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What's up with T15?

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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Bellanka » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Darielle wrote:On the WoW forums, there was a 16/16N guild that ended up 9-manning it because someone dc'd. Information in threads like this: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8197910211, not gear, make the difference. Those aren't Elite Heroic people doing it; they're people who are Normal mode and missed a key element to what they can do, and sought to actually solve it instead of complain about it.


This is exactly my feeling on the subject.

Gear is a bandaid, and because of the previous tiers it gives the illusory effect of improvement when, really, it just invalidates mechanics. That's what adding more gear does. It doesn't fix the real reason you're wiping over and over again. Analysis, discussion, and adjustment do.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby benebarba » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:39 am

Bellanka wrote:Gear is a bandaid, and because of the previous tiers it gives the illusory effect of improvement when, really, it just invalidates mechanics. That's what adding more gear does. It doesn't fix the real reason you're wiping over and over again. Analysis, discussion, and adjustment do.


QFT.

I think one of the hardest things for 'more casual' raid groups to do is accept that the strategy they got from <insert source that isn't themselves here> may not be what they need to do to get the job done. Because, at the end of the day, that's what it's about. Now if gear is part of that, well, that's the way it is. But to expect it to take care of things alone, as well as to have that happen in the first few weeks of a tier, I think is to set yourself up for disappointment and frustration.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Chunes » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:14 am

Bellanka wrote:Gear is a bandaid, and because of the previous tiers it gives the illusory effect of improvement when, really, it just invalidates mechanics. That's what adding more gear does. It doesn't fix the real reason you're wiping over and over again. Analysis, discussion, and adjustment do.



The density of truth in this statement ranks somewhere between neutron star and black hole in terms of how much truth you have condensed into so few words.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:27 am

So?

Sometimes, its the best way an actual average guild, or below average according to some, are able to clear content.

If the bandaid helps close the gap caused by a raid overall skill being a bit subpar, is that really wrong?

Considering that back in mid december, my guild wiped on garalon at 3% when enrage hit, it is very possible that we could have gotten it based on the following
a) Really good luck with no legs spawning on the farside of the melee group
b) Lowest dps improving skill a bit and increase his dps by 5kdps
c) lowest dps get VP gear that would allow him to make up for his lower skillset

If b and c seemed to be ok back in wrath and cata, why is it so wrong all of the sudden to continue with this in MoP? I mean, after all... the heroic raiders get their own olympic pool.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Chunes » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:40 pm

I think in cases where RNG is really not a factor (which is to say, nowhere really in the historical or current raiding landscape), then overgearing an encounter is somewhat cheesy, but that right there's a strawman to the real issue I'm seeing.

If a 3% wipe can really be remedied by a shit DPS upping their performance, then I think that's the ideal solution to the problem, as opposed to "just throw more gear at it".

There's a certain level of play that even weekend warriors can achieve if they actually expend some effort outside of the game researching and then practicing/refining what they've learned. Many simply fail to take that step though. I'd be pretty pissed if one of my raiders was consistently underperforming on various fights.

Hell, in the past this has been the case and while I didn't have the time/knowledge to sit down with them, parse a log or two and really analyze what was going wrong, I at least had DPS in my guild who were qualified to do that kind of thing (I worried about the tanks primarily).

Now, does how I feel about any of this really change the matter of gear being a valid method to proceed through content? Not at all. You can always farm up easy to acquire gear and "brute force" the content once you have better iLvl. Hell, my BC guild did just that.

I'd like to think that as the years went on though, I started to approach the situation not from a "gee I just need to farm one or two more pieces of badge gear in order to be able to beat this fight!" sort of mentality but rather first from a mindset that said "Evaluate what's going wrong in the fight, if it's a matter of me not playing well, fix that and the gear likely isn't even the main issue".
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Bellanka » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:29 pm

Klaudandus wrote:So?

Sometimes, its the best way an actual average guild, or below average according to some, are able to clear content.

If the bandaid helps close the gap caused by a raid overall skill being a bit subpar, is that really wrong?

Considering that back in mid december, my guild wiped on garalon at 3% when enrage hit, it is very possible that we could have gotten it based on the following
a) Really good luck with no legs spawning on the farside of the melee group
b) Lowest dps improving skill a bit and increase his dps by 5kdps
c) lowest dps get VP gear that would allow him to make up for his lower skillset

If b and c seemed to be ok back in wrath and cata, why is it so wrong all of the sudden to continue with this in MoP? I mean, after all... the heroic raiders get their own olympic pool.


I am sorry, but I will never agree that outgearing content is the answer for guilds. It is a lazy answer, and worst of all, it is a lazy answer that requires MORE effort and energy than analysis, discussion, and improvement, for a diminishing reward that is far overvalued in comparison to the permanent skill increase from improving rotation, changing a strategy, or becoming more adept/confident at your class/role.

Now, going by your 3 choices, I have to say:

For A, you mean RNG. RNG, as a whole, is blamed for 99% more problems than it is actually the cause of. People use RNG loosely, and they use it as an excuse. Instead of saying So And So could have done this or Johnny Athleticsupporter could have done this to counteract that ... it's chalked up as RNG, people believe they're not doing anything wrong and don't need to improve/outplay a mechanic, and they remain static which forms bad habits. Those bad habits compound, and you're getting nickle-and-dimed by people who don't know better and won't know better because they have an easy scape goat they don't understand ... RNG.

RNG is one of my most hated words in this game. It is an excuse. "The World in Flames on H-Ragnaros is RNG! We just have to hope we get lucky!" Yeah, no. How about you stand at the edge of the last one so you can make a small movement correction to get out of it and into a safe zone?

I got it during Lei Shen as well yesterday. "The Diffusion Chain is RNG!" Uhhuh, but the timer for it in DBM isn't, neither is the range finder, or using them, considering they pop up by default and require no fiddling with the addon ... "Static Shock targets are RNG!" Mmhmm, but the way the people in your quadrant handle them isn't. Know who has what soaks, who has used them, when to stack, and when to f'off and let someone use their soak.

It took us ~49 pulls of constant refinement and different tactics to get him, but we did. If I had just accepted RNG and hoped that A) the RNG Gods smiled favorably upon us and B) it also happened during a time when the planets aligned and people miraculously transformed into magical moon penguins who play at 100% of their potential we'd be right back at him Wednesday night.

People think of Skill and WoW, and they're thinking eSports levels of championship gaming. No one is saying you should be the next Diamond in the Rough recruited by Blood Legion, Dream Paragon, Vodka or Method - but there is *always* room for improvement, and once this is accepted, once people try, you will see HUGE improvements in the raid.

There is so much more you likely could have different on that Garalon kill. You can focus on gear and think it would have made the difference, but I would bet you my account that there's a lot more that could have been done differently to contribute to the kill.

B is only a viable option is you had ONE person holding you back - and you very likely did not.

C is the band aid, and just enforces laziness, poor play, and bad habits.

You're also thinking in terms of right and wrong. That's the only thing wrong here. If you need the band aid, so be it, but don't pretend that the band aid is the only answer.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Promdates » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:32 pm

Chunes wrote:If a 3% wipe can really be remedied by a shit DPS upping their performance, then I think that's the ideal solution to the problem, as opposed to "just throw more gear at it".


100% this. Chances are if you're getting that 3% enrage wipe, it's not because you need more gear to do it. It's because there's something wrong with your strategy/execution that can be changed to get it done. For instance, we were getting 3% wipes to enrage on Iron Qon. Part of it was not having so many dps die, another part was our strategy. We used a 2 tank, 3 point strat with our melee as one of the points. After a few attempts of hitting P4 and getting to the enrage, I suggested a 1 tank, 2 point strat. With the fight being so long, we also used healing CD's through an earlier phase as well and we ended up having less deaths and a kill well before the enrage showed (2+ minutes).

Sometimes all it takes is to look at something different to see that there's something that can be changed to make it easier/better/faster. For Garalon, we only killed 3 legs (back 2, inside front). Melee sat near the rear to move between legs faster and our ranged stayed on boss the majority of the time so they wouldn't have to move.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:39 pm

Bellanka wrote:You're also thinking in terms of right and wrong. That's the only thing wrong here. If you need the band aid, so be it, but don't pretend that the band aid is the only answer.


Yeah is not the only answer, but you guys want to strike it down as an answer altogether.

Also, is it really outgearing if the VP gear is ilvl lower than the gear it drops from that raid? The VP gear was, at that time, 489 while the HoF gear is 496.

And well... my 35+ weeks of not getting neverending winter say Hi to your RNG diatribe. If I recall correctly, Theck even calculated that there was less than 1% chance of heroic neverending winter not dropping at all during a 35 week period.

The thing is, had that dps done 5k more dps, whether he did it by refining his dps rotation or more gear, i am pretty sure it would have closed the gap to go from the 3% wipe to a clear, at least on that fight.

Again, if Blizz was ok with answers b and c being ok during wrath and cata, why is it not ok now?

Yes, its possible that the other dps that were doing really good could do even better and make up for the lowest dps and his skillgap... I wont deny that, but again, I see no qualms in having that dps overcome its problems with extra gear, since that's how he did it back in wrath and cata with the offset pieces available from the vendors.

I mean, did you guys ever not buy a valor piece of gear to make up for your bad luck with drops? Or just because it was there to be purchased?
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Darielle » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:52 pm

Considering that back in mid december, my guild wiped on garalon at 3% when enrage hit, it is very possible that we could have gotten it based on the following
a) Really good luck with no legs spawning on the farside of the melee group
b) Lowest dps improving skill a bit and increase his dps by 5kdps
c) lowest dps get VP gear that would allow him to make up for his lower skillset


You're aware that a) isn't "luck" right?

And that b) involves less time and effort for the guild than c) and in the case of Garalon is actually a part of strategy and not player skill at all. If you tell that player that instead of blowing up a leg in 10 seconds and losing dps, they should just stay on the boss, you've instantly increased dps by 5k. That was HARD. You have room to do this as long as your legs weren't dying so slowly that you were having 4 of them stay up - I HIGHLY doubt you were at that point.

96% of "We need more DPS on Garalon" is a direct cause of "People are bumrushing legs because they think LEGS MUST DIE".

Yeah is not the only answer, but you guys want to strike it down as an answer altogether.
Also, is it really outgearing if the VP gear is ilvl lower than the gear it drops from that raid? The VP gear was, at that time, 489 while the HoF gear is 496.


"Outgearing" has to do with what the encounter is tuned for, not what it drops.
Last edited by Darielle on Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Bellanka » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:55 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Yeah is not the only answer, but you guys want to strike it down as an answer altogether.

Also, is it really outgearing if the VP gear is ilvl lower than the gear it drops from that raid? The VP gear was, at that time, 489 while the HoF gear is 496.


You're STILL hung up on gear and missing the point of what I and others are telling you. You keep bringing up this Garalon fight that is haunting you and using gear as the answer ... it was not, and never was. The issue was strategy and execution. If you could get him to enrage at 3% with your gear, a few small tweaks, if not just ONE tweak, would have gotten you your kill.

And well... my 35+ weeks of not getting neverending winter say Hi to your RNG diatribe. If I recall correctly, Theck even calculated that there was less than 1% chance of heroic neverending winter not dropping at all during a 35 week period.


Loot =/= mechanics. My whole argument is that gear isn't necessary. My "diatribe" was about mechanics and outplaying them and NOT needing gear. Using your example of Neverending Winter in no way invalidates that. (And FYI, I didn't get a shield from Firelands until a week before the tier was over when the Gatekeeper finally coughed up his heroic one. That didn't stop my team from clearing everything but H-Ragnaros. If anything, it was a running gag with bets placed on whether or not the shield would finally drop.)

The thing is, had that dps done 5k more dps, whether he did it by refining his dps rotation or more gear, i am pretty sure it would have closed the gap to go from the 3% wipe to a clear, at least on that fight.


Blaming ONE person is the worst possible thing to do. That just tears apart team dynamics. Could that one person improve? Sure! Was anyone HELPING him improve? Were the Raid Leaders looking over what he could do different or pointing him in the right direction if he didn't know how to do it himself? Why was the issue with this ONE person and not with the way you were killing the boss? Nothing you have said says the issue was gear to me.

Again, if Blizz was ok with answers b and c being ok during wrath and cata, why is it not ok now?


It's still fine, but it's not the only answer. Encounters are relying more on reacting mechanics than just gimping through them, though - and if you don't adjust accordingly you're going to find that gear helps less and less, and playing better will be a far wiser investment.

Yes, its possible that the other dps that were doing really good could do even better and make up for the lowest dps and his skillgap... I wont deny that, but again, I see no qualms in having that dps overcome its problems with extra gear, since that's how he did it back in wrath and cata with the offset pieces available from the vendors.


"The other DPS that were doing really good could..." you're still blaming this ONE person for it, when it was NOT entirely their fault.

I wish I would have seen your requests for help on this boss on these forums when logs for it were still available, so I could have looked at them with you or the community here could have helped answer strat questions; but this is NOT one person's fault, or gear's fault - Garalon not dying for your team was an issue of mechanics and execution.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:03 pm

Darielle, you got a point there.

Bellanka. Gear was not final answer, but it was an answer. And it seems some people are adamant of taking this away from others.

Ironically, while in the group/guild, I never blamed that person. I blamed the system that hid all the VP gear behind the reputation. I still dont think it's really that person's fault. The guy had lots of responsibilities in real life, couldn't do LFR as often as he wished, he couldn't do dailies as he wished, he really did not have the time to do much in wow other than raid. He was incredibly frustrated with his gear -- warriors are very gear dependent and he was missing huge chunks of crit from his gear because the gear was just not there.

He was not the only one with this issue however. But I'll say this... it drove them out of the game.

He half-jokingly put "dailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailies ad nauseum" as the reason why he quit wow when he cancelled his sub.

So tell me, how do I fix this?

Also, I'm still waiting on the answer about you guys buying VP gear. Have you guys done it or not?
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:08 pm

Darielle wrote:"Outgearing" has to do with what the encounter is tuned for, not what it drops.


Part of the problem was we were not getting drops on the bosses we would kill. We got TWO elegon mounts but no 2-hand swords nor 1-Hand axes during all our time in MSV. Our two warriors and our dk were suffering with their dps big time.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Bellanka » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:31 pm

Klaudandus wrote:He half-jokingly put "dailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailies ad nauseum" as the reason why he quit wow when he cancelled his sub.

So tell me, how do I fix this?


The problem wasn't gear. It was time investment. If he was playing at 100% of his class for his gear, then sure - the issue was gear gating, but if he wasn't it takes FAR less time to fix your playstyle than to do dailies.

Also, I'm still waiting on the answer about you guys buying VP gear. Have you guys done it or not?


I already answered this question in a previous comment. I did not. The daily grind was boring, and I had my hands full as the Raid Leader. The only VP item I actively went after was the Shado Pan stamina trinket, and I did that at my own pace. I eve

I've LOVED killing Zandalari Warscouts and Warbringers in a group of friends and sending the Insignias to alts. My 85 Shaman is almost revered with August Celestials. My Alt Warrior finally got exalted with a few of the factions as well. I even got a nifty Triceratops mount out of it.

Hell, I didn't always get my Coins for loot tolls, either.

Didn't stop my team from killing 10 bosses heroic before the new tier.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:45 pm

Bellanka wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:He half-jokingly put "dailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailiesdailies ad nauseum" as the reason why he quit wow when he cancelled his sub.

So tell me, how do I fix this?


The problem wasn't gear. It was time investment. If he was playing at 100% of his class for his gear, then sure - the issue was gear gating, but if he wasn't it takes FAR less time to fix your playstyle than to do dailies.

Also, I'm still waiting on the answer about you guys buying VP gear. Have you guys done it or not?


I already answered this question in a previous comment. I did not. The daily grind was boring, and I had my hands full as the Raid Leader. The only VP item I actively went after was the Shado Pan stamina trinket, and I did that at my own pace. I eve

I've LOVED killing Zandalari Warscouts and Warbringers in a group of friends and sending the Insignias to alts. My 85 Shaman is almost revered with August Celestials. My Alt Warrior finally got exalted with a few of the factions as well. I even got a nifty Triceratops mount out of it.

Hell, I didn't always get my Coins for loot tolls, either.

Didn't stop my team from killing 10 bosses heroic before the new tier.


I dont think he had a choice on how much he could play wow, being a parent.

How bout in the past? Wrath and cata, did you ever buy vp gear?

Also, i think part of your perception about gear is biased on the fact yourself don't seem to need it.

You are way ahead of the curve compared to the avg player. If i recall correctly, only half of all the raids did 9/16 and better.
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Re: What's up with T15?

Postby Rhiannon » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Both sides of the argument appear to be seeing things very black and white, when the reality of raiding is far from that. The Methods and Paragons of the world can kill Lei Shen heroic with ilevels of 522-525, massive amounts of time investment and exceptionally high skill levels. More casual, less skilled guilds will inevitably need more gear to kill it - if their ilevel was locked at 522 for the next five months there's a good chance they would never kill it. And I'm talking about heroic guilds with people who have a pretty good idea how to play, but just can't perform at the 99% level consistently pull after pull.

I'll take an example of my warrior's guild compared with my warlock's guild. The warrior guild got 15/16h and had about 505 ilevel going into ToT, while the warlock guild got 3/16h and had about 497 ilevel going into ToT. The former raids 10 hours/week, the latter 6.

I learnt very little about the Horridon encounter in the warrior guild because we blew everything up before it became a problem, killed it on the third or fourth pull with a tank dead from halfway through the fourth door. We interrupted stuff occasionally, we dispelled what we could, we derped around and still found it easy simply because of gear.

In the lock guild, we just didn't produce the same numbers. If we weren't very rigorous about following a strict dps priority, we got overrun by effusions and wiped to poison bolt volleys ruining our day. We had to play in a much more co-ordinated way to produce a kill as a function of having 7-8 ilevels lower gear, and yes I'd say the average ability to realise the potential of the gear into numbers is probably a bit lower for the lock's guild than the warrior's, but if the ilevels had been reversed I'm sure the lock's guild would have strolled through the encounter.

If you can play your class at 100% of potential every single pull you need the absolute bare minimum of gear. If you can't, and let's be honest, very few people genuinely can, then you need a buffer to meet the dps requirements of the fight. Whether that's another 3-4 ilevels or another 15 depends on the skill levels of the raids involved, but to just discount gear as a necessity of raiding is taking a very blinkered view. You simply cannot seperate mechanics from gear, bigger numbers almost always make encounters easier.

However, it's just as blinkered to cling to gear as the panacea to cure all raiding ills though, and it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you allow the "OH GOD WE MUST HAVE MORE GEAR FOR THIS" mantra to become ingrained in your raiders' brains then they stop bothering looking for other explanations or ways to improve and wait for the nerfing effect of more gear, and when they stop seeking to improve their own skill, the only way they will get past encounters that they're struggling with is by getting more gear. Unfortunately this seems to have become a bit of a syndrome in the wider community, and it's really Blizzard's fault for re-casting people's expectations from tier to tier. By having the last few mickey mouse tiers Blizzard have trained their playerbase to expect a certain level of difficulty in their normal content, and the impulse, or even the ability, to analyse one's performance and find ways to improve has simply ceased to exist in a large portion of the playerbase, as they haven't needed to do so.

I hope Blizzard will choose to stick with the model of non-faceroll normals, and the playerbase at large will rise to the challenge, and actually improve, but I'm fairly sceptical given Blizzard's track record of making content more accessible simply through making it easier. If the end of tier numbers come out and show a decline in the raiding population it might simply not make businsess sense for them to repeat this particular experiment. And it's really tragic, because so many of these guilds that will struggle on things like Horridon or Garalon normal will do so not because they're terrible players, but because they don't quite grasp certain tactics or mechanics but they don't recognise that that is the problem.

Another anecdote - this weekend I pugged on an alt and joined a guild run that was progressing Horridon. The raid leader would yell and yell about unimportant stuff while completely failing to lead his raid in any meaningful way, so they managed to get through the poison door one in five tries, and never cleanly. The extent of his raid leading was to yell at people to click the dinomancer orb even after they'd clicked it, and to berate anyone who died from standing in something despite doing it himself more than a couple of times. After 20 wipes or so I mentioned that I had some suggestions that might help, and with some simple fixes such as actually marking the priority mobs, reminding people to position towards the next door, and to save burst cds for certain mobs, we were suddenly getting to the fourth door almost every pull. We eventually wiped to enrage because the numbers weren't quite high enough, but a bit longer and we'd have probably got it, just from some small changes in tactics. But how do you get someone who isn't used to thinking about encounters in those terms to start doing so, if it they don't realise that the problem is their approach rather than what they perceive as either lack of gear or incompetence from their raid?
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