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AFK

I’ll be headed for vacation Tuesday morning. Going to Utah to visit my wife’s family. So posts will probably be non-existent until I get back the middle of the following week. I will have internet access, but there’s a good chance I won’t have anything to write about while I’m gone. It’d take a miracle to play WoW on my inlaws’ computer. I don’t think they have highspeed internet…

Importance vs. Priority

So one of my guildie’s threw in his two cents regarding the most important role debate. And as I started reading it I realized I wanted to make something quite clear.

Importance and priority are NOT the same thing.

While I firmly believe that no single role or person is any more important than the next, I do believe that certain roles and players fall within a priority system.

As a healer I have priorities that I have to weigh on a constant basis. If for example I am assigned as a tank healer, then my priority is to keep the tanks alive. If I am assigned to raid heals, then my priority is to raids. Or is it?

If the tanks are taking massive spike damage and the raid is taking no damage, then my priority is to assist the tank healers in keeping them alive. If the raid is taking damage and the tanks are taking damage easily handled by the tank healer, then obviously my priority is to raid heal. But if the tanks are taking massive spike damage and the raid is taking massive damage and I know that the tank healers need help where is my priority?

I quickly have to process my priority list by weighing how long can the tank survive without my assistance vs. the raid? If it turns out that the tank can last another second without me, then I might heal the raid. But if I determine the tank needs my help, then I will cast a quick heal that way and attempt to save as much of the raid as possible. Do I fail when that happens? Well I guess that depends. My job was to keep the raid alive, so in effect I fail. But if the tank dies and it’s a guaranteed wipe then the raid’s going to die anyway and I fail.

What about prioritizing which dps gets saved and which don’t? Ever have a healer tell you they had to make that decision? We might laugh and scoff at the e-peening dps meters, but we watch them still. We know who has the highest, who has the lowest, who’s the best at their toon, and who’s the worst. We might tease Hunt to no end and have even named the healer channel [LetHuntDie], but I’ll definitely try to save him before I save the 2k dps mage.

One might argue that I’ve made the decision that Hunt is more important than the 2k dps mage, but I haven’t. I’ve placed him on a higher priority list than the 2k dps mage. Both are important to me in the whole context of the raid. Both are equally important to me in their contributions. Both are equally important to me as players. But ultimately when forced with a decision to let A or B die, then obviously Hunt is the better decision for the good of the raid.

These kinds of decisions affect tanks and dps as well. Your rotations, your cooldowns, your targets, etc. They also affect raid comps as well. Don’t tell me you run with 10 paladins in your raids. I won’t buy it. I’m sure you want a nice mix of range and melee in there. It isn’t that a mage is more important than a paladin (quite the opposite in fact, look who you’re talking to. :)), but rather that if you already have 9 paladins, then one mage has a higher priority than the 10th paladin.

Now Mathorvos made mention that he hates loot councils because in his experience they tend to favor tanks and healers over dps. I have been a big proponent of gearing tanks and healers first in the past and I still am to an extent.

In BC the only enrage timers were the short fuses the raid leaders had. Bosses didn’t have them, so theoretically as long as your tanks and healers were geared enough (and good enough), then dps would kill the boss eventually. Wrath changed all of that made dps a little more important than before and there’s a little more distinction between dps and healer gear now than there used to be, but if there’s a common item that’s wanted I would still argue tanks and healers first.

Why?

Disregarding player skill from the equation we know the following is true:

  • If tanks aren’t geared enough, then healers can’t keep them alive so they die and raid wipes.
  • If healers aren’t geared enough, then tank/raid dies and/or healer goes oom which leads to raid dying and wipes.
  • If dps aren’t geared enough, then raid hits the enrage timer and wipes.
  • But if you had to prioritize those, what do you get?

  • If dps aren’t geared enough, then raid hits the enrage timer and wipes.
  • If healers aren’t geared enough, then the tank dies, the raid dies, or the healer goes oom and you won’t have to worry about the enrage timer because you’ll never get a chance to get that far.
  • If tanks aren’t geared enough, then the tank dies and you won’t have to worry about healers going oom or the enrage timer because you’ll never get a chance to get that far.
  • So I still argue that in a priority list for gearing out: tanks are first, healers second, and dps last even with the enrage timer mechanic. That said, Wrath did change it up a little so once a tank or healer reaches a certain point, they shouldn’t get priority over dps. It’s arguable what that point is because it’s somewhat objective, but ultimately it boils down to can they do their job just well enough to make it work?

    Long story short, just wanted to clarify that because people are behind these online avatars they all have the same worth as the next person, but everyone does fall into an ever changing priority list given the situation.

    How Much Is That Doggy In The ICC?

    Priceless! (Best in show apparently as well.)

    So last night we blow through the first four bosses and worm our way towards Festergut (who we didn’t down btw, in part due to time and in part due to HE F”ING KICKED OUR PATOOTIES!!!) I actually think my new favorite pulls are the two dogs, the mini-Gluths. Let’s face it they’re cute, right?

    OK it’s more because they can actually cause a wipe. Seriously, I’ve missed hard trash.

    So we pull Precious first because she’s supposedly the harder of the two. As she heads down the stairs she drops her first Decimate. So the healers are spamming their heals to get everyone up, but instantly 4 people die. There’s a groan for the impending wipe.

    As we get the tanks up, future decimates and incoming damage takes out one of the tanks and the other healer. The frustration ramps up as the impending wipe turns to the guaranteed wipe.

    But no! With determined arrogance, and a little humor I might add, the trusty shaman pops Heroism as a few people laugh while the lone tank, healer, and two dps tough it out. But with great skill comes great responsibility as the epic shaman spams Riptides and Healing Waves on the tank! And Precious goes down!!!

    It was epic! 🙂

    OK, maybe it wasn’t so much about the healer’s skill because let’s face it, madly punching hotkeys is not skill. But the tank popping cooldowns at the right time to keep himself alive as my heals heal him for a whopping 10 health due to a health debuff? Now that was skill!

    One of our tanks hates those pulls because he feels Blizzard’s way of making encounters harder is to increase the RNG factor. Forget skill, forget gear, just make an encounter randomly do something so devastating that a group will die regardless.

    I however love those pulls because they make me work. I have to pay attention. They’re exciting!

    And besides, I had to use Heroism on what’s technically a trash pull. Heroism!!!

    In The Name Of Love

    Maybe it’s not a popular holiday, but his dream is something the world still has yet to realize.

    The Most Important Role Of All

    OK, so Gordon ignited a spark under our collective blogging butts which turned into a raging wildfire over the past week with his guest post. The first time I read it something bothered me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And to be honest, I thought of it as just another post expounding on the idea that tanks and healers have the most difficult roles and sort of let it slide.

    Then the proverbial manure hit the fan! Blogger after blogger had their own say on the topic although the topic has about run its course. Some responses were quite harsh and some were mild, but I think the general feeling is that Gordon is in the wrong.

    I know Gordon was only trying to start an interesting conversation, but after reading SlikRX’s post (which I completely agree with btw) it finally dawned on me why Gordon’s comments bothered me.

    Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group. Tanks set the pace of the group, the flow of experience and man the vanguard as they lead the team into battle. Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group. These are the two most important classes that exist in any MMORPG. But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

    This is Gordon’s opening statement. This set the tone of the post. This is why I have a problem with it.

    Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group.

    This statement bothers me. To top it off it’s the very first sentence. But before I go on as to why it bothers me let’s look at why Gordon believes it so.

    Tanks set the pace of the group…as they lead the team into battle.

    I think we can agree this is a pretty important thing to have. But it isn’t tanks that should set the pace,it’s the Raid Leader. Ironically, it just so happens that a good majority of raid leaders are tanks. I firmly believe that tanks and healers are raid leaders and guild leaders because the personalities of those attracted to tanking and healing are more often than not the personalities of leaders. I’ve not personally run into a raiding guild led by a pure dps player that didn’t fail within two months. I have to believe they exist, but I haven’t personally run into one.

    Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group.

    A very true statement. Healers have an extremely important role and I think we can all agree with that. Because of the way the game is set up, there really wouldn’t be a group without the healers.

    But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

    Manure incoming! DUCK!!!

    This is the statement that I think really got everyone’s goat and for good reason. He just said that dps doesn’t matter. If this statement were really true, then I want to see an ICC10 raid with 4 tanks and 6 healers. Now I’ll bet there is perhaps a group out there that could figure it out, but I’ll bet 95% of us couldn’t make that work.

    Perhaps he meant that DPS are a dime-a-dozen, which is a pretty prevalent sentiment. But the bottom line is he obviously believes that they are less important.

    Tanks And Healers Are The Most Important

    BULLCOOKIES!!!

    We spend a lot of time with our online avatars. We invest a lot of energy, emotion, and pride into them. It becomes very easy to look down on the other guy. It’s human nature to point the finger. It’s human nature to want to feel important. And this is where the whole game falls apart for me.

    Why do so many people believe that they’re any more important to the game than any other? What happened to teamwork? Are we all star athletes such that WE individually are the team and the others don’t matter?

    It’s a concept that I have a harder and harder time understanding as I get older.

    EVERY single player in your group is important. EVERY single player in your guild is important. EVERY single role has worth.

    As a healer, I guarantee you that if the DPS doesn’t avoid fire/aggro/baddies, then they will eventually die as I make choices to save others and/or run out of mana. As a healer, I guarantee that if DPS dies and/or overall dps is lower, then I will not be able to heal through the enrage. As a healer, solid DPS players are just as important to me as solid tanks and healers.

    NO ONE is more important. It’s the team that counts.

    To: Mom w/ <3

    Amber: I hate you
    me: ?
    Amber: “Ky told me to call you mom.” Haaaate.
    Old man.
    me: lmao
    seriously. lmfao
    Amber: /rude
    me: rude w/ ❤
    Amber: Pfft
    me: i totally forgot about that lmao
    Amber: THEY DIDN’T
    me: yeah well you can hate me more now lol **
    Amber: …what did you do?
    me: …nothing…
    Amber: ….
    me: there really needs to be an emote for shit grin
    Amber:

    *See my comment about Amber in yesterday’s post. 😛
    **See my comment in Amber’s post. 😛

    Later that evening…

    Two Years

    Wow! It’s been 2 years! And even more amazing, I still have readers! All 1 of you! 😛

    At first I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I didn’t even know what a blog was two years ago! To an older guy like me it sounded like a new fangled term for being indisposed.

    “Time to go, dear.”

    “OK. Gimme a moment. I need to drop my blog.”

    “Don’t forget to put the seat down.”

    The first year was tough, but I think that’s because I was intent on posting real information whether it was about leading guilds, raiding, paladin healing, etc. Then for a time I wanted to increase my number of readers, because let’s all face it; we may all write our blogs for our own personal reasons, but deep down every single one of us wants to be liked.

    Yes. Even though I’m older and have reached a point where I can honestly say that I don’t care what others think of me (family excluded of course), I still want to be liked just as much as the next person. Apparently I’m one of the infamous M&S players. 😛

    So during the second year I made a committment to try and post Mon-Fri leaving the weekends free for other stuff. I did pretty well, even if I do say so myself. But because of that, there’s a lot of fluff and not a lot of filler. At first it was weird, but eventually I saw my writing evolve to more random things and going so far as becoming a rant at one point

    Anyway, I was tempted to post my two year blog stats, but that always seems weird to me. It feels akin to posting damage meters which is bragging if you’re at the top and embarrassing if you’re at the bottom. Suffice it to say that I have a solid core of readers that I appreciate and more than I ever thought I would ever have. Either that or you’re all too lazy to take me out of your RSS feeds. 😀 Besides which I don’t want to embarass myself in front of all my blogging guildies who I’m sure rank higher on the blogging damage meter.

    Which brings up a good point. How many bloggers are in guild?

    Amber – Our loveable and equally fail GM. Infamous for Friday Flowcharts. Everyone’s older sister. Don’t call her ‘Mom’ cuz she gets nasty. Actually all the more reason to call her ‘Mom’. And like all moms she’s very protective of her guildies. Don’t let her fool you. Even the ones she claims to “like less”.

    Celaeno – One of our Disc priests turned Holy Pally. Our beautiful siren on Vent. The first time we heard Cel on Vent the entire room got quiet. I think she’s embarrassed because she does sound younger than she is. But I’m sure a good part of that is because of Vent and/or because she sounds like she’s whispering. It’s still fun to tease her about it though. 😛

    Mach – Our former GM and apparently still hungover blogger, as he hasn’t posted since.

    Myssidia – Healer extraordinaire, albeit somewhat absent as of late. Hopefully he makes it back a little more regularly if not for raiding just to hang out and make fun of Amber.

    Eviscerate – Our stealthy rogue. He who fails at finding traps. He of the 1 FPS. And I’ll stop there since a couple of our other guildies have thoroughly embarassed him recently. 🙂

    Mathorvos – A new hunter. All around good egg. Entertainer of Vent. The perfect addition to the “Make Fun of Amber” club. And even more stealthy than Eviscerate blogger. Seriously! I found out he has a blog like two days ago. Nobody tells me anything! (Although my wife says I don’t pay attention. Pffft!)

    Tartdarling – Our newest addition to the guild. Amber’s really collecting all of us.

    EDIT: It was late and I forgot Rivs – Our fail mage. Unfortunately crit by real life so raiding is iffy for the time being which is too bad, but at least he’s still hanging out with us.

    So all in all that makes 8 9 of us so far. We just need a few more bloggers and then we just kick the rest and have our own 10 man raiding blogging guild! 🙂

    Now some of you may be wondering about another blogger that we haven’t heard from in some time. I’m going to break the silence as some time has now passed and nobody else has commented on it.

    We used to have another blogger, Mikata, in the guild. She is no longer here. I’ve heard three sides to the story and I’m sure there’s more. There’s always as many sides to a story as people involved plus the truth. Two of those sides coincide with each other pretty perfectly. The other? To an extent, but a lot of detail was left out. As it stands, she has left the server for an RP server and I wish her the best. But I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing any updates to her blog from here on out.

    So what’s in store from here on out? I don’t know. With the endless bitching I’ve done, I almost quit the game and blogging altogether a couple of months ago. Then I decided I’d at least stick it out until my 2 year mark. Well that mark is here and I’m still writing. So hopefully I haven’t run out of things to say. I’m opinionated if nothing else, so who knows? No promises that I’ll make it to Cataclysm, but here’s to hoping! 🙂