Hi, I’m Beartrap, and I’m a convenience raider.
I can only raid when the times are convenient for my schedule. The other activities in my life, be they family, social, work or chore related get prioritized first. If there is a block of time in my schedule where I can reasonably make sure I’ll be available to raid consistently week over week, AND if there is a raid team that runs that same schedule that will have me, THEN I can raid.
So, I’m a raider of convenience.
I love to raid, I LOVE having long term goals, having something in the schedule to look forward to in the game, something to work towards, all that jazz, all culminating in the camaraderie of banging on a boss with friends. Love it.
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of this team.
Team Snuffy has our first scheduled raid this Saturday, November 10th. I’m gonna be the DPS Hunter in our ten person group, and I’ve been seriously sweating being as ready as I can be.
I started behind where I could have been, and I know it.
When the expansion came out, I had burned through all my saved Valor to gear up my Death Knight alt. You know, the alt I haven’t even touched since. Oh yeah, and I also leveled my Druid to 90 first AND stayed on my Druid exclusively until I was exalted with The Tillers.
Those were good weeks, fun weeks, I had a lot of fun playing there. I expected to play and raid as Druid, so it was good for me to really find out for myself how my Druid felt now. Time was NOT wasted.
Still means my Beartrap started out the expansion several weeks behind where I could have been in terms of Valor point gear and reputation.
Yep, when I committed to raiding on my Hunter, I was sweating it. I was so far behind in rep and Valor, will I possibly be ready on time, ready to be an asset and not a boat anchor?
The first thing I had to have was a goal. What would be the bare minimum gear level I should hit to be where Blizzard tuned the first raid bosses? I cannot, CANNOT be lower than that when I set foot in there with Team Snuffy.
Fortunately, the ‘need’ for raiders to do LFR to gear up has been a hot topic on the forums.
My question was answered, in detail, by Blue poster Draztal. The whole thread on MMO champion there is good to read, but the relevant paragraph is;
You’re not supposed to transition from LFR to Normal. You’re supposed to start on Normal (in fact, LFR opens a week after the normal mode of the raid has). So, if you want to get every possible drop to advance in your progression, yes, sure, you’ll want to raid the LFR if you’re not doing Heroics, but there’re more areas than just gear where all raid groups should be looking at when having issues with a certain encounter. Most of the times, unless it’s a dps race, it comes down to something else (bad strategy, for example).
Reading this and other comments make it clear that the intent was for a raid team to be capable of success if they start by being fully geared through Heroic Dungeon iLevel 463 content.
That set a baseline for me. If every item I have equipped is properly itemized for a BM Hunter, and is a minimum iLevel of 463, then my only chokepoint to being an asset to the team is my skill.
My skill. Uh oh. Shit.
So, since I’m sure I am going to suck, let’s try and get the highest possible iLevel of gear I can in the time I have available, all right?
I’ve been running random Heroics, and I’ve done fairly well there in drops.
Cassie has worked hard to level her Leatherworker, and she made me the crafted mail Chest and Gloves. I easily made the Tiger trinket with my Inscription, and made some decent money selling what I didn’t want along the way. Sidenote – it takes approximately 200 herbs milled to make one random Darkmoon card. And I’ve been farming 200 herbs in about 15 – 20 minutes. Just FYI. The stopgap is the Scroll of Wisdom, and there are ways, grindy ways, around it but one a day is fine for me.
I’ve bought a nice Valor Cloak by being Honored with Shado-Pan, which I did from questing in Townlong Steppes, I don’t have the faction dailies unlocked yet. I got a couple very tasty drops from LFR, but never by using a token. My tokens only ever give me gold. So it goes. I think getting one upgrade per week of full LFR isn’t that bad.
The Sha of Anger has some nice guaranteed boots, and groups form up for that constantly.
There have been a lot of ways to get gear upgrades so early in the expansion, and once I’m Exalted with Klaxxi there will even be a ring upgrade to go with the one I got from the Halloween event. I’m not gonna make that by this Saturday, but it will happen some time next week.
My point here is, by last night, I reached iLevel 470. On the dot. So, when the other skilled raiders in the guild said they were going to hit Heart of Fear LFR for the first time and asked who wanted to go, I COULD GO TOO.
I am current on what I can access. I’m caught up. I’m not AHEAD, I’m caught up. Color me delighted.
My Hunter is not Exalted with anyone yet, but I managed to reach ilevel 470 even with a 450 Zen Alchemist Trinket, thanks to one valor item, one purchased necklace epic, three crafted items from our own crafters, a Halloween drop and heroic loot.
This means after two weeks, the pressure is off.
I don’t HAVE to run LFR at all now, except I like it and can do it when it’s convenient for me. Technically, I don’t even have to run any more dailies unless I like them. ‘
From this point as a raider, I am geared right for the starting raid. To progress further and improve, I should expect to get upgrades from raiding and as incidentals when i build up valor.
Where I need to be focusing now is on skill. Learning the fights, practising my coordination, watching videos by Tankspot and Fat Boss.
I will continue to do LFR, because I like the chance of loot and I like running in LFR. I did back in Dragon Soul days too. And I’ll hope for drops, sure. But I don’t HAVE to.
I will continue to do Dailies and improve my reputation with factions. Not because I have to, but because I do want to be Exalted with Klaxxi, and all the rest. I want to progress through all of the content while it is current… and when patch 5.1 brings new factions and storylines, I’m going to be able to shift my focus on to them without feeling I left unfinished business behind me. Hopefully.
A scant few weeks of dedicated preparation, oh yeah and a LOT of help from guildies in doing Heroics, and I’m good.
I see the complaints on forums and Twitter, the outrage about dailies and faction grinds and LFR loot drops and what people say they HAVE to do. I’m not buying the full package.
It feels more to me like people imagining some perfect world where all that exists is the eternal now, and then getting outraged that their vision does not match reality, without any consideration for whether it will all be irrelevant in two months when shit is fully released and a new patch comes.
If you’re a new raider, it does not take that long to get to where you need to be to get started. I just proved it. And once you’re getting drops from the raids that are now being released, you WILL get items of such higher iLevel that the LFR stuff will be massive downgrades.
I can see Valor staying viable longer, but iLevel 476 and 483 LFR gear is very much a short term help.
Give it a month, maybe two months from now, and this whole controversy will be gone as ilevels of available content that people are clearing goes past ilevel 500.
Would I dearly love it if the epic bow that drops from Raigonn in the Gate of the Setting Sun heroic had a higher drop chance than 1.5%? Yes, of course. I am specfically running the Gate of the Setting Sun heroic every day in the hopes I’ll get that bow, to get that much better prepared before raid start.
But I don’t have to do it, I am choosing to do it. If we fail this Saturday, it’s not going to be because I didn’t have an epic bow. It’ll be far more likely to be due to my not moving my ass when I was supposed to.
The key points I’m trying to make here are, if you want to be raid ready but feel daunted by all the reps and stuff to gear through, don’t be. Aim for a heroic drop in each slot if you can, and do what you can at your own pace to improve past that point and consider it gravy on your bacon.
I know that there is a lot to take in with the expansion, but if you do the quests through Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes, getting the quest rewards from those two zones, you should end up with a high enough iLevel that you can buy just a few crafted PvP blue armor pieces to fill out your starter gear and be able to run heroics.
The heroics? I’ve run them all, and honestly, they are not that tough. The shift has fully changed to AoE from crowd control. Lots of damage, lots of AoE spamming, learn the mechanics and you should be fine. As a tank, be prepared for AoE swarms. Lots of them.
Understand that if you stand there and let a group get behind you, you will be taking it right up the butt, and they won’t be gentle. MOVE, just moving a little bit backward can force the mobs to the cone in front of you, eliminating those backattacks. I can’t count the number of tanks I see that run forward into the middle of a group of mobvs and stand there looking cute, while the healer goes bugnuts trying to keep them alive.
Also, clouds of shit? Move mobs out of it, please. We can’t target into that shit, so again, hared concept, but move your butt out of the cloud, and then move the MOBS out of the cloud. Your butt is a cute one, we want to see it.
Consider the heroics to be in the mold of Wrath of the Lich king… with shorter routes, fewer trash pulls, but slightly more complicated boss mechanics. Slightly. And lots more swarms of dinky adds.
So relax. Don’t get too caught up in the rhetoric of the forums. I am right there with people who want to be the best I can be and as prepared as possible… but you’ve got to have a baseline to start with. You can’t look at the top of what is potentially available and then just assume you MUST have all of that gear or the entire raid dies.
I’m not kidding. In two months, I promise you we’ll be looking at more powerful gear from the new reps, JUST like when Molten Front came out, and we’ll forget all about the gear available from previous reps.
And we’ll have built up such a stockpile of Lesser Charms that we’ll be able to take weeks off of dailies and still be buying our three Elder charms each week.
So relax. Chill.
This entire post is liable to be revoked if we go in Saturday and die because my DPS was too low.
Oh, and Team Snuffy is still looking for one ranged DPS player, not a Hunter, who would like to raid with us and would be committed to being a part of our regular team. We will be raiding Saturday afternoons only, and if you’re interested, just give me an email.