An Instance of Fail

An Instance of Fail

**Image courtesy of Universal Studios**

Matt’s note: After an actual good night’s sleep and further deliberation, I’ve exercised editorial control and removed the quote that was at the end of post as I determined it was unnecessary. The team remains committed to delivering honest and thoughtful opinion on the subject and content around the community, and it is never our intention to go after individuals.

I, like a good number of people that I play with, listen to The Instance, a WoW-based podcast featuring Scott Johnson and Randy Deluxe.  They’re an incredibly entertaining duo, and their show is produced remarkably well. Since their fame, they’ve been able to amass the largest guild in WoW, A.I.E., a Horde fan-guild on Earthen Ring.

Needless to say, they’ve developed quite a following. They score interviews with members of the Blizzard staff, host their own Nerdtacular Expo, and have even coined the famous “Obey Henry!” (a reference to Scott’s Hunter pet) phrase on bumper stickers and websites. They’ve got sponsors galore, and it shows.

A lot of people have been given the oppotunity to contribute to the success of “The Instance”, via the podcast or their blog.  Because of the “bragging rights” that come along with such an honor, it’s expected that people probably flock to get a chance.

Well, just because you get the chance, doesn’t mean you should take it.  Living in downtown Chicago, I have the chance to jump off bridges into the water below. Doesn’t mean that it’s a smart idea.

The Culprit

I try to keep a good grasp on what blogs are out in the WoW world.  A lot of us on Twitter are really good about tweeting and re-tweeting blogs that we think are relevant. I find some great articles that way, and some real duds.  That’s what brings me to “The Instance”.

I came across an article posted by someone named Dills. I checked out some of his posting history. He seems like a fairly new blogger. His posts are succinct (good), and touch on relevant topics (also good). The article I read, however, hurt my soul.

In the “calm before the storm”, we’re learning what spells are going by the wayside.  Some spells like Sentry Totem are easily justified. Their mechanics make no sense. Other spells however, will make a lot of us shed a tear upon their departure. Dills, lacking the eloquence he usually displays, delves into his opinions of what should be on the chopping block.

First Offense

Although in the healing community we beg for the repair of our beloved Lightwell, Dills calls for its demise. It’s not really the call for the demise that bothers me as much as the poor thinking that it’s derived from:

The idea is not horrible but in today’s raiding environment does anyone have time to stop their rotation for a moment to click on something for a heal?  I know when I’m dpsing or tanking the last thing I want to think about is healing.

Wrong, sir. When you gear your tank to 540 Defense (or spec into Survival of the Fittest), you’re thinking about healing. When you gather your 251+ gear for your tanking set, you’re thinking about healing. If you’re NOT thinking about healing when you’re going through your “rotation”, then you’re just a bad DPS.  It is every raid member’s responsibility to contribute to the raid as a group effort. This is why one of the quintessential rules of WoW is:

  • Don’t stand in the bad; Do stand in the good.

When you stand in the good, you’re not just “upping your numbers”, you’re assuring that the fight will progress quickly so the healers won’t run out of mana.  With Blizzard’s desire to make mana an issue for healers, this will become paramount.  When you avoid standing in the bad, you’re doing the exact same thing by saving the heals for those that really need it.

But wait!! There’s more!

That’s what the healer is for.  I’ve got a great idea.  How about we put a little Shadowwell on the ground and the healers can click on it to dps things?  Dumb right?  Right.

Wrong again, sir.  Wrong.  How many times have you been working on a progression boss and you hit that last 5% with an imminent enrage timer, then wipe?  I’m willing to bet money that part of the reason you got to that 5% in the first place is because of your healer(s) Smite-ing/HolyShock-ing/LightningBolt-ing/Wrath-ing the boss when they had the global cooldowns to spare.  I can’t tell you how many times when I raided with Lodur’s guild that the whole raid (healers included) threw everything they had at a boss in the final 10%.  I’ll use Blood Queen Lana’thel as an example. One attempt ended in our guild first, with only 2 people alive, the other 23 dead. Healers DPS’d the boss, too. “That’s what the DPS is for,” right? So does that mean the DPS wasn’t doing their job? Nope. We succeeded, which means the raid did it’s job.

Secondly, it’s obvious that Dills hasn’t been following the new game mechanics, namely that Healers will be nudged to DPS in order to regen mana. In the current build, Priests have the following talents:

  • Evangelism – When you cast Smite, you gain Evangelism increasing damage done by your Smite, Holy Nova, Holy Fire, and Penance spells by 4% and reduces the mana cost of those spells by 6% for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Archangel – Consumes your Evangelism effect, instantly restoring 3% of your total mana, and increases your healing done by 3% for each stack.
  • Atonement – When you deal damage with Smite, you instantly heal a nearby low health friendly target within 8 yards equal to 15% of the damage dealt.

So, sir. If we can DPS the boss, you can help with healing.

Second Offense

Although Amplify/Dampen Magic is getting tossed onto the cutting room floor, Dills seems to think it’s welcome. His primary reasoning:

I know, we use Amplify Magic on the Saurfang fight.  I’m aware of that.  However; one fight does not make a spell useful or necessary.

How about Valithria Dreamwalker? Ever think about throwing Amplify Magic on her? And Dampen Magic, what about throwing that on your ranged tank in Blood Prince Council? I can think of a myriad of ways that this can be used on a case-by-case basis. Just because it’s not mandatory for each fight doesn’t mean that it deserves to go away.

More you ask? Sure…

I also don’t know a single Mage who is excited when I remind them to please “give amp magic to the raid please”.  They all have the same reaction, “Ugh”.

Wrong, sir. Any mage worth running with (in my opinion), is more than willing to buff the raid, if it’s necessary  or will aid in getting that solid kill.  To any player that gripes and groans because they have to buff the raid, I tell them essentially what they’re saying is “Oh noes! I have to give the raid a (possibly) better chance at downing this boss! /cry”.  It is these people that I don’t like playing with.  Our mage (also our DPS captain) always looks to see what little things the DPS can do to help out the rest of the team.

Three Strikes; You’re Out!

Last, but not least, Dills brings up Mind Soothe and Soothe Animal. These are spells that I’ve become quickly familiar with through my raiding days.  Remember when CC used to be essential to getting through a raid?  Remember packs of mobs that needed to be Slept, Sheeped, Sapped, Hexed, Repented, etc? Does anyone recall Blizzard saying they’d like to see CC brought back in? I do. I welcome it. It actually makes it more interesting than “nuke da mobz wit aoe”. Let’s start at the top:

Priests can Mind Soothe which I guess could be useful while questing but if you can’t kill a mob reliably you got bigger problems than Mind Soothe can fix.

Dills, did you read the spell? Mind Soothe has no impact on the level of damage a Humanoid mob takes. It reduces the aggro range that the mob can detect you. For leveling, this means you can Mind Soothe a mob to grab that quest item you need. For dungeons, it’ll help you sneak by that one mob patrolling right near you or near a party member that was lagging behind.

I’ve heard of Priests using Mind Soothe on the Instructor Razuvious fight but I admit I have never confirmed that it really works.

Here’s some confirmation for you. In the Razuvious 25man fight, you need two priests to Mind Control.  Without Mind Soothe, they have to mash the Mind Control button as fast as they can to grab hold of the Understudies.  Why? Because when the Priest gets into range to cast the spell, he’s already in the Understudy’s aggro range. The mob starts running at the Priest, alerting the other students (and Razuvious) that he’s there. If the tank’s not fast enough, or the other Priest can’t get off Mind Control on time, the Priest is dead.

Now, with Mind Soothe, the Priest settles into this spot, casts Mind Control with ease, and there’s no mad dash to get it done. The tank can run in and get aggro on the other Understudies without fear of them charging after the Priests.

This works for any time you have to set up CC assignments before a pull. With the need for CC coming back stronger in Cataclysm, you’re gonna need Mind Soothe until you really outgear the content.  And guess what? Soothe Animal is the exact same thing, except for Beasts and Dragonkin!

I do like the idea of these spells upping the targets vulnerability to other spells though.

Where, oh where, did you even get that from the tooltips of those spells?  How does “reduces the range” mean “makes more vulnerable”?  Both of those spells are designed to help prevent face-pulling mobs by anyone other than the tank.

Head to the Dugout

In the end of Dills’s post, he says:

Leave a comment with any spells you hate or think should change or tell me how wrong my analysis is.

Gladly, sir. Let me say first that anyone is more than welcome to have their opinion. I encourage it. However, make sure you know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth if you’re looking to spur a debate. The examples provided above show a poor thought process on your part.

Your thoughts on how healing is “not your job” is an insult to the people you depend on to keep you alive. It is your duty to make sure the raid succeeds, however you can contribute to it.

The ability to think outside the box on certain spells is something I highly recommend checking out. Simply because one raid leader said to use Amplify Magic on the Saurfang encounter doesn’t make it useless everywhere else. You’ve got raiders that groan at increasing chances of success? Get new raiders.

I can certainly say that I don’t like apples because they’re fuzzy and blue and taste like feet.  You’d say I have no idea what an apple is. That’s my opinion of you regarding Mind Soothe and Soothe Animal. Try Soothe Animal in Ruby Sanctum. You may be surprised.

Email: Elder.Thespius@gmail.com | Twitter: @Thespius

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Comments

  1. I agree with you on all of your points. I still love the instance though… and I’ll tell you why.

    Randy & Scott are very entertaining, and they have a huge fanbase to give them more things. There’s also a huge collection of neat mini-podcasts after their main podcast.

    However, they’re nothing like me. They only really have one-two toons that they work on. They aren’t into PvP. They don’t really care about professions. They admit that they don’t really even play that much per week, save preplanned raid times. They dislike Warlocks, Paladins & DKs

    So, while their show is entertaining, it simply cannot be uniformly informative. Someone like me, with 3 alts in raid gear, a new 80, and 7 alts that are leveling as long as they’re rested.
    *They won’t have the experience of good mages in a raid if the mages in theirs aren’t good.
    *They won’t have that Ah-ha moment with lightwell like I did with my Warlock when we were forced into Destro.
    *They won’t know the power of Mind Soothe because the one who has a priest hasn’t leveled a priest since vanilla.
    *They don’t actively think about things like when to Amp/Damp or which class to use Focus Magic on… because they don’t have a high level mage that has to make those decisions.

    And just like Lightwell really doesn’t have any place in Wrath WoW, while being perfect for Cataclysm WoW, his suggestion for a “shadowwell” also doesn’t make sense for a wrath mindset… it makes sense for a cataclysm mindset.

  2. I admit I don’t have time to read everything right now, but I don’t see anything in that post I disagree with. I am a healer (my main is a druid, I’m leveling a priest and a shaman) and I do think Lightwell is useless. I wouldn’t expect anyone to stop what they’re doing and click it, so I didn’t even consider speccing into it. All the other spells seem very, very situational to me – we did RS without Soothe Animal without any problem, we raid without a mage generally and we do find without Dampen/Amplify Magic. On the other hand, a raid without Heroism would obviously hurt.

    So while yes, the spells *can* be useful, I for one won’t miss them for one second and I didn’t find anything inflammatory in Dills’ post.

  3. melissa says:

    Well, he is currently corect about lightwell. I know some tanks use it, but few others do. Why? Because this game and the raids are longer about a team, but more about where you place on some meter. He is completely right about nobody wanting to click on a lightwell because they are afraid their dps will drop by a smidge.

    And don’t think I condone this mentality. I use non-dps abilities all the time on my pally and enjoy doing so. Does my dps suffer because of it? Sure.

    Also, I thought it wouldn’t even be dps responsibility to get out of the bad in cataclysm? It will be a healer’s job to pull us out. If so, then his case that lightwell is now useless is correct. Sad, but correct and also blizzard’s idea.

    As for people asking for buffs, I also find it annoying, but only because they typically whine about not kings/might while i’m eating or in the middle of giving out the buff. I just wish people were more patient.

  4. I am dps and I have to disagree that I don’t care about the healing. I do. I always look at the health bars of the raid in my grid. I always look at the raid debuffs.

    It is true that in wrath, the dps have to care less about their own health. I remember in tbc, us melees always have bandages to top ourselves up. I remember we were given resist necks to use in a rotation when we first entered BT at that first boss. (Can’t remember his name).

    And lightwell is just very situational. Our most recent use of lightwell was when we learned Sindragosa HM. Our priests dropped it in the middle of our two ice block positions. We always clicked on it when we go from tomb to tomb if our health is low.

    Raid is wrath is just easier than in tbc. This is what makes dps not have to worry about the healing.

  5. Christian says:

    Is this really where World of Matticus has come to? Internet flaming of some random blogger, who might not be the smartest? What part of the above post enlightened me as a WOW player other than to tell me that Thespius is a little bit of a jackass?

    If this is what this blog is coming to, might as well close it down. God knows the quality of the content has been on a downward spiral for 6 months…

  6. Your post irritates me. This sounds like comments I have seen on EJ.

  7. Thesipus post is pretty constructive and not just some random flame with just a couple of lines of “lol noob”. If anything its meant to open a discussion on abilities that have a limited use and their future in cataclysm.

    Regardless I do disagree with the amp magic/ dampen magic point. Those abilities have always seemed like odd balls in the mage spellbook. It really only had use for a handful of boss fights and leveling. The reason most mages groan when buffing it during saurfang was because it had to go on the entire raid and you had to buff each person individually. Not to mention everyone was spreading out for blood nova so you had to run across the room to make sure everyone had their buff. It is almost like playing a disc priest (bubble spam).

    Apart from that the buff isn’t anything game breaking. If it was we would see people desperately needing mages for saurfang, dreamwalker, and blood princes. Yet it has some use for these encounters but if there is no mage it is not the end of the raid. Does it make the encounter easier? Probably but not by much.

    Both spells were confusing for new players. For the noobie mage they might not understand what spell power is, what benefits and negatives they might get from amp magic and dampen magic, and when was the best time to use the spell.

    Also they were really boring spells 🙁

  8. “An Insance of Fail”

    Nice flames on someone you describe as “He seems like a fairly new blogger”

    Way to sucker punch him/her. Way to encourage this person to do better.

    “Fail”

    WoW needs new blood, and the blogoshpere needs people to fill the voids.

    Calling this guy out like this is iffy at best, and when combined with your title, is jsut rude and uncalled for.

    And your points are “so-so” at best.

    ” I have the chance to jump off bridges into the water below. Doesn’t mean that it’s a smart idea”

    Sounds to me like you’re saying he/she should stop blogging or even trying.

    I’m not the best player or the best blogger in the world, and I have worked to get the little readership I have. To have someone like you cherry pick a newbie like this is just wrongheaded and mean spirited.

    *removed from blogroll*

  9. I didn’t see anything terribly invalid in the points Dills made, and I’m totally perplexed at why you take such issue with them.

    You might be forgetting that the point of WoW isn’t to play the “right” way, it’s to play the fun way. This goes for raiding too, and I understand the proposed Cata changes are specifically designed so that the “right” way to play is the most fun they can make it.

  10. I wouldn’t make too much of a connection with the instance. Maybe they let that dude write an article on the blog, or maybe it was a guest post or something (site is down so I can’t check), but Dills is not part of the podcast so there is no reason to try to flame the show or the hosts…except for linkbait I suppose.

    Simma down now!

  11. So rather than discuss the issues or points in an adult way, you use condecending language; calling out Dills and publically comparing him to the Billy Madison character?

    I hope Dills ignores the bulk of your comments, even while valid there is no reason to be rude to a fellow blogger. You wrote an arrogant and rude post, showing poor form in my opinion.

    I am unsubscribing from this blog.

  12. I tend to agree with your comments. Its about the raid not the individual. Raiding is a team sport and I do miss the days where everyone had to pay attention to their health and work together more. I am hoping Cata brings more of that back.

    I am amused by those who commented just to say they are going to stop reading the blog.

  13. Thespius. I love you. have my babies. this article made me cheer.

    Priests FTW! *brofist*

  14. Man, I disappear for a week and already I gots people threatening to stop reading :(.

    One person’s opinion isn’t representative of everyone on the team. Kay? We all have our own thoughts. I don’t think fights are being picked for the sake of picking fights. That’s just not necessary and I’ve worked tremendously hard to get to the point where the team and I stand. So if you disagree, that’s totally okay. The point of this blog here isn’t so that you can agree to everything we write about all the time. Would be really boring if it was.

    Lastly, I read Thes’ post a few times trying to find transgressions and the sort. And you know, “offense” is going to vary from person to person. Its not like he was calling anyone a shitface, or a dumbass, etc, and at the end of the day, that to me is what really matters. As long as you can disagree and critique someone with a level head, that’s okay. When you’re an internet personality, whether its 3 readers, or 3000 readers, or 10000 listeners, you have to be able to withstand a certain level of criticism.

    And alas, if we’re going to lose readers over that, then that’s whats going to happen. We write because we enjoy discussing different aspects of the game or the community. Not everyone’s always going to agree or like that. It comes with the territory.

  15. I more or less agree with everything you have said Matticus. That being said the comparison to Billy Madison and several other analogise used in this post does come across as a bit of a “haha – you suck – you dont know what you are talking about etc etc.

    That being said I would like to do a quick “critique” of Thespius’ post while referring to the original post it refers to:

    1. Light Well

    I love the concept of Lightwell as a spell, and judging from your response so do you Thespius, but the implementation thus far has been laughable. Sure back in the day it was okish – and sure we all hope that come Cata this spell will be useful once again but these are all ifs and buts. At this moment in time Lightwell is useless and that is the point Dills is making in his OP.

    Sure everyone should be doing everything they can to stay alive, and sure it is technically bad play style to avoid healing but the cold hard fact it that at this moment in time the majority of DPS think purely about DPS. I agree with you that this shouldn’t be the case but it generally is the mentality held by DPS. Hell other than in Vanilla WoW and possibly on the General Vezzex fight in Ulduar when was the last time you saw a DPS stop DPSing and use a bandage on themselves? Or alternatively didnt use a DPS pot and instead used a Health Pot? Oh and just a bit of a personal peeve I have – I am always arguing with DPS about boot enchants – they always seem to want to have AP, Spitrit, Mp5 or something like that on their boots rather than Tuskars. Like I said just a personal annoyance.

    One added thing I feel you should add to your response Thespius from Dill’s OP is:

    “Also, why in crap does damage break the heal? The only time I could see something like this really being useful is during a high damage AoE from a boss except with that wrinkle, it’s completely useless in those scenarios.”

    This is a pretty important part of the Lightwell and IMO a fundamental point in Dill’s analysis of Light Well – yet you seemed to have skipped over it entirely.

    2. Shadow Well?

    Again I tend to agree with Dill and Thespius on this point. Dill at no point says that Healers cant or shouldn’t DPS he simply states that a DPS version of Light Well is useless. I have to agree with him – all healers have DPS options as you stated in your post. Im sure all healers have come across instances like the one you describe in your post but again as you high light all the healers have their own spells to having some form of “Shadow Well” or something like that is redundant.

    Furthermore, at no point has Dills mentioned the new spells which are in the current Beta build (dont count yer chickens before they hatch). You seem to have taken from Dills’ post that healers shouldn’t be expected to DPS and at no point in his article has he stated this.

    3. Amplify/Dampen Magic

    Thespius again you seem to be drawing inferrance from Dills post which aren’t actually there.

    “I also don’t know a single Mage who is excited when I remind them to please “give amp magic to the raid please”. They all have the same reaction, “Ugh”.”

    He isnt saying they are unwilling or that they refuse to do it he is simply saying that they dont like doing it. This is probally due to the fact they have to individually buff each individual person who needs it rather than than having cast on 1 and all get option like similar buffs have.

    Granted in Dills post he didnt mention Dreamwalker – should we crucify him for this? Maybe it was an over sight? Hell maybe it just never occured to him. As for the Blood Princes – dont think I would be using Damp Magic on that fight – I tend to agree with what Dill says in his OP:

    “Dampen Magic is especially useless unless you are in pvp and there are no healers”

    I would also like to add to this part of my critique that once again Thespius has missed out one of the main parts of Dills’ analysis of these spells which is:

    “I do think the idea is solid but in practicality it comes up so rarely that these spells are often completely forgotten about by many Mages.”

    Dill has acknowledged that the spells have their place in certain encounters and has accurately stated that these spells are very rarely used in PvE enviroments and in his opinion wouldnt be missed. I have to agree with this analysis – as stated sure there are a few (emphasis on the word few!) where these spells are “useful” but at no point are they “required” or game changing for that matter. I dont want to repeat Dills but the above quote is true. You seem to be nit picking about little things in your response Thespius which have little relevence to the OP.

    4. Mind Soothe

    Ok this is where I got really annoyed when reading your post Thespius. You have called out Dills ability to read in your post but it would seem that you seem to have this problem.

    At no point in Dills’ post does he mention that Mind Soothe or Soothe Beat reduces damage done to the target.

    “Priests can Mind Soothe which I guess could be useful while questing but if you can’t kill a mob reliably you got bigger problems than Mind Soothe can fix.”

    I took from this that Dills is saying if you need to Mind Soothe a mob to sneak past it to get something why not just kill the mob? The only reason while questing not to kill something / to avoid killing something is that you cant handle said mob.

    You have stated:

    “Dills, did you read the spell? Mind Soothe has no impact on the level of damage a Humanoid mob takes.”

    Thespius did you read Dills’ post because at no point does he say this. Now you are just making yourself look foolish.

    As Dills states:

    “These seem like spells that sneaked in there because Blizzard need to give players something new around level 20 and ran out of ideas. Dumb spell with almost no uses at all.”

    In the current game as is stand at this time I would agree with this statement. While I do agree with you on your response that Blizzard have stated that they are trying to make CC make a come back in Cata we will need to wait and see whether this actually happens – afterall I am sure it wasnt Blizzard’s intention to do away with it in Wrath (more of an oversight IMO).

    As for Razuvious 25man – its one fight and by your own admission MS isnt necessary as you can get control of the mobs before they get to you. That being said it is handy to have. Oh and this is what I think Dills is referring to when he states:

    “I do like the idea of these spells upping the targets vulnerability to other spells though.”

    Once again you have taken the 1st part of what he has said rather than rading the entire paragraph Dills states:

    “I do like the idea of these spells upping the targets vulnerability to other spells though. I’ve heard of Priests using Mind Soothe on the Instructor Razuvious fight but I admit I have never confirmed that it really works. Imagine though that a Priest could use Mind Soothe to refresh a Shackle or a Mind Control or a Druid could use Soothe Animal to refresh a Hibernate or increase the length of a Cyclone. I could see some use in that.”

    You are picking one particular point drawing some weird inference from the part that you have read and ranting about it. Once again you have questioned Dills’ knowledge / reasoning / reading ability when you seem to have skimmed over the paragraph – taken part of what he has said and had a pop at him. I encourage everyone who reads this post to do read Dill’s post afterwards it is far more coherent and well thought out.

    With Blizzard’s mentality of “bring the player not the class” I doubt we will be seeing any / many occasions in Cata where these spells will be required.

    Well how can I conclue this not so little critique of “Thespius’ critique of Dills post” – Oh I know the perfect way to end this – in the words of Thespius:

    “… make sure you know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth if you’re looking to spur a debate. The examples provided above show a poor thought process on your part.”

    Come on tell me I am wrong?

    I know your commenting policy states:

    “Attack the writing but not the writer”

    And I hope that my post does that – if it doesn’t though I wonder does Thespius’ post fails on that point as well.

    Sorry for the long post everyone – and sorry for any spelling mistakes.

    Panzee

  16. melissa says:

    So you didn’t see where a member of your team called Dill a jackass or anything like that? Maybe you should read the entire post then, including the madison quote. Dill was basically called an idiot.
    I personally found this rant to be comparable to something I could read in trade chat. And by that I mean name calling, the word “fail”, the implication that someone is a moron if they don’t share your views on a VIDEO GAME. All it was missing was a chuck norris or anal joke.

    you are obviously going to stick up for a team member and that’s fine.

  17. The Instance people really do not seem to know much about theory, or other classes. Unfortunately, that does not seem to stop them from giving theory craft advice on their show. I would have more respect for them if they just pointed someone to a resource that actually was knowledgeable. Of course, it might not seem like a good business decision to point your listeners to another resource.

    I still used to listen to them, because I found them entertaining. I stopped listening when they advised someone who emailed them to violate Blizzard’s copyright so that their school band could play music from the game. It is one thing to talk out of your ass about a game, but telling someone to steal someone intellectual property is something else.

  18. This post is a little below the normal standard I have been reading here. Ofc, you can disagree with what the guy is writing (that said, I totally agree with him on the lightwell and disagree with you on it), but this sounds a lot like blog bashing.

    Just…don’t give it attention if you soooooo disagree with what he’s writing. (And, these days I get a twitch if I read the word ‘Sir’ somewhere. It just means, I feel you are an asshole, but because I like to pretend I am not, I will call you something nice….)

  19. Christian says:

    @Matt – You’re not able to see the transgression? Really?
    You yourself state” “As long as you can disagree and critique someone with a level head, that’s okay” and I think that most of your readers agree with this.

    However there is a difference in playing the ball and playing the man, as someone else wrote. Attacking a blog post because you think the conclusions are invalid, and stating why that is the case is cool. Attacking a blogger, even if his posts are crappy, is not cool, and I as a reader expect better from you guys.

    As I stated Thespius post did nothing to educate us as WOW players. All it did was bash another blogger.

  20. Long time reader says:

    I came over to see what the controversy was about and honestly, I must say I’m confused.

    I just see a disagreement here, a difference of opinion – not a huge theorycrafting error or something that truly harms the play of the game. Seems like an interesting argument to me.

    But this post is not phrased like a disagreement. The arguments (I mostly agree with Thespius to be fair) are scattered amongst some extremely insulting language.

    I’m just shaking my head. My agreement is overwhelmed by my confusion at some of the references.

    You talk about how popular the other blog is and then compare it to jumping off a bridge? Why? I have no idea? It’s never explained? I can’t tell – it’s either a totally crazy reference, or there is some private drama going on here.

    Thespius, you’ve just made yourself look extremely foolish. This could have been a very intelligent post, but it’s bookended by fantastically pointless insults which seem to just be thrown in there for color or drama.

    I don’t even remember much of what I read; I just remember shaking my head over crazy, crazy things like the Billy Madison quote. What’s going on here? Twilight zone?

    The quote at the end is ironically appropriate to this blog. I’d lay off the bottle next time. You’ve confused a ton of your readers. You could have disagreed vehemently without being so pointlessly and confusingly insulting. Or you could have EXPLAINED the disagreement instead of making it so personal for no reason at all. God knows we love drama.

    I just don’t get it. Did this guy kick your cat or something?

  21. Thespius says:

    @Christian – I find there’s a vast difference between the language commonly found on the WoW forums (i.e, “lol noob”, “gtfo”, “stfu”), and the vernacular that I used. If you consider sharp criticism “bashing”, then you’re a more sensitive man than I. If you’ve ever read my posts before, you’d know that I’m very much about the team effort in the community. Which means I also fight to protect it. Dills’s attitude of “this is my job; that is yours” and “ugh mages buffing DM/AM is a waste of time” is something I (yes) despise.

    @Panzee – I respect you 100% for your opinions. It’s that kind of discussion that needs to happen. What I saw in the Dills post didn’t have an ounce of the level of thought that you put into yours. As always, I encourage alternate views of the game, as long as they’re based in something. Notice I didn’t comment on Dills’s views on Hunter skills. I don’t play a hunter. I don’t have anything to base an argument on. That being said, I re-read the post, and I still come to the same conclusions that caused me to write this article. Sorry, but that’s just how I interpret it.

    Re: Lightwell – Please read “First Offense” again. Notice that I say “It’s not really the call for the demise that bothers me as much as the poor thinking that it’s derived from….” If Lightwell gets re-worked, awesome. If it’s canned, then so be it. This is not a debate on the validity of Lightwell.

    @TheRest – Of course you are more than welcome to agree/disagree with me. As Matt said, this is not all sunshine and rainbows. None of us ever said it was. You’re more than welcome to boycott me, as my views are mine alone and don’t reflect the views of the other bloggers. He also mentioned that this blog is also about the community, and I’ll comment on it when I feel something is wrong. In continuing to build this crew of millions that we play with, it is my intention to encourage team play (regardless of the opinions of “Instance of Fail”) where everyone is concerned about everyone else in their raid team. When anyone encourages otherwise (GearScore addicts, Guild Hoppers, etc.), I take issue with it, especially when it’s not properly thought through.

  22. Drewschbag says:

    I don’t get all of you people. He isn’t bashing The Instance as a whole, but rather a blogger who it seems very poorly researched his arguments. How would you feel if you were in court and you had one of the lawyers from Idiocracy? (For those who haven’t seen it, please do). You’d feel cheated, and my understanding of the Instance is that it is geared towards newer players, and honestly Dills post seems more like something from EJ than anything else i’ve read. You may not agree with one post on this site, however, given Thespius’ quality of work, you should be ashamed of yourselves for dismissing it so fast.

    I miss the old days of WoW where there were no “Cookie Cutter” specs, and people were encouraged to bring their own individuality to the game.

  23. Matt:

    “One person’s opinion isn’t representative of everyone on the team.”

    I think you need to choose here. Either this post makes you uncomfortable enough that you want to distance yourself from it (hence the above line), and therefore you should rethink whether it should be posted at all – or you’re comfortable with this post, in which case, why are you distancing yourself from it?

    “Its not like he was calling anyone a shitface, or a dumbass, etc, and at the end of the day, that to me is what really matters.”

    Go back and read the last quote. That’s exactly what he was doing.

    Thespius:

    Matt has given you a bully pulpit. You’re using it to be a bully. Frankly, I agree with the raw points that you’re making, but your approach to making them is mean-spirited, and that’s what people are upset about.

    • @Chris Anthony and everyone: The quote’s been removed. I actually managed to score more than 4 hours of sleep. Surprise, surprise, that added to my ability to actually think. The rest of the post appears to be sound, but I will continue to monitor accordingly.

      If there’s any more issues, feel free to get in touch with me personally. My email should be on the contact page.

      Apologies for any misconceptions. Its not our place to go after individuals personally. We have always stood for delivering honest and critical feedback on various issues around the WoW community, whether its official game changes or even a disagreement with another blogger. That has not changed.

  24. For Amplify and Dampen, I think the real issue of why they should be scrapped is because of buff harmonization. If these spells are actually very useful for a fight, then shouldn’t developers tune the fight around having these buff active? If these spells are going to be balanced around then shouldn’t they be available to more than one class class? Basically blizzard has a list of buffs they are supporting in cataclysm and a list of buffs they are dropping. If you ask which list these should be on, it is pretty obvious what the answer has to be.

    The Lightwell issue is big enough that I feel like I will have to write my own post about it, since what I was writing here were getting a little large for a comment.

  25. @Matticus: I wish you had not removed the quote. You should let the post stand on it’s own merits, good or ill.

    That said, the post is a critique. It may be somewhat scathing at parts but it is not full of ad hominem attacks. It is a well written piece designed to address various points in a post. It is a shame people simply respond to the fact that this is a critique versus actually addressing points overall.

    Part of a critique is by it’s nature negative. While civility is preferred sometimes a little roughness may show up in a good critique. I am curious how many people commenting negatively have been involved in actual, formal debating. Really, if this little bit puts you off that much then don’t get involved in serious debates. Serious debate can, and does, happen in this manner.

  26. I am very disappointed in this post. When I read posts here on WoM I have come to expect a certain tone – one of professionalism I guess you could call it. Good facts, civility and trying to look at both sides of things.

    This post seems like someone was enraged at another blogpost and just bashed it out to get the anger out of their system.

    I did read the blogpost that is being torn to pieces and it was badly written, badly argued and, as far as I could see, unsupported by any facts whatsoever. I do not understand how it could inspire such ire in someone to want to waste their time blowing it out of the water. That is giving it more attention that it deserves.

    I am seriously disappointed to have my time wasted on WoM of all places (as I would normally consider reading articles here time well-spent) by someone rubbishing rubbish and in the process making themself look awfully silly.

  27. I was redirected to this post from another site agreeing with you. I was a little curious and I can say that Thespius is full of fail. To be sure that I’m arguing from a proper raiding perspective, I’m 11/12 HM ICC10 and 8/12 HM ICC25.

    1) Lightwell
    There is almost unanimous agreement amongst the Priest community that this spell needs to go. People have also voted with their Talent choice; Lightwell (even though it’s a 31-pt talent), is hardly chosen. Blizzard needs to stop trying to make this spell useful and just get rid of it. In Cata, Lightwell is going to be a pre-requisite of Chakra; well, it’s an underhand way of forcing Priests to take it.

    2) Dampen/Amplify Magic
    Drills never questioned it’s situational usefulness. Thespius is very short-sighted and doesn’t realise that spells need not only be useful, but fun. Imagine being the sole mage forced to buff for the Saurfang fight? I don’t think that is very fun.

    In a similar vein, look at PuGs where we have cries of “Kings pls, might pls”, etc. This is because Paladin buffing is not very fun as well. Compare it with the way Priests/Mages/Druids buff. If Thespius is qqing about someone trying to improve the game, we’ll still be stuck with single-target buffs. Yeah, lets imagine a Priest forced to single-target buff Fort for the whole raid…

    3) Mind Soothe
    The only use I have for this spell is to skip mobs when soloing heroic MgT and Razuvius. Btw, I’m sure Thespius would be hopping on the qq train if Drills did complain about the Razuvius encounter design. Designing an encounter which relies on 2 priests is my opinion is fail. Right… lets call the raid or force a guildie out becoz we have to take this PuG priest.

    Do I want Mind Soothe out of my spellbook? I actually don’t care, but I can see Drills point trying to make the game better.

  28. Thespius says:

    @Azzur – Your kind of logic (for the most part) is the type of debate that is needed. Thought-out, articulated responses. First off, #/12 has no relevance in this argument. My guild of friends and I are 8/12 regular. Does that make you better than me? No. Does that make me better than you? Of course not. It simply means you work at a different pace than we do.

    Re: Lightwell: Read my comment up above.

    Re: Dampen/Amplify Magic: Buffs are an interesting, and I think fun, part of the game. Regardless of single-target or group-wide, I maintain my stance that not buffing is lessening a raid’s chance to succeed, even if only marginal. Especially PuGs. The reason I rarely PuG is because most players in PuGs aren’t team-oriented.

    Re: Mind Soothe: Both arguments made are about the spell’s actual purpose, not the validity of certain raid mechanics. If you’d like, you can make a suggestion for a post on that subject, and I’ll gladly draft one up. =) Take care.

  29. Even though I just wrote a blog post yesterday talking about this and agreeing that Lightwell should most likely be scrapped, I have to defend Thespius here when he says that he was arguing only with the reasoning behind scrapping it and not whether or not it should be scrapped. That’s really what the post says.

    Lightwell should probably be scrapped because it isn’t good enough and because there have been multiple revisions of it that tried to make it usable and none of them worked. Priests don’t want it, they do vote with their talent points, and it’s time to give up, even it it was a promising idea. The reasoning that it should be scrapped because it doesn’t make sense of dps to heal or for healers to dps is wrong because, as Thespius says, there are times when healers should dps, and I know from my raiding experience that there are many times dps heal, if only for a few seconds during a certain phase of a fight.

    I also think dampen/amplify should be scrapped though again my reasoning differs greatly from that in the original post. Blizzard is consolidating buffs and making sure that buffs are available to a wider variety of raids. In line with this they need to either decide this is a buff category they are supporting or decide it isn’t. If it is it needs to be given to more than one class (just like heroism) and if it isn’t then it shouldn’t be around at all.

    But lastly, Thespius, I have to disagree with you that someone being more progressed than you doesn’t mean they are better than you. If someone is working on LK heroic and you haven’t beaten LK regular than is very strong evidence that they are better than you (at playing WoW). That doesn’t validate their arguments or invalidate yours, but sometimes it does make a difference. If you were arguing that Lightwell is a great spell and it is hugely useful and people who disagree don’t know what they are talking about (instead of arguing that particular reasons Dills gave for scrapping it don’t really make the case) then it would cut into your credibility that you aren’t very progressed.

    I think as a community it is important that we go beyond the mentality that being better at playing the game means your opinions are more valid, but part of that is having the courage to recognize that other people are better at playing the game than we are, and accepting that what we have achieved in the game is a valid measure of our skill. Also, we can make the distinction between areas where those who are more skilled have authority (such as which talent selection is better for a particular fight) and where they do not (such as whether or not Mind Soothe should be cut from the game).

  30. @Sthenno – I understand that the common logic that a player in hardmodes is more skilled than someone else. Actually, it’s not the empirical proof that one thinks. My priest is actually 6/12 HM (I believe), and was 11/12 regular before I stopped raiding on him. My crew of friends is 8/12 regular, but we only *just* started raiding, and only 1-2 nights/week at most. That’s why I said that there are just different paces. I spend a lot of time thinking about the specs that I choose. I put the research into what goes into my gear, and I’m very skilled when it comes to keeping my team alive. I don’t mean that to toot my own horn; it’s meant to demonstrate that there are simply different paces. If my group of friends buckled down and raided 4 hours each night for multiple nights each week, I have no doubt we’d be one of the “top raiding guilds” on the server. So, although I respect your argument, I do have to disagree with your disagreement =) It may be the case sometimes, but it’s not an absolute truth.

  31. Hmm, got to say I wasn’t as thrilled with this article.

    It wasn’t the disagreement about what spells are useful. That seems like exactly the kind of discussion that’s informative and helpful for players, and why I read this site regularly.

    It was the unnecessary belittling that bugged me.

    “Hey, I saw this article online and couldn’t disagree more it’s conclusions, and here’s why….” = GREAT

    vs.

    “Hey, I saw this post by someone who clearly shouldn’t be left unsupervised around sharp objects…here’s how he struck out…” = UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS

    You guys are better than that 🙂

    – A (still) loyal reader

    [For what it’s worth, I’d agree that no one will ever confuse The Instance with Eltist Jerks. Scott and Randy are focused on entertainment and don’t pretend to be uber experts. But the related AIE guild has a few thousand members ranging from super casuals to serious hardcore players. I’m a member — transferred in after 4 years in raiding guilds because I like being part of a large, active community where there’s a couple dozen raid groups tearing up content every week. Dills is a long time member and a competent end-game raider. He’s also one of the hosts of AIE podcast (http://wiki.aie-guild.org/index.php?title=The_AIE_Podcast) and recently became an intern at The Instance. He’s also a genuinely nice guy. Even with a game as big as WoW, the blogging and podcast community is actually pretty small and I’m sure you’ll run into him again.]

  32. @Thenno Raid progression as such does not show what skill you as a single raider have, its a measure of your team as a whole. Meters in a way might show how skilled you are in your role but raidprogression does not. You might be THE healer on the planet but if your team isnt up to it it wont matter how much you mange to spam your heal buttons. You can beat LK hardmode and still not have a clue how your talents work, you just went with the cookie cutter and have good reflexes. Raidprogression might tell us you have some experience in harder content but that is all.

    and for the post as such I think most of us has come to expect a different tone in the criticism here. I agree on a few points but it doesnt matter much as the tone of this blogpost was more of a bashing then constructive critique. I am sure Thespius didnt mean it that way but that is how it came across. looking at the comments here I am not the only one reading it like that.. Your opinions have value in it self and I agree with some of them but I will not join a discussion that starts in such tone.

  33. First off, thanks for the kind words of defense from some of you but if you like this blog please don’t unsubscribe to it over this. The WoW blog-o-sphere needs readers and support in my humble opinion.

    Secondly, I appreciate your differing opinion but you really did turn into a bully here. You can disagree with my analysis but calling me out personally is pretty lame. The idea of the article was not to call for the demise of these particular spells but to offer them up for debate and give ideas on how they could be tweaked or changed to be made more useful.

    Thirdly, I expect this from the internet. I knew going into my internship with Frogpants that people would try to demean me based on articles about video games. It’s fine, no need to get all worked up about it. Just thought I’d respond and say that I’m cool with you saying your piece but try to be more positive in your approach. It’s more fun to be friendly.

  34. Dills – I wish I had your presence and calm head; good response man. Darn impressive.

    Pleased too that some of the article was altered to make it less personal, and more about the actual topic.

  35. I was happy to leave Thespius with the last word on the subject, but it’s the last word no longer so here I go chiming in again.

    My point isn’t that if player A is 11/12 and player B is 4/12 then we know that player A has more valid opinions about the game. But accomplishments are one of the few objective ways we have to measure what someone can actually do, and we have to pay attention to objective measures because subjective ones are hard to trust. The problem is that the skills you use to be a good player are the same as the skills you use to evaluate whether or not you are a good player. This is true of most things in life (and is why almost everyone thinks of themselves as a great driver).

    Obviously most successful raid guilds have at least one member who really doesn’t put much thought into the game, copies the accepted best dps spec, and is just great at executing their role to put up big numbers in a fight. I know some people who play pretty well but I wouldn’t trust their opinions of how to spec (I shouldn’t even use the word “opinion” since “crazy scheme” is more appropriate).

    My point is more that we should all recognize that we aren’t the best (unless we are the best, in which case, kudos) and have respect for people who have accomplished more than we have. If some has beaten heroic Lich King then that gives us an understanding of their perspective, and we might want to think carefully about how their opinions about different aspects of the game led them to where they are at. If Stephen Hawking says something that essentially makes no sense about physics, you know the reason it makes no sense is because you don’t understand enough physics rather than because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We should at least consider that when people who have objectively shown they can accomplish more in the game than we can say things that sound very wrong, that they might know something we don’t.

  36. EnderAsha says:

    This could be an incorrect take on the matter from someone new to the discussion but I do get the feeling that a lot of people have misunderstood the frustration Thespius is writing. He can correct me if I’m wrong.

    As a healer, and I’m sure a lot of readers here are, I do find myself a bit frustrated when DPS seem to take healers for granted and just assume that we have mana to spare and if they want to take a little extra damage then that’s our fault if they die. I know this behavior is prevalent in the “bad player” group however I’m sure some high end raiders like to toe the line and walk the razor’s edge to tweak out a little more dps here and there. This is a team game and we all need to play our part. DPS players must do their part to stay alive and minimize damage. Lightwell is horrifically flawed and we’re all in agreement, the issue I think is the attitude that Dill exuded towards healers.

    As Relevart said in his blog a short while back about “Dying in Fire” there needs to come a point as a healer where you cut the chord on a dps player. If they are going to take excessive damage to deal more damage then let them die. With cataclysm coming out and the mana issues looming (Lissanna over at Restokin said she could “raid heal” for maybe 30 seconds nonstop before going oom at 83) we need to beat it into DPS skulls that Survival > DPS.

    That was a long rant but I have a feeling this disregard for healers, and the mentality of “that’s their job, let them take care of it I’m going to focus only on doing my job” set Thespius off and soured him on the blog. When I read someone writing with that mentality it sours me up…even if they have completely valid points!

  37. Thespius says:

    @EnderAsha – Thanks for your input. Actually, you hit the nail on the head. However, a sensitive topic for anyone is no excuse into using some of the tone that I did. There will be “retraction post” up tomorrow. I’d love your input on some of the points I make in it. It is true that “that’s what healers are for” really “grinds my gears”, as Peter Griffin would say.

  38. @ Thespius I understand that my choice of words was poor. I never meant to imply that dps should disrespect their healers or make their jobs harder. I can see why that is what you thought when you read that statement. I was basically trying to highlight the design flaw in a healer casting a heal that then has to be “accepted” by the dps player for it to do it’s job. My blogging inexperience showed and for that I apologize.

    However; you ripped me apart in your own blog rather than simply leaving a comment on my post alerting me to my error in semantics. I do understand the sensitivity of healers, some of my best friends in the game are the healers I run with. They can tell you that on the raid team I lead as well as the ones I don’t, I have little patience for dps who stand in the fire or don’t properly avoid unnecessary damage. I’m the kind of player who uses hand of sacrifice and raid walls, tanking cooldowns and all sorts of other tricks to help my healers when I can. Of course you could never know that if you don’t actually know me.

    To make huge assumptions about me personally based on a sentence or a blog post is also a mistake, something I wouldn’t expect from a seasoned blogger like yourself. I say that after having been alerted to your tweets that I was “dangerous” to the community among other things. So I’ll say this, I hold no ill will towards you Thespius, I only ask that you stop with the attacks and in exchange I will try to be more clear in the future about what I am trying to say.

  39. Thespius says:

    @Dills – It’s I who should apologize. As has been demonstrated, I was unprofessional in this post. The original intent was a critique that was too long for a comment. I, however, lost my professionalism in this version. As I said, there will be a proper and professional critique that will be going up tomorrow. Attack free, I promise.

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