10-mans = Failure

I really do recognize that Blizzard wants to make WoW raids more accessible. That’s why we’ve seen raids go from 40-man to 25-man and 20-man to 10-man.

But I still think that 10-mans are the biggest headache to manage for guild leaders. When I was a GM, I was like, “You know what? Fuck 10-mans. Run them, don’t run them, I don’t care.”

They’re filled with drama. You organize them in-guild, officially, and people invariably end up getting saved to the wrong run because some people didn’t show. (See: Karazhan.) You let people run them freely and people invariably get hurt feelings because they don’t get to go “with the cool kids”. (See: Zul’Aman.) You encourage them to run on their own with pugs and people invariably don’t go because they don’t feel like pugging raid content and wiping.

I honestly believe that the introduction of 10-man raid content, starting with Karazhan, but becoming more pronounced with Zul’Aman and developing into the headache we now have with Wrath content, has thrown a wrench into the works of any decent raiding guild.

My personal stance on 10s is “fuck that shit”. I view 10s to be inferior in terms of time + energy = reward than 25-mans. Obviously, I’m right in the sense that right now, ilvl 251 stuff drops out of ICC10 and ilvl 264 stuff drops out of ICC25. Stuff that I have that isn’t tier is basically 258 at this point. Almost everything I have is 245 or 258. ICC10 is a marginal upgrade for me from TOC 25 and is probably a downgrade if the piece is from TOGC 25.

But the problem right now is that you have to do 10s for two reasons. One is rep and the other is Emblems of Frost.

Blizzard has come up with this insane scheme to force you to get 400+ Emblems of Frost in order to get your tier gear. You MUST buy the Emblem of Frost version of your gear (ilvl 251) in order to use the tokens that drop in ICC25, to upgrade your tier to ilvl 264.

Thus, because I do want to get the exalted Ashen Verdict ring and because I do want to wear my tier gear, I need to do the following every week:

– ICC10 (not organized formally by my guild)

– ICC25 (regular raid)

– Random Heroic Daily x7

– Random Weekly Raid x1

That gives me 35 Emblems of Frost a week. I currently have 72 and I should have 76 (I missed 2 days of dailies).

This week, my guild is attempting to set up 10s on the forums. So far as I can see, utter failure. I signed up before the other regular holy paladin did and I am, thus far, not on the invite list. Healer 1: resto druid, Healer 2: shadow priest, Healer 3: other holy pally.

WTF is that all about? If you’re going to post and ask for people for your run, you should take those who post first. If you want to set up a super-secret, ultra-uber group, then use the guild calendar or something else so that you can be assured of the people you need.

I don’t care about going with the cool kids or not and I really hate 10-man content with a fiery passion. So I’ll make my own arrangements or whatever and if I miss out on 8 badges and a chunk of rep this week, so be it. But this is indicative of a serious problem in WoW, I think. Any time you split up a raid group that is generally larger (25 in this case) and force them to do the same content on a slightly less difficult scale, you’re going to end up with people who either miss out due to scheduling issues, have hurt feelings because they’re not as good as those organizing the run or, like me, figure that it’s just not worth the headaches to get 8 emblems a week.

This is the first time I’ve aggressively pursued 10-man content because I recognize I need the badges and rep. And into the third reset of ICC, I’m already disillusioned and am counting down the days ’till I can reform my old guild. :P

Note: Should this nonsense continue into Cataclysm, where we need badges for tier, etc, I am definitely organizing groups for the guild as a whole.

Short form of above: Fuck 10-mans.

LFG, ICC and other assorted acronyms.

As I write this, I’m waiting for a random Lich King Dungeon for my mage, who is now 75, thank you very kindly, and I’m amazed by how long it takes to form a group.

Compared to, of course, level 80 instances that I DPS on my hunter.

Or any level instance when I queue as a healer or as a tank.

Hell, queueing up as a healer AND a tank means you’re never going to ever, ever wait. It’s hilarious. I’ve done the random heroic every day (from Wednesday on) on my paladin, queued as both a healer and a tank and so far, I have tanked: Nexus, Forge of Souls, Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Champion. I have healed nothing.

Ooh, VH for my mage!

…Interlude for discussion of VH-related fail…

… the DK tank just wiped us on the first boss. Granted, it was the kite boss. But, the DK tank hasn’t dropped death and decay once and he had no presence up WHATSOEVER, much less FROST presence, until wave 5.

By the end of the second boss, the DK tank seems to have learned to drop D&D, has been in Frost Presence and has hauled ass to portals in a reasonable manner.

And yet, by the end of the instance, it appears that the DK tank did not learn from his mistakes. At all.

Happily, the healer was also from Proudmoore, so we queued up for a random dungeon together, with her in her tank spec (she’s a druid) and got the same ele shammy as in VH, plus a priest and a ret pally. We ran DTK randomly and VH (not randomly). How is it possible to reset a dungeon from within the cross-realm LFG interface? We couldn’t seem to reset DTK.

Anyways, it’s nice — my mage made a friend. And is 3 bars from 76!

Right, so, where was I? Oh, yeah, queueing up as a tank AND a healer.

So those are the two roles for my druid, right? So I’ve taken to doing this before I queue:

– check spec.

– put on opposite-spec gear.

– queue for whatever I want.

– get called in to tank or heal and, once zoned, only have to change EITHER spec OR gear to match the role I’m in.

Basically, I’m sitting there in tank spec with healing gear on, but my queues generally go like this:

Tank, tank, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, tank, tank… tank.

There ARE no tanks out there for lower level instances and so very few at higher levels.

In other news, thanks to some gratuitous trash-farming, Kurn has the Ashen Band of Vengeance while, due to a guild ICC25 and a pug ICC10, Madrana has the Ashen Band of Wisdom. Kurn has yet to kill a single boss in ICC (though not for lack of trying on Deathwhisper 25), whereas Madrana has killed them all twice already, once on 25 and once on 10.

My thoughts on ICC:

– Trash is icky unless you know what you’re doing.

– The first four bosses are basically a review of Black Temple with a hint of SSC and just a sprinkle of Hyjal.

– Marrowgar might be a little overtuned in 10s, but seemed like a pushover in 25. I worked HARD in that 10-man pug, which was mostly some guild’s run. They’re not amazingly geared, but they’re good enough that they shouldn’t have had to struggle as much as they did. This fight steals from SSC’s Leotheras the Blind (whirlwind), Hyjal’s Archimonde (the fire, although it doesn’t chase you) and BT’s Naj’entus.

– Deathwhisper is a little overtuned in 25m, I think. The big Death and Decays are fine, the deformed fanatics/adherents are fine, the resistance to various forms of damage based on mob type, all fine. The MC + the Curse of Torpor need to go or at least  be nerfed on 25 or else your cleansers/CCers HAVE to be on their game. 10m is a freaking pushover in comparison. This fight steals from the Shade of Akama fight, in that you deal primarily with adds until the boss comes out.

– Gunship Battle is HILARIOUS. I love it. The guild one-shotted it, I believe, and the 10-man only took four attempts or so. Got it by the skin of our teeth, mind you. But we got it anyways. :)

– Deathbringer Saurfang. 3 tries on 25m. 2 tries on 10. And I even got this on 10m:


That’s I’ve Gone and Made a Mess, which was originally a reference to our good ol’ buddy Moroes in Karazhan, because Saurfang originally Garrotted, the way Moroes did.

– The best item in the ENTIRE GAME, hands-down, drops off 25m Deathwhisper: Zod’s Repeating Longbow. I haven’t seen it, but it’s in the drop table at wowhead and OMG. Reference to Superman II? WIN. “Kneel, son of Jor’El! Kneel before Zod!” God, I love that movie. If Kurn can get this bow, ever, I may never replace it. Okay, so I probably would in Cataclysm, eventually, but it would sit in my bank right next to my Rhok’delar.

Other achievements I’ve recently gotten include the BEST-NAMED ONE EVER.


That’s “We’re Not Retreating; We’re Advancing in a Different Direction.” I got that with my RL friend, the resto druid and three of “our” guildies, although I was on my hunter which not everyone knows about. I laughed my ass off when I got it.

I’ve also been getting a lot of rep while doing the new dungeons. Madrana got these:


And Kurn got:


Both Kurn and Madrana have gotten:


Which brings us back to LFG and the dungeon tool.

There I was. Level 71. Tanking, on my druid, in Azjol-Nerub. (As if I don’t deal with Anub’arak enough as it is!) I’m in with a 74 rogue and a 76 DK, as well as a 73 mage and a 72 priest.

I can’t keep aggro off the 76. And have trouble with the 74 at times. And because I’m always taunting off of them, it’s tough to get aggro back from the healer. So I basically stopped worrying about them and worried about the healer. Because, as we all know, if the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault, if the healer dies, it’s the tank’s fault and if the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault, right? :D

So the DK is all like “wow tank how come you cant hold aggro?” And I mention that he’s never on my target, so yeah, he’s going to pull aggro. And then I say:

Me: “I’m trying to taunt off the priest and so my taunts aren’t up for you.”

Him: “thats what im doin waht ddid u think i was doin to boss” (I think this was referencing keeping on my target.)

Me: “Watch your Omen. If you don’t have it, get it. Better, run an instance that’s suitable for your level.”

DK: “funny mate funny”

Me: “True, I can’t keep aggro from a level 76. I’m not supposed to.”

DK: “still ur a tank”

Healer: “a tanks job is to keep aggro off the healer, a dps job is to keep aggro off himself now lets stop arguing”

DK, to me: “u cant ever hold agro off all us so stop telling me what to do”

Me: “You really don’t understand the mechanics of this game…”

DK: “what fuck u talkin about now”

DK: “what u think im doin”

Of course, this was all happening during the trash and boss fight for the second boss in Azjol-Nerub. So as soon as we were done:


I’m going to write three how-tos, I believe. How to Behave as a Tank/Healer/DPS in random dungeons.

The overriding rule to them all is, of course, don’t be a fucktard dick.

Patch 3.3 Hilarity

Good gravy, it’s been a busy 18 hours or so. Apart from some sleep, I’ve managed to:

– update almost all of my addons so I don’t get crazy LUA errors anymore

– do Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection on my hunter (all using the LFG feature which is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!!)

– kill Razuvious (target of the weekly raid quest) on my hunter and my shaman

– tank a random heroic. I was a little surprised when I joined the random heroic queue on my paladin and it’s like “A GROUP HAS FORMED. YOUR ROLE: TANK.” And I was like, eh, why not? Best thing ever is that, halfway through, someone in the group was like “oh thank God we got a good tank!” and I’m like “haha, bad time to tell you I’m holy, 95% of the time?”

So, left to do: FoS, PoS, HoR, weekly raid on the paladin. FoS, PoS, HoR on my shaman.

We’re doing 25-man Icecrown tonight, I believe. They put together some 10-man groups earlier and at least one of them killed all four bosses, so we’ll see how that goes. What’s unfortunate is that it seems that the content is a cakewalk so far. I mean, my previous guild, who, on Monday, killed Heroic Northrend Beasts for the first time (and they’ve been trying since the FIRST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER) walked in there and killed Lord Marrowgar on the second attempt. I’m not thinking my current guild is going to have many problems.

Also, my tank gear apparently doesn’t suck. Granted, I had 5% extra health from Luck of the Draw (? The buff you get when you do pugs.) but party-buffed (kings, fort, and a Guru’s Elixir), I had 45,248 health. Kind of nuts. But I did upgrade from my T7.5 gloves and T8.5 shoulders to T 9.10 (ilvl 232) gloves and shoulders, so I’ve got 2pc-T9 bonus and 2pc T8 bonus and it helps that I picked up some ilvl 245 gear (Arbiter’s Muse and Bracers of the Shieldmaiden) from TOC25 last week. I figured if it was going to get DEed anyways, I may as well pick up some cheap off-spec loot so I don’t look like a moron in heroics.

And apparently, I don’t. :) Just need a new freaking sword or mace or something.

What is equal parts hilarious and sad is that my paladin’s tanking gear is better than my hunter’s gear. Period. /sigh.

Well, at least my hunter is no longer stuck on the steps up to the airship at the end of Halls of Reflection. A GM moved me somewhere because I kept getting DCed. Annoyingly, I could move my pet up the steps through Eyes of the Beast so I saw the dude with the daily, I saw the Captain’s Chest and I saw the port to Dal… but couldn’t interact with any of them. :P

Anyways, very much liking the new content. I’m hoping Icecrown Citadel won’t be a total joke of an instance like TOC.

OH! And I nearly forgot!

My hunter got to exalted with the Kirin Tor.

I have never done a single dungeon run wearing the Kirin Tor tabard.

ALL of that rep — 3000 to friendly, 6000 to honored, 12000 to revered and 21000 to exalted (42000 rep!) — was earned over the last year by virtue of cooking dailies, fishing dailies and dungeon dailies. And that wasn’t even every day. That was just when I felt like it. When I realized I was freaking halfway through revered a couple of months ago, I was like “damn, that’s a lot of rep!” and so I’ve tried to do at least the cooking a little more often than usual. But still, not daily.

I’m just so very amused that I got exalted with Kirin Tor (giving me 10 exalted reps!) without doing anything I wouldn’t have normally done.