I’m on a project at work which is sucking up huge parts of my time and what’s left of my soul.
But I do get a few moments here and there to try and keep on top of things.
Dark/Soth helps keep me sane (less insane?) by providing stimulating debate.
The following is taken from an email conversation we had the other day. I pulled out a name or two to protect the so-called innocent. (No, it’s no one that reads the blog. I think. But it’s definitely not you, Del, since you always seem to think I’m blaming you. Go read this post, your comment yesterday made me think of it again.)
Turned off xp and ran Nexus on Fanta. Did 1568 dps overall. Personal Best. [Edit: Fanta is his ret pally project, level 70 or so at the time of this email.]
Earlier in the night, ran heroic Violet Hold on Soth with a hunter that did 1175.
You have previously said that 1k is the minimum for heroics and implied that 1k is average for fresh 80.
What explanation can you provide for a level 71 dps beating a level 80 dps?
If you asked in trade chat, who can do more dps? An exceptional level 71, or an average fresh level 80, what would be the answer and why?
Are you still comfortable with the 1k threshold?
Please note that in the above comments and questions, I have not advocated any position or provided any personal opinion about anything.
lol, just seeking to stir some intellectual debate in the morning?
It is my belief that a fresh group of 80s can eventually mangle their way through a Heroic with the DPS at the 1k mark. Will it be nice? No, it will be ugly, probably result in a wipe or two and the healer will be out of mana most of the run. But it is possible and would present a challenge.
And by fresh, I am referring to a first-time 80, casual player as well.
Quick glimpse at your armory shows me a few enchants and some gems. What’s this? You didn’t gem for the MP5 in your pants?
Oh, that’s because you know that you can ignore the gem color slot and gem for what you know to be the better stat. New players seriously don’t know this. Once they figure out how to get gems they will doggedly fill the slot with the appropriate color, even if the bonus was completely useless. You are appropriately geared for your class and spec and have made educated decisions about your spec and rotation.
Asking anything in trade chat is useless. I watched a conversation the other day regarding the best stat for feral kitties. Spirit was on top, followed by block and spellpower.
As to which can do more damage, I would pin the answer on the player. I imagine when my mom is at level 80 (if she ever gets there) she might be breaking 600 DPS. Might. Would not surprise me in the least if she was not.
I’m still comfortable with the 1k threshold.
Would I like it to be higher? Yes.
But for every Dark/Soth there are probably 1-2 players of my skill/commitment, 3-4 of [player]’s, and at least 1 of my mom’s.
Trying to stir some debate by framing the conversation in a way that doesn’t make me look like a jerk. Its hard, but I’m trying. =p
If nothing else, this should further demonstrate that skill accounts for a considerably larger portion of your dps than the gear. Its significant. Much more significant than I would of originally thought. It also shows that heroic 5-mans are tuned very, very low. Assuming there is a theoretical maximum skill level obtainable in the game, I’d estimate you could successfully complete a heroic 5-man at 30%-40% of that maximum level. If you defined that level by most pre-set video game difficulty levels, it would be “easy” or “beginner”.
Why do you think Blizzard made Wrath 5-mans so much easier than Burning Crusade 5-mans?
Because Blizzard needs money to stay afloat.
I don’t know what the stats are for people that got to complete “end game” back when that was BT and SSC and such, but I’ve never seen a number thrown around that was higher than 15%. I’ve seen some numbers as low as 2% for killing Illidan back when it was current.
So that’s 85%+ of the player base paying the same amount of money and not getting to see the end of a game.
If this were a single-player game it wouldn’t be a problem. The average player would for one, not be paying a monthly subscription, and two could just toss the game back on the shelf or get cheat codes to see the end.
But it’s an MMO. So they are paying $15 a month and looking at all the other people in the pretty purple shinies.
Here’s where human nature gets ugly and Blizzard saw this at the end of BC.
People don’t understand the difference between being granted access to content and being entitled to see content. And I have a sneaking suspicion that this is an American thing, because this doesn’t happen in the foreign MMO market. [Edit: Or if it does, I’ve not heard about it. If this is more universal, please share your experiences.]
The subscription fee is the ticket to enter Azeroth. It is not the “cut to the head of the line, get into raids” ticket. But a sizable portion of the population, the more casual portion, feel that their $15 entitles them to the same level of content and gear as the skilled players have earned. [Edit: Our definition for casual is low commitment.]
It’s roughly like thinking that paying the X-Box live subscription means you “earn” a top rating in Halo. Why there is a disparity between how the two subscription services are viewed, I don’t know. I’m going to guess it’s because WoW is an RPG, not a RTS or FPS so people think that the rules of skill and competency somehow don’t apply.
Blizzard wants to keep WoW going. I get the sense that the developers actually have a passion for the game and the world they have created. But that don’t pay the bills. So they have to appease the masses. And this means having more “entry-level” content available for the masses. There is also the secondary issue of being able to share the story, it is an RPG after all.
But at the same time, they don’t want to alienate the hardcores and skilled players so keep introducing the next level via heroic versions and hard modes.
And so the cycle starts again.
Normal mode – everyone can do. Everyone gets the story.
Skilled players want challenge.
Heroic introduced. Same story, better gear.
Skilled players defeat heroic and get better loot.
“Entitled” player sees better loot and demands equal loot.
Heroics are nerfed so casuals can get loot.
Skilled players want challenge and recognition for better performance.
Next level of heroic introduced.
See where it goes?
If WoW were a Korean MMO, I don’t think this would be an issue. The understanding would be there amongst all players that skill gets you to the end, that it is an EARNED right not a purchased privilege.
All very good points, and I can’t disagree with any of them. I may not like the rationale, but the rationale is correct.
I want to take this discussion to another level.
Up to this point, I have only focused the conversation on the dps. To complete a heroic 5man, you need 3 dps, 1 tank and 1 healer.
I have combined gemming, gearing, rotation, spec, awareness and whatnot into a flat “skill” rating.
Assuming 30% “skill” is doable for dps in 5mans for dps, what would you assume would be required for tanks and healers to successfully complete a heroic 5man.
Would the 30% “skill” level still apply?
I’d say no, not even close. Tanks have a required defense level that must be obtained via gear, gems and enchants in order to complete a heroic 5-man. The average fresh 80 casual first time player cannot tank a heroic. It is not possible. I cannot speak for healers, because I do have any experience playing them.
Once the minimum defense is obtained, there still is a matter of properly executing a rotation to some degree to establish and maintain threat off of the healer. This is not that difficult, and most average players can probably do this. However, keeping enough threat to keep off of the 1k dps is slightly more difficult. Also, its safe to assume that the average fresh 80 will not assist properly and will pull aggro off of a tank with the same skill level. Therefore, the minimum skill level for tanks to be successful in 5-mans is significantly higher than that of dps. Knowledge of gearing, gemming, and enchants are required at a “Medium” level (assuming a easy-medium-hard-very hard-expert) difficulty scale.
Conclusion: Tanks HAVE to be better players than fresh level 80 casual first timer dps, or the 5-man will not be successful.
The problem is that the rewards are the same, regardless of what role you fill in a 5man, how good you are, and how well you perform. This perpetuates the shortage of tanks and healers, because as we previously established, the skill level of the average fresh casual 80 is very poor.
In essence, Blizzard created a system where the better players have to carry lesser skilled players. The skill of the average fresh level 80 could not complete a heroic 5-man without a better skilled player assisting. Most people, myself included, do not want to help strangers advance. I want to help the ones I care about get better, but I don’t want to be required to help the general population everytime I play. Blizzard now made this a requirement of tanks (and probably healers).
But, having tanked our way through heroics with [player], I will say that it is possible for the tank to be of lower skill and the group still succeeds in a 5-man. It’s time-consuming and painful, but it is possible. So instead of saying that the tank HAS to be better, I’ll just say it’s greatly preferred and is a significant contributor to the success.
Having done DPS, a small bit of healing, and a smattering of tanking, I would say that tanking is the hardest of the three, followed by healing and then DPS.
That is of course, completely subjective and a statement like that in trade chat or a forum will immediately bring out the worst in the troll population.
But for me, that’s the order of difficulty. And looking at the general percentages of the population, I would imagine that even if the ranking is not true in terms of perceived difficulty, it’s true in terms of popularity. Yes, we need them in the ratio of 1-1-3 for a 5-man, but we seem to have them in the ratio of 1-3-200.
The problem with tanking and healing is it is largely dependent upon the skill (or at least awareness) of the other 4 members of the group. They also have more tools to “save the day” but those tools require more skill than just popping Vanish or Invisibility. I can heal a smart party like ours without too much difficulty. Add an idiot to the mix that’s standing in the fire and suddenly I’ll have to start making decisions about who lives and who dies. Because there will be a death, I could be labeled as a bad healer, because I couldn’t save stupid from himself.
The tank and the healer roles are the easiest to scrutinize (often incorrectly) and the hardest to look at objectively. HPS means nothing between healing classes and encounters. It’s entirely dependent on the damage that was coming in. TPS is important, but if the DPS does right, the TPS is far less important. DPS can be reasonably compared across similar classes in similar fights. The HP of the mobs is a known variable that can be calculated against.
I think new players should gravitate towards DPS classes, the learning curve is more gentle and if 1 DPS in a group screws up it generally is salvageable. Tanks or healers screwing up is usually not and then people get frustrated trying to tank or heal and leave the role to go pewpew.
BUT, the new player should be watching and learning. I can explain most fights in terms of the DPS role or tanking and even some healing because I have paid very close attention to what happens in the fight. This is what sets us apart from the casual players.
Thankfully, there are individuals like Tay that find DPS to be boring and will prefer to tank or heal. But the risk of burnout is much higher.
The current benefits to tanks and healers is that they are always in demand and virtually guaranteed raid spots or instant queues. Not much else. They do it because they like to or they get burnt.
Blizzard is not requiring that you help other players you don’t know. If you want Frost emblems (which is your choice), you need only complete a random dungeon. You can take 4 people you know and still get your emblems. No requirements to pug.
Now while I understand that you may not want to take the time to help everyone you meet, don’t you think it could behoove you to toss some advice now and again? That scrub could be the next applicant to our guild. If the population as a whole becomes more skilled, Blizzard can focus on tuning encounters to be harder again.
To clarify, when comparing the minimum skill level required to successfully complete any group objective in the game, the minimum skill required for tanks is higher then the comparable skill in dps. In that context, tanks have to be more skilled for success. Now, once everyone is beyond that minimum, the tanks can be of varying skill and success will still be achieved.
Success with [player] was due to him being at or around the minimum, and the other 4 of us compensating by playing above the minimum skill level for dps. We assisted the tank, we knew how to manage the aggro. These skills set us apart from the fresh 80 casual first time player. If us 4 played at [player]’s skill level, I do not believe we could have completed the instance. I also believe that if [player]’s skill had been any lower than it was, no amount of skill from us at that gear level would of compensated.
Good point about the instant queues. That is the reward for carrying people in random dungeons. I will try and appreciate that more.
Interesting point about the tanks and the healers being the easiest to scrutinize. Success or failure is largely dependent on the tanks and healers in 5-man groups. A good tank and healer can overcome 3 poor dps while 3 good dps cannot overcome a poor tank and healer. It leads into the next point of frustration with me.
If a dps performs at a 600-800 dps level, the encounters can still be completed and no one really cares. You earn your emblems, and you carry on with your day. If tanks and healers perform at an equivalent level, the encounters cannot be completed, and everyone suddenly cares and complains.
However, if a tank (me) complains that dps need to step up their game, the common response is “This is so easy, it doesn’t matter, just go, who cares”. The inequality and lack of responsibility is what frustrates me to no end. If a tank or healer is fail, he HAS to leave the group, or the group cannot succeed. The group as a whole will require the tank or healer to leave, or they themselves will leave. If the dps is fail, nobody cares as long as you get your emblems, and if you ask to remove the bad dps, you are often met with significant objection. DPS is not held accountable and is often coddled. If someone requests accountability of DPS at the 5man level, they are considered to be elitist jerks.
But notice as soon as you move to the raid level, people do not consider you an elitist jerk for holding DPS accountable.
To 90% of the players (skilled or otherwise) heroics just aren’t worth getting worked up about.
So in a funny twist, you’re a jerk for caring. =P
Too bad we can’t take this entire chain and make it into a podcast or a conversational blog post. There is good stuff in here.
Who said I wasn’t planning on that? >.>