Patrolling Goldshire..

A rather interesting announcement from the blues in the US, they will be randomly patrolling Goldshire on Moon Guard to crack down on ERP, or at least overt ERP and all it’s associated problems.  Unless they’re willing to perma-ban players or cancel accounts I’m not convinced they’re going to achieve anything.  ‘Sensible’ ERPers are already doing this stuff in out of the way places and in /p or /w, the morons who insist on broadcasting their cybering to the area are fulfilling another kink which is being exhibitionists without actually doing anything more than bashing some keys.  They love the idea of being dirty and flirty in public, put them in the situation in real life, most of them would run faster than a puma with it’s tail on fire.  It’s why they congregate in Goldshire on most realms (alliance side, I’m not sure where the cow fanciers head).

So likely upshot of this, some publicity for Blizz  showing that they’re cracking down on the problem, possibly cleaning up Goldshire on Moon Guard but like the sewer rats they are they’ll just move on and create a new nest somewhere else.

Levelling as Protection

So I’m back into my levelling comfort zone, bringing a baby tank into the world but with all the experience I’ve built on a raiding tankadin and what I’ve picked up from tanking with both my DK and furball of doom.  It’s certainly less painful than it used to be, partly thanks to knowing that the AH exists (something I missed for the first 20 or 30 levels on my Paladin) and having a more relaxed attitude to gold, gear, buff food, health pots etc etc.

As I levelled Korenwolf there was always in the back of my mind “I’ll keep _thing_ for when I really need it”, of course this meant my bags filled with scrolls, pots and food which never got used and dropped below the threshold of usefulness as he moved through the zones.  This time around on the warrior I’m merrily mashing away, popping the buffs even if I’m only going to be on for another 20 minutes, who cares that I’m not getting the full duration from them.

I’ve proved in a number of instances (Ragefire, DM, Stockages & SFK) that she’s more than capable of picking up mobs and holding them off the DPS, or at least where the dps are working with me and not against me and I’m quite enjoying it.

Levelling is of course easier in that she’s being levelled as part of a team with SWMBO’s priest who’s bringing the dps big guns with a side order of healing to allow the Gnomelette to pull silly amounts of trash into a single killing zone, or indeed to survive picking up the extra patrol where as a solo warrior she’s be studying the floor at close range (again).  Of course I have to be careful to remember I don’t have the insta-aggro of Korenwolf or his survivability tricks (thank you ardent defender).

More on this as she levels up to 40 and into the big time.

Don’t stand in the…

You know what, I’m going to argue for standing in the fire / void / green / directly in front of the dragon.

No, my inner tank or healer has not taken leave of their senses.

So, go stand in something bad,and learn from the pain, how much pain are you taking, does it interfere with what you are doing (slow effect on casts, interupts, debuff on damage / healing being dealt)?  Are you taking large amounts of damage which are causing the healer to stress, how geared is the healer.  Is standing still in the bad causing the tank any problems?

For example, Keristrasza in the Nexus does a rather nifty stacking damage debuff which can only be cleared by moving.  Tanks have varying strategies for dealing with this ranging from  “run around lots”, “strafe a bit back and forth” to the “Tigger”.   However from a tanking perspective one of the keys is to keep the boss as static as possible to allow the melee dps maximum uptime for spanking.  The debuff with current gear levels is actually trivial, additionally it only stacks to a maximum of nine.

So, as a tank I take 900 damage per second once it’s at the maximum and have a slowing effect on attack speed, all of which is managable for the current duration of the fight.  For the dps the effect is more critical not so much for the damage but for the cast/attack speed debuff, but there is no immediate need to clear the debuff by interupting a cast or two, particularly if there’s a rather tasty proc which needs using up.

I guess part of what I’m arguing for here is “know the effect of the debuffs”, “know when to move to minimise stress on other group members and to maximise output”.

Or alternatively “no pain, no gain”.

gearscore, just say arrgh..

Gear score (GS)
def: An attempt by programmers to resolve a social / meatspace problem.

This I think pretty much boils down the reasoning behind GS.

The Problem

PUG Raid leaders particularly have a difficult job for the current tier of content ensuring that those wishing to join have levels of gear and experience are up to the task.  WoW by it’s very nature is very very arms length, there’s no way of properly interviewing someone in the timescales for a pug to see if they’re capable of holding the position.  Inspecting gear is time consuming and doesn’t report on the stats and the armoury can be out of date giving inaccurate information (the tank who logs out in his soloing dps spec for example).

The “Solution”

A way of mangling up iLevel, stats, and build into a pretty colour coded number making it easy to judge the capability of a player before inviting them to a raid / dungeon run.

Epic fail ready to go

In which we spot the flaw in the process.  We can express it as a simple equation

Skill != Gear

but surely if they have the gear they’ve been playing enough to build up basic competencies at the role.  Really… are you sure?  My bear has a decent score, however I know he’s the weakest of my tanking alts simply through lack of play time in that role.  I don’t instinctively know where the cooldowns are, where the taunts are, how to properly manage my rage, when to blow rage on a cooldown etc etc.  Why?  I’ve respecced the chicken form into bear and generated the gear by running in my ICC25 geared tree form.

What about that DK… awesome score, well apart from the spell plate…. and the cloth because we all know spellpower is epic for Death Knights?  Are you sure you’ve never seen an alt with itemisation which made your eyes bleed (retadins wearing def plate, using taunt because “it helps my dps”) etc etc?

What about that disco priest, with the average iLevel which was only just popping 200, the one which healed his way through Pit heroic without a problem, that’s right, no problems (a bit tight on cooldowns) but who several days later on better gear couldn’t save a tank from suiciding on mobs.

So, remember gear is a factor, achievements are a factor, but still the largest factor which can’t be quantified through simple data inspection is the player, meatspace capabilities still reign supreme in WoW and long may it be so.