Tuesday, September 13, 2011

QotD: Nerfage, Too Soon?

Well, we're still struggling on Shannox.  Two weeks in a row.  After a one-shot.  I hate it when that happens.  Also, I hate hunters.

I think we're having several problems.  Solving any one of them would probably mean success.  We were very close last night several times.

As a DPS, I know we're taking too much damage.  There's just a lot going on and we're not staying out of the bad likely as well as we should.  We've tried to keep Riplimb closer to the raid with the intent of utilizing the crystal traps to help clear debuffs.  We had been doing the ranged thing before, but we would either trigger the distance enrage or not get far enough to drop the stacks.  It strained the healers and relied on us getting slows down, which, in turn, made DPS slower.  Thus, we decided to simply have the tank make use of the traps.  The downside here is that the stupid spear throw tends to cause us more damage.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't here it seems.

Our healers are struggling, this I know, for the health plates tell me so.

Try and get that of out of your head.  Seriously.  In any case, we either run into dead people or mana issues.  The same things that bug our DPS wreak havoc on our poor healers.  We may try some different strategies, but one of the things that had worked well for us is to call out a "Mana Regen" phase right before Rageface goes down.  It helped to coordinate several cooldowns where the healers may be busy regaining mana and a couple of our off-healers can be aware if we get in a bind.

By the end of the night we were consistently getting to the very last phase.  The problem seemed to be that we just couldn't outlast the damage.  We'd lose a tank and then, swiftly, the raid.  And this was with our healers spamming (but usually out of mana).

The easy solution is simply to gear up.  However, all of this may be moot anyway.  Blizz has announced we're going to see a blanket nerf next week.  It seems quick again, but apparently we aren't the only ones who have stalled a bit.  It makes me wonder if they don't have some sort of measurement system that tracks progress and, when a certain percentage of stalling is hit... out come the nerf bats!

A good nerfing is as effective as getting more gear any day.  Easier too.  I have mixed feelings about the speed, but I guess I'll take it.  I suppose it's better to err on the side of "too fast" than "too slow."  What do you think?  Are you ready for a nerf?


  1. I'm not sure if it will be too fast, it seems just right in my opinion. It may seems for some people that they just barely started Fireland but I believe there are more people who have been stuck at various points in Fireland for months (I have not seen any numbers on this but I do remember hearing from Tankspot's PST or Weekly Mammoth when Lore covered this topic). So ultimately it's good to progress pass the roadblock in one way or another to see something else. For instance my guild was stuck at Ryolith for 3 weeks and it was getting to be a real annoyance whenever we get there since no matter how we approach the issues we saw we couldn't over come the encounter with what we had so I'm happy with now being able to just blow over Ryolith every times. I rather see the Major Domo and eventually Rag fights then stuck on wondering why we keep on dying on Ryolith and his volcanoes.

  2. I wonder what plan Blizz is up to. What I mean is they have said that 4.3 will be the last patch for this expansion. With the nerf comming up it seems that 4.3 should be release no later than November timeframe. Now bear with me.

    Cata came out anywhere about a year after the last LK patch was released. And many people said LK was stale and I think Blizz even said it left LK on for too long.

    Now if 4.3 comes out November that means next Q4 of 2012 will be a year. But the next expansion was talked about being released in Q2 or Q3 of 2013. That is 18 months or more of 4.3 before the next expansion if these timelines are correct. Or do we think Blizz is going to release the next expansion in Q4 of 2012 to compete with Diablo 3?

  3. @Kinz - Yeah, I think it'll end up being nice for us. We were perhaps just beginning to get frustrated. I suppose part of me expects that frustration, but why? What does it serve to be frustrated?

    @Zorch - It is a dilemma, no? As long as we're putting on our tin-foil hats: I wonder if the timing is being affected by their super-secret net gen MMO ("Titan" right?)... It would seem to me like they might want to "wrap up" WoW just in time to release Titan and carry all of us over into one big MMO. I don't think Blizz will want to divide their resources and let WoW die naturally, but will rather want it to go out on top, with a bang. If Titan is shaping up, perhaps they just need to move the story along so that we'll get to the "end" in time.

    In short, maybe the decision is dependent on other factors entirely. *shrug*

  4. That is an interesting point. I don't ever recall reading about what happens to WOW after Titan is released.

  5. My 10man just got to Rag for the 2nd time, and we've decided to extend the lockout and try to down him before the Nerf. With the understanding that everyone has different situations-I cant help but be slightly disappointed that the Nerf is happening when we had just gotten into a groove of clearing bosses on one night to work on progression for the next couple. I think part of my issue is that it seems like this tier has been one giant rush-like we were racing against an unknown. It could have been the dailies i felt i needed to do, or maybe because our group had many interruptions to our normal constancy-had to find a new guild, raiders had vacations and moved, whatever...but right when i felt things were becoming less stressful Blizzard comes and basically says hurry up again...this tier has not been as relaxed a journey to me as previous did.

  6. It has seemed a bit face-paced, hasn't it? I'm not sure how much is simply due to comparison with what my expectations were (slow progression).

    I wonder if a lot is due to the seasonal timing as well. A bulk of the content was released during the summer months, which are always more frantic in terms of getting stuff off the ground. Would we have all made more steady progress in the winter?

  7. On other blogs some people point out that Blizz is seeing internal numbers that show a really low number of guilds have progressed even in normal mode. This taken together with the increasing number of people leaving WOW is causing them to try different things.

  8. Yeah, that's probably the best way to judge it I guess, but I find it hard to believe we're progressing any slower than in previous expansions. Maybe the difference now is that they're paying attention.

  9. The last phase trips us up at times as well. Basically the Shannox tank is the key. You lose them you are royally screwed because the OT just cant get to second spot on the agro table.

    Get the Shannox tank to move as you hit phase three - get him out of the traps at are all around him and into some space. They need to pop a big defensive cooldown whilst this is happening because the healers are going to be moving and thus healing output will drop.

    Once Shannox has been moved (and it doesnt need to be far) its just a burn phase. Coordinate healing and tanking defensive CDs. Make sure you range is at max range and all DPS use whatever mitigation they have. Your healers are going to appreciate it.

    Actually I dont know why I am giving raiding advice - I'm shocking at raiding! But good luck


    PSWe actually use the tank running strat very successfully - so dont dismiss it entirely.

  10. I dont want to sound condescending but if you cant get shannox down while i m running 6/7 in pugs for last 3 weeks , then either its the case of gear/raid awareness/tactics. For first one run some T11s ,there are still some pieces(for some classes 4 pc T11 being much better than 3T12 and some assorted trinkets/weps) are there which can help ur raiders.
    For 2nd one .. raid awareness, there is no real solution to it other than wait till ppl learn from mistakes or if they dont (like that paritcular dps getting stuck in traps for the 10th time )then replace them if u got some replacements waiting.

    For 3rd I wonder how you can screwup the tactics for such a simple fight.From the usual cause of fails u posted .. tanks need to be proactive at dropping the stacks and do so while being careful about 60yard limit , i hope you are using world markers placed at 60yards to indicate the safe distance

  11. @Breevok - Yeah, the Shannox tank at the end is definitely our failure point right now. Here's a question I don't see clarified at lot... 2 or 3 healers? We've been trying to two-heal, but I'm not sure we have the gear to do it.

    @Anon - Well, if you take into account how ridiculously casual my raid group is (2 hours per week only), then I don't think it sounds condescending at all. We definitely need to learn more and need more gear. Our tactics are sound, I think, it's just a matter of execution.

    On the other hand, I'd like to know if these are true PuGs, or people you know? I've not seen a lot of PuGs advertised on my server, and certainly not consistent 6/7 PuGs. Heck, most of the PuGs I seem to get into (admittedly not many) have trouble with the 2nd BH boss. I'm probably not looking very hard, though.

    We've really only wiped for maybe 4 hours on this boss... idk, like 25 tries or something? But it was after one-shotting it. We did mix up the team, so several people were brand new to it last week. Also, we're short on gear since we don't really farm (though gear aggregate services say we should be fine). We've been trying to get a second night going for farming because the heroic grind path just sucks. It's tough with such limited time, though.

    In Wrath, we were able to stay on the very back-end of the curve. That is, we would just barely finish as the next patch was coming out. Now that patches are coming a lot quicker, it's a bit of a struggle for us. I'm not complaining, as it's our choice to devote so little time to raiding, but I think it makes sense, then, being so behind. We're where everyone else was months ago.

  12. We still three heal it, the DPS requirement for the fight doesnt feel particularly high - providing you coordinate the transition to the final phase correctly. I was running with Foo the other night and I could sense the difference that dropping Ripfang with Shannox still on 33% or even 32% makes, compared to a perfect transition at 30%. Having a single DPS control this phase change is going to help - because each 1% is 240k extra health on Shannox. If that extra percent or two pushes you into another magma rupture (which increase each time they are cast) then it can be the difference between success or failure.

  13. Okay, cool. We have been trying to two-heal it and keep losing the tank. Probably should try three healing. Then it's more about DPS control and less about living, which is probably a good thing.

  14. @ful, Hmm you got me there, you cant call em true pugs, most of them are alts from the guilds that are already in HC progression, so they know the fights.
    I usually tank on my dk alt (main is a dps ) in pugs as need to keep my gear up to date as I am the back up tank for my guild.So I can tell you why tanks are taking too much damage, they are not dropping their stacks of jagged tear . If a tank is at 3-4 stacks when the last dog is killed the stacks will run up to 8-9 by the time you are in last 10% of boss's health, that and damage from magma rupture will be too much to heal without a judicious use of cooldowns. Tell tanks to save their CD's for last 10-15% and use the external cds (healer cds ) if their health drops low before that.I will again say its more important to drop stacks than a perfect transition,we never transition at 30 coz its too risky, always kill riplimb at 35 and still do fine.

  15. Yeah. It seems there are several ways you can do it, but each way has a key thing. I.E. You can maybe get a little leeway on stacks if you hit the transition just perfect. - OR - You can be more lenient with the transition if you're johnny-on-the-spot with stacks. Seems like we should just pick a strat and get good at it.

    Also, I think three healing would help us a lot. That's going to be our big swap this upcoming week.