This post is sort of a continuation of my special post of specialness.
I started thinking about just where in the raiding environment “special” raiding had a place.
All the melee DPS moves in behind and opens up a can of whoop ass. A rogue usually dies.
All the ranged DPS stands over on the sides and brings the pain without fear (or thought) of retribution.
There is no fire.
There are no adds.
There are no portals, no black/white puff balls, no whirlwind, no spell reflect shield.
In short, he’s a semi-mobile target dummy with scripted lines that gives the healers something to do.
But for DPS, there is no thought.
(I think more special players are of the DPS persuasion than tank or heals. I’m sure there are exceptions, but it’s harder for those more vital roles to pull off being special.)
To me, Patchwerk is a boring fight.
I stand still and push the same buttons.
I could literally close my eyes and DPS that fight.
The “community” wants challenging fights with exciting mechanics.
At least according to the forums and blogs and podcasts.
Fights are too easy.
Mechanics are too boring.
But then we get in a raid and half the DPS is complaining about having to do target swaps or move out of fire.
It’s like there are two separate populations playing WoW: those that want to do something other than attack a single, stationary object and those that want every fight to be a Patchwerk remix with better loot.
I want fights to be fun.
Here are some of the fights I consider to be fun, and why.
Four Horsemen in Naxx – The mechanics on each horseman is a little different. Stack on this one, spread out on this one, watch out for black puddles. Watch your debuffs, move to the next target, make sure you have a tank and a healer moving around. After the first one is down, everyone is pretty much on their own and responsible for doing their job without getting killed.
Thaddius in Naxx – This fight is all about execution. Take down the mini-bosses, make the jump, and follow your polarity. Stack up tight and watch the damage soar. Someone fucks up and it all goes downhill.
Flame Leviathan in Uld – (Before the days of pyrite spam) I got loaded into a freaking catapult and had to trust my driver to get me safely to my destination on top of a huge tank and take down turrets. I then had to somehow get back to my vehicle so I could do it all again. A freaking catapult!
Iron Council in Uld – There’s runes to stand in, runes to not stand in, shields to steal (and then go stand in the not to be stood in runes), bolts of lightning, all sorts of things to keep in mind and watch for. And if you kill them in different orders, it all changes!
Hodir – For all the trouble we have had in this fight, I actually like it. Keep moving, find the mage, stand by the fire, get on the snow, don’t get hit by the ice, find the mage again, save your dumbass raid member that didn’t get on the snow, get the crit buff and spread the love.
Northrend Beasts in Trial of the Crusader – Gauntlet-style fun. Gormok requires target switches and not standing in fire. Sucks to be the one to get a snobold, but it’s awesome to be the one to get another snobold off the healer. During the worms fight, have to keep track of who has which debuff just in case you get the other; be aware of where you are in relation to all the other people while staying out of slime pools and avoiding fire. Icehowl almost involves some quick thinking, and then you get to burn while he’s stunned.
Lord Jaraxxus in Trial of the Crusader – I even like this fight in the Grand Crusader. I’m spellstealing, killing portals, getting away from infernals, swearing at party members that drop Legion Flame in retarded locations (like running through me and the healer), remembering that Mistresses have a spell lock on Grand, spellstealing some more.
Lady Deathwhisper in ICC – I’ve only tried it a couple times on 25 so far, but I think I’m going to like this fight. Lots of target switches, and you have to be smart about it – there are priority targets that have to be taken out, some that can’t be tanked, and some you can’t even damage. There’s buffs to steal and curses to remove and bad to not stand in and (in 25) people to sheep.
In short, I like fights where the last thing I’m thinking about is standing still.
But the fights where we don’t stand still are the fights where DPS-players (particularly casters) generally see a decrease in their precious damage per second.
I think the root of the problem is two-fold: ego and poor leadership.
In every game there will be players for whom it is about being “the best.” They will latch on to one facet of a mechanic and ride that horse like a cheap whore.
Maybe it’s headshots. Maybe it’s DPS. Maybe it’s vehicles destroyed. Maybe it’s extra lives collected. Whatever. They will find a quantifiable SOMETHING that can be measured and then flouted in front of friends and enemies alike.
Trifling facts like their team lost the match mean nothing in comparison to the wonder that is their kill shot record. So the other faction capped three flags? He’s on top of killing blows.
Success for the ego-driven is not necessarily related to the winning or losing, particularly when it is in a team environment. If they win, it was obviously because of all the mayhem they caused mid-field. If they lose, hey people need to L2Play, they can’t expect to always be carried by this guy.
I’ll admit, I have an ego. OK, I’m a Leo so my ego probably has an ego. But even I manage to keep mine in check in a group environment. As much as I whine about other classes outperforming me (nerf rogues), I genuinely only compare my results with the other mages and my previous records. But that would be boring to blog about so I have to complain about something (nerf hunters). Hopefully the affected parties (nerf DKs) understand that it’s all (nerf warriors) just tongue (nerf druids) in cheek.
Ego aside, the worst perpetrator of the DPS-above-all mentality is probably the ill-informed, ill-prepared raid leader.
The raid leader that doesn’t know who should be doing what or how to calculate what sort of drop in damage should be seen when someone is assigned a utility function.
The only gauge they know how to use is the damage meters.
People that perform utility tasks appear lower on the meters (usually, there are exceptions; I love solo-decursing 25 Sapph and still blowing another mage out of the water /flex).
Lower on the meters means more likely to be removed from the raid, more likely to have loot reassigned even when won fairly, more likely to not get a raiding spot again.
By virtue of doing their job, they receive negative reinforcement.
That morphs into an attitude of “Fuck it.”
To survive in those situations, they play like they have an ego to avoid being axed based off the damage meters. Or even worse, the DPS meters (so the rogue that hit 8k off the bat and got turned into a smear is good to stay but the warlock that put out a consistent 5k for the duration of the fight is out).
Eventually, they forget how to play as part of a team; they’ve played against their team mates in self-defense for too long.
Nothing can be done about the ego-whores short of therapy. I recommend electric shock.
One can hardly blame the conformists for just wanting a shot at the loot.
I’ve seen both situations in pugs. I’ve heard of both situations in guilds.
WTB DMJ meter.
(Did My Job)