Grow A Pair (Of Fangs).

11/16/2010

I randomly stumbled across a trailer for the movie Priest, and it looks pretty sweet. Possibly quite campy, but still sweet. More importantly, it’s a vampire movie that actually about vampires instead of sparkefaggots, and right now we need more of those. I’m hoping it comes out as something like a higher-budget version of The Mutant Chronicles, instead of falling into the same void movies like Daybreakers and Legion did. I hear it’s nothing like the graphic novel, so there should be some nerdrage over its release which is always delicious.

Also, this week’s WTF will be late. Surprise, I know! But this time it’s actually planned, because tomorrow with any luck I will be nowhere near a computer. Clearly I am building your anticipation. Clearly.

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The Wednesday WTF.

11/11/2010

This week: Disc priests. On live, they’re still bullshit, but I hear in Cata they are somewhat less mighty. Even… bad. Players have proposed countless changes, but this one in particular caught my eye, because it was both a bad idea, and the guy posting about it was an ass. Good combo.

So, the idea was to let Penance add a stack  of Evangelism (currently only Smite will do this). While this would certainly make disc stronger, it is not a good way to go about it, for two reasons. First, it would devalue the Atonement. The idea is that you can Smite to both heal and deal damage, marginally more efficiently then healing with Heal. The tradeoff is that you cannot control to whom the heals are going, and an additional mental tax from having to rapidly switch targets if healing becomes suddenly intense. If Penance were to stack Evangelism, there would be no tradeoff. You could simply use this amazing spell, taking no risk that your targets suddenly take spike damage or that your heal the wrong target, and gain the full benefits of Evangelism, and thus the Archangel cooldown.

Which brings me to the second reason it’s silly: it breaks the entire Evangelism/Archangel system. The system is designed to allow you to have something to do during lull healing phases, and provide a nice buff during heavy healing phases. Again, if there is no opportunity cost, you can simply have Archangel whenever. There’s no restriction to your ability to stack up to it. At which point, the entire system becomes pointless. Why not just make it cooldown you can press at will?

There are plenty of ways to fix Disc (and apparently some went into the latest beta build), but this is not one. Even if it were not a mechanic-breaking ball of silly, it is far too big of a buff. Priests are closest to where Blizzard wants healing to be. Other classes need to be nerfed, as opposed to priests getting crazy buffs.


The Wednesday WTF.

11/04/2010

A couple weeks ago, I visited the official WoW Priest forums. Boy was that an adventure. Amidst the threads about how Leap of Faith was a terrible ability, and Priest are the worst class because they have two healing specs, I came across a thread postulating that any healer who didn’t heal someone standing in fire was both elitist and a bad healer. The thread immediately was inundated with trolls, but somehow the topic continued in seriousness, progressing to the point of claiming that anyone that disagreed with the OP likes killing blind people. I’m not even kidding. I personally don’t think letting fire standers die makes one elitist, but that is a judgement call, and an argument over opinions is as silly as it is unwinnable. But a bad healer? Nothing could be further from the truth.

I think the problem arises from people that view a player’s priorities as something like this:

  • Press buttons to do you job (healing, damage, threat).
  • Get out of the fire
  • Communicate with your fellow players
  • Have a proper spec and gear

Now, you may be thinking “But Zalbuu, that seems like a fairly reasonable list.” Well, yes and no. Those are all things you should be doing, but they’re not in the right order and it’s missing plenty, mostly due to not making important distinctions. Try this on:

  • Avoid getting hit by abilities/creatures that will kill you.
  • Preform crucial assignments that save others from getting killed (interrupts, dispels, etc).
  • Communicate with your fellow players.
  • Move out of non-deadly effects/remove non-deadly debuffs.
  • Attempt to optimize your location with regards to your role (melee stand behind the boss, healers get in range of your assignments, etc).
  • Make sure that your spec, gear, and UI are the best they can be.
  • Make sure the target you have selected and the abilities you are using maximize your contribution to the group.
  • Press buttons to do your job.

Maybe it’s not a perfect list; I’m not going to pretend I have some magical insight into the best way to play WoW. What I will claim though is that it’s much better then the first list. What I really want you to note is: pressing your ability buttons is dead last. It is the least important thing you can do. Consider the following. Which do you suppose would have a greater impact on the health of the raid: one healer spamming all the right abilities, or 24 other people not standing in the fire? Which would have a greater detrimental effect on raid DPS: every DPSer spending a second to move, or a dead Rogue? Which is more likely to save your top threat DPSer: desperately spamming your abilities, or saying “hey guys vengeance just fell off watch your threat”?

So getting back to that thread, the idea that “the healer’s job is to heal his manz, and if he’s not doing it he’s bad” is patently absurd. The list of player responsibilities is long and complicated, and things pertaining to role are of relatively little importance. The other player moving out of the fire comes far, far before “hey, gimme a heal here!” Right now the worst players are decked in ICC10 epics making mana issues all but non-existent, which is a large factor in this flawed way of thinking. If there’s no real cost to you (besides your sanity), why wouldn’t you heal even players that are Doing It Wrong? Because the ability to save someone and the obligation to save them are not the same thing. And come Cataclysm this moronic way of thinking will be directly hurting your group’s ability to defeat the encounter, by either draining the healer’s valuable and limited mana or getting yourself killed.

I really want to drive this home. Complaining that healers won’t save you when you’re standing in something is the purview of DPS, so let’s reverse the argument. If a healer’s job is to keep people alive regardless of what the other players are doing, and failure to do so makes them bad, then it stands to reason that a DPSer’s job is to kill things regardless of what other players are doing, and if they can’t it must mean they are bad. It shouldn’t matter if the tank is keeping threat, if your fellow DPSers are contributing, if someone is ignoring a mechanic that makes the boss invincible, or if you’re covered in debuffs and weeping. Man up and kill it. It’s your job, isn’t it?