Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mediocre Players

My favorite times gaming almost always revolve around mediocre play.  I'm rarely on the top of the DPS meters but I do my job.  I feel that no matter what character I'm playing, my job is to survive and help the party survive.  This happens quite a bit on my Warlock, which is why I'm steadily moving away from my hunter as my main.  When you are in a dungeon, and you just float right through it, facerolling your rotation and watching TV while you play, that's really just called grinding and isn't all that fun.  When you are dungeoning and wiping time after time on a boss, especially one you've beaten a hundred times in the past, that is also a form of grinding and even less fun.  But, those rare times when you are just barely winning the battles, but still winning... THOSE are the times I live for, and make me keep coming back to this game.

Nikodhemus was in a random dungeon that turned into Utgardt Keep.  Now, its not often that I am the most experienced group member, but this was one of those times.  We wiped just after the first stair way in the building, on the 3rd pull.  I kind of laughed and made a comment about being used to storming through this on Heroic with a high powered toon, not paying much attention, and someone asked me what Heroic was.  One guy laughed, which is a jerk move in my opinion, but I just told the guy what it was and why you do it.  That sort of set the tone for the rest of the evening and let me figure out the caliber of player I was dealing with.  It was a combination of the tank being over aggressive and the healer being under aggressive.  We wiped again because of this against Prince Keleseth, as the tank ran head first into the room and pulled everything including the boss.  We actually almost took him, as I was able to pull my voidwalker towards the end and keep things a little managed, but it came down to just me and the healer and it was too much.  We came back in and made short work of him, and then went on to lose the tank in pile of trash mobs.  Once again, I pulled Voidy out, shot a Howl of Terror to buy us time, and 4 of us wiped the area clean.  Then it was on to Skarvald and Dalronn and we nearly bought it again for lack of tactics.  I've learned as ranged/Cloth dps to stand withing Skarvalds charge minimum so he doesn't wipe you out and cause more stress on the healer bringing you back.

We made it through there and got all the way to Ingvar the Plunderer.  We knocked him out of his first phase pretty readily, but had some trouble in the second.  At about 25%, the tank goes down.  At 20%, the healer goes down, and we are facing a wipe.  After the tank dropped, I started my summoning of the Voidwalker for the 3rd time, and was interrupted from Ingvar's stomp.  Not having any alternative, and the feral druid was still drawing heat, I started again and brought him out.  One dps dropped, and the druid was down to about 10% when the demon took over and grabbed the aggro, and we finally gunned him down!  Cheers all around, even though it was certainly a messy run, it was very entertaining to have to think again about my tactics instead of just trying to pile as much damage on as I could.  Things like Curse of Weakness that i rarely use came very much in handy when staving off that last bit.

This is why I love mediocrity in the game.  So called 'Elite' players who can top out the DPS meters rarely have the mental capacity to switch tactics mid-battle away from straight damage rotations.  Any battle that makes me do that is a good one.  I had a similar circumstance just last night with my Shaman and Scarlet Monastery.  We would have wiped had I pulled back from smashing bad guys to throw a few heals on the tank.  He was doing a great job holding aggro, the healer was doing a great job he just pulled too many and the HP was dropping too quick.  No one died, we were able to get back under control, and everyone had a blast by pushing it like that.

I'm an old school Dungeons and Dragons player, and every player had to do his job and take punches and use all of his/her abilities to get through the encounter.  There was no such thing as a Tank and Spank (though i've heard 4.0 has gone to that.  Blech!).  I played the healer most times, and darn it all if I didn't step right in the middle with my mace raised high and started swinging.  It was a GROUP in those days, where you were fighting for survival (and loot, and xp... but mostly survival), and you designed your character to be able to pick up the slack if someone fell.  The battle should not be over if the tank falls, at least not immediately.  The battle should only be over when the entire group is dead and everyone is corpse-running to get back in there.

I can't wait for the new content!  I hear its going to be TOUGH!  Hooray for crappy players!

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