One Shotting Heroics: The Secret

The Dark Knight BatmanThis post isn’t really a response to Brendan’s guest post a few days back. It’s my perspective on the Heroic at Honored issue that was continued by Amava.

As long as you have the desire to progress and to succeed, then I am confident that you’ll do fine in Heroics. Veteran players like myself who levelled to 70 within 2 weeks of TBC’s release ended up learning every encounter the hard way. The first time I did Shadow Labyrinth, it took two hours and trash reclears just to kill Murmer for our one frag. I didn’t even want to think about Heroics at the time.

The Heroics of now are much more manageable than they were before. I’m not going to say easier, because players still need to have a level of intelligence and gear required.

For example, in Heroic Sethekk Halls, the opening pull involving the two ghostly mobs? Both were immune to shackle, traps, and any kind of CC. I remember they would randomly drop aggro and charge our members. It was a nightmare just to be in that instance several months ago. Your tank had to be geared enough to withstand the massive amounts of damage, and skilled enough to hold aggro on two mobs simultaneously. Your healer had to be fast to sustain your tank. Having a Hunter was almost a requirement for Misdirect.

Trash in Karazhan have been nerfed enormously. What once took two nights can now almost be done within three hours. I remember a pack of trash that was outside of Maiden’s hallway leading towards the Opera Event. Those necro’s could not be shackled nor pally feared. You had to have two tanks on at all time getting aggro on both of them simultaneously so that when one tank got frozen, the mob wouldn’t run and charge a random player in the group.

I thought that was the hardest encounter I had ever faced at the time

It’s a habit of mine that I continually forget that heroic instances of post 2.3 are much more different than they were in pre 2.3.

Why Blizzard dropped the reputation level

1: Replay Value

They lowered it because it was difficult for players to find groups for Heroics. Only a fraction of all WoW players are raiding any kind of 25 man content. The 70′s who aren’t are typically in casual Guilds who do not have the kind of dedication or personnel to go the route of raiding but want to have fun doing challenging content. If they’re not interested and don’t have the time to PvP, what’s there left to do? 5 man instances are the only option left in order to acquire gear.

2: Patch Nerfs

There’s been four main patches since TBC was released. In every patch, there’s been nerf after nerf on various heroic instances. Each gradual reduction in difficult increases the margin of error that players have. That means more time to recover in case something bad goes wrong. It means the ability to take in players who have the brains but not necessarily the gear. Grinding to revered would have increased the chance that you would get the necessary dungeon gear to replace your preexisting greens and lower level blues.

3: Player Pool Increase

Even on a server as populated as Ner’Zuhl, it took me a long time to not only find tanks and DPSers, but to find players that had to have the key to go in. Now there are more people running heroics because they don’t have to spend the time necessary to grind the rep to get in. In my opinion, players that were kara geared or higher had no need to run heroics (other then badges for nether’s, etc). What was the point? Having T5 gear is better then badge gear. They could not justify the cost of badge runs with that of raids. Players that were far below that could not keep up with whatever their job was. This resulted in a small selection of players who had the NEED to go in and WERE sufficiently geared to go in.

Now heroics are such a piece of cake. I can breeze through them

What’s my secret?

I run with a Pally tank and a Mage. It makes it so easy for me to blog and read while I play WoW at the same time.

Guest Post: Heroic Pugs are Not Heroic

Matticus’ Note: This is a guest post from a friend of who has no blogging experience whatsoever but still did a great job nonetheless. I have another exam in about an hour. Thanks Brendan! Post has been edited for clarity and such.

First off, let me say I’m not a writer/blogger in any way, shape or form. I’m writing this because an idea popped into my head, and I’m tired of studying for finals. This blogging stuff is a nice change from the 17 credits of math I have this semester that engineers are supposed to know.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my view of PUGs (Pick-Up Groups) has gone downhill since BC came out. It started out fine, pugging some people to get some experience while exploring the new instances in outlands. As a druid, and usually feral to boot, I wanted to get exalted with Cenarion Expedition ASAP to pick up my Earthwarden (best tanking weapon until SSC trash). I was in a small guild at the time and there were only a handful of us hitting 70 at the same time. It wasn’t easy to get a group to grind out Steam Vaults a dozen times a day for the required rep. I would turn to PUGs to accomplish this. For the most part, this went the same way to get revered with most of the factions. Even with quested items and random greens in most people’s gear, normal mode was still fairly easy. Subsequently, after doing countless runs of instances for rep, people would replace their greens with decent blues and fill out their dungeon 3 sets. More importantly, people would learn the instances, know what bosses/mobs did what, who to CC, where to go and such. By the time the rep was obtained to be able to hit up the heroics, people had knowledge/gear to stand a chance, and knew how to play their class.

This is all well and good, but then comes 2.3 and heroic keys only require honored. With pretty much any faction, you can obtain honored by doing their quests and 1-2 clears of each of their instances (sometimes even less than that!). What does that mean? People try to get into heroics still wearing their quested blues/greens, and not knowing what the heck is going on. It used to be a reasonable bet that when you pugged for a heroic, the people you got were somewhat decent, because they had done the run on normal at least a dozen or so times, and had decent gear. Now, you don’t get that confidence.

I’ve heard many stories (and experienced a few) in guild chat, of people pugging a couple slots for whatever heroic when there weren’t quite enough people online from the guild to do it with. There have been melee hunters that shoot their own traps, priests that only used flash heal (“lol greater heal takes too long”), tanks that can’t hold aggro on a single mob, mages who don’t know what a sheep is, pally tanks who consecrate on top of all the CC, and multitudes of other things. Even if you don’t get these kinds of people, there are simply people that don’t have the gear and they will get destroyed by the trash. In some instances, groups will not have enough DPS to burn down adds on bosses, making heroics all but impossible. Then there’s the issues of ninjas, people leaving unexpectedly, “know-it-alls” saying that their strat works and that t4/t5 group leader doesn’t know what he’s talking about… but those are just general PUG rarities that can happen anytime.

Now, this may sound like just a gripe with the heroic key rep change. It’s great for people trying to gear alts who don’t want to grind out the reputation to do the instances, and usually can be carried through by decent guildies. But that’s an entirely different story. The issues mentioned are more adamant to happen with PUG groups. And at least with people you know, usually there is some sort of voice communication being used, which lessens the pain of inexperience in one or two group members.

All in all, I tend to stay away from PUGs. For the most part, it’s just a repair bill waiting to happen. One of my friends who would accept a PUG invite on his main to anything from RFK to heroic Shattered Halls (one of my least favorite instances w/o a well geared Paly tank, or 2 Druid tanks), now thinks twice before pugging anything past normal difficulty. I refuse to do them, and I get at least a couple of tells a day asking to tank or heal PUGs. I usually let them down nicely, saying I’m not the spec they want (people go away so fast when I tell them I’m balance), or that I’m logging soon (which is usually the case).

This wasn’t really an informative post, just my personal gripes with heroic PUGs, which I’m sure more than a few people can relate to. Hopefully at least a couple of you agree with what I wrote, and it wasn’t an entire waste of time reading. But if not, I’ll go back to my horrendous amounts of number crunching engineering stuff and leave the blogging to the bloggers.

When Brendan’s not busy crunching numbers, he plays a horde Feral druid on… some server. I can’t remember. But thanks for the heroic insight!