Monday, May 3, 2010

Heroics, Have we come so far

So recently I was in a random heroic with a couple of guild mates. We were all trying to get our Frost Emblems for the day so it didn't really matter to us what we got. Now, as a bit of background, of the DPS (which was the three guild members) I was the lowest GS with 5104. I was also the newest to WoW, and the least experienced in general though I have been playing and doing heroics for well over a year. The other two folks I see doing ICC runs all the time, and when I glanced at their gear I could only drool at the amount of 264 and 277 stuff they were wearing. It makes my 232 and 254 stuff look sad.

Anyway, we didn't get one of the new WotLK heroics, we got Gundrak. A quick buff up and we were on our way. The tank began by taking a few seconds to mark the first mob to attack with a Skull. No big deal I thought and for the first couple I tried to kill that one first, but unfortunately I would get there just in time for it to die. The one time that I got there first I three-shot the skull and happily moved on to whatever monster was closest to me, never thinking anything of it.

After a few pulls in party the tank made a comment that took me at least by surprise. I am taking the time to marking mobs, DPS please take the time to kill them first. Wow. Umm, I thought we were. One of the other DPS made the comment quickly after this stating that the things were dying too quickly for him to hit the skull first. Anyway, I can understand why the tank wants us to kill what he says first, I suspect that he probably comes from a group of players not quite at the level of experience/gear that we are used to. Looking at his gear, I felt somewhat affirmed in my feeling. First his GS just barely broke 4100, and looking at it, the gear mostly comes from heroics, no raids or tier gear.

This got me to thinking, have some of us gone too far. With the obvious exception of the WotLK heroics (most notably the Halls of Reflection) just about every person I play with is hugely over geared and over experienced for the instances. Things that I have seen in other MMO's don't really apply right now.

As an example of things that don't apply. I don't think I've seen a Mage sheep a mob, a priest shackle a mob, a hunter trap a mob in a heroic in just about forever. The general process for heroics for me, and likely many others is tank grabs aggro in one of a couple of ways (run in the middle of a group of mobs, deathgrip a mob to bring him over, or charge a group of mobs, then dropping AOE as fast as possible). Then the DPS haul off with whatever they have at hand. Typically the highest AOEs that they have, or at least things that will cause the most damage. From there we burn everything down as fast as we can paying little to no attention to anything other than the amount of DPS being done. In fact, it's not unusual to see healers dropping Starfall, lightning totems, Smite, Wrath, Holy Nova or whatever offense they have (As a Resto-Druid, I know this is because it is a way for us to stay away from passing out from sheer boredom). This is then a rinse and repeat process with almost no interaction from the players running the instance until the end where the obligatory "ty for the run" party message as you hit the leave group option from the drop down.

Is this the way the game is going? No interaction required, just run and gun as fast as possible for anything other than the most end-game content? I hope not, and in fact I don't think it is. If you look at the WotLK heroics that were added with one of the 3.x patches they require something more than go kill junk fast. Particularly I point to things like the PoS hill of hell that has rows of casters behind rows of melee. Go ahead, next time you are in that instance and try to just burn those suckers down without paying attention to who is killing who/what. I suspect you will find you and your party dead, and probably not pleased with you. It is probably the first time I saw some serious thought and discussion on how to get through a heroic. Similar with other places such as the Halls of Reflection first room. The first few times I did it it with a random heroic group at least one person didn't believe or understand the idea of line of sighting that junk so they don't tool on the group. In fact it seemed to take about two months to really get the hardest of the hard heads to understand and not just wholesale kill us right off the bat.

That being said, it makes me wonder what is really in store for us with the Cataclysm roll out. All these things about class changes, pretty pictures of new zones, etc don't really tell me what the game will really play like. Maybe we will get more of the new WotLK type game, or maybe we will get more of the old WotLK game. either way I look forward to seeing what Blizz has in mind for us next.

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