This crabbiness is inspired by BRK. Not caused by, just inspired by. In BRK’s latest post, he said something that reminded me AGAIN of something that’s been bugging the shit outta me: players on a team that aren’t team players.
To quote BRK;
WoW is NOT a DPS race.
It is fun to compare damage-output but you don’t get better loot if you do more DPS than the other members of your raid. If you are not causing wipes, not grabbing aggro, not FD’ing trash mobs onto your healers, are chain-trapping when required, and doing a respectable amount of damage, your guild will be more than happy you’re along for the ride. A rogue who does 1200DPS but grabs aggro and gets squished will not be loved as much as a hunter who does 700DPS and never disrupts the tank’s or healers’ jobs.
Last week my guild’s Group 2 tried to run Karazhan. I say tried, because most nights we just didn’t quite have enough players to form the Group and go, so it ended up getting called off about half the time. Which is, yeah, very frustrating, but what can you do? We all have lives. And I’d rather have too few players that are all damn good, which we ahve, then plenty of players available, half of whom are asshats. Those nights we DID go, we kicked massive butt, frankly, and I personally credit our healers, who are pretty damn on-the-spot. Our DPS ain’t bad, but, well… they don’t keep me alive. So screw ’em. (I’m joking, Respy. Honest. :P)
In it, Doomilias accurately stated;
But it’s poor practice to stunlock everything when your tank is focused on a single target. Your intentions are good, but they are more of a hinderance than a help. Not allowing your tank to get hit will also keep him from generating the rage necessary to use his abilties (shield bash, sunder, etc.) in a threat generating manner.
He then goes on to provide what sounds like excellent advice for the young Rogue about town for when stunning is appropriate in an instance/group setting. He’s the expert, I’ll take his word for it.
We follow that with Of Teeth and Claws, where Karthis posted two great articles that go great together, Rage, The Currency of Tanking, and Rogue Let Me Get Hit!. These two provide insight for the non-Druid in how a Druid gains Rage, and why preventing the Druid from getting hit is a BAD THING.
To quote/paraphrase Karthis;
Rage Gained from Suffering Damage – Every time an enemy lands a successful physical attack that causes you to suffer damage, your rage total increases. (If you are shielded in some way, and are hit but take no damage, you gain no rage.)
The formula Karthis provides is that @ level 70, Rage = 0.0091 * amount of damage taken. And plugging in numbers as an example, getting hit for 2500 damage = 23 rage gained.
The lesson to learn from that is that a Tank COUNTS on getting hit to generate Rage. The dance is to take enough damage to get Rage to generate Threat, without taking TOO MUCH damage. This is one reason why it is bad to DI the Tank.
There is one more post that I think is relevant to the discussion. Way back on September 10th I posted I Hate Damage Meters. It is as true now as it was then.
To quote myself, (and why the heck not,);
What Damage Meters do is provide a way for players that get off on bragging that they are better than other players to have some math to prove they are right.
And boy, what do they do to get high up in the Damage Meter rankings? Why they pour out the damage as fast as they can…. and put out so much threat that they pull a mob on top of themselves, and die in one or two blows.
In recent weeks, there has been a big push on the blogs I read to drop Damage Meters as an analytical source in favor of WoWWebStats, and I wholeheartedly endorse this. Big time.
Now it’s time to put all these disparate posts together, to try and form one cohesive whole. And I’d like to do this in the form of a rant. I mean story.
Once upon a time, there was a guild that had two Groups that would go into Kara.
In the first Group, all the big boys and girls knew each other well, showed up on time, and worked well together. They played their characters with skill and daring, and made the bosses dance to their tune. And all was well in the world.
In the second Group, things were not quite so rosy. There were just not enough players in the guild to make up a full reliable second Group that also had a solid mix of classes. And so these most excellent players sought throughout the lands, desperate to add more brave knights, wizards and witches with which to assail the dark castle.
In many cases, some players may have been pushed a little hurriedly through the attunement process, and their gear could stand some improvement before they would truly be ready for Karazhan. But the new players quickly showed that whatever their gear, their skill and daring were second to none! And bosses began to dance the tune for Group 2 as well.
And then along came a Rogue… a Rogue that had skyrocketed with amazing skill and powerful DPS from level 50 to 70 in 2.5 months. A Rogue that was eager to run Karazhan, and progress through the bosses. A Rogue that mentioned many times in guild chat the loot he wanted from Attumen, until I verily was sick of hearing it.
Now, abandoning the BS medieval tone here, let’s go over some preliminary observations.
First, from the moment that the Rogue began running in Group 2, I noted that he regularly scored #1 on the Damage Meters. Clearly, he knew how to pump out some solid DPS. And I made lots of rejoicing, because aside from one Retribution Paladin, we had very little regular Melee DPS that could show up for every run.
Around the same time, though, I noticed that the boss and trash fights were getting more difficult than I was used to, from a personal perspective. It was getting harder for me to develop and maintain Rage. But with the way the Group 2 player roster fluctuates, it’s pretty hard to pin down causes for that kind of thing. I could be having an off night, or maybe we have an off-tank that is tanking great, and I’m ending up with the wimpy squishy mobs. Whatever.
It came to a head the other night. With a full crew, we went in after Attumen. Group 2 had become accustomed to having Attumen on farm, and veritably blasting through the early trash mobs to get to Midnight.
We had the Rogue with us, and I noticed on several pulls SPECIFICALLY because I was looking for it, thanks to Doomilias, that several times the mob that I was main tanking would have that tell-tale ‘Stunned’ debuff. I wasn’t generating Rage because I wasn’t getting hit, and the exact same problems I’d been having previously with my Rage draining away from use without refilling were happening again.
This time, I made a point of saying something in our Teamspeak. I can’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of it was, in a nice calm tone of voice, “If you have abilites that cause the mob to be stunned, please do not use them until I have built up some Rage. I need to get hit to build up my Rage, to let me keep aggro. If your stuns are the result of a talent, and are automatic, please refrain from attacking at all until I get some Rage. Again, thank you.” I heard some chatter from others on the Teamspeak channel that made it clear to me that what I said had at least been heard by some folks.
Now up to this point, the Damage Meters had been posted once or twice, with the Rogue on the very top each time. And that is cool.
On the very next pull, everything went smoothly. It was the four pull, we tanked the mobs in sequence, the crowd control went by the numbers, healing and DPS were kickass, and everything seemed back on track. I was VERY HAPPY.
Some son of a bitch posted the Damage Meters AGAIN, and this time the Rogue was at #2. And I noticed it, and mentally praised god that teamwork prevailed over bullshit ego stroking.
On the VERY NEXT PULL, the 5-mob pull before facing Midnight, I positioned myself exactly where I planned to go. The Rogue was where he had been on every pull, in stealth slightly in front of me, between me and the mob.
Everyone was ready, the command for me to pull was given, and I hit a Moonfire and Shifted to Bear. I popped Enrage, and readied myself to begin the pounding.
The mobs do their part, and run right at me. Each mob designated for crowd control gets Shackled, or peeled off for Traps.
My mob, the one I am already mentally referring to as ‘lunch’, comes closer, closer, cloooooser… and then stops dead, OUT of my melee range, stunlocked.
There is only one cuplrit. The bastard had the sheer gall to not only blow off what I said in Teamspeak, he didn’t even wait for the mob to get within my melee range before he opened up!
I shook it off and ran forward to engage the stunned mob and begin building up some Threat, but as my Bears’ Rage dropped down to nothing, my own personal rage was reaching White Hot proportions.
I spent the entire rest of that battle frothing at the mouth, silently, waiting for dribs and drabs of Rage to trickle in, praying that it was enough to hold Threat on the mobs and keep them off the Priests that had Shackled them.
If my own rage could have been loaned to my Bear, I would have been in what Karthis terms an ‘infinite rage fight’.
The Damage Meters got posted again after the fight. Can anyone guess who was #1 again? Anyone?
I said something again in Teamspeak about not stunning the tanks’ target… I do not have it on tape, and brain chemicals prevent me from clearly remembering the details, but I feel it safe to assume that my tone of voice was probably a little cranky… and maybe a teensy bit too loud. And excited.
I made a mental note to myself that night. I’ll put it all down to learning how to play a role as part of a team, and being unfamiliar with the mechanics of Rage and tanking…
But I’m going to make sure that the next time that I run, that I clearly state that the target designated for the Main Tank must be unstunned 100% of the fight.
If, after that, I keep getting handed a stunned-mob sandwich, then I’m gonna leave it to the Group 2 leaders to figure out what to do.
Because having it happen once is frustrating. Having it happen continuously is infuriating. Having it happen forever is bullshit.