LFD aka Looking for Derps

Sometimes reading MMO forums provides a good chuckle:

You used the LookingForDerps Tool
and then was annoyed when it found some Derps for you……

LookingForDerps Tool – working as intended.


Sad tidings

Today, I log onto the guild forums for my daily rounds, and I find a long post from Epoch saying he is hanging up his mace and shield.  No, it’s not about the content being too hard or the endless wipes we are doing on Heroic modes.  Just simply a RL > WoW thing, which I totally get but it doesn’t make it any less sad to loose one of the backbones of our healing crew.  To the three folks who have departed in last folks … my belated farewells.
Epoch – You were part of the backbone of the healing crew that got us through so much. The earth shield that never faltered, figuring out which totems were missing and getting them cordinated, the countless times you saved me with a riptide from standing in something I shouldn’t have been, my sounding board for healer rage rants, and so many more things.
Zabery – Another recipient of my healer rage sounding boards, waist deep in WoL parses trying to figure out WTF went wrong, pssh innervate – showing other pallies how to do it right, SoR H LK, healycrafting, and so many more things.
Fraithlight – My partner in crime for H LK bubbles, solo disc’ing H LK even tho we all knew your heart was with your shadowform, always willing to switch hit for us when we were short a healy body, and so many more things.
It’s a sad day to see a good healer hang up their mace.
Can’t make real life friends with pixles, blarg… you can too.   You are missed.
As I said late the other night to Epoch…. Life is not about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.

Bots in LFD

It’s bad enough they are ninjaing my herbs, ore, and skins… afking (for all intents) in pvp, but instance botting too?  Grrr!

Last night I was toodling around on one of my priest alts in a friends and family guild on Thunderhorn queueing for LFD randoms in the 55-60 level range.  We zone into Dire Maul, buff up, and start clearing out the trash packs.  The oh-so-friendly mage in the group keeps randomly aggroing packs that the tank is not pulling.  The first time no one says anything… hey, mistakes can happen, it’s a LFD Pug, no big deal.  By the 10th time it’s happened, the tank and myself (as heals) had tried politely asking the mage not to pull before the tank.. then tried not so politely telling him take his freaking frosty water thingy off of aggressive.

At one point in typing a stream of text into party chat I ended up face planted walking into a pillar… guess who else was too?  The Mage.  Hrm.  ::walk circles around pillar:: Mage still following.  Pull up recount, sure enough the only damage at all since we zoned in that the “mage” did was via his pet obiviously set to aggressive… doing a whopping 40dps (everyone else in the group was 175+).

I asked the tank to hold up so we could deal with the afk mage, I also whispered the tank I had a strong suspicion the person was botting.  Lack of damage, no afk tag, and auto-following the healer.  I tried “phishing” the bot by whispering him and got “hmm?”, “busy”,  and “No I dont have time for a group”  — really? yet your in LFD.  We couldn’t kick the bot because we hadn’t been in the instance long enough.  The group then took on a new mission:  Kill the bot… except for the fact it ice blocked at 30% every time and dropped aggro.  We tried this until the timer came up, when it did tank in the group posted “time to kick the bot”.   Immediately after it was posted the vote kick box came up, and everyone quickly voted yes…. then /facepalmed when we realized the bot had initiated a kick on the tank that posted the word “bot” in party chat.    Any time someone put the word “bot” in party, the bot attempted to kick the person.  After the first kick, we were at least smart enough to look hard at the party member being voted on.  Sigh.  Needless to say the group fell apart.

Many of you know that I am very opinionated on the chaos that botters, hackers, gold sellers and buyers bring to the game economy and quality of life.  Not to mention the narsty identity theft / credit card mis-use that has stemmed out of some of the gold sellers sites.  I won’t bore you with paragraph after paragaph of why’s… it’s bad, and more importantly, it’s not worth it.

How many times have you spotted and herb or mine and swopped down to get it only to see it poof?  Too many, for me.  On any given farming session for Cata herbs or Ore, I easily see 10 or more floating around.  Usually they are the automation bots, but rarely will also see the wall hackers / speed hackers zipping around under ground in uldum at sub level 75 mining and herbing.  I just cannot express how over joyed I am that Blizzard is finally coming to the plate and cracking down on the botters out there.  Banwaves went out this past week of hundreds of folks that were using botting program for archelogy (Source: Arena Junkies forum).  Folks were permenantly banned without a warning being issued — this is, seemingly, a new iron fist for Blizzard as a lot of folks are whining that botting usually nets you a 48 to 72 hour ban.

While I wish Blizzard would have come down just as hard on herb/mining/skinning botters and PVP botters in the same brush stroke.  Guessing archelogy was just easier to catch / identify.  It does look like the are continuing to persue at least the PVP bots (Source: Bashiok).

I put a GM ticket in about the botting mage.  In the past, I normally just get the blanket blah blah blah we’ve recieved your complaint and will investigate, but we won’t be able to tell you what happened due to privacy.  This time I recieved a response from a friendly GM that pointed me to the direction of the Hacks Reporting Form.   <3  this form lets you type in more than 255 characters, and really give Blizzard detailed information on what you found.  Be sure to include items such as:

– Character name & realm
– Date and time (server)
– Details

If you have screenshots or other items you want to attach to the complaint you can do so by submitting the same information to hacks@blizzard.com.

WoL: Combat rezzes

Borne out of recent frustration on no longer having a battle rez and watching the raid falter/dps die due to a tank death. Listening on vent as the tank death is called, a druid calls out on cd, another druid calls out it’s available, RL making the decision if the tank should come up or not and communicating it to the raid, then finally getting one of the druids to cast the rebirth. In the mean time whatever they were tanking is happily whacking on non-tanks until he can be taunted by another tank — who probably is already tanking something. Time elapsed: way too long.

World of Logs Magic:

Expression editor:

(spell = "Rebirth"and fullType = SPELL_RESURRECT)
( fullType = UNIT_DIED and targetType= "Player" )

WoL Source

[20:33:04.610] Celdrid dies
[20:33:20.689] Celdrid dies
[20:33:30.761] Rena dies
[20:33:36.268] Doubtbringer casts Rebirth on Celdrid
[20:34:05.271] Stidfolle dies
[20:34:18.883] Hallibel dies
[20:34:18.883] Talayska dies
[20:34:37.078] Kallipsa casts Rebirth on Stidfolle

Toss this in excel, remove the deaths that weren’t rebirthed, then do some math on the durations:

Then copy and paste the durations grouped by roles into a new sheet:

Overall Stats:
25 Rebirths, average time from Death to Rebirth cast 37s
1 wasted CD (same person was rezed by 2 people)
Best 3.6s, worst 3m 22s.

8 Tank: Avg 15.4s, Best 4.2, Worst 38.9s
5 Healers: Avg 24.6s, Best 3.6s, Worst 1m 4s
12 DPS: Avg 51.9s, Best 10.2s, Worst 3m 22s

I think we can do better…. and I think the reason we are not doing as well as we should due in large part to not having pre-set combat rez order nor information readily available about who has one available. Personally I run ORA3 because it shows me the tanks/external cool downs as well. But if you are looking for something a little less complex DBM’s Raid Lead Tools or Curse: Brez might be more your speed.

If 24 people are alive and your tank dies — unless told otherwise — combat rezz needs to happen quickly. If you have multiple folks capable of combat rezzes, coordinate the order in which they will be used. If it’s not a tank, RL (in our case) needs to make the call on if the person needs to come up taking into acount the current state of the raid and if they are are a healer or hold a special job in the fight (say interrupting). Once the decision is made, the next available combat rezzer should be able to execute this quickly.

Healer core influx

Not sure what we did to deserve the surprise influx of 5 new folks, 3 of which are exceptional healers, but I cannot be happier with the results.  We also more than doubled our dwarf population in the process.  [spell]Stoneform[/spell] ftw!

I’ve never been much for meter whoring (part of why I don’t succeed as well as dps as I do as heals — but that is a whole other can-o-worms).  If I did my job, the raid succeeded, and I didn’t cause any unnecessary damage / fubars — I really couldn’t care where I, or any of my healers, end up on the meters.  That said, when you get rofl stomped from where you are normally… it’s time to dig into the parses and figure out just what the heck you could be doing differently.

For example: On Heroic Halfus I was leaning way to heavily on [spell]Atonement[/spell] and hardly using any of the other tools available to me.  With the Mechanic changes, there is virtually no reason to smite, beyond stacking Evang initially, until the drake adds are dead.  [spell]Prayer of Healing[/spell] and [spell]Power Word: Shield[/spell] — both of which trigger [spell]Divine Aegis[/spell] are worth so much more throughput in the early stages of the fight.  I <3 having another disc priest in the raid that I can learn from.

Watching [armory]Epoch[/armory] and the new resto shammy “hop-scotch” [spell]Healing Rain[/spell]  for the Melee kite path on Maloriak was pretty sweet too.

WoL: Who is using Combat Potions

I thought I would share my World of Logs expression for checking to see who is using combat potions.

((spell = "Speed" or spell = "Indestructible" or spell = "Earthen Armor" or spell = "Wild Magic" or spell = "Volcanic Power" or spell = "Golem's Strength" or spell = "Tol'vir Agility" or spell = "Flame Cap") and (fulltype = SPELL_AURA_APPLIED OR fulltype=SPELL_AURA_REMOVED))
OR ((spell = "Crazy Alchemist's Potion" or spell = "Mysterious Potion" or spell = "Restore Mana" or spell = "Concentration") and type = TYPE_GAIN)
OR ((spell="Time Warp" or spell="Heroism" or spell="Bloodlust" or spell="Ancient Hysteria") and fulltype = SPELL_CAST_SUCCESS)

This expression includes when Lust/Hero is cast as well as when combat potions effects fade. The Lust/Hero was put in to determine who was using potions during it, unfortunately I couldn’t figure out how to display Hero/Lust end without 25 fade messages so that is not included. Shouldn’t be that big of a deal though because it is a known duration. I added effects fade to credit folks for pre-potting. But it also has a secondary benefit of allowing you to use expression for “All boss encounters” filter, rather than trying to parse through when combat started / ended manually.

If you are not familiar with how to use WoL Expression more information can be found on the WoL Forums here.

4pc T11, complete with bird baths

Finally got my 4th piece of T11 last night… the infamous bird baths.  Kinda makes me miss the consta-tree form wherein I could hide blizzard’s propensity to whack gear with the fugly stick.

Ah well, I spend more time looking at grid than I do whatever my toon has equipped.

I will be thankful for the extra spirit though!

Mercurial Mantle
Mercurial Robes
Mercurial handwraps
Mercurial Legwraps

H Halfus – mechanic change

If you’ve been using (abusing?) a disc priest strat for Heroic Halfus you may hear your disc priests commenting that their numbers just are not the same.

Their numbers are just fine… blizzard changed the mechanic of the fight.

Halfus Wyrmbreaker

  • Shadow Nova is now cast less frequently in 10-player modes to account for fewer available interrupts there.
  • The captured drakes in this encounter now apply Dragon’s Vengeance when they are killed instead of when they are freed. To account for this change, the health and damage of the drakes has been reduced, and the damage bonus gained from Dragon’s Vengeance has been increased.

Our first two kills we used 9 healers, 3 of which were disc priests. This weeks kill we used 8 healers and only one of which was disc. Don’t get me wrong — Disc priests are still very useful for this fight with the [spell]Power Word: Barrier[/spell] for the sub 50% knock downs. The ‘OP’ness of the smite / [spell]Atonement[/spell] is just diminished by the spell effects not being magnified until a drake dies. Thus, our strategy had to be adjusted as well.

The old strat of Demo Locks & mages blowing up the whelps while the rest of the raid focused on one of the adds was just not viable after the change in mechanics — both from the raid dps required (without the boost from halfus before a drake was dead) and from the healer mana to omg a tank is dead again stress. We played with a variety of pull changes — 1 – 5 of the drakes being pulled at the start and a variety of kill orders. Finally settling on 2 drakes (Nether Scion and Stormrider) + whelps on pull, with all dps focused on Stormrider. Whelps were intentionally left to die to attrition / cleave and coincidentally died within the 10s of Nether Scion, netting us [achievement]The Only Escape[/achievement]. DPS kill order was Stormrider, Nether Scion, Halfus — with whelp cleavage only after Stormrider was dead. Hero/Lust after tank aggro on Stormrider has been established.

Healer strat changes: 3 disc priests down to 1. Disc priest using barrier early in the fight to help mitigate raid damage, especially if interrupt was missed, and every knock down the CD is up. Up one resto shammy (from 1 to two) — with both tides blown in the first phase (prior to 1st drake dying). Healers focused on intensively on tanks until the dps could get a drake down. Mana is bad, really really horrible until that first drake goes down — don’t be afraid to use your big expensive heals and cool downs right up front. The raid must get over the initial hump and get that first drake down, in order to do that the tanks must be kept alive.

Once Stormrider keels over (star #1 in the pic below), the healers can breath again. The disc priest heals (now boosted by Halfus debuff) alleviate a lot of the pressure on the tank healers and the raid healers can catch up on the straggling low health raid members. By the time the second drake and the whelps die (star #2 in the pic below) you’ll find yourself fumbling for your dps spells because there is just no one taking damage outside of the knock downs. Remember to keep an external CD on the Halfus tank for knock downs and it’s easy money sub 50%.

After we got the pull / kill order figured out, the fight seemed drastically easier than the previous two kills provided you can survive until Stormrider is dead.

LFDs are not always bad

I have remind myself of that sometimes. We tend to gripe about ‘fail’ this or that we get when queuing. However, we do occasionally get the diamond instead of the coal.

So, a moment of thanks for:

– Kick ass tanks that endure solo queuing LFD Heroics. Specifically @[armory loc=”us,lightbringer”]Troubles[/armory] – I don’t think I’ve seen a smoother H GB .. heck any … run, thank you!
– The random dps that blows the meters up despite his or her lack of gear (and plays intelligently to boot). Specifically the enhancement shammy (with not an epic to be found equiped) we grouped with for H SFK, whom I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten your name.
– The rogues that evasion tank / dps warriors that sword and board tank / kitties popping bear to tank the last few percentage of a bosses health.
– The mages that drop tables / Locks that drop cookies / druids that use innervates on the healers when they are oom and battle rezzes when necessary.
– Any class that manages to pull off a cc / kite when we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.
– Anyone who clickes the lightwell (but you only get credit if you do it while in combat!)

We appreciate you!

LFD Kick of the week

LFD queue pops H SFK. Group Comp: I’m on my druid healing, the tank is a Pally, dk dps, dps warrior, and an elemental shammy. As we are pulling trash, I’m thinking yay lots of interrupts for Baron Ashbury.

As we approach the boss, the Tank asks if everyone is familiar with the fight (usually a good sign). Everyone but the warrior answers yes. Tank says something along the lines of just interrupt it’s not that hard… and pulls.

Wipe 1 – 5m later with the boss at > 70% health, I start typing during an [spell]93710[/spell] linking [spell]93713[/spell] and remind folks that it needs to be interrupted every time he casts it. Around the 7m mark I OOM’d and we wiped. Recount shows the tank interrupting [spell]93705[/spell] but nothing else. DK has 1 interrupt of [spell]93713[/spell] and no one else is even on the list. Ugh.

Wipe 2 – We all run back, except for the tank… who I rezzed, buffed and sat down to drink when I got back. Tank posts a snide comment in chat about the healer not being very good and immediately pulls at sub 50% health. We wipe again past the 5m mark, with the boss having healed multiple times due to missed interrupts.

Wipe 3 – I asked in party chat to interrupt [spell]93713[/spell]

Wipe 4 – Tank berates my “bad” healing once again, blaming the wipes on heals rather than missed interrupts.

Keep in mind that none of the attempts have been less than 5m, and that the boss should have been easily kill-able in less than that if the interrupts went off seeing how each dps was exceeding 9k dps.

5th time is the charm right? I whisper the DK, shammy, and warrior and ask them to please please interrupt the [spell]93713[/spell] and remind them all the dps in the world does make a difference if the boss heals for 25% of his health every time they miss it.

And the boss finally goes down… length of fight 7m 33s. 2 innervates + 2 ToLs used.

The interrupt totals: Tank: 4, DK: 2, Warrior: 0, Shammy: 1, Resto Druid: 4.

Yep, I went bear form and [spell]80964[/spell]’d the freaking heal.

Feeling spiteful, I posted the interrupts to the party chat. Tank then asked me why I just didn’t interrupt from the start. To which I responded, my [spell]80964[/spell] has a 1m cooldown and requires me to be in bear form which, by the way, I can’t heal in.

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