Harping on party politics

I’ve been playing my Paladin a little more the last few days. I really do love Ret, and I decided to see how much trouble I could get into if I just pretended I only had the one spec.

I ended up, two nights ago, getting invited into this wildly successful group that pounded three heroics one right after another, and let me buy the Emblem of Conquest neckpiece for Ret. MmmmMMmm, yummy! This might have had a hand in getting me a little excited too, not that I got an upgrade, but that I got to play! And not in right field, either.

Okay, the prejudice, it felt like it was still there. I was prepared to expect not to get groups as a Ret Paladin.

A group was advertising in Trade channel that they were looking for one DPS for Azjol-Nerub, and it was NOT the daily.

I immediately offered to come DPS… and I got a long, long, long pause before an “okay” and an invite.

Were they throwing down some Pally Ret prejudice? Omigod, should I be all offended?

Nah, I don’t think so, but judge for yourself.

When I joined the group and arrived at Azjol-Nerub, I found out that three of the other four were all from the same guild, the fourth it turned out was a real life friend, and they were all in their own vent. A group that were going to be tight together.


It was a healing Priest, a Death Knight tank, a feral cat Druid and a Fury Warrior.

That’s right, they already had all melee DPS. So, by inviting me, they had to have discussed if they wanted to deal with all melee DPS in Azjol-Nerub before saying “let’s go for it.”

I think that’s a good lesson in not reading too much into a situation, or looking for reasons to be pissy or get offended. I know some folks that would have been so irritated at not being quickly invited they would have gotten on their high horse and refused the group.

But flip it around… have you ever needed one more for an instance or a raid, and used the current composition of your group to decide that some classes would be preferred for the challenge than others?

I know I have. Heroic ToC, forming a PuG, already have a healer, tank and two melee DPS? Sure, I’ll take a ranged DPS from LFG before a third melee, thinking ahead to the Faction Champion’s warrior whirlwind and rogue poison. I’ll still take whoever happens to be in there, but if given a choice, I’ll have a preference, and act on it.

I was invited to group, and we went into heroic AN. I like that instance, btw. Very fun encounters. 🙂 The scope of the encounters always feels like a good balance between all out fury, and fast response and movement.

The second thing I did after beng invited, was to scope out my team. Inspecting them, I found that, as to be expected, Warrior is sporting the Edge of Ruin, everyone has solid epics in the 200 – 226 range, the tank has the Onyxia tanking weapon, everyone is very well geared.

And then there’s me, still in mostly blues. Sigh.

The results?

Well, first, everyone knew the fights, and there was no discussion. It was pull, fight, win, next, but the tactics used clearly showed that everyone else did indeed know about Skirmisher priorities, poison and Pound and all the rest. They started by using marks, but by the time we were at the first boss, that stopped. We knew who to go after and why. 

So it all came down to doing your job, to the best of your ability, with what you had.

I pulled down a consistent 2.3k DPS on every fight… and I came in third behind the tank and warrior. A very, very close third. I was chasing the warrior every step of the way. And I came in way over the Druid, who was running at about 1.7k dps.

We got the achievement for killing the last boss in under 4 minutes (Gotta Go), had a perfect fast clear, and afterwards went and blazed through Nexus and VH, too.

I know I’ve been told that Retribution DPS sucks compared to other classes, and the reason for it is to compensate for a Paladin’s survivability in PvP. I’ve been told that I should just accept that people aren’t going to want a Ret Paladin in their runs, because we don’t, ahem, “put out”.

Well, can I throw out there that, if you decide in advance how a player is going to perform based on looking at their spec and gear, you deserve exactly what you get. 

It just keeps getting driven home for me, over and over. Gear and spec, even achievements do not mean a player WILL perform to a certain level, it only means that it is possible that they CAN perform at a certain level.

Skill and knowledge still matter. At least, reading expert advice from other people, and trying to implement it in your own gameplay matters.

Attitude also pays a key part.

I wanted to do the best I could. I was trying to get my flow smooth and respond fast.

Did everyone else who was there have the same attitude? Was everyone else trying to kick ass, or were some of them phoning it in? Could the Druid have put out far higher damage, and been a more vital part of the run by off-tanking or using stuns or Innervate when possible, but was actually on his cell phone for most of the night and just going through the motions?

Were the other four chatting and joking and doing a nice, relaxed run, while I was trying to prove I could contribute my fair share towards our joint success? I still had fun, darn skippy, but I was definitely trying to step up and do my best.

Doesn’t really matter. We played, we had fun, we won. I got to practise various things in the real world, and found a few things that were stupid mistakes.

Like, oh, having my Taunt button next to my most used attack button. That was simply brilliant.

Nothing is quite as much fun as thinking I’m the Druid tanking badass, and having to apologise to someone for pulling aggro because I taunted off the tank. 

And now, to move from that simple story of an evening’s fun, and on into the true topic of discussion.

It’s funny, but it seems like I see more people using Gear Scores these days, while I want to go in the exact opposite direction. 

What do Gear Scores and other related websites or addons really do?

In nuts and bolts terms, they provide someone with a means to judge the potential of a complete stranger, to determine if they will be an asset to your group. 

They serve as a replacement for judgment and personal experience with other people.

What you really want to know when you are trying to build a group, is “Does this player have the gear, knowledge and skill to help us win, or will they be ignorant and full of fail?”

You cannot accurately measure someone’s knowledge or skill from spec, gear scores, or achievements. You can’t tell what their attitude is like, or how focused and driven they will be to help the group succeed.

You can demand that people have certain achievements, in the hopes that this will prove they know the fight already and are good enough to have earned it. But all that really proves is that their character was there when it happened.

As an example, what if they were there as a DPS spec the last time, know the fight from that point of view and only that point of view, and now you’re bringing them into your pug as a healer?  Sure, they have the achievement, but they might still know nothing about the healing aspects of the fight.

You can also demand that a player’s gear reach a certain value to prove that they have the potential raw brute power necessary to overwhelm the content. That’s not going to tell you if the person knows to get the hell out of the fire, or that they’re concentrating on your raid instead of splitting their attention watching an episode of Bleach on the TV in their dorm room. No matter how precise the algorithm used to determine gear value against class and spec, you can’t get into the player’s head.

 And I think that’s why I, along with most of the people I play with, think that raid leaders who keep lists of who has been good in pugs, and who wasn’t, and try to only reinvite the players that they know from personal experience can play with skill and determination will always eventually enjoy greater success than random pugs. 

But that doesn’t stop them forming, all the time.

I still think it’s funny, but also a little sad. There will always, it seems, be people that want to win or to succeed, or get their raid on, but don’t want to have to put forth personal effort. People that want to shut their brain off and let something else make the decisions for them, even an automated addon, so they don’t have to take the time or make an effort to do it the right way. 

I wonder… how many of these people then bitch, piss and moan when the raid isn’t successful?

38 thoughts on “Harping on party politics

  1. My guild checks gear for PuGs in raids (we almost never have to pug at this point) and I do a quick check when I run heroics. My inspection usually consists of me mousing over people’s character portraits to see if they have the health and mana to run heroics. If the healer is OK I generally deal with everything else. My gear is good enough to drag a couple poorly geared DPS through most heroics.

    Which brings me to my shameful, shameful story…

    I see in trade that a group needs a tank for the daily, HoL. I offer my service and my mouseover inspection yields worrisome results. I ask who the healer is, and it’s a shaman with frighteningly low health and mana totals. When one of the DPS see that Undergearedshaman is healing (for the first time too), he switches to a healer so now we just have 3 blue/green DPS and an appropriately geared healer. Apparently their guildies, but their guild is low on tanks. Anyway, I explain that it’s a tough instance and I’ll tank it for them, but I can’t wipe all night and then… I personally cause our only wipe when I forget about the patting boss. It was far from a speed run, but they performed admirably though their low health meant that a couple of them exploded when they saw Loken.

    The worst part was they were so nice when I was eating my words after our run. They kept thanking me for not judging them for their gear scores while I was feeling like a jerk for doing just that.

    So while there are definitely some gear requirements for harder content (especially for tanks) I’ll never judge a PuG in heroics again.


  2. It’s a nice read.

    I was about to reply about our “system” of determining if we want certain people in our pugs, but it seems that Runycat was a lot faster. The comment about guild tags is very true – and it works very well, especially for a pretty small server that I’m on. You just know, that guy is from a not very good guild that’s still stuck somewhere, that other guy is from a guild that does all content without a problem. And above that, if you pug around, you should have a pretty good knowledge about what the puggers are capable of – though that counts more for healers and tanks, and rarely for dps, unless they did something really bad.

    And Gearscore is pretty much irrelevant anyway with all the badge gear that’s availaible. You can have pretty nice gear and still suck (or be a total jerk), so why even bother looking at it. 🙂
    .-= Saithir´s last blog ..Apparently I’m a worst warrior up to date. =-.


  3. Perfect example — i normally pug 25 ony on weekends on my druid alt (usually as one of 3 trees =_=). Last weekend i got a tell from a guildie on his alt asking if i wanted to go so i said sure. Long story short, they were doing gear checks and booting anyone who didn’t have a gear score of at least 4000. We wiped 5 times before i left raid. I tried again that weekend 3 more times and the pug had about the same composition each time and it was just a huge wipefest. Just because you have gear doesn’t mean you can follow simple directions such as don’t stand in flame breath and don’t aoe whelps until they’re pulled to the middle!


  4. Hey… you can do a whole new article on player names (idea prompted by ‘thebitterfig’). Uh, at least I should edge-out a toon named Bartsimpson.

    I think Neil hit the nail on the head with his suggestion that the long pause you experienced was the requester dealing with a truckload of pst’s (lol… or at least two). During Hollow’s Eve, I remember doing the HH a quite a few times early on and even one time having to “LF1M DPS HH”… omg, I’ve added that experience to my resume to be air traffic controller at Newark.

    Hope everyone is doing well.


  5. This is me having to run out the door so I quit reading when I saw the bit about ret can’t “put out” . Jeebus who told you that? The only place where Ret has issues are movement intensive fights that don’t allow them to maximize things like consecrate. Emelon is tough for a ret with target switching, but give them the room to “stand and deliver” and they are one of the best DPS classes. This is part of the reason for incoming nerfs in 3.3.

    Just sayin’


  6. I hate the Gearscore addon, luckily it’s only popped up a couple of times on our server, and when it does people go crazy telling them how stupid it is to judge people’s “gearscore” and they’re exactly right.

    I understand people wanting the achievements linked, though if you can prove that another of your characters has done the fight and you know it well enough, that should be enough. Sadly, it isn’t always. In fact, even if you can briefly explain the tactics? Sigh. The people forming these kind of groups are a little bit stupid.

    The kind I like is the “come to this place so I can inspect you, then I may invite you” because that allows for the raid leader to see if a person has specced well, put effort into their gear and is also geared correctly for whatever encounter, rather than having full arena gear, or a paladin with attack power gems, and so on.
    .-= Jaedia´s last blog ..Relationships Within Azeroth II =-.


  7. I’m not sure where the whole meme regarding Ret DPS being lacking has come from. It’s certainly not the case in my guild – we have two well-geared rets, my main is one fo them. We’re rarely out of the top 4 ‘overall damage done’ in 25-mans and we’ve a few mages and hunters putting out 5-6k on fights like Anub in TOTC. My retting guildy who’s gear is a little better than mine has hit 10k DPS over the course of the Twins and, as a guild, we’re core to the team that’s 4/5 in TOTGC.

    Ret is not weak.

    Ret does require some skill to maximise though. Knowing when to switch seals (e.g. to command for Ony’s whelps), keeping in melee range and behind your target. Paying close attention to your gear and enchants to maintain hit and exp caps (same for all melee really).

    Some fights really don’t flatter a ret when you have enough target switching to mean your stacks drop off then you just suck it up. All classes have fights where they can excel or will just be a warm body making up the numbers.

    I think Bliz will continue to balance the clases and we’ll see more variability from skill than purely from class mechanics. Well, I certainly hope so.
    .-= Ulv´s last blog ..Trial of the Grand Crusader 10 – Jaraxxus is Dead! =-.


  8. @ Random Poster:

    Haha i read you. On be.imba.hu i got a really nice score – thats when im not crit immune, way from hit capped and have almost no expertise (saying as a tank i would be failmachine wearing those gears) -> but 36.2k hp unbuffed and near 560 be imba score. it works… i put on my other gear when we are inside the instance. =)


  9. Gearscore, Acheivment links, pugchecker, armory lookups are just tools, in fact each one is a pretty good tool at what it does. A Group/Raid leader are perfectly within their own rights to use whatever tools they feel comfortable with to help make sure the group/raid they are organising is successfull.

    They all can help a leader as part of their decsion making process, each one giving bits of infomation that forms a whole picture. How much of the whole picture a leader needs is down to their own comfort level and how much risk they are willing to take.

    The problems occur when people start following a single metric of one tool and use it blindly, effectly the tool is controling their actions, they have become the tool of the tool.

    Personally I like gearscore, but i also know the day I start saying “I’m only going to group with people over x points in Gearscore” is the day it will come back and bite me in the arse with a fail group.

    Use the tools available, but be turned into a tool yourself


  10. I get that as a Shadow Priest – Most 25 pugs only want one so once they have their quota when replying to LFM a couple of times I’ve asked ” Full up on shadow p’s?” after no reply to a very decent proposition by myself, and their response is “Yeah sorry”
    .-= Zahrah´s last blog ..BG raging. =-.


  11. GS requests have gone insane on my server, and I flat refuse to answer the question. I’ll either respond that it’s more than enough for the content, as I have done all current content outside of ToGC, Yogg, Algalon and some of the Ulduar hard modes, or I respond with something more useful, like the dps I managed the last attempt. If they pester for it, I’ll tell them to look it up themselves or ignore the repeated request.
    In doing this, there are runs that I haven’t gotten into, but I think that the RL’s that have such hard-ons for GS probably wouldn’t run a raid I’d enjoy much either.


  12. I think the melee DPS hate is a bit of a double-edged sword, splitting to extremes. A melee DPS requires more mobility and awareness of their surroundings to play their part. A meleer who isn’t aware and on the move will spend a fair portion of the fight on their face, so there’s a forced learning of the fights to a more significant degree than someone who hangs back and pushes the kill button.

    There isn’t really a flat and fair ways to judge performance, in the end. Even the DPS meters lie. That Druid was probably benefiting that melee-heavy group a lot with Leader of the Pack’s +5% crit chance and healing. Now, that doesn’t account for over 1k difference, but it’s just an example. People are discouraged from CC or support-oriented DPS, because in the end, the group looks at their own inflated numbers compared to the other character and look down on them. I normally only PvP with my Survival Hunter, but I occasionally five man when I want to feel inferior. I juggle CC on several mobs at once, catch anything escaping the tank or dogging the healer, and focus entirely on battlefield control. In the end, my DPS is fairly slim, and I get laughed back to the BGs, because the oh holy Recount decides who contributed. I’m sorry for making you look good.
    .-= Skip Cocoa´s last blog ..Giant Sewer Rat – I Gots Mines! =-.


  13. My problem with gear scores is when people use them to exclude me from content that I’m perfectly capable of doing.

    Onyxia is a perfect example. I’ve never died to a deep breath, I’ve never been tail-whipped, I know enough to get away from the Flame Wardens before they kill me. I KNOW that fight, and do it well. But….the only time I get to DO that fight, is when my guild starts it, because my guild doesn’t require gear-scores for members.

    But every single time I’ve tried to PuG that fight, I invariably fail to meet whatever gear standard the raid leader has set. It’s frustrating, because Ony is the only raid I’m actually comfortable enough to pug into, and I can’t, because of gear scores. Although it’s fun when the group later fails completely because the well geared idjits they did take, turns out, don’t know how to attack from the side, can’t get out of the way of the deep breath, and/or die to the Flame Wardens. Warms my heart a little each time.


  14. i’ll shun people based on names. i play on a RP server, and someone named “bloodpally” or “phearmaster” tend to get put low on my list to pick for dps when filling that in from LFG. failnames often mean failplayers.

    as to who i’ll pick, i’ll often grab classes with tasty buffs (because who doesn’t want to be buffed) and i’ll try not to stack multiples of the same class or two much plate, but other than that, i don’t care. i’m probably the exception, but if someone does 1500+ dps in a heroic, i’m peachy. i mean, that’s what we used to do when tanks and healers were in blues for lower survivability and mana efficiency, so meh. that doesn’t mean i don’t try to pwn when i dps, but i have a high tolerance for weak but non-idiot dps. granted, i’ve had some clunker groups, but surprisingly few.


  15. I’m going to respectfully disagree with the Gear Score issue, there.

    While I am FAR from saying that Gear Score = Pwnage ability, it is there to act as a tool for INDICATIVE ability. If, for example. I’m looking for another DPS for a VOA run, and I have a 3500 and a 4500 apply, guess who’s getting the invite? See, 3500 says to me that that toon might not have even T8 yet, and while he ‘could’ possibly dance, chances are this person either doesn’t have the ability to do higher level content, or is he does, wouldn’t be able to hold his weight. The 4500 dude, tho, says to me that the person has done enough to learn to dance well enough, and he will have gear suitable to do his job. It’s not GUARANTEED, but it IS an relatively reliable indication.

    That said, I wouldn’t rely on it for bigger, non-pinata raids. Then again, pugging those are a no-no for me anyway 🙂 But for just a quick indication of what a player might be able to do, I like using it.

    On another matter, I too am a Druid with a Ret Pally Alt… Just got him to Lvl 50 last night… Crusader Strike…. Now, instead of the mind numbing leveling process thus far, it is an absolute slaughter I am bringing to the creature of Azeroth. In truth, I feel sorry for them, especially with me in full BOA gear!


  16. Very well said post. I’m actually playing the opposite of you, Druid alt after playing Paladin main. Rets can dish out some decent damage, they are no longer the joke they once were in the DPS department. While I am Holy most of the time I don’t hesitate to go Ret when I don’t feel like healing. I think people rely too much on outsources in this game and the comment you made “They serve as a replacement for judgment and personal experience with other people.”, pretty much sums up how people are a good percentage of the time. Ret is very viable now, more so than it ever was, glad you’re enjoying the spec!
    .-= kaozz´s last blog ..Hybrid Theory (WoW) =-.


  17. My last post was about the whole gear score thing; it’s gotten way out of hand on my server as well. I’ve seen people in very nice gear put out ghastly numbers, and I’ve seen “undergeared” folks shine. To me, that’s just more proof that it’s not the class or the gear–it’s the player.
    .-= Matheo´s last blog ..Must Have 4.5k DPS =-.


  18. You know, RandomPoster, didn’t Ghostcrawler recently say that they intentionally do NOT set gear at higher iLevels as being automatically better than lower level gear so that one way players can show their mastery of the game is by having a greater understanding of what is or is not a proper upgrade?

    You, sir, are working as intended.


  19. @Caelean

    Lol I was thinking the same thing when I saw that about the feral druid. My guess is he was not focused on the run, I know that from time to time I will check my brain at the door on a heroic run.

    Also prior to ToTC coming out one of our better DPS in my guild was a Ret pally. But even better, he was a fun guy to group with and a great guildie until RL led him out of WoW.

    At the Gear Score thing.

    It is used A LOT on the Mal ‘ganis server. The only one I really look at is if I am looking for a Tank. Gear is a bigger issue on them than other classes, and while GS doesn’t let me know if they are bad players or not I do get to eliminate one of the factors that may lead to a wipe. DPS I am much more lenient with as an undergeared DPS is nowhere near as likely to cause a wipe as an undergeared Tank. And I understand the frustration people have with it, because I have been on the receiving end myself in PuG’s on Mal’ganis even though I push out over 6k DPS in ToTC/ToTGC on my feral i’ve been turned down a number of times because my Gear Score was “too low”

    Gear Score is also easily abused. You can inflate your GS by just equipping random pieces so long as the ilevel is higher. I currently run around with an ilevel 200 trinket even though I have a higher i;eve; trinket because the ilevel 200 happens to be better fo rme with the gear I have.


  20. @Bear: It’s entirely possible that rather than hesitating over additional melee, your group leader was sorting through a barrage of tells. I’m often in the position of dropping “LF1M DPS heroic daily” into trade chat, and I usually get 10 tells over the course of the next 20 seconds. Rather than the 1:1:3 ratio of tanks to healers to DPS that would be ideal for such situations, I think that reality is closer to 1:2:15. I’ve taken to simply inviting the first person to reply to my tell, as we’ll typically have a few raiding players who overgear the content.

    @Rohan: Cats have a very easy option on trash: Mangle, Savage Roar, Swipe spam. As a Cat Druid I tend to break way, way ahead of most players on 5-man trash using this method. The exceptions are Blood Death Knights, Unholy Death Knights in 4pT9, and some Rogues.


  21. It’s funny sometimes, the things people notice in a post that drives them to comment.

    I do hope everyone realizes, I don’t believe that Ret Paladin DPS is horribad. I happen to love my Ret Paladin, and it’s been my personal experience, *at the level of progression our guild is at* that Ret Paladin DPS kicks several different kinds of ass.

    What I related is something I’ve frequently been told lately, an impression other people in the community are said to have in general, as a reason for Ret Pallies being partly shunned in pugs.

    I am very happy to see so many folks steppnig forward at different levels of progression to say that Paladin DPS can be quite tasty. 🙂


  22. Bear, I don’t know a single group who wouldn’t take a ret. Rets are hands down the top melee aoe dps. If you have at least an ilvl 200 weapon you should be able to do a solid 2k+. Stop thinking ret is gimped in anyway, it’s a great dps spec and it sounds like you play it well. If you have any questions feel free to email me. I raid toc 10/25 as ret and am 2k+ in arena as ret. I can help you out if you have any questions.


  23. But, but, I *like* playing right field.

    I read a comment from Tobold at the Pink Pigtail Inn about five Shamans taking on Ragefire Chasm in ages long past. I love that there are classes that can do that sort of thing, even if they are primarily DPS and only “off tanking” at best. I have a feeling I’d play a Paladin much the same way; a beefy DPS sidekick that can heal or tank in a pinch. Must be the hybrid lover in me.
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..So You Want to Work in Games? =-.


  24. I haven’t tried it out to see if it’s true, but according to RAWR, if you’re halfway buffed (Agility food, Flask of Endless Rage, Drums of the Forgotten Kings, Improved Mark of the Wild, Leader of the Pack, Commanding Shout, Horn of Winter), a cat-spec feral druid can theoretically pull 1745 DPS.

    Naked. Bare claws, no armor, no nothing.

    With those buffs, and a priest’s fortitude, you’ve even got 14000 health.

    1.7k DPS for a feral is just sad, unless the fights are really unforgiving.


  25. While gear score is important, more and more I find myself taking it with massive grains of salt. My tauren druid is dual-spec’d Bear and Tree. Her Resto gear score is significantly under that of her Feral gear… but I can and have healed Heroics, including Trial of the Champion. Could I tank those Heroics? That’s a good question. Gear score alone doesn’t tell me if my Bear has enough health or avoidance to take the abuse from the mobs in the instances that WoW Heroes suggests for her. :/


  26. I admit I don’t follow forums and the like, but I have no reason to believe retardin (lol) dps is unfairly low. Top melee dps in my guild is a ret pali, followed closely by a DK (who isn’t too proud to switch to the best dk spec of the patch), a combat/swords rogue, and my own offspec cat in no particular order (really depends on rng and the nature of the fight who is in what position, no lie but the ret pali is consistently on top). The feral cat in average 200 and above doing under 2k makes me a sad panda, maybe I should roll a lowbie on your server and send him a tell, lol. @Rohan: Yes and no, Single target takes a bit, but most of the pulls in there are 3 mobs so it’s a relatively easy thing to mangle the biggest one, SR, then Swipe TF Swipe Swipe your way to 3k+ dps in i-lvl 200’s.


  27. Yup, skill plays a far larger part in this game then most people realize, especially for DPS.

    As for the druid, feral DPS does take a while to fully set up. They need to put up Mangle, bleeds, Savage Roar. You guys probably killed stuff too fast for the druid to really get going.
    .-= Rohan´s last blog ..Dragon Age: First Impressions =-.


  28. My license plate is LOL RET. <– Photographic evidence provided!

    … But I have to agree with those who say that ret paladin DPS isn't bad. We've raided with the same ret paladin since early T6, and on any fight that doesn't punish the melee (with target changes, constant movement, etc.), he wins Recount. Even on encounters that are less melee friendly, he still puts out some very impressive numbers. I don't know much about the spec, for all that I leveled ret from 1-79 (real pallies tank o/), but I assume it has to do in part with scaling (both in terms of gear and raid buffs) and in part with knowing which seal to use, when, and how to time AoE damage.
    .-= Elleiras´s last blog ..LFM. Maybe. =-.


  29. Well MR Bear.

    I totally agree with you.

    Two stories of my own from the past couple of nights PUGing heroics/instances.

    Heroic HoL run. I was healing on my Shammie. Had another Elemental Shammie, BM Hunter and Rogue in the group – but we were short a tank. We saw a Druid tank in the regular HoL LFG and figured we were geared enough, we should be able to carry a tank that is a bit undergeared.

    The Druid accepted our invite and we all joined at the entrance. Eeep. Druid was in greens & blues – not 1 purple. In bear form, just over 20k health. Never done HoL before. /cue sinking feeling

    We figured WTH – with no other tank in sight lets see how it goes. 3 wipes to the 1st boss, 1 shot the 1st boss, 4 more wipes before reaching the 2nd boss.

    I said enough is enough. I asked the other shammie if he can healed and switched to my paladin tank. I offered the Druid to remain as DPS, to learn the instance as well as how to tank it. But they let as soon as I made the switch (and put me on ignore).

    Story 2:
    Once again on my Shammie healer, r ToC but with a level 78 DK tank. I was skeptical at first, but looking at his gear and close to 540 defense I figrue let’s try it. And damn, got the boy tank. We had DPS die, due to me having to chain heal the tank, but only wiped once on the Black Knight, but took him down 2nd attempt.

    I fully agree, gear score is no measure of how well the person will contribute to the group’s success – especially in key roles of tank & heals.

    I am fully looking forward to the LFG tool’s “vote out” feature if you have an under performing team member. I am usually open-minded and give people the benefit of the doubt, to at least do a couple of attempts to see if we can down the encounter. But if things are not working, I leave or they leave to achieve success.
    .-= Dracomage´s last blog ..WoW Patch 3.3 – LFG thoughts =-.


  30. Also, on a slightly different note, Gear Score is a mod that contributes to a massive amount of add on spam (viewable via AddonSpamFu). While this might seem especially picky, it can actually contribute to slowing down gameplay if many individuals in a certain guild have it (which can then, of course, lead to disconnection issues). There’s an article on EJ about it that’s included in the “How to Fix Disconnection Issues” article, so I’m including it here in case you want to get a more in depth discussion about it. If not, feel free to edit this comment and delete the link.


    Oh, in smaller guilds, this isn’t as much of an issue.
    .-= Runycat´s last blog ..Azerothian Idol: 3.3 Edition =-.


  31. I don’t fully understand where the “Ret’s are bad at DPS” meme comes from. I’ve been Ret since halfway through T-7 and I’m routinely in the top 2 dps for our 10 man raids. Maybe the 25-man gear doesn’t support it the way the 10 man gear does.

    Gear score is the FICO score of the MMO world. People think they’re smart when they check it but in reality it doesn’t mean much. It’s the knowledge of the fight and the ability to work as a team, not the gear that your wearing that makes the most difference.


  32. Unless you’re rolling with a huge group of alts, most of the heroic five-man instances can be very successfully four-manned, meaning that as long as you have a tank and a healer, you can essentially carry any other fifth (whether it’s a friend, guildie or random player you’ve found). At that point, any DPS you bring with you, no matter how terrible, is still a little more DPS.

    Beyond that, however, I think a far more telling indicator of how well a person will perform (rather than gear, specs and achievements) is their guild tag. I am, of course, speaking in generalities. Are there both gems and bad apples in every single guild? Sure. But if you’re fairly involved in your realm’s community and have a decent overview of the kind of guilds populating your realm, you can make a more informed decision about who you’d like to take (if you have the option). A guild tag, then, does more than say “Hey, that person is still trying to clear Naxx!” or “Wow, they’ve cleared 25 ToGC!” It gives you a narrow window into which you can observe a player’s potential personality. Is that uber guild known for being total jerks? What about that guild who can barely clear Naxx? Are they well-meaning and willing to learn? Does taking a player from Goon Squad guarantee a hilariously good time? I think you see what I mean.

    This methodology does still give guildless folks the short-end of the stick, but when you can carry anyone through nearly every instance in the game right now, guild tags are often far better than armory profiles and achievements.


  33. I have sometimes wished that there were achievements based on role/spec – even if they were “with cluster” on the existing ones.

    Say, just as an example, that each boss achievement also allowed a supplemental award for a certain amount of personally contributed damage given, damage taken, and/or damaged healed.

    Just a minor sorta wish, doncha know.


  34. Ew Blood Elves EW.


    Ret Paladins are not “bad” DPS. They are just very buff-dependent. They do better the larger the raid group and the more buffs available (like any classes, only more so). They don’t benefit from armor pen nearly as much as other melee classes, so its harder for them to fit into homogenized gear. But they are not by any means “bad.”


  35. I wouldn’t set Ret’s dps sucks ass. It has its limits, a lot of which is a glass ceiling on gear. Where a warrior can be in great pain until he has BIS, then blow everyone out of the water, Paladins aren’t helped as much. They start out fairly strong and then don’t upgrade nearly as well. Really, my only complaint about Ret is the stacking Seal of Corruption makes any boss with movement miserable. It’s especially painful in fights like Firefighter, where I have to save my haste potion for downing Mim’s head in the third phase to even have a chance of hitting a 5 stack before he’s gone again. Still, Ret is my secondary spec, so I’m in primarily T8 gear (hand-me-downs) and I still pull 4-5k on boss fights. There are many, harder to play DPS specs that won’t give you those numbers.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Show #360: Just Roll It Up, Eat It Sub Style =-.


  36. A tauren pally, mmm… beefy….

    I used to run into situations like this on my hunter back in the BC days, on my server there was a time that you couldn’t sneeze without hitting at least 3 other hunters. So it made it hard to distinguish the hunters from the huntards. Which is why i drifted over to druidism.. Katt languished for a long time as i worked diligently on my hunter, when i got him to 70 and found a wall of other hunters, i started looking over my alt list to see who would be the next best toon.
    I had been stuck in my mid teens with only bearform for a long time, and almost deleted katt, but i gave it another shot. I am stubborn like that, I have to take at least one of each class to the old level to get a mount (40) so I could get a good feel for the class. Now i can hardly play anything else as well, I have fun on my deathknoob, mage, and hunters.. but i’m nowhere as skilled.
    .-= kattrinsaa´s last blog ..RFTC Screenshots =-.


  37. People keep nagging me for moving a Dwarf Paladin over to become a Blood Elf.

    Look, folks, its only temporary! As soon as Catacylsm comes out with the expanded race/class options, my Paladin is becoming a male Tauren. Seriously.

    I hated my Death Knight. Hated. But I kept that Death Knight for a long, long time, even logging in and playing occasionally, just because I LOVED the huge immense beefy look of the Tauren in full plate with a two hander.

    I like the looks of blood elves, I really do, but I am not an etherial, lightweight fragile looking person myself, and while it’s cute to play one for a little while, when I think of a Paladin, I think massive honking badass capable of running around in 500 pounds of steel armor. Just the way I’m wired.


Comments are closed.