Posts Tagged ‘Caster’

You do wha?

August 13, 2009

Last week two things happened. Ok lots of things happened but I’m going to talk about two of them. One of the officers respeced his Warlock alt to Dest and I did some heroics on my newly 80 Priest.

Firstly, when people lvl a Warlock they ask me questions. Most ask all about lvling specs or about haste and crit but this officer (I say officer to gently indicate that he is regarded as a good player) asked if I was serious? – ‘You watch dots, cast times, and cooldowns? Seriously?’. Apparently that’s a lot. When I mentioned that I also monitor personal buffs, spells cast within the personal buffs, personal health, personal mana, my pet, personal positioning, raid positioning, raid mana, boss stats, raid deaths, and threat metres… he respec’d back to Afflic (I didn’t tell him I also monitor heal output because he’s our Holy Priest). Now, he does most of that as well – as an officer it’s second nature. We wipe and officer chat explodes with imput from each area about what was going on and solutions we have thought of (or if it’s the 7th Yogg wipe it just explodes with explitives). What he didn’t like about Dest was the…priority element? The way I think of it (which may make no sense), is that the Afflic dot play style streams along at a set pace with one short cooldown that is easily cast in place of Shadow Bolt – it’s forward momentum. Dest isn’t like that though: we stream with one or two dots and prioritise when more powerful spells are available. Add the buff from Backdraft (30% haste increase) and the necessity of Immolate for Conflagrate and suddenly you can’t stream or simply prioritise… you have to think and you have to monitor. Complicated? Sure but I can do it in my sleep 😉

Secondly, my wee Priesty was invited to a Heroic (whoopdi do) and I had to explain that I was not confident healing an undergeared tank. My Priest has always been heals but she’d often swap between Disc and Holy. I couldn’t handle the small, fast numbers SPriests used to output, especially when I had played with Shadow as a Warlock. For me there was no comparison – Shadow is for Warlocks. Now, I consider myself a good healer, a very good healer, but I was wearing greens and I didn’t have any shoulders (the slight downside of Heirloom pieces and a shoddy memory). I had 10k mana and I wasn’t looking after a tank with 12k hp. Wait wait though, I can come as Shadow…. Keep in mind that I lvl’d 0-60 as Shadow and that I am the caster officer with a fair idea of how each class is played. I was sat on my ass. Suddenly there were all these spells and they all took different times to cast and some only needed to be put up once and some finished really quickly and some took a lot longer and there were lots of pretty sounds and streams of purplish light and WTF is with a 4 second COOLDOWN!! I spent most of the first 2 heroics trying to remember what spells I had then the next 2 trying to remember to cast Mind Blast every 4 fucking seconds. When we hit the 5th my friend (who is one of our raiding SPriests) gently reminded me that I have Shadow Form which will up my dps a little – much to the enjoyment of the other 3 (grr). The next night we repeated the process a little and I was much more pleased with my dps because I wasn’t wasting time dotting trash… until I was reminded that I should Mind Sear if there is more than 3 mobs…. I was mortified.

While I didn’t quite plummet from my exaluted station of pride in Warlocking, I did gain a much much greater respect for other caster classes (though I must admit to a little added disrespect for Mages who seem so much easier). I’ve played Boomkin before but never enough to really count and certainly not in a raid. They aren’t as complicated as SPriests but they have their own issues. Add utility to that mix…I demand that our casters assist on dispells and decurses, it works very well because the healers do it automatically also – if healers are hard pressed it gives them room to breathe and if they aren’t no-one looses out. Monitoring all those spells and dispelling though…. Well done mulit-taskers I say.

Virgins? No.

August 10, 2009

I have recently found that two of my guild mates have a blog which is primarily used to discuss World of Warcraft. I am not a blog reader and it didn’t occur to me that people would blog about Wow. They do though and it’s interesting reading, especially for me because these two guildies are both intelligent adults. Not to belittle non-adult blogs but one of the guildies comments on things like frequentist and Bayesian statistics while the other mindblowingly measures her attention span per night and per boss kill…and then she provided enough data to suggest that she has measured the length of her attention span against the success of each boss kill which perhaps insinuated comparative measures with the rest of the guildies (atleast it did for me).

As an officer and as the caster officer of my guild, this sort of feedback is invaluable – and wonderfully accessible on my own time. What do my guildies think? I’m ‘responsible’ for the largest (17 not including offspec) and one of the most diverse (5 classes) groups in our guild. I like to think that all the casters would come to me with opinions and suggestions, and a lot do, but I know that a lot don’t. There is trust aspect in our guild, we are trusted. We built our guild with the aim of being as fair as possible and communicating how that fairness was reached. Naturally we aren’t completly fair, we can’t be 😦 but everyone knows it is our cornerstone and we have stuck to it (sometimes painfully). However, while we are fair and while we are trusted I get the impression that some players think we have all the answers. These, amoungst others, are the players that don’t come to me with their opinions. Arguably these are also the players whom I am especially interested in hearing from. Partly because they are standing on the sideline judgeing but partly also because I’d rather we didn’t suprise them with an unpopular decision (it’s happened before, justification doesn’t replace imput as effectively as inclusion).

Anyway, this is my first blog (ever?). I am the caster officer of a 25 person raiding guild which jumps from 3rd to 5th on server progression from week to week. I began raiding when Zul’Grub was released and have taken 1 short break since then. I have been an officer in 3 guilds over that time, I have seen just about everything players can throw at the game and at officers (I say that deliberatly, something new would be hot). I have always played a Warlock  but I also have a Priest and a Druid. I have raided as a Warlock, Priest, Druid, and Mage at various times, but my experience and knowledge of other classes comes primarily from theorycrafting and talking to my friends 🙂