Greedy Goblin

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thorim, Mimiron and Rawr

As almost always, exactly 10 people online. One of them is a new paladin healer, with tank offspec (gear in progress). 2/3 tanks, 3/4 healers online, so we went to Ulduar. As the logs show, it did not really went well, the arena monsters killed either the druid healer, or the rogue and overwhelmed the tank afterwards. The first change was that the paladin went tank, the spriest went disc, 2 tanks in the arena. Druid or rogue still died.

The next move was switching the rogue with another (who was in tunnel) and switching the druid to the shaman. Since HoTs always tick, he got aggro on incoming monsters before they reached the tank. After the switch, the shaman took this position. While we lived much longer, we still died, mostly with the shaman first. I was OK, thanks to the Dark Rune Evokers, who have a 120K HP shield waiting to be spellstealed.

After the 11th try I inspected the shaman. He had an offhand frill in his offhand! I ported him out, told him to buy any shield in the AH. He found a funny sta/str green shield that doubled his melee mitigation. The next try Thorim was on the ground.

I blame Rawr (or rather the blind belief in it) for this wipefest. Everyone wants to get the highest DPS, HPS, ignoring mitigation or threat (the druid had 2/3 subtlety and I couldn't convince him to respec). I guess it's OK in a geared group. But in a guild where gear does not cover mistakes, characters must be rounded, able to defend themselves a bit. I'm sure Rawr prefers 10 SP 20 int over 20 stamina 7000 armor for a restoshaman. And all the iron dwarves are happy about this choice!

The next fight was Mimiron. We had 3 tries, the 3rd was 3/4/3% wipe. Since it was 22:30, we stopped raiding, we'll continue next week. I was the last DPS standing (therefore the highest damage done, as dead DPS do 0), and I guess the reason is again giving a finger to min-maxing:

I was always sure that the min-maxing and the worship of "BiS" is a rationalization of e-peen fight (I have 3 more SP than you) and not optimal gearing. Giving up 2% DPS for 10% survavibility is almost always a better trade (Patchwerk is the exception). Of course it will take long-long time before I convince a raiding priest to take silent resolve instead of IIF.

The slow but sure progress of Undergeared may prove that if one can complete the content with 1800 SP, you really should not farm to get your 3300 to 3320, especially not at the cost of giving up threat reduction, armor, resistance or HP.

Usually 11 wipes cause annoyment, distraction and finally "DC". But here everyone was positive, discussing changes in the strat, planning how can we succeed next time. No one gave a tantrum, "DC", whine, get defensive if someone warned him about his mistake, really good raiding experience. If you want to be here when Arthas meets his end, join!


Unknown said...

Your druid healer is right - he get aggro whenever his hots heal something. (Overheals don't count.)

A single tick of consecration should take care of the mobs, though, so you should have your healer stand in the consecration. Which poses the second problem, namely the whirlwinding mob. This mob should be disarmed and burned down fast.
When you can faceroll the fight, people forget the tactics. The Thorim fight is a great example of this. Having a good kill order helps the tank maintain aggro and the dps or healers survive.
Note: The rogue should have been using TotT on cooldown there.

Anonymous said...

On Thorim arena adds don't have "aggro" until they take first hit - they would went for healer each and every time if that were the case, which doesn't happen that often. Instead they just run to whoever is closest to Thorim platform on spawn. At least that's true for "raid in middle, tank a bit out of inner circle on Thorim side" positioning.

If you wait for adds to reach tank before starting damage (assuming you can do that with blue gear), and position tank appropriately, it is possible to get majority of adds on tank and don't have healer or dps drawing aggro.

Jb said...

Whats wrong with 2/3 in subtlety ? Seems to be the most common way to go for resto raiding druids now.

Chewy said...

Agree with Christian, TotT and possibly Feint to mitigate threat. Of course these both take energy which means you can't use it for increased DPS, exactly to your point.

Xaxziminrax II said...

>No one gave a tantrum, "DC", whine, get defensive if someone warned him about his mistake

How did the shaman take the shield debacle? You point out this one change as event-breaking, so I am interested, did he protest at first, then admit he was wrong after? Was he silent and yielding the whole time? Did you two debate it or did you just bark at him that you know what's best?

Inquisitor said...

Fun fact: Improved Inner Fire improves the armour component of your Inner Fire buff, and keeps you alive through physical AoE (such as Bonestorm), as well as mitigating something like 10% of any physical hit you do take.

Silent Resolve, meanwhile, is a %age threat decrease. I don't think I've ever had aggro on a mob with something else on its aggro table - so having a % less threat would have been no help there.

(Also, Fade, cast in anticipation of the add spawn.)

Sorry, but I'd choose IIF for survivability, not just for the extra 50-odd spellpower.

Unknown said...

To Xaxziminrax the Second: If memmory serves right, then shaman admitted that he didn't put much thought into it and trusted rawr. After that he just ported to town and bought a shield. The only thing he complained was that there is no caster shields in AH. I suppose Gevlon can give you more details, but the claim about no QQ can be confirmed by all 10 raiders that participated.

Lyssander, blue tank of the "Undergeared" Arathor.

Tonus said...

"Whats wrong with 2/3 in subtlety ? Seems to be the most common way to go for resto raiding druids now."

Yeah, but those resto druids aren't raiding in iLVL 200 blue gear, they're raiding in 251-277 epics. I think that Gevlon made, and then missed, the point. With different gear you have to use a different approach for both talents, gear, and strats.

For high end raiders, min/max is not about epeen, it's about getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as you can. It is no different with the undergeared project. It's not that the uber geared shaman needs 3500 spell power to defeat the boss. He might need it to defeat the boss in 240 seconds instead of 242.

That geared up shaman also doesn't have to sacrifice that spell power (or any talent points) for survivability, as he is likely wearing an iLVL 251-277 shield with all the stats he needs, including 8000+ armor and 60+ stamina along with the int, spell power, haste, crit, etc.

Gevlon said...

Xaxziminrax the Second: I guess he was surprised enough to don't argue. I mean I'm sure he never thought of armor as stat for a healer. We also wiped many times to make everyone open for every crazy idea. I don't know what he would say if we'd keep wiping. Maybe he would then call the idea stupid. But since it worked it worked.

@Inqusitor: good point.

@Tonus: "quickly and effectively" is a circular argument. You must be fast to farm gear and you farm gear to be fast.

If the goal is to complete new content where mistakes necessarily happen, extra survival options surely help more than 0.05% DPS increase.

The truth is that most (not all) "HC" just want gear to LOOK l33t.

Ulatekso said...

One point of subtlety isn't going to make or break Thorim's arena encounter. It is mostly about positioning and, as a tank, properly prioritizing mobs. When a Warbringer hits a non-tank, it stings, and when a Champion hits a non-tank it flat out hurts, but the Evokers and the waves of non-elites aren't very painful at all even if tanked by a healer for a bit. As mentioned by Shalcker, proper positioning also makes things a lot easier. They mobs are practically glued to the person closest to Thorim until they either reach him, or somebody smashes them in the face.

Survivability is a good thing, though you seem to be over-emphasizing it on Mimiron. Over the three tries, some key people are lost to things that should either be mitigated or avoided, such as Plasma Blast (use CDs), Shock Blast, Mines and Laser Barrage. It does help out a fair amount in P2, where pressure is high at all times.

That said, it is good to see that for the timing being things still boil down to making correct choices with regards to survivability and tactics (for example, I see you used DPS to tank Mimiron head, however a warrior tank can keep attention of both the bottom part (through regular tanking) and the top (through spell-reflect)), as opposed to being limited by gear.

Nils said...

I so agree!

Having been a raid leader during BC up to Illidan, I was amazed about the senseless dps min/maxing in WotLK when I returned.

Just like you, I had an arcane specc that ignored the ice tree.

This allowed me to increase my mage armor and also gain 80 resistence. This is crazy magic mitigation!

Then I went to raid and nobody asked how much damage I had taken. They only cared about damage done.

Already during BC I had to tell my raid over and over again that dps is only necessary up to point.

A fight that lasts 5% longer has a 5% higher chance to be a wipe (perhaps a bit more due to exhaustion). If you can trade 5% less dps for 10% less chance that anybody dies, you should do that.

Actually, in RAWR you can use 'suvivability' and include it in your analysis - it's just that nobody does it.

The (especially magic) defense you can gain out of the arcance tree is phenomenal. But the cookie cutter specc ignores it and ventures into ice for some pure dps talents, that, depending on the fight, aren't even especially good.

Inquisitor said...

P.S. - I wouldn't chose Improved Fade, for obvious reasons. Forgot to mention that.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

I agree one extra point of subtlety isn't going to change things here. The problem is the tank having no aggro while hots are ticking, or only incidental aggro while healer is going full out. The first of those is never going to be solved by a 30% threat reduction instead of 20%, and the second only rarely. It's a strategy/position problem.

Tonus said...

"@Tonus: "quickly and effectively" is a circular argument. You must be fast to farm gear and you farm gear to be fast."

That's not what I mean. I would change it to say that you must be good (or talented, or competent, whichever word works best) to get the gear that lets you farm the content for more gear, that allows you to farm it faster, etc. You do settle into a cycle, but that happens anyway. The issue is doing it in less time, each time.

The min/max person won't stop min/max'ing because his gear is better than the content. At that point it should be about killing stuff faster in anticipation of whatever new content is on the horizon.

I'm sure that for many of them, being able to show off to other players is a part of it as well. Games like this have to have a hook of some kind, and as you well know, being King of the Hill is another carrot that caters to our 'social' instinct. Just like gear progression. But the gear does have a practical use, and that is the driving force.

After all, the faster you can farm it, the sooner you get your sparkly epics so that you can stand in the front of the Dalaran bank on your expensive mammoth mount and hear the "ooh" and "aah" of the little people.

What's my main Again? said...

When you move onto ICC... is your intention to remove the buff? Or are you waiting to do ICC until the 30% buff is fully active. I'm interested to see how blue gear does against content in which it wasn't designed for. For the most part ilvl 200 blues are equal to naxx 10 gear which is what Ulduar was tuned for.

Guess I'm wondering if the end goal is ICC why not do that now instead of working through ulduar which you've already proven you could do.

Jeanie said...

Actually, the truly HC raiders do care about survivability alot. Case example : Tuskarr's Vitality is used an recommended by most of the HC raiders (for class that doesn't have speed movement increase), while the above-average raiders keep argue on it uselessness. I've also seen raiders of top tier using "sub optimal" spec (in regard to Rawr and pure dps) for extra survivability during boss progression: Warlock destro instead of afflic, mage arcane instead of fire (back in the time of naxx, where those specs were a good 10% behind).
On the topic of min-maxing of gear set, the reason for spreadsheet and simulation to exist is that: why wouldn't a HC raider min-max, if he is going to get the gear anyway? The HC groups will have to keep farming the bosses until the next tier is opened, they can't just kill the boss once and then stop raiding for a good 3-4 months(there are good reasons for that, it helps RL to know who's the dedicated raider, and it prepares them for the next race on the new tier).
Also, giving up survivability for dps increase is a part of calculated risk. The bad dps will die, doing no dps, the average one will live and do mediocre dps while the great dps will stay alive, doing great dps in the progress. Standing in a fire till death is bad, but standing in a fire in 0.5 sec, taking a 5khp lost while dealing 20k dmg can be acceptable in time. You remember how Stars get yogg+0 world first? They make their dps to take EXACTLY one eye beam of yogg and lose sanity to maximize dps(those dpsers are almost at 0 sanity when yogg dies, but none of them become insane).
And one last thing, in those HC guild you're expected to not making mistake: there is nothing to mitigate if you don't take any damage at all, and raid dmg alone normally can be dealt easily by healers.

Chewy said...

Btw Gevlon, how do you know it worked because of the shield and just not pure luck + all the changes made before? If you had told him to use a crucifix and you had kill Thorim would it have been because of the crucifix?

I don't think that the shield had anything to do with it.

Jacob said...


Hey, long time! Glad to see your guild running strong!

However, I was just wondering, we did do the ulduar 10 in blues, why do it again?

To add something to the discussion as well:

As Tonus said, the hardcore (true hardcore <= top 25 in the world) means that the berserk timers and other dps checks will be a lot harder to overcome. Any true hardcore gamer will do the most to min/max for the specific need of the fight. For the most part this is actually to increase dps since thats the route WOW have taken.

I still remember the tries we had on Mimiron hardmode though. There we ditched the normal dps flasks and went for the resistance flasks as well as a bit of high stamina / fire resistance gear to those that was needing it. We kept that to be able to withstand the fight for a longer period before a wipe and by such get more experience with the fight. However, in the end we moved away from that and put more focus into the dps since the dpscheck back then actually was rather hard. The point being though that we actually learned the fight with the resistance and survival gear and by that being able to have the extra buffer that taught us what to avoid and how to best utilize positioning. In the end we had to switch min/maxing to the point where we gave up survival for dps since we needed that to be able to beat the encounter. But by then the raid had enough confidence and experience with the encounter to be able to not do the stupid mistakes and still survive.

It's a fine line and it's the raidleaders job to make sure you take the right path, do you need more survivability or more dps? 5% more dps can make a huge difference in a fight.

Gevlon said...

@Astmathic: because we don't stop in Ulduar.

We also have more "casual" restraints like no vent and no class you raid often.

We want to prove that an undergeared casual can beat the game

Anonymous said...

"We want to prove that an undergeared casual can beat the game"

I don't think a casual has the time or patience to wipe 11 times and to all the strategy changes that you described in your post. Well, it's not the wipes themselves. It's the time they take and waste.

Anti said...

So far you have only proven that a dedicated group of players can overcame a challenge - which we already knew. What's the point of continuing? On other words, why aren't you raiding ICC already? That could make some noise amongst M&S. Beating an obsolete raid it's not much.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how 2/3 Subtlety would be a sign of "ICC geared druids" spec. My druid was specced like this since she hit 80, since she was running Naxx at "appropriate gear levels".

As people noticed, it doesn't remove your aggro, and you mostly pull on new mobs that aren't picked by anyone else yet, that 1 point doesn't change it really. At least my druid is alliance and can shadowmeld.

Just to note, my druid in tree form has monstrous armor for a leather class, much more than rogues and closer to shamans, due to very generous armor modifier.

Oh well, but I don't wear fecking cloth. How many times though druids are advised "just take cloth, it has better stats"? I really do hope cataclysm "mastery system" gets rid of this atrocity when people don't want their armor class. (One of my friend faced a big drama because he as a dps Warrior really, really desires leather bracer from Saurfang25 because it's "best in slot".)

Same with elemental shamans wanting staves instead of shields.

By the way, there's a nice level 73 required, blue, blacksmithing made shield. No one in your blue guild picked BS for the extra sockets? To help the poor shaman with the shield.

And sadly there's not many level 80 blue shields, and the offhand choices are much easier to acquire like the frostbridge orb (BOE from Oculus).

Inquisitor said...

Interesting. Someone else posting in my name. (The first Inquisitor above is me, the second is not - and also happens not to be saying something with which I agree).

Lesson learned. I shall post from an actual account, in future.

Dozenz said...

@anonymous 17:40

"I don't think a casual has the time or patience to wipe 11 times and to all the strategy changes that you described in your post. Well, it's not the wipes themselves. It's the time they take and waste."

Obviously you have never been in a casual guild. 11 wipes is not uncommon. What usually happens is a few more hardcore will get frustrated but most of the casuals will write it off by saying "No need to get frustrated guys, it's just a bad night. Just a game. Lets go back and give it another try!" A casual raid will take all night to do 1/2 the bosses.

The Undergeared Project is spot on. It shows that a casual group, putting in minimial time per week, can beat content without being forced to farm like casual groups claim.

If Gevlon's group can do it, than any otehr casual group should theoretically be able to. Especially since a real group would be upgrading as they do it.

I really am tempted to reactivate my account and transfer over a priest or warrior which I have not touched in forever.

I am in the US but your raid time would work well for me.

Unknown said...

"The slow but sure progress of Undergeared may prove that if one can complete the content with 1800 SP, you really should not farm to get your 3300 to 3320, especially not at the cost of giving up threat reduction, armor, resistance or HP."
I think you're wrong here. Don't mix clearing the content, and doing Ulduar. If you go on Lich King normal, you might have trouble healing the tank with enraged horrors on him with blue gear, and removing infest/killing vile spirits/valkyrs might cause you trouble too.
But if you only intend to do Ulduar, then my comment is useless.
Would love an answer here

PS: and forgive my "not perfect" use of english, it's not my native language and I try my best to make myself understandable =)

And as it's my first comment here, thanks for all the gold tips and interesting posts Gevlon.

Inquisitor said...

Registering an account just to mess around is a pretty demonstration a someone with too much free time.

Dozenz said...


"What's the point of continuing? On other words, why aren't you raiding ICC already?"

I believe they are doing it as a step progression like a brand new casual guild would be doing it from the get go. Plus it gives players who are all new to their raiding class a chance to improve and learn how to raid better with it.

Is it easier to learn on a boss who can kill the group in 2 hits or in 10 hits?

As to whether the Undergeared should attempt ICC with the full 30% buff or not...I am unfamiliar if it is a stackable buff that you can remove one at a time (30-25-20-15-10-5-0) or if its all or nothing.

If its stackable they should do it with the full buff and remove one stack at a time after they prove they can do it.

If not then do it at full 30, and once they can do that remove it and see how far they can go without it.

Gevlon said...

@Inquisitor: as "inquisitor" is a word, don't be surprised if someone else choose it. There are 65 "arthasdk" on EU realm, I don't think they are planning to steal from each other

@Artavur: I'm completely positive that poor Arthas will be nerfed into the ground. He is most probably impossible now, but we have time

@Dozenz: come if you want

Anonymous said...

Level-appropriate content is fun and challenging and beatable. Glad you guys are having a good time in Ulduar. Still, resistances won't be enough to beat an enrage timer in ICC. Getting from 1800sp to 3300sp will.

I agree that farming for a 1% gain is pointless epeen more often than not. But that doesn't mean that a lot of small gains can't add up to something significant. A concept you know well from the markets.

Sean said...

I was always sure that the min-maxing and the worship of "BiS" is a rationalization of e-peen fight (I have 3 more SP than you) and not optimal gearing. Giving up 2% DPS for 10% survavibility is almost always a better trade (Patchwerk is the exception). Of course it will take long-long time before I convince a raiding priest to take silent resolve instead of IIF

You are wrong here. BiS and min-maxing is the optimal way of playing and is not about epeen. If you are in a hardcore raiding guild, min-maxing is absolutely the way to play. And for a raiding priest, IIF >>>>> silent resolve.

Now, the problem with min-maxing is that casuals worship sites like Elitist Jerks, Rawr, etc and adopt their recommendations blindly without thinking. Elitist Jerks calculations only work for BiS gear.

So, min-maxing is not the issue. It is people doing things blindly without thinking.

Inquisitor said...

@"Inquisitor" - It would be, wouldn't it. But luckily I already had this account, and it has a verifiable history, including one of commenting on this blog.

@gevlon - Indeed. But the chances of someone else having that handle, and using it to make offhand comments that appear to be a follow-up to my previous? Nah. It's a troll.

As you say, trolls are just line noise. There was some vague possibility that it might have confused people as to who was making which point - now solved with technology. Not that anyone but me cared, anyway - a point is a point, good or bad, irrespective of who makes it.

(And yes, "me", I do have time to kill. Why are *you* here?)

Nils said...

I don't think a casual has the time or patience to wipe 11 times and to all the strategy changes that you described in your post. Well, it's not the wipes themselves. It's the time they take and waste.

Because they can't. Actually, I'd be surprised if they ever repeated the success of beating Ulduar in blues. T9 seems imposbile and T10 is im possble in my opinion. The Tanks would be oneshottet all the time.

Zan said...

Perhaps your resto druid should get some effective health? In a worst case scenario some of the adds won't be picked up before they hit your tree. Your tree should be able to take a hit or two and survive.

Anonymous said...

As a raiding shaman somewhere between hardcore and casual I want to add my two cents to both the mitigation and BiS discussion.

First, for any serious group doing content in level appropriate gear mitigation is more or less useless on anyone but a tank. For healers even threat mitigation isn't worth much. The reason is that any good tank will be able to pick up adds as they spawn after seeing it happen once. This isn't something that only 'HC' people can do, it's something that's integral to being a progression raiding tank, casual or otherwise. If you can't pick up an enraged spirit or shambling horror until it's hit people a few times then you'll never beat Arthas. More importantly for the Undergeared project if you can't pick up the Guardians on Yogg until they've hit people then you'll never even get past Ulduar and it doesn't matter how much threat the healers draw, or how much melee mitigation the shaman has.

Second, most raiders don't chase BiS because it looks cool and adds to their epeen, or to shave a few seconds off boss kills or even because we worship Rawr or EJ. We chase BiS because it reduces the number of wipes to successfully down important bosses. We know we're going to wipe on heroic Lich King. We know we're going to make mistakes that cost us attempts. Better gear helps solve these problems. It makes mistakes survivable and turns potential wipes into kills. That's really the whole story for most of us.

Unknown said...

Honestly I'm not sure if you know what you're talking about Goblin

BiS gear is required (well, was, before the buff started climbing so high) to simply kill things before the enrage.

Heroic BQL/Festergut are great examples of this - in a 25 man every dpser taking best in slot is the difference between wiping or not.

If they die, it's because they were stupid and didn't move for a malleable goo, taking survivability gear on any fight where each raider has over 30k hp (264-277 gear has alot of STA) is just a crutch for raiders who can't move out of fire. With the buff as high as it is I'm sure we could do LK with all the rogues wearing mageweave pants but why? BiS gets it done faster.