunwell.

Third, I analyze data at my day job as a Geologist at R&D for an oil company where I am surrounded by a bunch of badass people 17 times smarter than myself. So, making sense of squiggly lines, numbers, plots, and graphs combined with maths to explain when shit goes wrong and when shit goes right to both smart and dumb people happens to be my forte.

Terms:

We have to get used to some new terms/metrics. We are all familiar with DPS (Damage per Second) and HPS (Healing per Second). There are also tanking metrics. Let see, we have Healing Required per Second (HReq/S), which really means External Healing Required. In layman terms, it is how much healing your Holy pally has to pump into your sorry ass. Ask Mr. Robot logs uses this metric.

For several years there has been the Theck-Meloree Index (TMI), created and named for 2 prominent Prot Paladin theorycrafters. TMI basically quantifies a tank’s ability to lessen damage spikes, which was a big deal up until Warlords.

I encourage you to do a quick google if you want more information. You get all the info you could want, especially from Theck, that guy is a beast.

Warcraft Logs used a version of TMI, Effective TMI (ETMI) for a long time. However, with the new health pool to damage ratio, it had some limitations when trying to directly compare different classes together, which is what we all care about really. Whose number is better.

So, the person behind Warcraft Logs, Kihra, tried to fix that with a new metric, KRSI (Kihra’s Resolve-Weighted Survivability Index). It is some pretty complex shit and continually being iterated upon. BUT, it is a number, and a number that we want/need to look at to evaluate our penises, because we are WoW players for fucks sake.

Tank Rankings:

The KRSI is easy enough to find. Open a a log on Warcraft logs and browse to a boss kill as indicated by the big fucking red box in the below image. Make sure it is a KILL, it doesn’t work on a wipe. Then click the ‘Rankings’ tab on the right as indicated but the other big fucking red box.

logs 1So, you will be brought to a screen like the below which will display penis numbers for tanking, dps, and healing. The names have been hid to protect the innocent. Anyone with a name showing is either not innocent or agreed to have their name shown.

log 2
*Hint…click the image to make it bigger.*

All kinds of cool shit can be gleamed from this tab. But what we are concerned with right now is the Tank Rankings segment.

log 3

The KRSI is located to the right of the tank’s name. If we can justify putting faith in the KRSI rating, which we can, the lower your number the better the tank performed, in simplest terms. As you can see, our tanks did not do so hot. When I was in high school, failing was anything below 70%. The Monk scored a 45%. 2,680 other monk tanks that killed normal High Council did better than him. The ilvl bracket where he has a grade of 56% is a better metric for actual evaluation because gear does matter, but he still failed high school.

The Warrior did even worse, BUT we are in the process of fixing that shit and is the reason this blog series was born. I am grateful he is letting me help him out and even more so for me hanging his dirty laundry on the Internet. We are going to get both these guys over 85%. That is my goal. 75% to 85% is a C grade, average and unacceptable. I want these guys performing at the B+ level, but will settle for a B regardless.

FYI, Wompdonkey is the monk tank. He switched to a Brewmaster when they were overpowered with LOLStagger/HAHAPurify in BRF. I wouldn’t let him switch back to warrior for HFC after the nerfs. He was a really good warrior tank, but he is going to learn how to be a monk now, DAMN IT.

Deuces

Link Love:

Kirha’s twitter: https://twitter.com/KihraOfTemerity/. Drop in an tell him/her thanks for all the effort she has done to make you better.

Theck’s blog: http://www.sacredduty.net/. I don’t recommend talking to him. He is way smarter than you, You will embarrass yourself.

And of course Warcraft logs: https://www.warcraftlogs.com/. Which, you can support with real money.

 

 

Dig, Done, Dug

This post is a little more serious than the usual….and long. TL;DR at the end.

One of our guild/raid members had to be relieved of his obligations Tuesday during the raid. I am writing this mostly for the sake of the guild members fully understanding what took place. Also, I am writing it to be used as an anecdote for guild leadership in a later post.

For the sake of all parties involved, I will refer to this person as Squidpenis. (I did say “a little” more serious)

From the average guild member’s perspective, Spuidpenis’s departure seemed kind of sudden, and some were shocked. We were about to pull High Council in HFC and some noticed Squidpenis was online and in HFC, but not in HFC with us. Chat looked something like this:

  • GM : “Squidpenis, why aren’t you raiding with us?”
  • Some amount of time elapses.
  • GM: “Squidpenis?”
  • Somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes later
  • “Squidpenis has been kicked from the guild by the GM.”
  • After some mumbles and whispers.
  • Officer: “Squidpenis was kicked because he was stealing BoE’s from the guild bank.”

While enough at the time, this reason for Squidpenis being kicked isn’t the whole truth. It had been coming for a long time. Several factors/events all contributed to Squidpenis being 86’ed. So, sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy…GUILD DRAMA!

Stealing:

Let’s discuss the events of the night from the omniscient point of view, excluding the perspective of Squidpenis of course. After we killed Hellfire “LOL” Assault, I get a whisper from a guildie:

  • Guildie: “I don’t think Squidpenis will be raiding with us anymore.”
  • Myself: “Oh, why?”
  • Guildie: “He said we were scrubs.”
  • Guildie: “and we were wasting his talents and holding back progression.”
  • Guildie: “said we were carrying to many dps.”
  • Guildie: “He said he was 6 out of 13 normal and that the no one would listen to him”
  • Myself: “When did he say this?”
  • Guildie: “Last raid.”
  • The conversation continues but nothing relative to the overarching theme.

After this information, I looked at the guild bank. I know Squidpenis had taken BoE’s from the guild bank in the past as they are free to take for raiders who use them for raiding purposes. As I am the loot master for the raids, I get the BoE’s that are not bid on during the raid and put them in the guild bank. So, I have a very, very loose count of what is in there.

When I first saw Squidpenis taking the BoE’s, I justified it the following way:

  • He had just swapped to his hunter and was gear up. The pieces taken were ones he could use.
  • After he was geared and still taking the BoE’s, which was 1 maybe 2, the log tab showed the items were 670 ilvl. As we were in BRF and ever yone at or above 670 ilvl gear, the gear was outdated. There is no harm in using them for alts.

Now, when I looked at the bank and studied it a bit, 4 things were apparent:

  1. Squidpenis had taken 3 pieces after he obviously had no intentions of raiding with us anymore and a total of 7 over 19 days.
  2. The pieces taken were in fact 685.
  3. There is a bug in the Guild Bank log that lists the base item level of a piece of gear instead of the difficulty ilvl. Proven by the Mythic Highmaul gloves deposited, but only listed as 655. This also affects warforged items too.
  4. He took some BoE’s out on his alts and then left the guild with them.

No justification could be made here. So, this takes some time for me to put together, and we finally start talking about it in the officer channel during the trash to High Council. This is where the GM tries to contact him in guild chat. He also went as far as to whisper Squidpenis and was ignored. The GM had enough and dropped him.

Attitude:

The only mistake I feel was made was not kicking him earlier. Squidpenis had begun to develop a bad attitude. At the forefront of it was a condescending, elitist attitude. Was he a good player? Yes. Was he an elite player? No. He wasn’t even a Mythic level player. I am not going to digress into toxic attitudes and what not right now, as I have another post in the works about that. But I will say, all of the officers in the guild were at one time hardcore progression raiders. We know the difference between an elite player and an elitist. Elite people/players elevate others around them and have the ability to self-critique. Elitists display disdain for anyone they believe is below them and only act to further their self-importance. Squidpenis is an Elitist, and that shit doesn’t belong in our guild.

When this attitude started manifesting, Squidpenis was on borrowed time. He often bristled the whiskers of the officers and guild members. Many biting their tongue as they thought he was a friend of the officers. I can see why they thought this way. Even one of my best friends who raids with us thought this. But, Squidpenis was just a recruit from a random 5-man by a member.

My deal:

I gave Squidpenis a lot of forgiveness because of his situation. I believe Squidpenis had a terrible home life, the abusive kind. This was alluded to fairly often. So, I am comfortable in saying that it was abusive in some form, but that is all I will say. Squidpenis did have a job, but I am sure that wasn’t anything that brought him enjoyment or any kind of pleasure in life. WoW for him, as many others, was/is an escape. WoW is not an escape for me. I do enjoy it quite terribly, but I do not use it as a way to augment how I enjoy life.

However, I will never diminish the role it may play in another’s life. I made a conscious decision a fair bit ago to try really, really, really hard to not tear people down, especially when concerning something they enjoy or, in the case of Squidpenis, depend on. This stayed my executioner’s hand quite often along with the thought that we may have been able to provide a positive influence in his life where there may have been very little. But, in the end, the consequence of ones actions cannot be overlooked and accountability has to be placed somewhere. Yep…that was the sound of about 1,000 Millennial’s minds exploding.

Peace out, Squidpenis.

TL;DR – Dude got kicked for general dickbaggery while paddling a douche canoe.