Tag Archives: Hunter

WoW – Tanks Don’t Want to Deal With Your Crap!


Since the advent of the so-called Holy Trinity of MMOs there has always been a slant towards Tanks as being the heroes of our gaming lives. Afterall, without a tank the group would go nowhere, almost as critical therefore is the Healer whose primary responsibility is keeping that chap alive.

When I first started off playing WoW and got to the maximum level I was a Priest. I went around healing dungeons and eventually raids. The original group we started with on Argent Dawn was friends and we managed to pick a tank, dps and healer without any prompting whatsoever. This allowed us to level together through dungeons and we 3 manned a lot of the content on the way to Outland, the end game content at the time.

Through this experience I then took my Priest through Northrend and this toon was my first 80. I had the Shaman that would become my main still there but once again took up my healing reigns. Therefore I’d link to think that I am well-versed in the stresses that are placed on a player in a dungeon environment from this point of view. My Shaman is focussed around DPS (although I currently have a Resto off-spec but want to see what Enhancement is like once I finish collecting the pieces for it) and it is much more relaxing (in general) than trying to keep people alive, especially people who seem oblivious to damaging effects that they are standing in.

I’ve done the healing game, I’ve done the DPSing from range, therefore the only real things left to me are the melee DPS and tanking. I did do some tanking in Wrath. I created a Death Knight and tanked through all the normal dungeons until they threw in the major changes to Death Knights just before Cataclysm. I never therefore did any Heroics.

I’d done some tanking on other characters over the years, I had a feral Druid once and done some Pally stuff with friends again before Cataclysm. I made a post when the new 4.0 patch hit about a new character I’d created, the amazingly witty named Hotplate, a Blood Elf warrior that I was going to tank with. She is now sitting pretty at level 19 after a couple of nights of questing and dungeon running and therefore I thought I’d put down some of my experiences with the tanking side of the game, things I have come across during the higher level shenanigans of my Death Knight as well as the lower level antics of the warrior.

With my main being a DPS character now I’d like to think I have a handle on that side of things, therefore with tanking I should be able to prepare for the DPS, however, tanking seems to put you in a different mindset and on LFD when not with guildies you seem less likely to put up with having to deal with crap from anyone. I’ve noticed this from others as well as in part myself. So, what is it that drives these tanks to such distraction?

Marking mobs – somewhat of a lost art, even in our post Wrath-AOE everything world. Crowd Control is a skill that can be used effectively when properly coordinated. These days we have things like hex/sheep pulling back to the fore, always at the tanks request of course. Just grabbing all the mobs together and trying to AOE them down is not the always viable tactic it used to be. CCing just one mob can make a pull significantly easier for all parties involved. However, what really irks me when I am tanking is that if I take the time to mark mobs (not always necessary in lower end dungeons) you can bet your ass that at least one of the DPS (normally a Hunter by coincidence) will pick whatever they want. I follow the generally accepted international convention of Skull for the first mob and then X if we need to mark a second mob. Yet, time after time, at least one of the DPS will go for the other mob rather than the quite clearly labelled skull.

This behaviour means I am getting less likely to try to put aggro on that mob and hopefully it will go chew on the guy shooting it, unfortunately in low-end stuff the mobs are pretty easily soloed anyway, especially for the aforementioned Hunter.

Am I going too slow for you? – The frenetic pace demanded by some LFD participants towards the end of Wrath is well documented. I’ve been in numerous instances where one of the DPS, normally a caster in this instance, is spamming GOGOGO!!!! into the party chat. While this can pretty much be ignored for the most part what really gets my goat (or Draenei I suppose) is the retards that take it upon themselves to pull the next group of mobs. I had a very special snowflake of a Hunter in my last Wailing Caverns group that would do this every single pull. I told him that I didn’t want him pulling and would start living by the rule “You spank it, you tank it.” However, a Hunter can easily topple the mobs in that place so even though I stopped taunting stuff off him it was killed pretty easily. Pulling before the tank is ready (who is also watching the Healer’s mana bar) is asking for trouble that can easily be avoided.

AGGRO!! – My tanking at the moment is done on my Warrior, I’ve also done the Bear tanking too. At my level my Warrior can’t do a charge into battle, I don’t have the ranged pulls that Paladins do for instance, I have to wade on in an spank stuff. While being a tank means that I am watching the mana/focus levels of my Healer and DPS to make sure we can get through a fight the reverse doesn’t seem to be true. Utilising rage normally means that for the first pull of the dungeon or after a boss is downed we’ve rested and I don’t have a store of rage. The way I build it is to be hit or hit things myself, however, the rest of the group seems blissfully unaware of this concept and I imagine that many of the people I come across are not playing their first character either. Yet, time after time, I go in to try to grab the mobs and so the DPS unleash all hell like if they waited for a few seconds the world would end. Normally this means one mob going for the Hunter as he ignores the skull and various other scuttlings if someone has decided to AOE everything. This means I am getting less rage and have less chance of rounding things up quickly, I have not been called a bad tank because of this but can imagine people thinking that as I obviously have no control over the pull, despite this being the DPS not giving the time required to generate the rage. I am sure this will be less of an issue as I get higher and can generate more rage more quickly but it annoys me that I have 0 Rage in my bar and the rest of the group still go bats*** crazy on the mobs as soon as I hit one. Would it kill you to wait? Probably not but then you might lose precious DPS on that Recount monitor you are glued to…

And finally just a shout out to a very special snowflake I had the joy of being in a group with for a RFC run. This was our healer, when you first come across the Troggs there are a couple of pulls you do before taking on Oggleflint, the first boss. Our healer decided it would be funny to run in, pull the whole lot and then leave the dungeon!

I don’t care who you are and how funny you think this is, wiping a group like that just makes you an asshole! No ifs, no buts, it is not funny. People generally use LFD for a quick run to get loots and improve their level, they don’t want to deal with that kind of asshatishness at all. Would your guild accept that if you did it in a raid? No, so get over yourself and treat the other people in your group with the respect you’d want to be treated with yourself.

If we each followed that advice we’d make LFD a much nicer place to reside and more tanks might join in. As it is I can see why tanks are somewhat of a mythical creature due to their necessity but lack of desire to deal with all the crap that can be flung their way. I’ll stick with it because the gameplay is rewarding but I can imagine myself less and less willing to put if with crap during my relaxation time when I choose to do a thankless job where I have to do a lot more than when I button mash on my Shaman!

Advertisements

Concepts In Gaming – The Myth of Balance


Time to sink our collective teeth into another of the meaty topics related to gaming. Whether you lean more towards the tabletop world or the virtual world there is an often quoted and talked about concept that has the potential to construct a perfect storm of CAPS LOCK fury and ‘Rage of the Nerd’ (TM). Any game that has more than one player in it strives for this singular achievement of gaming, as the title of this post has already not very subtly alluded to, that principle is balance.

This really is the holy grail of gaming, to have a game perfectly poised so that anything can defeat anything else and it just comes down to the player at the end of the day. What I am going to say is that right up front this is a crock! That’s right, I’m flinging poo at the punters again, not only did I decry Comp the other day but here I am now saying that balance in both tabletop games and online virtual environments is nigh unachievable. We here at 6 Inch Move don’t shy away from the big topics for you to enjoy at home or on the road. Obviously this is a viewpoint that I am going to have to back up. Luckily I have a good number of words left to try to achieve that, so, please stick with me and we’ll see where we end up.

Without the rose-tinted glasses of hindsight I doubt that we can ever come up with a game that was perfectly balanced (other than the original Starcraft, but I am not counting that as we are dealing with tabletop games and MMOs primarily). Both of these spheres have things in common, both tend to go with players on two sides, and each side will have access to various classes/races/armies or whatever. With tabletop gaming you have an army list to pick your units from, this leads to a whole host of different combinations that can be taken, especially when you throw in options for different magic items and upgrades that can alter how your army performs. In MMOs there are race/class combinations as well as differences in gear levels. Now, for MMOs balance is an argument that is almost universally attributed to the PvP environment, the reason I bring tabletop gaming up as well is that, in essence, this is also a PvP arena, one person or a team against another person or team. If one person finds it hard to beat another there can often times be a whine associated with it. Now, I’m not going to tar everyone with the same brush, it is normally the vocal minority that you hear about, they are the ones that are complaining after all and in our hyper-connected Internet world we hear about these things through the communities we associate with.

For wargaming there is an expectation that each army be balanced against all others, that there is no significant advantage gained by taking one army over another. However, if you consider the amount of variety available balancing each and every possible combination is next to impossible. Personally I don’t think any combo is unbeatable, you may have to come with up some inventive tactics or strategies and shy away from that one favourite unit you have in order to overcome something you struggle against. Sure I can understand the argument that if you bring an all-comers list you should have a good chance of beating your opponent but there will always be bad match ups. This happens in real life as well, some forces are better equipped than others yet they have stood up and made an accounting greater than they should have. The same can be true of our war games.

In an MMO environment I am even more dead set that balance is something that should not really even be considered. If I run around as a Holy Priest for instance, why should I be entitled to think that I can beat any pure DPS class or tank? I CHOSE to heal my team mates, it is their job to protect me so I can protect them. In one way the balance comes from the team and any team that has damage dealing and healing should steam roll any other team that is missing one or the other. I took a lowbie character into a Warsong Gulch match a few months back and we were faced with a team of 8 or 9 Hunters. In the 11-19 bracket that meant we just go walked all over because we couldn’t match their damage output and we had next to no healers (I myself was a Hunter on the side getting pwned). With WoW as a specific case I don’t think the classes are balanced around PvP anyway, more that they are looked at in PvE and PvP is just an addition. There was a lot of this in SWG too, PvP was a pretty big part of the game with the Galactic Civil War period, yet anyone that played a class that could attack the Mind pool of player was pretty much guaranteed to win.

If the only thing to happen was a one vs one then the game could strive to achieve a certain balance, but each person would have to have the same abilities and the same core design to allow only player skill to show through. In order to make an engaging game you lose this aspect, especially when other players are brought into the mix. Sure it can be frustrating to get absolutely spanked in a situation where you have no chance of doing anything else but everytime some people band together and start using teamwork things get a lot better. There is much more to a game than one thing being able to beat another or even the Starcraft like Rock, Paper, Scissors (Lizard, Spock). Balance is an unachievable Holy Grail in an environment that almost discounts balance at its heart. Sometimes you will win, sometimes you lose, this is a life principle and rather than just whining about we lost and such and such an army or class is broken we should suck it up, look at what we did and what happened and try to learn from that. Afterall, retreating from a fight is not always a sign of cowardice, feigned flight can be a strategy in and of itself and while you are alive you have a chance to fight back.