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Friday, March 22, 2013

Monster Mash

No, this is not an excuse to show off that you bought a mammoth. ^^

Oondasta's spawn timer's been reduced. Yes, it's even mentioned in the current Hotfix list. However, it remains a really very difficult encounter that requires a level of co-ordination it appears the majority of people on my server are incapable of grasping. Hence yesterday, whilst looking after a pox-scarred daughter, I tried twice to down him. Needless to say, neither actually happened.

Everyone had their own personal theory as to why we failed so consistently. It was because we didn't pull him to the graveyard. It was the poor dps. It was lack of healing, or the tanks couldn't keep aggro. If you know anything about this particular boss you'll understand that this boss is still new enough for all of those reasons to be equally valid or utterly pants excuses. What was missing, throughout both tries (and I must extend apologies to the number of Guildies who vainly tried to get groups together for the second abortive attempt) was the key factor required to make anything this large work successfully: co-ordination. This means people talking TO each other, and without that, you can easily spend several hours doing nothing but wipe.

The more I think about this, the more brilliant an introduction this kind of boss is to realms. What's immediately apparent, at least from where I stand, is that it makes a clear distinction between the people Who Raid Properly and Those Who Don't.  I'm not sure if this was a deliberate move on Blizzard's part or not, but in the early days of such a boss existing, both groups posses some key abilities which allow them to succeed (or fail). The Proper Raiders can co-ordinate raid groups, placing key personnel in each to ensure they know tanks will remain healed. They can ask people to comply to a sensible minimum iLevel of gear before joining, thus giving a rough idea of how much dps an average raid of 40 people will output. Most significantly of all they will understand the mechanics of the fight. That means spreading out to avoid chaining on the Spitfire Beam (which will be easier if you're packing raiding addons and possess a range radar) or standing behind the boss to minimise the impact of Frill Blast. Those Who Don't... well, it would be easy to just dismiss them out of turn, except it's not actually that clear cut.

The first raid I tried to down Oondasta in yesterday was formed at lunchtime, which in itself should give an indication of the type of person you're likely to have found in it's makeup. However what was clear was that there were a number of people who came from the Who Raid Properly group, on alts, but whom weren't prepared to offer the level of co-ordination they did the day before on their mains when I'd downed the Boss on mine. In fact, if I am honest with you, gentle readers, I shouldn't have been there on my hunter alt who was clearly no-where near geared to the level required to provide the dps. I suspect the same thought went through a lot of people's heads: 'ooh look, 522 shinies, I'm sure they'll be enough dps to carry this 90 who I levelled and then left to concentrate on my main...' At some point in this Expansion this will, of course, be the case, but not two weeks into the Patch. Until then, the Not Raiders will be very much reliant on getting a raid that works pretty much without 37 wipes. Those really aren't likely to happen during lunch on a weekday.

Then there is the Graveyard 'problem.' I've seen a blue post saying it's fixed, that there's an enrage if you try, that he can randomly despawn... yesterday I watched Ooondasta stand next to the GY while we repeatedly wiped, before I left knowing full well I'd been stupid enough to waste my time. There seemed to be some belief that rezzing right next to the boss somehow made the chances of not wiping more likely, that the run when you died was a problem. The thing with this is twofold: this boss is made to actively discourage people hugging, and when nine of you all rez simultaneously it should not be a surprise if you all die again simultaneously shortly afterwards. The other key factor in this is horribly simple: if you actually read the boss abilities and spread out, THERE SHOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM. Even if there is, you bought enough well-geared capable people to make sure there's always a tank alive while other people are running... you did, right? Oh yeah, there's that guy multi-boxing over there. Riiiiight...


Snacks to the guy with the PvP flag on. You'll be lucky... ^^

I find myself thinking this Boss will bring out (equally) what is best and worst about Your Faction of Choice. In my case, it's the (selfish, thoughtless self-centred what's in it for me) Alliance. If it's not the Mount Waving Contests or the 'I know what to do LISTEN TO ME NUBS' Guy or the people who love to tell you how they did this yesterday on their 'alt' and it was far easier or the people who are offline 'until the fight starts' and are actually playing on their alts while everyone else hangs around... I heard everything yesterday, I really did. Everything that is bad about this game all appeared in a glorious, stopped being depressing and actually became funny in the end, kind of way. All of this, of course, wasn't just to get those ten points of Achievement Goodness: it's the 522 gear that makes people act this way. It's ALWAYS been about the gear, after all. When I did this for the first time there was an epic feel to my experience, a fair portion of which was because the people organising it understood what was needed to make it happen. Yesterday lunchtime's raid was more about entitlement, pure and simple.

I can't blame people for wanting to keep up with gear: I mean, look at the poor old Sha, left to stand for hours on end in the Summit. He still drops 496 iLevel loot, including tier, but as its not current the interest in him is pretty much minimal. Galleon is still interesting enough because he was pretty rare pre-5.2, and people want to say they've killed him. I think we can expect to see more and more World Bosses as time goes on: however, if they're going to be this complicated, I can see there being some real issues with those people who don't raid. No, doing LFR does NOT count: the Raid Finder is Blizzard's way of trying to get you to think and (maybe) start raiding in an organised fashion. Those of you who consider LFR as simply a loot dispenser will never understand what it is to actually co-ordinate until you ACTUALLY DO IT. This is simply an illusion of End Game Content, not dissimilar to the illusion you have of thinking that if you throw enough monkeys at typewriters, you can come up with Shakespeare (eventually.) Of course, there is the very real possibility that if you have enough people to try and kill Oondasta you will, because one of two things will happen:

  • You succeed, but it takes an hour.
  • You succeed, due to lag.

Now I sit here and type, I realise that the two kills I have thus far on P actually fit into those categories: the first one was lag, the second was persistence (and a 120g repair bill.) If Blizzard are reading this, I have a suggestion for future 'World Bosses.' Stick them in an Instance so the World doesn't suffer lag. Add a quest chain with them so even when you fail at killing the boss, you get something (which will keep the entitlement whores happy.) Finally? Attach a Challenge Mode to them, so that people can choose to do the encounter in normalised gear, and it can finally be about who actually understands what co-ordination means, instead of those people who just turned up to leech off other people. That should separate the nubs from the pros, once and for all.

Oh, and if this boss was in an instance it would leave the Island in peace so that I can continue to quietly decapitate their number for Dinosaur Bones... :D

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