I was standing in Org, looking at what mats I needed to give my hunter to make Prismatic Elixirs for tonight’s raid and I shit you not, I have the following conversation:
I give Dirt credit, he’s CTC capped with absolutely nothing. But sorry, I’m going to have Mark and a DK buff 99% of the time, and I use my standard concoction Prismatic and Mastery elixirs, so I’m not going to overdo it on the Mastery just so I can stand in town and tell other Paladins that “OMG YOU AREN’T CAPPED.”
But thanks for telling me how to play my class…
EDIT: I added him to my friends list to finish the convo when he decided to sign back on. Here’s what I said: “FWIW, I hit cap through Mark/Horn and Elixir of the Master. I’m actually at 102.43% raid buffed. I don’t bother to aim for cap outside of a raid like you’ve managed to.” I didn’t get a response back (no surprise there).
Hiya WoW Insider readers (again!)…if you didn’t think I was a conceited asshole (based on some of the comments I’ve gotten I seem to think some people missed the “yes, I’m an asshole” line in the post), let me reaffirm my stance with tonight’s LFR screenshot…
Tonight’s LFR fun can be found within this pic:
And yes, I browse my LFR tank’s Armories if I’m laying dead on the ground for whatever reason. I’m not green when it comes to tanking on a Paladin…don’t attempt to bullshit me when I can look at your stats and *know* you aren’t as qualified as you say you are…
“Fucking twat shit talking” did make my night though. I cackled maniacally in Mumble when I read that.
So patch 4.3 dropped about 4 weeks ago and I’ve been mucking around with my guild in the raid two nights a week. On off-nights some of us get together and step into LFR, hoping that our unity and skill can power us through what is admittedly the most painful experience I’ve had since Ret Paladins got buffed in the Pre-Wrath patch and farmed us in BGs.
I’ve stepped into LFR in every role (tanking on Raz, healing on Gabby,and DPSing on Azzy) and each time a little part of me dies inside. I’ve encountered good players, bad players, and everything in between. I’ve referred to LFR as “Looking for Retards” and “Looking for Regrets,” and sadly, they are both still spot on. Let’s discuss why:
You can lead a horse to water…
…but you can’t force them to drink. Welcome to LFR:
- 1/3 of your raid will have a clue
- 1/3 of your raid can’t bother to read mechanics and then dies on everything
- 1/3 of your raid thinks they know what’s going on but in reality they are as lost as the previous 1/3
You have a 50/50 chance of your tanks:
- Actually knowing how to tank
- Having a health pool that isn’t comparable to a plate healer
- Actually knowing the fight
Your goal is to find a tank who has at least 1 of the above skills and has the ability to learn. If you can find a tank with all 3 qualities, sacrifice something to the gods for giving you a lucky day.
You hope that your healers:
- Actually have healing spells bound to keys
- Actually heal the raid and not themselves full time
- Do more than 4000 HPS overall
- Are comprised of at least 3 who will do 80% of the healing, hopefully doing it well enough to carry the rest of the heal team
Your only prayers regarding your DPS team:
- Please out-DPS the tanks
- Please do more than 7K DPS based on the ilvl required to get into the raid
- Can understand simple directions
Sadly, I have experienced each and every one of the things listed above in LFR. I have carried players who can’t out DPS a tank to watch them win tier tokens, or the people who can’t avoid standing in something or attack the right target walk away with loot from Deathwing.
LFR does a great job of allowing people to experience the content, but it rewards mediocrity and asshole behavior.
My Raiding Hang Up
I’m old-school. I won’t lie. I may not have raided in Vanilla, but I kept up a 6-day a week raid schedule through BC only to watch 25s also be opened to 10s teams and more casual play.
I watched people get emo if a boss didn’t die in the first night of attempts. I watched people rage quit if a boss didn’t die in a week of attempts. Yea, I will get frustrated if something won’t die, but I spent a month (if not more) of working on Vashj 3 nights a week before she died. A week is a farking joke to me. Kills usually are delayed because people are perpetuating stupid mistakes, lacking raid awareness or communication skills, or are just downright bad. I benched people for this in BC. I was ruthless in my pursuit of kills, but people were always aware as to why their slot was negated–my team isn’t here to carry you–devote the time to improve your gear, your attitude, and your abilities, and then come talk to me again.
Raiding is business to me, plain and simple. If I see you fuck up repeatedly, I will call you out. I’m aggressive. I’m an asshole. I won’t deny this in the least. I raid to win and to succeed. Outside of raiding, WoW is fun. But in a raid? I’m going to be sometimes coldly professional. The shorter my responses are? The more pissed I am. I’m here for 3 or more hours, don’t waste my time and I won’t waste yours.
There were nights in BC that I would have benched myself because I fucked up. The challenge was that we only ran 2 hunters, and we both needed to be there with Misdirects. In Wrath I would have benched myself when I was tired, but I wasn’t RL and my GM wouldn’t have any of it. In Cata, well, sometimes it’s hard to bench one of the tanks when you only have 2. I’d like to say that I’m a thousand times better as a tank than a healer (usually), so there are nights (looking at you Heroic Alys) where I would have preferred to have been benched when I was performing badly in the healing department.
In a normal raid set, this made sense. You were a good player and thus you got to reap the rewards of your effort. Your dedication to developing yourself to be a dependable raider was highlighted by the shiny epics you earned. The raid finder just gives you the opportunity to go into Dragon Soul, be as good or as bad as you want, and still have an equal chance to roll against everyone else in the raid, no matter if they were better or worse than you were. We’re at the point where we’re now rewarding mediocrity (and in the process leaving out/screwing over the people who DO play their class well but don’t have the time for a dedicated raid team) with shiny, abeit lower ilvl (but who the hell really cares honestly), epics.
Why I LFR
In all honesty, I LFR for the same reason that a guild like Paragon did it. I want to grab pieces that will allow me to perform better for my raid team. Whether or not they are tiny upgrades, there are tier set bonuses and more gem sockets in play, things that I want so that I can push more heals or take more hits. I’m sure there are many raiders who do the same. In fact, until last night, my first pieces of tier on Raz came from LFR. My priest, who I will never raid on as a main, has 2 pieces, and amazingly, my DK picked up 3 on Monday before server resets. I’d like to say that I play each of those classes well in the role I play them in, so I am thrilled to be able to pick up pieces for my effort.
For some, LFR is the only chance they will have at seeing the content, and honestly, I can’t fault them for that. They pay just as much as I do to play this game, and they should have the chance to see all the content that is made.
But that doesn’t mean…
I like grouping with them. The good players, the players who can’t devote the time but stay current on their class and know how to use their abilities, sign me right up. I’m more than willing to explain a fight, to help someone if they want to be helped. This has always been my theory in LFD. I’m not expecting you to out-DPS me in normal heroics. I know that I out-gear you, and I honestly don’t mind carrying you and getting you some loot. This is why I never have an issue tanking for guildies’ alts. It’s something I can do for them and I hope that I get the same back in return.
I had the world’s worst shadow priest in one of my entry level heroics a couple weeks ago. Instead of demeaning him or kicking him from the group, I kept him for the next 3 runs I did. Why? Why not? I needed nothing through there, he wasn’t standing in fire or being an asshole in /p. So he stayed. The jackasses? Don’t worry, I have a /votekick lined up and waiting for you.
But the bad players? There’s a reason I’m in a guild and I run stuff in guild groups. It’s to avoid these players. You know, the ones who stand in fire, the ones who talk back, the ones who wait for a rez while everyone runs back. The players who are only there to grief the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, LFR dumps those good players who want to see the content in with the bad players who have no other plans but to make 24 other people’s lives miserable.
Improving LFR to Improve the Player
Why reward mediocrity? We see it today in the rearing of children–everyone has to be a winner. Everyone needs a participation ribbon. In my mind, it devalues the achievements of others who put forth the effort to be the best at what they do.
I know that Blizzard has admitted that there are some fallacies with the current configuration of LFR and I know that they are trying to improve it. So far they’ve set restrictions on some of the items (though if I recall correctly there were some BiS type items that now some classes can’t get out of LFR because it wasn’t locked to their class–I think it was a weapons and warriors thing), and have stated that they want it to be even more specific, as in, a Ret Paladin can’t roll and win a 1H sword off Deathwing (seen it happen).
The first step is admitting that you have a problem, and Blizzard has done that–and I applaud them for their honesty in saying that the design of LFR is a work-in-progress. But what are other ways we can improve it?
Setting a Performance Check
Right now, in order to get into LFR, you need to have an ilvl of at least 372. We don’t care if it’s equipped, we don’t care if it’s even your armor type, we don’t care if it’s PvP gear. If you have an overall ilvl of 372, you can go play in LFR. So we have this nebulous “gear check.” There’s so many ways to game the system, that people forget why it’s in place.
Only once have I had an LFR where every single DPS was above me as a tank. Half the DPS were guild mates, and the other have were quality PuGgers that we picked up in the LFR system. I’ve seen DPS as low as 7K, and I’ve seen them win loot over someone who did 30K. Does this frustrate me? Hell yes it does. There’s 2 sides to the coin though; with the loot win, could the 7K DPS improve themselves to be a valuable contributor to the raid? Or do you reward the person who has a solid grasp of their class and is basically carrying other members of the raid? I can see both sides of it. On Raz, I feel like I’m carrying because I know the correct way to handle the boss mechanics; I go in and deliver a smooth run. On my priest, I feel like I deserve the tokens and loot because it will make me a better player (Gabby’s gear was never great until this Tier, and it still needs work, but I do usually try to top the absorbs meter in LFR)–I’m not a bad healer, I just don’t have the output because I don’t have the gear to push the numbers to be as respectable as I’d like.
I’d love to see a DPS/HPS check. Blizzard has all the data from our combat logs. They know what the expected output of a class is, and if it needs to be buffed or nerfed. What if they set a range with a high and a low and an average expectation? In order to roll on loot, you need to fall between the two points. This would require players to better themselves in order to benefit from LFR–improving themselves helps to improve the overall raid experience, making them a better team player and more willing to not AFK and be carried.
Same for healing, though I know that some people will do meter padding just to up their chances for loot. Healing will always be a sort of gray area, so I’m not quite sure how I’d handle it–I’d love to hear suggestions though!
Performance Based Loot Weights
When bonuses roll around in my company, we are weighed and measured against everyone else in our role. Our performance weights for the year versus our coworkers is what sets our bonus ranking. The process is called “Weighting and Ranking.” The better you do, the higher chance you are to get rewarded. The best contributors walk away with a 1.5 modifier on the company bonus amount, which nets them some additional cash for their effort. What it the same thing was in play in LFR? If you fall within the DPS/HPS scale, you get a better chance at loot? If you hit the median expected for your class, your role maintains the +100 modifier. But if you are close to top, you get a +150 modifier or something. And this is an adjusting scale–you don’t want to pass a lot of loot to someone in all Heroic Firelands gear, or maybe even in some Heroic Dragon Soul gear! Percentile based roll modifiers could be an interesting mechanic, though probably more of a headache to code than it’s worth.
My first weeks in LFR were plagued with people winning multiple tokens in one run. And let me say, I was really annoyed when 2 healing trinkets dropped off one boss and went to the same damn player. And then last week, I got lucky. I took my DK in for the first 4 bosses and picked up 3 Tier tokens and a BiS waist for him. Someone commented after we finished up Hagara, “Wait, did Azrael get 3 Tier tokens this run?!?” And honestly? I was rejoicing. I said in Mumble to guildies, “Well, I earned these.” And in some ways, I did. I maintained #4 on the Damage Done list for the entire raid. But then I thought back to the argument that I had made on Twitter early in 4.3: Once you win a token, your roll should be halved for any other class token that drops for you that run. If that was the case, I probably wouldn’t have made out like a bandit like I did on Azzy. Do I think it’s fair? Yes and no. I look at my performance (this was the run with the 7K DPS shadow priest) and say “I kicked ass and I’ve earned these tokens,” but how many other good performers lost out to me? RNG is a finicky mistress indeed.
Part of me thinks that this could be addressed with the performance modifiers I noted above, but I’m still unsure. One person shouldn’t walk away from LFR with 4 pieces of loot in 4 bosses, but there’s got to be a way to spread the wealth.
There needs to be a way to allow people who want to see the content on their own time, without a raid team, if they so choose. There needs to be a better way to police the ever growing list of griefers who are entering the LFR system specifically to mess with players. There needs to be a way to reward those who put forth effort. The old saying of “It’s my $15, I can play how I want!” can be easily refuted (in my mind) with the response of “Well, it’s the raid’s $360 so STFU and L2Play.” For progression, I have a raid team to run with. For my alts, I have LFR. I try to be a contributor not a hindrance.
I think LFR is a good concept, but it definitely needs work. I implore the WoW community to come up with creative ideas and share them with Blizzard so together, we can provide feedback from all different play styles to make the tool something we don’t think twice about using!
UPDATE: By the time I got around to publishing this, I’ve picked up 5 pieces of Tier on Raz in LFR: 2 pieces for Holy, and 3 pieces for Prot. I now run a 4pc Prot set and a 2pc Holy set for raids.
Thanks to Morniel for coming up with a more “politically correct” version of LFR!
I’ll just let this speak for itself as a lead-in to my LFR discussion post that will come later this week…
I’d like to point out that I hadn’t pulled a boss yet, and had just zoned in to Ultraxion. Gotta love LFR where you’ll be told how to play your class. Really?!? I don’t think you need to tell me how to play a Prot Paladin…I think I’ve got that covered =P And if I have questions, I have Rhidach that I can harass in guild!
Honesty and integrity–two things that go hand in hand in almost any industry. From Wikipedia’s analysis of Honesty:
Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.
It is no misunderstanding that the WoW Twitter community is a tight knit group of creative energy; the home of bloggers, artists, fanatics, casuals, veterans, and new players. Like any community, they band together in times of crisis, working together to overcome challenges presented to them. They are strong, stubborn, passionate, and driven in their endeavors–they aren’t afraid to stand for what they believe in and make their voices heard.
Recently, one of our own has come under fire–not by her own doing, but by acts perpetrated against her. Liala, the creative force behind Disciplinary Action, has always been a face in the WoW community; her comics and art have been featured across the web and she is known for her humor and passion for the game we all know and love. The discovery that her art was being passed off by someone else, as their own, as they pandered for commissions, was a complete insult to the generosity that Liala has bestowed upon the WoW community. She has created an entire Stained Class art series, in addition to capturing the WoW classes as Twitter icons, only requesting at the bottom of their respective pages to feel free to use these pieces for any non-profit, credited use. A simple request in anyone’s eyes when you consider the time and effort she exerted on their development.
But her simple request could not be abided by. MissPandora (@PandoraTGN) posted several videos on YouTube, each featuring artwork from individuals in the WoW community, and not crediting the creators for their efforts. Instead, she attempts to explain her “vision” from the pieces, in an attempt to pass the artwork off as her own. Five videos were posted and can be found at the following links:
Editor’s Note: As I wrote this, every video was made private in quick succession. The only copy still available was the annotated copy appearing in the header, created by Rades pointing out the fallacies in Pandora’s enterprising adventure.
True to my nature, I jumped in head first to this interesting debacle that was unfolding across the WoW community, getting awareness raised by the WoW Twitter community, and even garnering support from WoW bloggers such as WoW Insider staff. As I watched my feed fly by on Friday (and again heat up today), I wondered if there was an educational avenue that could be pursued as the dust settled.
As a student, source citing was always a fine line that you walked between your own thoughts and creations, and the copying of another’s. There were rules in place and guides to follow (for a period of time I had MLA memorized) should you ever need to address that gray area of source citing.
As a writer, I always was very careful to make sure my ideas were conveyed as my own, and if I was unsure, I was always quick to cite a source to cover my backside.
As an editor, I told my writers they had better have the best source book of quotes on the planet. To protect themselves, the publication they were writing for, and for me. I can protect myself by following the standards of the industry; is was my responsibility as an editor to make sure those rules were followed.
So how do you make sure to not fall into this questionable gray area of source citing? Let’s take a moment and address the common blog!
- Do you have art sprinkled through your posts? Is it your own? If it’s not, have you checked with the artist for permission to use their work? This can be addressed on a Deviant Art page (artists are known to explain their stance on the use of their artwork on their landing page or on specific pieces), a DM to the artist on Twitter (if you are mutual follower), or even an IM or email if you have that communication ability. Have you identified the artist in the caption or in the text of your post?
Much of the art used in my posts has been generated by me, or by friends. Before I share anything on Twitter, or even use it in a blog post, I explicitly ask the creator for their approval for me to share their art. Much of the art that I have used were gifts to me–some of the art may be featured by the artist on their own personal blogs, and in some cases, they will never share it beyond gifting it to me. Asking for permission is a sign of respect to the creator, and it’s just the polite thing to do!
- Have you perpetuated an idea that was developed by another blogger?
To me this is just my standard writing style–if I was to begin writing letters in the mindset of an NPC, I would credit Rades with this creative endeavor, as he is the well-known creator of Letters of a Shattered World. Are you participating in a “____ Circle” answering questions about your playstyle? Are you participating in a blogging challenge such as Spellbound’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging? All of these were created by someone who wasn’t yourself. Take a moment to link back to their blog and highlight their efforts for driving engagement within the community.
Understand that it’s better to over-cite than under-cite your sources in the current age. While I was composing this post, I discovered this little post from Daily Blog Tips called Put Honesty and Integrity Above Everything Else. Don’t sell your reputation short. As Pandora has learned, the community is quick to question one’s reputation who are passing others work off as their own.
Don’t make the same mistake Pandora has. This is an opportunity for the community to check themselves and educate others so the same mistake (or gross negligence) doesn’t occur again.
Editor’s Note: Since Pandora has remained silent on the matter, I offer up this blog as a chance to let her speak her piece and to give herself a voice to the criticism that has been laid in front of her. I moderate my comments, but if you would like to defend yourself on a public platform, I will provide the vehicle. As an editor and a professional, it is always fair to hear both sides of the story. –Miri
Yes, I *have* been working on some blog posts, and I’ve been failing to deliver on anything that I promised last week. Trying to get ready for BlizzCon, get raids done, and all my Transmog stuff. I spent today debating the finer points of cloak coloring and pairing with armor sets before dashing off to raid.
SO…once I get done with customer meetings tomorrow, I have NO RAIDS to run (aside from BWL), so I will finish up the Transmog blog post I’ve been gathering artwork for. Yes, it’s sick, and yes, it’s hilariously fun.
But…lots of posts inc.
And as an apology, I give you a header pic that I did last week when I was mentally crashing and was using Photoshop as a way to unwind. Twitter has seen it so far, but I’ll stick it in here–it’s for that “woah” post I still need to write…maybe while I’m on vacation…
Everyone knows I run a lot of Zul’Agains. It wasn’t until I actually went and grabbed this screenshot that I realized JUST HOW MANY I’ve run <.<
But, the screenshot captures something amusing–Raz’s newest acquisition, the Miniature Voodoo Mask. Rants were held after I won the roll (this is par for the course, see Raz’s luck on gathering stuff that is COOL looking but isn’t gear) in guild chat (as normal). It was also a bear run, during which 4 of us were guildies in the run, 2 with bears, and the newest bear drop went to the PuGged healer. It’s the TTGF way.
Well, last night we were waiting for people to return from a 5-minute break in Firelands, and we were discussing the random stuff we collect. Mittenz pulled out her Mushroom Chair, and (of course) Raz had to one-up her by showing off his Voodoo gnome army.
Except for the fact that I forgot that the voodoo gnomes will attack aggressive mobs that they are nearby. And they did by chain lightning the pack of elemental adds on the bridge leading to Bale/Alys/Rhyo. Vent basically had me panicking and going “Oh ****! GUYS HEAL!” as I picked up 4 adds and hoped that we had at least 1 healer who wasn’t AFK in the area. Our other tank came racing back to pick up the adds right as I died and our healers ran back to their PCs to push out enough healing so that we didn’t wipe on trash.
And so, Mittenz, in all her infinite wisdom, asked the following question:
And Raz probably DID learn from his mistake. But he’ll never admit it…