Greedy Goblin

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Patience please!

Internal Saturday post for The PuG, the series on the magic will continue next week.

On Tuesday we had a series of terrible wipes on Sindy. The reason: new members placing ice tombs either in the middle of the raid, or as far as possible, while doing near-tank DPS. Later we continued with people getting cut by the twilight cutter. We collected 2700G from such fails! Some people summarized it calling them hopeless M&S.

They are not. I'd like to remind everyone to the different standards of the WoW in general and even a successful normal mode guild. 4K DPS is inacceptably low here. Tanks do 3K. However if you queue up alone to a random 5-man, you'll see that 4K DPS is usually the #1 and the other 1-2 are doing 2K something while the lowest guy is abysmal. These "hopeless n00bs" are most probably finding themselves #1 in a 5-man and top in the weekly Anub'rekan raid of their "freindly social fun guld". They left exactly because they want something more. They could not be prepared for the difference between their former playground and this. They had no feedback that told them 4K is not enough. Actually they got lot of feedback telling them 4K is great! Also they lived in a culture where standing in the fire is "healz lol?".

I ask for lot of patience for these players in the guild. Not the social kind of "let's act like they are OK, blame the gear and boost them". I ask patience to don't write them off as failures. To give them rational and objective feedback. "4K DPS is low, you should read resources and practice at the dummy, and remove those +20 crit rating gems" helps. "You fail" do not.

I also like to emphasize that while frost-tomb misplacers and twilight cutter dancers are fined for 300G and 4K DPS is replaced from the raid, they are not written off. After they practice, read, they will have another chance. If they fail again, they get -300G bills and another lost ID for replace. But they will get another chance next week again, until they:
  • reach the expected level of play
  • give up and /gquit
  • act defensively, beg for help, blame gear and get /gkicked
  • figure out that they want easier content and only come for first wings, Halion minibosses, ToC, 5-mans, premade BGs, WG and so on
I'd also like to emphasize that the responsibility to improve is on the newbie alone. It's not OK to beg for hand holding. If you can't figure out why are you doing less than my blue geared mage, pay for someone's time to help you.

One more thing I'd like everyone to remind: not pulling aggro is the responsibility of the DPS alone. The tank only fails if he loses aggro to a healer or the DPS must hold back so much that we hit enrage. It won't kill you if you give some aggro time to a new tank. Nor it kills you if you just autoattack when you are at 105% threat until it goes back to 95%. We will never have new tanks if you just call them retards if they can't hold aggro on their first raid against a 10K DPS warrior spamming heroic strike.

Also better players can help a lot to healers by decreasing damage taken. I know that it cost you precious DPS, but dead DPS does 0. I know that Elitist Jerks says your job is to DPS and if you die while not standing in the direct fire the healer failed. Again: we won't have healers if they are replaced on their first raid if they can't do 7K raw HPS and predicting which DPS will get huge damage next sec. Getting magic absorption, soul link, resistance flask or a shield keybinded when you pull aggro does not kill you. The opposite may.

Of course I'm not telling to accept the low performance of healers/tanks. You should remind them that you had to hold back and use some clever tactics to cover their shortcomings. However they can't practice on a dummy like DPS. They must get into the action to get better. They will be better, we seen it many times. If not, they will be replaced, you could see that too several times. But remember, these people came from a world where 4K DPS is great, autoattack is enough to hold aggro and a wild growth every 6 secs keeps the group on top. They need some time to adapt to the fact that they are not in "heroic" Gundrak anymore.

PS: we are already 140, but as the post shows, there is always place for people who can avoid the cutter and the placing ice block to the middle, or ready to learn these "absolutely no life" skills.


Anonymous said...

One of the few posts of Gevlon's that I actually might agree with.

Andru said...

This is nice advice.

IMO, it's deserving of a regular weekday post since It is something that is bugging me for a while.

The simple solution to low DpS in heroics is getting tanks to tank in PvP gear. I do, and I pull 4k DpS. Suddenly, the star 4k dps players are barely above the tank. If they're not hopeless (which they shouldn't) it should be a revelation that 4k DpS isn't that good.

It ties with what I said yesterday though. Heroics are easy, raiding is moderately challenging. Doing easy stuff does not teach anyone anything.

nightgerbil said...

"It's not OK to beg for hand holding. If you can't figure out why are you doing less than my blue geared mage, pay for someone's time to help you." Cool I can buy lessons? How much do you charge for gold making ones?

Paul said...

Just to satisfy my curiosity.

When i quit WoW (but kept gevlon on google reader...) in the begining of 2010, i used to be very proud of my 5k dps as a ret pally.

Now, i read a post claiming that 4k is pathetic.

Given that 4k probably IS pathetic nowaday, i wonder, was my DPS pathetic 6 months ago or did they nerf things (and buffed players) further so much that the average non MS DPS got so much higher?

Gevlon said...

@nightgerbil: gold making tip free. Class tip costs 200G including dummy testing. Cheaper than a single wipe cost!

@Paul: free ilvl 251-264 falling down from the sky.

Flawlless said...

Paul: What Gevlon said and +25% damage in ICC, and you are a ret-pally so you get that extra damage to undead too.

Of course this is ICC only, in ruby sanctum there is no +25% damage OR undead.

Nees said...

Here's what happened in RS yesterday:

Andru said...


Even in Jan 2010, 5k DpS was decidedly average in raids. 6-7k was regularily hit by good players on Anub in 3.2.

However, now good players regularily hit 8-9k in raids.

Denethal said...

"There's no such thing as a free lunch."

This expression covers everything when it comes to raiding, I believe.

Just because a boss is easy, does not mean that it will drop dead before your feet with no preparation or tactical knowledge.

Which is basically what plagues us at the time being. People expecting that because we are in "The Pug", everything will die without a hitch.

But for people attempting roles or bosses they haven't done before, they need to experience the practical application of the strategies they've read up on. (Or not. Some just do fights by intuition alone and by getting some feedback will do just fine.)

If you take me, as an example, I still have a far way to go when it comes to tanking in raid-environments. While I'm quite adept in tanking heroics, they can hardly be compared to raids.

With much longer battles and more strategies involved than a boss in an heroic, I need to develop the proper mindset and awareness of everything related to tanking.

It's fun and I'm progressing. Not as much as I'd like to, but I'm getting there.
And so are the rest.

But we got to drop the "free lunch" mentality. That goes for all of us.

Anonymous said...

"It ties with what I said yesterday though. Heroics are easy, raiding is moderately challenging. Doing easy stuff does not teach anyone anything."

I omitted it for sake of clarity and the character limit, but in response to yesterday's post an alt can frequently be more stimulating and educational than the current crop of heroics. My main is geared enough to stand in fire comfortably without bothering with cooldowns or interrupting the healer's hurricane spamming for dps. However, running regular TBC and WotLK content in level appropriate gear still requires decent class knowledge and basic skills like LoS pulling, it's not all soloing. I tend to play out the boss gimmicks as intended which I think helped when I started raid tanking at first, but most heroic bosses still die in about 20 seconds to decent dps.

As far as today's post goes, I sort of hate to say it, but it's the attitude cultivated by the philosophy you post. While much of it is pointed at removing the excuses from the bottom rung of raiders, it also freely offers excuses to those it resonates with. It's strangely empowering yet emasculating by assuming some amount of helplessness in correcting the current situation and that they're being held back at at the mercy of those dastardly "M&S" who they shouldn't even bother to attempt educating or setting boundaries to. Most guilds attempt to walk that line between patient and understanding vs. being a doormat to varying degrees of success. They also use social prestige incentives for higher performance and teaching others since such things are harder to quantify in terms of gold than simply causing a wipe. Even in casual internet friendships there's incentive to push for that last 5-10% of your class's damage capacity for the prestige of topping the meters or to have people that want to have you in the raid socially but still won't bring you to progression raids unless you can meet the requirements of the content.

Guilds will also try to improve performance by setting up standardized baselines for dps based on the boss enrage timer or providing a collection of online resources for members to reference. I don't get the feeling this type of communal top-down supplement fits the type of guild you're trying to build, though. The analogy doesn't quite fit, but it reminds me of the Tragedy of the Commons since optimizing your own performance isn't necessarily meaningful if you can't maintain or cultivate a large enough player pool to run the raids at all. This is also why I was cautioning about the regular flow of guilds, such players are plentiful during the onrush of progression but guilds tend to fall back on those attachments you've specifically excluded in order to maintain membership against comparably progressed guilds when facing issues like this.

The issue pointed out in the post is something colleges point to as learning to learn or that you don't know what you don't know until you know it. Even if you don't want your guild to be social, there needs to be some venue for the flow of information due to that. Having a UI mod that cuts the concentration required to track cooldowns or a rotation by a factor of four coming up in casual conversation is typically how people find out about these things. It's also why a lot of real world businesses emphasize networking and social skills these days, even in engineering. Maybe a shared information bank where people have a screenshot of their ui or mod listing and regular World of Logs posts to help people compare their performance?

chewy said...

"not pulling aggro is the responsibility of the DPS alone"

Just a curiosity question because you've made a very bold and binary statement.

Isn't it a shared responsibility ? Yes, I agree that dps are responsible for managing their own threat but equally a tank is responsible for generating and applying threat appropriately.

Denethal said...

@Chewy: Yes, the tank should output as much threat as he or she can, but it's still the damagedealers own responsibility to stay beneath the threat output of the tank.

Anonymous said...

If you get aggro as a DPS, it's your fault. Unless tank died and you were on top of threat list of course.

Anonymous said...

Unless the tank is ridiculously outgeared by the DPS there's very little chance of the DPS pulling aggro simply by DPSing.

Fancy smancy said...

Gevlon I just came across a video of a tank doing 4.5k dps and another of him doing 6k!!! Here's the first video, it's obvious that is healer is pretty pro too.

Brian said...

I've met several players who raided in guilds where low performance was the norm, and those players do very well given the limits of their gear and group. If they left their guilds and joined a better group, they would not need a lot of time to be an asset to that new group.

The thing is, while "friendly, social guilds" don't give you any feedback that you're bad, the WoW community makes it incredibly easy to get a feel for your performance level and to improve it if necessary. You just need to put in the effort to do so, which I would argue every potential good player should be doing, regardless of whether they are in a HM guild or a guild stuck on 4/12 ICC. The feeling of wanting to be the best you can at playing your toon is about the individual player, not their guild. If they don't care about doing well in their "bad" guild, I'm not sure they're going to care in a better one.

PS: Gevlon, since you've asked for English tips before...I think the phrase you're looking for is "don't write them OFF as failures", not "don't write them DOWN as failures". The second one isn't incorrect English, it's just not the right expression.

Armond said...

So, in short, you're saying that since the newbies are on, essentially, progression content, everyone should treat the raid as a progression raid? What a shocker! (The sad part is that people need to be told.)

scheiss said...

If you think dps is responsible fpr pulling aggro of tank, you have never raided with good dps or tanks.

i am wielding shadowmourne and if the tank cant overaggro me with tricks and hunters shooting him up he is bad.

Anonymous said...

Why give a chance to someone who can't improve himself without help? Why bother if you have 140 players? Just replace him and kick him.

Your guild is becoming social. Don't you agree?

Kristopher said...

Comment about Halion and the lawnmower of doom.

Our guild got past that by having the tank continually rotate the boss, even if the cutter wasn't up.

Part of his job was to keep the boss centered, and to continually rotate it so that the cutter would always cross the boss's mid section exactly if it appeared.

DPS's and healers were expected to stay the hell way from the midsection ... staying even with a rear or a fore leg was OK.

We stopped getting people cut in half at that point.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: They CAN better themselves, just not in 5 seconds.

Anonymous said...

As a note. You will want TWO people running the combat log and parsing them on WoL. One who stays in the shadow realm from phase two onward, and one who stays in the physical realm (for p3).

Otherwise you get missing data:

[20:04:27.537] Halion Dusk Shroud Swiftstone 1120 (A: 915, R: 600)
[20:05:59.032] Swiftstone dies

I'm sure Swiftstone didn't go without an event for 1.5 minutes.

Anyway, a simple way to remove the cutter from the equation is to have the shadow tank position himself such that the shadow orb is over his left shoulder (as he faces the boss)the whole fight. Than when the cutter is active, he basically follows it. It requires more movement, but it is safer for the raid as a whole.

Have the whole raid stack on the dragons left side(p2)and you never have to worry about tailswipe/cleave or the cutter. Melee have to make sure they attack from max hit box range, (or just not dps while the cutter is active, it is a coordination fight not a dps race).

In P3 have your melee stay in shadow and range take physical realm. Melee don't loose much dps while moving, and if they are anything like our melee they will have to sit on their thumbs for a good portion so they don't nuke the physical realm folks.

Adrius said...

@Fancy smancy: that is nothing special really, aoe and cleave combined with wearing as much dps gear as possible incl. two dps trinkets.

Its no secret that tank specs can do a lot of damage, just look at prot warriors rocking in arena (African turtle cleave f.e.), they really arent there just to stun :P. You cant compare it to regular raid 1 target tanking though.

About the article, lets hope people open their eyes. Also we really are 140 with sixty three 80ies (atm) yet we usually have just enough people for one 10man so really feel free to join anytime.

Anonymous said...

"They had no feedback that told them 4K is not enough. Actually they got lot of feedback telling them 4K is great!"

Doing 4k in a heroic and doing 4k in a raid setting is completely different. You obviously know this. For one, raid wide buffs vs 5man buffs. Furthermore, nowadays tanks just plow through instances literally pulling 1/4 the dungeon at a time. Players don’t have the kind of time to rev up their max DPS rotation since mobs are dying within seconds. Players are either just AoEing or trying to get a flawed version of their max rotation in. I’ve seen many players who pull 6k plus on raid encounters do significantly lower in heroics. Part is due to boredom, but mostly because you don’t get minutes at a time to unleash 4 arcane blasts and then a sweet arcane missile proc over and over. I know raid encounters have lots of movement and other factors that don’t let you stand still and DPS, but you do get significantly more time than any heroic which makes a difference.

I also shake my head at this statement, “not pulling aggro is the responsibility of the DPS alone”. It’s the responsibility of both the tank doing his best TPS and the DPS doing their best DPS without pulling.

AndruX said...

@Andru: "good" players can easily top 12-14k in icc25 hm gear with full buffs rolling. I regularly hit 10k on fights like Saurfang or Festergut with a mostly 251 geared enh shaman. 25% buff is fucking ridiculous. In ToC, 5k damage (on Jaraxxus, which is the only fight you can get a real dps number in that zone) would be fairly respectable, assuming 232 gear.

It of course goes without mentioning that Gevlon's comparison of 4k raid dps to 4k heroics dps is entirely stupid. Oops, I've said it.

@Gevlon: Saying threat is completely or even mostly the responsibility of the DPS is retarded. In a real raid setting, a good tank should never lose aggro to a reasonably equally geared dps. If he does, then the tank is not putting forth the effort that should be required of him. If your guild is so horribly mismatched on gear levels, those tanks and dps do not belong in the same raid, effectively, your tanks are being carried.

Also, I'm utterly shocked at the statement that (paraphrase) "the tanks and healers will leave if you're mean to them". Did your blog get taken over by a guest poster, or have you turned into a social? You say you have 140 people, I think it's ok to let crybabies slip away at that point.

Good to see reality is starting to set in on this project, you've had your head in the clouds for awhile and it's nice to see the results of raids not filled with high-quality "bored of their other main for a couple weeks" characters.

Anonymous said...

One problem with "low dps in heroics" is that mobs just die too quickly. You either burst out 9k on a chain-pull because you popped cooldowns and AoE'ed, or you do 2k because your class has a high ramp-up on dps.
If mobs took time to kill, you'd see a clearer representation of dps.

4k in ICC with the 25% buff is pathetic, I'll agree. As long as you aren't doing a lot of target-switching that lowers your uptime on the boss, like Sindy. Your high dps'ers on a fight like Sindy are going to be classes with low ramp-up time, or the windowlickers who stay on the boss and ignore their debuffs so they can top meters. The ones doing 4k are the ones doing things right and switching to ice blocks and stopping dps when they get the backlash debuff.
As long as the boss drops before the enrage, right?

Anonymous said...

Saying threat is solely tank responsibility can come only from someone who haven't done Lady HM or similar fights. As a DPS, you have to MAKE sure that you don't pull the boss. If you do, you are FAIL dps. Regardless of tank quality. Usual strategy is to let such retarded DPS die.

Euripides said...

If you have a t10.5 geared raid, including DPS and a tank, the tank will typically have such a ridiculous aggro lead that the DPS rarely pull. In these situations, the only time DPS has to hold back is when the tank is failing, or when the encounter forces a reduction of the tank's threat.

Is it still this way in blue gear? Or did the ratio of tank threat to dps change at higher gear levels?

Barrista said...

How many chances does one get before they are replaced? I'm asking if they are replaced during the same raid or just asked to sit out the next one?

I ask because people learn in different ways. For example, if you were to expect me to watch a video and read wow wiki and come to a boss knowing exactly what I should do, you would be disappointed and replace me. Some can easily learn by just reading and others learn by reading/instruction and then doing. So it typically takes me going through the mechanics in-game a couple of times for me to get the feel of it.

As for iceblocks, my problem with that fight would be the people who were not getting the debuff. They will move to a position such that one of the people to be blocked cannot get to a good spot. We had to actually tell people that if someone is going to be iceblocked then they are responsible for moving out of their way. The person who is going to be blocked is only responsible to find a good spot and that is all.

My point is that sometimes what appears to be one person's fault can be another's.

Anonymous said...

Stating that a good tank will never lose aggro to the dps if he is doing every effort for it is a bold statement.

You clearly haven't been with a geared group. In our guild, while farming hardmodes our tanks will have problems if we don't have mutiple hunters and rogues. It is even worse for specs that doesn't have threat reduction, such as demo locks. Mind you, the tanks are fully decked out in 277s. On the other hand, our DPS are geared in full 277s as well.

The thing is, as tanks gear gets better and better, their TPS doesn't go as fast as their survivability stat. On the contrary, the DPS only gets more and more offensive stats. That is why in a more geared raid, the tank WILL lose aggro if you don't have tricks/MD and the DPS holding back.

Of course, that is usually only a problem at the start of most fight since most of them have some other mechanics that the dps needs to watch out for, and the MD/Tricks every now and then will boost the tanks threat by a lot. To some extent, tank and spank fight without tank buffs such as Rotface and BQL.

Personally, I think Over taunting is entirely the DDers fault. Have you ever think why blizzard made the threat cap at 110%/130% instead of 100%? And stopping for the sake of the raid instead of your e-peen meter is always more important. Our guild doesn't blame the tank when we over aggroed Heroic LK on phase one, we always blame the stupid DPS that didn't watch out for his/her threat.

Nees said...

As a note. You will want TWO people running the combat log and parsing them on WoL.
Thanks for this tip, I was wondering why today's log didn't show the kill. Must've been the shadow realm where he took the final blow.
It was a messy raid, close to 2k gold fined and 2 players replaced (one for low dps and one for getting cut too often). But we did it. And I got cheap loot too :)

Strutt said...

@ Gev,
It IS the tanks job to hold aggro, with gear being similar. that is his job is to tank, me as a hunter is to DPS.

It is also my job to throw MD's to the tank when i see people coming close to his threat, But with at least 1 hunter in the group the tank should NOT lose threat.

My hunter is all 264+ and I can pull 15k+ on fester, and average about 12k In ICC on most bosses. Ran with a tank in mostly 245 gear that knew what he was doing and I couldnt pull off him even trying. That was with 1 MD thrown at the beggening of the fight.

Our bear tank with less gear then me also has no problem holding aggro in our 10 mans.

Its sad how many times I have to Feign Death in pugs where the tank is bad.

This is all considering the DPS isnt retarded and is hitting the same target as the tank with multiple mobs, or as soon as the tank touches the target they go balls deep on the boss/adds. That IS the only time the DPS should be pulling from the tank. Period.

Healer24 said...

Gevlon wrote: "One more thing I'd like everyone to remind: not pulling aggro is the responsibility of the DPS alone. The tank only fails if he loses aggro to a healer or the DPS must hold back so much that we hit enrage."
This is true, but you forgot to mention the corollary to this: It is the tank's job to generate as much threat as possible on the things he is tanking.
Managing threat is the combination of those two things. If either one is not happening, that's when you have problems.

Fetzie said...

Tank aggro and dps...

Basically, tanks should not be overtaken by dps. example Sindragosa. by the time you get to P3, the tank should be able to go afk@desktop and not lose aggro by the time the boss has died. The raid would wipe because he got 50 stacks of MB, but he would not have lost aggro.

BUT! (and this is a big but)

There are bosses where it DOES matter. Lady Deathwhisper (heroic) is one of them (as mentioned in other posts). This is a boss where the DPS do have to worry about their tps. She is not tauntable in phase 2. She stacks a -threat applied debuff on the tank which will not decay as long as the tank has her attention. If the DPS over-aggro and do not have a threat dump, they are the new tank until they die. Which happens fairly quickly. The direct result is usually not having enough dps for the adds, which will in time spell lock the healers permanently and you wipe. LDW heroic without a tricks/MD is painful (but fun).

DPS need to know when and when not to spam their huge attack. Like the lovely people that aggro raging spirits in the LK transition phases. Or those melee that somehow manage to pull aggro on two of saurfang's blood beasts and stack up a mark in 5 seconds.

Tanks need to know when to use threat cooldowns to stay ahead.

Next time you are on rotface 25, take the big ooze into your target (don't shoot at it). Look how close the healers are to pulling aggro on it. Learning to optimise threat under wierd circumstances (not being allowed in melee range is, admittedly, rather an extreme case).

But good players in bad gear will get better, bad players will stay bad no matter what gear they may have. If you fail to encourage the good players in bad gear to persevere then, in my opinion, you are just as bad as those that try to vote kick the 20k life tank in nexus heroic 3 seconds after zoning in.