Thursday, June 10, 2010

Double Vision, Tunnel Vision

(photo by Jill Fehrenbacher, part of her "Tunnel Vision" series LINK )

Alas, this is my usual vista when I play WoW. I tend to get very focused (or zoned out, if you think about it) and I will often miss things. Part of it is the often mind numbing aspect of RetPal DPS (hounding the action bar to hit spells *just* as they come off CD) or trying to avoid the fire/slime/bad AND DPS, etc etc, and I just don't see what's going on

  • Twice with one group in Forge of Souls I was last man standing, and didn't even realize it.

  • Similar things at least once a week, that I just don't recall.

  • "Stealing" ore from someone else because I didn't see them in a struggle, 5 feet away trying to mine, but getting nabbed by a mob.

  • Etc etc etc

Now, As a "mindless DPS", you can usually get away with this, ESPECIALLY when you out gear whatever content you are doing. But if you get into anything challenging, either personally or as a group, it will cause problems.

A brief sojourn off the path (did I mention I distract easily as well?)

Last night for our frost run, we (Kattastrophe & I) went into Violet Hold. WOOHOO! Fast easy run!

Well, Until the first boss, yes: Xevozz.

Now, keep in mind: I am geared pretty well. About 5,400, with pretty good itemization, gems and enchants. Kattastrophe is 5,700 +, and is healing through Sindragosa in 10 man.

The tank is knowledgeable and does his job, but he's rather low geared (3,200 GS, or there abouts). A few times, I wasn't paying attention and yanked aggro off him, but with Katt's healing, it went well enough. There was a boomkin with us that was keeping pace with me in DPS as well, and a third DPS I am completely unaware of who/what they were.

Regardless, aside from the tank, and maybe an extra DPS, we outgeared the crap out of that place, and neither the boomie or myself really had much chance to get into our rotation before most mobs died.

Yeah, there were a couple mobs I'd have to scoop up that went away from the tank when they spawned, but other than that, easy peasy.

Until Xevozz. Did I mention him?

I've fought him once before. I think. (I have the VH achie, so I must have, but I have zero recollection of it)

So, we start the fight against Xev (he's the first boss we get) and it's going a little slow. Even with nearly 10k total DPS, he's barely dropping in health.

BOOM! - tank's dead

BOOM - I'm dead

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! everyone else is dead.


"Ah, according to wowwiki, the tank needs to kite the boss away from the orb things."

Try again.

A little bit better on DPS, then-

BOOM! - tank's dead

BOOM - I'm dead

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! everyone else is dead.

Now, this isn't just me getting too much damage and not paying attention. It's pretty darned near instant (faster than I could see the damage and try to click something - 29k health gone, in less than a second or two) This time the tank simply had trouble getting the Boss to follow him.

Last attempt, I put on my tank gear and Righteous Fury, and they have me try to kite him.

It worked better, even though I'm having to taunt every time my taunts come off CD. I die, but the rest ended up dropping him.

The best we could figure is that the tank was just so low geared that he had trouble maintaining enough threat to kite, especially with 2 strong DPS, PLUS I'm not sure at that low GS if the tank was def capped (regardless, Katt said he needed a LOT of healing - he was a squishy tank) so that he also had to fend off a CRAPTON of healer aggro as well.

Not a fault of the skills of the tank. He did quite well overall, and the rest of the heroic was uneventful, aside from everyone thanking everyone else for sticking it out (and a couple big shoutouts to Katt for some awesome heals)

Back on message (sort of)

So after our frost run, Katt wanted some help levelling her mage. For her, (at level 69 or so) the LFD queues have been >>20 minutes (if she even gets into one) so we decided to run through one of the Zangarmarsh instances. (Steamvault)

Overall, uneventful, but I hadn't noticed that the final boss could really hit hard on occasion. Well, I was just rolling, BOOM! I got killed. (He was less than 1%, so Katt's mage was able to finish him off)

Katt calls it a night, and one of our online buddies asks if I could give her a hand getting a little exp and rep with Honorhold. (She's on her lvl 74 Prot/Ret pally)

We go into ramps (reg) and I pretty much steamroll the place. The only downside is that she didn't get any rep. (she wants to buy epic flying, so rep discount would be nice)

So, she buys the key, and we decide to run it in Heroic. Now, I've tried to solo the place before in Heroic, and I *know* it's more than I can really handle solo. So, I ask her to DPS when she can, but heal as much as possible.

Overall it worked, but we BOTH suffered from not paying attention.

- Me, I wouldn't notice that she was taking damage (or had died) and I just kept on doing the 969, and tabbing between mobs.
- Her, she would focus on healing me, and not notice that she was OOM, or that she was really low on health, and would get popped.

Now, there was only one or two cases where I simply didn't have aggro and she got attacked. Those I should have taunted off, and she would have lived. The rest? Neither of us were sure, but probably a combo of a few things that led to her deaths (4 or 5 times I think)

- The instance is really near the limit for a tank of my skill and gear
- Neither of us are all that skilled at the class/role we were each doing. She's a good priest healer, and I'm a pretty good Ret Pal. I am less than skilled as a Protadin, and she's not all that familiar with RaidRet.
- Tunnel vision on both our parts

Now, the good thing, was that we both improved. I actually started to get the hang of keeping up 969, Sacred Shield (SS) and Divine Plea (DP) and keeping things moving, target switching and such. (the darkcasters in there are a major pain. The layout isn't great to LoS, and 3 or 4 together of them hit like a truck) She also got better (or learned about) using repentance and such.

The one thing I never thought to ask/mention/suggest was for one of us to Judge Wisdom, and the other to Judge Light. I use Wisdom as a habit. If I were to guess, I would think she did as well. Much pain might have been avoided if we had been careful.

Regardless, we cleared the place without a wipe, though fighting Vazruden and Nazan was a close thing.

Our combined single target DPS wasn't all that great (I'm a bit less than 2k in Prot spec, and she was well below 1k - remember, she was healing too), so that Nazan landed before we had killed Vaz. By this time, I was having mana issues (not sure why) and by the time my friend died (Nazan was at 33% or so) I was essentially OOM.

My health was REALLY low, mana was barely there, so it was a race to the death and I wasn't sure how it would end. I kept adncing and moving to avoid as much fire as I could, kept judging wisdom as it came off CD (or I had enough mana to even cast it) and casting Divine Storm to get a bit of health back (which sucked the mana well dry). Finally the scaly bugger dropped, and we relaxed.

While I'm still not back to my "A" game, the challenges of playing a VERY different spec and playstyle, as well as a fairly challenging environment (H Ramps was, for me at least) definitely sharpened me a bit.

I may even try tanking heroics in LFD now. (though I am still petrified about getting an instance I will get lost in, or one that has a tank/kiting/etc mechanic fight that I'm unaware of) ButI really need to stop running heroics as Ret: it's mind numbing, boring, and teaches me to not think or pay attention.

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