Monthly Archives: September 2011

Random Blurb

I think I am a curse to comics.

I recently started following a few WoW-related webcomics that I was really enjoying as I read the archives…but as soon as I added them to my favorites so I could follow them daily, they stopped updating. Every last one of them! Whatever drama the artists felt was big enough to stop the weekly update occurred the same damned day I added them to my favorites. INFURIATING.

So as a favor to all the webcomic artists out there I have decided never to favorite another webcomic ever again. You’re WELCOME.

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Halleluja, It’s Raining Bears

For anyone who has played WoW with me or even just read my blog, you know I’m a resto druid. Tree of life FOR life, man. Leaf pride. Angiosperms unite! Etc.

It wasn’t always that way, though.

I have recently been spending quite a lot of time as a bear, so much so that I am teetering on the edge of just switching it to my main spec. It’s made me a tad nostalgic, too, for the days of yore (or rather, the days of the Burning Crusade) when I was a full time tank and part time kitty. Until a snot nosed little moonkin prodded me to going resto and from there I have never looked back. But now that I am bearing a lot again, it’s felt a lot like relearning the game, or at least my position in it.

Like paying attention. As a healer I just zone out, watch the pretty green bars, and occasionally move out of the fire. I have developed a bad case of healer’s tunnel vision in which I will completely ignore anything that is not a moving green health bar. I also tend to ignore boss strategies as a whole, and only pick out the little bits that are directly relevant to me and my job as a healer. Boss summons adds that must be kited? Don’t care. I don’t kite. Boss blasts everyone with an AoE effect every 45 seconds? I care. It’s different with tanking, and the one thing I have come to understand the most is that every tiny little aspect of the fight suddly pertains to me. I may not directly have to deal with a certain part of it, but if something goes wrong then I have to know if or how I can fix it. It’s not enough just to know “my part”. I have to know everyone’s parts. It’s also not enough to just move myself out of the bad. I have to move the boss too and by extension the entire damned raid. So it’s been a lesson in awareness, which I will humbly acknowledge I sorta needed.

It has also given me a greater appreciation of what I do as a healer. If I was a tree and healing myself as a bear, I would probably go insane shouting at myself. Either for not healing hard enough or for standing somewhere I shouldnt…or pulling too much or…you know. It has been a lesson in defensive cooldowns, which I have learned are best used every time they are available. As a healer I don’t typically think to use my defensive skills much. If I’m being attacked and I can’t heal myself through it, too bad. I’m going to die. But as a tank, if I know I’m in trouble then I’m mashing every button I can to stay alive.

So there is an odd duality present here. I’m playing the same class but I am filling an entirely separate roll, which means I’m using an entirely different mindset to do my job. It’s like I have to use a separate set of my brain. Certainly tanking is a far more aggressive and assertive role than healing. I’ll try not to get off on a psychological tangent here, but I never considered myself aggressive or assertive, which makes me wonder why I like a role that demands those qualities so much. Maybe (Freudian alert!) I am expressing an unconscious desire to be more assertive or aggressive in my life?

But what it all boils down to is a new perspective of an old game. I’m bored to tears with WoW right now, which is due to a whole host of factors both in and outside of the game. I enjoy doing something that I havent done before, while still remaining within my comfort zone: the druid class and my home realm and guild. It’s a chance to think outside the box, to look at something other than health bars (though monster crotch really isnt much better) and to do something entirely different while still being familiar.

On a Lighter Note

After weeks of off and on farming of Wailing Caverns I finally got the little Deviant Hatchling to drop! I am super pleased to never have to go back there again.

I also scored on the neutral auction house and bought the two remaining Horde Argent Tourney pets I still needed, the broom and the fetish, for way cheaper than they have been listed on the Alliance auction house.

That puts me up to 146 mini pets. Four more to go before I get the little starry dragon. It will be mine!

A Handful of Things You’re Probably Doing that Piss Off Your Tank

Or, an alternate title: STOP DOING THAT SHIT.

Fair warning: I’m not even going to TRY to be nice about this. Easily offended people should probably leave now.

Seriously. Tanking for any length of time (for PuGs, anyway) turns me into a bitter, angry, grouchy dick. It is an odd metamorphosis that occurs for me nowhere else in life. I dont get road rage, I am not generally impatient with slow people, I am unfailingly polite to food service staff, I go out of my way to help my classmates, and I don’t often swear. As a healer I’m easy going, generally pretty quiet, polite and unconcerned with group drama. But put me in a PuG as the tank and I will, without fail, end up kicking puppies and punching babies.

I usually suffer in silence, too, which for better or for worse means I don’t often (ever) speak in group chat. I say hi in the beginning but I don’t talk after that. I just settle into auto pilot and pull until I get a satchel and then leave. It isnt that I’m unfriendly! I’m shy and quiet but not unfriendly. It’s that people are so God damned rude in this game. Every group is bound to have one person in it that is rude, obnoxious, immature, or selfish. Or all of those things at once. In two different Stratholme runs I encountered probably the 4 most despicable souls in the queue at that time. Such is my curse, I think. I am prone to attracting filth. First there was the healer who started bitching six seconds after we popped into the instance that we were going too damned slow. It was one of those rare times when someone in the group who isnt me stood up and told him that he had no right to attack us and we vote kicked him immediately. Then there was the asshole who blamed everything on the “nigrz”. I draw the line at racist shit like that. He spent the rest of the instance talking in French with his buddy, and the hilarious part is that I understand French. He was no more coherent or intelligent in his native language than he was in English. Moron. Then there was the feral druid who kept running ahead of me, pulling groups, switching to bear form, and proceeding to tank. When, after like ten times, I told him to please stop pulling, another person in the group told me to shut up, just tank, and stop being a douche. He also alleged it was an accident. Right. He accidentally switched to bear form ten times and pulled groups ahead of me.

So if you have ever wondered why the queue times are so long for everyone but tanks, take a moment to consider that people in this game treat each other like absolute shit. There is no respect, there is no courtesy. It’s a free for all in which everyone forgets their manners and uses the anonymity of the internet coupled with the fact that Blizzard provides no accountability whatsoever for people’s actions. The next time someone bitches that the queue is too long, I am going to bitchslap a kitten. If you want people to tank, stop fucking treating them like shit when they do.

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And now on to the actual post.

The following are things I see people do in literally every PuG I have tanked for, ever. Whether it’s on my druid main tank or one of my little alts, I see it in every group, every time. Some of it I’m sure is because the game is complex and doesn’t lend its self very well to explanation. New players get new spells they don’t really know how or when to use and problems arise. New players also don’t have the same grasp of how to interact in a group, especially if they have never played another MMO. It’s all cool. I get it. I was new once too. The problems arise when people start copping an attitude when someone points out politely that something they’re doing is causing a bit of a problem. So here is my little list of things that I, as a tank, absolutely cannot stand.

1. Running ahead and accidentally pulling. It’s okay, it’s fine, it was an accident. The first time. Any time after that and I may just let your dumb ass die.

2. Running ahead for the express purpose of pulling a group. You are not the tank. You did not queue as a tank. You are neither spec’d nor equipped to tank. If you didn’t queue as a tank, sit your stupid ass down and stop trying to take over that role. The next time you queue, reconsider which role you choose. Personally I think you have no business queuing at all, but hey. If you get the urge to run a dungeon, play the role you queued for or dont play at all.

3. Typhoon and Thunderstorm. They have glyphs that remove the knockback from these. If you didnt glyph it, don’t ever use it in an instance. I cannot possibly convey to you how high my blood pressure shoots when some idiot knocks an entire group back into another group I didnt pull, and causes chaos. Moonkin and shamans: pull your head out of your ass.

4. Queuing as a DPS when you only have a tanking role and gear. Double the ire if you attempt to tank right over the top of me. If you don’t so much as have the right gear to fill a DPS slot, you have no business queuing for it. Don’t come in with your shield and your defensive stance or your righteous fury and try to “make my job easier” by “helping me”.

5. Trying to DPS and heal. You are a healer, so heal. The next time my health drops to 1% because you wanted to DPS, I will use your undescended testicles as punching bags. Got it? Don’t make me waste my defensive cooldowns on trivial trash because you’re too busy spamming Wrath to heal.

6. Taunting off me for no apparent reason. There is never a time in any group when you, as a DPS, should EVER hit your taunt. I don’t care how badly it looks like I’m being beaten. I have tools to deal with my own problems. If I die, go ahead and pick up the mob. But as long as I’m alive, don’t mess with my game.

7. Yell GO GO GO or some other stupid variant. I will pull at a pace with which I am comfortable. I will not go faster. I will most certainly slow down. I’m not standing there yelling DPS HARDER HARDER! So don’t ever tell me to “tank faster”. I’m watching the healer’s mana, I’m keeping an eye on patrols that might eat us alive, and I’m trying to figure out how best to pull the next group. Keep your mouth shut and do your job.

8. Clicking on things without any idea what they do. General rule of thumb for the cognitively impaired: if you see a cogwheel anywhere in an instance when you mouse over something, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Nine times out of ten you will spawn something nasty that I will then have to deal with unprepared. The mailboxes in Strat are a prime example of this. The next time I see someone click one of those, I am running as far away as possible so they can die.

9. Running in the opposite direction of me for no reason. What part of “the tank leads the group” was ever unclear? That’s why I have a shield, dumbass. So I can run ahead and get hit and you can stand behind me and kill things safely. If I run one way and you run another and then proceed to blunder face first into a group of mobs and get killed, you have your own idiocy to blame. If I’m not going the right direction, just tell me. If I missed a quest point or a mob you need, speak up. I have never refused to go kill something because it wasnt directly in front of me.

10. Rolling on tanking specific items. If you’re building a tank off set, the very least you could do would be to say so. I don’t often rage about loot. I do, though, get more than mildly annoyed when a mage rolls on a tanking shield, or a hunter on a plate helm (true stories). If you want tank gear, queue as a tank. Don’t expect tanks to queue for a dungeon when everyone treats them like shit and steals loot meant for them. If you want tanks in the queue (or maybe you like sitting for 45 minutes in the dungeon finder?) then don’t roll on the gear they need to do their job.

 

Apologies for the rant. In a few days we will return to the adventures of Iza (whom I need a break from for the aforementioned reasons) as well as a guide I am writing for BRD.