Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jack of all trades

Just one day after Undergeared practically oneshotted ToC, the ganking guild went to the same instance to do the weekly raid at Jarraxus. If you compare an ilvl 245 PvP (for example the mage shoes) to an ilvl 200 blue PvE (my shoes in Undergeared) you see that all PvE stats (SP, int, haste) are lower on the latter, some of them significantly (54%, 86%, 97%). So I can tell without doubt that the Ganking raid had much better raiding gear, on the top of the insane amount of stamina that made standing in the fire a minor annoyance.

In six tries we have not seen Icehowl.

The individual wipes were caused by silly problems like not knowing which jormungar moves, which is immobile, unability to find the burning bile guy, standing front of the spilling jormungar, damaging the wrong jormungar, forgetting that tank still has impale from Gormok and so on. On the top of that, several people had low DPS, I mean "lower than the worst guy in Undergeared".

Considering that these are the same people who excel in PvP, I was honestly surprised. I assume everyone else were surprised too. And I believe this surprise is mostly responsible for the pathetic wipefest: everyone expected the fights to be facerolled, so most people did not bother to prepare.

"ToC is easy as Naxx" is true. However I remember terrible PuGs in Naxx. I remember 3-manning Heigan in 18 minutes after the rest of the raid get himself killed in the first or second dance. I remember "casual" guilds never killing Thaddeus or 4H. "Naxx is easy" means "Naxx does not require farming BiS, reacting in 0.5 sec without error for all people". It does not mean "Naxx can be facerolled by every drooling retard or lazy bastard".

Since I know that my guildmates are not drooling retards, only the "lazy bastard" part could apply. I don't say it does, since it is a PvP guild. Our mission is to keep the horde from VoA in prime time, not to kill bosses. Since all PvP gear is available from honor or arena points, one can be a PvP-er without killing a single monster after reaching lvl 80. If he needs some badges for quicker gearing, the heroics are tuned for 0/0/71 900 DPS spellpower-needing DKs.

Raid content is not facerollable. It does not mean "must have no life farming all day", that's exactly what Undergeared is proving as we speak. It does mean that it needs decent preparation. In steps:
  • read the strat: a PvP enemy uses the class abilities. If I saw one mage, I saw all of them. None of them throws paralytic poison to me. Also all PvP debuffs can be dispelled, casts interrupted. In PvE it varies with encounters. Not knowing them = wiping to them.
  • have a decent PvE spec. Talents matter. A lot. According to RAWR there is about 30-40% difference between a good spec and a terrible one. PvP specs are often "terrible".
  • replace ilvl 232 PvP gear gemmed and enchanted for PvP with a PvE piece enchanted for PvE: arcanum of the savage gladiator gives you exactly 0 DPS or healing. Think about that!
  • bring consumables: I refuse to explain this.
  • having PvE practice in the spec: getting some old gear out of the bank, respecing to EJ spec may give you a character that is completely ready to oneshot normal content. But the guy behind it cannot be respeced in a second. Let me amuse you with my own fail at Jormungars: I got paralytic poison, made two steps forward, kept casting happily, and in the last second I dropped an earthbind totem with a huge smile on my face. And turned into a green statue of course, next to the totem. Why? Because the totem is on the same button as blink with my blue mage and I stepped exactly to blink distance to the burning bile guy.
As I mentioned, raiding in a PvP guild is not required. If you calculate the costs of being prepared to PvE, you may easily find that it does not worth the reward. It is your choice, and no one can say a word about it. But if you want to raid or believe that the PvE reward worth the costs of preparation: prepare!

Why it is an "essential" post? Because one of the most common mistakes is thinking "easy" means "I can faceroll it". No: it means that you can do it without huge effort as opposed to "hard" meaning huge effort is needed. Many people claim easy things hard because they did not do something that would cost them like 10 minutes. Many people believe that they are special snowflakes who can do things first time without preparation (or experience gathered from several failures). Such thinking is the way of the M&S, the way to failure, not riches.

Another essential thing for every group activities: I called no names besides my own "blinking" exactly to avoid blaming others for that raid. Every members of the raid is responsible for the success. I have failed both in wrong play and in not be able to fix or replace others. The way M&S get boosted is that others tolerate their mistakes. Everyone must try to fix the mistakes of others or replace them if it's impossible. Luckily I don't have to worry about the latter. Being in an anti-social guild have a bliss: no one gets defensive over critism. People try to improve and take every suggestion very good. I surely would. I will upload logs of every raid (and PuG where I'm present on this server) and share the link with the members. Let's teach each other, it's everyone's interest (unless one derives "fun" from wiping on worms).

Ganking note: currently the tradeskills are written into notes. Please replace it with PvP spec(s) + PvE spec in [], for example "resto, [resto]" or "shadow, disc, [disc]". PvE spec is optional, you do not need to have one. If you write one in, it shall mean that you have talent build, gear and PvE practice in this spec. I will never ask anyone to raid outside this spec. If we don't have enough healers or tanks, we PuG one. Or simply don't raid. We missed WG - our mission - to wipe on easy content. However claiming to have such spec and then failing and wiping the raid will cost. Exactly repair cost + fish cost/10 + opportunity cost for a daily quest, all together 30G. Paid to every raid members you just wiped. Be the master of your spec or don't be on the raid. We don't need Jack! If we don't have enough prepared PvE players, we simply stop having guild raids and PvE content goes to "everyone PuG it at will". It's a PvP guild after all!


Andru said...

Well, that's something I can agree on.

I always said that preparation is important.

It is true in your Blue guild too. You said that you considered it to be some kind of PuG. Well it's not.

Terrible preparation is often common in PuGs. This is mainly because there is no enforceable responsability.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree. For some silly reason i want achivements, not very goblinish i know (but goblins can take great advantage of us :)
I have tried about 3 or 4 times to join a raid of lvl 80s trying to run AQ. one of 2 things happens. #1 we go in with 5 or 10 smart people and just dont have the bodies to get past the first encounter. or We faceroll along right up to the twin emps where the group wipes and falls apart! Why? because the twin emps cannot be facerolled even by level 80 raiders.

wickEdgirl said...

I am sure that facing dedicated raiders vs a (semi-)competitive, or at least competent, PvP team would not be pretty either.

I can't say I would be surprised that PvE-ers would lose horribly; it is not just a different play style, it's a whole different mind-set.

And experience: we (PvE) learned already, for example, that we need to look for stuff on the ground and move away from it, we do it almost instinctively. (Until you get to Aran, and you have to stand still, fighting every urge to move). But hours spent building that frame of mind gives you an advantage in PvE (even when playing another class) and is completely useless in PvP.

The only useful thing i carry from PvE to PvP (which I do once in a blue moon anyway) is the keybindings, and even those would need to be reassigned to be useful. My gear, my knowledge, my experience and my PvE skills all mean very little in that transition.

Anonymous said...

According to DBM my fastest and only Heigan kill lasted for about 38min...

Tazar said...


I had been on Twin kill where we "tanked" them together and burned through their heals. I was stunned but it can be done.

Anonymous said...

A simple suggestion to help remove the blink issue that you suffered, make your UI look different on different toons (my Druid uses a default look, my dk is set up one way, and my shaman a different way) this subtle cue tells you repetitively that your not on your mage. Thus you don't play like you're on your mage.

Ronnie said...

A few things.

First of all this is one of the few posts lately by you that I actually agree on.

Secondly about your blink/totem stomping fail. Never - EVER - wait untill the last second with curing/fixing a debuff that will limit your movement.

The tank could suddenly decide to run away with the boss, sudden lag can fuck you over.

Other than that the only thing that will save you from trying to blink as a shaman is repeated play :)

I am considering migrating my rogue and trying out your project. Any semi serious pvp'ers in your guild willing to do some arenas?

Gevlon said...

@Ronnie: There are several arena teams running, some of them aiming high.

Inquisitor said...

@Top anon:

Twin Emps is certainly an interesting challenge, although I think C'thun is still harder with your average bunch-o-80s.

Turns out a paladin can perform both tanking roles, by wedging themself into a corner and eating the repeated knockback.

We did it with tankadin + ele shaman offhealer one side, and about 7, including a spriest ranged tank the other side. Took a few wipes, though.

Anonymous said...

what makes you so sure your guild mates are not drooling retards? Because they joined a guild dedicated to ganking? Because they read your blog? sounds a bit like some cognitive dissonance on your part here. if the evidence says they are drooling retards then maybe some of them are. Call it 'not being prepared' if you'd like but coming to a raid in pvp gear with a pvp spec and no consumables is drooling retard territory in my book.

I always thought the elegance of your 'M&S' term was precisely that it didn't distinguish 'retard' from 'unprepared' because there really is no way to tell the difference and it doesn't really matter which one it is. so this post seems like nothing more than blind hope that they were being 'S' and not 'M', and that you can inspire them to change.

John said...

@anon after Inquisitor,

While I generally agree with the idea you put forth, I disagree that it necessarily applies to this situation. Perhaps it does and I am merely nit-picking at semantics, but I think not. The issue described by Gevlon is one of false beliefs cultivated from ignorance, not intentional slacking. His PvPers had heard how easy the raid was over and over. Perhaps on other toons they were even carried through it, reinforcing this belief. In their minds no preparation is needed. It is too easy for that. Obviously what I just wrote is an ignorant statement, but you can see how someone would believe it. Can you say that they are all slacking? They believe that no preparation is needed, so they don't do any. Similarly, the issue of bringing a PvP spec and PvP gear to a PvE raid and expecting to easily succeed could also be laid at the feet of ignorance.

Now to the question of whether or not they are morons. I cannot attest to this. Lots of arguments could be made. Are they morons because they blindly believed the trade chat nonsense telling them how easy something is? Are they morons because after a number of attempts they still could not learn and defeat the encounter? Are they simply morons in general (implying that PvP can easily be done by average M&S)? The answers depend on your definition of moron and how it relates to this scenario.

I will say that if there were any among them who knew better, who knew the difference between PvE and PvP, who had prior experience, who do raid regularly elsewhere, and simply couldn't be bothered to make the effort needed for the raid under the assumption that it would be facerolled because "lol ToC is easy guys", then yes, they absolutely fit squarely into the M&S category.

Wilson said...

What you don't mention is if the people actually were familiar with the fights. Your raiding guild is full of experienced raiders, and Wrath raids place a much stronger emphasis on knowing the fight than on being gear checks. This is why you were able to steamroller ToC. But if your pvp-guildies haven't done it ten times already, then they are going to make what look like silly mistakes to a veteran and wipe a lot. Regardless of their gear or enchants.

Alternatively, as Anon said, what makes you so sure they aren't drooling idiots?

Backthief said...

Why trying to PvE when your focus is WG? Thats too much e-peen. Your "easy as naxx" didnt work out, huh?

Rated Battleground are comming soon, waste your time training your premade for that.

Anonymous said...

My guild has been one of the top guilds in BG9 since the Naxx days so we have seen our share of top pvp'ers including gladiators like Hafu, Glickz, Talason, Mimp etc... and they all have one thing in common; they all tunnel vision pve encounters. From Talason + Mimph trying to tank Illidan and failing horribly during p2 to Hafu releasing parasites in the middle of the raid it was all the same thing. These people that excel at pvp and state over and over that "PVE takes no skill" were almost always the ones to die first to avoidable damage.

Anonymous said...

That's funny because I've found gladiator-level PVPers to be some of the best PvE players by far, especially healers. They tunneled the least by far (can't tunnel heal in PVP..) and had the best reaction time.
I guess there is a difference between gladiators who PvE occasionally for "free loots", and who enjoy both parts of the game.

chase said...


That is typical M&S behavior. Gevlon's guild isn't doing world firsts. Between youtube and a few strat sites, you can know just about everything you need in 10 minutes of prep.

Finding a strat that works for you raid team could take a bit to tweak. DPS not knowing which boss is stationary and which is mobile? That is a failure on an individual level.

thenoisyrogue said...


We're doing the weekly raid once a week for the badges. Last week was Sarth, this week was ToTC. We also need to get into ICC for the high level weapons, which make a huge difference in PvP. At present the best we can hope for is the 232 weapons.

I was on this raid on my rogue. I had only done it once before but read up on the strategies a few hours before the raid and had notes printed out beside me. I had no idea players were doing it in PvP gear, when I found out later I was quite shocked. I think people came into the raid with too much of a casual attitude due to the previous weeks raid on Sarth. On that raid we did it first attempt with no deaths, so perhaps based on that some people thought that this would be a faceroll.

And btw, I have an extremely low tolerance of morons and so far in the guild I suspect that I've found only one.

Bristal said...

Wiping several times with a group IS preparation. It's called practice and learning.

Expecting a PvP group to jump into ToC and one-shot it is just unrealistic.

You've got your PvP project going strong, working on your goals, now you're bitching that they didn't spend 2 hours studying up on boss fights so you wouldn't have to actually lead them.

Xaxziminrax the Second said...

>Many people believe that they are special snowflakes who can do things first time without preparation (or experience gathered from several failures).

Well if I was a snowflake I'de wanna do things right away too because I'de melt in a few seconds!

AndruX said...

As a raid leader myself, I can't help but feel that at least some of the blame rests on your shoulders for this, Gevlon.

Players who have never seen a raid before need to have a complete description of the fight's mechanics (or at least as much of it would be personally applicable to them, i.e. a pug tank won't need to care about firebombs). Whether you use vent or raid chat, just lay it all out for people to learn before you even pull the boss.

This is the role you take on as "raid leader", which I assume you do unless you show up to raids and say /ra ok nobody is leading this raid let's just go in and see what happens.

When I pug a raider for one of my raids, I always make sure to ask them "how far have you been in here?" so I can know which fights I'll need to explain to them. It takes maybe 2-3 minutes to explain even the most complicated fight, and each wipe can cost at least that amount of time per wipe.

Expecting your raiders to be fully prepared for an encounter they've never seen is a fool's mistake. If, however, they fail to learn after the fight has been explained to them, they can then be held to this level of accountability.

Lethora said...

@ top anon

I have successfully 3manned AQ40 up to C'thun, oneshotting everything and skipping Viscidus for obvious reasons. (group setup: protpal, rogue, priest)
The only issue we faced on C'thun was the fact that he instantly kills everyone if there are zero players on the surface (means every raid member has been 'swallowed'), so we took 4th person and killed him without any issues.

Mongarwer said...


I disagree. As a raid leader you are expected to organize people, get them in right groups, manage who does what. Sure, it helps if you explain on the spot what exactly happens, but mainly it's the raiders responsibility to read about it/watch it before the encounter. As he said,

"everyone expected the fights to be facerolled, so most people did not bother to prepare."

They forgot they (probably) facerolled in another class and they are not ready to do it with this one :)

Bobbins said...

I've goto admit I'm impressed at the speed at which your guild has geared up (assuming the ain't transfers). The demands (both cost and time) are relevant when preparing.

While getting adequate gear is nowhere near what it use to be bear in mind level 1-80, PvP gear, flasks, Repairs, buying 2nd spec, raiding, leveling professions etc is an achievement in itself.

Also the lack of resources or as I call it the Mag Factor.

Of course some did transfer!